Have you ever done a team building outing before? If you have, you might have done something like a trust fall, where you fall backwards into the waiting arms of your team mates, trusting that they won’t drop you like a hot rock.
When I was still in college I went to a team building outing with a group of engineering students. One of our challenges was to work with a colleague to get across a set of low ropes. The catch? The ropes get farther apart, so you have to push against each other as you go. The first six sets of students failed, and then it was my turn.
Instead of the whole “talk with each other” method previous groups had tried, I instead told my partner to simply do exactly what I told him to do. I’d say “step,” and he and I moved one foot. Then I said “together,” and we moved the other foot. We blew through the course without a problem.
Lesson learned here: sometimes it’s just easier if one person is calling the shots.
At least, that’s the lesson I learned. Apparently, this leadership concept is called “white swagger,” at least if you’re Professor Taylor.
When I was still a teenager, I remember the Year 2000 bug. Everyone was worried that the world’s economy would come to a screeching halt, satellites would fall out of the sky, and the world would descend into Purge-like violence. On a Saturday evening, one of my hunting friends invited me over to his place. He showed me a hidden entrance into his crawlspace, which he had expanded over the past year. It was huge, and had one of the largest collections of guns, canned food and ammunition I had ever seen.
Luckily, Y2K didn’t result in Armageddon, but it didn’t end the prepper mentality. So long as there are humans, preppers will probably be with us. There is always that person that is predicting the end of the world around the corner. Most preppers aren’t like this, but I am noticing a jump in preppers worried about our political divide, and I think they have a valid point.
We’ve got two forces coming together: a deeper political divide and social media that rewards echo chambers, which causes two deep problems: a withdrawl from local community, and an increasing call to use violence to get one’s way. The political divide is well documented, and social media echo chamber problems are as well. But the last two points are new.
Local communities are infinitely more important to your daily life than Washington DC politics. Whether your ride to work in the morning sucks or is smooth is a matter of local governance. Whether you have affordable housing, easy access to groceries and good schools is all strongly related to local government. You encounter local officials, such as police, judges, fire fighters, mayors, and city council members far more often than you will ever see the President, a Senator or even your federal Representative. And yet, if you go on most social media platforms today, it is rare to see people talking about local issues. When ballots come out, most people don’t know the candidates running for judiciary positions or your library council.
That’s a huge problem, because it denigrates local policies. People feel that unless they talk about the “big issues,” they aren’t talking about important things. But in reality, local issues matter more. This causes a disconnect between the reality you are living and the perceived state of things. Your daily life could be great, but you may be in despair because of what you read on the news.
This becomes dangerous when coupled with increasing violent rhetoric. National level politics have always had a call to violence. This is easy to see when browsing historical political cartoons. But politicians in general don’t understand the cost of violence. Most haven’t been in the military or dealt with destruction up close. Many of them haven’t sat on actual city councils or had to work real issues. Their focus has been getting votes, and violent rhetoric stirs up the pot, gets you media attention and brings people out to vote.
It isn’t healthy. People are still humans, and even if they hold opposing views, it doesn’t give us a license to treat them like animals. But that is exactly what is happening, whether it is shootings or assaults over someone’s grass.
This is the latest worry of preppers, that their own neighbors, not government forces, will break down their doors and assault their families. We can call them fringe elements, but given recent events, can you blame them?
China will own your data and use it to manipulate you. They plan to do that for the whole world. The latest Bloomberg article showing Chinese insertion of spy chips into SuperMicro is just another step in their attempts to do this.
Plenty of people think this is a pipe dream and conspiracy theory, so let’s look at the history:
China has brutally “purified” its own Han-Chinese population. Throughout its red history from 1949 onward, it went through periods of allowing academic dissent, only to then crush it years later. Each of these cycles acted as a way to purify its population, weeding out dissenters and strengthening red power. Currently, they are going through yet another cycle. If you ever wondered why it was so advantageous for Chinese to study abroad, wonder no more: most Chinese students love the academic freedom provided in America, Britain and other universities.
China has also cracked down on religion. Muslims in the western provinces of China are being brutally oppressed and “reeducated.” When the US went into Afghanistan, our goal was to build a stable government that didn’t sponsor terrorism, so that we could eventually leave. China’s goal is to build a province of people loyal only to the Chinese Communist party, and they are accomplishing this with scary efficiency. If you’re Christian, don’t feel left out, because you’re next in line. China won’t stop until its population only celebrates the atheist religion of the Communist Party.
The freedom of thought dies behind the Great Firewall of China. In America, you are allowed to voice your opinions (however dumb they maybe). Heck, you can disagree with the President online. In China, disagreement brings you a lowered “social credit,” which may affect your ability to get loans, go to school, and get a job.
All of this is internal to China, so who cares right? We’re in blue America, where we can make disparaging comments about the President without any worries.
Not so fast. China’s not content to beat up their own people. Their tentacles are spreading.
China’s “Silk Road” initiative was never about helping other nations. The loans made to countries to build infrastructure were poorly designed, such that China would likely get control of what was built, whether it’s a port in Sri Lanka or a canal in Nicaragua.
The electronic infrastructure is even scarier. China has essentially built the cellular networks of multiple countries in Africa. When China controls how your people communicate, they exercise enormous power over your population.
The SuperMicro piece is just the latest effort to penetrate the US and other countries, spy on their citizens, and find new avenues to sow dissent. The United States and most European countries remain relatively free to allow their population to express their views, even when they contradict their own governments. This is a strength in that it lets diverse populations work together, but it can be a weakness if someone wants to turn the population against each other.
What will you see in the future?
Any country where China made loans for infrastructure will likely struggle to repay them. The Chinese will gladly take the infrastructure and use it to expand their military, social and economic base.
Expect to find more examples of Chinese influencing elections in Africa. Anywhere there is Chinese electronic infrastructure, don’t be surprised when anti-Chinese candidates lose out in social media contests.
Any company that does business in China will lose their intellectual property rights. Expect to see more companies invest in other areas of the world. Expect China to focus on penetrating those regions to steal more intellectual property.
If President Trump wanted an easy win, he could talk about how bad the deal was and offer to negotiate a better one 🙂
Chinese Catholics face an even greater danger. We’re watching the Chinese eliminate Muslims in their western provinces, through a pattern of “re-education,” out-breeding and selective assassination. There is no reason to think they will stop at the Uighurs. I see Catholics and other Christians, who answer to a higher authority outside of political parties, to be next in line.
We should be pushing our Church to be raising this issue. China’s model of making every citizen an obedient atheist to the Communist Party is downright scary.
I ask you, if you’ve read this far, to pray a Novena for China. It’ll take you 15 minutes each day. If you don’t have a rosary, download a free app for one, or go buy one (they are cheap on Amazon). Before you pray each day, do a quick google search for Chinese religious oppression. It’s easy to find, and should help you focus.
Pray that Chinese leaders will soften their hearts and allow people to hold their own beliefs. Pray that the Vatican and our Church leaders stop selling out and start meeting the spiritual needs of the Catholic community in china. Pray that our political leaders, many of whom are Catholic, will begin insisting that China not oppress religions.
And pray that this model of atheist obedience won’t make its way to our own shores.
This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.
Please share this post. Chinese Catholics need all the prayers they can get.
I’ve been living in an apartment with my family as my house is being constructed. The last couple of months have reminded me why I’m not fan of apartments in the first place. We moved in on a Friday morning, and that evening around 9 pm I saw a group gathering outside to smoke. They were being a bit loud, so at 10 pm (quiet time for our ordinance) I called the apartment complex security number. I drifted off to sleep through the noise, only to be re-awakened at 11:30 pm to two different guys screaming at each other. The phrase “I’m going to kill you, you m$%^-f%&#$” was loud enough to easily penetrate my kids windows. After I called the police, the argument continued, and at one point the very un-Christian thought of “Maybe they’ll shoot each other and then quietly die” crossed my mind.
My apartment isn’t in the ghetto. It’s actually really nice. It has a nice pool, complete with a kiddie area and a 4.5 foot section. It has a nice workout room, with a partial weight set, treadmill and even a kids play area next to it, where my kids play while I get my workout in. The apartment complex hosts all sorts of events, and they have a movie and game room area too.
It’s a nice apartment. And I couldn’t hate it more, because of the people.
Secretary Mattis recently released a memo directing commanders to make better use of the military justice system, likely in response to the plummeting number of court martial cases across all services. For the non-military person, this might sound absurd: why are we unhappy when we have less crime among the ranks? A bit of explanation is required.
President Trump and Pope Francis are about as far apart on the spectrum as you can get. Both men lead large organizations and have tried to implement big change. Most importantly, both are renegotiating deals. Let’s compare those results.
Pope Francis has been working to reunite a breakaway faction, called SSPX, most of his time in office. He has also been working to restore relationship with China and begin appointing bishops there. President Trump declared his intent to renegotiate trade deals, specifically with the European Union, Mexico and Canada.
These negotiations are tough. Both sides were fairly entrenched. Yet today we are reading about President Trumps successes and (not reading) Pope Francis’ failures. Why is that?
If the Catholic Church was a corporation, Pope Francis would be it’s CEO. And in terms of a company, the Catholic Church is pretty impressive: ~1.3 billion members, a few hundred billion in assets, missionary operations throughout the entire world, and the inspiration for great organizations such as Catholic Charities USA. It’s a big order for any single person to run, let alone do so while fighting a combination of Satan and secularism on a daily basis.
While I like Pope Francis as a spiritual leader, I have to say that as a CEO, he sort of sucks. For a CEO, his communication, discipline and snap decisions aren’t great. If you wanted to read an article where I detail that Pope Francis is the anti-Christ…this is not that article. But if you wonder why you’re not happy with the Pope, then maybe this is the article for you.
The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed this week. You can be forgiven if you missed the announcement, because it certainly didn’t make headlines. I didn’t find out until I checked my email and received my automated Defense News. I’ll go out on a limb and say that because it passed in a normal fashion, it was completely overcome by the 24/7 Russia-Trump news feed.
Looking at details, there is a lot to pay attention to. Here are some highlights, explained in non-defense speak:
I’ve noticed a troubling trend. When faced with adversity, setbacks or the like, a lot of people decide to go off and “find themselves.” You’ve probably heard it too. The vision you and I have is someone trekking off into the woods for a month and then suddenly emerging as a “new man” or “reformed woman,” or something like that.
Well, if you’re thinking about doing this, let me tell you: it likely doesn’t work.