The Kaleidoscope Collide

I wonder if flowers could talk or had human emotion or had the ability to reason, would they dwell in prejudice against the color of another flower? Would they judge and resent, even hate one another because of the color of their petals? And not just the color that separates them, but the different varieties?

The hydrangea differs due to differing acidity. The daisies in the photo below have colors that are man-induced. These colors do not naturally occur in nature. They were “created”. Not the flowers but the colors. Why did someone do this? Doesn’t it add to their brilliance, bring a smile to our face, and increase our joy?

Aren’t we awestruck and delighted by the very nature of their differences? Their color and composition is completely at the mercy of their maker. They cannot help what color they are. But do we complain? Do we harbor resentment because of the multitude of color?

Then why do we do this with the greatest stain on humanity?
All of us know deep within our hearts that racism is wrong. Yet, we are all racist. All of us. Just admit it. It was taught and modeled before us. Children are not born racist. They are taught racism.

It’s okay to admit it but we must go further. We must fight it. We must fight it within ourselves and we must fight it outwardly. But how is this done?

Think of the recent Olympics. For a wondrous moment every nation was at peace. We watched the very best athletes parade into the stadium and what a sight it was! Did it not take your breath away to see the vast array of different cultures, different colors both in costume and skin?

Great Britain (Team GB) - Parade of Nations - ...

Did any of us have a racist or prejudiced bone in our body during those wondrous seventeen days? I theorize the Creator’s original intent may have been what we witnessed at the Olympics. Why would He be so risky as to create his image-bearers in different colors? Perhaps it was meant to bring joy, to rejoice, to bring color to the world. Just pure joy.
He created everything and said, “It was good.”

So if nature teaches us to appreciate, even delight in the of the myriad of color, can we not do more to appreciate rather than spurn the different skin colors?
After all, it’s all just a matter of a mere .012% melanin.

This is written in response to the Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge titled “A Splash of Color”.
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/weekly-writing-challenge-a-splash-of-color/

This is also a response for the Story Challenge Letter “R” posted on FlickrComments. “R” for Racism.
http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/story-challenge-letter-r/

Photo of Olympics 2012 Parade of Nations courtesy of Zemanta.

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Taxes Made Simple | Part I, from the Guest Author

taxesTaxes. It’s the topic of the day. As the United States nears Election Day it’s the hottest topic on the table. I don’t pretend to be an economic expert but I do own a business, meaning I employ people {families}—meaning I pay business taxes. So I do know a few things. Experience has taught me a lot and I’d like to share some simple principles about a topic that is discussed, explained, over-explained, not explained, but mostly … not understood.

There are two basic types of taxes.
The first is equally given to both rich and poor—these are called regressive taxes. Examples are sales tax, taxes on cell phones, gasoline, etc. The other type of tax is a progressive tax and these taxes affect the wealthy more than the less affluent. Income taxes in America are progressive. Thus, the income tax rates increase as one’s income increases.

A favorite way to raise tax dollars is to tax business instead of people. It allows us to feel like we are taking money away from the rich people who own the business instead of the working class.
Unfortunately, this is merely an illusion. When taxes are raised on any business, the cost is added to the goods or services created by the company. This means if the company creates something used by all people {families}, then all pay the tax equally. If we are honest, we quickly realize that business tax is a regressive tax.

Business taxes have another negative impact.
If businesses have to raise their prices on goods due to higher business taxes, another country with a lower business tax can easily compete and make the same product for lower cost.

Tax Preparation

Higher priced products made in America compared to the same product made in the foreign country with the lower business tax means our products can no longer compete in the international market place.

And here the dominoes begin to tumble. This decreases the number of American products sold abroad. A decrease in American products means a decreased amount of American workers {American families} needed to make the product. A decrease in the number of American workers needed ultimately decreases the number of jobs to make those products within the United States.
And I don’t need to explain what unemployment is.

With this unemployment there is ultimately decreased tax revenue that could be generated here in the United States. The increased revenue could not just return us to a robust economy but could fund our government and all of its programs.

Another unfortunate by-product of high business taxes is that it encourages companies to report profits abroad. In addition, our high corporate tax rate compared to the rest of the world encourages companies to move their corporate headquarters abroad. This again decreases income reported in the United States that could be taxed. Plus, having a headquarters located overseas decreases employment within the United States. Keep in mind the headquarters employs workers {families} from their location.

