Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Want to save America? Rebuild its foundations.


It took a long time, over 100 years, but they (I will discuss who "they" are in a future article) simply took out the foundations our nation was built upon. They slowly, but effectively, took away our spiritual foundation - Judeo-Christian beliefs, values, and worldview. They destroyed our foundation of traditional family life - first decreasing & eliminating the role of men, then turning the role of parents over to government schools & regulations, and finally destroying the traditional definition of marriage altogether.

They destroyed our intellectual foundation - for generations now public schools have taught little more than leftist ideology and propaganda, rather than real history, real economics, and real civics. Finally, they destroyed our foundation of self-reliance - turning the average person into little more than a government slave, with a massive sense of entitlement, and little or no self-initiative or sense of self-responsibility.

There's not much as individuals we can do to restore those foundations for society as a whole, but here are a few ideas that may help us to begin to rebuild those foundations for ourselves and our families. It is time to rebuild America's foundations.

Rebuild Our Spiritual Foundations
  • Pray - "Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving." -- Colossians 4:2 (ESV). By the way, check out my Patriots' Prayers page!
  • Read the Bible. You probably already have one - its that dusty book on the shelf that's covered with cobwebs. Don't know where to start? For modern readers, I suggest the Gospel of Mark. Its short, fast-paced, and action-packed. Better yet, read it with your family!
  • Go to Church - If you're already attending one, great! If not, then find a good church in your area, and go. I suggest checking out an Orthodox church if you have one nearby, but I may be biased in this suggestion.
  • Invite a Friend or Neighbor to Go to Church with You. - In a recent poll, a large percentage of the un-churched said they would go if someone invited them. Invite them.
  • Not Sure About God? - Talk to a pastor or priest about your doubts.  Or read a good book on apologetics - Josh McDowell has several excellent books you may find useful. A classic recommendation is C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity.
  • Not Sure About Organized Religion? - I get it. Atheists and the Left have for decades been attacking organized religion. And pop culture has long ridiculed it, so its not surprising many folks have doubts about organized religion. There are a few exceptions - it is made up of imperfect humans, after all - but overall religion has had a wonderful and beneficial effect on civilization. Read Dinesh D'Souza's What's So Great about Christianity? Read the article Defending the Faith: How religious faith benefits society by Dr. Daniel Peterson. Read the article How Christianity Shaped Western Civilization by Dr. Andrew Stebbin.

Rebuild Our Family Foundations
  • Designate one night a week as Family Night. No TV. No video games. No phones. No Internet. Just family.   
  • Go to Church as a family.  
  • Pray together as a family. Maybe pray daily?  
  • Have a family Bible study. Maybe your pastor or church has some resources to help you with a family Bible study. 
  • Go for a family walk. 
  • Go for a family picnic. 
  • Have a family game night.  
  • Spend an afternoon together playing at the local mini-golf course. 
  • Take a hike together at a nearby park or greenway. 
  • Reach out to an estranged family member, even at the risk of rejection.

Rebuild Our Intellectual Foundations 
  • Study Real History, Real Economics, and Real History. Not the propaganda they teach in schools, but from a traditional perspective that is pro-liberty, pro-capitalism, pro-religion, and pro-natural rights. 
  • Read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They definitely don't want you to do this. You can find the text of The Constitution and the Bill of Rights on this website, or buy a pocket copy of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence for only a $1.00 on Amazon.
  • Check out the #HistoryHub section of my website. You will find the text of over 40 primary historical documents, plus many other secondary sources, history lessons and book reviews, to aid your study of history.
  • Check out my Real History Book list for history books without leftist ideology or political correctness.
  • Hillsdale College has numerous college-level courses online for free that you can register to take, including courses on the Constitution, History, Economics, and Public Policy, among others. All courses are from a traditional pro-Constitution, pro-Capitalism, and pro-Liberty point of view.
  • The Mises Institute website has lots of articles on economics from a pro-capitalism and pro-liberty perspective.
  • Whatever Happened to Penny Candy, by Richard Maybury, is a short (190 pages), easy-to-read (aimed at high school level), and interesting (written as a series of letters from an uncle to his nephew), this is the perfect book for someone wanting to learn about real economics, but finds most economic books intimidating or boring. Another book by Maybury is Whatever Happened to Justice? which takes a similar look at natural law and the development of common law.

