Femmocracy: Compassionate Governance, Part II

As I write this we have three days left before the results of the mid-term elections are known.  Today I saw Nancy Pelosi on the AM Joy show (MSNBC) and she was confident that the ground game will give to Democrats the majority in the House of Representatives.  This, at least, will mean that Dem’s can drive the direction of the House and complete meaningful legislation that was barred by the Republican party while they were in control of the majority.

What I found interesting in Nancy’s interview was that she took the lead and spoke from her heart, barely containing her excitement for the power of the ground game, meaning the voters, who appear to be women of both parties that are turning out to vote.

Some Republican women are voting Democratic.  I saw an interview with a group of friends who were sitting around the kitchen table making calls to get the vote out.  All of them had been Republicans but Trump has made it impossible to vote Republican for these women.  To a woman they found his rhetoric to be contentious, insulting to women, and far from the Old Republican values they knew under  President Reagan, for instance.

Nancy Pelosi read a sentence from Regan’s last speech in which he was speaking about immigration.  He was clearly in favor of allowing people to come into the country.  Reagan felt that if they were unwelcome it would be bad for the country.  Educated people from all over the world come to our country.  They seek opportunity, something which our country would normally be able to offer them.

Mr. Trump has made clear his position on the “invasion” of the South Americans seeking asylum in our country.  His nasty comments; continued code language of racist bigotry; and his refusal to end the cruel border treatment of children has turned women voters off big time!  Now he threatens to have the border military shoot anyone who throws a rock in defiance!

I don’t believe we have ever had such a brute of a president before.  Thankfully the White House walks back most of his off the cuff claims but it is still unnerving to have such a man in the highest office of the land.

The Republican leadership will woe the day they did little to nothing to stop this man from escalating the tensions between “the other” and our citizens; making it mandatory that we begin an open dialogue to diffuse these tensions.  For me, there are no “others” to fear.  Everyone is equal in my worldview and deserves respect for who they are, another human being seeking to better the lives of those in their family.

This new influx of immigrants reminds me of my own people who, according to my DNA test, came from England, Wales, Scandinavia, North Africa and my beloved 1% from the  “First People” who mingled with the newcomers to their shores.  They did not chase us off when perhaps they should have!  What we did to the Indian population across this country is equally shameful compared to the way Mr. Trump address all who are not white and rich.

I ask you to make your positions known to your legislators, state and national regarding the inhumane treatment we have seen over the past many months, and let them know if you did not vote for Republicans because of their failure to stop the horror that resulted in trauma for the children and their parents.  That alone is a reason to seek compassionate governance in this country.

I know that “compassionate governance” is possible.  It is a mindset change that is imperative so that the ordinary people such as you and me get fair treatment, and pay fewer taxes when the rich who have gotten tremendous tax breaks from the current political regime do not pay their share.  There is a terrible imbalance of power in our country.

Compassionate governance will begin to change the existing social systems through the revoking of laws that serve the minority and not the majority. Nancy Pelosi made this point in the interview on MSNBC.  Her party intends to right the wrongs that have been perpetuated by the party of Lincoln and will make our country morally great again.

A new term: Femmocracy

Hello, dear readers, welcome back!  Today I want to focus on the mid-term election cycle and ask you to vote, without fail. I bring to you a new idea and a new word.  Femmocracy is the combination of the words feminine and democracy.  The whole phrase for this new idea is that femmocracy would usher in compassionate governance, something that I think is dearly needed in these modern times.

As a woman, I feel that I must find the women in Congress who will support the type of compassionate governance I imagine is possible in a Congress more evenly divided between the sexes. I have had a vision of how compassionate governance can be ushered into existence and it will take at least 50 Democratic women to replace Republican men, divided between the House and the Senate to make any kind of impact.  Even that won’t be an instant check and balance, but it is a start.

During the coming election cycles, we have to increase women politicians steadily so that we begin to reach a middle ground. Remember, there are 100 Senators and 435 Representatives in the U.S. Congress.

