I wonder what would have been the result of the Revolutionary War if the heads of the British Army possessed a list of the names of every patriot and patriot sympathizer, a list of owned firearms, military experience, special wartime skills, who had extensive supplies and where, as well as a listing of what vulnerabilities each head of household had such as wives and children that they cared about. It might also have been helpful to the British if they had a list of all known relatives and friends of the revolutionists so that they could best determine where the patriots might flee for safety or meet for strategy sessions. In fact, the British were provided with a great deal of this intelligence by cowardly, non-sympathetic citizens who were loyal to the Crown. Thankfully, ultimately it wasn’t enough for them to win the war. It is my belief that the British's loss was primarily due to the lack of knowledge they had about the revolutionary citizens. As a result, the American citizens, their weapons and their resolve were an invaluable element of surprise for the British which defined the outcome of the war. Nothing can be more underestimated in a time of war than the element of surprise combined with a deep passion and commitment.
Today, the necessary ignorance of our enemy is archaic. Today our potential enemies are fully armed with far too much information about us, which puts us in a very weak defensive position. Every person’s home address is available from any company with whom we do business with; our purchasing history goes along with those “grocery rewards” cards, our credit card usage and credit reports can practically tell our life stories, and a picture of our home as well as a list of known relatives and their addresses is readily available on Google and a litany of unashamed websites. Automobile registrations, passport tracking, GPS systems on our vehicles and our cellular phones, RFID chips in our pets, checking and saving accounts with a Federal organization, utility bills, and so many other of our everyday activities provide all of the information on us that any of our enemies could use against us successfully—crippling any chance we would have to defend our freedom and liberties. As if that’s not enough information tossed out there for any Tom, Dick or Harry, we add to that compromise willingly in the name of friendliness and a desire to not be “paranoid.” As such, far too many persons willingly provide personal information compromising their own safety and privacy as well as that of their family members. A person dressed to impersonate a UPS delivery driver only needs to possess a friendly and inquisitive demeanor to easily obtain more information on you from your neighbors—more info than even your own parents know about you.
Many of us have had the experience in which we get a call from some company trying to locate one of our relatives—claiming that it’s urgent, etc. Later we may discover that they are just an overachieving collections agency, preying on our need to trust everyone and never turn into paranoid freak like we read about in the news. If that’s the kind of tactics that are deployed just to collect $200 in past due medical expenses, imagine what strategies could be used against us when the stakes are much higher. Unlike others, I will never, ever provide such callers with contact information of someone else. If they want to give me their information, I may pass it along.
Paranoid or Aware?
My point in all of this is to try and get some readers to understand that there is a big difference between being paranoid and being aware—especially when it comes to dispensing your private and personal information. Much is taking place nowadays that causes me to believe we must be hyper-vigilant in concealing information and keeping it on a strict “need to know” basis. Many of us are surrounded though by persons who view any resistance to dispensing unnecessary information as if we are a maniacal serial killer in the making. If I dare to have the audacity to require to see the identification and license of the person who comes to repair my air-conditioning unity, I’m easily accused by many mainstream cowards as plotting a world takeover. If I refuse to open my door unless I know the person who’s standing on my door step, I’m laughed at and accused of being a radical. Sorry, folks. This is me in the name of preparedness, also known as independent.
No one who calls my house gets very far unless they actually know me and knows how to pronounce my name. I don’t pay for my telephone to be a bullying tool by aggressive fundraisers, sales pitches, or updates from Nordstrom’s of their newest and greatest sales. I also never fall for the phone call in which the caller feigns to have forgotten who they were calling. “Who’s this?” they say when I answer. My response is always “Who were you calling?” The Revolutionary War, both World Wars, the Salem Witch Hunts, the imprisonment of thousands of American citizens with Japanese DNA, and the Holocaust should all serve as a reminder that we must never underestimate the power of privacy. Likewise, we must never be naïve of the motives and evil intents of our own government officials.
For example, why does the school which you pay to teach your children require a social security number? My two cents: Don’t give it to them! They get paid for your kid being in school, SSN or not.
When you get a physical, why does the doctor ask you if you wear seat belts or own any firearms? My two cents: It’s absolutely none of his business!
You know how the stores ask for your information in exchange for some kind of a loyalty card? My two cents: Loyalty is better measured by how much I spend there, not giving away my freedom. I refuse to provide any grocery store with my personal information in exchange for better pricing. Yes, I do have “rewards” cards for each of the grocery stores that I shop, however, I’ve obtained them via a frank conversation with a store manager who understands my refusal to provide such information. In my opinion, it’s nobody’s business how much toilet paper, pasta, and meat I’ve purchased. For this very same reason, I am much more likely to purchase my firearms privately, pay cash for every conceivable transaction, and use complicated and ever changing passwords on my cell phone, computers, and debit cards. Additionally, as a reminder, every federally insured bank is required to ask for your social security number, however, you are NOT required to give it to them. As a person on Facebook, I am painfully aware that nothing I share is truly private or out of the view of prying eyes, regardless of what privacy settings I may use. As such, there are simply some things that I will never Tweet about or post online. Do you permit a retailer to write down your social security number or your driver’s license number when you write a check? If so, stop it!
Harbor Freight, a national hardware store, has been advertising a free flashlight to anyone simply for coming into their store—“No strings attached.” But when you go to the store to get your free flashlight, they insist on receiving your e-mail address. So much for no strings attached, eh? I guess you have to decide if your privacy is worth more than a cheap, plastic flashlight. I actually still got the flashlight by pointing out the words “no strings attached” in their advertising. *grin*
Perhaps you think I’m making too much of all of this. Ok. Well, let’s go back to beginning of this article. Sure, you might have someone who used to work for you that hates you passionately and wants to make your life miserable. And if not that, then there’s a strong likelihood that one of your family members likes to stir up mischief for you and uses your personal information to do so. Then again, there’s the errant psychopath who you just may attract. And if all else fails, there’s just plain bad luck of being casual with your information to the wrong person, thus making yourself the perfect mark for a robbery or other crime. But, the likelihood of any of these instances happening to you are actually substantially less than the plausibility that your own government will turn on you and use your information for their own gain. Oooohhhh, yes, I said it. And I’ll even say it a bit more clear so that there’s no doubt in your minds what I’m saying here. Governments—even ours—are known and proven offenders of the freedoms and liberties of their fellow citizens. Ours has proven to be just as irresponsible and unworthy of our trust countless times already. As time continues with our elected and judicial leaders being left to their own designs, things will only get worse—unless we pay attention to every possible infringement on our pursuit of happiness, safety, and security. Guarding our freedom to be independent of their influence requires diligent awareness. We can’t afford to be aloof of our government any more than a chef can ignore a chocolate soufflé in the oven.
Let’s be blunt here. For those of you who look out your tent door and see a wild bear pacing back and forth, don’t think for a moment that he’s suddenly decided to protect you or that he’s lost his sense of direction. You’re naturally his prey, period. To continue in that analogy, let’s consider that you raised this bear from the first moment he was born. You fed him, you bathed him, and you were his world. He existed solely to be with you and perhaps even protect you. But, if you get lazy in your relationship with him, and let him go anywhere he wants and eat anything he wants, he’s going to forget all about him needing you for his survival. The pacing back and forth at the entrance of your tent may have started as an adorable, anxious teddy bear, but I assure you that if left unattended and undirected, the pacing will soon be shadowed by a full on attack.
So, let’s revisit the whole paranoia accusation thing…
True or False: The government has violated their own regulations and has long been robbing the social security trust account. True.
True or False: Our government has relinquished complete control of our economy to non-elected officials whose only agenda is power and profits. True
True or False: Our government has frequently ignored constitutional rights in violation of habeas corpus, state sovereignty, fair trials, and safety from foreign and domestic enemies. Oh, so painfully TRUE.
True or False: If there’s a way for our government to spend more money on more indulgences, they will find it. *sigh* True.
Some may wonder what all of this has to do with preparedness. Remember that I have long presented that preparedness is not about panic and knee-jerk reactions, rather it’s about being independent in any and every way possible. I hope that no one would ever think of hiring an employee only to never check on them again to make sure they are doing their job. Surely you wouldn’t let them have unquestioned access to your cash register, be responsible for all of your inventory, and be in charge of customer relations. Then why would you hire the U.S. Government to protect you and your family, and not stay on top of things to make sure they do their critical job?
So, let’s be real here for just a moment. We can’t change our government in one fail swoop, but we certainly can change how we behave so that we don’t give them any more leash than absolutely necessary. While it may seem like quite the chore to be vigilant in this respect, it’s the only way to ensure that your preparations for independence remain as “just in case” supplies instead of ones for imminent disaster. I believe that in order to be independent and properly prepared to keep that independence, then we have to just as informed of our potential enemy as they are of us. We’ve got to expertly know the laws that keep them at bay as well as we know our daytime job. We simply must be experts about the rules and regulations, the proper authorities, and the backbone of our freedom.
In truth, all of this has nothing to do with paranoia. It has everything to do with maintaining as much freedom as is still possible and ensuring the safety and well-being. When it all comes down to it, I’d much rather that my friends and loved ones be “paranoid” rather than being naïve and unnecessarily exposed.
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