Follow Me On Facebook or Feedly

Snippet Banner  2017-02-28_10-27-01A quick snippet here to give you a couple of different ways to follow my daily posts on RJsCorner. If you are a regular Facebook viewer you can now see my post there. Just click on the”Facebook Connect” block on the right edge of this post and hit the “Follow” button on the Facebook page.

If you use Feedly, another way to make it easier to read me is to put me on your Feedly list. It is a great app that I use daily.  Just copy the URL here and then go to Feedly search box and paste it there and then click “Search” and then “Follow” on the subsequent page.

Someone Has To Pay..

No, this post is not going to talk about taking revenge or seeking vengeance. Instead, it is about the idea of getting free information on what is going on in the world and particularly our country today. I think the old saying “you get what you pay for” is true in many areas of life including this one.

2017-02-19_11-13-29.pngI must admit up front that I am probably like most of the people in that I get at least part of my news from Internet sources. I used to get agitated when I clicked on a news article only to have some words to the effect that I need to sign up with a paid prescription in order to view the article. I almost always mumbled, “you gotta be kidding…”

But it finally it dawned on this dense brain of mine that someone has to pay if you want quality news information. Someone has to track down the info, get at least double verification of the facts, and then write the article in concise and understandable words and then someone else needs to check it for all the above. It takes people of talent to do that and they need to be paid what they are worth. In the past, the video versions of news sources were paid by the advertisers of the programs selling their products but that paradigm seems to be losing its effectiveness rather quickly now. How do we get reliable sources for our information? That is the question at hand.

One way is to pay for the service directly through subscription. I recently joined millions of others in this post-truth era who subscribe to the New York Times.  Why the Times? Because they have the most talented writers around. They stick to tried and true methods of obtaining the latest news.

With the abundance of fake news now proliferating the Internet, we need someone we can trust to give us the real facts.  “You get what you pay for” almost seems to be archaic in today’s world but maybe it is actually truer than ever.

Next time you read a news article or see it on a cable news channel, stop and think if this is really true or even pertinent? If you doubt it in any way look for another source of verification.  Especially it that news channel happens to be FOX news or MSNBC and most particularly when it comes out of the Oval Office…

 

How accurate are your Blogger stats? – Not Very..

Snippet Banner This snippet is for all my fellow bloggers out there, everyone else can just ignore it.   I have been looking into my blog stats lately and have discovered some interesting things. I am on WordPress and the general consensus is that it gets less traffic than Blogger because the Google search engine gives priority to its own app. But, what I actually discovered is that Blogger includes all the spambot hits as well as search engines who roam through the blogsite as a visit count.  Sometimes that leads to some rather gross inaccuracies.  As it turns out I guess is that the Google search engine punishes Blogger blogs because it counts all the spammers and other bots that attack it as views, WordPress filters them out excluding them from your counts. And with Blogger even these inflated numbers can be easily faked by a readily available app.

Long story short, don’t count the blog stats you run across being anywhere close to accurate and especially if they are hosted on Blogger.

When we Christians shun our responsibilities….

Jesus clearly told us to be our brother’s keeper but somewhere along the way we Christians unapologetically shunned that responsibility. During the first three centuries, Christians were very much their brother’s keeper. They often pooled their resources so that those neediest were taken care of. They not only cared for their own there is even documented evidence showing that they took care of those not even Christians.  But, of course, this is what Jesus did so they were just following his lead.

The vast majority of Christian congregations today spend about 95% of what they gather on themselves or their organization’s hierarchy leaving little for the kingdom of God work particularly in the brother’s keeper area.  When that happened the moral goodness, which I believe to be also a gift from God to all humanity, dictated that the kingdoms of the world take over that task. Some do a much better job of it than others. The government of Sudan seems to totally reject the “brother’s keeper” mentality.  Many thousands die daily of starvation and political genocide. Whereas, thank the Lord, the government of the United States has generally taken up this task in our absence, at least to a partial degree. Or at least one of our political parties carries that mantle.

