loony“There isn’t a person on earth that would make fun of a bald three-year-old who was undergoing chemotherapy. And yet, if someone’s acting weird we call them names. … It’s so accepted that it’s frightening,” Laura said, highlighting insults like “whack job,” “nut case,” and “psycho.”

SOURCE:  For those with mental illness, stigma cuts deep – CBS News.

Let’s face it our society is still pretty much biased against those with mental illness.  Our prisons are filled with many who are in that category. They say about one-third of those homeless who live on our streets are afflicted with mental illness. We just don’t seem to have much compassion or even understanding of the mentally ill.

Many of us see mental illness as more of a personal weakness rather than a disease. We think “if only that person could get his act together he would not have any problems.  So is it no wonder that so many will not seek any relief for their conditions. Many problems in this area are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain that can now be readily relieved by medication. But because of the stigma attached many just don’t seek help. This is especially tragic when that mentally ill person manages to so easily get a gun and then go into a crowd of people to relieve his demons.

One of  the problems in this area is how our entertainment venues depict mental illness and its treatment. The movie “One flew over the cuckoo’s nest” is very typical of that genre. In it all the patients are kept in a totally spaced out drugged state by sinister caregivers.  About the only recent movie to give a realistic view of mental illness is  “A Beautiful Mind” where Russell Crowe plays the part of a real-life Princeton professor battling severe mental illness.

Thankfully somethings are starting change in that regard. There is currently a new TV show called “Perceptions” that shows a very functional bi-polar who is a college professor and deals with many of the difficult life issues in the series. I applaud those who are bringing this issue up today. It takes guts to deal with these types of things.  Now if we could just push this understanding down to the average person level….

LiberalThe liberal media would have you believe that there’s nobody that looks like the people on this stage that have an R behind their name. And that’s just not the case,” said Oklahoma’s Shannon, who suggested that the party should stress its belief in limited government and personal responsibility, two values that he learned from his local African-American church.

Agness, the founder and president of the Network of Enlightened Women, argued that the GOP would benefit by tackling the problem of liberal bias in universities…..

SOURCE: The Party of Old White Guys Changes Its Look | TIME.com.

Here I am poking fun at Republicans, when will I ever learn.

If you are politically inclined now is the time to move into the Republican party. Especially if you are a woman, African American, Hispanic, Gay, or anything other than old white men.  They are searching high and wide for anyone in those categories who shows even the least inclination to being a “leader”.  Just look at people like J.C Watts or Sarah Palin. In the Democratic party they would be nothing more than the middle of the group but as Republicans they were stars. One came via being a famous football star. The other being a beauty queen.  And of course we all know about that “B” movie actor.

I love the way they say they are trying to re-brand but continue with the same old rhetoric. “All those liberals out to get them” has been and continues to be their mantra during most of my lifetime.  They want to continue their hyper-principles when it comes to:

    • anti-immigration,
    • anti-gays,
    • anti-humanist,
    • anti-environmentalist,
    • anti- global warming,
    • anti-healthcare for all,
    • anti-this,
    • anti-that,

But at the same time they want to convince you that they have changed. They continue to blame all those  “liberals” for their problems.  If only those L’s  didn’t control our colleges, our media, and almost everything else in life the R’s would not be so misunderstood. They continue to blame everyone except themselves.

The big thing right now is defunding Obamacare. They say they are not against poor people having healthcare and that after they take it away from them by defunding Obamacare, somewhere down the road they might look at giving it back to them.  Somewhere down the road??? I would like at least one my conservative friends to tell me exactly what is it about Obamacare the frightens them so much? Are they afraid that once it is implemented it just might become as popular as Medicare which is even a truer single payer system?

Many of the base of the Republican party we are told are old white men. That fact seemed pretty obvious when I looked over the crowd at their 2012 convention.  With all those old white men are so much against Obamacare surely some of them opted out of Medicare?  But, strangely I have not found a single case of that happening. Even among the most radical of my senior friends.

I don’t want to be seen as totally partisan so I will soon be giving equal treatment to the Democratic party….

card board boxes in a pileThe last post I gave you some reasons why they say people blog and how I fit those categories.  This time I am going to give the three main reasons why I blog.    Some might think the contents of RJ’s Corner and my other blogs are a mishmash of topics but I think they hold a few of common threads.

