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Joe Nation

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Member since: Mon May 27, 2013, 01:46 PM
Number of posts: 754

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My spouse and I both retired and now life truly begins

No congratulations necessary. We've both heard that plenty this past week. We also have been asked over and over what we plan to do with all that free time. It's a tougher question than it sounds. Certainly travel, write, read, and all those other leisure activities are on the menu but what will keep us interested long-term. We're both relatively young. We're both healthy. We are fortunate enough to have some means to retire on.

The only answer that makes any sense is to give back to our community. Volunteering, teaching, helping others less fortunate, and making the world a little kinder with both our hands and our hearts. It's kind of selfish of us because there is nothing that makes you feel better about yourself than helping others. Giving is it's own reward as they say. And I have always found this to be true.

So I guess the short answer regarding our retirement plans is that we're going to be selfish. With any luck, very, very selfish.

I would ask Liz Cheney who she voted for in 2016 and 2020.

I'm pretty certain that she voted for the same guy that had her thrown out of her leadership position. Hard to feel sorry for her and her 90% voting record with Trump, her abandoning of her gay sister, and not voting for the COVID relieve bill. Liz Cheney is NOT a good person just because she suddenly developed a selective conscience. Not all is forgiven Liz.

When I see the combined country of Israelistine, I will believe peace is possible.

Until then, the killing will never stop. There will be conflict until both sides learn to share. Any parent knows this. Why can't adults on both sides figure this out?

Billionaires increased their wealth by 50% during the pandemic.

Are pandemics the new wealth stream for the elites going forward?

Fellow Americans spiraling downward clinging to the irrational

It is not unusual for many of us find it hard to understand Trump supporters. We don't understand their motivations, their behaviors, their beliefs, or what drives some of them to actually mount an insurrection. I think we often just assume that they are all a bunch of racists and white supremacist sympathizers with poor educations and a perverse interpretation of Christianity. Many of us have close relatives, friends, and neighbors that seem to have changed overnight into something we simply can't recognize anymore. I think that the real situation is just more complicated than we might assume. I gained a little insight into one of these people recently and I think it would help if we all understood a little bit more about the individuals that find themselves in these dark places.

My wife has a massage therapist that she hasn't seen in quite a while because of the pandemic. Since we are both fully vaccinated and she had some gift certificates to use up, she made an appoint to see her old therapist recently. It was to say the least, a very bizarre experience and certainly the last time she will ever go near this therapist.

She had completely changed over the course of the year to someone unrecognizable from her previous self. Mind you, this woman was a gifted massage therapist. She wasn't highly educated but had a gift for her profession that could not be taught in any school. She had always been kind of "New-Age-ish" but in a positive kind of way that made you chuckle but you put up with it because she was so damn gifted at her craft. An example of this was that she could simply look at an elbow and say, "You've had damage to this joint", when it was something that had happened decades before. She also had a very positive energy that infected everyone around her.

During my wife's visit, this therapist made it clear that she was not vaccinated for COVID and that she was trying to save others from the evils of vaccination. She had read some stuff on the internet that vaccinated people shed spike proteins and could affect non-vaccinated people and that she herself could feel the negative effects of being too close to vaccinated people. She talked about every conspiracy theory out there endlessly throughout the session and admitted that she had gone down some pretty dark rabbit holes over the past year. She was so negative and consumed by thoughts of evil corporations and the dangers of people like my wife that had been vaccinated that her business was failing through neglect and paranoia. What difference a year had made.

All she kept saying was that she wanted to help people because she felt so sorry for them because they were some uninformed. She never questioned her own beliefs for a moment. It was all about how others needed to realize how misguided they were. Going down a few dark rabbit holes had taught her nothing. She was convinced that she was saving the world through her efforts to inform them of their misguided beliefs. She had become an impenetrable brick wall.

She also had related an incident that someone had recorded and she admitted that she had gone off the deep end in that moment. I think it was a mental breakdown that she was describing. She was damaged and receding into herself. It is hard to watch someone with such a natural gift for healing wither and become a shell of her former self all because of these contemptible purveyors of hate and division. She was a genuinely good person that was bouncing through life healing others with her gifts and now she is fast receding into a dark corner of the Right-wing conspiracy echo chamber and pushing any sense of reality to the furthest reaches of her mind.

This is what these people are costing all of us. So sad.

Need advice about where to retire. Pacific Northwest specifically.

Here's our situation. Both my spouse and myself are academics retiring at the end of May. We currently live in the Midwest but spent 9 years on the west coast in California in the late eighties and early nineties. A number of our friends and two of our kids live in the Pacific Northwest. We are considering anywhere from Northern California to British Columbia as possible places to retire. We will start in the Seattle/Tacoma area for the first year or so and look around the area for a good location to eventually settle.

