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Bread and Circuses with Brian Brawdy – Episode 122

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Today on Off the Grid Radio we have an eclectic mix of subjects Bill Heid and Brian Brawdy are discussing, but for the most part, all the subjects come back to the same question…

Where is our ultimacy? What is it that we revere so much that we get upset over it? If we had to be honest, we’re pretty much like the ancient Romans. We have a collapsing financial system, unemployment at a real rate of over 14%, energy prices which are skyrocketing, and a federal government that is taking away more and more of our freedoms. But what gets us upset?

A football game…NFL refs and their union… so much so that miles away and overseas, it’s the talk of a country. We’re like the ancient Romans and the Coliseum—take away our jobs, curtail our freedoms, make us live in the dark, and ration our food.

But don’t take away our games or our entertainment. Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living. We need to stop our headlong rush toward disaster and decide who we are as a nation and where we’re going before it’s too late.

Off The Grid Radio
Ep 122
Released: September 28, 2012


Brian:   Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Off the Grid News, the radio version of I’m Brian Brawdy, here today, sitting in for Mr. Bill Heid, who is joining us via phone; via Skype actually, from Belize. Mr. Heid, how are you, sir?

Bill:      I am wonderful, Brian. It’s good to talk to you. Greetings and welcome as we always say.  It’s amazing. We talked about thunderstorms here. There’s no thunderstorms yet, but it’s probably 80 degrees. Those clouds, as you know from being in Belize, they kind of hang out there above the reef, right outside this place where we stay, and you get rain once or twice a day and that’s kind of life down here this time of year.

Brian:   Now, Bill, are you using the forecast from the replacement meteorologists that were hired because the local meteorologists are on strike? So, are you getting your information about what the weather is supposed to be like later this afternoon from a replacement weather person?

Bill:      I am. I’m not sure what the local meteorologists are demanding, you know. The weather girls and the weather guys seem to do pretty well down here. I have to be candid, the weather forecast and doing meteorology here is pretty easy. As I said, generally what happens is, it’s warm and it rains once or twice a day. So, there’s no end zone calls or any crazy things that have to be reviewed. It’s also hard to review the weather down here. Well, you could just put it on auto loop, because it’s the same thing over and over and over. It’s just beautiful weather; occasionally it rains this time of year, and then, you know, that’s the loop that we find ourselves in.

Brian:   Well, you know, I have to tell you, I was thinking about you the other night and the Green Bay Packer game, just the derailment that was the end of that game. And I wondered as I saw what happened what was going through your mind?

Bill:      Well, we watched that in Chicago before we took off. I guess the thing that. . . It didn’t really strike me. . . I’m a big Packer fan, you know. I went to the Super Bowl and I love football. To me, it is what it is. And you get a call, and you get good calls; you get bad calls. The other team got a good call. So, maybe it wasn’t. . . Justice is never perfect in our court system; it’s never perfect anywhere. Justice does tend to fade in societies that are kind of on their way sort of to becoming debauched more and more. I think you do lose the sense of justice, and I think there is a sense of justice if the calls aren’t good. But, you know what? My take, Brian, was a little bit different. The following day was a travel day for Mrs. Heid and myself. As we worked our way through airport to airport and then finally here in Belize, as you say, it’s a zeitgeist issue. It’s everywhere on the airport, everyone’s talking about it. Even in Belize, people are worried about replacement refs in the United States. So, here’s my take:  Every culture – and this is a little bit of a rabbit hole take – I was thinking about, by the time we actually got in our room last night, that it’s this old deal about anthropology where every culture has what it reveres as ultimacies. And, you know, the old-school anthropology used to go to a primitive culture, and you’d go in and you’d look and see what laws that culture has, what laws that village has; what is it that they think is ultimate that they’re trying to protect, right. You look at laws, and then you also look at the transference of those ultimacies. So, what does a society think is the most important thing? And then that gets transferred via the educational system.

So, typically you have values translated that way. I was also thinking about just Gods in different societies. And, you know, the Muslims are upset. I have Muslim friends; you know that. And Muslims of the more radical element of Islam is upset that someone’s raining on the Muhammad parade, and whether it’s cartoons or that, but that’s indicative of that culture, right. They have an ultimacy. And when you start poking at their God, they get a little cranky. They get fussy, right, because they think that’s the most important thing. At one time, Christianity had a similar view that if you mess with Christ, you were messing with our ultimacies; and therefore, those are fighting terms. But now, I think if you poke a stick at football in our country – and, again, I’ll qualify it by saying I love football – you poke at our God with a stick a little bit and you get the culture really riled up, so riled up that the reverberations are way down here in Belize, believe it or not.

