“There is such little eating being done in the homes now that a dining room is almost a lost art.” – Will Rogers, 1 April 1923 Note the date of 1923. And you thought this was a recent phenomenon…….. Read More
“There is such little eating being done in the homes now that a dining room is almost a lost art.” – Will Rogers, 1 April 1923 Note the date of 1923. And you thought this was a recent phenomenon…….. Read More
17th century French philosopher Rene Descartes said, “ If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.” If he’s right, seeking the truth about Jesus might require mentally distancing ourselves from everything we’ve been programmed to believe and instead becoming open to discovering the true Kingdom of God.
These are very powerful words to me. I am just the type of person who questions everything. They were spoken in the source post relating to being a Christian but they also apply to most other areas of our lives. I want to have an understanding of everything that I proclaim that is foundational to my life. That includes my religion, my citizenship, and my personal philosophies that drive my life.
I think it is very important to not take foundational issues for granted. You can’t just take whatever talking head you listen to for granted. We all have our own list of things that we want to believe because it makes us feel better about ourselves, is easier than an alternative, or gives us something we think is missing from our lives. To me doubting something means asking questions about it. It means becoming knowledgable in what you believe. It means being able to intelligently and rationally counter those who might disagree with you.
It has been a long time since I have seen this quote from Descartes. I am glad to run across it again.
Have you ever wondered why people with advanced degrees in climate science or biology don’t get online and debate global warming or evolution? The less you know about a subject, the less you believe there is to know… Read More
There is a lot to like about a conservative party that advocates for small government and understands what markets can accomplish and what they cannot. The problem is that the Republicans are not that party right now. From… Read More
Many of us are taught, starting in childhood, to never, ever give up. It applies even more so to those of us in the nonprofit, charitable, and faith arenas. We often work with hurting, broken but incredibly valuable people. We want to be the sort of inspirers who those we love and serve will one day be grateful for. And about us, we hope they’ll say, “When everyone else threw in the towel, this person, never gave up! She was always there for me. He never quit no matter how many times I messed up or tried his patience.”
If this is how you think, good for you. That is very noble. But you’ve got to stop running around after people and cleaning up their messes or they will never get to that place. They will never say that about you.
You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? I’m talking about that fine line between being a perseverant supporter of a person and being an enabler of bad behavior or poor choices. The line between being dependable and creating someone who is dependent on you.
There’s a place for both. But to choose awareness, we must ask ourselves, If, at the end of trying to help someone, I am depleted, spent, and dried up, has anyone really been helped?
SOURCE: Sarah Cunningham: Plant Yourself. Hold Firm and Give Off Light Be A Lighthouse | Red Letter Christians.
The words above contain great wisdom if we stop to think about them. I too hope that some I help will say nice things about me in the future. But I must realize that it is not about me but about helping them in their struggle with life. When I first started volunteering at the soup kitchen/homeless shelter ten years ago. I thought some of their practices were less than caring. Although we welcome anyone and everyone to the soup kitchen, no questions asked, there are some pretty strict rules for staying at the shelter. Until I was exposed to that environment more and was more aware of these types of circumstance I thought it should have been done differently. The purpose of this shelter and I’m sure almost all others is not to give those who are homeless and quite possibly involved with drugs a permanent home. Staying at the shelter is meant to be a temporary thing and if you break the rules you are asked to leave.
I have also learned that giving money to those who stand on street corners with the usual cardboard sign is not the way to help the homeless. More often than not the money is spent to support their drug or drinking habit. Giving someone a unconditional home or handout just might be doing more harm than good. If giving money is the way you want to help those in need it is better spent by contributing to those who are on the front lines of poverty. If you really want to personally help that guy standing on the corner take him someplace for a meal or give him a gift card from McDonalds.
To close out this already long post I want to give you one more quote from the source article.
We can do this too. Plant ourselves in our communities and make our purposes and commitments clear. We can reach out to those in need, express interest in supporting their well-being. But we don’t have to frazzle ourselves chasing them in circles. Instead, we shine light strong and steady. And when they go through their cycles and pass by us again, we keep shining light. We persevere to shine it on them every time they pass. And eventually, when they are ready and tired of darkness, they may very well come to a place where the light starts to look good and they’re more interested in staying in a sunnier, healthier, happier place.
After shooting Landsberry and two other classmates, the student (13 years old) turned the semi-automatic handgun on himself and was killed. Federal officials tell CBS News the gun was owned by his parents.
