RJ's Corner

Move Along…

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Sometimes it seems that the NRA is a police force who forces “their” laws on the rest of us. They have such a strangle hold on so many politicians as to get their way even when it is opposed by a vast majority of our citizens. Realizing that we have more gun violence in a day than Great Britain has in a year should be sobering to those in DC but somehow they simply ignore it and the obvious solutions. When will we finally get representatives who actually represent us in the nation’s capital? That answer is totally up to us if we just have the guts to do it….

Let Me See If I Got This Right?

2016-01-06_08-13-16.pngLaVoy Finicum says the Feds won’t take him alive

One of the armed protesters occupying a federal wildlife refuge in rural Oregon said he would rather die defending the building than be arrested by the FBI.

Source: Oregon Occupier Warns FBI He’d Take Death Over Jail | TIME

I guess that not all the nuts in the country are running for president. Some of them are waving the flag and the constitution in the name of getting “free” stuff and saying they will die rather than pay for it.

Ok, maybe that is a little harsh, lets look at it a little more.  The major conflict of these guys known as the “Oregon Occupiers” is grazing rights. They all have ranches/farms  close to federal land and think they should be able to use that land for their own purposes. They get upset when the federal government says they have to pay rent on it via grazing fees.

How much is the rent? -I’m not sure if I got all this straight but it appears that people using government land to feed their cattle pay about $1.50 per cow a month. That comes to about $18 a year. If the rancher is not fortunate enough to be close to federal land he would have to pay  about $1/day. That’s about 20 times more than grazing fees.

How is this rent money used? – About half of it goes to the States to compensate them for not being able to get property taxes from that land. The other half goes to the costs of managing the land and to preserve additional land for public ownership.

All this doesn’t seem very evil to me and it certainly is not worth dying for. It doesn’t sound like it is the big bad feds putting it to the little guy. To me it kind of sounds like these guys are getting a deep discount for their cattle business but they want it free instead! I’m sure the vast majority, if not all, of these guys are ultra-conservatives who rail against all those free-loaders who are living off welfare checks but are they really any different in wanting free stuff?

As of this writing, and I hope into the future, the FBI and other law enforcement branches are choosing to just ignore these nuts who are ranting in the northern wilderness about their constitutional rights but actual history shows they are on the wrong side of this issue. I suspect they will prosecute some of them for the laws they are breaking, especially when they do so at the point of a gun. But that will come later.

As soon as the press leave I suspect even the guy who claims he will fight to the death for free stuff will leave. Let’s end this post with another group of armed insurrectionist occupying federal buildings..

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Old Guys Just Aren’t Very Popular on the Web…

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Being the beginning of a new year I am going to try and get some things off my chest so maybe I won’t fret about them all year. This is one of those posts. Take it with an ounce of truth and a pound of jest. :)

Maybe I should erase my “About Me” page here as it probably quickly pushes some people away from my blog site.  If I made up a story about being  a troubled teenager or maybe a struggling artist I would probably get more readers and especially more “likes”.

I run across so many blogs that are so shallow in content but have a zillion “likes” that it almost makes me vomit sometimes. How can someone who talks about what they had for breakfast have more readership than me? Part of it I guess is that these bloggers have 1,000 “friends”and each feel compelled to make their presence known. That seems to be the most sought after thing to many kids today. The more “friends” the more important you are or so they think. They spend hours a day focused on putting themselves out in front of everyone else in order to gain another friend or two.

I know being an old man I am probably somewhat typical in having less than 100 “friends” on Facebook. I just take the “friend” word more seriously than they do. I also  write things here that take a little thought to absorb. Maybe too much thought for many who browse the Internet constantly and can’t spend more than 10 seconds on a post.

I try to keep all my posts limited to 500 words or so because I personally can’t stand the blah, blah, blah of others. If it can’t be read in a couple of minutes I usually do no more than skim it. I suspect that others do the same to me. Maybe I am not that much different from the kids in that regard?

One of my lofty goals with this blog is to try and educate younger generations  with stories about my life. I kind of show them, via my life stories, how not to do things. I  also want to encourage them to find their passions in life and especially to live outside of themselves. But I suspect many really aren’t interested in that sort of stuff yet. I probably wasn’t at their age.

Closing this post with the original thought it seems the only time old guys are popular on the web is when they are talking to other old guys about retirement and other “old people” things like aches and pains, and living on Social Security. No one wants to take the time to listen to us old people who were born before computers and cell phones. After all what could we have of value to teach them??

Even though I don’t get many “likes” I will continue to chug along here at RJ’sCorner with my daily posts. Like several of my heroes  including Teddy Roosevelt, I just have to write even if no one reads the words.  It’s just what I do… but I hope there are at least a few out there reading it.

