Happy Independence Day

From an old article at Wallbuilders:

This year marks over 230 years since our Founding Fathers gave us our National Birth Certificate. We continue to be the longest on-going Constitutional Republic in the history of the world. Blessings such as these are not by chance or accidental. They are blessings of God.

On July 2, 1776, Congress voted to approve a complete separation from Great Britain. Two days afterwards – July 4th – the early draft of the Declaration of Independence was signed, albeit by only two individuals at that time: John Hancock, President of Congress, and Charles Thompson, Secretary of Congress. Four days later, on July 8, members of Congress took that document and read it aloud from the steps of Independence Hall, proclaiming it to the city of Philadelphia, after which the Liberty Bell was rung. The inscription around the top of that bell, Leviticus 25:10, was most appropriate for the occasion:

“Proclaim liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof.”

To see the turmoil in other nations, their struggles and multiple revolutions, and yet to see the stability and blessings that we have here in America, we may ask how has this been achieved? What was the basis of American Independence? John Adams said “The general principles on which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity.” Perhaps the clearest identification of the spirit of the American Revolution was given by John Adams in a letter to Abigail the day after Congress approved the Declaration. He wrote her two letters on that day; the first was short and concise, jubilant that the Declaration had been approved. The second was much longer and more pensive, giving serious consideration to what had been done that day. Adams cautiously noted:

“This day will be the most memorable epic in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.”

It is amazing that on the very day they approved the Declaration, Adams was already foreseeing that their actions would be celebrated by future generations. Adams contemplated whether it would be proper to hold such celebrations, but then concluded that the day should be commemorated – but in a particular manner and with a specific spirit. As he told Abigail:

“It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”

John Adams believed that the Fourth of July should become a religious holiday – a day when we remembered God’s hand in deliverance and a day of religious activities when we committed ourselves to Him in “solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.” Such was the spirit of the American Revolution as seen through the eyes of those who led it, evidenced even further in the words of John Quincy Adams, one who was deeply involved in the activities of the Revolution.

In 1837, when he was 69 years old, he delivered a Fourth of July speech at Newburyport, Massachusetts. He began that address with a question:

“Why is it, friends and fellow citizens, that you are here assembled? Why is it that entering on the 62nd year of our national existence you have honored [me] with an invitation to address you. . . ?”

The answer was easy: they had asked him to address them because he was old enough to remember what went on; they wanted an eye-witness to tell them of it! He next asked them:

“Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of July]?”

An interesting question: why is it that in America the Fourth of July and Christmas were our two top holidays? Note his answer:

“Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?”

According to John Quincy Adams, Christmas and the Fourth of July were intrinsically connected. On the Fourth of July, the Founders simply took the precepts of Christ which came into the world through His birth (Christmas) and incorporated those principles into civil government.

Have you ever considered what it meant for those 56 men – an eclectic group of ministers, business men, teachers, university professors, sailors, captains, farmers – to sign the Declaration of Independence? This was a contract that began with the reasons for the separation from Great Britain and closed in the final paragraph stating “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

Dr. Benjamin Rush, the father of American Medicine and a signer, recorded that day in his diary. In 1781, he wrote to John Adams:

“Do you recollect the pensive and awful silence which pervaded the House when we were called up, one after another, to the table of the President of Congress to subscribe to what was believed by many at that time to be our death warrants? The silence and gloom of the morning was interrupted, I well recollect, only for a moment by Colonel Harrison of Virginia (a big guy) who said to Mr. Gerry (small in stature) at the table: ‘I shall have a great advantage over you, Mr. Gerry, when we are all hung for what we are now doing… From the size and weight of my body I shall die in a few minutes, but from the lightness of your body you will dance in the air an hour or two before you are dead.’ This speech procured a transient smile, but it was soon succeeded by the solemnity with which the whole business was conducted.”

These men took this pledge seriously. Robert Morris of Pennsylvania is an example of the highest level of integrity. He was chosen as the financier of the American Revolution. What an honor, except that there was no bank willing to give any loans to help fund the revolution. It was three years and the Battle of Saratoga before America got any kind of funding at all. After winning that battle, foreign nations like France, Holland, and others decided maybe we weren’t such a bad risk and began loaning us money. So where did we get money for the first three years? Congress, at that time, could not have obtained a loan of one thousand dollars, yet Robert Morris effected loans upon his own credit, of tens of thousands. In 1781, George Washington conceived the expedition against Cornwallis, at Yorktown. He asked Judge Peters of Pennsylvania, “What can you do for me?” “With money, everything, without it, nothing,” he replied, at the same time turning with anxious look toward Mr. Morris. “Let me know the sum you desire,” said Mr. Morris; and before noon Washington’s plan and estimates were complete. Robert Morris promised him the amount, and he raised it upon his own responsibility. It has been justly remarked, that:

“If it were not demonstrable by official records, posterity would hardly be made to believe that the campaign of 1781, which resulted in the capture of Cornwallis, and virtually closed the Revolutionary War, was sustained wholly on the credit of an individual merchant.”

America couldn’t repay him because there was no money and yet Robert Morris never complained because he had given his word.

You see the same thing in the life of John Hart. He was a strong Christian gentleman and Speaker of the House of Representatives in New Jersey. He promised to help provide them with guidance and leadership. There were three things that were important in his life; his Savior, his family and his farm. Because of his signature on the Declaration, the British were seeking him (and the rest of the signers) to execute as traitors. John Hart fled his home after which his farm was ravaged, his timber destroyed, his cattle and stock butchered for the use of the British army. He did not dare to remain two nights in the same location. After Washington‘s success at the battle of Trenton, he finally returned home to find that his wife had died and his children scattered. He lost almost everything that was important to him but kept his word.

John Hancock, a very wealthy individual lived in a mansion reflecting his princely fortune – one of the largest in the Province of Massachusetts. During the time the American army besieged Boston to rid it of the British, the American officers proposed the entire destruction of the city. “By the execution of such a plan, the whole fortune of Mr. Hancock would have been sacrificed. Yet he readily acceded to the measure, declaring his willingness to surrender his all, whenever the liberties of his country should require it.” A man of his word, he demonstrated his integrity.

