Woke to Wickedness

Wicked, adjective – evil or morally wrong; intended to or capable of harming someone or something (Google dictionary)

Do you really want to know why certain people seem to be melting down over perceived differences as a nation?

I watch all news channels, listen to podcasts and radio programs from various sources, and read news clips and books from all authors on both sides of an issue. I like doing this because my questioning takes on a much deeper meaning…not everyone is right and not everyone is wrong, and, in point of fact, much material can seem to be simply glossed over or blatantly left out.

I’ve been following the chaos that has been developing since before the 2017 general election. I try to make sure that my research and sources have a very broad scope because I like to keep in mind my friends, family and acquaintances who are all very different people with diverse thoughts, ethnicities and group affiliations. I feel blessed to have come from a type of background which placed me in diverse situations when I was growing up because not everyone gets to see and experience what our large, complex, multi-ethnic, culturally diverse country has to offer, and, quite frankly, it is not until you are past the age of 50 can you appreciate the exposure.

“Wickedness was like food: once you got started it was hard to stop; the gut expanded to take in more and more.” – John Updike, The Witches of Eastwick

I believe the “wicked food” Updike is referring to is connected our egos as individuals. Lately we have been digesting this food at an alarming rate. We must make an effort to look outside ourselves and take smaller bites, chew the information a few more times and rinse it down with a heavy dose of calm reason. It is our ability to reason that will connect our mind to our heart and drive a wedge between wickedness and our ego.

Consider the wickedness of the Socialist/Marxist movement that’s been brewing. It does not believe in the individual’s capacity to succeed in a free market system, yet this movement does believe that a small group of elites have the capacity to tell each person what they can do, think, and be…

The harmful wickedness fed to people of all races by an elite few in America today is unquestionable. I present to you a few examples:

1) The rewriting of history (As in the 1916 Project) instead of adding more information that is fact based to improve upon its richness.

2) The removal of historic statues and plaques by force without considering their context and significance for a teachable moment.

3) Banning certain types of free speech no matter who might be either offended or positively inspired.

4) Condoning mob rule when such behavior infringes on the rights of others.

5) Reworking social interactions in order to remove the possibility of proper civil discourse.

6) Changing the meaning of words to abuse cultural norms instead of creating new words that might reflect better our human progression.

7) Segregating  differences as a way to cause chaos instead of promoting our human capacity to allow for differences as a means to grow spiritually and intellectually.

You might be able to think of a few more examples.

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Consider these solemn words from Jane Austin:

“When I look out on such a night as this, I feel as if there could be neither wickedness nor sorrow in the world; and there certainly would be less of both if the sublimity of Nature were more attended to, and people were carried more out of themselves by contemplating such a scene.”

All of us have the capacity to be individual ambassadors of good will in our pursuit of happiness in this land of liberty which is grounded in Judeo-Christian principles. Put the politics aside! Let wickedness reign no more…

 

Shrew U: The Great Society Bust

My last blog post “Progress vs Progressivism” attempted to explain that progress is a condition of our U.S. Constitution and Progressivism is a construct that hinders such progress. I used examples from the Civil War and Reconstruction era to show the difference.

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s was also an important time of progress in our history. Not all activists of the 60’s can be considered hero’s for the changes they wished to achieve. I am currently reading Great Society by Amity Shlaes. I would like to relate to you why the details in this book have affirmed my conclusions about why our society’s current focus on Progressivism lead by a “Social Democrat Party” is bad for our culture…But first some historical context:

Since about 1880 Jim Crow Laws were enacted in the southern states by white Democrat-dominated state legislatures. The Supreme Court decision Plessey vs Ferguson (1892) upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation under the “separate but equal” doctrine. Jim Crow Laws were Progressive actions that resulted in commonplace separate public accommodations based on race (see my blog Progress vs Progressivism for definitions). Today we look back on such laws as absurd, but the governmental leadership at the time and throughout the seven or eight decades since were allowing powerful Democrat political forces to dictate cultural norms. Republican insistence on States’ Rights made this no better…Civil Rights as it pertained to individuals and races were just beginning to be understood.

