Sunday, March 25, 2012

Episode 94, Constitutional Quizzery

Tom Baugh, the unofficial but favorite essayist of The Shrugging Out Podcast, recently crafted a thought-provoking piece, Constitutional Quizzery.

In the piece, Baugh challenges the notion that what is happening today is contrary to the Constitution. And he produces stark evidence that the oft-proposed remedy to unchecked federal growth, a popular uprising led by a modern-day militia, is actually forbidden by that over-worshipped parchment.

The principles of some of the founders, however, remain valid, of course. Instead of a frontal assault on a federal government whose powers are still growing, Baugh argues again for a more patient strategy of waiting until the leviathan's power is sapped by the upcoming economic and social crash.

My analogy? In June of 1812, Napoleon invaded Russia with almost 500,000 men. The Russians tried to stop him from reaching Moscow, but they could not. They did, however, leave the capitol stripped of food and other supplies desperately needed by Napoleon's Grand Armee', which had spent itself battling its way into Moscow. Forced to retreat in the bitter cold of the Russian winter, by the time Napoleon's army left Russia, only 25,000 men were left.

Is this a better strategy given where we are?

- - - - - - - - -

Monday, March 19, 2012

Episode 93, In the News, Real and Phony

Is the news we hear about every day real, or phony?

A lot of it is phony--the result of the mainstream media trying to control the news cycle, or more often another organization, such as the White House, trying to control the news cycle by using its trusted assistants in the mainstream media.

Controlling the news cycle is about laying down the limits of debate, the guardrails between the allowed spectrum of views. It's also about laying down the smart, hip, modern, and "correct" point of view on the subject at hand.

There are 365 minor news cycles and 52 major news cycles in a year. If you want to shape public opinion, you only need to control a majority of them, especially when a major event such as a presidential election draws near. It's obviously easier to do this when the media are on your side.

In this show we talk about the art and science of propaganda, and we cover a selection of current media topics from the point of view of how they are portrayed by the mainstream media, and perceived by the population. Are they real news, or phony news designed to shape public opinion?

- - - - - - - -

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Baugh: Constitutional Quizzery

(Just a link, but an important one)

Tom Baugh reminds us that we can't fix the problem until we understand the root cause. Read and consider carefully.

The counter-revolution against 1776 is feasting upon itself. Be patient. Its self-destruction will bring the end more surely than any direct attack.

Withdraw your support for the forces of tyranny. Fashion more liberty and self-reliance for yourself and your family. Dodge the worst, help the people you choose, and be ready. God willing and with our help, Free America will follow.

- - - - - -

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Episode 92, Doomsday Preppers

Have you seen the Nat Geo cable show, Doomsday Preppers?

When I first heard about it, I thought a couple of things. One, prepping has started to go mainstream. Two, it will make preppers, and preparing for disaster, look stupid.

Well, having seen a half-dozen shows, stupid wins. It's obvious what the show's producers and the Nat Geo brass are hoping for--a big tune in factor from "regular people" who want to feel superior while watching crazy fools do dumb things.

And the show delivers, from the wacky "Party Girl" in Houston (pictured) to the wildly overweight and unfit "Tennessee hillbilly", looking ridiculous putting imaginary bullets through their pet cat's brain stem (Party Girl) and brandishing scary-looking "assault rifles" while guarding remote rural properties (the hillbilly). Oh dear.

The show depicts each prepper in the extreme--people who surely have multiple and overlapping reasons for prepping for TEOTWAWKI are portrayed as one-dimensional kooks with a single overriding fear. And the most extreme fears at that, such as a change in the rotational axis of the Earth causing massive earthquakes, tsunamis, and climate change.

The fact is that some of the people portrayed on the show have perfectly valid reasons for prepping, and absent the out-of-context remarks and visuals deliberately designed to make them look crazy, the show might actually promote reasonable precaution-taking by the Average Joe. But as structured the show will probably just provoke a few laughs and a few eye-rolls before it runs out of gas when it becomes predictably repetitive.

Meanwhile, those of us who have serious concerns will continue to prepare seriously, with an eye towards achieving the liberty and self-reliance promised by the tough road of "shrugging out", and how shrugging out is a "two-fer": You get the self-protection of prepping, and you get more liberty in your life as you distance yourself from the "dependency oxcart" that dominates modern American society.

- - - - - - -