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Off to Prison, You Donut Snagger


donutsIMG_3028.jpgPicture courtesy of Bees Kitchen

Noted to be at a location in Farmington, Mo of a mid-morning in December, Scott Master walked into the store. A nod to chilly weather, Masters wore a hooded sweatshirt, a sweatshirt which among other things had ample pockets. Oblivious to the fact that within the span of a few months he would become world-renown, he strolled the aisles of the quiet store and then approached the donut case. He gazed at the sugary morsels. The sign posted over the donut case read: 52 cents each. I’m not sure about this part, but I suspect that standing stock still, he turned his head in all directions, checking to see if he were observed as he considered the deed. Thinking it to be an unnoticed move, he reached in his hand and grabbed one of the freshly fried donuts.

Safe now, he supposed, no one having raised an alarm, he casually moved past the seven green checkout lanes. He walked the space between the customer service desk and the pharmacy heading for the side exit. Had he raised his head as he walked through the door, he would have seen a large sign reading Country Mart Thanks You.

The clerk was named Gibbs and she had seen it all. “I saw him take a donut,” she said to a co-worker. “Let’s see if he pays for it.” He didn’t pay. The co-worker followed him to the parking lot and suggested Master go back into the store. Masters declined, offering instead the donut in question. She declined, grabbed Master’s arm, and a tussle ensued. The police were called, and Masters was arrested.


The push is being treated as minor assault, which transforms a misdemeanor shoplifting charge to a strong armed robbery with a potential prison term of five to 15 years. Given Masters’ criminal past, prosecutors could boost that sentence to 30 years to life.

The 41-year-old Masters has been arrested more than a dozen times for crimes ranging from shoplifting to drug possession to torching a car for insurance fraud.


On this site and in my personal life I often rant about the decline of our society, about liberal judges, about undisciplined young people, about the lack of enforcement of our laws, and about prison sentences so light and inappropriate they are laughable. Now, what do I say? How would I judge Masters were I so asked? Should a man actually go to prison for 30 years because he stole a 52 cent donut? But wait, it’s not just the donut. He is a repeat offender. He should be taught a lesson. He should pay for his crimes. But isn’t such a sentence excessive? Are the prisons too full to hold a donut thief? What about community service? Does this punishment fit the crime? Is this what we really want? Would it be downright silly to lock up a donut thief for 30 years? Is this another example of the judicial system gone wrong? But can I have it both ways? Should the clerk have chased down the donut thief in the first place? Well, why not? He stole a donut, didn’t he?

I don’t know. You tell me. 🙂

EDIT 8:30 Thursday Here is a case that may be harder to judge than the previous one–a much more serious case.

The father of a 14-year-old Texas girl who was raped, sodomized and then strangled with a belt and shoe laces, wants to know why President Bush supports halting the execution of the Mexican national who confessed to killing his daughter and her friend.

Fox news

Warning: You will need a strong stomach to consider all the details. Read the entire article here.


My devotional is here.

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Yellow Chrysanthemums, Strawberry Pie, and a Pot Roast

Yellow Chrysanthemums, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

The delivery truck stopped in front of the motor home and was stuck part way into the street when I saw him through the front window. Hmm, I thought. Nobody’s birthday, not Mother’s Day or Father’s Day or anything like that. I watched the driver go to the back of the truck, take out a magnificent plant and come up our walkway.

“Shirley Buxton?” he asked when I had opened the door.


“Sign here, please.”

He handed in a gigantic, yellow Chrysanthemum plant, I thanked him, and as soon as he left I began poking around until I found the little plastic holder that would give me an idea who had sent these stunning flowers.

HAPPY FRIDAY. THANKS FOR TACO MONDAY read the card, which was signed MELINA.

No special occasion had caused my sweet daughter-in-law to think of me, to call her florist and to place this order. The previous Monday while Joel and his crew were still here, I had invited over all the family who live here in Lake Havasu, and we had cooked and eaten tacos outside, thus the Taco Monday reference. I called Mel and told her how sweet and thoughtful she was.

Later in the day, when I opened our RV door in response to a knock, I found the lady who lives in the next RV to ours. They’re “snowbirds,” from Montana, who leave their rig parked here year round, spend the summers at their home, then come to the RV here for the winter. We had moved into the spot next to them while they were gone to Montana, and since they have only been back a couple of weeks, I don’t know her well at all.

