Yesterday those of us who value the right to self defense and believe that an armed public is the best defense against future tyranny won a battle but not the war for firearms freedom.
Although the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled the gun control bill from consideration he’s indicated that the President intends to go around Congress (again) and take executive action to limit firearms freedoms. It must be a terrible burden to bear when you have to resort to executive decree to force regulations on a populace that’s failed to support your schemes willingly.
If you’re a freedom loving citizen then by all means, celebrate this victory…but remember that you’re celebrating the win of a battle, not of a war. The gun grabbers aren’t giving up, just taking time to reconstitute, resupply, and wait for the next crisis they can exploit.
I have a good friend who I deployed with who was fond of reminding me (and everyone else that would listen) that ‘words matter.’ I took his admonition to heart and have since made a hobby of listening to how our language is evolving and is often manipulated to achieve one political agenda or another. It’s amazing how a little language tweak can hide the complexities of an issue, get folks to ride an emotional wave in a new direction or even stand an argument on its head. What’s particularly troubling is when language is purposefully manipulated to make the abridgement of freedoms more acceptable or reduce self reliance.
I’ve written previously about George Orwell’s admonitions against collectivism and specifically the premise behind what Orwell called ‘Newspeak’ in his classic book 1984. Newspeak was a modification to the language so that ‘Big Brother’ could exert greater control and change the way people think. By modifying the language, Big Brother hoped to eliminate ‘thoughtcrime’ and the drive for freedom.
While we are fortunate enough to live in a society that is still ruled more by law than by man, there is a potential tyranny to such language manipulation and even some language changes made under the cover of ‘political correctness.’ While these manipulations aren’t centralized (as in from Big Brother’s government) in their origin they still represent our own version of Newspeak.
One recent example of this phenomena was when Rep. John Conyers Jr. admonished the House Judiciary Committee:
If Philip K. Dick is rolling over in his grave it’s from bouts of hysterical laughter. One of the major plot devices of his book Minority Report, later made into a Tom Cruise blockbuster is seriously being contemplated by politicians on both sides of the aisle. Dick’s Department of PreCrime is in danger of becoming a reality…just without the clairvoyants.
In the story a government agency called the Department of PreCrime is established to identify criminals before they commit their crimes and incarcerate them as a preventive measure against crimes they might commit in the future. As the book unfolds it becomes clear that the Precrime Agency which might have been developed out of the best of intentions, has become a tool of tyranny. The nice thing about fiction is that you can clearly identify the good guys and the bad guys…unfortunately in real life it’s more complicated.
America today is the only global superpower…. Only America has the reach and means to deal with Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein or the other wicked psychopaths who will sooner or later step into their shoes.
Former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, December 9, 2002
Andrew’s Note: Been there, done that!
…the vice president indicated that there was a very short timeline for him to get back to the president with his recommendations because the American public has a short memory.
Sheriff Richard Stanek, president of the Major County Sheriffs’ Association paraphrasing Vice President Joe Biden on rushing through gun control legislation via White House weighs broad gun-control agenda in wake of Newtown shootings – The Washington Post.
Andrew’s Note: Reminds me of a quote from another former Administration Official, former White House Chief of Staff and current Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel who said “never let a serious crisis go to waste.” Incidentally, Chicago’s extremely restrictive firearms laws are being considered by some as a model for the nation…the same city that has a horrendous violent crime problem because gun control only disarms the law abiding.
…what I’m trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced, but part of it is also looking at other sources of the violence, because frankly, in my hometown of Chicago, there’s an awful lot of violence, and they’re not using AK-47s, they’re using cheap handguns.
President Barack Obama
Andrew’s Note: Let me get this straight…there’s a lot of gun violence in the city with the most restrictive gun laws in the state with the most restrictive gun laws in the nation….not much gun violence around my neighborhood…maybe that’s because the criminals aren’t the only ones armed. Take special note of items 3, 4 & 6 on the Top 10 Items to Buy Before the Election.
Situational awareness is a key element of survival and today, situational awareness must be global. Today we present news to know from the past week with a dab of commentary:
DHS Admits It Is Unprepared for EMP Threat: The Department of Homeland Security says that our electrical grid is even more vulnerable to an Electromagnetic Pulse attack than we were a few years ago.
Al-Qaeda blamed for Europe-wide forest fires: If true, Al-Qaeda has found an extremely efficient and low risk way damage Western society.
‘Killing Is The Solution,’ Gang Member Tells Walter Jacobson: A disturbing look inside the thought process of a street gang member. Give some thought to what’s between your family and people like this…then take appropriate steps.
Britain in talks on cybersecurity hotline with China and Russia: In all the old movies the nuclear hotline phones are red…what color will the cyberhotline phone be…hope it’s not an IP phone.
September is Preparedness Month. Here are 10 headlines from the past few days on diverse topics to help keep you focused on your prepping:
There is a wealth of information available from the U.S. Government to help you become more self reliant…unfortunately there is another narrative…this newer narrative is the government actively discouraging self reliance and encouraging dependence. I see this new narrative as a growing trend with more and more messages like this one highlighted by the Washington Examiner:
More Americans rely on their families for assistance than the government, so federal officials have undertaken an effort to help people to apply for federal assistance.
“Given that only 15 percent of you turn to government assistance in tough times, we want to make sure you know about benefits that could help you,” USA.gov announced today. The ”government made easy’ website has created a “help for difficult financial times” page for people to learn more about the programs.
The government got that statistic from a poll asking Americans what helps them the most during tough times. Here are the results:
- Savings 44%
- Family 21%
- Credit cards/loans 20%
- Government assistance 15%
CNN provides another example of this message of dependence being broadcast from our nation’s leaders:
More than one in seven Americans are on food stamps, but the federal government wants even more people to sign up for the safety net program. Continue reading
Reportedly the Republican party has set up a ‘commission’ to consider returning at least partially to the gold standard as a portion of the party platform.
Not quite sure how the logistics of such an undertaking would work…but it’s certainly an interesting concept. Read more at Republicans Eye Return to Gold Standard – US Business News – CNBC.
We are beginning a new era in our government. I cannot too strongly urge the necessity of a rigid economy and an inflexible determination not to enlarge the income beyond the real necessities of the government.
President Andrew Jackson
Note from Andrew: The complete Why Prep Series has now been consolidated HERE.
Today we present the third article in our series on why to prepare for disaster. In the first article, ‘Why Prep, The Introduction’ we asked and answered the following question:
Question: Why Prep…why become more self-reliant?
Answer: Because it’s the only reasonable and logical response to an unknown future and even a cursory study of history.
In the second article, ‘Why Prep, Historical and Current Examples’ we discussed examples of places and periods where preparedness could have made the difference between survival and suffering (or worse) for you and your family. In this third installment we’ll discuss stressors and triggers for potential The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) situations.
Today we’re going to talk about stressor events and triggers. A stressor event is an occurrence that has the potential to change a system or society. Stressor events happen all the time and can vary dramatically in the amount of stress or influence they place on a system. Some examples of stressor events are election outcomes, legislation, trade wars, disease outbreaks, government spending programs, wars, acts of terror, social movements, development or loss of key infrastructure (like the internet you’re browsing), information releases (like the Watergate scandal) or changes to the physical environment (like drought or natural disasters). From a societal standpoint, stressors often manifest themselves in multiples and if significant enough disruption occurs…they can create a situation that cascades out of control. While it’s an overly simplified model think of these stressors from the last century:
This example from history led to TEOTWAWKI for much of the world from the mid 1930’s to the mid 1940’s and eventually ushered in the atomic age.
Note from Andrew: Today I’m pleased to present another article in a periodic column by my friend Roger Reality. Roger has been a key mentor in my life particularly with regard to critical thinking and analysis, and as you will see…he speaks with passion. This article expands on Roger’s concept of “Maslow’s” Hierarchy of Dependence and deals with the current political dialog about ‘welfare’ and ‘welfare reform.’ Stay tuned to www.prepography.com for future articles where we expand the discussion of the Hierarchy of Dependency to include ‘corporate welfare’ as well as other wealth redistribution schemes. Enjoy.
There has been a quick and heated eruption of vitriol between President Obama and his opponent, Mitt Romney, concerning “welfare reform”. Obama, the Democrats, and many others trumpet the “success” of the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 claiming that those on “welfare” have been reduced by two-thirds and spending reduced by half. These figures are accurate BUT apply to only a single “program” that was and is considered “welfare” by the Communists/Socialists/Collectivists/Obamaists. Spending on what was called Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) was $22.4 BILLION in 1996 and was renamed Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) which cost taxpayers a mere $9.6 BILLION in 2011. The Reality is that this does not begin to demonstrate the actual level of “welfare” in this country! Welfare is and always will coercively extract money from some and give it to others in some form or another. Hence, the Heritage Foundation identifies 69 separate Federal “programs” that do exactly that at an unimaginable cost of $695 BILLION in 2011. The most bloated of these welfare programs were the cornerstone of “Maslow’s” Hierarchy of Dependence, Food Stamps, and Medicaid, with 46.5 MILLION and 52.6 MILLION “participants”, as they are carefully called by the bureaucrats and media. Their “participation” consists of using money forcibly extracted from others. There can be little doubt that when it comes to spending other people’s hard earned money, these are VERY willing and eager “participants” indeed! So when you next hear or read some posturing windbag talk about “welfare reform” and how much “spending is down” please recognize that the Reality is what they classify as welfare and are talking about constitutes slightly more than ONE PERCENT (.013) of the gargantuan SPENDING on those “programs” that make up Real welfare!!
That’s your Reality Check!!
Note from Andrew: Today I’m pleased to introduce you to a new periodic column by my friend Roger Reality. Roger has been a key mentor in my life particularly with regard to critical thinking and analysis, and as you will see…he speaks with passion. Enjoy.
I have become increasingly irate at the insanely skewed tax code in this country. The more that I have researched the situation and discovered the facts the greater has become my ire with a “system” that is so patently unfair that it is almost difficult to believe!
Please take a close look at the facts as assembled and organized by the great folks at the nonpartisan Tax Foundation from the raw data available from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
For tax year 2006, the last year for which complete data is available, there were exactly 133,208,934 federal individual tax returns filed. That means the bottom 50% of filers constitute 66,604,467, roughly 67 million filers. So exactly how much of the federal government’s income tax revenue does the bottom 50%, those 67 MILLION “taxpayers”, put into the pot?? How about a mere 3.11%!! So does that sound “fair” to you? It does to a lot of people, particularly those in that 50% and those who pander to them. But before you decide, let’s look at some more numbers.
So a relative handful of taxpayers in each of four states paid more in taxes than the 67 MILLION did together! Continue reading
In his book, 1984, George Orwell described a despotic society so controlling that it modified the English language to make ‘thoughtcrime’…unthinkable. The language Orwell described as ‘Newspeak’ was based on English but pared down to the absolute minimum with all words used to describe politically incorrect ideas removed.
…two emails from the DNC host committee referring to the Charlotte venue where President Obama will speak as “Panthers Stadium.”
It’s the place where the Panthers play, but it’s actually called Bank of America stadium.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) seems to be engaging in a bit of ‘Newspeak’ of its own. It seems that all the money Bank of America (BOA) spent to have the stadium named after the company wasn’t good enough for the DNC to call it by…its name. Maybe if Bank of America didn’t fit into the ‘evil bankers’ dialog they wouldn’t have had their (named) stadium renamed by the DNC. Yes, BOA has been at the center of mortgage transfer scandals…but this is just one example of the spin and massaging of the dialog that has become more and more commonplace recently. For further examples just look at how many entitlements are now being described as ‘rights’ by Democratic politicians.
In case you think I’m unfairly targeting one party let me assure you that the Republicans massage the language as well…imagine how hard it would have been to pass the “Trade a Bunch of Your Freedoms in For a False Sense of Security Act” during the Bush presidency. Doesn’t ‘The Patriot Act’ sound so much more appealing…if less accurate.
Blackwhite- The ability to accept whatever “truth” the party puts out, no matter how absurd it may be. Orwell described it as “…loyal willingness to say black is white when party discipline demands this. It also means the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know black is white, and forget that one has ever believed the contrary.”
Newspeak – The official language of Oceania. Newspeak is “politically correct” speech taken to its maximum extent. Newspeak is based on standard English, but all words describing “unorthodox” political ideas have been removed. In addition, there was an attempt to remove the overall number of words in general, to limit the range of ideas that could be expressed.
Andrew’s Note: As of 9/15/2012 the Newspeak Dictionary Website has been down for a couple of weeks. I’ll keep the link active for now in the hopes that it’s a temporary situation.