Brian:   Well, I saw that Aaron Rogers had taken to the microphone, and so that pot may be being stirred by some pretty big names in the game, but enough about that. Like I said, I thought about you that night and wondered what your take was going to be.

Bill:      Well, my take is sort of a take about what’s the culture look like? What upsets you? And I think it depends on where you place your ultimacies. And I think what gets us mad is one of the things that we hold highest. We see something that somebody’s messing with and we get cranky. We get fussy. Those are fighting terms. And there’s some people with clenched fists over this. You could say anything about anything in the world and they wouldn’t care about it. Our economy, there is a fiscal cliff as has been so much touted; people get upset about that. But very few people. . . I mean, it’s negligible compared to these more peripheral things that I think people really. . . that kind of just occupy the truck stop, coffee shop, early morning conversations.

Brian:   That’s a valid point. There’s a headline this morning that household incomes are down 8.2 percent under President Obama, but it’s not a headline in the top fold, you know what I mean. It’s more about the commissioner, the football commissioner sticking to his guns.

Bill:      You could cut our incomes, but don’t take away our games, our sports. And here we go back again. I know it’s beat up, but what happened in Rome, right? It was the games. And one of the things that the games became. . . The emperors use the games. There is a utility value in that it sort of calmed and soothed the masses. And so you have. . . Even if you watched the movie — You don’t have to go back in actual history — I think the movie Gladiator was a good sort of composite of a lot of emperors on how they use the games, the bread in circuses, as they say, to sort of placate the masses who may be a little unstable, who may be. . . Look at what’s happening in Spain right now. You’ve probably seen that, as well. They certainly need the NFL over there to sort of placate those riots.

Brian:   Oh, yeah, it’s unbelievable what’s going on over there, hungry people foraging in trash bins for their next meal, the violent protests that are swirling in and around Spain. Greek workers are going on strike. The flights are grounded. Public service is shut down. So, that whole region of the world is taking it on the chin this morning.

Bill:      It is interesting, Brian, what happens in a situation like that. We have a wonderful division of labor. You know, one of the things we talk about on Off the Grid News Radio and on the website is just, you know, sometimes let’s not outsource everything. Let’s pick and choose what sort of elements of the division of labor that we like to use. We don’t want to do our own dentistry, but we might want to make our own butter. But, on a macro level, we’re interested in this idea of what happens as a complex economy starts to unwind. So, you really have an interesting situation. A factory closes and then those people need jobs. But also, the coffee shop where those guys drive on the way to the factory, they have to close now, too, and on and on and on. There’s this unintended consequences issue that falls out.

It’s like Adam Smith talked about the invisible hand. What happens when the invisible hand sort of gets broken, and how does that unwind? There’s things going on behind the surface that are marvelous, that are miracles as far as I’m concerned, with respect to the economy, development, standard of living. But, what happens when it starts to unwind? And, really, if you want to know what’s going to happen to the United States, simply look around. As we’re talking about it, you can look at what’s going on in Greece. You can look at what’s going on in Spain. Spain is probably a little better example. But, those European countries, Brian, are just examples of what you’re going to see here and unwinding. And then, of course, the obvious question is:   What do you do when the economy unwinds; how do you protect yourself?

That’s a whole other show and a whole other issue, because a lot of the folks that we talk to, our friends, they’re working for some big factory. They’re working for somebody involved, at least their day job, is a division of labor issue. So, they have to decide what happens if our factory closed down? What are we going to do? So, I would start, and my advice to everybody is to start living today like you got laid off. What would you do if you didn’t have a job? What would you do if your business had to close? You’d have to make radical choices. Why not make those radical choices now, get ahead of the curve.

Brian:   And you know, Bill, speaking of being ahead of the curve, there’s on the wire now this morning, an Islamist group warns of new cyber-attacks on U.S. banks. So, you ask a very profound question:  Hey, imagine today you got your pink slip, and then, you know, radically start to formulate in your mind how you would address that. Then imagine that, coupled with the fact that there’s a cyber-attack on the banks. Who knows what that would do to your ability to go to your bank and withdraw money?

Bill:      Brian, I think what has to happen is, again, people need to look at what’s going on in Europe. Look at what the banking system in Europe is. You can see. There are images on the internet — You can go find them on Google News – of people standing in line and concerned about getting their money out of the bank. So, what would you do with respect to the money situation? Do you have enough cash? Can you live for a period of time, a week, two weeks, 30 days without the system, without the grid? Can you get off the grid for 30 days? That’s the question we’ve been asking on this show for years since we started. We’ve been talking about this issue, Brian, for the last several years saying make your plans. This thing’s coming. As sure as gravity exists, you can’t spend more money than you take in. It’s a law of the universe as it were. So, we have to make plans accordingly.

