Hosts, Bill Heid and Brian Brawdy speak with Captain Bill Simpson, “The Nautical Prepper.” Captain Bill made an appearance on National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers and was awarded the highest score “The Practical Preppers” have ever given with a score of 83. Captain Bill tells Heid and Brawdy about what has contributed to his need to be prepared. He also goes on to talk about the influences of social media and the misrepresentation of information that is found on social media and why finding a credible source is extremely important.
For the second half of the show Heid and Brawdy sit down to discuss the hypocrisies that exist in everything from “reality TV” to today’s political structures. Heid and Brawdy discuss why they believe that prayer plays a huge role in the success of a recent hit reality TV show. Brawdy challenges Heid and the listeners with the fairness of holding one GITMO prisoner for over a decade without a trial or a conviction. Then things get deep when they go on to talk about what effect political structures have on God’s plan.
Off The Grid Radio
Release Date May 9, 2013
Announcer: Welcome to Off the Grid Radio. Better ideas to bust you and your family out of today’s global control grid. Now, here’s today’s show.
Brian: Ladies and gentlemen, as the announcer says, welcome to Off The Grid News—the radio version of OffTheGridNews.com. Brian Brawdy here, as always, with Mr. Bill Heid. Bill, how are you? Great to see you.
Bill: Brian, I’m excited to be here with you, as always. Good to see you. Thanks for driving in today.
Brian: My pleasure.
Bill: You met some bad weather. Did you get some baseball sized hail?
Brian: You know, Jeremy was telling me about the baseball-sized hail. Apparently I was a little south and east of that, but I got the winds that would have compelled that hail to be re-circulated in those cloud tops, so it was a windy two and a half hours. What normally is an hour and 15 minutes, it was an extra hour.
Bill: Thanks for braving the storms.
Brian: My pleasure. Thanks for buying lunch.
Bill: You bet. I’m very excited about our guests. Well Brian, there’s always a lunch in it for somebody. Let’s talk a little bit about our guests. I’m excited to talk to this guest, because it’s kind of like we’re meeting the winner today on something.
Brian: Well I keep hearing that. A fellow doomsday prepper, if you’ve seen any of the episodes on National Geographic. We have here with us today Captain Bill Simpson. Captain Bill, how are you sir?
Bill S.: Good morning. I’m doing very well and I thank you for having me on the show today.
Bill H: Hey Bill, talk a little bit about your experience with filming, before we move into other things. Brian was on the show, as I said, so it’s kind of interesting. They had to come aboard your boat to do this so that must have been a lot of fun to have an extra crew along.
Bill S: It was a very interesting experience. The National Geographic people are great people to work with. We got along really well. It was a little bit crowded because they had a whole gang of people there. Professionals, so they had standby emergency crews and sound people and camera people and assistant producers and the field director, so it was a lot of fun. We had fun doing it and I would recommend it to anybody. Just doing that part of it alone is worth doing.
Bill H: Now it seems to me on a lot of the shows, and this kind of fits into the theme of how preppers get marginalized sometimes. What kind of creates some issues in some ways, is National Geographic is like everybody else and they have to sell advertising times, so it seems like they’re always looking for a little bit of tin foil, a little bit of craziness, occasionally, in some of their guests. Did you find them kind of looking for odd moments that could be used at a commercial break or something?
Bill S: No. From my chair, that wasn’t the case. They’ve got about 18 minutes to tell your story, so you can’t get into every variation of every disaster scenario. You sort of have to pick a place and say, “Okay, let’s talk about this subject.” So we had something to pick – EMT, solar flare – but that allows you to produce a show. If you try to show everything out there, and then also you have to pay for it somehow, so you have to have advertisements as you indicated. So really it limits you, and sometimes that can make people look flukey when they’re really not. Not by intention. It’s just the fact that you try to do a lot in 18 minutes. It’s hard to do. It’s amazing that they do it. I have to salute them for what they do do.
Bill H: It takes a lot of editing and it takes a lot of work and it’s certainly an achievement in some ways. Tell me, where were you filming this? You were in your boat, but what part of the world were you at?
Bill S: We were at the mouth of the Columbia River, and about five miles from the Pacific Ocean.
Bill H: And for those who haven’t seen the show and a lot of our listeners – you’re talking to a real core audience and a lot of our listeners watch the show – but for those that haven’t watched it, talk a little bit about why your approach scored so many points. Why your approach was so unique and just a little bit about your background.
Bill S: Okay. Well, that’s a bit of a mouthful, but I can take care of that. First of all, I’ve been involved in preparedness without knowing it almost my whole life. I started out as a young man going to school in Los Angeles, we’d have fire drills and nuclear war drills. You know, in public schools in Los Angeles school district. They’d chop the blinds and the lights and you’d go under your desk and that was our nuclear war drill. We also had fire drills once a week. It kind of gets you to thinking, “Wow, this is for real.” The teachers are concerned and this is real. So even as a young boy you are concerned. But the thing I kind of learned my butch craft from Cub Scouts and then the Boy Scouts. I don’t know what they’re doing these days, but that’s when your butch craft skills were the primary focus of Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, so we learned to do all the standard butch craft things and in Boy Scouts we even built an Indian canoe from scratch, which was quite a project for our pack.
And then going from that, my Dad was a seasoned war veteran, he was Second Airborne in Europe and jumps into battle, and we relocated to Oregon in the middle 60s and moved to a 100-acre working ranch. So we had to take basically all the skills we had to run that ranch, everything from splitting timber, splitting logs for fence posts, treating with creosote, chickens, rabbits, hogs, sheep, goats, cows, whatever. And it really put you to the test. Living off the grid like that is a great exercise, but it’s not the same as disaster survival. And who knows what disaster could possibly befall us. I’m more of a pragmatic person, I studied to be an M.D. at Oregon State and so I’m sort of looking at the things that could happen. A real world analysis. So if you start looking at things that happen on a 20, 30, 40, 50-year basis, and you look at the potential risks, those are the things that I think you really need to address. Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, tsunamis. We do get hit by solar flares more regularly than the media lets on, and if you do a Google search you can find out that we’ve been hit, damaged in the early 2000s and late 1900s. Couple of times we’ve lost be big. transformers. So that’s no joke. That’s real, and of course you have the potential EMP.
