This N’ That – About Morals, Money & Hope

I’m taking a week off here at RJsCorner. See you again on March 4


I need to get a few rants out of my system before I explode. 😳 That is what this Sunday post is about.

Morally Incompatible

See His Blog

John Pavlovitz is becoming one of my primary “Go-To” guys on the Internet. He is a very popular minister and public speaker who does not parse words on things he is passionate about. His Twitter message above is a line in the sand for him, and it is becoming my line too.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that all of you who voted for the current incompetent are automatically in the MAGA fold. But if you still support him after all the disgrace he has spewed out then maybe we are simply morally incompatible.


About Income Taxes

America invented progressive taxation. And there was a time when leading American politicians were proud to proclaim their willingness to tax the wealthy, not just to raise revenue, but to limit excessive concentration of economic power.


“It is important,” said Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, “to grapple with the problems connected with the amassing of enormous fortunes” — some of them, he declared, “swollen beyond all healthy limits.”

Source: New York Times

The quote above by Paul Krugman reminds those who study our nation’s history, that this is not the first time America’s wealth has been concentrated in the hands of so few. It has now come to the point that the top 0.1 percent have as much as the bottom 90 percent. It has never been that skewed even during the “Robber Baron” years.

Maybe I am wrong, but I think the time is FINALLY ripe to rebalance things. After all, how much discretionary income does one person really need?


There Is Reason For Hope

Mr. Trump’s hard-core base is large enough to dominate the Republican Party, at least for now, but it is not large enough to dominate the country. In the long run, a third or so of the country cannot effectively govern the other two-thirds with an unpopular agenda and a Twitter account.

Mr. Trump will almost surely achieve less legislatively in the second half of his term than he did in the first, when Republicans controlled both branches of Congress — and even then their record was not impressive.

Source:New York Times

The Republican party was shrinking before Trump took office and as a result of him, it will likely shrink significantly more in the next few years. Yes, maybe two-thirds of the of a shrinking GOP base still consider him their savior but even that almost certainly guarantees he will be a one-term president. That is if the other two-thirds of the electorate turn on election day.

In fact, we may just come to thank the MAGA folks for showing us just how unbalanced our branches of government have become. I have hope that things will change pretty dramatically come 2021 and beyond and we will get back to a nation of all the people, instead of a greedy ruling elite.

But Let’s Be Realistic

It is rumored that the Mueller Investigation will finally release its report to the Attorney General this coming week. I hope that he has found so many smoking guns that it is impossible for Congress to ignore them. But, in reality, since the report is presented only to the Attorney General, who has sworn his loyalty to Trump, it’s not hard to imagine that he will do everything he can to squash any damaging information and not release much of anything to Congress. Let’s not get our hopes up in that regard. We may have to live with this poor excuse for a President 23 more months.


Offering Hope Is A Hard Sell…

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I am bound and determined to not give up hope here on RJsCorner. I will just not let the current times and the occupant of the Oval Office and his cronies deprive me of hope.  But, offering hope is a hard sell, especially now.  I have seen so many of my blogging friends who have gotten totally negative about the world today. They, and sometimes I, just want to roll up in a cocoon and let the world pass by. Plainly speaking we are sick and tired of being sick and tired, and who can blame us!! Some seem to just give up while there are others like me who are stretching for hope wherever we can find it.

Yes, these are tough times but believe it or not we have been in worse. What got us out of those previous ditches was the hope and action of people determined to not give up. It was important that our national leaders were some of the biggest hope creators. This time around the exact opposite seems to be true.

Let’s face it, basically, there are two types of people in the world today. The Left people are driven by hope and the Right are driven by fear and it is pretty obvious that the Right people are the ones in charge right now. There is certainly a lot of fear in the world today.

Going forward I have vowed to do my part in selling hope.  The alternative is just totally unacceptable.

Our Last Best Hope??

2018-10-25_16-30-59.pngThere just seems to be one bad thing after another happening in America today. It is hard to stay optimistic about our future. Our current Oval Office occupant is inciting hatred and ignorance among his “followers” so now they are trying to kill the people he does not like.  Some seem to have gulped down the cool-aid he is serving by the gallon! It just seems to get worse and worse as each day passes.   I am a very strong advocate of Thomas Jefferson’s quote “Hope is sweeter than despair” so I look for hope especially during these trying times. I know basic change, even when it appears rather suddenly,  will take time to overcome especially when the wackos seem to control everything.  But I have latched onto a reason for hope.  To understand that read the excerpts below, and I would encourage you to read the whole source if you have the time:

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Source: Does America Have a Future? – Eudaimonia and Co

Unfortunately, I have pretty much lost all personal contact with the younger generations. I am without children and grandchildren so I can’t just call, or text one for their opinions even if they cared to respond. I have to take what I hear in the social realm as evidence and that evidence continues to tell me that the Millennials will eventually invoke change much like we baby-boomers did in the 1960s and 70s.

Since I was born in 1946 I was at the head of the baby-boomers so I was in college during the 1960s when we started protesting the Vietnam war. We were tired of being told to go die for our country for what we saw as not being worth it. It was a stupid war caused by the proud egos of those in power. We had the courage to rise up and do something about it and I fully believe that the current generation is about to do the same.

Don’t Give In To The Fear…

canstockphoto22042668.jpgFear of this or that is so prominent in our American society right now. A substantial minority on the right fringe of our political system has made fear a foundation of their lives. But the most tragic thing is that those on the rest of the political spectrum have allowed the rather thin minority’s fear to convince us that all hope is lost!

I know, 81% of white evangelicals voted for #CO3 because they fear what America is becoming. They can see that they will soon no longer have the dominant role in our country’s future and that scares the hell out of them. Many in this category are racists by nature and upbringing and just can’t fathom a country where “those other people” have the same leverage as they do.

2018-07-18_19-57-44.pngThis 81% make up less than one-in-five voters in this country and due to the rest of us not taking our responsibility to vote seriously enough, they managed to put a racist and totally unqualified narcissist temporarily in control. Instead of surrendering to the Evangelical fear we need to be gearing up to do everything necessary to take our country back. That effort starts this November and is finalized twenty-four months later.

So, the primary message of this post is that all you folks who have let the right fringes’ fear traumatize you quit the pity party and recognize how this happened. If we do that, we will look back at these times as when we let a radical fringe temporarily take command. Hopefully, this is a lesson we don’t have to learn again anytime in the future.

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#CO3 – Current Oval Office Occupant

Breaking Gridlock…

Hey, I’m not ashamed to give someone credit for things that are accomplished even if it was only by accident or maybe serendipity. So, congratulations President Trump on starting to break the gridlock that has kidnapped our nation’s capitol for far too long. The GOP is starting to scream “He wants to work with the DEMOCRATS!!!” “WE HAVE BEEN BETRAYED!!” To all that I say It is about time.

We knew going in that Trump was neither a Republican or a Democrat. The only thing he is for is to make himself look good. Nothing else really matters to him and I mean nothing else. That fact is obvious to anyone with an objective take on this alternative reality. But who says two wrongs don’t eventually make a right? Putting Trump in office and letting him betray the party that put him there just might solve some of the fundamental problems inside the beltway.

Bernie Sanders and others have brought forth the proposition that an independent in the Oval Office who is not of either party is someone who can force the two bickering parties to “play well”. He can propose legislation that at least some of both parties can accept.

canstockphoto9691431.jpgSo, I celebrate Mr. Trump’s success in making a deal with the Democrats even to the total dismay of the GOP.  Maybe this is the beginning of a successful Trump strategy.  I am certainly a dreamer aren’t I? 🙂

If nothing else these limited successes, however long they last, will show us what an independent and competent  person could do with Oval Office power and that just might give an independent a chance in the 2020 election..

 

For Good Men To Do Nothing..

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Edmund Burke

slice8  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.

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Hope Is Sweeter Than Despair

My recently adopted theme for my life is Hope Is Sweeter Than Despair 

These words were written by Thomas Jefferson in one of his many letters written in 1786. That was ten years after our Declaration of Independence and three years after it was actually obtained by a bloody war.  Jefferson was in Paris at the time as one of our first ambassadors.  It would be another year before our Constitution was ratified and put into law.  The letter was basically a very long love letter to Maria Cosway but as is often the case it reflected the feelings of his soul.  Much of the letter was written around the idea that the heart says one thing while the head says another.

I take heart in those words as they relate to our current circumstances. There are many around our country today who despair of the current times. There is a totally unqualified person in the Oval Office, a Congress has been  stuck in a total gridlock mode for several years, and so many have almost given up any hope that things can and will get better.

canstockphoto10092654.jpgBut to me “Hope is sweeter than despair”. I simply can’t live with the possibility of today becoming the new norm for our country.  When one of my fellow bloggers who I probably admire the most proclaims that “Empathy is dead in our government” it shocked me to no end. This person is usually a very upbeat soul who blogs that anyone can have a happy and satisfying retirement and then helps us to understand how to make that happen. He is now basically saying that we are all on our own as the future will be “survival of the fittest” so you have to take care of yourself.

A world without empathy is not a world I care to live in and since I don’t plan on going anywhere else for the immediate future I refuse to fret about that possibility.  I will cling to my hope that these times are an anomaly that will soon fail under its own weight. To relate that belief I will start blogging here about how we have faced dark periods in our past as a country and managed to survive them.  I will humbly try to give my readers hope to replace the despair in their lives. Yes, things are bad now but they have been bad in the past and we survived them and we will survive these current times and have much better times ahead.

We Have No Purpose Anymore..

Banner Having Y Say    I have to admit up front that for much of my life I just didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I “grew up”. Strangely, it wasn’t until several years into my retirement that I finally put that question to rest. So, I am NOT the poster child for gaining purpose in life, but maybe my shortcomings in this area might be a lesson for others.

canstockphoto2256888.jpgA fundamental problem with this country and many others around the world is that too many just don’t have any idea what the meaning of our country is supposed to be about? Without this foundation, every bad thing that happens causes ever-increasing cynicism and selfishness. There is no hope because there is no overall vision for what we want our country to be. Positive thinking seems to have almost vanished in the world today. Maybe even more tragically, there are those who have come to a conclusion about purpose and their answer is simply too self-centered to be of value.

You would think that a country where so many claim it to be a Christian nation they would use the words of Jesus to find their country’s purpose. But that just doesn’t seem to be a reality even in those who consider themselves to be religious. Too many seem to be able to lock the teachings of Jesus into a neat bundle that is brought out on Sunday and then locked back in a box on Monday. Too many others have turned their religion into a political agenda that excludes any concept of “brother’s keeper”and is about making enemies rather than brothers. But there is hope in this area as religious organizations, especially those of the Radical Right variety are shrinking due to lack of young people buying into their convoluted rhetoric. They label them as hypocrites, as they actually are.

When purpose is lost, especially for a country, hope is usually also lost in the process. I think that’s kind of where we are today.