In three weeks we’ll be going to the voting booth to choose the next president of the United States. This election is more than a battle between the parties—this election is a battle for the very soul and principles that undergird this great republic that we live in.
One side insists on accountability and personal responsibility and the other side is quite content to allow the buck to stop with whoever is willing to take the blame. One side gives us smirking haughtiness and pomposity while the other side hearkens to our strengths and greatness as a country.
One side insists on equality of outcomes while the other side says our Constitution only guarantees equality of opportunity and it’s up to each individual to chart their own course. This is the philosophical differences of the parties—a collectivist worldview or individualism.
Off The Grid Radio
Release Date October 19, 2012
Brian: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Off the Grid News, the radio version of OffTheGridNews.com. I’m Brian Brawdy, sitting in today with your host and my friend, Mr. Bill Heid. Bill, how are you sir?
Bill: Brian, I have never been better in my life. Thanks for asking.
Brian: You’re more than welcome.
Bill: Welcome to you and thanks for bringing the show in like that.
Brian: My pleasure. I love being here.
Bill: You bring a lot of energy and so forth so…
Brian: Well, throughout the show in keeping with the vice-presidential debate, I think I am just going to keep interrupting you and laugh at everything you say so go ahead—take it away.
Bill: You’ve been laughing at me since…
Brian: No, let me tell you why that is wrong, Bill. Let me tell you…
Bill: You started laughing when we were at the café and smirking. Every time I said something you’d smirk and then you would laugh.
Brian: Well now Bill, you’re no… Bill, you are no Ted Kennedy. Senator, I knew Ted Kennedy and you are no Ted Kennedy. Ha! He’s crazy. Oh well, in all my trips to Afghanistan…
Bill: And on and on.
Brian: And on and on. What did you think of that debate?
Bill: Well, you know what? I watched it and I think there was a football game on at the same time and so I was doing a little flipping at the time because it seemed to me—and I wanted to watch it because I really wanted to see how Paul Ryan would do—I think that’s what a lot of us were sort of waiting to see. And he seemed pretty passive and like a good boy—a good citizen. I didn’t really see that aggressive kind of Paul Ryan that I thought maybe I’d see, especially on economic issues. But if you are a Democrat, I think you probably liked the fact that Joe Biden was aggressive and smirking because you don’t probably believe that anything that Paul Ryan says is true. However, you have had debate classes and you have debated people Brian, I mean as far as just scoring debate points—for the seven people in Iowa that are undecided, the seven people in Des Moines—I think you do lose some points just by being less than human that way. In other words, “I have all the answers and anybody that disagrees with me is ostensibly laughable,” right? Isn’t that what you’re kind of taking from that?
Brian: Well, not only that Bill but I’ll tell you that one of the things that I find laughable is everyone in the media now all personally offended by the fact that vice-president Biden did all that interrupting. And listen to any talk show. It doesn’t matter to me whether you’re Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green Party—I don’t care if you vote for Roseanne Barr. You listen to any radio show or television show anymore—there is no decorum. There is no politeness. I mean just pick your favorite show. Tune in today—whatever time—4:00, 5:00…
Bill: Well, I think people like that, don’t you?
Brian: I guess.
Bill: In other words, maybe you score debate points by actually doing that. Maybe that is a positive thing, though I can tell you I think… I mean years ago in this state—the great state of Illinois—Alan Keyes debated President Obama. In this case Alan Keyes was the aggressive debater and the Senator—State Senator Obama at the time—was sort of very mild mannered and I think Alan Keyes’ aggressive style turned a lot of voters off. He didn’t turn me off because I like Alan Keyes. I’m an Alan Keyes guy. But I think he sort of turned people off—women voters mainly—because I don’t think that sort of sparring and sort of messing with your opponent to the degree that he did in that debate is/was polite but maybe we’ve graduated into some new thing now.
Brian: I guess. I would say you’ve seen me do it around here or I have two young children that would never interrupt. I’ve just gotten to the point anymore when someone interrupts I go, “At one point that my lips kept moving did you think I was not talking? I mean if my lips are moving and there is air coming out and you can hear my voice, how did you take that as a segue into giving me your opinion?” Because you’re right—you go to debate class or you’re just in a civil conversation with someone—you don’t laugh, you don’t snicker, you don’t make fun of them, you don’t interrupt them. I don’t know if it’s 78 or 87 times—whatever the number is—if it’s two dozen times, it’s two dozen too many. Why do you have to be that way to folks?
Bill: And then to be just plain wrong on a couple of the issues and I think he started a firestorm with this Benghazi thing in addition to just being, I think—as I said—he just missed a few points. I think he had a few points but he missed a few points and he had his facts… Here is a guy saying, “Facts matter” and in his case, he didn’t really have all the facts. Another interesting thing that I thought he did that’s worth a discussion is—and this is typical of businessmen today, it’s typical of coaches, it’s typical of a lot of Americana—and that’s blaming other people. So what did he say about the military? Basically said, “It’s their fault. It was the intelligence community’s fault.” Well, that would be like me blaming Jeremy for something. Where does the buck…? The buck has to stop. And I see recently Hillary took that because of the debate. She had to… Somebody had to get bruised up because the debate’s coming up and Romney doesn’t… I mean they don’t want to give Romney those opportunities, do they…?
Brian: Sure. No, not at all.
Bill: …to sort of pin the President down? But ultimately, where does the buck stop? With President Obama or President Bush or President Reagan—whoever your President is—it stops there. The intelligence community works for Biden.
Brian: Sure. Well, I would say to you that it stops with a YouTube video that had 400 hits by the time it was given credit for launching World War III—some YouTube video that everyone knew at the time wasn’t the cause of that. And look, I can tell you as a security expert—ex-military guy—I’ve got brothers that are as you know Bill—no need to go into it here—but are pretty knowledgeable when it comes to insurgent forces and how to fight in combat and everything else. You don’t kill two security guards of that ilk—that level—and a couple of other people with Molotov cocktails, bricks and sticks.
That was a planned attack. They knew where the safe house was. They knew if they launched an attack out front they’d have to move them to the safe house and then they got him while he was on his way there. That’s not an angry mob. Take anything you want about the destructive nature of a mob. That wasn’t an angry mob. That was a well planned out attack and we lost two pretty… Not to mention the ambassador and an aide but we lost two pretty decent warriors—great warriors—and they weren’t taken… I can tell you knowing people like that—they weren’t taken out by a mob.
Bill: Well, in the meantime I think that there is this—and I don’t know if it’s real or if it’s not real—there is this idea of… Remember what they used to do to Reagan and they would show pictures of him sleeping during the meetings and so forth and nodding off—he was getting older or whatever? I don’t think Obama even goes to the meetings. There is no nodding off because he is separating… He is trying to work with Mariah Carey and this—what’s this other gal’s name—to try to make sure that they work their sort of pop music issues out.
Brian: But now in fairness, he is working towards his birth on the Senior Tour in golf.
Brian: Bill, I’m not going to sit here and have you badmouth the Senior Tour. Look, here’s the scoop—if you want to make the cut on the Senior Tour, you’ve got to practice every week. You can’t make the cut without reading greens, drive for show, put for dough—we can all get up there. I know you can drive a golf ball as far as I can. But you need time on the greens if you’re really going to hone your skill level for the Senior Tour.
Bill: And if you’re a President, you’d better be able to play golf. You’d better be able to chip and as you say, put and so forth. I think the short game for… If you are going to occupy the Oval Office, you’d better have that down.
Brian: Well, and you’ve got to get out of the bunker. Look—you can’t be the President of the United States taking four or five swings at a golf ball and leaving it in the bunker. You can’t do that. Jeremy, you know that. I mean you can’t golf like Jeremy if you’re going to be the President of the United States.
Bill: Jeremy, you could never qualify as President.
Brian: Or the Senior Tour. I don’t know about his political acumen but I’ve seen him on a golf course and he wasn’t going anywhere.
Bill: He has that rescue club in his bag. That’s the only club he has is the rescue club.
Brian: Very cool.
Bill: Yeah. So what else are you working on? What else are you thinking about?
Brian: Well you know, I’m just fascinated and I know it’s kind of different than anything we’ve ever talked about before but I can tell you I listened—day before yesterday—when my daughter gave out a scream of enjoyment when this Baumgarten guy jumped from a couple miles up. Did you see that story where he jumped from the hot air balloon? Highest descent ever and he was spinning as he was coming back to the Earth and Paige thought he—my daughter—thought he had died. So when they heard his voice, she was like “Yay!”
Bill: He was alive.
Brian: He was alive. It was a genuine sense of great feeling for a human being that she thought had been killed and just for me, I thought a pretty cool story. Crushed the old record by miles and miles and miles.
Bill: A nice segue from all of this terribleness and tragedy that we seem to accumulate.