Brian:   And you know, Bill, as you know on the website we have a headline, “Break the Brainwashing of Perceived Obsolescence.”  But what I wanted to focus on was the term “brainwashing,” because a lot of us, a lot of folks have been brainwashed to the degree that they say, ‘Oh, okay. Well, it will never get that bad. This is the United States. It can’t happen here.’  You know, I had a nice discussion this past weekend about the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. And one of the things that shocked me the most was that it was happening right here. It was in our country. It was in the modern day, but people were brainwashed into believing that. . . I think it was almost surreal to some folks, that they couldn’t believe it was going down in the United States in this day and age. And as they looked around at all the trouble, clearly you could see the – I don’t know what the look of someone that’s been brainwashed; I don’t know what that look is in their eyes, but we’ve been brainwashed to believe that it will never happen here.

Bill:      Well, exactly. We’ve been brainwashed to believe that, you know, again, what are the most important things. And so, if your radar is what’s Miley Cyrus doing or who just won Dancing with the Stars or, you know, if you’re on Aaron Rogers’ Twitter list, and that occupies you. It’s pretty hard. . . because then you’re seeing the economy, you’re seeing our nation’s. . . what’s happening to our nation morally and so forth on the periphery. And it belongs in front as you drive, what you, your family. . . you know, God, family, country, right, needs to be on the dashboard and in front view at all times. It’s okay to watch Miley Cyrus on T.V., or to watch the Packers play as I do, but it ought to be looking out the side windows and not the front window. That front window needs to be protected at all times for God, family, country. And I think that’s the issue that we have. We are being, as David Letterman used to say, hypnotized by the culture. And it wants us to look at everything except what our ultimacies are.

Brian:   You know that’s a great metaphor when you think about the windshield, because there’s a lot of people, Bill, that are not only the windshield, they got their iPod cranked and they’re looking in the rearview mirror. So, your call to action of God, family and country is one that people are going to go, ‘Wow, I didn’t even think that top three would make my list,’ especially in a day and age when we’re as distracted as we are.

Bill:      We are distracted. And, as I said, you know, caveat:  I’m not a Muslim. I don’t believe in Muslim ideals. I’m not a radical Islamist. I’m on the other side of the transection; however, what’s in the front window for our radical Muslim friends? As they’re driving their car down the road, down Damascus Road, Damascus Highway, what’s in the front view for them? Their God. At least they’re consistent with their world view. You say something about their God; you poke Muhammad, that makes them mad. That’s what I think is fascinating.

Brian:   Oh, I would absolutely agree. And I also think that. . . What troubles me about that, you know, when you try to juxtapose that with Freedom of Speech, which I don’t believe should have anything to do with our First Amendment. People all over should have the right to freedom of speech. So, those two points of view are absolutely going to clash in the future. But now, Bill, I see this morning – in keeping with this for just a minute – I see this morning that the Prime Minister of Libya, notwithstanding what our government officials have been telling us at the State Department both here and abroad, but the Libyan President said that the anti-Islam film, “Had nothing to do with the attack.”

Bill:      Sure. I think it has something to do with it as an inflaming agent. And anybody that’s been training in Olynsky-esc tactics knows that deep behind that something else is going on. But progressives have always used sort of class warfare utility issues like this to sort of get one group of folks riled up against another group of folks. So, I think President Obama is going around saying that’s not the case, but certainly as a student of Olynsky, he knows the drill as it were. He knows what’s really going on.

Brian:   And why do you think that’s the case, Bill, you know what I mean, where we have the Libyan President saying that no doubt it was a terrorist attack. And then we have our government saying, no doubt it had nothing to do with terrorism; it wasn’t preplanned. It was just because people were riled up about a movie.

Bill:      Well, I think obviously the Obama Administration would like to protect the original statements that they made and sort of smooth that over; so to me, that’s just politics working. Personally, my guess is this was a planned attack, but the movie, the films, all that sort of flow quite well into the narrative, right?

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      You need to justify your attack. And why are they mad at us? And maybe they have some reason, maybe they don’t. But everyone needs to sort of flush that out and start thinking what are the real reasons? Really at the core of it I think it’s just Islam is more, as we say, epistemologically self-conscious. It understands what it is. And I think the West has sort of lost its way. And so, the West has really no God as it were, but a plethora of Gods, and so it’s less distinct. And I think that’s the conflict that you’re talking about. It’s this, you know, monolithic God of Islam versus the West, which is polytheistic in nature. There’s the clash. You know what’s odd about that is, is that was the prophet’s original beef, right? What got Muhammad riled up was polytheism. He tried to get the Jews and the Christians on his side and said, look, guys, our common enemy is these God-less polytheists.

