Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012
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Friday, November 30, 2012

Be is for BEING BENEVOLENT

The Rogue Speaks:

In an attachment sent to me by a friend, I read the following:  "A wise man once said every society is judged by how it treats its least fortunate amongst them."  I wanted to find just what wise man said that, so I did a little investigating and found that variations of that statement have been said by many wise people over many years.  Here are just a few:

Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members.~Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973), My Several Worlds [1954].

The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.
~Dietrich Bonhoeffer


A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.
~Samuel Johnson, Boswell: Life of Johnson


"...the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped. " ~ Last Speech of Hubert H. Humphrey

"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." ~ Mahatma Ghandi

Now you may think that this post is somehow connected to the Christmas season.  It isn't, although it could be.  There has been way too much infighting in Congress these days about how to solve our national debt issues.  The conservatives want to reduce programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which will seriously hurt the people who need those programs the most.  They strongly object to making the richest people in America have to pay more in taxes, while the opposition thinks that it is only fair that those rich people have the same tax rates as the rest of us.  I think this is pretty reasonable, don't you?

In an exit poll taken on election day, an overwhelming majority of voters  agreed with me on this issue.  Were you one of them?

If you don't think that this is fair, tell me why you don't.  Before you comment, however, here is a  quote for you to ponder.  These words came from the mouth of Jesus Christ, whom many of you profess to follow and serve.  After you have thought about these words from your divine and spiritual leader, send me your comments.

Mark 10: 17-31

"And as he was going forth into the way, there ran one to him, and kneeled to him, and asked him Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good save one, even God.  Thou knowest the commandments, Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor thy father and mother.  And he said unto him, Teacher, all these things have I observed from my youth.  And Jesus looking upon him loved him and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go, sell whatsoever thou hast and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.  But his countenance fell at the saying, and he went away sorrowful: for he was one that had great possessions.   And Jesus looked round about and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God.  And the disciples were amazed at his words.  But Jesus answereth again and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!  It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."



This is my offering for Alphabe-Thursday.  I would like to thank, once again, Jenny and Steve Matlock for the kindness they showed to me and Rod during our move here to Brunswick.  They went above and beyond the call of duty when we needed help.  We will always be grateful to them.

35 comments:

Jo said...

I missed your posts I sent you an email but i must have your old address... i hope that all is well ...

I loved this post ... it is right on the mark ... and yes, it would have made an excellent Christmas post as well ... Oprah is coming to my town ... a meet and greet ticket is $1,200. I often wonder why the rich need to keep getting richer ... i know that she is a generous person, but if i was paying that kind of money i would want to speak to Mother Theresa ... just my little thoughts ...

Pondside said...

The quotations has been much on my mind as our country slips steadily into a conservatism that has a meanness about it. What I see daily is a creeping harshness about the mentally ill and the incarcerated and the homeless. This evening I was so heartened by a news story from Winnipeg where a bus driver stopped his bus and gave his shoes to a shoe-less street person. I think that's what Christ was talking about - that and sharing not only from what is extra in our lives.
I've missed you!

Lmkazmierczak said...

Ordinary Words...love the thought/research you put behind your words...but is society and government the same? The power of government can be benevolent, but history shows it will eventually abuse it's power and society will rise up...just to add more thoughts♫♪

bluzdude said...

I'm just glad you're back up and blogging again. I missed you!

And you're right... you have to be concerned about a party that would sacrifice the good of the country to protect the fewest and best off of us all.

Ames said...

Too bad the very wealthy in this country can't see it in their means to help Americans in need Just how much money does a person that has over a billion dollars in wealth really need? I'd rather see an actor, that makes millions performing, cut a check rather than to make appearances to ask others to cut a check (not that I am above cutting my own check.)

I just take issue with all the abusers of the system and those that take advantage of other peoples generosity. The ones that feel they are entitled to everything without making an effort to support themselves. I just really believe in that old Proverb "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Without knowledge we are lost.

Oh Judie I can go on and on and I really wish I had the time too but I don't. Thanks for these powerful words. I just popped in to say Hi and I miss you!~Ames

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Wonderful post, Judy ~ you are a very caring and enlightened woman ~ Somehow we need to get more balance in the world ~ (A Creative Harbor) ^_^

Annesphamily said...

Judie you really know how to handle a subject like this with such grace and I truly love knowing you and am grateful for this awesome post! I like all the quotes you shared and the words of Christ. This is such a fitting post for this time of here as well as after the election. We should never lose sight of what is truly important in this world. Thanks for the share!