Brian: Well, here is a guy that had a dream and a lot of people are saying to me “Well, you know he’s wanted all over the world because he jumped from this building and he jumped from that building.” He jumped apparently from the arm of Jesus in Rio de Janeiro so he’s known as a daredevil but God love him—there is no Evel Knievel jumping motorcycles over…
Bill: Do people get mad at him when he does these things? Is that what you are saying?
Brian: I hear the police do.
Bill: The police get pretty angry.
Brian: Well, because they don’t want you climbing one of these buildings and then taking a dive. But he’s survived and he’s alive. I just dig the idea of a human spirit going, “Yep, put me in a hot air balloon, take me up to a point outside of our atmosphere and let me jump.”
Bill: Outside the atmosphere?
Brian: Isn’t’ that amazing?
Bill: That is amazing.
Brian: So I thought that was kind of cool and then I’m like everyone else going, “Does President Obama have a firewall if former Governor Romney is doing such a great job in the debates?” And who wouldn’t watch? I mean golly, even if it came down to watching the Walking Dead, I wouldn’t miss this next debate for anything. You know what I mean? That’s going to be entertainment.
Bill: So if you were David Axelrod, what are you telling President Obama at this point, in terms of…? I think the danger… If you watch football and you get behind, what happens is the danger is you’ve got to throw most of the time to catch up. We all see that and some guys can do it—Peyton Manning can do it and a few people can do it and kind of throw a lot and still win—but more times than not, if you are forced to throw you’re going to get an inception. So I guess the metaphor that I am using is if he is forced to sort of be too strong, is that going to feel…? Is that going to come out in an inappropriate way?
Brian: Well, I have sat in on these meetings, as you know. I have worked in the past for Senators running for President so I’ve sat in on the meetings on how you are going to handle that type of thing and President Obama wants to come off looking Presidential. And he got his clock cleaned, depending upon how you view or who you are going to vote for—eight out of ten people think the President got his clock cleaned because he was acting Presidential. So Axelrod is now telling him “Look, we have to try to have our cake and eat it too. How are you still going to be Presidential…? But you’ve got to mix it up. You don’t have to sling mud but you’d better be in the mud, fighting it out with Governor Romney or you’re going to lose again.”
Bill: Do you think he’ll laugh at Governor Romney?
Brian: Let me say this.
Bill: Do you think he will take a little bit from that Biden debate?
Brian: I don’t know. I’ll say this and a lot of it has been the media’s fault—people like us, right Bill—in the media, people that have shows or broadcast news or the like. But I think what it showed me—finally I don’t have to hear anymore about how this is one of the most articulate people that’s ever walked on the face of the planet. What that debate—the Presidential debate now—meant to me is that without the teleprompter, without a speechwriter, without a cadre of speechwriters I don’t have to hear anymore that this was the greatest orator since Lincoln—that that’s what he shared with President Lincoln. I think that debate showed that he is a mortal. If you are not prepared to speak in public, it can be—as you know—it can be a daunting task for all of us and he proved that without a teleprompter he is not up for the task.
Bill: Yeah, I guess I saw a little bit of that as well with him and… I have seen him on other occasions kind of in those quick movements where things weren’t scripted. It’s tough to script all of our life all of the time and so inevitably he comes in these situations where he says goofy things. Now the part that’s interesting is when Bush said anything stupid it was captured by everyone and broadcast to everybody. I think these moments are carefully controlled by the media for the most part and just simply erased and never get out and the only time you ever see them is when somebody’s got a little camera, their phone or something they’re holding up if he comes to an elementary school or something and talks about his Muslim beliefs or whatever it is that he says to reporters and forgets what he said or just gets confused about what he said but…
Brian: And it’s a tough gig—you’re right—to be President of the United States and to have to manage all the different things going on so I don’t blame President Obama. I think the media did everything they could to make him the best public speaker since Plato or Socrates or Cicero and it’s just nice to know that he is a regular guy like us.
Bill: Well you know, one thing that he does right—and people will write in to me—my daughters always get mad at me when I bring out his positive points but one of the things he does do well if he is at… He is really kind of more an entertainer and he’s more comfortable in these pop venues. In other words, if you were to say to President Obama “Well, what do you think about Sanchez and Tebow? What do you think about that quarter…?” he’ll give you an articulate view of that. “Well, what do you think about the Bulls without Derek Rose?” And he loves Illinois sports like I do and so I kind of find myself saying, “Wow, if I wasn’t so diametrically opposed to his political ideology I think I’d be having a beer with him, watching the ballgame.”
Brian: Sure. Oh, I think… Absolutely. He’s like one of us. He is a regular guy.
Bill: Yeah, and I think there is a sense in which he can really sort of talk regular guy talk. At least I’ll give you that part. But I have to face the reality that he really stands for everything that I am against in life in terms of do we live in a world where private property is something that we regard highly or do we like to spread the wealth around a little bit, as he says? And that’s nothing… That’s just code for “I’m a Marxist” or at a minimum “I am a Socialist.”
Bill: But we hang… It’s the holiday season so they have to be thinking about if they are going to put the Chairman Mao ornament on the family Christmas tree at the White House—they did that one year—a murderer of 63 million people and I think… I just have to look at myself and say, “How in the world can you say and do the things that you do?”
Brian: Wow. That’s a great question Bill and I’ll tell you that everyone looks at the election and they… You know my take on most politicians. I don’t care for either political party in that they all treat us like we are just plain gullible—that we’ll fall for anything that they say. So for me, the scary part is whoever wins—let’s say it’s President Obama wins the reelection here coming up in not too many days—a majority of the people in this country wanted him to win. Can’t keep blaming President Obama. You can’t keep saying, “Oh this and that.” If he wins reelection—and everyone is pretty certain now that he is a particular way; he’s got a political ilk and that’s what he’s going to follow—and if that political ilk wins, it’s a majority of the people in our country that decided for that. Notwithstanding people stealing votes, dead people voting, military votes, lawsuits after the fact but you know what you vote for and that’s… It’s eye opening to me.
Bill: Well, I agree and I think that the 47% that Romney talked about—that’s in a world where our economy is already flush with QE and to affinity money. If… Let me propose something to you Brian. If the economy does go off the fiscal cliff, if we do really see some austerity that really has to happen, if the government turns the faucet off for all of us—not the 47% that Romney was talking about but for the whole country—that 47% would look more like 67% because most of the people in this country… Remember the old Hooked On Phonics program?
Bill: Are hooked on socialism. They are hooked on government doing everything and I think this leads into a nice conversation about who is your daddy? I have strong Christian beliefs. I think salvation is found in the Lord and no other but when the state tries to say, “I’m your daddy,” go ahead and try to take… If Romney or Ryan on their platform Brian said, “You know, one of the things I think we ought to do is take the public school breakfast programs away because the family is the center and the family needs to reestablish itself as the center of our country,” people would scream. I mean he just… Those are things you can’t say. They are just blasphemous in our culture. There are blasphemy laws in every culture and that’s something that’s just off the charts.
Now would Herbert Hoover or Harry Truman…? What would they say about school lunch programs or John Kennedy? I’m not sure that even trying to build the great society, that the thought was “We’re going to take the kid at 6:00 in the morning, feed him, tend to him all day, watch him after school, let you pick him up and then put him to bed and then start that process all over again.” If you really look at a lot of parents in this country—and I’m not blaming the parents—it’s our culture. It’s a crazy thing that we’re all engaged in. It’s a chunk of reality that’s just inappropriate.
Brian: Well, I think for me what’s always been offensive about it Bill, is the underlying implication of that is that the human being isn’t grounded enough, strong enough, smart enough, affluent enough to accept those responsibilities for themselves. And I think when you continue to tell people—whoever—that “You need my help. You need my help. You need my help,” it becomes a bit of a crutch and just like if you ever broke your leg skiing and you leave a cast on your leg, that muscle atrophies. I continue to be a huge fan of the human spirit and believe in the divine and that human beings—you are a satellite office of God. In whatever definition you give of God, you are a satellite office and satellite offices don’t need to be treated like… That’s what always infuriates me about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The human mind wasn’t built in need of a crutch and that’s what I find so disheartening and personally…
Bill: At least not a permanent crutch.
Brian:…not a permanent crutch, right.
Bill: We all go through some times where we need a helping hand and I think traditionally in this country, what’s made our country strong is that helping hand has been principally the family and community—local community—and the churches.
Bill: I mean that’s sort of been the way that we have gotten along with each other well. And so money comes from somebody close that holds you accountable. It doesn’t come from a thousand miles away from some blind agency and there is no accountability associated with it.
Brian: You’re an athlete though Bill. Have you ever broken a bone, ever had a cast on, ever…?
Bill: Yes sir.
Brian: Oh, you still don’t have it on now so I’m assuming that you needed that cast’s help for a troubling time in your life.
Bill: Oh sure.
Brian: And then you were able to use that cast to help you get back up to full running speed. Did the doctor leave the cast on and allow your muscle to atrophy or did he take the cast off?
