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 ūüôā

The Shrew View: On Culture and Values

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My last blog indicated that values are based on what individuals or even a group of individuals hold dear.  Consider the Google definition of a value: (1) the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance , worth, or usefulness of something. (2) a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgement of what is important in life.  As a family counselor once said to my then husband and I when we sought help for discipline struggles that we were having with our children, “You first need to list what your values are before you proceed to implement a strategy to improve behavioral outcomes.”  As soon as I implemented this process, the behaviors improved immensely.  This would make sense because  we all know how critical communication is between individuals.  Unstated and implied values leave a vacuum which can result in chaotic outcomes.  Stated values remind us about what we hold in importance.

This now leads me to the topic of U.S. cultural values.  What are these values?  Are they political like conservative or liberal ideas?  Are they historical like our holiday observations and memorials?  Are they religious beliefs?  Consider the 1776 document, the Declaration of Independence, ” We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that amoung these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”  I would have to say that this is definitely a document of stated values.  This one sentence declares the right of the United States citizenry to remove themselves from tyrannical rule and move toward a system of self rule, a system which had never been implemented before in European Culture.  Once Liberty had been gained, the Constitution was enacted in 1789 to implement the rules of government and civil rights.  President Lincoln (1861 to 1865) had argued that the Declaration of Independence is a statement of principles through which the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted.  I happen to agree…In order to implement a strategy of desired outcome you must first identify your values, just as my family counselor so aptly indicated.  This is why Lincoln could justify the abolition of slavery (achieved in 1865) and why women could successfully obtain sufferage (achieved nationally in 1920).  The values statement that all men are created equal was successfully argued that it applied to all persons.  Men as a pronoun in the context of 1776 was used as a descriptor that could easily be interpreted as “all people” by the time a Liberty minded nation could see the application in a more evolved framework.

I believe that today we live in a country where the ends seemingly justify the means. This results in the chaotic outcomes I indicated earlier and is equivalent to our citizens as well as unnaturalized immigrants trying to childishly manipulate the nation for what they want (for instance undocumented entry into the U.S.; welfare of all kinds handed out in large scope without regard to a state’s ability to maintain budget constraints; marijuana use or sanctuary to illegal immigrants without regard to Congressional action…).  Instead, the nation must act like a parent by reinforcing the stated values  (the Declaration) and enforcing the rules (laws and the Constitution).  Ignorance of the Declaration and the Constitution in our classrooms should not be tolerated!

Even though our Founders were white Anglo-Saxon men, their education concerning governance and phylisophical nuances of human kind produced a value-based means system for our nation to evolve.  All elected officials swear an oath to follow the Constitution.  Political parties have a tendency to put in place officials that stray from this oath and focus instead on their party platforms (which often reflect constituent beliefs, not values) and lobbying interests (which often reflect business profitability) quite like children manipulating their parents.  Core values are discarded in an effort to maintain control.

My religious beliefs are sacred to me as an individual and are part of my happiness and freedom to worship.  Because I live in the United States, my religious beliefs should not restrict any one else from their Life, Liberty and pursuit of Happiness.  My desire to be unenrolled from political parties is part of my freedom to interpret the ideas of all Party platforms to be able to vote in an educated and responsible manner.  The protections afforded to me by the Constitution allow me to live responsibly amoung others who value these protections as well.  And the laws are applied equally to U.S. Citizens, meaning that no one individual is above these laws.

Our nation is by no means perfect.  Freedom is very hard to keep.  People’s tendency to control outcomes is an unfortunate by-product of Liberty and we need constant, consistent reminders of our core cultural values…Values born on 7/4/1776!

The Shrew View: “Lady Bird”

Always look at today for tomorrow’s inspiration.

