4th of July – Independence Day

4th-0

note: I originally posted this last year on 7/4 but I thought it would be appropriate to post it again for this year. And yes, I have done some editing for this year.

Independence Day (a.k.a. 4th of July) commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. July 4th is the day for celebrating declaring independence from Great Britain. However, on July 2, 1776 the American Revolution leadership declared the legal separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain after the American Congress had voted to do so. And the 4th is when they  actually signed the document. .

But remember, open warfare had broken out a year earlier between the tyrannical British forces and American freedom fighters.

So if this holiday, the 4th of July – Independence Day, is all about 4th-1declaring independence and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. What is the Declaration of Independence all about?

4th-2Well, just take the first 18 words of the actual document –

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands…”

The Declaration of Independence was all about dissolving the tyrannical government that had been imposed upon them by the British ruling class. In other words, the Americans were fed-up with the tyranny they lived under and were finally doing something really serious about it. The Declaration of Independence was an explanation of what they were doing and why.

But you also have to understand by what “authority” they felt they had to take such drastic actions –

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…”

They stated unequivocally what the problem was with the British government –

“…the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States…”

If you are reading this post you are more than likely not a first visitor to this website. And that being the case, you know I am not some blogger that wants to be all warm and fuzzy. I don’t believe in sugar-coating currents events and I damn darn sure don’t want to give false hope and impressions of what is going on or where we as a country are headed. I always want to give you the straight talk and the straight, honest answers. But remember, these are only my opinions. Seek out, research, and come to your own conclusions of what is happening in our country today (well, the last 120 years actually) and why. In this day an age of misinformation and deepfake I want you to trust no one but yourself, and hopefully your spouse. I am confident you can figure out this situation, I just want to share some thoughts that I think are important to where we are as a country right now.

The Declaration of Independence listed approximately 26 grievances against the government of Britain.  Among those I found these specific items to be especially interesting:

  1. He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
  2. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
  3. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
  4. 4th-3He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
  5. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
  6. For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
  7. For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
  8. For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
  9. For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
  10. For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offenses.

Let me make a note of those just for conversation’s sake:

  1. He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. Judges now “make” law, are appointed by the President, serve for life, paid by the government (who sets their pay scale), and the Supreme Court is untouchable even when ruling against the Constitution. Even the most minor federal judge in the middle of nowhere can stop the President (the entire Executive Branch) from performing their Constitutional duties. Does that sound even remotely right?
  2. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, 4th-4and eat out their substance. The layers of government bureaucracy, local level to the federal level now number in the 10’s of millions of employees. All serving in a system wherein they can arbitrarily create policy and regulation that carry the force of law. And those laws can ruin people’s lives, destroy businesses, and devastate entire communities.
  3. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. Not only do we have a huge standing Army, we have a huge standing Air Force, Navy, Marines and National Guard. We now have a situation that dwarfs what the Declaration of Independence complained about. And it costs us 100’s of billions of dollars every year. Money that we have to borrow…driving the country into bankruptcy.
  4. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power. Our military now 4th-6has unlimited powers, via the NDAA, even within the borders of the US. Posse Comitatis is no longer recognized by the federal government or the military. The military is free to arrest, detain, ship to another country, or kill any US citizen within the borders of the USA by the simple order of the President, and in some cases, by local military commanders. And God-forbid you ever fall under the designation of “potential domestic terrorist”…you have no rights, no protection, no Constitution…you are at the mercy of government officials.
  5. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: Our government has now subjugated US law to UN law, agreements, and in some cases even Sharia Law. That is in direct opposition to US Constitutional law. In some legal jurisdictions now, Sharia Law (Islamic religious law) is now recognized as superior to US law. 
  6. For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us: One only needs to look at the nearly 1.5million law enforcers stationed throughout every community, at every possible level of government, to understand this problem. There is little resemblance of yesterday’s peace officers to today’s fully militarized law enforcement officers who operate at the whim and will of federal guidance and political direction.
  7. For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: The political class, ruling class, is virtually immune to arrest and prosecution for the crimes they commit. We see one politician after another commit serious crimes with absolute impunity. Such is the benefit of the political ruling class. We have a two-tier judicial system…the ruling class…and everyone else.
  8. For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: This goes without saying. But it is even worse than you 4th-5might think at first pass. Not only does the government, at all levels, impose taxes on its citizens at will and without authority or permission…it also eliminates the payment of income taxes by those they wish to exempt. It has gotten so bad that over half of the country’s citizens pay no income taxes while the minority of the population support the entire country’s finances…including the immense welfare system that the majority non-taxpayers benefit from.
  9. For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:  The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the previous Patriot Act, and the present Freedom 4th-7Act…as well as a host of non-laws (Presidential Directives) have eliminated the effect of the Sixth Amendment found in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. The government can, at its own discretion, deprive citizens of rights, property, money, and freedoms through the imposition of “policy” enforced by police. And they do so to the tune of 10’s of billions of dollars each year with impunity. There is little to no defense against such arbitrary civil forfeiture acts of government in today’s system. The Civil Asset Forfeiture laws allow property owned by citizens to be seized without due process, without even any criminal charges being filed. Law enforcement simply takes the property from citizens. This is done to the tune of tens of millions of dollars each year.
  10. For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offenses. The policy currently in use and in 4th-8force by the US government is called “rendition.”  The current policy of rendition is the government sponsored kidnapping and extrajudicial transfer of a person from one country to another to avoid the US legal system. And in so doing allows the torture and indefinite detention or execution of prisoners that the US federal government wishes to impose itself upon.

So, I guess some things haven’t changed.

Well, that isn’t exactly true:

  • We are taxed by government far more heavily now than prior to the American Revolution.
  • We are regulated by government far more so now than prior to the American Revolution.
  • The ruling government is far more controlling over the population than prior to the American Revolution.
  • As percentage of population, we have far more government officials, bureaucrats, and regulators than prior to the American Revolution.
  • 4th-9As a percentage of population, we have far more law enforcement officers than prior to the American Revolution.
  • We have far more laws, regulations, rules, policies, and codes than prior to the American Revolution.
  • As a percentage of population, we have far more politicians than prior to the American Revolution.
  • As a percentage of population, we have far more people in jails and prisons than prior to the American Revolution.

Pretty much according to every negative aspect of life prior to the American Revolution, we have it tenfold worse here in our lives…in our good ol’ USA. Right here, right now…in our day and age!

So what does that mean? To answer that question let’s look at who signed the Declaration of Independence:

Adams, John
Adams, Samuel
Bartlett, Josiah
4th-13Braxton, Carter
Chase, Samuel
Clark, Abraham
Clymer, George
Ellery, William
Floyd, William
Franklin, Benjamin
Gerry, Elbridge
Gwinnett, Button
Hall, Lyman
Hancock, John
Harrison, Benjamin
Hart, John
Hewes, Joseph
Heyward Jr., Thomas
Hooper, William
Hopkins, Stephen
Hopkinson, Francis
Huntington, Samuel
Jefferson, Thomas
Lee, Francis Lightfoot
Lee, Richard Henry
Lewis, Francis
Livingston, Philip
Lynch Jr., Thomas
McKean, Thomas
Middleton, Arthur
Morris, Lewis
Morris, Robert
Morton, John
Nelson Jr., Thomas
Paca, William
Paine, Robert Treat
Penn, John4th-13a
Read, George
Rodney, Caesar
Ross, George
Rush, Benjamin
Rutledge, Edward
Sherman, Roger
Smith, James
Stockton, Richard
Stone, Thomas
Taylor, George
Thornton, Matthew
Walton, George
Whipple, William
Williams, William
Wilson, James
Witherspoon, John
Wolcott, Oliver
Wythe, George

Collectively how do we refer to these men today?

We call them, or at least use to call them, freedom fighters, patriots, honorable men, and Founding Fathers. We revere them, we honor them, we appreciate their great sacrifices that they made in founding our country and providing a rich heritage of freedom, rights and liberty.

But what if all of that Declaration of Independence stuff was all occurring in today’s world?

What if a group of well-known and honorable men got together, outlined a long list of unjust tyrannical actions of today’s federal government against US citizens?

And then these pillars of society declared that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish that government, and to institute new government. What would happen to these individuals?

Well, let’s look at what DHS and the FBI has to say about it.

You are considered a potential domestic terrorist if you are any of the following:

•    4th-14Americans who believe their “way of life” is under attack;
•    Americans who are “fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation)”;
•    People who consider themselves “anti-global” (presumably those who are wary of the loss of American sovereignty);
•    Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority”;
•    Americans who are “reverent of individual liberty”;
•    People who “believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty;”
•    Anti-abortion advocates (a.k.a. Pro-Life).
•    Bulk purchasers of food.
•    People who pay cash.
•    People who want internet privacy.
•    People who display “liberty” or “freedom” oriented bumper stickers.
•    People who display the American flag.

4th-10So there is little doubt if the Declaration of Independence was written and signed today, all of those original Founding Fathers, all those patriots, would be swept up in massive FBI raids, using no-knock warrants with fully-militarized SWAT forces.

What does that tell you about the condition of our country today?

What does that say of our freedoms, rights and liberties?

What does it say of our massive system of government, especially at the federal level?

What does it all have to do with an “emergency preparedness” website?

Let me make it real clear for you…A major threat to America today is the police state. No, not the threat of a police state…the growing police state that we live under right now. And that very same police state that grows ever stronger each and every day.

At some point an event will occur, and the country will be thrown into confusion and chaos the likes of which you have never ever seen before in history. And when that happens the grid will come smashing down and it will come down completely. When that happens I want you and your family to be prepared. Better yet I want you to have a group of like-minded preparedness folks organized and supportive of each other. And best of all…if you could have a whole community ready for emergencies and disasters…that would be my dream!

Folks it is coming. I assure you of that. Our country, our government can’t survive much longer…history has proven that over and over again. Please prepare yourself and your family for the emergencies and disasters that are coming.

In the mean time, because your are prepared, you will be ready for wildfires, recessions, hurricanes, earthquakes, unemployment, retirement, epidemics/pandemics, and most other natural and man-made disasters as well. And because you are prepared you shall not fear.

Just please understand what we are dealing with right now…and what is coming in the near future. Please prepare yourself and your family. And while you’re at it…enjoy your 4th of July, Independence Day, by remembering what this day represents, who was there originally, why they were there, and what principles they believed in.

Please prepare!

Be a modern day patriot…be a Founding Father!

 

 

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In my opinion…and I ask you to…

note: It took me ten days to write and edit this article to make it read close to what I have in my head and in my heart. I asked my wife to read the article last night for editing and content. She complimented me on the content and gave no suggestions on changes. She did however tell me the article was too long and not many people would read it because of that. She felt that in today’s world people don’t want to take the kind of time it would take to read the entire article. She suggested I reduce the content without watering down the message.

I thought about it for a while I shared with her I wasn’t going reduce the article’s length. I told her most people might not read it because it was too long and I was OK with that. Some folks would read it regardless of its length. I went on to say I am not trying to reach everybody, I am only trying to reach those few who who will actually care enough to invest the time, respect what I have to say, and are willing to help change what is happening now. I hope you are one of those people that I can reach…and together we can make a difference, serve each other, and make things just a little better. If not you and me…then who?


Well, it’s time for me to run my mouth about what I see happening. Some of you are not going to like what I have to say…I mean really not like it. Some of you might completely agree. Some I am sure will think about what I say and weigh it against their own opinions and thoughts to see if they might find value in what I’ve written. To all…I am saying what I believe and believe what I say. I am not saying these things to alienate or to please. I am not writing this lightly, I take it seriously. I am sharing my voice to hopefully, in some small way, help resolve the situation we find ourselves in by getting folks to think and then act accordingly. And our current situation…well, it is horrible and getting worse. As with most things worth solving, it’s going to be hard. And only level-headed, decent, understanding, moral, ethical, unbiased, and thoughtful folks are going to make the effort and invest the time to help with that change.

You might be thinking…Why is AH writing this article now? OK, fair enough. Answer = Desperation. No, I’m not desperate. The situation in the country right now is desperate. The forces of evil are winning and we are losing any hope of improving our wretched condition. I write this article trying to do something to influence folks to do better, to be better, to help make this desperate situation less evil, less desperate. If you are not willing to be open to ideas that might work, then please don’t read on. If you are open minded, honest, a decent human being who cares about the future of this country AND believes in the Constitution and our country’s founding principles…then I write this article for you…and for our future.

One of the reasons I’ve been relatively quiet for a couple of weeks is due to my research, verifying what I feel to be true, and listening to a wide variety of opinions and views. Then I have given hours and hours of pondering to what I feel and also validating everything against my two standards; 1) eternal gospel principles, and, 2) the Constitution (including the Bill of Rights). This article, an opinion piece, is the result of all that time and effort. I hope you get something out of it. Over the ten days it has taken me to write this article I’ve learned a lot about myself, our country, our situation, and the two paths that will dictate our future.

There are two aspects of the situation we collectively find ourselves in…two simple but opposing forces…good vs. evil.

Let me address the easy part first. Looting is wrong and illegal. Riotous behavior that results in the destruction of property is wrong and illegal. Physically harming another (assault), other than in self-defense, is wrong and illegal. Those people doing any of these activities should be arrested, charged, put on trial, and allow a jury to determine guilt or innocence…and then a court to apply an appropriate sentence. Yes, I am calling for justice for the wrong doers in our midst.

Next…protesting is legal and constitutionally guaranteed. Boisterous, loud, obnoxious, ignorant, animated behavior while protesting is not illegal and is actually also a guaranteed right under the Bill of Rights.

Also…I personally have absolutely no problem with protestors using streets, roads, and freeways to do their protesting. It is perfectly fine with me. And yes, even that behavior is not illegal. At least not according to the Constitution. If drivers are “inconvenienced”…too bad, so sad. I support the Constitution and the Bill of Rights…NOT a driver’s level of comfort and convenience. If you don’t like getting held up in traffic…then take a different route that avoids the protest. If you are surprised by a protest and get caught up in a traffic jam…TOO FREAKING BAD! That is your fault for having pathetic situational awareness.

I believe it a God-given right to defend yourself from bodily harm, to defend your property from destruction or theft, thus enjoying life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as our Founding Fathers clearly and unequivocally stated.

OK, that pretty much should cover the easy side of expressing my opinion. But, before I leave this part, let me share one thing…


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.


In case you didn’t recognize the above…it is from the Declaration of Independence. That document, hallowed in nature and form, is the founding basis of the American Revolution that ultimately created the United States of America. The first Constitutional Republic governed by the people, for the people…the longest running Constitutional Republic in the history of the world. A simple declaration that states government gets it power/authority by consent of those it governs vs people getting their rights from those that govern them.

That being said, there is a fundamental issue at hand…is what is happening now in America justified under the Declaration of Independence? Or more succinctly…is it legal in regards to the spirit and letter of the law?

Before anyone can answer that question let’s look at a view of things that may make some folks uncomfortable, others will become mad as hell, some won’t believe it, others will simply dismiss it. So be it…don’t read it if you don’t want to…no one is making you read anything. I am simply expressing my right under the First Amendment…freedom of speech. And of course…you are free to disagree, free to not read it, free to voice an opposing opinion, free to choose according to the dictates of your conscious and heart. At least we are free to do so now.

Let me challenge some of you directly at this point. No, not everyone. Some of you have already done your research and learned truth, learned facts, learned to see reality and understand what it means. To everyone else…please listen.

The basis of the conflict we see in America today has three roots or pillars, that is driving it.

The first is the easiest to see and recognize it for what it is. There is an organized effort in this country to overthrow the Constitution. And by doing so usher in a totalitarian state…a police state. A state run by an elite few for their benefit, for their gain, for their comfort. They desire one thing…ultimate, uncontested, unrestricted power. Plain and simple…they want power…power over everyone and everything. There is no political pigeon-holing those behind this effort by applying labels such as Progressives, Liberals, Communists, Fascists, Republicans, Democrats, Left, Right, Conservatives, etc. Why? Because those that who have the insatiable desire for a totalitarian state are part of all of it…all of those groups have totalitarian foot soldiers and leadership in them…some more than others.

Second root/pillar are those folks who have been historically repressed, or, through individual and systematic efforts, have been inhibited from reaching their full potential. Yes, you read that mouthful correctly. But, before you get too carried away let me explain. In the USA slavery was a part of life, a way of life, cultural in nature, form, and function; and enshrined by all levels of government at the very beginning. Slavery was based in two factors/beliefs; 1) it was economically beneficial to use a person’s labor and not compensating them, 2) some races were viewed as not equal mentally or spiritually.

Official government sanctioned, legal, Constitutional slavery was finally overthrown barely 150 years ago. Unfortunately, the laws preventing equality were not overturned until less than 60 years ago…and then only at the federal level. It then took decades of legal battles in the courts to force those legally guaranteed rights upon states, counties, cities, and even businesses.

But an interesting, albeit sinister, event took place the same year that the federal civil rights legislation was passed. That event…a touted and praised program designed to control the same people that the civil rights laws were meant to free. They even labeled it The Great Society. It was anything but.

So while a federal legal precedence was being molded to provide unquestionable and legal equal rights…another government program was invoked that ensured those same people would be repressed, controlled, and worst of all…used. Used as puppets, and in some cases as foot soldiers in the totalitarian cause I mentioned earlier. The Great Society was anything but.

The third leg/pillar of our current events is sheer stupidity. Yes, maybe that is a bit too harsh…I admit that. But it is true none the less. Some of it is superficial stupidity, some of it is much deeper and rooted in bias that knows almost no bounds. And unfortunately, it is directly aiding and abetting those behind the very first pillar I mentioned above…the lust for unmitigated power.

Let me explain the two aspects of this stupidity I speak of…

Clearly the looters and destroyers hidden among the protestors are the first part of the “stupid.” And they are so easy to see.

George Floyd is murdered by four cops who know exactly what they are doing, have been trained on how to do it, and have a long history of such behavior in a police department that is infamous for violent and illegal behavior against its citizens. OK, that event is a bad thing…and evil thing…and the spark.

But then you see morons breaking into an Apple store to steal phones, tablets, and accessories. Then their moron cousins break into stores stealing all manner of clothing that probably will never fit them. Then more of their extended moron family set fire to businesses…businesses that serve their own communities…and owned by their neighbors! Stupidity at its core…the perfect examples of it.

Now…a more complicated form of stupidity. And I readily admit that the term ”stupidity” probably shouldn’t be used in this next case. It is insulting for one. But, it may be entirely inaccurate. A much more exact term is probably something along the lines of “ignorant complicity.”

Remember the first pillar? Those are the folks  who I would deem “informed complicity.” They know exactly what is happening, why, and willfully engage to accomplish the end goal. I am not talking about those folks now. I am speaking of those who through lack of knowledge are complicit in accomplishing the same goal as outlined in the first pillar.

Now you ask…Who are they?

Well, judge a person by their actions. Or, in this case…identify a person, the ignorantly complicit, by their actions.

If the end goal is a totalitarian state, what is a primary roadblock to accomplishing that goal? Plainly it is rights, liberty, freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. Or more plainly…the loss of power of the individual and the transference of that power from those individuals to the government. Once the government has a sufficient amount of that transferred power…they can completely dominate the population they oversee. And our Founding Fathers saw it in their day, revolted against it, defeated it, and put safeguards in-place to protect it from happening to the newly formed Constitutional Republic, then or in the future.

So why am I rambling on about all this instead of just identifying the remainder of the stupid…or more politely and accurately identified as the “ignorantly complicit”? I have to lay the groundwork for my opinion…or most would dismiss that simple identification out of hand.

To identify those individuals of whom I now speak I have to base my opinion on evidence. And there are multiple types of evidence; empirical evidence, anecdotal evidence, experiences of yourself and the experiences of others. Is that evidence valid and provided in context?

Well, for my research I used statistics provided by what I believe to be reliable sources. I also put most of the weight on actual events with real people resulting in real outcomes recorded on audio and video and presented in full context. I also used my own personally observed experiences…I was there and heard and saw it myself. I intentionally and purposefully avoided such pitfalls as bias, clichés, and straw-man arguments. To test my “bias” I would ask myself…Does their behavior meet a legal standard or my own personal preference? My personal preference doesn’t matter in the least…it is a matter of only legality. Meaning…is it compliant with the Constitution.

Now, when all this evidence gathering and pondering was done I was able to identify what I feel is the problem. I’ve heard it said before…”The problem is all of us!”  No, it is not. The collective “we” are not the problem! The problem is bias and ambivalence.

Bias is a tendency, inclination, or prejudice for or against something or someone. Ambivalence is simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (such as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action.

OK, about now you are asking how in the heck did I come up with that. And man, I agree with you…how the heck did I come with that load in relation to what is happening in America today!

Let me explain a few situations or examples to help clarify my answer to the “problem” infecting America.

Example: The death of George Floyd. There is all kinds of video capturing his death. You can see multiple angles, all of the interaction that took place, hear the audio, and watch him die. Now, what came into your mind?

