USA Declares Bankruptcy..

The guy that currently occupies the Oval Office has declared bankruptcy several time throughout his business ventures. For him, it is just a standard thing to get out from under possibly unprofitible debt.  So, I’m sure in his mind he is thinking why not just have the country declare bankruptcy instead of raising the debt ceiling. Believe it or not given the radical right agenda of his base that seems to be a real possibility for this current administration.

Here is a little about that from my friends at the NY Times:

The debt ceiling is politically imposed, and the decision not to raise it, and therefore to choose to default, is also political. It’s something America has avoided in the past. This time, though, will be different.

This country has hit the debt ceiling once, in 1979, and then largely by accident and only to a minor extent. But even that foot fault was estimated to cost the United States about 0.6 percent in higher interest costs for an indefinite period. More recently, congressional debt ceiling brinkmanship in 2011 led Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the credit rating of the United States.

An increase in Treasury interest rates of just 0.2 percent a year would cost the government about $400 billion over the next 10 years. It also would lead to higher borrowing costs for American businesses, because borrowing rates are set by reference to Treasury rates. Moreover, each month holders of tens of billions of dollars in valid claims against the United States would go unpaid, triggering a major recession.

The New York Times Aug 7, 2017

How could this happen??  Well part of it like many other things going on now ia total inexperience and lack of competency. The other is the mindset of Mr. Trump.  He just doesn’t see the devastation that would result. He only sees the money.

canstockphoto25553315.jpgPersonally a pretty big part of my retirement savings are in Saving and Treasury bonds. Those would of course disappear if bankruptcy is declared. I’m sure I am not alone in this condition. If this administration decides that Social Security checks are on the back burner for allocating existing funds then millions of senior citizens would also have to declare bankruptcy.

Then there is China. They currently hold billions and billions of bucks of our debt.  How will they respond when they learn those bonds are worthless? I’m not an economist but I also think it would be a pretty sure thing that our national bankruptcy would result in an international depression era that would last for years.  Since Mr. Trump doesn’t read or study anything I wonder if he is even thinking of those possibilities?

For those who say  this is a “the sky is falling” scenario, you must realize that this could happen with the stroke of a pen in an unstable person’s hand. I wonder who that might be???

 

A Car With An Airplane Engine??

Just a quick snippet today to focus on the highlight of my EAA day recently.  I am not really a plane guy but it was certainly worth the time.  Especially when I came across the car with an airplane engine.  It made my day complete.

 

EAA Airshow..

EAA stands for Experimental Aircraft Association and they are located in OshKosh Wisconsin. Having married a northern Wisconsin girl over thirty years ago I have driven past their headquarters many many times.  They have an annual airshow at the end of July each year. The attendance for the week exceeds 600,000 people annually.  It is THE premiere event in the U.S. for those who love small aircraft. Thousands come and camp out on the grounds for the entire week!

I was determined to get to the show this year after passing by it for so many years. It was a very unique experience and kind of balanced out all the in-law visits that happened the rest of the week. 😉

Here is a small snippet of the total photos I took the day I was there. Click on any one of them to see a larger slideshow view along with some narrative…

The Fullness of God’s Grace…..

This is part 3 of my review of the book entitled “If Grace Is True” by Philip Gulley.

It is indeed hard to comprehend the fullness of God’s grace. Man puts many obstacles in the way of understanding it and unfortunately as the below quote says the church which should be about removing obstacles seems instead seems intent on putting many of them in place. Many versions of church tell us that God can’t stand to look at us because we are just too sinful. They tell us that God sees us as no more than a piece of snot. Jesus didn’t say that…

I was certain if I could preach the perfect sermon the altar would fill with people overcome by God’s grace. Now I realize there are many hindrances to experiencing the fullness of God’s grace—confusion, fear, prejudice, ignorance, and pride, to name a few. The removal of these obstacles ought to be the primary purpose of the Church.

Unfortunately, the Church has often erected more barriers than we’ve removed. Too many have entered our doors, only to experience condemnation rather than welcome. We’ve acted less like Jesus and more like his opponents.