We need to have women of character who show us all a fearless role-model so that more women run for office in the future.  Women are the majority in the census of the United States and yet our current Congress only has 84 women (5%) in the House, and 23 serving in the Senate (4%). When the House or Senate is voting on any issue at all, it takes a certain percentage of votes to carry the win.  Even a vote up (yes) or down (no) has to have a certain percentage of their membership to agree before a bill becomes law.  In the case of the House of Representatives that number is 218 (a simple majority), and in the Senate, it is 51 if the Vice President is not present to break a tie of 50-50.

You can see the obvious problem here.  There is no fair representation of women in America.  Our issues are not the issues of Congress which is why so many bills have passed taking away support systems for women in our country.  Reduced are the supplements of income for those who cannot raise a family on what they earn.  Schools are not adequately financed.  War is overfunded.  Women are unable to get healthcare and “the pill” to keep from having unwanted pregnancies.

There are so many areas in the lives of women that are no longer funded or are deeply cut in funding. Then there is the issue of a woman’s right to choose an abortion.  The Republicans, backed by the evangelical coalitions have steadily superseded women’s rights by whittling down the necessary providers for women to freely choose to have a baby or not.  Clinics have been closed, doctors have been eliminated by these actions and women sometimes have to drive hundreds of miles in their state to get the help they need.  Is that fair?

Freedom is what our country was founded upon, and any sensible and compassionate person will stay out of another’s business when it comes to how women manage their bodies.  So even if you, my dear reader, disagree with this blog post, I ask you to consider life without true choice.  We should never be managed by another person or entity.  Think about that during this election cycle.  Is America a freedom loving country or not?

We need more women to run for local, state and national office.  I hope you know someone that you can urge to do just that if you are not interested.    And I hope that you will consider what a more compassionate government would look like to the citizens of this country who rely on “the good of the whole” to live a healthy and productive life.

 

Action Network’s link for the Women’s March

<link href=’https://actionnetwork.org/css/style-embed.css&#8217; rel=’stylesheet’ type=’text/css’ />https://actionnetwork.org/widgets/v2/form/sign-up-for-our-newsletter-14?format=js&source=widget&referrer=%5Bobject%20Object%5D

You can embed this into your webpage if you choose.  I think it will take you to their sign up for newsletter option.  At least, this link should.  Hope this helps my readers!

Creating a Regenerative Culture

I just learned about the terms Regenerative Capitalism, and Regenerative Society.  I had to go to my dictionary because I wanted to understand exactly what the author of an article I was reading was alluding to, so here is the meaning of the word “regenerative”.

  • a being renewed, reformed,  reconstituted,  or restructured
  • a spiritual rebirth
  • a renewal or replacement of a body part as in the natural world when a lizard’s tail grows back because part of it is missing
  • A reformed system of capitalism fits in with what many of us believe must happen in order to provide a less precarious foundation that can bring us all to ruin when the new system is abused as we have seen several times during my lifetime.
  • 1973-74: stock market crash
  • 2002: stock market downturn during a recession
  • 2010 Flash Crash in May when the Dow dropped nearly 1000 points before a partial recovery
  • 2015 was the stock market sell-off of the dot-com bubble.

So a short critique about Regenerative Capitalism is the opposite of a worldwide economy, never supportive of human values as opposed to regenerative capitalism that supports the people and our planet ‘ala the suggestions by Paul Hawken and Amory Lovins.

Now I got all this information from a short article in KOSMOS quarterly (Winter 2015) and Wikipedia (Sept. 28, 18).   I know I am not an expert, but my heart resonates to this constructive restructuring of economics in our country at least.  The old Power-Over system vs the Power-With System described by Riane Eisler that can be found on Caring Economy.org  Power-with is always empowering and that is part of the regenerative culture.

Everyday economics place us at the mercy of social and ecological collapse, not to mention what would happen if climate change reduced our coastlines to useless land and infrastructure due to rising sea levels already happening along our coastlines, but not yet severe enough to cause panic.  Said panic would drop the stock market instantly so it is obvious to me that we must reform our existing economic system.

Call it what you will, we are trusting those who have already proven that they are not trustworthy and only seek to enrich themselves.  Job one, so that every citizen is safe when (not if) we have another severe loss in the markets can be created from the mindset of Regenerative Capitalism, and I for one think that we should send out a call on the “People’s Express” for such experts to gather in a symposium as soon as humanly possible.  Why wait for the inevitable when we can be proactive.  Isn’t that part of the creed of Regenerative Capitalism?