Now I’m not saying that Christians do nothing in this area. Indeed some of the best humanitarian agencies in this area are Christian based. But, their total contributions is almost minuscule compared to the need. Having religious institutions take over all the care for the poor is beyond the realm of possibilities so I guess we must depend on our governments to do that for us. It is said that government instituted by God so I suppose you could say it is now their duty. To even suggest as some do that since we Christians won’t do it our governments should stay out of it also is a total affront to the teachings of Jesus. It is indeed a sad day that many Evangelical Christians seem to be saying that very thing today. Shame on us for shunning this compassionate responsibility!

Letting Others Think For Us..

All of this conflicting rhetoric and division has many of us worried about the fate of our country but from the new “Quote of the Day” at the top of this blog, it sounds like that letting others think for us just might be the norm.

I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America.  –Alexis de Tocqueville 1835

2017-02-25_09-04-23.pngAlexis de Tocqueville who wrote the now infamous book “Democracy In America” was a Frenchman who traveled our country in 1835 trying to understand what made America what it was. His book is a must-read for anyone serious about understanding our country. I only recently came across this quote and it kind of surprised me to see that so many let others think for them even in his time.

I guess that is what leadership is for, to tell others what they are to believe! Of course, there are two camps in the regard today and neither one of them have the necessary leaders to give us real wisdom. They are just too busy fighting each other and contending with in-fighting in their own party to see the overall picture of our possible futures.

One party is determined to shut down almost all government responsibilities and the other is too busy trying to protect our minorities to be concerned about the rest of us.  Given these states of mind, true wisdom is completely missing from today’s dialog. How long can we exist in this current state is hard to say, but given the quote above it is not the first time we have been in this boat.. maybe it is just who we really are?

Making Stuff So Rich People Will Spend Their Money…

crayon-banner   I am a car guy, a good part of my TV viewing is the Velocity Channel where they routinely make and auction $200,000 to up to $4,000,000 cars. It seems almost every time someone goes to my favorite car builder it is to “fill in their collection”. They have most of the 60’s Cameros but need another to fill a hole.  Another show is where a guy runs around the country trying to find cars that his clients need for their collections. Car shows are no longer about the average guy rebuilding an old car in his garage, or at least the Velocity Channel version.

2017-02-18_10-38-17.pngThat got me to thinking about so many other cable shows where they are making stuff so rich people will spend their money.  The last few years the rich seem to have tightened their purse strings for fear of this or that. Trying to get them to spend so of it so it will trickle down to the rest of us is the name of the game. Of course, that makes total sense if you really look at it since one percent of the U.S. population control about half of our total wealth and the rest of us are only manage to scrape up only an occasional dollar or two of discretionary income. Not nearly enough to buy the things they make for their wealthy clients.

2017-02-18_10-40-26.pngRich guys don’t usually want what other rich guys have so you just can’t mass market to them. They want the bragging rights to say “this is the only thing like this in the world”.  When it comes to rich guys “the customer is always right” is the mantra so there is a lot of anatomy kissing going on in that world. 🙂

I see where CO3 upped the initiation fee from $100,000 to $200,000 for this Palm Beach golf club as soon as he got in the Oval Office but that just moves money from one rich guy to another. The moral of this story is if you want to join the ranks of rich guys you gotta make the current one’s toys.

* CO3 = Current Oval Office Occupant

What About The Soul??

With this post I am going to go deeply into philosophy and speculate on just what is life. I couldn’t decide if this post belongs in the “That’s Life” category or “Crayon Marks” so I put it in both.  🙂

2017-02-19_10-40-15.pngMan has spent ages trying to figure out what happens after we end our life on earth.  For Christians, Jesus tells us that our spirit leaves our body and goes to what we decided to call heaven. He tells us that marriages don’t count in heaven and we will live in one of the rooms in his mansion.  I kind of put these words as what a person who has infinitely more knowledge of a subject trying to explain something to someone who is ignorant in the matter. Kind of like a space traveling alien explaining to an aboriginal person what the stars really are.  They will put it in simple terms because they know we couldn’t fathom anything more.