Anti-thesis of the Beatitudes…

2016-01-06_10-52-02.pngI hope Donald Trump does not get elected President. I hesitated a little on this one, because I don’t want to taint my holy-hopes by getting encumbered by the race for 2016. My political philosophy has been to devote myself to Jesus (“devote” shares the same root as “vote”, a theme I explore thoroughly in Jesus for President). And yet, as I listen to the Beatitudes of Jesus (Matthew 5) – where he blesses the meek, the merciful, the poor – and then I listen to many of our leading politicians, and Mr. Trump in particular, I am deeply troubled. If one set out to write a political agenda that is the anti-thesis of the Beatitudes of Jesus, you would come up with something that sounds a lot like the platform of Donald Trump. And yet — I know that Jesus heals even the hardest of hearts because I have seen him do it with mine… So I have committed to pray for Donald Trump, and I would gladly meet with him to talk, but I don’t plan on voting for him in 2016.

Source: 16 Hopes for 2016 – Red Letter Christians.

I know I vowed off talking about those GOP wingnuts running for president but the words above need to be mentioned.  They are from Shane Claiborne who is a Christian hero of mine.  His ministry is the poor in the Philadelphia area. He lives by the words and actions of Jesus Christ more than anyone I have ever studies.

These words are hope #11 from his “16 Hopes for the New Year”.  Shane very seldom gets entangled in politics so these words carry much more weight for me than the usual pundits. It totally confuses me how so many of the self-proclaimed evangelicals are backing this guy.

As If We Didn’t Have Enough To Fear…

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If strong enough, the storm of electrons and other charged particles from an EMP could disrupt the Earth’s magnetic field, disable satellites and the internet, ground all commercial aviation, silence telecommunications, and fry much of the electrical grid — catapulting our society back to the 19th century for months or years.

Peter Pry, executive director of the federal EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security, told Congress this year that a major EMP could cause widespread “starvation, disease, and societal collapse” that could lead to the deaths of tens of millions of people. The Obama administration recently released a multiagency battle plan to study and defend against what many scientists consider the most likely source of EMPs: solar storms, which Bill Murtagh of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy calls “a real and present danger.”

SOURCE:  The deadly threat of a solar superstorm.

Having training in electrical engineering I have known about EMPs for quite some time and their possible impact on the world. According to this article the last solar super-storm with a massive EMP occurred in 1859 long before we had microchips.

I guess we need to add this one to our overgrowing list of fears for today.

Narcissism and Politics…

2015-12-13_09-28-40Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric will live in infamy in U.S. history. He obviously doesn’t mind; his narcissistic personality is so extreme that every high-visibility outrage is for him a kind of validation. (If you’re curious about other examples of such personalities, read the recent book “Narcissism and Politics: Dreams of Glory,” by Jerrold Post, the CIA’s former director of psychological profiling.)

Watching Trump supporters vent their fear and anger, no one would say that it can’t happen here. The mood among Trump’s followers is as ugly as his rhetoric. But history tells us that the demagogic wrecker probably won’t succeed here. And if he does, it won’t be for long.

Source:  Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric will live in infamy in American history – The Washington Post.

This post is not really about Donald Trump. In fact I will not be writing any more posts about him and the other radicals who are trying to grab the GOP nomination until after at least a few people vote.

This post is primarily about narcissism. The statistics indicate that narcissism is on the increase and to me that is a bad thing. Some say it is because parents try to stress to their children that they are important; more important than anyone else so they grow up feeling very entitled. I will leave that idea for a future post. This one is more general in nature.

In my early childhood and later in adult life I was intimately exposed to an extreme narcissist. Everything was about her. She simply had little room for anyone else in her thoughts or actions.  I thank the Lord daily that my exposure to narcissism led me in the opposite direction. I am an empath to seemingly counter her narcissism.

Some say narcissism is a biological thing similar to cancer. It is a disease to be treated. Can some treatment turn these folks away from total attention to themselves?  I would love to see some evidence of that. They say those who have it simply can’t help themselves but personally I kind of think otherwise.  It is not that the person I knew never had feelings beyond themselves but more that they were just quick temporary bursts between self-adoration.  The experts say that narcissists actually have a very low self esteem and as a result go about dissing others to make themselves appear better.

I am currently reading the book cited above by Jerrold Post and will I’m sure be producing some posts about it in the not too distant future.  I  agree that politics is probably a strong magnet to many narcissists.  A good percentage of those seeking the presidency today seem to be firm validation of that principle.

Given my life experiences I can usually spot a narcissist from a mile away and then steer a very wide path around them. I just have no more strength left to associate with that group of individuals…

 

I Am Suspending My Campaign..

2016-01-04_10-23-32.pngI would really like to hear the words in the title of this post much more in the near future, at least from the wingnuts who have current control of the GOP. But in reality the title means that I will not be posting anymore about those yahoos until at least some of us have the opportunity to vote for or against them.

It seems fruitless to worry about these guys grabbing control of our country and then driving it into the dust.  I wish we had saner and wiser choices for the November presidential election but that just doesn’t seem to be in the cards.

