Good Judgment

Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment Will Rogers

canstockphoto29834965.jpgIt’s time I put out a post on the new quote in the header above.  I think experience and wisdom often go hand in hand and as Will says learning from mistakes is a big part of it.  I personally think I can remember more details of the things I got wrong than the things I got right.

Due to my Aspie characteristics, I made a lot of social mistakes. Looking back I can see where opportunities were presented to me that I just wasn’t aware of at the time. People giving me hints that they wanted to have a relationship with me if I would only agree. I was a wimpy kid who simply couldn’t believe that anyone would be interested in me as a person.

Not standing up for myself was another place where I learned from my mistakes. I simply let too many people take advantage of my naivete.  Looking back I can see where I was a pretty gifted guy and quite a few people took credit for things I did. I just didn’t realize at the time it was happening.

My mistakes in the past have taught me the good judgment I now have.  It is not that I can go back and relive those times, but at least I try to use my current good judgment on today’s circumstances.  Maybe this is another example of  “Wisdom is wasted on the elderly”. I don’t know.

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Coping With Dissappointments

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I know the quote above from Will and the title of the post seem kinda disjointed but hear me out before you pass judgment. 🙂 I have always been a dreamer in life. One of my favorite things in my youth was to lay back on the lawn on a clear night and gaze unendingly at the stars and dream of what my future life would be about. I had high expectations in those years.

IMG_0187I was abruptly introduced to the idea that your dreams and expectations are never as good as you hope or as bad at you dread.  Marriage is a compromise between two people of different personalities and desires.  It is not a “happy ever after” state as many, including myself, dreamt it to be. I and my future wife were both over forty and unmarried so we had developed our own methods of living and coping with life. After the honeymoon, we would eventually clash on many subjects.  Marriage was just not what we expected. But since we have survived over thirty years now in that state I guess we are a success at least on some level and our expectation and reality are now more aligned.

Politics is another matter. It has gotten to the point where a politician can outright lie to our face and not have to suffer any consequences. Some call our current political environment the “Post Truth Era”. I hope there comes a day where I can once again have high expectations about those I  vote for.

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The Land of Opportunity.

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2018-04-08_15-12-25.pngWe need the above quote now more than ever. With #CO3 trying to shut down our shores to keep everyone out, we must remember that is simply NOT what America is about. That paranoia is driven by the 25% of us who fear one thing or another.  #CO3 and his supporters see others different from them as potential competitors for jobs or at the worst as those who might do us harm or threaten their lifestyle or even their very lives.

America has been and will be again the land of opportunity for each us who are willing to put the work in to make it happen. It will once again welcome those wanting to be citizens of our country. Let’s never allow the fearful ones to deny us the fact that America IS the land of opportunity.

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#CO3 = CurrentOvalOfficeOccupant

A Lot Of Noise Goin On…

Cackle Banner.jpegI don’t know why I seem to be so fixated on sounds lately let alone poultry stuff.  My daily and weekly posts here are RJsCorner are now named after sounds (cackle and squawk) that chickens make. I need to get to the underlying reason for this. 🙂  I lost my hearing thirty years ago, and since then my brain has forgotten what many sounds sound like.  Sadly one of those areas is musical instruments.  I used to play the guitar, not terribly well but to my own satisfaction, and I really enjoyed that pleasure. Now when I see a musical instrument being played, I struggle unsuccessfully to remember the sounds they make.

I was never around chickens that much, but they did make a big impression on me when I first visited my grandfather’s farm as a small kid. I loved the fresh eggs that grandpa had but didn’t appreciate being chased by the rooster when I went to feed them.  So, why this sudden infatuation with poultry sounds?

Maybe it is all Freudian? Sigmund was pretty famous a hundred years ago during my hero Will Rogers’ time but has gone out of favor since then. Freud was a big believer that the unconscious (dreams) was where the mind put things we can’t openly deal with. Maybe I am in a second mourning period for my loss of hearing?

