The Bottom Line: It's Not Dark Yet, But It's Getting There

Column by new Root Striker Ken Kraska.

Exclusive to STR

The way that America’s political situation is playing out right now has me perplexed, at my own “side” most of all. Not that the president and his ruling party would slam us with more intrusive laws, gun control, financial restrictions, domestic spying, illegal wars, and increased taxes as soon as his election was won, that is. No, that was no surprise to me. Who the hell among us didn't see this anti-liberty agenda coming as soon as he was safely re-elected? Bottom line: If you honestly didn’t see this coming, then you need to develop a better sense of situational awareness.

So what do I make of Obama’s Great Repression agenda? This short list is what I see happening and what to do about it. Take it for what it’s worth to you.

As things stand today, I'd rather have an old, heavily used bolt action rifle and a half box of crusty ammo for it stashed away that the feds/local cops/private databases have no record of than a brand new M1A and cases of ammo for it stacked to the ceiling if it came via an FFL licensee that has all my information on an ATF Form 4473. A dinged and scratched “store brand” pump action 12 gauge under the bed that was bought at a garage sale years ago for cash might not impress the guys at the range club with their fancy Benelli trap guns, but it is still quite serviceable and well worth having these days, though, isn’t it? I sure think so. A clunky old four-inch wheel gun is seen as obsolete by some, but it'll still put a hunk of anywhere you want it with a little practice. And bonus points if you bought it from some friend of a friend for cash. Bottom line: Stop looking at firearms as precious collectables or recreational adult toys and look at them as tools for survival and liberty maintenance, which is what they truly are. An old, ugly, banged up, but still serviceable rifle, handgun, or shotgun that came without any “imperial entanglements” attached to it is worth a closet full of newer and better stuff in my humble opinion.

All the boasting, bragging, and strutting many of us did on social media websites about our cool new AR-15 or tricked-out Glock seems kind of ill advised now in hindsight, doesn’t it? Especially when we knew or should have known all along that the feds routinely monitor social media websites for just such information about us. An anti-gun newspaper in New York recently published the names and addresses of all state-licensed handgun owners in their readership area. And unsurprisingly, the people named were incensed at this invasion of their privacy. I know I would be myself. But I wonder how many of us gun owners that are now outraged on their behalf have ourselves gone on social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others and posted blog entries, pictures, and videos that in effect “outed” ourselves to the whole world? Bottom line: See the irony here?

Guns aren’t the only things to consider for bolstering your home security. Instead of un-assing $1,000+ for a new Sig or Ruger, consider obtaining some bags of mixed silver coins instead. It will be vastly simpler to buy food, medicine, new tires, or whatever else you may need in the future with silver coins from someone willing to trade but who isn’t interested in taking piles of worthless government-issued paper or in doing e-commerce that can be traced. Value-for-value voluntary transactions build trust between people and can lead to further mutually beneficial transactions down the road. Bottom line: Start thinking about this situation that we’re in as a serious issue of long term personal/family survival and not as a temporary condition to be put up with until it blows over. I have a strong suspicion that this time it isn’t blowing over.

History, it has been said, doesn’t repeat, but sometimes it rhymes. I believe this is true. For example, the first armed rebellion that occurred in America post-independence was the so-called Shay’s Rebellion in Massachusetts in 1787. What would cause George Washington’s ex-soldiers and small landowners to take up arms and fight their own state government so soon after securing independence? Hint: It was their inability to pay their property taxes and so having their homes and farms seized for non-payment. This bit of history is something we should all take note of. If things get really bad, and which I have every expectation that they will, I’d rather be living in a junky old motor home or a tumbledown shack than in a suburban McMansion even if I owned it free and clear but that I can’t pay the taxes on and so is always on the cusp of a tax foreclosure. I recommend that everyone look up Shay’s Rebellion and read about it. Bottom line: “Home security” takes many forms.

An acre or three out in the woods somewhere with your own water and fuel supply (i.e., trees) can still be had relatively cheap, and you can pay the taxes on it by selling off some timber or firewood you harvested, selling fruit, vegetables, or hay that you’ve grown, or even by picking up deposit soda and beer cans on the side of the road if need be. No matter how bad things get for us in the near term, local governments are still going to demand property tax payments, and for the foreseeable future, they’ll have the means to get them, too. (At least until we abolish them all, but I digress.) Bottom line: Your home should be more than just the dwelling you live inside. It should provide for you as well.

Learn what an actual education is and what it can do for you. As things are going now, I’d rather have my kids know how to weld, learn basic carpentry, learn how to type, do nails/hair styling, speak/write Spanish or Chinese, or gain other practical skills or knowledge by whatever means are available than I would have them go to an Ivy League college for four years. Seriously. Being able to scan a balance sheet and understand it, or knowing how to can fruit, or grow hay seems way more useful these days than anything they would likely learn listening to university professors lecture at them all day. Bottom line: Knowing how to do things is preferable to just knowing facts and theories.

