Wild ride ahead

Well, time to buckle up for a wild ride ahead in America.

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Summer of rage likely

There was an important Supreme Court ruling this morning:

A Summer of Rage by the left just became much more likely. If the Supreme Court overturns Roe vs. Wade it’s a safe bet a good percentage of the left will lose their minds.

That’s the blog post. Have a good day.


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Finally, the quotes notebook story

Without trying to be controversial, the truth is there really are big conspiracies and some of them are carried out by rich and powerful people or by political factions, but where I have a problem is so many people leap to embrace conspiracy theories, without doing some research or even considering any other explanations. Most of the conspiracy theories I see floating on social media are garbage.

Over the weekend I saw a video of a fuming liberal lady, irate about high gas prices and she’s blaming the religious right for the high gas prices. She completely believes this:

Of course, I realize many people likely disagree with me and that’s fine. I grew up in a large family where a lot of us had opposing opinions, but my parents insisted when we sat down to eat dinner, we had to be civil to each other. I don’t want anyone silenced or shouted down, even this liberal lady or the prepper guy I criticized. I also didn’t get outraged by her rant, in fact, it struck me as an indicator that the soaring gas prices are affecting everyone and we’re all feeling the pain.

There are people on the right who believe that everything going wrong is because of liberals. Interestingly, this lady says she gets her information from Robert Reich. In a recent blog post I mentioned a former Clinton administration official who tweeted about putting Americans who wouldn’t get vaccinated in camps, well, that was Robert Reich…

That’s kind of where America’s at these days. What alarms me is a whole lot of powerful political players and influencers online amplify many of these conspiracy theories to agitate their respective partisan followers against the other side or get clicks. It’s a very deliberate effort to fuel divides for partisan political gains.

This Libs of TikTok Twitter account is basically catnip for the right, I know, but this is an excellent example of the rage that’s pretty palpable around all sorts of hot button issues – on both sides of the political aisle.

Many people are concerned, anxious, afraid, angry, and some are fighting mad about everything that’s going wrong – from shortages, to sky-rocketing gas prices, to runaway inflation (yeah, inflation is rising faster than most of us will be able to keep up with), and all the other alarming happenings in the world, from the war in Ukraine to the economic war between the US and Europe vs. Russia and China, to the continual finger-pointing from the President and dismissing concerns about inflation and high gas prices.

There are more major, global crises incoming right now than I can remember in my lifetime, so all any of us can do is try to position ourselves, as best we can, to focus on trying to cover the basics. There isn’t any sort of master plan that guarantees any of us smooth sailing through any of these crises as they hit, but economic hard times are already barreling towards all of us.

Trying to keep ourselves grounded, calm and hopeful will help all of us weather the coming storms.

Finally here’s the story about my quotes notebook. I wrote about it long ago on my blog, but I don’t remember what post that was. I’ve been writing this blog since 2012.

I grew up in rural northeast PA, in the Pocono Mountains, right by part of the Blue Mountain Ridge, which is actually part of the Appalachian Mountains

My area of Monroe County was called the West End and we were considered the hick farmers of the county, even though family farms had mostly died out long before I was born. A lot of people, including my parents had other jobs and commuted to other towns and areas with jobs and industry. My father was a supervisor for a road construction company and my mother was a registered nurse.

My father was an excellent gardener and both of my parents worked in our large vegetable garden. I remember my mother used to lecture me not to touch the plants in the garden when the leaves were wet and I got the lecture many times about how that spreads plant diseases. She was also big on saving seeds.

We lived in the same house with my great-grandmother and she was an avid needle-worker, everything from quilting to embroidery. She grew up on a farm, worked her own farm when she was raising her family and she was very good at starting flowers, plants, shrubs and trees. She knew which propagation methods worked best for each thing. I trotted after her as she tended her plants and showed me how to do things.

My area was characterized by the locals, who were mostly of PA German ancestry (they had been farmers) and although we weren’t Amish or Mennonite, among my parents generation a lot of the locals spoke PA Dutch at home. My father and his family spoke PA Dutch amongst themselves. PA Dutch cooking lives on too.

The Poconos became famous for being a resort area in the early 1900s and that continued through the last century, although when I was growing up, many city people from Philadelphia, New Jersey and NYC began migrating to the Poconos and living there year-round, while commuting to their jobs in the city. This influx of city people created a culture clash of sorts and it also dramatically changed the local culture as the area became more populated. Many city people also bought summer homes in the Poconos, so between the resorts and summer homes, we had a seasonal population influx.

In 2020, with the pandemic, some of the northeast counties in PA became Covid hot spots due to this movement of city people back and forth. I remember this, because one of my sisters gave me an earful about those “damned city people.” I grew up hearing about those “damned city people” and even as I moved around with Army life. In phone conversations, my mother frequently had some complaints about some encounter at the grocery store or some new things that were going wrong due to those “damned city people.” I remember my mother’s outrage about some lady from the city wanting sidewalks to be built. My mother went on and on about, “if that lady wanted sidewalks she should have stayed in NYC.” This bias continues with my sisters, brothers, many locals, and me, even though I moved away from the area in 1979, when I joined the Army. In fact, those “damned city people” are why I have no desire to move back there and why I much prefer living in GA. The Poconos is nothing like it was when I was growing up.

My “damned city people” bias and broad stereotyping is what I want to talk about and my quotes notebook is part of the story.

Our elderly retired pastor and his wife lived across the road from us, right next to the parsonage. He was an expert woodworker and converted a small woodshop he had built into a small home after he retired. He had fit in perfectly in our area, because although he wasn’t from our area he was of PA German ancestry and spoke PA Dutch. His wife, though, in one of those typical American love stories, was from NYC, had graduated from Teachers College at Columbia and she was Jewish.

She was one of the most lovely ladies I have ever known and although she was very different than the female role models in my family, she was like another grandmother to me. I think everyone would benefit having a wise Jewish grandmother. She took me under her wings and tried hard to teach me to play the piano. I was a dismal failure. She loved opera and she would play her albums and explain the stories to me.

We didn’t have a local library, but our retired pastor and his wife had a pretty impressive home library and they had many magazines going back to the 1920s, all neatly organized on shelves in the attic. When my brothers and sisters and I had reports to write for school, she allowed us to scamper up the ladder to the attic and look through magazines, but she often would do research for us and have a stack of magazines and books with pages marked with information for our reports.

I remember one time during the summer, when her grandson was visiting she organized a nature walk in the woods, going up part of the mountain. At our dinner table that night, my brothers were talking about how dumb and boring that was. My brothers and her grandson had no interest in her nature walk, but I was captivated. She had field guides and was pointing out all sorts of things that I had never noticed before. It felt like I was seeing our woods through new eyes with her pointing out so many new things. To this day, I love field guides.

In my teens she let me borrow their copy of Bartlett’s Quotations to read and she urged me to start a notebook and write down the ones I liked. Thus my quotes notebook was born. I still collect quotes.

I never once considered her a “damned New Yorker.” I loved her like she was one of my grandmothers.

Traveling around the Army, I’ve met wonderful people from all over the world, including many people from NYC. Stereotypes get smashed to smithereens when you start looking at people as individuals and get to know them. I always told my kids to stop listening to gossip and bad things “about” people, because all you’re getting is second-hand information. I told them to get to know people – face-to-face and you’ll always be amazed at how interesting so many people can be. In fact, I bet when the ranting liberal lady in the TikTok video calms down and talks about her life, well, most of us might find some common ground with her and if all else fails, I agree with her that the gas prices are insane.

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Cats and conspiracies…

The economy is tanking, inflation is soaring and here’s a big CNN politics story today:

“As presidential cat, Willow Biden has privileges”

I kid you not.

Well, where to begin, first off, I’m going to try to shift away from commenting on social media content creators, because frankly, any criticisms are deemed “trolling” and from what I’ve seen across the board online, from professional journalists, politicians, and individual content creators, most people take any criticism as trolling and get up in arms. I figure if you walk into the public arena and post content, then if you face criticism, that’s part of entering the arena of public commentary. I don’t regret using that prepper channel as an example, because frankly talking about “be creative” in thinking about ways to defend your property and using the example of Ukrainian farmers poisoning cherries deserves criticism. This is America and we should be trying to find ways to pull our country together and help each other, since our inept government certainly won’t.

A frequent commenter on my blog mentioned that with how many right-wing people do get censored and have videos deleted, he found it interesting that video wasn’t banned. He wondered if that site was a law enforcement set-up, similar to what happened with the Gov. Whitmer kidnapping plot. I have no idea, but I will leave it at, if you’re giving advice to Americans on how to protect themselves and you’re talking about poisoning people as a creative example – I will never listen to your advice again. Period. I did check this morning to see if that video was still up and it is, but I won’t be clicking on that channel again. I think it’s a safe bet that federal law enforcement has some presence in the YouTube prepper community. And no one should ever consider poisoning people as a “creative” home defense idea. Seriously, this is insanity!

Among right-wing America there’s been a sea change with how reactionary many of them have become and I suspect a lot of it has to do with social media and the right-wing media space, selling paranoia and amplifying one conspiracy theory after another. Trump latched onto that and sold it too. This isn’t something new. I remember the Jade Helm conspiracy theories over a military training exercise in 2015. Another bizarre incident was there was an online generated confrontation in a TX town several years ago, where two groups of people showed up fighting mad at the other side, but the information spread online was all made up. (likely a hostile foreign information operation.) It was carried out sort of like scammers calling to tell you to send them money, to avoid the IRS coming after them, except they conned people with differing views into showing up to protest, pitting them against each other.

