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 leaning.  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…

Shrew View: Common Sense Greenology

The much talked about Green New Deal is a farce.  Just the time taken from the people’s business to create this document should be concerning.  And, much like the “hate crimes” that have materialized as unfortunate fraudulent claims, the list of pie in the sky goals to be achieved in ten years time in this deal will likely cause a cascade of despair and misery when actions do not meet their objectives.


To live in harmony with our planet Earth we should very much want to strive for a cleaner environment, but this should not be at the expense of lowering our standard of living.  Opportunities abound as we work together to solve problems with clean energy, abundant water sources with efficient sewer systems, telecommunication networks in all regions and more dependence on local food sourcing.  As a life long student of engineering principles with a knack for research and development in my professional life I will now attempt to give my list of goals to help our society become the epitome of environmental consciousness or what I call the science of Greenology…

  1. Improve the internet infrastructure to include access for those living in our most rural areas.
  2. Increase methods and opportunities for telecommuting.
  3. Encourage co-working spaces near community centers with shared technology and internet connectivity that is secure.
  4. Allow K – 12 public schools to advance entrepreneurial thought and skills.
  5. Encourage innovation of new green technologies by allowing philanthropy to work through 501c environments.
  6. Science is never “settled”.  Always push for advances in research and development by remaining curious and always asking what next.
  7. Encourage a new wave of farming technology that produces locally sourced ingredients for regional markets.

This is just the start!  What could you add to this list?  Remember, we are not getting rid of anything that would naturally fade away anyway because of supply and demand…That’s good capitalism working with sound progress.

Shrew View: The Duty of Privilege

To perceive or assume privilege on another necessitates blame and thus removes the obligation for the “accuser” to see their own power to positively change themselves for the betterment of community.

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The Shrew View: A Bad Dream For The Caravan.

My heart goes out to all the migrants from Honduras who have made the torturously long journey for better lives.  Traveling as a caravan would certainly bring more protections for those members who are most vulnerable to physical harm and manipulation by undesirable players, but aren’t there even greater risks to these people if the coordination of the caravans were done through deceitful means?

The ends are clear to me at this point.  The USA is to be viewed in the wider setting as a cruel nation, from its birth right to the present.  But let us not take our focus away from where the migrants of today have come…Honduras is a failing country and the examination of this fact will make it clear to all that an evil energy is working to create the same fate for the USA (Spoiler alert, it is not climate change!!).

I am not a “doomsdayer”.  I am a realist.  In fact I believe there is no Utopia in this world beyond my ability to live my life on my terms which is what we know as the “American Dream”.  You may think me foolish, but I believe that in this country there are criminals, homeless persons, and loners who are themselves actually living in their own Utopia…constructing a way of life that makes them happy on their own terms.  Others might look as these folks with pity and say that they must be helped, but we cannot construct a Utopian way of life for them because it would be our idea and not theirs.

This brings me back to the caravan.  In Honduras their is no “Honduran Dream” even though the government is a Democratic Republic.  The military coup of ten years ago set the stage for a constitutional crisis because, simply put, the beaurocratic effort to rewrite their constitution had no rules…no one could agree on how to begin the process!  The people of the country were not consulted because their rights are considered too limited!  And their Attourney General was not able to reconcile a civil rights process.  THIS IS WHY OUR FOUNDERS WERE SO INGENIOUS WITH THEIR PROCESS FOR THE US CONSTITUTION!!  Our Founders had the educated study of human history over thousands of years as their baseline.  We in this day and age refuse to take this into account because we want to only live in the present.  Learning from our past means to not repeat our mistakes and our Constitution allows for this practice.

Hondurans at our border have been sold a bad dream that they are now living as reality.  Who are the manipulators of this bad dream?  This must be the focus of discussion.  God help them…

The Shrew View – We Are At A Tipping Point!