So, it’s kind of funny that we’re back to that whole issue again. At least, as I say, they kind of see it for what it is. I’m on the other side of the transaction. I don’t believe in polytheism. I believe in the Trinity and so forth with Jesus Christ as the apex of it for me, so I guess I find myself on the other side of Islam. But I think it’s important for us, even if you see that as your enemy, as your philosophical enemy or whatever, you need to know what it is that you’re fighting. You can’t just be mad about something and be swinging arbitrarily like in a Rocky film or something. I think you really need to understand what’s going on. And I think that is what’s going on.

Brian:   Well, you know, I want to change it slightly, Bill, the topic slightly, if that’s cool with you, because I saw another headline that automatically made me think of you this morning while I was preparing for the show. And it’s talking about the Soviet Union now is going to suspend the imports of American genetically modified corn. It says, “Russia suspends imports and use of American genetically modified corn after study revealed a cancer risk.”  You know, I thought a lot about the event that we had not too long ago, you know, for the melon days and fall festival, and everyone was all fired up about non-hybrid seeds and some of the other things that they learned from the seed workshops and other things that we had going on here. So, what’s your take on that? Is there anything to it or is that just President Putin starting to play hardball in all areas?

Bill:      I think it’s a combination, just like we were talking about with Islam. I think you need kind of. . . If you’re Putin, you need hardball issues, but at the same time I think these issues are real. It’s back to this concept of, you know, who’s playing the fiddle. We’re coming up with all kinds of metaphors, right, but who’s your country’s fiddler? And, in our case, the music is being played by companies like Monsanto. They are the arch fiddlers. And so, who pays for the research at the University of Illinois and the University of Iowa when they do corn research? Who pays for that research? Well, anybody want to guess? Of course, it’s these big agri-business companies like Monsanto.

And, guess what? Guess what they find when they do the studies over here? Innocent, no problems, eat away. Eat hardy, me lads. When Monsanto doesn’t pay for the studies, which is the case in Europe and other places, they do find some issues. So, there you have a clash of research, but it’s always who’s your daddy? Who do you love? Who’s paying for the studies? Back to philosophy. Boy, we have to have philosophy here, Brian, because we have to understand how this whole thing works.

Brian:   Absolutely. And that’s why I think that Off the Grid News, and most certainly the radio show, continues to grow in terms of its audience size and its reach, Bill, is because we do what we can to kind of vent those philosophies. Not just say, hey, here’s what we believe, but here’s why we believe it. And here’s some of the questions you may want to ask yourself so that if your philosophy doesn’t necessarily dovetail with Bill’s or with Brian’s or with any of our guests, some pretty powerful questions that you could ask to see, you know, why is that? Is it meant to be that it should? Or maybe your calling is that it may not be. But philosophy is a cornerstone, as you know, of what we do at Off the Grid News, and that’s why I think we’ve been so successful.

Bill:      Exactly. And I think Plato said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”  And then later Thurow said that. I think the unexamined life is not worth living. I think we really need to know what’s going on. We really need to think about things. And you need to stop. . . At the beginning of the show the announcer talks about a different paradigm. You’ve got to think in terms of historical paradigms and not the current zeitgeist. If you pay attention to what’s here, like any magician knows, is. . . We had magicians over the weekend, right? We had all kinds of magic acts. You were MC-ing that. But if you pay attention to his right hand, his left hand does something that you can’t see or perceive. And I really think that is another metaphor for us understanding what’s going on. What paradigm are you using?

And I would just suggest that folks that are listening stop and think about history. This about what’s happened historically, whether it’s Rome or Constantinople, civilizations that rise and fall. The hubris that is the United States is that nothing could ever happen to us because we’ve got more aircraft carriers is total ridiculous. And you don’t know whether it’s a Gideon metaphor with 300 people. Really, where does your faith lie? And if your faith lies in God. . . Give me Belize with 300,000 people and God over the United States and a plethora of aircraft carriers and the world’s strongest army. I’ll always take the highest power in the universe. You know, it’s like when you’re a kid you get to choose up sides, right, and you can go on this side or that side. You want to be picked first or whatever. Give me the team with God on it and I think that’s the team that probably wins in the end.

Brian:   That’s interesting. I never would have thought of like a. . . I remember in elementary school a dodge ball game.

Bill:      Yeah, one of my favorite sports, dodge ball.

Brian:   Dodge ball, and when you size up the other team or you size up the line of available future teammates and you get to pick. That’s an interesting way of looking at it. All right, Bill. I’ve kind of taken us up with the different things that I want to talk about. What’s new? What’s exciting? What’s going on in Belize? What are you thinking about?

