Category Archives: General Interest

More 2016 questions

Here’s a short read by Peter Kirsanow, in The Corner section at National Review, titled, “Ask Obama”.

Kirsanow points out :

“The mainstream media remain invincibly incurious regarding the former president’s role in the Russia affair. Presumably, underlings in Obama’s national-security apparatus were running about obtaining FISA warrants, leaking, unmasking, and spying on a presidential campaign and transition without the former president’s involvement, let alone direction. He remained oblivious despite Lisa Page’s September 2, 2016 text to Peter Strzok that “potus wants to know everything we’re doing.” Everything? There was a heckuva lot going on.

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/barack-obama-and-robert-muellers-report/

 

The following is an 11 minute John Batchelor interview about the Steele dossier that poses some interesting possibilities:

Definitely plenty of questions about the Steele dossier swirling since the Mueller report was handed to the attorney general.

 

 

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A clear explanation of the Mueller findings from National Review

Andrew McCarthy at National Review provided the best legal analysis of the entire Russian collusion mess for the past two years and JK kindly provided a podcast link,  located here, where McCarthy discusses the latest news on the Mueller report findings.  It’s worth your time to listen to this, almost hour-long, discussion.

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Time to finally look into the Clinton SPIN operatives

The Mueller report key findings hit yesterday, so here goes:  Mueller did not find any evidence that Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 campaign.  On the obstruction of justice allegation over firing James Comey, there’s sure to be more efforts by Dems in SDNY to try to continue fomenting that spin effort to take down Trump.

Here are the main things the Mueller report doesn’t explain:

Who on earth were Steele’s Russian sources “close to the Kremlin”?

Were these Russian sources paid, or did they just offer up this supposed “Kremlin dirt” to Steele?

If Steele did pay his sources, where did those funds come from?

Cody Shearer, longtime Clinton operative (sleaze merchant), was reported to have produced a second dossier, which was fed to the Obama State Department as “reliable intelligence”.

How much overlap, collaboration or “collusion” (dare I say) was there between Shearer, Steele and/or Fusion GPS?

From 2018: “The second dossier — two reports compiled by Cody Shearer, an ex-journalist and longtime Clinton operative — echoes many of the lurid and still unsubstantiated claims made in the Steele dossier, and is receiving new scrutiny. Over the weekend, Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said in a TV interviewthat his panel is shifting its focus concerning the genesis of the Russia investigation from the FBI to the State Department. This probe will include the Shearer dossier.

In late September 2016, Sidney Blumenthal, a close Clinton confidant and colleague of Shearer’s, passed Shearer’s dossier on to State Department official Jonathan M. Winer, a longtime aide to John Kerry on Capitol Hill and at Foggy Bottom.”

https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2018/04/25/test.html

That 2018 report asserts, “two reports compiled by Cody Shearer, an ex-journalist and longtime Clinton operative — echoes many of the lurid and still unsubstantiated claims made in the Steele dossier”.   Why do the Steele dossier and Shearer dossiers “echo” each other and who are the Kremlin-connected sources, or even Russian sources both Steele and Shearer relied on???

Adam Schiff, James Comey, John Brennan and James Clapper  may want to keep faith in the Steele dossier, but it’s way past time to dig into the details of who were the Clinton sewer rats behind feeding that Steele dossier to top Obama officials and then trying to figure out why these officials bought into the Steele dossier so completely.

It’s time to investigate the Clinton SPIN operatives.

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Filed under General Interest, Information War, Politics

Cart before the horse… as usual

Space abhors a vacuum… so in lieu of any facts about what the Mueller report actually says, the media, partisans and the punditry “smart” set have talked themselves into extraordinary spin contortions, since news broke Friday that the Mueller report is finished.  In the political media cart before the horse fashion, by the time we learn actual details, the media spin fronts have already staked out their talking points.

The Dem spin pivot is it’s now all about the SDNY, according to Adam Schiff,  while Trump spin is working to cast Trump as a sainted martyr.

The truth remains, regardless of Mueller’s report, that both 2016 campaigns were extremely corrupt and working to acquire Russian dirt on their opponent.  While that isn’t criminal, it speaks to both Trump and Hillary being thoroughly corrupt and willing to do anything to win.  That fact should disturb every American.

All along I’ve contended that the Russians would not want to openly “collude” with either campaign, because that would require the Russians having some level of “trust” in those American political operatives and besides, why should the Russians “collude” with American political operatives, when they can feed tantalizing bits of partisan disinformation into the American media and keep the American partisans attacking each other?

Now, the quest to uncover the Clinton/Russian collusion will begin, as the focus shifts to trying to uncover how the Steele dossier came about and how on earth the FBI, DOJ  and top Obama intel peeps bought into it so completely.  Fun times as the 2016 SPIN information war drags on and on and on.

2016 Russian Collusion count

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More proponents of a “Kill Them With Kindness” plan

I like cutesy pictures and saccharin sweet sayings, so here’s what I look at on the hutch above my PC.

An op-ed in the Washington Post a few days ago, The Dalai Lama and Arthur Brooks: All of us can break the cycle of hatred, caught my attention.  It was a short piece about the deluge of angry word flying across the internet.  The Dalai Lama and Brooks write:

“Human beings have a deep longing to live together in harmony. People only feel completely alive when experiencing loving bonds with one another. Everyone, of all faiths and no faith, knows this truth, and most profess it openly.

And yet people fight incessantly. Even though war is blessedly absent in most countries today, these are deeply polarized times. Words too often are delivered with contempt; philosophical differences are likened to warfare; those who simply disagree with another are deemed “enemies.” Often it is on the Internet — which was launched as a forum for unity — where people attack one another, under the cloak of anonymity.”

Their answer to defeating the growing “war of words”, especially online,  is very simple:

“Respond with kindness. Want to say something insulting about people who disagree with you? Take a breath and show generosity, instead.”

As I am typing this, Twitter is aflutter with another Trump-generated outrage spin cycle about Trump’s vicious attack yesterday on the late senator, John McCain, while standing in front of Army tanks and the American flag.  This spin cycle will agitate for a few days, but nothing will really change, despite a firestorm of words flying in the media, covering this latest Trump spin blitz.

Our politics very much reflects our culture and despite many anti-Trump politicians and pundits asserting, “This (meaning Trump) is not who we are,” sadly, Trump very much reflects who we are.

The truth is, in an America where good character and being truthful matters, neither of our two thoroughly corrupt 2016 presidential contenders would have been their party’s choice.  If either party had any ethical standards, they would have rejected such completely mendacious candidates, who were under so heavy a cloud of corruption, and who both have glaring character flaws.   We embrace a culture dominated by social media celebrity, Reality TV stardom and a news media entrenched in promoting political spin cycles.  Absent this media dominated culture, neither Trump nor Hillary would have risen to the top and diligent investigative reporting in the news media would have sunk both of them.

You don’t need a degree in psychology or fancy clinical terms to see that both Trump and Hillary lie outrageously and they both have the disturbing habit of doubling down on their lies, even when there’s video of them saying or doing the exact thing they are denying.  They launch media spin campaigns to bolster their lies rather than admit they lied.

In real life most people with even a bit of a moral compass, recognize thoroughly mendacious people like Trump and Hillary as people to be wary of and untrustworthy, but in American politics now, most Americans chose one of them to lead America…

That speaks to our American culture, where too many people prefer to jump on the latest popular spin train rather than standing up for any sort of moral principles.

Many conservatives and NeverTrumpers made their peace with Trump as POTUS, happily consoling themselves with “But Gorsuch” type rationalizations and trying to skim past the recurring Trump-instigated outrage spin cycles, like this bizarre spectacle of Trump’s attack on McCain yesterday.  Likewise, many Democrats chose to ignore the obvious Clinton corruption.

How many Americans will choose to start being kind and generous when facing hostile attacks?  Well, judging from a couple of decades of watching… and experiencing, social media behavior, even a few people beginning to lead this “kill them with kindness” approach, assuredly, is a welcome glimmer of hope.

The Dalai Lama and Brooks “Kill Them With Kindness” plan, naturally, resonated with me, because it’s the only way to defeat the massive SPIN information war that drives, not only American media, but also American culture.

Since 1998, I’ve wished a thousand times, and more, that I had never posted any comments online, but perhaps working toward writing less about politics and more about things that matter much more to me might be a good thing. Sometimes all it takes is a small gesture to change the tone, so I welcome the Dalai Lama and Brooks suggestion and will work to try to change the only person I can control… myself (and the tone of my blog  &  social media comments).

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Filed under Civility, Culture Wars, Food for Thought, General Interest, Inspirations

Old ways and new with survival

On YouTube, amidst mountains of rubbish, you can also come across truly excellent historical information presented in a very entertaining  video format.  The above YouTube channel, Townsends, offers hundreds of videos exploring 18th century American living.  Along with fascinating historical information, this channel dishes up some amazing 18th century cooking, prepared as it would have been, back when bison roamed America’s fruited plains.   The Pemican video is part of a series of videos on this true early American survival food.

