The Organic Prepper: What 75 Preppers Learned During the Lockdown

This article from The Organic Prepper complies short takes from seventy-five preppers on what they have learned during this pandemic and lockdown. Some are only a sentence, while others are a full paragraph. Here’s What 75 Preppers Learned During the Lockdown

The lockdown that recently took place due to the pandemic was like a practice run for a bigger SHTF event. Many of our prepper theories played out and were accurate, while others weren’t as realistic as we thought beforehand.

People who weren’t preppers already learned a lot about why they would want to be better prepared in the future, but they weren’t the only ones who learned lessons. These preppers took a moment to answer questions about the lessons they learned during the lockdown. (Here’s an article about the things I learned.)

What did you learn about preparedness during the lockdown?

Trisha…

I learned two main things. First, I was very surprised at how strongly the isolation hit me. I am a person who is “energized” by interacting with other people. I knew that already, but I was shocked at how MUCH it affected me. Second, I got a taste of normalcy bias. I kept trying to see ways in which our situation was still “Normal”. As a school teacher of little ones for thirty years, I was pretty much used to switching into action immediately to deal with a crisis and putting my feelings on the back burner. So, I was shocked that it took me a couple of months to “accept” the changes in our lives and start looking for creative ways to make life work and meet our needs.

Maria…

I learned it is so important to pay attention to what’s going on and stay ahead of the crowd. My husband and I were able to stock up two weeks before everyone else panicked. I also learned my plan of being stocked up and shopping only for replacements is a great system. For example I have 3 jars of mayo on the shelf, when I open one I put it on the list to purchase next time and replenish. Same with Costco TP. Every time I shop there I grab one package. We didn’t even go through half our stock pile and I was able to leave it for those who really needed it. I also learned to listen to your instincts, inner voice, the spirit, God or whatever you call it. I listened every time and we have made it through very comfortably. Also, look for opportunities to help others prepare. I have gotten several people to prepare seriously because of staying ahead of everyone else. I couldn’t have done what I did with[out] Daisy and her spot on articles. Like I said earlier, they kept me two weeks ahead of the crowd.

Angela…

That individuals mental state can be intrusive to yours. For me-it preteen having her 1st period.

Annabel…

That things happen really fast. If you act when things happen it is too late. Act now.

Judith…

That prepping is far more than one type of crisis. Organization of preps is vitally important ( I am still not where I need to be). Having a list of recipes and items needed helps with how and what to shop for. Alternative sources for cooking, cleaning etc. are important.

Angela…

Being in a lockdown during the spring was great. House was cool and could bake. Once it got hot, there was no baking. Need to learn to bake more via the fire, not just cook.

Maya…

I had anticipated shortages like food, soap, TP, and PPEs, but I underestimated how short in supply durable consumer goods would be – like the fact that freezers would pretty much become extinct, all gardening supplies, etc. Luckily, I had stockpiled seeds (although this year I brought veggie starts because everything started late this year.) It took until June to get the raised bed kits (industrial area, it’s not safe to grow anything you want to eat in the ground). Canning jars have also become in short supply. I anticipated has shortages, which did not take place – in fact, gas became dirt cheap with nobody able to go anywhere. I did fail to anticipate that the border would be closed for half a year! Living in a border city, I tend to rely on the much cheaper US prices for many things. I really should not have put off dentist and eye appointments, or a haircut! I will get that attended to before the next wave of contamination and lock-downs. I am working now on beefing up food growing and preserving supplies. Desiccants, oxygen absorbers, Mylar bags, food grade buckets, canning lids, canning jars, and food saver bags are all likely to become harder to obtain as food prices rise and more people become aware of how to grow and preserve foods. I am also stocking up on organic fertilizers and indoor growing options. And sprouting seeds – I think I have at least 2 years’ worth of those…

Continue reading at The Organic Prepper by clicking here.

 

 

WA Policy Center: In Seattle, Failure in Leadership Produces Failure in Governance

From the Washington Policy Center, an article about recent activity in the city of Seattle – In Seattle, failure in leadership produces failure in governance

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Seattle’s elected officials allow widespread law-breaking by some, while imposing full enforcement on the rest of us

We often hear that it is important to lead by example. Lately, the example set by Seattle’s elected leaders has been one of lawlessness, civic breakdown and broken governance. City leaders ordered police to evacuate a police station and abandon a six-block neighborhood to radical left-wing groups, who set up a Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ), since re-labeled an Occupied Protest (CHOP). Authorities retreated after they had failed to stop widespread looting and arson in Seattle’s once-prestigious downtown core.

At the same time, Seattle leaders fully expect everyone else to behave responsibly, respect their authority, and follow the vast web of rules that regulate every aspect of life in the city. For Seattle leaders, one person robbing one store is a crime, but mass looting an entire shopping district is accepted as “protest”.

Conditions in the CHOP deteriorated quickly. In the short time the no-police zone existed, one man and a teen boy were killed and others were seriously wounded in shootings . Medics responding to 911 calls could not enter the zone, but had to respond to a staging area nearby. Violence inside CHOP became so politically sensitive that The Seattle Times shut down its online comment section on the shootings.

Of course it’s easy to accept civic violence when it is happening to someone else. The mayor of Olympia learned that dramatically when politically-motivated property damage, so attractive at a distance, arrived on her own doorstep.

Earlier she had expressed support for the protests, lamented her shortcomings, noting she “was not without sin…” and that she needed to be “more welcoming and nurturing…” Her mood changed swiftly, however, when rioters vandalized her house the evening of June 12th, damaging the front door and porch with spray-painted political slogans. She likened the attack on her home to “domestic terrorism,” adding, “It’s unfair.”

Journalist Chris Martin Palmer had a similar experience, cheerleading for burning buildings and looting in Minneapolis, until groups of rioters approached his neighborhood, at which point he angrily tweeted that protesters should “Go back to where you live.”

The ongoing disfunction in Seattle is representative of the breakdown of civility and peace in cities long governed by one-party rule. The last Republican mayor of Seattle was James Braman, elected in 1964. The last arguably centrist mayor was Wes Uhlman, who left office in 1978. Today the city council is neatly divided into two camps, those on the left and those on the far left.  The latter faction is aggressively led by avowed socialist Kshama Sawant.

Secure in the knowledge that voters have no real alternatives, the party in power naturally becomes increasingly radical as time passes. Interest groups become more strident in their demands. In Seattle’s case key interests include powerful city unions, militant environmental activists and, oddly, the local bicycle club.

The result is that while looting, arson and physical assault are forgiven, laws imposed on average families are strictly enforced. For example, failure to pay property taxes to the city in full and on time include a 3% penalty on the first payment due, and an additional 8% penalty on the second payment, followed by foreclosure and confiscation. Parking, permitting, and red-light traffic camera rules are all strictly enforced. City officials threaten business owners who don’t follow rules with closure and loss of livelihood.

Civic life is not possible without widespread goodwill and cooperation from citizens. Seattle officials rely on voluntary compliance to govern for everything from traffic rules, to re-modeling permits, to paying taxes. Yet the Mayor and city are setting an example that rewards widespread cheating. Why should the average home or business owner live “by the book” when Seattle lets others break any law they like. People may reason, “Sure I cheat on my taxes, but at least I didn’t set a police car on fire.”

If people follow the example of street activists and simply ignore rules they don’t like the city would quickly become marked by commonplace fraud and deception, which is why the mayor’s decision to allow mass lawlessness is so problematic.

