Food Storage – Brought to you from Uncle’s Value Farm

Food Storage

Hey Uncle!

What can we do to prepare for what’s coming?

I called my stockbroker today and asked him what I should be buying.

He replied, “If the current administration is in office much longer,
canned goods and ammunition are your best bet.”

Why would someone who is normal and sane store food?  There has always been plenty of food.  When you run low, you just run out to the grocery store and get more.  There are thousands of choices from all over the world just sitting on the shelves waiting for us to select which one we are in the mood for today.  For dinner tonight we can have fresh fish that was caught this morning from an ocean 2,000 miles away, along with fresh vegetables from a farm in another state.  Food is available fresh, frozen, dried, or canned.  We can have as much as we can afford of any type of food we desire.

There has always been plenty.  Won’t there always be plenty?

We consider ourselves to be pretty average, normal, reasonably sane people.  Yet we have a well stocked pantry.  My father was born in 1906 and he remembered The Great Depression.  He taught his sons to have at least a 1-year supply of everything at all times.  When he went on hunting trips he would literally take enough food, water, medicine, etc. to last for 6 months in case he got stuck somewhere.  My father’s DC-3 cargo plane crashed in the Amazon.  He was there for close to a year, and had to subsist on stuff we wouldn’t even think of as food.  His experiences during The Great Depression and in the Amazon taught him to plan ahead.  He always ensured his family had everything they might need, no matter what happened.  Dad believed in being prepared.

Even if the price of food does not go up significantly (which it will because the price of food and fuel are inseparable), it is a good idea to have a good supply of staples put away in case something unforeseen happens.  There are plenty of natural disasters that can disrupt our ability to obtain food and drinkable water.  Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes, etc. can be devastating if we are unprepared.  There are also plenty of manmade disasters that can achieve the same result.  President Obama declared that the price of fuel will “necessarily skyrocket” then put all kinds of onerous regulations in place to ensure that it will.  Legislation that directly impacts the price of food has been enacted as well by the Obama Administration.  The cost of living is high, and going up.

The fewer people who know that you have put away food, the more likely you are to still have it when you really need it.  Only the people in your household should be aware of what you have.  In times of disaster, if you choose to share with extended family members, friends and neighbors, you always have the option to do so.  If others know pre-disaster that you have what they need, you won’t have it for long.

Do not buy anything for storage that you do not currently use or like.  For instance, some people store wheat.  I know a man who is a survivalist.  To prepare for whichever disaster may occur he bought a thousand pounds of wheat.  In time the weevil eggs in the wheat hatched out and ate some of it.  The mice got into it and polished off whatever the weevils didn’t get.  There was no planning of exactly how the wheat would be used, since he did not have anything with which to grind it into flour.  He has since purchased all sorts of interesting stuff, such as freeze dried corn, which no one will ever eat because it tastes horrible.  You have to admire a man who works hard to ensure his family will not suffer from starvation, but it’s better to do some research first so you can avoid making the same mistakes.  Most “survivalist” or “emergency food storage” items are things that no one likes and they cost a fortune.  The best way to prepare for bad times is to store the products that your family already consumes and rotate the inventory so you’re always consuming the oldest.

For canned goods the easiest way is with a food storage rack.  The newest cans go in the top.  When you want a can of something you take it from the bottom.  At Canracks.com you can purchase the plans for $15 so you can make your own out of MDF or plywood.  Most of the pre-made racks are expensive, such as those from Shelf Reliance.  If you are not handy with tools and do not feel confident tackling this type of do-it-yourself project, get the pre-made racks.  It is much easier to rotate your inventory with a can rack designed for that purpose than to try to move boxes of canned goods around.

All grains have weevils.  When you purchase flour, whether it’s wheat, corn, barley or rice flour, it needs to be put in the freezer for 2 weeks to kill the weevil eggs.  The same freezing time is used for whole grains.  At the end of that time it can be stored indefinitely at room temperature.  Ditto for all products made from grains, such as pasta.

All types of dried beans, dried peas and popcorn can be stored indefinitely at room temperature in a container that keeps out the mice and bugs.  No freezing necessary.

Do not purchase any cans with dents in them.  All cans have concentric rings in the top or bottom of the can.  The purpose of those rings is to alert the consumer when the can has been compromised and the contents have gone bad.  When the contents of a can go bad gasses are produced, which push the rings out.  Any can that has the rings pushed out has to be thrown away.  If the can has a dent in it, the rings may not push out, even if there are gasses in the can.  If that happens you don’t know when there is a problem with the contents.

The dates on cans are put there so the manufacturers don’t get sued by people who consume the products years after purchase.  They are also on there to encourage consumers to purchase more product, even if the product they already have is still good.  Virtually everything that is canned is good years after the date on the can.

The same is true of may types of medicine.  Most are effective many years after the date stamped on the packaging.  (I’ve used burn ointment from a first aid kit from the Korean War, and taken theophyllin that was a decade past its expiration date.  Both worked fine.)

Sugar can be kept indefinitely at room temperature.  It never goes bad.

All spices are good indefinitely.

Butter lasts for years in the freezer.

Bread and baked goods can be frozen for months, then thawed when you’re ready to use.

Meat can be stored for years in the freezer as long as it is in sealed containers to prevent freezer burn.  If you put it in vacuum pack bags it will stay good up to 5 times longer than it does in regular Ziploc bags.  There is a food sealing machine at Costco for about $150 that is good for this purpose.