“The first time someone shows you who they [really] are,” an American poet once said, “believe them.” Obama and his ilk have stopped being ciphers and have shown us all who they are and what they intend to do, and we should all believe them. It has been pretty apparent for a while now how astonishingly fast our liberty and well-being can be taken away. The burner under this pot of boiling frogs we call America has now been moved from “simmer” to “hot,” so be advised. Bottom line: Don’t depend on government or corporate mass media for anything but basic information or data. (And be skeptical of that too.) Learn to figure things out for yourself.

Maybe we can halt or even roll back this onslaught against our liberties and well-being, or maybe we can’t. But either way, let’s not kid ourselves any more, eh? For those of you inclined toward religious belief, remember that Bible verse warning against “putting your faith in princes”? That is still very good advice. The Republican Party, the NRA, Oath Keepers, Alex Jones, Anonymous, Judge Napolitano, Ron Paul and all the rest of the marginalized and despised mineshaft canaries still left couldn’t rouse us, and they can’t save us either. And sad to say as goofy and weird as some of the above-mentioned are, they all turned out to be right. (I have a sick feeling that one after another, they’re all going to go silent, be intimidated into towing the party line, or just disappear.) Bottom line: What’s over is over. Don’t wallow in your own despair. Instead, organize and prepare.

We all need to get cracking if we want to survive what’s coming our way, and the chances for success will be much higher if we all have a plan. Good fortune, it is said, favors the prepared. A word to the wise: Don’t wait until you’re standing on the edge of a trench waiting your turn for a DHS-supplied .40 caliber pistol shot to the back of the head. 

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KenK's picture
Columns on STR: 1

Ken Kraska is a guy who lives in Michigan. He is a businessman who has been earning his own way in life from age 17 onward. Ken has a strong dislike of taxes, regulations, and bureaucracy. He loves being free more than he likes talking about being free, which often puts him at odds with people that say they agree with his views.


Jim Davies's picture

Welcome Ken, great article. It's terribly sad, because (provided one goes with a powerful filter to get rid of the rubbish) four years in an Ivy League university can be a very enlightening experience; but you are right: as things are, knowing how to do practical things is presently more important. Such is the wreckage government has wrought.
One question, though: it looks as if you see the increasing oppression of government as inevitable, something impossible to stop and certainly impossible to reverse. Your good advice is defensive. Is my impression correct?
What would you think, of an opposite view? - which would realistically assess the gravity of the situation, but also lay out where we might wish to be instead (a zero-government society, for example) and then rationally figure out what has to be done to get from here to there?

KenK's picture

My impression is that this process of turning us all to serfs typically plays out slowly (like boiling a frog) but that from time to time it speeds up. Like say after a mass shooting, or a financial emergency, for example. The alignment of circumstances occuring now has sped the process up. "Defense"? No, Jim I was thinking more of just basic survival on the best terms to be had, as with say the Indian tribes, Amish, etc.

Suverans2's picture

"...turning [future tense] us all into serfs...", KenK?

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Samarami's picture

Ken, for your first shot you've hit the bull's eye.

It's one thing to "Sturm und Drang" over the approaching darkness -- the attempted takeover of the masses' wills (willingly, I'm afraid, for the many, unwillingly for some) by the elite. It's an entirely different matter to take action while there's yet daylight.

Here. Now.

To detect the white man's radar, glide under it, and remain sovereign and free. Or as free as one can be in snake-infested territory -- nobody ever said freedom was free. Caution and awareness must be the sabers of the sovereign.

In your first paragraph you dealt with the need to develop a better sense of situational awareness. A sub-link took me to an understanding of the mindset needed for alertness for threats to liberty. The writer described the various levels of alertness and the second was "relaxed vigilance" (s/he may have used a different term). Which reminded me of my role as a professional truck driver. My stock-in-trade is my ability to see many car-lengths ahead at all times and be ready to stay out of potential accidents I see developing -- without slamming of brakes and risk damaging or moving freight through the bulkhead.

This analogy fits the thrust of your commonsensical essay. Please continue to surprise us.


KenK's picture

Thanks for the kind words Sam. Believe it or not I agonized over this short piece off and on for two days.

Glock27's picture

Exposure as to what [o]bama stood for came to light in 2008 When he ran for office. Reverend Wright, Bill Ayres and all the others I have forgotten about except as Martin Luther King said and so often repeated 'Judge a man by the content of his character" and it's gotten lot worse now.
This nation had become a nation of walking zombies and did it again repeating the same mistake—words. Our foxholes are our safe homes. Our computers and laptops are the guidance system for our droans of missives and they strike one place here and they are duds. None of them go off that is the situational awareness.

The massive depression agenda the news media discussed before he was elected. Daily it was reported but many ignored it till the upsidedown mortguages happened. People knew [o]bama and what he was about before he ran. Why did Americans fall for it? They fell in love with a black man. Too bad he did not have a white blond by his side. There was nothing new about [o]bama. He is the same man only more emboldened than before. My biggest fear is the second amendment, but since the Constitution is an illegal document to everyone here what difference does that make? The "Constitution is just a Goddamned piece of paper" "Just like God Damned America". Sometimes I wonder if Strikers are Americans, in the common language of the term.

The humble clunky shotgun just will not make it. You can get off one shot from it. You have to break it open load again to fire. By that time the police have flash banged you, thrown in a few smoke grenades, and 30 SWAT members are all over your ass--it is finished for you. My situation is not much better because right now you just cannot find the ammunition to load up. So my friend. We are both in the same sinking boat.
What we are in is a time of stupidity, and you sure as hell cannot fix stupid. There have been a few notes of positiveness to come out of all this. There are six states now crafting legislation to make it illegal of the federal government to come in and enforce their gun ban laws and etc. they want to Executive Order up. I have noted a number of Sheriffs stating they will stand against any federal agent who comes in to stop, capture or confiscate any records or weapons that do not meet federal guidelines. Will the National Guard be called up to shoot their neighbors? I don’t find this to be a likelihood but in the army and marines I can see green troops following the order. . At my age I don't give a s**t. I am ready to die with all the achs and pains I have to endure 24-7 I'll greet them at my door with my "scary black gun" if I have the ammo for it! I am tired, I hurt, but I will go on.

I do not outfit myself, photo it and post it. In my opinion only dorks do that and they probably do not know which end of the rifle a bullet comes from. How many firearms I have or do not have I see no need to share. If I do then there is something wrong with me. Many states are now crafting legislation to make gun ownership private information and out of the hands of the FOIA. A few legislatures are thinking finally.

Saving nickels has been a long time priority of mine. Since, as I understand it 25% of a nickel is true silver. Look for that to become copper real soon. You can go to the bank and get $10.00 worth and no questions asked, but start buying a lot, and it could present some problems as well as storage.
Ken—you must be a prepper from everything I have gathered from your aticle? It was interesting. I read it because I noted that Samarami made a comment, so I figured I should drop in with my nickels worth of thought. I till stand on what I have said. Most all of this is known well in advance and yet we had and have a bunch of American idiots who thinks [o]bama is going to give them a free house, food, clothes, cars, cell phone. He was a Communist Alynskite from the beginning and will expire as one.

Kent McManigal's picture

Nickels don't have silver (except for some WWII era nickels), but they are still worth saving- you are losing money every time you spend a nickel:

KenK's picture

You are more of an expert on coinage than I am Kent. I have so far kept my holdings to pre-1964 US coins for my silver and Canadian and US issued coins, as well as a few Krugerands for gold. I recomend sticking with stuff people know and recognize.

KenK's picture

Sure a semi-auto high-cap rifle/ pistol/ shotgun is way better than an old, used, store brand pump. But when the chips are down a used and "paperless" scatter-gun will help you fend off rats, bag rabbits, squirrels, birds, and deer, as well as poachers, thieves, and their ilk too if need be. As to holding off military or police raids, then no. But what would? The off-the-books opportunity for  legal arms & ammo purchases by us plebes is rapidly closing so get what you can now. That was my point with that.

Glock27's picture

AH! I wasn't tryin to make a big deal out of it. I am equipped but never with the intentions of myself; its the kids and grandkids that are my concern. I have been searching for hours for 5.56/.223 and can't seem to find the stuff, I did manage to round up ten boxes that will eat me up for about $!84 for 200 rounds and that is piddily. I originally bought a mossburg 950 tactical with 10 in the tube on one in the chamber, but there's no quick way to reload one of those. I can keep up for a short piece but as I said. My time is arriving rapidly with the pain I go though daily 24/7. I have trained to build box traps, snares and others. I have a load of information that can make it miserable for them to get to me but I know I can never stop them. They are too young and too well trained.
Over time I buy things one at a time, sometimes two, like ammunition, one or two boxes. It is horriably expensive that way, but its the only way I have to do it. I stock up on food, primarialily non perishables. If push comes to shove I can support myself and my wife for a year. I gather squrrils from my traps. Never eaten coon before so Ijusst keep the legs, Squirrels I skin out and use the whole thing. I am working of a trap to catch doves and ways to gather geese as well. My biggest concern is warmth during the winter. To prepare for the worst you have to go slow. You can't rush it or you would be broke in a day.
What gets me is how people can revote for a man who has destroyed their lives and still believe he is going to pull a mirical out of his butt.
Just so you know I am not an anarchist, libertarian, voluntarist, agorist or any of the -isms or-ologies. I am me wanting to be free from all the idiotic B.S. these great minds in Washington District of Criminals. There are a few positive things coming out of this but I fear for negative will arrive than positive. I read today that Harry says there's no way the anti-gun bill will pass the senate. That has me puzzeled. Something is up that none of us are going to like.
Have a good day.

KenK's picture

Glock survival has many facets. Look into some natural forms of pain relief. Meditation, medicines, marijuana or whatever. It ain't all just about guns and ammo. I built a dry sauna for my late father a few years before he passed and he said it was the best treatment he had for his arthritis.