I hope you find this little article interesting, even provocative because I am sending out the call for those who are excited about the potential changes we can make based upon a new economic model.  The old must be thrown out with the baby’s bathwater.  The baby must be allowed to grow up in a safer economic environment.

From my heart to yours… Rev. Cassandra Thomas Martin, independent New Thought Minister

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heaven on Earth

On April 7, 2012, I made a note to myself in a magazine that I was reading.  I wrote:

By manifesting our God Nature on earth we co-create heaven on earth. 

This was not one of my odd-ball thoughts because at the time I was writing a ministerial website called God-In-Action and I frequently spoke about the modern interpretation of co-creating a new heaven on earth.  I also had a radio show that was devoted to sacred science and was named after my new book,  The “Multiple You” Universe: sacred science for the 21st century.  Because I didn’t work at the time I was able to fulfill my dreams to write about spiritual issues that I felt passionately about.

When just recently on a community call one of the women I cherish said that she could sum up her idea of Keepership in a simple phrase, I really listened.  She said, and I only paraphrase, “I believe that we are here to wake up and create a new heaven on earth”.    Earlier during another call with the same group, and before my friend had awakened us to her Keepership we were asked by our Moderator to ask everyone we met during the following week the same question:  What is your Keepership?

However, this assumes that everyone knows what you are talking about.  Until I had met the people in this community, I had never heard the word Keepership.  Yet, when asked, I knew instantly what my passion in life has been about so I thought, “oh, this is what they mean.”  That is when I publicly volunteered that my Keepership would be “Compassionate Governance”;  in other words, I saw a need for restructuring our government social sector to lean in toward “we the people” instead of away from us, as is the current direction.  And, might I add, a direction that makes anyone other than a 1-percenter have to have a support system of social programs to help them and their children stay afloat.

So now I would describe Keepership as this:  What, in your most enlightened moments of contemplation, do you dream of for yourself? What would you do if you were living your best life?  This question will oftentimes bring you to your true passion.  Many people have keeperships based upon an evocative emotion.  Many people are keepers of social systems, as defined by Barbara Marx Hubbard, such as mine.  Others of us know that we are willing to identify our keepership, but it has not yet really shown up in a big-time way.   For God’s sake, we want the trumpets to blow and a rousing cheer from the peanut gallery.  Are you old enough to even know what a peanut gallery is?  These among us wisely wait for theirs to show up, and when it does it is usually in a flash of intuition.  You do know that I was only kidding about the trumpets and cheering, right?

As a writer, although not a professional writer at age 15, I wrote poetry and I really loved Bob Dylan’s music because it was stanza after stanza of a call to wake up and get in line to protest the 1970s Vietnam war.  My brain had not yet fully grasped the subtleties of why a war was something countries did to each other. I’m not sure I know even now, at 69 years of age.

You see, I believe in working through problems, not acting in the manner of our latest president whose name I won’t speak until he’s gone! My Heaven on earth today would be a complete change of leadership in this country because it is the system that is broken and we need to get rid of those who have corrupted it over the past few decades.  Death takes care of the oldest of those who rigged the system in politics, but we need more people Like Kucinich, who yearly floats a bill to establish a Department of Peace, or at least he used to.

What if the people of this country were less complacent, and also less ready to jump the gun and attack anyone whose opinion isn’t their own.  I guess that is why I am ready to start a business based upon the social model of a conversation salon.  I live in central Texas.  It won’t be easy to find people who want to show up a few times a month to add their ideas to those of a liberal, but maybe I can hide that for a while.  Who am I kidding?  I open my mouth and within ten minutes you know I’m firmly entrenched on the left of the political divide.

And yet… I have a dream.  It is built upon the concept of heaven on earth, but may not be as literal.  I’ve been doing public issues forums, and events to get people to register to vote since 2001.  I’m ready to train my facilitators, who I hope will be in it for at least a few years because good conversations are important to any society.  The salons developed in Europe during the Age of Enlightenment.  I think we can learn from their desire to have civil discourse and to create a new environment where all are safe to speak their own truth.

