Friday, May 6, 2016

Trump is a Charlatan

When asked what the first days of a Trump presidency looked like Donald J. Trump replied, he is going to deport twelve million illegal immigrants, and stop Muslims from entering America.
The United States of America is not going to round up, transport, house, guard, and feed, twice as many people as Joseph Stalin was able to deport in thirty years.
The United States of America is not going to prevent anyone from immigrating based on religion.
Anybody who believes we are is a fool, and anybody who cynically exploits the credulity of a fool is a charlatan.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Pine Tree Festival 2014

David Hohenstein, John Sharp, Barbara Coleman, Vickie, Isaiah, V. Anthony and myself all enjoyed the parade and the park where joined by Ariel, Aurelio and Vickie's mom, Cathie Flores. We met great people, helped two Howard County residents register to vote and gave out swag to anyone who asked.

I photobombed Bruce Westerman and Justin Gonzales. Bruce seems like a nice enough guy. I wonder how he takes loss. One of his staffers mentioned Huckabee. I recalled an appearance on FOX when "Pastor" Mike Huckabee said, referring to Nevada's Sharon Angle, she told a lie but it was good politics. The Huckster still hasn't replied to my often repeated inquiry, When is lying good anything Pastor? (see Proverbs 12:22) 

It was difficult for me to understand  a Republican campaign manager who admitted his conservatism was a job. That's like a Christian who practices Sundays and Wednesday night.

Before leaving, Justin Gonzales stopped by to covet the Governor Mike Ross iPhone cover. Arkansas GOP should be proud of his hard work. I bet he'll get a few votes in D-4.

Monday, January 13, 2014

A New Year

Well, here we are, 2014. At our home it arrived with great fanfare, family, friends, food catered from Starz, fireworks and four live bands! Well, really, three bands and a solo act. It was a night to remember. I hope yours was as special.

Much transpired in 2013. Vickie started as an IPA with Arkansas Minority Health Commission. Sarah put two more semesters behind her (one to go!). Isaiah excelled musically. Anthony joined the newly formed science club and impressed with his robotics knowledge and demonstration. Ariel began her first year in band choosing the french horn and enjoying first chair. Aurelio is speaking more coherently largely due to reconstructive ear drum surgery. 

On the Farm:
We are down to three hives and as yet, don't have plans to replace our losses from the previous year. The peach trees produced their first fruit last year so we should see more and larger fruit this year. Maybe we'll see our first plums, apples and pears too. Our Plymouth Rocks are over wintering well. Although their egg production has slowed we still collect enough for personal use. We have talked about a lighter planting this spring. Suprasistence Farm has a Facebook page. If you are interested in what we have going on 'down on the farm' "LIKE" us on Facebook.

As for myself:
In September of 2013 I became more serious about helping my body heal. I made more changes to my diet and began walking one mile three times a week. I also began to daily log my energy and pain levels along with other variables like weather, travel etc... This month I joined the local gym, increased to one fifteen minute mile a day five days a week and now one and one third miles in twenty minutes. My energy is increasing substantially, my pain decreasing slightly, my weight is dropping slowly but steadily and inches are melting away. I look forward to being half the man I am today. While I understand this will help decrease the negative effects of RA and Fibromyalgia I continue to seek out other avenues of relief.

On April 20, 2013 in Old Washington, Arkansas I was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. Tonight I will be installed as Junior Warden at Pleasant Valley Lodge #30. I am blessed to be a part of this wonderful fraternity.

This is an election year! I serve as Chairman of the Howard County Democratic Central Committee and Chairman of the Howard County Board of Election Commissioners. We recently hosted the largest political event ever held in Howard County, Dinner with Mike Ross. Over 150 Arkansans from eight counties participated. This April we will have our 'Meet and Greet.' Political candidates from Senator and Congressman, Governor, State Senator and Congressmen as well as local seats like Sheriff, JP, Circuit and County Clerk will be in attendance. This event, along with scheduling speakers and setting agendas for our monthly meetings, signing up, training and supervising volunteers for the November election has me busy. Not too busy to catch a few Yankee games though (pitchers and catchers report February 14th).

Stop by if you're in the neighborhood. We still have that guest bedroom, WiFi and some of the tastiest food you'll ever eat! 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A YANKEES Fan Lament

The part of me that is an American League fan is glad the Sox won the World Series. The other 99.9% is violently retching.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Medicaid Expansion

 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Columnist John Brummett wrote a piece titled A Worthless Sacrifice to appear in Sundays print edition. It is currently online and is starting to create a buzz. For some reason I am unable to post a comment, update my avatar or do anything else on the site so I am posting my reply here.

The responsibility to care for the least of these falls to both the individual and the government. As some have already used Biblical text, howbeit out of context, allow me to continue looking to the same source.

We read in Genesis 41:25-42 how Joseph by the instruction of God told Pharaoh to gather from all the harvest and store it to be redistributed to everyone in the land when there was need. Exodus 23:6-11 (especially v10-11) describes how landowners were obligated by law to feed the hungry. Isaiah 10:1-3 and Amos 5:11-12 explain that governments are instructed to show justice to the poor. Jeremiah brought a scorching message (see chapter 22) about governments responsibility towards its poorest citizens.

While the story of Joseph and Pharaoh was regarding a particular event, doesn't it make sense, good sense to follow that principle? The law of Moses according to Exodus 23 institutionalized way of providing for the poor that did not depend on the good will of the individual. Yes, individual generosity was encouraged but, as a matter of law, part of everyone's produce or income was to be set aside to aid the poor.

What we call the Old Testament is full of stories of personal and government responsibility to the least of these. In the New Testament we read that Jesus had some important things to say about the subject: Matthew 22:37-39; 25:31-46.

Jesus' commands to love and care for others were given as universals, without exempting any human organizations or institutions. All human institutions, governments and businesses included, are responsible to care for others --- especially since individual or private charity can never be or do enough.

Biblical narrative aside, medicaid expansion makes sense. We are paying Federal taxes for the program. Doesn't it make sense that we receive the benefits we are paying for? Expansion means more people will have access to healthcare. More access to healthcare means more people are healthy. Healthy people are productive people. This benefits the individual and society.

Did I mention that Medicaid expansion could lead to an increase of $550 million to our state's GDP and create 6,200 new jobs?

In short, Medicaid expansion benefits everyone. How is this not a good thing?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Family 2012 Summary

We pray your year was blessed!

2012 was an exciting year for us with few challenges, some changes and much joy. The third year in our new home draws to a close. New friendships were made, others strengthened and others still reestablished. We are deeply blessed by all y’all.

Our family has grown. We were able to be in Tucson for Aiden’s arrival, Andrea and Isaac’s first-born. He is a beautiful healthy boy. Shortly after we left Arizona, Benjamin’s Clarissa delivered Citlali, their second daughter and third child. A few weeks later Aren informed us that we were expecting grandchild number seven. Sarah is extremely competitive. I pray she doesn’t see these as a challenge.

Speaking of Sarah, she decided to stay home for a couple more years and get her Associate in Business Management from the Community College before moving on to a Bachelor degree. I am so very glad she decided to stay as I’ve not had the chance to teach anyone else Grandma Sacca’s pizza recipe yet.

Isaiah still blows. Another year as Nashville High School Band low-brass section leader, all-region band audition coming in January, all-region choir, all-state choir audition coming in January, Nashville High School Winter Guard, and playing Baritone with Arkansas Resistance keeps his grand-staff full. I keep him busy around here helping with farm chores too.

V.Anthony decided baseball wasn’t for him but is playing trumpet for a second year, now with the Nashville Junior High Band. His interest in culinary arts is growing, always asking to try a new recipe. Maybe I should share Grandma’s recipe with him.