  • Another cop killing another black man!
  • A cop just doing his job!
  • A cop refusing to listen to a dying man!
  • A criminal resisting arrest!

And obviously the list could go on at some length. The problem we have is that our personal bias provides us our own narrative. Our ambivalence causes us to retreat into our personal safe zone of bias. Thus, we lock ourselves into our own reality regardless of the facts of true reality.

When looked at in actual reality, based on facts, the key facts are:

  • The store clerk reported a non-violent crime that actually falls under the prevue of the Secret Service – “…integrity of our currency…”.
  • A police officer performed an illegal/criminal act.
  • The suspect told the officers he was dying.
  • Four police officers ignored that information.
  • The suspect begged for his life.
  • Four police officers ignored those pleas.
  • The suspect had an adversarial relationship through prior employment with the lead police officer that actually killed him.
  • The lead police officer had a long history of on-the-job performance complaints against him.
  • The police department has a history of “use of force” issues, including killings, and they have been investigated multiple times for that problem.
  • A suspect, only a suspect, died while in police custody…the ultimate judge, jury, and executioner situation.
  • Three other police officers stood by and allowed the lead police officer to commit a criminal act and watched a man die in their custody without taking any action to prevent it.

Those are facts…period…end of story. The ultimate failure of “To serve and protect”…unfortunately.

Here is the problem…bias and ambivalence. Good people have been taught/trained since early childhood to respect and obey police. Good people have been taught/trained since early childhood to feel that criminals should get what they deserve. Good people have been taught/trained since early childhood that police are the good guys. Good people have been taught/trained since early childhood that some groups of people commit more crimes than others. Good people have been taught/trained since early childhood…fill in the blank. All of it creates “bias” in our personalities.

Then we see a police officer with his knee placed on a man’s neck, in the process of killing him, watching three other police officers assisting in that death…well, that’s where the contradictions begin.

Our brains begin to form a mental picture:

  • Cops (good guys) dealing with a criminal (bad guy).
  • Cops (good guys) struggling with a criminal (bad guy) who must be resisting arrest.
  • The bad guy doesn’t look or act like me.
  • Crowd forming (more bad guys) yelling at officer (good guys) to stop killing him (bad guy).
  • Cops (good guys) in more danger from the crowd (bad guys).
  • The people in the crowd don’t look or act like me.
  • Man (bad guy) dies.
  • Oh well…he probably deserved it anyways.

All of the above is based strictly on bias.

The problem lies with reality:

  • The man is not a criminal – he hasn’t been convicted or even charged with a crime. He is “suspected” of trying to use currency that a convenience store clerk thought might be counterfeit.
  • The man is not a “bad guy” – he hasn’t done anything in this situation to warrant that label…NOTHING!
  • The police perform a criminal act by knelling, with practically his full weight, on the man’s neck.
  • The police ignore the man’s pleas for his life…that he is dying.
  • A man dies as a result of the illegal act of a police officer.

And that causes a short circuit in our brains called ambivalence. When faced with conflicting information, confrontation based on conflicting principles, we will usually retreat into our comfort zone. And that comfort zone is usually composed mostly of bias vs actual fact-based reality.

So then the whole situation gets worse…much, much worse.

Since the whole thing is caught on video from multiple angles there is no room for incorrect reporting by the police. And their intentional misrepresenting what actually happened in their reports would be quite natural. They don’t want to get into any trouble for killing a man so their natural tendency would be to lie about it. Or, at the very least, grossly misrepresent the situation. But, they found they could not do so faced with a significant volume of video/audio showing facts, truth, and reality.

How does it get worse? A group of people who feel oppressed takes up the “cause” of the man…the killing by police officers. Now the question is…”Are their feelings justified?”

First off, feelings don’t have to be justified to produce a reaction. It is called “pathos”, simply meaning what a person does, or how they react, is based on what just excited their passions or emotions. But, we can still ask the question…”Is their reaction justified?” Again, their reaction doesn’t have to be justified…no, not at all. Why? Because it is an action based a feeling and feelings are seldom based on logic, facts, truth, and reality.

But, is this situation and resulting action(s) based on truth, facts, and reality?

The crux of the matter is police violence towards a black person. And in this case, four police officers killing a black man. Is there any historical context for this? The answer is an unqualified “Yes!”

Historical facts…

  • The United States was founded legally approving of slavery.
  • Most slaves were black.
  • The Constitution didn’t even recognize slaves as a fully complete person.
  • The United States, business, and individuals economically benefited from slavery for over 80 years.
  • Even after slavery was abolished extreme racial bias existed and was even formally approved of by the Supreme Court.
  • In the mid-1950’s the civil rights movement began in earnest with peaceful protests for equal civil rights and against racism.

So how did police officers conduct themselves during those original peaceful protests? It is almost unimaginable how horrific the police behaved. It was the very obvious essence of evil. They used high pressure water hoses against the peaceful protestors, beat them with clubs, used attack dogs to maim them, and shot more than just a few. Even young children were victims at the hands of police…those who touted the motto “To serve and protect”!

So there is no doubt that facts, truth, reality is there that the civil rights advocates have a very valid concern when dealing with police. Yes, that means the evidence is clear and compelling. If you try to justify that abhorrent behavior you are probably coming from a perspective based on bias.

But, do police today have a fact-based track record of using excessive force against people? And in this case…regardless of the race of the person.

Here is where I did hours and hours and hours of research. For over 10 years I’ve been writing on the excessive use of force by police, the militarization of police, and their general misconduct. Over the last 6 months I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of video based examples of police conduct. And I am telling you point blank…we have a serious problem in the law enforcement community! I have dubbed it the “comply or die!” mentality.

And before I go any further…don’t try using a false narrative or a straw-man argument against me…it doesn’t and won’t work. I’ve done my homework, I’ve done my research, I’ve spent the time finding out the fact vs fiction. And no, please don’t try the old tired line…being a police officer is dangerous work. No, it is not. It barely breaks into the top 50 most dangerous professions. Even an on the road salesman is a more dangerous profession. And yes…based on BLS statistics.

So there exists 1,000’s of videos (unedited, in context) of police misconduct…everything from sexual assault (sometimes with minors), to planting evidence, to outright murder. And hearing the police officers talk about people it is obvious that many are racist. Actually, many just about hate everyone who isn’t one of them…a badge carrier.

And about now I am sure there are more than a few folks who might be saying…Those are only a few bad apples, the majority of LEOs are good guys. Really??? Show me statistics, evidence that it is only a handful of bad apples.

But, better yet, answer this…if it is only a handful of bad apples…then why don’t the “good guys” arrest the bad apples and put them in prison. That would result in two things; 1) criminals wouldn’t be wearing a badge doing terrible things to people, 2) civilians in general would respect LEOs far more than they do.

Now, let me take a minute to state two things; 1) not all cops are bad, and Peace Officers are good guys, 2) there has been a change in the last few months, and especially the last few weeks, where District Attorneys and Prosecuting Attorneys have shown the moral courage and guts to prosecute criminal cops. To them I say…THANK YOU!

Now back to the protestors…

They have a historical context of abuse at the hands of police…a terrible and disgusting history of such. They have current and clear evidence over the last couple of decades of police being able to abuse people, kill people, falsely charge people, etc. And lastly…they’ve had enough of it! If you can’t see that…then once again you are probably blinded by bias.

So these folks are sick and tired of suffering…and being killed…at the hands of police and they want their voices to be heard. I say good on them!!!!  That is what the Constitution and Bill of Rights is all about. Our country was founded on principles that they are currently employing.

Let me reprint something from earlier in my article…


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.


The questions for most of us would sound something like this…

  • Do we approve of their right to protest, to attempt redress of their grievances?
  • Do we understand their plight, the historical evidence, the facts?
  • Do we support the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and our country’s founding document The Declaration of Independence and the principles outlined therein?

Or, do we sit there watching the news and saying something like this…

  • They need to get a job!
  • He got what was coming to him.
  • The police were just trying to do their job.
  • They were just following orders.

Or statements that might be far more gross in tone and content.

Before you launch into some sort of tirade…I am not talking about the looting and arson. Those are criminal acts and should be dealt with appropriately. I am speaking of protestors. Do you support their cause or not…or at least their right to protest?

If not…you have a problem because you are not dealing in reality, you are dealing from bias.

As a Christian I believe there is sin. Sin is violating God’s outline of appropriate behavior for us. I also believe that sin is sin. However, commonsense tells me that some sin is worse than others. Not loving your neighbor as yourself is violating the actual words of Christ. I consider that a sin. However, murdering your neighbor is far, far worse. So for me…there is a degree of sin…a severity scale if you will.

So let me ask you a couple of things…

  • Is shooting peaceful protestors with rubber bullets worse than blocking traffic?
  • Is yelling at police worse than being hit with flash-bang grenades?
  • Is throwing a water bottle at a riot control police officer in full protective riot gear worse than being gassed with CS gas (commonly known as tear gas)? Oh, by the way…CS gas is outlawed by the Geneva Convention for warfare. But, police all over the United States use it against unarmed civilians.
  • Is protesting and blocking traffic worse than using the military against civilians?

I could go on but I believe you get my point.

Who is the biggest threat and/or who is the most dangerous right now in these circumstances?

Great question and relatively easy to answer…just apply Risk Mitigation principles to it. In other words…What risks/threats have the highest probability of occurring and if they do occur how severe is the impact?

So right now what are the top threats to you, to your community, and to our country? Based on probability and severity here is my list of the greatest threats/risks/dangers:

  1. Military
  2. Law enforcement
  3. Law & Order extremists
  4. Rioters/looters/criminals

My reasoning?

  1. Military – This is a no brainer…they have the most weapons, the most powerful weapons, largest numbers of personnel, propensity to simply “follow orders”, and history of violence against US civilians.
  2. Law enforcement – This is an obvious one as well, but for different as well as similar reasons. They have a wide range of weapons available to them and in significant quantities. They have large numbers of personnel, mobilize quickly, and are well organized. They also, for the most part, have a propensity to simply “follow orders”. And there is a notable number of current instances of violence against civilians. And many law enforcement personnel right now are stressed, are questioning their civilian leadership, in some areas officers are calling in sick when they are not, and some officers are at times refusing to answer radios calls to come to the aid of those they swore to serve and protect.
  3. Law & Order extremists – These folks are a little more difficult to identify. However, they fall mostly into two groups; 1) political orientation, 2) philosophical beliefs. While the two on the surface may sound similar, they are not. Political orientation that I speak of is in terms of Republicans, conservatives, and others that believe that the protestors are somehow violating the law and should be stopped. They tend to not understand the difference between protestors advocating for a cause and looters/rioters committing crimes. They also tend to group all protestors with rioters and looters. There is also a tendency with these individuals to advocate for extreme measures when dealing with protestors, especially if there are some looters and rioters mixed in with them. For example: use of tear gas (CS), rubber bullets, stun grenades, and batons to beat civilians. They also tend to be vocal supporters of “shoot to kill” all looters. And they also support the use of the military in dealing with civil disturbances. So why do these extremists believe in such things? Fundamentally they do not understand the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the founding principles of the United States, and they almost always, through their “law & order” clichés believe in a police state and similar political ideology.