Potatoes must be cooked prior to being frozen.

Dehydrated potatoes, onions, celery, and carrots last for years at room temperature.

Tea and coffee are good indefinitely.

The Business Costco’s have many items that are not available at any other Costco, such as 25 lb. bags of peas, lentils, beans, and rice.

Put away extra bleach so it can be used to sterilize water if needed.  Store filtered bottled water so there is water for drinking and cooking, even if nothing comes out of the tap.  Ideally, it’s best if you have a source of fresh water on your property.  When you can, buy a large water filter, such as the types offered by Berkey Water Filters.  They can be purchased online at berkeyfilters.com.

Go through your refrigerator, freezer, cupboards, and cabinets.  Write down everything you have now, so you can make a complete list of items your family may need when going to the store isn’t an option.

In addition to canned and dehydrated food, store non-perishable goods that your family regularly uses, such as toilet paper, paper towels, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, paper plates, plastic cutlery, bar and liquid soaps, shampoo, Q-tips, toothpaste, toothbrushes, napkins, wax paper, dish soap, laundry soap, cleaning supplies, Lysol, bug spray, garbage bags, candles, Kleenex, light bulbs, Listerine, a couple of manual can openers, matches, shaving razors, and Ziploc bags.

Make sure you have a supply of all prescription medications you regularly take, plus a variety of over-the-counter medications, such as cold medicines, gauze, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, Neosporin, Band-aids, cough drops, aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, Bactine, iodine, etc.  If conditions outside of your home are such that you need to dip into your storage items, there may be sanitation issues to contend with as well.  For this reason, bactericides and fungicides are a good addition to your pantry.

If you have pets, stock up on their food and medicine as well.  Canned and dried cat food, dog food and birdseed have a very long shelf life.

If the purpose of stocking up the pantry is to prepare for a wide variety of possible emergency situations, the loss of power should also be considered.  The power grids in many cities are quite fragile, often running at the max of their capability, and brownouts/blackouts do occur.  If for some reason you do not have natural gas or electricity, how do you cook?  You can use bottled propane or your fireplace.  It’s a good idea to have cast iron pots and pans because they are designed for use in more rugged conditions, and can be placed directly into the fire without getting warped.   Also, entire meals can be cooked in hot embers by just being wrapped up in aluminum foil.  If wood is not readily available, keep a few full bottles of propane handy for heat and cooking.

Learn everything you can about growing, canning and storing your own food.

The best publication for learning about self reliance is Backwoods Home Magazine.  Jackie Clay is a regular contributor and is extremely knowledgeable on this subject.  I highly recommend getting a subscription to Backwoods Home.

Once you have a well stocked pantry you will feel more secure, knowing that you can care for yourself and your family without relying on anyone else.

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Food Storage

Hey Uncle!
What can we do to prepare for what’s coming?
I called my stockbroker today and asked him what I should be buying.
He replied, “If the current administration is in office much longer,
canned goods and ammunition are your best bet.”
Why would someone who is normal and sane store food?  There has always been plenty of food.  When you run low, you just run out to the grocery store and get more.  There are thousands of choices from all over the world just sitting on the shelves waiting for us to select which one we are in the mood for today.  For dinner tonight we can have fresh fish that was caught this morning from an ocean 2,000 miles away, along with fresh vegetables from a farm in another state.  Food is available fresh, frozen, dried, or canned.  We can have as much as we can afford of any type of food we desire.
There has always been plenty.  Won’t there always be plenty?
We consider ourselves to be pretty average, normal, reasonably sane people.  Yet we have a well stocked pantry.  My father was born in 1906 and he remembered The Great Depression.  He taught his sons to have at least a 1-year supply of everything at all times.  When he went on hunting trips he would literally take enough food, water, medicine, etc. to last for 6 months in case he got stuck somewhere.  My father’s DC-3 cargo plane crashed in the Amazon.  He was there for close to a year, and had to subsist on stuff we wouldn’t even think of as food.  His experiences during The Great Depression and in the Amazon taught him to plan ahead.  He always ensured his family had everything they might need, no matter what happened.  Dad believed in being prepared. 
Even if the price of food does not go up significantly (which it will because the price of food and fuel are inseparable), it is a good idea to have a good supply of staples put away in case something unforeseen happens.  There are plenty of natural disasters that can disrupt our ability to obtain food and drinkable water.  Tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes, etc. can be devastating if we are unprepared.  There are also plenty of manmade disasters that can achieve the same result.  President Obama declared that the price of fuel will “necessarily skyrocket” then put all kinds of onerous regulations in place to ensure that it will.  Legislation that directly impacts the price of food has been enacted as well by the Obama Administration.  The cost of living is high, and going up.
The fewer people who know that you have put away food, the more likely you are to still have it when you really need it.  Only the people in your household should be aware of what you have.  In times of disaster, if you choose to share with extended family members, friends and neighbors, you always have the option to do so.  If others know pre-disaster that you have what they need, you won’t have it for long.
Do not buy anything for storage that you do not currently use or like.  For instance, some people store wheat.  I know a man who is a survivalist.  To prepare for whichever disaster may occur he bought a thousand pounds of wheat.  In time the weevil eggs in the wheat hatched out and ate some of it.  The mice got into it and polished off whatever the weevils didn’t get.  There was no planning of exactly how the wheat would be used, since he did not have anything with which to grind it into flour.  He has since purchased all sorts of interesting stuff, such as freeze dried corn, which no one will ever eat because it tastes horrible.  You have to admire a man who works hard to ensure his family will not suffer from starvation, but it’s better to do some research first so you can avoid making the same mistakes.  Most “survivalist” or “emergency food storage” items are things that no one likes and they cost a fortune.  The best way to prepare for bad times is to store the products that your family already consumes and rotate the inventory so you’re always consuming the oldest.
For canned goods the easiest way is with a food storage rack.  The newest cans go in the top.  When you want a can of something you take it from the bottom.  At Canracks.com you can purchase the plans for $15 so you can make your own out of MDF or plywood.  Most of the pre-made racks are expensive, such as those from Shelf Reliance.  If you are not handy with tools and do not feel confident tackling this type of do-it-yourself project, get the pre-made racks.  It is much easier to rotate your inventory with a can rack designed for that purpose than to try to move boxes of canned goods around.
All grains have weevils.  When you purchase flour, whether it’s wheat, corn, barley or rice flour, it needs to be put in the freezer for 2 weeks to kill the weevil eggs.  The same freezing time is used for whole grains.  At the end of that time it can be stored indefinitely at room temperature.  Ditto for all products made from grains, such as pasta.
All types of dried beans, dried peas and popcorn can be stored indefinitely at room temperature in a container that keeps out the mice and bugs.  No freezing necessary. 
Do not purchase any cans with dents in them.  All cans have concentric rings in the top or bottom of the can.  The purpose of those rings is to alert the consumer when the can has been compromised and the contents have gone bad.  When the contents of a can go bad gasses are produced, which push the rings out.  Any can that has the rings pushed out has to be thrown away.  If the can has a dent in it, the rings may not push out, even if there are gasses in the can.  If that happens you don’t know when there is a problem with the contents.
The dates on cans are put there so the manufacturers don’t get sued by people who consume the products years after purchase.  They are also on there to encourage consumers to purchase more product, even if the product they already have is still good.  Virtually everything that is canned is good years after the date on the can.
The same is true of may types of medicine.  Most are effective many years after the date stamped on the packaging.  (I’ve used burn ointment from a first aid kit from the Korean War, and taken theophyllin that was a decade past its expiration date.  Both worked fine.)
Sugar can be kept indefinitely at room temperature.  It never goes bad.
All spices are good indefinitely.
Butter lasts for years in the freezer.
Bread and baked goods can be frozen for months, then thawed when you’re ready to use.
Meat can be stored for years in the freezer as long as it is in sealed containers to prevent freezer burn.  If you put it in vacuum pack bags it will stay good up to 5 times longer than it does in regular Ziploc bags.  There is a food sealing machine at Costco for about $150 that is good for this purpose.
Potatoes must be cooked prior to being frozen.  
Dehydrated potatoes, onions, celery, and carrots last for years at room temperature.
Tea and coffee are good indefinitely.
The Business Costco’s have many items that are not available at any other Costco, such as 25 lb. bags of peas, lentils, beans, and rice.
Put away extra bleach so it can be used to sterilize water if needed.  Store filtered bottled water so there is water for drinking and cooking, even if nothing comes out of the tap.  Ideally, it’s best if you have a source of fresh water on your property.  When you can, buy a large water filter, such as the types offered by Berkey Water Filters.  They can be purchased online at berkeyfilters.com.
Go through your refrigerator, freezer, cupboards, and cabinets.  Write down everything you have now, so you can make a complete list of items your family may need when going to the store isn’t an option.
In addition to canned and dehydrated food, store non-perishable goods that your family regularly uses, such as toilet paper, paper towels, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, paper plates, plastic cutlery, bar and liquid soaps, shampoo, Q-tips, toothpaste, toothbrushes, napkins, wax paper, dish soap, laundry soap, cleaning supplies, Lysol, bug spray, garbage bags, candles, Kleenex, light bulbs, Listerine, a couple of manual can openers, matches, shaving razors, and Ziploc bags.
Make sure you have a supply of all prescription medications you regularly take, plus a variety of over-the-counter medications, such as cold medicines, gauze, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, Neosporin, Band-aids, cough drops, aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, Bactine, iodine, etc.  If conditions outside of your home are such that you need to dip into your storage items, there may be sanitation issues to contend with as well.  For this reason, bactericides and fungicides are a good addition to your pantry.
If you have pets, stock up on their food and medicine as well.  Canned and dried cat food, dog food and birdseed have a very long shelf life.
If the purpose of stocking up the pantry is to prepare for a wide variety of possible emergency situations, the loss of power should also be considered.  The power grids in many cities are quite fragile, often running at the max of their capability, and brownouts/blackouts do occur.  If for some reason you do not have natural gas or electricity, how do you cook?  You can use bottled propane or your fireplace.  It’s a good idea to have cast iron pots and pans because they are designed for use in more rugged conditions, and can be placed directly into the fire without getting warped.   Also, entire meals can be cooked in hot embers by just being wrapped up in aluminum foil.  If wood is not readily available, keep a few full bottles of propane handy for heat and cooking.
Learn everything you can about growing, canning and storing your own food.
The best publication for learning about self reliance is Backwoods Home Magazine.  Jackie Clay is a regular contributor and is extremely knowledgeable on this subject.  I highly recommend getting a subscription to Backwoods Home.
Once you have a well stocked pantry you will feel more secure, knowing that you can care for yourself and your family without relying on anyone else.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Importance of the Concept of Honor

