Works In Mysterious Ways…

2018-06-08_08-13-18.pngWhen I was a member of an Evangelical church the most often phrase I heard when its members couldn’t reconcile something recently happened with their beliefs in the bible was that “God works in mysterious ways, we just have to trust Him”. I always thought that was more of a cop-out than an explanation of the situation. But that is not the topic of this post.

It seems that these same Evangelicals put that phrase onto unexplainable actions of #CO3!  They say that he just needs to be trusted and we should disregard all the lies and gross exaggerations that come from this mouth in order to get the greater good that his presidency will provide. Again this is a humongous cop-out as far as I am concerned.

I was personally exposed to an extreme narcissist for a good part of my life and see the same things in #CO3. He emphatically believes that he is capable of doing anything and doesn’t have to put in the work to do it.  He proudly boasts that he basically sleeps through his daily briefing and he simply operates at a gut level and doesn’t need anything else. That is not a person I would put ANY trust in.  How can the Evangelicals put total trust in this very untrustful person is beyond my comprehension. That belief is doing as much harm to their religion as it is to our democracy.

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#CO3 = Current Oval Office Occupant

Troubles In The Past

2018-06-03_10-45-03.pngThis post is primarily about the book “The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels,” by Jon Meacham. He tries to offer historical context and a sense of proportion for our current times. While I have not yet read the book,  it is on my Kindle now, I have seen enough reviews to maybe entice you to take it up yourself.

It is generally believed by most of us that the troubles in the past are never as contentious as our current troubles. Anyone who studies history knows that is many times just not the case.   “Nostalgia”, which too many of us use to gauge the past, only remembers the good things and conveniently forgets its problems. Of course, that is especially true for those who hang onto the “Make America Great Again”.

I look forward to reading this book as Jon Meacham is a writer that I could only dream to be. In the book, he dedicates six chapters covering things from Appomattox to Trump to show that we have withstood serious troubles, like the current times, many times in the past. After I read the book I am sure I will be giving you multiple posts on its contents.

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Tit For Tat…

 “Congress is deadlocked and can’t act.” I think that is the greatest blessing that could befall this country. 

-Will Rogers (Weekly Article #59, January 27, 1924)

2018-06-06_07-30-09.pngI just can’t understand how the leadership of the Republican party can blame the Democrats for not getting anything done this year.  Come on Mitch, you guys control everything and still can’t accomplish the daily chores necessary to keep the country running. All you have managed to do so far is to take healthcare away from millions and pass a budget-busting tax cut for the wealthy.  You personally need to take responsibility for your lack of leadership but of course, that will never happen. You are simply too much like the current leader of your party who refuses to EVER admit that he that he is not perfect or made a mistake. Even if obstruction is keeping you from passing legislation, can’t you remember you personally invented the current definition of obstruction just a few years ago during the first years of the Obama administration? A tit for tat is hell, isn’t it?

But in reality, as Will says, your inability to do anything is perhaps the greatest blessing that could befall us.  Keep up the lack of work guys, at least until we can replace you with someone who will put people instead of party first.

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We Are More Alike Than Different

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This post is about a recent report on the PBS Newshour about Senator John McCain.  I want to start off with a heartfelt belief that, unlike some of my viewers, I believe many and probably most of our representatives in Congress are well-meaning and compassionate people who are trying to do their best. John McCain is certainly near the top of that group. Yeah, they too often get caught up in the politics of their party and don’t speak up, and more importantly fail to vote their conscience when they should. The reason for that is that our present system is now skewed towards extremes so the middle ground in America sees an out-of-touch system.

Getting back to Senator McCain, I think all of you know he is dying from brain cancer. They always say that a “dying-breath declaration” is probably the most truthful words spoken by many of us. Here are some words from him that could be classified as such:

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Shared values are what has made our country great. I think most of us realize that fact but are just too fearful of the future to keep that belief as a foundation of our republic.  The next real leader in our country needs to make us realize that fact. We are more alike than different in so many regards but somehow have managed to shrink back to a tribal mentality where anyone who isn’t our friend is our enemy.

I will finish this post with Mr. McCains declaration:

We are more alike than different

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When In Doubt, Vote For The Woman.

My new mantra for the coming election cycle is stated in the title of today’s cackle. We have pretty much given men control of our government for the last 242 years, it’s time for a change.  I think women generally are much more blessed when it comes to empathy and compassion, and that is what is sorely missing from our politics today and even the world in general.

There are a couple of ways to make some real changes in how we govern ourselves. One is to bring on a third party to eventually replace at least one of the existing two. The main problem with that as I see it is that the majority of the third party would likely come from the Democrats.  That would do nothing but give more power to those who currently so poorly running things.  I think eventually a third party is a primary solution to our basic problem but it has some negative short-term consequences.

Given the recent State primaries, it looks like I am not the only one to looks to the female of the species to get us out of our current mess.  They won big in several States and I am hoping that that trend is applicable in the remainder of them.