The other group I referred to are those with specific philosophical beliefs. Mainly it is a philosophy that they are defending their community, their families, and themselves against injury or property damage. While that is an admirable goal, there is one slight problem…ignorance. For those who maintain this philosophy and are trained with their weapon, educated in the law, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and understand “use of force” there is no problem at all. Actually, those folks are to be respected, admired, and applauded because they reflect Committee of Safety and Militias that were formed in Colonial America to oppose British oppression. The problem comes in where armed groups of individuals attempt to protect their communities, families, and themselves who are not trained with their weapon, not educated in the law, do not understand the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, and do not understand “use of force”. These folks are dangerous…period. I rate the probability pretty low because the chances of someone encountering one of these folks in a conflict would be pretty low. But, if the encounter takes place it will be unstable and the severity could be as extreme as loss of life.

  1. Rioters/Looters/Criminals – I rate these folks dead last in probability based on the chance that it could affect you. Well, I should add…if you are maintaining Situational Awareness. Simply avoid areas that are prone to protests and riots. Avoid becoming involved in public conflicts and avoid areas where curfews exist. Avoid not just high crime areas, but also, crime prone areas. I rate severity pretty low because if you use common sense encountering such a situation is low. And if you did encounter this situation you can more than likely extricate yourself with little difficulty due to a larger numbers of folks…getting lost in the crowd. Or if needed…appropriate use of force to defend yourself or your family.

Charted out it looks like this:

So now what? What is my point? Why am I using my time…maybe wasting your time…to write all of this?

For me it is simple…I am asking you to…

  • Drop bias
  • See reality
  • Understand context
  • Put everything into perspective
  • Support the Constitution
  • Support the Bill of Rights
  • Truly understand The Declaration of Independence and support it
  • Do not support big government
  • Do not support a police state
  • Do not support the use of the military against civilians
  • Support reforming police departments across the country
  • Oppose federal/national standards for local police
  • Support the demilitarization of police
  • Defend truth
  • Defend righteous people and causes
  • Understand others
  • Defend your life, defend your family, defend your property
  • Defend others who can’t defend themselves

Most of all…stand up as an American…defend the founding principles that made this the greatest country in the world…save our country before they have complete control.

I am asking a lot…I know. Many of you may not be up for it. Some of you are already fighting mad at me for challenging your bias. More are mad at me already for speaking the truth, using facts, historical context, evidence to plead my case. So be it.

I am looking for those few people who still have morals, integrity, courage, fortitude, and the desire to return our country to a stable foundation based on two things; 1) enteral gospel principles, 2) the Constitution.

Are you one of them?

I think you are!

 

 

 

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Threats, Risk, & Mitigation: Part 4

In this series of articles based on threats and risks to the “prepper” I have covered a lot of ground. My goal was to provide all preppers a Grid-Down anarchy lawlessness riotvalid and reliable system of threat/risk assessment by which those risks/threats could be ranked. Once ranked, you can design a plan to mitigate the associated risks and threats for any given event.

Back in the Introduction I identified the two parts that threats/risks pose to the prepper, they are; 1) probability, 2) severity. And you state it as, “How likely will the event occur from now and how severe will the outcome be?”

We do have impact through manipulation of probability and severity and thus can reduce the events impact on us, our family, our group and our community. And to more fully understand how that happens I went through the vehicle accident mitigation efforts and how companies and government reduced both the probability and severity of vehicle accidents. You can do the same when it comes to planning for the events that will plunge you into an emergency, disaster, or even a grid-down event.

In “Part #2” I touched on the Concern Level and the time-frame in which a plan needed to be created. The Concern Levels are Little, Moderate, Serious, and Critical. Obviously all levels to be mitigated but the Critical concern level needs to be addressed, a plan devised to mitigate the problems…and to do so quickly.

In my last article I wrote about what I feel are the most pressing issues that my family and I are facing at this particular time. Based on the ratings I assigned to each potential event here are the events in order of concern with the highest concern first:

When I charted it out in “Part #3” it looked like this –

Threat Matrix PersonalSo now is the time to figure out how to mitigate each event. For learning purposes I will go in reverse Concern Level order.

Heart Attack –

Reduce the probability of occurrence & time frame: I eat reasonably healthy, exercise regularly, have a complete Heart Attack is a prepper concern, risk, threat during grid-downphysical every three years. I have also educated myself on what the warning signs look like. I also don’t go too far beyond what I feel are my physical limitations. I am married and go to church which also statistically reduces my chances of a heart attack.

Reduce the severity should it occur: Those around me daily are trained in CPR. In our little group of friends that hangout together we have a couple of well trained medical folks. I came across a bottle of “nitro” that is part of my medkit as well as aspirin.

EMP or Nuclear Strike –

Reduce the probability of occurrence & time frame: There is nothing I can do to affect this item except at the ballot EMP Nuclear Strike is a concern, threat, risk for preppers during grid-down.box. I vote libertarian which tends to lend itself to voting for the person least likely to use a nuclear weapon on someone else, and thus, the other country to use a nuclear weapon on us. Considering the only use of a nuclear weapon was at the hands of a very liberal/socialist/progressive/democrat and same for the near use of one, I feel I am doing the right thing.

 

Reduce the severity should it occur: I live in an area that is not attractive to a direct strike. I have tools and gear that can be used without power. I have some gear that I have taken modest steps towards protecting against an EMP strike.

Invasion of USA –

Reduce the probability of occurrence & time frame: There is nothing I can do to affect this item except at the ballot Invasion of USA is a concern, threat, risk for preppers during grid-down.box. I vote for the person least likely to get us into a situation where we have foreign troops landing on American soil. Note: I think it is a virtual impossibility that any country, or combination of countries, can or will invade the USA.

Reduce the severity should it occur: I looked at the disruptions that were likely to occur in this event. They were: food distribution disruption, communications break down, power disruptions, martial law, violence and potential for occupation. To mitigate these I have taken the following steps: 1) I have food storage and the ability to grow more. 2) I have various capabilities to obtain information via emergency radio, I have Ham radio capability as well as alternative means of communicating. 3) I have the ability to provide minimal power via generator and solar. 4) I have the ability to “bug-in” for a sustained period of time. I have obtained skills to assist me in resisting martial law. 5) I have means by which my family can defend itself against violence. 6) We have multiple levels of planning to “bug-out” to alternative locations that are less likely to be occupied.

Epidemic / Pandemic –

Reduce the probability of occurrence & time frame: I have no opportunity to affect either of these events on any Epidemic Pandemic is a concern, threat, risk for preppers during grid-down.reasonable scale. On a family scale we can self-quarantine for a substantial amount of time removing our exposure to others. We have personal protective equipment that can add a layer of protection should we be forced to be around potential carriers. We have multiple levels of planning to “bug-out” to alternative locations that are less likely to be occupied.

Reduce the severity should it occur: We have a basic supply of over-the-counter medications. We also have a supply of basic antibiotics. We have a significant supply of vitamins to supplement our immune system.

Stock Market Crash –

Reduce the probability of occurrence & time frame: I have no control and no input that can prevent the stock market Stock Market Crash is a concern, threat, risk for preppers during grid-down.from crashing.

Reduce the severity should it occur: While we do have some percentage of our retirement accounts in mutual funds, those funds are managed with a certain degree of safety above that which affects the stock market in general. We have the ability to move our stock based mutual funds into “cash” funds with a single phone call and trigger points set to do such. We don’t have all of our retirement funds in stock market related investments. We have some in “cash equivalents” that can be redeemed for cash almost instantly. We have other funds that are in precious metals, other commodities, and real-estate.

Retirement –

Reduce the probability of occurrence & time frame: We don’t want to reduce the probability of this event, we Retirement is also for prepperswelcome it.

Reduce the severity should it occur: We have retirement accounts and other investments that will carry us through retirement vs. dependence on Social Security. We have food storage. By the time we are both retired we should have our retirement property debt-free. We are working towards being able to provide approximately 50% of our food ourselves. Our retirement home will be off-grid and thus reduce the costs of utilities, etc.

Financial Collapse –

Reduce the probability of occurrence & time frame: I have no control and no input that can prevent the financial Financial System Collapse is a concern, threat, risk for preppers during grid-down.system from crashing.

Reduce the severity should it occur: We have a cash emergency fund. We have a precious metals emergency fund. We have other commodities that have real value. We are working fervently towards a debt-free retirement property. We have part of our retirement investments in a “cash equivalent” that can be redeemed within hours should the need arise.

Flu –

Reduce the probability of occurrence & time frame: I have no opportunity to affect this event on a large scale. On a Flu is a concern, threat, risk for preppers during grid-down.family scale we can self-quarantine for a substantial amount of time removing our exposure to others. We have personal protective equipment that can add a layer of protection should we be forced to be around potential carriers. We have multiple levels of planning to “bug-out” to alternative locations that are less likely to be occupied.

Reduce the severity should it occur: We have a basic supply of over-the-counter medications. We also have a supply of basic antibiotics. We have a significant supply of vitamins to supplement our immune system.

Police State –

Reduce the probability of occurrence & time frame: This event is inevitable, every civilization that has ever existed Police State Militarization Of Policehas ended up as a police state. We are already well into a police state at this point in our country’s history. It has become institutionally and culturally embedded. There is no reversing it. However, that being said, I can be aware of it currently, and each step in the future where it gets worse. I can seek out those political candidates that oppose it and vote for them. I can protest steps that entrench it even more (i.e. military vehicles, automatic weapons, grenade launchers, etc. being given to local police departments). Finally, I can speak of it whenever and wherever appropriate to those who will listen to reason and logic, helping to make others aware of it so they too can take steps to resist it. Preppers need to fight against the police state.

Reduce the severity should it occur: This is a tough one. I can basically take all the “Severity” steps listed above and place them under this single event. I must have the following ability:

1 – Ability to defend myself and my family against oppression and violence.
2 – Ability to provide medical care to my family, group and community.
3 – Ability to communicate with others outside of normal media and communication channels.
4 – Ability to provide food without normal dependence on the regular food distribution chain.
5 – Ability to provide, filter and purify water.
6 – Ability to provide a minimal amount of power outside of the normal power grid.
7 – Ability to identify and group together with others who also wish to resist police state occupation (i.e. martial law) and organize accordingly.
8 – Ability to “bug-out” to alternative locations where the police state might not be as bad.