Expecting people to obey the rules while accepting widespread law-breaking cannot lead to respect, peace or justice. The Mayor called it a summer of love, but what she really created is a culture of distrust and evasion in community life.

Her belated clean-up of the CHAZ zone does little to mitigate the damage done in terms of the messages already sent. Anarchists and activists know the city can be broken and will want to test it again.  Seattle’s residents and business owners know they cannot have confidence that they will get the protections they pay for and that rules only strictly apply to them.  It will take time to undo that damage.

Only fair and firm administration, civic pride and a sincere respect for order can make and keep Seattle a great place to live for everyone.

Charles Carroll Society: The Pro-Life Movement has failed – Now What?

The Charles Carroll Society writes about the pro-life movement, where it should go, and how it is changing in Idaho in  the article The Pro-Life Movement has failed – Now What?

Last week in Nampa, Idaho Republicans met to elect new officers and pass new platform changes, rule changes, and resolutions. Making platform changes, rule changes, and resolutions now means a bit more than it used to. In the past, this “internal” party debate had a limited impact on actual political priorities here in Idaho. It now has slightly more impact.

Last week, the Republican Party of Idaho changed its platform from the “pro-life” approach to an abortion abolitionist approach.  Each Republican candidate in Idaho must state they agree and will governor per the Idaho Republican platform, or they must clearly say what they disagree with.  Voters then get to make an informed decision.

I also am sharing this speech given by Scott Herndon of Abolish Abortion Idaho so that other anti-abortion Republicans, in other States, may use this excellent work to perhaps change their local party from the failed “pro-life” approach to an abortion abolitionist platform. I think this is very important, as we have witnessed Republican nominated SCOTUS judges, in this case, John Roberts, betray the pro-life movement.  Yet again.  We must improvise and adapt if we are going to succeed.

This speech was so well documented, and so moving, that I believe it changed many Republicans perspective on how the pro-life movement has utterly failed to end child-murder. In many places, like in Idaho with the organization, Idaho Chooses Life, it has merely become another part of the money-making establishment.

Many Republicans can understand that several race-baiters do not want things to improve in the Black and Hispanic communities, because then their organizations may not be as important. They want racial division to continue. Republicans must now wake up to the fact that many pro-life organizations do not want abortion to end. After all, it is how they have influence and make money.

 

One issue that divides so-called RINO Republicans from so-called radical Republicans is ending the murder of preborn children. More moderate Republicans may say they are pro-life but seem to accept the current situation. The more liberty-minded conservatives want to end all abortions as soon as possible. Effectively, we are demanding that the State of Idaho approach abortion like more liberal states have approached the legalization of cannabis or illegal immigration. Ignore the federal law. By changing the Idaho Republican Platform, Republican voters want to encourage our elected Republicans to make Idaho an unborn sanctuary state.  Every Republican across the State may now ask any Republican candidate if they agree with abolishing abortion in Idaho.

Scott Herndon of Abolish Abortion Idaho gave a moving speech in front of the Republican Platform Committee, and then this information was shared with all Republicans who attended the annual meeting. This is some of the legal and logical underpinnings of the abortion abolitionist movement.  I thought to share what was said with a larger audience.  Scott Herndon’s speech has been lightly edited. 

The Pro-Life Movement has failed

by Scott Herndon

We believe the State of Idaho should strongly assert its sovereignty under the 10th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. The accumulated usurpations by the Federal Government of Idaho’s state sovereignty has reached a point of complete intolerance. The Idaho Republican Party hereby recommends that the Idaho Legislature and Governor nullify all existing and future unconstitutional federal mandates, federal court opinions, and laws, funded or unfunded, that infringe on Idaho’s 10th Amendment sovereignty.

We also recommend that the State of Idaho continue to request funding and assistance from the Federal Government which complies with the Constitutional provision of the 10th Amendment, and suggest that the State of Idaho resist the withholding of federal funds as a means of forced compliance with the unconstitutional federal mandates and laws.

Article VI, US Constitution: This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding. The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation to support this Constitution. Still, no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Nowhere does it say all opinions of the federal judiciary shall bind the states or their officers. Instead, Article VI asserts that each state officer has the right and duty of independent judgment of what is constitutional.

We seem to find ourselves in a pattern of usurpations by federal courts. For example: In 2015, Obergefell v. Hodges, the SCOTUS asserted supreme authority over the administration of marriage, even though it has long been an exercise of state authority and is nowhere an enumerated or expressed power of the federal government. [Bard Note:  In truth, in a Christian society the civil State has no control whatsoever over defining a Christian marriage.]

In 2012, The Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, upheld by a vote of 5 to 4 the individual mandate to buy health insurance as a constitutional exercise of Congress’s taxing power.

August 2019, the 9th circuit declares Idaho must pay for transgender inmate gender “confirmation” surgery. May 2020, Idaho goes back to federal court to defend its laws banning transgender sex changes on birth certificates. Idaho must protect our ban on transgenders in women’s sports in federal court.

Our founders did not declare the judiciary supreme, and the revolutionary war was not fought to throw off a monarchy in favor of a judicial oligarchy. We know this because, in June of 1788, Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 81: “A legislature (after a judicial decision) may prescribe a new rule for future cases.”

He further wrote in the same Federalist that “Particular misconstructions and contraventions of the will of the legislature may…happen, but they can never affect the order of the political system. (The judiciary has) comparative weakness, and…total incapacity to support its usurpations by force.”

The SCOTUS almost immediately attempted to define its power when in 1803, in Marbury v. Madison, Chief Justice John Marshall wrote that “It is emphatically the province and duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is.” He asserted the right of the judiciary to hold acts of the other branches null and void.

In a 1958 desegregation case, all nine justices of the Earl Warren Court signed an opinion saying “The case of Marbury v. Madison in 1803 had declared the basic principle that the Federal judiciary is supreme in the exposition of the law of the Constitution, and that principle has ever since been respected by this Court and the Country as a permanent and indispensable feature of our constitutional system.”

We know Presidents have challenged the supremacy of the federal courts. Andrew Jackson allegedly defied the Supreme Court over Worcester v. Georgia (1832), announcing, “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.” He likewise ignored the court’s McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) when the court opined that the Bank of the United States was, in fact, constitutional. Jackson later vetoed the bank’s re-charter and fired a secretary of the treasury to ensure United States deposit removals from the bank.

There will be some cases where we should tolerate usurpations that we disagree with, but there are others where we should not. And Idaho has the legal authority based on the supremacy clause of Article VI, the enumerated powers of Article I section 8 of the US constitution, and the 10th Amendment and the 9th Amendment.

Roe v. Wade and 37 other opinions of the SCOTUS asserted federal court authority over the protection of preborn life, in contravention of the State’s right and duty to protect the inalienable right to life for all humans…(continues)

The Organic Prepper: The Second Wave

Toby Cowern at The Organic Prepper discusses the second pandemic wave and some things that you should be thinking of in order to be prepared in The Second Wave: Regardless of What You Think About the Virus, Things Are About to Change

…Regardless of your personal opinion about the virus, things will change for everyone with the second wave.

First, there’s GOING to be a second wave.

Firstly, we need to accept there is going to be a second viral wave. That is inevitable. That is absolutely inevitable. Now, regardless of your feelings on how bad the pandemic is, how lethal the virus is, what you think of the statistics, or the reporting, etc. I am not going to say that’s irrelevant, but I am going to say that it doesn’t undermine is the fact there’s going to be a second wave. Secondly, for any virus that spreads in the general population spread, there is always a risk of mutations, so just because we could say it hasn’t potentially been “that bad” until now, doesn’t mean that’s the status quo, and it’s going to stay the same.

So let’s first acknowledge those two things.

Now, here’s what’s important about that. Looking at historical trend analysis, which is fairly substantive, the second wave is always going to be worse than the first, not only in infection and fatality numbers but also in overall impact. And why is that? The fact is, the number spike will largely be due to people’s actions as they come out of the lockdown of wave one.

We’re already seeing that:

  • people are (understandably) demonstrating their frustration and venting their concerns
  • gathering in large groups
  • not following certain advice to minimize the potential infection spread

That’s happening and it’s happening worldwide. It is not exclusive to any country. Many, many countries are suffering from this same problem. This isn’t speculative. You can all see this occurring with your own eyes. So these actions are going to be reflected in wave two infection numbers.

For those countries already into the second wave, you can see that wave one is being dwarfed. For those that are not into the wave two yet, don’t worry, unfortunately, you’ll catch up in time.

Government measures

Now, the control measures that the government will try to utilize for wave two will initially be the same actions as wave one, but they just won’t be as readily accepted by the vast majority of the population that came through wave one. People are tired, they are frustrated and angry, and they are scared, largely due to exceptionally irresponsible media action.

So now it gets a bit more ‘wild west’ as the policy for wave two tries to replicate the policy for wave one, but the general populace is not as inclined to comply as it previously was.

That will vary from region to region and country to country as to how vehemently these measures will be pushed back against. The other thing to consider is that people have now had far longer and got far more information to make up their mind on how they feel about certain things. People went into wave one really in the dark. They were able to look at the historical pandemic examples, but not much more. Now, people have read up and formed their own opinion, and begun to crystallize their own thought processes AND will act (or refuse to act) accordingly.

The supply chain

All the problems that occurred in wave one will reoccur in wave two, possibly with more consequences and/or potentially with a deeper meaning. Let’s start with the supply line.

The weakening of the supply lines that has occurred, the lack of certain products, the panic buying, the herd mentality – that’s all still there, and large parts still ‘unsolved’ and it’s going to happen again, it’s inevitable. Things are not “going back to normal.”

I hate to say it, but people in packs, follow very set scripts. They are very predictable in their behavior. That is why we can make statements such as these with good authority. And as much as the suppliers are trying to assure us wave one was ‘well managed’ and ‘not that bad’, reports from various places are showing the contradiction that there was, is, and WILL BE impact on the supply line.

Financial problems

Now, there’s a twofold solution to these problems we are highlighting. One is just to keep preparing to always be prepared, keep chipping away, bit by bit, keep making your purchases, keep your stocks up.

But unfortunately, a lot of people got massive economic hits in wave one. So many are likely limited in their financial ability prepare via purchase. That we fully understand and sympathize with.

Things are going to be different for most of us.

Managing expectations

That brings us to the next point, and I would apply this across the board, regardless of your current situation, is you need to start managing your own and your immediate family’s expectations. You need to start thinking in terms of this:

As supplies dwindle and prices increase, we need to eat more simply, to accept things as they are. We might have to eat less meat, or in fact, we might just have to eat less food.”

Period.

Now this is very challenging because you will still naturally want to push back to get that “normalcy.” You’ll think, “Why should I have to *insert selected discomfort here*?”

Unfortunately, far too many people in the preppersphere were preparing on the basis of:

My lifestyle is never going to be interrupted no matter what.”

When we’re into a long-term scenario, such as this pandemic, there are going to be uncomfortable impacts for everybody.

There will be a point when you will start to feel the impact after you’ve gone as far as you can in your familiar lifestyle and kept to your original standards for as long as possible. If we are being honest, many of you are already at this point.

As much as you can adjust your mental attitude early and acknowledge and start to accept that the impact is happening, or coming, and will worsen, it positions you to be far more resilient further into this pandemic. Because that, folks, is where we are.

We are a LONG way from the end of this.

We can’t relax our preparations.

I’ve been having a number of very interesting online conversations lately, and the phrase that keeps re-occurring is that we’ve been given a “slow-burning virus.” In this modern, insanely paced world, it seems that everybody wanted to have a simple, quick ‘zombie apocalypse’, and in two weeks, it’s all over. Then we kind that we go from there, rebuild, and move on…(continues)

Backdoor Survival: The SHTF Emergency Coffee and Tea Kit

I like coffee. I also like tea. While I could live without both, they add comfort to daily life. Additionally, being able to make teas is useful for many herbal remedies. Sure, you can do either with any sort of container than can make water hot, but some tools are better than others. Here’s Samantha Biggers at Backdoor Survival, talking about The SHTF Emergency Coffee and Tea Kit. The excerpt below may contain affiliate links for Backdoor Survival.

Coffee and tea are both things that should be in your food stockpile. A short to long emergency can be hard enough without being forced to do without something you are used to having. Consider that coffee and tea are also excellent for trade if you are looking for barter items to put back.

Perculator

I had been considering adding a quality peculator to our preps. While we have a French Press, that is not the same thing. We have found that French presses take more coffee to get the same flavor. Stanley recently had a sale that allowed me to pick up one of their quality percolators for almost half the price it normally sells for. I trust Stanley products so it was just too good to pass up.

The percolator is 1.1 liters so it makes enough coffee for several adults to have a few cups. I like that my Stanley is stainless steel and not aluminum like a lot of percolators out there.

French Press

As I said, I don’t want to rely on a french press for my coffee but they are worth mentioning. For more info on making coffee with a french press, check out this article.

Secura French Press Coffee Maker, 50-Ounce, 18/10 Stainless Steel Insulated Coffee Press with Extra Screen

This is a french press that actually may change my opinion of them. While writing this post I actually found a larger stainless steel french press. The 51 oz capacity is much better than the 34 oz of most and it is stainless steel rather than fancy plastic or glass. If you do want a french press, this is the one I would recommend getting for household use.

Coffee Options

Matt and I have been buying green coffee beans and roasting our own for many years now. It saves a lot of money over buying quality coffee at the grocery store and we get to roast it to a precise level we like rather than having to settle for beans that are often too dark. It seems like a lot of coffee brands have decided to go with a darker roast even if the bag says it is a medium roast.

Buying green coffee beans allows one to experience greater variety. Coffee has a lot of complex flavors. The region and variety of coffee as well as the harvesting and packaging process of the green beans all have an impact on the final flavor.

For green or roasted coffee beans, I recommend Coffee Bean Corral or Fresh Roasted Coffee. Coffee Bean Corral just sells green coffee beans while Fresh Roasted Coffee sells both roasted and green coffee beans. If you are unsure of what types of coffee you want to put back, Coffee Bean Corral has some very affordable sampler packs.

Whole Bean Roasted

Getting beans that are roasted but not ground is another option for those that want some coffee that doesn’t go stale in the bag as fast as ground coffees.

Ground Coffee

While this is very convenient, it doesn’t have the flavor and the shelf life of whole bean coffee. At the same time, I think ground coffee that is sealed in #10 cans is not a bad thing to have as part of your stockpile. It is inexpensive and does the trick.

Green coffee beans lose up to 20% of their weight when roasted. It is usually lower but it does vary based on the variety of coffee and how dark you like to roast it. This is important to keep in mind when buying green beans and calculating how many you need to put back to meet your long term food storage goals.