Timeline of these decades:

1870 to 1914…2nd Industrial Revolution leap forward in technology and society (people lead actions)

1914 to 1918…World War 1 (government lead action)

1920…Congress passes the 19th Amendment – Women’s right to vote (people lead action)

1920 to 1929…The Roaring Twenties time of prosperity (people lead action)

1929 to1933…The Great Depression (spurred on by government greed in the twenties)

1933 to 1939…The New Deal (government intervention)

1939 to 1945…World War 2 (government lead action)

1945 to 1989…Post war economic expansion (people lead action)

1961 to 1975…Vietnam War draft era (government lead action)

What we notice in this timeline is that during the 2nd Industrial Revolution the formation of groups such as the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the Suffragettes were instrumental in obtaining crucial reforms to working conditions and the women’s right to vote. These reforms needed to be lead by the critical mass of non-political people lead actions in order for hearts and minds to change and common sense to prevail in Congress. This was progress!

Wars and the Depression however were instigated by government lead actions. The timeline shows an interesting back and forth between non-political action (changes made by people) and political action (initiatives made by governments). By the time of the Post World War 2 economic expansion, the U.S. was ready for another critical mass of non-political people lead activity, namely the Civil Rights Movement. It was helpful that this movement aligned with the Vietnam anti-war people lead activism. Individuals would not be “used” by their government’s activities any longer!

It was Reverend Martin Luther King JR who lead the people toward necessary civil rights changes. Society needed the common place Jim Crow laws to be eliminated, and this could only happen with a ground-swell of people power. Under this pressure, President Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights act that eliminated Jim Crow laws and the 1965 Voting Rights Act that prohibits racial discrimination in voting. Ending our involvement in the Vietnam War would prove to be more difficult.

In Great Society we learn that during the late 50’s and early 60’s companies like General Electric and Ford Motor Company were employing, expanding, and creating with great speed. The AFL which had now become the AFL-CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) along with progressive leaders like Walter Reuther (United Auto Workers) and anti war political activists like Tom Hayden were working their powerful influence on government systems to help President Lyndon Bains Johnson (LBJ) form his anti-poverty programs…After the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, LBJ as the new President, began to implement a plan with Reuther and Hayden to end poverty in America. His “Great Society” vision was the center of his 1965 election bid. What I found most interesting about LBJ during this bid for election was that in order to obtain the African American vote he promised them that they could caucus at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) so that they would have delegates appointed for the election process. This did not happen because the (racist) DNC would not allow it. LBJ was courting the African American voters with programs and promises aka “Progressivism”. LBJ managed to retain their votes anyway and won the 1965 Presidency in a landslide.

By this time it was apparent to the Democrat majority that more government programs were the way to maintain leadership power. With the help of Union Leaders and Progressive Activist Leaders the federal government worked to replace the authority of mayors and local leaders…Federal funds flowed to jobs program oriented organizations. Locally elected leaders were instructed to add community activists to these organizational boards. These activists liked to stir up tension on city streets. Eventually the mayors and local leaders caved to federal pressures and ever since then the federal government has procured more authority over social benefit programs at State and Municipal levels.

For example; Federal “experts” redefined eminent domain laws to remove entire neighborhoods where low income families lived and worked in comfort, condemning these areas as “blighted”. The new wisdom was that federally built high rise low income housing projects would be more beneficial. However, there were consequences to these actions, mainly that whites decided to move to the suburbs thus leaving the struggling black population to remain…Struggling because there were few jobs available for black men in these cities due to union bias. Federal welfare programs during this time discouraged fathers to remain in these government subsidized housing projects…Fathers needed to be out of state in order for mothers and children to qualify. We now know the consequences of these “Great Society” actions. This begs the question of why weren’t the Great Society jobs programs helping. Well, they weren’t helping because these funds were pocketed by greedy, prejudiced, progressive union lead program officials…Progress for African American workers and families was stunted by these government actions.