Karen S. said...

One thing I know for certain, well actually two, because I also have missed seeing you around our blog world. I really need a dose of silly-funny-crazy-happy you! Okay the other thing I know is- Per your centus (about the poor less fortunate, and older or not of 50 shades of white) we can all rest easy now that Obama has another four years! Miss you- Karen

~✽Mumsy✽~ said...

First, good to see you back, Judie!

Second, I think there should be a different tax brackets for different income levels, as I am so very deep in the poverty line, and to think I have to pay the same percentage of tax as those of billionaires is very painful to fathom. Whatever little I made, went out and left me with nothing.

It's just my opinion!

Good to see you around again!

Claudia Willison said...

Great post! I like how you write about an important issue (injustice) in such an elaborate way!

Stopping by from Alphabe- Thursday - mine for letter 'B' @ ImagesByCW is about beach photography

JDaniel4's Mom said...

This is the perfect time of year to give to others. So many are in need!

JJ said...

Judie: We just returned from our trip. I missed your blog, and I am happy to see you back. Hope all is well with the new home.

I agree with your quotes, and most of your statements. I am also definitely not Jesus, though I do try to better myself.

I do disagree with blanket statements. Conservatives do not want to reduce SS, only put off the retirement age a couple of years for the under 55 crowd. 12 workers used to pay the SS needs of 1 worker. Today, 1 worker pays the needs of 5. This can't last.

Medicare and Medicaid are important programs that are loaded with waste and corruption. Conservatives do not wish to do away with them, but do want to clean them up.

I am an Independent, but I do strongly oppose any "Wealth Tax." Assets are accumulated with money already earned and taxed. It is unfair to now just take money from those who acquired it, and is in violation of the 5th Amendment. I can see closing loopholes in the tax law and eliminating deductions for those earning over $250,000, but even Jesus Christ would not see the "equality" in treating people differently under the law.

Judie said...

JJ, the conservatives want to privatize social security and get it out as a government program. There is just no question about that. This would mean that people would have an option to start a savings account and/or invest in the stock market. Many of the people who need SSI the most are just not savvy enough to play the stock market, hoping they will end up with a nice nest-egg when they retire, or to be diligent enough to save for the future. When SSI came into being, it was for exactly this reason--to assure that people who wouldn't ordinarily save to be taken care of when they retired. It was a thoughtful thing to do for the people. Who will make money on privatized SSI? Brokers. There is no way that any sane person would depend solely on the stock market for their golden years, especially when you look at what has happened to some of the big brokerage firms in the last ten years. We lost over $250,000 in our 401K. Don't kid yourself, JJ. Do you actually think that the "conservatives" as a whole are really concerned about corruption and waste? They are way more concerned with themselves and more and more people are realizing that.

SSI would be in fine shape had not the Bush administration borrowed money from it and failed to put it back. That was OUR money! We paid into it for many years!

Corruption and waste in the government has been going on since this country was founded, and no one, neither Republican nor Democrat, has ever thought to tackle that issue with any vigor. It is simply too much trouble for them. During the Regan years, it was the $900 ashtray, and in my own personal experience, it was Lobster Thermadore for lunch in the Capitol cafeteria when I was visiting my former father-in-law who was with the Department of Agriculture.

I considered that someone just might try to second guess the bible on this issue, in regard as to what Jesus might do were he alive today. If you are a professed conservative Christian who claims to follow the teachings of Jesus to the letter, which is what this post is really about, and if you are a wealthy person as well, who wants for nothing, then there is no question that you should do what Christ tells you to do in order to enter the kingdom of Heaven.

Christ turned over the tables of the money-changers outside the temple for turning it into what he called "a den of thieves."

Even though, to be fair, He told the people to render unto Caesar that which was Caesar's, he expected the people who called themselves Christians to follow a higher law, God's law.

I am one of those people who believes that if Jesus were alive today, he would definitely be a Liberal.

Of course, if you are not a Christian, then this post is not for you.

Naperville Now said...

Welcome back, Judie -- I add my voice to the many who have missed you. I agree with what you have written but cannot for the life of me understand why our government cannot get its head on straight, work together and start solving the many, many problems in our country. All heat and no enlightenment. I know not what to do about it (other than send emails, which I do, from time to time.)

JJ said...

Judie: I am not a "professed conservative Christian." I do not classify myself as "conservative." I do tend to be more "fiscally conservative" and "socially liberal," as most Independents claim.

On Social Security, clearly you are correct about those "not savvy enough," and it should not be forced upon them. However, I should not be denied the "option."