Deals On Coffee In Cans and Sealed Bags

I am going to include a few options here that my Dad likes. While we roast coffee and take it to him, he gets nostalgic for some brands. I have not tried these brands myself but I trust his opinion on this one. I do have to say he likes coffee with chicory in it sometimes. It is a bit of a French and Southern thing so I won’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of chicory coffee.

French Market Coffee, Coffee & Chicory, Medium-Dark Roast Ground Coffee, 12 Ounce Metal Can (Pack of 6)

You get 6 sealed 12 oz cans of this coffee at a bargain price. My Dad just had me order some for him. The roast is a true medium-dark roast from what he has told me.

Community Coffee

This is another old Southern brand of coffee that is a bargain and a lot of people seem to like. You can get big cans of it online at Wal Mart. There are many roast styles and blends available so you may want to try out a few before you stock up. The Wal-Mart cans I just linked to are really inexpensive. You get 2 cans at 37 oz each for just $20 at the time of this writing.

Let’s talk about tea for a minute.

A Kettle or Two

A good teapot is important. While I like an electric kettle, a good stainless steel tea kettle or a cast-iron kettle that is lined with ceramic is a better option for an SHTF situation. If you have the space then I don’t blame you for having both.

Chef’sChoice 681 Cordless Electric Kettle Handsomely Crafted in Brushed Stainless Steel

While us preppers talk a lot about situations where the grid is down, the truth is that plenty of bug in situations and emergencies happen and the lights stay on. If you have some backup power like a Jackery you can also run some things a few times a day.

My mother in law gave me this exact electric kettle because it was a spare she had. She actually bought it used too. This is a real workhorse. I have used this kettle so much because it heats water up fast. When we were unsure about our supply of propane, I used it to get water boiling before using it for cooking foods on our electric hotplate.

I also use it to get water to boiling to pour over dry beans that I want to cook in our crockpot slow cooker. It gets the bean cooking process going a lot faster and is great for when you forget to put the beans on soon enough or want to give soup a headstart.

Cast Iron Tea Kettle With Strainer

This is the tea kettle I am after. I like it because it can double as a steamer for our wood stove and it comes with a built-in strainer so using bulk teas is really easy. This pot is cast iron. Some cast-iron kettles are just designed to add humidity when using a wood stove. They don’t make great tasting tea. We were given a kettle that was just cast iron and it always seemed to give off an odor. It was labeled as not suitable for water used for consumption You can get cast iron and ceramic lined kettles in many different sizes too if you prefer something that is tough but not just metal.

Ceramic Lined Cast Iron

This teapot is very similar to the one above but is much larger at 101 oz and it has a ceramic lining that many people find appealing. You can get the same style in a smaller version through the link above as well. These are really pretty and functional teapots that will last for many years.

Tea Ball or Strainer

These devices allow you to buy bulk teas. Buying tea by the pound is so inexpensive compared to tea bags. It is actually shocking how little tea is in a box of 20 or 100 bags. A lb of organic green tea on Amazon from Davidson’s Tea is under $10. To get that same amount of product in a premade tea bag, you would need to spend more than $50. While there is nothing wrong with having some tea bags on hand especially if you just have some that you like to drink occasionally and not regularly, for SHTF tea stashes, most of your tea stash should be bulk tea if you plan on drinking it with any regularity during the course of a long emergency…(continues)

Alt-Market: Is America Heading For Civil War? Of Course It Is…

Brandon Smith at Alt-Market writes more about unrest in the USA in Is America Heading For Civil War? Of Course It Is…

In last week’s article I discussed the issue of American “balkanization” and the rapid migration of conservatives and moderates from large population centers and states that are becoming militant in their progressive ideology. In my home state of Montana there has been a surge of people trying to escape the chaos and oppression of leftist states. Some are here because of the pandemic and the harsh restrictions they had to endure during the first lockdowns. Others are here because they can’t stand the hostility of identity politics, cancel culture and race riots. Either way, they are fleeing places with decidedly leftist influences.

Uprooting and moving to an entirely new place is not an easy thing to do, especially in the middle of a pandemic. For many people, such an idea would have been unthinkable only a few years ago. Believe me, moving to a place like the Rocky Mountain Redoubt is not an easy transition for most. Hopefully these people understand that they will have to make extensive preparations for the rough winter and be ready to work hard in the spring and summer months to survive. Maybe they don’t realize yet how tough it is here; maybe they know and don’t care.

That’s how bad the situation has become – Rational and reasonable people are willing to leave behind their old life and risk it all to keep a margin of freedom.

In my view it is clear that the political left has gone so far off the rails into its own cultism that there is no coming back. There can be no reconciliation between the two sides, so we must separate, or we must fight. I advocate for separation first for a number of reasons:

First and foremost, conservatives are the primary producers within American culture. If we leave the leftists to their own devices there is a chance they will simply implode in on themselves and eat each other because they have no idea how to fill the production void. The recent developments in the defunct CHAZ/CHOP autonomous zone are a perfect example. Those people don’t have the slightest clue what they are doing and it shows.

Second, if conservatives separate it provides a buffer that helps defuse future random conflicts. When you force the two sides into a box together eventually they will find a reason to try to kill each other. Putting some distance between them and us reduces the angst.

Third, if the leftists decide they don’t like that we have separated and are thriving on our own, and they attempt to antagonize or attack us where we live, then we hold the clear moral high ground when we smash them to pieces in response.

I fully realize that the third outcome is the most likely. War is probably inevitable. Why? Because collectivists and narcissists are never satisfied. They desire unlimited control over the lives of others and they will use any means to get that control no matter how destructive. Separating from them is only a stop-gap that allows us to take the superior position. Through peaceful migration, we set the pace of the conflict. Eventually they will come after us, and there will be no doubt about our response then. There will be no way to spin the result in their favor, no way for them to play the victims.

Some people might question if we are actually to the point of open conflict; they might accuse me of “doom mongering”. Others may argue that conservatives are acting “passive” and that we will never take any action. These assumptions are common right now because such people do not understand how history progresses and how group psychology evolves.

Domestic war is not something pursued lightly, or haphazardly. The average person knows at least subconsciously that it’s better to seek resolution or to remain patient as events unfold. Conservatives aren’t stupid; we know that before any civil war there is first a culture war. And, we know that the cards are stacked against us and that if we act rashly in any way we will lose position in that culture war.

So, we let the leftists spit and rage like madmen for a little while. Each day people who were on the fence when it comes to the culture war are witnessing this and come over to our side because we’re the only side that is sane. The drawback is, there comes a point in which calm professionalism might be wrongly perceived as weakness. And when people sense weakness among conservatives, they might run into the arms of the extreme left thinking that it’s safer to join the “winning team”.

I believe conservatives have not been sucked into a reactionary stance yet because they are thinking logically and refusing to play the game for now. In some ways it is how we enter the fight that is more important than the fight itself.  To understand why, we have to look at the bigger picture beyond the left/right conflict.

As I noted last week, the political left is a tool for a greater agenda. They are being used as a weapon of chaos by globalist interests. This is not “conspiracy theory”, this is conspiracy fact. Millions of dollars have poured into Antifa and BLM related groups through elitist donors like George Soros and his Open Society Foundation as well as the Ford Foundation. Globalist institutions like these have been influencing the extreme left and promoting identity politics for DECADES. This is openly admitted. What we are witnessing in 2020 is simply the culmination of a half-century long propaganda campaign that created the modern feminist movement, victim group status, entitlement culture, etc.

The reason for the agenda should be obvious: Chaos creates fear. Fear creates division and crisis. And, crisis creates opportunity (as globalist Rahm Emanuel once bragged). Meaning, the extreme left is going to start a war because that’s exactly what the global elites created them for.

