TRUMP AND TPP

I was talking with my sister last night and she is not a Trump supporter. I am a Trump supporter. I know he is a bit of a loose cannon but the guy has stamina and a high level of intelligence.

I understand this may cause quite a bit of you to scratch your heads and wonder how I lost my mind. I beg of you to stay with me and give the guy a chance. He is working harder than any President I can remember to make us a better nation. I continue to pray for him and his family daily.

My sister and I are both descendants of a  family farm. She said that the corn prices would plummet because of Trump’s move to eliminate NAFTA and TPP. For those readers who are not farmers, let me tell you that it wouldn’t be a long fall, the corn prices are basically at the bottom of the barrel thanks to Obama.

I didn’t know a lot about TPP. I do know that everyone I have talked to thinks it is a horrible trade deal except, of course, my sister.

So I decided to do a bit of research on the trade deals that have come into play over the last several years. The following article was what I found. I am seeking to inform my readers so that we all may be involved and intelligent citizens.

Most of all, I ask that you pray for President Trump. We need God’s direction more than anyone’s to make this nation great again.

(For those of you who are interested. This article is reprinted from www.farmaid.org)

Hey Farm Aid,

I’ve started hearing about new free trade deals that might make their way to Congress soon. Is this something I should be concerned about? Farmers like me weren’t big fans of NAFTA – will these trade deals be similar?

Thanks!
Jim F.
Sparta, GA

Hey Jim!

Thanks for such a great and timely question. Here at Farm Aid, we don’t often delve into issues like international trade deals. But when we hear from a chorus of family farmers and farm organizations that these deals are a giant train wreck, our ears perk up.

Sounds like yours do too.

The short answer to your question is yes. International free trade deals currently being negotiated will have a big impact on food and farm systems in America—and therefore each and every one of us—and it’s time for us to listen up and speak out.

But there’s a lot behind that simple answer. Let’s explore what these deals are about and why they are especially worrisome to anyone who cares about family farmers, good food, and the functioning of our democracy!

“FREE” TRADE?

An aggressive media campaign from the Obama Administration has flooded rural newspapers with opinion pieces that tout the benefits of free trade and the promise of farm exports. As Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union, recently noted: all of Washington D.C. seems to be walking around like “lemmings in a sort of ‘free trade trance.’”

But individual family farmers, as well as state and national farm organizations, aren’t buying it. They’ve heard this all before and in fact, recall very similar promises for policies that instead helped spark the Farm Crisis that rippled through America in the 1980s and inspired the founding of Farm Aid.

In general, free trade agreements are set by countries to remove policies like quotas, tariffs or taxes that are considered “barriers” to trade on imports and exports. The idea is to expand trade opportunities that presumably benefit hard-working people in all countries involved.

But the devil, as they say, is in the details. Especially when large corporations write the rules, opening up trade often translates to removing or weakening hard-fought environmental protections, food safety standards, financial regulations, and so forth. And because they often supersede national, state and local laws, trade deals can impact a huge range of laws and programs that govern how our economies work, how we grow and sell food, and in general who benefits (or loses!).

The bottom line? Free trade is never free—there are always costs.

And far too often, our rural communities have paid a hefty price as trade policies undermined supply control and price support policies that had for decades kept prices stable for family farmers.

HOW “FREE” TRADE PUSHES FAMILY FARMERS OUT

This year marks the 20th anniversary of NAFTA, an unhappy milestone for family farmers in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. who still have a collective headache from the deal. A widely acknowledged consequence of NAFTA is the all-but-demolished Mexican corn industry, where cheap American corn flooded local markets and displaced thousands of small maize farmers in Mexico (who, in turn, increasingly chose to cross the border and work as immigrant laborers in American farm fields).

A lesser-discussed consequence is how NAFTA, when paired with the 1996 Farm Bill that permanently eliminated farm price and supply management tools, caused U.S. commodity prices to plummet. As prices went into a tailspin and farms started going out of business, Congress had to institute “emergency” payments to help stabilize farm incomes. These were eventually turned into permanent direct payments, known today as the often-loathed farm subsidies. But in truth, policies like farm subsidies were Band-Aids® slapped on a much deeper wound.

