Falling Starbucks

21 03 2007

Ahead of the Bell: Starbucks Corp.© 2007 The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Wall Street analysts expect Starbucks Corp. to use its annual shareholders meeting Wednesday to calm investors’ fears about recent share price losses and a high-profile internal memo claiming the brand has been diluted by chain expansion.The Seattle meeting will be the first time Chairman Howard Schultz has addressed shareholders since his internal memo went public Feb. 23. In the leaked document, Schultz said the company’s rapid expansion has watered down the Starbucks experience. Since the memo was released, Starbucks shares have fallen 6 percent.

Starbucks is having trouble because they’re growing pretty quickly. Sounds like a case of supply and demand. The demand for Starbucks is increasing rapidly, and the company is not able to keep up with it. At least, they’re not able to provide the same quality. I don’t know that I really care, because I don’t really care for Starbucks, mainly because I don’t care for coffee. But as long as the demand is there, the supply will rise to meet it. People expect more than coffee from Starbucks, they expect more than top notch quality from Starbucks. They expect an atmosphere. That’s what And as long as that’s expected, that’s what will be given.

But that’s not what the share holders are thinking.

The Starbucks officials don’t think that there’s going to be any slow down in the material growth process. But that remains to be seen. For now, consumers will continue to buy their Venti double-mocha machiatto frapuccino whatevers, and share holders will be fine.


Chirac’s Political Woes.

13 03 2007

The Houston Chronicle reports:

Jacques Chirac’s potential successors — including the head of his own party, Nicolas Sarkozy — are racing to distance themselves from the French president’s legacy that critics say is marred by economic stagnation and unfulfilled promises.

Poor Chirac is finding out the hard way that political promises, also known in many cases as lies, don’t work. And unfortunately, Chirac has made more mistakes that just make promises he didn’t keep. He’s also been involved in money scandals during his time as the mayor of Paris. His political woes are coming to a head, just as his headship is coming to a close. One thing that politicians don’t seem to understand is that if you’re going to promise your constituents something, you’ve gotta’ deliver. Otherwise you’ll wind up like Chirac: at the end of your presidency up a creek with no canoe, paddle, or any other colloquialism you choose to insert here.

Basically, because he tried to cheat (money scandals), and didn’t follow through, he’s found himself in a horrible situation. If you want to live a happy life, follow the rules, deliver on your promises, and do what’s right. What that shows is respect for authority, integrity, and character. That will get you somewhere once your political career is over.

Executive Orders Galore: TX Governor Perry.

6 03 2007

The Cameron Herald talks about Governor Perry’s recent executive orders.

You might almost feel a bit of sympathy for Rick Perry. Almost.

After all, it isn’t often that the leader of one of this nation’s greatest states gets his hand slapped by both the legislative and judicial branches of government, all in the same week.

Last Tuesday, State District Judge Stephen Yelenosky rebuked Gov. Perry’s executive order to “fast track” the permitting process for a clutch of new coal-fired electrical generating plants.

Then, the very next day, the House Public Health Committee repudiated Perry’s mandate that all sixth-grade girls be vaccinated for the human papilloma virus. Since the bill the committee was considering had 90 sponsors, it’s probably a lock for passage when it goes to the House floor for debate.

With all due respect, the Governor of Texas does not have the authority to mandate this vaccination. The legislature agreed with that, and that’s why it was struck down. But what surprises me is this rash of executive orders from Austin. First it was the coal plants, and now he’s messing in individual lives. Yikes. Be careful Mr. Governor, there’s only so much power you’re granted, and only so far you can go. You’ve done a lot of good for the state of Texas. Don’t start messing it up now…

The Bible and the Government: Parental Authority Established

6 03 2007

One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette head. She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, “Why are some of your hairs white, Mom?”

Her mother lovingly looked at her daughter and replied, “Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white.”

The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, “Momma, how come ALL of grandma’s hairs are white?”

Parents have an innate desire to take care of there children. In the story the mom was worried so much about her daughter, that every time her daughter did something wrong, another hair turned white. Parents not only have an innate desire, they have an innate right to train and raise their children. Yet increasingly in recent years the courts have started intervening in the decisions that parents make concerning their children, even though it is of no consequence to the government. Today, I want to investigate this inherent authority, look at who supports it, and who doesn’t. What we’ll find is that this authority is given to parents in the Bible, and supported by the federal Supreme Court. However it is often attacked and violated by lower courts.

I. Biblical authority of parents

Now, the Bible unmistakably expresses that parents are to raise their children; that parents are to teach them. A very clear example of that can be seen in:

Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear O Israel…These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them upon your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

I can’t think of a time frame that doesn’t cover. Obviously then, parents are supposed to train their children. But the God wants to make sure that we understand this important concept. So He tells children that they are to listen to their parents. He does this many times, but one obviously very straightforward one is:

Ephesians 6:1-3, “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ which is the first commandment with a promise, that it may go well with you, and that you may enjoy a long life on the earth.”