Now, some might suggest that this places conservatives in a Catch-22 position; if we don’t fight back then we will look weak. We will be culturally isolated and eventually overrun and wiped from the history books. If we do fight back we will be giving the globalists what they want – A civil war that will tear America apart.

The suggestion by certain special interests will be that there is only one way out; use government power to turn the tide to our advantage. In other words, institute martial law. I don’t really see it that way.

Once we understand that a fight is coming regardless, our task is to position ourselves with the most advantage possible while keeping our culture and our principles intact. This includes our belief in constitutionalism, civil liberties and opposition to tyranny in ANY form. Winning the fight is important, but maintaining our principles in the process is more important. Becoming a monster to fight the monster is the same as losing.

When the left comes for us (and they will), the fight has to be won by us, not government. We cannot hand even more power to government in the name of security. We cannot become the fascists the leftists accuse us of being.

I am often asked these days about my view of the 2020 election and how it will turn out. I did predict Trump’s election win in the summer of 2016 based on the idea that Trump’s presence in the White House would drive the left insane, as well as give the globalists a perfect “conservative” scapegoat for the economic collapse they had been engineering since at least 2008…(continues)

Happy Independence Day

Patrick Henry, 1775:

We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament. Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free² if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Rutherford Institute: Founders Would Be Anti-Government Extremists Today

Constitutional law attorney John Rutherford of the Rutherford Institute writes about America’s founding fathers and how they would be branded by our modern imperial government in America’s Revolutionary Founders Would Be Anti-Government Extremists Today

“It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government.”—Thomas Paine

“When the government violates the people’s rights, insurrection is, for the people and for each portion of the people, the most sacred of the rights and the most indispensable of duties.”—Marquis De Lafayette

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.

This is no longer the stuff of speculation and warning.

In fact, Attorney General William Barr recently announced plans to target, track and surveil “anti-government extremists” and preemptively nip in the bud any “threats” to  public safety and the rule of law.

It doesn’t matter that the stated purpose of Barr’s anti-government extremist task force is to investigate dissidents on the far right (the “boogaloo” movement) and far left (antifa, a loosely organized anti-fascist group) who have been accused of instigating violence and disrupting peaceful protests.

Boogaloo and Antifa have given the government the perfect excuse for declaring war (with all that entails: surveillance, threat assessments, pre-crime, etc.) against so-called anti-government extremists.

Without a doubt, America’s revolutionary founders would have been at the top of Barr’s list.

After all, the people who fomented the American Revolution spoke out at rallies, distributed critical pamphlets, wrote scathing editorials and took to the streets in protest. They were rebelling against a government they saw as being excessive in its taxation and spending. For their efforts, they were demonized and painted as an angry mob, extremists akin to terrorists, by the ruler of the day, King George III.

Of course, it doesn’t take much to be considered an anti-government extremist (a.k.a. domestic terrorist) today.

If you believe in and exercise your rights under the Constitution (namely, your right to speak freely, worship freely, associate with like-minded individuals who share your political views, criticize the government, own a weapon, demand a warrant before being questioned or searched by the police, or any other activity viewed as potentially anti-government, racist, bigoted, anarchic or sovereign), you’re at the top of the government’s terrorism watch list.

Indeed, under Barr’s new task force, I and every other individual today who dares to speak truth to power could also be targeted for surveillance, because what we’re really dealing with is a government that wants to suppress dangerous words—words about its warring empire, words about its land grabs, words about its militarized police, words about its killing, its poisoning and its corruption—in order to keep its lies going.

This is how the government plans to snuff out any attempts by “we the people” to stand up to its tyranny: under the pretext of rooting out violent extremists, the government’s anti-extremism program will, in many cases, be utilized to render otherwise lawful, nonviolent activities as potentially extremist.

The danger is real.

Keep in mind that the government agencies involved in ferreting out American “extremists” will carry out their objectives—to identify and deter potential extremists—in concert with fusion centers, data collection agencies, behavioral scientists, corporations, social media, and community organizers and by relying on cutting-edge technology for surveillance, facial recognition, predictive policing, biometrics, and behavioral epigenetics (in which life experiences alter one’s genetic makeup).

This is pre-crime on an ideological scale and it’s been a long time coming.

For example, in 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released two reports, one on “Rightwing Extremism,” which broadly defines rightwing extremists as individuals and groups “that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely,” and one on “Leftwing Extremism,” which labeled environmental and animal rights activist groups as extremists

Incredibly, both reports use the words terrorist and extremist interchangeably

That same year, the DHS launched Operation Vigilant Eagle, which calls for surveillance of military veterans returning from Iraq, Afghanistan and other far-flung places, characterizing them as extremists and potential domestic terrorist threats because they may be “disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war.

These reports indicate that for the government, anyone seen as opposing the government—whether they’re Left, Right or somewhere in between—can be labeled an extremist.

Fast forward a few years, and you have the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which Congress has continually re-upped, that allows the military to take you out of your home, lock you up with no access to friends, family or the courts if you’re seen as an extremist.

Now connect the dots, from the 2009 Extremism reports to the NDAA, the National Security Agency’s far-reaching surveillance networks, and fusion centers that collect and share surveillance data between local, state and federal police agencies

Add in tens of thousands of armed, surveillance drones that are beginning to blanket American skies, facial recognition technology that will identify and track you wherever you go and whatever you do. And then to complete the circle, toss in the real-time crime centers being deployed in cities across the country, which will be attempting to “predict” crimes and identify criminals before they happen based on widespread surveillance, complex mathematical algorithms and prognostication programs.

Hopefully you’re getting the picture, which is how easy it is for the government to identify, label and target individuals as “extremist.”

And just like that, we’ve come full circle.

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.

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…(continues)

American Thinker: The Coming Collapse of the Republic

From writer Selwyn Duke at American Thinker is The Coming Collapse of the Republic

 “We’re just one election away from full-blown socialism,” a man recently said to me during a short conversation. This sentiment has become increasingly common lately, even, notably, among the previously apolitical. Yet something is overlooked:

In keeping with President Reagan’s observation, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction,” being one election away from tyranny means that not enough people noticed and took action when we were one generation away — or two or three.

Also perhaps overlooked is that being one election away from tyranny now means we’ll be one election away after the next election — whatever happens November 3. The point is that politics being downstream from culture (and, really, from morality, faith and philosophy), this isn’t merely a “moment.” It’s not a fashion. It won’t just pass. And we need be prepared for things to come.

I’ve often cited late Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov, who in 1980s interviews warned of “demoralization” — an undermining of a nation’s morality that makes it ripe for leftist revolution — in America. As a young man in my late teens or early twenties at the time, I didn’t know about Bezmenov (no Internet back then). But I’d recently become more intensely “politically” aware and quickly realized, and began telling people, that the West and the U.S. were in decline and gravitating toward tyranny. Oh, I did realize the republic’s demise was decades away.

Now I suspect it’s years away.

General Michael Flynn, whom, it’s clear, was targeted by the Creep State for being a good man, just warned that if we don’t act, two percent of the people are about to control the other 98 percent. But I’m here to tell you: Long term, voting won’t save us.

Oh, for sure, get out and vote in November as if your life depends on it (because in a way, it does). But as was the case in 2016, a Trump victory and partial GOP control of Congress only amount to a “stay of execution.” The clock is ticking.

