Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dietary Supplements in the Crosshairs DO SOMETHING!

Are you as sick to death of Stealth Legislation as I am?

Not satisfied to control healthcare, they snuck a provision into Obamacare that would also give them control of student loans (because we all know those are related, right??). 

Now Congressman Henry Waxman of California (a Democrat - surprise!) snuck a provision into the recently passed Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 (H.R. 4173) that will regulate your dietary supplements out of existence.

The recent move by the FDA against Diamond Walnuts to have walnuts (I kid you not) declared a drug shows their willingness to do anything, no matter how stupid and arbitary, in order to control your access to anything that might actually be good for you.

Especially if it will not make the drug companies money.

"Oh, here she goes again," you are thinking, "railing against the [Democrats, German judges, UN, government, fill-in-the-other-blank] and the drug companies. What does that have to do with home schooling or home business?"

Network marketers and purveyors of any kind of health supplement - listen up! A lot of us have businesses that will be affected if this happens. 

Does your business depend on any kind of vitamin, miracle juice, joint relief, or any other non-prescription, non-pharmaceutical product that you can't make any health claims about even though the anecdotal evidence for the efficacy of your product is substantial?

Walnuts. A drug. Right.

How much more so Tahitian Noni, Xango, Monavie, Vemma, "The Wellness Company" that doesn't allow their name to be mentioned, FHTM's True Essentials, Shaklee, healthy chocolate, Max XGL,  and umptygazillion more health supplements?

I don't want to hear that you don't care about politics.  Even if in a general way you don't care about health freedom, and think the government taking over everything is just hunky dory, surely at least you will care when your "Plan B" MLM income is  wiped out, crushed under the weight of government scrutiny and regulation.

The Senate is expected to vote on this monstrosity of a  finance “reform” bill as early as this weekend. Please do something to make sure that it does not include a provision going far beyond finance that could be used against supplements. This could take the form of and amendment that would give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) power to impose new regulations without prior Congressional approval, such as the one inserted into the House version that was passed.

Read the article at the Alliance for Natural Health and learn how you can help.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

25th Anniversary Edition: Wasn't 1985 just the other day?

Twenty Five Years.

I can't believe it is already a year ago that I published my most popular post ever, They Gave Us Six Months, a love story about an arranged marriage.

Arranged by God.

I am more in awe than ever of the rightness of that match, and more in love than ever with the man who is still the greatest gift I have ever received from God.

We were engaged, December 8th, 1984. It would have been my dad's 83rd birthday, and I was so sorry he had not had a chance to meet my future husband. On the other hand, under the circumstances, he might have reacted poorly at first...

Did I mention our first date had just been about a month before?

We went to a party at the home of dear friends, and as much as we wanted to, we decided not to tell anyone because, well, they gave us six months, as I said in my post from last year.

Did I mention they meant six months of dating?  That we would get married was not on anyone's radar screen. They thought we would probably kill each other before Christmas.

One of the activities at the party was that everyone wrote down their favorite scripture verse on a strip of paper and put it in a bag, then we shook them all up and passed around the bag and selected one of the strips and read it aloud. Then the person who put it in there had a chance to say what the verse meant to them.

That was easy. I scribbled down Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct thy paths."  It was one of the few verses that I had really memorized.

Did I mention I had only been a Christian for about eight months?

Saved that previous Easter Sunday, I was one of those who had a kind of Damascus Road experience - or maybe a Woman at the Well experience - at the age of 29. In any event, it was a powerful transformation. I was so in love with Jesus that He was a continuous tangible Presence. When I got shut into my prayer closet, I didn't leave until I had a response from the Lord, whether it took four minutes or four days. It wouldn't have mattered to me if I had never met anyone or gotten married, and frankly I considered that possibility. Remember, I was from the South, and they had kind of stopped asking my mom "Isn't she married yet?" about five years before.  She had actually stopped asking rather before that.

I was ready to leave Wall Street and go live in Calcutta, or at least Newark, and devote my life to whatever adventure God had for me. I even quit my job, but got talked out of it. I sat Mama down and had a couple of shots of Jack Daniels before I told her that one.

Wait, where was I?

Oh, yes. Passing around the bag of little scripture verses.  So it's finally my turn, and I pull one out of the bag, and it's...

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct thy paths."

In someone else's handwriting. Turned out it was the only one that was in the bag twice.

Guess who drew the other one?  The one I had written?  Yep.

The whole thing was kind of like that. When I went home for Christmas, I sat Mama down again and had another couple of shots of Jack so I could tell her that I was leaving my Wall Street job and marrying a man she had never heard of, and oh, by the way, he was arriving the day after Christmas to meet everyone.  (PS- Mama, if you can see this from heaven, I am SO sorry. I totally get it now.)

Sometime before Christmas we decided it was time to plan a wedding. The Lord gave us a date: April 20.

Ah, the Divine sense of irony.  Muhammad's birthday, Hitler's birthday,  Weed Day, and L. Ron Hubbard Day. Later to become the day of the Columbine massacre and the Johnson Space Center Shooting.

And every few years, the day of the school board elections. Like today.  (What other idiots are working the polls on their 25th anniversary?)

I bought my dress off the rack and it was about 3 sizes too big.  Who knew my mother-in-law was a seamstress who specialized in beading, formal wear and wedding gowns?

Did I mention it cost $325?  Even in 1985, that was cheap.

The wedding was planned in about an hour. Seven phone calls and we had a band, a photographer, a hall, a caterer, invitations, wedding favors, and two limos.

Did I mention the five course catered meal was $9 a plate?   That was probably cheap in 1965.

The whole thing since has been kind of like that.  In the other post I talked about the hardship, but there has been much joy as well, and an overwhelming assurance of God's faithful presence, with a periodic demonstration of miraculous provision thrown in.

Happy anniversary, honey. I love you more than you'll ever know. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct thy paths."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

U.S. Government Supports Persecution of German Homeschoolers?

So many things have been happening in the homeschool arena while I was distracted that I have not written about. 

One of the most important recent events, and the one that has garnered the most national attention is the granting of asylum to the Romeike family because of the persecution they experienced in Germany. The Romeikes are Christians from Bissinggen, Germany, who fled persecution in August 2008 to seek political asylum in the United States. They are currently living and homeschooling in Tennessee.

On January 26, 2010, Immigration Judge Lawrence O. Burman granted the Romeikes asylum after determining that the German government’s treatment of homeschoolers was “repellent to everything we believe as Americans,” and that Germany was denying the family “basic human rights.  

This decision was hailed by the homeschooling community, but not everyone was so thrilled. There was considerable criticism of an asylum policy that could include homeschoolers and yet not victims of "female circumcision", which in any language is genital mutilation, but is also a cultural imperative in many nations that in this age of diversity the US Government is reluctant to criticize. I found a surprising negative buzz on the internet when I read comments on articles on the topic.

Now in another disturbing setback, the Agency for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has filed an appeal of the grant of asylum to the Romeike family. In this appeal, ICE describes homeschoolers as too “amorphous” to be a “particular social group” and that “United States law has recognized the broad power of the state to compel school attendance and regulate curriculum and teacher certification” as well as the “authority to prohibit or regulate homeschooling.

HSLDA attorney Michael Donnelly, who is coordinating the Romeike's legal defense, was quoted in an HSLDA release dated March 22:

“It is disappointing but not surprising that ICE has appealed,” Donnelly said. “Judge Burman appropriately noted that homeschooling is legal in all fifty states, and his decision reflects U.S. law which upholds the right of parents to direct the education and upbringing their children as an enduring American tradition, entitling the family to protection from persecution. ICE argues that Germany’s denial of a parent’s right to homeschool for any reason is acceptable. It is shameful that ICE, and by extension the U.S. Government, supports the persecution of German homeschoolers.”
Uh oh.  Here we go again. The last 20 years is flashing before my eyes.  Letters to school districts, being frozen out of competitions, H.R. 6, the DeJonges in Michigan, the Calabrettas in California, the threat of daytime curfews, the threat of raising the age of compulsory attendence, Loretta Weinberg's bill to mandate compulsory annual testing and medical exams, A 3123, "Education Begins at Home Act," The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Seems like we have been fighting forever.  And maybe we will be fighting forever.  Obamacare has some provisions that are threatening to homeschoolers, but that is another topic for another day. And maybe that is also why homeschoolers should never retire. 

Because there needs to be someone who still remembers the fight.  I have written extensively on the German "homeschooling problem." You can find additional articles in the keyword cloud under "Germany."

Friday, April 02, 2010

Facebook Style "Passion" Worth a Second Look

I posted this last year in time for Easter. It might be construed as a tad irreverent, and it is actually also a tad inaccurate, but kind of like with modern Bible translations, the Holy Spirit can meet you wherever you are and make sure you get the point when you are reading.

You can click through from the old post to Digg , which is where I first saw it, or if you click on the screenshot, you can actually go to a PDF file of the whole thing.

Whatever else it is, it is VERY clever, and whoever created it had to do a lot of planning and  tweaking and Photoshopping.

I decided to repost it today when I saw that someone has already visited last year's post after doing a Google search on "the easter story facebook style". 

Chances are someone will be offended. Some of those will be Christians and some of those will be non-Christians.  My intent is not to offend, but inform. And St. Paul said it best,  "But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice." Phil 1:18