But, preparing for those things, with regard to what are you looking at. It’s all the same stuff everyone is talking about. You’re talking about what are the risks?. Okay, you’ve got the risks from dehydration and you need water. You have the risk of starvation. You need food. You have the risk of exposure. You need shelter. And of course with disaster, there’s the potential risk of mortal combat or somebody inflicting injury on you because they’re competing for resources. People get desperate. You take rescue swimming. You learn how to approach a drowning victim because they don’t want to hurt you, but they’re so desperate that if you approach them incorrectly, they could drown you while they’re drowning. That’s kind of what happens. People get really desperate and do things they wouldn’t do under normal circumstances. So you look at those real scenarios, what are the risks? The risk of being injured by somebody competing with you for resources, I think, is a real risk post-disaster. We’ve seen it anytime you look at a U.N. food station. You look at what’s gone on. I mean, that’s a violent situation when they’re actually giving food out and there’s violence. So how much worse could it be post disaster? So you’ve got to prepare for those things. Fortunately, I think our paradigm, where you remove yourself from the risk is, I think is a superior solution. I don’t think it’s a solution everyone could adopt. Some people have serious medical conditions, very serious fears of the water, and there are a lot of unfounded fears of the ocean. You know, rouge waves and and all these other sensationalized things, just don’t occur out there. My viewpoint is to remove myself and my loved ones from any potential risk to the extent possible. And that’s how we arrived at this paradigm.
Bill H: Captain Bill, let’s talk a little bit about, then, how the media – you get electromagnetic waves coming from the sun, but you also get them from the media in some sense – how does the media play into prepping and being self reliant? It seems like you get a little bit of action where it’s plausible. People are talking about putting self-reliance in its proper perspective, but in the mainstream media, I think we have a totally different story, don’t we?
Bill S: Yeah, I think there’s a misrepresentation of who preppers really are. A lot of that stems from some of the things that circulate around the internet. There is a lot of bad information. A lot of people who are experts in preparedness just prefer not to enter into the frame because of the stigma of being labeled as a prepper. Really, there’s no reason for that. I think that prepping is what FEMA professes themselves, but they don’t necessarily use that particular term. It’s a shortened, somewhat politically correct term. Used to be survivalists, I think. Nonetheless, I think a lot of people are afraid to be labeled as preppers. Preppers are regular people just like everybody else. They’re looking at the risks. A lot of people don’t want to stand up and say, “I’m a prepper,” because they think they’re going to be judged. And people are judging other people who are preppers improperly because of the bad information that circulates. I think there needs to be better representation within the group. I think most people need to stop worrying about what other people think about preppers, and the people who have the knowledge, the credible knowledge, they can back it up with credentials and experience and say, “Look, I’ve experienced this and done this. Here is what I bring to the discussion.” And have other people who are looking to learn listen to those people, as opposed to people who may or may not have any experience and tend to remain anonymous. That tends to create a problem for the whole prepper paradigm.
People want to stand in the shadows and claim (inaudible) as if they’re guarding some first class military secret, and maybe they have one bad idea you’re working from. The neighbors know you’ve got it – who cares? You know? I mean it’s unfounded. That hurts the movement. The movement needs to move past the paranoia and basically from my chair, my paradigm takes me to where I’m removing myself from the risk. I’m leaving if something happens. A lot of people have to stay and deal with it. So the more people who are prepped, the better it is for them. If you’ve got people around you who all have six months worth of supplies, that’s going to liberate that competition for resources after a disaster. If the world went down and God forbid if it did, that would create a lot of chaos. At the same time, if everyone was prepared, then it would be an easy thing to work through. People would have all the basics covered. You can work together in a cooperative effort to get things fixed up again. Whereas, if there’s a stigma toward prepping or nobody’s got more than three or four days worth of food and water, that runs out really quickly and then the unprepped, as I call them, become the real risk. You have these other people who are well prepped, saying, “Well, I’ve got to defend myself against the unprepped,” so they’re buying guns and ammo. And that just sets up a really bad dichotomy. I think that has to stop. I think preppers need to come out and educate others, legitimate preppers who have the knowledge, who have the experience, and say, “Look, I’m a prepper and here is who I am, here’s my stuff, and I’m going to try and help other people understand what it takes to be a good prepper.” I think the whole movement could benefit from that.
Bill H: Captain Bill, you raise a valid point when you say, either manmade or by mother nature, if something happens to the power grid and goes down, in effect we go back to living in, what, 1910? 1800? If the grid goes down we would lose a good bit of our overall ability, day-in and day-out of what we know now, but it really shouldn’t compromise our ability to live. We may not have flat screen TVs and smartphones and the like, but most certainly human beings have been surviving a lot longer without an electrical grid than they have with one.
Bill S: That’s true. And I explain that in my book. People always ask, “What happens to your boat if you should lose some of your electronics?” Well, people have been circumnavigating the globe since the 1500s. That’s in any of our history books, read about the Vikings and the Phoenicians and Columbus and Magellan and Cortez, explorers that were on pretty rickety boats, compared by today’s standards, have gone all around the world with zero electronics. You’re quite right. If we lost the grid and people weren’t prepared with the basics, if they had the food and the water and the shelter and they could just all work together because they’re not competing for resources, I think it would be very easy. Of course you’d have to have enough people, the centers of our commerce we have locally, but what would you do then if you needed a blacksmith, or example? That’s becoming a lost art. You’re going to need make things out of metal if we don’t have blacksmiths, so there are some deficiencies in the infrastructure if we lost the grid, but again, if people are prepared and can move forward in an organization manner, not in competition with each other, I think anything could be overcome at that point. Right now there are too many people who remain unprepared. And unfortunately, it’s a lot of people in the lower and middle-income brackets that are unprepared.
So we’ve got to get out there. People need to take time on the internet and however they can to educate people on what they need to do there. Some of these risks are very real. We’ve seen Katrina and Sandy, for instance. It could be just a regional disaster, and you could have tens of thousands of people who are really facing serious hardships, things that are really necessary. They won’t have the food, the extra blankets, the clothing, all the things we talk about in basic prepping. If they’d had those things, they would be way better off. And the other thing is, the government needs to get behind this. Because if you’re a federal or local relief agency, and you’ve got people who have three or four days or food and water, you have a lot of pressure on infrastructure and resources to get in and help them. Whereas if you have a whole bunch of people who are really prepared, who can sit a week or two and not be running out of fresh water, not going to be running out of food, they’ve got warmth and shelter, because they are prepared, then that takes the burden off the government some. It lets them have a window of opportunity to get wrapped up with relief efforts. Today, the way it stands, they’d be lucky if they have three days worth of food and water. So that puts a huge burden on organizations like FEMA. Because if they don’t snap into action immediately, these people are in serious trouble.
Bill H: You bet Captain Bill. Is your book available yet? I noticed on Amazon it’s pre-order. Is that available on your site?
Bill S: No, it’s not available yet. My publisher, Ulysses Press, is there. They’ve got Santa’s elves busy printing it, I guess. Supposed to be released the first week of August, as I understand.
Bill H: Okay, fantastic. So, you and some other folks are putting out credible information about self-reliance, prepping, as you say. Tell us a little bit about – because you’ve delved into this a little bit as you’ve started to explore social media – tell us a little bit about what you’ve discovered what goes on in Twitter, for example, and other places in social media where folks that really don’t maybe live this life or know as much about it are kind of gaining a following by using popular phrases or whatever it is. And then you’re kind of following the wrong guy, maybe. Is that too much of a stretch?
Bill S: Well, I think what you’ve got is the prepping industry, depending on where you look, is as much as a two-billion dollar a year opportunity in the United States. That’s a lot of money. So, you’ve got that much of business stuff up for grabs, because again you still have the stigma of prepping, so the mainstream people haven’t jumped into the sector yet. A lot of people want to stay at arm’s length from being associated with the brand name of prepping. There are even knife companies that don’t want to associate with preppers, and they don’t want to be endorsed by a prepper, and for that reason. So you’ve got a lot of people jumping into this opportunity, and the marketing aspects in it are tremendous. A lot of opportunity. So Twitter is a place that a lot of people play and they jump in there and they’ll get an alias or twelve, so you’ve got some people in there, like Mr. Smith in the Matrix, there’s six or eight of themselves and the angle there is, obviously, if you can control the mindshare on a Twitter flood and get more people to believe you’re credible because of your popularity – and you can gain popularity, as I understand it, by buying followers. You can go on Google and there’s all kinds of people selling Twitter followers. For $3.95 you can buy 1,000 followers. So, I’m assuming, because that’s such a business, selling followers, I’m sure that there’s a lot of people taking advantage of that. I see a lot of people with thousands and thousands of followers and so most people have gotten their followers through normal accretion. People have gravitated toward them because they’ve made interesting posts and what have you over the years. I’m sure other people are just bulking up very quickly so they have that appearance of credibility. So they’re using that, an anonymous avatar or cartoon or whatever you want to call it, an alias, and you’re out there posting.
Basically, it’s up to the audience to conduct any due diligence. Who are you, really? And how many of you are there? It’s very difficult to determine the quality of the information. Even reposting by people like that. If somebody finds an article, and they’re operating from behind their avatar, and they’re totally anonymous, go from their avatar profile to their website, that’s still all anonymous. You can’t find out who they are and what is their experience? What are their credentials for saying what they say? So even if that person reposts some information they find somewhere else, are they qualified to vet that information? Are they qualified to determine, “Is this valid? Or should this even be shown or repeated on the thread?” The other day there was a poster; somebody had written an article about how to build a jamming device to jam drones. And I saw that and then somebody re-Tweeted, and it got posted on one of the webzines, and I was looking at it and I’m going, “Man, that is just such a mistake.” Because, can you imagine, let’s say there were domestic drones and somebody could jam a drone. That’s the last thing you’d want is a drone, made of ammunition, to crash into a mall or a school. How wrong is that? So the thing is if it was somebody who has credibility, experience and understands things, they would have never reposted that. They would have said, “That’s really bad. That’s got to get stopped.”
Bill H: Hey Bill. If it’s a prepper that is sort of a middle class citizen that built some sort of device that did a drone. And by the way, if you’re listening to this, you probably should not do this because my guess is that the FBI would probably want to know where you’re at and maybe talk to you a little bit – maybe for a long time, I don’t know – but think about the media cycle if … and again, this is not meant to be, in any sense, a stir toward the Islamic sector of our audience, but if you’re a Muslim and you blow somebody up, the fact that you did that will be in the news cycle. But the fact that it’s sort of initiated by your belief system, it would be dropped quickly. But if you’re a prepper, that would stay in the news cycle for weeks and weeks and weeks. So, that does the whole community damage, right?