Civilization is a very thin veneer lightly glued to a substrate of ugly.  The ugly is mankind’s natural tendencies to do whatever it takes to get what he needs and wants.  Thousands and thousands of years of having incredible amounts of adversity – drought, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, extreme heat, extreme cold, earthquakes, tsunamis, forest fires, diseases, war, and injuries have taught man how to survive.  Until very recently people who had major medical problems simply suffered until they died.  Modern medicine is truly a miraculous thing.  Life was harsh and short for our ancestors.  They didn’t have the luxury of playing nice.  We still have their survival genes.  We see that when we are placed into a fight-or-flight situation.  Our heart rate goes up.  Adrenaline rushes through our veins, giving us the strength to fight or run.
What is the glue that holds down that thin veneer of civilization?  Honor
Enter the modern world.  We live in a man-made environment that shields us from the harsh realities of nature.  Think of it as a bubble of unreality.  We are seldom put into a situation of mortal danger.  We call this “civilization.”  For us to co-exist peacefully in our civilized society, we must live by a different set of rules than did our ancestors.  We must “play well with others.”  When we engage in trade with a stranger, such as when we buy a car, we must be able to assume that the other person will do exactly what he says he will do.  In this example, let’s say that we wish to purchase a used car.  We find one in the local newspaper or on Craigslist.  We call the seller and arrange to look it over.  The seller may or may not be completely honest about how well the car runs, but for the most part we have a pretty good idea of what we are getting.  We decide to purchase it, and agree on a price.  The seller signs the title, transferring ownership to the buyer when the buyer gives the seller the agreed upon purchase price.  In order for this transaction to be successful, both the buyer and the seller are operating under an unwritten rule – that each will conduct himself in an honorable fashion. 
Let’s look at another common everyday example.  Let’s say we would like to go to a restaurant for dinner.  We go in, sit down, and select what we would like from the menu.  We place our order, and the food is prepared and served.  Only after we have consumed the meal does the server present the bill for us to pay.  The honorable thing for us to do is to pay for the meal.  The dishonorable thing for us to do would be to walk out without paying.  This transaction occurs millions of times every day in this country.  It could not work in this order if a significant percentage of the people who ordered and consumed meals at restaurants failed to pay.  As a civilized society we work under the honor system.
For the most part, rural America understands this concept and applies it to everyday life much more often than urban America.  I’ll give you an example.  We live in Las Vegas, Nevada, a city of approximately 2,000,000 people.  When my wife and mother visited Thermopolis, Wyoming, a town of approximately 3,000 people, the culture shock was astounding.  They stopped at a gas station in Thermopolis to put gas into the tank of their car.  In Las Vegas there have been so many occurrences of people putting gas into their tank and driving off that all of the gas stations are pay first.  The pump will not operate until the gas station attendant has received payment or the pump itself is designed to accept your debit/credit card or cash.  Only when payment has been received or authorized will the pump operate.  When they stopped at the gas station in Thermopolis my wife had her cash out and was trying to hand it to the gas station attendant.  He looked at her like she had just dropped in from another planet.  He asked, “How do you know how much to pay when you don’t know how much gas the car will take?”  Pre-pay was a foreign concept that didn’t make any sense to him.  In Las Vegas all of the pumps are do-it-yourself so she was going for the pump handle to pump her own gas.  The gas station attendant (who bore a remarkable resemblance to Gomer Pyle) calmly told her that pumping the gas was his job.  He not only pumped the gas, he also checked the oil (pronounced awl in WY), and washed the windows at no extra charge.  Being from the city and having been ripped off by countless mechanics, my wife scrunched down and watched him from the driver’s seat as he “checked the oil,” fully expecting him to pull off one of the spark plug wires or do something else to create a problem that he could charge them for.  My mother, who grew up in Thermopolis, explained to my wife that people in Wyoming are honorable people.  If there was an issue, he would bring it to their attention but would never create a problem where none existed.   
On that same trip they were driving out on a desolate highway, 50 miles from the nearest town.  Right next to the highway was a honey stand.  The honey was in 3 different sized jars, all marked with a price.  Next to the many jars of honey on the table was a very large jar full of money.  There was no attendant.  The sign said it was an On Your Honor Honey Stand.  Choose the amount of honey you wished and leave payment in the big jar.  No attendant, no cameras, and no one around to see if you put money in the jar or just took all of the honey and the money jar.  They purchased a small jar of honey, leaving the money in the big jar, and drove off.  For a city slicker, this was an amazing thing to see.  When my wife got back to Las Vegas she showed everyone she knew the photo of this beautiful example of people acting honorably.
We took a trip to Washington State a few years ago.  We stayed at a small motel in a tiny town of about 500 people.  The next day we wandered around, taking in the beautiful scenery.  At the end of the second day we found ourselves back in the same area, about ½ hour away, so we called the proprietor of the motel and asked if they had an available room for that night.  The woman who owned the motel explained that it was her bedtime so she would not be up by the time we finished our dinner and drove back to the motel.  She said she would leave the key to the room on top of the TV and the door unlocked so we could just go in whenever we were ready.  We asked, “What about payment?”  She said, “Just pay me in the morning.”  We done found Mayberry!
What do these three examples of communities where honor is an important concept have in common?  These are communities where neighbors help each other.  People have an expectation that the person they are dealing with will be honest and trustworthy.  Business dealings are sealed with a handshake, with each participant knowing that a man’s word is his bond.  If another member of your little community says he will doing something he will do it.  You can count on it.  What is just as important is that he knows that your word means something to you too.  There is no need for any rules or regulations to ensure that transactions go smoothly.  Neither is there a need for a policing body to enforce the rules.   
Doing the honorable thing is also described as doing what is “morally right” or “ethically correct.”  It is based on the concept of right and wrong.  When we were growing up we learned the difference between right and wrong from our parents.  This concept was reinforced by our teachers at school, as well as by countless books, movies and television shows.  Superheroes were always good guys, trying to keep the bad guys from doing bad things to good people.  Good triumphed over evil.  Stories ended with, “and they lived happily ever after.”   
