Thursday, January 17, 2013

Discovery and Cooking Classes? Gotta love it.

I was watching a show on Hulu today. (I would disclose the show, but it would just prove that I am a real nerd at heart.) I, of course, chose the watch something for 2 minutes and then watch your show commercial free. I assumed I could just doze off for a couple of minutes, but I was wrong. I learned that Kikkoman owns a plant in Wisconsin! I was mesmerized by the commercial and the people working there with what they had to say. As a matter of fact this year they will be making an entire movie about this unusual plant - which just happens to be the largest soy sauce manufacturing plant in the world. Yes. The world!

So, I started searching about the plant and landed on this sweepstakes for $1,000 in cooking classes if you win. (One of the entries was to write about it on your blog, so yes, this is my entry blurb.)

Of course reading the blog and about the sweepstakes I learned even more about this amazing plant and company. Such as it is run by a woman. I find this intriguing, because it is a Japanese company and a woman has been running it when women weren't even considered contenders in the wide world of business.

Anyway, having grown up on food with soy sauce (being raised by a Korean mom,) I now want to see if they have an outlet store - like the bread factories. I would so be up for a road trip!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Explain this to me

Constitutional rights are supposed to be Sovereign. This means they should be supreme and indisputable. They were the basis on which our country was founded - to protect the citizens of our country. It was in place because our forefathers had lived through a time when they had little to no rights or say. They fought to ensure that we had those rights, and through generations of time many others have stood up and fought to maintain those rights.

It is true that some people violate the spirit of the rights we have. One such is the Westboro Baptist Church. The Supreme Court stated that this group of people who targeted murdered children, fallen soldiers, and have been given gross media attention for their chants of hatred in the name of God were entitled. Roberts wrote: Roberts wrote: "Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and -- as it did here -- inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker. As a Nation we have chosen a different course -- to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate. That choice requires that we shield Westboro from tort liability for its picketing in this case."

So, they used the first amendment to be able to have freedom of speech and the freedom of assembly. Perhaps part of this also was because Westboro claimed religious freedom of thought and action as well. As this same amendment guarantees the respect to and establishment of religion. Let's face it, not everyone is going to agree with every religion. Some people may not agree with any. 

Westboro does spout seriously hateful and disturbing things. Things that mourners should not have to deal with in a time of sorrow. Yet the law does not guarantee a peaceful funeral. Roberts went on to state: "Given that Westboro's speech was at a public place on a matter of public concern, that speech is entitled to 'special protection' under the First Amendment" and "cannot be restricted simply because it is upsetting or arouses contempt."

I am certain that this type of behavior was not what our forefathers had in mind when writing this in the Bill of Rights. However, it was interpreted by our own Supreme Court to be allowable under the law.

Of course Justice Alito bravely disagreed with his colleague. He stated:  "Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case. . . In this case, respondents brutally attacked Matthew Snyder, and this attack, which was almost certain to inflict injury, was central to respondents' well-practiced strategy for attracting public attention." It is true that their behavior does inflict mental and emotional harm on the loved ones left behind. Yet our government thinks so highly of this first amendment right that it holds the contemptible speech as more important than the harm it can inflict.

So explain this to me. 

This first amendment also ensures people of this country to respect the establishment of religion and not to impede the exercise of that religion. In other words, we should not be inhibited to belief however we want to believe and our government should not force us to do anything contrary to our personal religious beliefs. Freedom of religion is a basic human right, which is also recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

By law no person, job, or government can force someone to go against their personal belief. A religious belief, for example, that does not allow a man to cut his beard would mean that a business that refused to allow that same person to work because he has a beard would be breaking the law. A woman that has a religious belief that she should not take any medication cannot be force by her employer to have the flu shot. 

Yet today Hobby Lobby is refusing to pay for insurance that provides the Day After Pill to employees because it goes against their religious principles. Hobby Lobby has made no attempts to hide, since they opened their doors in Oklahoma, that they were a Christian based company. They do not open on Sunday in respect to their belief that Sunday is a day of rest.

This same government that has given Westboro the right to spew hatred refuses to listen to the claim that the healthcare issue violates their religion. Instead they are currently fining them 1.3 million dollars per day since January 1 until they give up on their religious commitment and follow what many believe is an unconstitutional law. How does this happen?

First, I understand the use and importance of the morning after pill. I understand that accidents can happen, women can be raped, and unwanted pregnancies happen each day in our country. I also understand that our government pays via our tax dollars for women on welfare to have free access to this medication. I'm not an opponent of this pill. I will say, though, that if you are having unprotected sex you should pay for your own mistakes, don't expect your employer to bail you out. If a woman is raped we should have alternative and private means for her to seek assistance and reassurance that she has not been impregnated.

I am an opponent of double standards. On one side we have a government that is so zealous about upholding the Bill of Rights that they reward religious haters at the expense of mourners. On the other side we have a government that refuses to recognize a private family owned business that refuses to give into government and turn their back on their own religious standard. 

In my opinion: It just ain't right.

Friday, January 11, 2013


For those that might not be able to see the graphic, here is the poem:


Unseasonably warm, and yet a chill rides through my bones.
And the gray fog wraps around me whispering secrets I have buried.
For the fog does no longer hides and disguises, but reveals.
I try to speak but it says, “Shhh. Just listen.”
And I realize that the fears I have hidden have awoken
Resurfacing from their dormant state
Resurrecting  to haunt me again.
Fingers of fog holding tighter as I struggle to become free,
But freedom is a high price and my karmic debt is not yet paid.
I have no credit left.
                                                               ~ Pasty Dunbar

I wrote it this morning looking out of my bedroom window at the thick gray fog that surrounding the house. The snow is melting and, warm for Wisconsinites, a lot of people have been wearing sweaters instead of thick coats.Yet it is only January. Very warm.

Last night, as the house was very quiet a large boom rang through the house shaking the floors. Startled I stopped and yelled to make sure my husband, Brian, was okay. He said, "What the hell was that?" Looking through the house we didn't see anything. Then it dawned on us both at the same time. The extremely large icicle, about seven feet high and three feet round, had fallen on the extended roof. Sure enough there lay the fragments. The roof unharmed, but the memory of house shivering and shaking fresh in our mind. 

Our home was built in 1890. There was no damage, but there was this thought: Damn! They sure built this house to last.