Bill S: Absolutely correct. And so, with regard to that, I was at a summit down in Dallas, Daily Bread put on a summit down there called the “Ready, Set, Prep” summit, and Tim Howard was there and Tim has been in disaster management as a professional since 1985. He’s been all over the place. Every major disaster, he’s been on the ground, and Tim and I were kind of talking about this, and we both believe that other credentialed people in the industry, that folks need to get out there, who have the credentials and the experience in the various sectors of expertise, and post, using their real names, on Twitter. Build some credibility in the prepper sector. There are people who have genuine bona fide reasons for either using a brand name, which is a type of an alias, a user brand name, or having an alias because maybe you’ve got a stalker or you have an abusive partner and you want to participate online but you don’t want to be found out or what have you. There are a lot of good people out there using an alias. I don’t want anybody to get me wrong about that. But if you’re going to come on there and have any air of expertise or control using multiple aliases of yourself to dominate a thread, I think you need to be transparent. I think its’ very important for credibility in the prepper sector to build this level of credibility, have people on there with credentials and experience, who are totally transparent, saying, “Look, I’m not bragging. I’m not trying to impress anybody with what I’ve done. I am what I am, like Popeye says. That’s all that I am. All I can do is share what I know.” And by sharing what your experience is, it allows the audience to say, “Okay, that person knows about this and that’s important because now, if they say, “Take a look at this article,” and repost it, it’s vetted by someone who is demonstrability has some real knowledge and can decide, “Okay, is this good or bad?” Versus somebody who we know nothing about, who reposts stuff, and it gets reposted and reposted and maybe it’s bad. That’s not good for the prepper industry. That’s got to stop.
Bill H: I was going to say, you kind of get that from the media. The media runs with stories that aren’t credible. The media runs with reporters that don’t know what they’re talking about. The media will pick up a story from another outlet and then run with it. So, I see your passion for wanting to make sure that people post legitimate stuff, but when you think you’re a news agency – not unlike someone in the mainstream media, or any type of media, really – the number of people who are hoodwinked because the media runs with a story that was first posted in The Onion, but then ABC picks it up and makes it a breaking news story only later to have to retract it. I’m not just saying ABC, but any of the media outlets. So, I think folks learn it from there. There are all kinds of sources in the regular media that you can’t trust.
Bill H: Here’s another thing I’ll mention, just from a marketer, we have products and sell products as well. But what’s happened – we were in this a long, long time ago – and what’s happened is marketers have actually figured out a way to, out of their doublewide trailer, to do exactly what you’ve said. Knock our products off. You order them. Let’s say we sell seeds, for example. You order them, and you don’t get germination-tested seeds. We abide by all the rules and test all our seeds. We’re in compliance with all the organizations that ask for that, and so you have people who are able to cut and paste copy, steal your website copy on the marketing side, create some Twitter accounts like you’re saying, creating some behind the scenes things, all while they’re in their double-wide trailer. And you could walk into our place and talk to us anytime. We have a storefront and you can see us, visit us. We invite people to come in all the time. We love to talk with our friends and customers. But the Internet has allowed that kind of thing to exist, and Captain Bill, there are even classes on how to do that stuff. How to be diabolical.
Bill S.: That’s a shame. And the thing is, you guys, because you’re using your career, business front and your names and everything, you’re accountable. How do you hold a cartoon accountable for anything? An alias? How do you hold that person into account? You can’t. And so the credibility, that’s the whole thing here. We need to establish credibility. People are bold enough and brave enough and believe in prepping enough to stand up and use their real names and credentials and go out there and say, “Here’s my experience. Judge me by my experience, not by a bunch of smoke and mirrors and my number of followers. Judge me by my experience. And then take my information for what it’s worth. Use a grain of salt. At least here’s what I’ve done.” In your case you’re out there, you’re credible, you’re upfront and people can make an informed decision. But when you have people dominating the mindshare and obviously the market, to monetize the whole prepper industry for themselves, we need to start policing ourselves. And we need to do that by respecting, supporting the people who do use their true identities. If they’re brave enough to come out there and say, “This is who I am,” those people should be respected and supported more than an alias or a cartoon character. That’s what it has to come to. Otherwise, the prepper industry will remain a big joke.
Bill H: I want to make sure, we’re coming up on the bottom of the hour, and I want to get in – and I should tell people you were voted by people as the number one on episodes on National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers, you were voted number one. You were the best prepper of the year, so clearly you know what it is that you are talking about. And if people are interested in learning even more, of course they can visit www.nauticalprepper.com. Captain Bill, we’re going to have to run to a hard commercial break. Thank you so very much for hanging out with us, and congratulations again for your number one position on National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to run to a quick commercial break. Come on back. We’ve got a full half hour waiting for you.
(End of Segment One)
(Beginning of Segment Two)
Announcer: Welcome back to Off The Grid Radio. Better ideas for off the grid living.
Brian: Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome back to the second half of Off The Grid Radio. Brian Brawdy here, as always, with Mr. Bill Heid. Bill, what’d you think?
Bill: Well, Brian, he brings up a lot of good points. Especially the thing that hit me probably the hardest as he was talking about this underworld social media stuff, was all the people who have knocked off the products that we developed a long time ago, four years ago, five years ago, six years ago, whatever, and then create this social thing and then actually sell stuff. What I should have told Bill, what’s really interesting is, we’ll get complaints logged against us occasionally and when we drill it down, we’ll find out they didn’t order from us at all. They ordered from this guy that Captain Bill is talking about, and the seeds didn’t come up of whatever story it might be. It creates a lot of just bad rhythms and white noise, whatever you want to call it, in the background and really, there’s nobody that wins in that deal. Except the guy that has sort of got his rifle out, and he’s sniping from his doublewide at legitimate players. In this industry, the industry of self-reliance, has taken on a different feel. There’s an elasticity in markets everywhere, so money has flown and come into this market. And anytime there’s money, what’s Tom Cruise say about that? Follow it to find out what the deal is. I was in Sam’s Club the other day and found dehydrated food. Stacks and stacks and stacks of it. So, we sell dehydrated food, and if somebody buys their dehydrated food from Sam’s, good for them. But it’s kind of a function of what Bill was saying. At least the word is getting out. But, boy, it’s tough. What is truth?
Brian: As I ask you all the time, why let truth take the process? Right?
Bill: Well, and what you brought up about the media, Brian, I thought that was spot on. Because the media, and I don’t know in the old days maybe a reporter would get an envelope in the mail or somebody would deliver it to him with some cash to write a story about something. In the old days I think that was kind of the way big city things ran. Today I don’t quite know how that is, but the media seems so complacent and compliant with what big companies and big government want to do. And so there’s like a three-headed monster of big government, of businesses that exist as a result because of this fascist view of only the insiders get to know people like G.E., Obama, Bush, they’re insiders in this current e-poc, the insiders win. Little guys like us have to fight out in the sticks for our survival, but big insiders win because they know in advance the Federal Reserve, they’re all friends. And then the third head on that beast is obviously the media. They’re all kind of together. Big business, government and the storytellers. They’re creating the narrative for what goes on, Brian. And then even if you watch Fox – people watch Fox to try to get fair and balanced – and even if you watch Fox I have to say, you’re not getting fair and balanced. You’re getting a little more conservative version of the stew that is being prepared by people in the shadows, that I don’t know who they are.
Brian: I would say your point is validated with one tagline: White House correspondents’ dinner. Now, Ed Henry of Fox News
Bill: Did we get invited to that?
Brian: We did not, oddly enough. But here’s Ed Henry from Fox News, now threatening lawsuits because they want to trademark or copyright or whatever it is White House Correspondents Dinner. But now when you talk about all the money, all the celebrity, all the political power, all in one big bash, and then people say, “I heard it on the news. It’s got to be true. I heard it here, I heard it there.” And it’s not just Fox News. It’s all the different news outlets that have an agenda.
I had an opportunity to speak yesterday at a rotary club in my community and they were talking about young people, up and coming young people, and how they could be trained in the media. For me, it’s an easy thing. If you want to be in TV, “I’m going to be a TV reporter,” then you’re going to be a part of the problem. If you want to report the truth, that’s a totally different creature than being on TV, right?
Brian: Totally different creature. You want to report the truth. You want to be Edward R. Murrow. You want to report the truth? Then in your mind you have nothing to anchor to this thought of wanting to be on TV. They’re two totally different beasts. You want to be on TV? Become an actor. You want to be a reporter? Don’t have an agenda. Don’t be spun. And do to the best of your ability, report to what you perceive to be the truth.
Bill: Glenn Beck has been accused of being an entertainer, and then when confronted he says, “Yes, I am an entertainer.” But Glenn’s not the only guy. Bill O’Reilly has advertising to sell. Wolf Blitzer has advertising to sell. So, to think that you’re getting reality by watching television … I mean, Brian, listen. Even in the movies. In real life, people have intelligent conversations with each other. In real life people pray, right? Before you eat. We pray when we have lunch. When’s the last time you saw somebody pray without going to a Christian movie? When’s the last time? People don’t behave the way they do in television and in the movies.
Brian: Can I tell you, that’s one of the reasons, and people will argue with me over it, but that’s one of the reasons I think Duck Dynasty … I got an email this morning saying Duck Dynasty is the number one show, killing it some kind of graphic. There’s some kind of chart saying Duck Dynasty is the most watched non-scripted reality show. And do you know why I think? Other than the fact that they clown around a bit, do you know why I think that is?
Bill: I’d love to hear.
Brian: How do they end every show, Jeremy? How do they end every single Duck dynasty? With a prayer. It’s the dad sitting around the table and he says, “Okay, let’s pray.” And he says a closing prayer.
Bill: My friend Nick Huezinga brought something to my attention Sunday at church. He said something to the effect of, “You know I was watching Twin Peaks the other day.” Remember the old show Twin Peaks?
Brian: I do.
Bill: Years and years ago, a really dark humor in it, but an interesting show. He said to me, “Every episode is created by the fact that every character breaks his or her promise to every other character, and that is the show.” Promise breaking is the show, and that’s what people liked in some sense. And I think that’s the debauchery. You and I have been talking about covenant lately and what does it mean to shake somebody’s hand. What does it mean to say, “Hey, I’ll be there or your check will be ready in X?” What’s that mean? It meant something totally different to the people in the early part of this country’s founding period than it does today. I would say today we’re by and large living in a world that is swirling pragmatism. What does it have to do? What does the news have to be tonight for us to get X ratings over that network? Do we need to have a girl that is more beautiful or a lower-cut dress? What do we need to win? Because we’ve got stockholders, we’ve got shareholders. We’ve got an audience. We all get our salaries. So I think everything, especially in the United States, is a little bit remised by the idea that it’s not reality. You’re seeing something very different. And the problem, Brian, speaking of keeping promises, if you feed your kids junk food, are they going to get drafted in the first round? Probably not. If you feed your kids healthy things, garbage in, garbage out. If you feed them healthy things, they’re going to grow up, and how much more true is that of the mind if the input factor on children … if you let them watch TV, that becomes a paradigm of reality, and so that’s their worldview. It’s like bats, right? They’re bouncing radar off. Everything they see is in terms of their worldview, and this worldview is created by something other than you, parents, grandparents. It’s created by something totally artificial. It is the Matrix. Captain Bill talked about the Matrix – you’re living in the Matrix!
Brian: Absolutely. When you think about people … we’ve implemented this thing now with my son and daughter that they’re limited to a number of hours a day. You can watch TV or be on your iPhone or your iPad. Right?
Brian: There’s been a marked difference in their behavior since getting their iPad and iPhone. In terms of removing from the community of the moment, everything going on in that moment. You can only say, “Hey,” so many times. “Hey, put down the iPad, let’s go outside and do this or that.” You find if you don’t get ahold of it now, Bill, as the pendulum swings, you have to up the ante to break their attention to those devices down the road.
