Ending the push for Civil War

A dozen members of the national guard have been relieved of duty while stationed in Washington DC to protect the capital during the inauguration. Some were removed for supporting Trump, the current president of the united states as I write this, others for posting pictures of Gadsden flag and symbol of the revolutionary war that created this country.

The paranoia coming from the incoming administration shows several things about people we are going to have in charge for the next four years. The people pushing this agenda of alienating the people we depend on for the protection of our country have no understanding what is like to be in a uniform. The military is a tribe, a band of brothers that, even with all of their differences, will come together when it is needed. When bullets start flying the only concern these people have is that the guy next to them is shooting in the same direction. Everyone wants to go home at the end and what they know is that even if they are killed, they know the guys around them will make sure they still go home. Now we see a vetting process that could cause a divide in our own military. There are two things that could come out of this, either the military is divided amongst itself or they start to turn on the same people who are trying to divide it.

Demoralizing the military is a psi-op that will likely backfire. What is expected is that soldiers will rat out other soldiers in an effort to protect themselves. Once the rat is found the rest will turn on him and then the process never ends. Even if that doesn’t happen knowing in the back of your mind that you could be relieved of duty for saying or posting the wrong thing on a social media app brings a level of paranoia that will drive people from that profession.

What we are seeing has happened before with the East German Stasi during the cold war. People were criticized for their ideas and would disappear never to be seen again. One can only imagine what the Stasi would have been like if they had cell phones to track and social media to monitor. For a clear example of what this would look like take a look at China with face identification software that can ID someone even while wearing a mask. The social credit score can change if something is said, and wrong action is taken, or you just don’t like the current government which is always the same government. The concentration camps holding the Uyghur Muslims to be sterilized and re-educated only to never be released from prison. Millions of people disappeared in East German during the cold war. Some made it across the border into West Germany but that doesn’t explain how the majority of people worked with the Stasi to turn in their own neighbors and family to make sure they did not one day disappear.

With this process starting with the military the 1% that is swore to protect the country is being mentally beaten down in an effort to make sure they will follow all orders coming in from the new administration. I can only hope that the desire to stand up against an unjust authority will cause these people to refuse orders defending the country from the real threat, ourselves.

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The Unmovable Mountain

In the last year 35% of all money created in the United States was made. I refuse to say printed because the national mint didn’t print off this cash. It was done digitally with a bunch of 1s and 0s instantly devaluing savings accounts and the buying power of the dollar all over the world. It was only 20 years ago when Bill Clinton left office after 8 years as president and we had a surplus of money in the federal government. Then came Dubya and it all changed. There had been some shady stuff going on before then with Donald Rumsfeld telling the nation that 2.3 trillion dollars was missing from pentagon accounting books.

What we have been seeing isn’t new. The federal reserve bailout out wall street after they gambled all their money away. Then Obama spent hundreds of billions of dollars on a stimulus bill. Through quantitative easing the federal reserve bought the bad stocks wall street didn’t want and handed the bill off to the American tax payer. Now there is a new kind of theft taking place.

The COVID-19 lockdowns are shutting down small businesses all over the country. The public is forced to buy their food and goods through big chain outlets that are not affected by the lockdown protocols. People who are out of work or have their businesses shut down are at risk of losing their homes because they cannot pay their bills. Keep in mind that if people are not working there are no federal income taxes coming in. At the moment the house and the senate are talking over a COVID-19 relief bill that will have no way of paying for it. Again, they are printing off money while devaluing the dollar. In a situation like this what are people to do?

I have often thought about this question and in a world where everything appears to be falling apart there are a handful of things that will gain value outside of the dollar. If you are looking for currency related items gold and silver are the obvious choices. These metals have never lost their value over the centuries. A large amount of wealth can be transferred with little weight to move it. When gold reached $2000 an ounce a few pounds could be equivalent to a life time of savings. In the words of Ron Swanson “I have already said too much.”

Land. This was an obvious choice for me. With land comes opportunity. The more land you own the more you can do with it. I would recommend only buying what you can handle on your own. I currently own 15 acres. A goo portion of that land will be used for homesteading. The wild sections will be used for foraging and hunting. The woods also provide a reusable source of fresh compost for crops. Timber heats the house and cabin. With a homestead or farm there are other investments that will rise in value in the coming years. Farm equipment will have a high value along with fresh food with the way our current food situation is. China is buying up any soy and protein they can get their hands on. A large section of our corn crops was destroyed in a wind storm. China has been experiencing a drought in their bread basket for a few years now. Much of this can be learned through the ice age farmer YouTube channel and podcast.

Choose quality over quantity. This is true for many things ranging from clothes to tools. Buy a good pair of boots, jeans, shirts, the type that will last for years. Buy a good knife. Make sure you are not buying cheap gardening tools that will only last one season. For god’s sake stay away from Harbor Freight.

Buy a good quality vehicle, one that you can work on. You should be able to change the oil, switch out the air filter, and replace the fuel filter on your own. Bravo to those who go beyond that. Pick up a repair manual for the make and model of your vehicle. If you can, keep extra parts stored away in case there is a breakdown that can be fixed at home.

Beyond these things there is the usual list of things one should have. Food, self defense items, and a supply of cash incase cards are not taken at stores or bank accounts can’t be accessed. Learn about your neighbors and what they have that can be traded and bartered. If your neighbor is a corn farmer try growing something besides corn that he might want incase you have to trade for supplies. If everyone in your area grows tobacco grow food instead.  Set yourself apart so that you can be useful to the community around you.

I hope this article is helpful to those out there looking for some guidance in these troubling times. I will touch on these topics further in the near future and talk about them on my YouTube channel, The Collapse Experiment.

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2020, The Long Slow Goodbye

A few days ago, I learned that John Le Carre, a veteran of the cold war and seasoned writer of high-quality spy novels, died at the age of 89. The comment had to be added to the official announcement that he did not die from COVID-19. This is a good bye for two reasons, the author of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy would never writer another ground breaking novel again, and we can’t hear about anyone dying without having COVID-19 added to it one way or another.

A year ago, at this time we were living free from lock downs, wearing mask, and election drama. I still called myself a liberal. While I was starting to see a change in the city, I always lived I still had a love for it and what it could be. There was the cushy job that paid too much money with little work and responsibility. The house that I still owned since 2004 that I had already dished out $78,000 for and I still owed $43,000 on a $65,000 mortgage. Don’t ask me how the math on that works out. Life was cruising along and then news started to come out of China.

In the last year we lost Sean Connery, John Le Carre, Kirk Douglas, Kelly Preston, Jerry Stiller, and Eddie Van Halen. The list is longer and people would be pissed if I didn’t mention RBG, but to be honest with you I think that one had been living on borrowed time for a few years already. The year doesn’t compare to 2016 when we heard about a new celebrity death every couple of days but that was the good old days. When all you have to look forward to on the news is who died now maybe life isn’t that bad, for you that is, sucks for the dead guy. What was different was how every death this year was over shadowed by COVID-19. Except for Kobe Bryant there was always the question if the person they were talking about had died from COVID-19, or if they died of something else but had COVID-19. The story was never about the life of the person who had died but instead played second fiddle to a disease.

Celebrities aren’t the only thing dying this year. The country appears to be on life support as businesses shut down and lives are destroyed. Several places I loved going to no longer exist. Restaurants, breweries, and small shops have closed their doors for good. For many, the sense of having a future to look forward to has disappeared. The media continues to ignore the record number of suicides that states have been seeing while they continue to keep people isolated for no good reason at all. The American dream has been reserved for a select few, and unless you are prospering from the current economic conditions then this does not include you. The constitution has been under fire these days and like the bible thumpers I grew up with people have started to take a selective approach to the bill of rights. BLM is allowed to protest because it is their first amendment right. People are not allowed to protest the lockdowns because the government says so. Statues were torn down, building set on fire, people killed in the streets in the name of… something and nobody appeared to be arrested or held accountable. Meanwhile if you open your business to make money, while following CDC guidelines so that you can feed your family and keep a roof over your head you will go to jail. COVID-19 didn’t do this, we did this to ourselves. The government over reacted and continued policies more dangerous than a disease and we as a people let it happen and continue. Vaccines have been administered this week and even if the majority of the country has been stuck in the arm with a needle the government is saying we will still have to continue with our current policies. Democracy, the constitution, and the bill or rights also died this year.

Four states changed election rules without going through their state legislature in accordance to the constitution of the united states. When 20 other states tried to sue over this the supreme court declined to hear the case. Voting machines that had been purchased through Canada have been shown to alter votes, and while people like John Oliver stated a year ago that this was a problem. Now we are supposed to believe that there was nothing wrong with these machines.

Race relations have never been worse. A constant barrage of stories about racism and defining people by the color of their skin has alienated the country from itself.

A job that I thought was secure turned into a SJW cesspool, or maybe it always had been and I just didn’t want to see it. Emails went out to POCs (people of color) to have meeting with only them, segregating the employees. Over a span of two years several highly regarded famous authors died with no presentation, display, or mention of the event on the library website. Jim Harrison, Anthony Bourdain, Philip Roth, Elie Wiesel, Sam Shepard, and Harlan Ellison died during the time I work for the library and out of the list Anthony Bourdain had a display, only because I put one together on a cart and wheeled it out into the lobby. There it stayed for a week before it was taken down and the materials returned to the shelves. I had requested a display for Tony, even suggesting a link to suicide prevention, but I was told that “If we did a display for every author who died we would always have a display up.” Somewhere along the way the library had lost its way as to what a library is. Without writers a library would not exist. Somewhere along the way libraries had forgotten where they started and why they existed. And we wonder why people don’t read anymore?