Bridal season is underway!! ¬†This is the time of year when I experience the heaviest load of work. ¬†April, May and June brides and their entourage need their first fittings as well as those young ladies going to Prom, communication with July through October brides is happening nearly every day and my busy hands need to keep up with the details of nip/tuck. ¬†My mind swells with lace, beads, bustles and bows! ¬†Ever since Barbie married Ken I have delighted in the details of THE DRESS and how these details help to make the young woman feel her best on her special occasion. ¬†I am blessed that my passion has lead to my own business, but practical aspects of my past held back this creativity (just as it happens for many folks). ¬†Did my engineering degree and years spent working in R&D at various companies hold back my bliss? ¬†I’d like to think that those years were actually the foundation for a more enlightened career choice…Always look at today for tomorrow’s inspiration ūüôā

Even though my working life is somewhat full these days I must take enjoyment in other pastimes. ¬†One thing that I enjoy doing is watching movies. ¬†I recently had the opportunity to see “Lady Bird”. ¬†This coming-of-age film received critical acclaim for its strong acting and fresh look at the gulf between childhood and adulthood. ¬†Set in the year 2002, it wittingly balances stereotypes against our U.S. Culture’s timeless truths.

This film portrays the two strong female characters of a daughter and her mother. ¬†Christine is the 17 year old daughter of a middle class couple who are temporarily struggling to make ends meet. ¬†They have a modest home in Sacramento, CA. ¬†Christine’s mother has her attend the private Catholic School because apparently the public school has proved to be much too violent. ¬†It is obvious that Christine’s mother controls the household and all those who live in it (this includes Christine’s college educated brother and his live-in girlfriend). ¬†You get the sense that the mother’s control issues are tempered with an inspired love that has had an unmistakable influence from a ¬†childhood which was rife with alcohol abuse by her own mother. ¬†Christine’s father is the tempering force that keeps everyone together. ¬†He might struggle with depression from losing his job and remaining unemployable, but he seems to understand well that trying to control what happens around him is a losing battle…It is better to use some insight and guide the daily pitfalls toward positive meaning.

In her childish way Christine uses her personal strengths of perseverance, humor and curiosity to carve out her niche in society. ¬†Her “power name” is Lady Bird. ¬†She uses this name to help be identified as a strong though quirky candidate for each class presidential election and to help her compensate for her “lower” middle class position in life. ¬†This name along with her curiosity and perseverance seem to give her just the right amount of boost she needs to cleverly insert herself into the higher social networks.

I found that Christine’s ability to explore her sexuality is an incomplete and naive approach. ¬†She is quite the fiendish child in some scenes, however we don’t get to understand how she has figured out the adult nuances of protected sex in other scenes. ¬†Catholicism after all is known for its strict adherence to abstinence, so where did she learn about these practical measures? ¬†Should we assume that magazines, media and her peers are her guides? ¬†Her mother definely doesn’t appear to be the imparter of such important information, but I could be wrong.

By the end of the movie as she leaves home and enters college she seems to have gained the adult perspective so needed for her to negotiate life’s intracacies. ¬†This perspective is partially shaped from her Catholic faith. ¬†Whether by choice or by accident, the familiarity of a home away from home is hers to accept or reject. ¬†She embraces these benefits because, in essence, these religious guiding principles are central to the self-love that she needs in an all too lonely world.

True to form, I think this film does represent middle class female adolescent conflicts very well. ¬†Has much changed in 15 years? ¬†It’s been almost 40 years since I’ve been 17…pexels-photo-556663.jpeg…It’s still pretty timeless!

 

The Shrew View: On Strengthening Awareness

Is it time for all of us to strengthen our awareness muscle?

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Living in the United States is like a double edged sword.  The freedoms we cherish are at times unwittingly used against us.  Consider this passage from Hebrews 4:12:

For the word of God is alive and active.  Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

What I mean by this is that our Creator has brought forth in this country a time of peace that could hardly be imagined 100 years ago. This has not happened by chance or by accident. Much of this peaceful coexistence has developed through increasing our understanding of an individual’s God given rights that are tangable (like property rights) as well as intellectual (like free speech) and of our physical personhood (our bodies and identities). We put a high value on these rights because if not then tyranny would be allowed to reign free.  Yet we know that the duality of good and evil exists as fact.

Not even God can stop an act of violence. God does however judge the perpetrator and his or her actions. Humankind can put in place methods to alleviate violet acts, but humankind cannot necessarily stop the thoughts and attitudes of someone’s heart.