1)  I blog to give a voice, even if it is a very small one, to those who are the most affected by our collective decisions but for various reasons have little time, resources, or experience to have their input heard. I blog because I have a very fundamental empathy for “the least of these”….

I often blog about politics and particularly the Republican variety because I think that party has for the most part lost its empathy and replaced it with fear. Instead of loving their brothers they now seem to fear him/her. They also seem to be anti-everything and pro-nothing.  Like it or not politics has such an inordinate  effect on our society at large. If we want to see change happen most often must occur there first.  What happens in Washington and the fifty State houses determines so much for those who have little voice in the matter. I try to lend my voice for those who can’t.

2)  I blog to try to get others to look outside their box.  We should all regularly expose ourselves to new experiences and thoughts. To do so is to grow; to fail to do so is to become stagnant. Looking at the world from a different angle, some call that a contrarian view,  is important to me and I hope I encourage my readers to also look beyond their current worldview.

3)  I blog because I think the world for the most part needs to lighten up. Too many of us take ourselves too seriously. Will Rogers is among the top-tier on my hero list. He had an extraordinary talent of poking fun at some very serious issues. I try to emulate him in that regard. Almost everything I post has at least a small element of jest so don’t take my words too seriously.

I am very happy I decided to address why I blog with the last two posts.  Sometimes my posts drift off topic. Sometimes I blog about things for no apparent reason. Keeping in mind the three main reasons I blog helps to center me. In the future I will strive to always look at what I post with these objectives in mind. That doesn’t mean that I won’t intentionally stray off topic once in a while but this list keeps me from going too far down a less productive  and maybe darker path.

Why Blog???

August 26, 2013

blogger

My young Romanian blogger friend Cristian Mihai stated recently that one of the reasons he blogs is because he is lonely. Another is that he has to blog/write.  To not do so would deny his very existence. After reading those words and others from various bloggers I have started to think at a deeper, more fundamental level, just why do why I put so much energy into blogging.

  • Some Blog for fame. My readership is meager by many standards so I do not blog for fame. Fame seems to corrupt most that accomplish it anyway so maybe the lack of fame is really a good thing. I need to stay humble to do my job here on earth.
  • Some blog to vent their anger about what the world is doing. I am not one of those. I think those that do that are actually blogging more from fear than anger. I will not let fear or anger have that much of a hold on my life. I actually pity those who blog for that reason. I don’t blog from anger but sometimes I do blog from frustration.
  • Some say that bloggers are just lonely; they want to interact with others. There might be some truth to that for me. Being deaf it is hard to have these kinds of conversations with others in a face-to-face manner. It is more than hard; it is darn near impossible. I think that being lonely is one of the reasons I blog but it is only a minor reason. 
  • Some say that they blog to vent their feelings and to maybe add a little to the overall conversation. I think I fit pretty comfortably in that category. I know that what I say here will not change much about the things I discuss. But even if I just put a micro-nudge in someone’s mind to look at something a little differently I would be satisfied.
  • For most blogging is a very personal matter. To be good at it you must blog for yourself and not others. When I try to self-censor myself in certain areas I feel that I have somehow defeated the purpose of the time I spend in front of a computer. Yes, I must be true to myself but in order to be read I must also blog about things that are of interest to others.  I must blog about things I am passionate about. I must write things that people can relate to on a personal level.

This last week I have been on hiatus. It has given me time to reflect just why I spend so much energy blogging. Next time I will give you the three major reasons why I blog and will probably continue to blog for my remaining years….

Upon my recent return from the Middle East (with The Global Immersion Project), I was struck more than ever before at our Western infatuation around military aggression, violence and division. Not only are these the primary narratives we are fed through our major media outlets, they are the narratives we subconsciously embrace through the latest bestseller, box office hit or video game.  Violence, death and division have become normative. We are becoming numb to the very things that we – as ambassadors of hope and reconciliation – are to turn from as Resurrection People.  It is as though there is a strangle hold on our ability to see and participate in the stories of healing and new life.
SOURCE: Jon Huckins: Our Obsession With Violence & The Stories You’re Not Supposed to Hear | Red Letter Christians.

