As we continue to do our best to live under the guidelines of “staying well” and other good sense matters, we are also inundated with the concerns about hoarding, the Stock Market and possible government bailouts. This is a world-wide problem and no one has the perfect answer for any of it. Yet, some make their voices known, either to agree or disagree with certain positions being taken.
Nikki Haley, the former United Nations Ambassador has just resigned from the Board of Boeing because of the discussion of bailing out the planemaker. See her letter and reasoning here:
Everyone would like a stimulus check, but only a certain number will get government help. Even if it is for a good cause in the economy, a bailout to anyone, big business or private individuals, comes from somewhere…those who have worked hard and paid their taxes.
The thing to remember is that there is NO FREE LUNCH. It wasn’t in the past and it won’t be in the future. Nothing is ever free. Even the politicians who promise free education, free health care, free anything…there is nothing free. This does not take a genius to understand this truth…yet, many hope on…passed reality.
Does the Holy Scripture say anything to us about finances…need or faith in the midst of crisis? Let’s look at a few verses that can help us weather the storms as we look for peace. In doing so, we must not forget to pray for those making decisions that effect our lives.
To be content:
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Phillippians 4:11-13 (Words to the Phillippians by the Apostle Paul)
Help those who need help through generosity:
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19
Anxiety only raises blood pressure
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these… Matthew 6:25-32
The first Monday of September is Labor Day in the United States. Many people still work on this day, but often companies and the Government employees have this day as a holiday from their labor…whatever it may be. The word “Labor” isn’t used too much except to state, “She is going into labor”…and yes, that is definitely work!
(pictures by Dr. Leon Baginski)
Picture from Dr. Leon Baginski
Joy afterward for a new life
Sometimes we speak of the “Labor Force”…or “I labor over a hot stove.” Thinking of work and Labor Day, I remembered an email I received informing me that a person liked my blog. That is always great news and every blogger loves that message.
As I looked at a blog of the “liker”, I saw that the person also was asking for a one-time donation because they were unemployed. Now I have sympathy for the unemployed IF they are seriously seeking employment and are actually willing to work at a job. It may not be the dream job of their hopes, but at least a job may hold him/her over until something better comes along. It made me wonder about such posts from a fellow blogger somewhere in the world…and an email to me and probably many other people.
Too often I see young adults sitting or standing around a store or trees in the middle of the day when just down the road are “help wanted” signs. Sometimes the signs are even a little humorous…but real.
The job could be a dishwasher or as in the case of the bridge being built near our house, it could be for hard, manual labor. Yes, it is in the hot, Florida sun…and not many people are wanting to carry metal rods or unload large concrete pilings, but it IS A JOB…and it PAYS!!
Sure, it’s hard work, but it is also a learning experience. This man shown above may someday own a restaurant and he will remember that he started the hard way.
Building a bridge is really hard work, but a person who labored on the bridge may drive their car across it one day and proudly say, “I helped build this bridge!” It might be a small bridge or one similar to the Golden Gate, but all exist because there were those who were willing to work.
This is what the begging blogger wrote online to her audience worldwide:
“If you like my work, then there is a way you could help me continue this work. All it takes is a few seconds of your time & 3 dollars (₹206.68) of your money. Do you have that much time & that little money? In case you do, you not only get my sincere gratitude but also a special mention (with your link) in the next post.”
You will notice that the person mentions that the blogging she is doing is her “work”. My blog has been going over the world-wide-web for over 9 years and not once did I consider it “work”, but pleasure…and I certainly never thought of asking the unseen people of the world to support me. My readers might have had an opportunity to go to Amazon and buy one of my books, but that would have never supported me. If they purchased a book, they would get something in return for their money. Our blogger simply wanted a hand-out with nothing to benefit the giver.
It is a NEW AGE, my friend. Begging is no longer sitting on the street with a cup in hand. It has gone VIRAL. It is MODERN-DAY BEGGING.
Unfortunately, it may even be possible that this person online may truly make a living asking for financial help…for there are millions of people online. A great many may say to themselves…“What’s $3.00…I can afford that!” The blogger, herself, insinuated that it was no big deal by using the words, “little money.” Most of us can spare a few dollars, but why would we want to throw our money into a fund using our PayPal or a credit card (as she told how to pay) when we could easily give to a charity where people are really in need of help. The very poor or disabled may not own a computer or have finances to pay for a blog site if they can’t pay their bills.
This particular blogger was a woman. Women may take a job as a waitress, a sign holder on the road, a truck loader or other things suitable to her abilities. She doesn’t have to stay there forever. She may become the boss…or marry the boss. Don’t laugh…marrying the boss should not be the goal to better things. It could make life worse!
The waitress who works long hours listening to not so sweet people and sweating over hot trays needs a tip more than $3. Save that online donation for her…with a big “Thank you” for her work and pleasant disposition. Self-respect is worth more than money.
My whole point is to ask ourselves the big “WHY?” a most likely able-bodied person (blogger)…who at least can type…is becoming a modern-day beggar? Why do many young adults believe themselves to be “ENTITLED” while others do the work? This also goes for children who no longer have to work in the sweatshops because the laws protect them, but if the teen wants the fancy tennis shoes or phone, there is still the old-fashioned thing of working around the house and building up the funds from chores for the nicer things wanted. In the long run, the lesson of work and the work ethic is being taught.
When our children were around 10 or 11 years old, my husband and I used to go out and pick up trash along the road and the children would earn some money for helping out. Not only did we make the community look better, but their “piggy banks” got fatter. As adults, they are hard workers of whom we are proud.
