Propaganda and My Prepping – Part 3, by St. Funogas

(Continued from  Part 2. This concludes the article.)

The other big problem I soon discovered with the Thank a Vet program is that it propagates the myth that our military keeps us free. Think back to our childhoods: riding our bikes down to the gravel pit with our Stevens Crackshot .22’s across our backs with a sling, then walking into the little grocery store afterwards to buy some penny candy and nobody calling the police or thinking anything of it. We rode on the floor in the back of the station wagon, or in the front passenger seat of the car and nobody cared if we hooked the seatbelt or not. My dad’s drivers license was just a photoless piece of paper that looked like a fishing license. And nobody confiscated Harry, my pocket knife with the 5” blade, when I boarded the plane to fly home for school after spending the summer with my Grandpa. If our military kept us free, then why weren’t they storming Washington DC and the State Capitols in all the intervening years since my childhood when so many of our rights were legislated away? We’ve lost literally thousands of our freedoms since 1776, and it’s gotten exponentially worse in the past 20 years. How can I buy the argument that our military keeps us free when it’s so crystal clear to me that they don’t?

The Thank a Vet campaign keeps most Americans distracted from having any real discussions about Freedom. Subconsciously people are thinking, “If our military is keeping us free, what’s to discuss? The boogeymen are out there somewhere, not here.” Meanwhile, in real life, our freedoms are rapidly vanishing every time our city councils and state legislatures meet and every time Congress convenes. Too many Americans can’t put two and two together because they’ve bought into the idea that the ONLY way we can lose our freedoms is by some external force that our military is keeping us safe from. Nothing could be further from the truth so we continue to lose our freedoms here at home at an exponentially rapidly increasing pace while we mindlessly stop every vet we see and thank him or her profusely for keeping us free. That propaganda campaign is working very well for individual vets, and I wish them well, but very badly for us as a nation.

The original inspiration for this article came from two posts in SurvivalBlog on 4/10/2020, the Friday before Easter. A comment by Tunnel Rabbit, and the Quote of the Day by Paul Joseph Watson.

Watson’s quote first: “The fact is that the modern implementation of the prison planet has far surpassed even Orwell’s 1984 and…the advertising techniques used to package the propaganda are a little more sophisticated on the surface. Yet…the age-old tactics of manipulation of fear and manufactured consensus are still being used to force humanity into accepting the terms of its own imprisonment…”

Mr. Watson misses one of the more salient points of propaganda/advertising. There is no force involved. You use emotion and push all the right buttons in the intended target’s cerebral cortex and when you get people acting emotionally, they are putty in your hands. You don’t have to force them to do anything, they will be begging for it. Use fear and people will be pleading for you to do whatever it takes to make them feel safe. Manufacture that fear, and you can get away with murder.

And saving the best for last, our hero Tunnel Rabbit commented: “Traveling extensively in my youth was an invaluable education. Returning to the U.S. was a bit of shock. Sometimes I think that I should have never returned as I really never fit in again. I still can’t relate to the narrow-minded and shallow thinking. Knowing the difference, I could see the direction of the U.S. and the world much clearer than others. I knew in the early 1980’s that Asia would become an economic power house because it was planned to happen that way. That Muslims would invade Europe, and the U.S. would become socialist. No one believed me. I see what is happening today as well. I know what it’s like to live in a tyrannical world…and how to adapt.”

Down In Bananaland

I mentioned earlier I had the experience of living under a military dictatorship in South America for a few years during my college days in the 1970s. It was an eye-opening experience, to say the least. Later in life I was able to visit other third-world countries and eventually, in my 40s, quit my high-stress job and spend a year hitchhiking around the world. I had an experience very similar to Tunnel Rabbit’s where I think I learned as much about the United States as I did about the countries I traveled to. I avoided other travelers as much as possible and went native. When people inquired where I was from, I usually asked them to guess. I was dumbfounded that the U.S. was the largest English-speaking country in the world, yet nobody ever guessed that on their first or second guess! What the heck? It usually came up fourth or fifth. It finally occurred to me, duh, that Americans just don’t travel. Which explained a lot.

When Tunnel Rabbit said, “I knew in the early 80’s…” where the world and the U.S. were headed, it wasn’t because he had a crystal ball. After my own experience living under a military dictatorship in my early life, and then later visiting 40+ other countries and seeing how they lived and governed themselves firsthand, I had a whole lot more reference points than I did as an 18-year old, or than your average American today has. So did Tunnel Rabbit when he saw back in the 80’s where we were headed. No crystal ball, just observation and experience.

I returned home with the same feelings that Tunnel Rabbit mentioned, that many Americans are narrow minded and think pretty shallowly. I grew up in a military family, in a largely military neighborhood, believing with all my heart that America was the greatest thing since homemade cinnamon rolls, the last bastion of Freedom on earth, and the world’s big brother to come to any country’s aid if they ever needed help with a bully on the playground. As a young man in South America I had “Yankee go home!” yelled at me so many times I was sincerely puzzled. I got home and I’d see lists of countries ranked by freedom and the U.S. would be 23rd, 47th or 58th on the list. I couldn’t understand it. It must be liberals making these lists or something!

By the time I got home from my year of hitchhiking around the world, it was pretty clear that the rest of the world doesn’t have the high opinion of the United States that we think they have. And we’re not quite as significant to them as I thought we were. And we’re not the bastion of freedom and goodness Americans think we are. Over the next ten years I made three or four business trips to Europe each year and that changed my perspective even more. Europe isn’t a socialist bedlam. In many ways they have more freedoms than Americans do. We tend to hone in on a few areas where they are super-socialist and tend to forget everything else.

Tunnel Rabbit said he didn’t feel like he fit in when he got back from his travels. I didn’t fit in before I left, and fit in even worse when I returned. Then a few years afterward I went from conservative Republican to nutjob libertarian philosopher prepper, so now I just tell people I’m from the planet Jorj and I’m waiting for a part for my spaceship so I can get back home again. That seems to make people feel better.

Conclusion

So what does this article have to do with the storage life of dry beans post-TEOTWAWKI?

My hope is that you would look at propaganda in a new way. That it’s merely advertising, and that all of us, including yourself, are susceptible to it. That doesn’t make you an idiot, or gullible. It just means that you’re human. People who work in advertising/propaganda do so because they have very special skills and talents for it. They know just what buttons to push to manipulate us to believe what they want us to, just as a blacksmith knows exactly what temperature to heat the metal to and how hard to hit it to get it into the exact shape he wants, and just like a pianist, by some method I just can’t begin to grasp, can make all ten fingers dance around a keyboard and produce the most enchanting sounds imaginable. We’re not idiots for being susceptible to propaganda any more than we’re idiots for falling in love with a beautiful hand-forged knife or a beautiful piece of music.

Advertisers and propagandists have their special talent. By being aware of that, and realizing we’re only rarely told the exact truth, we can be better consumers of all information that comes our way. By always asking the question “Cui bono?” we can often figure out who might be benefitting from us believing things a certain way or not. Their agenda may or may not be in our best interest, usually not.

Fear is the single biggest emotion which propagandists use when altering our thinking. Keep that in mind as we move into new territory with the coronavirus, move toward a cashless society, our ever-growing police state, encroachments on our basic civil liberties, the collapsing economy, and the probable financial “Big Reset” of some sort which can’t be too many years into the future. The more we can learn to think out of the box, and to face the ugly truth no matter where it may take us, the better prepared we will be for whatever is coming our way.

I sincerely hope I haven’t offended anyone. That wasn’t my intention. I hope I haven’t come across as holier-than-thou either. I’ve just had some life-changing experiences that have allowed me to see some things that many people don’t get the chance to see and I wanted to share those. For me personally, there’s a great comfort that comes from peeking behind the curtain and understanding how the world really works, in understanding how propaganda is propagated, and knowing the ugly truths about the matrix we inhabit. Accepting these truths makes it easier for me to prepare for the future, and helps me understand how vital it is that I do prepare for the future. Life as we know it won’t continue forever. We’ve already seen amazing evidence of that just in these first few months of 2020.




131 Comments

  1. Thank you for this long article. You want to maintain some hope that everything you’ve invested in your country and culture isn’t meaningless but we all see this stuff.

    1. The author notes above, “I sincerely hope I haven’t offended anyone.”

      It’s a bit of an ironic statement. While we shouldn’t be attempting to offend by way of derision or mockery, of course, we should nevertheless not be afraid of speaking truth and/or our opinions. The fear of “offending anyone” is part of the overall problem (and the root cause of political correctness and the rise of snowflake culture), and is a rather disappointing end to an otherwise excellent series.

      1. Haz, excellent insight about the fear of “offending anyone”.

        I’ve noticed people choose to be offended on their own, regardless of how careful I might be. Other times, I think I said “the wrong thing” and ask, folks tell me it’s cool.

        Carry on in grace

  2. Oh, and a note you’re probably aware of, Iron Eyes Cody, the Indian chief from those old commercials, was an Italian-American actor named Espera Oscar de Corti.

  3. Excellent article for pondering. I wonder, however, where the line is that divides education and propaganda. Many of the losses of freedom you speak of came after research showed changes would be a good thing for the general public. The scientific process provides facts for leaders, chosen by the sheeple, to make laws protecting those they represent. Having just finished my doctorate (my fourth degree), I have seen changes in education that is NOT evidenced-based, but population and philosophically based. For example, when I took my first psychology class in the 80’s, homosexuality was considered abnormal (in textbooks written by experts with PhD). As homosexuality became more common, it ceased to be considered abnormal, and it is now a social faux pas to even slightly allude to it being anything other than mainstream. Was this due to propaganda or social change from people who had different morals and values? As far as changes toward socialism, I believe Benjamin Franklin was correct when he envisioned that ‘When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.” I will need to review the correlation of socialism with religion, but I’m willing to bet there is an inverse relationship.

    1. There is no appreciable difference between indoctrination and parenting and education in practical application.

      The only difference is who is doing it.

      And it’s not an inverse but rather direct relationship especially in the modern world.

  4. Great article. He just seems really unhappy and I wonder why people like that stay here. If I knew of someplace I would be happier, I would pack my bags and be gone tomorrow.

    1. He who?

      If your talking about st.fun. he is or has through his posts articles and such shows he is happy here.

      You can be happy living in a country that you are unhappy with the management of and lament to loss of freedoms.

    2. Hi Billy R,

      Your comment is material for a whole other essay, but don’t worry, I won’t post it on SurvivalBlog. 🙂 I guess the shortest answer I can give is that I’ve never owned a television so I’ve spent my life educating myself instead of watching TV. In the process, I’ve learned a lot of history about the United States and my ancestors as well. And when I think of my ancestors Matthew Thornton, who signed the Declaration of Independence, and John Abbott, who froze his butt off at Valley Forge, and at least 11 other relatives I have who fought in the American Revolution, and all they went though for their families, for me, and for us, you are correct, I’m a little unhappy with Boobus Americanus. We have what I consider the greatest invention of all time, the internet, information at our fingertips, and so few of us really take advantage of it to educate ourselves in very meaningful ways, preferring instead to sit around watching Leave it to Beaver reruns while politicians run our lives and take away our freedoms one by one with nary a whimper from the masses. I can’t imagine my ancestors who fought in the Revolution so we could have this could be too happy if they could see us now. My heroes Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and George Mason risked so much and I think we’ve shown ourselves to be a bunch of ungrateful slobs.

    3. I disagree as I think that St. Funogas is always a ray of hope and inspiration to all of us here. I actually really look forward to his comments because they always either make me smile (I REALLY love humor) or they inspire me to think of a particular subject in another way or more in depth. I learn something new or feel hope, joy and happiness when folks of all different walks of life write here.

      As far as the “rock on” part in the first part of the article, the reason that I use it myself is because my coming of age was in the 70’ & 80’s and I was and still am that rebellious girl that loves Rock N Roll. Music feeds the soul

      St Funogas,
      What a really great article. I really enjoy reading your posts and articles that you write. You have a wonderful way of explaining things.

      Have a Rockin great day!

      1. Hey RKRGRL68, glad you liked the article. 🙂

        When I was trying to think of three sayings, “rock on” was the first one that popped into my head since I read it here every day. lol. Thanks for recognizing my attempts at humor, most people call them other things. I’m mostly trying to entertain myself with them and I usually succeed so I guess that counts for something.

  5. You and I are about the same age and have had a lot of similar experiences.
    I also grew up in a military family. I’m still proud of my father; however, I don’t think he would be happy with the way the US is today. Governors shutting down whole states? Governors telling me I cannot take communion in church yet it’s OK to sacrifice babies in the name of abortion, a “necessary” procedure? Governors telling me where and when to shop? Governors telling me I cannot visit relatives?
    Once I realized that every single “news” program on TV had an agenda, I knew that journalism was dead. Once I realized that political correctness and hate crimes are bogus, I knew that my right to free speech was gone. Once I realized how radicalized college (and all public schools) had become with radical courses in women’s studies and condemning white people etc. I knew education was gone. (We used to joke about easy courses in college, like Underwater Basket Weaving 101. Ha! I cringe when I read my alma mater’s course offerings now.)
    And yes, Mr. Obama, I do cling to my guns and religion, and I will not ever feel ashamed or allow you and others of your ilk to change me in any way.
    Great article. It should be made mandatory reading in every school in America.

    1. I concur. Even in the early 1980s, my university (San Jose State University, in northern California) had two programs that I could see had no practicality or redeeming value: The School of Women’s Studies and the School of Social Work. I was mystified as to how “studies” so wildly impractical were ever elevated to that level. I haven’t looked at the current course catalog, but I assume that there are now many more such useless majors — and now elevated to Master’s (M.A.) level.

      1. I’ve know folks who have taken these classes to get an easy BA, for advancement in the workplace. And, it has been a very successful strategy for them. Folks with these kind of degrees are moving up in the world, and getting high level, high salary, management positions. We have had a change from factual, statistical driven management to emotional driven management. A lot of CIOs, CEOs, & governmental division heads now have these kind of degrees. I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t have generals and admirals with these kind of degrees. Some of these people have never had a hard class in their life, yet they are making major decisions in their organizations.

        Victor Davis Hanson recently called for dropping all college courses but STEM. But, this SJW ideology has even propagated into those courses as well. The bridge collapse in South FL comes to mind.

        I think this all falls under the decline of empires, where more and more incompetent people are put in charge until a crisis overwhelms the leadership and the society. Look at the recent responses by govt., what are they going to do when something really bad happens…

        The enemies of western societies, both foreign and domestic, have to be emboldened by what they have seen this year.

      2. As more and more importance has been placed on “going to college” and subsequently more jobs are requiring that piece of paper it has become less of an institution of higher education and, become more of an adult child daycare centers.

        The effect has been that college has now become the next highschool. In all ways emotional maturity of students conditions of associated life right down to the mentality of I’m only here because I have to be.

        I remember that when I was 33 I was helping my then girlfriend out with her resume and work history which actually required a short biography …

        What amazed me was she at only 1 year younger than me only had 7 previous jobs none more than 6 month half not even chemist related, and I was the first boyfriend she had ever lived with. Because she had spent all that time in college.

        On the other hand from 18 to that age (and currently) I had worked my way up from unskilled labor to journeyman (now mostly called mechanic) carpenter including making foreman several times. By the time I was 21 I was supporting married life (single wage earner) family of 5 (counting me) a dog 2 cars (divorced by 30)

        Funny thing some kid just like my ex gf who did college in construction management can now get a job with that kind of background being a foreman on million dollar jobs… As a carpenter foreman.

        I even almost ten years latter can’t because I don’t have any thing like a diploma saying I know what I’m doing … Even though I have 20 years of experience in the Field at all levels (because that doesn’t meet minimum experience.

        With a system like this of course there is a plethora of party line indoctrination classes and majors aimed at social acceptance rather that real knowledge. You can sleep right through gender studies women studies racial studies and turn in the same reports and test answers just printed in triplicate. “Cuz white dude suck and are the devil” bingo 3 A’s higher g.p.a. easier to keep the grant and scholarship money commingled in. G.p.a. affects student loan acceptances too. It’s kinda like a precredit credit score.

        It’s a win, win , win.
        College gets money
        Kids get babysat
        Lenders get fees and interest and clients
        Political machine gets more indoctrinated workers
        Graduates get nice middle management higher paying job and as such are more invested in sending thier kids into college.

        “Loddi doddi dee… Loddi doddi daa. .. and the beat goes on”

      3. My parents sent me to a liberal arts college in the 1980s because they wanted me to learn how to think critically. Talk about being thrown to the wolves! They were afraid their country raised child would come back a flaming liberal, and so was I!

        I graduated four years later having learned that any field ending with “Science” or “Studies” was largely propaganda trying to legitimize a hidden agenda:

        Propaganda examples:
        Political Science
        Social Science
        Women’s Studies

        By way of contrast to these classical fields:
        Physics
        History
        Literature

        Yes, propaganda in colleges also depends on the intellectual honesty and hidden agenda of the professor, but the “Department of X Science” or “Department of Y Studies” were low hanging fruit for administrators with hidden agendas.

        As the blog author Funogas intimates, living a rich life of adventure and challenging experiences is an antidote to propoganda.

    2. Hi Marie, great comments. When my dad told me ten years ago that he was no longer a registered Republican, I was so shocked it was as if he had told me he had just had a sex-change operation. He was always my #1 hero and it was gratifying to see him finally conclude that Republicans and Democrats are all one big party working against We the People.

      I’ve never checked any of my old alma maters to see the course offerings, afraid of what I’d find. lol.

      1. I grew up in a Republican Household, in a Republican county in a Republican state. Discipline, restraint, personal responsibility, work ethic, don’t spend more than you make, and generosity were important values. My father (now dead) started abandoning the Republicans about the time Reagan started pushing tax cuts that pay for themselves, VooDoo economics (they don’t unless marginal tax rates are extremely high), when Republicans started placing the blame for poverty on poor people, and forgot about compassion for those less fortunate. My father grew up in poor rural towns. He told me stories of his father being paid with chickens and livestock because people didn’t have money. My father did his residency in an big city emergency room where he saw people from all walks of life who were suffering. Experiences are important in shaping people.

    3. I agree w Marie but one thing I’d like to point out.

      the entire public school system was set up by communists with the aim of indoctrinating kids to be “useful idiots”

      I would encourage every preparedness-minded individual to watch the documentary “Indoctrination”

      Godspeed- JG

  6. Living away from the United States for almost seven years, returning in 1991, I/we saw something had changed from when we left in 1984. We couldn’t put our finger on it until we lived a few years in our town. It’s easy to lay blame or think the solution to our problems is our military. Our government is set up to have checks and balances so no one group has ultimate power. How clever those groups have been taken over, quietly, to push a certain narrative. A trojan horse that has been in the works for a few generations. It’s speeding up, our loss of freedoms, because God has been taken out of everything, including our private lives–for the majority of people living here. Our military cannot march into Washington DC and begin arresting those who are not liberty minded. How exactly should they give us our freedoms back? I thought it would be easy, just have them go in, arrest the whole lot of them that hate America and then give us back our country. But, who will they give our country back to? God hating people? When God is told we are not interested in you, or your words of help for us, what do you expect? He is giving us what we have asked for. And haven’t we heard that saying before, “Be careful for what you ask for.” Satan, the father of lies, has been given charge over all the nations. When America kicked God out Satan took charge over our nation. Long ago we were fighting a battle on a spiritual level, a war as God was first and foremost in our thoughts, but no longer. First and foremost in our thoughts is ‘I’. Each of us is to be blamed for not putting God first when picking out the people we want to represent us in keeping charge over our nation. We have done a bang up job though, as those we chose do represent us. Stop looking for man to solve our problems. REPENT for your redemption draws near. God loves all people and is calling out to all people to see the error of their ways, one towards another. He continues to knock on your doors–are you answering that door? Have you opened his word today and read? He is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes before the father except through Jesus Christ. We have lost. We have lost our country. We have desired to be in bondage, not free. God is giving us what we have asked for. All is being revealed.

  7. This was a good read. Thank you. I realized my parents were from the planet “Jorj” back in the 60’s and opened my eyes as a teenager to many of the things mentioned. The propaganda is mostly painless and generally accepted by the majority. The proof is all of the taxes, laws and control enacted over time since this country began. History reinforces the concept that mankind isn’t very good at governing itself. Hence-we prep.

    1. Hi JG, your parents must have been awesome if they were from Jorj. 🙂 And you are correct, history reinforces the concept that mankind isn’t very good at governing itself. Thomas Jefferson knew as much history as any of the Founding fathers but they ignored so much of what he wanted to do. He was one of the few I think was really rooting for We the People. If we could just get We the People rooting for We the People, I think we could have a chance. But we’re too easily swayed by the smooth-talking Elites and like you said, “hence we prep.”

  8. St. Funogas,
    I appreciate your article and the time you took to share it with us. Specifically, your thoughts concerning the current state of Republican/conservative politics reminded me of a statement I saw in the comments of another blog recently and how it applies not only to conservatives but also to many in prepper/survival/liberty/call it whatever you like movements.

    To paraphrase, it states that we keep wanting to have the same arguments with the other side. We do not want to admit that the marriage is over, move on, and create a new life. We are like the battered wife that keeps hoping her husband will change if she can just explain in the right way why he should stop hitting her.

    With all due respect, and not to single you out, but your summary is another example of what most of us are guilty of. At this point, we know what the issues are concerning propaganda, the elite, the MIC, the troubles facing the US, etc. We recite them ad nauseam as if they were some magical incantation and that if we say them enough times, something will inevitably change. KNOWING that you’re being hit in the head with a baseball bat is entirely different from DOING something about it.

    1. DD, you are absolutely correct. The time for talking is long past.
      And calling/writing our “representatives”? haha that’s a totally hopeless proposition.
      Being a bottom-line type girl, in my view it all comes down to our relationship with the Father. God still has His hand out to us, still says, “I set before you life and death >
      c h o o s e life” … we can only control ourselves, so having a rich relationship with Him is the only answer. Not religion – relationship. Knowing Him personally, trusting Him and knowing He is always faithful. The bible is full of examples of God rescuing and making victorious His people, as they cried out to Him. and He doesn’t change: what He’s done before, He can and will do again.

    2. Hey D.D., I couldn’t agree with you more. It actually took me a week or two to even decide whether to send this essay in or not. I think here on SurvivalBlog, at least among active posters, we are still a minority who think: 1) voting is a complete waste of time, 2) if you’re still chanting “Rah, rah, Republicans,” you’re still drinking the koolaide, and 3.) the Revolution needs to start tomorrow.

      I swore I was never going to mention the F-word (Freedom) on this blog when I discovered it back in December. That’s what the whole “St. Funogas” thing is about, the patron saint for old geezers trying to keep their traps shut. But I slipped up, went on a Freedom rant, and Once a Marine called me on it after I unceremoniously said something along the lines of “we totally deserve what’s coming,” and so this essay was an attempt to get things off my chest and maybe be able to leave the topic of Freedom alone, which I am so passionate about, and perhaps get a couple of newcomers to peek behind the curtain and begin their own journey.

      But like I said in Part 2 yesterday, “I’m fairly certain we’ll never be able to reach any sort of a critical mass to make a difference.” We can’t fix anything, it’s way too far beyond that. The only option is what they did back in 1776. But we don’t have the kind of people in this country that are interested in that. Too many people getting a government paycheck and too many “bumper sticker freedom fighters,” instead of the real McCoys.

      Us guys love making fun of the ladies over their romance novels and chick flicks. But the ladies have just as much right to make fun of us guys over our “Freedom” stances and our 2nd Amendment BS. It just emotional stuff, nothing more. We’re not willing to take it to the next level. We’ll put on our cool costumes with camo and web gear and our AR-15’s and go show that no-good Virginia Governor who’s boss but at the end of the day, they’re just a bunch of Boys with Toys. Big hats and no cattle. The governor wasn’t the least bit scared, or intimidated, and he’s signed at least 5 anti-gun bills into law since that day. Boys with Toys. Big hats and no cattle. When the Feds start rounding up our weapons, I doubt there’ll be much resistance.

      If we can’t get a Revolution going, then at least a Secession. But how do you reach a critical mass to do that?

      1. Beautifully worded Saint. As an admirer of your writing style and subjects, I intuitively knew there was no need to clarify my comment.

        We do indeed find ourselves in quite the conundrum. If we carry on as we have been, provoking moral outrage by highlighting the wrongdoings of those in power, we encourage the disillusionment that inevitably follows those emotions. Once people realize there is practically ZERO we can do to change it, complacency sets in and we have assisted our enemy in winning without a fight. If we tire of waiting for a unifying event and decide to make a stand with an underwhelming force, fill in your own scenario, we not only lose the moderate patriot who wants nothing more than a peaceful existence for his children, we hand the enemy unlimited justification for further enslavement.

        When do we reach critical mass? My answer: It is not for us to know.
        After years of worry and more sleepless nights than I care to remember, I finally found solace in turning that decision over to God. With the clarity that came from releasing the burden I had willingly placed on my shoulders, I realized how the change I sought for the world had to start with me. It allowed me to stop worrying about things I have absolutely no control over and focus on making myself the best person I could be.
        I reestablished my relationship with God, freed myself from debt (debt=slavery), and cleansed my body and mind through proper diet and exercise. It is those three principles that I now use to recruit for our struggle. If we are to fight for a cause as noble as the fate of a nation, we must first make ourselves worthy of such a fight. Our cause must be based on the love of God and true freedom, not upon the hatred of evil men.

        You certainly have the God-given gift to motivate and teach with your words. I look forward to more of them.

        1. D.D. – your response resonated so strongly with me that I feel it was meant just for me! I know that I need to “Let go and Let God”! I went to bed last night and slept like a baby after asking the Lord to lift the yoke that I have been carrying.

          St. Funogas – very interesting and thought provoking commentary.

          Thank you both!

          1. That’s wonderful to hear Wise Girl! Now that you are well-rested, make today the first day of the rest of your new life. Thank God for your blessings and ask Him to guide your thoughts and actions. Focus on not wasting a single waking moment and hone your body and mind for what is to come. God Bless and great job!

      2. would you would appreciate a perspective from a Australian ex pat now living elsewhere ? I can say, it will be remarkably close to you’re experiences and current thoughts, wonder if anyone else on here is interested in thoughts from down under ?
        I don’t watch TV either , I DO read a lot of history and carefully observe around me.

      3. St F, Even the revolution changed very little in the everyday lives of colonists. I see our opportunity for radical change is in our circles of influence. The more we nurture the community we have, the less susceptible we are to the curses of big government and big business.

        And, there is always “vote with your feet”. Many of our ancestors left states where they found the challenges to liberty intolerable. I bet there are many folks in Virginia who are looking at real estate in more friendly states.

        Stand tall, friend. We have much work to do, even as we move into geezerhood.

        Carry on, in grace

  9. Thank you for taking the time to write this detailed series. I appreciate it. I cringe when I see the lack of critical thinking in our day and age. In addition to asking ‘who benefits’, i believe it is important to recognize fallacious arguments when they are presented.

    In college (a small Midwestern Christian college), I took a logic class. This has helped me immensely over the years. While watching the news, listening to politicians, hearing or reading ads, or having discussions with friends, I have a background tape playing in my brain. I usually don’t point out that someone is using circular reasoning, or a straw man argument or a red herring, but it helps me think critically and sense if a point of view is valid or not.

    When homeschooling my sons, we would sometimes critique commercials based on some of the logical fallacies. Very eye opening. It was not hard to find examples.

    And speaking of ‘who benefits’, way back in the pre-covid19 era, did anyone ever notice how many pharmaceutical ads there were on the evening news programs? The very news programs that strongly encouraged people to get their flu vaccines?

    1. Hi wormlady, how wonderful that you taught those skills to your kids. I have some of those same “background tapes” playing in my head as well. Those statistics and probabilities classes were very beneficial throughout my life.

      I always made a game of analyzing movies with my kids. It not only helped their observational skills but their analytical skills too, all while having fun watching a movie.

      Thanks for your comments. 🙂

  10. 1) The propaganda has become more intense — and the loss of liberty has accelerated — because national income and wealth has become more intensely concentrated into a few hands and those hands are afraid of losing it.

    Great wealth means nothing if you don’t have the power to keep it — and to get more. So power has to be concentrated as well.

    2) The Great Failure of Libertarians is that they have failed to see that the Rich are as much of a threat as Government — indeed, Government becomes a threat largely when it becomes an obedient tool of the Rich. And while politicians need your vote, the Rich do not. Your right to free speech means nothing if you don’t own a news corporation to counter the massive propaganda of the Rich.

    3) There are two groups in America today, There are those who produce useful products and services — and there are those who earn their living crafting lies so that bloodsucking parasites can steal the fruits of that labor. The liars are not just in the news media or political campaigns — they work on Wall Street crafting con games, in large law firms, in foundations/think tanks and in the humanities and social sciences departments of our Universities crafting deceitful campaigns to “Divide and Conquer”.

    4) While the average teacher in the K12 system is perhaps merely following orders, the people who craft the K12 curriculum in back rooms (Common Core,etc) are acting with malign purpose to turn generation after generation into slaves.

    Ensuring young people with tremendous energy and no debts or obligations do NOT become entrepreneurs inventing new things that overturn the established order. Forcing them to waste16 years of their life —and run up massive educational debt — to acquire useless information and get a piece of paper that is worthless unless they become a slave to a rich man. With no choice because they have no capital. The first thing our billionaires did was avoid that trap.

    WHAT gives a bunch of incompetent , corrupt morons the right to judge the worth of a person — and determine their fate — by grades? In the old apprentice system, a learner received a wage and training in exchange for work.

    5) Trump was only partly right when he said the News Corporations are the Enemy of the American People. The Enemy is far more widespread than that.

  11. All so very true. We have allowed a liberally biased media and education system to mold the sheeple of this country into allowing our rights to be taken away in exchange for the appearance of safety while those who still have the ability to think and analyze critically have watched and complained while doing nothing to halt the process. At some point this must change.

    Remember, those who would give up a little freedom in exchange for a little safety deserve neither freedom nor safety. (Paraphrased).

    Also, the tree of freedom must be fertilized periodically by the blood of Patriots – or it will die.

  12. Dear Saint- i’ve Always been known as one who bucks the system and asks questions no one wants to hear much less answer.

    you have summed up how I have felt since 2004. The stuff we were fed in gulf war 2 was sickening, and seeing our tax dollars and american lives wasted for what? To try to better a country that we had no business being in? My father was a WW2 tank destroyer vet, and said Korea and Vietnam we not fought right.

    Look at the scene in American Sniper where Chris Kyle is returning for the 3rd time? And sees his brother leaving, and his brother said he was NUTS for returning, for what, he asked. Then Obama pulls us out. My heart aches for every guy who got mangled, legs blown off by ied’s, and for every widow and fatherless child of that war. All for what? And no one has a good answer as to why.

    Whenever I’m being sold a bill of goods I think is a turd sandwich, I always ask “ who profits from this” and it leads me to the manaure pile, rife with politicians of both colors and those who want to do us harm and steal Liberty.

    Keep your head and heart with God and Christ, your family safe, and be ready to fight with all your might against the mark of the Beast. It will be hard, but we will prevail!

    When asked why I always have to be so difficult, why don’t I just “go along” my answer is “In a world of compromise, SOME MEN DON’T !”

    1. A good question to ask, when the people of the USA are asked to fight a war, ~ “I always ask “ who profits from this?” [wingfootjr]

      …. …. GGHD’s answer, “Until recently, the Clinton Foundation, other crooked US politicians, and foreign dictators, profited by the wars.” +Why did Obama release all that money to Iran? Was it used by the Iranians to kill more people, including lots of Americans? [The answer is YES]
      *****************************

      There’s a Western Civilization and Christian concept for when to fight a >just war. … The criteria for a just war is on the Internet.
      ……. Until Trump became President, the USA was engaged in endless and useless wars throughout the world.

      Trump wants out of Afghanistan. There’s information about why the US is still involved. Answer is on the WhiteHouse site. The deaths by the US military are currently way down.
      …….. Unfortunately, there’s a use of ‘operators’ by Americans, and other countries to fight wars for dictators. … The reason other countries like to hire Americans for fighting, ~> because most Americans are honest and trustworthy.

      We (the US Citizens) ask a lot of our good military. … Anyone killing another person reveals it on their face, when talking about combat experiences. Even if they didn’t kill anyone, the experience of seeing people stacked up like cord-wood, awaiting burial, reveals itself too; people carry the horrors of past war experiences to their grave.

      ************************************************

      Good Advice: “Keep your head and heart with God and Christ, your family safe, and be ready to fight with all your might against the mark of the Beast. It will be hard, but we will prevail!” [wingfootjr]

      1. As an ex Army man ( ANZAC ) the word ” Operators ” I find both disgusts me and fills me with revulsion. The true word is Mercenaries, killers for hire, “operators ” makes them appear cleaner, more virtuous, moral, they are anything but, out for the money, Newspeak changes everyday words to mean something very different. All the Western countries engage in word semantics and games.

  13. Great article. I think the current crisis is making a lot of people make some of these connections. People have a lot more time right now and are watching more posts on all sorts of social media from people who are constantly discussing “cui bono.” Warning: the following contains no fact, only conjecture! 1) Hydroxychloroquine does work, like 80% effective or something, but is already mass produced, so not as much money to be made. The current new drug being pushed is only 50% effective, and is made by…Fauci’s company!! 2) The department of defense PAYS millions of our tax dollars to the NFL for the armed services month, where service persons bring out the flag, teams wear camo uniforms, etc. Not the NFL doing it because they love the military. Advertising and propaganda! This section of part 2 was disturbing to me, as I feel I have a healthy respect for the military. I still feel individual service members deserve our thanks, but the complex as a whole has some issues. 3) Bill Gates got so powerful with Microsoft in the 2000s that the federal government sued him for anti-trust. Within a year, he started his foundation for “philanthropy.” So within a year he had such a change of heart to go from seeking power and control through technology to helping everyone he could? Or did he find a different vehicle to consolidate more power and control? Like now he is pushing implanted chips with vaccines in Africa because the people can’t keep track of paper vaccine records. Is this the beta test before it comes here because homeless and poor people can’t keep records either?

    Again, great article. Very eye opening. But I feel it’s getting harder to read between the lines in “news” reports and see these connections.

  14. My high school thesis was titled Campaign Politics: Propaganda or Persuasion based on JFK’S presidential campaign. I was 17. I saw through and left the PC of the poli sci department early my 1st year at UNL. I have also tried to get others to step back and objectively assess their beliefs, assess others beliefs, and discern the differences to arrive at their own stronger belief system. With this framework, it is easier to see the attempted manipulation. I agree shallow thinking or what I call thoughtless living will be our downfall. I hope each of us will continue to encourage thoughtful living in others and like a drop of water on a pond our encouragement will ripple through our families and communities.

  15. St. Funogas,
    I have [the book] American Contempt for Liberty by Walter E. Williams next to me as I write.
    Just starting the book. Thanks for the recommendation and thanks for the article.
    Save me a seat on the mothership.

  16. The tide comes in and the tide goes out.
    The best that we can hope for, is to just ride the tide.
    “Live, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow you may (will) die.”

  17. First, let me apologize for being MIA (missing in action) for the past two days. I mentioned in the opening paragraph I was not going to be debating anything but I had wanted to at least reply to some of the comments. The day part 1 came out I ended up in the ER and then some emergency surgery so the timing couldn’t have been worse. I really enjoy interacting with all the commenters and there have been a lot of great comments so thanks to everyone for sharing your insights. I will reply to today’s and try to go back and reply so some of Friday and Saturday’s as well.

    And in case you’ve always wondered, St. Funogas is the patron saint of old geezers who are trying to learn to keep their mouths shut and keep their opinions to themselves. Okay, I had to make him up since there wasn’t one already. “St. Funogas, don’t be a tease, help me keep my mouth shut please.” I’ll keep future articles strictly to how-to pieces to help us all survive TEOTWAWKI. But these things needed saying in case a few might be listening and I was gonna bust if I heard one more comment about how free we all are. ‘Nuff said.

    1. I’m so glad you are okay! I loved your article. I’m a deep thinker and a stubborn “troublemaker” because I won’t go along to get along. My favorite phrase, “nutjob libertarian philosopher prepper”!! #metoo

  18. The pictured example of the Italian actor known as “Iron Eyes Cody” is a great visualization of propaganda fed to the people.

    The author made several mentions of “long haired dirty hippies” (sounds just like my bigoted ex father in-law) protesting the Vietnam War. Does he think they came up with that protesting all on their own? No, they were fed propaganda by those who would benefit from it, namely the communists and their supporters in the media, academia and government.

    1. How was it in the national interest –i.e, for the benefit of the American People — to sacrifice 58,000 of our soldiers lives plus another 150,000 crippled ( some for life) for Vietnam?

      What could we have done to improve our lives with the $1 Trillion (2015 dollars) spent on the war?

      Last time I checked it was the Commies in China and Russia who most benefited from that war — from Lyndon Johnson’s deceit and ego. They are probably still laughing about it in Moscow.

      What did we gain?

    2. Hi June, I will definitely do some research on the roots of those protests. I haven’t in the past based on my assumption that kids not wanting to be forcibly shipped off to Vietnam would probably put up a stink about it. If you have any links, I would love to see them. (FYI, in 10th grade I had the longest hair in my school among the guys so the language of my essay was mimicking the MIC, not denigrating hippies.)

      Also, a few years back I tried to document that returning vets were spit upon in airports back during the war but couldn’t do so. Anyone having any links documenting that would be appreciated for another project I’m working on.

      1. St. F, I’m so grateful you survived your ER visit and are back among us.

        There is a lot of debate about the way returning veterans were treated fifty years ago. I was never given any bad stuff, though I have talked with men who said they were.

        Some years ago I read this book: mns) ISBN 0-689-12117-2
        Homecoming: When the Soldiers Returned from Vietnam (Putnam, 1989) ISBN 0-399-13386-0

        The author is Bob Greene. He tracked down a number of men who were given stinky treatment. I was in tears a few times, reading it out loud to other men.

        Carry on in grace

  19. St. Funogas!
    Thank you for this article… It was thoughtful and thought provoking, and asks each of us to consider the information we consume cautiously, carefully, and with critical thinking fully engaged.

    From your article: “For me personally, there’s a great comfort that comes from peeking behind the curtain and understanding how the world really works, in understanding how propaganda is propagated, and knowing the ugly truths about the matrix we inhabit.”

    This was an outstanding and especially insightful summation. Again, so many thanks to you, St. Funogas!

  20. This article is really about the many weaknesses of the human species. The desire for power, money and fame within a group or over rival groups. In nature, power is about survival. For humankind it is about self gratification. It is built in, I hate to say.

    Seldom does the lone wolf succeed. He needs the help of others. That help has to be fostered from the time a pup is born.

    Modern humans are programmed in a similar way through a convenient electronic box and school system. Deprogramming oneself (or another) is more difficult to accomplish than the initial programming. But it can be done through home schooling, supporting like groups and cutting the cord on that box.

    Ultimately, it is the deprogrammed group that makes changes to the power structure.

    Then beware. The same old cycle starts again.

  21. Always thought, Cui Bono meant ~ “Follow The Money”
    Then, Latin wasn’t my first language…
    Who regulates (read: owns) the air waves and the internet conduit –
    “See Something Say Something
    “We are _____ ALONE ToGETHER”
    “Only ______ can prevent forest fires”
    “Live and let _____”
    “Once _____ a time”
    “_____ is a long time”
    With or without God, are both an Eternity. Guess which is rebellion; life as we know it or Leviticus 19:18. God is a God of order and repeatedly instructs His people, Matthew 22:37 – “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”
    Contentment comes with knowing we are not of this world, thank God.
    Then, LuvYerBro

  22. Your article brings up emotions both good and bad. I will let the veterans out there address the issues relating to them.

    The trampling of our freedoms — you are spot on. One example is the NJ Supreme Court’s affirmation of a local NJ shore town’s actions: the town could use eminent domain to declare a row of people’s shore houses “unfit” so they can allow a developer to put up higher tax ratable condos. A disgrace and very scary — destroying people’s property rights for greed.

    While I acknowledge trade has brought prosperity to many civilizations throughout the millenia, greed always creeps into things at all levels.

  23. Enjoyed the article very much so. The other day I had an individual ask me, “When are the people going to come together and fight these changes to our Liberties?”. All I could think of at the time was. What group of people would you have to make the changes needed? He looked at me somewhat puzzled. I said what would get people all on the same page today in our country? Again he looked at me puzzled.