Bill:      This is Belize’s slow season, Brian, so there’s not a lot going on right now. We’re probably going to have Joel and Mike on to talk a little bit about a conference that they’re going to have that’s either next week or the following week, and an investment conference that we’re going to be having down here and that they have every November just to talk about all of the issues. You’ve been at some of those conferences, and so you’ve heard some of those speakers. And it’s just good to. . . Some of those speakers are from traditionally – I don’t know about this year – but have been from other parts of the world. And it’s good to hear those opinions. If you want to have a paradigm that’s probably a little more closer to the truth, I think it’s important to get information from a lot of different sources. That’s why, like you do, I watch all kinds of television. I watch British television. I watch Al Jazeera. I watch Fox, CNN. I try to watch a little bit.

I don’t have time to watch too much television, but I like to watch a lot of different things, get a lot of different input for me to sort of put together what I think is really going on in the world. If you just pay attention to one channel – and, again, probably most of our listeners go to Fox for what they think is fair and balanced. I would just say it’s probably not fair and it’s probably not balanced. Even though there’s some good shows and there’s a lot of truth on Fox, I wouldn’t let that be my only advice that shapes how I see the world; likewise, investment-wise and as far as just looking at the world financially, I like to get a lot of different ideas. And during that conference is certainly one of the places to get those ideas.

Brian:   And in a beautiful part of the world, too. I love Belize. So, to be able to come down, get some serious work done in the conference, but on your breaks, on lunch, for breakfast or for dinner, you’re out on the beach or out hanging around. You’re out learning about a pretty amazing culture. Bill, as you know, they speak English. Our money is welcome there. It’s not. . . If you’ve not done any research on Belize, those things might surprise you. It’s a former British protectorate, so all good in terms of travel. I speak to people all the time and they go, ‘Oh, Bri, you know with all the drug wars going on and all the gangs in Mexico, I don’t want to go there.’  Well, Belize, thankfully, seems untouched from all of that.

Bill:      Yeah, I would say Belize City has a little crime. Most of the crime here is petty. In other words, if you don’t lock your bicycle up at night, someone will take your bicycle. That’s just kind of the way it is in Central America. I guess that’s the way it is in Cleveland, too. So, it’s not really any different than a U.S. city. But I think, overall, what I’ve always said – We’ve talked about this before – what I’ve always said about Belize is there’s dogs walking up and down the street, which just tells me as a little bit of an indicator that the society hasn’t reached a point yet where it’s so regulated that every nook and cranny. . . I think here on San Pedro there’s the police department. I think a couple guys have guns. Most people have sticks. If you drive up to the Supreme Court building in Belize City, there’s a guy standing there with a stick or with a gun depending on what time of year it is, and that’s the security that the Supreme Court Justices have here.

So, it’s like America was maybe 80 to 100 years ago. They have cable T.V. and all of those other nonsensical things that we hold dear, but in terms of a society, they just think a little more old world. It’s a great cultural melting pot here, Brian. There’s not a lot of racism. You didn’t have the Civil War, so everyone gets along quite well. And, of course, in any culture, there’s good guys and bad guys. It’s a mistake to believe – We don’t believe what Russo believed that all you got to do is go to Belize and it’s like “The Cat’s in the Cradle;” you know we’ll have a good time, then, Brian. You know we’ll have a good time then. There’s struggles everywhere you go, so don’t think that there’s no sin in Belize, because there’s good guys and bad guys. There’s people that make bad decisions here, too. But, if you love diving, if you love the reef, if you love good weather, if you love the jungle, rain forest. . . What’s happening – we spoke to a realtor friend of ours yesterday – in southern part of Belize what’s really taking off is sustainable communities.

This is in the Placentia Region, and even in the Cayo Region here there’s more and more off the grid communities popping up where people just go to live. And I’ve got to warn you, it’s kind of older hippies. Those are the people that are there, but they’ve just had enough of the United States. And a lot of them just says, “Hey, how are we going to go do something different?”  So, they’re starting off. There’s a lot of homes that are powered with solar and so forth, and just really trying to get off the grid in a couple – not out here on the island, but on the mainland there’s just a lot of places now where it’s just popping up where there’s like doctors and folks that are really sort of tech savvy with respect to getting off the grid. So that’s something for folks to consider investigating, as well.

Brian:   Well, you know, when you look at some of the reports about what could happen to our grid in this country – and I mentioned it, too, this past weekend – that for me, I don’t look at them the way I used to for a couple different reasons, obviously the technology that you and I talk about, but also to dovetail back with the question that you asked in the beginning. If all this went for naught, could you live like Abraham Lincoln, you know what I mean? If the grid goes down, that doesn’t mean that life is over. Life the way we —

Bill:      Well, it’s just the opposite.

Brian:   Yeah.

Bill:      Yeah.

Brian:   Yeah.