In short, I believe that progress happens best when affected people unite through first understanding how government inspired systems shrink their civil liberties, then changing hearts and minds in the process, and ultimately solving problems in fair and sensible ways. Progressivism lead by government “experts” and corporate or union cronies is infused with unintended consequences…Or are they unintended? My next blog post will focus on this question.

Shrewd Awakenings…Truth or Consequences

Enough time has gone by now…

Yes my friends, it was a game show.  You, the viewing audience have been allowed to witness a game for which truth still leaves many questions as actual facts are manipulated for a ridiculously consequential outcome.

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Before “Beulah the Buzzer” sounded (in this case Beulah was the vote to acquit President Trump on two articles of impeachment) each contestant (in this case 100 Senators) had to answer to the viewers (in this case the American people) three questions.  What were the three questions?

Here is my take:

1) Did the House enter into legitimate impeachment inquiry proceedings?

2) What did the “High Misdemeanor” accomplish?

3) Can a Senator keep their seat if he or she didn’t impeach President Trump?

Here are my answers:

1) There was no whole House vote to enter into the impeachment inquiry, but just because there is a House majority of Democrats, the majority should be careful to not enter into a partisan process as they did.  To force a one sided Democratically called witness review which was done in partial secrecy was wrong, and to leak some of this secret testimony to the press for speculative and sensationalist review was compromising to the process.  Even though beginning the inquiry was done legitimately, its implementation was ultimately problematic to their case.

2) The “High Misdemeanor” of saying Joe Biden’s name in relation to a corrupt Ukrainian Company during a head of state phone call accomplished the Democrat’s mission to find a ruse for the impeachment of President Trump.

From the un-redacted transcript of President Trump’s phone conversation with Ukrainian President Zelensky, President Trump says, “…There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great.  Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it…It sounds horrible to me.”  President Trump never said, “…so if you could get the Attorney General to investigate Biden’s involvement with the corrupt company (AKA Burisma Holdings), this would be a great help to my campaign.”  But that is exactly what the Democrats would want you to believe.  Instead, President Trump who is the chief law enforcement officer of the USA wants to know on behalf of a lot of people (AKA taxpayers) if Burisma would ever be investigated for corruption.  Interestingly, Biden’s action of holding back United States taxpayer funds to the Ukraine government in 2014 for six hours while he forced the firing of a Ukrainian investigator who was looking into Burisma corruption does appear to be a quid pro quo by Biden and was never brought up as being a wrong action even though he is on camera bragging about it in 2018.

Also from the transcript, “…Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament, the next prosecutor general will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved by the Parliament in September.  He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue…”  President Zelensky said that his intention was to investigate the company known as Burisma Holdings, not a person and specifically not the aforementioned Biden.

And, as far as United States funds being held back, has anyone considered that President Trump could have been waiting for the new prosecutor general to be actually approved by the Parliament into the position first?  Ukraine’s government and the new President Zelensky should have their actions vetted carefully before the United States has trust in their future good intentions.  With his own distrust of US federal employees working within and among his executive branch, President Trump likely wanted to do this inquiry himself, an action which is not illegal nor unprecedented.

3) Each Senator has their seat for six years.  Any Senator who has three or more years left for their term and who voted to impeach knows it will have almost zero effect on their next campaign.  Any Senator who has less than three years left for their term and who voted to acquit had to think twice about this vote because of the message it sends to their constituents, essentially a message of support for President Trump.  Hopefully their individual votes were done based upon constitutional principles instead of party loyalty…You decide.

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But here is the consequence, our Constitution hangs in the balance.  From the start, the lack of a whole House vote to investigate an allegation from the very beginning brought on a partisan process.  Even the majority vote to acquit in the Senate adds credence to the partisan misbehavior by the House.  What we had was an abuse of power on behalf of the House of Representatives.  Oh well…for now Beulah says, “Case dismissed!!”

Shrewd Awakenings…Our Great Awakening

It is now the year 2020 and it’s about time that we see the political climate around us with 20/20 vision.

