Paul Ryan’s Peculiar Definition of Bipartisanship

Source: Paul Ryan’s Peculiar Definition of Bipartisanship – Businessweek. … Instead of getting rid of the fee-for-service model—Medicare as we know it, in which the government pays providers directly—and opening everything to the free market, Medicare would compete directly with private plans regulated by government exchanges. And rather than pegging the growth rate of Medicare to the Consumer Price Index, as Ryan had proposed, Ryan appeased Rivlin with a more generous cost cap. Yet when Ryan released his first budget as chairman of the House Budget Committee that April, the outlines of the deal he and Rivlin worked out had been … Continue reading Paul Ryan’s Peculiar Definition of Bipartisanship

Aside — About Responsibilities…..

It looks like it is going to take a few weeks before I can adequately start my parallel study of the Roman Empire and the beginnings of the Christian Church. I want to at least know enough about the Roman Empire that I can make some worthy analogies. So, in the mean time I am going to be doing some “Asides”. These are posts that have nothing particularly to do with the study but instead are things that just pop into my head. Below is a post I am also doing tomorrow on my “RJ’s Corner blog about a FaceBook … Continue reading Aside — About Responsibilities…..

A Change of Heart…..

I know in the introduction to this study I said I would not be following a timeline but instead be giving you a mosaic. But after thinking about it for a while now I have decided to do the timeline approach. In addition to a time line I have decided to try to interweave it with the history of the Roman Empire. I know this is a very ambitious undertaking and right now I just don’t know how successful I will be but I am never one to shrink from a challenge. Two things make me change direction here. One … Continue reading A Change of Heart…..

The “A” Word and Evangelicals….

I am going to talk a little about a tough one here and that is the “A” word. By that of course I mean abortion.  It seems to be the sole driving force for many voters in this country.  As long as the candidate says he is against the “A” word then many seem to flock to him. This is especially true for the so-called evangelicals among us. I personally don’t see any politician’s words associated with corresponding actions about this topic. I know Mr. Bush gained the Oval office twice primarily because he was against abortion but there is … Continue reading The “A” Word and Evangelicals….

Public overwhelmingly supports large defense spending cuts

Source: Public overwhelmingly supports large defense spending cuts | iWatch News by The Center for Public Integrity. While politicians, insiders and experts may be divided over how much the government should spend on the nation’s defense, there’s a surprising consensus among the public about what should be done: They want to cut spending far more deeply than either the Obama administration or the Republicans. Anyone who has even casually followed this blog knows that I am an advocate of major reductions in our war machine spending. I often cite that the U.S. spends more on its military than the rest of … Continue reading Public overwhelmingly supports large defense spending cuts


Elections are a good deal like marriages, there’s no accounting for anyone’s taste. – May 10, 1925   Will Rogers You did it again Will. You perfectly described an election eighty-seven years in the future. There is just no accounting for the taste of the people who will be voting Republican this year.  But then again we will have to wait to see just how many actually vote for that yahoo who will face Obama this year.  He does seem pretty good at accumulating wealth but doesn’t seem to have a clue of how people live on less than $1 million … Continue reading Taste…..

Another Republican Moderate Gone… “The center cannot hold”

Source: First Thoughts: The center cannot hold – First Read. “I have reached the conclusion that the atmosphere today, and the reality that exists in the House of Representatives, no longer encourages the finding of common ground” “I have to say that I’m frustrated by how much we — I mean the Republican Party — are willing to give deferential treatment to our extremes in this moment in history,” referring to Michele Bachmann’s political witch hunt against a top State Department aide. It must be obvious to even the most radical Republican that the GOP has changed remarkably in the last … Continue reading Another Republican Moderate Gone… “The center cannot hold”

About That Auto Insurance…

Maybe you read here that I recently bought a new Chevy Sonic to replace my twenty year old truck. Of course that also meant getting insurance for it. It turns out that since it has such a high safety rating that the insurance is actually cheaper than our four-year old HHR. I was certainly pleasantly surprised by that! But getting insurance got me to thinking about all those commercials we see about them on TV.  It seems that every company claims that if you buy their insurance you will save $xxx a year in premiums. How can they all make … Continue reading About That Auto Insurance…

I Hate Crunchy Grass….