….I’m also not so sure that, as my friend said, it (gun violence) is the way the “world” is. The more I travel the world I am convinced it’s not the way the world is… it’s the way the USA is. I’ve seen a lot of the world, with travels taking me to about a dozen countries a year and this is what I’ve seen:
In one year, guns murdered:
27 in Australia, 59 in England and Wales, 60 in Spain, 190 in Canada… and 10,177 in the US.
Recently I was in a kid’s room looking at all the books on his shelf. I picked up a copy of Guinness Book of World Records. As we flipped through all the freaky and wild facts, one page caught my attention because it had a gun on it.
“MOST GUNS” was the record. And which country held the record? The US — with nearly 300 million guns. But what haunted me even more was seeing that we have around 90 guns for every 100 people, almost as many guns as people. The runner up was India, with about 4 guns per 100 people….. I don’t want gun violence to be normal, or acceptable. I don’t want it to simply be “the way the world is” — or the way the US is.
Add three more to the list from yet another school shooting on Monday. Will we ever as a country say “enough is enough”. Like so many other things the rest of the world has discovered solutions to this problem. I know for the most part we are a macho country and that is at the heart of our gun fetish. But most would say that Australia is also in the macho category and their gun murder rate is 99% less than ours. Shouldn’t we be learning a lesson from them?
I for one am very much aligned with Shane on this and many other issues. It isn’t the way the world is and it doesn’t have to be the way the U.S. is! We seem to be guided by a rather insignificant minority on this and several other issues. When will the mammoth middle finally say “enough is enough” and take back control of our country? I am tired of seeing yet another picture of weeping children due to the gun violence around them……
Please all you people who parrot “Guns don’t kill people…” don’t bother to comment on this post. I am utterly not in the mood to listen to you right now if I ever am….
U.S. job growth likely picked up a bit in September, suggesting the economy enjoyed rising momentum before an acrimonious budget fight in Washington took some of the wind out of its sails.
In some ways I put many of the business men out there only slightly above the politicians in my favorability ratings. But for the most part they usually know what they are saying when it comes to money matters. I am told that my conservative friends listen to them at least once in a while. The quote above which is from a major investment company is another hit on Mr. Cruz and the other Tea Party radicals. How many jobs were lost due to their inane shutdown and near default? When will we say “enough is enough” with these spoiled brats who have hijacked the GOP? Someone has to be the adult in the room. When will we step up to that task?
“The Republican Party is not really a party. It doesn’t stand for anything except re-electing itself,” Stockman, who directed the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan, tells Newsmax. “The neocons are only oriented to an aggressive, imperialistic foreign policy of big defense establishment and suppression of our civil liberties. That’s bad.
“The tax cons want to just cut taxes — any time, any day — regardless of the fiscal situation,” Stockman adds. “That has gone to an absurd length. The social cons, social policy people — the right-to-life issue and gay marriage and all of that — that’s irrelevant to governing a democracy in a free society.
I have long agreed with Will Rogers when he said “I’m not a member of an organized party I am a Democrat”. The Democrats have always be a coalition of many factions.
This hodgepodge of associations has long been the face of the Democratic party. Except for the last item they all seem to share a basic empathy that we should be there for one another. We should have each other’s back. The safety net that protects those caught in some bad times should be strong so that no one is totally destroyed either by their own actions or the actions of others.
And then there are the Republicans of the last couple of decades. You would think that the words in the quote above were spouted by one of the talking heads over at MSNBC but you would be wrong. They came from one of the chief aids to then president Ronald Reagan. David Stockman invented “trickle down economics” or at least the current version of it. Trickle down is widely believed to be one of the primary reasons Reagan was elected. Give money to the rich and it will eventually trickle done to the poor. The other economic thought was that in order to raise tax revenue you must lower taxes. Don’t ask me to explain that one but Mr. Reagan and Mr. Stockman thoroughly believed it. Of course it didn’t happen and Reagan turned out to be the first big deficit spenders of our time.
It is enough to say that Stockman was one of the founders of conservatism as it is practiced up until recently. The words in the quote are pretty blunt that the GOP stands for nothing except getting re-elected. But of course that could also be said for the Democrats in congress as well. As Stockman points out
The source article goes on to include several other dark sides of the current GOP but I will leave it up to you to see that if you want. As for me I will stick to the first group with my tenuous political allegiance. At least until the GOP comes back to something resembling any level of compassion.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett on Wednesday called the U.S. debt limit a “political weapon of mass destruction” and said both political parties should pledge never to use it as leverage because of the financial damage it can cause.