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Photo by Victor Freitas on Pexels.com

How many of us get our news from social media snippets and/or “friendly” network broadcasters?  Are they and their sources reliable?  Are the fact checkers that give us the Pinocchio’s really digging deep enough in their fact checking?  Are we being presented the whole story?  Unless we are willing to give up our day jobs (or even get off the couch) and become an investigative reporter, we probably rarely if ever do the reading and research necessary to have a truly informed opinion.

In the mean time the majority of us are typically left to our biases.  Having a bias is not a bad thing…It is an absolutely human thing.  It gives you a basis from which to start your exploration of a topic and to be tested when faced with an opposing view; in other words, the ability to have an open mind from which to use to reason.

If you hold strongly onto your bias, then you have the inability to find justice.  Potential jurors are scrutinized for bias before they are allowed to serve on a jury.  This is a very important part of a society based on law and justice.

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Social justice is justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.  Can a liberty minded society be “cleansed” of biases?  Of course not!  Liberty is the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views (Oxford Dictionary).  The opposite of this is Fascism.  Social justice must impose Fascism in order to control the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges.  In the USA each person would necessarily need to give up their liberty in order for the implementation of  a true social justice agenda.  By what biased authority would we want this agenda implemented?  The answer to this question leads to our great awakening…

Liberty entails the responsible use of freedom under the rule of law without depriving anyone else of their freedom.  This sounds like a just society to me 🙂

We are already USA Strong!

Your property and care of it is your wealth, your informed curiosity leads to your opportunity, and your positive relationships reinforce many of your privileges.  These are guaranteed to you in the U.S. Constitution.

SHREW U: Worshiping at the Alter of Perfectibility

To plan for worldly perfection is a web of deceit and the spider who sets this trap believes himself to be like a god.

A web of deceit has been inadvertently spun since our founding which I will date as June 21,1788 when our Constitution was ratified. At that time there were 13 states. Only nine states needed to be on board for ratification…Ammendments to the document continued for several years after the ratification, for instance the Bill of Rights was not ratified until December, 1791.

During ratification the first political parties formed, the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists.  Anti-Federalists saw the constitution as a potential threat to personal liberties and opposed its ratification wanting only each state to have sole power.  However, there were more Federalists than Anti-Federalists so the Constitution was ultimately ratified.  This is not to say that the Anti-Federalists didn’t get some of what they wanted…The Constitution did put in place checks and balances to help prevent central government corruption and tyrannical rule as well as incorporate explicit protections for individual rights.

In today’s polarized political climate we must all remember that perception is only part of the path to truth.  Facts still remain. – The Shrew

The Anti-Federalists soon became the Democratic-Republican Party.  Founding Fathers such as Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams and Thomas Jefferson were among them.  In the early 1800’s this party split into the Republican Party and the Democratic Party (Federalists such as George Washington, John Adams and Alexander Hamilton ultimately became members of the Democratic Party).  Essentially Republicans at this time wanted to reserve more power to state governments unlike the Federalists (later the Democrats) who dominated national government early in our founding and passed laws which taxed land owners to pay for war preparations against the French, increased residency requirements for U.S. Citizenship, deported all male citizens of enemy nations, and limited free speech rights.  By 1830 the Federalists had been completely reformed into the Democratic Party which supported slavery and opposed civil rights reforms.  You can see the trend early on that neither party was perfect with their understanding of Liberty. 

In the mid 1900’s the Democratic Party underwent a dramatic ideological realignment by supporting organized labor, civil rights of minorities and progressive reform.  During this time there were a number of other political parties with their own particular ideologies that came and went, many of which had elected representation in Congress, but they would not prove the test of time.  Today’s Democratic and Republican Parties bear almost no relationship to their original counterparts.

Through the decades of party representation in the presidential and congressional roles it seems that any time the dominant party was too aggressive with its messaging it left an opening for the opposing party to take control.  This “duel” made it more difficult for progressive ideas to cement, but laws and programs which began under the New Deal and civil rights reforms were enacted when both parties were more amenable.