Our historical trade advantages also seem to be shifting. In the most recent trade agreement with South Korea, U.S. farmers have taken huge hits as beef exports are down 5 percent, pork is down 4 percent, poultry is down 41 percent and grains are down 21 percent. At the same time, Korean exports to the U.S. increased by 28 percent—an indication that U.S. farming’s historical “bright spot” in trade deals may be fading fast.

It’s not that trade deals have never helped farmers. For the past 50 years, U.S. agricultural exports have been greater than imports. But increasingly, corporate-written deals are placing the profits of multinational corporations –- who can benefit wherever they choose to set up shop –- above the needs of everyday people rooted in their home countries. Taken as a whole, NAFTA-like policies that remove any protections for local workers and farmers put family farmers out of business, send good jobs offshore and trigger a race to the bottom for wages in U.S. working and middle classes.

THE BIGGEST, BADDEST TRADE DEALS YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF

Trade deals are one of the most powerful ways that corporations can control our food and farm system. They are essential arenas for companies to amass more power and yet the American public has been kept in the dark on policies that could deeply shape their lives.

These new agreements include the biggest ones ever: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) between the U.S. and 11 Pacific nations and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with Europe. TPP, widely described as “NAFTA on steroids,” has been negotiated entirely in secret with only leaked portions providing an insight to their contents. Citizens and most lawmakers have been locked out of the negotiation process while more than 600 corporate representatives sit at the table.

The entanglement of money and politics is discussed nearly every day in popular media, and these new trade agreements will make it even worse. One leaked document indicates that TPP would elevate multinational corporations to the same legal status as sovereign nations. For example, corporations would be able sue a nation over laws and regulations that could limit a company’s expected future profits. These lawsuits would be decided by a foreign tribunal, where the only deciding factor would be whether a nation’s laws restricts the corporation’s ability to make a profit. Taxpayer money would then be paid in the form of a fine or settlement if the country is found guilty.

These trade deals would also take power away from local and state governments and undermine state constitutions, federal and state laws, and local control laws. Big targets of these deals are laws such as Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), which is supported by the majority of farmers and eaters and simply tells consumers which country their meat comes from. But this kind of transparency would be seen as a trade barrier! Other elements of trade deals stand to undo all the progress we’ve made in developing new markets where eaters can buy their food directly from local farmers or know more about what’s in their food (because, again, giving local preference would be seen as a trade barrier).

FAST TRACK TO NOWHERE

To make matters worse, Washington D.C. is in a frantic shuffle to rush through these trade deals. Last week, Senators Paul Ryan and Orrin Hatch introduced a bill to hand Trade Promotion Authority (TPA, also known as Fast Track) over to the President, allowing him to negotiate and sign these deals in secret and greatly limiting Congressional oversight over the process.

In essence, Fast Track gives the President power to craft trade deals without consulting Congress, denying Congress its constitutional role to set trade policy and also denying their ability to bring forth important amendments and changes. If passed, Congress would only get to see the trade agreement after its signed, and would be allowed a maximum 20 hours of debate without being able to bring any amendments to the table.

The aggressive campaigning for Fast Track—something that most Presidents in recent history have also pushed for—has many citizens questioning why Congress would give up its responsibility on trade deals that affect their constituents’ lives.

WHAT FARM AID SAYS

While they may be international in nature, trade deals are felt here at home in very real ways we can see in our communities and our daily lives. Trade with foreign nations should strengthen our economy and create American jobs, while preserving our hard-fought environmental protections, labeling laws, labor rights, and health and safety standards. Farm Aid supports food sovereignty, or the right of people to determine their own food and agriculture policies and the broader democratization of food and farming systems. Trade agreements must not undermine the food sovereignty of farmers and eaters here and abroad.

Trade is something most Americans are inclined to support as long as it’s fair, equitable and to the benefit of all involved. But what’s on the table today will further grow the profits of huge corporations and siphon away wealth from America’s family farmers, our rural economies and farmers around the world.

Secret meetings, fast tracked democracy, and pie-in-the-sky promises of prosperity aren’t the way to craft trade that is fair to family farmers or American citizens.

The good news is that if Fast Track dies, the trade deals are very likely to die with it, as corporations won’t move forward without the guarantee of compliance from all nations involved. That’s why we’re encouraging our faithful readers to demand that their member of Congress and instead play an active role in negotiating trade agreements that work for not corporations.