My city started to implode. It was socially acceptable and encouraged to say that white people were evil. Riots happened downtown with windows smashed, and stores looted. The public sided with the rioters while the store owners cleaned up the mess and had to cover the cost. A year before a few members of the Proud Boys went to Bells Brewing for a beer. An out spoken member of the community refused to let them in the brewery saying they were not welcome here and harassed them until they left, while taking photos of their vehicles and license plates to post them online. These are the “open minded” and “socially understanding” people that had started to take over the city. A year later, nobody spoke up against BLM when they trashed the city while screaming about police brutality. The cops used tear gas when they refused to go home and all hell broke loose. The police were under fire for doing their jobs. The Proud boys came back to hold a rally. I watched the entire 1 hour 45-minute uncut video of their march through the city with the poorly narrated dialogue of a man who insisted on telling the camera the exact opposite of everything that happened. The proud boys marched to Bronson park, said some words, and went back to their cars. Meanwhile counter protesters threatened to hit the marchers with sticks and rocks. Flags were stolen and pepper spray used. The local media pushed the idea that the proud boys instigated the violence by showing up. The BLM protesters were arrested for assault and the chief of police was forced to resign for what the public viewed as a poorly handled situation. Later a memorial to a fallen officer was removed from the downtown mall because of public complaint and constant vandalism. My city, the one that I loved, no longer existed.

A brewery that I had gone to since 2013 closed its doors months before their 7th anniversary. The last day was filled with speeches of gratitude and memories that would live on forever. We tried to remain upbeat but by the end of the night men were hugging and crying at the loss of such a great place.

The union closed their doors after we had moved out of town. A place that I wrote about several times, for their live jazz shows, upscale beer selection, and comfortable atmosphere it had a special place in my heart with good food to add to the list. Reasons for staying were disappearing.

2020 has been a long slow good bye to everything that made this country great. From the small businesses that make up the majority of jobs in this country, to the Bill of Rights that has been under attack by the same people who freely use it while arguing you cannot. In a year we have entered some kind of upside-down world where nothing makes sense and to try to live the way you did a year ago is now illegal and you will be punished several ways for it.

People have talked about the new normal and I will admit that everything is changing all the time. There are some things that we need to hold onto. Change can be good but when you do too much you lose a part of yourself or your culture. The country is divided and as I write this there is talk of dividing the country physically. The west coast wants to be liberal democratic states and they can have it. The Midwest from the Rockies to the Appalachian Mountains want to be conservative republican “leave us the F*ck alone” states. Then there is the east coast that is a little more complicated. While I live in Michigan which somehow went from Trump country to Biden wasteland, I can tell you that if you are not in a larger city you are in Trump country. This land is the opposite of where I left. I have seen BLM bumper stickers on the backs of cars and wondered if anyone was going to say something. But there is a simple philosophy here. You don’t bother us; we don’t bother you. I don’t know why that was so hard in Kalamazoo. The country is tolerant, but remember, when you start crap here, these people will finish it. Burn your own cities. March in your streets. Tear yourselves apart. But don’t bring that shit here.

2020 has been a long slow good bye to a lot of things. I left my job. I left my city. I left the Democratic party. I sold a house that I owned for 16 years. I lost my favorite bar. I lost faith in people. I lost trust in government. The list goes on and on. 2020 has been perpetual loss and saying goodbye is something we are all good at now.

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Voting Republican for the first time

 

It’s not hard to remember the first election I ever voted in. Most people who voted in 2000 can recall the law suits, confusion, and eventual decision by the supreme court, not the people, the put George W. Bush in office. Sometimes I look back and wonder what life might have looked like if Al Gore had become president and 9-11 still happened. Of course, there is no way to know.

I didn’t vote for Al or George that first time. I voted for Ralph Nader. I didn’t care for Gore’s policy on censorship and Bush I took to be a racist and idiot. Turns out Bush wasn’t a racist but was an idiot. As for Gore, I’m still waiting for the world to end. Since then I voted for every Democrat that had been on the ballet from John Kerry, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton (Barf), Andrew Yang, and Tulsi Gabbard. This election, the game that the Democrats have been playing this year with the country was the last straw.

For twenty years I followed a progressive path and while I hold some conservative ideas I learned mostly left on topics. After seeing where the democratic party has gone in a desperate attempt to remove a man from the oval office I can only say “they have lost their minds.” Four years ago, the democratic party was reluctant to go full crazy. This year they decided to stop taking their meds and dived head first into a swimming pool filled with shit.

In 2016, I remember when Black Lives Matter took the stage from Bernie Sanders and he was forced to say he supported their cause. They had acted like bullies and he folded under pressure when he shouldn’t have. To me, that was the end of the Bernie campaign. Later on, Hillary would invite BLM onto her stage in full support not knowing who these people are. This has become the new party policy. Bend the knee to anyone that has clout in the moment and hope everyone else follows. Welcome to 2020.