The 16 Congressional proclamations for prayer and fasting throughout the Revolution were not bland (i.e., the acknowledgment of Jesus Christ, the quoting of Romans 14:17, etc.); however, this is not unusual considering the prominent role that many ministers played in the Revolution.

One such example is John Peter Muhlenburg. In a sermon delivered to his Virginia congregation on January 21, 1776, he preached verse by verse from Ecclesiastes 3 – the passage which speaks of a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. Arriving at verse 8, which declares that there is a time of war and a time of peace, Muhlenburg noted that this surely was not the time of peace; this was the time of war. Concluding with a prayer, and while standing in full view of the congregation, he removed his clerical robes to reveal that beneath them he was wearing the uniform of an officer in the Continental army! He marched to the back of the church; ordered the drum to beat for recruits and nearly three hundred men joined him, becoming the Eighth Virginia Brigade. John Peter Muhlenburg finished the Revolution as a Major-General, having been at Valley Forge and having participated in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, Stonypoint, and Yorktown.

Another minister-leader in the Revolution was the Reverend James Caldwell. His actions during one battle inspired a painting showing him standing with a stack of hymn books in his arms while engaged in the midst of a fierce battle against the British outside a battered Presbyterian church. During the battle, the Americans had developed a serious problem: they had run out of wadding for their guns, which was just as serious as having no ammunition. Reverend Caldwell recognized the perfect solution; he ran inside the church and returned with a stack of Watts Hymnals – one of the strongest doctrinal hymnals of the Christian faith (Isaac Watts authored “O God Our Help In Ages Past,” “Joy to the World,” “Jesus Shall Reign,” and several other classic hymns). Distributing the Watts Hymnals among the soldiers served two purposes: first, its pages would provide the needed wadding; second, the use of the hymnal carried a symbolic message. Reverend Caldwell took that hymn book – the source of great doctrine and spiritual truth – raised it up in the air and shouted to the Americans, “Give ’em Watts, boys!”

The spiritual emphasis manifested so often by the Americans during the Revolution caused one Crown-appointed British governor to write to Great Britain complaining that:

“If you ask an American who is his master, he’ll tell you he has none. And he has no governor but Jesus Christ.”

Letters like this, and sermons like those preached by the Reverend Peter Powers titled “Jesus Christ the King,” gave rise to a sentiment that has been described as a motto of the American Revolution. Most Americans are unaware that the Revolution might have had mottoes, but many wars do (e.g., in the Texas’ war for independence, it was “Remember the Alamo”; in the Union side in the Civil War, it was “In God We Trust”; in World War I, it was “Remember the Lusitania”; in World War II, it was “Remember Pearl Harbor”; etc.). One of the mottos of the American War for Independence directed against the tyrant King George III and the theologically discredited doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings (which asserted that when the king spoke, it was the voice of God speaking directly to the people) is based on a quote from Reverend Power’s sermon: “We own no other prince or sovereign but the Prince of Heaven, the great Sovereign of the Universe.” Another motto (first suggested by Benjamin Franklin and often repeated during the Revolution) was similar in tone: “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.”

Preserving American liberty depends first upon our understanding the foundations on which this great country was built and then preserving the principles on which it was founded. Let’s not let the purpose for which we were established be forgotten. The Founding Fathers have passed us a torch; let’s not let it go out.

The Burning Platform: Will Backyard Chickens Be Banned?

The Burning Platform discusses several recent news and research pieces which are raising fears over backyard chickens by painting them as disease vectors for the spread of the next pandemic. They’re coming for your backyard chickens…

Since the “bird flu outbreak” first hit the headlines OffG has been predicting how the inevitable agenda would unfold.

The first impact was as obvious as it was predictable – the price of chicken and eggs went up, this was just another front in the war on food.

The second planned impact was less immediate, but just as predictable if you know how to read the media, and potentially far more harmful in the longterm – clamping down on alternative chicken farming. This includes both organic farms and individuals keeping their own chickens in their garden.

It didn’t take long for the media to prove us right. In fact the Guardian has done it twice in the last ten days.

Firstly, last Thursday, the Guardian ran this article“Spread of ‘free-range’ farming may raise risk of animal-borne pandemics – study”

Sponsored by the NGO Open Philanthropy, this piece reports that organic and free-range farming could increase the risk of a zoonotic disease outbreak, and quotes the authors of this new study:

If we can’t dramatically cut meat consumption then intensive ‘factory farming’ may be comparatively less risky

…yes. they’re actually arguing that the corporate mega-farms are better at preventing pandemics than free-range or organic farms because they have “tighter biosecurity controls” (meaning their animals never go outside or interact with nature in anyway whatsoever).

Then, in this piece from June 19th, The Guardian asked…

Bird flu is on the rise in the UK. Are chickens in the back garden to blame?

Which quotes the head of virology at the government’s Animal and Plant Health Agency (Apha):

The more humans are in contact with birds in an uncontrolled way, the greater is the theoretical risk that people can get infected,”

“Uncontrolled” is very much the key word there.

This scare campaign is not new. Three weeks ago an outbreak of salmonella in the US was blamed on people keeping their own chickens.

Back in January, when there were barely any bird flu cases to report, The Conversation was already hosting articles claiming

Bird flu: domestic chicken keepers could be putting themselves – and others – at risk

And calling for a new policy on backyard chickens:

This is why it will be important in the future for Defra and APHA to provide specific policy for backyard chicken keeping.

It’s pretty easy to see where this is going, isn’t it?

But why take aim at ordinary people keeping a handful of chickens in their back garden?

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Well, partly because they simply want to cut the amount of natural food people eat – most especially meat, but also eggs and other dairy produce. They want people entirely reliant on mega-corporations for their processed cubes of “food”.

But they also want people entirely reliant on the state for permission to do…almost everything. And in, some ways, the Covid pandemic narrative was counterproductive in that cause.