The concepts of right and wrong are inexorably linked to the concept of individual responsibility.  Once we were grown up we were responsible for ourselves in every way.  We were responsible for every action we took.  We were responsible for everything we said and how it affected the person we were speaking to or about.  We were responsible for learning a trade so we could get jobs that paid enough money for us to pay for our own needs, plus our family’s needs.  When a man got married he was responsible for his wife.  When the couple had children he was responsible for providing for the children as well.  Relying on someone else to pay your bills was shameful.  You were a disgrace to your family if you did not accept your responsibilities and act in an honorable fashion.  When parents grew elderly and could not provide for themselves, they knew they could count on their children to provide for them.  Young women were taught that they were responsible for all aspects of child rearing when they became mothers.  No job was more important than raising the next generation to be responsible adults.
A society that does not have the vast majority of its members trying to conduct their affairs in an honorable way is a society that is dysfunctional.  If I can trust you about as far as I can throw you, how can we achieve anything that requires cooperation between individuals?
What happens to our “civilized” society when honor is no longer considered important?
Civilization (a state in which members of a society peacefully co-exist most of the time) ceases to exist. 
Part of American culture no longer concerns itself with the concept of honor.  “There is no right or wrong” is what is being taught in the public schools.  (This was the purpose of creating the Department of Education – to spread propaganda to generations of young impressionable Americans)  “Everyone’s opinion is equally valid” is also being taught.  “You are a fool not to get your share” is the oft repeated slogan of people who are receiving government assistance like welfare and food stamps.  “Perception is reality” is being presented as fact.  The idea that all adults are responsible for themselves and their progeny is considered old fashioned and out of step with today.  In this modern culture most people go to work every day to earn the money they need to take care of themselves and their families.  A significant portion of their money is taken from them and given to those who choose not to work.  The percentage of those who are productive and are payers into this system is decreasing while the percentage of those who are non-productive recipients is increasing.  The system has become unsustainable and is in imminent danger of collapse.  “When the populace discovers it can vote itself the treasury, democracy will cease.” – Thomas Jefferson
Let’s take a look at the structure of society in America today.  The founding fathers of this nation wrote the Constitution of the United States.  The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land.  No laws may be written or put into place that are inconsistent with the Constitution.  This includes the Bill of Rights.  The intent of the Constitution was to limit the power of the government to interfere with the God-given right of all Americans to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  All government employees swear an oath to “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”  What is the value of swearing an oath if the person is just saying the words without fully intending to honor the promise they are making?  That is why the Judeo-Christian tradition is to have the person swearing the oath to place their left hand on the Bible.  If a person believes in God and believes that God wants him/her to be an honorable person, then an oath taken with their hand on the Bible is not taken lightly.  The importance of the belief in God cannot be overstated.  It is the foundation upon which civilization is built.  That is why people in the Progressive Movement are trying very hard to replace Christianity and Judaism with secular humanism.  Religion tells us that we are ultimately answerable to God.  Secular humanism tells us that we are answerable to the State.  When we are answerable to an all-knowing, all-seeing God, we will do our best to behave in all situations, not just when some other person is looking.  If we are answerable only to the State, we only need to concern ourselves with covering our tracks to avoid being held accountable for our actions.
America has lost sight of the importance of the principles that are the basis of our society.  Anything religious (unless it is Islam) is ridiculed.  Millions of Americans now embrace secular humanism and liberal thought.  They are focused on things designed to distract them from seeing the damage being done by the progressive movement.  A good example is global warming.  It has absolutely no basis in science, yet billions of dollars have been spent fighting against it.  Millions of Americans have bought into the lie about “reducing our carbon footprint.”  Why?  Because most Americans are decent people who do not intentionally harm other people, animals, or plants.  We know we need food, water and shelter to survive but we don’t want to pollute the groundwater or the atmosphere.  When we discovered that some types of aerosol sprays were hurting the ozone layer, which allowed more harmful ultraviolet light to reach the planet’s surface, we switched to pump sprays.  When we discovered that there was an alternative to just throwing everything into landfill, then going back to the forest, the field, or the mine for more raw materials, we jumped on it.  Most Americans are willing to put extra effort into separating their garbage by category, so paper, plastics, and metals can be recycled.  It makes us feel good about ourselves when we believe we are working towards an honorable goal.  It is also very important for our psyche to feel that we are a part of something larger than ourselves. 
Why should we concern ourselves with concepts like honor and individual responsibility?  Why does it matter that people have turned away from God and no longer believe in Him?  Why shouldn’t we just go with the flow and see where it leads?  Because we already know this path takes us.
Let’s look at the two opposing ideologies for a moment.
Conservatives wish to preserve the system that has worked in the United States for over 200 years.  The Constitution of the United States guarantees the right of each person to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Millions of people from all over the world have come to America because of its promise of opportunity.  When every person has the freedom to pursue their dreams, limited only by their imagination and willingness to work, there is no limit to what one can achieve.  Ray Kroc bought a small hamburger stand.  We know his business today as McDonald’s, a multi-billion dollar company that employs 1.5 million people worldwide.  When Sam Walton got started he had a little store.  We know his business today as Wal-mart, the country’s largest civilian employer.  When individuals are given the opportunity to succeed, they bring other people up with them.  Americans don’t have to struggle every day to just to survive.  Instead, Americans enjoy the highest standard of living on Earth.  When individuals have the opportunity to create wealth, they create jobs.  No one starts their working career as CEO of a major corporation.  We all start with jobs like being a cook at McDonald’s or a cashier at Wal-mart.  Whether we stay in those jobs or move to better paying jobs is up to us.  Our work ethic, our individual abilities, and our dedication determine our level of success.  The most important factor is discretionary effort.  It’s a basic part of human nature.  If I can exert minimal effort to achieve what I need and want, I will exert minimal effort.  If I must do more to achieve what I need or want, I will put forth that discretionary effort.  As an example, let’s say I will make $1,000 in take home pay if I work 40 hours/week at my job.  If I am willing to work 60 hours/week I can make $1,500 in take home pay.  If the economic system allows me to keep the $1,500 I am much more likely to put in the extra time because the discretionary effort is rewarded.  If I work 60 hours/week and get bumped up into a higher tax bracket so my take-home pay is only $1,200 I am not likely to consider the discretionary effort of working an additional 20 hours for $200 worth it, and will decline the overtime when it is offered by my employer.  If you were making $25/hour for the first 40 hours you worked each week, would you work 20 more hours at $10/hour?  “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” – Thomas Jefferson