The belief that the government is trying to destroy the food supply is pretty widespread among the online right-wing sphere. It’s based on the belief that the Biden administration and Democrats are evil and want to destroy us. It jumped into high gear with a rash of food facility fires and the belief that there are just too many fires, so of course the only explanation is “they’re trying to destroy the food supply.” Of course, since the economic chaos in 2020, many businesses don’t have enough staff or have hired inexperienced staff and many types of food processing facilities are fraught with hazardous conditions, including fire hazards.

Same goes for the thousands of cattle dying in Kansas recently in the heat wave. The online right-wing buzz is the evil “they” killed the cattle… “trying to destroy our food supply,” again. Here’s a 2017 story from weather.com and I don’t recall right-wing online hysteria about this happening: “California Heat Wave Kills Thousands of Cattle and Overwhelms Dairy Industry.” Large numbers of cattle dying in heat waves isn’t something new. That 2017 report estimated 4,000-6,000 cattle died in that heat wave. It took me less than a minute to find information on other incidents of large numbers of cattle dying in heat waves, but I guess it’s easier to get online and ramble on and on spreading conspiracy theories that it must be an evil government plot rather than taking less than a minute to do a bit of checking into the subject.

Where I suspect the real government overreaches are going to occur is in trying to react to the escalating economic and food shortage crises, because the mass panic will start, chaos will escalate and the Biden administration has no federal plans and most states aren’t prepared. Democrats have moved to prodding big corporations to take actions to circumvent Republican resistance and also to shift blame, which we saw during the pandemic. It’s easier to say private corporations can set their own rules and stores have routinely placed limits on some purchases, like sales items. So, I expect more stores to start limiting amounts of various items customers can purchase as shortages worsen and for a lot of “data-sharing” efforts between big tech, big corporations and the federal government to monitor individual Americans purchases. Tracking Americans will move into high-gear is my guess. Now, that prospect I do find ominous, but then again I find so much of data-collection already taking place creepy and invasive.

Yesterday, I saw a news item about the Biden administration had been mulling sending Americans gas rebate cards to help ease their pain at the gas pumps, but that it’s unlikely to happen. CNN played words games in their report. Here’s paragraph 3:

“However, this is unlikely to happen in part because it would be difficult to administer and there would be no way to ensure the cards are only used for gas, the official said. Moreover, Congress would need to approve funding for such an emergency move and that would be challenging.”

The other part which was reported elsewhere was there is a chip shortage, so producing rebate cards is an even bigger problem than Congress. Today CNN Politics is reporting about Willow, the Biden’s cat… Priorities in their news reporting at CNN are quite something.

I will get to writing about my quotes notebook, but I’m going to take a break from blogging this weekend .

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A few afterthoughts, as usual

Update: I had to deal with a mess of cherry tomatoes and decided to try fermenting them – got that done and now, as usual some afterthoughts. My previous blog post is intended, not to pick on the prepper channel I mentioned, but to point out something for the former military guys to think about. What happens if things do get more chaotic, as is likely if as radical Dems have promised, a Summer of Rage, and if the continuing efforts to hunt down “white supremacists” and undesirables on the right continues? It’s a long road to 2024. This isn’t about picking on this particular prepper channel, but I’m pointing out the reality of the situation of relying on liberal-owned social media platforms for building both your own platform and even bigger than that a community.

If anyone was paying attention to how many people on the right got silenced for Covid “misinformation,” if they disagreed with the politicized claptrap coming from the “experts,” well, this situation is going to intensify. I, along with other way more prominent people, like Sen. Cotton, questioned the origins of the virus and among the liberal crowd on Twitter and some NeverTrump folks, you’d have thought a crime was committed to even raise the question. There’s a full-blown effort underway to silence people on the right. I pay for my small space online here and consider myself more a voice in the wilderness. And I will say what I think, as long as I have this space. YouTube has all sorts of rules and even just randomly removes videos. This has happened to people like Bret Weinstein and there was a full-blown effort to silence Dr. Robert Malone, not just preppers and people on the right.

Anyone old enough to remember the 90s, should be aware of how some right-wing terrorist acts led to the liberal media, the Clinton administration and the FBI to insist there were right-wing militias behind every tree. That liberal political and media culture still dominates media in America. When the alt-right” liberal media hysteria began, it coincided with a massive effort to paint Trump as some evil authoritarian. That effort continues to this day and will intensify, but it’s not just Trump who will be targeted – it’s anyone who gets in the way of the liberal messaging efforts. Conservative and right-wing people who use social media platforms should never forget they’re operating on a medium owned and controlled by liberals who hate them. That’s a glaring strategic vulnerability, but also the larger point is should we all just accept America is doomed and sit around preparing for surviving the collapse? I refuse to accept that mind-set.

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A viewpoint I completely reject

I’ve seen numerous homesteaders and preppers mention this channel, Pinball Perparedness, and give him rave reviews, but let’s just say I find so much of the former military peeps’ advice totally off-base and counter-productive toward moving America away from civil disorder and chaos. They take military strategy and tactics from other conflicts and try to apply it to a possible SHTF in America. Sorry, the first people to be silenced and obliterated from the popular social media public spaces will be preppers and homesteaders who offer advice like this:

The interesting thing about the online preppers really into guns, ammo and blabbing about civil war and SHTF is they have built their online forums using platforms owned and run by liberals. In fact, I suspect many of them rely on the income generated from their online social media influencing efforts to survive. That’s the most glaring strategic mistake ever – to rely on people who despise you and your views, to run your online business. Trump made this glaring mistake too – he relied on Twitter and facebook, platforms run by people who hated him and wanted him destroyed, then he had no plan for when they actually did ban him. It took over a year for Trump to get back on social media – Truth Social. If you think the liberal elites are out to silence you, then building your communications capability using their platforms is a huge risk.

Why on earth would anyone be talking about poisoning people, as something to think about? I’ve watched several of this man’s videos and I don’t agree with most of his military takes, but that happens a lot when I listen to men talk about military strategy and tactics – I take apart their plans and look at each part, then I think about what they say their goal is – we can call it a “mission,” but I prefer to think in terms of ends, ways and means.

First, America isn’t Ukraine, which was invaded by a foreign army and we certainly aren’t Iraq, where American strategic planning failures for the follow-on operations, after toppling Saddam Hussein, led to a full-blown insurgency developing. Our strategic planners chose to ignore the very real cultural divides between the West and the Muslim world. America had operated trying to maintain a small footprint in the Muslim world for many years, because of this cultural clash. They decided to embrace what I call catchphrase strategy, buying into slogans rather than sound strategic thinking. We were sold a “global war on terror” and “building democracy” in places, where none of the ingredients to building a functional democracy were present. Then when our military was facing a real SHTF situation dealing with the Islamic State, we had top generals wanting to turn the entire US military into embracing COIN, when US policy failures created the situation for that insurgency to develop and grow.

Second, rather than plan for everything falling apart, I prefer to devote my energies on finding ways to pull Americans together. I refuse to spend one bit of my energy planning for civil war – ZERO. I will devote every ounce of my energy toward finding ways to avert civil disorder, lawlessness, and God forbid, civil war. I will work as hard as I can to help as many people as I can and to try to pull Americans toward being kind to each other and being messengers of hope and offering a helping hand.

We are still the United States of America, even though most of us see the disturbing divides that have deepened due to the 24/7 spin information war blowing hot air onto every little spark of discord (real and imagined), as one incident after another goes viral and spreads across social media and news media.

Like I wrote in 2015 – “Brilliant geopolitics experts, almost to a man, say “that’s the way it’s always been  and I have seen nothing in history to indicate  it can ever change.” Of course, if you accept it can’t change, very few people will even bother trying to change it.” Sorry, no disrespect intended toward this man’s service or expertise, but I reject this way of thinking completely, because that’s why nothing ever changes.

I’m not a feminist and reject modern feminism as a leftist ideology meant to undermine and erode western democracies, but in the real world men and women think very differently. I prefer to use military strategic concepts, not guns and violence, toward avoiding a collapse of the system (civil war or anarchy). I believe we should be investing more energy into the oath we swore – to protect and defend The Constitution, rather than already giving up on America, as past the point of no return.

And for the record, I pay for my blog at WordPress and I have never monetized my blog. I have planned for years what happens if (when) efforts are made to silence me – long before Trump was even in the American political arena, because I lived through an effort in 1998.

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More spin war garbage dumping again

My quotes notebook from the 1970s

This post is going to be about politics and current events. The Biden administration tried out some new messaging yesterday by sending a letter to oil execs. urging them to be patriotic and refine more oil. So, the White House messaging moved from “Putin’s inflation” to shifting blame to the oil executives for the high gas prices. This messaging is all a sham, because Biden bought into the far-left green energy policies and tactics long ago. His first day in office he signed an executive order freezing the Keystone pipeline and setting in place a war against fossil fuel. The current situation with gas prices is a direct result of Biden’s war against fossil fuel. The letter to oil executives was nothing more than political theater.

However, the messaging gimmick provides a big clue as to how this White House is going to try to con the American people, by blame-shifting and invoking “patriotism.” Expect more messaging from this White House blabbing about “patriotism.” What will be hilarious to me is if they get so desperate that they start replacing all their identity politics flags and start running around waving the American flag. Wouldn’t that be ironic…

The Biden administration invoked the Defense Authorization Act for the baby formula shortage and I expect more power grabs like that to come. President Trump opened the door for using the Defense Authorization Act dealing with Covid and Biden is now taking that up a notch. A couple days ago there was Twitter buzz that the Biden White House might invoke the Defense Authorization Act with oil production – this would be the Biden administration seizing control over American oil companies, using this crisis as cover. The thing about using the Defense Authorization Act and blabbing about “patriotism” is the US military is still one of the last remaining institutions that most Americans trust and the optics of the US military dealing with a crisis sells that “patriotic” messaging. Underneath these cheap messaging gimmicks are determined, ruthless partisans trying to seize as much power as they can.