When I compare the ins and outs, ups and downs of our federal system to our state and local governance systems the picture is the same.  Any time an extreme example of controlling power is displayed, another election happens to check this power and bring a modicum of balance to controlling forces.  Governing systems don’t just create themselves, it is people working together who bring them to being.  Ours is the only system which allows for ideas to be tested, thrown out and reinvented.  This is what a free republic does.  And if the people of this republic are free to also imagine and be inspired by the invisible hand of God at work in their personal lives, then the ups and downs of our system give emotional maturity for the individual to persevere when their wants are not able to balance their needs.  We do ourselves a great disservice when we believe that whole populations and desired outcomes can be forcibly perfected.  These are the ways of tyrants.

Our Earth and the cosmos are ever changing, and as we know, people are limited when they try to improve upon these changes.  To plan for worldly perfection is a web of deceit and the spider who sets this trap believes himself to be like a god.  We must not worship at the alter of perfectibility lest we divert our inherent worth to a false  master.

Shrew View: Homelessness and the Thin Blue Line

Identity politics has been stripping us of our humanity.  The latest case in point aligns with how the homeless population has been allowed to grow unchecked in many urban centers.  Homelessness has been a plight since the dawn of civilization.  Circumstances create personal problems for people in a myriad of ways.  Hopelessness becomes all consuming to the point where personal responsibilities which were once manageable suddenly are too much to handle.  Some would argue that it’s a money problem and tell us, “If only we all had a basic income, free health care, and free higher education, then homelessness would not exist!”   Responsibilities with this model of free stuff inevitably shift to an administrative group.  This group identifies money sources, collects the money, distributes it with a system that is “fair”, and employs a means of enforcement.  But would this progressive formula actually mitigate the personal problems inherent to human nature?  Think about it!


If I allow an administrator to take control of my basic neccessities and to educate me, will they also be able to control my dreams, wishes and choices?  What will be expected of me from this administrative state?  And what about morality?  Who defines morality and enforces this paradigm?

Now consider our police force…The men and women who are employed by municipalities to protect and serve its citizens.  It seems to me that their functions are slowly being eroded by an over zealous political class.  Lately the main stream news programs and social media fixate on police brutality as though it was more commonplace than the smuggling happening daily on our boarders.  Angry attitudes against the police along with the dangerous aspects of the job itself are causing many municipalities hardships to find new police recruits.  Is this by design and does this define a new mindset whereby law enforcement is now seen as the bad actor?  To be sure, policing will need a newly defined mission in order to help a controlling administrative state enforce their “fair and progressive” systems.


Judeo – Christian principles were once the sphere of moral precept in our country.  As these priciples erode and secular laws replace them, the human capacity for obtaining  higher consciousness will decrease and dependency on the administrative state will increase.  Each one of us is then acting as a cog in the wheel of an interdependent system and is replaceable if we are not being “perceived” as doing our part.

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive” – Sir Walter Scott, 1808

We can see how the deception is forming the web, but do we know WHO IS THE SPIDER?

The Importance of Independence Day

Are we still slaves to Self imposed ignorance?

Please think about this…The Declaration of Independence was the start of ending slavery on many levels.

First, the colonies needed to recognize that they could live their lives without a king as overseer. They were beginning to live this reality and then with this declaration they made it so.

Next, the Constitution began a system whereby no more slaves would be imported by England. Education for everyone would help inform citizens so that they could vote and govern themselves properly…This education would end the tolerance of slavery in the southern states along with a bloody civil war, ultimately to unite the nation and recognizing that “All Men Are Created Equal”. African American men could now be educated, vote and hold elected office.

Then, even though some women could already vote depending on their status and locality, all women were guaranteed the right. Persistence was the key.

And finally, we all look to these two documents to inform and develop increased opportunities to recognize oppression and bring about liberties for all citizens. This process will never be easy, but it is a process…deeper understanding is gained through listening to one another because united we stand, divided we fall.

Are you a slave to divisiveness? Only you can change this if so.

