Change
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Another blue mailbox disappeared from my neighborhood this week.   No, I don’t think it was stolen by vandals. My guess it was stolen, er, removed by the United States Postal Service. In their own quiet way they were sending a message to those of us who live around here that we weren’t mailing enough first-class letters to make the stop worthwhile for the carriers. I wouldn’t mind it so much but it’s the fourth to go away; there’s only one... Read More
Inauguration
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What a great word, inauguration. It’s based on the word augur. No, not a big hand-powered drill bit for boring holes in wood or ice for ice fishing. Those are augers. The augurs were religious officials in ancient Rome who would choose lucky days for installation ceremonies into political office. They supposedly gained their mystical insights by observing the flight patterns of birds, or by studying the entrails of sacrificed animals. Washington these days is crawling with modern-day augurs who... Read More
Inaugural Prayer
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It seems that Rev. Rick Warren of the famed Saddleback Church is taking some criticism over being appointed to offer public prayer at the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama. The LGBT wing of America is furious because he supported California’s Proposition 8 (which passed), amending the state’s constitution to define marriage as one male/one female. They think that because they worked so hard to get Obama elected, only pro-gay clergy should have been invited.   Others fear that Rev. Warren may... Read More
John the Baptist
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Well, it’s that time. Are you going to go through the exercise of making a list of New Year’s resolutions? Go for it! And may the Force be with you.   Alas, most resolutions aren’t worth the cocktail napkins they’re written on. They are casually assembled and just as casually forgotten. To save my life I couldn’t even remember mine from last year.   This is serious business, though. Overhauling your life is not an option for Christians. John the Baptist had... Read More
Integrity
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in·teg·ri·ty (in-tĕg-rĭ-tē) n. 1. Adherence to a code or standard of values; probity.  2. The quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness.  < Latin integritas soundness < integer whole, complete.   Who minds the minders? Whom can you trust? Is anybody’s word any good? Is everybody out for himself these days? The AP reports on this brochure from Bernard (Made off) Madoff and his investment firm:  "Customers know that Bernard Madoff has a personal interest in maintaining the unblemished... Read More
Gay Marriage
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This has been a difficult year for anybody who could be called a social conservative.  California’s state Supreme Court made California the third state to legalize gay marriage (along with Connecticut and Massachusetts). In one of the anomalies of the November elections (in which liberal/progressives made great political gains), Californians also passed Proposition 8, which struck down same-sex marriage.   The new movie “Milk” (released last month) celebrates the life of martyred gay activist Harvey Milk, who was shot down along... Read More
Moody's
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It’s déjà vu all over again.     Remember Arthur Anderson? That huge accounting firm went under primarily because of conflicts of interest. They were doing business with the very companies that they were supposed to be auditing. In other words, they had a huge financial incentive not to tell the truth, especially any bad news, about the companies they were evaluating.   When you are ready to buy a house, you always want a building inspector to go through it first. But... Read More
Black Friday
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How on earth did the day after Thanksgiving ever get that name?    “Black” Friday? Good grief. It sounds as solemn as Good Friday. It sounds like one of the Wall Street massacre days in 1929 during the great crash that ushered in the Depression.   The day after Thanksgiving is a day off school for all students and a vacation day for probably half the work force. It should be a day of sleeping in, eating leftover turkey, and cleaning the... Read More
Positive Economic News
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Newspapers, online news, and TV news get their best ratings and readership when news is bad. You know the drill:  “If it bleeds, it leads.” Negative information moves product. Nobody reads a paper to see that everything is working fine. Maybe it’s just my perception, but it seems like all the economic talk I’ve been hearing for months is alarmist and panicky. True enough—there is major commotion in the world’s economy. Companies are going out of business.  People are being... Read More
2012
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It’s over. It’s finally over. The longest and most expensive presidential campaign in our history is mercifully at an end. Regardless of your politics, please join me in praying for our president-elect and for our country. God knows that we have enough messes to work on. But at least the noise level of political woofing and barking will go down a little, right?   Right? It seems that Governor Palin retreated to Alaska and held court in Anchorage to “weigh her... Read More