Bill: Oh yeah.
Brian: You want to nip it in the bud early.
Bill: You might as well do it when they’re little.
Brian: Do it when they’re little. I saw a great quote the other day that says, “Why handicap your kids by making their early life easy on them?” And I wish I remember who wrote the quote, but it’s, “Why handicap your kids by making their early life easy on them?” Reminds me of our friend, looking for omens and the bees. You remember? He said, “My parents said they didn’t raise kids, they raised adults.”
Bill: He wanted a bucket and a mop for Christmas. Isn’t that amazing? He was an amazing young man. I told you he should be the next president.
Brian: Well, I see here this morning that President Obama, the tagline is, “Maybe I should just pack up and go home.” Golly. So maybe there’s going to be an opening pretty soon. In a response to a question, “Maybe I should just pack up and go home.” So maybe there’s going to be an opening.
Bill: Certainly, speaking of the correspondents’ dinner, certainly that’s his way of being cute. He is a very cute and able laid-back president from that standpoint. He’s good. If you watch some clips from the correspondents’ dinner, he can deliver jokes about himself, about Dick Morris, about other people, in a way that most presidents can’t do. If I look back at all the presidents at the Bush Library opening, I wouldn’t look at those guys and say, “Who can deliver a joke?” I think Clinton was a joke, but I don’t think anybody there could deliver a joke. Obama can, so you have to give him credit for that. I’m not going to give him credit for too many other things, but I’ll give him credit.
Brian: Well, but you and I have talked before, my friend. I give him a ton of credit for knowing his audience.
Bill: As a communicator.
Brian: Yeah, as a communicator. He knows his audience.
Bill: And we get feedback from people who will say, “Why are you saying something nice about him?” I’m not sure we’re saying something nice. I think what we’re saying is, you need to know and understand who the President is. He’s your President and really, there’s a sense of cunning there and I don’t think there’s enough credit for what’s really going on. You’re talking to, I used to call Reagan one of my favorite guys, certainly not 100 percent great person, but a guy I worked for, campaigned for, tried to get a lot done. He was called the Great Communicator. I think Obama’s obviously done a good job at telling his story. Which, unfortunately, is 180 degrees from Reagan’s, because his story was, a chicken in every pot. I’m going to give you some stuff. Here’s some government cheese. We can’t lay anybody off; we need to hire more government workers. On and on and on. Reagan’s was sort of, “All right, you air traffic controllers. You don’t like the deal? You’re fired. Bring the new people in.” Remember that?
Bill: He dealt with that in kind of a rough sense, just the same way he did with the Middle East at that time, and I think he got a lot of credit for that. People, even his enemies, after he died, really thought, “Here’s a man that believes in something. I may disagree with it,” they’d say, “The left side about him, but I still respect him.” So, that’s quite a thing to have, and I think you mentioned Duck Dynasty? Why do these people get credit? Because it’s an attempt to keep promises, I think. People saw Reagan as a guy who was attempting to keep his promises. And I think people see the guys of Duck Dynasty, and there’s kind of a written law, right, with those guys?
Bill: You say you’re going to do something? What’s the law say? Well, are you going to do it?
Brian: Okay, then let me ask you this, Bill. I’ve been looking forward to talking to you all morning about this. This is a story, probably a lot of our readers are not subscribers at the very least to the New York Times, but there was an opinion page that I wanted to ask you about, and it talked a little bit about Gitmo, and it’s talking about one of the detainees that’s been there for 11 years, three months, and he’s never been charged with a crime. Never received a trial. So when it comes to looking at other human beings, people say, “Well, he’s not from our country. The constitution doesn’t apply to him.” Okay, great. But the Constitution was supposed to protect inalienable rights, endowed by your Creator. The Constitution, Declaration of Independence, didn’t talk about the Creator as just the Creator of the United States. So can you imagine, talking about giving your word and keeping it, talking about a covenant. Here’s a guy, Gitmo, 11 years, 3 months, never been charged with a crime, never received a trial. No one seriously thinks this guy is a particular threat, but he’s still here. Someone said years ago he was a “guard” for Osama Bin Laden, and they don’t seem to believe it anymore, but they’re willing to let him sit there. Even from someone who is construed as an enemy combatant, don’t they have some right to a speedy trial? To meet their accuser? To know what they’ve been charged with?
Bill: You ask a good question. I had by chance – I won’t reveal the congressman’s name – but I had a chance to have this discussion in the congressional dinning room with a major player, a congressman involved in homeland security, and who is involved in this Gitmo thing pretty heavy, a Republican, a great man, but we really just didn’t see eye-to-eye over that. I said, “Why should I be paying for that?” Number one, I don’t want to pay for that guy down there. So, give him a trial. What’s keeping us from giving someone a trial? How hard can that be? Give him a trial. Maybe it’s a military trial, I don’t care. It should be fair. There should be witnesses. It should be honest. And if he’s innocent, you don’t have anything on him, you probably have to let him go. If he’s guilty, then there’s an array of things. I just looked at the congressman and said, and I’m going to get in trouble for this, but you just shoot everybody who is guilty and you let the innocent people go. And you close it up and move the people back home. What ever happened to shooting people?
Brian: Whatever happened to a speedy trial? Whatever happened to a conviction? And as you say, people are going to give you a hard time for this – I will defend you right now – those who are going to call and give you a hard time, do they realize that by holding someone for over a decade –
Bill: Is that humane?
Brian: You want to talk about the poster situation? The poster child for recruiting future generations of terrorists? You want to talk about the quickest way to recruit a terrorist in a foreign country now is to remind them what hypocrites we are. We have a right to a speedy trial, as long as you’re one of us. But if not … God gave us inalienable rights, but he didn’t mean for the “others,” right, to have inalienable rights? You want to recruit an eight-year-old to take up arms against us in 20 years? Let his dad sit in prison in Gitmo for 11 years and three months without even being charged with the crime! Look, if you want to say, “Oh, he’s probably guilty. We never get the wrong guy.” That’s a whole other month of shows. But if he’s guilty, great. Then let’s charge him. What are you even holding him for? What law – ours or international – what law did this guy break and what’s it saying to future generations of sons, grandsons and great-grandsons? People want to go, “Why are they taking up arms against us?” Really?
Bill: Really. Execute justice, and let the chips fall where they may.
Bill: I don’t know the terms of all these things, but I’m just saying, “Man, what do you think Patton would go? General Patton?” He’d probably, if the guys were innocent – certainly MacArthur would behave this way – you let them go. If they’re guilty, it’s capital punishment time. And the taxpayers don’t need to be paying for something that serves as a recruitment device for bombers, actually killing people in our country. It’s just insanity. This is the level of weirdness that we live in, Brian.
Brian: But I think as you often remind me, my friend, it’s easy to quell the weirdness. To make the opaque clear by saying, if you believe in the Bill of Rights, you believe in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, right?
Bill: Well, obviously the author of some of that chatter, deist Jefferson, didn’t believe that was true. He thought Negros were something that created a different category.
Brian: Great point!
Bill: Washington let his slaves go and said, “Whoa. You know what? There’s a point that actually convicts me to the heart. I’m going to let my slaves go because they are like me, entologically as a child of God, they’re like me. Jefferson, being, I think, I’m just speaking loudly, being a deist said, “God winds up the clock and he’s a long, long … he’s not going to see the fact that I have 400 black slaves or whatever he had.”
Brian: I’m with you.
Bill: So, I think we’ve been creating those two categories for a long time.
Brian: And that’s why when you find people who want to debate with you, people say, “Were you a fan of the Second Amendment?” And I say all the time, “No, I’m not a fan of the Second Amendment.” All the Second Amendment did was co-define an inalienable right. I’m a huge fan of the inalienable rights endowed by our Creator, but you don’t need a document. The document didn’t give God the permission to endow those rights. Correct? Second Amendment, Second Amendment. It came along saying, here’s a preexisting set of rights that every human being was given by God. Right? So I’m with you. I’m with you. But I’m pretty sure none of that entailed sitting, without being charged, without being given a trial, for over a decade. It’s just not right.
Bill: Yeah, and I was going back to what you were saying earlier, Brian. Can the government – and I see how you’re challenging the Second Amendment – does the government even have the ability to tell you whether you can have a gun or not? Who are you to tell me? It’s like saying, “I’m going to chew gum today,” and let’s say that’s the Third Amendment, is that there’s a place for chewing gum among the colonies and early states. We’d all say, “What in the heck? Who’s going to tell me that I can have chewing gum?” I thought that was just part of being alive, is that I can choose some gum.
Brian: Well, I’ve learned it from you, my friend. You’ve created this Frankenstein, this monster in me. Do you get it from God? Or do you get it from a group of guys that got together and wrote a document?
Bill: Let me take the other side. At least they put something down on paper.
Bill: And straight from the Constitution, but at least there’s a marker. It’s almost like having a boundary marker on your property. You can say, “Hey, you farm all the land on the side of that hedge, and I’ll farm the other side of the hedge.” Well, over time, the hedge changes and grows and it’s good if there are marketers at some place, sometime. The Constitution, I think, really, we look backwards and say, on one level, one of the most incredible documents ever written in the history of the world.
Bill: On another hand, it seems like some things should have been spelled out. In other words, the things that were givens, Brian, like you’re making reference to, are no longer givens.
Bill: That idea of God-given, that’s gone now. So if God doesn’t give, then the state gives. And the state ends up being, what? It ends up taking care of your kids. Is it a public school? It ends up being your sonny. It takes care of daddy when he’s in the nursing home. Do you know what I mean? It takes care. There’s the vacuum created when you leave and the state just takes over, and I think it all stems from that idea of taking God out of it because our rights either come from God or they don’t. If they come from people, people can take them back. That should just be an obvious.
Bill: Anybody should be able to figure that out, no matter right, left, up, down, who you are politically, you should be able to figure out if somebody gave you the right to do something, and you assign locus and power to that entity, then that entity can then retract that.
Bill: And I think what Republicans say, generally, Brian, is that they agree with that aesthetic premise, in practice, and say, “We just want the government to take things back slowly.” The Democrats are saying, “Here, give me your kids. Give me your money.”
Brian: Right, right, right.
Bill: And the Republicans are saying, “Whoa, we agree with you that the government owns the children. It owns the land. It owns the food. It owns everything. But we just want you to go slow because we’re conservatives.”
Brian: But here’s my final question for you: Adam and Eve were banished from the garden, why?
Bill: Violating that boundary. They were given a boundary. “Don’t do X.” Just like you tell your son, “Put that iPad back.” Well, they didn’t get that second chance there. So there were several rules and they broke those rules and the consequences of those rules were, “Here’s the punishment for X.”
Brian: Right. And as you know from Genesis, God shows up and says, “Why are you wearing Speedos? Why are you wearing fig leaves?” Right? So there’s a trial. God says, “Why are you wearing Speedos?” And Adam goes, “Hey, talk to the woman. She brought the piece of fruit and brought it to me.” Oh. So then God has a trial and finds out they’re guilty of breaking the rule, and then they’re banished. What would you think of a religion if God didn’t have a trial? If He didn’t ask him, “Why are you wearing fig leaves?”
Bill: “What’s going on Adam?”
Brian: “What’s going on?” So how would you like to be Gitmo for 10 years, three months? Nobody’s asked you what’s going on or even convicted you of doing anything, but you’re banished from the rest of your life, seeing freedom, because we’re going to keep you here.