So, my advice to you is when in doubt this coming fall election vote for the woman. Let’s give them a chance to see how they do. It couldn’t be any worse than it is now.

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A Broken Clock…

2018-05-10_16-52-17.pngI like the old saying that even a broken clock is right twice a day.  Of course, that only applies only to analog clocks as the digital ones just go blank. What brought this thought is some of the actions around #CO3 recently. I certainly enjoy making fun of some of his daily screw-ups but in the same light, I have to also give him credit for good things that may happen because of his occupancy. Let’s get on to that in this post.

If it is true, and I am VERY skeptical about it, #CO3 should get some credit for the possible reunification of Korea.  It took a person who is even more unstable than the North Korean leader to scare him into a reconciliation that has been waiting seventy years to happen. It looks like Kim Jong Un blinked.  If it happens I hope that we can finally get all our soldiers and war machines out of Korea and let them take care of their own business from then on.  Maybe it will even cause a trend to remove them from other parts of the world? Wouldn’t it be GREAT if we could pare down our military spend to something comparable to the rest of the world?  Right now we, 5% of the world population, spend more than the rest of the world combined on our war machine. All that money could be used to provide universal healthcare for our citizens and even a better safety net for those who fall on hard times.

Thanks #CO3 for outcrazing the craziest in the world. Your skills are good for something after all. 🙂

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#CO3 = Current Oval Office Occupant.

Never Say You’re Sorry…

2018-05-17_13-58-48.pngIt seems that one of the strictest rules around the current White House, that is beside disagreeing with #CO3 on ANYTHING, is to say you are sorry. Even when crude and disgraceful jokes are made about a dying senator, never say you are sorry.  I certainly don’t understand that kind of logic? To me, that is downright disgraceful. But, then again, that kind of stuff seems the norm for them. How they seemingly hang on to their “base” is a total wonderment to me! Maybe, come this November we will see that for the most part they don’t.

On a lighter side, the very foundations of any marriage, especially for us guys, is to constantly apologize, even if you don’t know what you are apologizing for. 🙂 Too refuse to ever apologize would be the death knell for most relationships as all of us at one time or another do something that we deeply regret. I think saying a guy doesn’t matter because he will be dead soon should be one of those regretful moments. Come November I hope we loudly proclaim to the world that the actions from the current Oval Office are NOT what America stands for!

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#CO3 = Current Oval Office Occupant

 

I Get All The News I Need From The Weather Report…

2018-05-10_10-25-12.pngI didn’t realize how freeing it could be to disentangle myself from the political world. It used to be that I spent a good half hour every morning browsing my internet feeds for political stories.  That process now takes about five minutes or less. The PBS Newshour that I watch the morning after now takes about 10 -15 minutes of my time. The rest goes by at “super fast-forward”. Especially when #CO3’s picture shows up.

The title of this post is from the album by Simon & Garfunkel entitled “Bridge over troubled waters”.  I gotta do a post on that song soon. Getting back to the topic at hand, keeping today’s politics beyond arm’s length certainly is less stressful. I used to scan the daily news to get the latest Trump screw-up but I don’t do that anymore.   I’m sure they will continue to come with increased intensity as each day passes but I just won’t be reading them anymore. There is simply no use in getting upset about things that I have no control over.

For some, speculating what Meuller has uncovered is a way of life. For some, dissing Meuller and everything he finds is a way of life. At this point, it is not likely that any minds will change on this topic. Just tell me when the Special Counsel issues his report and when the impeachment starts and I might get engaged at least at some level again. But, until then I get all the news I need from the weather report.

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#CO3 = Current Oval Office Occupant

Wk- About Humanists Part 2

There has been a very long-standing debate about the morality of man that I was not until recently totally aware of.  It has to do with where the goodness of man comes from. Is it an innate characteristic or one gleaned from our spiritual side?  That is the question of this post.  Who said I didn’t tackle the tough stuff here at RJsCorner (ha).

First, let’s see what the various Humanist organizations say about themselves:

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I remember in my Evangelical days that humanists were not called humanist but instead secular humanists. I wondered what the difference was? Here is what Wikipedia says is the history of that:

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So, secular means those who reject or at least not concerned about religion. Given the current state of humanism, at least what I have come to learn so far, you can be a humanist without being secular. To make sure we are on the same level, there is the definition of secular:

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Unlike my once Evangelical friends, I am not at all frightened by those who proclaim to be humanists. In fact, they sound like someone I would like to know more about.  I will be doing just that in future Squawks.

If you believe their words, and why shouldn’t I, then they are:

  • about adding to the greater good of humanity
  • we are all responsible for shaping our own lives.
  •  duty bound to oppose actions that violate human rights.
  • are not better or worse than others.

It sounds like a pretty good list to live by if you ask me.

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I Voted Yesterday

IMG_0187I want to let you in on a couple of secrets I have. Since they closed down all but one of the polling stations in my town I will be voting early now. The last time I voted on election day I had to stand in line with a hundred or so avid Trump voters. That was agonizing! When I voted yesterday at the courthouse there was just one other person in front of me. So, one of my secrets is that as long as I am here in Trump country Indiana I will continue to vote early.