We'd like start in a nice urban area with activities such as art galleries, coffee shops, parks, community gardens, interesting city life, and volunteer opportunities. Money is not an issue for us but we kind of dislike the wealthy snobs so we are looking at a more gritty urban area with a mix of interesting people.

Volunteering is going to be a huge part of our retirement plan and we are retiring fairly young so we have many years to give back to a community. Are there any neighborhoods in the Seattle/Tacoma area or even some of the places around the western side of the Sound that you are familiar with that we might check out this summer while we are visiting?

Thank you for your advice in advance.

Every Republican I hear from seems to have an issue with accountability.

It's as if they don't want to bother taking any responsibility for anything they say or do. My spouse has a Republican boss. This boss has zero interest in anything that even smells like accountability. This pattern is certainly all over the Republicans in congress. They seem to think anything they want to do is just fine and if there are any consequences for their behaviors, it must be some liberal plot to destroy them.

Is it some kind of rule that to be a Republican, you have to rid yourself of any type of personal responsibility? They do love the word freedom. They simply ignore that part of freedom that deals with personal responsibility and accountability. You can't have true freedom without a good measure of responsibility and accountability in any social setting. Children are taught this at a young age. You learn this in just about any school setting. Do these people come with an anti-accountability filter?

I feel as if the Republicans in America are the Neanderthals and the rest of us are Cro-Magnon. They are simply a evolutionary dead end and are doomed to extinction through the process of natural selection. They are even too dumb to believe in evolutionary theory. I won't miss them.

A word of warning about jumping into bed with Corporate America

As tempting as it is to rejoice that at least some of Corporate America is willing to support democracy when it comes to GOP voter suppression laws, we need to pause before we accept their outstretched hand. It may not be a handshake we can live with when all is said and done.

The theory is that these handful of corporations are reading the tea leaves and concluding that it is in their best financial interests to side with their customer base. In other words, the specter of the scary boycott is all we need to bring these corporations over to our side. You have to ask, when have boycotts ever really succeeded and just how often do they pretty much fail at the end of the day given the short memories all politicians know the American Public is famous for? The answer is that it depends on the boycott and whether the government and other corporations decide to get involved. Boycotts can work against financially vulnerable organizations but it is a lot more difficult to have a negative financial impact on a large multinational with a diverse product base. They are simply too big for the average person to keep track of all of their products and the further you get from the initial boycotted product, the more you lose support for the boycott. People get boycott fatigue rather quickly and corporations know it.

There is also the aspect of social media pressure. Negative perceptions of any organization can certainly impact an organization's bottom line, if sustained over a long period of time. Again, when was the last time you saw a sustained negative media campaign to shame a corporation into acting socially responsibly? They come and they go just as quickly once the next cause du jour comes along.

While corporations certainly wield a lot of power and influence, do we really want to rely on them to spearhead our grievances or would it not be smarter to accept their support but only as another arrow in our quiver rather than the main archer taking aim at our foes? Once corporations are weaponized, do they not inevitably use their influence to increase their own power? You only have to look as far as the role they have played in our politics as puppet masters of the GOP. They give some politician 50K and they get tax legislation that saves them billions. A great investment as it turns out. There is no reason to believe that they wouldn't do exactly the same thing if they sided with the Democrats.

We certainly can use the help of corporations but if we merely take them at their word rather than looking at their past performance, we run the risk of becoming the next corporate shills.

Is it rude to ask people if they have been vaccinated?

I ask because I have recently run into a few people that have not been vaccinated when the opportunity arose but only because they have decided that they were against vaccinations, and specifically, this one. These are people that regularly get their annual flu shots, have had all of their school vaccinations at some point and have had their kids vaccinated as well.

I am beginning to worry that the hemming and hawing they are doing is out of embarrassment and it feels like I'm being rude even innocently asking them. I feel excited that I got mine and would be excited for them as well. It is almost standard that this question comes up in day-to-day conversations and I am realizing that I know a lot more conservatives than I thought I did.

I'm in no position to lecture any of these people on their personal choices but I wonder if it is I who is being rude by even asking them? This is new territory and I am unsure how to approach this subject with people and with all of the implications that go along with either getting or not getting the vaccine. Help!

All these mass shooting at too sanitized for the public

We need to start seeing the aftermath on the nightly news. Let the victims speak for themselves. This will never end until America looks square in the face of what the gun culture is doing to ordinary people. It worked to end the Vietnam War and it would work to end all these mass shootings. If my family member were a victim, I would want to see some good come out of the tragedy. I know that there are those that wouldn't want to see the carnage but they do not have to watch the news.

It's time to see the stark reality of what we allow in this country in order to end it. What news outlet will have the courage I wonder?
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