When it comes down to it, I guess I really don’t care that much, but it is interesting none the less. 🙂

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Will Rogers – About Religious Beliefs

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A regular part of RJsCorner is going to be looking at Will Rogers quotes and seeing how they apply in today’s world. So, this is the first of many in that area.

Even  80 years ago it seems that there were more than a few who thought religions did more damage than they helped. I think what Will was saying is that “Bible thumpers,” and whatever they are called in the other religions, are the most intolerant of differences of faith.  They are just convinced that they are the only one who has got it right. This is what gets us into so many wars. The Sunni and Shiite quarrels cause thousands of deaths a year against each other and even to some of our boys and girls stationed over there trying futilely to control them.  Not that many years ago it was the Irish Catholics vs. the Protestants and so on, and so on… People disagreeing with others about religion seems to be the norm in our world and we can’t figure out how to get past that ignorance.

I am a big believer in “Coexist.” That is telling ALL the faiths to just play nice. If we could only manage that, war deaths could be almost eliminated.

Let the other fella believe what he wants as long as he lets you do the same. It couldn’t be simpler than that.

But sometimes the simplest things are the hardest to actually accomplish, aren’t they?

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Will Rogers – My Hero

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For this morning’s cackle, I want to talk about Will Rogers. He is the reason I started RJsCorner 8 years ago. I have been reading him since I was a kid.
Will RogersFor all you people that don’t know anything about what happened before 1980, I want to give you a little snort of Will and his words. Will was born way back in 1879 in Indian territory now known as Oklahoma. His roots were in the Cherokee nation. He started out in Vaudeville doing rope tricks in the Ziegfeld Follies but became world famous for his writing and his radio programs. He was a homespun guy whose earthy antics and folksy style made him the most famous entertainer of his time. Will died at the age of 55 in an aircraft accident with Wiley Post in August 1935.
I have been pretty lax in visiting Will here on RJsCorner lately, that is something I will correct going forward. Will lived during the Great Depression but he never got dark in his writings.  Hopefully, I will be able to say the same thing at least going forward from here.
If any of this sounds interesting to you, then stick around. I think I just might be able to brighten your day once in a while and hopefully bring an occasional smile to your face.
Much more on Will is coming soon in one of my Weekly Squawks. If you don’t know much about Will, it will be my pleasure to introduce you to him.
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Why are the posts now called cackles??

2018-03-13_10-35-34Welcome to the new and improved RJsCorner. Before I get into anything serious, you may think it’s kinda strange for me to now call my daily posts “Morning Cackles”?  I got a reason for my madness. First off, for you city folks,  a cackle is a short and abrupt sound that hens make after they lay eggs.  My morning posts going forward will be short (250 words or less) and to the point.
Paying respect to my poultry friends is one of the reasons for the name of my posts. But I gotta admit that the main reason is that the current guy in the Oval Office tweets, which is defined as a weak chirping sound. I know he is president and I’m only a retired guy living in the Midwest but I kinda think my words have more value and I guarantee they will contain more truth. So,  I put out a full-blown morning cackle instead of his nightly tweets.
Getting back to my poultry friends, their eggs are a source of high-quality protein and also vitamins and minerals. I don’t know how the term “laying an egg” got to be so negative. I’m sure laying an egg isn’t easy! They put a lot of work into it and so do I in writing my posts.
I like to think that I can lay a pretty good egg on a daily basis, but it’s up to you to determine that. Let me know what you think??
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It’s Time For A New Chapter @ RJsCorner…

canstockphoto11405597.jpgI have decided it’s time for a new chapter here at RJsCorner.  It’s time to shake things up.

  • I am putting out too much gloom and doom lately. Who wants more of that in their lives?
  • I want to make my posts a regular part of your daily life. To do that they need to be more concise so you can read them in under two minutes (one minute if you are a fast reader 🙂 ).
  • My decision to move InSearchOfAmerica photos and most corresponding stories to Flickr albums also affected this change.

At an even more basic level, I need to get back to my roots. Giving a “Will Rogers” view of the world is what started RJsCorner. I have drifted away from that in the intervening years.  Will had a lighthearted way of talking about his times during the Great Depression. He gave his readers hope and humor instead of dread and darkness that was so common during that period. Given the current times seem very similar to his, I plan to do more “hope and humor” here going forward and a lot less “inside-the-beltway” stuff, especially for the next two years, nine months, three weeks, and five days. Now don’t get me wrong, except for the beltway stuff, I will be covering pretty much the same issues, it is more the tenor of the post than the content that will be changing.

With all this in mind, the format of RJs Corner will be changing. I will be off-the-air for a few days until it is done.

In the meantime, if you have any suggestions for what you would like to see more or less of on RJsCorner, PLEASE to chime in.  Your input is very important to me.

To give you a little preview, my daily posts which will be called “The Daily Cackle” will be limited to about 250 words, and will be more my words and fewer quotes from others.

I will also do a once-a-week in-depth post which will be the length necessary to get the story across. In addition, I plan to add more personal stories about my life in hopes that you will share some of yours. I want RJsCorner to be more than a virtual corner, I want to make it a community.

Being Prepared…

2018-02-05_10-18-29.pngEven though I was never a Boy Scout, I am a person who tries to be prepared for the challenges I will be facing. If I want to discuss a controversial topic I try to study both sides to see where my feelings might reside. “Think For Yourself” is one of my primary mantras in my life. I simply don’t let others tell me what to think. But then again, maybe that is one of the reasons I was never a Boy Scout (ha).

Then I see the current Oval Office occupant who is totally unprepared for the many challenges he faces.  I know he never dreamed he would actually occupy that prime real estate, he was just having fun dissing people. Maybe that is an excuse for being unprepared?  But the even more tragic thing about all of this is that now that he is there he seems doggedly determined to stay unprepared. Of course, his narcissism has something to do with that and his grand illusion of being a perfect genius also contributes to that continued ignorance.

Changing pace a little here with a snippet:

2018-02-05_10-09-37.pngthe real craziness of 2017 is best expressed in terms of constitutional theory. Our Constitution vests the entire executive power in a single individual. No worse joke has been played on the American people than the very fact that tens of thousands of eighth graders have a far better grasp of the Constitution than Donald Trump, even though he swore a sacred oath to “preserve, protect, and defend” it on January 20, before the record crowds he deluded himself to see assembled before him. That’s not just political craziness; it’s truly meshugah in every sense of the term. Just try to imagine a conversation with Jefferson, Madison, either Adams, or Abraham Lincoln—strong constitutionalists all—on one side of the table, and the current chief executive on the other. That would be crazy, too!

Source: Was 2017 the Craziest Year in U.S. Political History? – POLITICO Magazine

Unwillingness to even attempt to prepare for the future when millions of lives are at stake by your actions is a deadly sin as far as I am concerned. To me, that is a 25th amendment thing in itself.  As my hero, Will Rogers said, “Everyone is ignorant, just on different subjects”.  Ignorance is not stupidity unless we refuse to learn. But then again extreme self-imposed ignorance is STUPIDITY!

The underlying reason for his continued ignorance of constitutional matters is his abject refusal to read.  Here is a little about that:

Wolff [Fire and Fury authoer] quotes economic adviser Gary Cohn writing in an email: “It’s worse than you can imagine. Trump won’t read anything—not one-page memos, not the brief policy papers, nothing. He gets up halfway through meetings with world leaders because he is bored.”…

In March, Reuters reported that briefers had strategically placed the president’s name in as many paragraphs of briefing documents as possible so as to attract his fickle attention.

Source: The President Who Doesn’t Read – The Atlantic

 

 

 

Tongue In Cheek..