Rebuild Our Foundation of Self-Reliance

Self-Reliance is a mindset, an attitude, of taking responsibility for our own lives, rather than looking to the government, our parents, or society at large to help us have stable and successful lives. It is also something that has been intentionally erased from large portions of the American people through generations of public education and government dependence. Here are two articles I've written to introduce and explain the concept of self-reliance:
The key to being self-reliant isn't really the knowledge, skills, or abilities you have. Those are more the tools of self-reliance. Rather, it is the mindset you have. It is knowing that you aren't entitled to anything that you haven't first earned, other than the inalienable rights God have given to us all. It is knowing, and accepting, that life is hard work, and that it often doesn't seem fair. It is developing the willingness and the desire to work hard to create for ourselves the life we want.

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Algerian Authorities Close Two of the Country’s Largest Churches

The following is an unedited press release from International Christian Concern (ICC). Please check out their website at www.persecution.org for more on the persecution and genocide of Christians around the world.  

Algerian Authorities Close Two of the Country’s Largest Churches

10/15/2019 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that authorities in Algeria have ordered the closure of two of the largest churches in the nation. Both churches are linked to l’Eglise Protestante d’Algerie (EPA), an organization formed in 1974 to collectively represent Algerian Christians before the government.

According to a report by Morning Star News, a 500-member Protestant church in Makouda was officially closed by the authorities today, October 15. This comes only one day after the congregation received an order from the government, notifying them that the church would be closed.  In response, congregants of the Makouda church filled the place of worship in protest of the closure.

The second church, the Protestant Church of the Full Gospel of Tizi-Ouzou (EPPETO), was notified that its building would be closed on October 16. However, despite the closure order being effective for October 16, authorities also closed EPPETO today. EPPETO represents the largest church west of the Nile River, with 1,000 members in the congregation. The church’s head pastor, Pastor Salah Chalah, is also the head of the EPA.

Today, two of the largest churches in Algeria have been closed,” an EPA spokesperson, speaking with ICC on the condition of anonymity, said. “We do not understand the relentless injustice of the Algerian government towards us. They refuse to hear us or listen to us.

Last week, the EPA organized peaceful protests against church closures. The orders for the two most recent churches to be closed come just days after the completion of the protests. Pastor Salah attempted to meet with governing authorities multiple times over this issue, without success.

Algerian Christians have now found themselves with thousands of Christians without a place of worship,” the EPA spokesperson told ICC. “But we remain confident in the Lord. We need the prayers of our brothers and sisters from across the world.”

The two churches have been closed under a 2006 law that mandates any non-Muslim worship be conducted in specific, designated buildings. However, no church has received official permission since the passage of the law. With these closures, seven of Algeria’s 60 EPA-affiliated churches have been closed in the past six weeks.

ICC’s Advocacy Director, Matias Perttula, commented, “Reports of rising levels of religious intolerance in Algeria are once again causing a great level of concern for ICC and our partners. These church closures are completely baseless and clear indicators of persecution and harassment of Algeria’s Christians, who represent a significant religious minority. ICC plans to raise this issue with our partners as well as members of Congress on Capitol Hill to make them aware of these human rights violations.
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Friday, October 4, 2019

Winter Is Coming - Will You Be Ready?

Winter is coming. Really. It is, despite the hot weather at the moment. Now is the perfect time to get ready for winter's inevitability/  Here are some information and tips for winter survival:

The Anatomy of Body Heat

A major concern for winter survival is body heat. The human body needs to maintain the core temperature of 98.6° F (37° C). If it gets too low or too high for too long, it could be damaging or even fatal.  Most body heat is lost through the head, neck, hands, and wrists, but this is due to those areas being typically not as well-covered as the other areas of your body. If you were naked, you would lose body heat roughly equally throughout your body.  The hands and feet, especially the fingers and toes, as well as the ears and nose, are more vulnerable to frost bite due to their greater distance from your body core.

Wearing warm, dry socks, and appropriate shoes or boots is important during the winter. Warm gloves and head coverings (such as a wool toboggan or a full Balaclava) are also recommended in cold weather. You should keep a bag with extra socks, gloves and toboggans/Balaclavas in your vehicles, just in case.  A warm blanket also makes a good addition to your vehicle kit.  

Frostnip & Frostbite Symptoms & Treatment

Frostnip is a mild form of early frostbite. According to the WebMD website: "When it's cold out, exposed skin may get red or sore. This is called frostnip, and it’s an early warning sign of frostbite. If this happens, find warm shelter quickly."

According to the Mayo Clinic website: "Frostbite is most common on the fingers, toes, nose, ears, cheeks and chin. Because of skin numbness, you may not realize you have frostbite until someone else points it out."

The symptoms of frostbite include:
  • Early on, cold skin and a prickly sensation (frostnip)
  • Numbness
  • Skin discoloration: red, white, bluish-white, or grayish-yellow
  • Hard skin and/or waxy-looking skin
  • Joint and muscle stiffness, causing clumsiness and difficulty using hands
  • In severe cases, blistering and peeling of skin after rewarming

For frostnip, the Mayo Clinic website recommends rewarming the skin and protecting it from further cold. Frostbite requires medical treatment, especially is the frostbite is severe or is accompanied by increasing pain, swelling, discharge, or fever.  While awaiting medical care, do not walk on frostbitten feet. You may take ibuprofen to reduce pain. 

NOTE: Frostbitten skin is easy to burn, so avoid direct contact with fire, heaters,  lamps, HOT water, and heating pads. While outside, you can warm hands by placing them under your arms. Inside, you can soak hands and feet in WARM (not hot) water.

Hypothermia

According to the Mayo Clinic website: "Get emergency medical help if you suspect hypothermia, a condition in which your body loses heat faster than it can be produced.  Hypothermia occurs as your body temperature falls below 95 F (35 C)" 

Symptoms of hypothermia include:
  • Intense shivering
  • Slurred speech
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Drowsiness and loss of coordination
  • Confusion and/or memory loss
  • Unconsciousness
Hypothermia is a very serious condition. Seek medical help immediately if you suspect someone has hypothermia. In the meantime, here are the first aid recommendations from the Mayo Clinic website:
  • Gently move the person out of the cold. If going indoors isn't possible, protect the person from the wind, especially around the neck and head. Insulate the individual from the cold ground.
  • Gently remove wet clothing. Replace wet things with warm, dry coats or blankets.
  • If further warming is needed, do so gradually. For example, apply warm, dry compresses to the center of the body — neck, chest and groin. The CDC says another option is using an electric blanket, if available. If you use hot water bottles or a chemical hot pack, first wrap it in a towel before applying.
  • Offer the person warm, sweet, nonalcoholic drinks.
  • Begin CPR if the person shows no signs of life, such as breathing, coughing or movement.
  • Do not rewarm the person too quickly, such as with a heating lamp or hot bath.
  • Don't attempt to warm the arms and legs. Heating or massaging the limbs of someone in this condition can stress the heart and lungs.
  • Don't give the person alcohol or cigarettes. Alcohol hinders the rewarming process, and tobacco products interfere with circulation that is needed for rewarming.
Avoid hypothermia by wearing appropriate shoes, socks, clothing, gloves and head/neck coverings for the weather conditions. If you get wet, including heavy sweating, change into dry clothes as soon as possible. Avoid staying outside in cold weather for too long. Older folks, babies, young children, and folks with certain medical conditions (such as Parkinson's disease, diabetes, and hypothyroidism) are more susceptible to hypothermia. Keep a watchful eye on those folks. 

Prepare Your Vehicle for Winter
  • Inspect your tires and make sure they are in good shape.
  • Inspect your wiper blades. Change them if needed.
  • Make sure the anti-freeze level is appropriate for your location (a local mechanic can help you with that if you don't know).
  • Inspect/test your battery, especially if it is more than four years old.
  • Check all fluids and catch up on any routine maintenance to prevent breakdowns (see my Prepper Auto Maintenance Schedule).  
Make sure you have an emergency kit in your vehicle, including items such as some food and water, first aid kit, flashlight, extra batteries, extra oil, and jumper cables or battery starter. For winter, include extra gloves and head/neck coverings. A warm blanket is also a good idea, as is a power bar for your phone.

NOTE: Many folks get the shortest jumper cables possible in order to save a couple of bucks (if they have jumper cables at all). However, its not always possible to park both vehicles that close together. Jumper cables are not that expensive, so go ahead an spend a few extra bucks to get a set that will be long enough to actually be useful. I have a 16' set in both my vehicles. 