These very hot summer days are getting to me. In past years I have always rationalized having to endure the cold winter days so I could get some pleasant summer ones. I know last winter was probably the mildest one I have seen in at least twenty years so maybe these super hot summer days are in contrast to that. When I first rented a house in my bachelor days of the 1970s I hated having to mow the lawn. The lawn was no more than fifty by one hundred feet but it was the fact that I HAD to … Continue reading I Hate Crunchy Grass….

About That Meal….

While on vacation recently we ate at a five-star restaurant at Mesa Verde.  When the meal came all the food was stacked in the middle of the plate. I know I frequently see that on the food cable channels but I never actually see people eat that food.  I know the stacking  is done because it is supposed to look better that way but how is it supposed to be eaten?  Are you supposed to un-assemble it so that it can be eaten or are you supposed to somehow pick through the layers to get what you want? I don’t … Continue reading About That Meal….

Aside – An Immoral Document…

Just a quick aside to give you some words from a Sojourners email I recently received. We must all take to heart the words of Jesus in this matter. It shames me that this discussion is even necessary in our country: We have a genuine hope for a long term bipartisan solution and, in particular, a moral non-partisan commitment to protect the poor and vulnerable from being expendable in these fiscal debates. We should also say that Democratic budgets have not been models of fiscal responsibility and social justice either. But what the House budget is calling for is morally … Continue reading Aside – An Immoral Document…

The One That’s Out….

You know the more you read and observe about this Politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other. The one that’s out always looks the best. – December 31, 1922  – Will Rogers In some ways not much has changed since Will’s day. For the most part the polls always seem to indicate that the party out of power has the lead in the early stages of most elections. They say that is true because we Americans don’t really start to consider who we want in our government until at least September of an election … Continue reading The One That’s Out….

When The Boss Is Looking….

We stick to the old American principle of only working when the boss is looking. – April 8, 1933  Will Rogers I’m sure this is as true today and maybe more so that it was in Will’s day only the techniques of not getting caught has changed. I read a statistic somewhere that said that up to 40% of a desk jockey’s time at the office now days is spent cruising the Internet, posting on Facebook, or ordering personal items on-line. When I retired twelve years ago I was surrounded by three computers all connected to the Internet but I … Continue reading When The Boss Is Looking….

A Wrong-Headed Idea…

Source: States explore new ways to tax motorists for road repair – States are looking for new ways of taxing motorists as they seek to pay for highway and bridge repair and improvements without relying on the per-gallon gasoline tax widely viewed as all but obsolete. Having to import oil from the Middle East is the primary reason so many of our kids die in our frequent foreign wars. Not giving those who don’t use as much oil as others some break is wrong-headed idea in my mind.  We need to tax the gas hogs on the road not the … Continue reading A Wrong-Headed Idea…

The One Thing a Man Can Do Better Than a Woman…..

The one thing a man can do better than a woman is to grow a beard  – John Steinbeck (Travels with Charley) I am not used to pulling quotes from my hero John Steinbeck. That duty usually fall to my other hero Will Rogers. But when I came across this quote in Steinbeck’s book Travels with Charley recently I knew I had to include it here. My wife, like most of you guys out there already know, thoroughly believe that she can do absolutely everything better than I can. She has made a life out of constantly bringing up my … Continue reading The One Thing a Man Can Do Better Than a Woman…..

For The Good of the Nation

If we could just send the same bunch of men to Washington for the good of the nation, and not for political reasons, we could have the most perfect government in the world. – June 8, 1924   –Will Rogers I ran across this quote recently and was again amazed how true Will’s sayings are to today. Political reasons seem to dominate our whole country in the 2000s. One hopeful thing that this quote reminds us of it that it was also that way in Will’s day but it somehow changed after that.  Let’s hope it doesn’t take another full … Continue reading For The Good of the Nation

My Travels….

As I mentioned a few posts ago I somehow got myself into an extended FaceBook dialog with a friend about politics. It surprised me that he seems to hate our current president with such a venom that it scared me. I had never seen that side of him before. After an extended comment/counter-comment it shook some of the peacefulness from my current environment. I had trouble sleeping that night and even the next morning his hateful words lingered in my mind. At the end of all those posts it seemed like two one-sided conversation instead of a single thread. There … Continue reading My Travels….