I can't make blanket statements about conservatives and personal concern. It is lacking on both sides. Obama took his stimulus money from the same pot as Bush. That is why I am Independent.

If I could have the money I paid into Social Security and Medicare in a lump sum, I would do far more with it than the government.

BECKY said...

Judie!! Ditto on missing you SO MUCH! I was getting worried about you! I must say I enjoy both your silly, funny posts and these thought provoking ones as well. I don't consider myself a Dem or Rep, liberal or conservative. I have no labels for myself..other than a person of the Human Race who cares about ALL people. I'm greatly appreciative that my parents were not prejudice people in any way, whether by people's religion or color. Growing up in the latter part of the 60's, I had so much idealism, the way young people do....but I digress! I agree with you, as I think you've already known! In my humble opinion, after a person has One Million Dollars....how much more money does he/she really "need." If invested properly(as 99% of the millionaires know how to do) they would be set for life, as would their offspring. I cannot stand the idea of the grossly wealthy people only caring about themselves. I wish they could live a homeless person's life for only one week....and most of those unfortunate people are also mentally ill. What a wonderful country we are, to shut down the mental hospitals and push those people out onto the streets and pretend they don't exist. Geez, have I ranted long enough?! I don't know how to "fix" the corruption though, that runs rampant in our politicians.....It makes my head hurt! I do as much as I can and live with the hope that yes, even ONE person can help to make a difference. Thanks, Judie! Been missin' ya!

EG CameraGirl said...

I love reading your thoughtful posts, Judie. Keep on posting and encouraging us to think. :)

JJ said...

Becky: I think I agree. Thank you.

Judie said...

JJ, I rest my case. Becky, thank you for your thoughtful comment, AND for missing me. I've missed myself, actually.

BECKY said...

Well, thank you very much, JJ! And I read your comment on my blog, and thank you for becoming my newest follower! Wow! Judie, you even help your readers to become followers of each other! :)

cj Schlottman said...

I have never understood why the ultra rich, whose money is making money exponentially, can't see their way to paying more taxes than the great unwashed.
These people have so much money, their great grand children and their great grandchildren will be filthy rich.

Higher taxes will not affect their bottom line. They will be rich forever.

Judie said...

JJ, if you were a federal public servant, you would not have to pay into Social Security, but would have your own retirement plan through the government. Since the government retirement program is so generous, it is hard for these people to see just how important SS is to most Americans. I know you know this. And most people cannot live on SS alone. We hear stories frequently of little old ladies who eat catfood because their SS checks are not enough for them to live on, and they have no other source of income. These people are the reason we even have SS in the first place. These are the people who have basically lived for the moment all their lives, and have given no thought to their future, or have had minimum wage jobs all their lives and have not been able to save even if it had occurred to them to do so. They are a large portion of the 99%. At least with SS they have a little something.

My 48 year old daughter is on SS disability because she has a variety of illnesses that make it no longer possible for her to work. Without that program, and others, she would be destitute. More to follow...

Anonymous said...
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JJ said...

Judie: I don't think anyone is arguing against that. The problem is paying for it. Both major parties have a different view of how to accomplish stabilizing SS.

I disagree with the Dems, because their plan simply can't work. They want to buy a Mercedes with $10. I disagree with the GOP, because they assume that all individuals in need can exist on SS.

The difference, apparently, between you and I is that I don't assume that simply because one has a conservative approach, he or she is greedy and uncaring. Mitt Romney is far from a "moron" or a "clown." Yet, on virtually every blog that discussed politics before the election, that's how he was labeled. Some of his ideas made such good economic sense and would have saved SS, Medicare, and Medicaid for those who will now probably lose it. He might not have been my first choice, but his solutions did not contain socialist/Marxist ideals that have never worked historically.

If you enjoy discussing politics, (which I know you do), why don't you join my newest blog, Politics for Average Americans. It's not for the sensitive or weary, but I make sure everyone can have a voice without name calling or personal attacks. Consider it. I respect your ideas very much.

Judie said...

JJ, please remember that SS is OUR money. We paid into it. What the government did with OUR money is another story altogether. If the Bush administration had not raided our account, it would be in good condition.

Even members of the Republican committee have admitted that Romney was probably not the best choice for a candidate, and that the party really needs to come into the 21st century and wake up to the needs of the electorate in America. Romney's lack of political savvy, his lack of knowledge about people and places in the world, and his inability to connect with the average American citizen and their plight lost him the election. He may very well be a good businessman, or he may have gained his enormous wealth by being ruthless and greedy in business.

