Giving Over Personal Control

It’s true! Bit by bit my incredibly ordinary life is being controlled by forces that have very little compassion for me and my values. What forces? Basically they would be anything and anyone in government that I personally cannot hold accountable for actions that are contrary to my welfare.

The “general welfare” clause in the US Constitution is incredibly important for the individual citizen. General is meant as inclusive rather than exclusive AND very different from “for the public (common) good”.Think of it this way…As one individual in a family, that one person has the same personal rights and responsibilities as every person in that family to keep that family whole. But, not everyone in the family has the same abilities so each individual must learn how to contribute to the family’s overall health and survival. It’s just the same for our nation! We as individuals with our own unique abilities have the rights and responsibilities to keep our country whole. WE do this…We The People. Get it?

Each of us have the self-governing authority to ensure a governance that promotes our general welfare. This means that elected officials and administrative bureaucrats must use BEST PRACTICES to ensure the security of each and every individual who is a citizen of the country that ALL OF US are a part of, a.k.a. the More Perfect Union. Not the “Perfect Union” because we all know nothing and no one is perfect, but we can and must at least strive for a perfection which is God’s will NOT man’s will. As a child of God and as an individual of our human family I honor others of my human family by helping and not hurting our general welfare.

Elected officials and administrative bureaucrats hurt our general welfare by using their will to control the general population. Methods of this control typically come in the form of Congressional overreach. For example: The Democratic Party for years have been wanting single payer health care. To achieve this end they put out the narrative that 30 million people every year go without any health insurance and therefore go into debt trying to pay back bills for their major medical care (we can equate this initiative to the current college debt forgiveness). This narrative is repeated over and over with help from the liberal media in effect drowning out any hard data that shows many of these people are temporarily without insurance because of a job change, a lifestyle interruption, preferring to pay cash, or have no idea they can negotiate their costs and afford a pay back plan. Leaving out this hard data creates the perception of a “crisis”, therefore health insurance for 320 million people must change for the needs of 30 million people who are either in a transition for health insurance or who know how to deal with their health care needs in their own way. Reality could indicate that only 500 thousand people need actual help which could be managed through their representatives directly or through a charity source. Interestingly, much of this debt was directly forgiven anyway by every healthcare user through increased facility costs which you have much more control over rather than your tax dollars going into a federal healthcare fund.

Enter the “care team” of the federal government…Taxpayers across the board foot the bill that bureaucrats implement through laws, regulations and IRS oversight. I don’t know these people! I’ll never meet these people and there is no guarantee I can even talk to them. Yet the money from my paycheck that goes to Washington DC is supposedly working for my benefit. Congressional oversight of the administrative state is currently a lever only pulled by a Democrat majority (with help from a Republican establishment), which is to say that oversight isn’t actually happening for our general welfare. Control is in their hands. Affordability is never a result. My tax dollars are being spent on initiatives that go counter to my values in some cases.

Even “private” industry is tracking our second amendment right. Government along with Big Tech definitely have an interest in this.

In the not too distant future nothing the individual does will be left unchecked which is the complete opposite of the limited government that our forefathers envisioned. Once the federal government has access to your health care practices, education choices, energy usage and banking records you have handed over control of your ability to decide what is best for your general welfare. Your Liberty is not even an option. The only choice you will have is at a federally mandated voting booth (or app lol), but the results will be made by majority rule conditioned by media propaganda. Personal rights and responsibilities become obligations and contrition.

We as individuals, families and communities take care of ourselves. Politicians and bureaucrats do not take care of us, and regulations should be implemented only when clear and scientific data along with bipartisan debate ensures that liberties are minimally encroached. When a federal government works hard to divide people racially, culturally, economically and politically then it becomes harder for us to form bonds to take care of each other and easier for that manipulative government to provide that care by picking winners and losers with our own tax dollars.

Never allow yourself to be guided toward division against your fellow man. Let go and let God as it is said. Pray for more kindness in all of our hearts. And treat your neighbor the way you would want to be treated. Love is a verb, use it.

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!

I’m Shrewd: Religion and Values

Religion and Values

What does one value when leading a secular life? What does one reflect upon when leading a secular life?  

When I was young I can remember that Sunday was sacred. My mom, dad, siblings and I went to church, mom would make an exceptional Sunday dinner and the whole family and sometimes a friend or two would make it a point to gather and enjoy eachother’s company. Most stores were closed and liquor wasn’t sold until after noon. For me, Sunday was time to relax before the busy week ahead, especially when school was in session. I valued the peace and reflection that Sunday’s brought.

While my children were young I began to implement a similar Sunday routine. It was different, however, because my then husband really didn’t want to “do church”. He liked that our children had this routine, but he didn’t value the practice for himself even though we both grew up in the same religion. For Sunday dinner I would either cook a traditional meal that my mother would have made or travel nearly two hours to eat and relax at my mother’s house with my siblings and their spouses and children. Unfortunately by this time my father had passed away.

Today the times have changed. Mom has passed away too and my children are grown and living on the other side of the country. Will my children continue similar practices when they have their own children? I suppose this might depend on how much they valued the past practice and if Sunday remains sacred to them.  Since 1999 every day now seems so busy.  Opportunities to work, shop, and be entertained have increased dramatically since then.  As a culture we have taken Sunday and made it as any other day.  One has to be very intentional in order to implement a day of rest and reflection…We wonder why our mental health is suffering so!  The practice of this day of rest is no longer valued by a majority of folks.  I find the secular way of living chaotic and mind numbing.  What does one value when leading a secular life?  What does one reflect upon when leading a secular life?  Is it fulfilling to take a walk in the woods with your electronic device?  Is science really an alternative to the wonder that is felt by simply taking out time to meditatively observe the expanse of the universe?  Can a Sunday morning political panel explain the complex nature of humanity?

We are seeing increased drug abuse, suicide, murder, homelessness and lack of respect for personal boundaries.  I contend that these selfish behaviors are a result from government (AKA secular) interventions that have, on the surface, seemed compassionate, however, in actuality they do nothing to connect a person to the spirit of giving and the value of this gifting.  Government programs are no substitute for personal responsibility.

We must get back to valuing a day of rest and reflection which is an intentional path for developing dignity and purpose for living.  Think about it…Do you want a government authority telling you what should be your values?  Aren’t values subjective?  If my government takes away my personal perspective, feelings or opinions of something and interprets them for me by a statement of “these are our values”, then must I comply?  And if I think or feel differently and express that opinion am I no longer part of my community?  This is not a hallmark of Liberty folks, instead I sense a tyranny beyond belief!  My work, my income, my home is no longer my valued domain; instead it is only valuable to the government for its programs and what they deem worthy to fund through their appropriation.

Be wary of Federal Government and political compassion.  Do not allow it to be a substitute for your own compassion.  Practice responsible free thought and expression by considering its cause and effect.  Put your values into service at home and in your community.  These are the greatest gifts we bring and they reflect our individually Devine purpose for being.

The U.S. Constitution provides the framework for American values and our elected leaders take an oath to uphold this framework, not to abuse the context and dare to eliminate or reframe the fundamental rights of the people: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.