Category Archives: General Interest

A point of view that shouldn’t be banned

I’ve generally avoided writing about the trans movement, because it mainstreams an ideology that I believe is counter to basic biology and reality. I don’t prefer to live in a world of pretend. I hoped it was a fad movement that would fade away, but it’s part of a determined leftist agenda and steamrolling anyone who challenges it.

When I was a teenager in the 1970s, the Women’s Rights movement was gaining steam and everything was about “Girl Power” and knocking down barriers to women and being a strong-willed girl, I bought into modern feminism. When I joined the Army, reality clashed with my feelings that women can do anything men can and that men and women are interchangeable. I saw women in jobs, that they could not physically do and they happily worked in the orderly room doing secretarial work or moved to some other less grueling job. On paper they remained filling a slot for the grueling job they weren’t doing. That left a readiness gap, because on paper that unit looked fully-staffed. This type of thing happened years later when my husband deployed to Desert Storm too, with pregnant soldiers, who were non-deployable.

Women can enter many traditional male-dominated fields and succeed, but when the rubber meets the road, if you put even the most fit men against the most fit women – the men have more upper-body strength and muscle mass, more endurance and will outperform the women. That reality changed my perspective on “women’s rights,” especially when it’s given more importance than having the strongest, most well-trained fighting force to defend America. Having the best-trained and performing military outweighs women’s rights or any other leftist political ideology.

Modern feminism is a leftist political ideology, that has been going through “waves” by their own definition. That feminist movement has now been consumed by the trans movement. We’re watching “trans girls”(biological males), who would not be top athletes competing against other biological males, now joining girls sports teams and outperforming top girl athletes. We’re supposed to pretend we see no physical size differences – taller, larger upper bodies, etc.

I do think most military jobs, even most non-traditional ones, should be open to women, but a few of the heavy-lifting, grueling combat jobs, I believe are best left to the strongest, most fit men. Even most fit men don’t make it into those jobs. Around the Army, the reality of what’s really going on, has been covered up for decades, because it’s career-suicide for commanders to speak the truth about the realities and now on top of the smiley face, they’ve had to put on about any problems that center on women in the military, due to political pressure, the US military is now into promoting the trans movement too. A leftist political movement now surmounts warfighting capability as a focus and that bodes poorly for America’s national defense. However, even in American families, the trans movement also has been working to eliminate parents rights to decide on irreversible medical procedures for their children or drugs that are really chemical castration drugs renamed ” harmless puberty blockers.”

I’ve never watched Matt Walsh, so I asked someone I know if he knows who Matt Walsh is and he said, “He’s a douche!” After watching the Walsh movie, What is a Woman, well, I can say the person I asked despises right-wing media and viewpoints. He reacted like most of the activists Walsh interviewed and talked to in this movie. However, he is against the trans movement targeting children, so perhaps there’s a tiny bit of common ground there. There’s been a liberal effort to get this movie banned on social media and that’s why I wanted to watch it and that’s why I’m sharing it.

I highly recommend this movie, because Walsh delves into the history of the gender ideology movement, which no one on the Left wants to talk about. The trans proponents he talked to offered circular definitions about gender and emotionally-charged reactions about feelings – no truth or science. I’ll state this clearly, I believe and have believed that the trans movement is a destructive leftist ideology that’s being mainstreamed, it’s a social contagion, and it’s targeting children. I don’t hate “trans people,” but I do believe Americans have a right to speak out and say they do not agree with this movement. I don’t know if this link to the movie will be censored or this entire blog post blocked, but here goes.


Filed under Culture Wars, General Interest

Honoring those who gave all

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Filed under Military, General Interest

More spin garbage to wade through

This blog post is politics and jumps around a bit. It’s a little of this and a little of that, but the spin information war ties it all together. Yesterday, John Durham’s final report on his Trump-Russia investigation was finally released. I haven’t even looked at it and I’m not going to waste my time pouring over it, as I used to do with government reports. All of the Clinton and Dem efforts to invent, ignite and then fan the flames of “Trump-Russia Collusion” was to create and operate a years-long mass media spin information war effort to destroy Donald Trump.

Andrew C. McCarthy wrote a book, Ball of Collusion: The Plot to Rig an Election and Destroy a Presidency in 2019, which I listened to the audiobook version on Hoopla a few years ago and that covered much of the corruption I’ve seen reported with the Durham report. And since I’ve yammered on about the Dem’s corrupt spin information war for decades now, there’s really no point in going through the Durham report with a fine-tooth comb and fuming about the mountains of lies and how the Clinton machine, along with the Obama administration spread via their vast army of foot soldiers in news media and on social media platforms. They all worked tirelessly to amplify and keep these Trump-Russia narratives burning.

The Durham report won’t change a thing.

If House Republicans run headlong into ramping up investigations into the Durham report and rehashing 2016 corruption, with the 2024 presidential election right around the corner, they’ll basically be making a contribution in kind to the Biden campaign. The House Republicans can investigate and make criminal referrals to the DOJ, until the cows come home, and there is no way the Biden DOJ is ever going to prosecute top Democrats or former FBI and intelligence officials, who diligently carried water for them, especially not over Trump-Russia Collusion. You also aren’t going to find many Dems or liberal news media folks who will admit they were wrong about Trump-Russia Collusion. As evidence of this Jake Tapper, tried to admit to getting some facts wrong, in light of the Durham report, and he has been lambasted by Dem pundits relentlessly. He’ll likely be back to propping up the Dem spin narratives, even if they relaunch the Trump-Russia Collusion spin effort (which is likely). Add to that as we move toward a presidential election year, what most Americans will care about is more current issues, not rehashing the 2016 election. Many Trump supporters want to see top Democrat villains in this scandal perp walked and in jail, but that’s never going to happen with the Biden DOJ… or even a DOJ in a Republican administration.

The main thing I wish Republicans had learned from this Trump-Russia Collusion political dirty trick is that the Dem’s brand of spin information war is poison to America’s political system and poison to American culture. The entire Trump-Russia spin narrative was intended to be hyped over liberal news media, and other liberal-controlled media, to include social media. Instead of realizing that the spin war is a surefire way to divide and tear America apart, the lesson a lot of Trump-supporters learned was they just wanted a spin-warrior, who could beat the Democrats at their own spin game. They found their spin warrior in Donald Trump, a former Clinton friend, a man who hired a series of grifters and unqualified nincompoops, who invariably quit or were fired and then showed up on liberal news media to trash him 24/7. How Trump managed to pick so many disloyal and duplicitous people still amazes me, but beyond all that Trump entered politics to advance himself and he turned his WH into a daily Trump vs. the liberal media spin show, which his fans loved.

The truth is the spin war, whether it’s the Democrat version or the Trump version is poison and can only deepen divides in America. Here’s the reality check, politics can’t fix what’s broken, because the American people feed on this partisan political spin theater and we pick a dog in these spin battles.

So, with the Durham report being released yesterday, an IRS whistleblower reported to Congress that he and his entire team, who are investigating Hunter Biden corruption, have been removed from the case:

WASHINGTON – A whistleblower at the Internal Revenue Service, which is investigating Hunter Biden for potential tax violations, told lawmakers Monday his entire team was removed from the probe, according to a letter from his lawyers obtained by USA TODAY.

The letter said the IRS criminal supervisory special agent “was informed that he and his entire investigative team are being removed from the ongoing and sensitive investigation of the high-profile, controversial subject about which our client sought to make whistleblower disclosures to Congress.” The Justice Department informed the whistleblower about the change.

That’s how concerned Democrats are about the Durham report. Hillary, top FBI officials, top Obama officials, like John Brennan and James Clapper, who became liberal media “Trump-Russia Collusion” experts, to give credence to all of the Steele dossier bs, aren’t ever going to be prosecuted and in fact, the liberal media will still give them airtime to keep propping up the Steele dossier lies and trash Durham’s report.

With another presidential election cycle about to kick into high-gear, it’s sure to become even crazier. I’ve found the Clinton machine corruption appalling since the 90s, but they, along with a lot of powerful political players in Washington, are above the law. That’s just the plain truth. The reality is conspiracies are very hard to prosecute and that’s why so many organized crime syndicates get away with it. The FBI and DOJ were implicated in this Trump-Russia Collusion scandal, so they aren’t going to hold themselves accountable. Andrew McCabe, the #2 FBI official under Comey, was already on CNN today spewing lies dismissing Durham’s report. CNN will continue to give McCabe airtime. A 2017 DOJ IG investigation found McCabe lacked candor (lied) repeatedly to investigators and he was fired. CNN still hired him and present him as a former top FBI official – someone with credibility…

The Durham report reaction reminded me of all the other swirling partisan spin dramas. The Biden/House Republican stand-off over the debt ceiling is more pressing, with the deadline and dire consequences for all of us, if the US government defaults. There’s also the Dem green agenda is still being rammed through – from killing fossil fuel to pushing insects onto American dinner plates. A couple weeks ago, NY state became the first state to ban gas stoves in new homes, beginning in 2026. In just the past few days, I’ve seen a few opinion pieces in liberal mainstream media advocating for eating insects. So, the “Great Reset” agenda is real and despite all the “don’t be ridiculous” or “that’s just a right-wing conspiracy theory,” the Great Reset is an effort to expedite the UN’s 2030 agenda, which was approved in 2015. As the radical changes escalate, don’t be surprised. When some Biden official first mentioned the ban on gas stoves, Sen. Chuck Schumer, from NY, tweeted numerous times that no one is banning gas stoves. Then lo’ and behold, NY became the first state a couple weeks ago to pass a gas stove ban. When the media starts pushing some new idea, like eating bugs to save the planet, it’s part of their spin war operations – mass media psychological operations with the goal of mainstreaming that idea. They want Americans to drop their aversion to eating bugs by wrapping it up in being a virtuous, environmentally-responsible citizen. The bad people will be the dreaded meat-eaters.