Moreover, President Trump’s re-election, like his election, would have to defy the odds. Along with traditional media bias — which a college professor determined aids Democrat candidates by 8 to 10 points every election (an underestimation, I believe) — there’s now social media/Big Tech bias. According to liberal psychologist Dr. Robert Epstein’s research, this factor can shift up to 15 million votes toward one party or the other (not an overestimation, I believe). This is enough to turn any modern election.

Add to this vote fraud and vote harvesting — the latter of which flipped conservative Orange County, Calif., from GOP to Democrat control in 2018 — and left-wing mail-in voting scams, and the picture is clear: Even if Trump wins, the chances of him having two simpatico Houses are slim. And if Trump triumphs but the Democrats hold the House and seize the Senate, there’s a good chance he’ll be deposed.

Really, though, focusing on this, the micro, is to not see the forest for the trees. An excellent high-profile commentator said a while back that this all (the current unrest, intensifying cancel culture, etc.) seemed to happen so suddenly. But only the spark, the George Floyd situation, and the fire were sudden, and something else could have triggered the blaze as well. The kindling, however, and the many-layered sea of morally dead and intellectually dry wood had long been burgeoning.

And the spark only catalyzed the firestorm because we’d reached a point of critical mass.

This is why what we began talking about in the ‘80s, political correctness, has metastasized into “cancel culture.” It’s why two people in two recent days — one a cop, the other an acquaintance — told me what’s plain: They, and everyone else, are afraid to speak their minds, fearing career and reputational destruction. It’s why social media censorship is intensifying by the month. An iron muzzle has descended upon America, and what can’t be spoken against can’t be effectively combated.

As I warned in 2012, there no longer is a culture war. “What is occurring now is a pacification effort.” Its progress is why corporate America, including the now-absorbed Chick-fil-A and NASCAR, has turned decidedly to the dark side (shifted “left”). It’s why prominent people, including Republicans such as Indiana senator Mike Braun, are bowing before terrorist group Black Lives Matter. It’s why mobs are enabled and good people hobbled for defending themselves from the mobs. It’s why we’re seeing a complete cultural collapse — portending a political collapse.

This is partially due to a new “woke” generation having entered the corporate sphere and others of influence. But what did you expect? The apocryphal saying (no, it’s not Lincoln’s) informs, “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” Did you really think the Left could completely control academia for generations and that, somehow, it all would “stay in college”?

Leftists have also controlled entertainment, which could even be more significant. A (perhaps loose) paraphrase of ancient Greek philosopher Plato warns, “When modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the state change with them.”

Now, though, we have television and the Internet, whose effects I’ve examined, which dwarf music’s influence. Then there’s the aforementioned media (conventional and social). This culture-shaping media/academia/entertainment triad has long been leftist-controlled, the result of the long Gramscian “march through the institutions,” the rotten fruits of all our squandered yesterdays.

Being a culture-shaper also ultimately means, again, being a politics-shaper (and civilization-shaper), and this brings us to conservative rationalization. Even if we could somehow seize control of the media/academia/entertainment axis, sorry, it takes generations to thus reshape society, and the time for that was 60 years ago. That ship has sailed (and sunk).

Then there’s our 1965-born immigration policy, which, I’ve estimated, gives Democrats 300,000 new voters yearly, three million a decade. And when the Democrats assume full control, they’ll legalize the illegal aliens among us and open the floodgates further (goodbye, wall), giving themselves perhaps tens of millions of new voters in short order.

So Democrat presidential sock puppet Joe Biden, echoing the man whose name he couldn’t recall a while back (because echoes are all he has left), not long ago said we had to “fundamentally” change America. But that fundamental change has already occurred. Does the 2020 U.S. even remotely resemble its few-generations-back former self?

So the question isn’t what’s coming, but this: Will you be ready? When leftists take full political control federally, they’ll mercilessly impose their agenda as they always do. If you have no idea what that agenda is, you’re likely not reading this. But do know that it will be effected no-holds-barred.

For not only is there the critical-mass factor, but Machiavellian leftists have convinced their useful idiots, projecting all the way, that conservatives constitute a hateful, “racist,” fascistic, White Supremacist™ threat to civilization. They thus have an ideal pretext for iron-fistedly crushing opponents. When “Nazis” threaten your civilization, after all, you’re faced with desperate times requiring desperate measures, right, comrade?

So how do we proceed? This isn’t a defeatist screed. I’m not saying keep a cyanide capsule handy. But knowing tomorrow’s strategy requires knowing tomorrow’s battlefield. So what can be done when, after this election or the next, the federal government becomes a complete leftist Leviathan wholly unmoored from constitutional constraints?

I’ve long advocated nullification — meaning, in this case, the ignoring of unconstitutional federal and judicial dictates — something Thomas Jefferson called the “rightful remedy” for all federal overreach. This should have been embraced long ago (e.g., in response to the Obergefell opinion), but will become more conservative states’ only recourse in the not-too-distant future. Note, too, that we’d just be doing what leftists do with their “sanctuary” cities and their defiance of federal drug laws.

In this vein, you can’t win a contest being a “connedservative” who insists on fighting by Queensberry rules while your adversary operates no-holds-barred. Remember that, more and more, we’re living in post-constitutional and post-rule-of-law America. We’re now increasingly subject to the rule of men and, in the coming conflict, it’s only a matter of which men will win.

America is irremediably divided — if a marriage, she would’ve dissolved long ago — and the above resistance would, of course, make that division more official. This brings me to what I believe will be our fate…

Continue reading at American Thinker by clicking here.

 

Alt-Market: The Purge – The Natural Progression Of “Woke” Censorship Is Tyranny

Brandon Smith at Alt-Market writes about recent and ongoing online censorship in The Purge: The Natural Progression Of “Woke” Censorship Is Tyranny.

As I have noted in the past, in order to be a conservative one has to stick to certain principles. For example, you have to stand against big government and state intrusions into individual lives, you have to support our constitutional framework and defend civil liberties, and you also have to uphold the rights of private property. Websites are indeed private property, as much as a person’s home is private property. There is no such thing as free speech rights in another person’s home, and there is no such thing as free speech rights on a website.

That said, there are some exceptions. When a corporation or a collective of corporations holds a monopoly over a certain form of communication, then legal questions come into play when they try to censor the viewpoints of an entire group of people. Corporations exist due to government sponsored charters; they are creations of government and enjoy certain legal protections through government, such as limited liability and corporate personhood. Corporations are a product of socialism, not free market capitalism; and when they become monopolies, they are subject to regulation and possible demarcation.

Many corporations have also received extensive government bailouts (taxpayer money) and corporate welfare. Google and Facebook, for example rake in billions in state and federal subsidies over the course of a few years.   Google doesn’t even pay for the massive bandwidth it uses.  So, it is not outlandish to suggest that if a company receives the full protection of government from the legal realm to the financial realm then they fall under the category of a public service. If they are allowed to continue to monopolize communication while also being coddled by the government as “too big to fail”, then they become a public menace instead.

This is not to say that I support the idea of nationalization. On the contrary, the disasters of socialism cannot be cured with even more socialism. However, monopolies are a poison to free markets and to free speech and must be deconstructed or abolished.

Beyond corporate monopolies, there is also the danger of ideological monopolies. Consider this – The vast majority of silicon valley companies that control the lion’s share of social media platforms are run by extreme political leftists and globalists that are openly hostile to conservative and moderate values.

Case in point: Three of the largest platforms on the internet – Reddit, Twitch, and YouTube just acted simultaneously in a single day to shut down tens of thousands of forums, streamers and video channels, the majority of which espouse conservative arguments which the media refers to as “hate speech”.

