Monthly Archives: February 2012

Liberty- Do you want it or not? pt. 1

We often think of liberty as something associated with self-reliance and preparedness.  It seems to be an easy concept.  We are free.  Right?  What really is the definition of freedom?  What is the difference between liberty and captivity?  Is there anywhere in between?

Liberty is a natural state for human beings.  We want to be free.  This does not mean we live in a free society.  We often think of freedom as being associated with democracy.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  There is a saying, it goes something like this,

Democracy is like two wolf and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner.

You see democracy is ruled by majority.  There is not consent for the minority.  The minority’s rights are not protected in this instance.  By definition this is way a democracy works.  Majority rule does not account for the minority.  This is why we have a republic.  It insures the rights of the minority.  The majority can not make a law which infringe on the rights of the minority.

Liberty is a personal thing.  Your definition of liberty is different from mine.  I believe as long as your definition of liberty does not infringe on my definition then all will be well.  I think that is where we get into trouble.  You make think different from me.  As long as we have an honest debate then we can resolve most issues.  Where I think we get into trouble is I think you ought to not be doing what you are doing.  Remember, as long as what you do does not infringe on my rights then I am fine.

We often hear about rights and how they were violated, but we as a general rule forget where they come from.  I think the big issue are those to look to government to grant right or grant freedom.  They can not.  Government is only there to retroactively give retribution to those whose rights have been violated.  They can not create them.  We have to understand that we are given rights by our human nature.  I think most would agree that you have a right to live.  Government can not grant you life.  It can not give you life.  It is only there to protect your life or pay retribution to one who took your life.  If government could grant you life, by default it could decide whose life not to grant and take away life.  The purpose of government is to defend rights when they have been violated.

We next have to look at liberty and the results it has upon us, the individual.  With liberty and rights comes opportunity.  If everyone has the same playing field available it allows all to compete.  This does not mean everyone gets to hit a home run.  Can you hit?  Do you want to play?  Can you see the ball?  Many factors go into hitting a home run.  In this scenario everyone gets to play on the same field but what happens is up to the individual.  Just as in life, if the playing field is level, the outcomes will be different.  This is a basic understanding of liberty.  Each individual gets to choose how they want to play the game of life,  you can hit a home run or not even get up to bat the ball.  But you do get to live with the consequences.

With that each person must be the one to defend liberty.  It is up to us to preach its virtue.  Since liberty is a personal issue for everyone, everyone must be the one to defend it.  By its definition we can not allow government to defend them.  Government enacts retribution when they are violated but they are not the defender of the rights.  We are the defender of the right.

Stay tuned for part 2 where I will discuss

  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Getting everything you want
  • “pretty” liberty
  • Victimless liberty
  • The Liberty you hate
  • You are not born free

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother


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See post from yesterday.  I mistakenly put up the post for today yesterday.  Thanks for your support.  Please don’t forget to recommend this site to your friends.

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road A Little Smoother.

How to get your spouse to start prepping- part 2

Part 2

  1. Discuss the “better life” you want.  Talk about how you want to live the “better life” on less cost and how you want it for your family.  You should be able to show your spouse the ways to live a better life on less money.  Show them how you plan to go about improving the family’s lifestyle.
  2. Start with a small plan and work from there.  Don’t start off with, ‘Hey we should move to the country and hole up for armageddon’.  That’s a sure fire way to not go anywhere.  Start with a small plan and work the plan.  Show how it makes your life better.  Move to other things as the easy ones fall into place.  Remember- to walk a mile starts with one step.
  3. Offer to do the first step  with them.  You can start with one or more.  By showing you support them, it shows you care about the concerns they have.  Doing it together promotes unity.
  4. Have your spouse suggest a second step.  Do the second step together no matter what you think of it.  You will not always have the same ideas, but by doing it with them it shows you value their opinion.
  5. Discuss how you want to spend time with them.  Show how you want to spend time now not when you are old and can’t do anything together.  Doing things together is how you build your family unit.  Caring about one another is how we show them they are important.  Getting our of debt and saving money will enable you to spend more years together.
  6. Get them to talk about their fears and REALLY listen to them.  They are the most important person to you.  Without them you will not be able to succeed.  Find out about them.
  7. Be positive.  The future is bright.  Show them it can be brighter.  There may be some tough times ahead, but you want to thrive during those times.  Prepping is a little like insurance.  You buy it hoping you will never need it, but if you do you are glad you have it.
  8. Don’t expect to be perfect in everything you do.  You will make mistakes.  Learn from them and move on.  Do not expect your spouse to suddenly change their mind and be 100% on board.  It took you time to realize what is going on.  Give you spouse some time also.
  9. Come up with a long term vision and what it means to the family.  You are doing this so your family will be better prepared.  Preparedness is about the family not about an individual.
  10. Share this blog with them.  Sometimes people need an outside opinion.  They need to hear it from someone else other than you.