We hear much today about adult sons and daughters who live in their parent’s home, eat their Mom’s cooking and just stay on and on without any effort to get a job or to move out on their own. We are not talking about someone trying to get on their feet and they have parents kind enough to help for a short while. In essence, those who hang on too long are also silent beggars…maybe not online but within their family unit. Young adults like these are being given a free ride by those who love them…that is until the parents have just finally had enough of the situation. (See the CNN interview at the end of this blog.) It seems to be a problem worldwide, especially in some European countries.
Occasionally, there will be an online FUND set up for a worthy case. We are also not talking about those. We are talking about begging online because it is easier than working. Besides being glued to expensive cellphones a good deal of the time, our young adult generation may want to realize that hard work does pay off in the long run…to whatever goal is out there for the future. My advice (or challenge) given here will roll off the backs of those who are lazy, unmotivated, self-absorbed, or simply a leach….but here goes…
Begging is not the answer….. My advice for those who are able-bodied:
GET A JOB, even the smallest job…It will improve your feelings of self-worth.
Photo by Douglas Graham/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images
Neighbor friends of mine have said, “I’m not watching it!” Other elected officials from various states have decided to “boycott” the State of the Union address also…even if they have not asked those who elected them whether it was a good idea and did they approve? Some Congress members have already decided that they will not stand or applaud even when what is being said is for the good of all Americans…simply because they are determined to be oppositional. That may be why many Americans see the Congress as a “do nothing” organization.
We ask at Boyer Writes the question: Is the State of the Union Message of any importance to Americans…the rich, the poor, the small business person and economists, the elderly, those who receive government aid, environmentalists, our military, the immigrants…legal and illegal, who may be hoping to be citizens of the USA and all others who would put themselves in any category?
We will address first the meaning of the State of the Union and its history…in case some should not know:
It is a Constitutional Duty.
“Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution provides that the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”
The Address is to be informative to the Congress and to every citizen of the United States…whether listening or not. (Any elected official who does not show up to hear probably should be close to a T.V….just to be “informed”.)
It is a part of our established history. The President of the US has been giving this message in person to the Congress and the American people for 105 years since 1913 by President Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President. With the advent of TV and the internet, it has been easier to reach the average person. (Some may even ask why the average person should not be able to hear or know the direction of our country…just as the elected officials are informed?)
The Early history: George Washington delivered the first annual address to Congress in 1790.Thomas Jefferson discontinued the practice because he felt it was too monarchical, as similar to the “Speech from the Throne”. He wrote it out and sent it to be read by a clerk.
There was controversy in 1913 when President Woodrow Wilson planned to reestablish the speech. (Oh my, “controversy” also has a long history!) There have been only a few exceptions by the U.S. Presidents of delivering the address in person to the Congress and to the American people, with the last being President Jimmy Carter in 1981.
Important enough to designate a SURVIVOR: Whenever Congress meets together to hear the President speak, there is a designated survivor appointed. What does this mean?
“Since the ’80s, a designated survivor has been selected for the State of the Union. This is a member of the president’s cabinet who does not attend the event, in case a disaster or attack kills the president and everyone in the line of succession. The first designated survivor was Reagan’s Housing and Urban Development secretary, Samuel Pierce. The two cabinet positions most often selected to serve as designated survivor are the secretary of the Agriculture Department and the secretary of the Interior Department; both positions have been selected six times each. The only person to serve in the role more than once was George W. Bush’s Commerce secretary, Donald Evans.” (taken from PBS News)
photo credit BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Does history or tradition mean anything to the American people today? Is it too old-fashioned to spend an hour before our TV sets or online to hear what the President has to say?
Do the personal opinions about the particular person elected to the office of President cloud a more important aspect of being American? We must all remember that we are in it together for at least the 4 years the President will serve. Decisions made by Congress will effect us all…and might be why they should be listening rather than protesting at this point.
Free speech (and opinion) is part of our right guaranteed in the Constitution. The President is following the requirements of the Constitution to make this address. That is why it is my opinion that we lay aside, for one hour, to check out what we may be up against for years to come…for good or bad. Those who say, “I hate him and everything he stands for”… should remember that the State of the Union message is important for this reason. It is not a State of the Union on a Personality, but on our country and the future of our country. If we don’t like the things said or the things proposed to follow in the next year or the next three years, try our other right…your VOTING RIGHT! At least you will be able to say you’re informed.
Yes, We still have elections and the leadership choices are still made at the ballot box and not at the end of a gun as they are in some nations. Thank God! Therefore, in Honor of the office of the Presidency...whether you approve of the sitting President or not…here is HAIL TO THE CHIEF performed by the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own”.
News about the number of immigrants coming into the U.S.A. and other countries is a big topic in today’s headlines. Some are seeking a better way of life. Others are looking to come for education. Some want permanent citizenship.
The question is how does it help us or in particular…how does it help the country they are leaving? Over the years many immigrants have come on student visas and then decide to stay. The education that they received and the knowledge that they now possess could bring much benefit to their home country…even if it is such things as clean water and inventions or technology for better infrastructure and everyday living… medical needs…thus more jobs with better pay. The list of country improvement that might be possible would be too long to share in this blog. We all have seen pictures of Ellis Island and the immigrants coming from around the world. (See slides of Ellis Island pictures)
Yes, our country is made up of immigrants from all over the world…since our beginning as a nation. Each one had a reason for wanting to come. In most cases they were not wanting to blow up America or take over our country. They may have been seeking religious freedom, but were not planning to bring religious bondage with them to those already here with different religious beliefs. They did not consider those different from themselves as infidels to be murdered. Of course, we know that there are many immigrants in our modern times who also are seeking the same things that our previous immigrants wanted. They wanted to live freely in a land with opportunity.
