By James Corbett
It's the day after the day after Independence Day. Sadly, for many Americans this means that the fireworks have all been set off, the hot dogs have all been grilled and eaten, the hangover fog has started to lift, and it's time to carry on with business as usual in the great American Empire. Another year of working as a cog in the great corporate machine of America's increasingly fascistic system. Another year of being openly surveyed, spied on, and tracked by the NSA. Another year of inflating bills and mounting debt as the talking heads crow about an “economic recovery.” Another year of food stamps and Obamacare, NDAA arrests and police brutality, quantitative easing, social dissolution, and racial tension. Another year before anyone bothers to once again give lip service to the great American tradition of independence that has long since been abandoned in favor of “national security” and “social welfare.” The founding fathers must be spinning in their graves.
Still, it's not all gloom and doom. Or at least it doesn't have to be. As always, life is largely what we make of it, and being a slave to the New World Order control grid or being a free human being is largely dependent on choices that we make each and every day. Choices about where to shop and what to buy, who to spend our time with and what to spend our time on, how we earn and where we save our money, what we value, what we worry about, and what we ignore. These choices are so common that often we don't know we are making them, but make no mistake: they are woven into the fabric of our daily lives, and if we feel our liberty being encroached on by the world around us, it would be well worth investigating how much of our liberty depends on these choices.
It is not easy to achieve total independence. Perhaps it is impossible. But it is not futile to strive for greater independence, despite what the Borg hive mind and the New World Order propagandists would have you believe. Today let's examine some choices that we can make in our daily lives to start becoming more independent from the system. Some of them are simple and straightforward, others can take years or even decades of perseverance to achieve, but all of them are examples of how concerned Americans—and indeed people around the world—can recapture something of that long lost ideal of independence.
#1 – Get out of credit card debt
“Neither a borrower nor a lender be,” advised the great Bard over 400 years ago, but for millions of Americans, the worst part of the month is when the credit card bill arrives in the mail (or, increasingly, in their inbox). The charges starts out innocently enough; a Christmas present here or an emergency expense there. Soon it's being used for the occasional splurge, a special treat for the kids, a big ticket item that can't be bought in cash. Before long the credit card becomes a sink hole, an ever-expanding black hole of debt that requires more and more of the family's budget just to meet the minimum payment.
It's a vicious cycle, and it's worth noting just how hard the major credit card companies work to capture the minds of their next generation of victims at younger and younger ages. Visa-branded Game of Life or Monopoly, anyone? How about a Barbie with a credit card for little Suzy? Sadly, these are all real products that are being pushed on the youngest and most impressionable members of our society right now.
After 55 years of use, is it any wonder that so many American families are now drowning in credit card debt? The statistics are frightening: households with credit card debt have an average outstanding balance of $15,956. That's almost 1/3 of the median household income in the U.S. Given an average APR of 12.78%, it would take over 31 years of minimum payments to pay that debt off, and that's assuming that nothing more is charged to the card in that time.
Debt is the most straightforward form of dependence, with debtors at the mercy of lenders for their financial livelihood. But even as far as debt goes, credit card debt is about the worst form that you can be holding. At least fixed-rate debts like car loans and fixed-rate mortgages fare well in inflationary environments, as the loans can be paid back with devalued dollars. But credit card rates are tied to prime lending rates, and thus continue to take a significant chunk out of every paycheck no matter what else is happening in the economy.
Credit card debt is the softest target when it comes to increasing one's financial independence. Whatever can be done to get rid of your credit card debt, do it. Don't buy anything with credit that can be paid with cash, and if you can't pay for it in cash double and triple-check whether you need to buy it at all. With some basic budgeting, most families can avoid using credit cards at all, assuming their monthly payments haven't spiraled out of control already. For those who have gotten used to the monthly credit card bill as just a part of their regular monthly expenses, you will be amazed how quickly that extra money in your pocket adds up once you get rid of your credit card debt. And that extra money can be plowed into your long-term savings or funneled into buying goods that you'll need to increase your independence even further.
#2 – Move your money
The official “Move Your Money” campaign was launched in 2009, while the Lehman Bros. disaster was fresh in the minds of the American public and the Northern Rock bank run was still fresh in the minds of the British. More of an idea than an organization, the campaign advocates members move their money from the Big Six banks into local financial institutions like community banks and credit unions.
If an idea's value can be measured by how much the establishment resists it, the “Move Your Money” idea has already had its share of successes. One of the most startling examples came in 2011, when a group in Missouri attempted a mass demonstration against Bank of America in which several of the group's members tried to enter the bank with the intention of withdrawing all of their money and closing their accounts. Instead, they were met with a police riot squad that prevented them from entering the bank at all.
Still, if big campaigns aren't your thing, there's no reason why you have to do anything under the “Move Your Money” banner. No matter how you choose to do it, though, there are still plenty of good reasons for withdrawing your money from the big Wall Street banks. Not only do you thus remove your patronage from the big globalist-connected CFR-insider New World Order financial system, you also help to build up your local economy. This is especially important because in the event of a full-scale economic collapse, it's going to be your local economy that will see you through, so if you already have functioning, credible alternative financial institutions in place (and you're already using them for your own business) then you and those around you will be that much more likely to be able to survive and even thrive in the midst of the chaos. Besides, old ideas about how only the big banks are stable and trustworthy have surely been thrown out the window in this age of multi-trillion dollar bailouts and banking “bail-ins.”