One of the unintentional effects of Covid in general and lockdown specifically was re-awakening in people an urge to go their own way. The powers-that-be are keen to reverse that trend.

As the above Guardian article points out [emphasis added]:

This may be due to the growing number of people keeping chickens or ducks, Brown said. Many of these keepers do not have to register with any authority because of the small numbers of birds involved.

During lockdown there was a spike in people keeping their own chickens.

Under UK law, it is illegal to keep a flock of fifty or more chickens without obtaining a license from the Poultry Register (yes, that’s a real thing) – but the vast majority of private flocks are much less than fifty birds, and therefore totally unregistered.

This scare-mongering on “spreading disease” is preparing the ground for “regulation” of these small private flocks.

Will that mean an outright ban? Maybe. But at the very least, I would expect the minimum number requiring a license to begin dropping from 50, and the cost of obtaining a license to rise.

We have already seen an example of this process with homeschooling.

Nations all over the world saw huge spikes in homeschooling through 2020-2021, this surge continued even after schools re-opened.

Tens of thousands more people are homeschooling in the UK than were before the lockdown started. The government response has been to re-open their years-old war on homeschooling by creating a national register of homeschooled children, and threatening parents with fines or unspecified “sanctions” for refusing to sign-up for it.

The same exact process will likely be seen with backyard poultry.

That’s the specific and practical part of it.

More poetically put, the state resents them because they are free.

Keeping a few chickens in your garden may be a small, fragile, kind of freedom…but its freedom nonetheless, and power structures are easily petty enough to destroy even that modicum of independence.

At its heart, self-reliance of any kind is the antithesis of everything driving us toward the “new normal”.

No freedom. No independence. No living outside the carefully controlled machinery of the state. That’s their aim.

As we phase out of “Covid time” and career towards “world war 3 times” or “climate change times” or whatever the next stage of the grand narrative is, the gears of the state are intent on grinding up those pockets of resistance their relentless overreach has accidentally cultivated.

The good news here is that their ever-more tyrannical efforts to control people will only end up driving more and more people away.

To quote the philosopher Lucasthe more they tighten their grip, the more people will slip through their fingers.

ABC: Supreme Court says several gun cases deserve a new look

The Supreme Court has remanded several cases back to lower courts to decide in light of their recent decision in Bruen. As you’ll see below, two of the cases involve bans on standard-capacity magazines — magazines that hold more than ten rounds — which could impact the Washington state ban that goes into effect today (July 1st, 2022).

ABC reports:

The Supreme Court said Thursday that gun cases involving restrictions in Hawaii, California, New Jersey and Maryland deserve a new look following its major decision in a gun case last week.

In light of last week’s ruling — which said that Americans have a right to carry a gun outside the home — lower courts should take another look at several cases that had been awaiting action by the high court, the court said. Those cases include ones about high-capacity magazines, an assault weapons ban and a state law that limits who can carry a gun outside the home.

The justices, in a 6-3 decision, last week struck down a New York law that required people to show “proper cause,” a specific need to carry a gun, if they wanted to carry a gun in public. Half a dozen states have similar laws that were called into question by the ruling.

In the New York case, the court’s conservative majority gave lower courts new guidance about how to evaluate gun restrictions. The justices rejected a two-step approach appeals courts had previously used as having one step too many. They said courts assessing modern firearms regulations should just ask whether they are “consistent with the Second Amendment’s text and historical understanding.”

Sending other gun cases back to lower courts gives them the opportunity to apply that new guidance.

One of the cases the justices sent back to a lower court Thursday involved a Hawaii statute similar to New York’s. In that case, a panel of 11 judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled in 2021 that the right to “keep and bear arms” in the Constitution’s Second Amendment “does not guarantee an unfettered, general right to openly carry arms in public for individual self-defense.” But the high court said in its latest gun case that the Constitution protects “an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.” A lower court will now have to revisit the Hawaii ruling.

The high court also told federal appeals courts to revisit cases involving laws in California and New Jersey that limit the number of bullets a gun magazine can hold. A 2018 New Jersey law limits most gun owners to magazines that hold up to 10 rounds of ammunition instead of the 15-round limit in place since 1990. A lower court upheld the law.

California law also bans magazines holding more than 10 bullets. A panel of 11 judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 7-4 last year to uphold California’s ban.

The justices also sent back for further review a case from Maryland that challenged the state’s 2013 ban on 45 kinds of assault weapons. The high court had in 2017 turned away a previous challenge to the law.

Rutherford Institute: Declare Your Independence from Tyranny, America

Just in time for Independence Day weekend, attorney John Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute writes Declare Your Independence from Tyranny, America.

Imagine living in a country where armed soldiers crash through doors to arrest and imprison citizens merely for criticizing government officials.

Imagine that in this very same country, you’re watched all the time, and if you look even a little bit suspicious, the police stop and frisk you or pull you over to search you on the off chance you’re doing something illegal.

Keep in mind that if you have a firearm of any kind (or anything that resembled a firearm) while in this country, it may get you arrested and, in some circumstances, shot by police.

If you’re thinking this sounds like America today, you wouldn’t be far wrong.

However, the scenario described above took place more than 200 years ago, when American colonists suffered under Great Britain’s version of an early police state. It was only when the colonists finally got fed up with being silenced, censored, searched, frisked, threatened, and arrested that they finally revolted against the tyrant’s fetters.

No document better states their grievances than the Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson.

A document seething with outrage over a government which had betrayed its citizens, the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776, by 56 men who laid everything on the line, pledged it all—“our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor”—because they believed in a radical idea: that all people are created to be free.

Labeled traitors, these men were charged with treason, a crime punishable by death. For some, their acts of rebellion would cost them their homes and their fortunes. For others, it would be the ultimate price—their lives.

Yet even knowing the heavy price they might have to pay, these men dared to speak up when silence could not be tolerated. Even after they had won their independence from Great Britain, these new Americans worked to ensure that the rights they had risked their lives to secure would remain secure for future generations.

The result: our Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution.

Imagine the shock and outrage these 56 men would feel were they to discover that 246 years later, the government they had risked their lives to create has been transformed into a militaristic police state in which exercising one’s freedoms—at a minimum, merely questioning a government agent—is often viewed as a flagrant act of defiance.

In fact, had the Declaration of Independence been written today, it would have rendered its signers extremists or terrorists, resulting in them being placed on a government watch list, targeted for surveillance of their activities and correspondence, and potentially arrested, held indefinitely, stripped of their rights and labeled enemy combatants.

Read the Declaration of Independence again, and ask yourself if the list of complaints tallied by Jefferson don’t bear a startling resemblance to the abuses “we the people” are suffering at the hands of the American police state.

Here’s what the Declaration of Independence might look and sound like if it were written in the modern vernacular:

There comes a time when a populace must stand united and say “enough is enough” to the government’s abuses, even if it means getting rid of the political parties in power.

Believing that “we the people” have a natural and divine right to direct our own lives, here are truths about the power of the people and how we arrived at the decision to sever our ties to the government:

All people are created equal.

All people possess certain innate rights that no government or agency or individual can take away from them. Among these are the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The government’s job is to protect the people’s innate rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The government’s power comes from the will of the people.

Whenever any government abuses its power, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish that government and replace it with a new government that will respect and protect the rights of the people.

It is not wise to get rid of a government for minor transgressions. In fact, as history has shown, people resist change and are inclined to suffer all manner of abuses to which they have become accustomed.

However, when the people have been subjected to repeated abuses and power grabs, carried out with the purpose of establishing a tyrannical government, people have a right and duty to do away with that tyrannical government and to replace it with a new government that will protect and preserve their innate rights for their future wellbeing.

This is exactly the state of affairs we are under suffering under right now, which is why it is necessary that we change this imperial system of government.

The history of the present Imperial Government is a history of repeated abuses and power grabs, carried out with the intention of establishing absolute tyranny over the country.

To prove this, consider the following:

The government has, through its own negligence and arrogance, refused to adopt urgent and necessary laws for the good of the people.

The government has threatened to hold up critical laws unless the people agree to relinquish their right to be fully represented in the Legislature.

In order to expand its power and bring about compliance with its dictates, the government has made it nearly impossible for the people to make their views and needs heard by their representatives.

The government has repeatedly suppressed protests arising in response to its actions.

The government has obstructed justice by refusing to appoint judges who respect the Constitution and has instead made the courts march in lockstep with the government’s dictates.

The government has allowed its agents to harass the people, steal from them, jail them and even execute them.

The government has directed militarized government agents—a.k.a., a standing army—to police domestic affairs in peacetime.

The government has turned the country into a militarized police state.

The government has conspired to undermine the rule of law and the constitution in order to expand its own powers.

The government has allowed its militarized police to invade our homes and inflict violence on homeowners.

The government has failed to hold its agents accountable for wrongdoing and murder under the guise of “qualified immunity.”

The government has jeopardized our international trade agreements.

The government has overtaxed us without our permission.

The government has denied us due process and the right to a fair trial.

The government has engaged in extraordinary rendition.

The government has continued to expand its military empire in collusion with its corporate partners-in-crime and occupy foreign nations.

The government has eroded fundamental legal protections and destabilized the structure of government.

The government has not only declared its federal powers superior to those of the states but has also asserted its sovereign power over the rights of “we the people.”

The government has ceased to protect the people and instead waged domestic war against the people.

The government has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, and destroyed the lives of the people.

The government has employed private contractors and mercenaries to carry out acts of death, desolation and tyranny, totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

The government through its political propaganda has pitted its citizens against each other.

The government has stirred up civil unrest and laid the groundwork for martial law.

Repeatedly, we have asked the government to cease its abuses. Each time, the government has responded with more abuse.

An Imperial Ruler who acts like a tyrant is not fit to govern a free people.

We have repeatedly sounded the alarm to our fellow citizens about the government’s abuses. We have warned them about the government’s power grabs. We have appealed to their sense of justice. We have reminded them of our common bonds.

They have rejected our plea for justice and brotherhood. They are equally at fault for the injustices being carried out by the government.

Thus, for the reasons mentioned above, we the people of the united States of America declare ourselves free from the chains of an abusive government. Relying on God’s protection, we pledge to stand by this Declaration of Independence with our lives, our fortunes and our honor.

In the 246 years since early Americans first declared and eventually won their independence from Great Britain, “we the people” have managed to work ourselves right back under the tyrant’s thumb.

Only this time, the tyrant is one of our own making: the American Police State.

The abuses meted out by an imperial government and endured by the American people have not ended. They have merely evolved.

“We the people” are still being robbed blind by a government of thieves.

We are still being taken advantage of by a government of scoundrels, idiots and monsters.

We are still being locked up by a government of greedy jailers.

We are still being spied on by a government of Peeping Toms.

We are still being ravaged by a government of ruffians, rapists and killers.

We are still being forced to surrender our freedoms—and those of our children—to a government of extortionists, money launderers and corporate pirates.

And we are still being held at gunpoint by a government of soldiers: a standing army in the form of a militarized police.

Given the fact that we are a relatively young nation, it hasn’t taken very long for an authoritarian regime to creep into power.

Unfortunately, the bipartisan coup that laid siege to our nation did not happen overnight.

It snuck in under our radar, hiding behind the guise of national security, the war on drugs, the war on terror, the war on immigration, political correctness, hate crimes and a host of other official-sounding programs aimed at expanding the government’s power at the expense of individual freedoms.

The building blocks for the bleak future we’re just now getting a foretaste of—police shootings of unarmed citizens, profit-driven prisons, weapons of compliance, a wall-to-wall surveillance state, pre-crime programs, a suspect society, school-to-prison pipelines, militarized police, overcriminalization, SWAT team raids, endless wars, etc.—were put in place by government officials we trusted to look out for our best interests.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, the problems we are facing will not be fixed overnight: that is the grim reality with which we must contend.

Yet that does not mean we should give up or give in or tune out. What we need to do is declare our independence from the tyranny of the American police state.

Out Front: You Are Not Prepared

Out Front with Mike Shelby

Intelligence analyst Mike Shelby of Forward Observer talks about preparation in his latest livestream and why 98-99% of even preppers are unprepared:

Mike says that America as we know it today is ending. The Layer one solutions below will get you through the short term, but for longer term sustainment, you must work on your layer two solutions:

US Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Bremerton Coach on Prayer

Then-Bremerton assistant football coach Joseph Kennedy, obscured at center in blue, is surrounded by Centralia players after they took a knee with him and prayed after their game against Bremerton, in Bremerton, Wash., on Oct. 16, 2015.Meegan M. Reid / Kitsap Sun via AP file

From The Deseret News, Supreme Court sides with football coach in school prayer case:

The Supreme Court on Monday sided with a praying football coach in a ruling that will add fuel to decades-old conflict over prayer in school. Conservative justices in the 6-3 majority said efforts to stop the coach from praying on the 50-yard line after games violated the free speech and free exercise clauses of the First Amendment.

“The Constitution and the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike,” wrote Justice Neil Gorsuch in the majority opinion.

Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer decried the ruling in their dissent, arguing that the majority was disregarding the school district’s significant concerns over how the coach’s actions affected his players.

“Official-led prayer strikes at the core of our constitutional protections for the religious liberty of students and their parents,” they wrote.

The case, Kennedy v. Bremerton, pitted Bremerton High School in Washington state against its former assistant football coach, Joe Kennedy. The two sides didn’t agree on whether the coach’s prayers after games violated previous Supreme Court rulings stating that schools could not coerce students into participating in group prayers or Bible reading.

Lower courts sided with the school, arguing that Kennedy’s prayer represented government speech rather than private speech and could, therefore, be regulated. The Supreme Court on Monday overturned those rulings.

“Kennedy’s private religious exercise did not come close to crossing any line one might imagine separating protected private expression from impermissible government coercion,” the majority opinion said.

In a statement released Monday morning, the coach’s law firm, First Liberty Institute, celebrated the ruling and said it would benefit all people of faith.

“This is a tremendous victory for coach Kennedy and religious liberty for all Americans,” said Kelly Shackelford, president, CEO and chief counsel for First Liberty. “Our Constitution protects the right of every American to engage in private religious expression, including praying in public, without fear of getting fired.”

Other faith leaders and religious freedom advocates issued similar statements, praising the court for drawing a distinction between private expressions of faith that take place in public and official expressions of faith that potentially harm students…(story continues)

Radio Contra Ep. 166 The Next Civil War

In NC Scout’s Radio Contra episode 166, he dives into the unfolding situation with the Lake Mead drought threatening Las Vegas’ water reserves, and how this is a preview of future civil conflict here in the US. Related to that is the reality that civil conflict does not occur without a substantial economic interest behind it and the next war in the US will be no different.

Radio Contra Episode 166: The Next Civil War

US Supreme Court Overturns Roe v Wade

Wall Street Journal reports:

A deeply divided Supreme Court eliminated the constitutional right to an abortion, overruling the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and leaving the question of abortion’s legality to the states.

The court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization upheld a law from Mississippi that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, roughly two months earlier than what has been allowed under Supreme Court precedent dating back to Roe.

In siding with Mississippi, the court’s conservative majority said the Roe decision was egregiously wrong in recognizing a constitutional right to an abortion, an error the court perpetuated in the decades since.

Even before the ruling, the DHS was warning of specific threats again pro-life organizations. ZeroHedge reports:

An internal document obtained by Newsweek outlines intelligence shared by the Department of Homeland Security with the Catholic Church of a planned “Night of Rage,” targeting churches and pregnancy centers over their opposition to abortion rights. The document sheds light on how law enforcement and the church are bracing for backlash after a leaked opinion showed the Supreme Court preparing to rescind federal abortion rights.

Two days ago, we detailed an initiative by the pro-abortion group “Jane’s Revenge” to widely distribute flyers in the D.C. are after recently declaring “open season” on pro-life groups and crisis pregnancy centers.

It appears there’s similar “planning” across various cities and states, particularly California, according to Newsweek, which details more from the DHS memo:

Labeled an “urgent memo,” the document is from the Diocese of Stockton, California, and is directed to all clergy, as well as parish and pastoral staff. The memo states that Jesse Rangel, a DHS agent, told the diocese that federal law enforcement has discovered a manifesto from an “extremist group” calling for attacks on churches beginning at 8 p.m. the evening the court issues its opinion.

The memo instructs churches which have active services during the eve and days following the Supreme Court decision to “Make sure you have ushers and or security available during your services and perhaps identify who among your volunteers and parishioners are law enforcement.”

Some national pro-life organizations have reported this week that they have been contacted by federal government officials, warning them to take steps amid threats of “extreme violence”

The Provident Prepper: Top 5 Antibiotics to Stock for Emergency Use

Shawn Rowland, M.D., at The Provident Prepper talks about the Top 5 Antibiotics to Stock for Emergency Use

As a family medicine physician, I treat infections of all kinds regularly. I depend on modern medicine to effectively treat a host of infectious causes, from bacterial, fungal, to viral. Even as a physician, I sometimes take for granted the incredible fact that just 100 years ago, the top five causes of death in America were all associated with infections.

Bacterial diseases were the most common cause of death from infection. Through the advent of medications like antibiotics and vaccines, we rarely worry that a cut finger will result in tetanus or a septic infection.

A urinary tract infection is effectively treated with a few days of antibiotics. Not long ago, such an infection would often end in severe kidney damage and even death. Indeed, in other less developed countries worldwide, the threat of bacterial infections is real, and things like diarrheal illnesses or cases of pneumonia are still top killers.

Below are some common questions I get from people concerned about being prepared for times when they might find themselves cut off from modern medical care.

What are the possible infections that may require antibiotics during a disaster?

The list of infections that may arise during a disaster is long. A few likely bacterial infections include:

  • Infected cuts
  • Animal or human bites
  • Various diarrheal illnesses
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Ear infections
  • Sinusitis

During a disaster, lack of adequate rest and poor nutrition will lead to a weakened immune system and an increase in bacterial infections.

Some disasters will present specific challenges. In a bio-terror scenario, there are specific diseases and medications that the CDC has studied. The top threats identified are anthrax, plague, and tularemia. A pneumonia infection caused by these agents is nearly 100% fatal if left untreated. If possible, any individual suspected of anthrax, plague, or tularemia infection or exposure should seek treatment in a hospital.  Ideally, patients should be treated with a combination of IV and oral medications.

In a disaster scenario where individuals cannot receive prompt care, the second-best option is to start oral therapies immediately—specifically, oral ciprofloxacin or oral doxycycline. For more detailed dosing recommendations, you can download this free e-book.

What are the best antibiotics to stockpile for an emergency or disaster scenario?

Top Five Antibiotics to Stockpile for Emergencies

When considering safety and efficacy while using limited options, the following are my top five choices:

  1. Amoxicillin-clavulanate
  2. Azithromycin
  3. Ciprofloxacin
  4. Doxycycline
  5. Metronidazole

These are the antibiotics included in the emergency antibiotic case, The Jase Case, sold by Jase Medical. The ideal antibiotics to have on hand would be a selection that covers a variety of bacteria and even amoebas/protozoa. Unfortunately, there is not a perfect list, and each medication has its pros and cons. It is typically better to use a narrow-spectrum antibiotic that is targeted to treat a specific bacteria.

Other times, in medicine, we combine different antibiotics to ensure that we cover a variety of bacteria. Unfortunately, we likely won’t have access to an entire pharmaceutical collection of antibiotics in a disaster.

Which scenarios could prevent me from getting a prescription from my family physician and getting it filled when I need it?

Some reasons you may not be able to get a prescription from your doctor in time include being confined to your home due to a global pandemic, medication not being available due to a supply chain disruption, or a natural disaster causing a significant strain on your local health system.

If you are suffering from a bacterial infection and need antibiotics, any delay can mean serious consequences for your health. The above reasons represent only a few of the many potential scenarios where you may not be able to get timely medical attention.

Often, I will have a patient who is leaving for a trip come and ask about getting antibiotics “just in case.” Whether on vacation in Disneyland or overseas in a developing country, having access to medication to help with a severe case of diarrhea or a urinary tract infection can save your trip (and your health).

How do I know which antibiotics to use for an infection in an emergency?

Recent advancements in the availability and capability of telemedicine allow patients to consult with a health care provider and receive guidance about what kind of medication may or may not be appropriate for an infection.  Jase Medical includes such a service when patients buy their emergency antibiotic case.

When contacting a medical professional is not possible, it is important to be familiar with the medications you have on hand and the kinds of infections they can treat.

NOT ALL INFECTIONS ARE CAUSED BY BACTERIA. Therefore, not all infections should be treated with antibiotics. A trained professional can help you distinguish a viral or fungal infection from a bacterial infection. There are also medical books that can guide you.

A good medical book should explain which signs and symptoms to look for that may point to a bacterial cause of an infection and which medications to use. This free e-book is written to help people distinguish whether an infection is bacterial and which medications to use, and proper dosages.

What is the shelf-life of antibiotics?

This is a great question! The federal government has been stockpiling medications, including antibiotics, for many years and studies show that medications may be good for over 15 years.

The need to throw out unused expired medications caused them to look at the feasibility of keeping them beyond their regular expiration dates. Thus, the Shelf-Life Extension Program was born. What they learned through this program was very interesting. It turns out that many antibiotics, when kept in cool, dry, conditions retained 90% plus of their potency for more than 15 years!

Although the exact times depended on the specific antibiotic, all of them maintained sufficient strength for a minimum of 5 years. Some antibiotics degrade into toxic substances and can become lethal poisons. The antibiotics in the Emergency Antibiotic Case from Jase Medical were specifically selected due to their long shelf-life. None of them will degrade to toxic compounds.

You may have seen ads in your local newspaper or neighborhood pharmacy encouraging you to dispose of your expired medications through a drug “take-back” program. These are great community service programs to aid people in the safe disposal of expired or unneeded medications.

Many drugs like those containing opioids are hazardous and should not be kept around “just in case.” Antibiotics, however, can be given special consideration.

What are the ideal storage conditions for antibiotics?

All medications, including antibiotics, should be kept in a cool, dry environment. If possible, store medications in a water and airtight sealed container. Do not freeze! Heat causes the active ingredients to degrade more quickly, as does the humidity. For particularly humid environments, a water-absorbing pack can be used…(article continues)

Get your free Antibiotic Emergency Guide here.

US Supreme Court Upholds Right to Carry Outside the Home

In a 6-3 ruling, the US Supreme Court holds that the Second and Fourteenth Amendments safeguard Americans’ right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.

From Reuters, US Supreme Court expands gun rights, strikes down New York law

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday declared for the first time that the U.S. Constitution protects an individual’s right to carry a handgun in public for self-defense, handing a landmark victory to gun rights advocates in a nation deeply divided over how to address firearms violence.

The 6-3 ruling, with the court’s conservative justices in the majority and liberal justices in dissent, struck down New York state’s limits on carrying concealed handguns outside the home. The court found that the law, enacted in 1913, violated a person’s right to “keep and bear arms” under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment.

The ruling, authored by Justice Clarence Thomas, declared that the Constitution protects “an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home.”

Democrat New York Governor Kathy Hochul, in an act of typically statist hysteria, that it is “absolutely shocking” that the court would take away states’ “right to reasonable restrictions”. The statement shows an astonishing lack of understanding of Constitutional concepts. Only individuals are acknowledged to have rights in the Constitution whereas states have powers.

Meanwhile President Biden claims the ruling “contradicts both common sense and the Constitution”.

Primal Survivor: How To Get Water From A Well Without Electricity

Nicky Hoseck at Primal Survivor writes How To Get Water From A Well Without Electricity. Please visit the original article for more photos and videos.

If you’re going off-grid, you’ll need a water source, usually in the form of a well or borehole.