Remember to convey at all times, what you are trying to do is improve your families lifestyle.  You care about them and the conditions around them.

In the comments, what other ways have you had your spouse come on board?

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

How to get your spouse to start prepping- part 1

This is brought about by my own personal experience.  I have had some trouble convincing my spouse to become as prepared as I would like.  Not that she does not want to be prepared, but to what extent.  I am on a path which is different from hers.  I wanted to go over some things which have helped me get her on board.

  1. Focus on debt elimination.  Debt is a burden in all families.  I am sure your spouse knows of the crushing feeling of having debt.  By eliminating this your financial and emotional well-being will be better.  Even if this is the only thing you do for your first year, do it.  Knowing debt is cancer will improve your ability to acquire the preparedness stuff later.
  2. Never demand to do it your way.  I have done much research and on most things know which way to go.  The best way to show someone how to do something is to do it.  We pull people into doing things, we never push.  You want to lead them into the correct idea.  The best thing you can do is show your spouse how happy you are when the family is prepared.
  3. Always work as a team.  Try to get things done as a unit.  This in not to say you may have to do some things on your own.  But try to arrive at a decision together.
  4. Have your partner do your weaker items.  There are things you can not do or do very well.  Have your spouse or children do them.  This will get them involved and have some stake in the outcome.  Showing them you can not do everything says you are willing to involve everyone to get the job done.  This will show you care about those around you.
  5. Never put what you “want to do” over what needs to be done.  A sure fire way to get them to put the brakes on a project is to show preference for your own things.  You may think you need a gun, but you don’t have a black out kit.  Remember you are a team.  Make a list of all the things you need and prioritize them.  Go down the list in order.  Every so often you will have to rearrange.  This way you will both be in sync on the next project you have to accomplish.
  6. Live the way you want them to live.  Show them how happy you are in your preparedness lifestyle.  Let them see you in action.  If you become happier and a more supportive spouse, they will be open to your actions.  I know since I started living a more prepared lifestyle, I have seen the changes in my wife.  She now thinks about gardening (she is reading Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew).  She has her own bed and is interested in planting for herself.
  7. Ask “what if questions.”  Ask what if the lights went out for 24 hours?  What if we had a boil water advisory?  What if I lost my job?  Then listen to the answers.  Do not talk.  Do not offer suggestions.  LISTEN.  You will learn more about your spouse than your ever thought you knew.  Discuss with them the answers they gave you.  Maybe you are both on the same page but your spouse is just not quite sure where to start.
  8. Explain to them how having food and savings is a great investment.  Food goes up in price, by buying now instead of later you are saving money.  Having extra food saves you time since you do not have to go to the store as frequently.  Having money in the bank allows you to make smarter purchases.

Part 2 is for next time.  One of the greatest blessing in life is to have a cohesive team planning for the future.  Nothing makes me happier than when WE are on the same page and moving forward to a common goal.

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother


Why we Prepare.

There is an old fable from Aesop called the “Ant and the Grasshopper.”

It goes a little like this (I am paraphrasing).

There once was a grasshopper and an ant.  Each were going about their business.  The ant was busily putting away food for he knew winter was coming.  The grasshopper would say to him, ‘Ant, why don’t you play with me, there is much abundance now and winter is not coming for a long time?’

To which the ant would reply, “Grasshopper, of course there is much now, for it is summer and the fields are ready for harvest.  But winter will come soon and you will be left in the cold and have no food.  A ask of you to prepare now while it is not too late.”

Meanwhile, the grasshopper went about his merry way frolicking in the fields and gallivanting about.  The ant was also busy doing what he does, putting away food for the long winter.  Every once in a while the ant would go and play, but soon he realized there was work to be done.

As fall started to approach the night became a little cooler and the food became a little more scarce.  And yet the grasshopper would say to the ant, “Why don’t you come and play a little?  There is still much food available.”  The ant would shake his head and realize the grasshopper was only doing what grasshoppers do.  Meanwhile the ant continued to put away food for the winter.

Soon it was almost winter and very cold outside.  Most of the food had died and the grasshopper was left outside shivering in the cold.  He soon knocked on the ants door and asked if he could have some food.  To which the ant replied, “i am sorry grasshopper, we have prepared all year-long and we only have enough food for ourselves.”  During that night the grasshopper succumbed to the harsh, cold night.  In the morning the ants went outside, scooped the grasshopper up and put him in their food storage.

I have changed the ended to better reflect what real life is like.  All of us ants in the world can not possibly help every grasshopper.  It is up to us to prepare for ourselves and family first and then to try and prepare for others.