WHAT FAMILY FARMERS SAY

DARVIN BENTLAGE
CATTLE AND ROW CROP FARMER, BARTON COUNTY, MISSOURI

darvin bentlage“TPP would undermine U.S. family farmers and consumers by weakening or nullifying protections like Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) and American food safety standards.

Now, the Obama administration is pushing hard for Fast Track trade authority, which gives the president power to make these bad trade deals without input from congress. This is not how the democratic process should work.

Rural Missourians value local democracy, and the people of my state have fought hard to protect the right of local control and the right of local elected representatives to make decisions that are in our best interest. Fast Track and TPP are a direct attack on those values.

Trade agreements like TPP would give foreign corporations the same legal status as sovereign nations. This is nothing more than a blatant corporate power grab that comes at the expense of family farmers, rural economies, consumers and democracy.”

WINK DAVIS
MESA WINDS FARM & WINERY, HOTCHKISS, COLORADO.

wink davis“I am strongly opposed to TPP for several reasons, both procedural and substantive.

It has been negotiated in complete secrecy by corporate lobbyists and without any oversight or guidance from Congress.  I am incensed to think that they now expect our Senators and Representatives to abdicate their Constitutional responsibilities by giving up, in advance, the right to debate and amend this huge legislation without even having had a chance to know what’s in it.

From what little we do know, we can expect that TPP will be used by corporations and foreign governments to overturn health, safety, and consumer protection legislation passed by Congress and the States.  What happened with COOL is a prime example:  the WTO, a bunch of corporate shills somewhere in Europe, declared Country of Origin Labeling a trade barrier.  My customers want to know more, not less about where our food comes from and how it was grown.  The corporations want us to know less.  The COOL experience shows us who wins in a struggle like that.

If, when we find out what it says, TPP would allow that kind of outcome, we need our representatives to have the ability to amend it.  Otherwise, fast track amounts to an historic, and I think unconstitutional, delegation of Congressional authority to an unaccountable foreign entity that’s not even in existence yet.  The whole thing is an outrage.”

KENNY FOX
CATTLE AND SHEEP RANCHER, BELVIDERE, SOUTH DAKOTA

kenny_fox“Our U.S. cattle and sheep industries are not faring well under our current free trade agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA, and the U.S.-Australian FTA. These agreements have effectively lowered our health and safety import standards and have burdened our cattle and sheep industries with huge and persistent trade deficits. As a result, we’ve already lost hundreds of thousands of independent cattle and sheep producers, our nation’s cattle herd and sheep flock have shrunk to historical low levels, and our industries are being captured by the very multinational meatpackers that continue to push for these misguided free trade agreements.

Congress must vote against Fast Track and against the proposed TPP as these bills will only hasten the ongoing destruction of our family farm and ranch system of agriculture here in the United States.”

BARB KALBACH
4TH GENERATION FAMILY FARMER, ADAIR COUNTY, IOWA

Barb Kalbach“Whether it’s family farmers, seniors on prescription drugs or workers fighting for a living wage, you should be concerned about the TPP. If you eat food, the TPP will impact you. It’s nothing more than a global power grab by big-money corporations intent on feeding their bottom line. Congress should vote down fast track!”

 

THE MONSTER

The monster is vicious.

It can consume our every thought and breath.

When we go to sleep it transforms our dreams into nightmares.

It transforms our proper use of words into a trash heap of profanity.

It colors our relationships with negativity.

It is a hideous best friend, yet it clings to us; enticing us to revisit the land of betrayal which it so carefully guards.

It strips away any remembrance of love and leaves our wounded heart exposed to more vicious attacks.

We are deluded if we think there is clarity within this monster. There is only rampant confusion, for there is no logic within evil.

It darkens our vision so that we can see only the evil which was intended, not the good which God can transform evil into.

So who is this monster?

BITTERNESS.

You say you don’t have it?

Okay, then I guess no one has ever hurt you right?

Or you have forgiven them…Good, I hope you have.

It has been my reality to work through bitterness, for I have been hurt a lot and I have also done my share of hurting others.

It is a difficult and complex task to do battle with the Monster of Bitterness.

I have forgiven more than one person and I have even gone to the extent where I plead for God’s mercy on them.

Yet the battle can still rage because bitterness is a root and it grows deep within the heart.

I have found the most effective weapon is to search for the goodness of God in the midst of evil.

It can take years to find that flickering light of good in the midst of evil but when I find it I have a celebration.

Because you see the devil meant for this person or event to destroy me.

I am still here.

I have not been destroyed and when I see how God can spin evil for good I start praising God.

This puts the devil into a tail spin because I truly claim Romans 8:28 as a true and living Word in my life.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. (NLT)

How do you do battle with the monster?

STANDING ON THE WORD OF GOD

For those of you who have been following my blog for any amount of time you most possibly have realized two things:

#1 I live my life, to the best of my ability, by standing on the Word of God.

#2. I have an adult daughter living with me. When she asked to move in several years ago, I was a bit hesitant because we had not always gotten along. I had also been living solo for quite some time and had come to the point where I enjoyed my solitude.

I have a large house and all of my guest rooms are upstairs so it wouldn’t be cramped or anything. Logistically it would not be a problem.

That wasn’t the reason why I said “yes” though. I said “Yes” because of a verse that the Lord had brought to my attention several years before my daughter even asked to live with me.

The verse is Isaiah 58:7

“Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.”

The first year or two that she was living with me, there were many times that I shook my fist at God saying, “I let her move back in because you told me to and she is treating me like this? Really?!”

A year and a half after she moved in… things started to change. The impetus was when I asked her to give me advice on what to do with an artists nook above my fireplace. That was where I have a beautiful picture of Jesus displayed. She offered to repaint it and she did a fantastic job.

We have had a few spats since then but they have been few and far between. The relationship has blossomed into something so wonderful. It has been an evolution of  healing for both of us.

Each day my love for my daughter grows.

Every single day I am in awe of the wonderful decisions she has made in her life. From the vast amount of friends she has, to the food she eats, she has wisdom. She is the most wonderful inspiration for me.

This morning the sweetest thing happened. She woke me up to ask if we had any coffee because she wanted to make some coffee for both of us before she left for the day.

Now I raise my hands in praise to God saying “Thank you Jesus!” every time I think of my daughter. She is truly not only a cherished daughter but also one of my closest friends.

May God in heaven be praised for the wisdom He has shared through the pages of His Holy Bible.

 

IDOLS

I was studying the Bible this morning before getting started on my work day. Today I had picked Deuteronomy 28 and 29 to meditate on. I tell you what, if you have a problem following God commandments you need to meditate on those two chapters. They will scare you into total submission! lol

Yet I found one portion in this passage which caught my attention. In Deuteronomy 29 the Word of God says:

14 “I make this covenant and this oath, not with you alone, 15 but with him who stands here with us today before the Lord our God, as well as with him who is not here with us today 16 (for you know that we dwelt in the land of Egypt and that we came through the nations which you passed by, 17 and you saw their abominations and their idols which were among them—wood and stone and silver and gold); 18 so that there may not be among you man or woman or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations, and that there may not be among you a root bearing bitterness or wormwood; 19 and so it may not happen, when he hears the words of this curse, that he blesses himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall have peace, even though I follow the dictates[a] of my heart’—as though the drunkard could be included with the sober.” NKJV

It was interesting to me that bitterness should be included in the same passage as idols. The metaphor of a “root bearing bitterness or wormwood”  refers to a tree which can no longer bear good fruit due to one branch which bears poisonous fruit. This is how dangerous the root of bitterness is. It can darken your world with its poison.

I was trying desperately to understand the complexities of this passage and the Lord gave me an example of someone who personifies this passage.

Our President-elect Donald Trump is a wonderful man who has been blessed abundantly in every area of his life. He has surrounded himself with idols of gold and silver yet he does not have confidence enough to humble himself before God.

He is quite arrogant in many arenas because the Lord has allowed him success. Yet he responds like a two-year old when he is attacked. He fights back like a bully.  He is abrasive in his speech and offends many when he goes on the attack. For such an intelligent and competent leader it perplexes me as to why he is this way.

Is this because he has a root of bitterness in his heart?  Only God can judge the heart of man. Yet with the idols of gold and silver clouding your vision it may be difficult to see the light of God.