That’s all well (excuse the pun) and good when you’ve got the power to pump water from it, but if the grid goes down, you’re effectively upstream without a paddle.

Don’t despair – there are several ways to get water from your well without electricity – it just takes a little preparation and forethought.

7 Ways To Access Your Well Water Without Electricity

#1 Generator

Although only 5% of American homes have backup generators, they are one of the best ways to ensure consistent power regardless of grid problems or extreme weather conditions.

While a dual fuel generator may provide the most cost-effective solution, few can produce the voltage needed for a deep well pump to operate.

For deep well pumps, a diesel generator will provide a more effective solution as they are both portable and powerful enough to produce the pump’s required 220v.

#2 Solar Pump

There are numerous different types of solar well pumps available, the best of which can pump water from depths of 600’ or more.

A surface solar pump is a viable option for shallow wells and to move water from your storage tank to your home. For deeper wells, you’ll need a submersible solar pump.

The best solar well pumps can run off batteries as well as sunlight, making them a suitable option for accessing water during extreme weather conditions, as well as during a power outage.

On our small-holding, a submersible solar well pump pushes water to a storage tank at the top of the hill; we then rely on gravity to transport that water down to the house.

The benefit of this two-pronged approach is that we’re not solely reliant on the solar pump, and therefore sunlight, but can get a consistent water supply straight to the house regardless of the weather or the national electricity supply.

#3 Wind-Powered Pump

A wind turbine isn’t something you can always rely on to provide water when you need it as you can be sure the wind will drop the instant you decide you need it, but you can use it to pump water to a holding tank which can then be transported to your home by gravity.

Many home wind turbines can be hooked up to solar panels, providing two alternative power sources for those inevitable emergencies. Read more about hybrid wind and solar systems.

Although you’ll need to invest a few hundred dollars in a good-quality wind turbine, once in place, it costs very little to run or maintain.

If you lack the funds to buy a wind turbine but have an abundance of DIY know-how, you could make your own out of PVC piping, and an old car fan as demonstrated in the video below.

#4 Hand Pump

Green Hand Cistern Pump

One of the simplest ways to get water from a well when the power’s down is via a hand pump. The best hand pumps can be alongside your electrical submersible pump, making it easy to swap from one.

Hand pumps are particularly effective for shallow wells and can draw water from a depth of 25’ or less without undue muscle fatigue on your behalf.

Accessing water that’s over 30’ down requires significantly more muscle power, which is why some deep well hand pumps can be linked to a windmill or operated via a foot valve.

A shallow well hand pump is simple to install and relatively affordable. It’s well worth paying that little bit extra for a high-quality pump, however, as you’ll be relying on it in your hour of need.

While you can pick up a pitcher pump for as little as $50, it’s more advisable to invest a few hundred dollars in getting a more reliable, better quality model, like the Pressurized Sealed-Top Water Pump from Lehman’s.

Deep well hand pumps cost considerably more, especially the Bison Stainless Steel Deep Well Hand Pump that can draw water up from depths of 300’. You may well need to be a potential contestant for the World’s Strongest Man competition to achieve this, but it is possible!

The best deep well hand pumps come with a lifetime warranty, require little maintenance and no priming, meaning that you can install them and forget about them until an emergency arises.

The main benefit of a hand well pump is that it requires nothing more than muscle power to operate it, which means you’ll have access to water in all weather conditions. If you opt for a solar pump, you’ll be reliant on sunlight whereas, with a generator, you need fuel.

The hand pump needs nothing at all, making it by far the most sustainable and reliable approach.

#5 Well or Sleeve Bucket

The sleeve bucket is the simplest and cheapest way to get water from your well without electricity. Also known as torpedo or cylinder buckets, the modern-day “well bucket is simply a long, skinny bucket that can be lowered into the narrow confines of a well casing to bring water to the surface.”

A high-quality sleeve bucket from Lehman’s costs less than $100, is made of galvanized steel, and can hold nearly 2 gallons of water. It has a handy device that enables you to discharge water from the bottom, rather than attempting to up-end it and empty it from the top.

If you’ve got access to some rope and PVC piping, you can easily make your own sleeve bucket which, while not as sleek or voluminous as a bought model, will still do the job effectively. Find out how to make your own PVC well bucket below.

The only problem with using a well bucket is that you’ll need to remove your submersible pump to get access. With most pumps, this is a fairly simple operation but it’s inconvenient nonetheless and not something you need to do if you have a hand pump.

#6 High Lifter Or Hydraulic Ram Pump

Depending on the topography of the land, you could use a hydraulic ram pump or a high lifter to access your well water. Both these pumps use downhill water pressure to push the water up to a higher point than the original source.

These gravity-fed water systems are easy to install and maintain but are only effective where there is a continuous supply of water and room to install the pump at least a foot and a half below that source.

While hydraulic ram pumps need a higher flow rate and can be rather noisy, high lifters can cope with as little as one gallon per minute and operate in virtual silence. As they are both self-powered, they don’t require any fuel, solar power, or electricity, so can operate regardless of power outages or severe weather conditions.

#7 Build An Emergency Pump

While I don’t feel my DIY skills would be up to the task of making a sleeve bucket, let alone an emergency well pump, there are plenty of people who’ve done just that and are willing to share their designs and methods.

The simplest type of pump to make is one that, like the pitcher hand pump, uses suction to draw water up. Designs like these are cheap and easy to make but will only work effectively on shallow wells.

For deeper wells, a vacuum pump is more effective and, although these are slightly more complicated and expensive to build, there are some informative online tutorials that give a complete list of materials and step-by-step instructions on how to complete the project.

Conclusion

If you’ve already got alternative energy sources, like wind or solar, on your property, getting water from your well when the grid goes down isn’t too much of a problem.

When severe weather conditions, like heavy rain or gale-force winds, disrupt your electricity supply, however, they’re liable to play havoc with those alternative sources as well, leaving you at the top of the well without any water.

The most reliable and sustainable ways of getting water from your well, therefore, are those that rely on gravity, like the hydraulic ram or high lifter systems, or those that need only muscle power.