This leads us to the ideology of the liberal.  The liberal looks around and sees a lot of wealth in this country.  He also sees people living in poverty in this country.  The liberal believes that the disparity between the wealthy and the poor is unfair and needs to be corrected.  To do so one must depart from focusing on the individual and instead redirect attention to the entire population as a whole.  The “liberal” or “progressive” uses simple math for his solution.  If there are 300,000,000 Americans and there are literally trillions of dollars in the economy, then every person can be elevated in economic status through redistribution of wealth.  Take from the haves and give to the have-nots.  Voila!  Poverty has been eliminated.  This simplistic approach ignores discretionary effort.  It erroneously assumes that since there is plenty to go around, there will always be plenty to go around.  If you take away the reward for discretionary effort by taking more from the wage earner, you eliminate the excess you are trying to redistribute.  In no time at all everyone has an equal amount, but an equal amount of a much smaller pie.  Taking the wealth from the wealthy does not improve the lot of the poor, it only adds to the numbers of poor.  “The more one considers the matter, the clearer it becomes that redistribution is in effect far less a redistribution of free income from the richer to the poorer, as we imagined, than a redistribution of power from the individual to the State.” – Bertrand de Jouvenel
Ask someone who is on welfare or food stamps where the money comes from.  They will tell you it’s from “the government.”  When asked where the government got it they will tell you “they print it.”  There is a serious disconnect here when the people receiving checks from the government do not know (or pretend not to know) that the money comes from taxes levied by the government on the people who earned it.  The welfare money you just got was earned by your neighbor.  Charity is no longer something individuals can do out of the kindness of their hearts.  Charity is now enforced at the end of a gun.  If you don’t believe me try not paying your taxes and see what happens.  50 years ago neighbors helped each other out.  When a man lost his job his neighbors pitched in and gave his family food and helped him pay his bills until he could get another job.  Women babysat for other women in the neighborhood.  There were no day care centers.  This is what “community” was all about.   Now there is no sense of community.  There is only resentment and anger when those who choose not to work are handed money that was earned by those who do work.  There is a common misconception that welfare is only for people who are elderly or handicapped and cannot work.  That is not true.  Welfare is given to anyone who asks for it.  And who says the handicapped are not employable?  Years ago there was a man in an iron lung who wanted to work.  He did not want to be a financial burden on his family, so he thought of how he could earn a living.  He had the person who helped him with his medical needs hook up a phone with an autodialer.  All day long he called people from numbers listed in the phonebook and attempted to sell them products.  He didn’t have the use of his feet or hands so he worked the telephone with his tongue.  The liberal would have you believe that this man could not do anything for himself.  Since this man did not believe he could not, he did.   
A few years ago there was a category 5 hurricane called Katrina.  It hit the southeast, causing devastation to New Orleans and many other cities and towns.  The majority of the people who were living 23 feet below sea level in hurricane alley did nothing to prepare for this disaster.  Most residents did not put aside food, water or medicine.  They did not have a plan of what to do to save themselves or their families if a hurricane greater than category 3 hit the levees that were designed to withstand up to a category 3 hurricane.  When disaster struck many people looted the stores, stealing everything in sight.  Thousands of people stood around and demanded that the government, the army, or someone else save them.   1,836 people died.  The vast majority of the hurricane victims were welfare recipients, accustomed to having all of their needs and most of their wants met by the government.  They never learned to be self-sufficient or responsible for themselves.  Millions of Americans donated money, food, medicine, and their time to helping the victims of Katrina.  Billions of dollars of tax money were spent on disaster relief and recovery.  What many Americans could not comprehend was that so many people in the area hit by the hurricane said it was the responsibility of the government to rescue them and provide for all of their needs. 
A few years ago there was a huge snowstorm in North Dakota.  Most of the people in the towns hardest hit by the snowstorm were prepared with food, bottled water, extra medicines, blankets, shovels, fuel, etc.  People rescued their neighbors who were trapped inside their homes.  They brought medicine and food to the elderly.  Neighbors opened their homes to their neighbors, sharing all they had.  No one died.  No one was seriously injured.  No one called for help from the government.  Not one tax dollar was spent on disaster relief or recovery.  Every person who lives in North Dakota knows that the state gets hit with snow and ice storms.  The difference between Louisiana’s hurricane and North Dakota’s snow storm was in how they prepared for it, and then handled it when it came.  This, in a nutshell, is the difference between the ideologies of liberalism and conservatism.   
In the hurricane example, “community” was defined as the entire country.  In the snowstorm example, “community” was defined as the towns and outlying areas.  In the area that defined community as the entire country the concept of honor was noticeably absent.  Looting, raping and murder were committed by many dishonorable people who took advantage of the natural disaster.  In the area that defined community as the small towns and outlying areas, people conducted themselves honorably. 
“You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.  You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.  You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.  You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.  You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.  You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.  You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.  You cannot establish security on borrowed money.  You cannot build character and courage by taking away men’s initiative and independence.  You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.” – William Boetcker
“You cannot continue to have a civilized society once the majority of the populace no longer values the concept of individual honor.” – Uncle
The United States is in the middle of a culture war, with those who value honor on one side, and those who do not value honor on the other side.  It is time for us to acknowledge the difference, and to make a decision.  Will we continue to embrace the new liberal vision for our future, or will we insist on retaining the values that made the United States the best place in the world to live for over 200 years?
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Freedom to Choose