I am going to do a little ‘explainin’ on this post about the foundations for RJsCorner. Everyone knows that a good house has to have a good foundation in order to survive. Since RJsCorner has been going on for almost nine years now and has over 3,000 posts it must have a pretty good foundation, even if it is not mentioned very often.

I started RJsCorner primarily because I had an overwhelming desire to write about my view of the world. I have always loved writing but had never tried to do it around a theme. I needed something as a common thread throughout my future posts. That something turned out to be based around my biggest hero/mentor/inspiration in life. His name was Will Rogers. He died almost 15 years before I was born so I really only knew him by his words and stories about him. If you do a search for “Will Rogers” in my search box at the top of each page you will find over a hundred posts about Will.

Will Rogers was a very prolific writer. Here are some words about him from the back of one of my favorite books:

2017-10-11_10-00-37.pngWill Rogers “was” America. Part Cherokee Indian and former cowboy, he captivated audiences around the world with sparkling gems of wisdom cloaked in gentle and uproarious country wit..

A simple, plain-spoken man, he was the voice of a nation during the ’20s and ’30s. Movie star, vaudeville headliner, radio commentator, his views and observations were syndicated daily and weekly in over 600 newspapers across the country.

Here is the essential Will Rogers — the story of his remarkable career, from Oklahoma “cowpuncher” to international star . . . and the warm, knowing and hilarious philosophies of the man embodied the heart and soul of the nation.

Will Rogers was a very prolific writer. He had a lot to say about the ‘human condition’ in America during his years. He tackled on a myriad of topics but by far the one he wrote most about was politics.  He described politics of his time as “applesauce”. It’s hard to find the original source of this term but to me it means that the political process takes something that is good and wholesome and pulverizes it into an unrecognizable mush.

His most famous quote was the title of the book above. He wrote some pretty critical words but they were always with respect for the subject at hand and with a dose of humor.

The descriptions of Will Rogers is quite varied. Some call him a humorist-social commentator, some a humorist-philosopher, and some a satirist. His words were primarily with a “Tongue In Cheek” spirit. For those of you who might have a different view from me on that phrase here is a pretty good definition:

When a statement is “tongue in cheek” it is ironic, slyly humorous; it is not meant to be taken seriously, however it’s sarcasm is subtle.

Though not meant to be taken seriously, it is not overt joking or kidding around, it is “gently poking fun”. A “tongue in cheek” statement may have a double meaning, some sort of innuendo or is witty in some way, particularly to the speaker. The tone or the context of the statement may make it to be taken seriously by the listener.

Here at RJsCorner I try to always keep Will’s philosophy of writing in mind.  Some who read my words just take them too literally when they are primarily intended as ‘tongue in cheek’.

These are indeed dark times for America but they are not the only time there have been dark clouds.  We will get through them as we have in the past, if we only don’t take them too serious.  In that vein I will close out this post with one of my favorite quotes from Will.

Do the best you can but don’t take life too serious.

That’s darn good advise for our times if you ask me….

Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Have To…

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Slow down you’re moving too fast,  got to make the morning last…

2017-06-18_10-41-14.pngThe above words come from an old Simon and Garfunkel song entitled “59th Street Bridge Song” otherwise known as Feelin Groovy.  Even in the 1960s many people thought that life was just moving too fast. Can you image what they might think about today?

Getting to the title of this post, just because you can do things faster now doesn’t mean you have to. We can all slow down to what feels comfortable to us. At least when we are not on the job.  🙂  I am not a person who mourns the advancements in technology but there are things that bug me because they just move too fast:

  • There is an ever increasing number of TV shows around that spend no more than one second on a particular scene. The picture is constantly flashing from one to the next. There is simply no time to appreciate what you are seeing.  I don’t know if this has anything to do with maybe the editors having ADHD. There just seems to be more and more of these types of shows that I have quit watching lately.
  • People simply drive too fast and road rage is getting out of control. With our increasing sense of “us” vs “them”  we seem to be making our lives more dangerous as the years pass.
  • My light at the end of the tunnel of life is coming into view. For that reason time is just moving too fast. It seems like yesterday that I graduated from college and started dreaming about the future and ignoring the present.
  • Racing through life to get to the end. That thought is very prevalent in my Will Rogers quote at the top of this site.  We all rush through life in order to get to our retirement years and then spend those years trying to figure out what to do with them. 🙂 If that is not irony I don’t know what is.