While sleeve buckets are reliable and easy to use, in many cases, you must remove your submersible pump before you can start accessing the water, which is why the hand pump is the best method of getting water without electricity.

You can install a hand pump alongside your existing electrical pump so you can switch easily from one to the other without having to uninstall anything at all. A top-quality deep well hand pump can draw water from depths of up to 300’, keeping dehydration at bay whatever the weather.

Read more about the different types of well pump.

The Prepper Journal: Spare AR-15 Parts You Should Always Have on Hand

Cornelia Adams of The Prepper Journal writes Spare AR-15 Parts You Should Always Have on Hand

Do you have all the Spare AR-15 Parts you need in a disaster?

An AR15 rifle is considered by many to be their “go-to” rifle. Whether you are hiking and going hunting, keeping a gun with you for protection, or going to the range for practice or competition, there are a few spare AR-15 parts you should always have on hand for your AR-15. After all, there is an old prepper adage, that “one is none.” Redundancy should always be built into any preparedness plan to account for unexpected failures or events. From having the optics you desire to the upper receiver you need, there will always be something more you need to have on hand to keep you from having to back out of your operation. It is impractical in certain situations to always carry another primary weapon system in case of failure, but for limited cost and weight, you can pack parts that will help to keep your rifle functioning.

What types of spare AR-15 parts do you need to keep on hand? Are they heavy? Is it expensive to keep spare parts? We will tackle these questions and more in this article.

Bolts

Bolts are an integral part that you must have on hand to be able to operate your rifle. The bolt is the part of the weapon that grabs onto the rim of the cartridge, pushing it into the chamber, and locking the gun making it ready to fire. The upper receiver is what secures the barrel of the rifle and holds the bolt carrier, where the bolt is stored.

Bolts are light by themselves and are not difficult to travel with. They can cost about $100 to $130, but it is important to keep one on hand in case of emergency. While modern bolts are extremely durable, after tens of thousands of rounds, it is possible that they can crack where the cam pin is inserted. This is a common weak spot and some bolts have remedied this problem like the young manufacturing bolt. This cam pin slot on this bolt was not machined all the way through like on standard bolts making it significantly stronger. If you always have one with you, you do not have to worry about being stranded without a working rifle.

Extractor

The extractor in an AR-15 is in the bolt assembly (that which holds the bolt and its working parts). The extractor lives up to its name, as it is the part of the weapon that ensures the empty cartridges are extracted from the rifle. If this piece malfunctions, you will be unable to continue firing your weapon as the empty case cannot be extracted.

An alternative to keeping an entire extractor on hand may be to have extra extractor springs. The springs are what most often fail first in an extractor. It is in your best interest to buy an entire kit, as it only costs about $16. With the kit, you will have everything you need including the extractor pin, extractor spring, extractor spring black neoprene insert, and an O-ring dampener. With all of these on your person, you will not be weighed down, and you will not have to worry about a faulty extractor lessening the reliability of your AR-15.

Firing Pin

One of the most important spare parts you can have on hand is an extra firing pin. The firing pin is the piece that hits the primer of a cartridge, causing the compound to be detonated and the propellant to be ignited. In other words, the firing pin is the only thing that strikes the bullet cartridge, causing the bullet to fire through the weapon to your target. Without a firing pin, you are unable to use your rifle at all. See why having an extra firing pin on hand is unavoidable? They only cost about $8 to $12. They do not cost much and they weigh next to nothing, but firing pins are required to have a working firearm. Every marksman should have an extra!

Gas Rings

Gas rings in an AR-15 can sound like an odd thing to worry about, but they are a simple product needed to ensure reliability in the weapon. The gas rings seal the gap between the cylinder walls of the bolt carrier and the bolt itself. The gas rings should be checked each time you take the weapon apart to clean it, which should be after each time you go shooting. While you have the weapon taken apart, you will want to extend the bolt out of the carrier as far as it will go and place it on a table. While it is extended, if the carrier falls over the bolt with its own weight, then it is time to replace the gas rings. These rings do not cost much, so it should be easy to keep multiples of them in your bag. To get 3 gas rings, you will spend close to only $3. Who can beat that for a spare part?

Cam Pin

A cam pin is what locks the bolt after firing the weapon. Without the cam pin, the bolt would never lock or unlock from the barrel extension and would become stuck. The bolt would be stuck and the cartridge would not be able to be extracted. Firing an AR-15 without the cam pin would cause the weapon to come apart while trying to fire it. Not only is this an issue as to the function of your weapon, but it could be incredibly dangerous to attempt to operate without a proper cam pin. These important pieces of the weapon cost only about $5, keeping you from breaking the bank to keep a sense of safety and reliance.

All these items have to do with the Bolt Firing Group of your rifle. This is because that group of parts is what makes your weapon a weapon! Without these items functioning correctly, you will be in trouble. The price range may be an issue, but you may just opt in to always carry an extra complete Bolt Carrier Group with you since it is lightweight enough to not add significant weight to your bag.  A space-saving and cost-effective solution is to keep a bag with spare parts for your AR-15 just in case of any type of malfunction. You never know what could happen!

Magazines

Finally, one must always have extra magazines on hand. These are what hold your ammunition and keep you prepared for rapid-fire. If you need to reload quickly, extra magazines are a requirement, and they should be loaded. An AR-15 magazine costs only about $10 to $12 each, or you can buy them in bulk and save yourself a few dollars. Unloaded, the magazines will not add much weight to your bag. If you load them with extra ammunition, you may add some weight, but it would be worth it in the end if you need to quickly change cartridges and begin firing again. Magazines are classified as expendable components and after long-term use, they can become unreliable, so it is important to always have extras on hand.

S2 Underground June Intel Update

The following in the June 16 intelligence update from S2 Underground. It discusses food and fuel shortages, and recent US government actions on body armor and gun control among other topics.

Further to what S2 Underground mentions in the video above about Congressional testimony related to diesel fuel and DEF, below is a portion of that with a video of eight minutes of the testimony of the Pilot/Flying J CEO on diesel and DEF concerns.