To be able to accomplish that list of missions/tasks, I need to:

1 – Have a sufficient supply of weapons and ammunition on-hand.
2 – Have sufficient medical training and supplies.
3 – Have multiple layers of non-standard communications capability.
4 – Have food storage and ability to grow a sustained food supply.Oath Keepers fight against the american police state.
5 – Have water storage and the ability to obtain more. Plus have filtration and purification capability.
6 – Have a generator, stabilized fuel, and the associated technology to use it. Have a solar generator and properly sized storage capacity.
7 – Find people that feel like I do and coordinate a response plan.
8 – Identify people outside of my area that are willing to enter into a reciprocal agreement to take in each other should the need arise.

What was interesting that I am sure you may have just recognized is this…

“Prepare for the worst and hope for the best!”

By preparing for the worst possible scenario that is inevitable you actually have prepared for all the other potential events. The only difference is what event to prepare for first.

I would suggest going through your list of Potential Events and rate each one. Then chart them out so you can see preppers need to Take Action to prepare for grid-down emergencies and disasterswhich your greatest threat with the most risk is. Once that is identified start looking for what the individual components of the event are. Now, take that list and start identifying what you can do to limit the probability of the event from occurring, or should the even occur what can you do to reduce the severity of the impact it will have on you, your family, your group, and your community. The resulting list will give you clear indication on where you should focus your time, energy and money.

I would suggest that you not look beyond the “community” level at this point. Actually, I would start with the steps to reduce the impact to just your family. Once that is firmly accomplished then move on to your “group” and then finally “community” can be your final goal.

I hope this series of articles has helped you with a valid and reliable way to identify threats/risks and how to minimize their impact through preparedness activities. As I close this series of articles I would propose to you that this system will also work in any environment where risk/threats must be assessed and mitigated. That would especially be true to mission planning. In the planning process identify the risks associated with the mission. Then work down the list of each risk on how to reduce the probability that the risk would occur, and then if it occurred how could the severity of impact be reduced.

This is a valuable tool in the prepper’s toolbox, good luck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Threats, Risk, & Mitigation: Part 3

Now it gets fun! I will rate the top nine risk and threats that I feel my family and I face in our current national environment. After I do the Grid Down Chaos and violence against people are threat and risk to familyrating and explain it I will talk about how to mitigate risks and threats in the final article in this series. Because, after all, mitigating the  Grid Down Chaos and violence against people are threat and risk to familyrisks and threats so you and your family can survive emergencies, disasters, and “grid-down” events is the whole goal to all of this “preparedness” stuff!

In the previous article I went over how to rate the different risk and threats you and your family might face. I provided definitions, worksheets and explanations on how it works. I also touched on the different levels of concern and how they should be handled. Now let’s wrap all of it together and see how it can work to give you and your family a fighting chance to survive!

In no particular order I listed the following as risks and threats that my family and I face at this point in our life that I feel need to be presented to you:

~ Retirement
~ Flu
~ Police State
~ EMP or Nuclear Strike
~ Epidemic/Pandemic
~ Invasion of USA
~ Heart Attack
~ Financial Collapse
~ Stock Market Crash

I wrote out some of my thoughts to narrate some of my thinking of these events –

Retirement: Almost certain to occur. If not properly prepared for hunger, homelessness and utility disruptions are possible. Potential loss of, or greatly reduced, transportation capability.

Flu: Occurs nation-wide annually to large percentage of population, age 55+ being the most susceptible. Potential for bed-ridden sickness for 1-week to death is possible.

Police State: Already in-place to some degree, mandatory DUI checkpoints, citizenship checkpoints, DNA collection points, increasing police violence, police militarization, multiple occurrences of localized undeclared martial law, increasing deaths and injuries by police of innocent people.

Epidemic/Pandemic (i.e. Ebola): Ebola already in the USA, not widespread, not easily transmitted, no known cure or vaccine, confusion at the local, state, and federal level on treatment.

EMP or Nuclear Strike: A nuclear strike has only occurred twice on a population center and only then during a world war and by America. Probability is almost nonexistent but it is minimally possible with countries like North Korea and Iran possessing a weapon. An EMP strike has never occurred anywhere in the world ever; at least one that was ever recorded. So the likelihood of an EMP strike is also almost nonexistent. But either event would be severe in outcome. A nuclear strike would be most devastating to the immediate and outside of the immediate strike zone as well as downwind and downriver/stream but much of the country would continue to function within reason. And EMP strike, depending on the strike location, could be potentially devastating to the entire USA. Either event would wreak havoc on the financial system here or abroad should a strike occur within the USA.

Invasion by foreign country or UN: I consider this an impossibility at this time in history. No country on earth has the ability to carry out such an attack and subsequent invasion, let alone occupation. The logistics issues by themselves would be virtually impossible to overcome. And then there is the clear and unmistakable knowledge that the US has hundreds of millions of weapons in the hands of civilians with more than enough ammunition to be a deterrent in and of itself. I do rate the severity aspect high since it would plunge the country into a war on American soil.

Unemployment: Statistics show that the average American will change jobs 11 times in their working lifetime. There are no stats indicating how often or for how long a person will be unemployed. So I am going off of people that I know and making a totally unscientific guess at it. Probability of unemployment 100% at some point in a person’s lifetime. Length of time that a person will be unemployed I will go with the BLS statistics, 8 months. Severity of unemployment can be devastating even with an unemployment check. Loss of home, shortage of food, battling with utility companies and losing credit worthiness to name just a few.

Heart Attack: For a person of aged 40 the chances you will have a heart attack sometime before you reach that age is less than 5%, over that age it increases exponentially. There are risk factors that increase your risk, and life style efforts that reduce that risk. But we are going for “average” for this purpose. And the severity rating comes out fairly high since heart attacks are 50% (+/-) fatal. They are more fatal the older you are when the heart attack strikes.

Financial/Economic System Collapse: This is a tricky one to say the least. The Federal Reserve is a train wreck taking place in slow motion. Since they began active involvement recessions have both lengthened and deepened. They have also devalued the dollar in terms of inflation by over 2200%, in relation to gold the dollar has devalued by 988%. So the US dollar and economy has been in a slow crash for over 100 years. An “event” that crashes overnight could occur rather easily. That could occur financially via our global enemies such as China and Russia, or internally via a “bank holiday” or removing gold from public possession. Both of which have occurred before under Progressive Presidents. So a “crash” is a foregone conclusion, it is only a matter of time-frame. I believe that the slow-motion option is a 75% probability, while the “event” is a 25% probability.

Stock Market Crash or Substantial Correction: These events occur on a regular basis, it is just a matter of severity. Here is a list of years that the more notable events and when they occurred; 1857, 1869, 1883, 1886, 1901, 1907, 1929, 1937, 1962, 1987, 1989, 1990, 2000, 2001, 2008-2009, 2010. Here is a summary of severity and the occurrence average –

Stock Market Correction information on when and how badNote of interest:  The country has suffered a minor market correction approximately every 11 years from 1791 – 1907 (119 years). Between 1908 – 2010 (102 years) the country suffered a significant or major market correction every 8 years, including the two worst market crashes in history, the only depression, and the top four recessions. FYI…the Federal Reserve began controlling the economy and the currency in 1913.

In the 2009 crash the stock market lost over 50% of its value. In the 1929 crash it lost 75% of its value. So based on the statistics I feel we are due within 3 – 5 years for a greater than 50% correction in the markets and the economy in general, or a complete collapse of the stock market and economy.

So here are my ratings on the nine events noted above:

Based on the ratings I assigned to each potential event here are the events in order of concern with the highest concern first:

When I chart it out it looks like this –

So now what do you do with the information? Well, I provided a worthwhile guide for you to list your own concept of potential events and how to rate each one of them. Once you have done that then you have a good idea of a priority list of events that you need to prepare for. With that you can work on what you need to do to prepare for each event.

In my next and final article in this series I will explain how to mitigate risks and threats through the “risk management” system. This system is reliable and proven in the field to work. When you are finished reading the next article you will be ready and able to tackle even your toughest risks a threats that you and your family face. You will be armed with the system to reduce the risk and reduce the threat and increase you family’s chances of survival. Look for it!

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Threats, Risk, & Mitigation: Part 2

There will be threats and risks to you and your family during any emergency, disaster or “grid-down” event. This is the second article in a series designed to help you systematically identify those threats Grid Down Chaos violence threats and risks during emergencies and disasters riotsand risks, then rate them according to the potential affect they can have on your family. Once that is established it makes it clear what your preparedness priorities are (or should be) and how to make your plan.

In the previous article in this series, I introduced the Threat Matrix and ran through a brief exercise on how to use it. The value in such a valid and reliable systematic approach to defining and identifying threat potential is without equal. If you don’t know and understand the threats you will face, how do you ever expect to properly prepare for them? If you haven’t read the first article I would highly suggest you do so now. <Click to read the article now>

Here is the Threat Matrix that I introduced previously –

risk managment for preppers - Threat Matrix for probability and severityIn the exercise in the previous article I asked you to just guess when rating the “Probability” and “Severity” aspects of the chart. Now I will give you some concrete definitions to go by. You can use mine or use them to give you ideas on developing your own definitions. Either way, once you are done, you will have a valid, reliable, and consistent approach to defining risks and threats.

Threat Matrix - Probability rating definitionsThis chart gives you clear guidance on how to define the “Probability” rating and what the “Timeframe” outlook will be. This will give you consistency when rating threats and risks to future events.

The next chart gives you clear definitions of the potential “Severity” or impact of the event –

Threat Matrix Severity Rating chartThis chart gives you clear guidance on how to define the “Severity” rating. This will give you consistency when rating the severity of impact of threats and risks to future events.

The next chart gives you guidance on step #1, listing and rating each threat or risk that you perceive you are facing –

Threat Matrix WorksheetHere is an example –

Threat Matrix Worksheet ExampleHere is your homework assignment, list each threat and risk that you feel you, your family, your group or Homework for prepperscommunity will face during emergencies, disasters or “grid-down” events. Then rate each item for probability and severity. Add the two numbers together and divide by 2 for the “Final Rating” in the worksheet.

Yeah, I know. It looks like a bunch of school work. And you are right, it is “prepper” school work. If you didn’t learn valid and reliable ways to properly assess risks and threats how else would you do it? Seriously!

Now, one more piece of the puzzle before I close this article, the mitigation that should take place for each category of risk and threat that appear in the pretty colored Threat Matrix.

