Shrew U: An Open Letter To Our New Congress

grey ceramic landmark during daytime
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Welcome to a new day!  As you take your seat and represent your constituents please remember these things:

  1. You were probably elected within a close margin so work with your peers on both sides of the isle as if our Republic depended on everyone’s educated input.
  2. Base this educated input on facts not feelings.
  3. Focus, focus, focus.  Your job is dependent on your performance.  And Yes!  We are watching.
  4. Civility should be your middle name 🙂  Don’t be concerned about the President’s behavior because it speaks for itself.
  5. You’ve sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution so read it and apply it to everything you consider.
  6. Cultural changes are inevitable…These are better left to the communities from which you came.  Also, change can be infectious when handled conscientiously with everyone involved.
  7. Fascism is not a one way street.  Any political party can believe their policies are the best.  Be concerned about any one sided political push or group think.
  8. Laws were not meant to be broken or discarded lightly.  Follow them or change them!

Thank you and have a nice term…

Shrew U: Local Economy and Balancing Faith with Commerce

The fact that so many faiths can co-exist in U.S. Culture today speaks volumes for our progress as a nation.

In my last blog I stated that balance is a welcome state of being for humanity and very important for all facets of our lives. Because I am finding that certain elements in this country are ginning up much hostility toward capitalism, in this blog I would like to reflect on how we balance faith with commerce.

low angle view of cross against sky at night
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Once upon a time in order for a new community to be established in the North American territories it needed a church and a pastor.  Faith was central to existence because life presented a multitude of hardships (One could argue that we still have many hardships, but that is a topic for a future Shrew blog).  Many of these communities still exist today with a First Parish Church in its midst.  Of course today most of these communities also have several other churches along with perhaps a Temple and even a Mosque.  Faith in God or a Higher Power can be a grounding influence for many people, and I believe that religious practice in communities is a key ingredient for goodwill among humanity.  The fact that so many faiths can co-exist in U.S. Culture today speaks volumes for our progress as a nation.

So which came first, faith practice or commerce?  I think this question is comparable to the chicken and egg hypothesis.  We know that Britain colonized America in 1607 at which point the North American resources became valuable to many markets (Again, exploitation of these resources is another great topic for a future Shrew blog).  In the very early days the settlers bartered their goods and services, no money was needed to support their basic lifestyles.  Indentured slaves and negro slaves were in full use by 1640 thanks in part to the Dutch who brought the first negro slaves…Britain benefited the most from this practice because new markets for cotton and tobacco amoung other things were expanding at great rates and new immigrants to America were smart enough to know that this work on southern plantations was less than desirable.  Moving ahead 50 years, the first paper money wasn’t issued until February 3, 1690 to pay for military action during the King Philip’s War (military personnel required payment to make their fight worthwhile).  By 1776 the British pushed American “free spirits” to their limit.  Because religious freedom was central to the impending free nation, British rule equated to Anglican hierarchical practices.  I find it interesting that it took 170 years for these European free spirited transplants to break away from Imperial bonds, but honestly that is what tyrannical control can do to people…dependence on the “Mother Land” is like clinging to your mother’s warm bosom.  It took tremendous personally inspired faith to fight for independence.

And so, the land of opportunity was born…Each man and woman sovereign to him/herself with inalienable rights and property protections.  Property of course also includes your business and ability to make money which involves a tremendous amount of creativity.  God created the Universe and we, as part of this creation, are inspired to also create .

I believe the best economies are local.  They reflect the community of people united with threads of purpose.  And many times they use the bounty of resources located in their region.  These communities educate their young, learn from their past, celebrate their better days, reflect on their challenges, honor Mother Nature and love life through a respectful relationship with their Creator.  A nation that respects a community’s innovation to thrive will reap the rewards.

pexels-photo-164661.jpeg
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Which came first, faith practice or commerce?  One definitely defines the other and in my dictionary faith defines commerce…Just look on the back of our currency! In God We Trust 🙂

Shrew U: Reading List…

One big reason why I started my blog, The Shrew, was to create a journal documenting a female perspective counter to mainstream influences like that of the women on the ABC talk show The View.  It is very apparent to me that the most vocal women on The View (Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar specifically) have absolutely no desire to do meaningful research beyond their own closed boarders of “the resistance”.  The gossip, innuendo and emotional superficiality on The View perpetuates the often “catty” stereotype of the female human species and sets back the progress of intellectual women everywhere.  Who watches this garbage?

The following is my recommended reading list for women and men who wish to honestly understand the social, political and emotional underpinnings of why the “resistance” movement is a non-starter for the majority of people in the United States:

  • Fields of Blood: Religion and The History of Violence by Karen Armstrong
  • Sapiens; A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • Where Do We Go From Here; Chaos or Community? By Martin Luther King, JR
  • The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson by David Barton Thomas
  • Jefferson and The Tripoli Pirates by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yeager
  • The War on Cops; How The New Attack On Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe by Heather MacDonald
  • The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson
  • The African Background Outlined by Carter Godwin Woodson
  • The Righteous Mind; Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt
  • Cop Under Fire: Moving Beyond Hashtags of Race, Crime and Politics For A Better America by Sheriff David Clarke JR.
  • Discrimination and Disparities by Thomas Sowell
  • Sacred Instruction; Indiginous Wisdom For Living by Sherri Mitchell
  • 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson
  • Stealing America: What My Experience with Criminal Gangs Taught Me About Obama, Hillary and The Democratic Party by Dinesh D’Souza
  • Killing England: The Brutal Struggle for American Independence by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
  • A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
  • Black Rednecks and White Liberals by Thomas Sowell

image

This list of nonfiction literature encompasses various perspectives from authors who are passionate about their topics.  Even though many of these books are not in themselves a balanced perspective, I have found that a balance is gained by reading the complete selection.  Why?  Because the books that drive on emotion lack references to actual contextual data and the books that drive on references to actual contextual data lack emotion.  We need both experiences in order to form a compassion that has integrity from which to speak and act effectively.

My religious faith has in the past two years made it known that it is part of the “Resistance Movement” which is why I no longer support the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Association.  I’ve been doing my due diligence and reading quite a bit to understand the logic behind this movement.  I’ve also met with my minister to voice my concerns.  My church only encourages the reading of emotional literature (The New Jim Crow) and preaches a narrative of white supremacy as well as toxic masculinity.  Please tell me how this approach furthers our doctrine of peace among people?  It doesn’t!  Hiding behind a “spiritual” and emotional mask does not automatically make you moral.  Actions and words have consequences.  You cannot say that you “side with LOVE” (a current UU catch phrase) and then support a movement of hate-filled rhetoric.  Marginalizing whiteness and masculinity is in actuality a quasi-creed for the UU religion and I cannot condone the practice.  UU’s have always boasted that they are non-credal.  This doctrine does not support a spiritual belief, instead it moves it toward the political which is completely out of the realm of religion.  It encapsulates the heart, closing the door on true compassion for humanity and oneness with our Creator.  When religion becomes political, chaos and tyranny will follow.  Just think about how kings in the past usurped the “God” Priciple to subjugate their kingdoms…Is this now similar to Athiest Democrats and Progressives exclusively claiming the moral high ground while at the same time trying to get rid of those who uphold Judeo-Christian values as well as the Constitution, both of which are being tread upon in the current political and cultural environment?

My next blog will focus on the deterioration of representative leadership in the U.S.

 

Shrew U: I’m a Junkie…

Junkie – noun – a person with a compulsive habit or obsessive dependency on             something (Google Dictionary)

pexels-photo-256219.jpeg

I like watching news shows on TV and listening to news shows on the radio.  Typically it’s how I start and end my days.  I am much more drawn to news commentary programs on the radio than I am to music while I am working or driving in my car.  It takes a really good sitcom or other entertaining show to kick me out of my evening FOX News or CNN habit.  I suppose I would have to categorize myself as a news “junkie” because if I am away from it for too long I feel out of sorts. I think I like news because it affirms for me that the world still exists regardless of humanity’s imperfections and the earthly disasters.

Last week I was following the hearings in Congress concerning Facebook and whether this company intentionally used its platform to stifle conservative thought, sell third party information, and direct a mostly liberal culture on its users who, knowingly or not, were used in a game of persuasion.  Is this persuasive behavior a new phenomenon?  I think not.  After all it is human nature to try to control outcomes which is exactly what these platforms attempt to do…I wish they would just get real about it!

