Restful Days

From the front window of our motor-home

We got away from the grind this past week and spent a few days in Florence, Oregon. For those not familiar, it’s a town located on the Oregon coast, about two hours from where we live.

We visit this area fairly frequently to enjoy the weather (which was beautiful this trip), do a bit of shopping, dine in some of their nice restaurants (several are next to the water), and just “hang out.”

The RV park we stay at is owned by the Elks (my other-half is a member) and costs considerably less than most parks. It’s located inland, so no “ocean view,” but it’s set among the trees and offers quiet surroundings. Its only downfall is minimal wi-fi. *sigh*

Anyway, we’re back now — and I’m trying to catch up up on the many, many blog posts and comments that I had to skip while we were gone. 🤪

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Biden for President?

I recently came across this quote as part of an article title — “Joe Biden inspires no one” — and I must say I agree.

Yes, I know. He’s the most likely candidate to put Trump out to pasture, but I have real concerns about replacing one oldster with another one … that’s even older!

What I find rather interesting is that much of Biden’s support is simply because he’s familiar. People seem to forget his previous attempts at the presidency … or why he lost. They tend to overlook that he’s waffled on some of his platforms, and has had little to nothing to say about many of the critical issues facing us today. Instead, their primary focus is on booting Trump out of office. (While this is certainly a noble cause, it’s also important to know the objectives of his potential replacement.)

I will admit there’s something to be said for the fact Biden supports Democratic values and viewpoints, along with having experience and maturity, but I’m not sure that’s enough to sway me.

(Some have said Biden is simply Hillary Clinton 2.0. And in some ways, I don’t think that’s too far off.)

Interestingly, while the media continues to paint Biden as the inevitable 2020 candidate, there’s been some rumblings the grassroots enthusiasm for him may be receding. And I, for one, am not too disappointed at this news.

Who am I rooting for? At this point, I really like Pete Buttigieg, even though I recognize his election chances are slim. I don’t care for Sanders as I think he’s too focused on one issue (plus, I would hate to watch him deliver a State of the Union message with all his arm-waving).

Of course it would be great if Elizabeth Warren stepped into the Oval Office. Allowing a woman to run this country for a change would definitely shake things up (read: improve). I may not support all of her platform, but I can’t help supporting her gender. 🥰

Bottom line. When voting time rolls around, I’m going to vote for the person whose name is on my ballot. If it ends up being Joe Biden, then so be it. That’s where my “X” will go. We simply CANNOT allow Trump to run this country into the ground any longer!

And I have a hunch most of my readers feel the same.

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P.S. Just curious … how many of you donate to political candidates?

God Is Not A Christian

I just came across a post that included a quote from Bishop John Shelby Spong where he says:

God is not a Christian. God is not a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindi or Buddhist. All of those are human systems, which human beings have created …

I love it! 

Only problem is … in my opinion, he didn’t take it far enough.

Humans didn’t just create the systems, they also created GOD

I’m pretty sure Bishop Spong would disagree with me (see his bio below), but hey … Truth is Truth.

As an added note, Bishop Spong has also stated that HELL doesn’t exist … that it’s an invention of the church to control people with fear. Wow! This man definitely has his head on straight. (No doubt this is why he’s been described as a “liberal Christian.”)

Oh, and he also said that religion is primarily a search for security — a way to stave off anxiety over the unknown.

Who woulda’ thought?

Someone else felt similarly. Paul Tillich, a Christian existentialist philosopher, put forth the idea that humans need something to overcome their fear of death … to help them subdue the terrible dread of their demise.

And for thousands … guess who fills the bill?

Nonetheless, it’s important to remember Spong’s words that “God is not a Christian.” Thus, what happens at “the end” may not be what some are expecting.

(I must confess. Bishop Spong actually said a bit more in the above quote. I just cherry-picked the most relevant part.) 😈


John Shelby “Jack” Spong is a retired American bishop of the Episcopal Church. From 1979 to 2000 he was Bishop of Newark. He is a liberal Christian theologian, religion commentator and author. He calls for a fundamental rethinking of Christian belief away from theism and traditional doctrines.

 

Plastics and Recycling

EXCELLENT article (with images) related to recycling.

Plastics: What’s recyclable, what becomes trash — and why

Where I live, we can no longer put any kind of plastic in the recycle bin … only cans and cardboard boxes. We do take our soft drink cans and bottles to a local recycle center, use cloth bags for grocery shopping, and ask for paper at other retailers. But there’s still SO MUCH that we must toss in the regular trash.

One can’t help but wonder where all this is going to end up. We worry about climate change, but the plastics may take over the planet long before the weather does.

*Sigh* Human innovation may be the death of us all.

Immigration and Citizenship

This post contains information I’ve wanted to share for quite some time. Some of you may be aware of what I’ve presented here, but if not, it may come as a surprise.

Becoming a U.S. Citizen is not an easy process. Nor is it cheap. Little wonder that many of the people coming from poverty-stricken countries do not rush to the nearest office and apply.

The current filing fee for Form N-400, the Application for Naturalization costs $725 (updated-2019). This includes the $640 citizenship application fees and the $85 background check cost.

That’s a lot of money. And this cost will only get more expensive as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) raises fees in the future.

Fortunately (?), the USCIS has recognized that not everyone can afford to pay these fees so they have established a fee waiver process. However, the requirements are burdensome in that the applicant must provide documentation of their “inability to pay.” For those who are not English-speaking, the process cannot help but be overwhelming.

Moreover, if the individual has immigration violations or arrests, they must hire a lawyer (more $$$) to assist them. (Based on the current climate, there are undoubtedly some who would fall into this category.)

Some immigrants go around the naturalization process and apply for a “Green Card,” which currently costs $540 (also not cheap) and allows them to be “lawful permanent residents.” However, several eligibility requirements must be met before even the Green Card can be issued so the process can get complicated. Further, these cards must be renewed (at an invariably higher amount)  every 10 years if the individual wishes to remain in the U.S.

There is another path to citizenship that may be used. In fact, if the current administration wasn’t so bound and determined to STOP immigration, many individuals from drug-infested Central American countries would most certainly qualify.

It’s called Asylum Status and is available to anyone in the United States who has “suffered persecution in his or her home country or who has a well-founded fear of persecution if he or she were to return to that country.” While there are a couple of qualifications that must be considered –i.e., “the persecution must be done by the government, or by a group that the government is unwilling or unable to control” — from all that I’ve heard and read about the drug cartels, it seems the latter would certainly be relevant.

It’s just my opinion, but considering the mess that exists at our southern borders, wouldn’t it make sense to temporarily loosen some of the requirements and allow these people to follow the path to citizenship? Stop punishing them simply because they’re seeking a better life … and for some, escaping death.

Unfortunately, as most of us know, it’s not about making sense …

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay