Bees Knees

Inside the Falster Bee Hive
Good stand of bees – making honey

A young man who worked for me in Mississippi used to make an exclamatory statement to the effect “That’s the bees knees.” I was a bee keeper back then too, for about ten years at the time, and thought that was a wonderful thing to say. I had never thought about bees having knees – or should I say I never questioned the statement. But, over the last few years with the advent of so many problems the honey bees are being subject to – well, I’ve started to question such notions as honey bees having knees and bees wings, bee eyes, bee noise and the various parts of bees, their attitude and station in life.

My 1st collegic major was biology with a minor in botany, but my whole effort was botany – I love the flora of this creation and marvel at how reproduction of plants takes place sexually and asexually. The honey bee is man’s greatest non-human partner in the botanical word, and perhaps the keeper of (or a bellwether of) the quality of life in both it’s local and regional area  for him.

Whether one is willing to recognize it or not, there is an underlying cause and support for our physical world: the spiritual world. In my opinion it is not imperative that one recognize or understand the natural world or not, the fact remains that at some point in time, if you live long enough, you will be confronted with the avalanche of natural systems – and events of this age that are temporarily destroying its quality. Frankly we must find the underlying causes and they must be stopped if life at all levels are to continue without interruption  The destruction (temporary decline) of the Honey Bee in all areas of the world (or so I’m told) is one huge portion of the whole picture.

I am wanting to catalog a few points about the honeybee that is not readily considered by folks (beekeepers or not) I’ve met over my some 30 years of keeping them on my property(s) large and small. I believe that these observations will be of value to the individual that is studying/practicing bee keeping as a hobby or commercially and those that are curious about God’s divine order of his creation.

It is not my intent to change anyone’s mind about using any one type of equipment or race of bee, rather to elucidate insights into the bee as a creature created by God, captured by the ancients, domesticated by the moderns, managed for the benefit of all, but for some reason failing to thrive in the here and now.

When a baby bee emerges from the brood comb it crawls into a life in a continuous twilight, into a union of fellows that have security of locomotion by touch, taste, and smell. The young bee needs the barrier of the hive to maintain its communion, harmony and purpose. As it matures it passes through stages (like achieving rank in a military organization) when it eventually flies out to work – it carries that union of twilight with it – in it’s poison; yes, it’s sting. The whole beehive wants to be alone; by, and in itself. The poison the worker bee carries helps the bee retain communion within itself and maintains its twilight sense and status. Frankly, it uses the poison only when it thinks that something external might influence it or the bee hive.

 

 

I Went To Austin To See The King – about Liberty

Falster Arms - King of Liberty
Ancient Arms of Falster

The turbulations and their implications in this life are often perplexing to me. To mention one of them – that I often ruminate over – is concept of LIBERTY, the perceptions of, or connotations of the word.

The bulk of the populace of any country – especially the USA  – are as ignorant of political reality as they are of the pending change of the moon phase. The moon goes on its course through the sky, all life on this planet is affected by it; but, while our countrymen may see it, most can only tell you: oh, that is the moon, there is a moon, it appears at night – right?.  Our artificial world and life culture hides the validity of the moon by its night time light pollution, just as our artificial life style hides or blinds our ability to observe the course of our culture and what is happening to the word Liberty.

Although there must be some law that rules the celestial bodies, few can tell (elaborate)what it is, if they ever consider the implications of it’s absence or changes. Just as there must be some law(s) that rule our lives, few are even interested in what they may be or the implications of these changes.

Recently the impact of proposed changes in our laws has threatened my way of life and the lifestyles of those of my ilk (farmers and ranchers.) My intent here is not to lay out that specific issue nor the way the economy and culture would be affected by it’s inactment, but rather to point out where you and I are in the grander philosophical scheme of political ignorance and its implications for you both now and hereafter.

Now, because of my background in state and local politics, I know a fair amount about lobbing state legislators – knowing how to find out what generally makes them tick. In 2007 a piece of legislation was introduced that was to extend the reach of a State regulatory agency that was seeking greater financial compensation at the expense of the family farm and increase its already over bearing meddling  – the Texas State Animal Health Department. So, I volunteered to travel to Austin at my wife’s expense and spend a couple of valuable days lobbying against its passage. My accommodations were at a cattle customer’s home in the suburbs South of the Capital, a small bedroom with a twin bed.