Bill:      Well, it’s just the opposite. And when there’s trouble, here you don’t have all of the amenities that you have in the United States. And so, in the popular beach areas, you can go into the sort of higher end places and have those amenities, but the average people live very simply, as you know from being down here. So, there’s no – If the grid goes down, there’s no big jump for these people. They’re going to be eating beans and fish and rice, which is what they’re eating now and it’s a subsistence. It’s a very healthy meal, the foods that they eat, but it’s just that’s how they live. And so, if the lights go off in Chicago, nothing’s going to change here, because they don’t have aspirations.

I’m sure people would like to have the kind of wealth that the average American city has, but. . . You know, Brian, there’s oil here, and the country won’t let them drill. They discovered oil, but they won’t let them drill, because they want to protect the reef because, as you know, they have the world’s largest living reef. It’s just about a quarter of a mile out in front of me where I’m looking right now. It’s a beautiful reef. And after the reef, it drops off. It’s a thousand feet deep. So, you have really good fishing if you like tuna and that kind of stuff. You can go out there. But if you want grouper and stuff, on the inside reef you can just go out and fish for snapper and grouper right here, just a few feet from where I’m talking to you from.

Brian:   Oh, and it’s beautiful, too. I enjoy it there, the snorkeling, the boating, the birds. And even if you’re not into that kind of thing, if you’re not drawn to the water, just hanging out on the beach. You want to talk a little more about the. . . I know you said that Joel and Mike will be on here in a little bit. You want to talk a little more about the conference coming up?

Bill:      Well, I don’t have enough information right now to talk about it. I don’t know who their guests are, but I know one of the things that Joel is going to talk about is the Higher Act. And there’s some changes coming down this year about transferring money oversees and doing different things. Boy, people ought to pay attention to next week’s show. It will either be next week or the week after. Now, we’ve got Joel Gilbert coming on, which he might be next week or the week after, too, Joel Gilbert did the documentary Dreams of My Real Father. So, the next few episodes of Off the Grid Radio should be pretty exciting with respect to just what’s going on as it relates to the world that we find in front of us.

Brian:   Very cool. Well, I know that the seminars are always packed with information, but to your point, that’s what makes them so good is that Joel’s got his finger on the pulse. It’s Joel’s job to know exactly what’s going on when it comes to these different laws so that, you know, when they change, just like our tax code, when they change you have to have a professional working for you that’s on top of those changes, you know, if you’re going to stay ahead of the curve. So, that’s good to know.

Bill:      You bet, yeah. It will be a lot of fun.

Brian:   And what do you have planned for the rest of the week here? Are you going to do some of those things that we discussed earlier or what do you have?

Bill:      Today I’m going to go hang out with Trevor Bradley, my friend over at the building across the street, and talk to him for a little while about QRP and some other things, retirement plans that they have down here. But I think for Kim and I, it’s just going to be hanging out. You know, Brian, you wore me down with Saturday, so. . . We had such a huge day Saturday at our Melon Days Fall Festival that I think our plan was to come here and sort of depressurize, right.

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      In other words, that was a lot going on. And maybe we could talk for the folks that didn’t make it. We had done a show about what was going to happen there. And what happened was really pretty magical. There were people from Germany that came to see us. There were people from certainly Alabama, Georgia, places that we would have never expected visitors.

Brian:   And, you know, I saw one name in the book, Mumbai, India. Bet you can’t guess who that was? But, yeah, he signed himself in all the way from Mumbai, India.

Bill:      Well, you never know who you’re going to get when you put out an invitation. ‘Be careful what you wish for,’ I think someone said. But, yeah, some of our friends from a long ways away came to see us. And we tried to talk. As you saw earlier, Brian, that was a little bit of an Off the Grid episode, as well.

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      We had something very different this year. We had this tribute to our veterans, along with our good friend Travis Jerome. What was your take on how that second part – This was the first year we ever did anything like that in terms of trying to get people to recognize the narrative of service. And so, we had Bill Albrecht, but we also had Travis talking about Carry the Load. So, what was your take about how it went?

Brian:   You know I really enjoyed learning the attitude of Carry the Load where they say, ‘For the folks that have lost a loved one defending our country overseas, every day is Memorial Day. You’re forced to remember that person every day that you get up and they’re not there.’  So, that really kind of gripped me, Bill. I said on the television appearance the day prior that it gave me goose bumps to look at it that way. And, as you know, Carry the Load says, look, let’s make every day Memorial Day. Let’s not forget about the sacrifices both of the people that are fighting overseas and the sacrifices of the families that are here without the heads of their household or without their sons and daughters and nieces and nephews. So, I thought it was pretty powerful. You throw in that and the one, two, three – what do we have – four wood carvings, three of which pertained or modeled the Bald Eagle, some with flags, some a little more natural in motif, but I thought it was great. I thought it was beautiful, playing the Star Spangled Banner, one of the guys from the church —

Bill:      Jimmy Hendrix style.

Brian:   Jimmy Hendrix style, yeah, played the Star Spangled Banner. So, I thought it was really cool and very moving.

Bill:      It’s difficult, Brian, I guess from my standpoint. I think a lot of our listeners have sort of a Ron Paul-esc libertarian mindset and that is good. There’s nothing wrong with that. But, what this is about is, irrespective of how you feel about drones in Pakistan or whether we should be on the ground in Libya, Syria, Egypt, all of these other places, this event really had nothing to do with any of that. Soldiers don’t get a chance to decide where they’re going to serve and what they’re going to do. And I think people really need to make that distinction and understand a soldier is a soldier. Someone says, ‘Go there.’ Do this.’  So, don’t get mad at the Navy Seals. Don’t get mad at our troops when they’re sent someplace, because it’s really they signed up to be obedient to their leaders.

So, here we are, Brian. We’ve got not too long and we’re going to be making a decision about leadership in this country. So, it would seem like there’s not people – Let’s talk a little bit before we kind of close out about the difference between these two men that are running.

And I think a lot of our Republican friends really are on Romney’s side just as a push-off against President Obama, because they’re saying this is the worst presidency there’s ever been and so forth. But we have to remember we do have two socialists that have that under gird mindset running, two big government believers that in the Hegelian premise that government is God walking on earth to a greater or lesser degree. So, we’re voting for folks that really it’s just a question of what degree you like your socialism. Do you like it rare or do you like it cooked a little more. And that’s what you’ve got. And I think the horse that I was promoting a little more with Ron Paul is no longer in the hunt, so I guess – and people don’t like his new – I talk to people all the time.

My good friends don’t like his foreign policy and so forth. I’m not sure that a lot of folks really know his foreign policy. They hear talking points on Fox, and they just assume that he is someone for a week military. But that’s not the case. It’s water under the bridge at this point. What’s your take on the coming election, Brian?

Brian:   Well, you know, I spoke to someone yesterday, Bill, that’s one of the bigwigs in the Libertarian Party out of D.C., and they said that a lot of the polls that you see now on – and you know me, I’m the yin yang. I like reading the Drudge Report and I like reading the Huffington Post. I like watching Fox and I also more times than not struggle through watching MSMBC. I like to know what the combatants are thinking, right. In case you ever have to mix it up with one of them, you want to see both sides of the coin. But what I found fascinating was the folks at the Libertarian Party, when they poll and you throw Governor Johnson in; Governor Johnson now on national polls when you include Libertarians is polling at 20 percent, which is kind of a big deal.

And originally they thought that that draw would come all from the Republican Party, and they’re finding out now that it doesn’t. Their estimation – and I probably wouldn’t say their name, just in case they didn’t expect this to go out nationally – but their estimation is that a Libertarian vote might very well be taking a sizeable chunk of votes away from the Democratic platform, as well. So that when you throw all three names into the hat and you poll people from all three parties, Johnson’s in a fifth of registered voters who are going to vote.

Bill:      That’s amazing. I would have never guessed that that’s the case that Gary Johnson – Is this who we’re talking about is Gary Johnson?

Brian:   What did I say? Yeah.

Bill:      But that’s indicative of people that really, in my case, I’ve lost track of third party candidates. What I’m saying is indicative of just how that race is going. Wouldn’t it be something if he pulled a big number away from the other guys and how that sort of goes off? Who can tell, right? I would have never in my wildest dreams thought that you would get a Libertarian that would take votes from President Obama’s party.

Brian:   Well, when you look at some of the things President Obama has started to talk about of late, but that some of the platforms that President Obama is speaking about now are a little more Libertarian.

Bill:      Yeah. Maybe he’s tried to get himself a little more that direction. But here’s another thought as we kind of close down, too — and I haven’t seen the Dinesh D’Souza film. I’ve heard about it – where it talks about the anti-colonialism. And I had a friend over coffee tell me, yeah, he’s anti-colonial. And I said, well, how do drones in Pakistan figure into his. . . That seems pretty colonial to me, Brian. So, I don’t know. . . I know what people say, but I guess what Christ was advocating was finding out what someone’s fruits are. So, you can yap, yap, yap all you want about this deal, that deal, this policy, that policy, but what you actually do is something different. And I think President Obama to me has a confusing set of fruits as it were.

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      You see this kind of unraveling of what’s going on in Libya where it doesn’t seem like there’s any real policy, and maybe that itself is a policy. Maybe neutrality. . . Maybe there is no neutrality as we always say. Maybe not having a policy is, in fact, a policy. And so, I think he’s reaping the whirlwinds of what he thinks is neutrality. And then in other places he sends the message, he hits the button that says, ‘Go, man, go,’ with respect to having the military everywhere in the world. So, he’s a confusing guy to sort of try to figure out.