Seem pretty straight forward? Well, the Bible compares us to sheep, and most of the time, sheep are pretty dense animals. So, as if His words weren’t enough, He gave us an example to follow: in His Son.

Luke 2:41-51 is the story of Jesus’ excursion to the temple around the young age of 12. I guess He didn’t tell His parents because they thought He was playing with His friends. When they found out He wasn’t they went frantic. Can you imagine that? How do you explain that to God? “Hey, sorry God. Yeah, we lost your Son.” They went searching everywhere and when they finally found Him, Mary scolded Him. Jesus responds with, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business?” Nevertheless, Jesus goes seemed to understand that he, as a child, had to obey his parents, because the Bible records that, “he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them.” And then there’s the obvious example of Jesus’ obedience to the Father in going to the Cross.

So through scriptures to both parents and children and through a personal example God has demonstrated the fundamental authority that parents have over their children. The Hebrew culture demonstrated emphasis by repeating something three times. For example, the Bible doesn’t just describe God as holy; but as holy, holy, holy. It was almost like bolding the letters, and putting an exclamation point at the end. So when God shows in three specific ways that parents have authority over there children, He means it.

II. Federal Supreme Court upholds that

What might come as a shock to you is that the United States Federal Supreme Court apparently upholds and agrees with this fact. They’ve done this notably in three different ways: health, education, and upbringing. In the Supreme Court Case known only as Parham they recognized a parent’s right to make decisions regarding the health of their child:

The statist notion that governmental power should supersede parental authority in all cases because some parents abuse and neglect children is repugnant to American tradition.” Parham, 442 US, at 603,

The Supreme Court has recognized the absurdity of the notion that the government has or should have, more say in the children’s lives than the parents. They understand that parents should generally make the health decisions of their children. That simply makes sense. The parents are the ones charged with raising their children to be productive members of society. Not the government. In the Supreme Court case Pierce v. Society of Sisters, they acknowledged that parent’s have a right to direct a child’s education by saying:

The child is not the mere creature of the state; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right and the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations. Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, at 535.

The parents not only have a right to make health decisions for their children, the also have a right to make decisions regarding the education of their children. That means that home-schooling should be protected, as well as decisions that are made at public schools that affect the children.

The final way they documented a parent’s authority is in their ability to raise children. In the case Meyers v. Nebraska they claimed the protection of the Fourteenth Amendment by stating:

“The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees the right of the individual … to establish a home and bring up children, to worship God according to his own conscience”—Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390, 403, (1923)

So the Supreme Court clearly backs the Bible on this important issue. Well all this is great, but how does that effect you or anybody else in their lives? Unfortunately, the lower courts are violating this important right. And not just in one way, but in those same three ways. Regarding the parent’s right to make health decisions for their children there are two very significant examples.

III. Lower courts are violating that.

Abraham Cherrix is a sixteen year old boy from Virginia with cancer. He tried the conventional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. The doctors suggested radiation, although there was a possibility of horrible side effects and only a 50% chance of survival of the treatment. His parents decided to seek some alternative treatment. The state didn’t like that idea. They took custody of Abraham from his parents. They also took the Cherrix’s to court, and the judge ruled that Abraham had to report to the doctors in one week and accept what ever treatment they deemed necessary. Because of good lawyers and the grace of God, the Cherrix’s have custody of Abraham again, and are pursuing the treatment they desired. But the fact that the court had the boldness to rule that way in the first place shows the contempt that some lower courts harbor towards parental rights.

Kevin is fifteen. He has a disease known as “elephant man disease,” which caused a large fold of skin to grow over the right side of his face. Kevin’s mother felt it most prudent to wait until Kevin turned twenty-one before allowing any surgery. Even after testimony from the doctors that showed the surgery was very risky, and offered no cure, and that waiting would decrease, not increase the risk, the judge overruled the mother’s objections. He declared Kevin a “neglected child,” and ordered the series of operations be done. This story’s ending is not the same as that of Abraham’s.

The lower courts seem to have a bone to pick with allowing parents to have authority in their children’s education too.

Two New York mothers were ridiculed for objecting to the use of a card game called Magic Gathering – to teach math. Magic Gathering is a psychologically addictive occult card game. It didn’t matter to the judge that the elementary age students would “summon” the ghostly forces shown on the cards they collected, by calling out “spirits, enter me.”

In the state of Washington a set of parents had grounded their eighth grade daughter because she was smoking marijuana and sleeping with her boyfriend. She was 13. In this case the Supreme Court of Washington ruled that it did not violate the constitutional rights of parents’ to remove a child from the home because she objected to her parents’ reasonable rules. The Supreme Court found that it was reasonably within the lower court’s jurisdiction to remove the girl from her family home. No strict standard was applied.

So if we take a step back, we can see that the Bible clearly gives parents the authority to raise and make decisions that affect their children. This includes decisions regarding the health, education and upbringing of their charges. The Federal supreme court recognizes and upholds this right, while the lower courts simply do not.

The question is: what are we going to do about it?