Our Obsession With Violence …..

relaxingThe weather has been absolutely beautiful here in the Midwest for about three weeks now and I have been spending most of my time outside or in the barn working on my micro-RV project. To that end I have not been keeping my blogging up to date. So, I am taking a little while off here at RJ’s Corner. See you soon…..

KoreaNorth Korea on Sunday accepted a South Korean offer for talks on reuniting families separated by war, but proposed separate talks on resuming lucrative tours to a scenic North Korean mountain in an apparent effort to link the two discussions.

SOURCE:  Koreas agree on talks to reunite families separated by war – CBS News.

I sure hope that this latest opening between North and South Korea is successful. That country needs to finally re-unite. They have been separated for 60+ years, mainly because of politics and superpower actions.  I love the fact that this latest conversation was started by the Red Cross. In my mind that is the way it should be. A neutral third party should be the mediator in conflicts such as these. When a superpower tries to do it there is usually just too much baggage involved. The question always seems to come up “what do they (the superpower) want out of this?” There is just too much suspicion involved and I imagine rightly so.

It would be great it the United Nations could do this but they, like our current government, are just too entangled in politics to be very effective in this area. That and the veto power by a few decidedly competing philosophies contaminates or at least dilutes most of their processes.

Maybe it was a good thing that we lost the Vietnam war of my generation. It allowed the re-unification of that country that is now one of our stronger allies. If only we had not gotten involved in Vietnam in the first place that might have happened even earlier and I would have still have quite a few of my friends around today.

Sometimes the best of intentions are just not good enough. We, the only current superpower, need to keep our noses out of  many things so that organizations such as the Red Cross can get things accomplished that we only manage to muddy up.

Gas Station“We never will have any prosperity that is free from speculation till we pass a law that every time a broker or person sells something, he has got to have it sitting there in a bucket, or a bag, or a jug, or a cage, or a rat trap, or something, depending on what it is he is selling. We are continually buying something that we never get from a man that never had it.”       Sept. 24, 1930       Will Rogers

Speculation seems to be where all the instant wealth is obtained in this country. It used to be that the cost of gas at your local service station was dependent on what the local owner paid for for it but now whenever a worldwide event happens gas prices seem to rise almost immediately. If there is some sort of uprising in the Middle East, and isn’t there always one, then gas jumps twenty to thirty cents a gallon.  There are just too many people in this country who try to make an extra buck or two by guessing the future instead of doing any real work.

Hedge funds are where many get rich now. It is all about buying and selling things that they don’t really have. Even the average guy with a few bucks in his pocket is lured into buying “futures”. Everyone is trying to make an easy buck off of something they don’t really have.

It is pretty widely acknowledged that speculation was one of the primary causes of the Great Depression during Will’s day. It seems that we are in that mode again and have been for quite a while. I know there are now regulations in place to reduce the possibility of a total crash but that still doesn’t calm my nerves much. I just hope what constraints we do have don’t get too watered down my the wing nuts in Washington any more than they already are. It’s bad enough that the average guy has trouble finding a decent paying real job in the country today, they don’t need their noses shoved into the dirt by all the speculators out there .

But I’m just a simple guy so what do I know….

LincolnHe reminds me of the man who murdered both of his parents, and then when sentence was about to be pronounced, pleaded for mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan.
Abraham Lincoln

A Little Humor For Saturday…

No Better Friends…

August 16, 2013

Basic RGB“No nation ever had two better friends than we have. You know who they are. They are the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans.” – Will Rogers, 9 April 1933

You know Will you are on to something here.  I know you were around when all the saber-rattling was going on in Europe in the early 1930s. I know you had at least a preliminary taste of what Hitler would bring onto that region but you missed out on the second war to end all wars. We tried to stay out of that one but our now Japanese friends insisted on coming across the Pacific, at least half way, to attack us.

But you are right in that the Atlantic and Pacific have probably kept us out of a lot of the trouble  those guys in the other side of the world seem to always be in. If only those Wright brothers had not invented the airplane we might still be able to live peaceably among ourselves. And of course, you would probably have lived a few more years to give us even more of your wit and wisdom. But then again there is that sticky black stuff we depend on so much over there… Why haven’t we stripped ourselves of that addiction yet??