    Where are we as a country today? What is the common thread we place our desires for the betterment of humanity? What can we as a nation or people place our truth in?

    What is the one thing we all have within us that can be shared in a way or ways for the betterment of humanity? We all have the capacity to do so but do we. What breaks down control and brings together people?

    These are some questions that come to mind when someone asks me “When will the people come together?”.

    I would love to see your answers and feedback. Loved the article Thank You

    1. My opinion:

      This is too big to fix, too strong to overcome, and too controlling to organize against.

      So barring a huge disruptive event that returns the USA to the wild west nothing will happen.

      Years of population programming and increasingly poor public relation examples have turned the general public unreceptive to the plight of any group who would try.

      On a personal level only thing that can be done is to try to get along as we can and educate the children for generations.

      In short we have become the Indians. Maybe it’s time to seek tribal acceptance on thier reservations with our r.v. trailers homes and gardens. That’s about all I can think of to try for.

    2. Hi Part, your questions are all great questions. If we could just get 40% of the people to be asking those same questions, we’d be well on our way! lol.

      Like Faethor Ferenczy said, at this stage of the game, the problem is way to big to fix. There needs to be a Big Reset of some kind. They used to call those Revolutions but an EMP/Carrington Event would work too.

      IMO the only way to keep from falling into the same old traps that every government and civilization has ever fallen into is to try the one thing that has never been tried, which is the libertarian principle of making the right of private property absolute. I doubt more than 15% of Americans can accurately define what a libertarian is let alone how a system of civilization can revolve around one simple principle like private property. It basically says, this is my farm, this is my body, whatever I do on my farm or with my body is nobody’s business but my own as long as I am not violating anybody else’s property rights. This is my paycheck, the government does not get to steal part of it in the form of taxes. That’s the simplified version of course.

      When you look at almost every one of the problems that people have brought up in the comments section over the past three days, (or on Fox News, etc) they have to do with programs that would not have existed in the first place had the government respected your private property and not stolen your money in the form of taxes, not had public schools to indoctrinate your kids in, not had an enormous military budget to fund wars all over the planet, etc. The federal government would be less than 1% the size that it currently is.

      I hear all kinds of reason why this type of government would never work, but it’s never been tried (because the Elites lose out) so let’s give it a shot after the Big Reset so we can say with absolute surety that it doesn’t. People can’t imagine it because the only culture they know is the culture of Republicans/Democrats with our Constitution, but I can assure you there’s something better.

      1. The problem with such a plan, even with the safeguards you envision, is that you can’t set up a system that can’t be changed. Remember that the franchise also belongs to the people who want to spend your money and decide what choices are available to you and the electorate, the politicians and bureaucrats and the courts will begin to whittle away any safeguards you start with pretty much immediately. It will happen faster this time because the memory of how good the looter class had it will be fresh for years. They will not like reforms and will remember how they made it work before. How do you fight that?

        1. There is a very simple way to keep the rich ruling class of the “money party” from ruining a new gov’ment.

          Separate all bidnesses transactions from gov’ment individuals.

          No campaign donations no loans for campaigns no gifts now scholarships etc. Nothing just base salary.

          2 representative from state in Senate 2 in house of representing.

          Give them offices of the same size with same finishings provided by them and out of their own pocket.

          Get rid of loans with out collateral (only exceptions are to cover business card not to exceed one cycles profit or other such tangible security for the loan)

          Make the gov’ment print its own money.

          Banks can only issue loans by a 1:1 ratio of liquid monies (and that’s bank owned money not depositors money.

          Banks should only exist to hold our money or allow it to be used by us and only us.

          Our military is only allowed to defend us not the world.

          Don’t allow the bill of rights to ever be removed… Ever…. Never ….. Ever.

          Require all laws to be written in plain English and absolutely define the spirit of the law i.e. “murder is illegally killing some one or causing their life to end “the spirit of the law is people shouldn’t kill people ” this way there is no loophole.

          Maybe that would help.

      2. When your absolute property Rights get into conflict with the legitimate public welfare?

        Without taxes – Membership fee how should the community – state pay for it´s Services?

        1. Hi ThoDan, those are exactly the kinds of pretexts evil geniuses have used throughout the millennia to enslave us. What I love about the human mind is that, when working for good, we can overcome any obstacles placed before us. We have spent Man’s history working with all kinds of natural absolutes: the freezing point of water, the length of the day, Earth’s gravity, the fact that we can’t walk on water, and we have found ways to conquer the obstacles and come out ahead. So after the Big Reset and we’re reforming society from the pieces like in Patriots, let’s begin with a resolution that property rights will be absolute and let’s use our wonderful creativity to work around the problems that may cause. It’s absolute that we can’t walk on water but some genius figured out that you can build a boat and the world was never the same again. Let’s make property rights absolute and the world will never be the same again either. We the People will finally, for the first time ever, have won.

  24. Deep appreciation for your excellent article. Well said and much needed. Hoping your future articles on prepping will still contain words of wisdom so greatly needed now.

    Assuming ‘old geezers’ are male, is there a patron saint for old grannies?;-) I’m on the down side of my ‘three score and ten’ and no way do I keep my mouth shut. lol

    1. Hey Granny Oakly, in this neck of the woods, “old geezers” is both genders so St. Funogas can help anyone who’s getting the senior discount.

      And here’s the more complete version of the prayer:

      St Funogas, don’t be a tease,
      Help me keep my mouth shut please.
      Give me strength to overcome,
      The urge to flap my teeth and gums.

      It hasn’t won any poetry awards yet but it’s gotten me out of more than one pinch. 🙂

  25. You do recognize the irony that your story was propaganda, right?

    Thank a vet. Those of us old enough to have been in the service during and even after the Vietnam war were subjected to open discrimination and sometimes hate speech. A lot of people resented that terrible treatment of our military and over time I believe that was the genesis of the “thank a vet” meme. Was it propaganda? OK, as long as we agree any opinion expressed is propaganda. When my mom told me I needed to brush my teeth that was propaganda. When she taught me to tell the truth and be a good person that was propaganda too. It’s all propaganda, right?

    1. Hi Lee,

      Yes, I do recognize the irony. I had to go back and check the article… I had actually written that in right after “That’s why churches send out missionaries.” It originally said, “and why I’m writing this article and why JWR hosts this blog.” But I had to do a lot of editing to get it short enough to submit.

      The main point I was trying to get across is that propaganda is a neutral word, therefore, accept it and realize that we are all subject to propaganda and are therefore “brainwashed” from time to time.

      Your mom telling you to brush your teeth is a command, not propaganda. Your mom sitting you down and explaining plaque and dental hygiene to you is propaganda: she’s propagating good ideas about how to make your teeth last longer. “Brush with Crest! No toothpaste offers more fluoride than Crest!” is neutral propaganda. It’s deceitful because it sounds like they put a ton in there, but since the FDA limits how much they can legally put in, and they all put the same legal limit in, they all contain the same amount, so Crest is no better than any other. But it sure sounds like they are! So Crest is propagating the idea they their toothpaste is something you should buy. If the Ministry of Health says the toothpaste ration has been cut to zero because it was discovered that toothpaste is actually abrading people’s teeth away when in fact, they just don’t have any more toothpaste to sell, then that’s evil propaganda. They are propagating lies about why they are not selling toothpaste.

      So propaganda has to be an idea that is being propagated, not necessarily good or bad, and not necessarily someone just expressing an opinion like “this is the worst pizza I’ve ever eaten in my life.”

    2. There are personal and individual truths. Some might consider them opinions, and others might call them propaganda.

      There are also absolute truths that came from God. They are neither opinions nor propaganda.

      Just saying…

  26. You are correct, Lee!

    I go back to a slogan from the 60’s and 70’s that rings even truer today:

    America — Love it or leave it!

    My ancestors have been fighting this country’s wars since the French and Indian War. I think people don’t know what to say to veterans, especially in light of the embarrassing behavior of the hippies in the early 70’s cursing them out. “Thank you for your service” doesn’t even scratch the top amount of the gratitude I have for the vets. I only know of one vet who didn’t want to receive this platitude.

    1. I hear you. There has been such a long train of disrespecting our men and women who gave their lives for us, regardless of whether or not the intent of the war was good or bad. Those that have served deserve our undying gratitude. The politicians not so much.

      1. You might think the hippies were the only ones who treated the active duty GIs and veterans poorly. I know many fellow veterans who also have bitter words for the way our government has done rotten things to those who served.

        I know several former hippies who admitted to me the mistake they took out their anger on the wrong parties. Some now are active in giving officials in Gov’t the focus they deserve.

        Carry on in grace

  27. Well said, St. Funogas. I have often shared many of the same thoughts – especially when cringing over someone (usually on TV) talking about how the U.S. Military “keeps us free”. Don’t get me wrong, I respect and support our soldiers, sailor, marines, airmen, guardsmen, and space cadets (dunno what they’re called) a great deal. But the way that they are used sometimes turns my stomach. It brings to mind an obscure quote: “Courage and the goodness of one’s cause, unfortunately, do not always go hand in hand” (spoken by the fictional General Jackson, in Turtledove’s “Southern Victory”).

    I have a doctor friend from Nigeria, who often states that he misses the freedom he felt in Nigeria. He readily admits that the Nigerian government is totally corrupt, corruption permeates the society, and justice is rare, BUT, in day-to-day life, they don’t watch everything you do, and all the petty laws and regulations either don’t exist, or aren’t followed. Yeah…I know, he should go back to Nigeria, right? I found his comment instructive, and grievously SAD.

    Perhaps our American experiment has simply come to the end of the study period. John Adams famously said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Or, as it has also been stated (I paraphrase): Freedom requires individual restraint, and the only kind of restraint compatible with Freedom is SELF-restraint. I would argue that morality and true religion (as in our Judeo-Christian roots) FUEL and SUSTAIN self-restraint. Sooooo, the government is morphing as the vacuum created by the demise of morality and religion grows. Sad!

    I’m ranting…sorry. Happy Mother’s Day to all who qualify!

    1. Hey SH, I enjoyed your comments.

      “I have a doctor friend from Nigeria, who often states that he misses the freedom he felt in Nigeria. He readily admits that the Nigerian government is totally corrupt, corruption permeates the society, and justice is rare, BUT, in day-to-day life, they don’t watch everything you do, and all the petty laws and regulations either don’t exist, or aren’t followed. I found his comment instructive, and grievously SAD.”