In separate instances I have been forcibly kissed, robbed, mugged, and molested. I choose not to be a victim because to do so I give over my soul and spirit to the perpetrator who takes great pleasure in their offense. This is the double edged sword. My creator has given me the personal power of awareness which I can use to mitigate the severity of most circumstances. Awareness allows me to think and live more strategically, and one way that I have actualized this is through the principles of karate.

Here are a few things that I would typically teach at my self defense classes for women and girls:

  • Walk with purpose (Have your keys ready to use for your car or home.)
  • Be in tune with your surroundings (For instance, don’t take your eyes off the stranger asking you a question…They want your guard down.)
  • Know your exits.
  • Listen to your intuition.
  • Say no and mean it.
  • Don’t feel rude by being loud or yelling to draw attention to a difficult situation.
  • Vary your routines when driving to regular destinations, choosing a parking spot, walking or running for exercise.

There is more good in this world than there is evil.  That is why it is so easy to live our lives without much thought to personal protection.  Awareness is the answer, not just for some but for everyone.

 

The Shrew View: Of the Extreme Fringe

Party platforms only define party principles, not rules or laws. 

 

The Shrew blog focuses primarily on the human capacity for emotional maturity, openness as a condition toward wholeness, fortitude and humility.  The application of this human capacity is what I call the Female Principle (FP).  The Shrew blog attempts to show how the FP can strengthen all human relationships.

Today I would like to point out the absurdity of the Republican vs Democrat showdown in Washington D.C. ¬†When did our representatives come to believe that their constituents want to dwell on the extreme fringe of each of these parties? ¬†I don’t care if our President is Donald Trump or Donald Duck, representative government is not about the parties, it is about the people that they represent who are diverse in many ways. ¬†Party platforms only define party principles, not rules or laws.

In my I’m Shrewd post of February 3rd I attempted to point out how liberals are doing their best to slander conservatives as evil. ¬†I contend that when either side is focused on elevating their platform as the only path to America’s solutions we all lose. ¬†For instance, during the Obama administration I observed a very liberal progressive agenda formulated by the Democrat run majority Congress. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, I like progress. ¬†In fact our country has been continually busting out of its tyrannical shell since the Revolutionary War. ¬†But the American Dream is not about progressing government managed benefits as in the Democrat ideas of universal health care, government funded higher education and unrestricted welfare. ¬†These seem like courageous acts until you discover that once government is in control, taxation increases and private funds dry up leading to job loss and wage stagnation.

The Republican ideas are no better. ¬†For example during the Bush administration Wall Street regulators were not doing their jobs. ¬†Oversite on banks especially where mortgages were concerned was severely lacking. ¬†The conservative idea of everyone owning their own home was a farce. ¬†Not everyone is prepared to own a home especially when banks intentionally poison the fiscal well. ¬†“Fast” money, just like “free” stuff leads to consequences for the working class and cause the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer. ¬†A shared principle for both parties and all Americans could be this: “People of all backgrounds are free to actualize their own successes through a culture of emotional maturity and fortitude (FP).”

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Washinton D.C. shows us time and again that their smoke screen is unreliable.  Law makers must have humility and openness as a condition toward wholeness (FP). People and not parties are best equipped to handle daily struggles which are necessary in personal growth and freedom to achieve.  The Federal Government simply needs to provide the clear oversight to allow ingenuity to take place at the local level.  And people at the local level must advocate for each other with love and community support.

The President is a person elected for a short time to protect and uphold our democratic principles. ¬†The Congress represents state’s rights and ensures civil protections. ¬†Our states are incubators of innovation for all their residents. ¬†And we the people ¬†live out our dreams in relation to our community goals. ¬†It works when we work together.

Let’s be a nation of ideas that reinforce our strong work ethic, and move away from childish partisan politics that stir our emotions. ¬†It’s the only way forward…

The Shrew View: On Security

“…peace and prosperity can only happen from a place of security.” – The Shrew

Women anywhere should be able to come together joyfully to celebrate their collective wisdom and achievements.  I am, however, quite dismayed by the now annual women protest marches across the U.S. that promote a so-called resistance.  In our representative democracy we the people have a voice and a vote in our lawmaking process.  Transparency and inclusion during the process is what sets our nation apart from many other democracies.  It amazes me that our country is as big as it is and, in general, works cooperatively to achieve progress in everyday life.  So what are women resisting and why am I not at a city square marching amoung their ranks?