There will always be those immigrants who are fleeing persecution and would possibly die if they stayed in their homeland. Certainly, these must have special consideration. As a people, we are for the most part open minded and compassionate. The European nations have also opened their doors and hearts to fleeing immigrants. Hundreds of thousands have flooded their lands with little vetting. Now, they are having to reconsider their immigration policies. They are taking a very hard look at what it is doing to their lives and their economy.
We want people to enjoy our country and visitors come here by the thousands every day. Yet again, as far as making the U.S.A their permanent home, there are some serious questions that might need to be explored. One is the following:
What actually are the statistics of the impoverished in the world, who would, if they could, seek a better life?
Recently I was sent a video that tries to tackle the issue of immigration and its effect on our nation as well as the country from which they come. The speaker uses visual aids to make his points…which may be some very good points to consider when thinking of our world-wide populations. See what you think.
Did you see that person sitting on the street while you were shopping? Did you wonder who he is or where he came from? Should you take a chance that he needed someone and that someone might be you?
In cold climates, the heat may be off in the homes of many children and their families. Could you see that the heat is turned on ?
Can you take food to the food pantries…or serve in a soup kitchen? Reach out this Christmas. Count your blessings and be generous.
Show God’s love to the least of society’s down and out people. Maybe their decisions have put them in the place they are in…or maybe it had nothing to do with their decisions. So many have lost jobs this year. They have families to support and there may not be much hope in finding another place to work. So many reasons…so many heartaches. Those with addictions need to be shown a place where they can get help. Will you walk by or reach out to offer that information or a resource…a place to rescue a life?
You can be God’s messenger of hope…of promise of newness of life. Reach out. Be HIS hands. Open your heart to the least of these.
Footnote: After posting this blog, I received a comment from a reader in Ukraine that touched my heart. He wrote: “Recently I bought dry socks to give to a sick street man in Ukraine. He asked me for bread, so I bought him a loaf of bread too and when I returned I placed my hand upon his hooded head and prayed for him. I prayed in English and know he didn’t understand a thing, but Jesus heard my prayer and that is all that mattered.”
The commercialization of Christmas has reached around the world, especially to those who labor in the factories to make the hundreds…no, millions of pieces of plastic that are placed on Christmas trees and even manger scenes of the Baby Jesus.
How many Chinese hands have painted the figures and perhaps wondered who this person is and what Christmas is all about? Is there a meaning to Christmas other than a small paycheck? Stacks and stacks of ornaments…piles and piles of plastic…hours and hours of labor…boxing and labeling “made in China” to be moved thousands of miles away around the world. This is Christmas to so many.
Below are parts of an article that is worth sharing. After reading this, one may decide that Christmas next year may be celebrated in a different way. We will mention only briefly the economic issues as it relates to the U.S.A, but simply see how the Baby Jesus has been lost in the mountains of plastic.
Tim Maughan writes about his visit to Yiwu, a Chinese city that could almost be called “Christmas town” His trip was organized and funded by the Unknown Fields Division, a group of architects, academics and designers at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London.
Most of these pictures were made by Tim Maughan as he toured the Christmas city of Yiwu. As we study these pictures, it is most revealing of commercialism on a mass scale.
“I’m a few hours away from Shanghai and I’ve not seen daylight for over three hours. I’m also hopelessly lost. I’ve been trying to get out of this place for the last 45 minutes, but the vast labyrinth of corridors and stores all look identical. I’m surrounded by artificial trees, baubles, fake snow, felt Santa hats, and animated LED reindeer. All I hear is festive music. I’m trapped in my worst Christmas nightmare, and it is only August. A hot, sticky day in August. For a moment, it feels like I may never escape, doomed to spend the rest of my life in a never-ending Santa’s Grotto.
I’m at the Christmas level of the International Trade Market in Yiwu, around 300 kilometres (187 miles) south of Shanghai. more than 60% of the world’s Christmas decorations are made in Yiwu, a significant proportion of which is sold at this enormous wholesale market. As I discovered, Christmas is made in Yiwu. That tree lighting up your lounge. Those decorations hanging from the ceiling. That novelty stocking filler you bought for your child. Chances are they came not far from where I am standing….
It’s hard to know how to describe Yiwu Market’s scale. I could start with the statistics; how it currently covers an area of four million sq m, with 62,000 booths inside. I could tell you how it is estimated to have an incredible 40,000 visitors every day, 5,000 of whom are said to be buyers from foreign countries. But these are just numbers.
Inside, it looks like a run-down large shopping mall, but you need to start walking to appreciate its size… (after going through many levels of artificial flowers/pencils etc)
It’s not just the size that separates Yiwu market from your local shopping mall. For a start you can’t really buy anything here, at least not in the conventional consumer sense. Yiwu market is, for the large part, strictly wholesale. Each of the 62,000 booths, all identically sized 2.5m by 2.5m cubes, is a showroom for an individual company or factory. The market is less a shopping mall than a vast, endless trade show, built for those most important of middlemen: retail buyers, who flock here from across China and the rest of the world to negotiate deals on shipping containers full of cheap products to fill the shelves of stores back home. The sheer scale of what’s in front of me belies the fact that Yiwu market’s heyday was in the past – much of this trade is now migrating online, to websites such as Alibaba and Made In China. But it remains the physical manifestation of a vast invisible network that supplies many of the inexpensive goods we all buy in the West and worldwide.