Remember, too, that what he said while trying to get elected is a far cry from what he and the other Republicans would really do if they got control. Never did he actually state exactly what his economic plan was, although he was asked MANY times. It actually became a national joke, if you remember.

Any politician who equates cleaning up after Sandy to cleaning up a football field after a big celebration is indeed an idiot, believe me.

JJ said...

Judie: Here is my point. Ruthless, greedy, and idiot don't compute with me. Right or wrong, I prefer proof.

I was never a Bush fan, but he did not take my SS money. Obama did for his failed stimulus package.

Political discussion should focus on Socratic debate, supported by facts. When this occurs, fast-talking politicians and biased media non-journalists cannot sell their hogwash to informed citizens.

Judie said...

JJ, you are wrong. It is a fact that Bush "borrowed" from the social security fund, and he never put that money back.

I will be happy to provide you with the quote from Romney, comparing the Sandy cleanup to whisking away trash from a football field. This is not the sort of remark I wish to hear from someone running for president.

Jenny said...

Hi Miss Judie!

So nice to see you firing on all cylinders again!

We talked a bit about this issue just the other day so I won't add anything now.

I love your boldness.

You are a force!

Judie in 2016!

Hugs and A+++++

JJ said...

Judie: I am not a Bush fan. What I said was he did not take "my" money. Whatever Bush did or did not do has nothing to do with Obama's borrowing to pay for stimulus.

Most Independents are tired of the "blame game." Obama's economic policies will fail, and Democrats will blame Republicans. I know they will fail, because as a student of history, I know his policies have been tried numerous times and always failed. Meanwhile, Americans in the middle and lower economic strata will suffer. I would like to see anyone out there tell me something about Obama's economic woes without blaming someone or something else.

If I am wrong, I will voluntarily post a public apology.

Judie said...

JJ, Bush had the idea that that the stimulus package for rich and poor would create jobs in a failing economy. It did not work. The rich only got richer. Obama promised to allow the lower and middle income people to keep that plan, but that the rich would be made to pay their fair share, since Bush's plan to stimulate job growth was a failure. Now that just might come into being. I hope it does. Why should we pay more income tax than the wealthy? We've been hurt enough financially. Romney considers anyone who makes less than $250,000 a year to be in the lower class, so I guess that means us. We had always thought of ourselves as middle class--how about you?

JJ said...

Judie: I hate to monopolize your blog, and I apologize to your followers. You should start another blog on politics.

In any event, you might be right about Bush and Romney. I was never a Bush fan, and because of social issues, Romney was not my choice, although I believe he would be better prepared to fix the economy, which Obama is not. I base that on the fact that I taught in the MBA program in New England for years, and Romney's economic strategies that appeared each Month in the Harvard Business Review were used as models for economic success.

I do not equate wealth with class, so I cannot answer your last question. However, the big stumbling block is "Why should we pay more income tax than the wealthy?" We should not, and we do not. The top 1% pays 70% of all the taxes collected, and 42% of Americans pay no taxes at all. If you disagree, there is nothing more I can say - and I still love you! If you agree, you and I can do what Congress and the President are unable to do - discuss how to move forward, instead of blaming Bush for the fall of Rome.

JJ said...

Sorry. I meant top 10%.

Judie said...

JJ, you know I love you too! I knew I didn't phrase my comment about taxes correctly. I should have made my self more clear. I know you have heard what Warren Buffet(t?) has said about his secretary paying more income tax on her salary than he does on his. He thinks this is wrong, and so do I. There are MANY people who hold minimum wage jobs in this country, and the tax code is set up for them to get money back. Since they make so little money, that is only fair, I think. There are also people who are currently unemployed, and of course since they have no income, they pay no taxes. The wealthiest people in this country? Of course they pay more in taxes because they MAKE more. They can afford to pay more. The bottom line, however, is all about percentages, gaps, and loopholes. Why should large corporations, for example, get subsidies? They don't need them, and I think that their executives don't need to be getting outrageously huges bonuses, either.

Oops! Rod and our daughter are back from the store! Gotta go make onion rings!!

Splendid Little Stars said...

Good to see you back again, Judie!
Wow! This post sure has garnered some wonderful discussion.
I believe most here agree that some people do need some help and that some people have WAY more than they need to live on. How these disparate situations are rectified is the issue for most of us.
Is "government" really capable of resolving this? I rather doubt it. unfortunately.
On the other hand I know some people who are very generous personally.

JJ said...

Judie: We agree!