Ariel continues to show interest in all things animal. We couldn’t do without her help around the farm feeding the chickens and collecting the eggs. Both her and V.Anthony are junior beekeepers. This year they keep one hive of bees jointly. Next year they’ll keep two. Ariel is a 4H Show Stopper and plans on showing Boer goats at the Howard County Fair next year.

Aurelio is doing well. He has been graduated to the first grade on paper, but still visits the kindergarten class from his self-contained homeroom. His speech is improving greatly as are his fine motor skills. He is very smart and works hard when he wants however he can be stubborn. I wish he hadn’t gotten that from his mother.

Vickie is awaiting surgery for a torn anterior labrum in her right shoulder. After recovery she’d like to work for the Howard County Adult Center as a group home supervisor. It takes a very special person to work with developmentally delayed adults, and Vickie is a very special person.

While we’ve always been politically active we are becoming more politically connected. Vickie, Sarah and I joined the Howard County Democratic Central Committee. We attended the state convention, myself as a delegate and Vickie as an alternate. I was elected Howard County Committeeman to the Arkansas Democratic Party Faith Caucus. I've been blessed to preach many times this past year with several more opportunities coming in 2013. After serving a partial term I was re-elected Secretary of the Southwest Arkansas Beekeepers EH Club. These keep us excited, busy and fulfilled.

One year ago we toyed with names like Hectáreas de Motta, and All Good Things Farm. We decided upon Suprasistence Farm. For the past years we have delved wider and deeper into subsistence farming. With the understanding that worship/ministry is a lifestyle we felt mere subsistence missed the point. While subsistence meets our needs Suprasistence goes above barely sufficient to assist others in need, the poor, the sojourner. We also designed a logo to represent the farms product and vision.

The yellow hexagon is for the bees as our main crop is honey and various beeswax products. The footprints are light green reflecting low carbon emissions; three to stand for reduce, reuse and recycle. We strive to do things as close to organic as we are able, being good stewards over what we've been entrusted. This past year at Suprasistence Farm has been busy. We have planted peach, plumb, pear, and walnut trees as well as several flowering bushes and vines for the bees, as well as various beds of flowers and other vegetation for the bees, chickens and soil. We built a new poultry house and two new pens, each 2,000 square feet. We grew chicks and harvested older chickens. Built hives and installed new bees. And still left so much to do in 2013.

We have a guest room with a queen size bed, and WiFi for you. Know that all y’all are always welcome to come visit and even lend a hand if so inclined.

We hope you had an awesome 2012 and pray the best for you in 2013.

With much love,
Albert, Vickie, and all the children

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I am PRO-Second Amendment

4 American diplomats were killed by terrorists in Benghazi, Libya and the GOP screamed bloody murder for months. Congress is still holding hearings.

One terrorist on a plane tried to set off a bomb hidden in his shoe, now everyone has to remove their shoes before boarding a plane.

Oakland, Calif.: A former student at a Christian college fatally shoots seven people and injures three in April 2012;
Aurora, Colo.: Lone gunman kills 12 and injures 58 at a July 2012 screening of “The Dark Knight;"
College Station Texas: 3 people killed 4 injured;
Oak Creek, Wis.: A white supremacist shoots six people and a responding policeman at a Sikh temple before shooting himself in the head in August 2012;
Portland, Ore.: A masked gunman opens fire in a crowded mall killing two and seriously injuring a third before turning the gun on himself. Cops say killer’s assault weapon jammed, preventing further carnage.

20 six and seven year old American schoolchildren were killed by a single gunman and the GOP silence is deafening.

Where are the hearings Mister Speaker?

Where is the legislation to prevent more unnecessary loss of life caused by guns?

I am pro-Second Amendment. I believe anyone who wants to own a musket (holding one shot and taking three minutes to reload) can have one. Everything else necessarily requires responsible legislation.

Matthew 26:52 NIV “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword."