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Losing Our Country… One Freedom At A Time with Brian Brawdy – Episode 114

As a country, we’ve been willing to give our freedoms away… one law, one Supreme Court ruling, one agency, and one “czar” at a time… if someone will just make everything we’re suffering right now go away. We’ve demanded government provide for us what we could do better ourselves. We’ve demanded “fairness,” “safety,” “acceptance,” and “equal outcomes”… and never felt the chains tightening around us, never felt the noose slip over our necks.

Now in this economy, when municipalities face cutbacks or even bankruptcy, when services we’ve demanded are falling by the wayside, we’re beginning to find out just how shackled we are, just how dependent we’ve made ourselves on a government that neither cares nor is interested in what we want, need, or are guaranteed in our Constitution.

Off The Grid Radio
Ep 114
Released: August 2, 2012

Brian:   Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Off the Grid News—the radio version of where you can always find better ideas for living off the grid. Back in the seat—I’m Brian Brawdy here, along with Mr. Bill Heid. Bill, how are you Sir?

Bill:      I’ve never been better, Brian. It’s a little dry here. I’m parched myself, in addition to the weather outside. As you know, we’re here in the big… Speaking about being in the seat, we’re in the drought seat, I think.

Brian:   We’re in the drought seat. You know it’s funny because I’m thinking about being down at your cabin last evening on—I think you guys call this the Mississippi Crick? Creek? Where I am, from West Virginia. It’s three miles of…

Bill:      [inaudible 0:01:05.1]

Brian:   You can walk across it. But we shouldn’t laugh. You know there is a report on Off the Grid News today that talks about the number of counties across the United States that are in drought and I know that there is also a story breaking on the wire now that says a full half of all the counties in the United States—think about that Bill—a full half are now declared federal disaster areas because of the drought.

Bill:      That’s an amazing number. I don’t know that since they’ve been keeping track of such things… I mean we keep track of things… keep track of things more precisely today than we did in 1879 or whatever but think about the implications of half the country being stressed to the point where whatever it is you’re planting is not growing very well.

Brian:   Sure. Well, what’s growing though is your electricity bill because everyone’s busy, right? With drought comes high heat. Everyone’s busy running their air conditioner. So there’s something else you’ve got to… We say a lot of times “But wait—there’s more.”  The “more” is your electric bill is climbing and…

Bill:      My electric bill—do you want to know…? And you know, you’ve been to my house. We don’t have that big a house. I don’t have a mansion on the hill or anything like that. I do live on a hill though.

Brian:   You do live on a hill. Yeah.

Bill:      But it’s a small…

Brian:   But other than that…

Bill:      It’s a small house, relatively speaking.

Brian:   It’s functional.

Bill:      It’s functional. But because we have a swimming pool—above ground—you’re invited to my above…

Brian:   I’m just smiling at Jeramy. I’m looking at him right now. It’s on a hill. Well, it’s not on a hill. It’s not a mansion. But we have a pool… and a pond.

Bill:      Yeah, you’re invited to my above ground swimming party.

Brian:   Oh, that’s nice because last time you told me I had to be in the pond.

Bill:      Yeah, did you ever get an invite in the mail? You are in invited to my above ground pool swimming party.

Brian:   Sorry. I’ll have to check my mailbox when I got home.

Bill:      Oh gosh. Anyway, our electric bill—the lovely and talented Mrs. Heid just told me last night—our electric bill for the previous month—I think we just got that in—was almost $800.

Brian:   Golly.

Bill:      And we don’t have that much going on. But as you said, Brian, we’re running the air conditioning and we probably shouldn’t. I mean I got that and about died.

Brian:   Well I got one from the local power company where I live that says that I’m double this time last year.

Bill:      Yeah.

Brian:   I won’t tell you the dollar amount because it scared even me but where I was this time last year to date and where I am now, I’ve doubled the amount of electricity that I used.

Bill:      That you used. And you know, you and I both have off grid sources of power too with our hubs and stuff and with our system down at the… where you are, there is almost no electric bill because that’s basically solar power so that’s where we can go if we want to hunker down and not have any electric bill because that’s where the bulk of our commitment to solar power is. But it really is amazing just the size of these bills—just what’s happening and the stress on the grid, as we’ve always talked about before. It’s amazing.

Brian:   Well look at the stress on the grid. You want to talk about India—look at that. Did you see that story? Millions of people lost their power because of problems with the power grid over there. It could happen here.

Bill:      They’re struggling. And you know what bothered me about some of the articles about… that I’ve been reading about India? And I don’t know if it’s like a downspin that they’re trying to put on this but every article that you read is… It’s almost like they’re perpetuating some kind of crazy cast system. “Yeah, but you know, those people are basically third-worlders and they’ve never really had power before and it’s no big deal for them to lose their power.” The heck it ain’t. I mean these articles are arrogant about India. I mean these are highly intelligent people with rising, almost superpower status as some of these articles talk about and a lot of what goes on in the United States because of this interrelatedness of all the economies… We’ve all called a credit card company up and talked to somebody in Mumbai, right?

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      Whether people like that or not doesn’t matter but the point is what happens when American Express farms everything out to India and then they lose all their power? We’re still related. We’re still connected somehow with them. And so it is a big deal. And boy, to… How many people?

Brian:   According to CNBC right now, Bill, 700 million people without electricity.

Bill:      700 million people.

Brian:   How many people do we have in the country, Jeramy?

Bill:      300.

Brian:   Look at that.

Bill:      Half that.

Brian:   Isn’t that amazing?

Bill:      Yeah.

Brian:   Isn’t that amazing? And they’re a superpower.

Bill:      I mean that’s a country on the rise because of their economic… well, because of their work ethic and their ability to grind it out and work hard. So India really is being crippled by this and it’s a good chance for our listeners to kind of look around and say… Read these stories. Granted, they’re tainted and they kind of say it’s no big deal. It’s like Bill Murray when he… in the swimming pool. He gets the candy bar out and says, “It’s no big deal.”

Brian:   No big deal.

Bill:      Yeah, it’s no big deal.

Brian:   Baby Ruth.

Bill:      Yeah. But it is a big deal and…

Brian:   Well it is when you suffer through it and you think, as we’ve talked about before, the things that you can do. I think the last time I was on the show I told you we had that big power outage that knocked out all that power on the east coast and I had my PowerHub so I didn’t panic. I mean it’s such… You know I talk to people about solar power—and admittedly, Bill, solar power is getting a bad rep because you hear of Solyndra, you hear of this one—we’re about the only company—Solutions From Science, our parent company—is about the only company tying to solar that one—absolutely the only company that didn’t get a federal loan guarantee or a stimulus program and hasn’t filed for bankruptcy. So solar is getting a bad rap in some ways but for me, it gives me the peace of mind. I know that when that grid goes down—and it’s going to…

Bill:      You’ve got some power.

Brian:   I’ve got some power.

Bill:      Yeah, it might not run everything in the house but as we’ve talked, you don’t need the TV though you might want to check the internet and see who’s winning your favorite gold medals or whatever—how the women’s gymnastic team is—could be an important thing. We can always check that. You don’t need a full screen TV for that. I was thinking about—as you’re talking about the Indian thing—just what can our listeners learn from this? And I think really an interesting thing is how interconnected. If you start reading the stories about what happened and how this took place you see these grids are all connected to each other and when they go down they kind of go down together and then because of that fact trying to get it up means you’ve got to try to get them all back up together and that becomes difficult as they’re finding out in India right now.

Brian:   I equated it in an interview last week, Bill, it says that everyone knows you hear that the old cliché about “dominoes falling,” right? Remember what it’s like to try to restack those dominoes in reverse order when they fell? You ever try to do that?

Bill:      Yeah.

Brian:   Restack fallen dominoes—it’s the same thing in the power grid. You’re right. They call it a cascading effect, as you know, and… but 700 million people. Go to flick a switch—no power.

Bill:      Yeah, and your world… You had planned on there being power, obviously, and so then your world abruptly stops. We’ve seen some of the pictures from intersections and different things where no traffic lights, no gas. Another thing that you and I have talked about all the time so… I think we’re blessed in the sense that we’re able to experience vicariously some of these problems and it allows those people that really have “eyes to see, ears to hear,” as they say, a way to kind of say, “You know what? This could happen. And if it happens here’s kind of how the flow of the thing is and so maybe I should take some action one way or another.”  And we always talk about having food and water, especially even before you have electricity. But boy, our prayers go out to our friends in India that are suffering right now because it’s not exactly… It’s not 65 degrees and dry.

Brian:   It seldom is and that was one of the things in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that surprised me was that after the storms left that’s when the heat set in. I mean it was simply oppressive and then you try to combat that. You can’t get fresh water. All the food in the refrigerator goes. I mean as you know, Bill, we never try to scare people but try to just give them an option, right?

Bill:      Yeah.

Brian:   A way out of that type of fear.

Bill:      And sometimes you’ve got to get a little scared before… So if you can use your imagination, you read these articles and pretend you’re there or pretend it’s here or whatever and just think, “What would I do?”  This is not anything even beyond what the folks at FEMA would tell you to do. Have a practice session.

Brian:   Well, that’s the nice thing about… But you know what happened, Bill, you know the term “sympathetic magic” left over from the days of totem poles and the like where… I remember my grandmother used to say, “Oh Brian, don’t say that. You could make it come true.”  I think a lot of people subconsciously believe if you focus on the negative you’re going to create it. So they leave their head in the sand. They don’t pay attention to all the telltale signs going on around them. And for me, as you know, I call them mind-ups—just like push-ups or sit-ups or pull-ups—there are things that you can do to train your mind. It’s like any other muscle in your body. And you said, “Have a practice drill.”  You know, when the kids are over we… Every third Friday night we have our tornado drill and Parker knows what to grab, Paige knows what to grab, what bathroom we’re going to meet in, how we’re going to—you know, all those other things. And you’ve told me you’ve done the same thing with your kids and now grandkids. So it’s a good thing to picture those things in advance so that when they happen you don’t panic.

Bill:      I think you need a plan and everyone… It doesn’t have to be grandiose but you need to have some kind of “Here’s what we’re going to do”—kind of like running a business or running a website or anything. What’s the plan and what’s everybody going to do and when are they going to do it? It’s the same old thing that we’ve talked about for years and years.

Brian:   And we can’t rely on our plan being 911.

Bill:      Well yeah, it’s hard to get a hold of somebody if they’re busy helping somebody else. Tell the Thomson story. You guys were in Clinton and…

Brian:   Yeah, Jeramy’s laughing already.

Bill:      Our EMTs… I mean this is a small town and we have great EMTs and we have a great fire department—all of that—but if… and we… Because of our limited budget we’ve only got one ambulance and a couple guys and these guys that are doing it probably are doing it on their own time.

Brian:   I would say volunteers. Sure.

Bill:      Right. They’re volunteers and so… But if they take a patient to the Clinton hospital or something then there’s no… Like if you run a nail gun through your foot here you’re your own ambulance because they’re gone and they’re on their way back and they’re doing something else. So that’s just… How can people survive like that? But they’re going to have to learn because of all the cutbacks and I think that’s part of the message too. With the cutbacks that all of the municipalities have—even bankruptcies as we see in California and some other places—then folks have to figure out a way to be more self reliant and people got along before 911.

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      Guess what? There was a civilization pre-your ability to dial 911. But it’s hard to imagine that for some people because they just… Some people, if they’re bored… Have you ever heard these stories or seen these stories of if someone says, “I got a bad steak” or something they call 911 and try to get somebody there to…?

Brian:   My French fries were cold or whatever. Yeah.

Bill:      Get somebody there to do something to straighten things out. So we’re looking more and more… And then also because of the way the insurance structure is set up, if you get hurt you’re more likely to go to an emergency room because most insurance companies have some kind of pay things that will pay for an emergency. So everything becomes an emergency. You get whatever it is your reward, right? So everything becomes an emergency all the time. And so then these places get jammed.

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      And we know quite a few emergency room doctors—friends of ours—and they’re jammed with people and there’s legitimate incidents of problems that people have and then there’s the people that everybody in the ER knows who come there if they have a headache, if their husband’s mad at them—whatever it might be—and it really… This inappropriate use just clogs the system up, Brian.

Brian:   Well you know, we see those reports and the stories now, Bill, in addition to that—that we have too few doctors. We’re just pulling it right now—“The doctor shortage likely to worsen with the new health law.”  And it says here that “the health reforms law biggest threat—30,000 doctors in the hole.”

Bill:      Well you and I have both been to Belize and sometimes we sit in these conferences. Who is always sitting there with us when we’re maybe offshore talking to people? And it’s doctors. And I’ll never forget the one conference we went to and there was probably almost everybody there was a doctor. And there were almost… Everybody there was my age and older—in their 50s—and without a doubt they all said, “You know, I’d rather come down here, get out of the system, retire and do pro bono work for people here and in Mexico or Guatemala that need my help and just work for free than get caught up in this crazy hamster treadmill healthcare system that we have now and it’s getting worse and worse and worse.”  And so the shortages are coming from a lot of different directions but a lot of guys my age and older are just saying, “No. I’m not going to do it.”  So…

Brian:   And you can see that reflected in the news and then you add that, Bill, to the number of police departments and because—as you said—the financial stress that some of the cities—not just in California but all over—a lot of the stress that they’re under. They’re cutting back on paramedics. They’re cutting back on the number of police officers. I mean you’ll be thankful to know that more and more of them are buying drones but apparently they don’t have a police officer come to your house if you need it but they can put a drone in the air to make sure that you paid your taxes on your swimming pool. So fear not. There is a drone coming to a…

Bill:      Drones could almost solve all of our problems when you think about it—just drones flying everywhere, helping people, shooting people, spotting bad swimming pools, maybe spotting algae in swimming pools and just reporting it to the owner somehow and just… Why not have drones flying just everywhere?

Brian:   It’s just sad anymore. But the good news is, Bill, and…

Bill:      There’s always good news.

Brian:   There’s always good news and at Off the Grid News we tend to spend a good portion of our time focusing on that good news. The good news is there’s a generation of folks out there now that have grown up holding out for a hero. They get in a bad way—they’re waiting for the heroine. They’re waiting for the hero to come and save them. And for most of our listeners and the people that have been able to take advantage of the information that’s up on our sites, they realize they’ve got to be their own hero. They’ve got to be their own heroine. When you can’t call on anybody else can you call on yourself?

And that’s why… We’ve got so much to talk about in terms of some of the things that are coming down the pike at Off the Grid News—books and audio programs and everything else—because it’s designed… Let’s face it, Bill, the people that are always going to wait for some hero to ride in and save them—that’s their calling. But for those that hear the message and go “You know what? They’re right.”  Now that recent power storm on the east coast—911 was out in some regions of the country—near the capitol—Washington DC, near the capitol. 911 was out for 48 hours.

You’ve got to know CPR. You’ve got to know the Heimlich Maneuver. You’ve got to know how to keep the food in your refrigerator good, if not medications that you might need, that need to stay chilled. There’s just a basic skillset that we need. And we subcontract… I hear this all the time—“Oh, well you know we’re outsourcing. We’re outsourcing.”  And everyone’s upset—“Oh, well we outsource to China. We outsource to India. We outsource this, that.”  How about outsourcing your own personal responsibility to protect yourself and your family in the time of an emergency?

Bill:      That’s a great point. We outsource not just economically where we have everybody around the world do things for us—and some of those there is economic advantages to those things and they can be debated—but when you start outsourcing every little thing in your life…

Brian:   Yep.

Bill:      And you know, people have outsourced even the spirituality of their families. I’m just thinking about that as you said that, where people… It’s the old drop the kids off at Sunday School. Parents even want to outsource that—outsource your kids health, outsource… And really, if you want to outsource, the state actually becomes very compliant and says, “You know, you don’t want to raise your kids. Oh, okay. We’ll raise your kids for you” and then you’ve got breakfast programs, lunch programs, afterschool programs, evening programs for kids and pretty soon and pretty soon who is your daddy? Who’s your daddy? It’s…

Brian:   Uncle Sam.

Bill:      It’s Big Gov. That’s…

Brian:   Absolutely.

Bill:      And whose fault is that?

Brian:   Ours.

Bill:      We can blame the politicians and there are certain amount of culpability for people that want to… power mongers that just, that’s all they do is think about “Here is how we can get power and let’s manipulate and let’s try to bribe the populous into the carnival games thing.”  But really at base, who gave the freedoms away?

Brian:   That’s right.

Bill:      The people did.

Brian:   That’s right. Look in the mirror. Look in the mirror.

Bill:      Look in the mirror. You and I.

Brian:   You have a complaint about something going on—look in the mirror. Look in the mirror. And don’t look for the person standing behind you in the reflection. Look straight into the mirror at the person closest with their nose…

Bill:      Try to catch yourself…

Brian:   And wait a minute. I can see it’s Jeramy over my shoulder. Think about it. We outsource everything. We outsource everything. So then we scream and holler and pound our chest and “How dare we outsource this to this country and that to that country?”  But look at obesity in our country. Look at… Now they’re saying that they’re worried in ten years we’ll have enough people even to qualify for military service if they wanted to do it. At a time when the Soviet Union is talking about moving a base into Cuba to test the Monroe Doctrine and Putin’s like “Look. We need to keep pushing the United States—pushing, pushing.”  China is…

Bill:      Well he knows who to push too.

Brian:   He knows who to push. Absolutely.

Bill:      Exactly.

Brian:   And then you look at China. China’s like “Look. We’re not going to take anything from you guys anymore.”  And look at the different things that they’re building. This at a time… You’ve talked before about all these convergent lines—all these things happening—this at a time where a huge percentage of our population is obese, can’t even qualify to be in the military if we needed them to be.

Bill:      It’s almost like… It would be like a cartoon. Almost like some Monty Python sketch or something where you have all these obese people trying to fight a war and it wouldn’t be pretty because you have to… When you fight a war you have to fight a war and I think that’s just, as you say, another symptom of this greater spiritual problem that exists where people think that we can farm everything out in the world and not have any responsibility at all. And I think that’s… If you want to talk about the bubble—what’s the next bubble—I think the bubble is a psychic bubble.

Brian:   I was just going to say “a spiritual bubble.”

Bill:      Where we’re racing… It’s a spiritual bubble where we’re just racing and racing and racing 100 miles an hour to farm out all of the things in our life. Can you imagine just driving 80 miles an hour to say, “I don’t want to participate in my own life”? But you’re in a car that’s going 80 miles an hour and your goal is to not participate and the faster you go the more you say, “I don’t want to participate.”  It’s insanity. It’s the definition of insanity and…

Brian:   You know who I blame?

Bill:      Hitler?

Brian:   No—a little closer to home—the Greyhound bus company.

Bill:      Because they’re not… They don’t have as many schedules going by your house anymore or what?

Brian:   Well, that too…

Bill:      They used to stop…

Brian:   No, I blame Greyhound.

Bill:      They used to stop at your house.

Brian:   Remember that commercial when we were younger—Go Greyhound and leave the driving to us—that commercial?

Bill:      Yeah.

Brian:   We have an entire generation of people that are absolutely comfortable with someone else driving the bus. And as you said, there are all kinds of Lex Luthers. Look, we talk about outsourcing—moving from us outwardly—but there are all kinds of Lex Luthers in politics and all government’s going “We’ll take it. We’ll take it. We’ll take it.”

Bill:      And they’ve been there since time began, Brian. It’s one… There’s always been a Caligula. There’s always been somebody that’s wanted power and the difference in any society has always been “What’s the populous, what’s the makeup of the populous like?”  And the thing that made this country great was this population had a little different character and nature to it than most civilizations in the world. Now I’m not saying that we’re… I’m almost making the case that we’re post-greatness America in some sense. I still love this country.

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      I know that you do and we have great hopes with children and grandchildren between us and things that we know we want to see grow. But we have to be real. We have to be realistic and look at the rest of the world. As long as we’re talking about this, can we talk about the Dream Team versus today’s team, for example? We sent Jordan and Barkley and those guys over for a while and… Was it…?

Brian:   ’94.

Bill:      Was it ’94? Was that the Dream Team?

Brian:   Summer Dream? Yeah.

Bill:      And they showed… They taught the world that basketball is a pretty cool sport. And guess what happened? The world caught up with them. Now we’ve got a pretty good team but Jordan and those guys played teams that are basically men’s league teams today and they said, “Well yeah, we beat everybody by 40 points.”  But guys, you played people… You go look at Spain today or France today compared to France then and the world moved on and the world got better.

Brian:   Right.

Bill:      And we’re still pretty good but I’m saying the world—the rest of the world—in some ways is catching up with America and I attribute a lot of that to just the fact that people really don’t have that Yankee ingenuity, that robust character anymore. There is always a percentage, there’s always a remnant in any society that does. I think a lot of our listeners still have that character.

Brian:   Sure. Sure.

Bill:      But I think a lot of America’s… And we don’t mean this in a disparaging way. But a lot of our nation has become fat and it’s just… Fat—not physically—but fat mentally in the sense that there’s… “Why should I live?”  Well, I can have one reason why I want to live. I want to gratify me now and that’s the only reason for my existence so “Gimme, gimme, gimme and I don’t care where it comes from.”  It’s a killer. You can’t run a society on that fuel. We have to figure out how to do things because we’re passionate about them, because we want to help others and so forth but to just live for self gratification—that nation’s on a… It’s a ticking time bomb and it’s only just time. It’s not “if.”

You talk about predicting trends. That’s a trend that’s easy to predict because we both love history and we know that at some point it just stops fueling itself. People just don’t care. People don’t… Why would these…? Why would we even want to defend our country? I think that’s the problem you have. You would have some soldiers that would want to defend it but in terms of a populous, do you have a country worth defending? I don’t know that a lot of people could say, “Yes.”  We ought to have a poll. “Is our country worth defending?”  Well, depending on how you ask that question, a lot of people might say, “Yes. Kind of.”

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      That’s not the answer you got in 1955.

Brian:   Nope.

Bill:      You had a different bunch of people.

Brian:   Agreed. And you look now where we’d say, “Okay, well what are we going to do to the foreign threats that are allied against us?”  And you look at everything going on. We were having a conversation today about Israel. You look at the Soviet Union and China on the Security Council and what they do in Syria. Look at everything going on in Syria. Do you think we could get China and the Soviet Union the vote with us and the Security Council to make Assad stop killing all of his own people? We can’t even get them to pull with us. So I think this day where…

Bill:      Yeah, because they have trade deals with them.

Brian:   They have trade deals with them. Absolutely. But from the time that you and I have spent traveling in China, you know—and I don’t know if we’ve talked about it before on the show but I know that it’s prevalent every time that I visited—they have this concept called “face.”

Bill:      Oh yes.

Brian:   And they’re not going to lose. Chinese people have a…

Bill:      That’s their biggest weakness, isn’t it? I would say.

Brian:   Or their biggest strength, depending…

Bill:      Is that they don’t want to be… They don’t want to be wrong and just getting to… and say, “Yeah, we made this mistake” but…

Brian:   Yep. They don’t want to be.

Bill:      You’re definitely right about that.

Brian:   And you look at the Olympics. You look at… Just you look at the way they do everything. They are not going to lose. And I think we’ve been such a powerful country for so long, I think people have forgotten that. So we outsource. And again, when I’m talking about outsourcing I mean more just spiritually, just mentally, just going “No, this is my responsibility. I’m not going to pass it off. It’s my responsibility to hang with my kids at the end of the day. I’m not going to put them in front of a 50-inch color TV. It’s my responsibility to feed them at the end of the day. I’m not going to stop by a fast food chain and get a bag of burgers and fries. It’s my responsibility to make sure”—physically and mentally, right?

Bill:      Yeah. You know what we have? I was just thinking. We really have the Cliff Notes society.

Brian:   Yeah.

Bill:      Right?

Brian:   Yeah, very good.

Bill:      Where you do… You read Mark Twain and then tell me what it says because I’m too busy tweeting.

Brian:   Good point.

Bill:      You know, it’s really… We’re in the… It’s the Cliff Notes… A lot of people don’t even know what Cliff Notes are but really it’s the shortened, book summary thing where someone else reads the book for you and tells you what it says and then you just puke that back out. If you’re ever in a conversation with somebody—and you can always tell when somebody’s read the first chapter of some book or Cliff Notes on something—that really don’t get what Shakespeare is saying or whatever it is that somebody’s saying. So you can talk with a lot of people but it does show when you just do the Cliff Notes thing and I think our country is superficial in that sense. We didn’t really start today’s show out by… It wasn’t our intention to go start talking about indicting our society but I think really the rest of the world kind of is getting the sense that maybe we’re just Cliff Notes society.

Brian:   And I know, Bill, you’re a lot nicer guy than I am. We have this conversation all the time. I think we should indict ourselves. I’m a big fan of believing that no matter what happens to you in your life you are responsible. If there is something that’s happened to you and you’re not digging it, you’re responsible. You have to shoulder that… Independence is a tough gig. Everyone says, “Oh, I want to be free.”  There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with being free. Independence is a pretty heavy yoke and a lot of people now go “Eh. Not really. I’ll eat what I want, do what I want, act the way I want” and look what’s happened to us.

Bill:      Well we’ve… We’re reaping the whirlwind and it’s… From where I sit, it’s only going to get worse. Let’s talk a little bit about part of that whirlwind reaping is these municipalities that are declaring bankruptcy. I mean think of the cascading effect that that’s going to have because you have a reduced police force. You have a reduced healthcare system. You have the court systems being jammed because they’re cutting back on…

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      …just how much money… And so…

Brian:   Emergency rooms, if they’re run by the public… You know what I mean? If they’re run by the government sector in your county—emergency rooms are cutting back on nurses.

Bill:      Crime starts to pay, in some sense, in that people know that “Well, I probably… A—I probably won’t get caught because there are no cops. B—I doubt it’ll even make it through the judicial system because things are so clogged up.”  No one… Can you imagine the fact that we’re getting to the point where we can’t even afford justice anymore—not that justice is great the way it is but imagine the lack of any kind of…

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      And some of the court systems—I know in California—some things just… You can’t even get into court anymore unless the deal is $5,000 or more or something. They have all these rules now. That means under $5,000 is kind of game. You’ve got a new level where people can just steal with impunity and it’s hard to prosecute.

Brian:   And that comes from, I think, a sense of a lack of independence and self reliance but that’s what I love about the emails that we get, the Facebook comments, Bill, on Twitter for the friends of ours that follow us at Off the Grid News. They have a—as we say in the opening—a different paradigm. They look at the world in a different way and that’s why it’s so exciting to read some of the things that are coming down the pike, to look at some of the other projects that you have planned for coming up later this summer and into the fall because there’s some really great things that people that share this kind of mindset… I don’t want to leak too much but a couple of library things you’ve got coming, a couple of the books, a couple…

Bill:      We want to give people some tools. Yeah.

Brian:   Some tools. I think it’s a great way to give back to the community because I still say that the greatest disservice is to believe that 911 is going to send someone to save you and that’s not to take away from the good intentions of the paramedics and the police officers. We have friends that do both.

Bill:      You bet.

Brian:   Not to take away from that but there’s just too many of us, Bill. There’s just too many. What are you going to have, a triage of 500 people if an event hits in your hometown? How many…? Just right now as you’re listening to our voices, ask yourself “How many people live in my town—my village, my city—wherever I am? How many people live here? How many paramedics do I have?”  And then just divide one into the other. What is there, a paramedic for every 10,000 people in the city of Chicago, I’ll bet? I mean in Thomson, I can tell you right now it’s one paramedic per 1,000—at least, right? I mean it’s been a while since I’ve read our sign out here. How many people live here?

Bill:      There are 500 people here.

Brian:   500 people.

Bill:      And you know, there’s no real paramedics but there are some people that jump into the ambulance if you need help, who will… So even that’s suspect because if you go… The more you go towards a volunteer system, which is a good thing too, but then the more variables you’re entering into the equation. In other words, if Newt Kylie is an EMT but he happens to be baling hay that day…

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      He’s… It’s different than having a full time EMT or whatever it would be, just sitting there and waiting for the call. Maybe we’ve come to the place where we can’t pay people to sit and wait for calls—I don’t know—anymore.

Brian:   Well we’ve come to a place, certainly, where you could be your own paramedic. We’ve come to the place where you could be your own electrical power supply company. We’ve come to a place where you can be your own security firm/police department. You know what I mean? You and I were talking this morning about the defense of the technical infrastructure, right? Of critical infrastructure. When you think about it, is there any more critical infrastructure than your own home, your own family, the things that you need to be able to secure and protect?

Bill:      Well people want to arm theaters. They want to get ready for the next theater attack. You know, you don’t have to go to the movies but you do have to stay home. Hard to get a good night’s sleep if you’re not going to be at home so that’s where everything takes place. That’s the security. That’s the bone and sinew of our country is America’s homes and so if we feel like they’re no longer safe that changes America as well.

Brian:   Well you have—although he said later that it was tongue in cheek and he didn’t really mean it—you had Mayor Bloomberg in New York City saying, “Look. I think police officers should go on strike to get the people’s attention” as to the debate over the second amendment. I don’t know if you heard that but Bloomberg said, “Hey look, I think they should all walk out.”  Great, so suppose someone takes him up on that. Suppose that a city like Stockton California or any of the others that are either contemplating or have in fact filed for bankruptcy protection—they can’t pay their police officers. I saw something this morning where… Did I read it correctly, Bill, that Congress has adjourned and they still didn’t settle the whole thing about the post office? I don’t… Is the post office going under today at 1:00?

Bill:      There are a whole lot of things that aren’t settled.

Brian:   Yeah.

Bill:      Yeah. And what can they do? What are the tools? What are the options? Tax people more so that…? I mean that… Really, taxing people more doesn’t even fit the Keynesian model, Brian.

Brian:   Right.

Bill:      I mean… Because isn’t it the idea to get everybody to spend on consumer items and so how does taxing people fit that model? That’s crazy. And the only thing to do, I think, in this case is to just let people alone and kind of cut back on the regulations. We’re overregulated as a people. And I think let people—let the ingenuity and entrepreneurialism—kind of come back out in America that’s sitting there latent. And that’s one of our projects—is it not—that we’re going to be working on here, that we’re going to be releasing? Is trying to release this latent power that exists in America and create jobs that way. So we’ve got a little job creation program and entrepreneurial program and everything kind of coming out shortly. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

Brian:   You know, I’m kind of chuckling as I listen to you say that. You’re talking about different things that can be created and what we can do. ABC News blog has a story now—“60 House bills to name different post offices Zero to fix the mail service”—opinion poll. “It’s D-Day for the post office,” according to the New York Times. “Post office to default on $5.5 billion in their retiree health payments.”  Post office… I mean I could just read… I could give…

Bill:      I can’t… These numbers are so crazy.

Brian:   $5 billion. So people say, “You know what? I don’t need my mail. Doesn’t matter. I don’t have to go to the mailbox anymore.”  What about all the postal workers that are relying on that in terms of their retirement? What if you’ve worked hard all your life, you’re a postal carrier, the contract was negotiated for you?

Bill:      A deal is a deal.

Brian:   A deal is a deal.

Bill:      You’ve got to pay people.

Brian:   And now you don’t have any money to go to the grocery store. You don’t have any money for healthcare. You don’t have any… So we’re all interconnected to such a degree that can you imagine $5 billion default from the post office? Right? I remember my first occasion to the post office and where the picture of the President of the United States was. You walk into your post office… Oh, so where all the FBI Wanted posters were. I spent more time staring at the FBI posters, to be honest, than I did pictures of President Nixon when I was younger. But the post office is supposed to be like where the… in terms of the community, where the federal government draws its line in the sand. And now we’re talking about defaulting on a $5 billion responsibility.

Bill:      Just think, years ago what could you count on? What was good for GM was good for America. You could count on going and getting your mail or having your mail… There were certain things. I mean what are we going to do to apple pie to destroy…?

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      How…? Is apple pie next? I mean what is…? We’re going to outsource that? We have all these Chinese pies coming in?

Brian:   Help me, Bill. What was the post office? Be it rain or snow or sleet or hail… The only thing they didn’t cover was incompetent politicians. So I think if we had started way back it would be “be it rain or snow or sleet…”

Bill:      Was that Pony Express? No.

Brian:   Was that Pony Express? I thought that was the postal… What was it…? Was that Pony Express? Okay.

Bill:      It can certainly be for the post office because I think there were some… My dad was a postal delivery guy for a long time…

Brian:   Oh, I didn’t know that.

Bill:      And he was certainly a determined fellow. If somebody told him to deliver the mail it didn’t matter what temperature it was and still doesn’t. These folks have to get their work done and you’ve got a lot of really diligent people out there trying to deliver mail but what can we afford? That’s the issue. What can we afford? How many diligent people can you hire? Even if they’re top notch, high quality—what if you can’t afford them anymore?

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      What do you do?

Brian:   Well look at the number of people that went to college and thought, “Great. I’ll take a loan. I’ll get a four year degree or a master’s degree.”  I would dare say there are probably more people today with master’s degrees in certain regions of the country waiting tables than they are applying the trade that they went all those hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to receive.

Bill:      That’s another one of our projects we’ve got… is coming—how to sort of get a college degree with very little money and to get a good degree. There is a way to circumvent that and to cut through a lot of the chase and just end up with a degree in whatever it is you want to do. And that’s… As I said, we’ve got a book coming out and then a whole program coming out of that. So that’s… The economists now are saying that’s the biggest bubble.

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      The college thing—the student loan thing. And I doubt that’s going to change, irrespective of who becomes President later in the year.

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      It’s one of those sacred cows that’ll probably go down with the whole ship because people just… They have this inherent belief that the more educated you are the better you are. And there are some things we could say that match up but I’m not sure if I’m willing to say that that’s a universal truth.

Brian:   Oh, you know I have a bias. I never went to college and I’m always up for a debate on the different topics that I’ve studied. But I remember very early on my grandfather… One of the very first things he made me translate into Latin—I was in kindergarten—made me translate from the Latin was that “and Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”  So you have to… As you grow physically you have to grow mentally. As you grow mentally you have to grow physically. So when you focus on those two things and you don’t outsource it… Truth be told I spent a semester at West Virginia and when I refused to outsource my intelligence to the political science professor I was asked to leave and I never went back.

Bill:      Did they ask you to leave in a nice way or did they ask you to leave…? Was it kind of like more of a stern “Here is the security office”?

Brian:   I think it was a 50… No. No, no, no, no. It wasn’t security…although that would be funny if it was. You know what I mean? At West Virginia, as a mountaineer, they called “Security! Security!”  No, I think it was a mutual understanding that college is not supposed to be about the memorization of some facts. It’s supposed to be learning how to learn—not what to learn. You go to college to become a critical thinker—not to do things the way a professor wants because if you don’t answer it in that way you’re not going to pass the test, you’re not going to get your PhD. So I very quickly realized…

Bill:      Yeah—dates and dead guys—that’s what they…

Brian:   Dates and dead guys.

Bill:      And those things are important but they’re not the essence of an education.

Brian:   A nimble mind should be the essence of education and the ability to think on your feet and the ability to maintain the same flexibility. Another little quote my grandfather had was… I remember this written on a sign he had on his wall. “Would the boy you were be proud of the man that you have become?”  I fall back on that. Would the boy you were be proud of the man that you have become? You can’t outsource that. You can’t sit in the classroom and pay some college professor to give you a shingle and then go out into the world and think, “Well, I’ve got this shingle now. I’ve got an MBA.”

And here’s what’s always fascinating. And you’ve been a tremendous help to me, Bill, in trying to figure this out in some way. Everyone—“I’ve got an MBA. I’ve got to have an MBA. Gotta have an MBA.”  Well it’s the folks with the MBAs that got us into the position we’re in in the first place. Think about it. Think about the number of Senators or Congressmen or people in government or people… Everyone wants to find the villains on Wall Street. Well you tell me all the time that… What is it—the definition of fanaticism is redoubling your effort without checking your aim? Yeah, great. Let’s put another $10 million MBAs into the marketplace, right? How many more times are you going to empower the same people that created the problem? Ah, let’s just keep doing it. Let’s just keep doing it.

Bill:      You know what? Again, you just touched something, I think, that’s fascinating. You’ve touched on sort of the Penn State problem, right? And we’ve never discussed this here before—what a foul, bizarre thing that whole deal was. But what really happened there is happening to our culture—our wider culture. That’s another… Like we talked about India’s power outage—it’s a microcosm for a potentially big problem. Well this deal at Penn State—it’s not so much the individual players.

Brian:   Right.

Bill:      No pun intended. It’s not about this coach and all the people that… You could stick any names in there to replace the names that were… Any name works. It’s the idea that millions and millions and millions of dollars are at hand and should there be justice not when there’s millions…? The answer, obviously, to that group of people was “Not when there’s money to be made. Not when the program… Not when we can recruit athletes. We could never recruit good players if we tell the truth. We couldn’t…”  You know, can you imagine that?

Brian:   Absolutely. You know what? And people are welcome to email Jeramy. Hit him on Facebook and Twitter. This content… But it’s one of the… And I got into a debate about it last week with that old tagline—“Protect this house.”  Well there is an example where you protected that house no matter what. But how many administrators, how many janitors, how many assistant coaches, how many coaches—how many people were privy to that yet did everything they could to protect the house? Everything but what was honorable and right.

Bill:      Yeah. There are probably a lot more people than we know about who kind of said, “This probably shouldn’t be discussed because it can hurt our program.”  And again—not just the football program—this is bigger than a football thing.

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      This is going to protect the university. So what can we do to get out of this? And I think that’s back to every individual has to be able to not only sort of be in that self reliant mode but to have some kind of internal force of character that says, “You know what? I can’t go on like this. It has to stop right here, right now, with me.”

Brian:   I’m with you.

Bill:      “And I don’t care about the results.”

Brian:   I don’t care about the results.

Bill:      “And we don’t care if it means that we finish second next year. I’m going to tell the truth about X.”  So you’ve got a whole society acting this way and if you look at the debts—we’ve been rattling numbers off about the debts—you look at our… at monetary policy—you have a similar situation. People can’t really say… If you watch all the financial news networks, they can’t really say what’s going on because there’s too much at stake. They won’t say what’s really going on and so as a result of it I think there’s a lot of people that think that things are better than they are because just like at Penn State we prop things up because the status quo has to keep going, baby. This car’s got to go not 80—it’s got to go 90. It’s got to run, run, run and nobody should stop it because there’s… We feel like if we put our priorities wrong we feel like there’s too much at stake. So we’re going to slow down and pick up a hitchhiker? No way. I’m going 90 because I don’t know where I’m going or when I’m getting there.

Brian:   Right—but I’ve got to get there in a hurry. Yeah.

Bill:      But I’ve got to go there fast.

Brian:   Right.

Bill:      So…

Brian:   All right. Well that’ll be a nice place to cut it right there. Jeramy, how are we on time?


Brian:   Groovy. So we’ll pick it back up. You know, Bill, let me ask you a quick… I’m sorry Jeramy. 3-2… Let me ask you a question about that, Bill, because you’ve used that analogy a couple times about being in a speeding vehicle. Well what’s it going to take…? And most of our listeners already know the answer but for those people that might be joining us for the first time or they’re in the first few times of listening to us, we can’t slam on the brakes, right? You don’t want to lock it up in the middle of the throughway if you’ve been accustomed to driving 90 miles an hour. You’re going to… Kind of like Jeramy yesterday, driving on a video shoot.

Bill:      Spinning around… Spinning the car around like…

Brian:   No, but this…

Bill:      Starsky and Hutch?

Brian:   Oh, it was close. This tractor-trailer was like… Oh man. So… But in any event, you’re driving down the highway at 90 miles an hour; you just can’t lock on the brakes. So what can our listeners do? How can they…? Let’s just say they’re a passenger in that vehicle that’s speeding—to keep up with your analogy. What can our listeners do to kind of regain control when it seems like everything around them is out of control?

Bill:      Well the first thing, I think, is are you a passenger or are you driving? I think the easy thing to say and maybe one of the principal mistakes is to say, “Hey look, I’m just a passenger,” right? Because if that’s the case then you can always say, “Hey, it wasn’t me. It was the brown shirts that carried those Jews off.”

Brian:   Absolutely.

Bill:      “I did not…” You know, “I did not do that.”  When really—accountability has to be a little more spread across a wider culture. So you have to be able to say… Again, even at any level? No. Begin to make good decisions at a small level. Begin to exercise sort of a judicious justice at little levels in your own life. Don’t lie to yourself about stuff. I think Americans, by and large—and again, this is just a mankind issue—but I think Americans are really good at telling ourselves little lies.

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      There was a Fleetwood Mac song about that—“Tell me lies. Tell me sweet little lies.”

Brian:   Yeah.

Bill:      And so we’re always kind of lying to ourselves about the future because that’s just what we do. So stop lying to self and getting a grip on self-deception first.

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      And looking for reality, looking off the grid—we use that phrase—we love that phrase because you can’t go to the network news. You can’t go to mainstream politicians. And they all have a stake in making sure the car stays going at that speed. So I think the beginning of the journey is a look at self and “to thine own self be true.”  I think that portion of Shakespeare is probably really appropriate. Of course the Bible, for me, is the go-to book for analyzing self because at least you have a standard by which to go kind of say, “How am I doing?”  If self becomes the Bible, if all you have is standards that you’ve set then obviously if I say, “Brian, how are you doing?” and you’re your own god, you’re going to say, “I guess I’m pretty good” because you’ve got no other standard by which to judge how things are going.

So for me I think that beginning point starts not with a criticism of the politicians—though that could be in order—but it would be a secondary or tertiary thing and getting ourselves back to that [inaudible 0:47:43.4] sovereignty thing—getting ourselves in order then working on our family then starting to work in our church and our community and all of those kinds of things. So I think we try to do too much. Sometimes a form of lying to yourself… You outsource your life by living vicariously through the Romney campaign or the Obama campaign or “Did you hear what this guy said?” and you’re constantly going to all of these websites and sort of trying to live your life through this and you’re leaving your own life unattended. Your own garage needs to be cleaned out. So… I know that sounds too simple and people say, “Well why am I listening to you? Well this is nonsense.”  No, it’s not nonsense.

Brian:   Not at all.

Bill:      You have to get your own life in order before you can help somebody else.

Brian:   And not… And in addition to that I would take us back to the Penn State story—or any college—let’s talk about any college. You go—or professional team for that matter—and you’ll see someone on a Monday morning and you’ll go “How are you doing?”  “Well, we lost yesterday. The Dolphins lost.”  And you go “Oh. I didn’t realize you played for the Miami Dolphins.”  “Well, I don’t play for the Miami Dolphins but I root for the team.”  “Okay, so they lost, right?”  “Oh, no, no, no. no. We lost. We lost.”  It’s like really…

Bill:      It’s a community thing.

Brian:   Really. You lost, did you? I missed your name on the jersey, running up and down the field, chasing after the football.

Bill:      Was that you in the second quarter?

Brian:   Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Bill:      That caught that pass?

Brian:   That was me.

Bill:      Because that was great.

Brian:   Yeah, I know. I’m fantastic and my life is so much better because I think I’m connected to a football team.

Bill:      And we’re all… We all… We can end up connecting ourselves to symbols of things and not the things themselves, as you say, and that gets us into trouble and we start to really miss a lot of what’s in our lives. I wanted to talk too a little bit about, I think, some of the value we can add a little bit is telling people about the drought from where we see it here and how the drought—we started out by talking—half these counties and I think what’s interesting for us that I wanted to mention before we run out of time is we’ve got corn and of course we live right on this Mississippi… the good Mississippi bottomland. This is some of the best land in the world and it sells for an enormous amount of money per acre and it’s silt loam soil and all of that and we’ve got corn here that gets water every day and it don’t look good.

Brian:   Right.

Bill:      So I’m actually really, really, really concerned about how this thing is going to play off. Short term what you’ve got is a lot of farmers around here… I just had somebody come in the other day—a farmer came into the café—and was telling me that they were trying to get… They can’t afford to feed… Corn spiked up over… It’s a… Feed prices are up and up and up. So here’s how it works out here in the sticks. This is where we live. Farmers can’t afford to feed pigs and they can’t afford to feed cattle so they begin to slaughter and dump. What happens next is food prices drop temporarily because there is so much pork in the market, there’s so much beef in the market…

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      And so as a short-term effect of the drought you get this business where people can’t afford to feed their animals out so they go to the slaughterhouse. You can’t get to a slaughterhouse around here now because the slaughterhouses are all booked up. So you can imagine a farmer that’s raising a lot of… raising something and he’s got to sell his stuff but he can’t even sell his stuff because he can’t get to the slaughterhouse. They are in some cases months out before you can get in.

Brian:   Really?

Bill:      Yeah. So what’s going to happen is you’re going to have a massive drop in beef prices. So I’m thinking—if this is the case—go buy in the next six months—in the next few months—go buy pork, beef, chicken, whatever and can it.

Brian:   There you go.

Bill:      Like get our canning stuff or whatever—somebody’s canning stuff—you don’t have to buy ours…

Brian:   No, no, no, no, no. We’re not going to insert a commercial here normally but no, you’ve got to get ours. I mean Hannah was an amazing teacher…

Bill:      What’s the website for ours? And again, did we see a lot of this coming? Of course we did because systems break down. But is a good place to get that—read more about the canning thing. So anyway…

Brian:   Again, and…

Bill:      Can your stuff and then you’ve got… You’re going to lock some food in at a low price because what will happen then is you’ve flushed all of the pork, the cattle and the chicken out of the market and into the market and then you ain’t going to get any.

Brian:   Right.

Bill:      There’s always… There will always be some but what happens is supply and demand… Supply changes because nobody can afford to pay those high prices for grains…

Brian:   That’s amazing.

Bill:      Yeah. And so then you’ve got… And everybody has to remember what wheat prices did—Mubarak would still be President of Egypt if it wasn’t for a spike in wheat prices. If you remember, that precipitated the whole thing. So wheat will increase in price because even some of the places that have grown adequate wheat crops, the demand for wheat to replace other things will step in. You’ve got this ethanol issue here for us where we’re still crazy enough to be trying to make gas out of food, which is the dumbest thing… one of the dumbest things mankind’s ever thought of. And so that’s a big problem.

And then you’ve got what happens to the soil when it gets baked? And you end up with a little different type of soil next year—and this happened during the Great Depression—where the soil itself becomes hard and impacted and difficult to work with. And so when the structure of the soil changes because of the drought, it’s more difficult to work with that soil and so it creates a cascading number of problems that people are going to see. Probably—and if anybody from the city is listening—farmers know what I’m talking about but people in the city kind of realize what can take place. You hope it’s just a single year event and you get some of this back next year but when the ground gets good and hard, even when it rains the water just washes off because the nature of the soil has changed. So the water doesn’t even go down into the soil the way it’s supposed to.

And the corn crop here is messed up. It’s messed up. There’s still going to be the bottom ground in some of the places in our area where there is good bottom ground. There is still some corn in some places that’s going to make it and those farmers that do, I mean they’re going to cash in big time but man—most people are going to take a hit. The other thing that I was going to tell you is a lot of farmers forward sell to people so many bushels at a certain price. They hedge because it’s a risky business being a farmer. They hedge. And so they have contracts ahead of time to deliver. Well what happens when you make a contract to deliver and you can’t deliver? That starts a financial cascading issue against the farmer. He’s got to deliver something.

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      So does he have to go buy corn at $8 to meet his contract? Think about the implications of some of this. It’s tremendous. And our forecast here in the Midwest—and right here where we live is where most of the corn in the world is grown—and I talk to farmers every day and it’s probably worse than the headlines in the news even tell you.

Brian:   Really?

Bill:      Things are not good and some people have insurance but there are people that are going to get really… have a tough time. And maybe that’s part of the natural process. Maybe that will drop prices down. But you hate to see people go bankrupt, especially farmers. That’s our community.

Brian:   Sure.

Bill:      But it’s going to be a very difficult period. Think about it. If it doesn’t rain we owe our existence to the fact that there is six inches of topsoil and it rains. You take those two factors away and you’ve got… life on our planet doesn’t work that well. I’m bracing for some real issues. I water every night. You and I were talking about this but watering and irrigating is not the same as rain for some reason. It just doesn’t produce…

Brian:   Well you know, I have thought about that, Bill, ever since you told me that and it… It makes me—since you told me that little story about how rainwater affects plants differently than if you water it…

Bill:      Because of maybe the negative charged ions or something—yeah.

Brian:   Something that…

Bill:      It’s just something totally different.

Brian:   I’ve been harvesting rainwater and that’s what I’ve been drinking.

Bill:      Don’t tell your city government that.

Brian:   I know. I saw someone the other day…

Bill:      The city government owns all the water. If you harvest your own you’ll end up as… That’s a felony.

Brian:   Yeah. I’ll have Jeramy give out my address to… Oh, he said he already did. Not to worry.

Bill:      Can you imagine that? People getting their own rainwater and in some places in the country, particularly I think it’s Arizona but some places…

Brian:   Yeah, I just read one the other day. The guy is going to jail for ten years because he had rain barrels and…

Bill:      He had rain barrels.

Brian:   Yeah.

Bill:      Yeah.

Brian:   What would Thomas Jefferson say? He could not even understand that.

Bill:      Nope. Not at all.

Brian:   That you’re going to jail because you’ve got a rain barrel.

Bill:      All right, Bill, I’m going to recap—call it a quick “Bill’s bullet point.”  I really like that idea of canning. If everything in terms of… You were saying that the slaughterhouses are backed up because the high price of corn or just the dearth of corn. Farmers can’t get it, can’t afford it, can’t feed their livestock. That livestock’s got to go to slaughterhouses because there is a backup. The price of meat is coming down. Then use some of that savings. Get—not just because I’m in it—but you’ve got to get that DVD series because I had never done anything like that. Hannah is brilliant. The stuff that you can put in a jar…

Brian:   A lot of people don’t think they can can meat and that’s the point I’m making. My dad is up at his house canning meat right now.

Bill:      And it’s tasty. It’s…

Brian:   Look for deals. Look for… I know here I am extrapolating on your bullet point, which doesn’t make any sense.

Bill:      It’s your bullet point, Bill.

Brian:   It’s my bullet point. It can be as long as I want. What my dad will do is another good strategy and we’ve had guests on before—America’s cheapest family—will tell you to look for these discounts. Look for when they run chicken sales and then just buy the heck out of it and can it. That’s what my dad does.

Bill:      That’s a great idea.

Brian:   Yeah. And you lock it… It’s a way to hedge for the future and lock things in.

Bill:      All right, ladies and gentlemen. That will be Bill’s bullet point for the day. And Jeramy, give me that website one more time.

Brian: Check out the DVD series on canning—a great, knowledgeable person—and not me—I’m the one that isn’t the great, knowledgeable person, as you will soon learn. But Hannah taught me a boatload. As always, we want to thank you for listening to Off the Grid News. Please continue because we get some great questions and comments and critiques at Info@OffTheGridNews. Please keep those coming. Of course you can find us on Facebook by going to and also you can follow us on Twitter at OffGridNews. Thank you again for listening. We know an hour is a huge chunk of your day and it’s truly an honor to be able to spend it with you.

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