I believe the Biden White House and many Democrats would embrace civil unrest or some sort of situation they can hype to use as cover for seizing more control. Since the Obama years, the goal has been to try to federalize policing and take away that power from states and local communities (the “defund the police” effort in 2020, using the George Floyd case was a massive leap forward in that goal of federalizing policing in America.)

The serious part of all of the White House’s actions is they’re trying to make cheap power grabs, while targeting other people as the “bad people” causing all of these problems, that Biden’s own energy policies and failure to respond quickly have compounded.

This pitting Americans against each other has become the easy route for decades with the Democrats’ spin information war, but since Trump it’s escalated. There are also plenty of rabid people on the right selling division and some on the right have embraced “civil divorce,” which anyone seeing how divorces go knows “civil divorces” are the rare exception. Most divorces leave a lot of carnage to clean up or people walk away from them feeling badly battered, especially children.

Yes, Trump “fought back,” but he fought back by embracing the same corrupt spin information war tactics of the Democrats and their liberal media friends. Trump winning Twitter spin battles or jetting around the country staging big rallies to incite the right isn’t a way to unite America or handle the major crises we’re facing now. That road is a road many on the right still cheer. My take on a Trump presidency in 2024 is that Trump a second time around, after J-6 and watching the mixed bag of looney-tunes candidates Trump has endorsed, is be careful what you wish for. There won’t be any Pence or calmer heads in a second Trump presidency – it will be kooky flamethrowers, who are good at stroking Trump’s ego. A whole lot of people on the right are heavily invested in the Trump cult of personality, as much as people on the left were invested in the Obama cult of personality.

Since 1998, I’ve been warning about the dangers of this corrupt spin information war. Having America deeply divided may work to secure short-term partisan political gains, but it will eventually make America ungovernable and lead to a country with raging factions (we might be at this point already,) who rush online to rant and rave or jump into action taking to the streets, reacting to some hot news that they don’t even have the facts about yet. The American people and all of our American institutions are being demolished the longer this spin war drags on. America dividing to the point of civil conflict would doom all of us – there will be no winners there. It would be the collapse of the world’s remaining superpower.

While most people on the right would happily vote for Trump right now, rather than have Biden or Harris as president, this post isn’t about Biden vs. Trump – it’s about America writ large. Partisan politics can’t save America – only the American people can do that. Waving Trump flags won’t save America and getting all invested in the partisan cult of personality politics won’t unite America or even help Americans be able to create some sense of unity in their own family or community (unless your entire family or community is totally red or totally blue).

The default reaction on the right is for the men to start reacting out of fear, blustering about “they aren’t taking my guns,” and urge people on the right to go buy more guns and ammo. President Obama was the most effective gun salesman in America.

On the left, the default reaction is to blame the bad people – Trump and/or The Deplorables. There have been plenty of prominent Dems who have tweeted out their real thoughts since 2020 and a former Clinton cabinet level official once tweeted about putting the deplorables, who refused to get the jab, in camps. The level of political rancor and partisan hatred online has been shocking at times.

It’s a tall order since we’ve all been steeped in this spin information war ecosystem for so long, but more Americans are going to have to stop thinking like partisans and start thinking like Americans. If we stand any chance of pulling our country together and weathering the crises barreling our way, we can’t let our country split into raging factions and become ungovernable.

I first wrote about the spin information war in 1998 on the Excite message boards and explained how it worked – and a whole lot of effort went into silencing me. I started this blog many years after that, in 2012. My goal has always been to defeat the spin information war, expose wholesale public corruption, and work to unite Americans into believing in One American Team again. That remains my goal.

The photo at the top is of a notebook I started in my early teens – collecting quotations. I still have that notebook and in my next post I want to write about how that notebook came about and more importantly about how destructive the Us vs. Them way of thinking is. America is about the potential of individuals and we need to start thinking about getting to know individuals and not trying to stick people in partisan boxes. Freeing ourselves of the partisan blinders can help free us of the power of the spin information war to control us. The spin information war (on both sides) is about controlling, not only the media narratives, it’s about controlling public opinion by pitting factions against each other.

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A short update to my last post

This morning I added this paragraph to my last post, because I wasn’t sure the point about leadership I was trying to make was clear:

“Each person trying hard to prepare, help others, and sharing useful preparedness information can be a leader too. We all can step forward and try to help and guide those who have no idea how to go about working on emergency preparedness.”