For the last year I have tried to make a change in the democratic party. Since I was a child, I had heard to fix the system from the inside to make the world a better place. I decided to put my money where my mouth was. I heard Andrew Yang on the Joe Rogan podcast and liked the majority of his policies. He wasn’t a carrier politician and if there was one person, I could see beating Donald Trump in 2020 it was him. although he ran on a universal basic income platform it was his other policies listed on his website that attracted me. Over several months I donated a good portion of money to his campaign and like Bernie in 2016 the Democratic party, pardon my language, fucked him out of the debates. Before I could blink Yang had dropped out and eventually supported Joe Biden as the Democratic candidate.

Then there was Tulsi. Here we have a woman who is everything that the Democratic party says they want as their presidential candidate. Young, a person of color, war vet, current military enlisted, and currently serving in congress. She wanted to invest in the country instead of foreign countries and end the wars that did us no good in the long run. In her first debate Tulsi decimated the party favorite at the time by calling out Kamala Harris for putting single moms in jail if their kids didn’t go to school and putting more black men in prison than any other Attorney General in California. Kamala continued to play the race card and it didn’t work. she was one of the first candidates to drop out of the race. So, we have badass, minority, congressional war vet taking out her opponents and the media refused to cover her. Tulsi was the only option on the primary ballet in the state of Michigan that was left besides Joe Biden. My vote went to Tulsi. Later, she would drop a slander law suit against Hillary Clinton which only told me how far the corruption in the party had gone. Everyone I put my faith in disappointed me in the end. Then came the riots.

Covid-19 came onto the radar at the beginning of the year and before we knew it people had it in Washington state and New York and it was spreading across the map. Lock downs were put into place and the people of Michigan had three months off from work. I followed the Governor’s orders and kept my risk of contracting the disease low. Protest erupted when the lockdown was extended and the media along with the Governor scolded the unpatriotic swine that descended onto the capital building in Lansing. I thought these people were idiots and were acting like children. Then Stupid had a new definition a month later.

George Floyd was allegedly killed by a police officer in Minneapolis and all hell broke loose. Black Lives Matter, an organization that had disappeared after 2017, re-emerged with protest and some new plays in their book for causing havoc across the country. In 2018 the book called White Fragility by Robin DeAngelo was released and it became the new bible for insecure white women everywhere. Antifa and a new army of poorly educated, indebted, college graduates took to the streets and started riots, looting, and started destroying public property across the country. When 104 black people were shot in Chicago on Father’s Day weekend BLM was nowhere to be found. Private businesses pooled money together as a bounty for the person responsible in the death of a one-year-old child. At the same time my Governor was marching in the streets with protesters when a month before she was degrading the previous protesters far doing the same thing. My county declared Racism a public health crisis, not Covid-19. CNN, MSNBC, BBC, and every left-wing newspaper refused to discuss the riots and looting that was taking place and always referred to these events as “Peaceful protest.” Nancy Pelosi, wore a scarf in DC from a tribe in Africa that sold slaves to European merchants, and took a knee in solidarity with BLM. This is the level of stupid that we are dealing with now. Companies left and right are siding with BLM without knowing who they really are. When people say they don’t support them they are fired from their jobs.

Today is the fourth of July and protest, riots, and looting are still going strong. While the Dems are busy kissing the ass of an organization, they know nothing about Trump has made sure that arrests are being made and many of these fools are looking at ten-year prison sentences. Something is finally being done.

I never cared for the Social Justice Warrior phenomenon and their cancel culture, taking due process out of the hands of the courts and legal system, instead choosing to have people fired and soil their name so they can’t make a living anymore. This isn’t the American way. This isn’t how I want to live. We have the first amendment in this country and at the moment the only group who thinks they are allowed to use it are a bunch of crazy leftists that haven’t moved out of their parent’s basement. Nowhere in the constitution does it say that people have the right NOT to be offended. Everyone has the right to say what they believe without the state stepping in but some people want to change that. Now they are going after the second amendment. “Ken and Karen” made the news for defending their home after an iron gate was destroyed and hundreds of armed protesters entered their property threatening to kill them, burn their house down, and kill their dog. Nobody could blame them if they went full John Wick on these assholes except for the media. The local DA is also trying to charge them for defending their property while not firing a single shot. Did I mention the DA is a Democrat?

When I look at the state of affairs across the country every city that became a war zone during these riots are run by Democrats. CHAZ was allowed to prosper in Seattle because of the Democratic Mayor. Chicago, currently being run by a Democrat, is seeing record numbers in shooting while it is a gun free zone. New York is folding under pressure and is cutting over a billion dollars from the NYPD budget only to see an immediate rise in crime. People in my home state were given tickets and fines for not following the stay at home order while the Governor was marching in the streets with protesters who were breaking the same laws, she signed in.