The Townsends YouTube channel offers dozens upon dozens of well-researched videos on 18th century cooking and living, presented in an entertaining and educational format.  These videos are like a walk back into early American life and you can almost imagine you’re living in George Washington’s time.  With my fascination with the American colonial time period, once I came across the Townsends channel, I wished I still had my cheap felt tricorn hat and quill pen.

In my last blog post, I took a pretty dim view of some of the “homesteading” videos I’ve watched on YouTube.  There seems to be a consumerist bent to how many of these people approach their “back-to-nature” lifestyle,  being motivated mostly by watching other popular YouTube homesteading “influencers”, then following advice gleaned via social media, embarking on moving into rural settings they are unfamiliar with and lacking financial plans and a means to provide for unexpected expenses.

The ground truth appears to be, their goal seems more to become quickly famous (popular) selling their beliefs about their back-to-nature lifestyle than it does to actually develop good working systems on their homestead and that bothers me.  Many of these people seem to spend more time working on their YouTube videos and social media than they do on finding practical ways to make their actual homesteading more productive.

Any home, requires food, water, heating, sheltering, waste disposal/sanitation systems.  Those are the basics anywhere humans live.  The more effectively and reliably these systems operate in a home, the more enjoyable everyday life becomes.  Absent dependable systems in the basics, the more stressful life becomes.  That’s just common sense, in colonial American homesteading or modern American homesteading.

Rather than be so negative about so much of the YouTube homesteading fad, here’s, the queen of common sense homesteader, Appalachia’s Homestead with Patara, who offers not only sensible homesteading advice, she offers the real deal homespun common sense advice, to people with no background in gardening or farming, embarking on a homesteading lifestyle.   Beyond all of the sensible things Patara says about finances and planning for her homestead, at minute 7:32, in the background is a simple clothesline.

I’ve watched another YouTube channel, of a homesteading couple, with a lot of young children, who have put out several videos where the mother laments about all of her off-the-grid laundry misery.  They choose to live with no electricity and this mother uses a ridiculously small, folding, wooden drying rack to try to dry clothes outside.

In a recent video, she praised her husband for helping her out with laundry… by carting some of their laundry to the neighbor’s, to wash and dry there.  How on earth this is being self-reliant, I have yet to figure out.  In another video, this father also talked about going to part-time hours at his retail job in a home improvement store, in hopes of being able to have more time to work at home… mostly, it seemed, on their social media video “business” ventures.

I kept wondering why on earth, living in the Ozarks and this man working in a home improvement store, he hadn’t put up some real clothesline outside, so his wife could make use of the many days of wonderful breezes there.  I lived at Fort Leonard Wood in the early 90s,  during my husband’s Army career and I had a clothesline in my backyard of our military housing.  On many clear, breezy days, I could fill up my clothesline, sometimes three separate times with loads of laundry.  I started laundry as soon as my kids left for school and got the first couple loads hung out.  Usually by noon, that was dry and I could hang out some more.  And if I had still more, by mid-afternoon, I could hang it out and get it dried.

I had a large capacity electric washer and dryer though, so on rainy days, laundry continued without any interruptions.  One time, living in MO,  the heating element in my dryer stopped working.  My husband went and picked up a new heating element and fixed my dryer when he got home, after working a very long day in the Army.

A clothesline is a common sense thing to have living a rural lifestyle, in most parts of the country.  It’s also one of those basics that could make laundry less of a trial with a large family and no electricity.  A sturdy clothesline doesn’t cost much to put together and for a family with small children, off-the-grid, it makes no sense to me why this mother spends so much time on YouTube lamenting about her laundry woes.

I kept wondering why her husband, who said he worked at a home improvement store, hadn’t put up some sturdy clotheslines, so she could make use of the great breezes that blow through the Ozarks.  Instead, this mother waxes on about amber teething necklaces, pricey amazon health food stuff and the kids, unsupervised, were mixing up batter with almond flour in one video.  I had priced almond flour for a recipe that called for it.  The Walmart store brand was $10 and some change for a 2 lb. bag.  The other brands of almond flour cost more than that.  I decided to stick with my all-purpose flour and skip trying this new recipe with almond flour.

As irksome as I found this couple’s laundry decision-making, it’s nothing compared to some of the YouTube preppers, like a lady waxing on about “dry canning” store bought rice and beans and claiming they have a shelf life of 30 years.  I wondered who on earth tested this “dry canning” method as a safe 30-year food storage method…  She did motivate me to go through my cupboards and discard some food that had long passed the expiration date, lol.  I have a bad habit of stockpiling store-bought canned goods and packaged food.  “Dry canning” store-bought beans and rice is advice, I’ll take a pass on, thank-you very much.

I suppose this sounds like my Three Little Pigs YouTube homesteading saga, so here’s another couple at Living Traditions Homestead (also in the Ozarks), who offer really solid, practical advice on planning and operating a family homestead business.  This couple planned for 7 years before moving to a homestead in the country.  They paid off all of their debt and appear to do their homework before making big decisions and changes.  They offer many interesting cooking and canning videos too.

My dream isn’t a family homestead, but to be completely debt-free and to eventually have a big backyard vegetable garden again and plant lots of flowers.  Whenever I browse seed company sites or walk into stores with gardening supplies and plants, my heart longs to buy, buy, buy, but I’m going to just grow some herbs and veggies in containers this year.  It’s the same response when I watch many homesteading and gardening videos, my eyes are bigger than my physical energy level and time.

For inspiration on container gardening, here’s another YouTube channel, a very nice couple at, Hollis and Nancy’s Homestead, who offer very clear how-to videos on container gardening methods.

You can learn many positive things from YouTube and social media, but often the “most popular” people or the videos with the most likes aren’t the ones offering the most sensible advice.  It’s best to take the time to wander through several YouTube channels when looking for “how-to” videos and think about what that channel is really selling before buying into  magical “healthy” products or lifestyles.

As the Appalachia Homestead lady, Patara, advises constantly, “Slow down and think before rushing into things!”  That’s sound advice on just about all aspects of life.

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Our modern flower children…

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My grandmother’s wild herb books.  She was a believer in herbal remedies and modern medicine.

For a long while I’ve been thinking about social media and how it is changing American culture.  Some of the best behavior can be found on social media, but the negatives definitely seem to be outweighing the good, in the larger cultural context.

This blog post isn’t really just about needleworking, so, please stick with me as I  give some back story.

A couple of years ago I ticked off some women in a YouTube community by commenting and at that point I didn’t understand the dynamic of these mostly female cliques on YouTube, but they operate just like female cliques in the real world with certain popular women being the “queen bees” of the group.  I wrote a few blog posts about that experience, here, here, here, here.  I simply stopped watching those channels in that community, despite my love of needlework, because walking away seemed best.  What bothered me about this YouTube stitching community is so many of the needleworkers on their channels wanted to share their expertise, and don’t get me wrong, many of them are extremely talented, but many of them promoted stitching behaviors that are a recipe for disaster for new stitchers.  It seemed to me many of these women wanted to be “influencers”, is the hip social media word, I suppose, to encourage and promote both their YouTube channel and the love of needleworking, but they didn’t have any concern for giving bad advice or promoting fads that don’t help any stitcher become a better stitcher or learn how to complete more needlework  projects .  However, they weren’t actually concerned that they were promoting a recipe for disaster for beginning stitchers.  In 2017, I wrote:

“Whenever I learn a new type of needlework, I try to learn the basics first and practice a lot.  My mother taught me simple rules about embroidery and I still follow them.  These rules are in the instructions in almost every cross-stitch kit and book too.  They aren’t my mother’s rules, but the time-tested standards for embroidery, of which cross-stitch is a popular type of embroidery.

Anywhere in social media, I run into issues stating facts or an opinion that offends someone or evokes anger, so it was no surprise to me that on floss tube, I would offend someone.  The prevailing attitude is it’s taboo to say anything is wrong, apparently, even when what people are promoting is not only wrong, it’s a recipe for disaster for new stitchers.  Some stitchers started a facebook group called “Stitch Maynia”, which began as some event in May, where they focus on starting a new cross-stitch project every day in May.  Their focus is all about starting new projects, not about finishing what they start. They believe they are promoting cross-stitching and doing something good.

There’s now also a common attitude among many stitchers that it doesn’t matter how the back of their work looks, it’s all about that stitching makes them happy.  If you don’t care that your work is sloppy and a messy back on needlework is sloppiness (that’s a FACT), fine, but once you have a facebook group and a floss tube channel, with thousands of followers, well, you can become a corrupting influence very quickly.  This happens with Reality TV stars constantly too.