As lawmakers and the White House scrambled to raise the $16.7-trillion debt limit before a Thursday deadline, Buffett said it would be asinine” for the U.S. to risk its hard-won reputation for paying its bills on time.
“There are certain weapons that are just improper to use against humanity,” he told CNBC. “It is a political weapon of mass destruction and both sides should say we’re not going to touch it, just like with poison gas or nuclear weapons. It’s too powerful.”
I guess Mr. Cruz and his Tea Party buddies have put their WMD back in the sack for a few months but you can count on them to pull it out again in January. I like Warren Buffet’s words above. These guys are playing around with something that they have no idea of its destructive power.
I recently read an article that said bloggers are either creating or reacting but I kind of think it is a combination of both. Lots of things float around in my brain throughout each day. I always have a notepad available to jot down some of the more noteworthy thoughts but many escape before I can recall them. I like to think that even when I use some initial thoughts from someone else I put a creative spin on it and usually take it into a completely different direction.
Will Rogers, who everyone who has read even a few of my posts know, is a hero of mine. He got most of his post ideas from current events and as he said “what I read in the newspaper”. I try to mirror him in that regard but have morphed it into the 21st century world. But I admit that it is getting harder and harder to keep my sanity while listening to all those yahoos in Washington. So many there seem to now take the opposite tract from Will’s saying “I never met a man I didn’t like”. There are just too many there who seem to have a vicious hatred for anyone who has different views from them. They would rather see the country go down in flames instead of giving in to all of their constantly changing “principles”.
Am I mostly reacting or creating? I don’t know. Maybe when all this “going to the edge of the abyss” crap is over I can get back to some more pleasant thoughts. At least I hope so. I love passing on quotes from those wise people who have occupied this earth before us. We need to learn from their wisdom in order to keep this old world going.
I love talking about my travels and delving into my rather vast library of U.S. history, especially at the ordinary people level. I realize this sort of thing is maybe an acquired taste so to speak so I am currently in the process of creating another blog dedicated to those thoughts. I will be giving you more info about that in the next month or so. I started the project in mid-summer but really didn’t have adequate time to spend on it. As the seasons move to Fall/Winter I will have more “indoor” time to get it done. The table tops in front of my shelves are already piled high with reference material. My photo portfolio is being sorted now and my e-books related to local histories are already in the appropriate folders.
A lot of things are on my agenda but that is the way I like it. I get bored just sitting around….🙂
Congressional leaders are playing a dangerous game with their constituents’ money, their livelihoods and their retirement savings. On Wednesday, all Congress did was flip over the hourglass on a game of chicken that cost our economy $24 billion… Read More
“I have always rather enjoyed being considered a heretic, and have never wanted to be endorsed by any one. I have felt that to be endorsed was to be bound, and that it was better, for me at least, to be a free lance, with no hindrances to my absolute mental and spiritual freedom.”
I must admit that since I was tossed out of my previous church because I didn’t accept that the earth is only six-thousand years old I have kind of relished being called a heretic. It meant that I was looking at Christ’s words with my own intellect, not checking it at the door and then letting someone else to tell me what to think. From the quote above it seems that I am by no means the first to feel that way.
If I were forced to attach myself to any Christian denomination it would most likely be Quakers. Their approach to God just seems to mesh with mine in more ways than most but they also have some pretty serious quirks. I do kind of take pride in being called a heretic. I am in good company in that regard. Joan of Arc and several other “heroes” of the Christian church were originally tortured and killed as heretics. Now don’t get me wrong, I never want to be considered a hero in any regard. I just want to be known as a person who cared for his fellow human being; especially those who are disregarded by so many others. I want to be known as a guy who listened to Jesus’ words and actually tried to do what he said, sometimes successfully but often not.
As my Quaker friends say there is a light of God in all of us. Some see it early and dedicate their lives to being good stewards of the gifts God has given them. Some see it very late in life and try to make up for all those lost years. Unfortunately there are also others who for one reason or another disregard that light and spend their entire lives focused almost totally on themselves. I will leave it up to God to eventually tell them what he thinks of their choices. That is certainly not for me to do. To paraphrase a verse from the bible, as for me I choose to do my best to live my life as He told me to and then let him be the judge of how I did.
America is not anything if it consists of each of us. It is something only if it consists of all of us. —Woodrow Wilson
I wish our politicians in Washington would look seriously at the words above from Woodrow Wilson. They were spoken almost a century ago but are as true today as they were then.
