Evaluating Consumer Products: Facts, Fraud & Opinion

Article first appeared in May 2018. I had to do some editing for content, clarity, and grammar…and practically rebuild it from scratch when the site crashed..


WARNING!!! This article is written by a cranky, frustrated, crotchety old man that would rather be working on his cabin or house. Reading further is at your own risk.  And there is a lot to read…WAY too much. But, I think I am important and feel people want to know what I have to say. And yes, I suffer from delusions of grandeur 🙂

I read some posts from other websites over the last few weeks that have really gotten under my skin. And that continued this morning. It just kept gnawing away at me till I had to say something. And rather than cause contention referring to any particular website or on any particular article/thread on any of those websites, I thought I would write my own article on my own website. That way I could focus on a positive subject that could be more generally applied to the aforementioned subject and more useful too. So here goes…

Background –

I spent over 30 years in emergency services as a firefighter; over 20 as a structure firefighter, over 10 as a wildland firefighter. Great experience! Through my career I’ve worked with some fantastic people, and some real idiots. I have had some incredibly memorable experiences like saving an infant that was only a few days old. I have had some terrible experiences…getting blown up one time in a house fire, and another having to pronounce a daughter dead. I’ve worked on-scene by myself in Florida, and on a team of nearly 5000 people in Oregon. I have fought fire in 20 or so states, onboard three different ships, and on two continents. All of that experience has helped me with a couple of things; 1) understand the difference between quality gear and junk, 2) given me a wide and deep frame of reference, 3) forced me to develop a keen “BS meter” when dealing with people, 4) learning the utmost lesson of “define the mission” when it comes to gear and equipment. Of course there are other aspects of life I’ve learned via my career but that is another conversation for another day…hopefully when I am less cranky.

While I wasn’t on-shift fighting fire I became a computer programmer and database administrator. I started back in the 80’s on the original Apple IIc and Intel 8086 platform…I even did some programming on an TRS-80 Model II. And of course we won’t talk about learning to program using IBM punch cards. All of that programming experience taught me to use logic, be extremely accurate and precise in my work when it was needed. One mistake and it didn’t run right. As that side of my career developed I learned “process engineering”. And that was an amazing set of skills to acquire that helped me in everything I did later in life.

For prepping…what this website is all about…I started prepping in the late 70’s, and really cranked it up to a whole new level about 15 years ago. How “cranked up”? Well, let’s just say my DW and I don’t have much to worry about for years and year and years if the grid falls apart.

Now, marry up all of the above and I feel confident in my ability to evaluate gear and equipment. Further, there is always an overarching principle to testing…valid and reliable. I won’t go into all of that but it just ensures that how you are testing/evaluating something is actually honest and true and accurate.

And yup…that is where the title of the thread came from. Too much, the majority actually, of evaluation of prepper gear comes from fraud and opinion and not enough from fact. So I figured I would write this article and maybe help some folks muddle through what gear to buy and what to avoid.

Why is that important? Because someday your decisions on what gear you bought might make the difference between life and death…your life or the lives of your family. So it is important to me…if I can help even in the smallest way.

And here comes the most valuable piece of information and fact of this whole article…all of this that I write today is MY OPINION. Yup…my opinion and my opinion completely and entirely. It is simply my viewpoint…worth exactly what you are paying me for it.

Facts –

Are facts actually “facts”? Ah, yes…and no. Sorry. Facts are fickle creatures. What can be true under one set of circumstances may not be true under another set of circumstances. Manufactures of products, including prepper gear, will only do testing, who’s results are released to the public, that shine well on their product. If their product doesn’t look good in one test environment, it is common for them to change the environment to show favorable results. So, that means I never, ever trust manufacture’s claims without independent, unbiased validation/verification. Doesn’t mean they lied as such, just means they have a vested interest (money) in placing their product in the best light possible.

Same goes for business owners who sell products. Actually, they have an even more vested interest in making sure the product sound good. If not, they and their families suffer financially…big time. So, any claims by a salesman or retailer I automatically dismiss.

Example: Years ago I wanted to buy life insurance. I bought a whole life policy from a reputable company and a really nice salesman. Happy! Well, some years later I wanted more life insurance. And found that it would be too expensive for me to afford at the time. A friend of ours talked to me about options other than whole life. He showed me a bunch of facts that made whole life look like nothing more than a scam. I did my independent research and he was right…whole life is a terrible, terrible product for life insurance. It only benefits the insurance company to any real degree and the salesmen financially…vs being in the best interests of the consumer. I bought a different product, term life insurance, cashed in my whole life policy, and was way ahead of the game financially and life protection wise for my family were I to die. Does that mean the salesman was dishonest (i.e. a criminal)? Not necessarily. But, the company surely was. And maybe the company sold the salesman a line of BS when they trained him and offered him a fat commission check to sell a vastly inferior and expensive product.

My point…while the company and salesman provided “facts”…they were only facts in the exact situation that they explained…when that was only about .000000001% of reality. So they weren’t true/honest facts in a way. They were very deceptive facts. But, yes…facts.

When you hear some folks talk about testing something, beware! I’ve done a lot of testing in my day. And depending on the test environment and the test process, they could be showing you only what they want you to hear.

I did some battery testing over the years. I took great pains to do “field testing” vs “laboratory” or “theoretical” testing. And there is a huge difference! I always dismiss theoretical testing. There is absolutely no relation to real life usage at all. Laboratory testing is often extremely accurate and very factual. But, to get those results, the testing only can be conducted in a laboratory. Those results can’t be replicated in the field. That leaves field testing, real-life testing. For me, that is the only true means of testing something…especially prepper gear/equipment.

Back when I was programming I learned quickly that I could get my code to work as required. But, the testing personnel would get a hold of it and it would fail. After this happened a few times I got together with them and had them show me how they tested the code/program/system. I was amazed! I remember saying “Why would you do that? That’s ridiculous!” And come to find out…that is how end-users would actually do something. Oooppppssss…my bad! Once I began testing my own code that way, real-life scenarios, did my code become top tier. So field testing as real-life end-users is the only way to really test something accurately and competently.

Misdirection is deception. This is a little more subtle…and yes, factual…although it can be very, very deceptive. Let me explain…let’s say you are looking to buy a widget. And you know what you want that widget to do. You find a widget that appears to be exactly what you want. But, then a salesman or company says…”Wait! Our widget will do XXXX! So it is a far better product.” That pitch might be enticing…might be, but probably just a slick sales pitch. To determine if it is actually a better product you have to decide if the so-called enhanced feature is actually something that makes a difference to you and to you defined mission for that equipment.