Bill: Yeah, and it’s really—the point you’re making, I think is a great one—it’s really this idea that some people… I think it’s… What’s the right word? It’s not racist but it’s just this concept that some people have to be helped. Well, we’ve talked about Carver and we’ve talked about other people—George Washington Carver and other people in here—and they would really wince at the idea that certain races or certain groups—you name the group—is less human than another group. And I think if we give, as you were saying, everyone gets this chance at life—gets this opportunity, which is a blessing in and of itself.
Bill: So maybe what I’m talking about here is grace—just understanding what grace is and what grace isn’t and how to be thankful for things but just being… having the opportunity Brian, to try to start a business. But you know how hard it is to run a business in this state, in this country when you not only have competition from other people trying to stop you, you also have all these regulations. We were just out there talking about here we are in Illinois selling alternative energy and we were doing a… We just did a spot on wind—you did a great spot on our wind generators.
Brian: Thank you. It’s a great wind turbine.
Bill: And you asked me a question—“Well, why don’t you put one up outside?” What did I say to you?
Brian: Well, I’ll tell you what I thought after we get off air with what my personal…
Brian: But it’s odd because you pay quite a bit of taxes as a business here in your neck of the woods, in Thompson Illinois and the local governing body has no problem taking… Well, I guess I’m going to tell you before we get off the air. The local governing body has no problem taking your tax dollars but won’t let you put up a wind turbine. Your business is selling solar generators and wind generators and a bunch of other cool gear but on it’s space, right? It wouldn’t have been taller than their water tower. Last I checked you don’t have an endangered species of bat living in a cave nearby. You’re not in the flight path from here to Tierra del Fuego for some type of whooping crane. But your own local government wouldn’t let you put up one of the staples of your business—wouldn’t let you put up a wind turbine.
Bill: Yeah, we could put it up and put a little midget… It’d be like a mini-me version of it.
Brian: Right. Yeah. So instead of worrying about killing birds, a little kid comes by—you just decapitate the little kid if it’s up on the…
Bill: Yeah, we’d have to find something halfway but it’s just… It’s… Yeah, my point is, as you’re saying, it’s frustrating to try to be able to make it and I think anybody… 80% of all businesses fail and certainly some of that—and I’m going to take President Obama to task—he talked before about you not doing it and I think a lot of the roads that we have in our country are for people from ever since Lewis and Clark, people went out and started mines, they started farms and then the roads went to get built to them. In other words, people did something first before the roads were built. I don’t… To say to the Pilgrims—that season is coming up—I love November and I always talk about Winthrop and all of that but imagine saying to them “You didn’t do it by yourself.” Who…? Yeah, God gave them this lift but other than that, I don’t see this big socialist empire welcoming the… All I see is Squanto saying, “Welcome Pilgrims. Do you have any beer?” which is what he said. That’s the extent of their help. Their government crutch was Squanto and some friendly tribes. That’s an infrastructure.
Brian: I always go back to one of the things we discussed when we were doing the DVD on Carver. I go back—I’m doing some research—I go back to the quote from Frederick Douglas just prior to the debates during President Lincoln’s time. The abolitionist Frederick Douglas said, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” And that’s… And everyone says, “Oh, what a great philosophy.” I go, “I’m not sure it’s a philosophy. I think he was talking biology.” If your body doesn’t struggle, there is no progress. If your mind doesn’t struggle, there is no progress, right? Your mind and body, being like any other that in order to be able to grow and achieve, you’ve got to have a little bit of challenge. I was in Estes Park this past weekend climbing up to one of the 14,000 foot peaks and some of the people coming down as I was going up were complaining that the path had been washed out and there were some rocks and boulders and small trees and no one had cleared the path yet.
Bill: That made you smile.
Brian: I smiled. I go…
Bill: “That’s why I’m here.”
Brian: “Yeah, but it wasn’t enough of a roadblock to keep you out of my day.” You know what I mean? But you don’t climb a mountain because it’s paved, right? Can you imagine going to Colorado and there’s a 14,000-foot peak and it’s cement all the way up? You go because that’s the challenge. That’s the struggle.
Bill: Yeah, you go because there isn’t cement there.
Brian: Because there isn’t cement there. But there is a mentality Bill—and it goes from all states, all colors, all age groups, all everything—where people go, “Well, I’d like it a little easier.” Then don’t climb the mountain. I can make it real easy on you. Get out of my way and stay at the trailhead in the parking lot listening to Sirius Satellite Radio in your car.
Bill: You just said something that I want to bring up that I think is the preeminent issue. You just said, “I’d like it a little easier.” And isn’t that the way? I mean everyone wants whatever it is a little easier. Kids shouldn’t have to study that hard. How should we grade…? What should be our criteria for grading kids? Maybe it should be a little easier. I think George Carlin should be here doing a little shtick for us on that because I think everyone wants something easier. Our seniors in our country—they want more things—they want it easier. Everyone wants it easy.
Brian: Isn’t that something else?
Bill: And can everyone have it easy? Is it possible?
Brian: Well, if everyone had it easy you and I… None of us would be here. If it had been so easy, the human being never would have thrived. We had a very… a great time at breakfast this morning but you said something very insightful to me when you go, “You know what Brian? Sometimes the little struggles, the little headaches, the little things that you see around here that are stressful—that just sparks me to crush them.” You know what I mean? So it’s the… Frederick Douglas was right. If there is no struggle, there is no progress and you, as an athlete, you model that every day. I mean think about it. An athlete—the reason that you work out is that the struggle makes you stronger. If you don’t struggle, you never become a world-class athlete.
Bill: Yeah, if there is no stress on that muscle, that muscle doesn’t grow. So it’s so true for the… It’s probably more true for the mind than it is even for the body. It’s easier to see for the body because we can all see calluses on our hands or our arms getting a little bigger as a result of…
Brian: Arteries and veins and everything. Yeah, of course.
Bill: …whatever it is. And then they’re adapting to carry the load. They are adapting to carry whatever it is that you need to do. Your brain’s the same way and if we change the standards—and that brings something up that I don’t know a lot about and I don’t want to speak out of turn and I don’t want to talk about something that I don’t know about—but I am told in the state of Florida and maybe a couple other states, that they are in the process of changing grading systems so that certain kids of certain races, in order to get a C, have to do this amount of work and kids of other races need to only do this amount of work to get an A or a B or whatever. So again, Carver would roll over in his grave because he would say, “Give me what you got, baby. There ain’t no white kid that’s going to do any better than me.” And he was right about that philosophy.
Brian: And an amazing story. And I don’t want to turn this into a sales pitch for you but if you haven’t gotten… Right? They can get that on our website still?
Bill: I think we have that on the SolutionsFromScience.com website.
Brian: Oh, the SolutionsFromScience.com? That is a great biography.
Bill: Vodhi Bochum [sp] does that video and it’s really, really good because that… What our country needs is George Washington Carver—the spirit of George Washington Carver.
Brian: And what our country needs at the macro level but on the inside and on the micro level, we all have that spirit. There is not a person listening to this show that needs whatever crutch their on—not a person, Bill—not a person. Maybe like you said for today or next week or next month but God didn’t make no junk, I think was a term I heard one time. So that crutch—that reason to not struggle—it’s not what the human being and the mind and the body—not what the human being and human mind—were made for. It was made to be challenged. Like you said before, the muscles—well, then you have to look at the tendons and the sinew and then you have to look at the bones. The stronger your muscle gets, the bone’s got to get stronger and bigger to be able to hold those muscles in place. So it’s atrophy is a total body illness. If you don’t lose your mind or you don’t lose your bicep—if you don’t use it, you’re going to lose it.
Bill: And we’ve made it… What we’ve done is taken technology and every time we’ve had a technological innovation, what happens is we have said, “How can we make it easier for someone?” So when I was little and if someone needed food stamps, they actually had to get food stamps and actually had to show food stamps and I remember being in line with someone that had food stamps. One of my parents said, “Well, why do they have this if they are buying…? If they have food stamps, why…?” There was sort of the questioning of… Maybe that’s being judgmental. Maybe it’s not. But there is sort of that scrutiny about what you are purchasing with food stamps. Now you get a Link card—at least here in Illinois—you get a card and it’s just a credit card that you can just get whatever you want and so we’ve taken technology to sort of a level where we have pushed people down and said, “No, you can’t do it.” Remember the Yes I Can book by Sammy Davis Jr.?
Bill: Really, what are we saying? We’re not saying, “Yes, I can” to anybody.
Bill: You’re saying, “No, you can’t.” Here’s your card.
Brian: And what’s so disheartening is that it’s a long-term illness. They don’t… Anyone—and as we said, any race, any socioeconomic background—when you rely on your cast, when you rely on your crutch it’s good short term but in the long term your muscle is going to atrophy, your mind will atrophy and then it’s not going to be good for any of us long term to keep that mindset.
Bill: One last thought about this is I saw Bill Murray—I know one of your favorite guys and…
Brian: “Bernanke? He owes me money!”
Bill: We both like Stripes and a lot of the great stuff and he was on Squawk Box one morning and they were just talking to him about culture and civilization and where we are and he said, “I really think people ought to learn to take care of themselves so that they can help take care of other people.” In other words, he was really saying—and they thought, “Whoa”—that was kind of a shocking thing to say but that’s kind of what we’ve been saying.
Bill: You learn how to take care of yourself, you become independent, you become… You get some calluses on your hands—whatever your version of that is, metaphorically in your life—and then that allows you to help other people once you’re in that position to do that and he was making that point and I thought he really did it well. And of course, there was a… He did it in a way that only Bill Murray could do. I think you could probably type in YouTube “Bill Murray MSNBC” and “Bill Murray Squawk Box” and watch that sometime but…
Brian: But see Bill, I don’t want people listening to you—because I’ve been your friend now for quite a while—I don’t want people listening to you to go away from this show not knowing that that’s your exact mindset, that although you are a fan of building your own muscle, getting your own calluses, developing your own stuff, you donate to charities and groups and organizations all over the world. I’ve been… I’ve watched you donate money to folks in Haiti. I’ve watched you do things for people in China. I’ve watched you do things for people in your own community. So you’re not anti-helping people. You are like me saying, “Look, when you help yourself there is a strength that comes from that and out of that you can turn around and give back to your community” and you exemplify that.
Bill: Well thanks, Brian.
Brian: Well, that’s the truth my friend. I don’t want people listening to this going, “Oh Bill Heid is so coldhearted.” That’s not the fact at all.
Bill: I’m not a Libertarian in the… You make a really good point and thank you for bringing this up and thank you for what you said. I’m not a Libertarian in the Ayn Rand sense. I am not… I believe in rugged individualism but I think there is a time… Kids in Haiti when their moms and dads were killed—how do they…? What are you going to do—stand up like Vince Lombardi and yell plays at them? I mean someone has got to feed them. Someone has got to take care of them. So we work hard, we play hard; we do things so that we can do that.
Brian: Sure. And you have also… I could tell you another story briefly. I don’t know where we are on time, Jeremy. Another story you told me once before—because I tend to be a little more Libertarian in some ways—but a lesson that was very valuable for me Bill, was when you said, “Brian look, just look at people that hunt.” And I thought about you last week. There was a show on—let’s say National Geographic—I don’t know where it was but National Geographic and the cops in Alaska had gone in and found this guy who had slaughtered hundreds of elk and caribou and grizzly bear and coyote. He was a poacher.
Bill: He was an anarchist.
Brian: He was a… But what you caused me to see is that some regulation is good. So before we run, could you…? Because I think that’s an important lesson for everyone to learn at least once. You’re like “If there weren’t any regulations” you know hundreds of people that would leave with thousands of ducks every year and the next year there are no ducks, right? I mean…
Bill: Yeah, I don’t think radical… When I talk about Libertarianism—and I can sort of consider myself a Christian Libertarian—and by Libertarian I am just simply saying I think our government should be smaller. I don’t believe in total license. I don’t believe we should… I believe in this Kuyperian idea of government, that there is self-government, family government, local government, church government, school government—things like that—and there are spheres of government and that there are rules inside each… You and I are both sort of disciplined people in that sense. We create our own rules inside our own little self-government sphere and I think that’s one of those things where if you let the people who say… And I don’t believe that Ron Paul is a Libertarian in the Ayn Rand sense. And I’ll tell you another one about Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan says, “Who…?” And look, I kind of like the guy in some sense but he…
Brian: Is he a Green Bay Packer fan?
Bill: I’m sure he is, just like me. If he’s from Janesville he’s got to be. But here is the…
Brian: Does he have a pair of jeans with the Green Bay Packer patch that helps…?
Bill: Like I do? My kids bought me those. I don’t advertise professional sports. But…
Brian: That’s what I love about you, by the way.
Bill: Thank you.
Brian: One of the things.
Bill: But he said something. He said that—and I think anybody that’s going to vote for Romney—I’m not trying to tell anybody how to vote. I am just bringing… I am trying to bring moderately articulate things to light and let folks ponder on them. He said—he is a Roman Catholic—good for him and he’s proud of that—good for him. He has a belief structure that he says he is willing to abide by, kind of “Here’s my plumb line,” right? “I believe in these issues that the Catholic Church is espousing”—good for him. But he said—when questioned to say, “Who is the most influential person in your life?” he says, “Ayn Rand.”