I tried to point out to a fairly new cross-stitcher that from years of experience with needlework and crafting, that starting too many projects leads to lots of unfinished projects and also added stress.  To keep track of this madness, there are floss tubers waxing on about all their “WIPs” (works-in- progress) and the spreadsheets, stitch journals and stitching schedules, they are using to keep track of it all.  Into this chaos, they insist they love stitching and starting so many things makes them”happy”.  For a new stitcher, this approach assures lots of wasted money, lots of unfinished projects and lots of poor needlework.

There is no foundation, of focused practice and good stitching habits, upon which excellent stitching is built.

One of the ladies who promotes sloppy needlework at Stitch Maynia quickly tried to tell me I was wrong and that it’s all about being happy stitching and that the back doesn’t matter.  She also told me she has 20 years experience at cross-stitch.  I didn’t even bother to respond, because it’s lost on her.  She has no idea how sad it is to smugly state she’s proud of doing sloppy needlework for 20 years. Sadder still is most of these needlewomen, caught up in this “feel-good” ethos will follow her advice and believe I am mean for stating that standards in needlework (just like everything else we take pride in) matter.  She proudly told me Stitch Maynia has 9,000 followers.”

https://libertybellediaries.com/2017/05/01/when-everyone-gets-a-gold-star/

The thing that irked me the most about many of these “popular” women  in that community is I observed new stitchers starting YouTube channels and wasting a lot of money trying to keep up with the Stitch Maynia crowd  – trying to start too many projects, not working to develop good stitching habits, not working to learn to get the basics down pat and not slowing down to focus on finishing projects.

I have needlework patterns back to the late 70s and I started counted cross-stitch in the early 90s, so I’ve acquired a collection of counted cross stitch patterns that I will never be able to have the time to stitch in this lifetime. I also have tons of scrapbooking supplies, rubber stamping and numerous other craft and needlework supplies.  I acquired a sizable fabric collection intending to some day learn to become a proficient quilter… except the few quilting projects I’ve done, I don’t enjoy at all.  I don’t really like quilting, even though I love handmade quilts.

Simple Diane Graebner cross-stitch pattern  in my q-snap frame, that I’m stitching right now and still need to add the apples, apple basket and goose.  This particular pattern was in the March/April 1996 Cross-Stitch & Country Crafts magazine.  Yes, I still pull out old patterns to stitch and that is why I am not getting rid of my large collection of cross-stitch patterns.

On YouTube, I’ve watched a lot of other crafting videos and learned a lot, just like I learned a lot from many of the needleworkers’ videos too.  However, each group of YouTubers seems to have the same dynamic of “influencers”, who become the most popular YouTubers in that community and then groupies (or subbies, since they are subscribers to the channel), who decide they want to be just like those popular “influencers”.  These groups also have the same dynamic of popular “influencers” trying to use their YouTube channel as part of an online business, along with social media presence on facebook, instagram, setting up etsy shops to sell their products or starting a Patreon subscription site, where followers can subscribe and get more content.  Many “influencers” also sell online class subscriptions.

All of this is fine and dandy and some “influencers” will be able to make some money, but here’s the catch – most won’t and most will waste way more money trying to be like the popular “influencers” than they will ever recoup in sales.  This social media “being popular’ fixation feeds the worst parts of American culture.

Several years ago, I started watching the “tiny house” shows on TV, which began a fad of many people opting for, as the sales pitch went… “living big in a tiny house”.  The things glossed over were the problems insuring houses in America that don’t meet building requirements and the problems with building codes in many parts of America in regards to placing a non-permanent structure on residential property.  Concurrent with the mindset of living with less stuff, expressed by many people opting for the tiny house living, are other fad lifestyles  focused on “back to nature lifestyles”, living off-the-grid, preppers, and “homesteading”, a term that has taken on many meanings beyond what traditionally was considered setting up a homestead to operate a family farm.

The things most of the YouTube people engaged in “homesteading” and living off-the-grid seem to have in common are most come from city or suburban lifestyles, most have no knowledge of farming, most mention learning about “homesteading” mostly from watching … you guessed it… YouTube videos by popular “influencers”.  Don’t get me wrong, some of the “homesteaders” on YouTube appear to be working very hard to safely and responsibly build a working farm, that can provide most of their family’s needs.  Separating the wheat from the chaff with homesteader channels can’t be determined by the number of YouTube subscribers a channel has.  Being popular does not equate to offering good advice or knowing what you’re talking about.

