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Archive for April 25th, 2008

      I am shocked because earlier this week when a bank teller was shot…it was announced that although she was in critical condition…the twins that she was carrying survived.  I am sad to say that i just read that one baby died on thursday and the other baby died today.

      The Indiana bank teller, named Katherin Shuffield, is still in critical condition.  She needs prayer, as does the rest of her family.  It doesn’t sound as if the gunman was caught.  No one seems to know why he shot her in the stomach when he jumped over the counter…as he left he again fired.  There just seems to be so little respect for life anymore.

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         Ok…i can’t do it.  I can’t read the news i just read and keep quiet.  I was made aware of a young 8 year old girl who was forced to wed in Yemen.  She was forced to become a bride to a 30 year old man, by her father.  

          The young girl’s name is Nojoud Nasser.  Her father told her that she must marry this man or she would be raped; and, no one would help her.  She refused and he beat her.  She was not able to stop the marriage.  This was not a joyous occasion; she did not wish this marriage. 

           After two months of marriage and being chased around the man’s home and abused…Nojoud escaped.  She was able to find her way to a courthouse, where by the grace of God, she was able to get a lawyer, named Shatha Nasser, to help her.  May God bless Shatha Nasser and the work she is doing to help young girls like Nojoud.

           Someone annoymously donated the money needed to pay her dowry, and her divorce fee, to end her marriage.  She is probably the youngest divorced person at the age of 8.  Nojoud is now living with her uncle.  She plans to return to school; however, will she be able to go back to being just a young innocent girl?  No…and that is the problem…she will have to spend a lifetime healing the emotional wounds. 

            I understand that different cultures have different customs…but, forcing a child into marriage is not right.  Here in America, we are going through a difficult time trying to figure out who was abused and coeorced into marriage in the recent raid on a Fundalmentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints sect who practice polygamy with women under the age of 18, allegedly.  Around the world these things happen, but when they do…it is our responsibility to stand up and say it is not only wrong…but, we will take measures to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

            It is inhuman to treat young girls as if they are adult women.  They should never be forced to get married and have adult relations with a man.  It is cruel.  Children should be allowed to have a childhood.  I can not understand a parent, who would not only condone this type of marriage; but, also force a young child to be married, knowing that the child would be forced into a sexual relationship.

            It is time that some human rights organizations get involved in protecting the rights of children when it is understood that some cultures allow this type of treatment. Organizations such as Human Rights Watch have goals in place to help children who are being mistreated.  http://www.hrw.org/children/about.htm

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      Great news…those tax incentive rebate checks that the government is promising will be on their way in a matter of days, to those who requested direct deposit.   For others…it will be here by the middle of summer.   Isn’t that great?  

       Curiously, while the announcement that the checks were going out a week ahead of schedule was being announced in the media; the news was plastered with the bad news that rice sales are being limited, by some chain stores, due to rising costs; as well as, fear of food hoarding.   Other troubling financial concerns are highlighted on the evening news at a frightening rate.

        The gasoline prices keep increasing.  Farmers are in distress because of the cost to produce our nation’s food supply.  Grocery shopping is becoming a lesson in financial management.  Heating our homes is equal, for some families, to planning a major household purchase.  Homes are being foreclosed on in record numbers; and now, the latest news is that even rental homes are being foreclosed on causing more homelessness.  Food banks can’t stay stocked in basic necessities; charities are in need themselves.  People are dying for lack of medical insurance to cover their physical well-being. 

          Is this country trying to recreate the Great Depression?   Where is Franklin Delano Roosevelt when we need him?   Our national economy is taking a nose dive.  Corporations are moving outside of our country’s borders.  Layoffs are at an all-time high.  Schools can’t get enough funding to keep quality teachers and tools.  School violence is making education a joke; our future leaders are not going to be competitive with other nation’s leaders if these trends continue.  The children in our country are filled with hoplessness.   All around our country, the morale is beyond the typical hysterical feeling one achieves when riding a roller coaster. 

           Does anyone seriously think that these $300.00-$600.00 checks are going to ignite tax payers to run out and make purchases to stimulate our economy?  No way, people are going to use that money (for the most part) to survive!  I love what I read on one online forum….the writer said something to the effect of, “Yippeee…that is three tanks of gasoline for me!!!”   Sad isn’t it?  A van or large truck can take up to $100.00 to fill.  Some people still have not received their checks…here is a number you can call to check on the status of your rebate check if you have not yet received it:  I don’t work for the IRS so i wouldn’t know about when someone would be receiving their rebate; however, here is a toll free phone number to check on the status of someone’s rebate and whether they will be receiving one or not. 1-866-234-2942 Good luck to you.

  Let’s at least be honest here…that money will come in handy…but, if anyone expects it to change the economy’s health…they are fooling themselves.  So…really, what are you going to do with your check?  

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         Yesterday, Wesley Snipes was sentenced for 3 years for tax fraud; for not filing his tax returns for approximately three years.  Wow, they are really making an example of him.  I am sure…Joe Smoe will think twice about it if they are tempted not to file; or, not to pay when they owe taxes.   This conviction will have a huge IMPACT on those tempted not to pay.   No-one wants to, willingly, go through this kind of trauma, if they can avoid it…unless they got screws loose.

         On the radio this morning, i heard that Mr. Snipes allegedly paid the court 5 million dollars in back taxes….with something like 30 million, or so to go!  Wowee, how many zillions of dollars does a person have to make to OWE that kind of money in taxes and penalties?  I, for one, don’t want to ever be in that position.  Maybe it isn’t so bad being a middle class Joe Smoe!  🙂 

         I am sure that Mr. Snipes’ lawyers will appeal this sentence; but, more than likely, that will only delay the event.  There was plenty of star power personal references presented to the court, attesting to Mr. Snipes character…but, it didn’t seem to make a difference.  The government is going to hold up this conviction so that the public will pay close attention to the consequences.

        I feel badly for Mr. Snipe’s family.  The stress of paying that kind of money plus, worry over their loved one going to prison has to be overwhelming.  If Mr. Snipes was a victim of poor tax advice…that is bad enough.  However, if he choose to put himself in this position, rebelling against having to part with his money…then the sentence is deserved.   It was alleged, in court, that he not only willfully was rebelling, he was hiding money overseas and through friends and family.  Understand that the prosecution presented evidence that this was not just a whim or a mistake…they alledged that this went on for a decade.  In that case, three years of prison time, should allow for enough time to reflect on the error of his ways.

          None of us have the ability to read his mind and determine his actions; thankfully, that responsibility was up to the judge and jury.  If nothing else, this conviction just reinforces the old saying…there is nothing sure about life, except death and taxes!!!

         

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