(Boyer Writes has to stop here and reflect on the fact that President Nixon appeared to be ahead of his time when he opened the way for trade with China. Even now, we are looking at what to do with Cuba and the opening of trade. Nevertheless, we know what has happened to jobs in the United States because of the China decision. The furniture companies of N.C. closed. Small businesses buckled across the United States because of the cheap labor of China. Thousands of American suffered because of this decision. This is probably true for other countries as well. )
Tim Maughan continues:
The first room we’re shown is the main factory floor, where a couple of dozen workers – of all ages and genders, but predominately women under 20 years old – are assembling and painting plastic mistletoe, wreathes, miniature trees and more.
One woman folds elaborate ribbons from plastic sheeting, whilst the woman next to her glues them on to “Merry Christmas” signs covered in red glitter paint. A young boy in a stained apron, who looks to be barely a teenager, is hand-painting holly berries red. And in a side room a man sits in front of a huge fan as he dips metal wires into a bucket of unidentified boiling liquid, bending them while they’re hot into curved headbands for novelty reindeer antlers.
Everywhere the fruits of their labor surround them; thousands of Christmas ornaments and novelties constantly being piled into cardboard boxes and plastic crates faster than they can be moved out, spilling on to the floor and towering above the workers.
In the next room the fabric products are made; again about two dozen women sit at rows of sewing machines. It’s hot and all you can hear is the constant hum of the machines as they stitch together hats, Christmas stockings, and festive bunting (see video, below). The red and white Santa hat – the kind you wear at office parties – that you buy for a few pounds and then throw away by New Year’s Eve. I see it being made here. I watch a girl sew white fur trim on to red felt at the rate of about two hats a minute, and as she finishes each one she simply pushes them off the front of her desk where they fall, silently, onto an ever-increasing pile on the floor.
It’s not just seeing Christmas being made in August that’s disorientating, but also the scale of the manual labor that’s involved that surprises me. Perhaps I was naive, but if you’d asked me before I visited Yiwu how Christmas decorations are made I’d have guessed they were mass-produced in largely automated factories. But the truth here is actually the real secret of China’s manufacturing success – keeping labour costs so low that making things by hand is cheaper than using machines…
As we leave, we get a glimpse of boxes of Christmas decorations being loaded into a shipping container heading to the mega-port of Ningbo. There it would be transported on a container ship to… who knows where. I’m told that most of the decorations are headed to the US and Europe, with Russia being a new, large, and very lucrative market. Watching Christmas being assembled by hand in front of us that day, I heard more than one person in our group remark that the holiday season will never be the same again. Perhaps they were right…”
If I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Maughan, I’d ask him if he saw the Baby Jesus, Wise Men, Joseph and Mary? Jesus, the Savior of the World, Who was born to bring the message of new life. Jesus who died for the sins of men and rose again to prepare a place for men and women… is under the stack somewhere….lost in the piles of plastic….and to the millions of people who pour His image into molds.
As we sing this Christmas, “Joy to the World” or walk the malls with the beautiful lights, we may want to say a prayer for those whose lives are caught up in the sweat shops of China for our Christmas pleasure. As the workers use their smartphones to release themselves from boredom, one of those workers may find a message of hope and understand that there is a true meaning to Christmas.
Ever wonder what you, the tax payer, has been paying out to the government? Do you know how the government has been spending it?
Below is only a portion of the over-all expenses because these are the tax cuts proposed by Senator Paul Ryan. The savings, IF these cuts should happen, is a whopping $2.5 Trillion over Ten Years
Were you aware of most of these expenses? Dare say, most people are not. We’ll see what actually gets done by the House and then the Senate in the months and years to come.
There is no mention of cutting Social Security or the Military on this list. (By the way, don’t forget to fly your flag on Veterans Day…this coming Tuesday.)
PROPOSED BUDGET CUTS
Read to the end noticing the actual cost of each program…..and how much will be saved if cut.
* Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy — $445 million annual savings.
* Save America ‘s Treasures Program — $25 million annual savings.
* International Fund for Ireland — $17 million annual savings.
* Legal Services Corporation — $420 million annual savings.
* National Endowment for the Arts — $167.5 million annual savings.
* National Endowment for the Humanities — $167.5 million annual savings.
* Hope VI Program — $250 million annual savings.
* Amtrak Subsidies — $1.565 billion annual savings.
* Eliminate duplicating education programs — H.R. 2274 (in last Congress), authored by Rep. McKeon , eliminates 68 at a savings of $1.3 billion annually.
* U.S. Trade Development Agency — $55 million annual savings.
* Woodrow Wilson Center Subsidy — $20 million annual savings.
* Cut in half funding for congressional printing and binding — $47 million annual savings.
* John C. Stennis Center Subsidy — $430,000 annual savings.
* Community Development Fund — $4.5 billion annual savings.
* Heritage Area Grants and Statutory Aid — $24 million annual savings.
* Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half — $7.5 billion annual savings
* Trim Federal Vehicle Budget by 20% — $600 million annual savings.
* Essential Air Service — $150 million annual savings.
* Technology Innovation Program — $70 million annual savings.
*Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program — $125 million annual savings..
* Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization — $530 million annual savings.
* Beach Replenishment — $95 million annual savings.
* New Starts Transit — $2 billion annual savings.
* Exchange Programs for Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Their Historical Trading Partners in Massachusetts — $9 million annual savings
* Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants — $2.5 billion annual savings.
* Title X Family Planning — $318 million annual savings.
* Appalachian Regional Commission — $76 million annual savings.
* Economic Development Administration — $293 million annual savings.
* Programs under the National and Community Services Act — $1.15 billion annual savings.
* Applied Research at Department of Energy — $1.27 billion annual savings.
* Freedom CAR and Fuel Partnership — $200 million annual savings..
* Energy Star Program — $52 million annual savings.
*Economic Assistance to Egypt — $250 million annually.
* U.S.Agency for International Development — $1.39 billion annual savings.