The other secret is that in the primaries I usually declare myself a Republican! Now hear me out before your blood pressure explodes. 🙂 No, I haven’t gone to the dark side.  I do that so I have two chances to vote out the radical rights that inevitably run for offices now. We presently have a county commissioner up for re-election who thinks he is Donald Trump’s brother, or at least he acts like it. I did some research and voted for his primary opponent. If that doesn’t work out I will vote against him again in the November elections (early of course). This strategy probably won’t do any good but at least it will make me feel better.

I kinda feel like I am lost behind enemy lines where I live. Republicans dominate everything here from local offices through the national ones. My voice seems more a shout in the wilderness than anything else. But, I will keep shouting…

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Cutting Taxes Is The Easy Part…

2018-04-23_18-51-12.pngAs the new header says the GOP just loves to cut taxes but that is the easy part.  They just don’t seem to be up to the more difficult part of cutting spending, or at least cutting it where a majority in Congress will agree.  They most often propose to cut entitlements as they call them.  Those are things that help the average citizen along in life. Things like Social Security, food for the poor, healthcare for those who can’t afford it are near the top of the chopping block list for them.

They don’t seem to realize that we are a nation that cares for the welfare of our citizens.  We, as our constitution says, promote the general welfare of our citizens. We care for each other.  The ironic part of the enigma related to this is that most of the GOP claim that the US is a Christian nation.  Jesus, who is the foundation of Christianity, said the two most important things in life are to love God and to love each other.  It’s hard to make anyone believe we love them while at the same time stripping a safety net out from under them.

I saw something the other day that shows that for the last forty years or so the Democrats have been more fiscally responsible than the GOP.  One of the biggest flaws of the GOP is that they can’t stop throwing money at our war machine, even when they don’t need it.

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The Enigma

2018-04-18_08-28-11I am starting yet another series this week about the giant enigma of our times. Just so we are clear on what I mean, I will give you a definition. For you who are observant, I’m sure you have already figured it out from the new header above. The Republican party was one of Will Rogers favorite subjects. He just couldn’t figure them out a hundred years ago, and not much has changed in that respect with them since then. In this series, I will take Will’s words about the GOP and see how they fit with today’s party.

canstockphoto31485978The GOP has almost always been about the most affluent among us.  There are probably hundreds of reasons for that, but I kinda think that funding politician’s careers is near the top of the heap.  Why grovel for ten thousand $10 contributions when you can get the same amount from just one person.  All you got to do is to promise that you will look out primarily for that guy and he will open his overstuffed wallet.

But the thing that really gets me about all of this is how so many folks who struggle through life are strangely in the GOP camp? It just doesn’t make sense to me.  That question will be one of the driving factors in my study of the GOP enigma in the coming weeks. In reality, I don’t think this enigma will ever end anytime soon. It will just have to be pushed aside by the rest of us.

I hope you enjoy my attempt at explaining an unexplainable enigma…

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Throwing the baby (or 242 Years of History) out with the bath water.

I am assuming that most folks know the first phrase in the title above.   Here is what my friends at Wikipedia say that means:

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In a nutshell that means don’t throw the good stuff out with the bad. That sounds like a common-sense thing to me, but it sure seems like there are a lot of folks out there that missed that lesson when it was taught. The folks I’m talking about are the ones who put the current yahoo in the Oval Office. They just seem to be so upset about not getting their share that they want to take everything away from everyone else instead of just working to get it for themselves.

We as a democracy have managed to survive 242 years with the constitution produced by our Founding Fathers. Yeah, it needs some dusting off and sprucing up, but it is the reason we are still around when so many other democracies have come and gone.

The current guy in the Oval Office just doesn’t seem to have any respect for what our founders put out.  I don’t know if it is because he hasn’t read it or just doesn’t understand it? Or maybe it is because he thinks we are a monarchy. Six of one, half dozen of the other I suspect… Will someone send him a large-print copy to look over.  Maybe one written with a very large permanent marker. He seems to favor that mode of writing if he favors any at all.

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Puppy Dog Eyes

2018-03-23_15-52-29.pngThe old Indiana governor, which is my home state is probably the best Vice President in US history.  I know that is kind of a bold statement, especially coming from me! But hear me out. If you are as sharp as a tack you probably already figured it out.

The basic job of the vice president is to sit in his office and wait for the president to die. At least that is the Republican take on it, the Democrats actually put their VPs to work. I got to change subjects slightly here to make my final point so bear with me. The old saying in DC is if a president wants a friend in Washington then he should get a dog.  Well, I think the current Oval Office occupant has the best of both worlds.

Every time I see the VP with him he is looking at him with “puppy dog eyes”.  He just seems to be in awe of everything the guy says or does.  He is definitely a loyal employee who would never dare to question anything his boss said, and he is definitely house trained.  What more could a sitting president, especially the current one, want?

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