RA house divided against itself cannot stand – Abraham Lincoln

Who are we kidding?  Neither the liberal left nor the conservative right have all the answers to our country’s problems at this point in time.  Have they ever?  Let’s be honest…The best answers come in the form of a small community working together in a non partisan manner.  And, if someone is not connected to and working against the community then we should consider that it may be by choice.   Families, neighborhoods, churches, schools, Rotaries and even sports offer opportunities to connect in a variety of healthy ways.  The only skill you need at first is curiosity.  Defined as a strong desire to know or learn something, curiosity can open doors to a stronger sense of belonging.  The best part about this is that you can belong to many different circles of community thereby finding your niche to make a positive impact.

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Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

I have a feeling that anyone who picks up a weapon to inflict harm on a community really knows down deep that they are not solving anything.  Like being totally on the left or totally on the right the answer to their problem leaves a literal hole that oozes pain, guilt, horror and disgust, all of which are the antithesis of curiousity and clearly the mask of evil.

Isn’t this evil what the extreme left wing Democrats see in President Trump?  And by the same measure isn’t this evil what the extreme right wing Republicans see in the extreme left wing Democrates?  When did Congress stop being a community for the people? Elected leaders must have the skill of curiosity to belong to their peer community no matter which side of the isle they are on.  The President is putting forward his ideas, but it seems as though Congress has no strong desire to learn or know how to debate and offer a compromise on the ideas.  And what is worse,  Congress has been modeling this behavior for far longer than I can remember.  Unfortunately our leaders of the next generation are not witnessing the intended function of Congress.

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I think we have reached a tipping point in this country.  Evil is showing its ugly face in unimaginable ways.  We must acknowledge its ability to reside amoung us and be curious enough to ask why it exists.  Only then can we learn together the path of the humble messenger that we all can become.  God help us…

The Shrew View: Could Civility Be A Political Platform for Moderates?

 

Those of us in the politically moderate sphere are throwing up our hands and asking,”Where did civility go?”

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard
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The freedoms we cherish are unwittingly being used against us in the uncivil political climate of today. A strong allegiance to Party platforms is like the religiosity that gave rise to atheism. Those of us in the politically moderate sphere are throwing up our hands and asking,”Where did civility go?” Media pundits may enjoy their extremist version of facts, but by removing a balanced analysis weighed against historical context , those of us who want to find truths that complete the facts wind up turning our attention instead to what matters more in our lives like family, friends, work and community and possibly rejecting politics altogether like an Athiest to religious dogma.

As news media and educational curricula conform to revisionist trends of tribal loyalty, “United We Stand” will not be about “one nation under all”.  Today’s political Parties are not like our major religions and should never be committed to with the same fervor.  Government enforced ideologies such as sanctuary for illegal immigrants or marriage only between a man and a woman compete with our God given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness because government systems try to control people and are not responsible for lifting the heart and mind as religious doctrine does.  The best that a secular governing system can do with regards to morality is to promote civility to one another when attempting to communicate opposing ideas toward favorable results.  It is our individual actions of good will that allow for a deeper understanding of our differences to arrive at a level of fairness within a governance system.

For example, why does the government need to be involved with the act of marriage at all?  We can agree that marriage has certain legal benefits and we can agree that these legal benefits are based upon laws derived by the state.  But what about the separation of church and state?  If we consider that performing and partaking in a marriage ceremony is a religious act then we must give this act relevance to religion and not to the state…this then removes the mandate for a city employee with a conflicting religious principle to sign a document granting the “marriage” certificate to a same sex couple.  Instead, couldn’t these legal rights that are state recognized currently by a marriage be issued in a state approved “certificate of union” no matter the two sexes?  The ceremony is then performed only by a religious or ceremonial entity that “believes” in the couple’s God given right of marriage in accordance with the specific religious doctrine.  We might be surprised to find that more people will belong to a church because of this change, and hearts and minds will be strengthened when the various churches are given back their relevance.

ace cards casino deck
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I am not affiliated with any political party and do my best to vote my conscience  by educating myself on the issues of the day.  I cannot declare myself a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green Independent or Democrat Socialist.  I let the die  hard  Party affiliates  hash out  their  candidates of choice because, as a moderate, civil discourse and  reasoned, educated arguments factor into my vote.  Could  there be a Moderate Party?  Perhaps one  day, but  as of now we moderates hold the cards and  we  are not bluffing like the stronghold  Party affiliates  😉

 

The Shrew View: The Reality of Today’s Social Justice.