Other Winter Survival Tips
  • Inspect/clean your chimney and wood stove pipes.
  • If you use firewood, make sure you have enough to last you all winter.
  • Don't let fallen leaves pile up against your home (fire hazard).
  • Clean out gutters after the leaves stop falling (safety issue).
  • Turn off and/or cover outside faucets and watering systems.
  • Make sure your home food and water storage are topped off in case winter storms leave you homebound. Same goes for any medications you take.
  • Keep your gas tank topped off. Running out-of-gas is not a good idea in freezing weather.
  • Update your bug-out bag for winter: include dry socks & underwear, gloves, head/neck coverings, poncho, emergency or reflector blanket, cold weather sleeping bag/system, and make sure you have plenty of matches, lighters, and/or firestarters.
Oh yeah... Before I forget, here's one last tip: Don't eat the yellow snow. 
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Monday, September 30, 2019

The Healing Benefits of... Kudzu??? (including Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease)

Kudzu takes over everything.
Kudzu. That pest of a plant that takes over anything it touches - roadsides, trees, forests, even buildings. An invasive species first brought to the US in 1876, then intentionally planted in the 1930s to prevent soil erosion. Now widely hated by farmers, property owners, and environmental activists. But, did you know that kudzu has been used for centuries in traditional Asian medicine for its healing properties? And, did you know that recent scientific medical studies have backed up this belief in its healing abilities, espeically in regards to treating diabetes and for cardiovascular health?

Although it is primarily the kudzu root that is used in traditional  medicine, and what the recent medical studies have focused on, the leaves and flowers of the kudzu plant are edible, too, and are being increasingly used in alternative medicine.

Nutritional Value of Kudzu Root 

Kudzu roots are rich in antioxidents, including quercetin, isoflavones, geninstein, daidzin, and puerarin. It also contains some protein, iron, calcium, and magnesium. Kudzu is naturally cholesterol-free and gluten-free, and is a good source of fiber.

Uses in Traditional and Alternative Medicine

Kudzu, especially the root, is used in traditional Asian medicine and modern alternative medicine for the following health benefits:
  • To treat alcoholism
  • To aid digestion & reduce stomach problems
  • To improve heart and cardiovascular health
  • To relieve the symptoms of menopause
  • To reduce fever associated with respiratory illnesses
  • To treat headaches
  • To improve blood sugar control in diabetics
  • To reduce inflammation and ease symptoms of inflammation-related diseases

Recent Scientific Medical Studies

Recent peer-reviewed and published scientific medical studies are supporting the traditional health benefits of kudzu root, especially in regards to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and alcoholism.  

From the Journal of Ethnopharmacology (a peer-reviewed medical journal):

"Over seventy phytochemicals have been identified in kudzu root, with isoflavonoids and triterpenoids as the major constituents. Isoflavonoids, in particular puerarin, have been used in most of the pharmacological studies. Animal and cellular studies have provided support for the traditional uses of kudzu root on cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and endocrine systems, including diabetes and its complications. Further studies to define the active phytochemical compositions, quality standards and clinical efficacy are warranted." --- Wong KH, Li GQ, Li KM, Razmovski-Naumovski V, Chan K., Kudzu root: traditional uses and potential medicinal benefits in diabetes and cardiovascular diseases., Journal of Ethnopharmacology, April 12, 2011. (see abstract on

A 2017 study published in the medical journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity reported on the positive "anti-inflammatory effects" of kudzu root, and that it "also exhibits potent antioxidant properties.

Chronic inflammation is linked to several types of arthritis and cancers, as well as cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes, among other diseases. The anti-inflammatory effect of kudzu root, therefore, is especially interesting.

Final Thoughts

Kudzu Root Tea
Kudzu root supplements are available on Amazon as pills, powder, and even teas. 

I am not a doctor, and cannot give medical advice. This article is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease, but rather to summarize published information and to give you "food for thought" and a starting point for your further investigation. You should always consult a doctor or other medical professional before taking supplements or attempting self-treatment. 

As with all foods, food allergies are a possibility, so use caution when first consuming kudzu. Pregnant or breast-feeding women should consult a doctor before use.
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