I’m very much a contrarian, not good at “going along to get along’ and I can ruffle people’s feathers a lot, so I’m often left thinking, later, like with my after-rant post the other day, “Perhaps, I could have toned that down or chosen my words better or explained what I meant better.” However there are dozens upon dozens of people, especially online who are great at public speaking, great at putting together interesting and useful how-to videos and conveying information and yes, there are people all over America, in every community like this. Each of those people could choose to be a leader (many already are doing just that) in helping maintain calm, order and help others learn how to be better prepared and learn important skills. These people could be leaders and small beacons of hope, within their own family, community and even online as this economic and food crisis worsens.

The truth though is everyone at some point has a leadership role in life, like every parent has a duty to teach, guide and lead within their family. When I mention my late husband, I’m not trying to make him sound perfect, only trying to share useful leadership skills he taught me, even though I prefer not to be the leader in a group. In fact, I have always preferred to work in small groups with people committed to the same mission or goal that I am committed to. I like working with like-minded people who get stuff done and I get very frustrated and impatient with lazy people on the team I’m on, people who brag constantly and produce little, or the person who creates unnecessary drama and conflict within the group. I hate “drama” and therefore, this is the truth, I have always preferred to work in a group of men rather than in groups of women (boy, that’s a controversial thing to say, but that’s how I feel). That said, nowadays with all the gender stuff that’s gone on for years, I’ve noticed so many young men who are into being drama queens too and plenty of young women, who have to wear the pants in their family, because they’re raising kids alone or have some deadbeat man in their life, so there is that.

Let’s just leave it at, I prefer to set a goal and then focus on getting it done. We can all work towards being more productive and more proactive in our lives, rather than waiting for someone else to do for us. All that “the sky is falling” drama that spreads like wildfire on social media isn’t going to help anyone – we need more people who can stay calm, offer practical and actionable information, and who can spread a bit of hope.

There’s lots of bad news and more bad things happening than I can keep track of with this growing global economic and food crisis and that’s the important thing to remember – it is global. No country can escape all the fall-out from these crises, even America. There’s also fall-out from the war in Ukraine and climate issues, like drought affecting this crisis. Of course, I’d argue President Biden’s actions in regards to fossil fuel are making things much worse, but truly there is no magic bullet – everyone in the world is going to be impacted. Wasting a lot of energy every day looking for a scapegoat for all the serious problems is a waste of time. Each of us can look around our homes or in the mirror and see a whole lot of areas for improvement. I like to put my energy toward changing the things I can control.

People already working on homesteading, emergency preparedness and frugal-living are already taking big steps toward being more self-reliant and they’ve got important lessons they’ve learned that they can share with others. There will be disagreements about which way to do this or that is the best way, but at this point taking any steps toward growing some of your own food, learning more skills, working on stocking up food and emergency supplies, building some community spirit is better than doing nothing.

Most of all we should all live in today, not in fear of some future catastrophes. The little daily joys are what life’s all about.

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We can all offer helping hands across America

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The whole point with my 2015 blog post and this blog post is that there are a lot of alarmingly bad things happening now, even more than in 2015. I expect it to get much worse, as rabid partisans move into high-gear to create more havoc, coupled with the worldwide economic and food shortage crises roiling along. We can add in the self-inflicted disasters due to the fossil fuel situation that President Biden has decided the pain inflicted on Americans to push the green dreams is more important than millions of American jobs and the American economy taking a faceplant.

I remember how disturbed I was in 2020 with the civil unrest and how shamelessly political power grabs and efforts to infringe upon Americans’ individual liberties swept through, by conning us during the pandemic, with slogans – it’s only X-amount of days… just until this, that or the other happens with the “spread.” For the first couple weeks, I was Miss Compliant Citizen, because I wanted everyone safe and feared millions of people dying, but quickly I began watching which groups of people’s movements were targeted and which politicians rushed in with power grabs and pushing mindless rules and restrictions, all in the name of “public health.” Everything was political and my little issues with face masks the other day, with having to go to the doctor and get my medicine, frankly, piss me off a whole lot. I am reliant on the medical system, so I am forced to obey mindless rules and that makes me a little angry at myself every time I go along to get along with something I think is pointless and more about politics than science.

With the economic crises headed our way, a serious global food crisis projected, and promised political theater mayhem, with radical Dem activists promising a Summer of Rage, it’s going to be easy to get sidetracked or let fear and panic take hold. For years, I’ve thought if only there were more people on the right, who would not take the bait and react in fear and hysteria, but instead took the reins of all the things they can control in their own lives and working with others. I’ve hoped they would learn to basically give a middle finger to the political spin information war blazing across American media, that’s used to whip up fear, panic, rage on both sides of the political aisle, all to control us. What if there were millions of Americans who decided to work together with their friends, families, other like-minded people across America and said, “We aren’t going to let you destroy our great country and we are going to work together to keep ourselves, our families and communities safe and fed, and we’re going to work together peacefully – no matter what the partisan lunatics (and crooks) on either side do.”

Too many people believe that some man on a white horse is going to “save America” and that’s never been true. Trump isn’t going to save America anymore than some Democrat is going to save America. There isn’t some federal government master plan that’s going to save America, although, yes, some federal policies could mitigate some of the impact of these crises headed our way. Only we, the American people, can save our country and that means getting as many Americans as we can putting in their oars and rowing to help ourselves, our families and each other. It sounds daunting and impossible, but I believe all things are possible with faith, a whole lot of elbow grease, and teamwork.

Wearing a red hat or wrapping yourself in rainbow banners won’t help feed a single hungry child or help an elderly person in need. Stupid political slogans, getting angry, marches, protests and rallies won’t save America. Working together and doing things that really matter will. Yesterday on Twitter a Dem strategist tweeted that Dems need to keep repeating “they’re trying to destroy our democracy,” no matter what Republicans and conservatives say – this is the level of mindlessness to the spin information war. And if you think it’s only on the left, Trump mastered this same spin game with his stupid spin too, running his rally sideshow, where he went through his schtick repeating lame slogans that incite people.

Years ago when I worked at Walmart, I was the department manager of Fabrics and Crafts and loved that, but management asked me to move to the OTC Pharmacy, where they needed a department manager, then after that they asked me to move to lawn and garden and run lawn and garden. Lawn and garden was much larger and that was my first experience supervising men, because it was only women in fabrics and crafts and the OTC pharmacy. There were some personality clashes between associates in that department and also it was more associates than I had supervised before.

My husband was very good at leading soldiers in the Army. He had strong leadership skills and he knew how to get things done. I asked him what to do, because I felt like things weren’t getting done in lawn and garden and I was struggling to get associates to complete tasks and to work together. I asked him for advice. He told me to get to know my people – their strengths and weaknesses, but also to know about their lives. You have to care about the people you’re entrusted to lead. He also told me to work on being fair and consistent. And he told me the only way to fix some of the problems I told him about was demanding accountability from everyone on the team and that includes yourself. If you’re a principled leader, you have to hold yourself accountable every single day. He told me I needed to decide if I was going to lead or not.

There are plenty of good and decent people in America who still have principles, who still believe in working hard, who still believe in trying to be self-reliant and most of all who still believe in America. We can work together as One American Team, if we make up our minds and just start doing it. Start with your own family and friends, then draw your circle a little bigger and before you know it we can be reaching helping hands across America and networking.

Each person trying hard to prepare, help others, and sharing useful preparedness information can be a leader too. We all can step forward and try to help and guide those who have no idea how to go about working on emergency preparedness.

It doesn’t require some massive written plan or infrastructure or formal organizational structure – it can be just people talking, sharing ideas, information, inspiration and a little bit of help here and a helping hand there. We can all offer a helping hand to someone, whether it’s in our own family, in our group of friends, at our church, in our community, helping an elderly neighbor or a young mother struggling, and the list goes on.

Seeds of hope are like dandelions. All it takes is a small gust of wind and they can spread far and wide.

We don’t need to wait on Washington or any politician to save us. We have the power to work on saving ourselves.

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Filed under American Character, Food for Thought, General Interest

A repost of a 2015 blog post

If we build it; we can fix it

I want to write this post, which assuredly most people will dismiss out of hand.  This is my explanation of why I think Peace is possible and the fall of civilizations remedied.  I’ve been an adherent of a “God does not give us impossible missions belief” my entire life.  I believe God gave us FREE WILL.  We can choose to do or not to do, to soar or to sit on our butts whining that life isn’t fair and wait for others to do for us.  We can choose to live in FEAR or we can dare to stand up and say, “I don’t care if that’s the way it’s always been, I am going to think for myself and see if I can think, invent, build something better.”

As far as I can tell, the only human unit that is vital is the husband/wife combo, because without them reproducing , the human race will perish.  For a child to survive, requires both the mother and father.  Of course, living in groups – the “it takes a village” idea, definitely makes it much easier for humans to flourish. So, most people live in groups.

I like to analyze systems, even though I have had no formal training to do this.  One of my sons works for a large aircraft manufacturer as a software engineer.  He tells me about his travels to go diagnose and fix problems for customers, whose planes have something not working right.

Now, imagine if their planes had some fatal flaw where, say, inexplicably their most popular deluxe model of planes started suffering engine failure after hitting around the 20,000 mile mark.  The company would not accept the 20,000 mile failure of their planes nor would they want to have to rebuild engines, over and over or replace the ones that died.  They would send someone to do a systems analysis and try to detect what design flaws or equipment failure are leading to this problem.

I never accepted either the “belief” that civilizations are doomed to this endless “rise and fall” cycle, nor do I wander off into utopian pipe dreams.  My observation is that civilizations are built and deconstructed by man, just like planes – they are a man-made invention.  We find on earth some societies that remained content to settle for living in small groups and fighting to survive at bare subsistence level.  Others seek to live in a fancier deluxe model grouping, thus the most advanced civilizations are built to please those customers.  These deluxe model civilizations rely on several complex sub-systems to operate.

My mother used to get frustrated with my unwillingness to accept answers that began with, “that’s the way it’s always been”.   Accepting that premise dooms us to wasting a lot of, not only material wealth, but more importantly human lives and potential (often large portions of an entire generation), because lots of people perish when we have multiple sub-set systems failures.

So, far we’ve got most of the best geopolitical systems analysts (world leaders, scholars, statesmen, soldiers) not working on finding ways to fix the multiple, simultaneous, sub-system failures that lead to a collapse of a civilization.  They study the various sub-set systems and do some disparate diagnostics, then shrug and say, that’s just how civilizations are – “they rise and they fall”. Some try to design quick-fix patches.  Some recoil in fear and are content to be passive spectators to the collapse and murmur, “It’s always been that way”.  Brilliant geopolitics experts, almost to a man, say “that’s the way it’s always been  and I have seen nothing in history to indicate  it can ever change.” Of course, if you accept it can’t change, very few people will even bother trying to change it.

In fact, they invariably insist that when one of those sub-set systems, one intended to safeguard the entire system,  runs amok and helps destroy most of the frame and body of the entire civilization, we’re just supposed  to accept that these most complex advanced civilizations have some fatal flaw – it’s either that’s how God made the world, accept it, quit being a daydreamer and shut up about “utopias”.

I refuse to accept that belief.   I believe that if we build it, we can always improve on the design and come up with better sub-systems to build a newer, better performing model.   If your best systems analysts don’t ever even really try to find the design flaws and fix them, but instead wander off, halfheartedly fixing, only bits and pieces of some of the sub-system design flaws, of course the system will continue to reach the point where these sub-systems start falling apart and down the chute into the dustbin of history goes all that work that went into it. In the process usually many, many people perish, because most of these sub-set failures happen in midair, resulting in spectacular crashes, although some do implode and burn slowly on the runway too, so to speak.  Cleaning up the wreckage from civilizational collapses can take centuries, sometimes those people that survive don’t even bother, they wander off into the wilderness.

The known history of man provides us a great deal of information to study the various sub-sets, how they work together, which models work better and the flaws in the various systems.   For instance, we know that in governmental systems there are good kings and bad kings, dependent on one thing – the king.   For that system to work long term, relies on the accident of birth and hoping the genetic lottery of life works favorably for your kingdom, because all it takes to wreck a good kingdom is one bad king.

Others, say, in America, sat down and studied history and analyzed government systems throughout history and tried to select components that would provide a safeguard against the one bad king, as they had just got done ditching one of those bad draws in the genetic pool kind of kings.  In America, some men gathered together and said, even though no one in the known history of man has tried this first, we are FREE to come up with a better system.  We started with the premise that ALL MEN ARE FREE and constructed a governmental system that we thought would best safeguard individual freedom.  Many people in the world get sick of hearing Americans blabber on about our Constitution.  Lots of countries have constitutions, but none of them starts with the bedrock BELIEFS that ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL and ALL MEN ARE FREE.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, we tried to transplant democracy, but democracy isn’t what leads to a better life for people;  FREEDOM does.  A Constitution is just a piece of paper.  Napoleon was one of the world’s premiere constitution writers in history.   As soon as Napoleon conquered a place, he wrote another constitution for those conquered people to obey.   Selecting a good governmental system, in my opinion, is the most important sub-system in a group’s organizational structure, because that sub-system determines how well any other component sub-systems you design will work.  We shouldn’t be telling the world that democracy makes us different, we should teach the world that the BELIEF IN INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM  does.

Many other governmental systems work, and all governments are subject to engine failure (where America is at now) and a host of other sub-system failures, because any government relies on many other complex sub-systems to work too, just as civilizations do.  Being willing to do the diagnostics and taking the corrective actions to prevent a total breakdown determines the fate of more complex groups, who rely on a more advanced organizational structure than a simple group, like a tribe or religious commune.

My son recently lamented to me that he doesn’t understand why some, way more experienced, software engineers he knows settle for creating sort of patches to fix problems, instead of trying to figure out what’s causing the problem to occur in the first place and fix that.  He asked why people are like that and I told him, that in my opinion, lots of people prefer to take the easiest road – believe me, growing up in PA, our pothole-patched roads attest to that.  Because throwing a patch on is easier than repairing the entire road.  And I should know, because my father built roads for a living.

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Filed under Food for Thought, General Interest, Politics