Brian:   That’s a great point, Bill, but let me ask you this question:  Let’s just look ahead in the future.  And, again, no hate mail, please. But let’s suppose you and I are talking right after the election. And President Obama wins with — let’s just pick a high number for the sake of discussion — 48 percent of the vote, not quite 50 percent, but 48 percent of the vote. Don’t we then have to kind of as a country look at ourselves in the mirror and go maybe this sense of independence and the sense of individuals picking themselves up by their own bootstraps, maybe that’s being replaced in our country. We can’t say, ‘Oh, the evil guy who’s doing this and that to undermine our democracy or our country if that’s your belief. But if he pulls in the high 40’s, he’s got some other people digging his beat, drinking the Kool-Aid.

Bill:      Drinking the Kool-Aid. Well, I think Governor Romney was right about his comment about 47 percent. And who gets the blame for that, the individuals, the culture, I don’t know. But the idea is we’re nearing a tipping point in our culture where the folks that don’t produce have a vote and they’re going to vote to take from those who produce. And when that happens, producers tend to say, look, I’m going to either not produce at all or I’m going to produce less. Then what happens is that 47 percent goes up even higher, because folks don’t expand the factory settings that they were going to expand on, and the people that do have money, make investment decisions, will say, you know what, I’m going to get out of this. I can’t deal with this, because I need to know what policies are certain. And when there’s uncertainty, the businessmen sort of tend to “go cash,” and they don’t expand.

So, I think that what the 47 percent really don’t understand is, as they vote to take stuff from those who produce, they’re only cutting themselves, and it’s a lot of slashes and it’s bloody. And socialism doesn’t work. You can’t steal from somebody else. So, there is a whirlwind, and this is what you’re hinting at. There is a whirlwind that’s going to be reaped. That’s what we’ve been talking about for the last couple years. It’s every part of our culture. And I think we’ve been talking about the economy so much. It’s true, but what affects the economy is a way of thinking. And what are the ultimacies in that economy — excuse me, in that philosophical system? What do people consider to be right and wrong in a system? And if we make the decision that it’s okay to take from somebody else, or as President Obama would say, ‘I like to spread the wealth around a little bit.’

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      That’s just code. . . That’s Marxist code. I mean, really, he’s not even coding anything. He’s just saying I’m a socialist at a minimum, and perhaps I’m a Marxist at the maximum. He’s someplace in that, between that axis point and another axis point. So, we really live in a very dangerous time, Brian.

Brian:   Well, we’re coming up on just about a month out from Election Day, a month and a week, so it will be a very exciting time. And I know that you’ll be talking about it and thinking about it. We’ll be talking about it here at Off the Grid News. And, if nothing else, Bill, you got to be excited to see how it’s going to turn out.

Bill:      Well, as we always say, God’s in control. And so, for me, it needs to be exciting for people. They need to do all they can. Remember Stonewall Jackson.

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      We say it over and over and over. Duty is ours. Consequences are God’s. So, what do we do as people who want to be self-reliant even in a downturn, even in a crisis? We do all we can, but then at the end of the day we rest knowing that God’s in charge, and that consequences are God’s and outcomes are God’s. That’s a different pay grade than certainly I have, and how it all ends up is his business and not mine. But incumbent upon everyone listening to this is to get ready for some times unlike they’ve ever experienced in their lives.

Brian:   All right, Bill. I can’t think of a better thought to leave the show on, unless, of course, you have any other ones. Coming to us from Belize, what are you thinking?

Bill:      Nope, I’m thinking that’s good, Brian. It’s great talking to you today. Thanks for stepping in, in the dungeon there for me in the studio and hanging out with Tom and Jeremy.

Brian:   You almost said Tom and Jerry; didn’t you? You almost said Tom and Jerry. That’s what it’s like, Tom and Jerry. It’s like a cartoon when you’re not here, Bill. It really is.

Bill:      It’s a little bit like Tom and Jerry, I’m sure, with Tom and Jeremy, but guys, we’ll see you in a week.

Brian:   And you know, Bill, Jeremy’s smirking, because he thinks he’s going to edit that out, but I think I’ll sit here and make sure that this edit is done the way we want it.

Bill:      You guys feel free to edit whatever you want out. You can edit my comments out, yours, whatever you want to do. Have a party. The cat’s away, the mice can play; whatever metaphor you want to say.

Brian:   Sounds good. All right, Bill, have a great time in Belize. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining a very unique Off the Grid News. I’m in the studio. Bill Heid on assignment in Belize. Thank you as always for joining us. We know an hour is a big chunk of your day, and it really is an honor to have you here with us at

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