#3 – Stop feeding the beast
What good is it to rail against the NSA spying scandal if people continue to use their Verizon phones or communicate via Facebook or use Apple hardware or Microsoft software or Google searches? What difference does it make to attend an End the Fed rally or a 9/11 Truth event if you go there in a car from a CFR-affiliated Fortune 500 manufacturer running on gas purchased from a CFR-affiliated Fortune 500 oil company after stopping for refreshments from a CFR-affiliated Fortune 500 beverage company? What does Monsanto care if you participate in a March Against Monsanto if you don't follow that up by committing to avoiding all GMO products, however difficult such a decision might be?
We've been given a false template for protest. We have been told that we must go on the street with signs and placards or write our congressmen so that they can pass some bill or enact some law to keep the corporations (or government agencies) in check, and somehow we believe that not only will this actually take place in a fair and evenhanded manner, but that we can still keep buying the products from these same corporations the entire time. Here's a hint: neither legislators nor corporations care how loudly you are opposed to what they are doing as long as you make no effort to change your habits or actions. As long as you still feel you need their products or services in your life in order to be happy, then they have you exactly where you want to.
The more you can divest yourself of needing the products and services of the globalists, the more independence you will actually be able to achieve from the system. Make the effort to frequent farmer's markets. Instead of lining up outside the Apple Store to buy the latest iThing, use the time and money you save to learn about open source software and hardware and how it can be used to do many of the same things that the Big Tech gadgets can, but without feeding your data directly into the NSA spy grid. Don't go to see the latest “must see” summer blockbuster. Whatever it is, it's just another sequel or remake anyway. Don't even download it. Instead discover free online music from an independent musician or see a play at your local theatre or listen to a podcast (all of mine are free to download, of course).
Without divesting ourselves of the need for the New World Order's products, we'll never be able to become independent of their system.
#4 – Stock up for a disaster...and keep stocking
As Hurricane Sandy or the tornado in Moore or the flooding in Calgary or any of the other natural disasters that strike randomly around the globe every day have reminded us, we all need to have emergency supplies ready in case disaster strikes home. Everyone knows the basics: flashlights and transister radios and batteries, non-perishable food, some drinkable water, a first aid kit. Many people have the basic supplies to last a day or two, perhaps even three, without electricity or running water. But what about four days? Five? A week? Two weeks?
The longer we require independence from the system, the more time and money we have to spend preparing oursleves. If you have to last a week without access to the grid, you're going to need to start thinking about a quality water filter and backup electrical generators. Longer than a week and you're going to have to start thinking about your food supply. Do you have enough food to last several days? Do you have access to other sources of food (a garden, a local farm, etc.) if you end up needing to think of even longer term food supplies? Do you have freeze-dried food supplies? Do you have a bug-out bag ready to go in case you need to evacuate your property at short notice?
Although preparations for weeks or even months of off-the-grid living seems extreme to a lot of the population, there is really no downside to being over-prepared for some sort of catastrophic collapse of the grid. Whether it's due to an EMP attack, an economic collapse, a major natural disaster or something else entirely, there are many reasons why we might need such supplies, and in the event that they are needed those who have taken the time to prepare will be the ones laughing last. And even if such a situation were never to arise, what does it matter? You are now that much more independent from the system itself, which is exactly the point. If you can prepare to go off the grid for a disaster, then you are that much closer to simply going off the grid altogether.
In conclusion, there are many ways to achieve greater independence from the system. Far too many to outline here, in fact, but those who are interested in more ideas might want to check out Mike Adams recent article, “Eleven revolutionary ways to celebrate your independence” on NaturalNews.com. Of course, total independence is a pipe dream. Perhaps it's not even worth pursuing at all. A caveman in the middle of nowhere might have “total independence” from the human community, but is that what we're really striving after anyway? At the very least, though, it's important for us to remember just how much we've been woven into a system of dependence on the system that we are decrying, economically, financially, socially and in every other way besides. Just realizing that we have become so dependent is the first step toward understanding the true meaning of independence. And if you already have all of this figured out, why not share some of this wisdom with your hotdog-eating fireworks-loving neighbour. After all, at the end of the day we're all in this together.
Reddit, Mozilla, EFF and more join July 4th anti-NSA protests
The NSA is one of the biggest surveillance and eavesdropping agencies in the U.S. and was where former CIA employee and whistle-blower Edward Snowden was working when he decided to leak some of the agency's top-secret documents to the press last month.
This document leak has led to the public finding out that the government has been working to spy on people via metadata from Internet companies and cellular records in two programs -- the 2015 Program and PRISM. The NSA and the Obama administration have said the goals of the surveillance programs is to track down foreign terrorists and terrorist threats.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation will be participating in both the Fourth of July Web protest and the street demonstrations. "We're glad to see the Restore the Fourth movement organizing protests across the country against unlawful NSA spying," EFF activism director Rainey Reitman said in a statement, "and we hope these protests push elected officials to respond to the American people's growing discontent with dragnet domestic surveillance."
40 Best Signs From The “Restore The Fourth” Rallies