General Mills/Headquarters #1

I realize that it’s nice to feel like you are “sticking it to the rich guy” who owns a company {families}. Unfortunately these taxes have the exact opposite result.

If you ask me, this is an attack on free-market principles that will lose. And who stands to lose the most? For starters, try the middle-class. Without a strong middle-class we cannot sustain jobs to provide for our families. What will this do to lower-income working families? What happens to the opportunities for our children? Without the revenue for the government what happens to the poor, the elderly, and the handicapped?

So again, who is the real loser?

Elderly Timorese in Suai Loro

How about our entire future?

Thoughtfully,
Steve

“My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

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All photos courtesy Zemanta

Procrastination—Today’s Latest Cure

‘Twas a lazy Sunday afternoon and the great doze had settled in. Ahhh … perfect. Time to cozy into the chair and succumb to restful dreams. Flip footrest up … yawn. As I sauntered into luscious sleep a nagging thought gradually meandered in, disturbing my blissful state. Oops. Didn’t I promise myself, no matter what, curtains were to be hung in two rooms this weekend? The curtains culminated the completion of my decorating adventures in them. Therefore, this was a pivotal moment!

Every weekend my honey and I resolve to complete one home project. The project usually involves a trip to our favorite store, Lowes, to buy some new gadget or flowers or rake to make our simple existence seem a bit more lavish. Sometimes we just dream about a project, which still affords a sense of achievement. This weekend it was curtains but since he got a strange crick in his neck we decided he would direct and I’d do the work. Usually I direct and he does the work. (Hmm … that didn’t come out right.) Anyway … back to the curtains and the disturbance.

“Oh my, not now!” My eyelids grew heavy, weakening my resolve. Alas, I was stealthily approached by the procrastination bug— that old varmint! “Promises, promises … not now … later … another day,” it whispered, threatening to chomp.

Ahhh … but how many times had I told myself that? I have to confess, too many times! The curtains and rods were purchased nearly a month ago. Capturing valuable space in my sanctuary, they were an eyesore with every step past them. The relentless self-talk began.

“Oh, but I work tomorrow. I need my rest! What time is it anyway?”
“Still plenty of time. Be honest now.”
“Oh, but the husband has a crick in his neck. No way can he get on ladder and drill holes for me.”
“Umm…I believe you can use a power drill and climb a ladder. He can direct, y’know.”
“What??? I’ve never put my hands on a power drill!”
“Well, it’s high time you learned, isn’t it? Wasn’t that the plan?”
“Ugh. Don’t give away my secret of feigned helplessness! Yes, I know. Too well, I know!”

Flip footrest down! And up, go I. First, one step. Then, another. Wow—a beginning.

Then the commence of my familiar, forlorn call. In my most humble-ever-damsel-in-distress-voice I weakly cry, “Hon…eeeey? Guess what.” “Yes, dear. What?” “Remember that promise I made myself that you said you would help me with but you can’t do the work because you have a crick in your neck but I said you could direct me and you said maybe you could?” “Yes, dear.” “Well, I think that time is NOW.” And I, astute at reading his mind, immediately halt his thinking—“Gee, I’d hoped she’d forgotten. Shoulda offered her a trip to Lowes.

Flip footrest down! (The lucky dog has one in his man-cave.) And I think, “Oh, it’s wonderful to have a man who can read a woman’s mind!” So with crick in neck, me on a ladder with levels, ruler, pencils, and power drill, I, for the very first time in my life, drilled my first hole. I handled that little monster with command … and respect. With the adrenalin rush on board, five rods and five sets of curtains plus two hours, done!

All this to say, when you sense the procrastination bug you can nip it with a for-sure cure. And that can be done in one, ever-so-miniscule-but-very-significant, step. One step. Try it. It really works!

Later in the week, I finished an upstairs room completely solo. I’m on a roll! And my husband knows the perfect next gift for me—my very own power drill. I feel a rush coming on just envisioning that next trip to Lowe’s!

“The cure for procrastination is one small step.”
~ Alexandria Sage

“The only difference between try and triumph is a little bit of umph.”
~ Unknown

“I’ve always been in the right place and time. Of course, I steered myself there.”
~Bob Hope

This is an article in response to the Daily Prompt with a theme of “Procrastination“.
I’d written this awhile back but return to it repeatedly when I need some motivation to take that “small step”. Works for me! 🙂

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