This year was the last straw. I tried. I really did. I supported the best options the democrats had running. I participated in the process. I followed the rules. Then this shit happens. These people with all of their phony policies and lack of spines are pushing the country into a civil war because they can’t handle the fact they are not in charge. As Will McAvoy once said on Newsroom “If Liberals are so fucking smart, how come they lose so goddamn always?” The Dems will lose again. The polls say Biden is winning but we haven’t seen the man in three months. Plus, these are the same polls that said Hillary was going to be in office. I’m not the only one out there. I’m not the only historically voting democrat that will be voting for Trump in November. There are a few other Democrats that I will be voting out of office at the same time. Their time of dividing the country through Identity politics are over. No more of this white shaming and anti-male bullshit. I’ tired of being called a piece of shit because of the color of my skin and having a big pair of balls between my legs. They can shove their policies up their ass from now on. Come November they will join the ranks of the unemployed they created this year and hopefully we can get back on track with improving the country instead of trying to turn it into Orwell’s Animal Farm. I can not be the only one out there that feels this way. We are the silent majority and I’m here to say “You’re fired!”

 

 

 

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The Revolution is here

 

However, you may think of it this is not a good thing. What appears to have started out as a march against the death of George Floyd has turned into something completely different. The sad part is that the media and the people commenting on the recent activities around the country are still trying to figure out what is happening by last weeks standards. Statues in different cities have been taken down and many of them leave the host of what ever talk show you watch scratching their heads trying to explain the logic. There is none.

What we are witnessing is a cultural revolution. The ultimate goal of Tyler Durden in the book fight club. The desire to erase and rewrite history in your own image. The replacement of false gods with the ones you truly want to worship. This couldn’t be truer with the recent call to wipe white Jesus off of the map and replace him with nothing. The protest and riots we are seeing today is not a protest or a movement, it is the start of a social campaign to destroy the foundation of this country to create something else.

The media might have stopped covering the protest and riots because it tends to become boring until someone dies of course. As of today, antifa rioters fired paintballs and other projectiles at police in an effort to get them to fight back, with deadly force. After all, the media is the puppet of their BLM overlords and if they don’t paint the event in favor of the so called victims they will fall to the social pressure exerted by BLM. Maybe Don Lemon isn’t gay enough. Maybe Mr. Cuomo didn’t kiss his brother’s ass enough on TV. There is always a reason to cancel somebody and I for one am not putting up with it.

This is the type of life people have lived for decades in China. Always walking on egg shells hoping not to piss off the wrong person or saying the wrong thing. Knowing that at any time something could be found to have you unemployed or placed into a re-education center. This type of thing is already happening. Businesses are announcing mandatory anti-racism training. Companies are posting the percentage of minorities in their ranks showing how “Woke” they are. Of course, you don’t see the details. Were these people, as individuals, the most qualified for the position? Not only will we never know but they won’t either, always wondering if they got their job because of the work they put in or if it was to fit a quota. The disadvantage of the affirmative action law is the amount of self esteem lost wondering the answer to that question, not knowing if you have truly earned anything in your life or if it was just handed to you. The worst case scenario for these companies is hiring the employee that just doesn’t give a shit and think they are immune from everything because of it.

The party came to work for my mom last week. She works at a local hospital where her unit coordinator made everyone on the unit kneel for ten minutes in solidarity with George Floyd. This wasn’t about George Floyd. The movement never has been. This was about power. My mom is in her 60s and the ability to find a new job at her age along with a pandemic creates a prime environment for power hungry opportunist to come out of the woodwork and take advantage of an already shitty year. Once the ten minutes were over the Unit Coordinator pointed out the one nurse who did not participate and asked her why she didn’t join in. unlike the rest of the group this nurse was doing her job, charting for her patients so they could receive the care they needed.

Books are being burned in some places. Statues torn down. Movies are being taken off of the internet. Streets are renamed. Politicians are kneeling before false idols. The police are nowhere to be found. A woman in Virginia found herself and her daughter in the middle of a protest trapped in a car with people trying to open the doors and jumping on the hood. When she called 911 dispatch told her that they could not respond to the call. “Try to drive through but don’t hurt anyone.” The woman pleaded for help but they refused to send any police to the protest. This woman and her daughter were on their own. That is where we are at. The foundations of our society, the rights of the individual are crumbling from underneath our feet and the rights of groups and mobs are taking over. The justice system no longer functions, even on a basic level as we saw with the charges brought against two cops in Atlanta, Georgia. The function of the law has been to make the law fit the assumed crime. In both cases the police followed procedure but the state is following a mob to figure out how to convict these men to satisfy the mob.

“We are trained Marxist.”  –Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of Black Lives Matter.

“If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it.” -Hawk Newsome, Chairman of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York.

“You cannot negotiate with people who say what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable.” -John F. Kennedy.

BLM is a left wing, fully funded, Marxist, terrorist group who only goal is to destroy western civilization in the United States. They have no plan for what comes afterwards. There is no goal line for this action. It never stops. Every statue will come down. All libraries will be burned. Court houses will crumble. Police will disappear. Property will belong to those who possess it. History will be written to fit a story. News will be filtered. Thoughts are controlled. People will be property. This is the future we are seeing. At the moment, if you don’t comply you will lose your job, lose your home, lose your family, and eventually they will start to come for your life. It is only a matter of time.

The revolution has happened before. Cuba, Argentina, Venezuela, China, Vietnam, and North Korea are a few examples to look into. People who live there know what to look for. They tear down the statues, try to erase history, and then they come for the people. In the end they will also devour their own, the good soldiers who fought their battles for them. Get rid of the people who are willing to kill for the cause. You don’t want them to find another to fight for. Both political parties are falling. Mitt Romney marched with protesters. Nancy Pelosi kneeled in the capital for them. Mayors and governors across the country try to appease them. This does not make them safe, they think they are becoming allies of the cause but they are simply being cowards who endanger everyone they represent. These traitors to the country will be the undoing of everything. This is how history will remember them, as cowards, and nothing ever ends well for cowards. They tend to have a sad fate in the end.

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The End of Prepping

In my basement there is a series of cabinets along the wall that are filled with all kinds of long term food storage items, cans, bags, and boxes. I have a wine cellar in the darkest and coolest part of the basement. A gun safe keeps a few items free from dust and rust. A few typewriters wait under dust covers for the moment this computer and the electrical grid goes down ending civilization. Then there is the doomsday vault, a trunk filled with rare bottles of wine, a survivalist handbook, a few pipes and several cans/ tins of tobaccos that are not in production anymore. If the world comes to an end I am all set for the roaming horde of zombies, aliens coming to the planet to steal water or cows for rectal probes, or maybe the Chinese invasion. I have everything I need, what do I do now?
There was a time when I feared the world was coming to an end. I grew up hearing about end times and thinking that Saddam Hussein was going to kill the planet, Chernobyl was going to turn everyone into mutants, the planet was going to deep fry everyone into crispy chicken wings, the list goes on and on. Nothing happened. Nothing ever happened. The nation has been run by the incompetent and the mentally retarded on and off my whole adult life and yet we are still here.
Nothing that I listed off that I keep in the basement is stuff that people didn’t have a hundred years ago. It was common to have root cellars, can food, and keep a gun or two just in case. That was called living and people knew they were responsible for themselves. These days I roll my eyes when people talk about their guns being taken away, trump pushing the button and ending the planet, and while I have a fear that global warming might end the planet that my daughter will grow up in I have to accept that there is less than nothing I can do about it. I have my habits that this hobby has built into me and while people may think that it is crazy to keep extra food of guns that haven’t been shot in a year or two it does come in handy at times. A friend mentioned that she didn’t have any money and her food situation had dwindled to rice and beans for lunch until payday. It only took a few minutes to put a box together from the basement supply and bring it to work for her to use. When I was done the pantry didn’t look any different but she had food for a few days or more.
I don’t have that fear anymore. That notion that something wrong is gone. Maybe its from not watching the news anymore? I look at the world these days and I have my life that is no longer dictated by a group of guys in bad suits yelling and arguing with each other about stuff that doesn’t really matter. There is something satisfying about no longer caring about people who don’t really matter. I don’t care about Trump and neither should anyone else.
Early on I learned not to buy the gizmos and tech stuff that preppers dish out their hard-earned cash for. I don’t own an AR-15 and still think jeeps are one of the biggest pieces of crap ever built. I didn’t sink a ton of money into this because it’s not needed. One doesn’t have to feel like Rambo in order to be secure. If there is anything that one needs to do in order to get their life in order and be prepared its paying off your debts and making sure you have cash on the side. Stop buying stupid shit and most of your problems will be solved. The financial stress that comes with being in debt is worse that the Chinese eventually, possibly, marching in and sending you to an iPhone factory center.
Living in fear is exhausting. There are companies and economies that depend on us being fearful of the unknown. While we go about our lives and try to fix our problems having somebody else breathing down your neck about a maybe is a waste of time. There comes a time when one has to realize that maybe “surviving” is not living. There might be some mental illness involved in this prepper thing. I know at moments I wondered about my own mental health and looking back maybe I was correct to be worried. Prepping is in the past now. I’ll keep the canned goods and a handle pistol close by but I’m not going to let them rule my life. What is the point of life if you aren’t living?

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The search for perfection (in an election year)

I couldn’t tell you where it started, the notion that a candidate running for office has to meet ALL the criteria you put on them. I have seen this especially with presidential candidates and now that I think about it the search for perfection goes back further than these recent years.
Unfortunately, we have a two-party system, something many of the founding fathers never wanted for the country, and with a two-party system you end up with opposing views and these two sides trying to make sure they are as far away from their opponents as they can be. Until recently we didn’t now how far people were willing to go in either direction, the Republicans created the Tea Party (or tea baggers as I like to call them) and on the left there is a socialist movement that has been growing since Occupy Wallstreet. Occasionally you hear somebody referring to themselves as a centrist but the media can’t make money on a person who is agreeable, while most of the nation’s voters ride the line in the center.
I had issues with this perfect candidate idea over the years, disliking John Kerry because he sounded like Dubya Bush but wearing a different suit and tie. John McCain could have had my vote if he had not lost his mind with the poor choice of his running mate. Dean had his scream. Gore’s wife couldn’t keep her hands off my record collection. Dubya was caught on tape saying he didn’t care about black churches. And the list goes on and on.
These days I support Andrew Yang, no this post isn’t about Yang I’m just using this to make a point. I had people say “I want to like him but….” Then out of the 76 policies posted on Yang’s website they will pick one or two and say “I can’t support this.” So, I would have to assume you are in favor of the other 74 polices? This is where I lose my mind. After an election with the two worst candidates ever to have run for office people are still nit picking over stupid polices that in all odds will never see the light of day even if Yang, or Gabbard, or Bernie made it into office. How many policies did Obama get through before his administration was tied down in patrician bullshit? One.
There are things I like about the other candidates. Warren wants to break up the big tech companies and after a hellish six months of trying to cancel my Sprint service I would prefer she burned them to the ground and brought back oil lamps. Gabbard wants us to stay out of foreign wars and stop making money for companies who profit on war, right on man. Bernie, well Bernie, ugh Bernie is old and I don’t know what he wants to do anymore or what he could accomplish in the five minutes he would live after getting into office. Beto has been playing the wallflower at the high school class presidential election kegger, refusing to piss anybody off.
These people will be in my face non-stop for the coming year until they start dropping like flies. Even Joe Biden is having a hard time managing his sexual harassment charges. I have to say if a picture is a thousand words, then the videos I watched of Biden recently are thousands of creepy words.
With all these things I liked I still had to choose one. How did I manage to narrow it down? I picked the guy that spoke with the least amount of bullshit. I don’t agree with everything that Yang says. There are policies that I am not sure about or agree with. While Yang is not perfect he is the best candidate I have found for me. Some people may call this “selling out” or “settling” which makes it sound like we are dating these people. I don’t believe I am in some kind of puppy love state of mind. I would like to think this is a rational choice that I have made and free from some partisan crap. Hell, Yang isn’t even a politician.
I’m going to stay away from the “lesser of two evils” cop out that we often hear. This is more about being an adult and making adult choices. Most people don’t pay attention until there are only two options. Maybe it’s the stress of having too many options like shopping in a super market with fifty different choices of tomato soup. Or maybe it’s the fatigue of constantly being lied to over the years and no longer wanting to participate. Or maybe its because they can’t find anybody who is perfect.
Plato once talked about the idea of perfection, the apple you see in your mind that you will never find because the apple you imagine is flawless, and yet when you find an apple, regardless of all its flaws you still bite into it and enjoy it.
You will never find a perfect candidate. It’s like shopping on Match.com and when you do find that special someone there are things they either lied about or completely left out, bad credit, mental illness, crazy ex-boyfriend that might kill you. In any case, people have closets and they tend to hide things in them from their guests.
When I visit a person’s place for the first time, I tend to glance at the book shelf or DVD collection. Harder to do these days with people reading on kindles and subscribing to Netflix. There is a lot to learn about a person by seeing what they decide to put into their heads. Trump doesn’t read. That is all I needed to know.
Recently there was a discussion about Yang not making a statement on transgender something something day. I have no idea what day this is, whether or not it’s a real holiday, or if it was made up for people to become angry about when it’s not talked about. Personally, I don’t care. You won’t find me shoving Black History Month in everyone’s face or crying about Valentine’s Day. Supporters of Yang brought this up and there was a positive uproar in response. Positive because there was a backlash of people asking “what is really important?” I couldn’t agree more. Yang didn’t send out a tweet or make an announcement on television saying “yay, it’s chicks with dicks day!” most likely he was on the road traveling to his next interview or rally. Maybe he was sleeping because he has been on the road since last year. The social justice calendar might have been lost among all the other things he has been dealing with. I was happy to see that most supporters of Yang either didn’t care he missed a fake holiday or supported him not talking about it. The person who posted the question said they were concerned about if he really cared about the LGBTQLMNOP community or if it was made up. I think those people have more to be concerned about than if someone said “hi” on TV.
Yang isn’t perfect and if people are trying to point out his flaws by missing a day that most people didn’t know about than I am glad to keep him as my guy. I’m waiting for the next version of 50 Shades of Grey (Biden’s Bondage) to be released and be forced to hear all the juicy details of his sexual misconduct. Gabbard is too relaxed to not have a medical card for some “herbs.” Bernie might slip in the tub a few more times. Yang isn’t perfect, but I haven’t found anything that I can’t accept.

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Unleash the Books

My reading list has grown over the years. When I finally think I’m putting a dent into find that the list has grown beyond where it was. Last year, according to Goodreads, I read 176 books. My reading list grew from about 250 to 500 books. That is a rough estimate considering my buying habits at the local second hand store in the basement of the public library. (insert shameless add for Friends of the Kalamazoo Public Library here)

The last two books I read were directly influenced by the recent election. Drift by Rachael Maddow and It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis.

