Little Steps Are Not Enough…

What will it take to get even a small degree of bipartisanship back in our federal government? That seems to be the question of the decade for those of us living in the US and actually much of the world as well.  My friends at Eudaimonia & Co speak constantly about the dark side of capitalism and we all need that at least a small dose of that to keep us focused on the bright side of life. Here are some of their words in a recent post about that:

There are three great trends which shape American decline — and the central challenge of American renewal is somehow reversing them, not just mitigating them slightly. The first is stagnant incomes. The second is falling life expectancy. The third is that Americans are broke

As people grow poorer, they turn on their neighbours and peers and friends — the rise of extremism. The rise of such fresh poverty in the midst of plenty points to a deeply dysfunctional set of institutions. Living at the edge of ruin, perpetually, brings with it a set of social malaises, with which Americans are all too familiar — and the world reels at — from the rage and disconnection that fuel constant mass shootings to the depression and trauma and loneliness that pervades society, especially amongst the young. Poverty — which is what most Americans live in now, at least the relative kind — costs us more than we suppose: relationships, meaning, belonging, purpose, grief, the deeper consequences of a lack of deserved and fair chances, opportunities, and right.

Running desperately back to yesterday is not the same as moving towards tomorrow.

I give you this quote, not because I agree with all of it, but that it makes me think about the possible causes of our malaise.  We shouldn’t try to fix something until we have looked at it from all possible angles.  As the quote ends we can’t keep trying to resurrect yesterday thinking that will solve all our problems.  I think a significant part of the answer is to get that fact through to those who blindly follow anyone who tells them that he is going to make America great again. His simple answers are what it takes to solve some pretty complicated problems.

There seems to be no shortage of possible causes for why we are where we are in this country.  Maybe that is because there are so many problems that need to be addressed.  But, I gotta come back to my primary reason and that is lazy minds. For whatever reason, people just don’t want to do the homework needed to keep a free society functioning. They seek simple solutions to complicated problems. Why are so many lazy in that regard? Maybe that is at the core of where we are right now?

Why Incompetent People Think They Are Amazing

I know the title of this post will get quite a bit of attention because it mirrors someone we all know.  It is known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Here is a quote from an article about it:

“When psychologists Dunning and [Justin] Kruger first described the effect in 1999, they argued that people lacking knowledge and skill in particular areas suffer a double curse. First, they make mistakes and reach poor decisions. But second, those same knowledge gaps also prevent them from catching their errors. In other words, poor performers lack the very expertise needed to recognize how badly they’re doing.”

Source: Vox.com

Of course, this phenomenon is not limited to the obvious example of the current Oval Office occupant. In fact, there are probably millions of incompetent people across America and the world who think they are great simply because they have not taken the time to learn more about the subject at hand.  But maybe the biggest problem with thinking you are smarter than you are is that you then go on to make horrible decisions based on your incompetence.

In closing one of my favorite sayings that I learned many years ago in college is  “You don’t have to know what you are saying, as long as you say it with authority”. Little did I know that someday those words would become the modus-operandi of a supposed world leader!

My 10 Pillars

I know you don’t care but since I am an addicted list maker I have been tinkering with my blogging schedule here at RJsCorner.  In order to not fixate on the political scene I have committed to addressing more diversified topics.  That diversity is driven by my blogging schedule as shown at the top of this and every page.

Monday is the only day I allow myself to concentrate on the political scene inside the beltway and particularly inside the Oval Office topics. Any more than that could drive me to insanity. 🙂  I have just changed Tuesday to blogging about my 10 pillars of life as shown here. My 10 pillars help define what I am and why I am on this earth. So to that end, I will be spending Tuesdays concentrating on one of those ten topics. 

Today’s post will concentrate on explaining the second pillar on this list.

I realize that I am prone to depression when things don’t go as I think they should. During those pity-party periods, I tend to think that I am the only one who has my problem-of-the-day.  Of course, thinking that a problem is exclusively mine makes it harder to deal with. We must each realize that no matter what our problems are there are people out there who have been there before us and can help us with them.  They will show us ways to cope with our problems. Siri might be a good start in finding them but she is never a total solution. 😳

Over the years I have learned a lot by studying how others cope.  So, my #6 pillar helps in accepting dealing with my #2 pillar. Never stop learning. Never think you know all there is to know. People who are convinced of that almost certainly know less that anyone. 