I wish there was some easy way to plan for how to weather these radical changes, especially the economic turmoil, but there’s not. I’ve been trying to simplify my lifestyle and learn more basic skills. I am continuing to stock up on food, water and supplies too. Working on personal preparedness has become a key focus for me. It should be a key focus of everyone, but unfortunately, I suspect, the vast majority of Americans will wait until the government tells them it’s time to prepare or that the government’s going to fix the problems, but by then it will be way too late. The government that has created all of these major problems, certainly isn’t who I’m trusting to fix anything. Here’s the truth – with the national debt, both parties spend like drunken sailors and politicians on both sides get rich and gain power by fueling divides.

It felt liberating to feel no reason to waste hours pouring over the Durham report and writing about all the disturbing findings. I decided to focus on things in my own life. A skill I never learned was how to properly sharpen knives. I used to have an electric knife sharpener that worked okay, but sharpening knives is a basic skill I never learned. One of my sons was visiting on Sunday and he was preparing a Mother’s Day lunch for us. He asked me if I have any sharp knives in my kitchen and I don’t. I did some googling about knife sharpening and I went ahead and ordered a whetstone set – so, instead of wasting time on Trump-Russia Collusion, I’m going to be practicing how to sharpen knives and working on other projects.

I keep paying attention to prices at the grocery store and nothing in the economy looks optimistic, I can tell you that working on my own preparedness is way more important than getting worked up about corruption in Washington, which I can’t change.

It’s still important to take note of the political corruption and be aware of some news, but I’ve changed my priorities. Before you know it, people you know might start buying into the eating bugs and embracing that, all due to the mass media psychological conditioning that’s being crammed down our throats. Everyday, I find more things I want to learn how to do to become more self-reliant and that’s a much better use of my time than getting worked up about the level of Dem corruption and media corruption. It still amazes me how dramatically the feminist movement took a turn to gay rights and then that veered into the trans movement. It’s been amazing to see drivers of the trans movement are literally destroying prominent liberal feminists, who dare challenge the trans agenda and that tells you who has the power in the feminist movement – it’s the biological men in the trans movement. Anyway, I refuse to participate in these leftist movements or buy into of any of this stuff, but then again, I have always identified myself as an independent, free-thinking American citizen, not as a feminist.

Oh, and before I end this post, everywhere we turn, I expect to be bombarded with more hysterical news about “white supremacy” and dangerous “MAGA Republicans.” Over the weekend President Biden gave an incendiary speech announcing his war against “white supremacy.” Then some weird group, Patriot Front, that is ostensibly a far-right wing hate group showed up to march on the US Capitol. The timing was perfect for liberal news media to spin up Biden’s war against “white supremacy.” I googled this group and on Wikipedia, it says this group is part of a group that split from another alt-right group after the Charlottesville protests. This Patriot Front group comes wearing “uniforms” of khaki pants and blue jackets, and masks. To me it looks like a Democrat false flag operation and that Charlottesville tie was a red flag to me. There were reports of busloads of paid protestors showing up in Charlottesville. Even back in 2016, all sorts of paid political actors and operators showed up at political events to create drama and wreak havoc. This went from plants in audiences to start a commotion, which happened at numerous Trump events or to ask embarrassing questions at both Dem and Republican events, but then there were the reports of busloads of paid protestors that showed up. And yes, the issue of paid protestors is a thing:

For years with all these viral video dramas that fuel a lot of the political spin drama. I’ve told my adult kids that it’s best to ask more questions rather than reacting. I want to know what happened before the events in the video, what happened afterwards, who made the media, where was it shot, when was it shot, and was it edited. We are so used to “reacting” and social media has conditioned us to reacting rather than thinking. They’ve got buttons to click to express your emotions and they encourage controversy.

Think more and react less, is my best advice. Oh, and if you’re smart, you’ll start preparing for hard times, with at least the basics – food, water, supplies. Here again, most people I know rely on the news media and await the government experts to tell them they should be prepared for all sorts of emergencies and hard times. If you’ve been watching the lingering shortage problems, inflation climbing, political instability around the world and all the political and economic turmoil here in America and you haven’t thought, “Geesh, I should probably be prepared, in case things get worse,” then nothing I say can make an impact.

As this push for mainstreaming the idea of eating bugs escalates, pay close attention to people you know – friends, family, acquaintances and see how quickly some people start buying into this. I betcha will be surprised at how quickly this mass media psychological conditioning takes hold – experts galore selling it, celebrities jumping on board selling it and mass media giving it loads of hot air for it to rise. I won’t be surprised if some celebrity food personalities go buggy too.

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Filed under Culture Wars, Emergency Preparedness, General Interest, Information War, Politics

Biden’s 2024 sermon sounds just like his 2020 COVID preaching

This post is going to be a bit of politics and a few thoughts about a common idea I’ve seen expressed within the online prepper community. First, let’s hit the politics – President Biden announced his reelection campaign last week and here’s the ad:

Instead of the 2020, Biden the COVID Preacher, we’re now going to have Biden the MAGA Extremist Slayer. Various political punditry on the right describe “Wokeism” (an umbrella term for the far-left culture war agenda) as the secular religion of the political left in America, and the Biden campaign in 2020 positioned Biden as a preacher of COVID, masking alarming power grabs as moral choices to “protect our democracy.” This 2024 Biden messaging campaign is now going to be a massive effort to sell censorship and banishing opposing political viewpoints from the public square, all under the guise of “saving the soul of our democracy” and “protecting freedom.” Whatever, it’s all a bunch of malarkey.

Democrats and the liberal media are desperate to keep former President Trump in the news and do everything possible to assure he is the GOP 2024 candidate. They need Trump as the face of “MAGA extremism.” And assuredly Trump will oblige Democrats and give them plenty of craziness and outrageous antics and statements. Unfortunately, it sure looks to me like both sides in America, despite polls indicating Americans hate the divides, actually feed on the constant political spin theater and buy into it.

The amount of crazy takes I see float by on the news and social media sure look to me like moderates are a very small faction of the American electorate and that zealous liberals and zealous conservatives make up the vast majority of Americans, who pay attention to the news and are most likely to vote in elections. That’s good news for Democrats, who can sensationalize the gun violence news stories, the most extreme anti-abortion positions on the right, and then just highlight the Trump circus clowns acts, like Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene. The GOP is so far from the Ronald Reagan “Morning in America” vision that I no longer recognize this far-right craziness that energizes the Trump faction of the GOP. The mainstream, liberal media has become very adept at squashing news stories that reflect negatively on the liberal culture war agenda and especially on Democrat politicians. If a heinous crime is committed by a liberal wacko, the mainstream media quickly moves past that story and deflects attention to some other right-wing crazy story. This has been going on for years, long before the Trump era or Hunter Biden’s laptop story. It’s pretty common for the liberal media and Democrats to blame Trump for everything bad that happens, even when it’s crimes committed by far-left crazies or problems resulting directly from the BLM “defund the police” efforts they rammed through in 2020.

I’d imagine the Biden team will try to keep him tucked away in Delaware or the WH and away from microphones, as much as possible. The same charade as the 2020 in the basement campaign model. Basically, same old, same old with the spin information war in America still blowing hot.

Now, on to another issue that’s been bugging me and that’s the idea about building all your own systems and getting off of the systems we all rely on, that’s touted by many in the prepper community. This idea is expressed many different ways among the online prepper/homestead community and it takes various forms. Some forms, like growing more of your own food and having alternative basic systems, in case of short-term emergencies, makes sense to me. Who doesn’t appreciate a flashlight when the power goes out? Is it really practical or realistic to build all your own long-term systems for water, power, food production, etc. to survive a catastrophic SHTF event? How many people even have the technical know-how to construct such a system, let alone the means to afford that?

While becoming more sustainable is a laudable goal and I believe growing more of your own food and livestock, if you can, are very worthwhile endeavors. However, trying to build my own long-term power system is beyond my technical know-how and resources.

I’m trying to simplify my life, not embark on more and more complicated projects, based on reacting to online hysteria, that’s reaching new levels of absurdity all the time. It’s more important that we work to become good stewards of the resources we already have, rather than constantly focus on buying more and more and more stuff, in the belief that all that stuff will increase our survivability odds in a major catastrophe. With that in mind, I’m trying to shift focus to using more of the things I already have rather than this constant buy this, buy that mentality that dominates most Americans’ thinking, including the online prepper/homesteading communities.

While I can see the sense in being prepared for short-term emergencies, when it comes to moving completely away from all the systems we rely on in modern life, as a preparedness goal, well, that isn’t in my budget. Even more than that, I do not possess the technical or mechanical skills to even attempt that and I doubt most people do. What I’ve mostly seen online with preppers going this route is piecemeal efforts, that I doubt would work long-term.

When there are so many other practical things that most people can do to be better prepared, considering the vast majority of Americans aren’t prepared for even short-term emergencies, it just seems more sensible, to me, to focus on basics first and work on skill sets that increase self-sufficiency.