A Crack in the Armor???

  Source: Boehner joins criticism of Bachmann over Clinton aide comments | World news | John Boehner, the leading Republican in Congress, has chastised his colleague Michele Bachmann over allegations she made linking a key aide of Hillary Clinton to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. Boehner said on Thursday that the comments – made in a letter from Bachmann to the state department and Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison – about the family of Huma Abedin were “pretty dangerous”. He joins John McCain in rebuking Bachmann over claims that Abedin’s father, mother and brother were connected to the Islamist group. I know I … Continue reading A Crack in the Armor???


I was looking at my blog title and realized that I have not posted anything about the current quote contained there. If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out – Will Rogers Most of the things that are going on around us now seem to fit this phrase and the proposed solutions seem to be more of the same. How did we get into this state. Stupidity I guess 😉 And the cow sticking out his tongue below the title banner is related to the quote. Continue reading Stupidity

Aside — A Glimmer of God….

As I have said many times on this blog I am perfectly attuned to the Quaker concept of the “light of God in each of us”.  Everyone, including the most evil in history, has a glimmer of God in them. Some have covered it with a very dark and dreadful blanket but it is there none the less. Even those who absolutely deny the existence of God have it. I got to thinking the other day about how some people seem to think that they are fully attuned to God; they seem to think that it is therefore their duty … Continue reading Aside — A Glimmer of God….


For that’s all there is to success is satisfaction. – July 29, 1928   Will Rogers It really is as simple as what Will says here. If you are satisfied with your life and what you do then you are a success. Some people equate success with how much money they earn. Some, especially those in Washington and corporate boardrooms equate it with how much power they have. Some say it is the number of Face book friends you have Most definitions of success are based on material goods. Having the right car, home, money in the bank is what … Continue reading Success…..

An Ode to My Canadian Friends…

Source: Is Canada Too Smug About Its Economic Future? – Businessweek. Over the past four years, Canada has been feted as the country that does practically everything right. Its banks are beloved by everyone from economist Paul Krugman to Moody’s Investment Service (MCO), which rated them earlier this year as the safest in the world. While U.S. politicians bickered for years over free-trade deals with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama, Canadians signed several pacts and launched free-trade talks with 50 other nations. Its economy has grown faster—and its debt has stayed smaller—than its Group of Seven peers. Another success of Canada … Continue reading An Ode to My Canadian Friends…


I am thankful to all those who said NO to me. It’s because of them I did it myself.  –Albert Einstein After collecting a number of Einstein quotes he is becoming one of my favorites and this is one of the best ones. I know in my life I have always asked “Why is this like ….” I often get the equivalent of “no” as a reply or maybe more accurately “this is the way we have always done it…” or some such as that. Those refusals to take seriously my “why” has made me stronger over the years. It … Continue reading No…..

A Mosaic….

Next time I will be starting to relay stories of the early church. Up front I want to make sure you understand that this journey into the history of the church and how we got here will be a mosaic rather than a timeline approach. It will also likely be a “people’s history type account. That is it will where possible be based on accounts of the common people rather than the primary leaders of the time. It will be a mosaic instead of a timeline. In each post I will give you a small piece of the history that … Continue reading A Mosaic….

Breaking Promises……

Source NYT: Lawmakers look for way out as defense cuts near – politics – The New York Times – On Jan. 2, national security is set to receive a heavy blow if Congress fails to intervene. That is when a 10-year, $600 billion, across-the-board spending cut is to hit the Pentagon, equal to roughly 8 percent of its current budget. The real test of a man is in his word. When a person says he will do something and then reneges on that promise he loses face. What the politicians, especially those in the conservative party, seem to casually ignore … Continue reading Breaking Promises……

Getting Someone To Read It…..

Over here you can write whatever you want to. The only trouble getting somebody that will read it. – April 18, 1933  Will Rogers Sometimes we in the U.S. forget just how good we have it. As Will says over here we can write whatever we want.  That is definitely not the case in many parts of the world today.  Yes, FaceBook and such have made putting your words out there easier but they can still cause some bodily harm. Let’s never forget that we have it so well here. But to us authors, I am including all us bloggers … Continue reading Getting Someone To Read It…..