But here she stood before me, extending both her hands. “Made a strawberry pie this morning, and we surely don’t need to eat the whole thing. I want you and Jerry to have these.” Smiling, she handed in deep red pieces of fresh fruit pie.

The next day Janey called. “What are you and Jerry doing for dinner tonight?”

“Nothing special, Janey.”

“Well, I want to cook a meal for you. I have a new crockpot and a nice roast. Come down about 6:30.”

Within a 48 hour period, Jerry and I had unexpectedly seen the generous, giving side of humanity. For really no reason, three families had thought of us and decided to spend a chunk of their time to minister to us. Pretty nifty, huh?

It’s touching when I know someone has thought of me, has paused in their activities, made a call, stuck a card in an envelope, considered me when they baked a pie, or rolled a cookie or looked at a chunk of beef. For a few minutes I was there with them, inside their sweet head and in their memory bank. That, my friend, is precious to me.

And at this moment, I’m thinking of all you who are so generous to come frequently to my site, to read my little words, to think with me about life and its processes, to cry sometimes, and at others to laugh. With some of your names I connect faces; others are invisible, your forms unknown to me–yet in the human scheme of things, we speak and think and touch. Thank you. Truly you enrich my life.


My devotional blog is here.


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Anguish and Forgiveness

To plumb the depths of a person and there find pristine virtue and untarnished valor is rare, seldom sighted among us, notable because of its infrequent reality. To detect its presence in a lighted eye neath the furrow of sincere brow, to catch a drift of telling word and its corroborating moves–moves that signal not only the philosophy, but the exhibition of this thing called forgiveness, is an almost unknown factor in our jaded society. I mean real forgiveness, gut-wrenching forgiveness, ghastly forgiveness. Forgiveness that stops the world, that snaps to attention the heads of men and women across the globe. It matters not our divergence, our cut, our color or our class…for when we see it and hear it and know it, we understand that we are seeing, hearing and knowing God. It’s that rare.

The Nickel Mines Amish did it. They showed us Forgiveness. Awful forgiveness, anguished forgiveness, bloody forgiveness.

Recall that just over a year ago these Amish people–a religious group who lived in Nickel Mines, Pa. on farms without electricity and other modern conveniences had their lives splintered into untold agony when a person who lived in the area, their milkman, Charles Roberts, burst into a one-room schoolhouse, and shot ten young girls. Five of them died. Unbelievably, during these atrocious actions, one of the girls, 13-year-old Marian Fisher, offered to be killed first, thinking perhaps the others would be saved. The most telling of all is that within hours of the murders, these beautiful Amish people–the families of the slain children–not only spoke of forgiving Charles Roberts, but visited his wife and children and gave them food and money.

Picture and the following from the Pittsburg Post Gazette

Horrified strangers worldwide sent $4.3 million to the Nickel Mines Amish settlement in Bart, Lancaster County. But the Amish, who have no insurance, used the gifts for more than medical bills.

They gave shares to local emergency services that came to their aid and, in a move that caught the world’s imagination, to the widow and children of the man who murdered their daughters.

“It certainly means a lot for us to spend some time with the families,” Miller said after their meeting together on the anniversary of the shooting. “There’s no other place we would have rather been this morning.”

Also attending were community members, state troopers and officials from Virginia Tech, where a gunman killed 32 students and faculty members in April, Miller said.

Though grateful for all the help and sympathy it has received, the Amish community is hoping to be left alone as much as possible Tuesday during the actual anniversary of the shootings.

The New Hope Amish School, which replaced the one torn down after the attack, was closed Monday and will remain shut Tuesday.

Read more here.

Now consider this–also from the Pittsburg Post Gazette

Not everyone affirms the Amish response.

Rabbi Alvin Berkun, rabbi emeritus of Tree of Life Congregation, Squirrel Hill, and president of the Rabbinical Assembly, the international organization of Conservative Rabbis, applauds the Amish care for Amy Roberts, but not their forgiveness of Charles Roberts.

“In Judaism, there are some strings attached. I have to say I’m sorry for what I did, I have to resolve not to repeat that pattern of behavior again and I have to ask those I harmed to forgive me,” he said.

“Letting somebody off the hook even though they are dead doesn’t sit well with me. Society can’t function when you just wipe the slate clean constantly. He did a horrendous, horrendous thing and he did absolutely nothing to repent.”

This post was difficult for me to put together, and I truly can say as I finish here, that from the skin of my body to my inward parts, I am shaken, and at this moment physically tremble. I knew when I broached the subject it would be difficult. For in trying to be honest with myself, I wonder…I truly wonder…could I forgive such an assault on my family as did the Amish in Nickel Springs? Am I that Godly? If I’m not, why not? Is such forgiveness indeed Godliness?

What about you? Do you have it within you to exhibit such a sterling quality? Have you been challenged in your resolve to forgive those who wrong you? Ever had to extend forgiveness when it really hurt, when it caused anguish? Do you perhaps agree with Rabbi Berkun that forgiveness in this instance is misplaced?


My devotional blog is here.

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The pain came on during the evening church service, and my parents must not have thought too much about it, because we went out to eat after the service was over, which was not a common thing for us to do. At the restaurant, I believe I ordered food but I could not eat it, and finally went out to the car and lay down on the back seat.

My belly pain increased, and finally my dad called a doctor who agreed to meet at his office. He was a very large man with an overwhelming presence and he somewhat scared me. I remember his asking that I describe the pain, and clearly recall a particular bit of that conversation.

Doctor: ” Does it feel like you’ve eaten too many green apples?”

Shirley: “Well, I don’t know. I’ve never eaten too many green apples.”

The diagnosis in the doctor’s office leaned away from the apple theory and toward that of acute appendicitis which would require immediate surgery. The doctor had operating privileges in a private hospital some distance away, so he suggested he drive my parents and me to the hospital. We traveled in his car–a luxurious Cadillac whose front seat had been modified to accommodate his large frame, making less room in the back seat area. The pain must not have been excruciating for I vividly recall the trip as being exciting. It is my understanding that he drove eighty miles an hour so as to get to the hospital before my appendix ruptured–not sure whether someone told me that or if I actually saw the speedometer needle. Eighty miles an hour in 1951 or 52 was fast.

My inflamed appendix was successfully removed, and while he was poking around in my innards, the doctor found some kind of a minor problem with one of my ovaries, took a needle or a saw or something and fixed it up. Must have done a good job for the little orbs have never given me one hint of problem. (TMI?)

“Don’t worry about losing your appendices,” doctors have been saying for years. “We can’t figure they’re good for anything..” I always considered that a curious thing for since God created our bodies, I kind of liked the thought that He might know what He was doing.

Now, scientists and doctors are catching up…and wonder of wonders…the appendix may be a good thing. Perhaps in sticking in that little appendage, God didn’t make such a mistake after all. Yeah for God!

WASHINGTON – Some scientists think they have figured out the real job of the troublesome and seemingly useless appendix: It produces and protects good germs for your gut.

That’s the theory from surgeons and immunologists at Duke University Medical School, published online in a scientific journal this week.

For generations the appendix has been dismissed as superfluous. Doctors figured it had no function. Surgeons removed them routinely. People live fine without them.

More here.


My devotional blog is here.

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To Speak of Symbols

Scarecrows at Dusk, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

Much discussion arose from yesterday’s post because of a rag–a rag imbued with meaningful design and color, whose being unfurled in a place judged unworthy took on such significance as to stop a neighborhood on its ear, as to catch the eye of national media and as to grab the heart of America…not to mention affecting to lesser or greater degrees humble–and otherwise–blogs.

The furor that arose yesterday was not over a cut of cotton or linen or rayon or plastic; the furor evolved because of representation, because of symbolism, because that piece of cloth was a flag, the flag of the United States of America. When fold of cheap matter had its threads stamped through with such unique color and design, its import was turned from that of tawdry, little-noticed rag, and at the moment was transformed into an elevated piece of honor, esteem and glory.

Symbols are important, speaking where there is no voice, shouting where silence is ordered, and healing where wounds have slashed. Never urgent is a Halloween sign where a scarecrow flaps in the wind, nor a church marque to announce itself when a cross is lifted to the sky, or flashing Merry Christmas signage where a creche adorns a strip mall. These are symbols, whose architecture and form speak their cause.

What then, gives with this?

Barack Obama may choose not to wear an American flag pin on his lapel, but many of the presidential contender’s political rivals say they wouldn’t leave home without one.

Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton told Thursday night that she sometimes wears a pin to show her patriotism. “Wearing a flag pin, flying the flag, pledging allegiance to the flag, talking about the values that are important to America, teaching your children about what a great nation you have, standing up for those values, speaking out … there’s just so many ways that one can demonstrate patriotism,” Clinton said at a Chicago fundraiser.

A spokesman for Joe Biden told that the Delaware senator “always wears a flag pin.” It wasn’t clear whether Dennis Kucinich wears a pin, but a spokeswoman told that the Ohio congressman does “does carry a mini copy of the Constitution in his pocket.”

John Edwards, Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson didn’t return calls for comment.

Republican hopeful John McCain said he doesn’t wear a flag pin on a daily basis. Brooke Buchanan, a spokeswoman for the Arizona senator, said “his record of service to his country shows his dedication.”

more here.

Edit: October 29, 2007    More cause for desperate concern is pictured here


My devotional blog is here.


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Would You Take Down that Flag?

I want to ask a couple of questions.

1. Is it right that someone comes into our country, sets up a business, and then flies their country’s flag over ours?

2. Is it right when such a thing happens that a citizen removes the offending display?

3. You who are citizens of the United States: Would you move to Mexico, set up a business there, then blatantly and disrespectfully fly the US flag above the Mexican flag? You who are citizens of any other country: Would you disrespect any foreign country that was your host by flying your native flag in an unlawful and rude way?

4. Would you have taken down that flag as did Jim Brossert?

5. Should Jim Brossert be prosecuted?

6. Would Jesus take down such a flag?

A Veteran from Reno, Nev. has hit headlines after he took matters into his own hands yesterday and tore down a Mexican flag that was being illegally flown above a U.S. flag at a local business.

Local news station krnv News 4 had received calls yesterday afternoon from angry residents complaining about the Mexican flag. When the station sent a reporter to investigate the Veteran took the opportunity to make a statement in front of the cameras.

The man commented “I’m Jim Brossert and I took this flag down in honor of my country with a knife from the United States army. I’m a veteran, I am not going to see this done to my country. if they want to fight us, then they need to be men, and they need to come and fight us, but I want somebody to fight me for this flag. They’re not going to get it back.

Story by Steve Watson of Infowires.

The entire story and the video is here. The video is awesome, shows the flags flying, Jim Brossett taking care of the situation, and the reaction of the storekeeper. Please watch this, and tell me your reaction.


My devotional blog is here.


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Death Masks, Caskets and Cremation

Statue of Patrician With Death MasksThe first time I ever saw a “death mask” was at a junior youth camp in southern California where, after the youngsters were in bed, some of the the faculty were having a bit of fun. A person would stretch out on a table, and some kind of preparation was applied to the “candidate’s” face, which material was then allowed to dry and to harden. I believe holes were poked in the nose and mouth area, so that the youth camp worker would continue breathing–a desirable trait, seeing this was a “death mask” demonstration in fun only.
I began thinking of such a subject earlier today, when I read an extremely captivating and informative article about 10 exotic burial places. My interest was piqued to such degree that this actually became the basis for my devotional today.
Credit for Clipart and more material about Roman burials here.
My study about this subject today prompts me to ask how you feel about burial methods? Would you consider being cremated? Why? Why not? Do you know of any scripture that would preclude such a burial? Does it bother you to consider being buried under the earth? Is a mausoleum more to your liking?…or does it matter at all? What about casket style and expense? My feeling is that I really don’t personally care, for I don’t believe I will know a thing about it. It’s okay with me that my family’s thoughts should be the determining factor for my funeral.
I really don’t care about seeing casket stores in strip malls, though. Although I acknowledge there to be nothing wrong with the idea, and I’ve heard you can get caskets cheaper there than at funeral homes, it’s just a bit disconcerting to see them. Get Your Bargain Casket Here!
This is an interesting chart–a little outdated, but you can check the state where you live and see the percentage of people who choose to be cremated. In my personal experience it seems to me that more people are choosing cremation than ever before. Has the fact that funeral expenses have been so exorbitantly priced caused this trend?

Map of US Cremation Rates

Don’t worry. I’m feeling quite healthy…just found all this interesting today!

Edit: There may be some “spooky” spirits lurking here. Something–or someone– has changed my font style, and I absolutely cannot get the paragraphs right. When I view the post on my screen it looks perfect. (Halloween may be early!) Another thing. I’ve posted tags twice and they always are stripped out. I’ll try again now. Hope it’s not contagious…else all WordPress will shudder.