Here are the “rules” of public guided conversations:

  1. Speak once and wait until everyone at your table gets to speak before you speak again.  We don’t want anyone to monopolize “airtime”.
  2. There is a 3-minute time limit and you should take notes if you need reminders of what you want to say in response to another’s point of view.
  3. If you do not want to speak, just say “pass”.  You can always get back in line with a raised hand and your facilitator will bring you in during the next pause.
  4. Facilitators help us keep conversations on track so do, please, be respectful to them
  5. Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.  This is not the place for a debate, it is public deliberation about important subjects.
  6. Always speak for yourself, not for others.  The people at your table are all individuals and we ask everyone to speak from your personal experience.
  7. If you are offended by someone’s comments, say so and say why.  It is never okay to stereotype, or use vulgar language when addressing each other.
  8. You can disagree with the point of view expressed but do not personalize it.  Confrontation is never acceptable.

Please contact me if you are interested in coming to Copperas Cove, TX or Killeen, TX or Temple, TX during the month of October prior to Mid-Term elections.  I have a room with 150 seat capacity and it would be great to kick off the launch in Copperas Cove with friendly faces, or friends of friends.  You get the idea.  Oh, I need facilitators that I can train.  That part only takes a couple of hours.

What have I gotten myself into?  Heaven on Earth.

 

 

 

 

Peace After the Storm

Hello, everyone, on this incredible Sunday after the storms have passed. Many are alive on the Eastern seaboard in the states worst hit by Hurricane Florence. The people there will need help to glue their shattered lives back together again, as in homes wrecked, goods and autos lost.

But there is so much more to this story, and that is the story of those who consistently reach out to help in ways small and big simply because they are neighbors in the neighborhood or neighboring state rescue units. This is our country at its best. Don’t forget this during the coming days as the clean-up continues. Don’t listen to those who boldly claim accountability for the work of others. We, the People are the ones who come to the aid of countrymen. We, the Life Savers are the ones who risk life and limb for those who are terrified and so close to death without their special training and skills.

Today, I give thanks to anyone who reached out a hand to help other Americans, regardless of cultural differences or where they were originally born. We are one when it comes to our skin and bones, no one different in the eyes of the Holy. May Peace be upon you and yours and ours and theirs, for in truth, peace is the ultimate rescue unit in the land. Rev. Cassandra

CommUNITY for Public Issues Forum

Flowers 0052

Like a butterfly who wiggles out of its cocoon and then dries its wings in the wind and sun, so too does a good conversation stimulate the brains of those who have it, and new neural pathways are our reward.  The butterfly is the symbol of rebirth in many cultures, and a good conversation is considered an art in countries I have long respected.  Today I am going to introduce you to my new project and I hope that you will enjoy the journey.  If you can fly, please do.

Americans are going to vote in November.  Democrats are expecting a “blue wave” and Republicans are throwing good money after a lost cause when we talk about Trumpian candidates. They are deeply concerned about losing seats for the first time since 1992.  During the early stages of Texan voting about who would face off against which candidate mid-term, an elderly woman at the polling station told me that Texans were not turning out much anymore. When I asked her what she thought the numbers were during 2018, she said succinctly, “the lowest I’ve ever seen.”

So the polling office is the starting gate of our journey today. It bothered me that what she said was a repeat of the numbers I had seen before leaving Oklahoma. There the numbers pertained to rural women, the lowest voting percentage of them all.  It only took me 24 hours to decide what I needed to do back then. I knew I had to spearhead a gathering of women from the college women at A.A.U.W., both Democratic and Republican Federations of  Women and my group: Talk of the Town Community Dialogue plus a few wonderful friends from NSU and the Cherokee Nation.  We were an interesting collage, and we all began to ask for the donations we would need to have to host a 3-day event over the August 26th through August 28th weekend of celebrations honoring Woman’s Equality Day in Tahlequah, OK.

The only thing I had done prior to this event, which I spearheaded with absolutely no trepidation simply because I was clueless, was a series of Talk of the Town Community Dialogue events in Tahlequah.  For this, I had trained a handful of people I respected to be the facilitators, we set up the tables, had an old-fashioned eat and greet and asked those who attended what issues they were most bothered by in our town, and what solutions did they think might make our town better.  As I said, it was a simple format, but very effective. 