Synergy is a term I am somewhat fond of but seldom get to use it. It means the working together of two or more things to produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects. That is at the core of the quote above. The reason that America has been a great nation in this world is that we have accepted and even celebrated our diversity. Individually we just a nation of about 300 million different people but when we look beyond our individual self to the common good we are much more. We seem to have lost that concept lately at least inside of our nation’s capital if not throughout the land. I pray that some day soon we come to understand it once again. We should be celebrating our differences not hating each other because of them…
I just read an article in the local paper where my congressman proudly announced that he voted to default on our nation’s debt this week. Of course living blue in a red State it was not in the least surprising. I am constantly voting against these yahoos who would rather the country default than to give up a small piece of their “principles”. What a joke.
I intend to send him an email to tell him that I am happy that at least some of those in his party had the courage to choose to pay our debts instead of defaulting. In some macabre sort of way I kind of wished that the GOP had gotten their way so that they, and especially their supporters, could see the damage they had done!
I’m sure most of the people who read this article in the paper cheered him for his inaction. Living blue in a red State sure is frustrating…
These last few weeks in Washington have been very frustrating to me and I’m sure to you too. The complete breakdown of compromise and trust is not something that should happen to any nation’s capital. Because of the apparent hate that is in our nation’s capital I truly fear for our future as a country. Seeing all this malarkey often makes me want to just drop out of anything political. But, isn’t that exactly what those wing-nuts in DC really want?
If they can get all the folks who have an ounce of common sense and regard for the good of the country to drop out they can take over and force in their political agenda. I am not one for conspiracy theories but I kind of think they have that agenda in mind when they run around ranting and raving about everything. Their purpose is to disgust us to the point where we simply quit and they can then take over. Are we going to let that scenario come into being? Although the stench of that place bothers me the thought of those Tea Party folks taking control scares me infinitely more.
Everything that happens inside the Beltway happens for a reason. If the radical right is nothing else they are schemers and planners. They count of many of us moderates dropping out in disgust. They wouldn’t dream of doing what they are presently doing a year from now. They know it would could cause a backlash and drive some of their members from office at least those few who are not in absolutely firm gerrymandered districts. They count on us to have the memory of a gnat and not remember all this garbage when election time comes up next year.
Does not dropping out mean that we must expose ourselves 24/7 to all the ranting and such going on now? Of course not, but we must understand the arguments and use some common sense to see what needs to be done and who is impeding that from happening. And most importantly it means that we have to go to the polls next year in record numbers and choose our representative wisely. To simply drop out is to admit defeat and that is something none of us can afford to do.
As for me, I will just hold my nose and keep pushing against the radical fringes of our political system even when they say absurd things like Obamacare is the worst thing ever to happened to our country. These guys just hate anything resembling authority. If it were up to them they would probably eliminate all stop signs as that is just the government telling them what to do. Anarchy is the optimized norm for them whether they will admit it or not. We simply can’t pull away and let them have their way. So, although the stench is almost overwhelming hang in there for the very survival of the country….
But one of the most notable additions to the 35-page bill was a $2.1 billion increase in funding for a dam under construction on the Kentucky-Illinois border, which just happens to be the home turf of Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). It has raised the alarm bells of conservatives, who have long complained about Republicans who spend heavily on their home states. One group, the Senate Conservatives Fund, immediately christened the dam project the “Kentucky Kickback.”
“The McConnell-Reid bill not only funds Obamacare and suspends the debt limit, it ALSO includes a provision…that increases the authorization for the Olmsted Lock in Kentucky from $775 million to nearly $3 billion,” writes SCF in a statement. “In exchange for funding Obamacare and raising the debt limit, Mitch McConnell has secured a $2 billion earmark.”
I’ll bet you thought that the bill that speeded through congress yesterday only contained the two or three things being reported by the talking heads? Nope, it was 35 pages long and mostly earmarks as rewards for some of the main players. The biggest was as shown above to Mr. McConnell’s district. The Republicans continuously rant about all the spending but still manage to get their pork-barrel things in almost every bill. I guess this $2 billion dollar project will have to be offset by further reductions in food stamps or some such “entitlement” things. Nothings seems to change……
One of my favorite FaceBook pages is a group called “Living Blue in a Red State”. Having lived in Indiana most of my life I can so relate to that theme. I don’t know if you have noticed this but for as long as I can remember when the network news starts on presidential election night they always start with “We are ready to call a State for (whichever Republican is running) and then they say Indiana. I know what it is like to live Blue in a Red State. I don’t know if I am true blue or just a shade of purple but one thing is for sure, except for my bleeding heart I am NOT red! I simply care too much for my fellowman to throw any of them under the bus as so many of those “red” folks tend to do.