      This whole concept is hard for Americans to grasp and is one of the things I was trying to point out, and one of the experiences I’m guessing Tunnel Rabbit had as well during his travels. In many Third World countries the lower economic classes are basically ignored by their governments so they have way more freedom than Americans do. They pay no taxes, need no permits, and like your doctor friend, have a hard time adjusting when they come here. I’ve spent most of my life in small towns and twice have worked in large cities and experienced a similar sort of a culture shock on a smaller scale. Not being able to grow vegetables in your front yard, needing a permit to do the slightest bit of improvement on your property, being ticketed for parking my car on the street at night, etc. Americans are so accustomed to it any more most just don’t think about how many freedoms we’ve lost.

  28. Sell your TVs, cancel your cable, install ad blockers on your internet browsers,
    with exceptions for a few web sites, like this one. Take back control of your life.

    TV is an addiction, just like social media. Most of your relatives and friends are addicted as well. Weaning them off of it, is not unlike other addictions… very hard…

    I scan fox news a couple of times a day and Yahoo news once a day, sometimes selecting no articles to read. Once a day, I scan the local news, sometimes selecting no articles. Twice a day, I look at the local weather. Hurricane season is about to begin, so I will scan those web sites about every four hours. Hurricane Michael defied all forecasts, and was quickly upon us, with little opportunity to prepare. Weekly, I scan various preparedness web sites.

    This will reduce your susceptibility to propaganda, social programming and unnecessary frivolous expenditures, as well as making you more resistant to wickedness. A recent example is “Drag Queen Story Hour”, as the propaganda continues, it becomes more and more accepted…

    Most Americans are addicted to media, any loss of signal or electrical power is going to cause a lot of unpleasant withdrawal.

    How would we have made it the past couple of months without electricity, due to direct grid attack, cyber attack, EMP, or Solar event.

    One of the worst things you can do is give a child a TV for their room… An unregulated computer as well, but look what society just did, every child has a computer for remote class work… I’ll throw in Smart Phones as well…

  29. ‘I hope I didn’t offend you’

    That was sarcasm, right?

    Saint,
    I live to be offended.
    Any time my complacency sets in and I’m deep in my little blindered rut, I actively seek somebody to rock my boat.
    Your column is barely strong enough to cause a mere ripple in my pond.
    Is this the best you can do?

    1. LargeMarge and SaraSue, I got First Class tickets booked for you two on the mother ship, no charge. Let the flight attendant know whether you want the prime rib or the lobster and once we’re underway, then the real strong opinions will start flying! lol.

      I’m so glad you feel that way. I feel the same and it’s a great way to open up new avenues of investigation. I learned the phrase, “I used to think that way but now I’m better informed,” which I wish I had learned in my early 20’s instead of in my 50’s. Better late than never. 🙂

  30. Excellent article leading to excellent comments. There is definitely a place for this type of thoughtful article as well as the ones testing the most efficient way to bring two cups of water to a boil.

    It seems everything written thus far comes down to human nature and the old saying that the more things change the more they stay the same. In a broad sense, the seeming 2,000 year history of China is nothing but a series of governments flowing and ebbing and flowing again to different rulers and theories and philosophies of governess.

    Same with the 400 year reign of Rome. It wasn’t 400 years of governmental continuity, but a series of rulers with different methods of governmental control. Free bread and circus? Or assassinate Caesar?

    Then there is the third reich, endless civil wars in Africa (and around the world), Christian massacres, Muslim massacres, the Cold War, etc… etc… etc…. Who benefited from the U. S. Revolutionary War, from what viewpoint? And how long did it take for a Whiskey Rebellion?

    There has always been propaganda (and often much worse) used for control of land, riches, power, religion, the populace. Until, over the centuries, the old systems collapse and a new regimes take over. Most people are beautiful, a few humans are devastating. Until the final day, I don’t expect this to change.

    I didn’t mean to get this heavy. I do pray for answers to what little role our family will have in changing circumstances, if any. And what like-minded groups of people, like those gathered here, could do to change what seems like an inevitable failure of our current way of life, at least key important parts of it. I think many people understand this and are grieving the changes they are seeing in the country and in the world at large. But what is there to do? For now, we have been called to prepare and will go from there.

    1. Hey Guardener, great stuff, thanks for posting.

      “Most people are beautiful, a few humans are devastating. Until the final day, I don’t expect this to change.”

      I have a saying very similar to this which I think of frequently. It’s not repeatable here but like your words, they keep me going. 🙂

      We have a totally amazing planet, filled with amazing plants and animals which I have been admiring since I was a toddler and trying to learn all the names of since my single digit years. And there are so many wonderful people around, beautiful individuals as you mention, it’s a shame that a tiny fraction of 1% mess everything up. I don’t expect anything to change either, so when I was looking for my 20 acres of Freedom the most important thing was just that, Freedom. Preferably with water. And I found a place where the taxes are low, the sheriff doesn’t write moving violations, my well water tastes like wine, and my neighbors all have my back and I have theirs. I watched a hen turkey under the clothesline last night, got more critters than most zoos, and like you said, I just prepare. I can’t fix anything so it’s just prepare and wait and see, and be happy doing what we’re doing while we wait.

      Thanks again for your insights.

  31. St. Funogas this was a very insightful and thought compelling article. Jesus has the answers to save our soul but I’m not sure how to reverse what is slowly but surely happening to our country. Thank you!!

  32. Well written and reflects what I have always believed. I envy the travels you have taken that have led you here. I hope you keep on keeping on.

    Years ago, I had a 3rd grade teacher that in history class, told us about Diogenes, the Greek philosopher that walked around with a lamp, looking for 1 honest man.(paraphrased) Since we were in the oil fields and moved a lot, we were always on the outside looking in so we saw that one man’s lie is another man’s truth…and if you’re smart, listen more and talk less. Then later in a civics class in high school, the teacher asked “Do you believe everything you read in the newspaper?” He was horrified when half the class had never read the paper, so that was our reading assignment for discussion in class. It was difficult for me, almost impossible for the others that had never been on the “outside” to believe that your biases would cause you to “slant” (lie) the narrative. Later, in a Problems of Democracy class the principal who was teaching it said “We have the best allies and government that money can buy…and if it’s for sale, you can’t depend on it.” I didn’t understand it all back then, but the words and ideas have come to mean a lot more now.

  33. Loved this series. My biggest heartache (in a long string of them) was when my 20 something grandson said to me, “It’s not that kind of socialism gramma”. I felt a knife pierce my heart. Here he had been raised in a Christian home, with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and somehow in a mere two years of junior college and meeting SJWs, he had bought a lie. I pray for him continually, even if it’s painful to do so.

    Regarding “higher” education… sigh… it’s mostly worthless now. I’ve told my children, don’t go into debt over college for the kids – help them find their “bent” and encourage them to learn a trade or become an entrepreneur. I was in my 3rd year of doctoral research (science based) when I became seriously ill and suffered an injury to my brain. I had to do comprehensive exams 3 months later. I tried. I failed. I was devastated (should’ve been a piece of cake). It’s taken me 8 years to regain most of my mental capabilities. So many times I thought about trying to finish, but for what purpose? I had lost the desire to “stand on the shoulders of giants” (as we were constantly told) because those supposed intellectual giants were, in my opinion, mostly wrong. The doctorate has, in the broad sense, lost most of its meaning – those degrees are a dime a dozen now (no offense to anyone who has completed one or more). If you can regurgitate propaganda and please the “committee” with your BS, they might confer a degree upon you. Even in the purely mathematical fields, there’s propaganda, so twisting the data around an axle seems to be an acceptable practice (global warming comes to mind). But, I digress… As my grandpa used to say, “if you can read, you can learn anything”, and I concur.

    Regarding freedom. I love Claire Wolfe’s blog and title “Living Freedom”. I’ve adopted it as my mantra. I shall live free, even if that means working every day to untangle myself from the Powers That Be, from worldly influence, from financial dependency towards self-sufficiency, etc. It’s very difficult to do. While I’d love to sit back and say “I made it to the Redoubt!!”, the next step is to be 100% financially free, and the next step after that is to “go gray” (which you cannot do unless untethered from the banking system). These have been my goals for 20+ years and I’m not there yet. But, I’m not going to make myself unhappy trying until I die. Every day I take joy in the “normal” things: chirping birds, nature, friendship, peace and quiet.

    Regarding our corrupt government – it is breathtaking, frightful, stunning… I can’t think of enough adjectives to describe how sickening it is. One good thing that has come of this shutdown, is clearly being able to see who/which politicians/governors/mayors etc have strong totalitarian leanings. I am as “patriotic” as they come, but I’m not so naive as to believe that America is “the shining city on a hill”. I think I’m devoted to an ideal and think it’s still worth fighting for.

    Love all y’all’s thoughts on this beautiful Mothers Day.
    Peace

    1. Hey SaraSue, wow, so much to comment on, but I’ll keep it short. Your grandpa was right.

      “As my grandpa used to say, “if you can read, you can learn anything”, and I concur.”

      I dedicated my first thesis to (not his real name) “John Smith, the most educated man I ever knew.” He never even graduated from high school. The internet hadn’t been invented yet. But just from secondhand books he bought and the library, this man taught himself just about everything there was to know about the natural world around his little piece of the desert. The he expanded to chemistry, hydrology, engineering, and most other subjects. You’d look at the guy and swear he was a dirt farmer on the brink of bankruptcy and yet, he was the most educated guy in the county. He taught me the basics of plant breeding, how to make thermite, and all kinds of off-the-wall stuff. Later comparing most of the PhD’s I had in college to him, they were just educated fools with no practical experience.

      “Every day I take joy in the “normal” things: chirping birds, nature, friendship, peace and quiet.” Me too. 🙂

      1. My grandpa grew up on a Georgia farm. Taught himself through high school by reading books. He was into physics, math, engineering. Went to a Bible college and somehow ended up a VP at Raytheon in the missiles division. When I told him, as a little girl, that I wanted to live on a farm, he laughed, and said, “anyone who wants to live on a farm, never has, it’s hard, hard work.” He told me about outhouses and corn cobs for toilet paper. He said that drinking raw milk was not something he’d ever do again – “too much bacteria!” he said. LOL. And I buy raw Jersey milk from a local rancher at a premium price. He never wanted to go back to the farm. He spent his retirement on Miami beach and in Hawaii, traveled the world. Life goes full circle. I have his Bible (worn and falling apart). He learned the Greek and the Hebrew. He was extremely generous to various preachers and missions. He was not without faults, although I can’t think of any because he was quiet, but my grandmother was aware and proclaimed them loudly. I always thought of them as the odd couple. He had the patience of a Saint. He never “dished it” back at her – ever. What I mostly learned from him was he was a devout follower of Jesus Christ, and he was mostly self-taught and did well. I wonder if this was more common back then – to be self-taught.
        Alas, I’m blabbering and got sentimental. But thank you for the note!

  34. Excellent series of articles StF–and definitely food for thought. In large part I can agree with you, but I have a somewhat different perspective.

    I also remember sitting in a grade school classroom learning the propaganda techniques of the evil commies: the big lie, the red herring and so on. Though many of those same techniques are used in advertising, there is an essential difference between the two and that is the intended purpose for which the techniques are used. Propaganda (in the English language usage) is used for manipulating the populace, and yes, its most effective tool is fear. Advertising is used to “sell” in many forms and its chief motivator is avarice in its many manifestations. Free speech, free market, free choice to purchase or participate. It is that freedom of choice (even though it may be manipulated) that distinguishes advertising from propaganda in my mind.

    In addition to asking “cui bono” I have learned to ask “What are they NOT SAYING?” This is particularly apt in the current pandemic. The main theme of “only the old and sick are seriously affected” is being trumpeted from all sorts of official sources, so it’s not really a big deal is it? Young and healthy people don’t have to worry. But when the military will no longer enlist anyone who has had the virus, you KNOW that there is a great deal they are not saying. Just this morning came a hint of that withheld information in the news stories that young children are becoming suddenly and seriously ill (stopping breathing) with an unknown disease related to exposure to the virus. Well, well, obviously someone knows a lot more than they are saying when they have already stopped enlistments.

    Finally, you really lost me in the conclusion when you wrote, “I sincerely hope I haven’t offended anyone.” Good grief! Offend away! With relish! This is a country (for the moment) where people are perfectly free to be offended by any little thing, and the rest of us are perfectly free not to give a rip. Speak the truth and don’t apologize for it. That is our best hope for reclaiming this country.

    Will look forward to your future writings.

    ps. I think you might be surprised at just how many readers of Survival Blog also have unconventional backgrounds.

    1. Hi RE 7B, I enjoyed your comments.

      What I was thinking was that I hoped I hadn’t overly offended anyone since this blog is somebody’s liveliehood and needs subscribers. I fully expected to offend people when I submitted an essay to a military-leaning website with a line saying, “The other big problem I soon discovered with the Thank a Vet program is that it propagates the myth that our military keeps us free.” But you are correct, “I sincerely hope I haven’t offended anyone,” wasn’t quite the right way to get that message across.

      “In addition to asking “cui bono” I have learned to ask “What are they NOT SAYING?” This is particularly apt in the current pandemic.”

      That is also very good advice. What I find helpful in my research is to find the original documents an author is citing, and then do like you say, see what he is leaving out. That can tell you pretty quickly which way he is leaning and how honest he is. ZeroHedge is a great website, they have an excellent team of researchers and I am often amazed at the stuff they are able track down. But I never take what they say at face value. They have to slant it a certain way for their audience but they do a great job of linking to their sources so it’s very easy so read the original documents yourself and come to your own conclusions, which I always do.

      1. Thanks for the thoughtful reply St F. It seems we have similar approaches. I had thought that perhaps you would be getting some blowback from your assertion that we all have been manipulated by government propaganda from some who believe themselves immune so I was impressed with your “thank a serviceman” example and analysis.

        I have been watching what I believe to be even more cynical and successful propaganda that has evolved over the last 30 years or so. You may disagree, but when an unelected government official publicly announced that he was going to conduct an experiment in “social engineering” (his words), I paid attention and followed the strategies and tactics used.

        Of course, I am referring to C. Everett Koop (Surgeon General 1982-1989) who mounted his campaign to make smoking “socially unacceptable” (his words). His stated object was to manipulate the behavior and attitudes of American citizens. In the US at the time it was common knowledge that smoking wasn’t good for you, but it was also generally acknowledged that adults were responsible for their own actions. Koop managed to replace that with a nanny-state attitude in a frighteningly short time. (I will spare you my analysis of the tactics employed–those that failed, those that succeeded and those that did more harm than good.) The lessons learned in that experiment have been tried in other governmental campaigns of “persuasion” (see “Denier!”)

        What has absolutely flabbergasted and saddened me was the recent congressional action raising the age to purchase tobacco products to 21. I had expected some objections because of the implications of the act, but there were none. At 18 a US citizen has reached the age of consent, can enter into contracts, serve on a jury, get married, join the armed forces, vote, purchase a house, etc.—but they cannot buy tobacco? At the very least a reasonable person has to wonder whether an 18-, 19- or 20-year-old should be trusted with any of those responsibilities if they can’t be trusted to buy a pack of cigarettes. Where is the backbone of the young people whose rights were just obliterated? …or their representatives? I just can’t find the constitutional authority for creating a class of “citizen junior grade” and that is what that legislation accomplished.

        The implications for 2A issues is plain as has been seen with various states, and I have hopes that some of the legal actions in states seeking to restrict firearms by age will negate the actions.

        Thanks for your articles. There is an important connection between recognizing propaganda and being prepared for what is coming down the pike. Unfortunately, there are some seriously troubling patterns emerging.

        1. Hey RE 7B,

          I’m in full agreement with you on the “citizen junior grade” class status, they’re either adults or not, none of this training wheels garbage! 🙂

          We had that back during the Vietnam War as well. Those kids were old enough to get drafted but not old enough to vote and have any say on the matter, or old enough to have a beer before they went off to war. Back during the Sixties they were at least protesting. It’s just sad that today’s junior grade citizens are so complacent. I wonder how they are going to be responding on the next go around when girls are being drafted?

  35. The Virtue of the Vietnam War.

    The first significant American casualties in what came to be known as the Vietnam War happened in the early 1960’s. Some 15 years later, in April 1975, the last American helicopter left Saigon loaded with refugees. Less than fifteen years after that, the Berlin Wall collapsed and the Soviet Union along with it. It is the contention of this article that the two events are and must be related.

    The Vietnam and Korean wars are best understood as battles in a forty five year Cold War. That war started in 1944 during World War Two with Operation Title Wave, the strategic bombing of the oil fields near Ploiesti, Romania. The Americans asked the Soviets to allow damaged bombers to land in or near Poland rather that risk crashing on a return trip to Italy or Libya. Permission was denied and the Cold War was on. That war ended on November 9, 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    The world was not frozen in place during the Vietnam War, but it did absorb the world’s focus to a large degree. The embryonic democracies that arose in America’s shadow post World War Two grew to maturity during those fifteen years. Think South Korea, Japan, The Philippines, Taiwan, and other Pacific countries. The countries that now form a “Wall” containing expansionist China.

    Post World War Two, colonialism largely ended and the now independent countries also grew to maturity. Think India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and a large swath of Africa. Not exactly a hot bed of constitutional republicanism today, yet they were strong and independent enough to resist the conceits of communism.

    Encouraged by the American experience in Vietnam, the Soviets aggressively pushed their agenda all over the world. South America, Central America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East. Some successes, mostly failures, but always an expense. And why not? America had lost a war, its tail was between its legs, its military demoralized, its people repulsed by other adventures. It was time to push hard.

    And then came the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. America and the west supplied and trained the opponents of the Soviets. Most likely supplied intelligence too. Ten years after the 1979 invasion, the Soviets withdrew. They were broke and exhausted.

    Democratic America survived its loss in Vietnam. The Authoritarian Soviet Union did not survive its loss in Afghanistan.

    The American loss in the battle of Vietnam encouraged the Soviet Union to expand beyond its breaking point and led to the demise of one of the worlds bloodiest dictatorships.

    Over 58,000 Americans were killed in the Vietnam War. Their average age was 23.1yrs. The suffering of the wounded and their families is legion. This coming Memorial Day, let’s hold our heads a little higher knowing their sacrifice was not in vain and led to a better world for us all.

    1. 1) An older friend of mine, Larry Sayers, was drafted , sent to Vietnam and came home months later in a coffin with his throat slit from ear to ear. An guy two miles from my home, Tommy Daniels, came back in a deep depression , wouldn’t talk to anyone and blew his brains out after a few months.

      2) The Vietnam War wasn’t fought for freedom or democracy — it was initially fought to help France keep natives of her Vietnam colony as slaves. Even though the French had run like rabbits and left the Vietnamese to the Japanese invaders in WWII. Ho Chi Minh had fought with US OSS units against the Japanese.

      3) Our war against the Soviets didn’t begin in 1944 — it began in September 1918 when we invaded Russia in the north ( the Polar Bear Expedition ) and in the East (the Siberian Expedition) to try to undo the Bolshevik Revolution. We weren’t fighting for democracy or freedom then either — we were fighting for the right of the Russian Aristocracy to keep the vast majority of Russians as slaves as they had done for centuries.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Expeditionary_Force,_North_Russia

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siberian_intervention

      4) Of course, we suspended hostilities in WWII so our Soviet Allies could lose 26 MILLION dead fighting the Nazis while General Eisenhower and his British Chauffeur Kate played hide the kielbasa along the Elbe River.

      US WWII combat deaths in Europe were only 183,588 , with another 108,504 in Asia-Pacific theater and an additional 118,000 from other causes.

      5) We showed our gratitude to our wartime ally by drawing up war plans to nuke her major cities even while WWII was still being fought.

      6) And if the South Vietnamese government had the support of the South Vietnamese people, then why did it lose the war even with massive US support and a greater population and resources than what was in the North?

      7) And the last time I checked, US billionaires have NO problem with hopping into bed with Chinese Commies.

      1. One of the Big Lies of our Rich Elites and their corrupt politicians is that criticism of them is an attack on America.

        The people who are really attacking America are those who stab the American People in the back with deceit.

        The way to cut through the deceit and claptrap is simple: examine every action and statement and ask :

        How does (or did) this benefit America?

