A Drone Level View

Banner- Looney Bin

The new RJsCorner will include politics as it has in the past but instead of getting bogged down in the day-to-day insanity I will be taking a higher level view. A good older analogy for this is looking at the forest instead of individual trees. But a more modern example is taking a drone level view.

A major problem with our political, especially federal processes, is that most of our elected officials seem to think that what they do is of primary importance in everyone’s daily lives when in reality it is mainly about the contractors, lobbyists, and the corporate media as opposed to the priorities of the general population. The term “Inside the Beltway” is an apt title for this phenomenon. Yes, we normal folks are affected now and then by what they do but we are most part primarily focused on our daily lives.

We should all celebrate the fact that government processes move at a snail’s pace so little radical change is possible in the short term, even a presidential term. An example of this is the current drive to get rid of Obamacare and replace it with a Republican version. Given the diversity of opinion on this topic, it is not likely that any extreme view will be adopted. Instead, they will continue to be kicked down the road until it becomes much more urgent and on more people’s radar screens.

It is my intention to continue to cover the political process but only via a weekly post within the subcategory “Inside the Beltway Loony Bin”.  I will try not to get bogged down on who said what to whom as I have in the past. Instead, I will be taking, even more so than in the past, a Will Rogers view of the topic at hand. That is, finding the humor and irony instead of getting upset about what is happening. One of Will’s most famous quotes is “All politics is applesauce”. He never went on to explain that exactly but most likely it means that they start with a fresh product but then pulverize it to something completely unrecognizable. In my day we said that baloney. I don’t know what the kids call it today, but it is important to recognize it when it happens.

So, my goal in this category is not to get upset about the insanity inside the beltway; to take a higher level view. If you have a different idea about all of this I would love to hear it.

 

Looking Back On A Weird Year..

TL Banner  Here we are at the end of another year so I guess it is time for some reflections on life.  Tomorrow’s post will be looking forward but let’s look back on this one. To say the least it has been a very interesting year.

Healthwise it has been a good one for both my wife and me as we had no major health events and that is good for people our age. I have tried to stay fit as best I can.  My weight is  the same as it was this time last year and I actually managed to get in more exercise than I have in recent years. I got a Vivofit exercise tracker a few months ago to help me keep track of my walking which is my major source of exercise now. It keeps reminding me that is it time to get up and walk some and that is a good thing even it is annoying sometimes.  My goal for this year has been 2 1/2 miles a day and I have pretty much managed to accomplish that. I will try to do even more in the coming year.

Politics was abusively upfront for the entire year.  We saw the dirtiest political season in my memory. One candidate continuously told vicious lies without challenge and the other acted like she was preordained to the Oval Office.  A new word “Post-Truth” is added to the dictionary for 2017 and I think the president-elect is the source of it because his blatant lying this year has proved that truth no longer matters to many of us. The mud slinging was b2016-12-17_14-46-07.pngeyond anything I could have imagined.  And then the election happened. I thought the November 8 was going to be the end of this maddening rhetoric but it seems it is just the beginning. I and most of us are victims of extreme abuse in this arena. Too bad there is not a law against what just happened.

Some Personal Joys of the year for me were my frequent trips in my self made micro-RV “in search of America”.  I made several trips throughout the Midwest and literally took hundreds of pictures. It will take me this entire winter season to post what I found and the get ready for the 2017 trips. I took these trips alone as my wife is finally reconciled to the fact that we now enjoy different interests.  She is a homebody and I am a wanderer.

I got one thing off my bucket list this year and that was a weeklong trip to Disney World. In some ways it was better than I imagined and in others it was a disappointment but that is generally how life goes isn’t it? The Star Wars stuff was amazing, the crowds even in early April were suffocating. And the costs, well, I try to ignore that part…

I don’t have much corporate hope for the year 2017 so“God Save The Country”  will by my siren call for the coming year at least in the political and maybe even cultural arenas…

Tomorrow I will try to find a sliver of silver lining for 2017….

The Calm In The Eye Of The Storm…

ISOA Banner  Anyone who has experienced a hurricane knows that in the middle of the storm there is a point of almost complete calm when the eye of the hurricane passes over. Being that our national elections are tomorrow I thought it appropriate to try and write a calming post here today.  To do that I went all the way back to my 1976 mountain hiking in Colorado and my honeymoon in Maui Hawaii in 1986.

Click on any picture above to see a larger slideshow view

The first two are of the time I and a buddy hiked up to a mountain top lake at  14,000 feet in Colorado and spent the night in a tent. It was probably the most peaceful in my life. The night time air was super crisp, the water was near freezing, and the night time sky was beyond imagination.

The rest of the pictures are from Maui Hawaii.  If these don’t calm you down a little then maybe you need a tall glass of Jack Danial’s… maybe both..

Hang on, it will soon be over….

It’s Time For A Break…

2016-07-31_16-01-33.pngNow that the final segment of this political season is upon us maybe it is time to take a break from politics until at least the first debate.  That is what I intend to do. I don’t think I can handle all the mudslinging that will surely occur in the coming days and weeks. Ninety eight days from now it won’t matter, either we will have a nut case as president or one who will pretty much preserve the status quo. I’m pretty sure we as a nation can survive both possibilities.

I need to move on to other, more productive or at least thoughtful things. So the “In Search of America” and the “That’s Life” portions of RJsCorner  will take center stage for a while. I know my ratings will go down as they are always higher when I join in on the idiocy of politics but RJsCorner was never intended to be about ratings.  When I started this blog almost eight years ago on another forum it was meant to be my “public” journal.  That is, a place where I can think out loud about life. As the years have passed it has almost morphed into a way  keeping me mentally active.

I will be posting many more of my “In Search of America” pictures here as well as some more philosophical stuff related to Autism among other things.  Autism has become my study of choice for the last few months. I will be sharing those thoughts with you. I will also be sharing some parts of my private life to maybe show you how you too might want to dig into your own personal version and try to become a better person. Personal improvement is my ultimate  goal for this study.

If any of this interests you keep coming back to RJsCorner in the coming weeks.  If you are here primarily for the politics come back in the Fall. But one thing I do hope is that more of you can share your experiences via comments to my posts. While I get a healthy view count comments are few.   It is nice to know that someone is out  there and interested….

Cycles…

2016-04-18_08-35-14.pngI seem to go in cycles as far as my tolerance for politics goes. I regularly reach a point where it becomes intolerable to read another article about the absurdity of today’s election cycle.  This seems to be one of those times.   I just want this nomination process to end, the sooner the better so we can get to the next stage.

Not that the next stage will be any better but at least it will be different. I get it, many Americans are just pissed off about how politicians can say one thing and then turn around and do the opposite. I get it, but I don’t really see how this is all going to work out.  Will common sense finally return to the majority of us who vote in the election cycle or will the frustration end with one, or even two “Jesse Ventura” candidates come this November.  I or I don’t think anyone else has a clue.

So, here I am at RJsCorner now talking about almost anything but politics. Its time for another hiatus from the maddening drum of the current insanity.  I used to be a politics hound, I watched both the Republican and Democrat conventions every four years. It has been a couple of decades since I have done that. Most now just seem to be advertisements for the already chosen candidate. I suspect it will be different this time around, at least in the GOP.

Cycles… that seems to be the way of life, everything in cycles so why should I be any different. Turn, turn, turn…

Are You Conservative Enough…

2016-02-14_11-14-57.pngIt seems that the GOP presidential wannabes are constantly arguing that their opponents just aren’t conservative enough to be president. Of course, they wrap their radical ideology in the American flag and somehow that gives it legitimacy.  If any of them were to even hint of compromising on any issue they are quickly and firmly put down as not being conservative enough.  Are they winning votes when they do that?  Just how conservative is the electoral population vs the “conservative”candidates?  That is the general topic for this post.

But first let’s look at the conservative vs progressive divide a little. A conservative is one who primarily clings to the past whereas a progressive is always looking forward for better ways to do things.  A Conservative is change averse whereas a progressive embraces change. These are my fundamental definitions of these two groups. I think most of us would agree that it is not a good thing to be totally in either of these camps. A healthy balance is what is what I seek.

I am one who tries to learn the lessons of the past in order to not make the same mistakes over and over again. Understanding what needs to change and what doesn’t is critical to a healthy balance in life. Learn from the past but with an eye always to the future. The current crop of conservatives are always looking at their past as the good old days.

It seems that so much in today’s world, particularly our political establishments, are skewed too far in both directions. There just doesn’t seem to be a middle anymore. It is now a chasm never to be crossed. I don’t believe that is how most in our country think now. Pragmatism and critical thinking are becoming the norm for many of us, particularly among the millennials and beyond.

A radical conservative hates change, especially where it means he will have to relinquish some of his power. “Don’t rock the boat” is often their mantra.

A radical progressive wants to change things simply to change them. The “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” mentality is foreign to them.

I can see on the horizon a time when we reject an either/or mentality and embrace what works.  I may be wrong, I have certainly been wrong about many things in life, but I see in the not too distant future a total rejection of the status quo in favor of moderation and less conflict.   I believe this is coming in the coming decade if not sooner. This paradigm shift will result in some stressful times. That will be painful but a better future will result.

Call me a Don Quixote dreamer if you want but I think our better days are still ahead of us once we shed off the extreme partisanship in the world today…

 

Texas GOP Declares: “No More Teaching of ‘Critical Thinking Skills’ in Texas Public Schools”

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2016-01-18_09-18-02.pngIs our country about “obedience training” or critical thinking? That seems to be the question at hand at least for the Texas GOP. Should we have a subservient society or one that is educated to ask questions? Many of the leaders in Texas seems to think the former and like so many other things are trying to force that opinion on the rest of us!

If you haven’t figured it out by now I don’t hold Texas politics in much regard. There are just too many nuts that have come from their in recent years. Some became president and some want to get there now.  There is just too much swagger in Texas politics, and even Texas in general, for my liking.

Being a critical thinker I can’t even imagine a country whose citizens are discouraged from asking  questions. Critical thinking is what has made our country great and the lack of it will surely be our downfall. When we fall in line with whatever our leaders tell us we are on our way to becoming something other than the great democracy we have been. Stifling critical thinking is what allowed Hitler such a strangle hold on Germany for so many years. I regrettable think that it is possible for us to turn that way if the Texas GOP has there way! When critical thinking ceases then propaganda becomes “fact” and that is a scary thing!!!

In the near future I will be showing you more details about the critical thinking process in order to illustrate just how insane Texas politics is in this, and in fact most other areas of life.