American History, Books, Freedom, government, History, Justice, Politics, privilege, Resistance, Revolution, Society, Trump

Woodard’s Proposed Remedies For Our Current Political Debacle

My last post was a review of Colin Woodard’s book, “American Character”. I’ve organized and analyzed his thoughts from the final chapter, “A Lasting Union”.  They are definitely worth considering, and I’m going to do it here.  Most of these are proposed remedies; what we can do differently in choosing the next President.  It’s fairly obvious to me that Woodard is a Democrat, so take it or leave it.

1. The Promotion of Human Happiness.  That’s a core part of the Bill of Rights.  But it seems to be lost on politicians that either want to cause citizens suffering or don’t care.

2.  Accept who we are as a nation.  We are a Union, but we are not unified, and likely will not be for awhile.  We are a federation comprised of eleven countries that share little regarding universal ideals, goals, and views on the meaning of freedom.  Those nations are First Nation, New Netherland, The Midlands, Yankeedom, New France, Tidewater, Greater Appalachia, The Deep South, El Norte, The Far West, The Left Coast.  These are the American Nations today regarding function, culture, values, and history.  To understand the cultures of each of these, you could read the book, “American Nations.” by the same author.

Time and again, with no more discussion wasting our time, Americans will not accept and have not allowed in the past:

  1. Social or Democratic Libertarianism-The Gilded Age (aka Trump and many Presidents from the South, gold all over everything by the elite)
  2. Democratic Socialism-(aka Bernie Sanders)
  3. Christian Social Collectivism (The Christian Right minority)

If you don’t know what these are, please google them.  You will find relatively short definitions, easy to understand, and there are entire libraries littered with stories of leaders attempting to get citizens to swallow this.  Americans won’t.

3.  A Leading Northern Alliance that

  • Checks on corporate power
  • conservation of natural resources
  • A champion for collective action for the common good
  • We consistently favor active central government to act as a federal referee

4.  Free and Fair Competition between individuals and the ideas, output, and institutions they produce.

5.  Leave people alone to be themselves.

6.  Use the government to protect individual freedom be it economic or civic.  It is a collective referee. Stop hereditary privilege. (How?)

7.  Let go of the projections of “handouts.” or “trickle down.” Neither or those is happening, and neither do they work.  They are myths.

8.  A supportive government that has your back for a time, not forever as you make your way up in the world or keeping your power in check if you are 0.1% at the top.

9.  Let go of labels, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican.

10.  Equality of Opportunity.  Individuals are obviously not equal by nature, but the society owes it to each person to make sure they have a chance to do better.  Then it’s up to them to apply themselves.

11.  Destroy special privilege that hasn’t been earned. (What if their ancestors earned it,)

12.  The Doctrine of Fairness is equality of opportunity and intervention against oligarchy. Again, my question, who gets to define justice?

Conservatives may accurately say that this is contrived.  Some people are born into wealth that was earned by their ancestors.  I don’t have an answer to this yet.

13.  Re-channeling wealth

14.  Defensive Regulation

  • Conserve the nation’s patrimony
  • protecting human health and stability of ecological systems that sustain us.
  • Maintaining a competitive marketplace
  • preventing abusive and monopolistic practices

15.  Investment in schools and basic scientific research

16.  Isolate, ignore, and move against Greater Appalachia and The Deep South in all elections.

17.  Economic fairness as the central moral issues of politics (I disagree with this.)

Now as I look at this list I see Robin Hood.  Steal from the rich to give to the poor. That is ASSUMING the rich have ill-gotten gains.  That simply is not true for all rich people. Forcing the wealthy who legally have money, to share is called stealing.  It can also be tinged with jealousy from those who have not.  So, the rich can look to Warren Buffet and Bill Gates who are fine examples of philanthropy for the world.  But the Democrats can’t force the rich to behave a certain way.

If I’m rich someday, I will be delighted to be a philanthropist, but you have to watch out for takers, users, and offloaders, even if you’re just an open-hearted real person, money aside!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American History, Book Review, Books, government, Politics

Review of “American Character”, A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good by Colin Woodard

I highly recommend this book if you’re somewhat mystified regarding how we go into the political quagmire we’re currently in.  Woodard has divided the book into nine chapters:

  1.  Maintaining Freedom
  2. Two Paths to Tyranny
  3. The Rival Americas
  4. The Elite and the Masses (1607-1876)
  5. The Rise and Fall of Lassez-Faire (1877-1930) ******
  6. The Rise and Fall of National Liberalism (1933-1967) FASCINATING!!!
  7. Dixie Takes Over (1968-2008) REALLY PAINFUL-Hard to read
  8. Rise of the Radicals (2008-)  Unbelievable, including Obama
  9. A Lasting Union

If you can get through the hard parts after everybody was assassinated during Liberalism (1933-67), Chapter 9, where he puts forward his ideas is great!

Democracy is no easy task and we are struggling.  That is clear from all the facts and quotes he has footnoted.  This book brings to light the fact that only watching the way the media portrays the behavior and action of politicians are very misleading.  You have to read FACTS, quotes, proof of what they’ve said and done to have the full picture.  Unless you read American History you won’t know the truth.

Woodard is an excellent writer and knows his history.  He puts the facts right out there for us to chew on and couches nothing at all.  It’s amazing to me that in 150 years (1877-2017), the forces of oligarchy, plutocracy, and Gilded Age Lassez-faire capitalism are still trying to squash individuals like a bug, despite the realities of the French Revolution and the like.  You would think these tyrannical evil ones would get a clue but they have not. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.  They all seem to have more time to meet in their groups to try to keep us all down and throw us out on the street while we stare at our tech toy.

At some point here, we better start talking to each other and our neighbors again so that we can agree on what the Common Good looks like and what we need the role of government to be in the meantime.  It is exceeding constitutional reach but that is due to pluralism!!  That’s a good reason!

For the first time in my life (B: 1963), I feel like the American Commune is falling apart due to incredible dysfunction, cynicism and just pure evil from the Federal Government and this handful of right wing nut bags.  The majority of Americans are not like this.  We cannot just default to someone like Trump as many did this last time.

Get to Woodard’s Chapter 9 and the wheels will start turning.

One quote, “The Deep South’s tradition of hierarchical libertarianism is profoundly un-American, being authoritarian in governance, oligarchic in economics, retrograde in human rights”

Yet all of our Presidents from 1968-2008 have been from the south:

  • LBJ
  • Nixon
  • Carter
  • Bush I
  • Clinton
  • Bush II

Woodard contends that despite their party, their record shows that they have done their best to pare down The New Deal put in place by FDR, have given the private sector, Wall St., and the banks more leverage and in some manner, want to de-centralize the government.  The civil war isn’t over.

Authors, Beliefs, Book Review, Books, Catholic, Christianity, christians, church, Dan Brown, female, Feminism, Masons, religion, Women

Book Review for “The Lost Symbol” by Dan Brown

(The Lost Symbol came out in 2009, but I found some issues to be pertinent today in this book review I wrote that year)

The previous 2 books that I’ve read by Dan Brown; “Angels & Demons” and “Da Vinci Code” were quite riveting and fast reads, but “The Lost Symbol” rivaled them.  In addition, Brown chose to write chapter after chapter as a type of sound-bite; a quickly changing scene to keep the attention of the reader.  That was very clever and it worked! The trade-off was character and scene development.  Even though we all know Langdon from the other books, people do grow and evolve.

Yet he portrayed Langdon very 2 dimensional and much the same. I got the sense he was really tired of this character and it showed in the writing.  This was by no means a visionary work, but it was revealing and fun to read.  Inquiring minds want to know!  When you open the book, read the fiction disclaimer and then read the FACT page.

There was an advantage of the setting being on home turf; Washington D.C.  As Americans, the revelation of the inner workings of our government is personal.  Indeed, many of our family members are Masons.  Many of our towns have “Masonic meeting halls”.  In my hometown, there was a “Masonic Temple”.  As a child I was taken by my Mother and Grandmother to many a community concert.  But chapter 82, page 304 was especially personal for me.

At the opening of the chapter was the 10,647 rank organ that my cousin, Wayne Dirksen played and built as Music Director for The Washington National Cathedral in real life.  His father founded the Freeport Organ Co. and taught him.  Wayne was the music presenter for the Cathedral.  Then as the characters proceeded into the Cathedral kitchen to reveal a very telling clue about “the pyramid”, I thought, “I wonder how many church suppers my relatives had in this hall and never imagined it would be the setting for revealing part of the secret about The Masons in a best-selling book?”  When you read the section, you may hear the church women forever making jokes about cooking something in the big pots that might rival a secret Masonic Pyramid-hold the carrot!  I don’t want to be a spoiler, so you’ll have to read the book to see what I’m talking about.  The point is, the Washington National Cathedral is a Masonic stronghold-including the altar of the church, and my family has roots there.

What strikes me after having read these three books is in “Angels and Demons”, Brown deals with the secrets of The Illuminati and the Catholic Church.  In “DaVinci Code” the antagonist power structure is The Catholic Church and finally, in “The Lost Symbol”-he deals with the secrets of The Masons, but they are protagonists and Protestant.  What do all of these institutions have in common?  They are male dominated with exclusive male membership.  Albeit, DaVinci Code “suggested” the existence of the sacred feminine, but what conclusive power did she have?  There was no real proof of her role.

For all the puzzle jumbling, blood, violence, and torture, there has never been a bigger scandal since the time of Christ than the absolute power vacuum of women in institutions of spiritual power.  There has never been such an insulting, blatant, patronizing lack of comment on the real mystery behind the reason for male dominance in these institutions.  In fact, the reason Dan Brown even HAS a story to write about, even HAS all these mounds of puzzles and symbols to decipher and secrets to root out is because the female has not been portrayed in the real light she holds in the evolution of spiritual power on this planet!

These books lean heavily on the “sacrifice model” to tell the story.  That is because they leave the female out. The Bible completely leaves the female out as an equal to the male.  And the Apostle Paul and Thomas Aquinas have a heyday denigrating her.  That being said, the reason the Catholics can continue to hold power in the world is because their focus remains on the person of Christ and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, as well as revering Mary.  Yet they are the holdout for ordaining women.

For all the Universal ecumenism propounded by the Masons and some Protestants, what do they have to say about Christ?  Do they think that he was “just another Master” walking the planet or do they really believe, as suggested in the book, that we could each be like him with that level of healing power and love in our hearts? Not if they keep playing their sacrifice rituals over and over as shown in the book!

Love is yielding, not sacrifice.  It is the love that causes one to yield in order to teach a lesson, to further the cause, rather than resist; not sacrifice.  The concept of sacrifice is violent and male.  His death was not a sacrifice.  The sacrificial focus of all the Pagan religions is over.  Give Jesus some credit.  Most of the time, he did not yield.  Take one look at scripture and you’ll see how he laid into the Pharisees and Sadducees when they were wrong; but not at the end.  He yielded and it was heinous.  It was the most scandalous torture of an innocent man, not just on this planet, but in the Universe.  Will this planet ever live it down?

Maybe that’s why so many humans like to believe the cross is so beautiful and venerate it.  It’s a type of denial to try to cleanse it of what it REALLY was; abysmal.  It seems to me that by venerating it you also approve of the enacting of sacrifice.

Am I questioning Jesus decision to yield; no-of course not.  I do question the efficacy and intent of Christ to interpret it as a sacrifice.  He went knowingly and on purpose.  If it was a sacrifice, he was a martyr.  If he yielded, he was a Rabbi and a lover of humans, come to regain power over our planet and vanquish Lucifer.  He did accomplish that no matter how much Christians want to keep talking about him.  It’s finished!

I am grateful for every single speck of who he was, what he did, and what he said.  But I feel, as a follower, that his teaching should no longer be denigrated by organized religion with its pagan symbols and interpretations, much less sensationalized in books such as Dan Brown’s.  Power goes to the one who yields in love.  That is what Christ did.  Neither the Catholics, nor the Masons, nor the Protestants get it.  The hubris of the Masonic thinking has indeed crept into the Protestant church.  There is a huge misunderstanding here about what Christ actually taught.  And to boot, it’s not being taught by the Catholic or Protestant Church either.

Michelangelo portrays the mystery of this yielding in the astounding “Pieta”.  I’ve stared at that statue quite awhile to receive its deeper meaning.  I’ve thought about all I’ve read in Dan Brown’s books about religion, symbolism, the sacred feminine, antagonist/protagonist, and the real meaning of Christ’s death.

The message I received was the need for “balance”.  There needed to be balance brought to this planet between the male and the female.  As Christ’s body lay dead in the lap of Mary in the Michelangelos Sculpture, “Pieta”, I see him yielding to the sacred feminine, to Mother Spirit, to his Mother Mary in the hopes that with the release of his soul, she would come forth and help him bring balance to this troubled sphere.  Was that his core message?  So once again, the two shall become one.  He yielded his body to her, knowing that SHE was the author of his life, from which all life comes, in conjunction with The Father.  It is the great mystery yet to be unraveled, the great secret yet to be told on Planet Earth, the story that Dan Brown hasn’t told that underpins all spiritual institutions, all symbols, and all religions.  Maybe I’ll have to write a book then.

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