Seeking a Joyous Journey – Joyful??

Seeking a Joyous Journey Through Our Retirement Years

With this post, I am introducing yet another new special project here on RJsCorner. It is entitled

Seeking a “Joyous Journey” Through Our Retirement Years.

This project will hopefully become a major part of this blog in the coming months. I have also redesigned the header above to reflect a new direction for RJsCorner.

Joyful is often a very misunderstood word, especially in today’s hectic world. Some think that being joyful and being happy are the same thing, but I am finding that couldn’t be further from the truth.

What is joy?  Joy is a state of being, whereas happiness tends to be an externally triggered event. Happiness is based on other people, places, thoughts and events. It’s nice to have moments of happiness, but it is much more fulfilling to be in a self-induced constant state of joy. You see the difference don’t you?

A primary source of a joyful life comes from our attitudes. It is not always about accepting the way things are, but sometimes it is, especially those things we have no control over.   Joyfulness is a state of mind. It is hard to completely wrap your mind around the concept of joy in just a few words or even books. Many people, me included, have sought joy throughout their life and never manage to really find it.

I want to make it clear here that I am not turning RJsCorner into some “feel good” site. My posts on this topic won’t be about citing a bunch of platitudes and buzz words. Instead, it will be about learning to take control of the dark side of life and eventually letting the sunshine fill its place. It will mean we caste off the negative things that presently consume way too much of our time. The degree in which we manage to do that will determine how successful we are at finally achieving a Joyous Life.

Making a joyous life will mean thinking for ourselves and questioning how we got to where we are. Changing your attitude toward life is not fluffy, and that is exactly what I hope to accomplish, at least personally.

It is a challenge, especially for me, to move my mindset from my current state of negative thinking to a more joyous path but I am determined to do just that. Just how it will happen I don’t fully know yet. But the most obvious obstacle is to avoid the stench of politics and other distasteful things that are taking up too much real estate in my personal journey.

I will continue with some of the regular stuff here, that many of you seem to enjoy. That includes of course, “Having My Say” about things, giving you some techie lessons, and of course snippets here and there, and some of my bouts of creativity.

I would really like to hear your thoughts on this new agenda here at RJsCorner.

Shutting Down Shutdowns

I can actually see some positive things that might come from these current times inside the beltway.

“Shutting down the government should be as off limits in budget negotiations as chemical warfare is in real warfare,” Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, said on Friday.

Source: New York Times

There seems to be a small crack in the Trump support among the Republicans in Congress. Some are actually thinking about trying to wrestle control of their party away from him. A small crack just might turn into something that will improve our dreadful situation with a ferociously lying president.

If the GOP just had the courage to do something we could end the shutdowns forever. It really is a rather simple thing to do and could be accomplished even before another shutdown could happen again in mid-February

All Congress needs to do is pass a simple three line law that says something like this

In the event that a current fiscal year budget is not passed, the budget in place at the time shall be extended for all federal agencies until a new one replaces it.

Yes, I know that there are many cowards in the Congress who are terrified of crossing this president, but surely we can find enough with a backbone to join their Democratic colleagues to override a likely veto of that bill.

Being an optimist, I can see these times resulting in rebalancing the excessive control of power currently in the Executive Branch in the not too distant future. All it took was one incompetent in the Oval Office to show us just how out of balance it has become.

The second thing I am optimistic about is that eventually, we will be able to elect officials who will actually look out for the good of the people. The easiest way to accomplish that is to put term limits on all congressional offices. I can actually see that happen!

Progressives Have A Lot To Learn From The Radical Right

I have written several posts here at RJsCorner about needing another option for a political party in the US.  I have not been timid about my feeling that neither of the current parties represents what I believe America should be about.  After the recent mid-term elections I have come to see that a 3rd party option is just not a solution to our problems, at least not in the near or mid-term.  Here’s why.

Over my 50 years of following politics, there have been a few to differing degrees successful 3rd party runs for various offices. But for the most part, each one of them eventually drew its support from only one of the two political parties. The result of that was often the exact opposite of what those who changed his vote intended.  Given our current very divided populace it seems the only way for a third party to have any level of success would be if something catastrophic were to happen to our country. Lord forbid that happening!

The only way real change will likely have to happen is within one of the two existing parties. One thing about the current Republican party that I admire in a weird sort of way is that they have radically changed in the last decade to meet their current base’s attitudes and beliefs.  Or what is left of their base anyway. They are no longer the party of fiscal responsibility and limited government that I once admired. Instead, they have become a party primarily based on fear.

  • Fear of those who they see as invading our country 
  • Fear of losing their control of the wheels of power
  • Fear of anyone who believes things differently than them
  • Fear of those of different skin colors and different religions

In addition to fear they have morphed into the party of “Money Over Morals”. They are anti-abortion but not pro-life.

Progressives have a lot to learn from the Radical Right in morphing into a different philosophy.  But let’s not make the same horrible mistakes they did…

To sum things up, I am now convinced that if we want change in this country we must provoke change within the current Democratic party.  The Tea Party wing of the GOP managed to move that party to the right fringe of the political spectrum. Progressives need to form a wing in the Democratic party that concentrates on progress, empathy, and the common good and if it becomes the dominant wing then things will change. 

The Times, They Are A Changin…

2018-10-15_09-20-00.pngIf you believe the latest polls you have to come to the conclusion that “The times, they are a changin” as Bob Dylan said in his 1964 album. But, given how wrong the polls were in 2016, seeing is believing this time around. If more of us moderates get off our butts and vote, it just may happen.

Of course, I am talking about the mid-term elections that are quickly approaching.  I personally will be voting early today. If it does happen and the rubber stampers who are currently in charge of Congress are voted out, then I think the Democrats need to seriously consider what it will take to break the gridlock that is strangling our democracy. If that doesn’t happen then I can see a scenario where both current parties implode. To me, the first step in this process for the Democrats is a fundamental change of leadership. Without a change in the roster, nothing new will happen.  That means replacements for Pelosi and Schumer.

It’s time for a new relatively untarnished batch of leaders to take over. If they don’t come from within the Democratic party then I hope they come from outside both parties.  I know I am jumping the gun here but it has been on my mind so I need to put it on paper so to speak. Let’s finish off this post with the verse from the above Dylan song relative to the topic.  Get out of the way or you will be steamrolled over.

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Before you jump on me here, I admit that this is perhaps more a hope than it is a prediction.

DoubleSpeak…

If I were a conspiracy theorists I would believe that #CO3 and his cohorts have this all planned out.  First, they try to convince everyone who will listen that the current news media is all fake and not to be trusted.  And then they put out their version of news as shown by this New York Times snippet below shows.

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I’m sure their base believes these sort of things. I just hope that there are so few of them as to be easily defeated in coming elections. That is if we sane Americans learned our lessons the first time and vote. We should never let the radical fringes pick a future president.

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#CO3 = Current Oval Office Occupant

Tit For Tat…

 “Congress is deadlocked and can’t act.” I think that is the greatest blessing that could befall this country. 

-Will Rogers (Weekly Article #59, January 27, 1924)

2018-06-06_07-30-09.pngI just can’t understand how the leadership of the Republican party can blame the Democrats for not getting anything done this year.  Come on Mitch, you guys control everything and still can’t accomplish the daily chores necessary to keep the country running. All you have managed to do so far is to take healthcare away from millions and pass a budget-busting tax cut for the wealthy.  You personally need to take responsibility for your lack of leadership but of course, that will never happen. You are simply too much like the current leader of your party who refuses to EVER admit that he that he is not perfect or made a mistake. Even if obstruction is keeping you from passing legislation, can’t you remember you personally invented the current definition of obstruction just a few years ago during the first years of the Obama administration? A tit for tat is hell, isn’t it?

But in reality, as Will says, your inability to do anything is perhaps the greatest blessing that could befall us.  Keep up the lack of work guys, at least until we can replace you with someone who will put people instead of party first.

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I Get All The News I Need From The Weather Report…

2018-05-10_10-25-12.pngI didn’t realize how freeing it could be to disentangle myself from the political world. It used to be that I spent a good half hour every morning browsing my internet feeds for political stories.  That process now takes about five minutes or less. The PBS Newshour that I watch the morning after now takes about 10 -15 minutes of my time. The rest goes by at “super fast-forward”. Especially when #CO3’s picture shows up.

The title of this post is from the album by Simon & Garfunkel entitled “Bridge over troubled waters”.  I gotta do a post on that song soon. Getting back to the topic at hand, keeping today’s politics beyond arm’s length certainly is less stressful. I used to scan the daily news to get the latest Trump screw-up but I don’t do that anymore.   I’m sure they will continue to come with increased intensity as each day passes but I just won’t be reading them anymore. There is simply no use in getting upset about things that I have no control over.

For some, speculating what Meuller has uncovered is a way of life. For some, dissing Meuller and everything he finds is a way of life. At this point, it is not likely that any minds will change on this topic. Just tell me when the Special Counsel issues his report and when the impeachment starts and I might get engaged at least at some level again. But, until then I get all the news I need from the weather report.

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#CO3 = Current Oval Office Occupant

Christianist Cult of Trump…

I will admit up front here that I cherry-picked the quotes below and the Facebook shot from a very long, agonizingly long, article from a Catholic site entitled Patheos.  The author is Mark Shea who is evidently a regular contributor to that venue.

The gun debate is an obvious case in point.  Virtually everything I have had to say about it turns on a very fundamental moral point, summed up here:

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The Christianist cult of Trump advertises itself to the world as the face of Real Christianity.  So proud is it that it routinely declares the pope a heretic as it cheers for the lies, corruption and sometimes appalling cruelties to the poor and contempt for common decency that characterize this Administration.  And the world watches and believes them when they say they are the true representatives of the gospel. They see when Christians give Trump a mulligan for fornicating with porn stars and join in declaring his victims to be liars. They see every lie and cruelty excused and know Christianists are full of crap.

via Why Don’t you Talk about Theology Instead of Politics, Mark?

Like many theologians, the author just can’t seem to come to the point directly. He needs to circle around it many times. But I think what I pulled out of the post is tantamount to what “Christianist cult of Trump” is doing to damage the face of Christianity.

But then again I firmly pray that these cult members are actually a minority fringe whose time will come.

I want to close out this post with another quote re-inforcing the damage these fringe groups are doing.

2018-02-25_11-58-04.pngAt a certain point in “God and Donald Trump,” the recent theological gymnastics on display from Tony Perkins and Jerry Falwell, Jr., among others, to explain ongoing conservative Christian support for a president who (allegedly) paid off a porn star weeks before Election Day so she would keep quiet about their (alleged) affair become clear. There will be no point at which Trump’s most loyal evangelical and charismatic supporters declare they have had enough. Because to do so would be to admit that they were wrong, that God wasn’t behind Trump’s election, and that their Holy Spirit radar might be on the fritz. That it was, after all, about something as temporal and banal as hating his Democratic rival.

via Millions of Americans Believe God Made Trump President – POLITICO Magazine

Of course, they are wrong that God put Trump in the Oval Office.  We now know that Russian trollers did it. 🙂  Will there come a point in time when Christianity will totally morph into a political organization without any reference to the spiritual one or even to the messages of Jesus? Will the word “Christian” like the word “gay” become something totally different than its previous definition? The jury is still out on that.