What is heaven?  No one on this side of life really knows. But that doesn’t keep us, including me, from speculating.  So here goes…

When I die whatever causes me to be alive will leave my body and eventually my body will disintegrate back to the dust of the earth. That is if I don’t hasten the process by cremation. 🙂  My soul, which I choose for this post to call my life spirit will go to wherever life spirits go. If it is eternal as I think it is, it will either stay there or maybe get used for another body being born. Will it have memories of my past life? I would like to think so, that’s what reincarnation is all about, but if I believe the words of Jesus that we will not be married and other such social obligations then I kind of think my spirit will just be a spirit, the essence of life.

Much of my speculation hinges on the belief that life cannot be made, instead it is created by an omnipotent being. In past ages the heart, among other body parts, was believed to be the soul of a person, that is before it was discovered that all the heart really is is a muscle that pumps blood.  If life is somehow created in a laboratory sometime in the future then my concept of life spirits would like so many past ones will be thrown aside and replaced by something else.

Does it really matter what I think the life force is?  Not really, we need to concentrate on just living it to the fullest and watching out for each other. That is the real meaning of life to me.

Mountains…

ISOA Banner  One thing that Indiana simply doesn’t have are mountains. To me, there is just so much majesty in mountains. Sometimes I have brief glimpses of being a mountain man but I think that is probably just too much watching “Jeremiah Johnson” than anything approaching reality. 🙂

So, this InSearchOfAmerica post gives you some of my favorite pictures of my travels out west in the last decade.

Not Everything…

Snippet Banner  I may surprise you with this, but I am not against everything CO3 proposes. He wants to shake up things in Washington and so do I.  It is just that I wanted someone with the wisdom and tact necessary to do that job and he simply isn’t that person.

One of the shakeups that I am adamantly for is term limits. I changed the quote in the header above to indicate that fact. Thomas Jefferson was well aware of those in the nation’s capital that stayed too long. Like everything else though, CO3 is all over the map on the details, or should I say lack of details.

2017-02-21_09-43-49.pngHere is my proposal:

  • U.S. Senate: 12 years (two terms)
  • House: 12 years (six terms)
  • Supreme Court: 18 years or 80 years of age
  • U.S. President: 8 years (two terms)

I know the argument that we have unofficial term limits via our election process but that argument just doesn’t hold water anymore, if it ever did. One reason is because of gerrymandering. Congressional district maps are totally made up to keep the incumbent in office. The second reason is because of a lazy electorate. So many complain about their representatives but then almost always vote them in office anyway.

Of course, the Supreme Court is a new one. Lifetime offices in total should be eliminated. After all, we are not a monarchy and shouldn’t treat a branch of our government as if it were.

So, here is to you CO3, if you can just keep your mind on one thing long enough to get it done I hope it is term limits.

* CO3 = Current Oval Office Occupant

If Grace Is True

After many years of resistance and finally accepting God’s love I find it strange to believe that so many believe he is going to damn the vast majority of those he loves to an eternal anguish.  We spend less than a century on this earth in one degree of happiness or another and then billions, if not trillions of centuries in total misery and anguish. That is just not the God that I have come to know.

I grew up in a very sheltered life in a small midwest town. There were no visible minorities there and there certainly were nothing but Christian churches of one flavor or another in the area. It was not until I went to college that I was exposed to anyone outside my usual cliche. Things would change rather dramatically for me during those years.  I learned that everyone who didn’t go to a Christian church were not bad guys. Many seemed to share the same level of morality that I did during those years.

It was later in my life than it was for Mr. Gulley that I saw the movie Gandhi but it also affected me greatly.  I went on to learn more about the man and the religious stands of his version of God. Gandhi was a man of infinite morals. He understood thing about loving your fellow man that I still can’t fathom. Why would God send him to hell while giving me a place in heaven.

I like the idea of emptying hell. Is God really going to eternally condemn those stubborn souls who fail to recognize him during their utterly brief time on this earth?