Aside… History Ain’t

I don’t know if you have noticed or not but I have been feeling artsy lately so have been playing with the header to this blog. The quote found there will change often and some of the other things as I get the urge. The quote for today does strike home to me. With the blog I get my chance to tell you what history is.  I definitely feel the power; I hope it doesn’t corrupt me 🙂   Continue reading Aside… History Ain’t

Free Speech….

Source: Democrats, GOP debate political non-profits’ donors – Conservatives in Congress have mounted an aggressive drive to block new proposals aimed at unmasking anonymous donations to groups such as Crossroads GPS— which is spending $2 million this month alone on ads targeting McCaskill and two other Democratic Senate candidates. Crossroads GPS, affiliated with Republican strategist Karl Rove, does not have to reveal its contributors because it is a non-profit advocacy group, not a political action committee. In a fiery speech last week, the Senate’s top Republican, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, denounced a Democratic bill in Congress that would … Continue reading Free Speech….

A High Level View….

In this post I will try to give you a very high level view of what I believe is the critical history of the church.  Of course, as this study progresses there might be some things I change likely my mind about.  As with most everything else I am open to different views and one of them may change my overall concepts (but I kind of doubt it 😉 ) Before I get into the view I will be using I want to give you some idea of other ways church history has been viewed: Here is a very colorful … Continue reading A High Level View….

A History of the Church (but whose history??)

I proclaimed when I started posting this study a couple of weeks ago that I would be giving you a history of the church. In studying this topic I was quick to learn that there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of different versions of the history of the church. If you are a Calvinist your history is quite different than if you are a Catholic or Lutheran and especially an Eastern Orthodox. Everyone looks at history from their own perspective. Some like to concentrate only on the inspiring parts; I will be showing you the warts as well. The … Continue reading A History of the Church (but whose history??)

Ashamed Not to be a Heretic…

Source:Ashamed Not to be a Heretic: Harry Emerson Fosdick – QuakerQuaker. “If the day ever comes when men care so little for the basic Christian experiences and revelations of truth that they cease trying to rethink them in more adequate terms, see them in the light of freshly acquired knowledge, and interpret them anew for new days, then Christianity will be finished.” Here is an interesting post by a Quaker about a Presbyterian minister who was driven from the pulpit by fundamentalists in 1922 due to straying from the established doctrine of the time. He fought the first waves of … Continue reading Ashamed Not to be a Heretic…

On The Road….Again

I wanted to let you know that starting tomorrow I will be doing a series of “On The Road” posts here.  For those of you who are not familiar with them they will be end-of-day posts about our trip to Washington DC and Baltimore.  Except for a one day trip in 1998 this will be the first time we have taken a tour bus. This will be a six day trip. Of course the first and last day of the trip will mainly be sitting in a hopefully comfortable air-conditioned bus and letting someone else do the driving for a change. I … Continue reading On The Road….Again

Sing….Sing a Song…..

I woke up this morning with a song attached to my brain. I know I dreamed about it last night but since I almost never remember what my dreams are I can’t give you the context. Here is the lyrics of the song;  I hope I don’t cause you to be humming it all day as I likely am: Sing, sing a song, Sing out loud, sing out strong, Sing of the good things, not bad, Sing of the happy, not sad . . . Sing, sing a song, Make it simple, to last your whole life long, Don’t worry that … Continue reading Sing….Sing a Song…..

About My Sources…

This post is about some of my sources of info for the study I am presently undertaking on church history and how we got to where we are today. I have read scores of books on church history the last few years and continue reading them for this study. I have mentioned already there is one that influenced me greatly and it is one of the reasons I am doing this study. That book by Harvey Cox and is entitled Future of Faith. Here is a small bio of him found from Wikipedia: Harvey Gallagher Cox, Jr. (born May 19, 1929 … Continue reading About My Sources…

Women Be Quiet!!!

1 Timothy 2:11-12 A woman  should learn in quietness and full submission.  I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;  she must be quiet.   I have always been troubled by these verses from Paul. I just don’t believe that God intended, especially for all eternity, that women to be quiet and not have any authority over men. Why would he deprive us of so much that women have to offer in almost every area?? Yes, I have heard that the majority of today’s theologians don’t believe that these words actually came from … Continue reading Women Be Quiet!!!