Friday Tidings
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Karen Farris

God's daughter. Woman of faith. Wife. Mother. Grandmother. Servant to the King.

Posted 11/3/16 at 10:53 AM | Karen Farris

Final View

A couple years ago my husband and I were interested in purchasing some property with an amazing view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It was quiet and pristine.

With over fifty grassy acres, our salesman suggested we take the parcel near the crest of the bluff—no one would ever block our view.

My husband and I smiled at one another.

The friendly salesman pointed out the walkway that led to the beach far below and the benches placed along the bluff so folks could sit and enjoy the panoramic view of Mount Baker and the blue waters of the Strait.

After signing all the paperwork, we became the proud owners of two water view cemetery plots. Shaking hands, he encouraged us to come back and visit as often as we wanted—we had yet to do so.

Until this week, when a friend was laid to rest. At my friend’s gravesite, I listened to the words spoken about his life. He served his nation in Viet Nam and continued serving his family and community the rest of his life. FULL POST

Posted 10/30/16 at 9:57 PM | Karen Farris

Carbon Tax Purgatory

Washington State is famous for Starbucks, Microsoft, the Space Needle, and decades of Democrats at the helm.

Residents in the Evergreen State have legalized some of the most liberal abortion, pot-smoking, and mercy-killing laws on the books. It begins young too. Kindergarten students learn about tolerance and gender discrimination before they learn to read.

On the ballot November 8, is a carbon tax initiative. Hidden under layers of rhetoric and promises to reduce the state sales and business taxes, is a new carbon tax on businesses that burn fossil fuels.

The tax rate starts at $15.00 per metric ton increasing 3.5% per year until it reaches $100.00 per metric ton—levied against any business polluters.

But will it really help reduce greenhouse gas?

Using the Environmental Protection Agency’s climate model this sweeping carbon tax would reduce temperatures by twenty-five one-hundred-thousandths of a degree. FULL POST

Posted 10/27/16 at 11:33 AM | Karen Farris

Think Again America

November 8 can’t come soon enough. Here’s my election prediction…..

Advanced math was my personal nightmare. My teacher was as frustrated with me as I was with advanced math.

After weeks of floundering, we tried an experiment: Independent Study was relatively new back in the dark ages before personal computers.

I was handed an Algebra course in five thick spiral notebooks and told to report to the library instead of a classroom.

The program was neatly designed to assist hopeless math students like myself—taking me step by step through hundreds of complicated problems.

I started freshman year and ended my senior year in calculus. Every time I got a wrong answer, I got the bold-faced suggestion—Think Again. I couldn’t go on until I got it right.

I saw Think Again so many times during my four years of math, but it didn’t mean quit; it meant go back and figure out the right answer. FULL POST

Posted 10/20/16 at 2:20 PM | Karen Farris

For the Love of Truth

We hope that love and truth will live together.

That doesn't always happen.

”The most valuable thing in the world is truth. It's so valuable it’s often hidden by a bodyguard of lies." Winston Churchill

I sat with my friend in the crowded coffee shop. We were in the back where we could observe all the other conversations, smiles, laughter, and busyness.

But as I sat there, I wondered how to answer her question:

Should you ever lie to someone you love?

Talk about a loaded question.

I had two words: Be honest.

Truth is the most valuable asset you’ll ever have together. While love is critical, lying is a form of betrayal. FULL POST

Posted 10/19/16 at 3:41 PM | Karen Farris

Roman Style America

If only we’d learn our history, we might avoid repeating it—particularly Roman history.

Way back in the fourth century, B.C. leaders in the Roman government set price controls on wheat. When there were shortages, the government would buy up stockpiles and then sell it at a fixed price below market price.

Farmers were not able to do anything about the government control. Then the government took even more control and decided to give away grain to Roman citizens. With such a terrific deal for all the citizens, the farmers decided to just give up farming and head to the city for free food.

It didn’t take long for one-third of the Roman citizenry to be taking the hand-outs.

What to do with so much cost to the government? The Roman officials decided to just debase the currency. They soon learned that devaluing the currency came with a bite: inflation.

But whatever you do, don’t review the bad decisions, just compound them. FULL POST

Posted 10/13/16 at 12:16 PM | Karen Farris

High Cost of Cheap Labor

Restricting immigration makes perfect sense, but then there are people like David.