Bill: I think punishment is humane. And I think that’s where the left would take me to task and say, “How can shooting somebody be humane?” I think you let God sort that out. That’s another of those things that, here’s the problem – there are penalties for X and in a battlefield, in every culture, in every military, this goes on. This is not a new thing that just started today. So what are the ramifications of shooting at you, in a military situation? And obviously, you shoot at our troops and something bad is going to happen to you. I’m not even going to say whether we should be there, whether we should be there.
Bill: You shoot those guys. They’re tough guys. Your brothers in the service? They’re tough guys. They’re going to take you to task for it. So don’t pick up the gun if you can’t take the crime.
Brian: Agreed. But what do we do with the prisoners of war that we had in World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korea … what do we do with the prisoners? Did we hold them indefinitely? Are they still in a camp somewhere, 100 years later, never been charged with a crime? Never been given the jury of their peers?
Bill: Most were let go.
Brian: Most were let go.
Bill: There were some other decisions, but even there, really, you just had – okay, let’s get the trial out and bring the data in.
Brian: That’s all I’m suggesting, on what’s going on in Gitmo. Let’s bring them to trial. Bring them to trial. Formally charge him. Whether it’s a military tribunal or criminal trial, formally charge him. Because all we’re doing – it doesn’t matter to me what happens – but all we’re doing is recruiting future generations of terrorists because of the way we’re treating another human being there. And people will be mad. They’re going to argue, “It’s not another human being. He took up with Al Qaeda.” Then prove it. Charge him. Convict him, and then do what you want with him.
Bill: So they build him a soccer field. The average Gitmo prisoner – just a simple search pops up and I’m not sure of the data – but a simple search turns up that the average Gitmo prisoner costs us $800,000 a year. What’s the point?
Brian: Great. I’m with you? Charge him, try him and move him out! We pay $800,000 a year for one prisoner? And of that $800,000, we can’t bring a prosecutor to bring a charge? 800 grand – almost a million dollars?
Bill: There’s a lot of lawyers out of work. We could send them down there.
Brian: Ha! I’m thinking. All these poll lawyers that were showing up on Election Day to make sure everyone did it right. $800,000 for a prisoner. Then charge him! If he’s guilty, charge him! Convict him, and then subjugate him to whatever penalty the law holds. But you don’t hold him without a trial. Come on. You don’t hold him.
Bill: Estimated annual cost of operating Guantanamo Bay, $90 million. I know that’s peanuts for these guys now because they’re talking billions, but you know what? There’s only so much money. And on the financial side, Brian, we need to sort of close. You’re talking about gold. Gold got hammered by Goldman Sachs and some other people short selling, and again, you see a change of rules. What it takes to put a deposit down for a long contract and so forth. And all these things are engineered by people that are in the shadows, and I think a takedown like that, really, there’s something probably criminal about that. If we did the same thing to the Gitmo prisoners that we do to the people that work at the big banks … these are just trade book plays by 35-year-olds, and I think that once all of those goes through, we’ll look back at this period in banking and say, “You know, those people should have been convicted.” We’ve got such a crazy world now where we’ve got, really, the Fed notes that were supposed to be a secret, going out early to certain groups of people. And you know who they go out to Brian? They go out to people, media agencies, who want to play ball. So if you’re not one of those agencies, you don’t get the Fed notes. You don’t know the interest rates …
Brian: Yup. Absolutely.
Bill: I mean, think about that. Millions, billions of dollars – trillions maybe – that change hands in the currency markets as a function of what’s the Fed going to do about the meeting or after the meeting? And then the notes go out to some people but not other people?
Brian: I guess that’s the difference between wanting to report the truth and being a television reporter.
Bill: Well, we’re living in a dream world. We’re living on a world where the stock market today is being propped up. Where everyone needs you to put money in the DOW and the S&P and so forth and everything has to be channeled toward that because it’s a perception game. What will Americans think if the stock market drops everyday? They think we’re in a recession. Well, we’re in a recession, man. There’s 20-percent real unemployment. At the Great Depression level. But where’s the stock market? So all of this buoyancy is being produced by just immaterial digits. I’d love to get David Stockman on – we’ll try to. David has just written this huge book, 700 pages, on just what really happened from his time inside the Reagan administration through 2008 and it’s a tome. He wrote it to his kids, because he wanted his daughters, I believe, to understand that you can’t do this forever. It doesn’t go on forever. We’re in the biggest bubble, probably in the history of the world. Real interest rates, what would interest rates be today if markets were allowed to … but they’re not. We’ve got to play the housing game. We’ve got to make sure people continue to buy houses to keep the lie afloat, throughout an administration.
Brian: And college tuition?
Bill: Whatever it is. It’s a lie. The whole thing is a lie. And someday it’s just going to adjust itself, and when it does, you may wish you were hit with a solar flare. Because when this economy tanks, it’s going to tank in a way that people are totally unprepared for, as we were talking about previously.
Bill: We call this a natural disaster? I would say this is one man-made disaster that will surpass a lot of natural disasters.
Brian: And we’re not being doomsayers. As you’ve heard me say countless times, “Put your seatbelt on, prepper.” We’re simply giving you our opinion and asking you to make an informed decision on your own, right? We voice our opinion here at Off The Grid Radio. So, what we’d like to do, is for you to listen to Bill’s opinion, to my opinion, to everybody else, and then come to your own gut feeling. What is your instinct tell you about what the future holds? Bill, cool with you, I’ll go ahead and close. We’re running up to the top of the hour. Would you like to say goodbye?
Bill: Goodbye, Brian. Thank you so much again. Great to see you.
Brian: My friend, you always bring out, well, for me I thin it’s the best, but our listeners would probably say, “You always bring out the worst in Brian.” Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for giving us a full hour of your time, here at Off The Grid News. We know that’s a valuable chunk of your day, and it truly is an honor to share it here with you at Off The Grid News Radio.