Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Coming Out of the Woodwork in Johnstown PA!

February 22, 2010 – News report stated that Joyce Murtha, widow of Congressman John Murtha, has announced that she will not seek to fill the unexpired term of her late husband, thus ending much speculation that she run for the position in the special election to be held in the future.

Yes, it is happening according to an old familiar expression – they are indeed coming out of the woodwork! And who might that be? Didn’t you know? A bunch of individuals want to occupy the seat in the House of Representatives which had been held for many years by the late congressman, John P. Murtha. The geographical territory involved is the 12th Congressional District in south central PA in which the city of Johnstown is located. Johnstown was Murtha’s hometown and could be considered as having been his major base of operations outside of Washington DC during his congressional career. The evidence of that is clear from observing his name prominently displayed everywhere in the area!

Before John Murtha was placed in the ground, speculation, with a lot of help from the local media, was running at a white hot pitch regarding Mrs. Joyce Murtha seeking the congressional seat once held by her late husband. The way some of the local talking heads were handling the issue, Mrs. Murtha was already occupying the office!

Then came announcement after announcement by persons in both political parties of their intention to seek the office. One, former Lt. Gov. Mark Singel , expressed his desire to run but qualified it by saying if Mrs. Murtha decided to run, he would drop out and support her.

Then came the statement as given by Mrs. Murtha that she would not seek the position. This was sort of like opening the floodgates and now it is almost as though just about everyone and his brother are throwing their hats in the ring!

As noted in an earlier post, no matter who wins the election on this, Johnstown will not be the recipient of millions of dollars, especially defense related, as was the case with John Murtha over the years. But there is one thing that is rather certain – whoever gets the coveted seat of the 12th District will in time be transformed into a typical politician. There may be a lot of rhetoric during campaigning that seems to sound so good, but in Washington DC the priority is to march in lockstep to the philosophy, “To get along, go along!”

There are two things that indicate that the U.S. Congress is in desperate need of a major overhaul. First, what the members have over time “voted” for themselves in terms of salary, perks, health and retirement benefits. You’ll never find anything comparable in the private sector.

Second, because of the way special interest groups are organized and the influence they have, the curse of lobbying has grown like a cancer over the years. Highly paid lobbyists (some are former members of the U.S. Congress) are able to bring pressure to bear upon elected officials that we private citizens will never be able to do.

With Congress’ approval rating extremely low so far as citizens are concerned, the best solution would be to totally outlaw all organized lobbying and vote ALL incumbents out of office for a few years. Along with that, have the citizens vote on what the salaries will be along with all the other benefits. The intent here would be to have those salaries and “perks” reflect more closely the average of salaries and benefits earned by the constituents these officials claim to represent at the federal level!

So, in a matter of weeks someone new from the 12th Congressional District in Pennsylvania will enter the halls of the U. S. Congress and in time will be just one of the “good old” boys’ and girls’ club in D.C! The glaring difference will be that the rookie will not be able to get hold of the millions of dollars that “Big John” Murtha did – at least for a few years anyway!

O LORD, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? even cry out to You, "Violence!" And You will not save. Why do You show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble? For plundering and violence are before me; there is strife, and contention arises. Therefore the law is powerless, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore perverse judgment proceeds…….Woe to him who builds a town with bloodshed, who establishes a city by iniquity! --- Habakkuk 1:2-4; 2:12

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What Will Johnstown PA Do Now?

Congressman John Murtha died on February 8, 2010 as a result of complications following gall bladder surgery. His funeral and burial are taking place today, February 16, 2010 in Johnstown PA, his hometown.

If you want to see something that far exceeds a 3-ring circus, you need to come to Johnstown PA within the next few weeks. There will be a scramble such as has not been witnessed in a long time as the Democrats attempt to retain control of the seat held by the late Congressman John P. Murtha. Understandably the Republicans will be determined to wrest that congressional seat away from the Democrats. Even the "anointed one" who occupies the residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. will be deeply concerned, and without a doubt will exercise whatever influence he can so that his party retains the seat.

But at least one thing will be much different than it has been for years for Johnstown. There will be no Murtha in Congress to turn on the financial faucets and aim them in the direction of his district, and Johnstown in particular. Speculation is that Mrs. John Murtha may seek the position. If she does, and she gets to fill out the term of her late husband, she will still be a rookie representative -- the power and clout simply won't exist as it did while "Big John" held the office!

This thing could get real ugly as it runs its course. But the fact remains, no matter who occupies the seat once held by John P. Murtha for many years, things will not be the same in Johnstown in years to come!

More details on this issue at Circuit Rider's Range at What Will Johnstown PA Do Now?

And a PS - the above photo is not intended to show disrespect, but rather reality -- Murtha held a status that was quite similar to that of a deity -- a god who could do just about everything when it came to getting money channeled into his district -- he sometimes was referred to as the "King of Pork!" Another way of viewing him was that he was the big Santa to Johnstown PA and its surrounding area!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Talking to God While Blowing Snow!