A recent post on the “Living Blue..” site showed the picture to the right. Up until 1980 I most often voted for Republicans. Maybe it was because I just hadn’t matured enough to know what I was doing!🙂 But when Mr. Reagan was running his “trickle down” logic just made no sense to me. His anti-government stands were just too radical for me. I am a firm believer in the purpose of government is to do the people’s business and to protect us from the inevitable abuses of a capitalist system. Mr. Reagan espoused almost an opposite view from me. So as the Bible says I for the most part shook off the dust from my sandals and went elsewhere with my vote. I think that if things continue the way they are now many more people who vote Republican will be doing likewise.
But of course if Reagan were running today he would be quickly dismissed by the folks who control the current GOP as just too liberal. But there is at least a substantial group of Republicans who continue to treat Reagan as some sort of god of the GOP. While Mr. Reagan was in office he basically tripled the deficit but that is seldom mentioned by my conservative friends. Instead they like to rant on and on how Mr. Obama drastically increased it when he came into office. I am certain that if Mr. Bush had not left the country on the verge of financial Armageddon due to his constant cutting of regulations Mr. Obama’s deficits would be minuscule. My Tea Party friends love to say that they would have just let the country go down in flames instead of bailing out those too big to fail. But then again the so-called bailout is turning out to be one of the most profitable investments made by government in many years. They have now actually turned a pretty substantial profit as a result of the bailout and as soon as Wall Street quits playing with the price of General Motors stock and allows it to reach its real value the government profits will go up even more.
Now I’m not saying as most Republicans were chanting in the 1980s that deficits are actually a good thing. Mr. Stockman and his crowd had them thoroughly convinced that deficits were actually good for the country. I have always been one to live within my means and I think our governments should also except maybe under extraordinary circumstances and there have been only a few “extraordinary circumstances” in my lifetime….
I have been having a feeling lately that we, like much of the rest of the world, are dividing ourselves into smaller and smaller factions. We just can’t seem to agree on any common bonds anymore. Everything is “us” vs “them”.
Look at Africa. If you look at a world map of 50 years ago you would not see hardly any of the current States on that continent. But then again the rest of the world has also fractured a lot since then. If you are interested take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_world_map_changes to see the listing of changes. I must warn you ahead of time that there are maybe a thousand changes in the last fifty years. The list is very long.
It was heartening for many of us to see that democracy was getting a foothold in the Middle East via Egypt. But of course that was a short-term happening. Instead all the different factions continued to do battle with each other resulting in yet another military coup in that country. They just refused to put past animosities aside and look for a common bond. But really is that much different from what we are currently doing in this country? Recalling State senators in Colorado because you don’t like how they voted on a gun bill, isn’t that thwarting democracy too? Aren’t we almost as guilty of fracturing our democracy with such things?
The world has always been about the various religious factions fighting each other but now that also seems to be endemic even within each major religious group. Christians no longer associate with other Christians because they don’t believe 100% the same thing. The Christian world is primarily made up of at least two opposing sects. In reality there are thousands of fractured groups claiming that they alone have it right. Of course Christianity is not alone in the matter; Muslims have their own version of fracture.
Getting back to our country, If this constant bickering between wing-nut factions continues maybe it is time to put the red States on their own. Lets call it SUSA and NUSA. That kind of has a nice ring don’t you think? Kind of like two marching bands, each to their own drummers so to speak. We could even have another underground railroad for those wanting to escape the resulting tyranny. I have a feeling that, maybe not in my lifetime but soon, our country may like many in the rest of the world split into opposing factions. Two hundred fifty years is a pretty good run as countries go I guess.
But I’m just a simple guy so what do know…..
Swagger (verb )
1. to walk with a lofty proud gait, often in an attempt to impress others ⤻syn: tittup, ruffle, prance, strut, sashay, cock
2. discourage or frighten with threats or a domineering manner; intimidate ⤻syn: browbeat, bully 3. act in an arrogant, overly self-assured, or conceited manner ⤻syn: bluster, swash
I must admit that the word swagger has never been one of my favorite words. It just has too many negative connotations for me. For those of us old enough to remember the first person that comes to mind when they hear this word is John Wayne. I’m sure he was a nice enough guy as Marian Morrison but after so many years in Hollywood he became just too full of himself. He was just not the type of person I would begin to categorize as a hero in my life. He was married three times and had several high profile affairs with other women during those years.
He was an early member of the ultra-conservative, anti-communist John Birch Society and an avowed white supremacist. But when I look past all of that he did make some pretty good western flicks in his day.