I think Donald Trump may be a great motivator for change but only God can make us a great nation again. We as citizens of America have a great responsibility and our part can be found in 2 Chronicles 7:14

“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.” (NLT)

I am trying my hardest to do my part and praying daily for our future president, Donald Trump. However,  it is not within his reach to make our nation great. That is only and forever, the right and privilege of my heavenly Father, God. May His name be glorified.

MY PASSION

When you have a calling from God it becomes your passion. My calling and my passion in life is to be a Christian writer. This has been my definition and my focus.

It has also been my torture.

To be a good writer I believe you must constantly question your existence. You must call into question every second which is wasted on something other than putting words on a paper. You live with a ghost of guilt for every moment you enjoy which is not dedicated to writing.

My mother recently said I must enjoy writing. I said, “Are you kidding me? Writing is pure torture. It may be exciting when I have penned a chapter in my novel which I think is powerful. Those times are few and far between. Writing is a horrible guilt filled occupation.”

Yet I continue to write.

Why? Because I believe that God is involved.

How can I be sure? Let me tell you about my journey as a writer.

I first started writing Christmas letters when my children were little tykes. I thought they were such remarkable little beings that someone had to record their antics. My sister said that I should take writing more seriously when she read these.

I had written plenty of research papers in college. My mother even told me that I should be a writer but I had never had a desire to write. So I didn’t write, nor did I pursue a journalism degree.

Soon after my children were born, my husband forced me to face the reality that our marriage wasn’t working. He filed for divorce and at that time I blamed him for everything. I can play the victim role better than Meryl Streep when I want to.

After my divorce, I became very involved in a Baptist church. I started writing plays for the single’s department. I also directed and acted in those productions. It was at this time in my life when I received the call to become a Christian writer in a dream. I spent a lot of time on those plays. I  eventually got burned out because I was not getting any income for them.

During this period in my life, I went to a Christian Writer’s conference out in Sandy Cove. I talked with an editor about writing a self help book for single Mom’s. He suggested I write a novel.

That was when the real journey began…

I started writing a novel to try and elicit sympathy for single mother’s. I set the fictional single Mom in a scene of spiritual warfare. I peppered the novel with humorous events and tried to draw the reader into the depression of a struggling single Mom. There was quite a bit of my own struggle and depression that leaked onto the pages.

As I continued to write my desire changed. My marriage had not worked. I thought that if I wrote the novel in the right way that  people would work harder on their marriages. That was surely a good and Godly desire right?

Well, I finished that novel and it was close to 400 pages in length. I gave it to a dear friend of mine who tore it apart in his critique.

I was crushed.

I had three options as to how to handle his criticism.

#1 – I could have let pride step in and say, “Who does he think he is? He doesn’t have even one novel published and he has no right to say anything bad about mine.”

#2 – I could have let depression and despair cloud my thinking and just thrown the whole idea out the window. However, I know what Jonah went through when he tried to ignore God’s calling. I personally don’t want to spend any time in the belly of a whale.

#3 – I could humble myself before God and ask Him for His input.

That is exactly what I did. I prayed, “God, I thought this is what you wanted me to write. I am trying hard to be submissive to your will but if I did this wrong, please tell me how to do it right.”

That is when I heard his soft whisper. “There is not enough of Me in this book. If this is warfare, the sides need to be more equal. There needs to be more of Me.”

I didn’t give it a second thought. I pulled the manuscript from publication and started afresh.

As I have continued to write this novel again, God has been so present. He has led me step by step along the rocky path of self indulgence and despair to the wonderful meadow of righteous desires.  Now my only desire is that this novel will bring people closer to Him.

Some who read this post may think I am crazy to throw away 400 pages of writing. I don’t view it that way at all. I think God was immensely patient and merciful to allow me to work through my own grimy mire of self pity and despair. He held my hand tightly as I bled out my pain on those pages.

Then He led me out of that darkness, shining His light to lead me on a path where all I wanted to do was lead others to Him.

Psalm 37:4 (NIV)

Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

It is amazing to me how the Lord in heaven can change the desires of my heart. Thank you Jesus!


SEXUAL IMPURITY

I have had a problem in my past with sexual impurity. I could have a whole lot of excuses as to why I had this problem. I could say it was because of a generational curse, because of insecurity or because I just had not found the right person. Practice makes perfect right? If you don’t practice you can’t make anything perfect. Yet I have never known an excuse to solve a problem, change a character flaw or build Rome in a day.

