Containers They Carry Their Brains Around In…

IMG_0049

 

I must admit that I love Shonda Rhimes and her creative mind! Grey’s Anatomy is probably my all-time favorite show and since I have been around quite a while that is a lot of shows. She shows us the challenges of life that many of us have never faced.  I captured the quote above from a recent CNN broadcast talking about the Oscars. I have not watched that awards ceremony in many years but I do get glimpses of it and the meat parade that goes on as the actors enter the theatre are still very prevalent. It seems that those guys in Hollywood love to give each other awards but that is another story.

Being a man I guess, I don’t really understand the mentality of so many women who want to hobble around on seven-inch stilts and scanty dresses in order to get attention. To me, and I know I am probably unusual in this regard, a woman’s attractiveness is inversely proportional to the height of their heels and the amount of paint covering her face.  It just seems that women are not taken as seriously as men in almost any realm and they probably will never be until they recognize that they need to emphasize their brains and get away from so much fixation on the container that holds it.

Women are generally the caregivers in the family and maybe as an evolutionary result have an in-grained empathy that so many men lack.  Being the caregiver they are more often the voice of reason and sensibility in difficult times than  those testosterone driven men who control too many things right now.  If more women were in leadership roles I am convinced that their would be fewer wars in our nation’s history. More women need to step up to being leaders instead of containers. When that happens America will be a much better place.

A Sad Day For The Possibility of Peace In The Middle East…

2015-03-19_08-40-45

 

The Palestinian problem is the primary driver for so much of what happens in the Middle East. To see a solution taken off the table by Israel is tragic for all the world.  Give peace a chance…..

The American Creed..

I started thinking about this post after I saw a PBS Special about Gunner Myrdal entitled “American Denial”. Myrdal was a famous Swedish sociologist that in the 1940s was asked by the Carnegie Foundation to study the “negro problem” in the U.S. He had a long and deep admiration of the United States and particularly the American creeds of equal chance, equal opportunity and equal justice.  He spent several years investigating before he published his foundational report.  Here is a little from Wiki about the man and his work:

2015-03-01_16-30-48Myrdal believed he saw a vicious cycle in which whites oppressed negroes, and then pointed to negroes’ poor performance as reason for the oppression. The way out of this cycle, he argued, was to either cure whites of the prejudice he believed existed, or to improve the circumstances of negroes, which would then disprove whites’ preconceived notions. Myrdal called this process the “principle of cumulation.”

According to Myrdal, the American dilemma of his time (1944) referred to the co-existence of the American liberal ideals and the miserable situation of blacks. On the one hand, enshrined in the American creed is the belief that people are created equal and have human rights; on the other hand, blacks, as one tenth of the population, were treated as an inferior race and were denied numerous civil and political rights.

Myrdal’s encyclopedic study covers every aspect of black-white relations in the United States up to his time. He frankly concluded that the “Negro problem” is a “white man’s problem.” That is, whites as a collective were responsible for the disadvantageous situation in which blacks were trapped…

At the center of Myrdal’s work in An American Dilemma was his postulate that political and social interaction in the United States is shaped by an “American Creed.” This creed emphasizes the ideals of liberty, equality, justice, and fair treatment of all people. Myrdal claims that it is the “American Creed” that keeps the diverse melting pot of the United States together. It is the common belief in this creed that enables all people—whites, negroes, rich, poor, male, female, and immigrants alike—with a common cause and allows for them to co-exist as one nation.

SOURCE: An American Dilemma – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Myrdal, like Alex De Tocqueville a hundred years before,  was a person looking from the outside into the American psyche. He was a person who asked questions that other people weren’t asking. In the 1940 when he spent quite a bit of time in the South he was utterly dejected by what he found to the point of a deep depression.  When he saw the extreme racism of Jim Crow he could not reconcile that and the American Creed that he loved so much.  He concluded that the reconciliation could only be accomplished by the habit of denial. We simply deny that there is a problem. We ignore it.

Is that, even to a small degree, what we do today? It is finally becoming more and more obvious that equal justice just doesn’t exist in our current system. When 10% of the population account for almost half those incarcerated something needs to be looked at. I hope we eventually recognize that fact. Is the “Negro problem”, and  “poor problem” and the “Homeless problem” actually a “white man’s problem” once again.  I am not necessarily saying that it is but we need to recognize that it is a possibility or at least a major contributor.

This Land Is Your Land…

This Land Is Your Land

Song by Woody Guthrie

This land is your land This land is my land
From California to the New York island
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and Me

As I was walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
I saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me

I’ve roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting
This land was made for you and me

Woody Guthrie has been on my mind lately. Maybe that is because in a few weeks I will be visiting The Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa Oklahoma. It will be my first visit to that city.  Another folk song hero of mine was Bob Dylan. He introduced me to Woody’s songs and I still have many of both their songs in my head.  Here is a little about  both these guys from Wiki:

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, a new generation of young people was inspired by folk singers such as Guthrie. These “folk revivalists” became more politically aware in their music than those of the previous generation. The American Folk Revival was beginning to take place, focused on the issues of the day, such as the civil rights movement and free speech movement.

Pockets of folk singers were forming around the country in places such as Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. One of Guthrie’s visitors at Greystone Park was the 19-year-old Bob Dylan, who idolized Guthrie. Dylan wrote of Guthrie’s repertoire: “The songs themselves were really beyond category. They had the infinite sweep of humanity in them.” After learning of Guthrie’s whereabouts, Dylan regularly visited him. Guthrie died of complications of Huntington’s disease on October 3, 1967.

By the time of his death, his work had been discovered by a new audience, introduced to them through Dylan, Pete Seeger, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, his ex-wife Marjorie and other new members of the folk revival, and his son Arlo.

As I have mentioned before the song above should become our national anthem. I will be talking much more about Woody in my upcoming “On the Road Reports” in a few weeks.

Woody Guthrie is very much what is at the heart of America…

What The World Needs Now Is a Lot Less Spite….

What the world needs now is love, sweet love

It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of

What the world needs now is love, sweet love

No, not just for some but for everyone

I love the song lyrics above. They give me hope that someday, probably in the very distant future the world will turn to love but we got a long ways to go before that can even remotely become reality. In the interim I am just praying that the world has a little less spite tomorrow than it does today. Spite is such a destructive thing to humanity. It is hateful rhetoric that we need a lot less of.

I want to make sure that we are on the same page so I will give you an official definition of that word here:

spite         noun

feeling a need to see others suffer ⤻
syn: malice, maliciousness, spitefulness, venom
malevolence by virtue of being malicious orspiteful or nasty ⤻
syn: cattiness, bitchiness, spitefulness, nastiness
verb 1

hurt the feelings of ⤻
syn: hurt, wound, injure, bruise, offend

The Face of SpiteThe picture here is from a display panel at the Brown vs Board of Education historic site. The look on the young girls face behind the African-American entering a once segregated school is the ultimate spite in my mind. There is nothing in the world productive about spite. It only has a totally malicious, often hateful, purpose.

I ran across an invisible face of spite recently when I accepted a friend request from someone I remotely knew from my high school days. When his Facebook postings came up the next day he was passing on a cartoon with the final frame calling President Obama a “shit head”.  When I commented that I wonder if calling the first dark-skinned president a shit head was intentional or just Freudian. He said he just thought it was funny and did not hate the president.

But this brought out one of his other “friends” screaming spite in a diatribe about how the president was evil and the worst person in the history of the world. I enjoy debating people who have different political or philosophical outlooks on life but I have learned from experience that is not possible to do that with people who scream so loud. They are not about to hear anything but their own rants or maybe reinforcement of their prejudices.  Sadly I am discovering too many of my previous high school classmates in this mode. I wonder what happened to them in the intervening years to cause such anger toward anyone? I wonder if that young girl in the picture who is now in her 60s or 70s ever mellowed out? I pray that she did…

What the world needs now is a lot less spite, then maybe we can move on to a little love….

Parenting 101

I2015-03-16_10-38-11’ve heard it said the best way for Washington to create peace in the Middle East is to stop providing U.N. cover for Israel and eliminate the U.S. money that fuels Israel’s defiant behavior (more than $20.5 billion given just during the Obama administration).

In effect, it’s Parenting 101: Make Israel responsible for its actions….
Toward the end of his diatribe to the GOP, Bibi offered up a simple remedy:“If Iran wants to be treated like a normal country, let it act like a normal country.”Presumably, that would include following international law.

Great plan, Bibi.

Heed it.

SOURCE: War, War, and More War | Greg Barrett | Red Letter Christians.

It should be pretty obvious by now that I am not a great fan of the U.S. relations with Israel. I think we let them get away with too much. If we treated the world as they a regional superpower treat the Middle East we would be chastised by the rest of the world and soon driven out of our world power status.  I know the foundation of this unwavering support goes back to the Christian bible and our thoughts that they are the “children of God” and therefore are to be protected at all costs. I simply don’t align with that belief. I think we are ALL children of God and must love, have compassion, and take care of each other no matter what our nationality, creed, or religious beliefs are. Bibi’s actions just don’t align at all with that strategy. With his recent proclamation that there will never be a Palestinian state while he is in office assures us that in order for there to ever be peace in the Middle East the Israeli voters must tell Bibi he no longer represents their views.

Parenting 101 is a very good description of how we should be dealing with Israel. I certainly agree that they have a right to exist but they do not have a right to make their own rules. It always troubles me when some Palestinian rogue manages to kill one of its citizens that Israel takes the lives of dozens for retaliation. I know Israel doesn’t align with the teachings of Jesus Christ and believes much more about vengeance than it does about brotherhood.

I love the way the above article treats Israel as a child throwing a diatribe and we should treat those actions as their parents. I know Bibi faces a tough election today and I hope that the Israeli citizens remove him from power and replace him with someone less belligerent. The Middle East turmoil that has been so ever-present for the last 20+ years is constantly spurred by the lack of a Palestinian state.  Until we tell Israel to get out-of-the-way of that process there will always be a flavor of  “ISIS” in the future.

Spin, Spin, Spin…

2015-03-03_08-42-13Remember when George W. Bush sold himself as a “compassionate conservative”? Of course you do. Now, his brother Jeb is using a similar formulation, describing himself as an “inclusive conservative.” The difference may seem trivial at first, but the Bushes are no fools when it comes to winning elections. And this difference tells us something about the changing perception of the parties, as well as the changing priorities of left and right…. A recent Pew survey found that 60 percent of respondents said the Democratic Party “cares about the middle class.” Forty-three percent of respondents said the same of Republicans, a 17-point gap. But the same Pew survey found that 59 percent of respondents said that Democrats are “tolerant and open to all groups of people,” and only 35 percent said the same of Republicans, a 29-point gap…. This is the latest sign that culture war issues continue to move to the front of our politics, while economic issues take a back seat. Fifteen years ago, the Republican problem was that it seemed to have nothing tangible to offer the poor, blacks, or others on the margin of society. For Jeb, the problem with conservative conservatism is that it is exclusive. Conservatism is for the married, white, Christian, suburban, and exurban. SOURCE: How Jeb Bush is tweaking his brother’s brand of ‘compassionate conservatism’.

I would love to see a poll on how many people today believe that brother George lived out is self-proclaimed label “compassionate conservative” while he was in office.  I suspect that only hard-core Republicans would answer yes.  Maybe I am skeptical here, it wouldn’t be the first time, but I kind of think that this self-labeling stuff is nothing but spin. These guys, and I am talking about all politicians here, think that they can describe themselves as anything they want and maybe it will get them a few more votes for those very naive voters out there.

Having said all that I do kind of wish that it had been Jeb who ran the country for eight years instead of his brother.  George was just not my kind of guy. Too much swagger, too much bravado, too unread, too fixated on sports…  Jeb just seems to be a mellower type guy who would make decisions based on his intellect instead of alway his guts.  This article goes on to say the Hillary just doesn’t wear the “compassionate” label too well either. Her demands for six-figure payments for her speeches maybe show her core values too prominently for me.

But the name of the game in today’s politics is spin, spin, spin.  You don’t have to know what you are saying as long as you say it with authority. That seems to be the mantra for all those yahoos inside the beltway.  They put on masks for each group they want support from. I don’t know if Mitt Romney really believed his 47% rhetoric but it was good spin for the group he was then talking to.  The problem is that video cameras are now everywhere. There are thousands in every major city street corners and in almost everyone’s pocket now. You just can’t get away with spinning to one group without everyone knowing it.

My dream for 2016 is that there is neither a Bush nor a Clinton on either ticket…

Ode To The Reenactors

I enjoy most historic sites I have visited around the country but I enjoy the ones with the reenactors the most. Most of these folks do it on a voluntary basis just for the fun of doing it. They, especially those knowledgable on the period, add an order of magnitude of realism the site. These folks were enacting the early 20th century Indiana farm life at O’Bannon State Park in Southern Indiana. It was a cold February morning but they all had smiles on the faces. Maybe some day I will join with them…

Happy Birthday James Madison..

Madison

Today is James Madison’s birthday. I have made it clear here on RJsCorner that he is my favorite political figure in history. He was a short and hard-working  and modest guy. This country would be very different if he had not lived.  Here is a quote of the ten things about him that many probably don’t know.  Click on the source below to see the entire article.

Madison really was the Father of the Constitution. He arrived 11 days early for the event, presented his Virginia plan of checks and balances as the foundation of the Constitution, and then worked tirelessly to get the Constitution ratified. Toward the end of his life, a modest Madison said the Constitution “ought to be regarded as the work of many heads and many hands.” SOURCE: 10 fascinating birthday facts about James Madison – Yahoo News.

It's All A Game….

2015-03-02_20-40-42I have been blogging for about eight months now over at InSearchOfAmerica. It is quite different from this one in that it is dedicated to looking at all the great things about this country that I have discovered throughout my many years. Over there I talk about what is right about America. I continue to be amazed by how great this country is in so many ways. I am now in the process of putting in somewhat detailed travelogues documenting my many trips around this great country. It is fun posting there even if my visit count is only 10% of here.

I love America and wouldn’t have wanted to be born anywhere else.  I love America but it is not perfect and that is more or less a major theme for RJsCorner. It is about trying to get a better understanding of things we do and don’t do. I know I often get somewhat critical of America when it comes to not doing things we should be doing and not learning lessons from the rest of the world where they get it right.  I have been in a hyper-reflection mode in these thoughts for most of the current year.

I have come to the conclusion lately that one of our major problems in why we can progress in some areas is that life has just become too much of a game for us. It is about winning and as Vince Lombardi said we rationalize that is the only thing that matters.  I am afraid that we are throwing the moral high ground of our founding fathers out the window in favor of winning at all costs. It’s all a game to many of us and that mentality has throughly soaked into way too many of us in the country.

If you believe in any of the hype put out by all the lawyer/police shows that permeate our airways, lawyers don’t really care that much about “justice for all”. It is about winning and that means beating the other side at all costs. So those who chose to be Republican fixate on beating those who chose to be Democrats. We rationalize that since we are the good guys they must be the bad guys. Common good is not much of a player when it comes to lawyers it seems and since the majority of our government representatives are lawyers that has polluted the entire system.  It’s all about the game…

When a leader of the opposition party does something we must do everything to defeat that idea no matter what it is or who it affects. It’s all about the game.  We as a society are just to fixated on us vs. them and the word “compromise” has as a result become a dirty word to be avoided at all costs. No one likes ties. Everything is black/white, win/lose, good guy/bad guy; there is no middle ground. It’s all “about the game…

Is it even possible to reverse this trend in order to accomplish some levels of forward progress? I simply don’t know the answer to that question right now. Maybe just recognizing the problem is, well, half the problem. There is just too much spite and hate going through the country right now. It seems to have almost snuffed out any common bonds we might have had in the past.  It greatly saddens me to see this happening. It’s all a game to too many of us. Win at all costs; beat the other guy. NO COMPROMISE!!  It’s all a game.  When will we ever come to realize that fact?

The Thing Is…..

I am bringing over a series of posts for my Sunday entries from my now inactive blog over at RedLetterLiving. This six-part series from about a year ago was what I discovered about the Bible after ten strenuous years of study. I want to say up front so there is no misunderstanding that no, I did not get any personal revelations from God on this topic other than his possible guidance through my study. After ten years I finally understand what millions of other have realized before me…. It’s about Jesus, not the Bible…

Red Letter Living

CB064037What About The Bible… ? (Chapter 1)

I have been spending quite a bit of time lately thinking about the Bible and my experiences with it over the last decade or so. Around 2003 I decided to take up a serious study of theology and in particularly those around the words of Jesus. I naively thought I could get some clear directions for my spiritual life if I just understood why the Bible seems to mean so many different things to so many people. What I have discovered over this period of time awakened me. I did not get the concrete answers I was looking for but I did glean some surprising discoveries.

So, for the next several  weeks I will be spending Mondays {Sundays on the re-blog} on posts about that journey into the Bible. I have always been a little hesitant to voice my discoveries because if they…

View original post 381 more words

Corn….

Des Moines State Capital  Pic of Corn

Iowa is pretty much known as corn to many of us so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to see this very large picture of corn in the State House in Des Moines.  I am not making fun of Iowa as my home state of Indiana is known for much the same thing.  In fact Iowa is one of my favorite states and Mount Vernon Iowa is the most picturesque town I have ever visited.

Guys Bonding….

I thought I would pull a “golden oldie” from the past here. Nothing much has changed since this post was originally published over two years ago

RJ's Corner - Old Version

Banner -Off The Top

bondingI know I have a sizable percentage of women who follow this blog so I thought I would spend this post telling you about how guys bond. At least the guys I know.  I’m sure you all know and that guys bond differently than women.    When a woman feels emotional about something it is usually very obvious.  Not so much for us guys.

I think I am more girly, as Arnold puts it, than most guys. I readily admit that I shed a few tears during some movies and such when something bad or even good happens to a good guy. But I am very much a guy when it comes to male bonding. A grunt here and a grunt there when I am with my best buddy is about all you are going to get from me.  We just take it as an unspoken truth that our best…

View original post 432 more words