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. --- James 5:17, 18

So we got hit with 2 major snow storms within a few days of each other, as did much of the eastern U.S. Our amounts were not as much as some, but more than others. Grand total for us in the Laurel Highlands of south central PA was about 30 inches give or take, depending on where the wind whipped it around a bit.

In all this, I had to resurrect my snow blower which had not been used in over two years. My faithful 4-wheeler, Suzi, with her snow blade just wasn’t up to pushing that amount of snow. Fortunately, Mr. Simply (snow blower built by Simplicity), fired right up and was ready to go to work. He cut through the stuff like the proverbial hot knife through butter!

But I did something else while Mr. Simply was moving snow. I did some talking to my Lord. I often do this while I am engaged in certain tasks and even while driving down the highway -- ah, I do keep my eyes open in that situation. And so, as always I began with some praise and thanksgiving. God had given me another day and sufficient strength to get out of bed and to move about. And there was thanksgiving for His mercies to me and members of my family. We have all been blessed with a good measure of health. And I am thankful to live in a nation where I am free to worship and to join with others in giving public expression to our faith.

But then as my attention turned to the nation in which I am a citizen I did some confessing. The first part of the confession was that we deserve the wrath of God to be poured out upon us for the many abominations and sins of which we are guilty. There is nothing I can point to and say to God, “For this reason or that – or look at this – for these we do not deserve to be judged!” There is simply nothing that we can appeal to and say to God, “We are basically pretty decent people and deserve blessings rather than judgment!”

The confession continues with the admission that we are guilty of the abomination of millions of unborn children destroyed for whom God had a purpose in life – for this alone we stand deserving of the outpouring of His fury. Our national leadership is not the least bit remorseful and our president gives wholehearted approval to this ongoing slaughter!

But that is only the beginning – our widespread idolatry with money being one of our prominent deities! There is our pandemic practices of sexual immorality in many forms. And we have trashed the day of worship with less than half our population finding their way to a place of worship on what some consider to be the “Lord’s Day.”

And so we talk – the Lord and I about such things. And I, as I admit that we deserve His judgment right now, ask for mercy and that He might arise and increase His chastising actions upon the nation and its leadership (both state and church) – that if possible, the nation might be brought to repentance – not just in pretense, but for real – seeking God in sorrow and regret – confessing and asking for forgiveness and national healing

And a part of the conversation involved the weather – yes, even these snow storms that brought havoc to much of the eastern United States.

“Will people realize that you are the God of storms also? Will you work in such a way that all this massive amount of snow will suddenly melt in the future and create even more problems? Speak clearly through these events, Lord, that even the most hard hearted person will pause and give thought to his or her relationship with You.....Nevertheless, Lord, not my will, but yours be done – in my life, my family, my many friends – throughout our beloved nation and to the ends of the earth. Even so, come Lord Jesus!”

"Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God......... But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.....--- Deuteronomy 28:1, 2, 15, 16

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Other Tragedy at Ft. Hood, Texas!

It was a tragedy of the first magnitude which took place at Ft. Hood, Texas. Thirteen persons died as a result of a shooting rampage by a Muslim terrorist who wore the uniform of the United States Army. A special service to honor the victims of the shootings was held on November 11, 2009.

The picture below says it all as to the real attitude President Barack Hussein Obama has regarding the flag of the United States of America. Those of us who are older in years were taught to respect the national banner. We held our hands over our hearts when we pledged our allegiance to the republic in our public school years and the flag which is its national banner. We stood at attention when the National Anthem was played and placed right hands over our hearts.

In the U.S.M.C. we were taught to salute when the honor guard passed by carrying the flag such as in a parade. If one was in civilian dress then one stood at attention and placed one’s right hand over the heart.

Notice the posture of the president in the below photo in contrast with the military persons who are standing at attention and saluting as the honor guard passes by with the colors – good example by the “Commander in Chief” (term used very loosely) wouldn’t you say? And notice the gentleman in civilian dress who is standing at attention with hand placed over heart.

What do you suppose his rabid defenders would have to say about this situation? It is very likely they would hail him as a hero in spite of the fact that citizens who do respect the flag and have a sense of decency would consider this a most disgraceful example on such a solemn occasion. But then his devotees share in his “values” and would demonstrate the same posture in such a situation. It is a further indication that the nation has sunk so low that we are going to have to use the Hubble telescope to look up to see the navel of a black snake – yes, black snakes bear their young – they don’t lay eggs as do some reptiles.

It is most fitting and very necessary that prayer be made that Almighty God will do whatever in His infinite power and wisdom is necessary to bring this man and the members of his administration to their knees in repentance soon before the republic is brought to total collapse!!

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. --- James 5:17, 18