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It has been my experience that peace and prosperity can only happen from a place of security. ¬†If the “resistance” is about protesting President Trump’s policies of increased boarder security and transparent participation in International affairs (as well as other things), then does this mean that women don’t want peace and prosperity? ¬†I will admit, I honestly did not believe that Trump had the brains to implement what he has done so far, and still at times I believe his brains are lacking. But his results to me demonstrate a cryptic sensibility (this must be because he has no sense of the Washington political machine). ¬†I contend that Hilary would have continued the same covert Obama tacticts of “say this, but do that” just as long as the “victim class” believes it will make us a better country. ¬†But how? ¬†This ambiguity of course is based on a moral relativism that only appeals to an emotional base. ¬†Recall that Obama didn’t solve the illegal immigration issue while the Democrats had control. ¬†Women should not give their power over to government elites¬†AT ALL!! ¬†Women as much as anyone must be smart enough to know that personal choices are protected in our nation; it’s the consequences of those personal choices that are at issue. ¬†Ends do not justify the means in our country. ¬†And “justice for all”, not “justice for some”, is in our pledge. ¬† If we can argue the Constitutional protections clearly, ¬†we have all we need to demonstrate progress for social change.

You won’t find me at a resistance rally…Instead you can find me working directly with my local community, actively engaged with citizens of varying beliefs and traditions, working cooperatively on local matters, and reaching out to my representatives. ¬†It is hard work to dispel ignorance and create solutions. ¬†It is not a one day soap box event!

The Shrew View: Love binds people of goodwill

Love binds people of goodwill

Today is a day to reflect on the message of Martin Luther King, JR.  His is a message of love and freedom; a freedom guaranteed by God and reflected in the U.S. Constitution:

“…in order to form a more perfect Union…secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity…”

In the early 1960’s there was no better person to secure these Blessings for people of color.  Our lawmakers failed to be responsible leaders entrusted to uphold the Constitution.  One might suggest that this failed responsibility dates all the way back to our founding as a nation, but I think that would be taking the easy route, condemning every step toward the progress of achieving a message of freedom.

“Humans have been literally torturing each other for centuries as they grope toward this Chalis of fulfillment.”     – The Shrew

Our U.S. Constitution is the tool enabling wholeness in our country.  No other country puts the responsibility of freedom in the hands of each individual.  It is law makers who abuse this insight by putting limits on ideas instead of on their lawmaking capabilities.  Martin Luther King, JR knew instinctively that the idea of a black person sitting where a sign indicated that they were not allowed by law to sit would challenge the lawmaker’s unconstitutional limitations on God’s creation.  King gave power back to the people – all people, because injustice is never visible in God’s kingdom which is where the human soul finds strength to conquer the perceived injustice in the world of mankind.

Love binds people of goodwill.  In a nation of diverse ideas, those people of goodwill come together to solve the issues at hand.  There is no us vs. them.  There is only…

“We the People…”

The Shrew View: On Good Will

Blogging for Blogging’s Sake

Where have my last two weeks gone!! ¬†I haven’t been blogging. ¬†Instead, I’ve used a lot of energy and creativity to work with other volunteers in my circle of goodwill to bring what we hope to be messages of joy and harmony.

Goodwill is the one and only asset that competition cannot undersell or destroy. – Ludwig Borne

There are so many opportunities to give to others. ¬†I may not have grand sums of money to impart, but I would like to think that my time and effort has just as much value. ¬†Have you ever thought about the value of goodwill? ¬†I’d like to pose a break down of what is typically needed when taking on a campaign of goodwill:

  • Identifying the need…
  • Rallying the team…
  • Generating the task outline…
  • Mobilizing the funds if needed…
  • Delegating the responsibilities…
  • Implementing the effort…
  • Measuring the outcome…
  • Assessing for any needed improvements…
  • Thanking everyone involved!

Cause + Inspiration + Innovation + Benefators + Effort = Goodwill = Value

People take these efforts on all of the time.  If there is  no political aspect or greed attached to the effort then the value is enhanced tremendously because pure  generosity is the goal.

My two weeks off from blogging were time well spent. Until next time, peace out ūüôā