Remember when you were a kid?  Do you remember how you thought things would be different when you finally became a grown-up?

No one tells you when to get up or when to go to bed.
You can stay up all night watching movies if you want to.
No one tells you to brush your teeth.
No one tells you what to eat, or when.
No one tells you what to wear.
No curfew.  Come and go as you please.
You just hop in the car and go somewhere when you want to.
Want a pizza?  Pick up the phone and someone brings it to you.
The life of the grown-ups was positively idyllic.  You had parents, grandparents, and teachers telling you all day long what you could and could not do.  Oh, for the freedom of being able to make your own choices!
Now you are a grown-up.  So how did that Freedom to Make All My Own Decisions turn out?
Between taking care of your responsibilities at your job and taking care of your responsibilities towards your family you still experience some limitations on when and what you do.  However, with minor exceptions, you can still make your own decisions.  You can choose what type of job you have, where you live, and how you spend your discretionary income and discretionary time.  You choose when to go to bed and when to get up.  You choose what you eat and what you wear. 
That is changing. 
Liberals who were voted into positions of power strongly believe that they can run all aspects of your life much better than you can.  They are the intellectual elite.  They insist that you are still a child, incapable of making good decisions on your own.  You need a nanny.  Lucky for you, they are willing to take on the enormous burden of making all of those pesky adult decisions so you don’t have to.  Whew!  What a relief!  Right?
Thanks to Obamacare you no longer have to choose your physician or make decisions about your healthcare.  If you get sick or severely injured and are over the age of 30, you die.  Now there’s a solution we can live with!  All of those options you used to have will be decided by a bureaucrat.  If he or she determines that your political views are too conservative, or you’re too old, or you are no longer contributing enough to society, no physician may legally treat whatever is wrong with you.  Modern medicine has come a very long way, expanding our expected lifespans through technological breakthroughs.  Access to those technological breakthroughs, such as medical diagnostic equipment, will be limited to those the liberal bureaucrats deem worthy.  Can you justify your continued existence?  What makes you valuable enough to society to justify the expenditures necessary to repair your faulty aorta or make you cancer-free?  Better come up with answers now, before you need them.
Thanks to Michelle Obama and her liberal friends you never have to decide what to eat.  They dictate what you, your children, and your grandchildren can have.  They outlawed salt shakers in restaurants.  They outlawed kids bringing their own lunches from home.  They outlawed anything with sugar in it.  They outlawed YOU being the parent, responsible for taking care of your own children.  The STATE will decide those things for you.  Shut up and eat the celery.
Thanks to the Eco-Terrorists you can no longer just get in your vehicle and go somewhere.  Vacation?  At $5.00/gallon?!  If you’re lucky enough to still be employed and you get a week or two off each year you get to go on a Staycation.  This is where you stay home and look at photos of where you wanted to go.  Was it necessary for the price of fuel to “necessarily skyrocket” as Obama claimed during his campaign?  Not at all.  Truth be told, the United States is sitting on more oil than any of the countries in the Middle East.  All we have to do is drill for it, and we will be completely independent of anyone else for our fossil fuels.  Why aren’t we drilling for our own oil?  The liberal eco-terrorists are in power.  They gave China the right to drill for our oil on our continental shelf in the Gulf of Mexico.  They gave $2,000,000,000 of our hard earned tax money to Brazil so Brazil can drill for oil, and then sell it to the United States.  It’s not about the environment.  It’s not about improving air or water quality.  It’s not about preserving places of natural beauty for the next generation.  It’s not about disturbing wildlife or endangering species. 
It’s all about controlling you.
If you are self-sufficient you call the shots.  When you cannot do for yourself you are at the mercy of someone else (the providers of your necessities), and they are not above taking full advantage of that edge over you.  It’s human nature.  If I have what you need I determine what it’s worth.  You will pay me for it, one way or another.  Now I have control, and I will not allow the balance of power to swing the other way.  That is the only reason why the liberals in power in our government will not allow Americans to drill on American soil for American oil.
Thanks to the liberals who are in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms you cannot pick the firearm of your choice to defend yourself and your family from violent people.  If you think for one minute that the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states, “The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” isn’t being infringed every day, try strapping on a pistol and go shopping.  Make sure your life insurance is fully paid up before you go.  The police may just gun you down or they may throw you in prison for years.  Either is a likely scenario when anyone attempts to exercise their 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
Thanks to the Department of Education your children and grandchildren are no longer being taught about their heritage.  They have no knowledge of the unique and wonderful gift they received when they were fortunate enough to be born in this country.  This is the only country on the planet that has a Constitution guaranteeing Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness for everyone.  Your children and your grandchildren were given a legacy of prosperity unequaled in the history of mankind, due entirely to free market capitalism.  It was extremely important to the Founding Fathers that each individual had the freedom to choose how they lived their lives, and was able to keep “the fruits of their labors.”  Go to other places and you do not see people with the luxury of discretionary time or discretionary income, to do with as they please.  Most people on this planet spend all day working just to get enough to survive another day.  The liberals in power in the U.S. government do not believe that you deserve these things.  They believe in the Communist Motto – From Those According to Their Ability to Those According To Their Need.  They believe in the redistribution of wealth Obama spoke about when he had that famous discussion with Joe the Plumber.  The Department of Education is really the Department of Propaganda, since that is its sole function.  Ask your children about anything they should already have learned in school – mathematics, science, history, philosophy, civics, geography, or English.  Expect the deer-in-the-headlights look.  Those things aren’t taught in public schools anymore because the children must not know enough to be able to make their own decisions when they grow up.  They are taught to look to the government for everything – food, housing, medical care, etc.
The liberal control freaks teach dependency, not self-sufficiency to our children.  If our children and grandchildren learned how to stand on their own two feet, without any sort of government assistance, they would know what it truly means to be a free citizen, not a subject.  It is their birthright, but they need to know 1. that these rights exist  2. what they mean and 3. how to keep them.  Right now they know none of these things, and are in eminent danger of losing it all.
You have one more choice to make. 
Will you allow the liberal control freaks to continue in their quest to take over every aspect of your life and treat you as a child, or will you refuse to allow someone else to control your life?
You yearned for the ability to make your own decisions when you were growing up.  Now is the time to fight for the right to live your life as an adult, fully capable of making all your own decisions.  The alternative is: 
No responsibilities.
No decisions.
No freedom.
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Restoring American Values