Trying to tackle too many large projects to build a “doomsday fortress,” overlooks the reality that in an actual major SHTF, no matter where you are, you might have to relocate. That’s why I’m focusing on increasing my everyday preparedness and trying to be more resilient. I realize that I am set in my ways and often resistant to new ideas. Along with that, as the news becomes more and more negative and over-the-top pessimistic, along with paying less attention to the news, working on remaining hopeful and optimistic is a daily focus. We’re all going to need to look for the good and some hope with the 2024 presidential campaign gearing up now.

Keeping a gratitude journal is part of my daily preparedness focus these days. It’s very easy to let a scarcity mind-set take over when you start on the emergency preparedness path, which can make you see the world in a zero-sum game way, where you believe opportunities no longer exist. Everything becomes us vs. them or I need to buy more and more and more, thinking too much about possible doom and gloom possibilities, while losing sight of all the opportunities that still exist. I don’t have the energy to react to hot take news items all day long, let alone the energy to actually do some research on all these things.

America is still a nation of vast resources. Unfortunately, along with having so much, we are also the most wasteful people on earth. I’ve found that even small changes to be less wasteful in my daily life reaps big benefits over time. Repurposing items is also something I’ve been working on always – I even save twist ties from bread wrappers and the little plastic plastic square bag clips. Yep, I keep a small metal can with those plastic bag clips:

I found this YouTube video with uses for these plastic clips, but there are dozens upon dozens of other uses – including reusing them as bag clips:


Filed under Emergency Preparedness, General Interest, Politics

The Chinese spy balloon drifted into the news again

The Chinese spy balloon that floated across the United States for a week in February disappeared from headlines quickly after the US shot down two other “objects” that turned out not to be spy balloons. Back when the Chinese spy balloon floated over the US, it hovered over sensitive US military sites. The Biden White House and the Pentagon insisted there was nothing to worry about. I recall hearing the Pentagon kept saying the balloon posed “no kinetic threat.” They also blabbed about how they took action and blocked that Chinese spy balloon from transmitting information, along with defending the decision not to shoot it down until it was off the east coast.

As a reminder, this is the same Pentagon that defended the decision to turn over Bagram Air Base to the Afghan military in early July of 2021, which tied the hands of the US military during the withdrawal from Afghanistan in August of 2021. The US military was forced to rely on the Kabul airport for the withdrawal and the Taliban for security outside the airport. Almost every single detail the Biden White House and Pentagon told us during that chaotic withdrawal was flat out wrong or a deliberate lie. They admit the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan happened much faster than they anticipated, but mostly they glossed over the chaos and lied.

It’s taken until now for a report to come out about that 2021 withdrawal and as expected: Biden Afghanistan report mostly blames Trump for chaotic US withdrawal. The report offers up zero accountability and the Pentagon was even trying to take a victory lap for this being such a massive evacuation of refugees, whom the Biden WH insisted were being completely vetted at the Kabul airport. In reality many weren’t vetted, we later found out. Here’s a news report from September 2022: Inspector general: Feds didn’t properly vet all Afghans who entered U.S. Never fear though – the real threat to national security, according to the Biden administration, is “MAGA Republicans.”

I bring this up, because the Chinese spy balloon incident from February of this year has been back in the news recently with reports that, contrary to Pentagon assertions at the time, that Chinese spy balloon was able to transmit information back to China as it hovered over sensitive US military sites. Here’s a quote from an April 4, 2023 Reuters report that cites a NBC report:

“NBC News on Monday reported that the Chinese balloon was able to transmit data back to Beijing in real time despite the U.S. government’s efforts to prevent it from doing so – a disclosure that could deepen Republican criticism of Biden for waiting for the balloon to reach a safe location before shooting it down.”

It bothers me a great deal that I no longer trust anything coming from the Austin Pentagon – nothing. The bigger concern though is we still don’t know what information China gathered or what their objectives were for that mission. Somehow, I feel sure that the Biden administration will just try to shift blame to the Trump administration for this Chinese spy balloon fiasco, but here’s the truth – the US military could have shot down that balloon before it ever hovered over any sensitive US military sites, but President Biden chose not to act.

I hate to go with my gut instincts, without any vetted and sourced information to back this up, but I felt that there was more to this Chinese spy balloon mission than just some routine information-gathering and I still feel that way. There’s a metaphor about signals and noise, where what you’re trying to hear are the signals, but the noise, that’s just random sounds filling up the space, can make it harder to hear the signals. With our crowded information ecosystems between 24/7 news media as entertainment and social media, where everyone on the planet can jump in with hot takes, I feel like we’re probably missing a lot of signals, as we race down rabbit holes after noise disguised as carrots (signals). I hope I’m wrong, but I expect this Chinese spy balloon incident will likely turn out to be a signal we should have paid more attention to.

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A shortened rant

I apologize for posting such a long rant the other day, that ran off in a hundred different directions. I should have sat on that post and spent a few days rewriting it, honing it down to the essence of what I wanted to say, which is “we the people” elect these corrupt politicians and we also buy into the corrupt media spin war garbage too. Whether we trust left-wing media or right-wing media or some random social media influencers, who rush to get their hot takes and blare their clickbait headlines about every “breaking news” or “Outrage of the Day,” the people who pay attention to the spin war are why the spin war works. There’s also a niche of political punditry that uses “data” and endless charts and diagrams to take you on a ride down the Loco River, where you end up connecting the dots of dozens of disparate bits of information and coming up with “the truth.” Glenn Beck popularized that sideshow gimmick, but there are plenty of others online, of various political persuasions using that tactic too. The price of admission for those rides is the abandonment of rational thinking and the willingness to believe anything that feeds your partisan ideology.

I put myself into this category of paying too much attention to spin garbage too, because I’ve spent decades trying to understand the spin information war in America, but I’ve also fallen prey to buying into a lot of spin garbage. Learning to not rush to react to the spin garbage has taken me a long time. I still fail often. Some partisan agendas, both left and right, set me off – like the Democrat spin war corruption for decades, but now the right-wing has become just as committed to spin war corruption.

What got me riled the other day was I saw the crazy “national divorce” idea permeating online again among some of the right-wing pundits and social media crowd. That idea first started with an article at American Greatness, who also began that entire Flight ’93” (that Trump was the last hope for America or we were doomed) hoopla to sell Trump in 2016. That Americans, who claim to love America, so easily have bought into this “national divorce’ idea, not only disgusts me, it leaves me wondering about how easily these spin word games manipulate people. A “national divorce” isn’t like you go to court and sign some papers – it would be the end of the United States of America – no more hope of Make America Great Again, that’s for sure.

If you believe America isn’t worth saving, then, what’s with all the Make America Great Again claptrap? The thing is I know lots of Trump supporters, many are family and friends, and they’re good and decent people. I also understand their fears and abhorrence of the liberal agendas being force-fed to us daily. What I don’t understand is how so many look to right-wing media and react like trained seals to whatever hot take topic is being hyped each day.

The idea of a “national divorce” masks what it really is – a dissolution of the United States of America (and that sort of thing doesn’t usually happen amicably). Anyone who buys into that, while at the same time wrapping themselves in the American flag or running around blabbing “America First,” is either an idiot or being intentionally dishonest. If you get riled about people who don’t respect the flag or fight about saying the Pledge of Allegiance, but then buy into this “national divorce” idea, well, those two positions run directly counter to each other. Just because some slick pundits wrap these cockamamie ideas up by fueling outrage about the Woke culture and politics, that doesn’t mean there’s anything remotely like an amicable road to a “national divorce.” And the worst thing to do in a country where divides are growing is to keep trying to escalate tensions and deepen divides.

The lucky thing is I suspect most Americans don’t pay much, if any, attention to the partisan political garbage, and just go about their lives. I bet most haven’t even heard about this “national divorce” idea that keeps cropping up in right-wing pundit circles and on social media. Unfortunately, there are even some loud elected leaders in Congress, who have bought into this “national divorce” idea, like Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has rushed to NYC to throw flames on the Trump indictment situation, but mostly to grandstand and get attention – as usual.

The same goes for Ukraine and supporting our NATO allies, with the Russian threat on their doorstep. At this point, while I disagree completely with waging this war against fossil fuel and pushing the Great Reset agenda, at the same time as aiding Ukraine, I don’t see any benefit to America abandoning our European allies and NATO. By the way, besides launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, it’s been Putin who has been saber-rattling about using nukes – not Europeans and not the US. Yet, somehow among a lot of right-wing pundits, they blame the US and NATO for “poking the bear.” Good God, President Reagan would not recognize the right-wing in America today. I served in a Pershing missile battalion in Germany in 1980 – Reagan wasn’t backing down from the Soviet Union – he was offering to hold nuclear weapons talks, but he also left no doubt that the US was firmly behind aiding Europe’s defense against Soviet aggression.

Russia and China are rushing to build alliances to counter the US-led alliances, so for the US to walk away from NATO and our European allies, would leave us pretty much alone in the world and every ally we have around the world would quickly reassess their relationship with us. Abandoning Ukraine would also be abandoning NATO and our European allies. It’s also the fastest way to aid Russia and China’s aspirations to take down the US, as the leader of the free world. Yes, the climate agenda and Great Reset craziness is another major threat to American stability too – but compounding that economic insanity with walking away from Ukraine is like having a death wish for America.

Here’s a home truth about America – we would not exist without aid from foreign countries during the Revolutionary War.