Gulley, Philip; Mulholland, James. If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person . HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

They tell us that if we really want to be saved from God’s wrath then we must jump through all the hoops they put in front of us. If we dare to skip one or two or question why the hoop is there in the first place then we are told that we are not good enough to be with them. Our faith in what they demand is not strong enough.  Of course all these hoops and barriers are man-made; they are not from God.

When Martin Luther, a lowly monk, dared to question the practices of the church of his time the hammer came down hard. He was severely chastised and eventually kicked out.  One of the rules/hoops of those times mandated was that you must pay indulgences in order to get your departed loved ones into heaven.  Martin Luther said no to that hoop.  You might think that he would have learned a lesson from this but that was not to be the case.

Luther decided to put his own conditions on church membership. For you to belong to his church you had to believe that the only way God can communicate with you is through the man-made document of the fourth century. You had to believe that everything in that document compiled under the eyes of a Roman emperor is literally true (or at least according to Luther’s understanding of literally true) and without the possibility of any error. If you don’t jump through this hoop then you were not good enough to be a part of his newly formed church. When Luther limited God’s communications with us to only a 1200 year old document he put in place a condition that was perhaps more harmful than the one he rebelled against.

It appears that I am picking on one particular denomination of the 39,000 different versions of church around today. For this post that may be the case but in reality the only thing that is different between most of the rest are the hoops themselves.

Confusion, fear, prejudice, ignorance, and especially pride get in the way of experiencing God’s grace.  All of these conditions are man-made, especially the last one. The church should be about getting rid of these obstacles. That should be its primary purpose.  Sadly that is not yet the case….. and may never be…

I Am What I Am…

I think it is time to take a step back and try to explain again just what RJsCorner is all about.

If you have read any of RJsCorner you know that I am not a niche blog. I cover a wide variety of topics. The spread at any one time is dependent on what I am currently thinking about and the topic Having My Say allows me to do just that.

My In Search of America topic is meant to mellow out RJsCorner so that it isn’t always questioning things.  I hope at least some of you enjoy those posts as much as I enjoy making them. I have traveled extensively around this country, primarily by car and RV and visited many different sites. These trips are the genesis of InSearchOfAmerica.

canstockphoto7378529.jpgFinally getting to the point of this post, as my About page says I am a child of my experiences during the past seven decades. It is what I blog about. Some of you might recognize the title above as coming from Popeye The Sailor Man.  He never claimed to be anyone but who he was and I have also taken up that same mantel in life. At times in my life I have struggled with the thoughts that I just don’t see things as many others do.  That has bothered me but sometime ago I finally accepted the fact that I am who I am.

I am a deaf man with significant Asperger’s characteristics so I think I have a pretty unique perspective of life.  For me the things that make sense in this world are things that are logical.  Lying and pretending to be something you are not are probably my biggest turn-offs. Those topics have made me somewhat obsessed with Evangelicals who seem to ignore the words of Jesus, and a president who almost proudly lies on a daily basis.  I know I may be concentrating more on those two topics than is good for me or this blog right now but I am what I am so try to be patient with me.  🙂

Hopefully in the near future things will start to balance out.  The Irish oddsmakers give the current Oval Office holder a 50% chance of surviving his first year in office and the odds go down from there.  Maybe this madness in Washington will not stretch out to the scheduled four years and we can get back to some normalcy in our government processes and my blogging here on RJsCorner. Maybe we can finally get to improving things instead of just tearing them up.

Thanks for hanging out with me….

Paperweights..

ISOA BannerI know the topic of paperweights sounds very boring.  A paperweight can be a rock or just about anything with enough weight to hold down a stack of paper. But when you see some of the glass paperweights from around the world  you have no idea of how beautiful they can be. That is what this post is going to try and do.

The Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass in Neenah Wisconsin has one of the largest collections of paperweights in the world. Most people don’t realize that glass blown paperweights have been around for a thousand years or more. It is an art form with incredible beauty.

Here is a collection of pictures I took during a recent visit to Neenah.

As usual click on any image to bring up a larger slideshow view:

This Is What You Are To Believe…

Being a deep thinker I often wonder where our biases and prejudices come from. 🙂 Are we born with them. Do they come from those around us or do we come up with them on our own? I kinda believe it is the middle one. If you grew up white in the South in the 1950s and 60s and most everyone around you were segregationists then it is very likely you also would become one.  If the people you look up to to learn about life think one way you are probably more than likely to think that way too.