But let’s bring some logical to this discussion. The fact is we all still have the same 24 hour day as our very distant ancestors had. That hasn’t changed one iota. The other thought is that things only go as fast as you allow them to. In my day, kids spent most of their time with the other neighborhood kids in doing this and that.  Now it seems that it is a never ending job to transport our kids from one activity to another. If you complain about that please realize that it is a result of a choice you made and doesn’t have to be so.

It is a difficult lesson for too many of us to learn that life is not about yesterday or even tomorrow, but instead about today. Take it from someone who wasted much of my seven decades on this earth and slow down and live it each day at a time. Learn from the past, try to do better in the future, but live your life in the present.  I can’t think of any wiser words to end this post.

 

Ignorance Outshines Wisdom

“I don’t suppose there ever was a time when everybody knew as little about what they were talking about as they do today.” – Will Rogers, 19 September 1933

Banner Having Y Say  I like this quote from Will Rogers so much that this is the second time I have used it here on RJsCorner. It just seems like “knowing so little” is in vogue today. Ignorance is almost topping out wisdom with far too many of us. The current Oval Office occupant prides himself on not reading books or anything else for that matter. He gets all his news from selected cable TV news programs even while he proclaims that they are all just “Fake News”. Don’t try to see any logic in that method as there isn’t any.

canstockphoto20722715How does ignorance come to outshine wisdom? Of course, that is not true for all of us but the percentages seem to be drifting in that direction as our recent elections showed us. The religions of 81% of Evangelicals who put Trump in office requires all their members to proclaim that the earth is only 6,000 years old. They refuse to accept any scientific knowledge that says differently. Ignorance has trumped wisdom in their religious lives and it has bled into the rest of their lives. Ignorance outshines wisdom.

Far too many people only read things that they already agree with. Wisdom is not gained by hearing the same thing over and over again. Instead, it is gained by searching out the unfamiliar, looking for new information, new ways to solve old problems. Wisdom is gained through new experiences not just constantly reliving the old ones.

But finally, maybe ignorance is outshining wisdom for too many of us because becoming wise takes a lot of effort. It takes a lot of tolerance to see things differently. Whereas, ignorance is easy peasy. Just latch on to something you are told and disregard everything else about the subject at hand.

Ignorance is easy, wisdom is hard.  It might just come down to that fact.

 

Week 12 Inside The Loony Bin – Healthcare & The Supreme Court

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 This will be my first “official” report looking at the Washington DC loony bin from a drone level view. Here goes:

Healthcare – The GOP continues to try to formulate a health care plan that will abolish Obamacare. They have had 7 years to put this together but like usual in the loony bin, they wait until the last minute. It seems they can’t agree within their own party what it should look like. The RadCons don’t want anything, while others don’t want to cause anyone to lose coverage. I guess they are having a vote sometime today and I’m willing to bet that something will come out of the House sooner or later but it stands zero chance of getting through the Senate. It will be interesting to see what that body eventually has to say on this issue.

One major problem with all of this is that the conservatives don’t seem to know the difference between health insurance and healthcare. They think as long as they can convince the insurance carriers to offer a plan to everyone, it doesn’t really matter at what cost, then everything is solved. Of course, those of us outside the loony bin who happen to get sick once in a while know that the insurance stuff is just the tip of the iceberg. Getting costs under control is the major issue that they are totally ignoring. Another problem with the GOP is that they just don’t seem to like poor people. So, their first primary attack on Obamacare is to drastically reduce Medicaid funding. They just don’t seem to have any idea of what “Brother’s Keeper” means to the rest of us.