If you want to know what a citizen thinks, be prepared to wander through a labyrinth of preferences instead of a maze.  People can be quite articulate if you respect them and give them the time they need to gather their thoughts.  A few helpful rules for community dialogue are no cross-talking; everyone gets a fair hearing; seek first to understand, then be understood; share air time so you do not monopolize our time together; and, you can disagree but don’t personalize it.  We have to expect there will be differences of opinion, but we do not condone socially offensive dialogue and name calling. There are other “rules” but these are the essential bare bones of what is commonly called a “roundtable discussion”.  

I ran a series of Talk of the Town open dialogues and wrote a report to our local government as the issues applied to them for the most part.  Our press coverage was gratifying and by the time I got around to thinking about the 3-day event people in town knew me and my husband, John. O.K. mostly they knew me.  I’ve become very opinionated with each decade I’ve left behind me.  But, on my behalf, I am always polite.

Our motto was Women Who Vote Change Lives!  Let me tell you that women who organize together get the job done simply because we are used to running a household and working a paying job.  We know how to, and have perfected the art of  balancing our duties. I was so proud of each group who delivered what we needed and even exceeded some of our plans.  That I’m sure came from the rivalry between the Democratic and Republican women’s groups.  I’m not sure who got us the high school band to accompany the Suffragette Parade March around Cherokee Square to kick our event off in style, but the band was wonderful!  The Republicans looked beautiful in their costumes and this woman can tell you that I really do understand how uncomfortable women’s dressing was in the 19th century.  The Dems also had wonderful costumes by the way. The photo below has one woman sticking out because she is carrying a sign as to the decade of suffragettes she was representing.  I know her party affiliation, Republican, but how she got so close to the camera surprised me.  The majority of us had on costumes, ha! 

The Dems provided fans we could decorate, cases and cases of water, (have you ever spent a summer in Tahlequah, OK)? In good old competitive spirit, their costumes were quite wonderful.  Of course, I’m a Democrat.  Did you notice that I praised the Republicans first?  Like I said, I am always polite.

The second event was an Issues & Political Party Forum featuring Rep. Jim Wilson (D) and Sen. Randy Brogdon (R).  A lawyer from the Cherokee Nation acted as the moderator for this event.  Our personal effort was to model what could be created by bringing people who usually don’t work together into an opportunity to benefit the whole town, and the rural women of Cherokee County, who I’m sorry to say did not turn out in great numbers.  We did try.  If Poli-Gen continued (the Political Gender) after I left I am confident there were more registrations and more good times had by all.

We had two events prior to the finale and the Cherokee high school professional cooking course class fed us at the third event, called the  “Women’s Political Forum”. All of the women were prominent Oklahoma legislators and leaders from both Tahlequah city and Cherokee County.  Both of the Senators congratulated our team for our effort and encouraged us to keep up the good work.  I loved that the Muskogee newspaper let me guess at how many people attended our events, and the reporter didn’t seem upset when I fudged a bit.  All in all, we had a good turn out for all three events and the women who worked together modeled for others that women who vote do change lives in their communities.

Aug 26 Ribbon Cutting

Political Gender Parade

We build upon what we know.  This is what I am already trained to do and in addition to my independent New Thought Minister services and writing on this blog, if I want to impact my community in a positive way, this is how I will do it.

I’m going to be contacting local governments along the 190 Hwy corridor and do my best to get each city along the route to hold a CommUNITY Public Issues Forum with me as their coach.  I will happily act as both facilitator and moderator, but I hope each city will be able to volunteer at least one person I can train who wants to be trained as a professional facilitator for this unique style of community dialogue.

I am sure that if you were to poll a room full of strangers the one thing they could all agree upon is this:  2018 is going to be a mid-term election for the history books.

By the way, have you planned to vote?

I hope that by sharing this little sliver of my past I have inspired you to go for the impossibly big projects instead of the small ones.  Not only do those who attend learn something about themselves, we as their mentors learn more about ourselves.  I would love you to send me some positive energy during the rest of Sept – November.  I am ready to receive all the loving goodwill that comes my way because I’ve learned one lesson in this life that matters:  nobody does anything worthwhile alone.

Peace and loving good will back to you, my dear friends and readers.  Rev. Cassandra