Bottom line is “we the people” allow the corruption in our government and it’s now become the norm to engage in binary thinking about everything (selling the lesser of two evils) and one set of rules for your side and a different set of rules for your political enemies (double standards). It’s kind of hard to have a moral compass with those two belief systems guiding you. The spin war is constant slick word games to manipulate and confuse people and it’s the means used by corrupt, powerful people to keep Americans in two hostile camps and buying into crazy ideas.

I still hold out hope we can turn things around in America and I’m not ready to throw in the towel – that’s what I should have said the other day.

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Guess, we need to ponder who we are

“God grants Liberty only to those who love it and are always ready to guard and defend it.”

-Daniel Webster, 1834

This is going to be a long geopolitical and domestic politics blog post (venting). I get weary of the right-wing news media and social media echo-chamber, where every bit of anti-American propaganda, not only gets repeated without critical evaluation, it’s wholeheartedly believed. There are a whole lot of people who trust zero hedge and various pundits without any reservations. What bothers me the most is how so few people who rush to blabber on about the hot topics and frame it to feed their own belief system, actually read anything that challenges that hot take or dig deeper into the history. Often this propaganda, and I use the term propaganda, not information or news, comes framed intentionally to incite and inflame and fuel deeper divides within America. It also invariably comes framed to advance the foreign policy objectives of America’s adversaries. The goal is to turn Americans against, not only the opposing partisan side, but to turn them against foreign policy objectives that really are in America’s national interests.

The American left has a long history of embracing regimes and political ideologies that run counter to our American foundational principles, but now the right-wing, drunk on gulping down too much Trump-era populist swill, enthusiastically wave the American flag, while at the same time embracing isolationist foreign policies and the Trump doublespeak position of making excuses for some of the world’s worst dictators and despots. This isn’t going to be an anti-Trump blog post, it’s going to be a plea for Americans to actually step back and take a long hard look, at not only the “fake news media,: but the entire right-wing media echo-chamber too. Some of the most popular right-wing punditry are total frauds and as much “fake news” as CNN, the NYT, MSNBC, etc.

My blog is filled with anti-Democratic Party foreign policy and domestic policy positions, so this isn’t that I am a liberal. I really do find Trump a phony, shallow con-man and I never lose sight that he was also Bill Clinton’s former golfing buddy. He was a liberal celebrity who liked to hang out with Howard Stern and Joe and Mika. However, I don’t think Trump is the biggest “threat to democracy.” I just put him into the same category as liberal Democrat frauds like his former friends, because under all his ridiculous rabble-rousing red meat populism he throws to his adoring fans at rallies, Trump’s moral center is not conservative, not Christian, not pro-life, not pro-2nd Amendment – it’s 100% Pro-Trump. That is it. He was a liberal NY celebrity, who hobnobbed with the rich and famous. His cheap slogans that he feeds his fans, who repeat them and emblazon hats with, are not actual policies – they’re just sound bites in an endless spin information war. Trump understood the Democrat’s spin war, especially the power and influence of social media to drive public opinion, and that’s why he became such a potent threat to them. Trump was very effective at Twitter spin battles and both deflating Dem spin narratives and hijacking many of them.

So, what is the biggest “threat to our democracy.” in my view, well, here’s my answer – I think that phrase is a silly spin diversion, because our American democratic traditions depend on confidence in the United States Constitution (our constitutional republic) and our founding principles – not on one person or political party. The biggest threat is if “we the people” no longer have faith in our system. Americans losing trust in the American system is the biggest threat to America.

Trust is the keystone that keeps America strong. and without that – we will fall. That is what I believe.

So, now to the current geopolitical mess – the Biden administration is following the Obama team playbook. The Obama playbook which was a total disaster for America and led to endless foreign policy debacles abroad, divisive racial politics, abuses of power using executive branch power to target political enemies, but most of all the Obama playbook operated off of a “rules for thee, but not for me” principle. And this is where America’s foreign adversaries took full advantage of that Obama team hubris. It was interesting reading the Forstchen novels about an EMP attack, with partisan political overtones and he included a scenario where lax security with handling classified information, like the Hillary email server, followed into how the White House, operating from a secure bunker after an EMP attack, behaved.

It wasn’t only Hillary Clinton who was reckless and disregarded the rules on handling sensitive and classified information – it permeated through the entire Obama administration and it included President Obama himself. When the FBI released the Hillary email investigation notes in the fall of 2016, I read through all of them, trying to answer questions I had and things I didn’t understand, despite mountains of reporting and media coverage of that scandal. For instance, I didn’t really have an answer as to why she set up that private email server. The FBI’s chronology of the private email server, made clear to me that former president, Bill Clinton, set up that private email server in their home for his Clinton Foundation work. When Hillary was selected to be Obama’s Secretary of State, the Clintons upgraded that private server and Bill’s aide, Justin Cooper and Hillary’s campaign IT guy, Bryan Pagliano, under the direction of Huma Abedin did that upgrade.

Of course, Democrats will chant, “but her emails,” and plug their ears whenever that scandal is mentioned, but the scandal while coming to light over classified information on that private UNSECURED server, skipped the more important question. Why did Hillary use a private email server in her home? The answer to that goes to former President Bill Clinton, who actually set-up that private server in their home for his Clinton Foundation work. Then when Hillary was ready to become Secretary of State, the Clintons upgraded that private server, under the supervision of Hillary’s aide, Huma Abedin. This isn’t my theory – it’s in the FBI Notes on the email server investigation, which were released in the fall of 2016. Why would the Clintons merge the Sec. of State emails onto their private Clinton Foundation email server in their home? That question was never asked by the liberal media and the right-wing media ranted about “Lock her Up” and about classified emails. The thing is classified emails on an unsecure server were only how the corruption came to light. The deeper core corruption was the Clintons set up a system merging the US State Dept. business with their foundation business on a private server in their home. They used US government information and a high political office (Sec. of State) to advance their private Clinton Foundation. Hillary wasn’t acting in the interests of the American people or even the administration she served in – she was out for their family business of raking in money from the rich and famous, at home and abroad.

Reading those FBI Notes, it became clear to me that several other Obama officials had been sending sensitive and classified information via private email accounts too, including President Obama. And that’s why nothing happened to anyone who mishandled classified information in that email scandal – it would have implicated the highest level of the Obama administration – President Obama, himself. Now this rehash isn’t about sour grapes that there was no accountability – it’s because in the world of geopolitics – it’s not about Democrats or Republicans in the eyes of the rest of the world. It’s about the United States of America.

Most Americans seem to have no concept that in the rest of the world they see America as either an ally, adversary, or a global superpower that can’t be ignored, well, couldn’t be ignored as long as America remained a superpower. The rest of the world pays close attention to American news and while American media and Americans live hunkered down in hostile partisan camps, foreign governments and entities saw opportunities to exploit those American divides and those glaring security weaknesses. It’s a given that several foreign intelligence entities knew about the Clintons unsecured private server and had accessed it, especially when that private server came to light in 2013, when a Romanian hacker, Guccifer, hacked into Clinton advisor and friend, Sidney Blumenthal’s email. The actual Clinton email server scandal didn’t become big news until the spring of 2015, when the 2016 presidential campaign began. During that two years between the Guccifer hack being reported and the spring of 2015 when the email server scandal erupted, it’s guaranteed that foreign intel agencies expended a lot of effort to exploit that unsecured private email server, where all of the State Dept. business was sitting unprotected. It’s also obvious to me that the story we were fed about Huma Abedin storing State Dept. emails on the Weiner family laptop was just an unintentional accident is not true. That’s the story Clinton operatives floated and it’s the story, former FBI director, James Comey, sold the American people. Huma Abedin oversaw the Clinton private server upgrade, right before Hillary became Sec. of State upgraded and Bill Clinton aide, Justin Cooper, testified in Congress that Abedin also managed the SCIFs in both Clinton residences – Chappaqua and their DC home. Abedin told the FBI she knew nothing about the private email server until 2015, when the story broke in the news. That is also a lie – she orchestrated the private server upgrade right before Hillary became Sec. of State in January of 2009. Be that as it may, this post isn’t about the Obama corruption, the Clinton corruption, the media corruption, of even the Trump corruption – it’s about our own corruption – “we the people.” “We the people” elect corrupt people – over and over and over again.

I’ve been a right-wing American my entire adult life, but I feel both a great deal of unease with how corrupt the right-wing news media and punditry crowd is, despite trusting so many of these sources over the years. I could easily see how dishonest the liberal, mainstream media was for decades with all their spin word games and selling Democrat narratives constantly, but I was blind that the right-wing media was just as dishonest and corrupt. That was a very uncomfortable revelation for me – to admit right-wing media/pundits I trusted were as dishonest as the liberal ones. And likewise, this goes for the political class too – the Republicans in Washington are as corrupt as the Democrats. All that binary choice stuff, of settling for the lesser of two evils, in politics just sinks us further. Trump is not a savior on a white horse, he’s a liberal New Yorker, playacting at being conservative. There is no man on a white horse coming to save America – it will take a whole lot of Americans to work together to do that.

Americans, especially right-wing Americans rant about loving what America used to stand for, but for many years, I wonder what they think America stood for, what they want it to stand for and how they think retreating from the world stage will return America to the “greatness” they desire.