The only viable option to solve these issues is a single-payer system as the rest of the world already have. Over half of us are already there via Medicare and Medicaid so it is not as if that solution is foreign to us. In Canada, which has had a single-payer system for decades, healthcare costs per citizen is less than half ours. Maybe it is time to talk to them about how they accomplished that. But the loony bin would never admit they don’t know everything so that simply won’t happen.

Another interesting side point that is happening this week is that California is putting a single-payer system in place. I have to keep and eye on that in the coming months.

Supreme Court –  I see the loony bin folks are finally getting around to filling that year long vacancy on the Supreme Court.  Of course, the Democrats are playing the “sour grapes” card and that, of course, is about posturing which is the main business of all those folks. It seems inevitable that the current nominee will get the job but the opposition party has to strut around thumping their chests before that happens.

Oval Office Progress Report – Here we are eight weeks into this new administration and I can’t really see anything that they have accomplished? They try to ban people from coming into our country but the federal courts keep declaring their attempts unconstitutional. But the main problem is they just seem to run off on so many nonsense issues as to stifle any possibility of real progress. But then again, maybe that is a good thing. As my hero, Will Rogers said the best thing congress can do for the country is to take a three-week vacation and that is especially true for this current executive branch. Let’s give all those yahoos 50 weeks of paid vacation a year. That would solve a lot of problems….

 

A Drone Level View

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The new RJsCorner will include politics as it has in the past but instead of getting bogged down in the day-to-day insanity I will be taking a higher level view. A good older analogy for this is looking at the forest instead of individual trees. But a more modern example is taking a drone level view.

A major problem with our political, especially federal processes, is that most of our elected officials seem to think that what they do is of primary importance in everyone’s daily lives when in reality it is mainly about the contractors, lobbyists, and the corporate media as opposed to the priorities of the general population. The term “Inside the Beltway” is an apt title for this phenomenon. Yes, we normal folks are affected now and then by what they do but we are most part primarily focused on our daily lives.

We should all celebrate the fact that government processes move at a snail’s pace so little radical change is possible in the short term, even a presidential term. An example of this is the current drive to get rid of Obamacare and replace it with a Republican version. Given the diversity of opinion on this topic, it is not likely that any extreme view will be adopted. Instead, they will continue to be kicked down the road until it becomes much more urgent and on more people’s radar screens.

It is my intention to continue to cover the political process but only via a weekly post within the subcategory “Inside the Beltway Loony Bin”.  I will try not to get bogged down on who said what to whom as I have in the past. Instead, I will be taking, even more so than in the past, a Will Rogers view of the topic at hand. That is, finding the humor and irony instead of getting upset about what is happening. One of Will’s most famous quotes is “All politics is applesauce”. He never went on to explain that exactly but most likely it means that they start with a fresh product but then pulverize it to something completely unrecognizable. In my day we said that baloney. I don’t know what the kids call it today, but it is important to recognize it when it happens.

So, my goal in this category is not to get upset about the insanity inside the beltway; to take a higher level view. If you have a different idea about all of this I would love to hear it.

 

Never Just One Source…

Will Rogers is perhaps my primary hero in life. He is the reason I started up blogging  ten years ago and still today I try to follow his philosophy  when blogging here at RJsCorner.

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From Will’s Facebook page
Like Will I can tell from a mile away those folks who only watch Fox News for all their info about the political world. Their obsession with fear of almost everything shows through in much of what they do.

Like Will I try to think for myself but I don’t make up facts to align with my worldview. Common sense can explain much of the world today but it seems that so many of the pundits at Fox News and most of the others for that matter don’t have much of it.  When our news sources turned from an information providing public service to  for-profit institutions what sells the most is what is important to them. Giving balanced “reports” of the day has been long since abandoned.

There is just not enough people with common sense around anymore..

Even though you died several years before I was born I miss you Will and will try to carry on your tradition here at RJsCorner…