Friday, March 27, 2009


Originally uploaded by paynehollow

Does Anyone Have a Handbasket?...

This, of course, is not scientifically valid and I'm not saying it means anything at all, but just for fun, I tried a little experiment. I did a google search on various words along with a year, then compared it to other years. For instance, I googled "socialism 2001" and then "socialism 2009..." and I looked at the number of links returned. I don't even know that, by placing a year on a search you would mostly get hits from that year, this is just an ambiguous experiment.

My results:

"socialism 2001" 3,400,000
"socialism 2007" 4,610,000
"socialism 2008" 6,620,000
"socialism 2009" 7,210,000

"hate 2001" 28,400,000
"hate 2007" 78,700,000
"hate 2008" 112,000,000
"hate 2009" 126,000,000

"godless 2001" 361,000
"godless 2007" 795,000
"godless 2008" 1,140,000
"godless 2009" 1,080,000

"destroy US 2001" 1,140,000
"destroy US 2007" 10,500,000
"destroy US 2008" 12,200,000
"destroy US 2009" 12,300,000

Keeping in mind in all of these, that 2009 is less than three months old. Anyone want to bet that by the end of the year, "destroy US 2009" will turn up something like 50,000,000?

Significant or not? Worrisome or not?

Or, put another way, are there a lot of nuts out there or not?

The Bible and Economics

Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Part of a continuing series where I post biblical passages that deal with wealth, poverty, money, greed, simplicity, the rich and the poor. When I'm done, I'd like to have a fairly comprehensive collection of such passages all in one location. You can see other entries in this series in my sidebar on the left, under The Bible and Economics heading.

I've already looked at Jesus' teachings in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5-7). In the last installment, I looked at verses scattered throughout the middle of the book of Matthew, from chapter 10 to chapter 19. Now, let's look through a bit more of Matthew (chapters 20-22)...

[Jesus speaking...] "The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard.

Going out about nine o'clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and he said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.'

So they went off. (And) he went out again around noon, and around three o'clock, and did likewise. Going out about five o'clock, he found others standing around, and said to them, 'Why do you stand here idle all day?'

They answered, 'Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, 'You too go into my vineyard.'

When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Summon the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first.'

When those who had started about five o'clock came, each received the usual daily wage.

So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage.

And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying, 'These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day's burden and the heat.'

He said to one of them in reply, 'My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?

Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?'

Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last..."

...But Jesus summoned them and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt.

But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.

Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom 11 for many."

Matthew 20: 1-16; 25-28

Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all those engaged in selling and buying there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves.

And he said to them, "It is written: 'My house shall be a house of prayer,' but you are making it a den of thieves."

The blind and the lame approached him in the temple area, and he cured them.

Matthew 21: 12-14

Let me point out here that much of Matt 21 and 22 have economic implications - parables are told about greed, about rich and poor, workers and masters, about feasts and inviting the poor and outcast into the feast and about hypocrisy of the powerful - specifically the hypocrisy of the Pharisees - all of which directly contributed to the plots to have Jesus killed. Read the whole chapters. For now, though, I'm jumping down to Matthew 22: 16...

[The Pharisees] sent their disciples to him, with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. And you are not concerned with anyone's opinion, for you do not regard a person's status.

Tell us, then, what is your opinion: Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?"

Knowing their malice, Jesus said, "Why are you testing me, you hypocrites? Show me the coin that pays the census tax." Then they handed him the Roman coin.

He said to them, "Whose image is this and whose inscription?"

They replied, "Caesar's." At that he said to them, "Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God."

Matthew 22: 16-21

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rosa Sat

Flying Blue Jay
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
I'll have to be honest and say that I think Obama and Congress look a bit foolish with this passing this huge spending bill and not realizing or overlooking the problem with allowing Big Bonuses to be part of it, AND THEN trying to pass a tax specifically trying to target those bonus recipients. I don't necessarily have a problem with their goals of trying to invest money to shore up the economy, but the way they're handling it sure looks a bit goofy to me.

But maybe that's just me.

Political silliness notwithstanding, I came across a new song today that I thought some might enjoy.

So, enjoy...

Rosa Sat

Rosa sat so Martin could walk
Martin walked so Barack could run
Barack ran, he ran and he won
So that all our children could fly

1. Thousands of people that November night
All of us here who have fought the long fight
Knowing as one we’re creating a new nation
Join together in celebration


2. Mother and daughter listenin’ to the news
Momma breaks down cryin’, little girl is confused
Honey we worked so hard to get to this place
Daughter puts a loving hand on momma’s face


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Guest Blogger...