Example: Low self-discharge (LSD) batteries are the latest fad. If you are talking a non-rechargeable alkaline/lithium style battery you want a long shelf-life. Duracell is an excellent example of a 10year guaranteed shelf-life battery. But, LSD batteries refer to rechargeable batteries. You might be tempted to buy LSD batteries because it sounds cool. But, does the salesman or company explain that LSD batteries are inferior to a similar capacity non-LSD battery? Probably not. An LSD battery will not have the same capacity as a non-LSD battery that is rated the same mAh. Why? The same design that slows the discharge of the battery while it sits on the shelf also impedes the discharge of the battery when you are using it…thus, the battery is inferior. Is the company or salesman not telling the truth? Actually, they are probably telling you the truth but not telling you all of the facts. And then again, maybe they don’t always know all of the facts to tell you. So I look at this particular issue this way…I want the best performing battery when I am using it. I could care less about its performance while it sits on the shelf…that shelf-life thing means nothing to me. I want the battery to perform its best when it is in my tactical light or running my night vision. That is the priority…the mission. Not only does that mean LSD batteries have zero advantage to me…but are a huge disadvantage to me.

And here is the primary point in my case for “facts”…

You have to be able define the mission for the gear you are researching.

That means being able to clearly and competently say “I want this piece of gear to do X under conditions Y & Z.” If you can’t define the mission you can never identify the important facts that relate to the piece of gear you are considering purchasing.

Summary for this “fact” section:

  1. Clearly identify the equipment’s mission. Know exactly what you want it to do before you start to research it.
  2. Don’t believe anything a manufacturer, company, or salesman tells you until you can verify through an independent and unbiased source. A source that isn’t just repeating material that originates from the manufacturer, company, or salesman.
  3. Don’t trust anything but field testing by reliable, unbiased sources that you trust.
  4. Don’t be afraid to research something yourself and become educated.
Fraud –

I consider there to be two kinds of fraud…intentional and unintentional. The first comes from a scumbag, dirtbag, ne’er-do-well, criminal, piece of crap. They only care about their own interests…and that interest is almost always money. In my opinion these guys need quality time with a baseball bat…and I am not talking a softball game. The latter kind of fraud , unintentional, normally comes from someone who is well intentioned but uninformed. They have been taught, or learned, information that just isn’t true. They pass that along and they aren’t really concerned about what is best for the consumer (you). They are not willing to take the time to properly research what they are, talking about selling, or they may lack the intelligence to understand what they are saying is wrong, or at least not the whole truth.

Unintentional fraud normally comes in two flavors; outrageously false or not the entire truth. Both can be just as devastating to the consumer. Beware of both!

I won’t spend any time on the “outrageously false” scenario…you can figure that out. I will talk to the “not the entire truth” aspect of fraud and how it can be just a harmful.

Let’s say I want to buy a truck. I have defined the mission, rugged off-road use in rough terrain, under a load. I have a number of choices. Yup, the three major brands will claim they can operate in those environments. All of those claims are true. But, are they true to what you need to meet the mission for your truck? Having run a fleet of trucks for 20 years that require exactly the mission I stated there is only one logical choice. One brand has a great motor, probably the best, but the frame is light-weight and doesn’t hold up to rugged off-road. Undercarriage, including suspension, is very prone to failure in those kinds of conditions. Another is a fantastic road truck, smooth riding, comfortable, loaded with luxury options. And it falls apart under rugged off-road usage. The third option doesn’t have the best engine, but plenty good enough. Has a great transmission, but probably not the best, but good enough. It isn’t the most comfortable or the most luxurious vehicle, but good enough. Where this brand I am referring to excels is in its ability to hold up far, far better to hard rugged off-road use while hauling or towing a load. It meets the mission extremely well, far better than the other two.

So where is the fraud? No intentional fraud in my opinion. But, talk to a salesmen and their brand of truck is the best…always. Their job is to sell their trucks. They won’t focus on your mission needs…they focus on their paycheck and use their training to do so.

Another unintentional fraud example: let’s say you want to buy a water filter. You have clearly defined what you want. You are looking at several models. You decide between two for your final decision. Manufacturer “A” talks about all their testing and what it does and how great it is. It sounds really great! But, unknown to you, or the vendor you are thinking of using, the testing that “A” has done is all in the lab and not under real field conditions. Although they can produce lab results that speak glowingly of their product…the results come from the lab they paid to test it. However, manufacturer “B” has tested their unit in the muddy waters of Africa where it is used extensively…and they publish those results. And two independent competent testing organizations have tested it…unpaid…and prove the claims of the manufacturer. So which do you buy? Especially if “A” is the media-hyped and more popular brand of water filter! Is there fraud involved?

Summary of this “fraud” section:

  1. There are two types of fraud, intentional and unintentional. Both can ruin your purchase.
  2. Don’t believe manufacturers or vendors or salesmen…without quality, independent, unbiased verification of claims.
Opinion –

Dang!! This is the touchy part…but oh so important part.

Everything is opinion! There are no facts when it comes to evaluating prepper gear. Why? All testing is subjective. That means the person interpreting the results of the tests, or performing the tests, can sway all/any of it to meet whatever they want to promote. Not everyone nefarious of course, but many do, and all can.

The worst “opinion” is “group think”. That is where a whole group of folks feels the same way about something…and it isn’t necessarily true/accurate. You see it on prepper websites a whole lot. Someone starts it by saying “X is great!” Then someone else says, “yes, X is incredible!” then another and another and another…till everyone is saying “X is the best of the best and the only real option!” Than then some poor shmuck comes along and says, “Hey, I looked into it and X isn’t the best, Z is much better and less expensive”…Boom! …hammer time!

So, just because a whole group says something is the best or right, doesn’t mean that it is. I remember a saying somewhere that when you have truth on your side you are never outnumbered.

This “group think” hazard is particularly true in organizations such as the military and other hierarchical organizations. If the top of the organization says something is true, then everyone else normally wants to fall in line, be loved, not draw undue attention to themselves, not rock the boat, etc. I can’t tell you the number of times I have talked to firefighting peers and they feel “Y” about something. We go into a briefing and the boss promotes “X”. And my buddies never raise a question or objects or utter a voice of concern. Why? Human nature.

My dad told me more than once…If everyone is falling off the cliff, don’t follow them.

Here is the trap I fell into recently…

I wanted to buy a generator. I already own a Honda EU2000i. A fantastic machine, best on the market, everyone who owns one loves them…including me. So naturally I wanted to buy another Honda. Makes sense, right?

Unfortunately to meet my other mission requirements I simply couldn’t afford the Honda unit that would meet those needs. And not afford it by a wide, very wide margin. So, I looked around, read reviews, researched according to sound principles. And found a unit. Ran it buy a few folks on another website. Many disagreed with my decision and urged me to buy a Honda regardless of the cost. However, one gave me a reality check. Dang him! Don’t you just hate it when someone bursts your bubble and talks sense? So, back to doing research…thankfully. I ended up buying a Champion meeting enough of my mission requirements and extremely well priced. Good thing or bad thing?

Well, it meets my wattage power needs. It meets my “clean power” needs. It is capable of running on propane although I have to add the kit to it. But, it didn’t have electric start…FAIL! But, I bought it anyway. Why was it a fail? Because my Honda is a one-pull engine…every time. And everyone knows that only Hondas are one-pull engines. Right!?!

So I get my Champion…for a fraction of the price of a Honda. I fill it will oil, add some Lucas zinc additive, put some TruFuel in it, set the choke…and I am ready to pull it 4 – 6 times to start it. I mean after all, it isn’t a Honda…right?

First pull, brand new, first time with gas in it, first time with oil in it…BINGO!!!! It fires right up. Amazing…a fluke to be sure…yeah, right.

This is the break-in period so I am following their protocol exactly. About an hour into the process it shuts down. Dang! It’s not a Honda and here come the problems. Ah, it ran out of gas. So I gas it back up expecting it to take a couple of pulls to get it going again but hoping for one pull. Pull, nothing. Pull, nothing. Pull, nothing. And I am now convinced I am a loser and bought a substandard piece of loser machine. I am kicking myself. And then I look down…oh, turn the on/off switch to the “on” position. Pull, start…purring along just fine. 5+ hours later the machine is running perfectly under load.

Oh, but the Honda freaks out there are…”Yeah, but the Honda will last 2 – 3 times longer than the Champion!” Maybe, probably, perhaps. But I can buy 6 Champion generators for the price of the equivalent Honda. So did I do OK buying a non-Honda? Or not buying an electric start?

Avoid “group think” like the plague in everything…but especially when it comes to prepper gear!

But, there is a responsibility that comes with that…you must be able to think on your own. Yeah, again, sorry. And it helps to be able to employ “critical thinking” skills as well.

Should you become a “non-group thinker” and have a mind of your own…that means become an independent thinker.  The only problem is…be prepared to suffer at the hands of the “group”…you may find yourself not being liked, appreciated, or loved. You may be subject to immediate shunning or worse. And heaven forbid you cross the leader of the group. Then hell-fire will rain down on your head…you challenged their precious opinion and position…whether you are right or not will make no difference. But one fringe benefit…you will discover there are other independent thinkers out there…and they can be some pretty cool people…and they won’t be sheeple.

But don’t despair at all…every once in a while someone might thank you for advice or information you gave them. It will make you all warm and fuzzy inside and let you know life is worth living…even though you have walked through hell-fire.

Summary of “opinion” section –

  1. All evaluation of prepper gear is ultimately only opinion. Because the tester can manipulate the testing environment and outcomes, or simply cherry pick facts to match the narrative they wish to deliver.
  2. Think for yourself, and that means do your own research.
  3. Avoid “group think” like it is Satan’s fan club.
Summary –

I’ve been truly blessed in my life in many ways. One of those ways is folks sending me cool gear to test. They hope that my review will be positive and they will sell more widgets. After having written three prepper novels they think that the accompanying, albeit very limited, notoriety will somehow make them money. How sad they think that way. I have no horse in any race (or dog in the fight) when it comes to doing reviews. I simply want quality real-life information out there for my fellow preppers. Unfortunately, not everyone comes from, or agrees with, that perspective.

Use your discernment…A number of years ago I was testing a certain type of equipment. I kept producing and posting my results, and someone kept throwing a different product out there, ranting on about how their product was so much better. I say “their product” because that is the line they sold. Not only didn’t any of my testing validate anything they were saying, it was just the opposite. I found their product to be very, very expensive compared to other options. And top if off, their product was at least 1 – 2 technology generations behind the much less expensive alternatives. But their brand was all the rage in popularity due to group think.

Shortening the story…they sent me the product for free. I tested it and the testing validated all my previous results…it was an inferior product. That isn’t the point really. They gave me the product free of charge to keep for personal use after testing. Now, did they think that giving me the product would “buy me” into promoting their product? I don’t know. But, as I was finishing up the article on it, I had this rush of feeling to pay them for the product. It was the weirdest feeling…and ugly…the only time I ever got that feeling in reviewing products that had been given to me. I knew that I couldn’t trust them, I knew they were putting out false and misleading information, I knew that…well, they were not someone I wanted to “owe”. I sent them the full asking price of the product the next day in cash…the dark feeling went away.

What the heck? What does that have to do with anything? It means this…1) listen to your instinct, 2) listen to that still small voice, 3) act on those feelings. But, remember…normally those kinds of feelings come only after you have researched and pondered on the issue for yourself.

The summary of the “summary” section –

  1. You can figure out stuff on your own if you are willing to do the work.
  2. Listen to your instinct.
  3. Be wary of others (manufacturers, vendors, salesmen), they may not have your interests as a priority.
  4. Don’t believe anything I just told you. Figure it out on your own.

And, now…two and a half hours later I want to go back to working on the blueprints of the extension of the cabin that I will be staying in while I build our house that we will retire in. Well, technically I am already retired…but my wife isn’t. And technically, the “cabin” is also our “bug-out property”. And technically, I love doing any of that kind of work vs writing articles like this. But, I felt this was important enough to write about…and well worth the loss of the time in my life.

And since I am such an amazing self-sacrificing individual to do such a humble ministering thing…I am now going to reward myself with a warm gooey cinnamon bun covered in icing and butter with a huge class of ice-cold whole milk. Yum!!!!!

One final though…this is all my opinion on “Facts, Fraud, & Opinions” when it comes to evaluation and reviewing prepper gear. Take it with a grain of salt.

OKAY…one final, final thought…it is pure fact…100% fact…not opinion…that a warm gooey cinnamon bun covered in icing and butter with a huge class of ice-cold whole milk absolutely rocks!!!

 

 

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Stanford Medical Professors: The Projections are “Deeply Flawed”

I though this article was worth publishing in its entirety. Refreshing to see some very intelligent experts apply reason, logic, and facts to the COVID-19 panic…


Stanford medical professors: COVID-19 death toll estimates may be ‘orders of magnitude’ too high

They believe the projections are ‘deeply flawed’

The Blaze | March 26, 2020

A pair of public health experts from Stanford, Drs. Eran Bendavid and Jay Bhattacharya, warn Americans in a Wall Street Journal editorial that the current estimates about the coronavirus’ fatality rate may be too high by “orders of magnitude.”

According to Bendavid and Bhattacharya, both of whom are medical doctors, while they are supportive of social distancing guidelines and efforts to contain the disease, they fear that orders to shut down the entire economy may be based on shoddy research data.

Death toll projections may be ‘orders of magnitude too high’

“If it’s true that the novel coronavirus would kill millions without shelter-in-place orders and quarantines, then the extraordinary measures being carried out in cities and states around the country are surely justified,” they wrote. “But,” and what a big one it is, they add, “there’s little evidence to confirm that premise — and projections of the death toll could plausibly be orders of magnitude too high.”

The two submit that because the United States and other countries largely focus their testing on symptomatic patients, the number of people who are infected with COVID-19 is likely much larger than the number of confirmed cases being reported by public health agencies throughout the country, which means the virus’ mortality rate is likely significantly lower.

“Fear of Covid-19 is based on its high estimated case fatality rate — 2% to 4% of people with confirmed Covid-19 have died, according to the World Health Organization and others,” wrote Bendavid and Bhattacharya. “So if 100 million Americans ultimately get the disease, 2 million to 4 million could die. We believe that estimate is deeply flawed. The true fatality rate is the portion of those infected who die, not the deaths from identified positive cases.”

How did they predict this?

The two professors argue that the best evidence of the coronavirus death rate being significantly lower than what is being reported may lie in the Italian town of Vò. On March 6, the town’s 3,300 residents were tested. Of these, 90 tests came back positive, indicating a prevalence of 2.7% of the population having the virus.

If one were to apply this to the entire province where the town is located, which has a population of 955,000, it would mean there were actually 26,000 infections at the time, and not just the 198 that were officially confirmed. This would be 130 times greater than the number of reported cases. Since Italy’s case fatality rate of 8% is estimated using the confirmed cases, Bendavid and Bhattacharya write, “the real fatality rate [of the virus] could in fact be closer to 0.06%.”

A ’cause for optimism’?

The two Stanford Health Policy experts even said the virus’ mortality rate might be on par with that of the seasonal flu:

Existing evidence suggests that the virus is highly transmissible and that the number of infections doubles roughly every three days. An epidemic seed on Jan. 1 implies that by March 9 about six million people in the U.S. would have been infected. As of March 23, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 499 Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. If our surmise of six million cases is accurate, that’s a mortality rate of 0.01%, assuming a two week lag between infection and death. This is one-tenth of the flu mortality rate of 0.1%. Such a low death rate would be cause for optimism.

A universal lockdown ‘may not be worth the costs’

Bendavid and Bhattacharya say that if they are right about the lower lethality of the epidemic, public policy experts should focus their measures on protecting the elderly and expanding medical capacity.

“Hospital resources will need to be reallocated to care for the critically ill patients. Triage will need to improve. And policy makers will need to focus on reducing risks for older adults and people with underlying medical conditions.”

The pair conclude that if their estimates are right, then the universal quarantine measures “may not be worth the costs it imposes on the economy, community, and individual mental and physical health.”

“We should undertake immediate steps to evaluate the empirical basis of the current lockdowns,” they added.

I have a request of you…

First Comment under the picture: What a sad commentary on our behavior. Can you imagine how this thin veneer of civilization would disappear in the face of a real catastrophe?

When I saw this I had a true reality check.  It is as if all of my emotions, feelings, thoughts, etc. about the COVID-19 panic came to the surface…I could see them all at the same time. And I was deeply saddened. Reading the caption and the first comment cemented that I was not the only person disappointed in what is happening.

We’ve read the stories, seen the videos or pictures of the two women fighting over a package of toilette paper, the little girl who was injured by being run over when people rushed to get the food off the nearly empty Walmart shelves, the senior citizen woman who had a gallon of milk stolen (last one from the milk case) from her cart by a young woman, the young mother who went to buy some diapers and they were all sold out due to panic buying hoarders…and there are more stories…all sad commentary on who we are as a people.

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been talking about all those pushing the panic over COVID-19…those disgusting purveyors of hysteria. The picture and stories coming out drove home to me just how malicious their disgusting hype-hustling actions are. And those actions, their influence, is now taking a toll…a human toll on the innocent…on us all.

Night before last my wife and I had a long conversation about the state of affairs in the US. Neither of us is scared, or even worried, about what is happening in regards to the virus itself. We are taking the necessary precautions to build our immune systems and other safety measures to help prevent contracting COVID-19. But, we are not becoming hermits and we are not panic buying, and we have resolved to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Yesterday we started implementing our plan…in the morning my wife took the better part of a meal to a local family who just experienced a tragedy in their lives. They were very grateful and she felt a great sense of satisfaction in reaching out to others in need. Yesterday afternoon I went over to a neighbor’s place, he needed some tractor work done, and no tractor himself. Couple hours later as I was leaving he was thanking me profusely. And about an hour later he brought over some Mexican blend cheese, homemade tortillas, and some of the best refried beans we ever tasted. We added some diced beef, some salsa, and the three of us ate burritos together. Then about an hour sitting around our firepit enjoying some good conversation and friendship.

Today though the plan takes on a new phase…a much broader action…we are going to get the directory for our church congregation and begin making phone calls. A couple of families live close to us so we will start with them. Then we will call single older women and single mothers, and then on to older couples. We are just going to chat a minute and then ask them if there is anything they need, is there anything we can do for them. We have no idea, or expectations, of what folks may say…but we are determined to help where and when needed.

You can drown yourself mentally in reading all the crap out there about COVID-19. There is an endless stream of media releases, public statements, closure announcements, political speeches, TV talking heads bloviating, medical advice, doomsday projections, people telling of melodramatic dreams and visions, people reporting shortages of this or that, etc. You could spend all day reading that junk…and it is junk!

Sure I want you to have great Situational Awareness…no doubt about that! But, there comes a point when enough is enough. And I am telling you this straight up…we’ve hit that point! Maybe even a week or two or three ago.