To be sure, at least a few of the outlets shut down probably argue from a position of race superiority.  However, I keep seeing the mainstream media making accusations that all the people being silenced right now deserve it due to “racism” and “calls for violence”, and I have yet to see them offer a single piece of evidence supporting any of these claims.

A recent article from the hyper-leftist Salon is a perfect example of the hypocrisy and madness of the social justice left in action. It’s titled ‘Twitch, YouTube And Reddit Punished Trump And Other Racists – And That’s A Great Thing For Freedom’. Here are a few excerpts with my commentary:

Salon: “Freedom is impossible for everyone when viewpoints prevail that dehumanize anyone. And it appears that several big social media platforms agree, judging from recent bans or suspensions of racist accounts across YouTube, Twitch, and Reddit.”

My Response

Freedom cannot be taken away by another person’s viewpoint. Every individual has complete control over whether or not they “feel” marginalized and no amount of disapproval can silence a person unless they allow it to. If you are weak minded or weak willed, then grow a backbone instead of expecting the rest of the world to stay quiet and keep you comfortable.

Remember when the political left was the bastion of the free speech debate against the censorship of the religious right? Well, now the leftists have a religion (or cult) of their own and they have changed their minds on the importance of open dialogue.

Salon: “For those who are dehumanized — whether by racism, sexism, classism, ableism, anti-LGBTQ sentiment or any other prejudices — their voices are diminished or outright silenced, and in the process they lose their ability to fully participate in our democracy. We all need to live in a society where hate is discouraged, discredited and whenever possible scrubbed out completely from our discourse. This doesn’t mean we should label all ideas as hateful simply because we disagree with them; to do that runs afoul of President Dwight Eisenhower’s famous statement, “In a democracy debate is the breath of life”. When actual hate enters the dialogue, however, it acts as a toxic smoke in the air of debate, suffocating some voices and weakening the rest.”

My Response

Where do I begin with this steaming pile of woke nonsense? First, it’s impossible to be “dehumanized” by another person’s opinion of you. If they are wrong, or an idiot, then their opinion carries no weight and should be ignored. Your value is not determined by their opinion. No one can be “silenced” by another person’s viewpoint unless they allow themselves to be silenced. If they are right about you and are telling you something you don’t want to hear, then that is your problem, not theirs. No one in this world is entitled to protection from other people’s opinions. Period.

It should not surprise anyone though that leftists are actively attempting to silence all dissent while accusing conservatives of stifling free speech. This is what they do; they play the victim while they seek to victimize. They have no principles. They do not care about being right, they only care about “winning”.

Under the 1st Amendment, ALL speech is protected, including what leftists arbitrarily label “hate speech”. Unless you are knowingly defaming a specific person or threatening specific violence against a specific person, your rights are protected. Interpreting broad speech as a “threat” because of how it might make certain people feel simply will not hold up in a court of law. Or at least, it should not hold up…

Political leftists have declared themselves the arbiters of what constitutes “hate speech”, the problem is they see EVERYTHING that is conservative as racist, sexist, misogynistic, etc. No human being or group of human beings is pure enough or objective enough to sit in judgment of what encompasses fair or acceptable speech. Therefore, all speech must be allowed in order to avoid tyranny.

If an idea is unjust, then by all means, the political left has every right to counter it with their own ideas and arguments. “Scrubbing” all opposing ideas from the public discourse is unacceptable, and this is exactly what the social justice movement is attempting to do. If you want to erase these ideas from your own home, or your personal website, then you are perfectly within your rights to do so, but you DO NOT have the right to assert a monopoly on speech and the political narrative.

Generally, when a group of zealots is trying to erase opposing ideals from the discussion, it usually means their own ideals don’t hold up to scrutiny. If your ideology is so pure and correct in its form, there should be no need to trick the masses into accepting it by scrubbing the internet.

Finally, America was not founded as a democracy, we are a republic, and with good reason. A democracy is tyranny by the majority; a collectivist hell where power is centralized into the hands of whoever can con 51% of the population to their side. Marxists and communists love the idea of “democracy” and speak about it often because they think they are keenly equipped to manipulate the masses and form a majority. But, in a republic, individual rights are protected REGARDLESS of what the majority happens to believe at any given time, and this includes the right to free speech.

In the same breath, Solon pretends to value free discussion, then calls for the destruction of free speech and opposing ideas in the name of protecting people’s thin-skinned sensitivities. In other words, free speech is good, unless it’s a viewpoint they don’t like, then it becomes hate speech and must be suppressed…

Keep reading at Alt-Market by clicking here.

Practical Self Reliance: 50+ Ways to Use Yarrow

An earlier post on elderflower mentioned its use in combination with yarrow and mint to fight fevers. Yarrow grows prolifically in our garden, filling in the edges and between rows. In damp conditions, it makes for a pretty soft ground cover — enough so that the kids want a yarrow yard. In this post from Practical Self Reliance, Ashley Adamant discusses many more uses for yarrow – 50+ Ways to Use Yarrow.

Yarrow is a common wild herb that’s useful in both the kitchen and medicine cabinet.  This list of yarrow uses covers everything from biscuits and beer to salves, soaps, and tinctures.

Yarrow uses

Yarrow’s always seemed magical to me, and I remember lounging in my room as a teenager, reading through 16th-century herbals and dreaming of the day I’d spot it in real life.  (Yes really, that’s actually how I spent my free time as a teenager.  I know, I’m such a nerd.)

The problem is, while yarrow grows ALMOST everywhere, I happened to grow up in one of the very few places outside of yarrow’s range…the Mojave Desert.  Now on my homestead in Vermont, it grows in every untended nook and cranny.  We’ll see our first yarrow blooms in early summer, and it’ll keep right on producing through fall, meaning I have a virtually unlimited supply of yarrow (even leaving plenty for the bees).

Yarrow Identification

Though yarrow is incredibly common, so are its look-alikes.  Once you’ve actually spotted yarrow, you’ll agree that the look-alikes aren’t really all that close.  There are lots of low growing herbs with white flower clusters, but yarrow really stands out in a crowd.

Start with the flowers.  They’re white, but not really.  If you were looking at paint samples, they’d have the name “Victorian white” or some other fancy title, because in reality, they’re a muted off white color.

Yarrow leaves are also distinctive, and there’s a reason its species name is “millefolium” or thousands of leaves.  The leaves are feathery, as opposed to the more distinct leaves of Queen Anne’s Lace and other white flowering herbs.

Identifying Yarrow by the feathery leaves and distinct white flower clusters

Make sure you’re 100% certain on your identification, as there are white-flowering plants within its range that are deadly toxic (namely, Water Hemlock).  To my eye, they don’t look anything alike, but as an optimistic teenager desperate to find yarrow in some stray ditch…I may well have made that mistake.

Read this guide to Yarrow Identification for more information.

Benefits of Yarrow

So why is yarrow so magical?  Many reasons!

A wide geographic distribution means yarrow made it into the traditional pharmacopeias in Asia, Europe and the new world.  Yarrow is used in everything from food and drink, to salves and tinctures, to ritual divination and ceremony.

This quick list will give you some ideas, but is by no means comprehensive:

  • Stops Bleeding
  • Skin Toner & Astringent
  • Bitter Tonic
  • Treats Cold and Flu
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Improves Circulation
  • Induces Sweating
  • Reduces Fever

Be aware that while it’s generally considered safe, individual reactions are always possible.  It’s also contraindicated for pregnant women, as it can induce menstrual flow and possibly increase the risk of miscarriage.

Recipes for Cooking with Yarrow

While yarrow is perhaps best known for its uses as a medicinal, both internally and externally, it’s also a tasty culinary herb.  It’s not the only one of course, and many culinary herbs (thyme, sage, rosemary, and more) are potent medicinals, taken in the right dosage at the right time.

These yarrow recipes incorporate a small amount of yarrow, just enough to flavor the dish without reaching a “medicinal” dosage.

Recipes for Yarrow Beverages

Believe it or not, hops are actually a relatively recent brewing ingredient.  Before hops became common in beer, herbal beers, or gruits, were all the rage.  Yarrow was one of the most common brewing ingredients, and it was known to create an extremely intoxicating brew.

While hops are a sedative, that dulls the senses and slows the sex drive, yarrow based brews do just the opposite.  There’s a reason yarrow beers (and meads) were popular historically because they lifted you up and sent you home ready to put a few buns in the oven (if you catch my drift).

Our own homemade yarrow beer

Our own homemade yarrow beer

If you’re interested in learning to brew with herbs, specifically yarrow, I’d highly recommend the book Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers, which takes you through literally thousands of years of herbal brewing tradition (with recipes for each herb discussed).

The Wildcrafting Brewer likewise includes recipes for yarrow brews and approaches the subject more from a foraging perspective (rather than a historical one).

While the traditions have but been forgotten, a few brewers keep the traditions alive.  Here are a few yarrow beverage recipes to wet your whistle, both alcoholic and non.

Harvesting Flowering Tops for Yarrow Tincture

Harvesting Flowering Tops

Yarrow Uses for First Aid

My most common use of yarrow is as a first-aid treatment for bleeding.  Yarrow tincture in a spray bottle is a powerful astringent, and I’ve watched it pucker closed wounds in seconds.

I always keep a small spray bottle on hand just in case, and it’s worked wonders on all manner of small (but persistent) topical injuries.  It’s also made into styptic powder and DIY quick clot, for similar purposes.

Homemade Yarrow Tincture (Alcohol extract of yarrow)

Over the longer term, something like a yarrow salve is wonderful for treating injuries and promoting healing.  It’s also commonly employed as an itch remedy topically.

Making a yarrow salve is no different than making any herbal healing salve, and it comes together quickly with just a few ingredients.

Yarrow has been used for millenia to stop bleeding and treat minor wounds. A healing salve helps preserve the herb, and ensures that it's on hand when needed.

Yarrow has been used for millennia to stop bleeding and treat minor wounds. A healing salve helps preserve the herb, and ensures that it’s on hand when needed.

More yarrow uses for first aid:

Yarrow Herbal Remedies

Beyond yarrows use as a topical first aid remedy, it’s also commonly used in preventative remedies and internal medicine…

 

Continue reading at Practical Self Reliance.

TMIN: Everyone in America Needs to Be a Prepper in 2020

Michael Snyder at The Most Important News writes Why Every Person In America Needs To Become A Prepper During The Second Half Of 2020, citing what he sees as the events ahead.

It has been on my heart to write this article for a few days, but I knew that it wouldn’t be easy to write.  2020 has already been one of the worst years in modern U.S. history, and it looks like the next six months are going to be extremely challenging as well.  But even though most Americans are expecting that things will return to “normal” in 2021 and beyond, the truth is that the “perfect storm” that we are witnessing is only in the very early stages.  All of the old cycles are ending, all of the bubbles are bursting, and we are starting to experience the consequences of decades of incredibly foolish decisions.  So even though the remaining months of 2020 will be chaotic, the truth is that things are going to get progressively worse as the years move along.  That means that you should use this period of time to prepare for what is ahead of us, because at some point the window of opportunity to prepare will be closed for good.

COVID-19 should have been a wake up call for all of us.  Lockdowns were implemented very suddenly once the virus started to spread in the U.S., and shortages of key items began to happen.  To this day, many retailers are still limiting the number of items that you can buy in certain categories.  Hopefully this has helped people to understand that if you have not stocked up in advance, you may not be able to go out and get what you need when a major crisis strikes.

During the initial stages of this pandemic, a lot of people ended up being stuck at home without enough supplies.  In the event of a truly historic emergency, you can certainly survive without toilet paper, but if you run out of food you could find yourself in big trouble quite quickly.

The good news is that COVID-19 is not going to kill us all.  About half a million people around the world have died so far, and the final death toll will be a lot lower than the tens of millions that died during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 to 1920.

But if our society was extremely ill-prepared for a pandemic of this nature, what is going to happen when a pandemic that is much more severe hits us?

Scientists assure us that it is just a matter of time before a killer plague sweeps across the planet, and the Bible tells us that there will be “pestilences” in the last days.  If you find yourself isolated at home for an extended period of time as millions of others are dying from a virus, will you be able to survive on what you have already stored up?

If not, you need to get to work.

Big economic problems are ahead as well.  So far in 2020, more than 47 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits, more than 100,000 businesses have permanently closed their doors, and it is being projected that U.S. GDP will decline by 46.6 percent on an annualized bases during the second quarter.  Those are absolutely disastrous numbers, but so far trillions of dollars of emergency government spending has helped to ease the pain.

But those emergency measures were only meant to get us through a few months, and it is now becoming clear that this new economic depression will be with us for a very long time to come.

Of course deteriorating economic conditions will fuel even more civil unrest.  We have seen rioting, looting, arson and violence in city after city, and much more civil unrest is on the horizon.

If you live in one of our major urban areas, you may want to move while you still can.  Due to a huge surge in demand, property prices in the most desirable small towns and rural areas are already starting to go through the roof.

On top of everything else, food shortages are starting to occur all over the globe.  According to the head of the UN, we are on the verge of seeing “unimaginable devastation and suffering around the world”…

The U.N. chief on Thursday warned the largest gathering of world leaders since the coronavirus pandemic began that it will cause “unimaginable devastation and suffering around the world,” with historic levels of hunger and famine and up to 1.6 billion people unable to earn a living unless action is taken now.

Giant swarms of locusts the size of major cities are devouring crops in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, African Swine Fever has already killed about one-fourth of all the pigs in the entire world, and crazy weather patterns have been playing havoc with crop production all over the planet.

And now on top of everything else COVID-19 is greatly disrupting food distribution systems all over the world.

We have never seen so many severe threats to global food production occur simultaneously, and the Bible clearly tells us that there will be “famine” in the last days.

Meanwhile, a major war could erupt in the Middle East at any moment.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that he will begin the process of annexing portions of Judea and Samaria in July, and Israel’s Arab neighbors have promised a very forceful response if that actually happens.

The region has constantly been on the precipice of war for years, and this could potentially be the trigger that finally causes it to happen.

If everything that I have discussed so far wasn’t enough, the planet that we all live on is becoming increasingly unstable.  We have witnessed a number of very alarming earthquakes this week, and a truly catastrophic event could literally happen at any moment.

As my regular readers already know, I am particularly concerned about seismic activity on the west coast and about the potential for a historic earthquake along the New Madrid fault zone.

But even considering everything that I just shared with you, there is no other time in human history that I would have rather been alive than right now.

All of human history has been building up to this point, and we are so fortunate to be living during this moment.

However, it is going to be exceedingly difficult to thrive during the historic events that are ahead if you have not made any preparations for what is coming.

I realize that things may seem very chaotic now, but the truth is that this is your window of opportunity to prepare.

I would take full advantage of that opportunity, because the clock is ticking.