Drift was published in 2012 when the world was supposed to end according to a dead culture and at the start of the second term for the Obama administration. Maddow discusses how the authority for starting war was transformed from Congress needing to declare it and the president doing whatever he wanted, thanks Reagan. Four years later I came across a first edition and picked it up curious about what she had to say about our military situation. It ended up being a warning that was never heard and now we have to face the repercussions of a system that was never fixed and a madman in office.

It Can’t Happen Here, was written in 1936 when people saw what was happening in Germany but nobody thought it would get to the point of ovens and world war. Lewis maps out how a fascist was able to win the hearts of the American public during the great depression with the promise of making life better by punishing the banks and politicians. Things start out that way until camps are started and people are forced to work more than they did before. Executions are common and often throughout the book much like the Nazi policies in Germany. Things don’t turn out well, once a dictator is in power its difficult to get them out of power.

A few weeks ago I read This Side of Paradise, F Scott Fitzgerald’s first book that made him famous had an interesting scene towards the end where two men are talking about the current political climate and the friction between the rich and poor. While listening to the conversation one can easily forget that what they are talking about is the early 1920s. a hundred years later it is easy to see that nothing has changed.

Some of my pepper seeds have started to sprout and I dug into my boxes of books to find all of my organic gardening material. I thinned out this section a few years ago by giving away books to close friends, I hope they still have them now.

I watch the protest and here the beats of war drums in the distance. The current climate has me wondering what life will be like in the spring. Will I still have a home? Will this still be a country? Will we still be here? With the increasing speed of technology and communication could the end of this country be sped up, what once took years could be crammed into a few months, or possibly weeks. I plant seeds with the hope of harvesting the food in the future and preserving it for next winter. Other people in this country have other plans. The current book list I am working through are things I read before. Gardening guides, how to grow herbs, composting, permaculture, square foot gardening, and much, much, more. The upside is that once the garden is going, the plants grow and do the majority of the work. That frees up time for other things. I’m not sure where this experiment is going. Adaptation is important for surviving in constantly changing circumstances. I have plans, but it feels like every day that goes buy something else is said or done by a certain person in power that might make that reality a fantasy.

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The Cat is Out of the Bag

I had lunch with a friend yesterday who is worried about the current world situation. Bob and his wife (names have been changed for safety) have started to buy food for storage and try to figure out other things they might need for surviving the Hitler… I mean trump administration. By the time we left the restaurant, we still had not heard about the threats made towards Iran or the friction between ourselves and one of our greatest allies, the Australians. What we did know was that Trump had ordered a raid on a house in Yemen that resulted in the deaths of 9 women and children and one 8 year old girl who was a US citizen. Keep in mind we have not been in Yemen since early 2015. When the white house was asked about this they stated it was “collateral damage.” There it is. The status of humans in this country or others doesn’t matter to the president of the united states. While others would have pretended to care this guy does not give a shit. That is what scares the hell out of me.

I found out a few weeks ago, that I am going to be a father. While many would say “there is never a good time in life to have a child” my question is: what about a time in history? The scientist that run the doomsday clock have moved the minute had to the closest time ever set even beating the height of the cold war. My long term concern of climate change has been something I always thought would be something I could teach my kids to adapt to and survive.  Now with the crazy nut job that the few in this country elected I don’t know if any of us will be around more than a few years from now.

My friend Bob has a right to be concerned. His daughter is old enough to remember the good old days and still adapt to the new world she will be growing into. My kid however, all of this crazy shit, will be normal. Maybe that’s for the better. There won’t be a chance to deny what is happening or a longing for what we once had.

With the new year, and a new job title that I will have in the coming year (dad) I started to take some steps to try and adapt to the new world. I cleaned out my house taking several boxes of items to the local goodwill. After all the things you own end up owning you. I took out the canning jars from the basement and sorted the seeds I would be planting in the spring. Currently I have four lights focused on tomato and pepper seeds for future planting. My closet was cleaned out and books thinned out to make space for those I would read and concentrated on those that are important and educational. By important I mean classics, anything pertaining to survival.

While my girlfriend and I have discussed moving in together there is one thing that stands out, both of us are upside down in or mortgages. Neither of us can sell. The upside is that I have a huge yard that I can grow food for us in, and I can use several square feet of the house as a tax write off for a personal business. Eventually we will get tired of paying so much for two houses we don’t need but then we have to figure out who’s credit is ruined because of the mistakes made by Alan Greenspan and George W Bush.  The world is changing and my life is changing with it. the garden I hope will relieve some burden from that stress while providing organic healthy food for the three of us.

If I had a child during the bush administration I would have told my child not to join the military, a large problem solve with a simple statement. These days I will have to teach all of the material from my books plus some extras. Camping, fishing, hunting, gardening, shooting, archery, trapping, and much much more. The world of my books, a science fiction/ fantasy world of dystopian rule has become reality. Thanks Trump.

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