We all have our opinions of how deadly, or not, the virus is. We all know how we have bare shelves and people are still panic buying. We all know that schools, restaurants, businesses, and some government offices are closed or soon will close. We all know about washing our hands, social distancing, etc. We all have heard over and over to boost our immune systems. So what more do you need? How much more information is actually needed? Does hearing about some state hundreds or thousands of miles away announcing their restaurants will be closed help you be more of a genius?

I would propose the answer is “no”.

What I am seeing, and have been seeing, are previously intelligent and decent people become weird whack jobs. They focus on the virus, they surround themselves with others doing the same. They spend hours every day on prepper websites or social media sites soaking up the latest informational tidbit…whether it is true or not. And they have become fearful, panicked, and miserable…and they are spreading that misery faster that any virus ever could produce a single sneeze.

So what am I suggesting?

That my friend is simple…STOP!  Yup, stop with all the craziness, stop with all the virus tunnel vision…just STOP! Get off the extremist prepper websites, slow down your social media, avoid the panic pushers. Sure, gather a limited amount of quality news each day…maybe 10 – 15 minutes tops. Then go about your life. Or better yet…step outside of your life.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Call an elderly couple and ask them if you could do their shopping for them.
  • Take some diapers over to a single mom’s home.
  • Give a couple of rolls of toilet paper to the largest family you know.
  • Take a meal to an elderly woman’s home.
  • Call your friends and ask them how they are doing and if they need anything.
  • Take a big container of soup to your neighbor’s house for dinner.
  • Get on Skype and read books to your grandchildren.
  • Ask your church’s congregation leadership if a family could use your help.
  • Identify some older couple in your neighborhood and call them each day to see how they are doing.
  • Take a gallon of milk to a needy family with kids.
  • Bake a loaf of bread for your Pastor/Minister/Bishop.
  • Post positive stories and messages on your social media account.
  • Text friends telling them you are thinking of them and hope things are going well with them.
  • If you are shopping take only what you need, and don’t take the last item…look around for someone who needs it more…especially if they are elderly…take it over to them and offer it to them.
  • If you are shopping and you see an elderly person shopping by themselves…help them…or at least make eye contact and smile at them.

And that is just the start…you are more creative than I am with your own situation, talents, and community needs. Brainstorm with your spouse, children, and friends on what ya’ll can do to ease the lives of others.

Get off your butts and be part of the solution not part of the problem!

OK, sorry…I wasn’t yelling at you…well, not too much. I wasn’t trying to be mean or trying to bully you. I was trying to motivate you in my own weird humor-attempted way. But, you get my point.

Please, I implore you to shake off this panic and fear, and especially get rid of the sources feeding the hysteria that has gripped the country. We are better than this…we can do better that this…we can do more…we can be more!

I would love to hear your experiences and stories of you living outside of your own bubble and helping others. Right now we need positive examples of how good we are. We need to know about good leaders and how they are leading. Right now…we need more good!

 

Send Me Your Experiences & Stories…





 

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The Coronavirus Hoax by Ron Paul, Ron Paul Institute, March 17, 2020

I don’t remember having reprinted an entire article from anyone ever before but, I thought this very important and timely to do so.

Before you read this article remember this…Ron Paul is considered a leading Constitutional expert, liberty advocate, former Congressman, for US Air Force flight surgeon, and medical doctor (obstetrician-gynecologist specialist). So the man has some serious credentials! A man well grounded in the Constitution, a Libertarian, a man who has dedicated his life to serving his country, defending the Constitution, and advocating for rights, freedoms, and liberties.


The Coronavirus Hoax
By Ron Paul, Ron Paul Institute, March 17, 2020

Governments love crises because when the people are fearful they are more willing to give up freedoms for promises that the government will take care of them. After 9/11, for example, Americans accepted the near-total destruction of their civil liberties in the PATRIOT Act’s hollow promises of security.

It is ironic to see the same Democrats who tried to impeach President Trump last month for abuse of power demanding that the Administration grab more power and authority in the name of fighting a virus that thus far has killed less than 100 Americans.

Declaring a pandemic emergency on Friday, President Trump now claims the power to quarantine individuals suspected of being infected by the virus and, as Politico writes, “stop and seize any plane, train or automobile to stymie the spread of contagious disease.” He can even call out the military to cordon off a US city or state.

State and local authoritarians love panic as well. The mayor of Champaign, Illinois, signed an executive order declaring the power to ban the sale of guns and alcohol and cut off gas, water, or electricity to any citizen. The governor of Ohio just essentially closed his entire state.

The chief fearmonger of the Trump Administration is without a doubt Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. Fauci is all over the media, serving up outright falsehoods to stir up even more panic. He testified to Congress that the death rate for the coronavirus is ten times that of the seasonal flu, a claim without any scientific basis.

On Face the Nation, Fauci did his best to further damage an already tanking economy by stating, “Right now, personally, myself, I wouldn’t go to a restaurant.” He has pushed for closing the entire country down for 14 days.

Over what? A virus that has thus far killed just over 5,000 worldwide and less than 100 in the United States? By contrast, tuberculosis, an old disease not much discussed these days, killed nearly 1.6 million people in 2017. Where’s the panic over this?

If anything, what people like Fauci and the other fearmongers are demanding will likely make the disease worse. The martial law they dream about will leave people hunkered down inside their homes instead of going outdoors or to the beach where the sunshine and fresh air would help boost immunity. The panic produced by these fearmongers is likely helping spread the disease, as massive crowds rush into Walmart and Costco for that last roll of toilet paper.

he madness over the coronavirus is not limited to politicians and the medical community. The head of the neoconservative Atlantic Council wrote an editorial this week urging NATO to pass an Article 5 declaration of war against the COVID-19 virus! Are they going to send in tanks and drones to wipe out these microscopic enemies?

People should ask themselves whether this coronavirus “pandemic” could be a big hoax, with the actual danger of the disease massively exaggerated by those who seek to profit – financially or politically – from the ensuing panic.

That is not to say the disease is harmless. Without question people will die from coronavirus. Those in vulnerable categories should take precautions to limit their risk of exposure. But we have seen this movie before. Government over-hypes a threat as an excuse to grab more of our freedoms. When the “threat” is over, however, they never give us our freedoms back.

Hey, wanna date?

You wanna datenote: article first appeared October 2015

Yeah, I bet that got your attention! Yeah, and I know what the answer is…”No!”  Well, at least that would be (or should be) the answer for those of you that know me 😉

But let’s get back to the article and the real intent of the headline

A few weeks ago my prepper buddy & battle buddy made a statement to me that I thought was interesting. Not the exact words, but he said something along the lines of, “If it doesn’t fall apart by the end of September I am done with being prepared!”

I remember at the time I was a little taken back and I really didn’t respond to that statement, I just continued on to another subject. But, another interesting thing I’ve noticed the last couple of weeks is his interests shifting towards things other than prepping. He doesn’t even really bring up any negative news items like he used to. No, he has not abandoned prepping, he is just taking a little break and focusing more on other things such as family, work, music, his cars, etc. And that is fine with me.

OK, set that little tidbit of information aside…on to the next item I want to share. I frequent another prepper website, mostly Christian folks, patriots, conservative, etc. What has been interesting over the last 6 – 8 months is the shift in their collective attitude. There has been and is much more focus on things other than true prepping. A lot of dreams, visions, conspiracies, and books about the same subjects. And, a whole lot of projection of hard dates for the economy to fall apart, for martial law to be declared, for the stock market to crash, for earthquakes to split the continent, a meteor to strike the earth, etc. What I find interesting is not the event itself, but the fact they were actually setting firm dates for these things to happen. And of course when none of those events occurred you can imagine what came next.

There is/was a mix of responses. Everything from “we got the year wrong” to “they must be a false prophet” to “oh, disappointed prepperswe didn’t read it right,” etc. A few faced the fact that those people that were prophesying those dates just didn’t know what the heck they were talking about.

Now, let me change it up again for a minute and then come back to tie it all together.

In September I was a guest on a Fox radio station in St. George, UT. I was on for an hour-long live segment. One of the questions that Kate Dalley asked me was, “what would happen between now and the end of the year and when did I expect it all to fall apart?”

But, that was not the first time I’ve been asked that question and I will share my answer now.

Why share it now? Because I think it is important to think about this and talk it through. Why? Because I think there are a lot of new preppers out there that are preparing for a cataclysmic event that is imminent. I also think that there a lot of vintage preppers that are looking for some validation to what they have been doing over the years. And, I think there are folks that are looking at the world today and wonder how long we can keep going on like this before it all explodes/implodes into TEOTWAWKI.

Generally speaking I like the idea that people are prepping, I don’t really care what their motivation is, for the most part. As long as they are preparing for emergencies, disasters, and grid-down I am good with it. However, there is a Unrealistic Expectations Dangercliff looming up ahead for some, maybe many, preppers if they are not careful.

Unrealistic expectations.

Yeah, an ugly thing just by itself, but even worse in relation to what I am talking about…prepping.

So normally what happens to people when they get their heart set on something and it doesn’t happen?

What happens to those folks who get all worked up about something they “know” will happen and then it doesn’t?

What happens when good, dedicated people take actions that their family and friends think are maybe just a bit bizarre? And while doing so might have spent money that wasn’t really part of the “extra” category?

My fear is some folks set unrealistic expectations for what they saw coming, wanted to have happen, or worked towards making happen…and then it didn’t happen at all. What will those folks do now?

A well-grounded prepper will be just that…well-grounded, realistic, sensible, and have realistic expectations of what might happen, what will happen, and no calendar for all of the above. Are you well-grounded?

Forty years ago if you would have described an America in the condition it is today, I would have called you politicians todayinsane. Back then if you would have projected a world like we have now I would have wondered which mental hospital you escaped from.

And that would be true for thirty years ago, twenty years ago, and even ten years ago. I never, ever thought we would have the crap police state in americasandwich that we have today in the United States or world-wide. Yup, never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined us being in the horrible condition that we have in every aspect of modern society.

Yet, here we are.

What am I getting at? Let me answer you with the same info that I gave during the radio show…

The world can fall apart tomorrow. I fully expect that I could wake up in the morning and the grid would be down, the government would be in full-on martial law, no utilities, no food, and violence everywhere.

Date-004aOr, ten years from now I am looking back and wonder how we could have fallen so far in the last ten years.

Yup, a cop-out answer for sure:

  1. The “fall” could happen any day, especially by the end of the year.
  2. We could continue the slide even further into the sewage pit, and do so for the next 20 years.

My point is…DO NOT SET A DATE!

Don’t fall into the trap of getting caught up in blood moons, some vision, some dream, some prophecy, some panel of experts projection, some Mayan calendar, or any other male cow dung junk like that. Don’t buy into some Rabbi’s interpretation of a Bishop’s vision based on a long-dead guy’s 5th-century dream.

types of disasters, emergencies, grid-downPreppers have to stick with the basics…we are preparing for emergencies, disasters, and grid-down events. When they will happen we don’t know. How bad they will be we don’t know. We just know that they will come and we are better off being prepared for them when they do occur.

Do not think for a minute I am saying the world around us is in no danger of collapsing. I said clearly I think it could happen tomorrow. And, don’t think I am not belittling people who claim dreams, visions, and prophecy. I believe in those things as well, to one extent or another.

What I don’t buy into is date setting by people who have no real authority or special gift to do so. Seriously, who are they to “know” some date when something will happen? And who are you to think they have some validity in what they are saying?

Think about it…Why would you believe someone who says the economy will collapse on November 15, 2020? Or, why would you believe someone who would say the stock market will crash next Monday?

Really? Who the heck are they to make such wild and unsubstantiated claims? And, why would you even want to listen to them, let alone believe them?

I don’t!! Period…I don’t.

Why? Because I think that someone, with authority, can be prophetic in that way. And, it’s because that every Date-005day, normal, average folks have been making these wild prophetic claims for years, decades, centuries, and none of it has really came true. They had no authority to make those prophecies.

OK, before some of you want to blast me with examples, don’t. A person can take a Nostradamus thing and turn it into pretty much whatever they want to make it out to be…and call it true. Don’t go there.

What I am asking you to do is be realistic. Go with what you know. Don’t buy into all of these predictions that involve specific dates. If you buy in to the date thing you are likely to be pretty disappointed.

Prepping is a life-long endeavor.

Emergency preparedness is using common sense principles to prepare yourself and your family for the Preppers Waiting for Instructions SHTF ICStypes of events that would/could prove devastating. Well, devastating if you are not prepared. Look at prepping as “insurance” against emergencies, disasters, and grid-down. You pay your premium each month and sleep well at night knowing you are covered.

Wrapping this article up, I am asking you to be balanced and enjoy your life. Be a prepper and allow that prepping to enhance your life that much more, not take it over, and consume you and your family. Be happy, enjoy sunsets, love sunrises, go for great walks with your spouse, throw the football with your kids, and then work on your solar project or build your radio GoBox as time permits.

And, finally, sorry to disappoint you that I wasn’t really looking for a date. I know, I am such a tease…right?

Balanced Prepper life

 

 

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Yesterday & Today : Pain !

Physical fitness and exercising for grid-down and emergencies, stay in shape for grid-down

note: first appeared April 2015

Wow! Normally I have my articles ready days in advance to be published each morning. This morning I held off on it because I wanted to share with you something that came to light yesterday. Health & Physical Fitness.

I am 59, great health, and good physical condition. I do physical training 3 – 6 times a week. My normal workout consists of jogging, walking, push-ups, sit-ups and occasionally weight lifting. When I jog I go for 2 – 3 miles at a stretch. I have a specific routine that I worked on for years to meet the physical demands of my job. Annually I am tested to ensure I am field-ready. I have to walk 3 miles in 45 minutes or less wearing a wildland firefighter pack test45lb weight vest. That is a 4mph pace.

Now, before you roll your eyes and think how easy it is, try it yourself. If you are sub-30 years of age you should be able to do it easily if you maintained a healthy life-style and stayed active. If you are 30 – 40 it shouldn’t be much of a stretch for you if you are in good shape and play sports, hike, bike, etc. If you are over 50 you probably can’t do it, period…unless you have trained and work-out for it. As I turn 60 next week I can easily do it but my hips hurt like crazy during the last mile and for the next day. Yesterday was that test.

My hip hurt more than normal yesterday but I still had a very respectable time. I even beat a number of the 40-somethings. Physical fitness and exercising for grid-down and emergencies, stay in shape for grid-downBut we had a work project to do yesterday as well. So immediately after the test I changed clothes and we headed off to the mountains to work on a thinning project. There were large piles of cut limbs and tree trunks waiting for us to chip. Thank means we pull the piles apart, drag the stuff to the chipper. and repeat until the pile is gone. Then go on to the next pile.

Some of you might be wondering why a US government firefighter supervisor is doing such manual labor. Well, when we are not fighting fire we do “project work” to help maintain federal lands to make them more resistant to wildfire. And, if I am going to ask my guys to do it, then I am going to do it as well. I don’t go on all the projects but enough of them to show that I only ask them to do what I am willing to do as well. And to remember what I am asking of them.

So the average age of these guys is in the 28 – 32 age range. And they are all in very impressive physical shape. And the only thing I have going for me is my ego. I won’t be out-done!

So we wrapped it up yesterday about 3:00pm and headed in, cleaned up and went home. Yeah, and then it started…the pain.

I took an Aleve. Then I laid down. Then I got up to eat dinner and took two Ibuprofens. Then I laid back down. I went to bed at 8:00pm.

I got up this morning at 5:30am which is usual for me. But…and that is a serious “but” that I speak of. I was hurting. My hips hurt a lot, my back hurts some, as does my arms. And I am worn out.

So why in the heck am I sharing this with you? Simple…at least it’s simple to me.

During times of emergencies, disasters, but most assuredly during a “grid-down” it will be very physically demanding. Probably far exceeding whatever you might normally be used to. So I make the following suggestions, have an exercise routine that is right for you:Physical fitness and exercising for grid-down and emergencies, stay in shape for grid-down

1 – The #1 thing to do is walk. I would suggest you make a target of walking a minimum of 10-miles per week, in a minimum of 2-mile increments. Walking might well be the #1 thing you will do during rough times, and a lot of it.

2 – Lift weights. No, I am not talking about body-building weight lifting. I am talking about Physical fitness and exercising for grid-down and emergencies, stay in shape for grid-downcommon-sense kind of weight lifting. Start with maybe 5lb dumb-bells and doing regular curls, French curls, then overhead press, then tricep lift, etc. Work up to maybe 5 reps of 10 curls each. Do that for a maximum of 90-days and move to the next higher 5lb increment. It’s really up to you, but weight lifting can really improve your health, mental and physical, while improving your core strength.

 

3 – Physical fitness and exercising for grid-down and emergencies, stay in shape for grid-downPush-ups. Yeah, good old fashion push-ups are great for you. You don’t have to be some one-armed or one-legged push up crazy person but just do them at your own pace. For me I do mine inclined. I broke my back in three places over 25 years ago in a house fire. Since then I have to do my push-ups with my shoulders at about 2’ higher than my feet to take some of the stress off of my back. Or I can do push-ups from my knees vs. my toes (called a woman’s push-up in the old days). When I am at the track doing my jogging I stop on every lap and do a set of push-ups. So when I am done with my 3 mile jog I have done 90 – 180 push-ups as well.

4 – !!!Stretch!!! This is the single most important part of exercising! I spend about 6 minutes stretching before I do my Physical fitness and exercising for grid-down and emergencies, stay in shape for grid-downjog with push-ups. I do the following:

  • Arm windmills.
  • Arm stretching to the front and then to the rear.
  • Next I do toe touches with my feet together.
  • Then ground touches with my feet about should width apart.
  • Then ground touches with my feet spread as far as they will comfortably go.
  • Physical fitness and exercising for grid-down and emergencies, stay in shape for grid-downThen 12” from the ground touches with my feet crossed over each other (outside of one foot laid alongside of the other foot). I do each foot twice.

5 – When I am done jogging and the push-ups I do the same stretch routine and add:

  • Holding a 3” fence post with one hand I swing each leg forward/up and backward/up as far they will go.
  • Holding a 3” fence post with both hands I swing each leg left/up and right/up as far they will go.

This exercise routine has done wonders for me! Since doing it passionately week after week my lung capacity has significantly improved. My blood pressure is now 108/68. And my stamina is far better than when I was lazy and wasn’t committed to an exercise program.

So back to yesterday and this morning – If I wasn’t into a good exercise program I can’t imagine what would have happened to me yesterday. Maybe a heart attack. This morning might even be worse. But most importantly it reminded me how important it is to be “prepared” physically and not just have food storage, water filtration and a closet full of guns/ammo.

I will be stepping up my physical training, pushing myself just a little more. Not sure what to do about the hip pain, growing old can do that to you.

Family hiking, bugging out, during grid-downHow does this all affect you? I want you to think about this and see where you are. Is this an area of preparedness that you need to work on a little bit more? Maybe just a little?

Maybe just start by taking a walk with your family a couple of evenings a week.