Can the same thing be said about religious beliefs? Someone, usually your parents, tell you that this is what you are to believe about God and since you are nothing compared to him you better cling to these beliefs or you will spend an eternity in agony and suffering. No one wants that so we usually take on our parents beliefs as our own, at least for a while.

As a kid I was taught that only Catholics went to heaven to be with God as it was the only true religion.  But as I got older at about 10 years of age I started asking questions about God. “Why does he insist that we praise him in a language no one uses. Is that the only language God knows?” These type question were usually brushed off as  infantile ramblings but that didn’t keep me from asking questions.

Now that I am a fully grown adult, that is if I ever will be, I have come to form my own views of just who God is. Since the vast majority, if not all, religions start with someone’s view of what God is. Contrary to my Mormon friends I don’t believe that God handed out instruction manual for how to live on this earth.  Instead he sent the person of Jesus of Nazareth to spread the word of proper living. The problem with that was that hardly anyone actually listens to those words today.

Our Christian bible is primarily dominated by the words of Paul, otherwise known as Saul. Now don’t get me wrong, Paul had some good things to say but he never really heard anything directly from Jesus except maybe for those few words on the road. If you objectively read his words that fact becomes obvious. So, he went about making up his own rules for proper Christian living.

Some of them were necessary in order to keep this ragtag group together but they in general they still lacked the lessons from Jesus.  The four gospels make up for that to some degree but it is Paul who the evangelicals have latched on to.

In conclusion, most of our beliefs in the religious are taught to us by others. I think it is about time we started figuring out that stuff by ourselves.

Intolerance And Education…

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“Intolerance is the first sign of inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility”. —Alexander Solzhenitsyn

I will come out of the closet here and admit that I get a weekly subscription from the “The Week” magazine which is a decidedly progressive publication. When I cam across this quote in the “Wit & Wisdom” column on the July 21st issue it got my attention.

72% of Democrats and Democrat-leaning Independents believe that colleges and universities have an overall positive effect on the country. But 58% of Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents feel these institutions have a negative effect. Republicans also hold a negative view of the media by an 85% to 10% margin — Pew Research Center

I pretty much align with the idea that intolerance is a sign of the lack of education. Education, at least personally, caused my horizons to greatly expand. It caused me to enter a world that I was not familiar with. It caused me to see things in a different light. Thinking, and maybe more importantly pondering things caused me to move outside of my own sphere into the broader world.

I don’t have any immediate statistics at hand to back up my belief but I kinda bet that many if not most of the Trump supporters are without much education beyond high school. They were never forced to think outside their current beliefs.  All they do is see a world that is foreign to them and they don’t like it. They wish for a world of the past that in reality never really existed.

Of course this difference between Democrats and Republicans is not a black/white issue. 40% of Republicans do thing that a college education is a good thing while 28% of Democrats think it isn’t. Just like everything else the world is shades of grey.

I want to close this post with the admission that some people go through college without really broadening their horizons. I also recognize that an education is not the only way to see a broader world.  Again, shades of grey….

Antique Archeology.. Nashville Store

One of our favorite satellite TV shows is Antique Archeology. My wife and I record everything we watch so we are only briefly exposed to the commercials. That being the case we usually watch this show while we are eating dinner. It always amazes me how the people they visit are obsessed with their “stuff”. They often have thousands of items and are not willing to sell anything unless it is a duplicate.

But I am getting off my intended track here. 🙂 Last year when we were on our way to our Disney World adventure we stopped in Nashville to visit the Antique Archeology store there and take a few pictures shown here:

 

 

A Tyrant??

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I got this snippet from a Facebook friend a while ago. Of course you know who that reminded me of.  I don’t have to say the name this time.  In this same vein, a few months ago I DVRed a series on satellite TV entitled Einstein. I recorded ten episodes from season one.  The latest episode I watched was when he was living in Germany during the 1930s and was exposed to the rise of hitler. Some of the parallels to today were troublesome.

I don’t believe that a tyrant could dismantle our country but we must stay ever vigilant to prevent even a slight possibility of that happening. I just pray that the vast majority of us don’t buy into the line that the press is the enemy of the people…