After getting an overview of the Bill’s repugnant issues in hand (some talking points) and a schematic of the office and floor plan of the member’s offices, I sat out in search of the members I figured I could be most effective with, namely my own State Representative and State Senator 1st, then the Committee Members of the House and Committee Member of the Senate that had review and over sight of the pending legislation (and very importantly – their staffers.) After this was accomplished I planned to meet and gland hand whomever the Lord might put in front of me during any remaining time I might have.

I had my own farm and family story to tell about the issue and intermingle it with the facts against the proposed legislation.  My story included a short family history that was designed to quickly establish a simple empathy and locality for that issue – based on state pride and family virtue. And this is the crux of my illustration.

As I made my way through my list I eventually settled in a chair in the office of the then State Rep from Tyler. She was smiling, listening and interacting with me as I got my point across, it went something like this:

Ms. B, my daddy was born in El Paso, and flew fighter plans in the Second World War, he loved our State and its environment. He reared me in Middle Tennessee where he practiced law and like you ran for the State Legislature. I grew up setting at the supper table listening to stories of the Texas freedoms and openness he enjoyed as a youth.  All I life I have dreamed of moving to an making my life in Texas. After my career I moved my 6th generation Texan wife back to Texas so we could experience those liberties daddy so eloquently spoke of, (here she jumped in with both feet), “OH YES, WE TEXANS LOVE OUR LIBERTIES AND FREEDOMS!”

I smiled and replied simple, yesum, but what is free in Texas anymore, what do we have that represents freedom anymore? Then I shut up and waited for a reply – we sat there in silence a little bit.

That night, back in my small bed, I relived most of my interviews looking for strengths and weaknesses in each conversation. I had made a point with the members I had spoken with, and since then continue to attempt adding to the list of liberties, which is a short list: freedom to go to church where we will.

I know the word Freedom is used in the plural but only one item pops up. There is a list of liberties guaranteed in the Amendments section of the US Constitution but these have all been touched by some bureaucratic or judicial arm of the Empire in some way shape or form now.

So, after months of contemplation I decided that I should consider the corollaries to my question; what isn’t free in Texas – or anywhere else in these United States?

A partial Listing of American Taxes

  • Accounts Receivables Tax
  • Airport Tax
  • Automobile Registration Tax
  • Building Permit Tax
  • Capital Gains Tax
  • CDL Drivers License Tax
  • Cigarette Tax
  • Corporate Income Tax
  • Court Fines (Indirect Taxes)
  • Dog License Tax
  • Estate Tax
  • Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
  • Federal Duck Hunting Stamp Tax
  • Fishing License Tax
  • Food License Tax
  • Food Handler Certificate Tax
  • Food (Commercial) Kitchen Tax (percentage of gross receipts!)
  • Fuel Permit Tax
  • Gasoline Tax 42+ cents per gallon)
  • Hunting License Tax
  • Inheritance Tax
  • Interest Expense (Tax on the money)
  • Inventory Tax (retail)
  • Inventory Tax (wholesale)
  • IRS Interest Charges (Tax on the Top of Tax)
  • IRS Penalties Tax on Top of the Tax)
  • Liquor Tax
  • Local Income Tax
  • Luxury Tax
  • Marriage License Tax
  • Medicare Tax
  • Parking Meters
  • Property Tax

 

  • Pornography Tax
  • Prostitution Tax
  • Real Estate Tax
  • Septic Permit Tax
  • Service Charge Taxes
  • Social Security Tax
  • Road Usage Taxes (Truckers)
  • Sales Taxes
  • Recreational Vehicle Taxes
  • Road Toll Booth Taxes
  • School Tax
  • State Income Tax
  • State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
  • Telephone Federal Excise Tax
  • Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
  • Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
  • Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
  • Telephone Recurring and Non-Recurring Charge Tax
  • TelephoneState and Local Tax
  • Telephone Usage Charge Tax
  • Toll Bridge Taxes
  • Toll Road Taxes
  • Traffic Fines
  • Trailer Registration Tax
  • Utility Taxes
  • Vehicle License Registration Tax
  • Vehicle Sales Tax (Every time a Vehicle Changes Hands)
  • Water Craft Registration Tax
  • Wheel Permit Tax
  • Workers Compensation Tax

Now, The operative word in this list is partial. Seems there is no end to the creativity of the bureaucrat and the International Corporation’s drive to enslave even themselves in a web of strangling taxes and regulations designed to dishearten, defeat and or destroy individual initive, responsibility and productivity.