Now I don’t think he knows who Ayn Rand is. We’ll do a whole show on Ayn Rand at some point. But Ayn Rand doesn’t believe in charity in that sense. Ayn Rand really has a belief in “me now.” So “Not only should the government not tell me how to live, nobody anywhere any time any place tells me how to live. I am my own god. I am my own sphere.” If we all lived that way, what Jean-Paul Sartre said, “If I am God and you are my neighbor, you must be the devil”—and he gets this, right? Because he understands that two gods, both sort of saying, “I am ultimate”—there is no such thing as dueling ultimacies. There is a banjo….
Brian: Yeah, sure—dueling banjos. Sure.
Bill: Yeah, the dueling ultimacies. There is no such thing. Only one could think and be the most important thing. So I think there is a real danger in sort of saying, “We want to be real Libertarians” in that sense that “I’ll shoot as many ducks as I want. I don’t want any government.” Believe me—I want government. I want folks like your brother in the military on my team. I want police officers like we have in Thompson. I mean how can you imagine any other game? Any other world becomes the star and whoever is the strongest kills and steals and rapes and tortures everybody else. I don’t know how they can not think that we’d all just get along, as Rodney King would say, under those conditions—with no law.
Brian: I agree and like I said, I thought the story that you told me about the ducks and hunting and everything else was a way for bringing it home for a lot of people. You know what I mean? That if there are just some folks, if there is no regulation, they would just run wild and that’s not fair to wildlife and the people around them.
Bill: Yeah. Yeah, those are the two ditches. On one hand you have where the government wants to grow. In school, what did you learn? You probably learned—I’m kind of hearkening back to the old Birch Society days when I saw a chart about government that really stuck in my head—there is the… In school what I learned—in public school—is there is a left, there is a center and there is the right. From the Birch Society what I learned years and years and years ago is that on one side of this chart is total anarchy and on the other side of this chart was total government and you could call that total government Nazism, Communism, Ceasarism, Pharaohism—it didn’t matter. It’s total regulation of your life.
And in the other ditch—in the other total end of it, the spectrum—was total anarchy, every man for himself. And that we have a republic and a republic is probably not quite to the center but a little back more towards the Libertarian side of things but—because if you say no government… There always has to be a government. In other words, the poor people need to be taken care of. We just… All we’re saying and all I’m saying is that the government shouldn’t steal my money, pay somebody $100,000 a year to give my money then back—what’s left that they don’t have for their department—to give my money back to someone who is poor. Let me give it to someone that’s poor. Let my church give money to someone that’s poor.
Brian: Sure. Absolutely. I think that as more and more people start to look at… When President Obama was first elected, it was the blending of the two roadways—sides of the road, as you say—he was going to be the great middle guy. Well, he isn’t. So now it’s like we have a foot in each canoe. Right? One canoe is going to go one way and one canoe is going to go the other. Friends of mine that would argue that government is government—you know my feeling of politicians is that they all think we’re gullible, they all think they can say and do whatever they want—but our country is a guy standing with one foot in one canoe, one foot in the other and November, we’re going to see what happens to the human anatomy when you have a canoe with your left foot in one and your right foot in the other.
Bill: And no matter what happens Brian, after the election—that next morning—Bono has this song “New Year’s Day” and the thing that I would emphasize is the line in that song is “Nothing changes on New Year’s Day.” People have to realize hearts need to be changed. We need to… This is a bottom up kind of a philosophy and we need to go—individuals—need to change their hearts about all of this and we can’t all have it easy. You brought up the point—the greatest point of the show—it can’t be easy for everybody. It’s the struggle itself that builds callus that makes people strong. You look at someone like Patrick Henry and you think, “Well, there’s a guy that wouldn’t have wanted any of this stuff. There is a guy that the struggle made him stronger. Studying made him stronger. These debates made him stronger”—character.
Brian: And I would say to you that it’s as much a philosophy as it is a biology and if it works for your body, it ought to be good for your brain.
Bill: It’s transcendent and I think these ideas cover body, mind, spirit—anything you could think of. They are true. They are true here, they are true in Alaska, they are true in China—they are true on Mars.
Brian: Absolutely the same thing. All right ladies and gentlemen, thanks so much for joining us. We know that an hour is a huge chunk of your day. It truly is an honor. I’ll tell you, Bill says to me all the time how much he enjoys the emails, the Facebooks—find us at Twitter at Off Grid News—and continue to send in your critiques, your comments. Thank you so very much. On behalf of everyone here at Solutions From Science and Off The Grid News, from Mr. Bill Heid, I am Brian Brawdy.