ghouls, ghosts, christmas trees and Halloween

It is that time of the year again, Halloween is here and all the grave yards and lawn decorations are brought out. I haven’t seen this much Halloween stuff since I was young, maybe I just notice it more since I have kids. Not sure. But it is also the time of year when people start discussing whether or not as a Christian you can celebrate Halloween. I was reading an article on the website Prophezine.com called “10 reasons I kissed Halloween goodbye”. The article lines up the reasons why you shouldn’t celebrate Halloween. While I agree with some of the points, there are a number of points I take issue with. Specifically.

 The first one is that the author says that putting a Christian label on a Druidic/Pagan holiday doesn’t make it pleasing to God. Yes I agree with you, however if that is carried to it’s logical conclusion then we should get rid of days of the week Thursday (THOR DAY), Friday (FREYA day), Saturday (Saturn’s Day),   SUN day, MOON day, Not sure about Tuesday or Wednesday. Lets not forget months of year and the list goes on. Also where does the Christmas tree tradition come from? Well it was put inside houses around Christmas time in pagan Europe to absorb the evil spirits in the house. It was then burnt around Solstice to celebrate the new Moon. Easter was celebrated in pagan Europe with lots of Alchohol and frivolity. It celebrated the new growth and fertility, that’s where easter eggs and chocolate bunnies come from (both very fertile). 

 So before we start saying things like lets not celebrate these holidays cause they have pagan roots or other reasons we should probably be evaluating our other traditions. Most reformers wanted to get rid of all the church holidays cause they saw it as holding onto pagan traditions. In fact some hard core Reformed people don’t celebrate these holidays. While I also embrace this approach I realize it isn’t realistic either. Having been exposed to both sides of pendulum which is what this article is. I would rather walk down the middle and not try to confuse my kids. So I don’t reject the article outright I let my kids still trick or treat. Besides when else do you let your kid run around outside in a Captain America outfit, oh wait every day. But that’s just me.

references: Prophezine.com

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the emperors new powers

There once was a king who had passed many laws and had instituted many
new taxes. With his new taxes he raised a mighty military and would
attack other countries. His subjects complained about these wars, but he
ignored them. His subjects complained about the taxes, but he ignored
them too. The king would just keep doing whatever he wanted too. His
subjects feared him, but some wanted a change.

Some of his subjects decided to stop paying taxes. The king imprisoned
some of them and killed many more. He asked them how dare they challenge
his power. Some of the people in the country started their own community
and did not want to obey the king any more. The king sent in his troops
and killed all of them. He wondered to himself, “why they would question
his power. Don’t these people understand, I am their lord and they will
obey me. I know what is best for them.”

Years went by and the king passed more and more laws and raised the
taxes more and more. The people cried out louder and louder. But the king
ignored him and told them that they did not love him and that God would
judge them for this. But one day the king discovered that he hadn’t
collected as many taxes as before, he wasn’t sure why.  He went to the
market to ask why people weren’t paying as many taxes. He was told by
the people that because of all of his laws no one could work
effectively, his taxes made it impossible to run a profit or invest in
new technologies, his wars had caused the surrounding countries to not
want to trade with them and that he had killed many of the most
productive people in his country via wars and executions. The king heard
this and had all the market workers imprisoned for questioning his
authority and not loving him enough.

How do you think the story should end?Image

Links for the weekend

Unfortunately I have been really busy the last week and have had little time to write new material. So I am going to skip posting this Monday and be back on Wednesday so I have some time to write some new material. But not to be a complete downer I am going to grace you with some links.

Hottest new car  for 2014

The good thing about bankruptcy

 

What successful people do before 8 am

8 cars we want back

50 signs that the US health care system will collapse (It’ s a little bit older article but still relevant)

If China backed its currency by gold would it take over the US dollar as
world currency

 

Public debt, to infinit and beyond (12)

What is more scary then being in debt? Being 15 trillion dollars in debt that isn’t even money you spent. O wait, that amount was what the US owed a couple of months ago. To make it even scarier, 40 trillion is the combined total of the world’s economy and the US is in debt almost half that amount. Also 70 trillion is leveraged against the 40 trillion, meaning this is money that is essentially created out of thin air. For every one real dollar there is 75 cents leveraged or borrowed against it. If this debt collapses for any reason the modern world as we know it would collapse. This also means that we are planet full of debtors no people can pay back that amount of debt.

