Part 3 – How Did We Get Here –Everyone For Themselves…

When a ship is sinking are you the type of person who would try to save others or are you the type to say “everyone for themselves”? It seems the answer to that question is the later if you use much of  the American electorate as the source. Here is a quote to start us out on this subject:

Here’s a good game to play with yourself: Try to figure out whether or not you can make it through Donald Trump’s presidency unharmed.What are your liabilities? What has Trump already said about your sexuality, about your culture, about your family, about you? How many promises has he made on the campaign trail, and how many of those promises have been not promises, but threats, and how many of them have been about hurting you? Really think about it.

It’s hard for me to avoid trying to convince myself that the pain I feel, in the aftermath of this election, isn’t really real. I’m a little too good at talking myself out of pain in general…

What some of us have lost — what I have lost — is a way of seeing America, and, by extension, a way of seeing ourselves. We want to believe that America, as a country, is basically good, basically just, basically principled, and basically capable of protecting the freedoms that are not just our joys, but our rights.

Source: Grieving America

I know my conservative friends call me a “bleeding heart do-gooder”. They mean that as an insult but I actually take pride in that label. Yes I do grieve that not everyone one in this country gets a fair shake. Some are born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouths and some are born almost doomed to a life of poverty because of their surroundings.

When I think about it there is not much a Trump presidency can do to harm my personal way of life.  Yes, he could get us into WW III or a nuclear holocaust but that is simply something that is futile to worry about. He could with the enthusiastic help of Speaker Ryan take away my social security but since a very big part of his base seems to be fearful seniors I don’t see him doing that.

So, why am I worried so much about a Trump administration?   He can’t write laws, he can’t spend money not approved by congress so in the end he doesn’t have the power to do a lot of permanent damage by himself. We have survived weak and even dangerous presidents in the past and come out ok so I suspect we will survive a Trump presidency too.

I hate to see our country go into an “everyone for themselves” mode but sadly  that seems to be where we are right now.  Given that that has been the theme of the GOP for the last several years it shouldn’t come as a surprise now that they control two branches of our government.

Elizabeth Warren in 2020!!  I’m ready to contribute right now to help make that happen.

Congressional Pensions??

2016-08-29_15-51-30.pngWhen our founders set up our government their intention was that its citizens would come to the nation’s capital for a period of time  to contribute to the running of the people’s business and would then return to their normal lives.  Of course that is not what is happening today. There are way too many people  in our congress who are now collecting very lucrative pensions even after even relatively short terms in congress. There are those like Strom Thurmond, who have been there for decades and seem to want to die in office. John McCain first comes to mind in this category.

One of the major problems with this current mode of doing business, or more appropriately not doing business, is that the common good of the nation is forgotten in the process. Our representatives primary goal is to do everything possible to stay in office. The money needed to do that is what causes most of our problems.

The gridlock that we find ourselves in today is primarily due to two causes: unlimited terms in office and the gerrymandering that makes it possible.  When it seems that there are so many around that are very upset with the current political situation, I am really somewhat hopeful. If the GOP is decisively defeated in the coming election I am hoping that will cause a primary shift in the way all those yahoos think inside the beltway. They will finally understand that creating gridlock will not keep them in office.

With that renewed sanity, some there just might take a step back and look at the bigger picture. The party that is able to do that the most successfully will have the best chances of survival. No longer will the party over principles rule the day as seems so endemic today.  The second thing that then needs to be accomplished is for the Supreme Court to declare gerrymandering to be unconstitutional. Then it is up to us, as citizens, demand term limits similar to what was instituted for the president more than a half century ago. If more than eight years is too long for a president it should also be too long for members of congress.

The second shoe that will drop with term limits is to eliminate congressional pensions. No one will be around long enough to need them. Representing the people will finally be considered a limited time privilege and not an occupation as the inventors of our form of government intended.

I am a dreamer aren’t I????

It often takes some catastrophic event to cause paradigm shifts in how we do things. I am hoping that will be the case in the coming months and years.  WE simply can’t continue down the current road if we hope to survive as a nation.

Breaking the Gridlocked Mindset…

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One of my favorite bloggers is at Critical Dispatches. It is a blog about signs, posters and street art strewn around the London England area. I don’t know how the blogger finds so many of them. I think they are a regular part of the London transportation system.  Anyway the one above struck me as very prominent in my life and I expect many others.

I am a dreamer, it is an important part of what I am. But often times my dreams are just an extension of the past. In order to make a dream a real dream we need to shed the past and look for new paradigms for the future. But that is much harder said then done.  Breaking the gridlocked mindset is a very difficult thing to do in today’s world.

Gridlock seems to dominate so much of life, especially those of us who live in the U.S.  We see our politicians gridlocked in to an almost hatred for each other now. There are many Republicans who say they hate what Mr. Trump has done to their party but they hate Hillary even more. The funny thing is that if you ask them why they hate Hillary they struggle to give you an example beyond the “Crooked Hillary” vitriol rhetoric of the times.  I must admit that I wish I had another choice in this presidential campaign but when it comes which of the two now available I don’t have much doubt as to which I will vote for.  I will not let all the hateful unsubstantiated words dominate my decision.

Seeing a future repeats, or even wants to repeat the past in not forward thinking or dreaming in my mind.   We all need to spend some serious time in meditation, or whatever you want to call it, dreaming of better times and then going about doing what it takes to make that dream happen.  I love the Gandhi quote about many people doing small things is how paradigm shifts happen.  It all starts with each of us.  We must be what we want the world to look like. Now that is some simple and deep rhetoric that we need to listen to.

Gridlock Busters…The Genesis…

Slice 1Gridlock seems to be endemic within our political system here in the U.S. for decades now but never so much as it is today. Those guys in Washington just can’t get along no matter what the circumstances are.  The solution to this problem seems insurmountable using any conventional wisdom of the day.

So it is time to attack the problem with some “off-the-wall” thinking. If RJsCorner is anything it is about off-the-wall thinking, it is about viewing things for a different angle. So why not tackle this issue head-on. Why not be a “Fixer” at least in a metaphorical sense? Someone has to do it, why not me? Let me put on my gridlock buster suit and jump in…

But before I do that I will admit that this whole series will be pretty much tongue-in-cheek. I know that I don’t have much power when it comes to national, state, local, or even household issues but that doesn’t stop me from having opinions.  We all have great personal expectations on what we will contribute to the world. So, the fool that I am, I will rush in with ideas to solve this issue in upcoming posts.

Starting out, I don’t think gridlock has a silver bullet solution.  I know my GOP friends think the solution is really simple and that is for everyone just  join the Republican party. But I kind of think it will take a multi-faceted solution.  Sorry, but everybody joining the Republican party is just not an answer. Actually I think that mentality is a big part of the problem.😉

I have been working kind of hard to come up with an appropriate logo for this endeavor. After all in today’s world appearances are everything so it is important to get it correct up front. The logo above seems to fit the bill. One guy with a sledge-hammer attacking a gigantic brick wall seems to describe what I am trying to do except I can’t actually put up the real size of the wall on this post. It just isn’t remotely big enough. If you see some similarity between this logo and a thirty year old movie it is intentional. There needs to be an army of gridlock busters out there to take down this wall. It’s too big for even me.

Keep an eye out in the coming days to see the first few possible solutions to this mess we are in and feel free to join the club and chime in wherever you think you can contribute….