Wednesday, October 13, 2004

October Voting, 40 Days & eBay Observations

I voted today in the Nov 2 Presidential election. It's handy and oddly relieving to to vote a few weeks early. Someday, we'll tell our grandkids about the good old times when we lined up for hours in the (pick one) --- pouring rain, driving snow, hot hot sun --- to cast our votes for the next US president.

Now, we shop for groceries, visit the bank and vote all at a neighborhood market. Of course, even that will seem old-fashioned to our grandkids. They will surely vote online, and be astonished to hear that it was ever done another way.

Speaking of voting, I invested 2 hours last night to understand the propositions, so that I could make intelligent, informed choices. I have a graduate degree, am well read, and am a fast researcher and reader.

It's either ridiculous that it takes significant literacy and effort to vote, or it's planned to be difficult for most citizens. Perhaps "they" want us to believe misleading TV ads and biased political pundits, and forget research.

A slightly paranoid thought .... but not unfounded.

Our church is doing the 40 Days of Purpose devotional study as a congregation. We started Monday, and finish on Nov 19.

I've read the book before, and didn't get much from it. But there's something exhilirating about doing it with Ron and Andrea, and as a church body, so I'm giving it my full attention. I set aside morning time after Ron's at work and Andrea's at school....I brew fresh French roast....and I, armed with book, journal and java, sit in a sunny front window to absorb and experience, not just read.

The words have come alive for me. Alive enough that now I'm impatient to see where this journey will lead. Alive enough that it occupies my thoughts. Alive enough that I have questions for God.....questions that fill my journal. "Why" questions. "Why not" questions, too. Now I'm dying to skip to the ending. (Hmmm...maybe patience is one of my challenges.:)

It's surprisingly fun to do it as a congregation. At my womens' Tuesday Bible study group, we chatted about when and where we do it, laughed about family schedules, shared a few thoughts. We had it in common, and informally held each other accountable.

A few church members grumble about this study. They find it boring, unchallenging, beneath their level of biblical knowledge. Like everything else at church, they're approaching it with their minds, but not their hearts. They' reading it with their eyes.....but not hearing it with open hearts.

And in a couple cases, they're married to a denominational viewpoint, not a Christian outlook. I loved it when Rick Warren wrote in Day 3, "God won't ask about your religious background or doctrinal views. The only thing that will matter is, did you accept what Jesus did for you and did you learn to love and trust him?" Exactly!

Will be interesting to see where this 40 day period takes me and mine, and takes our church.


eBay is dead right now. Buy & selling have dropped off radically this last week. It's eery, rather like a deserted ghost town. The last time online commerce and the general business environment felt this dead was exactly 3 years ago, after Sept 11, 2001. Something's amiss.

The stock market is currently a disaster; gas prices are unbelievably high; the long-term unemployed (so long, they no longer qualify for unemployment benefits; thus, they're not included in statistics) and especially underemployed (i.e... the working poor) are at all-time highs. The deficit is obscenely high, and our foreign trade debt is shocking. Another 4 years of Bush economic mismanagement, and we will border on (or be) bankrupt. That's not an exaggeration. We will permanently be a poor nation. We may already be there, truth be known....

I believe that October will prove to have been a horrible month financially for our nation. Most of the business world and all small business owners are terrified that Bush will be reelected.

Lucky for George he can hide the numbers until after the election. And he will.


What kind of person wears hidden wires to secretly obtain the correct answers for a test or debate? A cheater, that's who. What kind of person wears hidden wires that can actually be seen if you look carefully? A stupid cheater.

And if that cheater was a student at any school, he would be expelled in disgrace.

Don't ever vote for a cheater. You'll get what you deserve. Cheated.

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