All of this sounded so familiar and it’s like the 60s and 70s type flower children, who wandered off into the rural countryside, to set up blissful communal living, have now set up YouTube channels to lead this new generation into the wilderness:

“Starting in the late 1960s, as many as a million young Americans — mostly white, college-educated and from middle-class backgrounds — left their homes in the suburbs and cities and moved, often sight unseen, to farmhouses, remote mountaintops and woodland clearings, with a goal of building their own shelter, growing their own food and living closer to the earth. A young Bernie Sanders was among them.

Far from being an eccentric anomaly, Bernie is in fact a classic example of a distinct, specific, historical phenomenon: the back-to-the-land movement of the 1970s. The quirky details of his early bio — buying 80 acres of Vermont forest in 1968 and renovating an old sugarhouse into living quarters — are in fact shared by thousands of ex-urbanites across the country during the same period. My own parents moved from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to a northern Vermont hilltop in 1971 and, following advice from the residents of a local commune, began building the house in which I was raised, a geodesic dome.

As I explore in my new book We Are as Gods, so many people went back to the land in this period that they helped bring about one of the most unusual demographic shifts in American history, briefly reversing 200 years of steady urbanization.”

https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/how-the-back-to-the-land-movement-paved-the-way-for-bernie-sanders-65188/

The modern-day flower children iteration set up a YouTube channel, quit their day jobs and decide to embrace “homesteading”, hoping to earn enough to live off hawking their lifestyle on social media, selling subscriptions to their Patreon site.. and as new gardeners, they hope to grow enough food and raise livestock to feed their families and still have enough of their fresh, “non-GMO” produce to sell at farmers’ markets…  Some of these homesteaders, on the quest to become YouTube famous quickly, have young children living in this chaos, where neither parent has any knowledge or experience at subsistence farming.  Yes, most of these YouTube “homesteaders” are pursuing subsistence farming as their sole means to support their family… oh, and the dream of becoming YouTube famous…

Many use their children as actors on their YouTube channel, hoping to attract more subscribers, while they ramble on about how they are pursuing a pure simple lifestyle, unlike the terrible values in our consumer lifestyle…

Here’s the thing, it’s fine to try to set-up an online business using social media.  It’s not fine to use your children as stage props, while they are living without even basic functioning water, sanitation, or heating systems in your hovel.  It’s not fine to acquire livestock, you have no means to properly feed, shelter or pay vet bills.  Large livestock are an expensive investment.  It’s totally irresponsible to be unprepared for the cost of feeding and caring for them, but it’s beyond reckless to drag small children into a living situation, for which you have no training, no experience and no skills to provide even the basics of safe water, sanitation and heating… because you want to “live off-the-grid”. I watched videos of one such family seeking  YouTube fame, where the father had a low-level retail job and talked about going to part-time hours, so he would have time to devote to promoting their new Patreon site and doing the YouTube videos… oh and I guess, in between all of their online time…  work on the family “homestead”.

Speaking as a mountain girl, who grew up around some of the most self-reliant, tough country folk, here’s the reality check for “homesteading” and “living off-the-grid” – the biggest part of being self-reliant is learning the basics of self-reliance in rural living before moving you and your family into a rural area you are unfamiliar with and unequipped with the skill sets to thrive in.  Learn the basics before wandering off into the wilderness or countryside.  If you don’t learn to properly plan, disasters and accidents will very likely befall you, your children, your livestock and your crops.  Listening to advice from YouTube famous homesteaders bypasses the single most important thing that can mean the difference between survival and disaster in rural America – get to know your real neighbors and work hard to establish close community ties.  In an emergency, sending text messages to people you know on social media is no substitute for calling someone in your neck of the woods for help.

Your best resources for information on a rural area, which you are unfamiliar with, are the locals and many rural areas still have a county extension office, where you can get a great deal of agricultural and home food preservation information for free.  The locals can direct you to the best places to get supplies, they can offer sound advice about the land and local climate, they can become your closest lifeline of support in an emergency.  Relying on popular YouTubers advice isn’t a recipe for self-reliant living, it’s a recipe for calamity.

We had some flower children set up communes on old farmsteads in the 70s, in our rural area.  They had no clue how to live in the country, but at least they were living in a large group and many of them came from affluent family backgrounds, so they had the means to buy the necessities, because they sure weren’t going to survive on the fruits of their agricultural labors.  This iteration of the back-to-nature movement, unfortunately, seems to be individual couples, many of them with young children being swayed by YouTube famous “homesteaders”.

 

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