My devotional blog is here.

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Sterling Silver at 16 and at 69

Classic Rose Sterling, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

I was thumbing through old flatware at the Hospice Thrift Store on McCulloch in Lake Havasu when I found this piece, a dinner knife marked sterling silver. It was priced at 25 cents, and my heart jumped in recognition when I spied it, for I recalled that such a piece had been a gift when, in 1955, I graduated from high school. I was then 16 years old. I am now 69.

The design is identified as Classic Rose, it is a Reed and Barton piece and the pattern has been discontinued. My gift was a spoon, given by a store in Hopkinsville, Ky…wish I could recall the name of the store, but I do not. The store owners were gracious to all graduating seniors in the area and extended an invitation to come in and choose and register a silver pattern. A spoon in the chosen pattern was their graduation gift to us. I selected this one– Classic Rose, but sad to say, I do not have the spoon, and have no idea where and when it went astray.

Tonight, I googled Classic Rose Reed and Barton Sterling Silver and found lots of product for sale, although I didn’t see a dinner knife offered. Here, though, is a salad fork that is available for $50.00.

I don’t believe I will sell my knife, but will keep it around to remind me of the day when I was 16 years old and walked into a jewelry store to select a sterling silver spoon. was a pretty good move I made last week, wouldn’t you say, when at 69, I walked into a thrift store and for 25 cents bought a sterling silver knife.

My devotional blog is here.

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Hail Power Shopping!

Not sure whether it can be detected by any known test, but if such were so, I believe my DNA would indicate a dominant bargain hunting gene. Southern California, where I have lived most of my adult life, is replete with fine discount stores–even discount malls, where every store offers its merchandise at slashed prices. When my children were home, the day after Christmas always found us at South Coast Plaza for splendid after Christmas sales. Jerry didn’t usually join us, for he isn’t a shopping gene carrier, although, when he does shop, he doesn’t mind a bargain or two.

I’m a bit surprised at myself, given my proclivity for bargain-shopping, that I haven’t utilized the internet more, for I’m convinced there are great buys to be found there. This morning, I came across what appears to be such excellent shopping material that I have bookmarked this source, and I certainly want to share it with you.


In the past 10 years, the internet has completely revolutionized the way we shop—so much so that there’s rarely a compelling reason to make purchases offline anymore. But the rise of online shopping has also given rise to an ocean of choice, and you want to make sure you’re getting the best deals available to you. If you’re a die-hard bargain shopper, you can spend tons of time looking for deals on the internet—and you can be very successful. But if you don’t have an abundance of time to dedicate to bargain hunting, you can still save buckets of cash by following just a few simple tips.

Read the entire excellent article here.

Several of my friends already do a great deal of shopping on the internet, and seem quite pleased with the results. If you are one of those who shop in this way, I’d like to hear from you. Do you have favorite places, has such shopping worked out for you, do clothes fit when you order them, have you had to return anything…and was that a great hassle? Let us know.


My devotional blog is here.

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U S Marines Forbidden to Film in San Francisco

Captain Greg Coralles says of this development: “This is a slap in the face of every American and every parent of men and women who are doing their duty. ”

Tuesday, September 25, 2006 Fox News


AP Sept. 24: A member of the U.S. Marine Corps stands at attention in New York’s Times Square for the filming of a Marine Corps commercial.

They’re the strong and the proud, but the Marines aren’t free to stand on the streets of San Francisco.

The Silent Drill Platoon of the U.S. Marine Corps wasn’t allowed to be filmed Sept. 11 on California Street in San Francisco for a segment of its new advertising campaign, a Marine spokesman told

Instead, the elite group took its austere display to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area for the final segment of its “America’s Marines” TV commercial. The group is on a two-month nationwide tour as part of the campaign.

Rest of the article here.

I’m ashamed of San Francisco, a city I love to visit, a beautiful, appealing metropolis. More deserving of such opportunity–more deserving than the filmers of Rice-A-Roni, baseball teams, and soft drink bottlers– are the Marines of the United States of America. Furthermore, I’m ashamed of San Francisco for trying to prevent the Blue Angels from performing during Fleet Week, and for disbanding ROTC in their Junior High schools.

No matter our political preferences, our views on the war in Iraq, our consideration of health care issues, our stance on racial progress in our country–no matter–our military of every branch deserve our respect, honor and full consideration.


My devotional blog is here.