 

 

 

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Let’s talk about “Crazy Don”…

Wildfire washington state 2015note: article first appeared in late September 2015

In August & September I was in the state of Washington on a wildland fire. It has been a bad year for fires, especially Washington. There were lots of homes threatened and the fire was growing rapidly.

I showed up on the fire and was given my assignment along with some minimal resources. We never really have enough it seems. I got to work and we were making a difference and saving homes but it was fast-paced and challenging.

I mentioned that there was a lack of resources and that included field operations folks like me as well. My duties Wildfire growing and burning at nightquickly expanded to cover an area of the fire that was almost directly at the head of the fire. We did a large burn-out one night that went textbook perfect.

Although very tired, we headed back out there the next morning to continue the “herding” of the fire into an area that was of low value, mostly scrub trees. Our intention was to “hook” the fire once we got it past the last ranch that was threatened. As we headed to the fire we went through a ranch on their road. The same person that met me yesterday came running out to meet me again that morning.

One of the “blessings” of being a supervisor/leader on a wildfire is going in first. At least that is my philosophy; first in, last out.

The day before “Don” had came running out to my truck and we chatted for awhile. I had explained to him why we Crazy Don conspiracy theorywere there, what we were going to be doing, and assured him that we would protect his ranch. Don was, let’s say, “excited” the day before. And he sounded like a burned out hippie about the age of late mid to late 50’s. But all went well, and as I said earlier, things went well for us.

But the second morning Don was insane. Yes, literally insane. He was screaming and yelling at me about everything we had done. He yelled at me that we had set everything on fire. He yelled at me that we had cut a fireline on his property. He yelled at me for being an agent of the government and being controlled by the cattle barons. He told me how he had gone up against the government three times before and beat them…and he would “show ’em again.” He then started trying to engage me about global warming. All the while he was very animated as in flailing his arms, moving around rapidly, and sometimes charging right up to my truck window.

All along I was using every technique that I knew to de-escalate the situation. Nothing I tried worked, his emotions were like a roller coaster, and getting worse by the minute. I suspected drug usage…past or present.

I had told my firefighters to not stop, they were to continue to their work locations/assignments and get started while I dealt with Don.

Then Don started talking about how he was the local thermal vent investigator. He investigated the local thermal CrazyDon002vents, the same types of vents that were underwater in the ocean around the world. But he went on to talk about how the government was lying to everyone about the thermal vents and it was all a big conspiracy cover-up.

Next up on his agenda…the local cattle barons were running the fire. And it got worse from there. But then it took a very bad turn.

Don started talking about knowing where our camp was. That he had dealt with this crap before. He knew where to go and what he was going to do. He was going f*-up some people just as soon as he got to camp, and that would be soon because he wasn’t going to take it anymore.

I rolled my window up the rest of the way and drove off, I wasn’t going to listen to his lunacy anymore. However, since he had made some not-so-thinly veiled threats I was obligated to report the incident to my supervisor, the Operations Section Chief.

Well, that conversation didn’t go too well. As soon as I related the conversation, and that it was the second incident with Don in two days, I was told to pull my guys out of the area. I reminded him that is would almost assure us of losing the fire in this area and the fire growing uncontrolled once again. The order stood, I was to abandon the area immediately.

To shorten the story, we left. Remember, I am the last one out. But I am also not stupid. I talked to my 2nd in command and told him to drive out in front of me but to hold up about 50 yards past the gate while I closed the gate behind me. He was to make sure I wasn’t left on my own with some crazy man headhunting Feds. We had also decided to drive out on a different two-track road to avoid the ranch house area all together…and maybe avoid Don altogether.

We almost made it.

All of our resources had driven out and it was just my 2nd and myself. As we drove up to the last gate we had to close here comes Crazy Don driving like a bat out of hell. He pulled up and blocked the road to prevent us driving out. As he came back to start screaming at me, my 2nd drove around Don’s truck, through the gate and then watched for me.

Crazy Don was screaming at me through my window accusing me of abandoning his ranch because it was on state Crazy Don screaming at meprotected lands and I was a federal resource and hated state citizens. He kept lunging at my truck door and acting like he was high on PCP or Meth. He was threatening me and trying to…well, let’s just say I had my door locked and window cracked open only about an 1”.

When I saw my 2nd had cleared the gate I simply drove off leaving Crazy Don yelling and screaming at my tailgate.

After I got through the gate and around the corner in the road I blocked the two-track while my resources finished traveling to the blacktop road. I followed them out. Low and behold the OpsChief had called Johnny Law who wanted to meet with me. Evidently threatening a Federal employee can be a fairly serious crime.

Now, let me shorten the story a whole lot…

We didn’t return and engage the fire that day, we were told not to be there or anywhere close by. Overnight the fire out of control wildfiremoved a whole lot and we were able to re-engage the next morning. But it was too late, we lost that part of the fire entirely.

Law enforcement had a conversation with Don. Evidently it went well, he was not arrested and no firefighters were assaulted. But the damage was done. Our lack of ability to engage the fire that day probably cost a couple hundred thousand dollars, and burned up another 30,000 acres, maybe more. But that is not the point to this article.

So, what is the point?

Crazy Don is the point. He is the whole point to this article.

Don’t be a Crazy Don!

There is a time and place for everything, but not every time and place it the right time for everything.

Roughly translated that means…whatever your beliefs are, know the right time and place to talk about them. Better yet, know the right people to talk to about them.

If you are a “birther”, a “turther”, “chem-trailer”, “blood-mooner” or whatever else you might be; even a thermal vent inspector, know when is the right time to talk about it. Better yet, know when the wrong time to talk about is…and don’t talk about it if the time isn’t right.

Why?

Do you want to be the next Crazy Don?

Crazy Don conspiracy nutWhat did all of Don’s ranting and ravings accomplish? Did anything positive get accomplished?

Or did he just make a name for himself as a crazy, burned-out hippie? And did he get on LEO’s radar? Could he have found himself in serious legal or criminal trouble?

Just think about it. I am not saying to not have sincere beliefs and advocate for certain issues. But just use common sense and be practical about it. Use good judgment in when and where you talk about it. And most importantly, be careful “who” you talk about it with.

It was obvious that Don was fairly anti-government. Did he have a kindred spirit in me?

Let’s say he did for this conversation. Did him going off the deep end in my face help him or hurt him? Was it worth it?

As you well know I want you to stand up, I want you to take action for those righteous things you believe in. However, you have to be intelligent in the way you go about it.

If you don’t…you become just another Crazy Don.

 

 

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