I know that I don’t have a monopoly on this sin. I have dated long enough to realize that sex is expected before marriage in this day and age. Yet the Bible says that that is wrong.

Why on earth would a God, who says He is good, consider sex wrong in any context? I mean it is fun, it is an act of love and at times, it can be a bonding experience. It just didn’t make any sense.

When I was 50 years old I took inventory of my life and realized that my sexual impurity was not producing what I wanted. What I wanted was a man whom I could marry. I also wanted a marriage which would work and be God filled. I knew that God had a man in store for me but he had not entered my life yet.

So instead of seeing a relationship from my perspective, which was too look at it through the eyes of lust, I asked God to give me understanding. This was after I had severed relationships which had included sexual impurity.

I got the impression that sex wasn’t about the orgasm. It was about two separate human beings coming together to become one. I have seen the beauty of this many times when observing people who have wonderful relationships. They act as a team yet the team is so cohesive there is no separation between the two. A happily married couple is one of life’s greatest joys.

Yet as I searched God’s heart I realized there was more to this than the union of two to become one. Sex is more than a good feeling, it is a sacred act, and should be done only when God has been invited in. The invitation to God occurs when there is a covenant of marriage.

Throughout the process of meditating on this, Proverbs 9:10 has come to the forefront of my Biblical studies. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”

I realized that in addition to God showing me how special and sacred sex is, He also showed me the way to handle similar perplexing issues.It is a two part solution to problems.

First of all honor Him and His word. Obey that which is written, then seek to know His motivation for the rules which He has so graciously given to us.

I am still patiently waiting for God to show me the man whom He has set aside for me. In my waiting, I am trying to remain in His Word and seek His will for my life.

UNJUST SUFFERING

I was at Bible Study last night when for some reason my Brother in Christ, Jonathan, pointed out a verse in 2 Peter to me. We were talking about how we had backslid. The Bible study had taken a break over the holidays and we both had been skating on thin ice when it came to being in the Word of God.

The verse he pointed out to me had a different effect on me than it had on him. The verse was:

2 Peter 19For it is to your credit if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. 20If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, where is the credit in that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval. 21For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.

This verse brought me back to a time in my life when I was going through a custody fight for my two sons. They were 14 and 16 years old. Their Dad had moved to Florida to start living with the woman who would become his third wife.

He was aware that the Florida education system was far superior to what we have in Texas. He persuaded my sons after a year and a half of conversations to agree to live with him.

I may have not had much of a problem with them going to live with their Dad if I felt as if he was a fully competent parent. In most ways he had proven to be very competent. When he was married to his second wife he had paid a small amount of child support to me but he rarely missed a payment. He also demanded to take the children every weekend until they refused to go over because their friends were in my part of town.

At the time I thought he was supervising my children fairly well. As they have gotten older and become more honest I have doubted some of his parenting skills. Nonetheless, my children are remarkable young adults and I give him part credit.

When he moved to Florida, things changed. We had always been friends when he was married to his second wife. It was different with his third wife. It may have been more because he moved away from the children than because of her, but something changed.

He had moved down there to help her with her business and pretty soon my child support checks stopped. The arrears kept getting larger and larger until it approached 10 grand. This is a man who thought he was responsible enough to supervise my two teenage sons?

He claimed the business was going bad. Yet in  court Discovery someone from his family was shopping at Bloomingdale’s on a regular basis and dropping a grand each time they entered the store.

It didn’t add up.

My attorneys filed a motion to put him in jail for 10 days. Instead of going to jail he walked out of the courtroom with the custody of my two sons. Furthermore, they petitioned that I would pay much more for child support for two children than he had ever paid for three children. I have figured out how much he should have paid me and if I would have gotten what I deserved I would be $250,000 richer.

That was a lot to swallow for a woman who had always tried to be an excellent Mom. I was in no way perfect but I tried to love my children in the best way I knew how.

On top of all of this, there was many hateful emails coming from the third wife. I tried as hard as I could not to respond in the same manner. My mother told me I should fight back. I told her I couldn’t. I had to do what was right because in the midst of evil my flickering light may be the only thing which could crack the veil of darkness.

This was a crazy and wicked experience which I survived by drawing close to my God. It defied all reasoning. My children did not say one word against me in the court chambers, yet the Judge ripped them away from me. Without my God, I don’t know how I would have gotten through this. Yet, because of my God, I have deep and loving relationships with all of my children.

My sons have explained to me that it was all about the educational system in Florida. I understand that. I have even begun to understand that their Dad’s harsh demeanor may be one of the reasons why they both got into good colleges. He was amazing at pushing them out the door once they were eighteen years old.

I, on the other hand, always have left my door open for them to walk back into my home, as well as my heart.

For those of you who are going through hell in family court I know that it is unjust and unfair. I know that good is punished and evil is rewarded.

What are you to do when the world is upside down?

Continue to do the right thing.

This is greater than the insane judges and the incompetent attorneys.

This truly may be more about God and the devil than you ever imagined.

Doing right is always choosing God over the devil even when you may be considered a criminal for doing so.

This post is dedicated to an unnamed friend who is currently in hiding for the protection of her children.

 

THE DEMOCRATIC DENIAL

There is quite the circus going on right now in the media. Their obsession with what Russia has done, or has not done, is a bit over the top ridiculous. The Democratic Party, unfortunately, is too immature to accept responsibility for what they did wrong. Instead they are blinded by their own denial.

Regarding the Hacking…

First of all, influence is not decisive. If Russia had interfered with the actual tally of the votes, that would be decisive and worthy of retaliation.

To expose the corruption within the Democratic party is something which should be celebrated. Truth should always triumph over dishonesty.

I am sure that the Republican party has corruption also. They may be better at hiding it. Whose to say?

Second, the majority of news outlets are not objective. So the influence of Assuage and Russia may actually bring some much-needed balance. Newton’s third law of physics is: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” The balance is way past due if you ask me.

I am currently boycotting NPR because nothing about that station is balanced. I am so thankful for Sirius XM and my wonderful friend, Dan, who has gifted me a subscription for this. It allows me to listen to the radio without erupting into profane expletives as I angrily turn the radio off, which was my reaction to NPR.

So, we have most news organizations putting a spin on the news to favor the left. Then we have the celebrities, who like spoiled two-year olds, have stomped their feet and threatened to leave the country if Trump was elected. Good riddance!

What we don’t have, is a Democratic party which is adult enough to admit they were wrong with how they acted.
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First off, they chose the wrong person. Hillary Clinton is not known for honesty.

She is a hard-working and intelligent woman who has devoted a large part of her life to serving the country. Yet her lack of expertise and transparency in regards to her email server did her in.

“According to a CNN/ORC poll of registered voters, 58% of self-described independents, in addition to 31% of Democrats, believe Clinton had done something wrong by having a private email server.”
https://www.yahoo.com/news/hillary-clinton-role-benghazi-know-195600379.html?ref=gs

Second, Obama has been somewhat lackluster in his presidency. He has done great things for the environment and climate change. I hope his legacy in that department stands.

He has also been brilliant in cleaning up the economic mess that was his daily concern when he first took office. I am not sure that his efforts to sustain the economy are long-term solutions but they worked for eight years. He deserves accolades for that.

However, his lack of leadership in regards to ISIS, foreign diplomacy and Obama care are abysmal.

Then there are those constant images of him on the golf course and the vacations that his wife and children have taken. Who is paying for that? How much has he actually worked?

There are plenty of Americans who are working one or more jobs who don’t have paid vacations and can not take off even one day to play golf. How is he able to relate?

Or how about those people who have been unemployed for so many months or years. It seems that instead of providing more jobs, he has provided more welfare. Welfare is a disastrous, slippery slope into dependency and poverty. It does nothing to benefit those who become addicted to it. It only weakens those who drink from the trough of others hard work.

So the Democratic party needs to get off of its high horse of indignation. Admit that they were not doing the right thing. Examine their motives, come clean with Americans and then find another candidate as their poster child. To be honest, neither Clinton nor Sanders were viable.

TRUMP TWEETS

I have been quite enamored by our new President elect, Donald Trump.

At first I thought he was a buffoon. Someone who had never been given adequate discipline because he had a silver spoon in his mouth. I thought he would be tossed aside in the riptide of politics and one of the more deserving candidates such as Ted Cruz or Mark Rubio would swim to the front. I was absolutely horrified when he became the only one to vote for as a Republican.

Then I did something different. Something I rarely do with politicians. I actually started listening to him. I didn’t pay attention to the media because they were not objective. I paid attention to the debates. I started listening to news every chance I had. I would mostly listen to Fox but also danced between CNN and MSNBC. With every move he made I saw more clearly the brilliance that has been behind his success.

I love the confidence he exudes and his uncanny way of cutting through cow manure (bs) to get to the core of the problem. Even though he is not president yet, he is already taking long strides down the path of fulfilling campaign promises. Who would have thought a politician would ever do that?

I am excited that with his charisma we may become friends, instead of enemies, with Russia. My great grandfather actually came to America from Russia, so that country has always been close to my heart.

I am amused by how he has played hide and seek with the media. They have such undeserved power and he has thwarted that with his cunning intelligence. He doesn’t play by their rules. He has set his own rules. He tweets directly to the American public. Letting us know from minute to minute what he hopes to accomplish for our great country. He has changed the course of companies with just one tweet and helped save American jobs.

I have thanked God every day for this man and his hard working character.

Then then other day I noticed he had tweeted about his old show. The tweet is as follows: “Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got “swamped” (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT. So much for being a movie star-and that was season 1 compared to season 14. Now compare him to my season 1. But who cares, he supported Kasich & Hillary.”

I saw that tweet, shook my head and muttered. “What on earth was he thinking to tweet something like that?!!”

OWNING CRITICISM

I was raised in a house where words were used as weapons. Rejection, criticism and put downs were a commonality.

As a result of this, I have had a sensitivity to critical words and I tend to let them linger in my mind far more than is necessary.

My mother is a champ at negativity and criticism.

Recently when I was home she asked me to try on some of her clothes, most which were three sizes larger than I wear. I took some of them home and will probably sell most of them at a garage sale but others I can actually use.

As I was trying on the sweaters she said she did not like seeing the rolls on my back. I am a teensy bit over my ideal body weight and with that travesty comes some rolls of fat. Believe me, my mother has quite a lot more in that department than I do. So from then on I removed myself from the room she was in, if I needed to try on clothes.

The next morning she sat on my bed as I was waking up and said, “I don’t know how to say this to my daughter but I think you need to have a breast minimizer. Your breasts are out of proportion with the rest of your body. I don’t want you attracting wicked or evil men.”

I was shocked and then I was amused. My mother is a hoot. She is so scared that I may actually be considered sexy that she wanted me to change what God has created me to be. I have no intention on reducing my breasts in any way shape or form.

I realized at that point in time that it wasn’t my rolls of fat but where some of my extra weight had settled that unnerved my mother. For the record, she has never had much in the breast department but has been quite blessed in the belly department. So I tossed the insult aside because I considered the source of it to be envy. I am working on getting down to my ideal body weight but that is because I feel most comfortable there, not because my mother is jealous of my curves.

My daughter can be a slight bit critical also. Those times are very few and far between in comparison to my mother, though. For the most part she is a sweet and positive beam of light in my world. Each and every day I see her growing sweeter and kinder with her many friends and even me, her Mom. There are times I actually sit back and just stand in awe of how wonderful she has turned out.

However, living with me is not always a piece of cake. One of the things my daughter complains about, is the way I slam the garage door. Her room in my house is right above my garage and when I slam that door her whole room shakes with fear.

A few days ago I heard my daughter sneezing upstairs in my house and I knew she had caught another cold. She asked me very nicely if I could be careful not to slam the garage door, because she wanted to get some rest. Well I was quiet as a mouse and was so gentle with that door that not even a tremor could be felt in her room. She slept for a full 13 hours and got over that cold in 2-3 days. I was so ecstatic!

I think in pondering these two instances in my life I have come to some conclusions about criticism.

First, try to examine the motivation for the criticism. If it is an evil motivation, then disregard the criticism. Such as in the case of my mother where her motivation was envy.

Second, if the criticism can be used for your good, use it. I think it is a good habit for me to be closing doors gently instead of slamming them so hard I risk dislodging the joints in my house.

Third, sort through criticism of all kinds to pick out what you may need to work on. I know I am a bit over the weight I would like to be at but I will not assign negativity to the weight I am at. I enjoy being curvy and I do attract men but they are not wicked or mean or evil. They are just men who have remarkably good vision. LOL