Concern Level and Mitigation Efforts to be taken –

little concern to worry about risk and threat for risk managmentLittleMaintain awareness of these events, their timing and potential to move-up the scale should be reviewed and discussed regularly. A plan should be developed and discussed identifying the events and the potential trigger points that could move them to a more severe or higher probability rating and the resulting impact. These potential events should be formally reviewed at least every 3 – 4 months for movement; weekly in times of emergencies, disasters or “grid-down” events.

Moderate concern for risk and threat for risk managmentModerate: A written plan for corrective action must be completed within 60 days, mitigation begun within 6 months and completed within 12 months. The action plan must include steps to avoid the potential for serious injury, disability and the potential for death for the more significant events. A written plan should be developed identifying the potential trigger points that could move them to a more severe or higher probability rating and the resulting impact. These potential events should be reviewed at least monthly for movement; weekly in times of emergencies, disasters or “grid-down” events.

Serious Concern about risks and threats for risk managmentSerious: Corrective action must be taken quickly and decisively within 30 days to prevent significant sickness, injury or to cope with significant infrastructure break-down. Monthly status monitoring of these potential events must take place. A written plan on the criteria and trigger points must be developed for steps to take should the situation worsen. Additional correction actions to be taken must be implementable within 24-hours should a situation worsen. These potential events should be reviewed at least monthly for movement; daily in times of emergencies, disasters or “grid-down” events.

Critical concern for risk and threat for risk managmentCritical: Immediate corrective action required within 10 days to prevent immediate or imminent death or permanently disabling injury. Daily status monitoring of these potential events by leadership must take place. A written plan on the criteria and trigger points must be developed for steps to take should the situation worsen. Steps to take must be written and made known to all family/team/group/community members. Actions to be taken must be implementable within an hour should a situation worsen. These potential events should be reviewed at least weekly for movement; at least daily in times of emergencies, disasters or “grid-down” events.

I hope this has helped you understand how risk & threat assessment can help you think clearly, rationally and logically when it comes to prepping. With this system you can correctly figure out what your biggest threat/risk is, how likely it is to occur, how severe of an impact it will have on your family and what to do about it.

In the next article in this series I will present my top nine risks or threats that I feel are worth identifying and rating in the Threat Matrix. Then I will explain how to “mitigate” the risk or threat. Look for this coming article, it will be worth the time to read!

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Threats, Risk, and Mitigation: Introduction

In my day job I was responsible for ordering my folks to take risks; Wildland Firefighters face risk and threats in daily jobsometimes we risking our lives. It’s just what we do…and we were OK with that. It was our duty.

As “preppers” we must also understand threats & risks, how to rate them with a valid & reliable system, and then how to mitigate those threats and risks so they don’t destroy our family or group. I will do all of that in this series of articles.

Now, WARNING!…if you like fluffy prepper articles this is NOT for you. This series of articles will requiring thinking and learning. It will require effort. So, if you are a fair-weather prepper giving lip-service to this, if it is simply a hobby, then move on to another website article.

However, if you put in the time and will are willing to learn…you might just learn stuff that could one day save your life…or that of your family.

Moving on…

As firefighters we take the most risk by being unhealthy and driving our fire trucks. Yeah, movies and TV shows Fire Engine Wreck is more serious firefighter risk than getting burnedwould like you to think the greatest risk is running into some burning building, flames licking at our heels, roofs crashing in and the like. But that is TV and movie stuff; our greatest risks are vehicular accidents and not staying in-shape and healthy. When I moved into the wildland firefighting side of things the chance/risk of being in a “burnover” did go up significantly but has not replaced health and traffic accidents as the primary risks.

So what does this have to do with “prepping” and “grid-down?” Everything! Yes, I will explain but I had to set the stage and get your attention first.

So what are some of the ways that you might get sick, hurt or dead when the grid-goes down or a more mundane disaster or emergency hits:violence during grid-down is a risk and threat to your family

  1. Violence
  2. Lack of medicine or medical care
  3. Poor communications
  4. No organization or plan
  5. Dehydration
  6. Exposure
  7. Starving

So, now that you have a general list what do you do? I say you start to narrow down more specifically what exact events might take place to cause those things to happen.

Why do this? So you can take steps to reduce their impact. Why reduce their impact? So you and your family don’t get sick or die.

If you’ve been reading my articles for any length of time you know I like proven and reliable “systems” to guide me in my prepping. Systems greatly reduce mistakes when implemented correctly. And they do so by diminishing the impact of bias and opinion. Both bias and opinion can harm preparedness spending, direction, and plan implementation effectiveness.

I’ve already shared how to set priorities and make effective and consistently high-quality decisions in the preparedness world. That system is called L.I.P.S. and you should take a moment to read about it if you haven’t already.

OK, I listed above some of the ways you can become a casualty. And that list comes from events; some are Incidents pose risk and threat that is mitigated through risk managmentdisasters, some are emergencies, and my favorite, “grid-down.” But all of those terms describe a broad category of events, we want to talk about specifics. Doing so will then make it very clear where we want to direct our preparedness efforts and money. The specific events fall into a general systematic definition called “risk.” Each potential event is a risk to our health and safety, and that of our families.

Risk Managment Probability of incident occurringThere are two aspects of risk that we are concerned about; 1) probability, 2) severity.

Probability simply means, how likely the event is to occur. And in the prepper world I extend that to, and in what time-frame relative to now. So I have defined probability as Risk Managment Severity of impact if incident does occurrHow likely is the event to occur and how soon.

The other aspect of risk is severity. Severity is defined as If the event does occur, how bad the outcome will be.

Combined as a complete definition it reads…

“How likely will the event occur from now and how severe will the outcome be?”

Yes, there is a whole lot of “judgement” that can take place when working with that definition. But not to worry, I will give some guidance on how to reduce “guestimates” and deal more with sound judgement.

Now that we have identified the two main players in “event risk” and the yardstick to judge the probability and Risk Mitigation by reducing probability and or severityseverity, we can discuss how to increase our chances of surviving the identified event with its associated risks. And it is actually very simple two-step process; 1) reduce the probability that the event will occur, 2) reduce the severity of impact to our family. That process is called “risk mitigation.” And the process is best described by example:

In the early 1960’s safety experts became very concerned about vehicular accidents and the growing fatality and injury rates. So they embarked on reducing both; and they did so by looking at how people were getting injured and being killed. Then they began to look at ways to reduce the probability of vehicle accidents and reduce the severity of accidents should they occur. By using the two-prong approach they knew that should they be successful, fewer people would die and/or be injured.

Probability that a vehicle accident would occur – How did they approach this aspect over the last 60 years?

  1. Increasing the driving age.
  2. Requiring driver training for new drivers.
  3. Adding side mirrors.
  4. Improving roads, signage and traffic lights.
  5. Back-up warning.
  6. Lane encroachment warning.
  7. Auto-braking.

Severity should a vehicle accident occur – How did they approach this aspect over the last 60 years?

  1. Seat belts.
  2. Shoulder belts.
  3. Nader pins in car door frames.
  4. Crumple zones.
  5. Air bags in the dashboard.
  6. Side air bags.

Each step they took reduced the probability that a vehicle accident would occur, and if one did occur, the severity to those inside the vehicle would be reduced. I am sure you could apply that same thought process to any number of aspects of life, including your working environment. OSHA has made a whole industry and legal system doing so.

How does this system apply to prepping? Exactly the same way!

Let’s do an example to test that statement. Many, if not all disasters, would present the risk of lack of water supply. Finding water during emergency and disasters is risky and a threatSo the identified risk is “water supply.” How probable is a safe and stable water supply affected by any given emergency, disaster or grid-down event? I can tell you this, any grid-down will stop any municipal water supply pretty quickly; same goes for most disasters. And try buying bottled water even during an  emergency event. So the probability of lack of water supply is almost assured.

So, how do you reduce the probability that you would run out of water for your family?

  1. Water storage.
  2. Water filtration capabilities.
  3. Identifying a close-by water source (stream, lake, river, run-off pond, etc.).
  4. Drill a well or install a large capacity storage unit.

So by identifying ways to mitigate the probability that your family will suffer from lack of water supply you are coming up with solutions to a problem. But what about the severity aspect of no supply of safe drinking water?

If you think about it, it becomes pretty plain. No water supply means dehydration. Dehydration leads to incapacitation…and death pretty quickly thereafter.

But now that you have identified the probability of it occurring and the severity of it occurring you are in a better position to make decisions on time, effort, and budget considerations when dealing with preparedness priorities. Water supply would be a pretty high priority.

So for an exercise to better show how this would work let me introduce the Threat Matrix –

risk managment for preppers - Threat Matrix for probability and severityWithout getting into any formal definitions, take our list of threats that I discussed earlier and rate them according to the scale of 1 – 10 for probability and severity on the chart above as it relates to you and your family as of right now. And this will be for any emergency, disaster or “grid-down” event you can think of. Or you can combine those three possibilities together. Don’t worry about the exact definitions of the terms Probability and Severity. Just make your best guess. We will go over the terms in more detail later. The threat list items are:

This is my rating for events and associated risks that I think would occur and how they would affect my family right now.5 basic threats for emergencies disasters grid-down preppersThreat Matrix-and basic risks for emergencies disasters and grid-down for preppers

So the “matrix would now look like this –

risk managment for preppers - Threat Matrix for probability and severity5 basic threats for emergencies disasters grid-down preppers

So, taking a look at the chart, ask yourself, “Based on the level of concern on the chart, what should we work on first?” Well, it becomes clear for me what my primary risks are –Violence during grid-down, emergencies, and disasters is number one #1 threat and risk

  1. Violence
  2. Lack of medicine or medical care
  3. Water supply
  4. Food supply
  5. Exposure

So I identified the risks and set them in priority, it is up to me to then Risk Managment Mitigate by reducing probability severitydefine how to mitigate those risks. For me it would be pretty obvious that mitigating the “violence” risk would be my #1 priority right now. And how do I do that?

  1. Learn about Situational Awareness (SA).
  2. Identify specific violent risks through SA and mitigate those risks.
  3. Have a weapon for each member of the family and they are well trained in its use.
  4. Keep a low profile, not drawing attention to the family or house.
  5. Leave the area.
  6. Don’t tell anyone about our preparedness capability.

I hope that this makes sense to you. My goal is to give you a clear way to identify the risks you and your family have as you prepare for emergencies, disasters and grid-down. This system, when properly applied, will give you a way to competently identify risks/threats and then design a plan to reduce the risk. And reducing those risks is a matter of reducing the probability that it will occur and reducing the effects on your family should it occur.

In the next post I will give you the way to define probability and severity to make your Threat/Risk Matrix more valid and reliable. I will also show an example of using this same system and apply it to larger scale events. Yes, we will look at events and determine which are the most likely to occur. When we are done doing that you will be able to identify the individual risks for each. And you will then see which preparedness priorities are right for you and your family. Then you can develop your plan.

 

 

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Risks, Threats, and Mitigation

I posted a series of articles on Risks, Threats, and Mitigation last year. I had originally posted those articles way back probably 5 years ago. When I resurrected the articles I posted them as “pages” under the “Principles of Preparedness” menu option on the main menu bar. But, they can’t be found on the left hand menu items and I neglected to include them (until today) on the Table of Contents page.

Yeah, that means the information was really hard to find. And that is simply unacceptable for me.

So today I am going to post each of those articles as separate posts, update the menu items on the left, and update the Table of Contents page as well.

I would strongly encourage you to read the articles. The information they contain could prove very useful in today’s unstable social climate.

To read the first article in the series <click here>

 

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PDF Files: Organization (ICS)

These PDF files contain information and direction on how to organize for an effective response to an emergency, disaster or grid-down event. They are based on my series of articles “Preparedness & Organization” with considerable editing, revising, and updating. I have also included several more PDF files that you might find useful.

 

 

The overall document explaining ICS: <click here to download: PreparednessOrganization-ICS>

Next is a handout that is brief and outlines ICS: <click here to download:Handout20150907 >

Next is a basic Org Chart. It can be printed and used to help design your organization, or simply as a visual to help you “see” how it fits together. <click here to download: OrgChart1>

Finally, there is a large PDF file that contains ICS-300 training material. I was an ICS Master Instructor certified by FEMA to teach instructors how to teach ICS. It is the basic FEMA training material used as version 2 of the training. And it includes my edits and changes in the material. <click here to download: ICS-300 Training >

Please feel free to use the form below to request a specific subject/topic to be converted into a PDF file.

Request a topic/subject…




 

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Something to think about…I ask you

What a very strange day yesterday…that spilled into this morning. Actually, it started a week ago when I started working on a new SitRep…and then the whole George Floyd thing erupted. Then came my “Something to think about…” post which drew some serious flak from a couple of readers. Then my follow-up which agitated a couple of those who were already ticked off at me. Weird times we are living in.

So then I decided to write an influencing and spectacular essay on some historical fact and perspective…impressing one and all with my keyboard prowess. So I began my research for that post. I love doing that kind of research and writing. Finding “dots” and then connecting them…especially when those dots span hundreds of years. Now mind you…all of this while I am stilling trying to get the new house more livable for us, tend our micro-garden, get the solar system settled in (including installing the new PV array), and try to unpack/organize my shop. Yeah, a little busy. And lest I forget to state the obvious…preparing for what is coming…the storm on the horizon.

Yesterday was a real gem…I had am 8-hour round trip journey on my hands going to the big city to pick up my $50 250w Canadian solar panels. Now I will tell you…I was excited about that! Yup, excited to be adding six 250w high quality panels to my system which is in dire need of more sunshine harvesting. $50??? Yeah, you read that right…$50! Now, they are used of course. The company I bought them from buys whole solar farms worth of panels when they get swapped out every couple of years for the newest, latest, and greatest PV panel. They test them, clean them, sell them, and stand behind them…at 20cents a watt! I checked em out, talked to a guy who has bought from them multiple times, was satisfied with the company, bought the panels and picked them up yesterday. Great trip! Well, kinda. OK, not so much.

On the way to the big city there were these huge information signs over the highway. They are computer controlled and can inform the driving public of whatever message the government wants to put up there. Very 1984ish! Well, yesterday they were informing drivers of the emergency order by the AZ Governor putting the state on a lockdown…an 8pm – 5am curfew. Yeah, a 9-hour per day police state. I was truly discouraged to say the least, more like depressing, possibly more…saddened might be more appropriate.

And without thinking I had been listening to various talk shows as I was driving. For whatever reason I started to really pay attention to what was being said and how and to whom. I noticed the following:

  • It was a black vs white thing
  • It was a AntiFa vs establishment fascist thing
  • It was a Democrat thing vs Republican thing
  • It was a criminal vs everyone else thing
  • It was cops vs everyone else thing
  • It was the military vs civilian thing
  • It was a Trump vs the world thing
  • And on and on and on and on…

The point being…it was one group vs another. Yeah, truly it was everyone vs everyone. Not that many days ago I called it cultural cannibalism, because as a nation we are eating ourselves alive.

About two years ago I was trying to figure out a solution to the problems America is facing. Trying desperately to come up with some new, fresh idea that would save our beat-up and drowning nation. I thought I had figured it out and even had a catchy title for it. I floated the idea on a website I belong to hoping to get some feedback from folks I respected…and for the most part, trusted. Wow! Was I in for a surprise.

Shortening that whole story, my post was almost universally rejected or ignored. The worst of the replies being ugly and unbecoming to those who would call themselves Christians. So basically, combining the responses, it came down to this…I was a Trump hater, Hillary lover, and wanted the conservatives to lose all future elections…and everyone should hate me for advocating correct principles over the realities of politics. Yeah, it kinda got under my skin…and I dropped the whole idea. Yesterday, after listening to the radio chatter, I decided to dust off my idea, change it up to my current thoughts, and bring it to you on this website.

Why “here”? Why “now”?  Because I think it is a sound concept, one that could work, and will work with the right people hearing it and understanding it. And of course, I have very limited influence in the world as a whole. My adult children listen to me to some degree. My wife does listen to me…but mostly to be polite I think. My neighbors don’t know me well enough to trust me enough in this matter. So that leaves you guys. I have hundreds and hundreds of people who have signed up to “follow” the website. Maybe as many as a couple thousand folks who visit this website fairly regularly. So that must mean you guys have some degree of trust in what I say…or ya’ll simply see me as some level of entertainment. I am good with either.

To accurately understand the background to what I about to propose we must go back 250 years. Back to England in the decades prior to the American Revolution…and then tie it into our Founding Fathers of the late 1700’s. One of the things our Founding Fathers dreaded most and spent considerable time worrying about was political parties. Why? Because they had watched what had happened in England earlier in that century. Basically it had torn England apart, caused a huge division amongst its people, created a civil war…and the Founding Fathers wanted none of it in the new America. Yes, I speak directly about “political parties” and the inherent evil they bring with them…ALL political parties. But, that is still not my point…well, not directly anyways.

So you can read that every Founding Father detested the idea, the concept, of political parties. Why? Because political parties divide people, cause strife, lead to violence, and destroy the underpinnings of countries…and has often destroyed countries all together. The founders spoke vehemently against such things infecting America. Too bad they couldn’t and didn’t prevent it.

Almost immediately after the Constitution was put into place, elections held, and our first president elected we find that two factions developed; 1) strong centralized government generally supported by businessmen, bankers and merchants, 2) decentralized governance to the local level generally supported by small farmers, artisans, and craftsmen. It became a bitter divide, almost sinking our country in its earliest years…and continues today…those who support big government and those who know better.

Strangely enough these differences in political beliefs were set aside when developing the principles that became the Constitution. All of our Founding Fathers and a host of other leadership of the day laid aside many of their personal political philosophies for a more purposeful endeavor…ensuring the best possible document that would guide our country into the future. Oh how sweet it would be if we could see that behavior in our day!

George Washington spoke passionately against the establishment of, participation in, and the use of political parties…and for good reason. He stated specifically that they would create domination, cause damage, and produce vengeance against members of the opposing party. He especially saw it, along with many other Founding Fathers, being in direct opposition to our Constitutional Republic principles and a sure way to destroy our country. Obviously he was right.

How does this manifest itself in today’s world? Really?!? Maybe I should I ask a far better and more realistic question…How does it not manifest itself in this conflagration of America we’ve seen now for decades?

So what is my solution…my vision of the future…my all-encompassing elucidation…my illuminating edifying concept? Oh sorry…it is not mine at all…simply a resurrection of the original idea of our Founding Fathers…principle vs politics. Yeah, it’s that simple.

Let me give an example or two…

No one but a psychopath serial killer would approve of police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of George Floyd killing him and the continue to do so long after Floyd was dead. And especially when you consider that Floyd was handcuffed, begged for his life, couldn’t breathe, and three other police officers stood by and watched Floyd be killed. That is cold blooded murder…a principle that no one, other the most mentally ill, could approve of. No one can justify that kind of behavior from our police officers…no one. Well, no one that is sane or has an ounce of morals in them.

At the same time, no one but the most deranged and radical anti-Americans can stand by and watch buildings burned, cars destroyed, and worst of all, police officers shot at, pelted with bottles/rocks, and harassed. As a result of Floyd’s murder the wanton destruction of property, the perpetration of violence towards our police is simply unacceptable…morally wrong. The principle of such behavior is wrong by any standard by any decent person…period!

As I listened to the radio chatters yesterday on my drive for the PV panels there were only two sides…those supporting the violence and destruction, trying to justify it…and those opposed to it, and attempting to justify any and all action to stop it…including more killing. So we have two opposing parties in this issue…and I bet if we did a little research it would break down along Democrat/Republican lines. Maybe more accurately…along liberal/conservative lines. Then again it could also be broken down to…anarchists vs law& order folks. But what I didn’t hear…not a single discussion about the principles involved. Killing is wrong…wanton violence and destruction is wrong…protesting is right…objecting to police violence is right.

Here’s what I am getting at…take the same people on either side and stop talking politics and start talking principles. What might happen?

Ask the group for a show of hands…

  • How many people think it is right and allowable for police officers to kill unarmed, handcuffed, compliant men who are begging for their life and can’t breathe?
  • How many people think it is right for groups of people to burn down local businesses, destroy people’s cars, and try to kill police officers?

Don’t give them a chance to bloviate…just a simple show of hands…they approve of each or not.

Other examples…

  1. How many people think it is right to be legally able to kill another person at will?
  2. How many people think it is right/allowable for a national government to be able to violently suppress their citizens with those citizens having no right or ability to defend themselves?
  3. How many people think it is right for a group to be able to forcibly take money from another?
  4. How many people think it is right for a group to be able to put you in prison for not paying a debt?
  5. How many people think it is right for a government to charge you to live on your own property?
  6. How many people think it is right for a government to force you to do certain things to your children?