* General Assistance to District of Columbia — $210 million annual savings.
* Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority — $150 million annual savings.
*Presidential Campaign Fund — $775 million savings over ten years.
* No funding for federal office space acquisition — $864 million annual savings.
* End prohibitions on competitive sourcing of government services.
* Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act — More than $1 billion annually.
* IRS Direct Deposit: Require the IRS to deposit fees for some services it offers (such as processing payment plans for taxpayers) to the Treasury, instead of allowing it to remain as part of its budget — $1.8 billion savings over ten years.
*Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees — $1 billion total savings.
* Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by federal employees — $1.2 billion savings over ten years.
* Sell excess federal properties the government does not make use of — $15 billion total savings.
*Eliminate death gratuity for Members of Congress.
* Eliminate Mohair Subsidies — $1 million annual savings.
*Eliminate taxpayer subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — $12.5 million annual savings.
* Eliminate Market Access Program — $200 million annual savings.
* USDA Sugar Program — $14 million annual savings.
* Subsidy to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) — $93 million annual savings.
* Eliminate the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program — $56.2 million annual savings.
*Eliminate fund for Obamacare administrative costs — $900 million savings.
* Ready to Learn TV Program — $27 million savings..
* HUD Ph.D. Program.
* Deficit Reduction Check-Off Act. *TOTAL SAVINGS: $2.5 Trillion over Ten Years
The one National Holiday in the U.S.A that transcends all religious faiths…and simply says “Give Thanks” is being pulled away by the greed of America. That holiday is Thanksgiving. Blame it on the economy if one wants to…getting good buys etc…but there probably is no excuse. Those who work for the stores that open on Thanksgiving Day can hardly say that they won’t show up for work because they value family and tradition over their needed paycheck. Some have tried and have been fired. (as in the Pizza Hut manager)
Is Black Friday shopping not enough that a new word is being introduced for shopping on Thanksgiving as “Grey Thursday”? ( It even has a sad and dismal sound to the name.) Just how sad may be told by the story below multiplied by thousands.
The national news carried a story of a woman who had taken her daughter on Thanksgiving Day to a store….waited for hours to be one of the first in line…and finally fed a “Thanksgiving?” lunch to her little girl in the car. Her comment to the reporter was “I am doing it for her.” Doing what? At her young age, she is learning that shopping is more important than anything on our special day of Thanks here in America. Sad, abusive, crazy, ridiculous, unthinking….could be a few words to describe this form of parenting.
I can remember years when I was a single parent, with little income as a teacher, going to garage sales, starting back around Halloween, and finding the best Christmas gifts to wrap and put under the tree for my three children to have on Christmas morning.( Of course, Grandparents made up for some nice things as well.) The children always seemed happy and appreciative with their gifts. We know that the Holy Scriptures tell us in Proverbs 22:6 ” Direct your children onto the right path,and when they are older, they will not leave it.” This is true for our 2013 Thanksgiving when 10 happy people held hands , giving a word of thankfulness, and eating together around a table, that I can now afford, and sharing this time together with family and friends. Handing down tradition takes time and years that are not to be wasted fighting crowds and materialism with children…or for them.
A young boy waits in the shoe section as a customer tries on a pair of boots at the Macy’s Herald Square flagship store, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in New York. Instead of waiting for Black Friday, which is typically the year’s biggest shopping day, more than a dozen major retailers are opening on Thanksgiving this year. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Taryn Luna, of the Boston Globe, wrote “More frequently, anti-Thanksgiving-shopping advocates are making their views known through social media networks. Jordana Bishop of Raynham started a Facebook group called “Boycott Shopping on Thanksgiving Day.” The group’s page plays off Santa’s “naughty or nice” list by assigning retailers to one of the two categories based on whether they plan to be open or shut. Bishop said people should realize that when they patronize stores early, it means workers stocking shelves and manning registers are losing out….”
What is all this doing to employees? Ellen Galinsky also writes, “As a society, we’ve agreed that most of America’s workforce should have key holidays — in this case just one day — to be with family and friends, or just to take a breather from work. Holidays are also up there with vacation days as critical to keeping employees healthy and productive, more so than ever. Our research at the Families and Work Institute shows that the nation’s workforce is more stressed than ever, increasing significantly in recent years. Nearly one-third (32%) of employees report that their work has a primarily negative impact on their lives off the job by draining energy, so they don’t have enough left over for their personal and family life. Our research also shows that those who take vacations and holidays return to work more energized and productive…”
We ask the question…What decision will Americans make to save Thanksgiving now and for future generations? It is a decision…and a big one. Our culture and our society hangs on the decision each family member makes. We are a nation worried about violence, mental illness, terrorism…and how we react to these things may be as simple as our thankfulness, values and instead of greed….appreciation for all the things we are blessed with in this country.
Again, we decide. Should we make a list of places to avoid and “shop elsewhere”? Call it a boycott, if one wants to do so. It is up to us…the people…
Here is a helpful list of stores to consider when shopping for your holiday gifts:
Major retailers that did not open on this Thanksgiving 2013, but encouraged employees to be with family, include:
Burlington Coat Factory
Barnes & Noble
Stores that DID stay open on Thanksgiving…in case you want to “boycott”.
(compiled by Hayley Peterson | Business Insider ) Kmart, Big Lots, Ace Hardware, Family Dollar, Old Navy, Michaels, Toys R Us, Walmart, Best Buy, Macy’s Kohl’s, JC Penny, Sears, Belks, Office Max, Staples, Target, Dick’s sporting Goods.