        And if it does not, then how does (or did) it HURT America? And for whose benefit?

    2. 1) And if you want to know how Putin came to power, read this US Congress report on how Bill Clinton and Larry Summers let the Russian People starve in the 1990s while a few oligarchs favored by Fat Larry became billionaires by stealing everything not nailed down:

      https://fas.org/irp/congress/2000_rpt/russias-road.pdf

      2) Nobel Economist Joseph Stiglitz’s assessment on Fat Larry’s Russia policy:

      “Q: How did U.S. Russia policy develop?
      Stiglitz: In the early 1990s, there was a debate among economists over shock therapy versus a gradualist strategy for Russia. But Larry Summers [Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, then Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, now Secretary] took control of the economic policy, and there was a lot of discontent with the way he was driving the policy.
      The people in Russia who believed in shock therapy were Bolsheviks–a few people at the top that rammed it down everybody’s throat. They viewed the democratic process as a real impediment to reform.
      The grand larceny that occurred in Russia, the corruption that resulted in nine or ten people getting enormous wealth through loans-for-shares, was condoned because it allowed the reelection of Yeltsin.
      Q: What effect did the policies pushed by the United States and the IMF have on the Russian people?
      Stiglitz: Both GDP and consumption declined. Living standards collapsed, life spans became shorter, and health worsened. Russia achieved a huge increase in inequality at the same time that it managed to shrink the economy by up to a third. Poverty soared to close to 50 percent from 2 percent in 1989, comparable to that of Latin America–a remarkable achievement in eight years.”

      https://progressive.org/magazine/interview-joseph-stiglitz/

      3) Or read how corrupt Russian leaders were delighted to discover that Fat Larry’s Harvard corruption was not that greatly different from old style Soviet corruption:

      https://www.institutionalinvestor.com/article/b150npp3q49x7w/how-harvard-lost-russia

  36. Great article. While I haven’t traveled outside the U.S., I am an avid history buff. I understand reading about history probably won’t get you the truth, going back to source documents can really shed some light. Your thoughts on propaganda are enlightening and also apply to those writing history. Your viewpoint/opinion will inspire your interpretation of history. All that to say I’m with you.

  37. I think Succession is a very good possibility in the Covid-19 Era. And in some ways we can thank the Blue States that have ignored the Rule of Federal Law and have become Sanctuary States. I heard this action has similarities of the South that led up to the Civil War.

    Now we are seeing Blue States going full blown tyranny in denying basic constitutional rights to save us from the deadly virus. These governors might have some moral integrity if not for the fact they have zero problems killing babies and call it pro-choice. And they get taxpayers to pay for it.

    So I see the States that are opening up, mostly Red, will end up doing better economically and will handle the coming Depression better too.
    The Blue States will demand money and the Red States will balk at it. This chaos and hatred from the left and right just might end up with many Red States seceding from the Union. They could be called The Constitutional Sanctuary Union

    I now it seems far fetched but so does being under house arrest in year one of Covid-19.

    1. The Covid-19 crisis revealed even more the disparity between Red and Blue States. There probably will NOT be a breakup of the United States in the future of our country. [At least for the foreseeable future. There might be far more chaos though.]

      But SurvivalBlog readers should consider the Future for themselves and their families. SurvivalBlog has excellent advice about the Redoubt Region up in the Northwestern part of the United States.
      ******************************************************

      This is one article about Charity and a Blue State during the Covid-19 pandemic.

      “Gov. Andrew Cuomo is asking Samaritan’s Purse to pay state taxes after the Christian humanitarian organization discharged its last patient this week — one of the over 300 COVID-19 patients it treated at a temporary hospital in New York City’s Central Park while facing a backlash due to its statement of faith.”

      “The Samaritan’s Purse 68-bed field hospital treated 315 patients since opening on April 1 adjacent to Mount Sinai Hospital in Central Park’s East Meadow to help meet the needs of local hospitals that were facing an unprecedented wave of sick patients.”

      “While the Rev. Franklin Graham, who heads Samaritan’s Purse, hasn’t responded directly to Cuomo’s statement, he has said that his group was invited to NYC by Mount Sinai.”

      “They’re the ones who called us originally. We didn’t call them; they called us,” Graham told Faithwire. “And we agreed to go and we have ~~>not charged them one penny. All of our services have been paid by God’s people.”

      “When the temporary hospital was being erected, the financial comptroller of Samaritan’s Purse had warned the group about the state requirement for taxes.”
      … +

      “New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson had recently demanded that the Christian charity leave the city over its biblical views on homosexuality.”

      “It is time for Samaritan’s Purse to leave NYC. This group, led by the notoriously bigoted, hate-spewing Franklin Graham, came at a time when our city couldn’t in good conscience turn away any offer of help. That time has passed,” Johnson wrote on Twitter last Saturday. “Their continued presence here is an affront to our values of inclusion, and is painful for all New Yorkers who care deeply about the LGBTQ community.”

      “Christian workers belonging to various denominations and from all five NYC boroughs said in a statement.”

      “They thanked and blessed “the great self-sacrificing, ~~>non-discriminatory, and tireless work of Samaritan’s Purse and pray God’s continual blessing on their work here in New York City and globally.”

      [From the ChristianPost, May 9, 2020]
      ******************************
      ******************************

      Please notice in the article: “the great self-sacrificing, ~~~>non-discriminatory, and tireless work of Samaritan’s Purse”

      We see in New York, 1. Taxes for works of Charity, and a call for 2. ~Thought Crimes~ from the Powers That Be in New York.

      For personal Safety and Sanity a move to SurvivalBlogs’ Redoubt Region, or to a Safe Red State should be considered. SurvivalBlog has ~excellent information about making the Redoubt Region as the area of choice.

  38. The United States of America has been a composite of the peoples, religions, races, and political thought of the entire world and we are the most despised in spite of all that.

    I find it ridiculous that you have to travel abroad to inhale the viewpoints of our critics to see us as we really are. Keep in mind why immigrants left Europe, Asia to come here. There was a time when I believed that Canada was the closest thing to Nirvana and here in the states the future for me was hopeless. And then I visited Canada. After that friends and relatives that had lived abroad came back with stories of how grateful they were for what we have here.

    What we have here that isn’t over there is an unfulfilled dream portrayed in our Constitution/Bill of Rights that was violated in the very first administration. It is in that work that we are great, and not in our failed adherence to it, that is unique. This has come by a heritage that has incorporated unrestricted openness to all ideas, peoples, traditions from all of the rest of the world. What other country has done that??

    1. I’m with you, Richard!

      Of course our political system is highly flawed and rife with corruption. But so are the others. Who sets the sliding scale for evil? All are flawed.

      I have traveled extensively overseas and worked in third world countries. Every time I returned home I thanked God.

      1. A judge friend of mine once told me this, paraphrasing. We don’t have a perfect legal system, but it is the best legal system we could manage to create. God willing in each case, facts will be heard and lies exposed, unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen that way.

  39. Lamenting the loss of personal freedom in The Nanny State…this weekend, I was prepping my 15′ sailboat for an outing. I was struggling with how to manage the required registration documents…a small sailboat is often dunked. I finally said “screw it!” and left the dock without carrying them. When I get a ticket for not having documentation on a boat that is slightly larger than a surfboard, it will represent the end of the age of innocence. “1984” was dead on target in so many ways.

  40. Re; ‘some research on the roots of those protests’

    A few years back, The Daily Bell wrote about how the 1960’s counter-culture [and the music produced, especially at a certain valley in California] was a result of what they called, Directed History. You might find that useful, if you were not aware already.

  41. You left out some of the biggest and most successful forms of propaganda, which would be Pop music and Rock n Roll.
    Just look at what the Pied Pipers of Liverpool accomplished, and still accomplish now, and will into the future, without having cut a record in 50 years.
    Music is one of the biggest sellers of ideas and lifestyles. It goes back a long way, and some of the best is the Irish songs of rebellion.
    Just some food for thought.

          1. Actually her current favorite is the Foggy Dew! Most of the songs are sung by the High Kings, and Irish Rebels, and she also listens to Medieval Fantasy music.

  42. To clarify about Big Agriculture, corn fed beef, Monsanto, and calves born in winter:

    Ranchers *choose* to have calves born in winter because they can maximize profits (which are weight based) by having that calf get as fat as possible grazing during spring/summer. The rancher sells the calf at the sale barn in the fall. The calf then typically goes to a feedlot for fattening on corn.

    I don’t think this is anything at all to do with Monsanto, propaganda, etc. It is simply a business decision based on location and size of the operation. If I had a large 7000 acre ranch in the panhandle of Texas full of mostly mesquite and sagebrush, I would maximize use of my land by having winter calves and selling at the sale barn that fall. I sure wouldn’t want to have to figure out how I am going to afford feed for a large herd of cattle all winter long when my land is mostly scrub. Yes, some years you’ll have nasty blizzards roll through, your calves will all end up with pneumonia, and you’ll be outside after dark, locating, roping, and giving antibiotic shots to all your sick calves. Lots of hassle and expense – and upsetting too, frankly. Then again, some years it will work out just fine. On the other hand, if I had 7000 acres of lush bluegrass in Kentucky, enabling me to provide nice grazing during summer and sufficient hay during winter, then I would probably opt for an entirely different business model.

    We raise beef. With the exception of occasional treats of apples or a small bowl of sweet feed, ours are 100% grass fed. This isn’t because we oppose corn fed beef. We simply like the taste of grass fed better, it is less hassle and expense for us, and we have plenty of folks who express interest in buying our beef. Our cows won’t be bred until September, meaning we expect to have calves in May, after the worst of the March and April snows have passed. We time things this way (the natural way) because we don’t have a large heated barn, we don’t like the hassle of having to bring calves inside the house to warm them up, and we have days jobs too so we don’t appreciate being up all night bottle feeding newborn calves. Ours is a small operation. We don’t have hired help – we do all the work ourselves – and we have other revenue streams to pay the property taxes. If we were a large outfit and this were our sole business, I imagine we’d have to do things a whole lot differently. So, I don’t assume anything nefarious with “Big Agriculture”. Folks have to set up business models that work for their location.

    1. Great comment, all too often simple things such as regional experience comes into play. I haven’t met a rancher yet expecting to get rich. They’re just trying to not be poor, and to have property that they have worked hard for not get taken away by government overreach.

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