Pillar #2 – You Are Not Alone

In future posts I will be giving you some personal stories about realizing that I was not alone with particular problems.

Compromise?

I think one of the biggest failures of the Obama administration was their naivete in thinking that they could compromise with the current Republican Party. Here are some words about that: 

American needs a loud, proud, uncompromising, demanding, and transformative opposition at this crucial juncture, my friends — one which accomplishes something in particular: a new social contract. What else is this wave asking for? Anything less is failing the moment, the opportunity, the challenge, and the test — of collapse. Trying to fight authoritarianism with gentle compromises and winsome diplomatic smiles is like offering your abuser tea and crumpets. America needs an opposition that can really defeat authoritarianism. But will it get one?…


You can’t compromise with extremists and fanatics. Why not? Because they are not interested in compromising with you — but in bullying, demeaning, and devaluing not just you, but everyone. They act in bad faith, reneging on promises. They undercut and subvert the basic functioning of a democracy. They start from an absurd position — and don’t give an inch. So what happens if you say, “hey guys — let’s be friends, and compromise?” You legitimize all the above — the bullying, the harassment, the intimidation, the little violence, the casual bigotry — don’t you? Then it becomes some kind of perfectly tolerable and acceptable “debate” or “discussion” — instead of something never to accept.

Source: Eudaimonia & Co

The above quote comes from my new friend over at Eudaimonia and Co. Click on the source to see the entire article. This guy is kind of out there as you say as they don’t hold back much. But their words are mostly right on point at one level or another.

When President Obama came into office in January 2013 he was hit head-on with a financial crisis generated by his Republican predecessor that was potentially as serious as the Great Depression of the 1930s.  Due to his naivete, he tried to reason with the Republican Congress but that proved to be a colossal waste of valuable time during his first 100 days in office. As a result, very little of what he hoped to accomplish was done.  He basically wasted his golden first two years trying to get along with those who considered him the enemy.

Now that the opposition party will control the House next month I hope they learn the lessons in the quote above. At this point in time, there is little to be gained from seeking compromise with the morphed Republican party.  Eventually, I hope that is possible but that is for the future. Right now we need a strong opposition party to prevent any more damage to our ever more fragile democracy. Even though I don’t particularly like her, I think that Speaker Pelosi is up to that task.

I hope that whoever comes into office in 2021 does not repeat the Obama mistakes of naivete. I doubly hope that he/she is a seasoned leader with the ability to turn us away from the approaching fascism.

Not Afraid To Call Them Out

My new blogging friend John  Pavlovitz is a writer, pastor, and activist from Wake Forest, North Carolina is certainly not afraid to call out Evangelicals for their discrimination against others.  That is one of the primary things I admire him for and why read him daily. Here are some words from a recent post. I encourage you to click on the link to read the entire story.

[And please, my Evangelical friend,] don’t give me that hackneyed, tired nonsense, that you are loving LGBTQ people by doing the things you do to them, because that’s an insult to all of us.

 If you’re going to tell me with a straight face, that ridiculing them in the streets and excluding them from your churches and passing legislation to take away their civil rights and prohibiting them from being fully authentic—is loving them—I’m respectfully calling bullshit. The day you convinced yourself that this was love, you lost the plot completely.

Source: Stuff That Needs To Be Said

I hope at least a few Evangelicals will read his post and realize that they are poisoning Christianity by their hateful words and actions. There is far too much judging among Evangelicals if you ask me but I readily admit that I judge others more than I should. The difference between them and me is that I recognize it as a personal fault and is contrary to my Live and Let Live pillar of life, and for some weird reason they see their prejudices as following Jesus.

As the title of John’s blog says “Stuff That Needs To Be Said”, maybe he can get through to that guy who works in an oval office. But I kinda doubt ANYONE can get through to him except maybe Meuller. 🥺 But, maybe he could convince a few of his loyal base that they have attached their dreams to a con artist. That’s stuff that really needs to be said…

Nature’s Beauty

For this Artsy Saturday, I bring you raw beauty. I am constantly in awe of the beauty I find in nature. This one was taken in the mountains of Colorado in 2012. Very simple, but very beautiful.