What does this mean for the people at large or our children?

(Surprise kids, you owe 17 trillion dollars in debt)

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health care, health insurance and healthy are not the same thing

Maybe what gets me more then anything is how the debate for healthcare gets so emotional. Most persons would think that people are dying in the streets. This is not the case obviously. However what I think is more the case is how unhealthy people live. Even people who are healthy and live healthy lives get crazy diseases such as diabetes and cancer. For many of those healthy people they also live with pain and take a wide retinue of pill which they will take indefinitely. Why is this? People who lived a hundred years ago didn’t take all these pills and their life expectancy if they made it past childhood was the same as it is today.

 I can point to a couple of things that I think it might be. Sedentary life styles, environmental pollutants, sugar or HFC is in everything, everything is pasteurized, hamburger is cleaned with ammonia and the list goes on and on.

Would there be less instances of disease if the food we ate was better quality?

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Let’s amputate all toes at birth

Let’s amputate all toes at birth. It’s a very serious matter. The odds of getting an infection or an ingrown nail are very high. Athlete’s foot is picked up by the toes, also hepatitis C can be transmitted and picked up via the toes. In fact could you imagine how much less pain one would have if one didn’t have toes to stub? A foot without toes would also look better. Taking all this into account it would be better just to amputate all toes at birth.

 It may sound funny but these are many of the reasons that are given to justify circumcision. In fact most of the reasons given for male circumcision in the US are the same ones given for female circumcision in Asian and African countries. It’s more hygienic, it looks better and the list goes on. While this may be convincing for some out there, here are some facts that tell a different story about circumcision.

 Only twenty percent of men are circumcised in the world.  The American Pediatrics association has never recommended it. 4000 children die of SIDS each year which does not have a cause, 117 die from circumcision which is completely preventable. Also now that most insurance companies and Medicaid have dropped circumcision as a covered item less and less people are doing it. This implies that if it was so healthy and good the number of circumcisions wouldn’t drop because people would just pay for it. Circumcision is a major surgery and it is only done with a topical anesthetic that has been shown to only slightly numb the area. If a man gets it done later in life they completely anesthetize the area.

 As for women saying things like it is aesthetically more pleasing. I am sure that the vast majority of women wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a circumcised versus a non circumcised penis.

 I never intended to get my sons (or my daughter) circumcised. However when I witnessed a circumcision and how terribly that little boy screamed afterwards I cannot see why any one would do this procedure. The terrified and confused look that child had in its eyes afterwards was horrible. So before someone goes and has this procedure done please think about how much pain that child will go through and the negative side effects it will have for the rest of their life.

 Link on Circumcision:

 Ask Men: http://www.askmen.com/sports/health/15_mens_health.html

 Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/circumcision/MY01023

 Care of the intact penis: http://www.circumstitions.com/Care.html

 Myth’s about Circumcision: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/moral-landscapes/201109/myths-about-circumcision-you-likely-believe

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Not just living, but thriving. Who I am and the life I lead (10)

First of I am not a certified financial analyst of a professional investor, instead I think about various things to invest in besides the regular things. I am a working man like most people in this country who wanted to establish a better life for themselves.  I am employed as an analyst who also speculates about life, money and world affairs Furthermore I am young and married. My third child was born recently and yes we are thinking of having more. Call me traditional but I believe in having children because they are a blessing from God and provide much happiness. I see a lot of people around me who either have 1 or two children or none at all and can totally afford to have them but don’t, they don’t know what they are missing which is too bad. Along the same lines I am rather conservative in my outlook about the world and church services.

 I go to church 2 times on Sunday and love traditional church services. Maybe this is what formed my outlook on the world so much. I believe in hard work and being thankful for what you have. Also I think that charity and helping your neighbors is very important. I also volunteer as a mentor at my university to help provide guidance and editing papers and I also volunteer with a half way house. Volunteer work to me is following what Jesus commands us to do when it comes to helping our neighbors.

 My wife and I are a team that works hand in hand to achieve our mutual goals.  She is a stay at home mom and she home schools and takes care of our children. She maintains the house and the day to day affairs in fact she also runs a small business from the house. She sells Lilla Rose hairs clips, Jerky Direct (beef jerky) and Doterra (essential oils)  and makes various new mom items and aprons on the side. Her website on Etsy is HollyElliottsews. She is amazing in so many ways.