Carr Creek
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
I would like to post a few words from my own grandfather, Walter Trabue. Walter died 30 years ago, when I was just 16 years old. Walter was a railroad man, a woodworker whose small garage was alive with the smell of cherry and walnut lumber. Walter occasionally kept a journal, and these are a couple of excerpts from them.

Untitled essay, 1970

Thru the forest paths our trails were crossed by
white men,
which before were traveled by wild animals and
red men.
Those trails have sprung into ribbons of concrete
reaching from ocean to ocean,
villages have spawned cities of great sizes.

Where once were fields of grass or woods
cornfields came and went,
and now houses.
Houses, no woods as once I played in
or fields where my uncle rode horses.
No more are things as of the old days
of my boyhood,
even the place where I was born is gone.

Will all things change with time?

The Old Pine Tree
WL Trabue, July 1945

Come, Love, let us wander again, along
the Old Trail
Up the mountain trail as we did long years ago.

Beneath those long shadows of our youth and the
Old Pine Tree,
side by side as we did when we were younger.

Remember the parting, how sad it was to
You and I.
Our country called, the call I had to answer.

Come, Love, we must go again along
that Old Trail
to find the love we left there long ago.

I haved dreamed of this trail, at night
Far Away,
and feared I would never see it again.

Let me feel its bark again, it is still there!
The Two Hearts,
As ours, they have entwined over these missing years.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Barbie's Birthday

Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Apparently, Barbie turns 50 this year. Woo hoo.

In honor of this esteemed event, I give you a song from Cap'n Randy...

Barbie Nation
1992, Randy Stonehill

She was told when she was young
Ah - that blondes always have more fun
Lie lie lie dirty lie du du dumb

Perfect hair perfect waste
With a perfect prom queen smile upon her face
For everyone

But it's all right, it's okay
Now your self-respect is the only price you'll pay
It's okay, that's all right

You're the queen of the Barbie nation
Queen of the Barbie nation
Queen of the Barbie nation tonight
Tonight yeah

Romance books, magazines
T.V. shows and the movie screens
They lie lie lie dirty lies empty dreams
It's a shame you bowed down
To the deity of Helen Gurley Brown
So obscene

It's all right, it's okay
Just don't forget you're always on display
It's okay, that's alright

You're the queen of the Barbie nation
Queen of the Barbie nation
Queen of the Barbie nation tonight

You're sexy and driven and doomed to succeed
You'll get what you want but it's nothing you need
And echoed in the heartache you conceal
Is something good, something real

She was told that in the end
Every Barbie gets her Ken
Lie lie lie no such guy just pretend
We pull the strings, wind the doll
We create the myth that she can have it all
It's a sin

But it's all right, it's okay
Though your dignity is all that's left to trade
It's okay, that's all right

You're the queen of the Barbie nation
Queen of the Barbie nation
Queen of the Barbie nation tonight

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

King of the GOP

Bas Relief
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
GOP chairman Steele backs off Limbaugh criticism

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In comments that were broadcast over the weekend, Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele called Rush Limbaugh's rhetoric "incendiary" and "ugly" and insisted that he is in charge of the GOP.

On Monday, however, after a blistering response from the conservative talk-radio kingpin, Steele told the online journal Politico that he "was maybe a little bit inarticulate."

"There was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership," Steele said. He added, "There are those out there who want to look at what he's saying as incendiary and divisive and ugly. That's what I was trying to say. It didn't come out that way."


So, there was a stand off between Michael Steele - leader of the Republican Party - and Rush Limbaugh - entertainment clown - and Steele blinked and Rush was crowned King. Tis a shame that this is the level to which the Party of Lincoln has devolved.

Hail, Limbaugh, last King of the GOP

Monday, March 2, 2009

Spring lies shallow neath our feet...

First Flower 2007
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
Have you seen trees budding? Have crocuses thrust their first green peek through the ground? Is it possible that spring is just minutes away?

It may be a bit hard to believe, at least here in Louisville, where the 20 degree temperature feels even icier in the gusting wind. But I have seen the buds promising change. The forecast here is for warmer days ahead, at least temporarily. I feel the greening of my bones and know it must be true.

How about you? Are you seeing signs of spring? Is the garden planned? Seeds pre-planted indoors?

And speaking of pending change, I also wonder what words of wisdom any here might offer for our young sons and daughters who will be graduating soon? Do you have any truths, profound or not, to pass on, suggestions on how to embrace life and live with joy and a sense of purpose?

I'm taking notes...