Today’s social movements are less about changing social attitudes and more about imposing socialism…

Just as I have thought, history is repeating itself.  I have been reading the book “A People’s History of the United Sates” by Howard Zinn.  Zinn focuses on the importance of social movements throughout U.S. History.  In the past few weeks we have witnessed a “social justice” movement bent on undoing the United States Constitution.  These social justice warriors are pushing a campaign of federal (and state) tax manipulation and “moral” hysteria focused solely on the needs and wants of victim classes and in so doing are also blurring the important distinctions of what constitutes “equality”.  Isn’t this an injustice of personal liberties?  I believe that today’s social movements are less about changing social attitudes (as in what Zinn discovered in past historical events while we were testing the limits and inclusiveness of our Constitution) and more about imposing socialism.

In my previous blog I made an observation that I believed civil protections were currently being reframed as “special protections” in the U.S.  I think that these special protections seem to be formulated around categories of victim classes who would like the government to ease their burdens and force a group solidarity expression of morality on the whole social sphere. Government programs however rarely solve the issues faced by people who feel victimized whether the need is for universal health insurance, free college tuition, tax subsidized reproduction rights or bias protections of any nature…This is where nonprofit and faith based organizations must step in.

Special protections are worthy of everyone’s attention in a civil society…this keeps us “civilized”.  Unfortunately programs cannot be delivered equally in a liberty minded nation because there will always be differences in quality (this is how “equality” loses its steam). And when it comes to laws created for protection, theories on paper rarely reflect actual experience. Civil societies and free nations are two separate concepts: A civil society is a community linked by common interests and collective, mutually beneficial action; A free nation is a country where the government does not control what people say or do for political reasons…having civil societies within a free nation is how we maintain “civility”.

The U.S. is a free nation and within this free nation there are many civil societies.  Churches, civic groups and other non-profits like libraries and food pantries all work on behalf of a mission and are inherently concerned with the betterment of the individual.  Through member participation and philanthropy their examples of altruism are allowed to resonate into the larger society.  An individual in a free nation is able to have the freedom to associate within and among these civil societies and do good works that have a larger impact than one person can usually do on their own.

Care organizations typically have a member funded civil society that works to educate, promote and help individuals who need specific services.  Because of this membership funding, the work is done without government intervention unless federal or state laws prohibit the activities…This is important because in a free nation you cannot legislate beliefs or volunteer activity.

Many of today’s politicians are focused on creating programs by using federal (and state) tax dollars.  Isn’t it a shame that these monies need to be redirected from individuals who could be investing these funds into local programs on their own.  Wouldn’t this make a more direct and meaningful impact in their community?  Instead, social justice activists want to discourage individual and corporate ownership of profits and spread these dollars around to government run programs thereby removing the moral obligation of the individual and causing the public to believe that the “collective” is taking care of issues rather than allowing the public to directly participate in the solution…This my friend is socialism in action.

I know that when my discretionary spending is tight I need to make hard decisions about how much I can give to my church, my library, my food pantry and even to pay for a ticket to attend a local fundraiser – all of these are meaningful actions to me because they help my neighbor. Interestingly, my apathy for participating in these civic organization’s increases when I need to work more to afford to pay my taxes rather than have free time for volunteering.

The next time you see a group of sign carrying activists first ask them, “What do you want to see change?” Then ask them, “What can you and I actually do today that is within our own power to help?” And finally form a civic group and get the job done!  Now that is real compassion 🙂