The lesson in the fable is those who don’t prepare die.  The grasshopper dies.  We have changed the fable to reflect a more PC culture, not realizing the true nature of the grasshopper.  Be an ant.

I ask you through your actions to show everyone that as an ant you can change for the better.  Your life will become better whether systems break down or not.  Realize no matter what you do, what you do matters.

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

Why don’t you have a Garden?

What is your excuse for not having a garden?  What ever it is, it isn’t a good one.  We can all plant something.  I found this quote by Spencer Kimball

Grow all the food that you feasibly can on your own property.  Berry bushes, grapevines, fruit trees-plant them if your climate is right for their growth.  Grow vegetables and eat them from your own yard. Even those residing in apartments or condominiums can generally grow a little food in pots and planters.  Study the best methods of providing your own food.  Make your garden…neat and attractive as well as productive.

It is interesting he says to “grow ALL the food you feasibly can”.  Hey there everybody ALL means ALL.  This means to me we should be plowing up our backyard and planting a garden.  To me it doesn’t look like he gives any excuses, like I live in an apartment.  The point is to start to take responsibility for your own life.  Since you feed yourself everyday then you should make sure you have a way to be able to produce some of your own food.  Look I know its not easy, but quit doing the things you shouldn’t be doing(like dorking off on the internet, worrying about your neighbors life, gossiping) and be productive.

Gardening has many benefits-

  • Preparedness for food supply disruptions.  Have a secondary food source allows for a partial self-reliance.  It is not important to produce all of your own food, but to supply a portion of it.  Having a garden is like having money in the bank.  If you lose your job you have food storage, money in the bank and a garden.  You now have three different ways of self-reliance.
  • Improved nutrition.  In this day and age where most of our food seems to be processed, having fresh food is even more important.  I know my health has been better by the food I eat from my backyard.  I had more lettuce this year than I could eat so I gave some away.  I received feedback on how long the lettuce lasted.  Some said it lasted almost one month.  The lettuce you get in the store barely lasts a week.  By eating from your own garden you are retaining many of the nutrients lost to transportation.
  • You reap what you sow.  This is a valuable lesson in gardening.  It is great to have a large harvest after the hard work you have put in spring and summer.  Fall comes around and you have all of this great food.  We still are eating the fruits and vegetables we canned from the summer.  What a great feeling to open a can of peaches and taste summer all over again.
  • Gardening is work. I think people underestimate the value of work.  Most things in life are not handed to them, they must work for them.  I do not know anyone who has achieved anything without substantial work.  Those who have great gardens have been working on them for years.
  • It teaches you not to be idle.  He who is idle gets nothing done.  It is ok to learn and grow in knowledge, but if we do not apply it we really have not learned.

Gardening is one of the things I think fall under the Food Tenet.  Providing some source of food other than the store provides and added measure of security.  I encourage you to start with a pot of peppers and go from there.  It is like a gateway drug, once you start you can’t stop.  There is nothing more fulfilling than providing your own food.

What type of garden are you planning this year?

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother


Are You Preparing for Nothing?

What happens if we do all these preparations and nothing goes wrong?

I am made fun of sometimes for being prepared.  Mostly people will say “Are you one of those survival types?”  NO.  Number one I don’t like the word survivalist, I like being prepared.  There are no tin foil hatters involved with preparedness.  It sounds more prudent. If nothing goes wrong then I am ahead is how I see it.

When you prepare you are ready for what may eventually happen.  Why do you carry a spare tire in your car?  Because the zombies might eat one and then you will have another?  NO.  You carry a spare tire because things happen.  We can’t control everything, but we can prepare for eventuality.  You see being prepared is not something new.

Everyone up until your grandparents stored food.  Why?  They knew this winter would be lean and what if next years harvest was not as big.  Well, what if Chile has a bad harvest?  What if prices go up next year?  They do go up you know.

You see being prepared has many advantages over not being prepared.  If our car blows a tire, we can change it and be on our way.  If we want some peaches in winter we can go downstairs and get some.  When wheat goes from $7 to $11 in a month, we are glad we stored a little extra.  When the water heater breaks, we are glad we have some money in savings.  When our wife dies, we are glad we have life insurance.

Being prepared is not always about zombies.  It is about being prudent.  Anticipating what may happen and what has happened in the past.   We know things go in cycles and we prepare for those things to happen again.  That is why we don’t prepare for events.  We prepare for systems of support to break down.  It is why I focus on the 5 tenets.  Food, water, shelter, energy, sanitation.  These are the systems which may break down.

Realize that being prepared is about being human.  Nothing gives someone more guilt than knowing they could have done something but didn’t.

Remember your preparedness plan is your own.  You are the master of your own destiny.  I am here to give suggestions as I see them.

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother