Parenting 101

March 17, 2015

I2015-03-16_10-38-11’ve heard it said the best way for Washington to create peace in the Middle East is to stop providing U.N. cover for Israel and eliminate the U.S. money that fuels Israel’s defiant behavior (more than $20.5 billion given just during the Obama administration).

In effect, it’s Parenting 101: Make Israel responsible for its actions….
Toward the end of his diatribe to the GOP, Bibi offered up a simple remedy: “If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country.” Presumably, that would include following international law.

Great plan, Bibi.

Heed it.

SOURCE: War, War, and More War | Greg Barrett | Red Letter Christians.

It should be pretty obvious by now that I am not a great fan of the U.S. relations with Israel. I think we let them get away with too much. If we treated the world as they a regional superpower treat the Middle East we would be chastised by the rest of the world and soon driven out of our world power status.  I know the foundation of this unwavering support goes back to the Christian bible and our thoughts that they are the “children of God” and therefore are to be protected at all costs. I simply don’t align with that belief. I think we are ALL children of God and must love, have compassion, and take care of each other no matter what our nationality, creed, or religious beliefs are. Bibi’s actions just don’t align at all with that strategy. With his recent proclamation that there will never be a Palestinian state while he is in office assures us that in order for there to ever be peace in the Middle East the Israeli voters must tell Bibi he no longer represents their views.

Parenting 101 is a very good description of how we should be dealing with Israel. I certainly agree that they have a right to exist but they do not have a right to make their own rules. It always troubles me when some Palestinian rogue manages to kill one of its citizens that Israel takes the lives of dozens for retaliation. I know Israel doesn’t align with the teachings of Jesus Christ and believes much more about vengeance than it does about brotherhood.

I love the way the above article treats Israel as a child throwing a diatribe and we should treat those actions as their parents. I know Bibi faces a tough election today and I hope that the Israeli citizens remove him from power and replace him with someone less belligerent. The Middle East turmoil that has been so ever-present for the last 20+ years is constantly spurred by the lack of a Palestinian state.  Until we tell Israel to get out-of-the-way of that process there will always be a flavor of  “ISIS” in the future.

Spin, Spin, Spin…

March 17, 2015

2015-03-03_08-42-13Remember when George W. Bush sold himself as a “compassionate conservative”? Of course you do. Now, his brother Jeb is using a similar formulation, describing himself as an “inclusive conservative.” The difference may seem trivial at first, but the Bushes are no fools when it comes to winning elections. And this difference tells us something about the changing perception of the parties, as well as the changing priorities of left and right….

A recent Pew survey found that 60 percent of respondents said the Democratic Party “cares about the middle class.” Forty-three percent of respondents said the same of Republicans, a 17-point gap.

But the same Pew survey found that 59 percent of respondents said that Democrats are “tolerant and open to all groups of people,” and only 35 percent said the same of Republicans, a 29-point gap….

This is the latest sign that culture war issues continue to move to the front of our politics, while economic issues take a back seat. Fifteen years ago, the Republican problem was that it seemed to have nothing tangible to offer the poor, blacks, or others on the margin of society. For Jeb, the problem with conservative conservatism is that it is exclusive. Conservatism is for the married, white, Christian, suburban, and exurban.

SOURCE: How Jeb Bush is tweaking his brother’s brand of ‘compassionate conservatism’.

I would love to see a poll on how many people today believe that brother George lived out is self-proclaimed label “compassionate conservative” while he was in office.  I suspect that only hard-core Republicans would answer yes.  Maybe I am skeptical here, it wouldn’t be the first time, but I kind of think that this self-labeling stuff is nothing but spin. These guys, and I am talking about all politicians here, think that they can describe themselves as anything they want and maybe it will get them a few more votes for those very naive voters out there.

Having said all that I do kind of wish that it had been Jeb who ran the country for eight years instead of his brother.  George was just not my kind of guy. Too much swagger, too much bravado, too unread, too fixated on sports…  Jeb just seems to be a mellower type guy who would make decisions based on his intellect instead of alway his guts.  This article goes on to say the Hillary just doesn’t wear the “compassionate” label too well either. Her demands for six-figure payments for her speeches maybe show her core values too prominently for me.

But the name of the game in today’s politics is spin, spin, spin.  You don’t have to know what you are saying as long as you say it with authority. That seems to be the mantra for all those yahoos inside the beltway.  They put on masks for each group they want support from. I don’t know if Mitt Romney really believed his 47% rhetoric but it was good spin for the group he was then talking to.  The problem is that video cameras are now everywhere. There are thousands in every major city street corners and in almost everyone’s pocket now. You just can’t get away with spinning to one group without everyone knowing it.

My dream for 2016 is that there is neither a Bush nor a Clinton on either ticket…

Madison

Today is James Madison’s birthday. I have made it clear here on RJsCorner that he is my favorite political figure in history. He was a short and hard-working  and modest guy. This country would be very different if he had not lived.  Here is a quote of the ten things about him that many probably don’t know.  Click on the source below to see the entire article.

Madison really was the Father of the Constitution. He arrived 11 days early for the event, presented his Virginia plan of checks and balances as the foundation of the Constitution, and then worked tirelessly to get the Constitution ratified. Toward the end of his life, a modest Madison said the Constitution “ought to be regarded as the work of many heads and many hands.”

SOURCE: 10 fascinating birthday facts about James Madison – Yahoo News.

It’s All A Game….

March 16, 2015

2015-03-02_20-40-42I have been blogging for about eight months now over at InSearchOfAmerica. It is quite different from this one in that it is dedicated to looking at all the great things about this country that I have discovered throughout my many years. Over there I talk about what is right about America. I continue to be amazed by how great this country is in so many ways. I am now in the process of putting in somewhat detailed travelogues documenting my many trips around this great country. It is fun posting there even if my visit count is only 10% of here.

I love America and wouldn’t have wanted to be born anywhere else.  I love America but it is not perfect and that is more or less a major theme for RJsCorner. It is about trying to get a better understanding of things we do and don’t do. I know I often get somewhat critical of America when it comes to not doing things we should be doing and not learning lessons from the rest of the world where they get it right.  I have been in a hyper-reflection mode in these thoughts for most of the current year.

I have come to the conclusion lately that one of our major problems in why we can progress in some areas is that life has just become too much of a game for us. It is about winning and as Vince Lombardi said we rationalize that is the only thing that matters.  I am afraid that we are throwing the moral high ground of our founding fathers out the window in favor of winning at all costs. It’s all a game to many of us and that mentality has throughly soaked into way too many of us in the country.

If you believe in any of the hype put out by all the lawyer/police shows that permeate our airways, lawyers don’t really care that much about “justice for all”. It is about winning and that means beating the other side at all costs. So those who chose to be Republican fixate on beating those who chose to be Democrats. We rationalize that since we are the good guys they must be the bad guys. Common good is not much of a player when it comes to lawyers it seems and since the majority of our government representatives are lawyers that has polluted the entire system.  It’s all about the game…

When a leader of the opposition party does something we must do everything to defeat that idea no matter what it is or who it affects. It’s all about the game.  We as a society are just to fixated on us vs. them and the word “compromise” has as a result become a dirty word to be avoided at all costs. No one likes ties. Everything is black/white, win/lose, good guy/bad guy; there is no middle ground. It’s all “about the game…

Is it even possible to reverse this trend in order to accomplish some levels of forward progress? I simply don’t know the answer to that question right now. Maybe just recognizing the problem is, well, half the problem. There is just too much spite and hate going through the country right now. It seems to have almost snuffed out any common bonds we might have had in the past.  It greatly saddens me to see this happening. It’s all a game to too many of us. Win at all costs; beat the other guy. NO COMPROMISE!!  It’s all a game.  When will we ever come to realize that fact?

The Thing Is…..

March 15, 2015

RJ:

I am bringing over a series of posts for my Sunday entries from my now inactive blog over at RedLetterLiving. This six-part series from about a year ago was what I discovered about the Bible after ten strenuous years of study. I want to say up front so there is no misunderstanding that no, I did not get any personal revelations from God on this topic other than his possible guidance through my study. After ten years I finally understand what millions of other have realized before me…. It’s about Jesus, not the Bible…

Originally posted on :

CB064037What About The Bible… ? (Chapter 1)

I have been spending quite a bit of time lately thinking about the Bible and my experiences with it over the last decade or so. Around 2003 I decided to take up a serious study of theology and in particularly those around the words of Jesus. I naively thought I could get some clear directions for my spiritual life if I just understood why the Bible seems to mean so many different things to so many people. What I have discovered over this period of time awakened me. I did not get the concrete answers I was looking for but I did glean some surprising discoveries.

So, for the next several  weeks I will be spending Mondays on posts about that journey into the Bible. I have always been a little hesitant to voice my discoveries because if they surprised me they might…

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Corn….

March 14, 2015

Des Moines State Capital  Pic of Corn

Iowa is pretty much known as corn to many of us so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to see this very large picture of corn in the State House in Des Moines.  I am not making fun of Iowa as my home state of Indiana is known for much the same thing.  In fact Iowa is one of my favorite states and Mount Vernon Iowa is the most picturesque town I have ever visited.