(Some even stayed open 40+ hours starting on Thanksgiving) Overnight Scheduled stores: Belk, Best Buy, Costco, Dick’s Sporting Goods, GameStop, JC Penny, Kmart, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Old Navy, Office Max, Sears, Target, Toys Are Us, Walmart
There were some people who would have loved to be at a family dinner table on Thanksgiving. They would also be thankful just to be alive….our men and women in Afghanistan and around the world. A special meal is traditionally made for them where they are…and in some cases the officers serve the enlisted. Nothing…nothing would take the place of being with family…not even a mall.
Our military at a Thanksgiving table in Afghanistan
Yesterday, our prayers at church were that the U.S. Congress will do what is best when voting whether to strike Syria. It is a very tough situation…and the proposal to do something in a “limited” response may not deter anything at all. It is an area that is already devastated and now its people have been attacked with chemical weapons. Nevertheless, the world is watching and waiting to see if we have any spit left in our mouth at all. (that is an old N.C. saying…as to guts).
July 31, 2013 Picture shows a devastated street in the Khalidiyah district of Syria’s central city of Homs.
An article by Jeffrey Heller and Angus McDowall said “…Tzachi Hanegbi, a Netanyahu confidant who sits on the Israeli parliament’s defense committee, complained that Obama’s statements had delivered further proof to Iran – and North Korea – that “there is no enthusiasm in the world to deal with their ongoing defiance regarding nuclear weaponry…To us in Israel, it says one thing: …‘If I am not for myself, then who is?'” …
For all the unease that Israel has about Syria’s rebels, who have at times fired into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, it is pushing hard against Assad now after learning to live with the Syrian leader and his father over the past 40 years… The message from Netanyahu was clear:”There is a man in nominal control of Syria who is using chemical weapons against civilians. That has to be stopped.”
Abdullah al-Askar, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the Shoura Council, said that U.S. strikes should aim to end Assad’s rule…Askar said “If the attack is just a punishment to show that the international community will not stand for chemical attacks, Assad will just remain in his place and do his bloody work. The second scenario is to finish the business.”
Another report on August 28 said, “An unnamed senior Syrian army officer told the Iranian news agency Fars: “If Syria is attacked, Israel will also be set on fire and such an attack will, in turn, engage Syria’s neighbors.” Israel is “prepared for every scenario” and will respond forcefully if necessary, Netanyahu said.”
In looking at future threats to tiny Israel, Iran has already said they want to wipe Israel off the map. When their nuclear weapons are ready, they intend to make this attempt. There is no way that tiny Israel will sit back and wait for a chemical or nuclear attack on its people. They now have decided that they can not depend on Washington to “watch their back” and may have to go it alone!
An Israeli soldier is seen next to an Iron Dome rocket interceptor battery deployed near the northern Israeli city of Haifa, AP photo
Going it alone, as we know, is impossible. Someone will have to step up to the plate with them. When the American war ships were sent to the Syrian coast…the Russians sent some of their own to keep an eye on what is going on. Can we ever believe that the Russians would defend Israel if they should be attacked with any form of weapons? Never! There is too much involved with Russia’s oil interest with Syria….not to mention the oil interests of the United States and Europe.
For those who say, ” It is not our war…the Middle East has been fighting one another for thousands of years…” This is a new day. We are connected one nation to another through our own cyber abilities. Radical terrorism has spread across the globe. Any time a war breaks out…especially on a big scale or a limited one…there is an impact on most everyone in the world. The stock markets in major countries go ballistic…gas prices sky rocket…air freight and truckers take a great hit…and so do we in our own homes...for it is a trickle-down effect that no one can deny.
The Suez Canal
Economies around the world will not recover for years even if dictators are toppled…so others can take their place. There is also the Suez Canal to consider along with human lives from any disaster. The rest of the world depends on keeping this open. Yes, it is all a huge mess. No nation can be perfectly right in any decision made.
Only God knows what will happen by the decisions to be made now…and in the long run. The world cannot expect Israel to go it alone ….for they can’t. Every church, temple, synagogue, and mosque should be pleading for God’s help!
My last post showed the beauty of birth as we know it can be in the human and animal world. Sometimes, however, it is not the act of giving birth, but the place that the birth takes place for humans that leads one to ask….why?
Poverty and the sexual drive do not mix when it is in conditions that cannot support life. Recently, I was appalled to see a video that could have been made in many parts of the world…even in some less impoverished parts of the United States…but with the same problems….no money…no decent place to live…no fathers who take responsibility. The question is not only “why?”, but why would a person who fathers a child ABANDON that child…or another question: Why would a woman who is receiving no help keep allowing that same man to come back for more of the same? It is certainly baffling.
The pictures that you see here are from areas around the world. There has always been some poverty in the United States. Because of the economic down-turn and the loss of jobs, there is more. Women who have baby after baby with no father to help provide is common in certain areas.
For the most part, we sit in our existence of plenty compared to these parts of the world. The average person here really does not know what the rest of the world is like. Even those who get government assistance to help feed the family, may still try to find a cell phone or a special electronic game because the children want it. Hunger or malnutrition may exist, but it is rare that anyone will starve here. There are community food banks run by churches and organizations and shelters for those without homes. Some take advantage of these and others do not. Yet the problems here are similar in some ways to the devastation seen in other places. Again, we ask…..“Where are the fathers….who fathered these children?”
Mother Teresa went to the most poor of the poor in India. People I know go to Haiti on mission trips to try to help. Natural disasters do happen and wars make people flee for safety. The very wealthy are trying, through their foundations, to eradicate disease and bring pure drinking water to those who need it around the world, but this does not change behavior. Behavior is defined as:
The way in which one acts or conducts oneself, esp. toward others.
The way in which an animal or person acts in response to a particular situation.
