Let’s face it, our country is primarily ruled by old people like me. Is that what the framers wanted? That is what this post is about?Read more
Obviously the question in the title above is what this post is all about. Here is the definition of social media from Wikipedia. The biggies are obviouslly Facebook,Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, with many other a little further down the line.Read more
Sometimes I get into dry spells here at RJsCorner where I just can’t think of something for my daily posts. When that occurs I usually pull up a quote that strikes me from my list at iHearts143Quotes.com. That is the case for today’s post.
I am certainly one to embrace change and loathe boredom, but having said that I do enjoy my morning routine. Part of that routine is to say a little prayer in the morning shower. I find that it just gets my day off to the right start. Here is the prayer:
Lord, thank you for yesterday and please give me another good day today.
I’m not a Catholic, but I once was, so I don’t always say those exact words but the meaning is always the same. It is a twofold prayer, if I must say. The first, most obvious part is to appreciate every day that comes and to try and make something special happen in that day. The second part is at this time in my life I really don’t know that I will see a tomorrow, so I petition the Lord with that request also.
[going off track here] Thinking about Catholics, I always wondered why they have to say the exact same prayers over and over again. I started this life as a Catholic for my first 20 years, then later spent about the same amount of time as a Lutheran Protestant, and am finishing up as “spiritual but not religious” category. I kind of like that non-Catholic have to wing it more when they pray. Not as many pre-subscribed words for them to parrot.
Getting back to my original thoughts to close here, I do the vast majority of my post writing in the first few hours of each day. When noon comes along it is most often time for more physical type activities. I do like to embrace change but I guess I also like my daily routines too.
Let’s face it, we can’t simply ignore the problems and hope they go away. That seems to have worked for a long time but in reality, it has just allowed the problems to fester and get worse. America is collapsing and if we don’t do something about it soon, it just may be too late. Just because we have gone-to-the-edge before and survived doesn’t mean it will happen again. Here is the myth for today that we need to unlearn:
Myth: America isn’t collapsing!!!
Life expectancy is falling, the vast majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, they can’t raise $1000 for an emergency, mass shootings are a regular event of daily life, people have to crowdfund basic medicine, suicides are skyrocketing. I could go on. If your bar for collapse is Mad Max meets the Strain, then, sure, America hasn’t collapsed yet…to that point.
But it has collapsed in three key ways, which are the real, genuine and true kinds — not the stuff of science fiction end times.
◉ As a rich society — most Americans don’t live in one anymore.
◉ As a democracy — it doesn’t really represent people accurately anymore.
◉ As a society — Americans have no social contract, really, that unites them, as we’ve discussed — because virtue has not culminated in the public good .
In those three ways, collapse is as real and lethal as climate change. You can disagree with me, sure — but reality doesn’t care about what I think, or you think. It laughs at we “think”, and goes on being what it is.Source: https://eand.co/eight-myths-americans-need-to-unlearn-about-america-560fa10ddba6
I wonder if Rome ever recognized that they were in decline? How about the Great British Empire, do superpowers ever know it when it happens? What was originally known as the Middle Class has evaporated from our country. Yes, there are 10% of us who are doing pretty well. We went to college or trade school and obtained skills needed in the 21st century. We are doing OK.
But there is the almost 60% of us who now stuck in low paying, soon to be automated, jobs that pay low wages. Many continue to dream that somehow they will find their golden egg and get rich but in reality that is also a myth.
They have gerrymandered and restricted the vote so much in recent years to pretty much guarantee they cling to power even if they can’t manage to get the majority vote.
Maybe the worst thing is our social fabric is disintegrating. We are locked into our clans and will simply not listen to anything else. If that is not a fundamental threat to our democracy I can’t imagine what is.
I pray that it isn’t too late yet , but somehow something needs to happen… and soon.
I don’t know how many times I have heard the expression in the title of this post. I don’t know how many times I have said it myself. I have always wondered why time seems to fly by now but in my youth a year seemed like an eternity. It wasn’t until I got a glimpse of the short article below from the AARP Magazine that I came to maybe understand this time warp a little better.
It’s interesting if I at least partially accept what the article says that the reason is stale experiences. That is, as we get older, especially in our senior years, we pretty much do the same things over and over again. That lack of new experiences leads our brains to lock up. Being a “Question Everything” skeptic that I am I’m not sure I totally accept this logic, but it does ring true at least at some level.
If you want time to slow down then you need to constantly experience new things or “fresh experiences” as the article describes them. Doing the same thing day after day is not only pretty boring but it causes the end to come sooner, so to speak.
So, I guess my “Embrace Change” life pillar is maybe making the days go by a little slower. But given the political atmosphere at the moment I kind of wish 2020 would come tomorrow. 🙂
If you have been around RJsCorner I’m sure you know by now that I cherish change. Change allows us to do things better than before. It allows us a second or maybe third chance to get it right. But not all change is good, even for me. 🙂
At least to some degree, I believe in the old adage “If it ain’t broken, why change it”. This post is targeted at bathroom products. I know that sounds strange but it is a story I must tell. I have come to cherish my morning shower, especially in my retirement years. It is a time to say a few prayers of thanks for yesterday and to pray for a good day today. It is a time to think as a deeper level than I normally do.
I like my shower routine and have been doing the same things for more years than I care to remember. Part of that routine has always included Zest Soap and Prell Shampoo. I have been using these two products for three or more decades now. Until recently they have stayed pretty much the same. Then came the inevitable cost reductions. Zest now resembles more of a dumbbell than a bar of soap. I guess someone in their omnipotent wisdom decided as long as they keep the perimeter the same no one will notice that they are getting less soap for an increased cost. On the shampoo side, after decades of providing a good product, it was sold to another company who proceeded to turn it into a watery liquid.
It took a while but I have now replaced both of these products and things are getting back to normal. 🙂
Too many of us lament that we can’t get jobs where we were born and raised. That seems especially true of the poorest areas of the country including Appalachia. Jobs just aren’t very plentiful there. The deep South is another example. It would be nice is all areas of the country were full of gainful employment. But given our foundations in almost pure capitalism that will never happen.
On a side note, it is kinda ironic that the States that rail the most against socialism vote primarily with the GOP and are the ones that have the most citizens who depend on social programs such as Medicaid, food stamps and such. I know education levels enter into it but why don’t more of those folks just move to where there are more economic opportunities? I have pondered that question for longer than I care to remember.
It does bug me to hear people complaining about this or that, especially when they could do something it. Many times it really doesn’t take that much effort. I think that the major issue is their dogged resistance to change. I and many others welcome the uncertainty associated with change as just part of progress, but others seem to be deathly afraid of it.
If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree
I couldn’t have said it better.
I think there is a pretty fair part of the folks in this country who think their life sucks. They haven’t had a raise in umpteen years. They have to have someone to blame and that person is often those they see as getting the “breaks” in life.
It’s pretty hard for them to admit that for the most part “my life sucks because of me”. That reality just doesn’t sink for most of us. They say they are stuck in an area with no good paying jobs but they never consider moving to a more prosperous area. They say the only good jobs are those requiring an education but never consider the need to learn anything beyond what they presently know. It’s just too easy to blame others for their problems. The morbidly obese guy says “poor me” and then consumes 6,000 calories per day and just doesn’t seem to see the connection.
Those of us who have had some success in life have for the most part worked to get it. It wasn’t handed to us on a gold platter like it was for #CO3 and others like him. For us, the adversities in our life have reinforced our character. We did something to change our circumstances instead of just moaning about them.
I want to close this post with an anonymous quote:
Quit blaming others for your circumstances in life. It is often just that simple.
#CO3 = Current Oval Office Occupant
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
I don’t necessarily call, at least yet, our current times evil but none the less the Edmund Burke quote above applies to where we are as a country. Too many of us decided to sit out the last election cycle and what we got is the result. I certainly hope that this is a lesson learned and election participation increases dramatically in the coming years. We can no longer allow a radical fringe minority to choose our country’s leadership.
Good men doing nothing is basically the cause for much of the evil in the past. Hitler’s rise to power is a result of Germans thinking that he will go away on his own. But the stronger he got the less able they were to do anything about it. I know many in that period who supported him say they were just stuck in the times but to me that is a pretty lame excuse much the same as those who now lament that they pulled the GOP lever the last time around.
How could people just ignore the fact that Hitler was exterminating millions in gas chambers in their backyard!! How could they do nothing!! But, there is a different lesson learned from those times and that is that we as a world have been in much deeper straights than we are presently. There are too many today who seemingly have given up that times will be better. They have given up hope that we will continue striving to be a “Brother’s keeper” nation as Jesus demanded of us. All we need to do is to look back at those times and then look to where Germany is today. They are now the Europe’s leader and may someday be the world leader.
Don’t give up hope that things will get better. Instead as good men and women, rise up and do something about it. I will bookend this post with another famous quote and this one is from Gandhi.
When I came across the quote above I knew nothing of Alan W. Watts. But, as usual I got on Wiki to learn more. This guy was quite a character in life. It just seemed that once he was doing something for any extended period of time he got bored with it an moved on to something else. It seems he re-invented himself a dozen times in his 58 years of life.
Here is a quote from one of the reviewers of his autobiography In My Own Way on Amazon.
Early on, he set out to be an independent intellectual, constantly learning and living in his “own way.” He succeeded, in spite of the odds, on the terms that he set out for himself. This was deeply inspiring to me, and it turned out that despite the surface differences of interest, Alan Watts had a lot to say about the choices one makes in life and how to go about living.
I like to think of myself, rightly or not that I am also an independent intellectual who likes to live life on my own terms. But my life is nothing like his. I spent thirty years in the corporate world as an engineer. I just didn’t have the courage to admit that I probably should have chosen another path. By the time I realized that fact I deemed it too late to do anything about it. I was happy to just serve out my time until I could draw a full pension (yeah I actually get a monthly check from my previous employer). It was not until I walked away from that life that I discovered my true self.
The term retirement is to me an archaic word that doesn’t really apply to the third trimester of life. This period is more about opportunities than retiring from life. As I just said I like to think of myself living my “own way” but I was a late-bloomer in that regard. I have a lot of catching up to do. 🙂 I have been in this mode for over fifteen years now and having a ball!
Living your “own way” meaning no longer just going with the flow. It means taking the time to form your own opinions and then acting on them. No more just sitting back and whining. It often means going against the grain of other people’s norms. Living blue in a very red State I feel I am often going against the grain:
- Where so much of our world, and especially our country, is living in fear I am stubbornly try to do the opposite. I will simply not give these terrorists the satisfaction of being afraid.
- I see love where others, including my previous self, often see fear and sometimes even hate.
- I see the words of Jesus as an action item list for my life and not just something that I hear in a pew on Sunday morning and then forget for the rest of the week.
Living your “own way” is not easy sometimes but it sure does give you more satisfaction…
I have an Alan Watts book now on my reading list. It will be interesting to learn more about him and probably myself in the process.
While 80 percent of mainline Protestant pastors see Pope Francis as a true Christian, only 58 percent of evangelical preachers agree.
I am going to use the polling above as an example for this post but not its focus. There just seems to be about 25% of the population on the extreme right fringes in the U.S. that are pretty much distrustful of everything and everyone else. It seems that they almost hate the other 75%. Maybe they are just so stricken with fear that everyone is suspect of something they deem bad. They hate the change that is happening around them daily, especially when more potential adversaries are allowed to invade “their” country. I wonder just how many of this 25% are the same people in all the various scenarios? I imagine that the core is pretty high.
In poll shown above from evangelical pastors about 25% of them don’t think the Pope is a genuine Christian. They view him as either the anti-Christ or hopefully something a little less hateful. I know that there are several christian denominations who despise the leader of the Catholic church no matter who he is. I’m sure a large part of this negative response is from those particular groups.
What can we do to help this 25% of our population get over their fear of change and almost everything else? That seems to be the fundamental question at hand.
- Is there a way to convince them that change is not their bitter enemy?
- Is there a way to show them that their “good old days” were not as good as they now imagine?
- Is there a way to get them to love their neighbors, even those who might not be like them?
- Is there a way to convince them that the money they pay in taxes is necessary in order to maintain an orderly and civil society?
- Is there a way to get them to see that the income inequality occurring today is hurting our country?
- Is there a way to get them to see a brighter future?
- Is there a way to get the religious among them to see that their version is not totally right and all the others totally wrong?
- Finally, is there a way to get them to be less fearful of almost everything?
This is a serious list of issues that plague too many in our country and will likely take years to even begin to improve. Until that time it is up to the rest of us to not allow this relatively small minority to take us down with their negative beliefs. We need to understand and even empathize with their fears no matter how unreal they are but not be overcome by them.
I am That Wise Guy
“Quite frankly, a lot of it has to do with the strength of the Apple brand and how much merchants and customers love how easy the experience is. I’m not saying it’s changing the landscape overnight. But this has never happened with other mobile wallets.”-Denée Carrington, analyst, Forrester Research SOURCE: Apple Pay catches the attention of retail customers.
I have been personally reminded lately of just how adamantly some people resist change while others embrace it. Some don’t accept even the simplest changes in their lives without serious complaints. The smallest changes can set them off. And then there are others who are bored when nothing changes on a regular basis. They welcome change; they even embrace it.
Apple Pay will be one of those issues. It is a much simpler and more secure way of paying but it does require a change in how we do it. For that reason there will be some who rant against it. Apple Pay is just getting started down a long road of implementation. Only iPhone6 currently has the capability of using it so its coverage is somewhat limited right now. But as more and more people upgrade and more discover the ease of use of iPhones this payment method will move swiftly into the main stream.
I upgraded my iPhone last week. I had been using an iPhone 4 for three years now and was ready for the change. The new phone has some nice new features and some added capabilities for those of us who are deaf and the bigger screen is certainly welcomed for these old tired eyes. 🙂 One of the first things I did was to set up an Apple Pay account. Although I have not yet used it, it is ready to go. I live in a small town with about the only retailer of any size being Walmart and since they are one of the ones who are currently resisting the change it might be a while before I use it on a daily basis.
The system Walmart and some others are promoting is better for the companies but not so much the customers so I kind of think it will go the way of Betamax. For those of you who don’t know about Betamax look it up on Wiki. 🙂
Getting back to the title of this post, change is a serious topic for some of us. New technology by its very nature mandates constant change. Some, including me, consider that a good thing. There will always be that group of people who will continue to use their old flip phones if they even have a cell phone. Change is just so hard for them. That may also explain why some of us continue to support one political party who has abandoned anything helpful to us who are outside the 1% long ago. They hate change so they will stick with something even if it is more harmful than helpful. Change is hard stuff…
This is going to be an extremely soul-searching post for me. It has been a week since the GOP route in the mid-term elections and I have been thinking about my philosophical and political leanings. Two things seem now apparent to me that were not so just a few short months ago.
The first epiphany is that I am not so much a Democrat as I am anti-Republican. There is just too much weight amongst the current Republican party in favor of the elite and so little for the average guy and almost nothing for the guy down on his luck. In my mind too many who currently represent the party believe in the mantra “I’ve got mine so screw you”. They seem to think that if you can’t do what they did then it is your own fault. Too many, like Mr. Ryan of Wisconsin, just have no empathy for others..
The Republican brand is quite simply tainted too much for me. I call myself a social progressive and a fiscal conservative. If only the Republican party would stick to their strengths of being a watchdog of the purse and get away from trying to enforce, or you could say mandate, various versions of 19th century morals on the rest of us. By the same token if only the Democratic party would get over the idea that throwing money at any situation will solve it.
The second epiphany is that I have come to understand that “I can’t do it for them”. That is I can’t help people who won’t help themselves. The majority of those who bothered to get out and vote recently were old and white like me. The young, the disenfranchised, the guy working one or maybe minimum wage job stayed home. He/she didn’t see it worth their time to make an effort to vote for the change makers.
I am probably a typical “bleeding heart liberal” in that most of the change I would like to see in this country would not affect me very much:
I want to see everyone have healthcare while I currently have very good coverage via Medicare and an affordable supplemental policy.
I want to see everyone who works full-time be paid a living wage while I am fortunate enough to have Social Security, a good pension from thirty years with the same company, and a savings account beyond most my age.
I want to see a strong safety net under those who might fall on hard times. I want to see that their families don’t get severely punished for something they had no control over while I, at least in my adult life, have never needed a safety net.
I just overflow with empathy for others where it seems most in this country are more into the survival of the fittest mode. Maybe empathy is a condition I need to overcome, I don’t know. I’m sure that many that I advocate for think they are helpless in changing things. They just can’t seem to realize that in the end their vote has as much weight as the billionaires who they presently allow to control the money.
Maybe it is time for me to get off my empathy horse and not worry about all this stuff so much. I simply don’t know the answer to that right now. I imagine I have about one more decade on this earth. Maybe I should spend it differently than I have been up till now?
But I’m just a simple guy so what do I know….
I have not looked at any politics of the day for more than a week now. I have even reconfigured my daily internet reading to remove politics as a point of focus. That alone has helped to significantly brighten my general attitude toward daily living. To complete this refocus I have decided to take the blog in a slightly different direction. I will no longer be talking much about the politics of the day but will instead be concentrating more on things more positive. Things like what makes us who we are, and of course a usual dosage of Will Rogers and other memorable quotes will be more prominent. We will see how this goes.
Another change is that I will no longer feel obliged to acknowledge or discuss every comment that comes into the blog. Many comments you make can certainly stand on their own and some others are probably best left untouched for other reasons. Now don’t get me wrong I appreciate your thoughts and insights. They certainly add value to the discussions so please don’t see my lack of response as a negative.
I hope you will hang around for this repurposed journey. From looking at statistics of individual posts I know that focusing less on politics and its resulting conflicts will cost me some general blog hits but that is ok. I need to get off any fixation that still might linger for that anyway. As my header says, I will now be looking more at the other 99% of life “from a different angle”.
But just because I will not be discussing the politics of the day so much does not mean that I won’t talk about some of the people who choose to be our public servants. When it comes to politics in general instead of focusing on what is happening I will focus on what might be. I will try for the most part to keep the focus about positives instead of negatives. I will talk about what inspires me instead of what depresses me. As the old saying goes if I can’t find anything positive to say I will try to not say anything at all. That means you won’t find the words “GOP” or “Republican” in very many of my future posts. In my mind there is just not much positive that can currently be said about that group… 🙂
I don’t know what level of political discussions is best right now. I will have to see how this goes. I would certainly welcome your opinions on this new approach to RJ’s Corner. It will be a delicate balancing act to post things that are relevant to our lives without becoming a fluffy feel good site; there is nothing fluffy about me….
I hope you enjoy this new path as much as I think I will. After visiting RJ’s Corner in the coming days you will at least go away no more gloomy than before you visited. That promise I will try to keep with every future post.
I am going to tell you up front that this post is a little whacky but then again that is the type of person I am. I am always asking questions as to why things are the way they are. This idea is a paradigm shift that very likely will never happen.
The twentieth century American dream was always about home ownership. We all dreamed of putting down a small deposit on our own place and then paying a mortgage on it for the next thirty some years until it is finally ours. The problem with that nowadays is that we find ourselves changing jobs every half dozen years or sometimes more often and those future jobs are likely not be in the area where we currently live. When that is the case then home ownership is more of an anchor than a blessing. Read more
The assets that AT&T is selling include the Yellow Pages directories…
- In the 1960s you could find a public telephone booth on almost any city street.
- In the 1970s the Trimline telephone was being made at a rate of one million a week. Picture phones were available but at a $2,000 per month rate.
- In the 1980s almost every household finally had a landline telephone and a very few had a “mobile” telephone which at time cost around $300 per month.
- In the 1990s cordless phones were replacing the corded version in the typical American home and cellular service was just beginning.
- By 2000 cellular phones were becoming common place.
- By 2020 it is speculated that the country will be pretty much converted from landline to completely cellular service.
So I guess AT&T giving up its Yellow Pages is just a minor nick in the change but it just won’t seem the same without “letting my fingers walk through the Yellow Pages. 🙂 But then again, I don’t think I have opened last years version of the Yellow Pages. I now look up everything on the Internet.
Goodbye my Yellow Pages friend. You served me well but your time like so many things now days has come to an end.
Too bad the person who wrote this article didn’t snail mail it to everyone. It is seven pages long so it would have brought in big bucks to the USPS. 🙂 Seriously though (at least as serious as I get on this blog) the postal service is in pretty deep trouble and it is not going to go away. I am usually pretty tolerant of government agencies but this one needs to reign back its scale and look to other ways to provide its services.
There are just too many post offices around that do little or no business. As I mentioned before there is a post office in a little town near us where it is now the only business in a town of about two dozen houses. Most small town post offices could easily be incorporated into some existing businesses such as the local thrift/gas store. I can remember when I was a kid that the post office was in the local food store. As the article mentions the USPS now handles more junk mail than first class and that will continue to be a downward trend for them. I like almost everyone else pay most of my bills on-line now and of course those personal letters to past family and friends has long since been replaced by email, Facebook, and other such services. I can see the time in the not too distant future where first class mail, like buggy whips, will basically cease to exist being totally replaced by its electronic cousin. About the only thing that is keeping that from happening today is the lack of adequate Internet connections to those of us who live in rural America.
This is yet another instance where we can learn from our neighbors around the world. As mentioned in the above article most of the European postal systems have already morphed into quite different services. Many are quite profitable and something we could easily mirror here in the U.S. One of the basic problems with our current system is the postal union seems to be against any significant change. I am definitely a person who believes in workers being collectively represented but that does not mean they must resist change, even changes that will reduce their ranks, when it is obvious that is what is needed. I know we need more middle class jobs here in the U.S. but stubbornly hanging on to ones that have outlived their usefulness is not the answer to this problem.
But what do I know….