Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I'm in the Thousands

My visit counter has finally reached 1000! Woohoo! Just 99 thousand more and I'll be in the big time. I won't hold my breath though. I'm not sure but I think my visits to the site get counted too, so I am probably really at 500. No, I'll claim a thousand. When I think about it I have given sermons to about the same number of people in the same amount of time. (about a year) Well, I'll leave you with a picture of Eastern Oregon.

Friday, February 22, 2008


I just watched Bill Moyer's Journal on PBS and was especially saddened by the piece on Congressional "earmarks". Earmarks are special spending amendments attached to spending bills that give money to specific contractors by our elected officials. According to Bill only 13 of the 535 members of Congress do NOT attach special earmarks for special interests. The fact that the recipients of these earmarks are loyal contributors to the campaigns of the members of Congress who write the spending bills seems particularly egregious. The few examples that Moyers reported on were for federal purchases of materials that were not usable or not wanted by the specific branch for which they were purchased. The legislators defended their actions by saying that the government spending was an important boost to the economy of the legislator's district.

I have often felt that the lure of power and influence always overcomes the best intentions of our elected officials. It becomes too easy to say "every body's doing it and we need to get our piece of the pie for our district". The system is so large and so well entrenched that I fear it will only get worse. The millions spent by lobbyists grease every body's hands and those who resist soon find that they must go along to get along. We always hear complaints about $6000 toilet seats in airplanes but seldom hear about the billions spent by the government for a powerful congress person's earmarks. People complain about the money spent on welfare but are unaware of the welfare payments handed out special interests. Earmarks in the defense budget alone are more that the entire federal welfare budget. The next time you hear a businessman complain about the welfare cheats ask him how he feels about earmarks for his particular industry. They all get money.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Well, after trying for months I finally have my picture posted in my profile. I don't have many pictures of myself because I am usually the one taking the pictures. Like most people I am not very pleased with my picture, it shows what I really look like and not what I think I look like. Reality is sometimes a bitter pill to swallow. I don't like my voice much either, it's not at all what I hear. I guess there's not much I can do about my picture or voice, I have to live with what God and my stomach gave me. Well, at least small children don't run from me screaming.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Blogosphere

It's hard to believe that it's been a year since I started Musing in the Sawdust, but it's been fun and really harder than I expected. I ran out of rants fairly early on, and I now find it difficult to get indignant about much of anything. I suppose that my senior citizen status has helped me to realize that it doesn't do a whole lot of good to rant and rave about perceived injustices. I find that reading other blogs makes me realize that I need to be a better writer if I want to have a readership. I have already decided that it would probably be foolish to try to publish my autobiography, as interesting as I feel it is. I guess you had to be there to see the humor in the stuff I've written about in my memoirs.

I do have a rant though. A bill recently adopted by the State of Oregon gives same sex couples most of the rights enjoyed by married heterosexuals. It is called a Domestic Partnership here in Oregon, but it's much the same as the Civil Union in Vermont. Couples need to register with their County Clerk to be covered by the legislation and would need to do much the same as a divorce to dissolve their union. It is a great step forward in a state that passed a referendum by over 65% that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. In the February 10th Sunday Oregonian there was an Op-Ed piece written by Marylin Shannon, a former Republican Legislator, claiming that the will of the people had been thwarted by this new Bill. She complained that Domestic Partners were being given special rights, hospital visitation, shared health insurance, in general all those rights given married couples. She then ended her piece by saying that she was upset that she had lost so many of her rights, as though giving others the same rights as she has diminishes her own. In my humble opinion, she did lose some rights; the "right" to denounce others as immoral, the "right" to encourage hate crimes against LGBT persons, the "right" to set herself up as judge and jury against those who may be different from her...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday

I have spent more time than I care to admit in watching the results from "Super Tuesday" voting. It is somewhat amusing to hear the pundits talking about the various candidates. I have this feeling that they don't know much about the voting public. It is nice to think that maybe the voters can make their own decisions without being swayed by the news people. The pundits talk endlessly about all sorts of stuff and say nothing. What a waste of time!

I am surprised (sorta) that Huckabee is doing so well. He has proposed an amendment to the Constitution stating that this is a Christian country and advocates doing away with the income tax and putting a 10% federal sales tax in place. It is unbelievable that so many people would be in favor of either proposal. I guess the next thing would be requiring teaching creationism in all public schools.

I just hope that whomever the Democrats nominate is someone who can win the general election. Then we won't have to worry about an American Theocracy that could be just as restrictive as the Afghan Taliban.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Reagan :Legacy

I see that the Republican candidates for president all claim to be cut in the Reagan mold. They seem to think that is a good thing. Considering that Reagan doubled the national debt trying to follow a discredited economic theory (supply side economics, the trickle down theory). GW is trying to follow in Ronnie's footsteps and has doubled the national debt again. When are people going to understand that you can't cut taxes and increase spending and have a balanced budget. We can't support a major war effort and cut taxes. You can't have both ways. At least the "Tax and spend" Democrats are honest about it. You want to buy something, you have to pay for it.