 Many people who I talk to are shocked that I am able to maintain the lifestyle that I live but I tell them that I don’t just live I thrive.

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(Children grow up and can help you around the house. My son really enjoys taking the trash out with me)

 

Living the living wage

There are many people who are calling for a living wage. I took it upon myself to look into this concept a bit and see how effective or practical this concept would be. There are definitely a lot of upsides to this concept. People are paid enough money to live on and it would equal the plain for many people. But there are also a lot of questions that come to mind. How would this be implemented and what exactly is a living wage? I will try to address these issues in the next couple of paragraphs.

The government is passing a living wage law, it mandates that all companies pay a living wage to their employees. So lets take 40,000 dollars as the base line for all persons in the US to live a normal existence. That would essentially mean that a full time employee who works forty hours would have to paid 40,000 divided by 52 weeks then divided by 40 hours would equal the hourly rate of 19 dollars. This seems pretty doable for most companies to pay to their employees. If the majority of people made this wage they could easily get by in most of the United States.

As we have seen before, with any kind of new government program there are always many questions that one has to ask. What are the unintended consequences of this legislation? Are workers worth this much compensation? Not only would you pay 19 dollars an hour a business will also pay ACA, Medicare, Medicaid and Social security. That would tack on another 5-10 dollars onto what a company has to pay for an employee. To hire someone who works for say Mcdonald would end up costing 25 dollars per hour. So multiply that by 25 by 40 hours a week by 52 weeks in a year that is 52k total. So it tacks on 12000 dollars more to the total compensation. Is some one working a cash register, flipping burgers, bagging groceries, stocking shelves and the list goes on worth 52000? I am not saying that there is no value to these jobs, however would most businesses be willing to pay that amount to their employees?

In looking at articles that deal with the whole concept of a living wage there are essentially 2 opinions on the subject. The first indicates that there really is no drastic effects on poverty, unemployment or economic growth. However most of the persons who talk about this either come at it from an emotional level or they only address it from the government side meaning that the government employees or contractors should be paid more and that this didn’t have an effect on their unemployment. The other side comes at it from the economic effects and state that a living wage largely doesn’t work for many reasons, taxes on companies would go way up because government services would start costing a lot more. Also for companies to make a profit they would have to fire people or cut their hours.

In summary, there are many more things that could be brought into this discussion. One could address things such as is it fair and proper to make these kind of laws? Also what is proper compensation for persons. Some people need 50 thousand to get around; others could live of off 40. Doesn’t the market decide who should get compensated and at what level? Well according to many people, corporations only care about profits and will attempt to cheat all their employees to make a profit there for we need the government to “force” companies to pay a living wage. Whether this is really true is another matter. What do you think about this subject?

Links: http://www.salary.com/increasing-the-minimum-wage-pros-cons/

EPI: http://www.epi.org/publication/bp170/

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/opinion/pro-con-does-raising-the-minimum-wage-help-the-eco/nQKzJ/

Santa Fe’s study on a living wage: http://bber.unm.edu/pubs/SFLWExecutiveSummary.pdf

Independent Womens Forum: http://www.iwf.org/files/ebd37ebfb3d181f351e468b6a5897384.pdfImage

National Debt, it feels so good but it hurts so bad

The reason why the national debt hurts the United States or any kind of
country is because of many reasons. These vary from the ability to
borrow to paying on the interest of the debt. Everyone knows that when
one is a debtor then it also puts one into a position of weakness where the
lenders can call in all the debt or call the shots when it comes to the
debt. The interest rate makes it so that the debtor has to keep paying on
the debt and the new interest charges start to be added onto the principal
debt. So a person may pay 400 dollars into their principal debt however
once the compound interests kicks in there could be 200 dollars of new
charges which means that only 200 dollar when into the principle. If
this keeps on going the debtor may never pay of their debt. Which is the
case for many persons. This isn’t just the case for people it is also
the case for governments. In the end the individuals of the country are
responsible for the debt and this in many cases end up leading the
country to go to war with their debtors or go after their leaders. Just see the French Revolution
or the American Revolution.