Again, we wonder if behavior is not changed, how can anything else be changed? Men who have little self-worth to impregnate a woman and walk away…wherever he lives…in whatever country has degraded human worth. The woman who becomes an enabler to the one who abandons will, unfortunately, die in her own filthy bed. Until behavior is changed, this situation around the world will only become worse…and the few who care can not prevent it from happening.
After this man gives his speech with all its points, some may ask, “What is he so excited about? Why is he talking about a 2nd American Revolution?” Why is he calling Americans “cowards” if they sit back and do nothing?
If anyone asks this question, he may not know what sparked the first American Revolution. There, of course, were a mixture of reasons. Everything from economic restrictions, ethnic diversity of emigrants, the desire for self-rule, and the one reason that we hear most about was taxation by the British. Here are some thoughts on the matter.
Reasons for American Revolution:
(1) Taxation without representation in parliament. Colonials thought the English could not control colonies from so far away. (across the pond) Money, people like John Hancock, a great American leader, did not want to pay taxes on his goods being brought into the docks or sent to England, import and export.
(2) Then there was the “shot heard round the world”. This was fired when British soldiers marched out from Boston to seize the guns and ammo we Americans held at Concord. (Let that be a warning to those who would do the same today.) For Parliament to tax us was also an irritant and a burden. We had no representation in that body and hence no way to limit those taxes. (Just as we hear of more hidden taxes that may be coming our way today.) Many years after the fight, one of the Massachusetts men, asked why he fought, said something like: We had always governed ourselves; the British intended that we shouldn’t. The causes for the revolution were many, but may all boil down to one thing: self – government.
(3) We might conclude then that the American Revolution was mostly to do with taxation. It was enough to try to earn a living in the New World without someone taking it from the Old World.
(4) Colonists wanted to separate from England and get rid of taxes. The tea that was thrown in the harbor at Boston was one demonstration of the people’s resistance to taxation without representation.
(5) Another cause for the American Revolution started with the French and Indian War. In this war, Great Britain went into much debt. To fix this problem, what they did was pass taxes on the American colonies. This, of course, made the people extremely unhappy. Wars drain the purses of all nations.
Some of the causes written about here resulted in new government, new constitutions, and an independent nation. Today it is up to our nation and the elected officials to lead…as the men of old had to do. Perhaps this is what the man below is trying to say! You decide.
As the crowds cheered and waved approval in Chicago and elsewhere in the world at the re-election of President Obama, I was taken by a sentence given by our President in his acceptance speech. It went like this: “We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions…”
This led me to think about what individualism is and what it has accomplished through the ambitions of many. I immediately thought of the individual efforts of men like Henry Ford and the car or Edison whose many inventions changed the world. Yet, there are individuals who worked tirelessly in their homes or laboratories to change society for the better. They did it without the government or state telling them to do so. In some cases, they probably did not know what their individual efforts would do for the world. Consider the following names, that you may have never heard of but your life is different today because of them:
Emst Alexanderson…the radio
Luis Alvarez… the windshield wiper
Robert Adler…TV remote
Thomas Amat….Movie projector
John Bardeen ….transistor
Laszlo Biro….ball point pen
Samuel Blum….LASIK eye surgery
Nills Bohlin….safety belt
Willis Carrier…air conditioning
Andrew Moyer ….penicillin
I can go on and on….and will write later about some of these people. Yes, it took cooperation with others to see these ideas come to their final results, conclusions and development, but what would the world be today without the individuals who first had the idea….and the ambition? What about the fore-runners to the computer age who first worked out of their garages?
First we may want to look at what those in history had to say on the subject of individualism. This would include those, like Karl Marx, who believed the masses can be controlled and individualism has little place in a social society. There are those, like John Mill, who believed that society is made better by individual thought.
“The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries witnessed an emerging role for the individual that culminated in the appearance of the language of individualism. One strand in the intensified interest in the individual was the rise of capitalism as an economic system that emphasized the individual both as the holder of self-interest and as the foundation of all legal rights. Perhaps the most famous early advocate of economic individualism was Adam Smith (1723–1790). Although Smith is sometimes labeled the first great economist of capitalism, he preferred to describe his system in terms of “natural liberty,” arguing that the welfare of society is best served when every individual seeks his or her own advantage without reference to any overarching scheme of goodness or justice. When individuals are left to their own devices, Smith held, the ensuing system possesses an inherently self-adjusting quality that will ensure the maximum satisfaction of individual desires.
The apotheosis of individualism may be found in the utilitarian doctrine, formulated most clearly by Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832), that social policy should promote the greatest good for the greatest number of people. This idea rested on the principle that all individual estimations of utility deserve equal treatment and respect in comparison with all others. Hence, no person could claim that his or her calculation of happiness counted for any more or less than another’s. Atruly democratic society should treat the wishes and desires of each of its individual members with the same dignity, without regard for moral judgments concerning the content of those aims. Bentham elaborates the basic insight of Smith to cover the full range of political and social programs and institutions.
Although liberalism could seem to take individualism for granted, the extreme egalitarianism of the utilitarian position, coupled with the events of the French Revolution (1789–1799), made many thinkers (including those of a liberal stripe) nervous. Edmund Burke (1729–1797) was concerned that the spread of democratic equality and the breakdown of the organic social order would lead to the fragmentation of persons into atomized individuals lacking any sense of identity or place. He scorned the individual’s “private stock of reason” in comparison with the wisdom of history, fearing that the glorification of individuality presaged the crumbling of regard for the tradition-bearers of social authority, such as the monarchy, the nobility, and the church. Under such circumstances, Burke predicted (presciently, as it turns out) that authoritarian forms of government would step into the breach and provide an artificial identity for individuals as a remedy for their extreme alienation.
Karl Marx (1818–1883) wrote about individualism. Although Marx is commonly regarded as a holistic social thinker, he in fact repeatedly asserted that individual self-realization was the standard against which social relations should be judged. In his early writings, he condemned capitalism for the alienating and dehumanizing impact that it exercised on individual workers, while in the Communist Manifesto (1848), he called for a system of equitable distribution of the fruits of labor on the grounds that the precondition of the liberty of each is the liberty of all.” (One might call this the “Robin Hood theory” of taking from the rich to give to the poor.)
In the ’90s, I was in the former Soviet Union and saw first hand the results of Karl Marx’s theory about individualism and society. Every few feet along the road, there was a ramp on which to drive up your car in order to fix it because there were so many unfit cars on the road. I also road behind a dump truck taking grain to the market. The grain was flying out of the truck onto the road. I ask my driver, ” Why do they not cover it?” He explained to me that it does not matter how much is in the truck…just that the truck delivers something . The hard work of the individual who grew the grain and the amount delivered was not taken into consideration. Socialized medicine was a part of the society and doctors, who were skilled, were not rewarded financially for this skill. A cab driver could make more money than a doctor. Individual skill in this case did not seem to matter. The individual efforts or training of the individual were not part of how the society thinks. The masses had been trained well. One would ask then, why would a person study years to become a doctor when they could learn to drive a cab and be paid even more. Of course, we know that the former Soviet Union fell apart economically. I would say that common sense tells us that individual ambitions are important and we are not greater when we set aside this gift of individual effort. Perhaps John Stuart Mill thoughts on individualism says it best.)
Mill was an English philosopher, economist, and exponent of utilitarianism. He constantly advocated political and social reforms, such as proportional representation, emancipation of women, and the development of labor organizations and farm cooperatives. He strongly supported the Union cause in the American Civil War.
“John Stuart Mill (1806–1873) shared some elements of nineteenth-century skepticism about mass democratic society, but his writings crystallized the understanding of individualism still widely shared in Western societies. According to Mill’s important essay “On Liberty” (1859), the interests of humanity are “progressive,” in the Enlightenment sense that human beings seek material and moral improvement. Mill holds that the societies that are most likely to promote this goal—societies that he terms “civilized”—share the common factor of defending and promoting individual liberty. Individualism—understood as experimentation with lifestyles and ideas—challenges uncritically received sureties and broadens the basis of human knowledge. Borrowing from Tocqueville, Mill admits that democratic society contains the potential to dampen or even forbid many expressions of personal liberty that stand at odds with mass tastes or beliefs. In contrast to Tocqueville, however, Mill maintains that individualism stands on the side of liberty, not equality.A free society supports individualism.”
Boyer Writes sends prayers and thoughts to all those who have lost much in the storm. Hurricane Sandy was a storm that skipped Florida and ended up in the north mixed with snow and ice. Throughout the hurricane season, Floridians know to be prepared for any storm that may come. For this hurricane season to be almost over, those living up north would have never guessed that they would have to deal with such a monster.
For all of our readers outside of the United States, this is some of what is happening here.
Water entered the New York subway system.
Millions without power.
Fires burn homes amid the storm.
Winds up to 90 mph and a storm surge of water.
A number of deaths .
First Responders, Fire and Rescue Workers, move in to help.
Blessings on all of them!
Travelers Stranded Over 15,000 flights cancelled from around the world
New Jersey was hard hit as the storm moved north toward the Great Lakes and Canada. The lasting results of this storm is not known at this time. A video below gives some of the news reports.
We have short memories….most of us. It is not likely that anyone remembers what was said in 2008 during the Presidential Campaign. Maybe before November….or even if we plan to vote early…we should refresh our memories. A candidate may think “If it worked before…maybe, just maybe it will work again.” Was there a plan that worked that somehow we missed? Is there a plan now that is different from the first speech?
Listen and decide if it is something to believe this year. Words without results make those of us who truly listen wonder. The video below is a memory refresher…just in case you need one.
Ahh…the beautiful orange! I can walk outside my door here in Florida and there they are…first a small white blossom that smells so heavenly. The bees buzz everywhere. The lovely white blossom turns to a small orange that continues to grow slowly…oh so slowly until they are ready to be picked and juiced. I have to admit that my husband is better at juicing than I am. We both love our orange juice for breakfast…or any time.
Not only is orange juice healthy and a great source of vitamin C, but so great in Florida’s warm weather. While I am taking a look at our Florida history, let’s look at the orange juice industry and find out what it takes to get that orange juice to your table. Have a glass of golden, delicious….oh so refreshingorange juice!
In the midst of turmoil around the world and collapse of many economies, it may be prudent to listen to a voice from the past. This voice gives us a “FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH”. The only thing that she says that is not factual in the world today is “… the only public money we have is from the tax payer…” When this Head Of State spoke, there was no CHINESE LENDER. She would have not believed the debt that nations have accrued and expect someone…anyone….to bail us out with interest.
Until the election is over, I plan to write about various things that have to do with our future here in the United States. After that, we will all need a break.
This video was made in the 80’s…a voice from the past… Listen carefully.
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I started writing Boyer Writes in 2009. Over the years, the “visitors” to my blog have been 287,834 and counting. A “FOLLOWER” is one who would like to have a notification each time I write. I hope that you will choose to FOLLOW. My purpose, as a Christian writer, is to inspire and to do some critical thinking. In today’s world, we all need the hope and peace that is given by Christ, our Lord. My thanks to all my readers. Feel free to write me with a prayer request or any concerns at this email: firstname.lastname@example.org