I would think you would find few people supporting any of the above. However, the topics I was alluding to were:

  1. Abortion
  2. Gun rights restriction
  3. Income taxes
  4. Income tax collection enforcement
  5. Property taxes
  6. Public school requirement for all children

I hope I am being clear…talking about “topics” mostly brings about political posturing. I think discussing “principles” brings about convergence and consensus. And remember consensus does not mean compromise! Compromise is a bad thing…a very bad thing. It means people have to give up things to resolve an issue. And those issues rarely stay resolved for long. But consensus means harmony with all parties in unanimous agreement with the solution.

And that my friends resulted in the Constitution! And I believe that to be the single most inspired document in the history of man.

So what in the heck am I asking of you?

I am asking a lot!!  I am asking you to stop thinking in political terms…and start thinking in terms of principles. And when thinking in terms of principles seek to advocate for and to do what is right. I am asking you to not blindly support a Senator, Judge, Congressman, the police, the President, political party, the military, etc.. Only support principles that result in actions that are right.

Look at what a person or group does…and do you support that action based on correct principles.

Examples:

  1. I cannot and will not support any candidate or group who advocates for, or doesn’t oppose, abortion.
  2. I cannot and will not support any candidate who advocates for, or doesn’t oppose, the restriction of gun rights.
  3. I will not approve of, or accept, the US military being used against US civilians.
  4. I will not approve of, or accept, the police being able to get away with murder.
  5. I will not approve of, or accept, people wantonly looting and destroying property.
  6. I will not approve of, or accept, people trying to hurt police who are trying to protect life and property from wanton destruction.
  7. I will not approve of, or accept, the militarization of police.
  8. I will not approve of, or accept, the propaganda produced by any level of government for any topic or in any situation.

And the list goes on and on…you get the idea. So how does that apply to a conversation…or in everyday life? Let me stumble through a couple of examples…

If someone engages me in a discussion about the recent riots and they advocate for the “left” and accuse the “right” of causing the problem. I might respond with, “I think it was horribly wrong for a police officer to kill George Floyd and I hope the officers involved are tried, convicted, and see prison time. And I hope they catch all those burning buildings, destroying, and looting because they are nothing more than common criminals. We need to find a solution…we need justice, we need peace, we need respect, we need freedom and rights.”

If a person would say something such as, “I think it was horrible for Trump to tweet for police to shoot looters!” I might respond with something like, “I think we need moral leadership at the national level in this whole thing but the problems need to be solved at the local level where the problems are. And brother, the federal government is always a problem, never the solution.”

If a person expresses something like, “Shoot all the damn looters!” I might respond with something like, “I believe in a blind justice system, that a legal system applies equally to everyone. Those looters should be found, arrested, charged, tried, and required to payback all the damage they created. I don’t believe in a banana republic political system that allows a police force the right to shoot people on sight. I believe everyone is entitled to Constitutional rights and protections.”

Is a person says, “We need the military on the streets to stop all this nonsense and bring back law and order to our country!” I might respond with, “I believe that the Founding Fathers were correct in their beliefs and how they formed our Constitutional rights. The military was never meant to be a standing army and was never meant to be used against civilians on US soil. I support the Constitution and the Founding Fathers.”

I am asking you to decide what principles you believe in…what you believe to be right. Then I ask you to stop advocating for, or in, politics…especially political parties. I am asking you to advocate for, support, and to discuss “principles.”

How do you decide what is “right” when it comes to principles?  I can’t tell you what to believe…you have the right, and responsibility, to decide that for yourself.

For me I use two standards: 1) eternal God-based morals, ethics, and guidelines found in the scriptures, 2) the principles found in the Constitution and advocated by the Founding Fathers. The two are in perfect harmony; there is no opposition between them if properly understood and applied.

This country is all but destroyed. We have allowed politics of the Democrats and Republicans to undermine virtually all of our founding and Constitutional principles. We have allowed an all-powerful federal government to crush state governments. We’ve allowed all levels of government to remove almost every God-given and Constitution-ensured right we had at the founding of this country. As a country we have lost our way…to the point that evils reigns. And we did so by embracing what our Founding Fathers warned us against…political parties…politics over principles.

I am asking you to join me in trying this simple but daunting mission. Forego political parties, reject them as our Founding Fathers pleaded with us to do. I am also asking you to start choosing to follow, advocate for, and support only correct principles…and stop with the politics.

I am asking for, advocating for…principles vs politics.

 

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Something to think about…Current Situation (6/1/2020)

This morning I was watching video of a portion of what transpired last night in regards to protests, riots, looting, etc. I was saddened beyond belief…we, as a country, were/are eating ourselves alive. Nothing short of social and cultural cannibalism.

There was senseless violence, looting of stores and businesses, fires, angry confrontations, random and ridiculous acts of destruction. Journalists specifically targeted and injured by police…intimidation as a goal. Then something interesting happened…a change started to occur in what I was seeing.

A video clip showed a youngish man was using a hammer to break bricks apart on a sidewalk; he was passing them out to a couple of young people who left the view of the camera. I can only assume what their intention was…criminal/destructive behavior. But, then a miracle took place! Several young men dressed similar to those with the bricks appeared and tackled the guy with the hammer, wrestled him to the ground, subdued him, then it got even better.

Unknown to me because of the camera angle there was a line of police maybe 50 feet from what was happening with the hammer guy…and the police did nothing. But, the young men that had subdued hammer guy wrestled with him while dragging him over to the police…and then turned him over to police. It was amazing…hammer guy was not going without a fight. So here was this one group of young protestors wrestling with the police helping them to get hammer guy under control. Once hammer guy was on the ground the police officers could be seen calmly tapping the protester assistants on the shoulders and obviously telling them they had it under control.

The young protestors walked away from the police and resumed their peaceful protesting. Amazing!! And it truly touched my heart. Was this an isolated incident or more widespread?

Then another video where a Sheriff, not a deputy, in Michigan, was standing with a group of deputies facing off with a group of very angry protestors. Another violent confrontation in the making. The Sheriff then did an amazing thing he took off his riot gear and approached the crowd asking to speak with them. About 20 mins later there was a bond in that small community interaction, the situation defused, the crowd dispersed, the officers left…and all had the understanding that the killing of George Floyd was horrific, criminal, unacceptable, and not going to happen in their community.

Then another video with another tense stand-off. But, you could see some of the protestors, angry to be sure, started talking to the front line police officers. I thought to myself that this was going to spark a violent encounter…I was wrong…oh so wrong. The crowd started chanting something like “kneel for George Floyd” and some of the protestors started kneeling. Then a couple of officers knelt, then more, then more. Next thing you knew there were protestors and police officers kneeling together and you could see the tension drain from both sides.

Then video from another large city where another large and tense crowd approached a line of bike officers…another powder keg. Chanting, shouting, tension…everything for another spark to ignite violence. But the officers didn’t get all macho Rambo…an officer approached the crowd and spoke with a couple of their apparent leaders. The conversation didn’t last long but the officer explained that they thought the killing of George Floyd was absolutely unacceptable behavior and they stood in solidarity with the protestors. The officers momentarily knelt…then walked away. The protestors milled about for a few minutes and then they too dispersed on their own accord. Within 10 minutes video showed virtually no one in that area of the city.

In Washington state another angry crowd formed…again, protesting the murder of George Floyd. Police officers showed up…in regular duty uniforms not military gear. The city police chief stepped forward to speak to the crowd…he was greeted with apprehension but was allowed to speak. A protest leader stepped up to him and handed him an electronic megaphone so he could be better heard. The chief spoke for a couple of minutes then answered questions from the crowd members. Some of the questions were tough, a few a bit rude. But the chief answered them all…it lasted about 30 minutes. At the end a protest leader got up and spoke well of the chief and “their” police…he asked people to remember what he said, respect them, and only protest peacefully. The officers left…the protestors continued walking and chanting…no sign of violence to be found anywhere.

My point?  A personal one to be sure…but important as well. Remember I spoke about avoiding binary choices? Remember I spoke about letting locals solve their own problems? Remember I spoke about using something other than militarized police or the actual military? Well, it can work! No, not every time…I understand that. But, I clearly saw where peace officers were proactive and engaged with the public, worked with those protesting, understood the actual problem(s), dropped the Rambo attitude, considered community over subjugation, valued life over submission…solutions were found.

It also takes protestors using reason and understanding to know when they have won. When you have police officers turning into peace officers it is time to understand you won…and then work together with those officers to form a better community. To give hope that all life can improve and overcome the evil that is out there.

Yes, there will continue to be senseless violence, destruction, looting, and all manner of evil in our cities over this and future injustices. But, for those who set their pride and ego aside, for those who will allow themselves some humility, there is hope. Hope for a strong, united, compassionate, and just community. People working together to make life, all life, better. A hope that differences and injustice is not met with tear gas, bricks, rubber bullets, thrown water bottles, martial law, fires, flash-bang grenades, looting, brutality, and a police state.

Too many are willing to be divided…accepting, even encouraging an “us vs them” culture. Too many willing to subjugate, to subdue, to crush, to win at all costs…regardless of the true price paid. True patriots do not want a police state, do not want militarized police, do not want military troops in the streets, do not want citizens beaten. And no, true patriots do not want to see journalists specifically targeted for intimidation or worse…victims of violence. True patriots understand protests and protestors. True patriots can even understand when those protests turn into riots…and property destruction. True patriots understand that is exactly where our Founding Fathers, militia members, Minute Men, and others had their roots when the USA was being born.

We have to, we must, avoid binary choices! We must step outside of the box, step outside of ourselves. We must meet others halfway…hell, meet them more than half way! We must work together to solve problems and defeat evil…ALL evil regardless of where it is found.

Why?

It is not hard to understand. There are forces at work in this country, in this world, that are trying to divide us, to conquer us. And when we allow them to divide us…EVERYONE loses. The officer who killed Floyd was a thug with a badge…nothing more than a sad, pathetic excuse for a police officer. And those who are burning, looting, and attacking police officers are no better…worse in my opinion in many ways.

But, both the badge thugs and the looters/destroyers are agents of those that wish to divide and conquer. And they are winning in many locations, in many ways. We can’t let that happen. We must work together in our communities to defeat those that wish to defeat us.

Who are they that wish to defeat us? Well, that is another whole discussion for another day. But, I would wager that most, if not all, of you know who they are.

We are in an unprecedented time in US history. We have a pandemic, we have a crashed economy, we have massive unemployment, we have a political system that is broke and getting worse, we have financial catastrophes coming at us that can easily crush us, we have politicians who wish us harm…if we allow it. Don’t allow it! Find solutions…don’t feed your ego. Work out problems with positive “win-win” resolutions…don’t go macho. Use humility when dealing with others…defeat ego driven decisions.

No, I am not advocating the abrogation of God-given rights, nor nonperformance of public or private duties and responsibilities. I am simply asking you to work together within your community to do what is right.

 

 

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