Utopia?

The USA is not and can never be the United States of Utopia.

Individuals in a free society enjoy their liberty based on laws that reflect their personal right to prosper and be generous.  The US Constitution guarantees this!

Under a Democrat controlled administration the IRS will become the Imperial Reckoning Source with the special privilege of controlling all tax dollars imposed broadly by an elitist class who claim moral superiority.  You, the individual in this system, must come to enjoy these privileges bestowed on you with all thanks given to your provider…the Government.

If you know history, Western Civilization has been there before and it wasn’t a bed of roses!!

The Shrew View: Origins

I attended a workshop this past weekend put on by an organization known as Maine-Wananaki REACH.  This group focuses on decolonization and restoration of Maine for Wabanaki people who are the Indiginous tribes with original ties to the state we know as Maine.

The workshop began with introductions as we sat in a circle. The two moderators have been working with this program for several years, going to many churches, civic groups and private places of learning.  I believe one moderator said that she was part Native American.  As we went around the circle we spoke about the place where we were born and whether we knew the name of the tribe associated with our birth place.  Most folks had some idea of the tribe name, others were curious to know now that they had been asked and a couple folks shared that they had some Native American blood in their geniology.  I shared that growing up in Dorchester, Massachusetts I knew that there were many tribes that shared the land there, but was curious to know why tribes aligned themselves as a Confederacy.  The term confederacy describes a loose coalition of tribes having a shared government of power which is not highly organized as is the U.S. Constitution.  A Native American Confederacy is made up of many tribes in a region, many of which acquired their names from the “colonizers” based upon the location of their habitat.

Colonizer is the term given to those people who came to tribal lands and controlled the lands on behalf of a European King or Queen.  Curiously, in Ecology this term also refers to a plant or animal that establishes itself in an area.  As we know, ecology is the branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings…The word “colonizer” does not hold a negative connotation for me because I tend to understand the term as a processional step toward new cultural systems theory.  More about that in a moment…
The workshop had all participants stand as representatives of the native Americans on a beautifully painted cloth map of the state of Maine.  Depictions of plants, animals and symbols Indiginous to the state were on various puzzle pieces lying connected together.  As the moderators narrated the story of colonization, pieces were removed and people were told to leave based upon conditions of disease, war, dis-honored treaties and child abduction with the native Americans until only less than 1% of the land and even less percent of the native Americans were left to see.  By the end of the exercise several of the participants were moved to tears.

After we gathered back in our circle, we related how the exercise effected us individually.  Many were astonished that they did not know any of the history that was related through the story telling.  Others thought that it was important to keep the information centered in the context of the times.  Many wanted to know how our state was making reparations if at all.  One of the moderators told us that the U.S. Government had done too much in the wrong way to “help” the Native Americans and that the Native Americans really wanted the Government to simply stop imposing on them.  I think this makes so much sense!

Discovery of the “New World” was bound to happen at some point in history. The fact that Europeans were industrious, curious and greedy was the product of centuries of colonization in that region and gave mankind endless possibilities of renewal within monstrous periods of distruction. This doesn’t make the power grabbers right, it actually points out that it is natural to our human condition. We are at a period now that allows us to put into perspective the wrongs of the past and endeavor to live in right relationship, but do we force that relationship to happen or do we understand the system and theory that brought us to this place in time so that we unite in a slow progression of wellness with each other? I believe that latter to be true! And which form of government allows the latter to happen? It is definitely a constitutional republic which honors the individual as the actuator of self determination under civil liberties and common law.

Watch out for the power grabbers. They will claim to have the moral upper hand when in actuality we know that morality is not rooted in power, morality is rooted and guided by principles which acknowledge the faults and aspirations of human nature. Watch how this is currently playing out in our political parties and much of our media…Are their actions forcing compliance or open to compromise? Are the foundational principles of our country honored or being ignored? Are you willing to go along to get along simply because it benefits your own situation? Or do you have the perspective and knowledge necessary to understand your role to ensure Liberty? You be the judge…