So what does political ignorance or the title “I went to Austin to see the King” have to do with this? Well I think it has to do with getting what you desire, and inspecting what you expect.

Because of the way most Americans act, they may as well live under a King – as they elect politicians mostly for life, irrespective of their actions against the voter’s best interests. Amazing to me!

Let’s just say you (or someone you know) is a voter in the political process.

INSPECT WHAT YOU EXPECT:

Just a thought now: perhaps you have noticed that in spite of the candidate selection process, the nature in all traditional values of ethics, morality, economics, education, arts and such, continues in the same declining direction. Does that mean that you are electing Democrats running on the Republican Party Ticket? Or does that mean that only Socialistic Liberals are running for office?

More likely it means that you are electing what you really want – a lie; something for nothing, mediocre leadership. Perhaps it means you really want cute slogans and hairdos, charming smiles and youthful good looks, rather than honesty, strength and honor.

As an  Election Judge in Wood County Texas I observe that our voters (the few we have) spend more time and effort over at the DQ researching a football team’s players statistics than they do a candidate that is taxing them (and their children) into slavery.

I wish I could close this short illustration on a positive note, all I can think of is a plea GOD HELP US few productive people, and GO RON PAUL for the sake of us few productive people.

Oh, I will close on another too – I gotta go milk our family milk cow, we drink Raw Milk here on Falster Farm – for our health’s sake. Hey what’s the difference between Billboards with the “Got Milk?” cuties’ white mustache touting the wholesomeness of dead milk and the real (raw) milk I’m enjoying? But thats another story.

Got Dead Milk?

“The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left .”
Ecclesiastes 10:2

IS MEAT EATING ETHICAL?

Mini Hereford Steer
Falster's Clover Finished Steers are Happy

The NEW YORK TIMES asked for essays that argue against the vegan/vegitarian claim that eating meat is not ethical. I made this comment in that request:

Having thought on the issue of whether meat eating is ethical a bit; I’d like to indicate 1st that these comments on ethics are from a working cowboy’s perspective. The operative word being: working. I’m in my mid 60’s now, and as a rancher I don’t sit around and eat salads alone – ever. The obvious reason is that outdoor work (rough manual labor) requires a balance in the diet with a heavy emphasis on real milk, real meat, and real vegetables. We have a number of youngster interns come stay with us, and those that declare for vegetarianism, are respected, but soon find their feet and rear end dragging, real work requires lots of real meat protein.

The notion that the behavior of eating meat is ethical presupposes the existence of a behavior distinguishable as right or wrong. Ethical behavior is codified for the Israelites in Exodus 20:1–17, while binding to Old Testament Israelites, much remains for most Americans the hallmark of determining ethics today. Although you’d never be able to tell from the behavior of the Judicial System, but that is another contest.

The ethics of meat eating is not some abstract theology or philosophy. Surely the ethical meat eater demands quality and balance in his meals. For most humans today, meat eating is an act that is not necessarily a matter of requirement or survival, rather an act of partaking of the harvest of the animal kingdom. The declension of meat eaters are two: carnivores and omnivores. The ethical human is a creature that eats in moderation and a balanced diet of plant and animal.

Are there un-ethical meat eaters, why sure, the gluttonous fall into this category, but also, the unquestioning fast food junkie. Perhaps ethical meat eating is better described as focus on the balance and quality of the harvest. Many are beginning to question the un-ethical practices of factory farm meat and the shallow or absence of animal welfare considerations. Isn’t it a matter of meat eating ethics that causes the question: which part of the chicken is the McNugget?

In summary, ethics has to do with right and wrong.  Throughout the history of civilization in any given culture the rules of ethics for that culture have been decreed by the religion of that culture.  The Christian religion, as codified within the Bible, teaches that man was created to serve God and those plants and animals were created to serve man.  Therefore, not only is it ethical to eat an animal, that’s their purpose for being here.
Now, if your religion teaches that there is no qualitative difference between man and animals,  and you believe  they all evolved from the same accidental collocation of atoms in a primordial swamp, and that animals have the same rights as man, then for you eating animals is unethical.

To get a view of Falster Farm Beef steers jump to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9ySSD2LWbQ