We have survived some pretty big imbeciles in the Oval Office in my lifetime and I guess we can do the same but it sure would be nice to be able to vote “for” someone for a change.

The Root Cause of Much of Today’s Terrorism

2015-12-13_08-59-12.pngIn fact, friends invariably called the 28-year-old Farook a “very nice person,” while his landlord even described him as a “very gentle person.” He enjoyed working on old cars and shooting hoops. For her part, the 29-year-old Malik was seen as “a good girl” and a good student who aspired to be a pharmacist. Before dressing in austere Islamic clothing, she was even viewed as a “modern girl.”…

By all accounts, that switch was piety. They simply got closer to their religion, immersing themselves in Islamic scripture…

We saw the same transformation in the Tsarnaev brothers of Boston, who were considered “nice” and “normal,” even partiers — until their mother made them stick their noses in their holy books and get religion. Within a matter of just a couple of years of becoming more fervent in their Muslim faith, these “typical American boys” were making shrapnel bombs and blowing off limbs of innocent bystanders at the Boston Marathon to “punish” fellow Americans for supporting wars in Muslim lands…

A similar change came over the Chattanooga jihadist, Mohammad Abdulazeez, who was described as “very friendly” — until he became intensely observant in his faith and saw it as his religious duty to fatally gun down five soldiers in Tennessee earlier this year.

Moreover, two brothers suspected in last month’s Paris terror attacks were born-again Muslims as well. Reportedly, they really began to change around six months prior to the attacks, when they stopped drinking and started studying and praying.

This phenomenon is well documented in virtually every FBI case of homegrown American terrorism: the more religious, the more radical.  “They think they’re doing something good for Allah,” al Qaeda informant Morten Storm, a former Muslim, said. “They really believe that.”

Islam is not a “religion of peace,” and won’t be until most of its followers — the Taliban, the Ayatollah, ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, the mullahs of Saudi Arabia — reject tenets like jihad. To suggest otherwise is naive. Virtually everyone is hacking at the branches of this growing menace, and almost no one is striking at its root.

SOURCE: They’re ‘so nice,’ until they get religion and want to kill us | New York Post.

This is a very truncated report from this long article. If you are interested in this topic please read the entire article. I want to make it very clear that I am not against all Muslims anymore than I am against all Christians because of the KKK. But in all the recent cases of terrorism in the world the root is associated with that religion.

For those of us who have spent time studying the history of religions know that these times are not unique. Religion has been the cause for many of the world’s conflicts. The Crusades were probably the biggest example of religions going to war against each other but then there is also things like the Spanish Inquisition.

There can be no resolution for this latest round of religious wars until the Muslim religious leaders around the world reject portions of their religious documents that call for death to unbelievers.  But that is a very difficult thing to do. It is the same as asking the Christian biblical literalists to disavow portions of their religious document where God told his followers to kill everyone…

Until a religious anti-violence stand is taken there will always be those who “really believe” they are doing God’s work in killing others….

How Well Do You Know Religion?

2016-01-01_10-21-27.pngIn fact, religion is invariably a tangle of contradictory teachings — in the Bible, the difference between the harshness of Deuteronomy and the warmth of Isaiah or Luke is striking — and it’s always easy to perceive something threatening in another tradition. Yet analysts who have tallied the number of violent or cruel passages in the Quran and the Bible count more than twice as many in the Bible.

There’s a profound human tendency, rooted in evolutionary biology, to “otherize” people who don’t belong to our race, our ethnic group, our religion. That’s particularly true when we’re scared. It’s difficult to conceive now that a 1944 poll found that 13 percent of Americans favored “killing all Japanese,” and that the head of a United States government commission in 1945 urged “the extermination of the Japanese in toto.”

It’s true that terrorism in the 21st century is disproportionately rooted in the Islamic world. And it’s legitimate to criticize the violence, mistreatment of women or oppression of religious minorities that some Muslims justify by citing passages in the Quran. But let’s not stereotype 1.6 billion Muslims because of their faith. What counts most is not the content of holy books, but the content of our hearts.

Source:   How Well Do You Know Religion? – The New York Times.

The main reason I am posting about this article is the quiz that you can take to see just how much you know about religious documents. It was personally very enlightening to see the answers. Click on the source above to take the quiz.

I got 11 of the 14 questions correct because I have spent quite a bit of time studying this topic. Some of the ones I got wrong were mainly because I didn’t know the particular chapter or verse relating to the question. I admittedly am not a “bible thumper”.

The point of all of this is to say that most of our holy documents are strewn with violence no matter your religion. Taking these writings literally is where the major fault lies. If we view them for the history lessons they contain they are very informative. If we treat them as literal truth they can be very damaging…

Some Thoughts Going Into This New Year..

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Here is a thought that all us “mature” folks need to realize going into this new year. But even more so it needs to be learned by those at the other end of the message. Life teaches each of us lessons. Whether we use them to become better people is up to each of us.

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