The reality of all those indulgent “rules for thee, but not for me” antics within the Obama administration allowed America’s adversaries to easily acquire sensitive and classified information constantly – yes, it’s guaranteed that the Clintons private server was accessed by several foreign entities, but the national security nightmare went way beyond the Clintons private server – it was throughout the entire Obama administration, where officials, including Obama, did not follow sound security protocols to safeguard American intelligence and information. Back in the 1990s, a common criticism leveled against the Clinton administration was that many of the WH officials would never have passed a traditional security background investigation, including President Clinton. GWB had more old-school type people in his administration and following the security rules. However, there was the lying though, especially about Iraqi intel and WMD there too and that’s why I don’t want to make this about which party is worse. With Obama, Trump, now Biden, being the Obama JV team, it’s more of the same lax handling of information.

President Trump spent more time on promoting himself and fixated on fighting with the media than he ever spent worrying about America’s problems at home or abroad. In fact, even with that J-6 disgrace, all the people who did get arrested were left on their own. He continually fundraised off of that, proclaiming he’s a victim, but he never spent one cent to aid any of those J-6 defendants with legal counsel – not one cent. With the latest crazed Dem effort to indict him, Trump was back out there trying to incite his followers to get out and protest. I did see a former, strident Trump-supporter pundit tweet that no Repubs should listen to Trump and go protest in a blue city, because Trump wasn’t going to spend even a penny to help them, if they got arrested. I believe Trump is about Trump, but there were policies promoted during his presidency that I supported. There again Trump usually went out and threw his own people under the bus or created unnecessary obstacles to get those policies implemented.

This veered off from the geopolitics, so let me try to get back on track in this rant. America, being a world superpower, has allowed Americans to prosper and build a standard of living that can not be sustained, if America retreats or is relegated to “just another country” status. A lot of Americans want it both ways – they want all of the perks of being a superpower (all those nice things we have in our homes, a standard of living unheard of in world history, a veritable land of plenty), but they now don’t want to burden any of the responsibilities that come along with being a world superpower.

Ukraine has become an area where America’s adversaries successfully feed anti-American propaganda into the right-wing media ecosystem by masking it as anti-Biden, anti-NATO, and painting Russia as a victim. Putin launched a full-scale invasion into Ukraine. Russia and China haven’t been “pushed” closer because of America and Europe aiding Ukraine – Russia and China were plotting to wage an economic war against America and the West for years – yes, YEARS. The signs were there with the ever increasing fossil fuel and economic deals they were ironing out and implementing. Here’s a Foreign Policy article:

“Just weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Putin and Xi famously declared their “no limits” partnership in a 5,000-word statement that rattled Western countries. As they drew closer politically, so too did their economies. Trade between Beijing and Moscow skyrocketed by more than 30 percent to nearly $190 billion in 2022, particularly as China bought up Russian crude oil at heavily discounted volumes. That year, Moscow was also Beijing’s second-biggest supplier of crude oil, coal, and pipeline gas, according to Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy.”

Got that – “weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine.” What, I believe Putin expected when he invaded Ukraine, was a Western response like the Afghanistan Withdrawal debacle and western disunity. That the West actually banded together to help Ukraine came as a shock to the Russians and Chinese. Never fear though, the American right-wing media has been filled with non-stop pro-Russia propaganda, especially Tucker Carlson and that retired COL. he brings on to spew against aiding Ukraine, talk about how spectacular Russia’s military is doing and predict Ukraine failure. They also absolve Putin of blame for launching a full-scale invasion into Ukraine.

While Trump’s former friends were people like the Clintons, Tucker Carlson, was friends with Hunter Biden. I always look to where people came from and Trump was a pampered rich kid, who sought out rich and famous liberal friends. Tucker Carlson isn’t from a working class background – he’s part of the elite. His step-mother is a Swanson Enterprises heir. One of the emails on the Hunter Biden laptop was Tucker seeking Hunter’s help to get his son into Georgetown, where Hunter is a graduate. That email was from 2014, when Joe Biden was vice president. I don’t trust anything Tucker Carlson says and the text messages recently released in the Dominion lawsuit against Fox News, just highlight how dishonest some of the big name Fox pundits are – they want to keep their right-wing followers angry about the Democrats and “fake news,” and will sell any story to keep them watching. Sure, the liberal media and Democrats are hyping these FOX text messages for their own partisan objectives, but the bottom line is these text messages are legit and show just how dishonest and disingenuous those big name Fox primetime pundits really are. A Tucker Carlson is no different than a Chris Cuomo, in my estimation.

Now to the big picture, I believe aiding Ukraine is important for America and important for our European allies, if the US hopes to remain a world leader. How the Biden administration has handled the Ukraine situation and their insane belief they can wage a two-front war – aiding Ukraine to fight Russia and at same time waging a war against American fossil fuel production is where I disagree.

I’m perplexed by flag-waving Americans, who rail against any American aid and want isolationist policies, yet they rant about America First and returning America to past glory. They expect America to be a powerful country like in the past, while not caring that Russia and China have been aggressively working to build an alliance to knock America into backwater status for years, I have heard no answers. All they rant about is senile Biden, dastardly Democrats, and buying into every crazy conspiracy theory, that centers on fueling anti- US government paranoia. The right-wing news media ecosystem is as corrupt as the liberal media and as infested with hostile foreign information operations and propaganda. The left-wing news devolved into insane propaganda since 2016, when #Resist replaced any sort of journalistic standards, so they filled their news media space with every former Trump crony, who turned on him or assorted crooks, swindlers, frauds and angry women, who they could find to trash Trump and try to destroy him, by any means necessary. And yeah, the left-wing media is still hard at work on their #Resist project, evidenced by the recent Trump indictment.

Bottom-line for me is I recognized the Global War on Terror was a disaster as the insurgency in Iraq was growing and training the Afghan security forces had turned into a bottomless pit of graft and corruption, with the US pouring in arms and aid that disappeared into thin air. So, I was slower than many people, who advised against invading Iraq, but I did eventually catch on that our endless wars, with all their stupid slogans masquerading as strategy, were not being won. I understand why so many Americans don’t want US troops engaged in faraway wars that they don’t think are our fight, but when it comes to Russia and China – well, Ukraine isn’t only about Ukraine – it’s about that Russia-China alliance that’s growing and is committed to replacing the US as the leader on the world stage.

If America abandons Ukraine, America will be pushed into backwater status quickly and trust in America will evaporate. If that happens the American standard of living will drop and we will be facing an ever-increasing array of threats, at home and abroad, with fewer and fewer allies. That’s the reality of walking away from your strongest allies and a treaty, NATO, which has served as the centerpiece of American foreign policy post WWII to keep America and our closest allies safe. Winston Churchill coined the phrase “iron curtain,” to describe the Soviet Union’s aggressive takeover of eastern Europe at the end of WWII and it seems sad to me that so many right-leaning Americans, who proclaim how much they love vets and those who served, can so easily mouth excuses for Putin’s full scale invasion of Ukraine and ignore history. So many European countries, even the wacky liberal ones, quickly saw the threat from that Russian aggression and there’s been a rush for them wanting into NATO. That isn’t because they want a world war – they fear Russian aggression escalating. Putin isn’t the good guy here and Russia isn’t the victim.

Remaining trapped in the scorched earth partisan spin war way of thinking and ranting about “the other side” keeps America locked into reacting constantly to the latest media Outrage of the Day or racing down propaganda-filled rabbit holes, that keep Americans isolated, disunited and fighting among ourselves. We aren’t responding based on any sort of principles or calm reflection – we are just spin addicts getting the next hit. It’s way past time to start ignoring most of the incendiary political and cultural “national conversations” and piles of flaming garbage that pass for hot takes and “news.” The only way to rebuild any semblance of a united country is to begin talking to other Americans and listening to opposing viewpoints and ideas. If all you do is get fired up and angry about every alarming headline, you have ceded control to your emotions.

When we look beyond our water’s edge, we are neither Democrat or Republican, we are Americans. Many Americans don’t seem to realize that is how the world views us. How do we view ourselves as Americans? I suppose most people muddle about for some political concepts in the founding documents or for others it’s all about social justice or diversity. I think America is still struggling for a national identity since the collapse of the Soviet Union and our rise to being the world’s superpower. Samuel P, Huntington wrote an interesting book, Who Are We? The Challenges To American National Identity in the early 2000s. I think he was right that we are still in a sorting out period about our national identity, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, where the Cold War played a major part of our national identity, but a nation is made of people and the character of those people will define the national identity.

We, as Americans, probably need to take a long hard look in the mirror and first figure out who we are as individuals and ask, “What do I really believe?” If you can’t see beyond media-driven partisan anger and outrage, you certainly can’t Make America Great Again or unite our country. I come from an old school, where if you give your word, you keep it, especially with making a solemn vow or taking an oath. I swore an oath to defend the constitution. For me, it’s deeply disturbing to hear talk among some people on the American right about a “national divorce,” and I’m shocked at how easily so many Americans have rushed to embrace this idea, which would only aid America’s adversaries and make it easier for them to extinguish America’s light of liberty.

I’m not ready to throw in the towel on America. I look to all those Americans who came before me and all of their sacrifices that made the cushy lifestyle we enjoy even possible. I pray that their tears, toils and struggles weren’t all for naught.

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Filed under American Character, Foreign Policy, General Interest, Politics

Looking for resources all around us

Building your own home reference library with books is a frequent recommendation within the online prepper/homesteading community. While it’s easy to criticize the federal government about many things, one thing I’ve found is the US government, being a vast bureaucracy, produces a lot of pamphlets, documents, fact sheets, etc., with useful information, that are available free. Along with acquiring books, I’ve been printing out, not only recipes, but other information that I think might be a useful addition to my home reference library.