Have you noticed that most of the people who truly understand what America is all about have something in common? That something is a connection with rural America.
Whether you grew up on a farm or ranch, or were fortunate enough to spend a summer or two on Grandpa’s farm, you understand.
You know where food comes from.
You understand the importance of self reliance.
You learned how to repair almost everything you own by working with your Dad, your Grandpa, or your Uncle.
You were raised with the concept of being responsible for yourself and your family in all things.
You learned about the relationship between individual responsibility and individual freedom.
You earn a living by honest work and don’t understand people who have an entitlement mentality.
If you have a farm or ranch, you have a unique opportunity to restore America’s culture and America’s ideals.
Most young people today grow up in a bubble of unreality in the cities.
They are fed a constant diet of liberal propaganda.
Their understanding of how the world works and their role in it is shaped by a bought-and-paid-for media.
Children are being taught in public schools that Christianity is evil.
They are taught that capitalism does not work and communism is the only fair way to structure society.
City kids are truly the disadvantaged in America. They have no opportunity to learn about nature (some mown grass in a park doesn’t qualify).
City children spend much of their time poking the buttons on their electronic toys and talking about nothing on the phone with their friends.
If you have a farm or ranch, please consider making it a Value Farm. Open up your ranch or farm to city children.
Teach them the values you learned as a child.
Teach them what they need to know to grow up to be a responsible adult.
Teach them how to tell the difference between right and wrong.
Teach them how to reason things through for themselves so they can distinguish between what is true and what is false.
Teach them to be proud of their accomplishments, not attributes they happened to be born with.
Teach them about God.
Teach them about the satisfaction that comes from hard work.
Teach them how to raise their own food so they are never dependant on anyone else to survive.
Teach them how to stand on their own two feet and never take anything that is not given to them freely.
Teach them the principles this country was founded upon so they can truly know how blessed they are.
Teach them to not give away their freedoms for the illusion of security.
Teach them what the Constitution of the United States says, and why it’s still as valid today as it was the day it was written.
Teach them to respect their elders.
Teach them to help others in need.
Teach them self respect, and to always treat others with dignity and respect.
When America’s children get that much needed connection to rural life, they will learn the values necessary to become responsible adults.
They will no longer fall prey to those who seek to control every aspect of their lives.
They will live as free citizens, not controlled subjects.
They will restore the American dream.
You can make it happen.
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