Our Founders knew about this tendency of control which is why they specifically created our government to have checks and balances.  A tyrannical President can’t remain in power long when you incorporate a term limit, consistently elect representatives to direct legislation, and enact a judiciary to interpret the constitutionality of laws.  But what do corporations have to limit their control?

pexels-photo-236730.jpeg

Corporations have a board of directors, shareholders, a workforce and consumers.  All too often shareholders are caught up in a game of chance, and “risky business” is perpetuated from the top in order to increase profits.  Unless you are carefully looking at your retirement portfolio, you too are caught up in this game of chance, which means that if you are an employee and/or a consumer of the product or service, you really don’t want this house of cards to tumble.  We are all “junkies” to the system!

Even the conservative commentary queens Diamond and Silk are in the game, making their living by using a corporation like Facebook to increase their viewership.  I guess their popularity is not enough for Facebook to worry about removing them from the FB platform…Does this mean that Facebook is “too big to fail” and not too concerned about their profits falling by pulling conservative viewership?  Consider the hubris of removing conservative free speech and reducing the profitability of the Diamond and Silk brand…We are all losers when this control of free speech exists.

Back to the NEWS>>> So what is it with “fake news”?  Well, by using the above logic we can see that we get our news from organizations that run as corporations.  These organizations are caught up in this game of chance too.  Decisions from the top are made to increase their profitability.  Viewership is important, but only because of ratings.  Therefore, if you give the viewer what they “want” then you succeed.  And what does the viewer want?  I don’t think many of the news organizations care because what I see is simply salaciousness, intrigue, teasers and shock.  Anything but actual and complete facts…but that doesn’t sell!

So here we are in this crazy world of our making.  We have bought into it because money makes the world go round as they say and it is habit forming.  Disengaging will cause numerous repercussions, but we must plug back into reality when we can.  Consider your  local community as the best place to begin.  As a civic leader in my own community I can attest to that.  And, in my small business my work makes me meet personally with my customers…My responsibilities can’t be hidden by corporate layers.

Watch the news with discernment, keep an eye on your investments, and use social media cautiously.  Oh, and shop local 😉

Shrew U: The Faceless Being and Hidden Treasure

Archetypes of the Human Spirit (Story Analysis)

Part 12

Archetype #10 – The Faceless Being

“Courage is the pure light of truth through which the Self must act”

An animated tree symbolizes the Hero, that part of your Self that is willing to leave the protection of the soul.  If the soul is “immortal”, then to leave this immortality is a courageous act.  There is risk in relying on your authentic Self and not your Ego as you confront your dragons.  Notice that the animated tree also holds what appears to be a sword.  This sword is your light of truth, and this truth points the way to hidden treasure.

  • Are you the Hero of your metaphysical journey?
  • Can this type of hero also be compared to what we call a prophet?
  • What Prophets in human history exemplify this type of journey?
  • Why do you think that you must let go of your Ego in order to take this journey?

 

Archetype #11 – Hidden Treasure

“Continue to seek the inner gifts that call you forward.”

Where the end of a rainbow meets a path there will be found a treasure of your making.  Some say that this treasure is “God’s will”.  God’s gift to humanity is the individual’s capacity to find meaning in his or her humanity…EPIPHANY!

It is up to each and every individual to take this metaphysical Hero Journey, a journey that exemplifies Love… Of yourself and of others.

Notice that beyond the rainbow the dragons appear as clouds.  They are there to remind you that Ignorance and Insecurity can arise in you again.  Also notice that these dragon clouds are playing with something circular that looks like the sun.  This orb-like shape represents your wholeness, the many facets that complete your Self.  This again is the Female Principle.  How?  The female symbolizes transformation because of the many transitions her physical body makes in her lifetime.  These transitions are physiological while also requiring psychological courage, perseverance and humility…all conditions of the metaphysical Hero Journey.

  • Can this metaphysical journey be taken more than one time?  If so, how can it be used to conquer difficulties in every day life?
  • Is this journey accessible to everyone?  How might Prophets like Jesus, Budha, and Ghandi have shown us this path?
  • What other stories or myths have you learned that use the archetypal images similar in this journey?

“Our greatest treasure is that which is hidden deep within our own unconscious, it is that dark unused part of our self that is in fact light that is unconscious of itself.” ~ Carl Jung

Conclusion by the Author…

It is my wish that this story will offer guidance to anyone in need of a new way to envision hope.  I think that our usual models of religious teaching are too cumbersome at times.  This model is easy to use by any individual.  May it prove useful.

Blessings,

Bette Brunswick