Here’s a link to an EPA Emergency Disinfection of Drinking Water fact sheet: Having the measurements of bleach per quantity of water to sanitize water is on this fact sheet and that might be handy to have in my prepper binder.

I’ve also printed out information on herbal remedies. Here’s information on pine needle tea from WebMD: What To Know About Pine Needle Tea. According to this article pine needle tea is packed full of vitamin C. The article lists some common pine trees, like the Eastern White Pine, as a common source for edible pine needles and that pine variety is plentiful in the eastern US. This was a resource that I think would be good to know about, considering how plentiful pine trees are where I live. Of course proper identification of any wild plant or tree you use as a food source requires learning how to actually properly identify trees. Its a skill you have to work at developing.

The WedMD article advises using an online tree identification source or a local cooperative extension expert for help with tree identification, however I think acquiring some field guides is a worthwhile addition to your home reference library. There are apps that will identify a plant or tree when you snap a photo of it, however having an actual book at your fingertips is a good back-up resource. Field guides are books designed to help you identify plants, animals, and the natural world around you and often are available in a pocket-size format that makes them easy to carry along when hiking or exploring outdoors. Most have a lot of color photographs or sketches to help with identification. Peterson Field Guides and National Audubon Society Field Guides are two popular types. Field guides are a bit pricey and I’ve not found a lot of used ones listed online that are in “very good” or “like new” condition, which is what I look for in used books. I ended up with some books in terrible condition in the past, that were listed as in “good” condition, so I skip the books listed as acceptable and good condition.

I’ve been cutting down on my news and social media viewing, because frankly, I find a lot of the content isn’t helpful in my life and so much of the stuff that circulates as “vital information” is really just hysterical drivel, clickbait or part of the continuous social media mass panic stream. It often feels like the worst stereotypical town gossips now reside online and have large followings on social media… No matter how absurd or outlandish the online rumors, there are hordes ready to pass them on. The political news and analysis is mostly drivel too, so I read some news articles, scan some headlines, then just get on with my day. I did start writing a blog post about social media mass panic drama, but it seemed way too negative and I didn’t post it. The bottom-line is if we lose ourselves worrying constantly or being consumed by fear-driven prepping activities, it’s not going to make us better able to cope with crisis situations, it’s going to lead to a lot of bad decisions and panic-driven responses.

On social media I saw a liberal lady still stuck in COVID masking hysteria recently and then I saw a prepper guy, who is always hyping doomsday stuff had a video about buying gas masks for the family. They were two sides of the same social media coin. Whatever – I am sick to death of the drama. Here’s the thing, even in the midst of war, soldiers still look for small moments of rest and relaxation – they take mental breaks, as well as read books, write letters home, play cards, etc. They don’t stay worked up 24/7, because it’s not good for them mentally. They also try to maintain small vestiges of normalcy in daily tasks, wherever they can, even if it’s only a cup of coffee in the morning. They don’t live their life worked up constantly, if they hope to survive.

Yes, I believe a larger war, beyond Ukraine is likely. There’s nothing I can do about that. Likewise, I believe serious global economic problems are in motion too, so here I agree with what most of the economic experts predict about serious global economic problems. Could an EMP attack happen? Yes, I believe it could. Would it be catastrophic? Yes, I believe it would be. Beyond taking the preparedness actions that I can afford, without incurring debt (because debt can sink you fast in economic hard times), continuing to stock up basics, learn as much as I can, and work on my health and fitness level, I can’t change any of the big things that might happen. Another thing I can do is guard against letting worrying about the future rob me of the present. Each day matters and if you let worrying about the future or agonizing over the past consume the present, well, you lose the present for living.

I don’t believe people who stay worked up usually fare well in real crisis situations. I watched videos a while back with people talking about their prepping, who were worked up over empty store shelves and they bought into the belief that the government is trying to starve them and yet, these same people kept talking about how much food and stuff they had stocked up. The reality is if you have 6 months or a year’s worth of food stocked up at home and you see some empty store shelves – it’s not a crisis in your life. I just google if there are sections of out of stock stuff in my store to see if there’s some shortage situation and I check other local stores and online to see if there’s any available there. I usually have a good amount stocked up anyway, so I wait until I can get more later. So far, I haven’t had to resort to making major substitutions, but that definitely is a possibility, if shortages worsen, as predicted.

For several years, I’ve been working at wasting less food, because I realized I was still buying fresh fruit and vegetables, plus cooking like our kids were still at home, when it was just my husband and me. Now, my husband is gone and I think about how much fresh produce I buy and how to preserve it, to avoid waste. If times get worse, we’ll all have to adapt and that’s why stocking up food and basics is so important, because we can try to assure that we have a level of food “insurance” to help see us through difficult times, as we work to figure out solutions to a crisis situation.

If severe shortages do occur, well, it’s going to take some calm and resolve to try to find things, figure out substitutions and learn how to more effectively network or barter – especially locally. If the internet’s down or cell phones, or there’s a fuel shortage, well, that could make things even harder. Building bridges of goodwill can be as vital as building up a massive personal stockpile. My Pop, who had a 10th grade education taught me that – he was always helping out people and when I asked him why he would say “Well it didn’t cost me much except a little time and everyone has a little time to spare.” I wrote about this back in 2013 in a blog post and I still believe my Pop’s brand of just offering a helping hand wherever he could is better than sitting around trying to plot how to convert my home into a fortress for a future crisis. It sure seems like some people already live stuck in a self-limiting bunker mentality, seeing ever-growing threats, while seeing less and less of the blessings and good things all around. I’d rather take the “risk” of talking to all kinds of people, not just “like-minded” people.

In a crisis a whole lot of people offering helping hands will be better than people holed up in their own fortresses distrusting everyone. I’m not dismissing the importance of self-defense or having to be careful about personal safety, especially in a crisis situation. What I’m saying is that if everyone is out only for themselves, then there won’t be enough people trying to help their community survive. It might take finding people with various skills and linking them up with other people with skill sets where they might be able to figure out various technical, mechanical, vital infrastructure stuff, etc. that will help the group survive. You definitely wouldn’t need everyone to become subsistence farmers, even though farming is a vital skill. Machinists and people with all sorts of other technical skills, medical skills, logistical skills, etc. would be vital in a major crisis too. And that’s why this idea of going it alone in a major crisis is such a bad one or wasting time figuring out who you’ll help and who you won’t help in a crisis (I actually saw social media prepper videos where that was a hot topic a year or so ago). Getting people to share skills and knowledge will be critical in a major crisis. People talking to each other can be vital for everyone’s survival, because sharing information can alert others to dangers or issues. Sharing some resources might be critical too, even if you are well-stocked, because you never know when you might need a helping hand too. Accidents and illness can strike any of us, even if we are well-prepared and have diligently stocked up food, water and supplies. People who will work together always are the most critical resource, I think.

Even with my medication shortage issues, so far it’s not a crisis situation. I can still communicate with my doctor easily and we’re discussing options as this goes. Of course, I’ve been doing some research to gather some information, in case it does become a crisis situation. In some places in the world the medications I have had access to, have not been available at all – that’s something I think about often when I think about how blessed we are in America. Heck, even having a year-round vitamin C source like pine trees at hand is a blessing and I am sure there are a multitude of other resources that abound around us outdoors, if we only take the time to learn about them.

Yesterday was a lovely sunny day here and I worked at transplanting some seedlings under grow lights inside to red Solo cups and getting them outside. I came inside feeling optimistic and grateful for a lovely afternoon. Something I want to get back to soon is starting a gratitude journal again, because when I’ve done that in the past, it helped me with working daily to focus on my attitude and practicing gratitude. I also need to work on being less judgmental, I know that. I will be writing fewer blog posts for a while, because I’m sick to death of the partisan political garbage and I’m equally sick of online drama, which is a reflection of American culture, both liberal and conservative, and I find this drama, not entertaining or informative, but a bit unsettling a good bit of the time.

One last resource recommendation, where I’ve been learning all sorts of things about early American life and culture, is a series called “Everyday Life in America.” It’s a 6 volume series by different historians, who tackle different time periods as America grew and changed. I have the first three books and am working my way through them. All sorts of common assumptions and beliefs we have about early American life are wrong and what keeps striking me over and over again, as I read more, is how people, even back then, depended on trade and various supplies from other places to survive. The idea of people being able to produce all of their own food and goods is a myth. Yes, being as self-reliant as possible is a good thing, but it’s important to remember that people, even back then, developed trade routes, built communities, established local government and also built a whole lot of churches. Often they had to turn to neighbors for help. People fare better in groups – that’s the truth. We really do need more people to commit to building One American Team again.

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Filed under Emergency Preparedness, General Interest

Paper copies are a good thing

While we are awash in information on a daily basis, especially online, most of us lack knowledge on many very basic skills for survival without all the conveniences of modern life and even worse our society has a real scarcity of people who have acquired a degree of wisdom, which is the ability to make sound judgments based on core beliefs, knowledge, and experience. Strong groups always have core beliefs, which bind the members of the group together. It doesn’t necessarily have to be religious beliefs and values because many organizations, even some governments establish core values. The US Army has core values and I believe in those, because they coincide with my religious beliefs: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. For me having guideposts in my life, makes me feel more grounded and peaceful.

On March 10th PBS had this report with President Biden hailing the strong economy under his economic plans: WATCH: Biden hails economic progress after U.S. added 311,000 jobs in February, but on March 8th the Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell reported: The Hill’s Morning Report — Fed chairman: Job losses ‘very likely’. I don’t trust anything coming out of Washington.

On Friday there was news of a bank collapse with Silicon Valley Bank in CA, which handles deposits and loans for thousands of tech start-ups. I had seen a news report that said this was the second largest bank failure in US history, but sure, according to President Biden, the US economy is doing great. Among even the mainstream media financial pundit types, who sell Biden’s talking points, the dreaded “R” word, recession, was being spoken out loud. We’re in for some rocky economic times, in fact, it’s already begun. Fear not though, because we can still do lots of things to improve ourselves and insure that we and our loved ones are taken care of, whatever bad things may come.

So many people I know have two ironclad beliefs that are dangerous fallacies. They believe the major systems for everyday life, like businesses focused in the just in time delivery of our supply chains, will always be there. They also believe that somewhere in our government there are “experts” who have plans to handle every emergency situation and will be ready to “save us” in a crisis. The more I’ve listened to the spin way of “problem-solving” in the past couple decades, where slogans substitute for actual planning, I seriously doubt the leaders we have in either party would handle a serious national crisis well and here’s the reality check – the #1 priority for the politicians in Washington is “continuity of government,” so they’re going to protect themselves and cling to their power, above all else. Our government bureaucracy is bloated with people from academia, who all think the same way, because the surest way out of a cushy government job is to be an independent thinker and challenge the status quo.

When it comes to total abdication of responsibility, both parties in Washington provide plenty of examples of leaders who are out to lunch or go on vacation in the midst of adversity. President Biden vacations even more than President Trump golfed and in a crisis there are plenty of leaders, on both sides, who put their own interests above the good of the people they are elected to represent. A lot of right-wingers are angry at Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg’s slow response to the toxic spill resulting from the train derailment in East Palestine, OH recently, but I will never forget Senator Ted Cruz taking his family on vacation to Mexico during the TX winter storm a couple years ago, that led to a widespread power outage. My youngest grandson, in Texas, was only a few months old. I would never vote for Buttigieg or Cruz, but heck, I have long lists of politicians, on both sides, that I have zero respect for.

I also have very little trust in any of these major systems anymore and that’s why I seriously rethought my emergency preparedness efforts in the past few years and keep focusing on learning more and reorganizing how I go about things. However, I’m also thinking about how on earth my community would react to a serious emergency and how prepared my neighbors are. You’d think since 2020, just about every sentient adult in America would realize how important it is to be prepared for unexpected emergency situations and have some basic emergency supplies stocked up.

If the economy starts tanking, a whole lot of people will face sudden, unexpected job loss, so having at least a few months of basic food and some emergency water would be two ways to relieve the stress of sudden job loss. Having emergency savings, so you have a buffer, while you figure things out, combined with some emergency food and water, could turn a family crisis into a manageable very bad situation. Buying yourself time to figure out more long-term solutions, while coping with an emergency, matters and will make a difference in how well you can survive a crisis. If from day one of a sudden job loss, you’re also facing having no emergency savings and no way to feed your family or keep a roof over your heads, your bad situation escalated into a serious family crisis.

Along with basic supplies, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about medication issues, because I’m diabetic and have already encountered some medication shortage situations. I have been doing some research on herbal and other dietary information. I’m trying to stick to long-term better health choices. Along with purchasing books on herbal medicine, I’ve been gathering other information found online and printing out information – some from medical sources, because I find the safe dosage and possible interaction with other medications and other conditions good to know. I doubt I can remember all these details, especially in an emergency situation, so I prefer paper copies.

Acquiring more information seems like an important resource to me and then turning that information into learning actual skills and knowledge is critical. I am working on planting more useful herbs and learning more about herbal remedies. I started a jar of homemade apple cider vinegar and have it fermenting. Apple cider vinegar may help lower blood sugar, but it’s not a miracle cure or a substitute for your meds. I like knowing pros and cons and potential problems, like this article I linked mentions the benefits of apple cider vinegar, but also the cons, like damage to tooth enamel, increased problems with acid reflux and warns about people with kidney disease, having problems processing the excess acid. Americans are notorious for latching onto fad remedies and cures and I’d imagine in a crisis situation that tendency would intensify. I remember some of the reports in previous disasters of bad and dangerous ideas that took hold and led to more problems. Apple cider vinegar has so many benefits – including having antifungal and antibacterial properties, so knowing how to make vinegar seems like a good thing to know – hence I watched some videos on the process and I purchased books on how to make vinegars and other fermented foods.

Moringa is also touted as having a multitude of nutritional and health benefits, including lowering blood sugar, so I also bought some moringa seeds a few months ago and am going to try growing some moringa trees. I had purchased moringa tea to try a few months ago too. I’ll keep you posted on how those seeds do. Moringa should be able to be grown in my 8b growing zone.

Many of my learning new skills are small projects and they’ve been fun. From a lifetime of needlework and crafting projects, I’m here to tell you “constructing” things and even recipes are a learning process. Often the directions I followed didn’t turn out like I hoped or I ran into some issues and decided to make some changes. Many, many times I ended up going through several “prototypes” until I produced a finished product I was happy with or came out with a dish that I liked. My food adventures are the stuff of family legend, with one of my kids long ago asking if a new dish was “a real recipe or one of my concoctions.” I lied and told him it was a real recipe, but actually I had just made it up and it was awful. That’s why learning more skills is not something to put off, just like buying supplies for emergency preparedness and not learning how to use them. You don’t want to be like me, standing there under pressure, reading the directions to a product I never used before. In my defense there have been times when something broke and I ran to the store to buy something to try to fix it and that necessitated standing there, in the midst of a mess, reading instructions. I learn best by doing things and mistakes and failures prod me to rethink things and try again.

I was not some spectacular soldier. I was a kid who signed up for an office job, but in my short time in the Army I learned a lot of important lessons that have stuck with me for life. The main one my husband taught me, when he explained to me it wasn’t about “me” it was about the team and that what I failed to do could cost my team members their lives. That lesson, developing a belief in selfless service, sinking in over time changed how I live my life. When I was in the Army I remember a field training exercise in the woods in Germany, where an evaluator came up to me and told me in that simulated exercise I would have been dead and he explained the mistakes I had made. This is how training in the Army is conducted – you train and train, to develop skills, so that on the battlefield, you don’t make all those mistakes and you develop muscle memory. All those trite sayings, like “practice makes perfect” contain pearls of wisdom. My late husband was very good at training soldiers and many of the skills I learned on how to better handle my tendency to worry too much, I learned from him.

The world-wide crises brewing now and the total lack of leadership (on both sides) in Washington are legitimate reasons to be very concerned. However, the most worrisome thing is the decline in American cultural values and the omnipresent sense of entitlement that pervades our culture. This goes way beyond just the “other side,” who you don’t agree with politically, it’s about how immersed most people are in celebrity garbage or “causes” they know next to nothing about. I’m sick to death of so many people being outraged about this, that and the other, egged on by their respective politicians, celebrities, news pundits and “trusted” online sources. The phrase that raises my hackles the most is when people agitate in the media or on social media, by stating , “it’s time for a conversation” on this, that or the other, when really they’re just flame-throwing or inciting people. The daytime TV show, The View, is all about “national conversations,” that pit Americans against each other. I felt like I was an alien living on a strange planet during the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard fiasco, because I didn’t watch any of the trial or follow any of the news and blather about it. None.

I’ve seen advice online about having a protected tablet (protected from EMPs) and how to store digital information that way, even if the grid went down, but since I am not tech-savvy, I prefer having books and paper copies. Most people, myself included, are used to just googling everything. I used to print out lots of recipes, but once Pinterest came along, mostly I go to my Pinterest pins and find recipes I pinned. I’ve got several folders of sewing and craft patterns printed out too. I’ve been working on organizing the recipes I had printed out long ago into a large binder. Then I want to print out more recipes from my Pinterest pins. My local library also has all sorts of free information and while it’s probably an antiquated thing now, but lacking a tech solution, you can always use a notebook or composition book and jot down notes you think might be useful. I’ve used index cards for years to jot down notes and quotes when I read and often the index cards double as bookmarks for me.

I also started printing out articles and various things I think might be useful information again. There are all sorts of directions, patterns, etc. online that are free and can be easily printed out, so you have a copy on hand. Even back in 2020, I found a free face mask pattern online, printed it out, and sewed a bunch of face masks (I get irritated every time I think about that – we were massively lied to by “the experts” about everything during that pandemic). In a serious shortage situation or emergency, having directions and patterns to make all sorts of things might be useful – for instance, patterns to sew washable feminine pads, how to make a sun oven, a brick oven or even a mud oven. If the power’s out for an extended period of time, then fuel becomes a precious commodity, so being able to capture the sun to cook might be useful. Sure, solar power units are great too and there are amazing sun ovens for sale, but the All-American sun oven is almost $500. The internet is awash in loads of free information and free patterns and directions. The time to think about that resource is before an emergency, because even in bad storms, the power is usually down and cell phone service can become sketchy.

It’s humbling to realize that most early Americans were illiterate and yet they managed to survive in some of the harshest situations, while we demand our climate-controlled homes and have luxuries that even the wealthiest people back then could not have imagined. We have the luxury of an overabundance of resources – both material and information. People who can locate and analyze useful information is the scarcest resource in America, I think. Perhaps a large part of it is we’ve become used to fast-paced skimming through so much trivial nonsense online and sharing it, that actually taking the time to read through more serious information feels burdensome to many people. Turning information into knowledge though takes a lot more than just having a well stocked “how-to” library – it takes practicing to develop skill sets. For me the public library has always been a treasured resource to learn more and inspire me to try new things. I have always collected books for my own home library too. I’m not some connoisseur of rare or fine books, because most of my books have been hand-me-downs or used books I acquired at yard sales, thrift stores or bought online.

I want to start organizing printed out information into binders. It might be a good idea to start printing out some of the free information you would find useful and start keeping some printed copies. Using binders has worked for me for decades. Above are some of my old needlework binders of patterns I printed out long ago and needlework magazines I saved. I literally have a needlework “library” – patterns galore, magazines, and books. We’re not going to talk about my hoard of needlework supplies

Organizing paperwork has always been a huge struggle for me, because I stack up paperwork in piles, boxes and baskets, then waste a lot of time searching for information when I need it. A few years ago I began working on organization, on a regular basis, with my food storage and it has helped me keep track of what I have, rotate through food more efficiently, cut down on waste and I have a much better understanding of my food inventory. So, I decided to use this binder approach for recipes and other useful information, where I have paper copies floating around.

Last year I did a major book reorganization effort and that has helped me with keeping track of my books, so I’m hoping this effort to store paper copies of useful information in binders will help me more easily locate this information, when I need it.

If I get really ambitious, I’ll tackle organizing my garage, which my youngest daughter has done several times for me. Somehow, gradually, I always start cluttering it up again. It’s at the OMG point again.

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America needs more builders

While reading One Second After, a fictional novel about an EMP attack taking down the US power grid, I kept thinking about a 2015 blog post I wrote, If we build it; we can fix it, which cuts to the chase on where the world is at right now (although we’ve been headed in this direction for many years now). I wrote:

“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.”

Thinking about systems… all kinds of systems… is something I’ve done for as long as I can remember. I try to figure out the parts, pull them apart in my mind, think about how they fit into the larger systems and identify critical structure vs. fluffy extras. and then identify problems, I also think a lot about the “what ifs” and thinking about what would happen, how on earth could we avoid calamity and how could we set about fixing the parts that are broken or failing. I ended that post with this observation:

“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.”

In a recent blog post, I mentioned the train derailment in East Palestine, OH situation and how the critical infrastructure problems in America are long-standing and yet decade after decade little is done to really fix the structural problems. Despite how much government money gets allocated, we just end up with “patches” to problems, lots of wasted tax dollars, zero accountability for fraud, waste and abuse of public monies and most of all we end up with catchy political sound bites and false narratives, deflecting blame, pointing fingers at the “other side” and enough hot air to keep millions of hot air balloons afloat indefinitely.

The scenario in One Second After is about such a massive catastrophic event of a major system failure that results in simultaneous sub-system failures and life as people know it ceases to exist, leaving them adrift and trying to figure out basic survival without all those major systems to rely on. The author put a lot of thought into exploring the “what ifs,” but it’s important to keep in mind his work is fiction, not prophecy. That’s the thing with all the “what ifs” we might get concerned about – they’re “what ifs” and some are more likely than others. For instance, I live in an area hit by hurricanes and bad thunderstorms that often spawn tornadoes, so that means those sort of events are a more likely “what if” in how I want to be prepared. That doesn’t mean a world-altering catastrophic event like an EMP attack or nuclear war can’t happen, it’s just in my daily life, most of the same emergency preparations for a hurricane would be the same things – basics – water, shelter, food, personal safety. Major emergencies almost always seem to put us back to thinking about the basics of survival.

I see a lot of online homesteaders and preppers, who seem to be running around in a million different directions, starting one major project after another, as the latest online conspiracy theory or fearmongering takes hold. They’re buying this list of stuff, then that list of stuff, then it’s going from a handful of raised beds to trying to plant acres and acquiring livestock right and left too. Many seem like they’re once and done type “experts” – they try something once or worse hear someone else online talking about a topic, then they adopt that person’s take and present it on their own social media platforms. Trying to troubleshoot for every imaginable doom and gloom scenario isn’t practical and even more than that it’s a scattershot approach that can wear us out physically, leave us financially bleeding out and worst of all emotional basket cases, if we try to embark on too many projects at one time.

Today is two years since my husband passed away and after a trip to the cemetery, I’m going to try to get this blog post done. He was forever reminding me KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid and he would use that “how do you eat an elephant?” line and remind me to slow down and work on one bite at a time. When I get worked up or energized about something – I’m ready to charge full-steam ahead, often biting off way more than I can chew, so over the years I’ve worked on trying to take smaller bites at a time.

The things that worked for the small community in this novel to survive, are what has worked in groups of people always – strong leadership, building trust within the community, and people working together. That’s not rocket science. They set-up workable systems with what resources they had and learned from their mistakes, but there were still huge costs. However, it goes back to the title of that novel – “one second after” is too late to prepare. You’d think since 9/11, 2008 crash, major weather emergencies and then the pandemic, that our federal government and every state and local government would have made emergency preparedness a top priority and have emergency food, water, medical supplies stockpiled.

Last summer the UN was predicting global hunger and famine to increase dramatically: Secretary-General Warns of Unprecedented Global Hunger Crisis, with 276 Million Facing Food Insecurity, Calling for Export Recovery, Debt Relief The thing most Americans don’t understand is that we’re not immune from these same catastrophes that befall the rest of the world. Hunger is increasing in the western world too – even here in America. Geopolitical, economic and civil systems are under increasing stress around the world. There are major climate and weather situations happening too, even solar issues beyond our planet. Here’s a January 13, 2023 article, As sun’s most active regions turn toward Earth, potential for violent solar activity builds:

“Extreme space weather can disrupt space technology, power grids and communication systems, including GPS navigation and aircraft passing over the North Pole.”

I don’t have a crystal ball and neither does anyone else, but the major systems upon which our modern civilization are built have become more and more stressed over the last 20 years and in the past few years, there’s plenty of information in the news and in various reports that should serve as the “fasten your seatbelt” light is on and turbulence is increasing. In my 2015 blog post I wrote that I don’t accept the belief that civilizational collapse is inevitable and I still don’t believe that:

“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.”

With all the marvelous inventions and discoveries at our fingertips, perhaps in the midst of having too much of everything we’ve lost sight of the things that really matter – how we care for our families, how we treat each other, and focusing on the basic things. The daily online partisan outrage theater doesn’t matter. All the Us vs. Them within our own country won’t help a single American in a crisis. All the conspiratorial murmurings that fuel social media traffic about the dreaded “evil ones,” – from the left ranting about “MAGA Republicans” to the right ranting about “the Woke” and “the Deep State,” won’t help a single American in need, especially in a crisis.

For us to survive will require a whole lot more “we” and less “me,me,me.” Changing hearts changes the world – that’s what I believe. Oh, and of course it sure would help if more and more Americans started thinking beyond the moment and started seriously stocking up some water, food and basic supplies, in case of an emergency situation. Here’s the US government emergency planning advice:, but I think this is totally inadequate to just have 3 days of water and food stored as a minimum or up to two weeks. There are all kinds of good prepping guides online. In 2020, I decided to go from having a few months worth of food to working on bulking up my emergency water, food and basic supplies and that is still an ongoing effort. I haven’t stopped and I continue to make changes and tweaks, looking toward finding ways to work toward some more sustainable options.

This last point is about a common sentiment I’ve heard expressed many times by people, who take emergency preparedness seriously, about people who haven’t lifted a finger to prepare for anything or even more frustrating dismiss preparedness as something doomsday crazies do. Many people who do prep have resentment toward non-preppers. A hundred years ago, preparedness was a critical part of everyday life for most people around the world, because survival depended on it. I know how frustrating it can be to read all sorts of news and reports, then try to convey to family or friends that certain preparedness efforts are important, only to get dismissed as being too much of a worrier or “there she goes with the crazy prepper talk again.” I just decided to ignore the comments and stay focused on doing what I think is right. Back during that bad freeze a few months ago, I saw the news report of the young woman in Buffalo, who froze to death stranded in her car. I just went ahead and ordered two cold weather sleeping bags for my two oldest granddaughters and some other supplies and had it delivered to their home in IN. I told my daughter to have them throw those sleeping bags in the trunks of their cars and put some HotHands hand warmers in their glove compartments. I also told her to urge them to keep some water and something to eat in their cars too. I had sent a Mr. Heater Buddy a couple months before that cold freeze.

In a major catastrophe, the thing is all the would have, could have, should have won’t matter. The people who didn’t prepare will be aware that they should have done more, but even people who did prepare will realize there were things they should have done more of too. All the partisan political crap and wanting to be right about this, that or the other won’t matter.

What will matter is how we work together to survive, because the reality is in major catastrophes body counts grow exponentially as resources dwindle, civil unrest increases and sanitation degrades – that’s the truth. While many of the scenarios in the One Second After novel seem like worst case scenario statistics, death tolls do mount if there are prolonged catastrophes and little or no relief efforts available. I like a YouTube prepper channel, The Provident Prepper a lot and I like their line – “be part of the solution.” Arguing with or being hostile toward people who don’t see things as you do won’t help anyone. America has an over abundance of angry flamethrowers and wrecking balls. All that “we need fighters” on the right is as destructive as the “tear it all down” on the left. America needs more builders – builders of stronger families, builders of stronger communities and most of all builders of faith, hope and love.

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