David’s mother often repeated the stories about his German grandparents. To escape the aftermath of Seven Years War, Czarina Catherine II invited Germans to travel 2000 miles and farm the fertile slopes along Russia’s Volga River.

His grandparents took the invitation and then worked the ground tirelessly—David’s parents were both born there and married at 17. The crops yielded mostly misery as marauders frequently absconded with the harvest.

Then the political climate worsened under Bolshevik and Communist rule. The family fled Russia with a single trunk carrying their most valuable possessions—farm implements.

In England, they boarded a ship bound for America. The migrant family built a rustic home in the west—where David was born in 1904. Their homesteaded plot of fallow ground became abundant wheat land. By 1917, David handled more than most young teens. After his father’s fatal illness no one was left to manage the farm. His family depended on him. His older brother had been crippled by polio, leaving David to handle all the manual labor. FULL POST

Posted 10/6/16 at 11:50 AM | Karen Farris

American Style Poverty

Panhandlers aren’t new to Seattle, but she happened to be sitting outside the restaurant where I wanted to grab a veggie wrap.

I’m not a cash-carrier so I couldn’t offer any money. She was probably in her mid-20’s, but she looked much older in a scarf and old coat as she tried to stay warm on this blustery day.

I grabbed my take-out bag and stood just inside the door observing the young woman. She was using an iPhone. My first thought was if she can afford an iPhone why was she begging?

But this is poverty in America. Most of our poor have flat screen TVs and live in subsidized rentals.

According to a social services friend, food is often bartered for “other” things.

While the government hopes to get folks in a better position to get back to work—some choose a beggar’s life. FULL POST

Posted 10/3/16 at 11:09 PM | Karen Farris

Tax Exempt Status

Meme appearing on Facebook

Have you noticed how churches have been in the cross-hairs for their tax exempt status? Loud voices are clambering for changes to the Internal Revenue Code regarding tax-deductible donations to churches—and that churches pay tax on what’s in its collection plate.

It’s important to analyze the data, and recently Dr. Brian Grim of Georgetown University did just that.

What he discovered is that 344,000 churches have contributed $378 billion directly into the economy.

For comparison, he noted that Apple, Google, and Facebook combined haven’t done that.

Here’s how churches have spent those donations:

  • Over 100,000 alcohol and drug abuse programs
  • Nearly 95,000 programs for US veterans and their families
  • Over 25,000 programs for AIDS/HIV support, prevention, and awareness
  • Nearly 125,000 programs offering job training skills

Programs serving the health care needs of Americans contribute millions of dollars, employ thousands, and impact many. The Catholic hospital system contributes a vast amount to the national economy. FULL POST

Posted 9/29/16 at 2:11 PM | Karen Farris

Fight Right

When a newlywed friend asked me about marital fights, I said money causes a lot of them.

Unfortunately, I was able to give her a fresh example of what not to do.

Here’s what happened: On a sunny afternoon, my hubby and I went to the garbage dump. Smile all you want, but getting out for a drive, even heading to the dump can be fun.

Until now.

Our truck was chock-full of partially odorous plastics, glass bottles, and paper to recycle along with a few bags of garbage to dump.

It took just 10 minutes to put the recycle in the appropriate bins and dump the rest. After hubby paid the dump charges a “discussion” ensued.

Hubby: Why should we make these recycling trips when we can have it picked up? FULL POST

Posted 9/23/16 at 11:13 AM | Karen Farris

Go Bomb Dogs Go

My son bought a cute little Labrador puppy just after his grandpa passed away. Soon, we all were captivated by her energy, love, and playfulness—and the heartfelt distraction helped us heal.

Who doesn’t love gazing into the gentle face of a Labrador?

Recently I read just how special Labradors are. The capability of their noses is astounding. While we humans can sniff out a teaspoon of sugar in our morning coffee, these dogs can detect that same teaspoon in a million-gallon pool of water. Our brains are hard-wired to use 5% of its capacity to detect smells and our canine friends use 35%.

As a routine ferry passenger, I’ve watched special service dogs and their handlers proceed up and down the rows of waiting cars—on the alert for explosive devices. While I call them bomb dogs, they are officially referred to as explosive detection canines (EDCs), and include breeds like Shepherds too. After training, these EDCs can sniff out an array of chemicals used in bomb making. FULL POST

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