I Am The Enemy -by EE Borton

I Am the Enemy
by EE Borton

My cousin is young, intelligent, witty, and kind. Her presence commands your attention and she has the ability to light up the darkest room. She’s an educator in the D.C. area with a passion to teach the next generation that they can become whatever they can dream. If she believes it in her heart, she shows it in her actions.

She’s driven to make this world a better place by teaching children to respect each other, to be tolerant of different opinions, to heal rather than hurt. I’m proud of her for all those things…and I am the enemy.

I am everything she’s teaching them not to be. In her eyes I’m short-sighted, stubborn, and intolerant. I voted for a monster and support policies, executive orders, and laws that would lock the doors against the rest of the world and throw away the keys. I’d rather stand at the border with a gun than a brochure. I can’t argue with her. I am all those things.

She doesn’t understand that I wish I wasn’t. She doesn’t understand that I don’t have a choice. I am who I am because of what I’ve experienced. She is who she is because of what she hasn’t. I thank God every day for that fact.

She doesn’t understand that I don’t want to carry a gun. I’d rather spend money on traveling the world instead of spending it on supplies, equipment, and training to protect my family against anything looking to hurt us. I’d rather be comfortable around strangers instead of profiling them.

She and I don’t see eye to eye on many subjects and I hope it stays that way for the rest of her life. If we ever do, it means that she witnessed something horrible, something horrible happened to her, or she did something horrible to protect life. It’s why I don’t get angry with her when she doesn’t understand me.

It’s easier for her to be passionate, outspoken, and public about her opinions and ideology because they both hold hopes for a better, safer, more tolerant world. On top of that, she’s young enough to believe that the change she wants to see in the world can happen in her lifetime. Me, not so much.

It’s more difficult to voice my opinion that you need to put more rounds downrange so you’ll be more effective in a gunfight. It’s more difficult to voice my opinion about stockpiling food so you don’t get stabbed for a can of beans at the grocery store after the power has been out for a week. It’s more difficult to voice my opinion about closing our borders until the rest of the world can prove they’re not exporting terrorist.


She holds her opinions because she sees the best in people. I hold mine because I’ve seen the worst. Neither are wrong. I could call her naive and inexperienced, and she could call me paranoid and dismal. We could get angry and call each other ignorant, but we don’t.

She knows I’ve experienced bad things in bad places. I know she hasn’t. I can’t get angry at her for that. I can’t get angry at anyone for that.

I can’t get angry with her for wanting more money to be allocated to the Department of Education than the Department of Defense. I can’t get angry with her for wanting immigrants to feel welcomed at our door instead of locking it. I can’t get angry with her for wanting things to get better instead of fearing that it won’t. If I did get angry, then I’d earn the right to be called ignorant.

The right side of the media defines her as a millennial snowflake looking for handouts who wants to save the world with cat videos and free hugs. The left side of the media defines me as a xenophobic misogynist who hates poor people, loves guns, and wants to push the button to turn the Middle East into a sheet of glass. There are a few of those extremists out there, but the media focuses on them so we all hate each other. It makes for better news if we’re divided and angry.

In order for me to change my cousin’s opinion and ideology to match mine, I would have to wish something bad would happen to her. In order for me to change anyone’s opinion and ideology to match mine, I would have to wish something bad would happen to them. That’s the influence and power of experiences that I wouldn’t wish on anybody.

I don’t have a nightstand or furniture near my side of the bed anymore. Not long ago I had a vivid nightmare in that weird place between being asleep and being awake. I was reliving an experience that caused me to duck for cover. When I threw myself to the ground, I cracked my skull on the corner of my nightstand. Confused, injured, and staining the carpet with a pool of blood, I had trouble recognizing that I was home. I was safe.

I wish I had been alone, but I wasn’t. I scared the hell out of the one person I never wanted to scare. She approached me with caution because that’s what I told her to do when I have nightmares. I told her to make sure I’m awake and that I recognize her before she gets close to me. Some of you will know why I told her that. Some of you will recommend a therapist.

Regardless of the reasons, they happen because of experiences. Experiences that my young cousin will never be able to understand. Experiences that make me who I am and why I have opinions different from hers. The reasons are why I prepare for events that she can’t comprehend, but are more real to me than anything she sees on TV or on her phone.

I don’t carry a gun with the hopes of using it. I don’t store food and water with the hopes of needing it. I don’t profile strangers with the hopes of being right. I do all those things with the hopes of being wrong. If I use them, it means that others are suffering.

If someone is carrying a gun with the hopes of using it, I believe they shouldn’t have it. If someone is storing food and water because they hope the event comes when they need it, I believe it means they know others will be starving to death. If they profile strangers with the hopes of being right, they’re looking for a fight where nobody wins. Trust me, nobody wins when you’re looking for that fight.

I believe those are the preppers the media seeks out to put on TV. I believe those are the preppers who make the rest of us look like we’re crazy. If you prepare because you hope something bad is going to happen, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.

There’s a good chance my cousin will be involved in the next peaceful march on D.C. for whatever reason she holds relevant. She’ll be unarmed and the furthest thought from her mind will be Islamic terrorist driving a van through the crowd. She’ll stand there in horror and disbelief as they jump out and kill more people with homemade knives until they’re gunned down by police. That could never happen, right? I mean, when is the last time that ever happened?

She lives her life in green. She doesn’t check the corners when she walks into a convenience store or unfamiliar room. She doesn’t keep her head on a swivel when she’s pumping gas. She doesn’t carry a gun, let alone keeping it on the inside of the booth in a restaurant or the wall-side on a train. I wish I could live in green, but my experiences force me to live otherwise. That has nothing to do with her, or her beliefs.

I recognize that my cousin and I are in that middle space between the left and the right. I believe most of us live in that middle space. We have more common ground and more room to compromise than what the media forces down our throat every single day. They want another civil war. They want to divide us so they can be the first cameras recording the first kid to die in a war they’ll never admit to starting.

My cousin is putting herself out there with her energy and resources to change the world for the better. I’m using mine to prepare for her failure.

Which one of us is right?

Other EE Borton contributions to MSB:

Modern Survival In Suburbia: The Intangible Prep
Surviving Haiti – A Real World SHTF Environment

About Eric E. Borton:
Served six years with Naval Intelligence in North Africa, Southern Europe, and the Middle East. As a civilian, he served thirteen years with a rescue helicopter service in Atlanta, Georgia, where he currently resides. He is the author of the Post-Apocalyptic series WITHOUT.



  1. When she is proven wrong, and she will be, it will be too late for her to understand what was right all along. When you are proven right, and you will be, it will be too late to help those that didn’t recognize reality early and make the necessary corrections in their lives to prepare and survive. Good luck, best wishes, and just for the record the faces in the dark never go away, but they do get somewhat friendlier.

    1. Roger that, Hondo. I admit they’re becoming less frequent over time. As far as my cousin being proven wrong, I believe she’s proved wrong every day. It’s just that others are learning the hard lessons. Thank you for your comment, brother.

    2. Don’t think like that. There is still time for the world to save its self. If we all thought like you we would be screwed. But with that being said, if we don’t look at the warning signs then if SHTF happens humanity would die with it. That is why we prep. We are the worlds insurance.

      1. When we will be proven right, it will be too late as the damage that will be done to western civilisation from those on the left will be unable to be wound back. T

  2. Very touching and realistic writeup about that field between preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.
    To a certain extend I can relate, having gone through someone close to me being hurt by an intruder while I was away. Now I’m the one always locking doors, checking on my current other half, being street smart while trying to not let it show, trying to leave her in her innocent optimism, hoping my paranoia will not be right.

    1. Thank you for your comment, almostKiwi. I’m sorry someone you care about was hurt. Unfortunately, I believe some paranoia is justified and necessary. I’m the same way as soon as my family leaves the house…and sometimes before.

  3. This is a really good post. I agree that most of us realistically fall somewhere in the middle. I also think that most of us would do whatever we can to help and protect the more… optimistic, people in our lives. It IS part of why I do what I do. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst is a motto I try to live by.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Ahab. Even the middle can be a lonely place when you’re surrounded by others who don’t “get” you. It’s why I enjoy writing for – and interacting with – the good folks of MSB.

  4. As we journey through life we are shaped by our experiences. We all hope that our kids and grand kids don’t have to live through some extreme situations that will either break them or make them stronger. I am where I am today because of a very dark time in my youth. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I don’t think that I would be where I am today without my past experiences to shape me. I am hoping that this will help me to survive the coming darkness, more so to help family to survive.

    1. Thank you and I agree with every word, Peanut Gallery. I’m sorry the dark times were necessary for you to learn those lessons. But now you’re the light for your family if that darkness returns in any form. Your family is lucky to have you… even if they don’t know why.

    1. Thanks for your comment, slingshot. I’m a fan of Kipling, but I hope I don’t meet the same fate as Din.

  5. WOW! The author has connected with so many of us that PREP in so many ways!

    Thanks Ken for posting this article. The fact that Mr. Borton continued to serve his fellow man after his military life further proves that his mind is and spirit are in the right place. I would like to think this country has many like him to help this country deal with what is coming!

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Being Watched. I appreciate Ken allowing me to post my thoughts on MSB. I enjoy the interaction and insights from the like minded group. There are very few places out there where that can happen at an intelligent and thought provoking level.

  6. Excellent article, thank you for the contribution.
    Your cousin might very well be my adult daughter, the description fits except for location. You could easily be her cousin who has and continues to deal with the worst people, in the worst places, under the worst conditions.

    1. Thank you, Steve. If my calculations are correct, the man out there fighting the good fight in a bad place would be your nephew. Regardless, send my best wherever he may be. I believe one of the reasons he’s there is, so your daughter doesn’t have to be. In my book, that makes him a warrior with a strong heart. Wishing all of you well.

    1. Thank you, T. I wasn’t sure how the article would be received, but I should’ve know the folks at MSB would approach it with open minds and hearts. This really is one of the best groups out there.

  7. I’ve never experienced what he has, but I know enough about human nature and history to shake my head when people say “It could never happen here.” I’ve seen what other people have experienced and I’ve learned from it.

    I also had my own dark period, and I don’t make the mistake of thinking people are harmless. I’ve seen what innocents can do to each other in the name of “inclusion” and “tolerance.” Hatred is hatred, no matter the source. A well meaning teacher can do a great deal of damage without intending it.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Lauren. My cousin has a great responsibility as an educator. There are times I do worry if she knows the difference between teaching and preaching. Fo her sake – and safety – I hope she does. I don’t know for sure because I’m not in her class. All I can do is keep the dialogue open and do my best to keep her perception in check with our reality. A tall order when I’m the enemy.

  8. Youth, innocence, inexperience, none are justification for foolishness. That’s just where the cousin is at! War, political strife, hate, all are parts of the racket (financial) that keep the powers that be right where they are. And their pockets full of cash taken from the tax payers….there’s one way to change that. Understand The Truth….of IT.
    I’ve been there….US56639487 in Nam combat veteran, draftee, 1969…
    This cousin is in education? Well then teach the truth rather than a feel good mirror reflection………….to the author, show her this comment.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Robert. More importantly, thank you for being a brother in arms regardless if it was your choice or not. You answered the call, did your job, and made it back home. Well done, sir.

      I agree there is no justification for foolishness. It’s difficult to help a fool recognize that they’re being foolish. It’s made more difficult when the media tells them they’re not being fools, but revolutionaries. You learned the difference in a foxhole on the battlefield. How do you teach that lesson to someone else without putting them in one? I wish I knew the answer, but I wouldn’t wish the experience on anyone.

      I do plan on showing my cousin this article and she’ll read it along with the comments. Not because I told her to, but because she respects my experiences. She’ll respect yours as well. She’s passionate about her beliefs, but open-minded to the beliefs and opinions of others.

      Thank you again, Robert. You’re one of the many reasons why I enjoy writing for MSB.

  9. Many small children display innocence. One of the areas of parenting I didn’t like was knowing the innocence would leave at some point once exposed to the “world”. I did not attempt to delay exposure, but tried to teach how to function/survive in both good and bad outside world.

    To be passionate about doing good or trying to change the world to be nicer/better/happier is a commendable calling to me. The parent, or protector, worry would be an innocence running into a ugly reality action or event that is unexpected, unthought-of or not believed could occur.

    And there is a major difference between innocent and stupid.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Grey. I couldn’t agree more with their being a major difference between innocent and stupid. I know we hear it all the time, but hoping for the best while you prepare for the worst goes for parenting as well.

  10. I can totally relate to the guy in the article. The more times you get screwed, regardless of the circumstances (war, pestilence, robbery, personal relations gone awry) the more cynical you become. Being cynical is not a bad thing, it simply represents a natural survival response to living in the real world. I too carry a gun, and strive toward food and economic independence to prepare for when bad things happen but I would rather those bad things never happen. I never hope or look forward to something bad happening and I would love to live in a perfect world where everyone gets along and no one lies, cheats, steals or robs and kills but that world simply does not exist.

    We are all animals and should always be prepared to live an animal existence or deal with other animals the same way animals in the wild deal with one another. No amount of humanness will transcend that. Even when you are sitting down in a nice air conditioned home, at a table covered with linen to a nice spread of lobster, rib-eyes, salads, desserts, and casseroles served on fine china and red wine served in crystal goblets, you should always be ready to respond quickly and firmly to intrusions by the animals lurking outside. Live your life as though you are going to be the next meal.

    1. Thank you for your comment, CrabbeNebula…and what time is dinner? That sounded like a helluva meal!

      I also agree with you, that world doesn’t exist. I strive to at least reach a common ground with others who don’t share my beliefs, but the media will never let that happen. People who coexist and treat each other with respect never make the news.

    1. Thank you, Modern Throwback. As with my cousin, you have a more vested interest in educating someone close to you. You took the time – with patience and intelligent guidance – to show someone you care about why you think, feel, and believe the way you do. In turn, they respected your effort because they know you have their best interest at heart.

      Sounds like a recipe for success in finding that elusive common ground. Well done.

  11. I believe Mr. Borton and I could engage in a few lively conversations over a Gin and Popcorn.

    OK, my 2¢ and I will stand for the thrashing.

    There is a reason a lot of us stand in the dark, or become the ‘Gray Man’ mainly out of sight. Humanity and the souls man are born with should not be of the memories and nightmares Mr. Borton and others speak of.

    We often discuss the Snowflakes and the liberal mindset as if sometimes they are the enemy. Truthfully I and many like myself wish in our hearts that the boogie man was nonexistent. I sometimes have dreams of where I did not feel as I do needing to prepare and defend myself and others as I try. There are times whereas I wish I could become the Snowflake and not worry as I do.

    Would it not be good to live in a utopian world where people had no reasoning to prepare or live the ‘lifestyle’ as we do? Would it not be wonderful to just shed the feelings of impending doom on the horizon? I know I sure as hell would.

    But this is not how we are wired, mainly because of out experiences, not of who we are, but of what has happened to our souls, to our thinking, to our lives. Myself, I do not talk of the past much, I would rather talk of the future and understand that preparing as I do is not for the end of the world (end of the world we’re all toast anyways), or a SHTF, as much as along range useable supply that when I do die I will have used that very last can of beans.

    Mr. Borton has a very unique position with his cousin; they can still have a conversation, not to convince the other to change, but to come to a mutual understanding of concern. My Father once told me “if two people with opposing views argued and changes the others mind, there would still be two opposing views and nothing was accomplished”.

    I also have Snowflake/Liberal thinking family in Pot-Land (some to the extreme), there is absolutely no way I could enlighten them to my thinking, so I don’t even try, we will converse at times and I drop little hints that roll off their backs, but at least I have tried, and they roll their eyes at me, just the way it is.

    I sure as hell hope ‘they’ are right.

    1. I’ll bring the popcorn, NRP. I believe “lively” would be an understatement. And for the record, in my eyes your 2¢ is worth most people’s paychecks.

      I want to encourage my cousin to pursue her dreams of leaving the world a better place than she found it. I just wish I could be the guy next to her watching the crowd, but that’s impossible. It is possible for me to make her more prepared if something does go wrong. I feel an obligation to do that. Whether or not she listens is up to her.

      1. Eric(E.E.)
        Your comment “It is possible for me to make her more prepared if something does go wrong. I feel an obligation to do that. Whether or not she listens is up to her.” reminds me of that old saying “you can lead a horse to water but, you can’t make him drink”

  12. EE Barton,

    Thank you for sharing…

    Your gift of writing and sharing your experiences, even the lessons from your experiences, serves a means of healing, I hope for yourself and others who may have experienced similar situations or who have lived through very dark times….

    I have been abused by several relatives, as a child and as an adult
    and still deal with PTSD, though have made much progress…

    And I had a very close friend, who was like a sister to me,
    develop severe mental illness, I knew she was struggling but
    I couldn’t imagine (because I believed so highly of her .i.e. thinking the best) She ended up taking the lives of 2 of her children…
    After 3 years in mental hospital and jail she is only getting her sentence next month

    So, yes, finding that balance between optimism which gives you hope
    and reality which makes you wise

    God bless you, sir…

    1. Thank you for your comment and kind words, Shepherdess. Writing for MSB and interacting with the group is a way for us to share experiences and connect with those who hold the same beliefs. It’s a place where I feel welcome and can express thoughts through the articles I create.

      I’m fortunate I found a way to express and connect through writing. It doesn’t matter if it’s with a novel or an article, it helps me keep the darker places where they belong. Either in my past, or on paper. I only wish your friend could’ve found a way to do the same before she did the unthinkable and hurt the ones closest to her.

      I’m glad you’re making progress in your pursuit of happiness. Wishing you well, Shepherdess.

  13. What a wonderful article – so eloquently said, sir.

    I also had PTSD through things that happened in the emergency services. I feel for those coming back from war and other military/LEO experiences. I do have to share: EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy cured my PTSD – yes, it cured it! I was shocked, thought the therapy was hokey, but I participated and it worked on me. I recommend it to everyone with PTSD.

    Back to the article – what a great way to put it into perspective and give us all a way to think and speak of “the other side”. Thank you to the author and Ken!

    1. Thank you, Pegasus. I don’t care how “hokey” it was, as long as it worked for you. If someone told me to hold a bag of chicken bones to find that peaceful place, I’d have a bag of chicken bones in every room of my house.

  14. Good piece, this describes me and another close family member, i most likely havent experienced what the writer has, but i see. My vision is no longer clouded by innocence, nor does it see through the rose colored glasses of naievity.

    It made me think for a minute though, yes in some ways i do wish for the event, but not to see people fall, i want it because i fear thats the only way our country will once again right itself. Society has gone askew, people seem to be drifting off course and it resembles some bible fable of sodom and gamorra more than an independent constitutional republic formed by men who had conviction and God. Everywhere i look the values of old are thrown in my face as being wrong or somehow being vilified, well guess what, im going to cling to those beliefs because THEY are what made our country great. Not some faggy rainbow colored flaggot not some completely covered up person that you cant tell who they are, not jack and jack or jill and jill, not some prophet who killed all infidels.

    Ill cling thanks, and dont give a damn how that makes me look because those who are against me most likely would be no matter what i said or did. So i dont care, but yea, im prepped, locked and loaded, and will most likely get drug away in a zippered bag at some point, i dont care, why should i change my views because of fear?

    1. Thank you for your comment, Nailbanger. I get it. I understand your position about wanting an event in some ways. Unfortunately, it takes those events for many to wake up and realize their personal world is – and always will be – vulnerable. We take the steps now to make us less vulnerable tomorrow.

      1. Thanks EE,,,,
        I just wonder what happened to our country, baseball, apple pie, fourth o July rodeo and fireworks, its not the same anymore bud, sad, and sad that so many folks like you have to live and re live stuff nobody should have to. i wish i could do more for vets and other good folks who have given so much of themselves, feel pretty helpless in that area as ive tried and hit solid brick walls from bureaucrats who are supposed to be looking out for yall,,, but then i just remember that God will place in my life exactly what i can deal with, and so many blessings.
        Anywho, thanks for writing this piece bud, God Bless you and yours and have a good 4th o July.

  15. To EE Borton,,,
    Thank you,
    There are millions of us who would stand by you, and i hope that we have the conviction to do so, our home and way of life may well depend on it

  16. Not having served, anything I could say would be an insult to those that stepped up for our country. My only comment is that I do not agree with the policies of getting involved with the business of other countries or policing the world. Nation building is futile and puts good people in harm’s way.

    1. Thank you for your comment, hermit us. I have served overseas, and I don’t take what you wrote as an insult. I believe most wouldn’t. In fact, you may have just given me the subject of my next article.

  17. Thank you for your words. It is rare in the prepper community to read such a balanced article. Long ago I learned that not everyone is capable of facing the darkness in the world. And there has always been darkness.

    I have always believed that it is (and always has been) the job of those of us who can face the dark to protect those who cannot. I’ve tried for decades to teach people it is not ideology that really divides us. But it is how we cope with fear. Some face it with brutal honesty, some with denial.

    To me ‘Prepare and Serve’ is no different than “Protect and serve”. Otherwise, really, whats the point.

    Best too all.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Lothur. Unlike the media, I take it as a personal responsibility to respect both sides of an argument. I don’t set out to win. That would be futile. I do set out to find common ground. If I’m fortunate enough to find it, in many cases it shows me that the other side wants many of the same things I do. We’re just taking different paths to get there.

      There are those who are looking for a fight and will never compromise. I don’t waste my time engaging them in a verbal confrontation. My time is better spent at the range.

      1. I hear you,

        Seeking compromise is smart. Being prepared not to find it is wise.

  18. i used to be your cousin i looked for the good in people and i would go out of my way to help people that i didnt know
    then real life caught up with me i got beaten down in real life by slime
    my place was robbed my stuff was stolen and i got screwed by people that i TRUSTED with everything i have now i trust NO ONE AND I NEVER WILL AGAIN TRUST ANYONE I DONT KNOW WELL and even then i will keep em at arms reach
    now i carry 3 or more blades and i have grab bag ready to go and everywhere i sit in this place i have a firearm within arms reach

    1. I’m sorry that happened to you, Kevin. There are few things worse than being betrayed by people you trust. I hope you find people who can earn it back from you.

  19. @ Mr. Borton aka Eric (E.E.)

    A quote from one of your reply comments;

    “I do plan on showing my cousin this article and she’ll read it along with the comments…….”

    It would be extremely interesting to hear her reaction to the Article and Comments. Particularly knowing nobody gets chastised for their opinions here on MSB. Well except for that Gin Mint-Julip thing… hehehe


    1. Hi NRP,

      I agree… would be very interesting to learn what Eric’s cousin thinks of both this article and the responses. Eric’s thoughts certainly prompted a lot of heart-felt replies. And, they show that we all agree on a lot of things – even if you & Beach’n are never going to see eye-to-eye on mint juleps (which by the way are not nearly as good as a well-made gimlet on a hot summer’s day – at least in my book). ;)

      1. So Cal Gal, NRP, Beach’n,
        Re: Mint Juleps, the back-n-forth pulled me in and I looked up both Mint Julep (made with bourbon, most state Kentucky bourbon) and Gin Mint Julep. Both receipts exist, so I guess both are “allowable” but the Gin version may insult the southern sensibilities. The metal “cup” is a nice touch.

        Then I checked Mint Julep versions, not to go all Forrest Gump on you…but we got Rhubarb Mint Juleps, Blueberry Mint Juleps, Blood Orange Mint Juleps, Strawberry-infused Mint Juleps, Sparkling Ginger Mint Juleps, Blackberry Mint Juleps, Pineapple Mint Juleps, Sweet Tea Mint Juleps, Cherry Mint Juleps…it’s Julep festivus..!

        And a couple of off subject demerits I’m sure. Is that a negative food bucket award?

    2. I’ll let you know as soon as I do, brother. I’m interested as well. She’s a firecracker, but I know in her heart she cares about people…well beyond my capacity.

    3. Were all afeared o you mr NRP sir,,,, dond dare step outa line,,, so no chastizin

      1. @ Nailbanger

        Ahhh put your Hula Skirt back on ya old Nail-bender, and dond-ya dare even step on that line all alone step over it, after y’all know your buddy Obummer drawled the line in the sand and …. Well we all know how well that went. LOLOL

        Have another Pina Colada on me ya grumpy-ol-fart….. or take another shot of Ex-lax. :-) :-)


  20. I am in my 50s, and older worker, the adult child of immigrants who came to Canada after world war two. I am also the first generation of my family post Hitler. My late father escaped from Nazi occupied Poland as a young lad with some friends and they just took off one night without telling their parents for everyone’s safety. Nazis had been shooting people in the streets, first the Jews, then they came after Christians. On my late mother’s side, she lived in Washington DC as a teenager in the British military and was spared a lot of the terror going on in the rest of the world. Her brother who was in the Air cadets in London was accidently killed while squad members were cleaning guns. My grandmother was killed in the London bombings. My father joined the Polish army in exile, fighting at Monte Cassino. I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s and was a youth into the early 1980s. Back then I never thought I would experience a fourth Reich that hurt the world. Now I know I will. The EU wants to sue three eastern European countries that don’t want to take in migrants, the very population that is causing chaos in Sweden, Germany, England, France, etc. with no go zones, police impotence, political neutering, so that the native population cannot speak out or protect themselves. In a few years even this website may be shut down. I thank God I do not have children because they would bear the brunt of this evil cult. I do not hate children – I just do not want to raise any who would suffer. The goal is to be able to launch your children, not bury them. I had expected to see at least five generations of my family live in peace. Since my parents were affected, and now I am being affected, no generation of my family will have lived in peace. With each attack I am becoming more right wing. Travel is at the bottom of my wish list due to the world situation. Poland was defeated by the nazis within a few days. How long before all of Sweden is a no go zone where any westerner dare not tread. Why in God’s name do people want to travel to such places?

    1. Thank you for your comment, Lady Jane. Your family history is amazing and heartbreaking at the same time. The common thread is that they were fighters in the face of evil and resilient in the face of tragedy. Those attributes aren’t lost. There are many today – just like the warriors in your family of yesterday – who will never give up.

      I know you take pride in your heritage as do I and many, many others. Don’t think for a second we’re going down without a fight. We are not Europe.

  21. I personally haven’t had anything too bad happen to me to make me want to prep. Sure, even though I’m still young I’ve had some pretty rough times, but in the end the fact remains that nothing has shattered me at the core to make me think the worst about people, and I don’t, instead I try to stay on a middle ground. I wanted to prep because it made sense–I took on views that simply made sense in the world’s context. The fact remains that utopia is impossible, and it is impossible because of human nature. That is why I hold the views that I do. Many loving and compassionate actions will have adverse consequences. Not that people shouldn’t be loving and compassionate, but people should both understand the consequences and prepare for them. If one only looks at the good in humanity, then they miss so much–the same goes vice versa, but in the end being an accepting, compassionate, and perfect person only sounds good. This is what I don’t like. People love to scream from the rooftops that they are such wonderful people for believing in utopia, that they are so great for being so nice to everyone and wishing for all conflict to cease–yet they are, at the same time riddled with hypocrisy. The same people both create conflict, and in the end, actively create dystopia.

    So in the end, I prep and hold certain views based on human nature. Those who don’t learn from history or listen to common sense will end up learning the hard way. It’s difficult to understand why so many people allow themselves to walk on the path of self-destruction. It almost seems like they do it only because it sounds good, and they think it’s the right thing to do. But I also pray that they never have to find out that they’re wrong, but it is a terrible truth that there is a good chance they will.

    1. Youngster, you don’t sound so young. Thank you for your comment. The reasons why you – or any of us – prepare, are personal. The reasons are irrelevant.

      You hit the nail on the head. Human nature. It doesn’t matter if every American was on the same page, others would still rather die trying to kill us than accept us living on the same planet. That will never change. Neither will my determination to stop them. It doesn’t matter to me if I do it in their backyard, or mine. Preferably, I’d rather they clean up the mess I leave behind.

  22. What a warm, thoughtful article. The answer to your question “which
    one of us is right?” is neither. You are both where your experiences
    have led you. There is no wrong or right in this.

    “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit…And there
    are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh
    all in all…”

    I do not think the same now as I did at 20, 40 or 60. Life is
    a process of progression in consciousness and I think we grow in
    our understanding through time. As we are open to life I suspect
    that both your divergent views will settle somewhere in the middle.
    And if they don’t so what?

    You are the warrior and protector, your cousin the teacher and
    nurturer – we need both for whatever comes. For now and in the

    You say, “I am the Enemy.” From how you describe your cousin I
    can’t possibly imagine those words passing her lips. If those are
    your words then you need to learn to drop them. They serve no useful
    purpose between you and your cousin.

    Thank you for sharing as honestly as you have. This also too
    requires great courage. God bless you for your continuing service
    to all of us for maintaining your readiness as warrior and protector.

    1. Thank you for your insight, Ladywest. I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my article.

      There is still relevance in the title. If it were anyone but me, she would look at them as the enemy. Those words may not pass from her lips about me, but they’re in her thoughts. I represent what she’s fighting against…and I’m glad she is. How I view the world is based on experiences I would never wish on anyone. I believe them to be a fact of life. She believes them to be something to avoid.

      I’m the aggressive dog that is kept in the backyard and away from her friends when they come over. I’m the same dog she wants in the backyard when she sleeps. Explaining that to her has been difficult.

  23. Thank you for posting the words that I’ve been looking for.
    I liked your writing so much that I just bought one of your books.

    1. Thank you, Tommy D. That means more to me than you know. That puts food on my table and I can’t thank you enough.

  24. As a teacher she is front and center in the brain washing and programming of our youth in this country. When kids are Fed biased information and instilled with ideas that government is good, the police state is good, you must respect “authority” it is dangerous. Teachers are almost as responsible for our problems as cops who enforce abusive laws and made them happen. While I understand teachers who are just earning a paycheck (I myself would collect the 100k and pension) I don’t respect those who actually believe in subjecting kids to a decade of indoctrination and programming them to be pawns of the state.

  25. Thank you, Eric (E.E.) for sharing such a thoughtful and well-written piece with Ken and all of us. Your experiences are unimaginable to me, and I thank you and all of the folks on this site who have served – I know some here still suffer the physical, mental and emotional scars of their sacrifices for our great country (including a couple in my extended family). “Thank You” seems woefully inadequate, but it is from the heart.

    I would never be angry at someone who believes in helping others, educating our youth, or tying to leave this world a better place. Those are noble and worthwhile aims. Where I part company with people like your cousin is in the belief that somehow those goals and values cannot be reconciled with an understanding of how harsh and dangerous our world can be, and how caution and awareness and preparation are a form of helping ourselves and those we care about most.

    Anyone who has been the victim of or witness to a violent crime (or attempted crime) or who has a loved one who has been, understands the need for personal awareness and safety. Anyone who has read or seen photos of how people have suffered through natural disasters recognizes the value of being prepared for them. Anyone who has read about what people endure in times of war recognizes that protesting war may feel good but will not prevent it, that you should also be looking at what you and yours will need if/when war breaks out again in our part of the world.

    While it would be lovely to live in a world of calm, peace and safety that is just not the world around us. I believe we do a disservice to our loved ones when we do not look out for our own safety and theirs. How heartbroken would your cousin’s parents, siblings, children and dearest friends (as applicable) be if she was injured or killed in a situation that could have been prevented with a dose of healthy caution? How heartbroken would she be if her loved ones were in danger or starving for lack of any type of preparation for natural or man-made disasters that happen in other parts of the world regularly?

    Like most (or maybe even all) people here, I prep as an insurance policy against a variety of possible scenarios from earthquakes to civil unrest to economic hardship and so on. Not because I hope any of them ever happens, but because I value my life and the lives of those I love enough to recognize that things can turn bad quickly.

    If I wait for incontrovertible evidence that something is going wrong to prepare for it, it will be too late. Very few preparations can be made when everyone is scrambling for last the few precious resources in an emergency. I hope for the best while recognizing that we live in difficult times, and therefore it is a wise, prudent and even loving thing to do to be prepared for the worst. It’s not that I’ve given up on trying to make my little piece of the world a better place, but because I think it makes my little piece of the world a better place to be prepared for what life will inevitably throw at us when we least expect it.

    1. Thank you for your comment, So Cal Gal. I agree with every word.

      When I was my cousin’s age, I had traveled to places and experienced things she could never imagine. I was exposed to the harsh reality that so many others were living in a world of fear, hate, and violence beyond anything she has seen, read, or felt. I saw the anguish and terror that is difficult to describe in words here. The fact she hasn’t experienced any of that is a testament that I did my job. A testament that so many others before me did their job, and others continue to do it.

      We can talk about those experiences until we’re blue in the face. She’ll never understand, and that’s what I’m thankful for.

  26. I lean more to the conservative side but I’m not extreme. I think our answers are somewhere in the middle. I believe in freedom. I have the freedom to form my own opinions and so does everybody else, even if they don’t agree with me. I have the freedom to do what I want as long as I am not hurting anyone, and so does everybody else. I believe we should take care of the less fortunate, but not by government mandate. I think we should take care of our own people and leave the rest of the world alone. I have a friend that is a very liberal environmentalist, she helps me with composting my garden. I strive to be self-sufficient because for many years I was not. My reasons for prepping are more personal than political.
    I am a recovering drug addict, alcoholic and veteran. I never saw combat as a vet, but I have seen and been the very worst of humanity as a drug addict. I was the criminal that many of us prep against. I have been sober for 19 years and live my life completely different now. I have met some of those nice, kind hearted people you are talking about. They have helped me in more ways than I can count. I try to help others when I can, it is a requirement for my recovery, but I am not naïve. I know what I was capable of. What I am still capable of, but I choose not to feed that beast. I know there are some good people in the world but I am skeptical of people in general. I have always been armed, but now it is legal. I like to keep my back to the wall and my eye on the door. My wife will not touch me when I am sleeping because sometimes I come up swinging too.

    1. car guy,

      thank you for sharing some of your story…and I agree with your comments too

      It’s is amazing where some of us have been, but even more amazing
      is having hope – hope that arises from or despite the brokenness and ashes of those dark places to where you can begin to see light again and experience joy in the present and know there will be strength for tomorrow

      May you have continued strength, hope,
      and success in your life

      God bless you…

    2. You were a “criminal” because an abusive police state said you do not have a right and freedom to decide what you can possess and what you can put in your own body. You were not a real criminal unless you actually violated the rights of others (stole, murdered, assaulted). Maybe sinful from a Christian pov, but not a real criminal.

      Any society that does not allow for,the freedom for people to decide what they do to their own bodies whether not wearing a seat belt or drinking soda or smoking, is not an acceptable one.

      1. Thanks for your support, but I was a criminal because I took things that were not mine and put other people in danger. I’m not proud of these things but they are part of me. As I said, I live my life completely different now.

  27. Thanks for the thoughtful and well written article. Wish I could write even half as well. I’m not a good communicator at all

  28. Incredible post… thank you so much for sharing!

  29. Thanks for Posting…great morale booster on the way we have to be to own our country.

  30. I have worked in LE for 24 years(I know some of you think I’m the bad guy), but I have been dealing with a lot of people who are out to prey on good people. The ex-wife always says that I was being paranoid, guess it comes with the job. I never wish to see anyone hurt. I never want to see bad things happen. But unfortunately bad things happen. I do believe in being prepared. I live in FL and the ex admitted that after a hurricane knocked out power for 3 weeks, she was happy I had gas and a good generator and lots of batteries! EE, love the Without series!! Take care and Stay safe!

    PS there are more than a few people I work with who are firm believers in being prepared!

  31. You cannot argue with the woman referenced in the article. America cannot be saved from stupid people. These “educators” live in an impenetrable bubble which does not allow truth, reality, or common sense. Up here in Rawles Land, I worked for a brief time as a Teachers Aide. I thought I had landed on another planet. Political correctness has destroyed this country.

    Let people like this go. They will be culled, as they are being culled in the countries of Eurabia. Do not argue or try to persuade or convince them. It is better that they are wiped out by the M uslim onslaught. You do not want them around when the time comes to rebuild our country(if it can be rebuilt) based on honest money, Judeo-Christian beliefs, and the God-given liberties enumerated in the Bill Of Rights.

    I know this sounds callous. But, speaking as an old soldier and a retired cop, I have seen the elephant. If you want to see what the end game is like, rent the original WAR OF THE WORLDS, starring Gene Barry. Watch what happens to the well-meaning minister who tries to reason with the Martians.

    1. Very true words. We as christians, liberaterians, freedom loving conservatives (not neo cons who illogically worship the police state who enforce big government despite not supporting big government) will never be able to convince people entrenched in their foolish and naive views. Don’t waste your time trying to convenience these people because it will be time, money and effort wasted. It is better to bolster yourself, those close to you, our base and try to win over people who aren’t dead set either way and can be persuaded over time. If we empower ourself some of those who are strongly against will start to see the light but on their own. A lot here probably have changed their views for the better not because you were preached to but over time your own view of he World started to not make sense.

  32. Hey EE,,, where can we download your books? Cant seem to find em in the usual spots, anywhere you suggest to download?

    1. Actually never mind, i found it,,,, my ipad was having a senior moment

  33. Interesting article. According to the left, I am a right wing extremist because I believe in our constitution.

    When it comes down to it, wisdom, awareness, skill and love of God is what brought humans to get this far and will be what gets us into the future. Without these, we will fail to survive.

  34. I said I wasn’t going to check out MSB before bed. Then I said I wasn’t going to comment before going to bed… and here we are!

    First of all, thank you for your service.

    You have a unique perspective that I wish were more popular. You have the ability to respect difference in ideology. If we all thought the same way, this would be a boring place. You say it well in this paragraph “The right side of the media defines her as a millennial snowflake looking for handouts who wants to save the world with cat videos and free hugs. The left side of the media defines me as a xenophobic misogynist who hates poor people, loves guns, and wants to push the button to turn the Middle East into a sheet of glass. There are a few of those extremists out there, but the media focuses on them so we all hate each other. It makes for better news if we’re divided and angry.”

    As a gay man, who is both conservative, informed and has a keen sense of awareness, I know what it means to be both an oxymoron. I guess what I’m getting at here is the fact that I know what it’s like to be labeled. I’m glad that your cousin doesn’t agree with you – because I agree with you – if she did, it means she would have witnessed something terrible. But I’m glad that I agree with you on both accounts.

    Thanks again for your thoughts – well written and much appreciated.

    (This may not have made sense, I’ve been on business travel.)

  35. My father taught me about wolves, sheep and sheepdogs when I was a child. I’m glad to see others using the idea! Also, thankful my father taught me not to be a sheep.

  36. Started reading tonight, great book,

    1. Thank you, Nailbanger. That’s how I put food on the table. Let me know what you think when you finish.

      1. Will do, am about half way through the first one, going to download the next too, im a reading fiend, good way to clear my head in the evening

  37. I am in this exact same boat, although said cousin is a Pastor instead of a teacher. It is good to recognize the points you made in this piece, at one point I used to stress myself out over her ignorance, however I came to the same conclusion: it is just not worth my time and breath. This first week of July will be the annual family vacation for that side of the family. Let’s just say I will be excusing myself to do a lot of fishing.

  38. I’ve been called a nurturer (in the sense you seem to mean this) but that doesn’t make me either ignorant or oblivious. Most of the “nurturers” throughout history would think her incredibly naive, if they even thought about it while protecting and feeding their families.

  39. I am Catholic but I believe that Christians have a duty to speak out against the trend at college campuses whereby the leftists and evil cult members want to boycott Israel. As per the bible, Israel belongs to the Jews. Christians can accept this and have built churches around the world. Christians can also visit Holy places from Jesus’ time. Christians can walk, as western men and women, in Israel without being slaughtered or decapitated by the Jews. This is not true in m uslim countries. They have several countries but are hell bent on destroying Israel. Thus any westerner, woman, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, humanist, atheist, man, child, animal lover, freedom lover, etc. should not boycott Israel or divest as per the pressure on many college campuses. YOUR survival depends on assisting decent people to survive. YOU will be next on their hit list. The hippie type songs of ‘we are one world’ needs to be modified to ‘we are one decent world standing together to protect us all against the evil cult’. Back to the 1930s and 1940s. My grandparents were poor and had several children, but were assisted in a small town by their Jewish shopkeeper neighbor regarding food. During world war two, my grandparents sheltered their daughter for awhile. She survived. My grandparents and their children survived. Both families went on to have and raise children in Canada.

  40. With all respect, I have to disagree somewhat with the fact that you can be prepared, be a conservative and not ever have had anything bad happen to you.

    I am a conservative and prepared simply because I am a patriotic American who knows my history and I know where I and my Country have come from. I know that a tremendous price has been paid throughout our history so that we might be a free people. I do not choose to see the bad in people because I have had a bad experience, but I see the bad in people because I know given the choice between right and wrong, we generally choose wrong because we are all sinners. Nobody has to teach a child to lie, but they need to learn how to tell the truth. I have never had anything bad happen to me, but I certainly know it could and therefore choose to be prepared. I know evil exists in the world and choose to do my best to guard myself against it. I carry a gun every single day because my 5th great grandfather fought a Revolution so I could protect myself if need be.

    I have no respect for someone who turns a blind eye to history. I have had family serve this country since before it was a country. I know the prices paid and refuse to allow those ignorant of that history to destroy this Nation.

    Your cousin is a liberal because she is truly ignorant of her Nation’s struggle for freedom and liberty.

    1. With all respect, my cousin is far from truly ignorant about our nation’s struggle for freedom and liberty. She respects my service, the service of many of her relatives, and the service of your family. I appreciate you taking the time to comment, John, but those are the words that divide. Not every liberal is ignorant. Not every conservative is intelligent.

      My article was to show that most are in the middle. The media wants you to use those words. The media wants my cousin to get pissed at you for using them. The media wants you to get pissed at her for being pissed at you. The media wants us to be divided. It doesn’t care how.

      Neither one of you know each other. I describe her political viewpoints as leaning towards the liberal side, and your immediate reaction was to call her truly ignorant. In my opinion, that’s the problem.

      I looked over my article again and didn’t see where I stated something bad has to happen in order for you to be a prepper or prepared. I did write that experiences greatly influence how someone prepares and each of us prepare for our own reasons.

      Those reasons are irrelevant. It only matters that you’re ready to take care of yourself and the ones you love in an emergency or crisis. Looks like you’ve got those bases covered.

      1. Eric,

        Fair enough, I certainly agree, that there are some rather ignorant conservatives. You are right, I don’t know you cousin. My experience with most of those who are my “opposites” are ignorant when it comes to history and I find that sad because I view it as very important.

        I do appreciate your article and thank you for the reply.

        I heard a radio host ask in the wake of the recent shooting in DC, “What are you willing to change in order to make things better?” I thought long and hard about that and my honest answer is nothing. I live my life wishing to be left alone. I do not impose my views on others, I am willing to have conversations, but I do not impose and I refuse to have someone else impose their’s upon me. If given a choice I will choose freedom and liberty every time. I will choose making my own way at every turn.

        My fear is the education system in our Nation is controlled my liberals and that means that the true history of this great Nation will be lost on future generations. I do not see that changing any time soon.

        I should have started my post as “long time reader, first time poster.” I’ll keep reading!

        1. I have the same fears as you, John. Even when it comes to my cousin being in charge of a classroom of impressionable minds. In fact, I worry about her safety if she crosses that line and tries to influence them based on her personal beliefs.

          What gives me comfort is guys like you who refuse to let our history – our struggle – be diluted and pushed aside by political and personal agendas.

          I too want to be left alone, but in doing so I would relinquish my influence. For the time being, my influence is my vote. How much worse do you think it would be for us if we didn’t vote? If we didn’t try to influence young impressionable minds as well?

          Bottom line, it’s a burden we have to carry, brother.

        2. I agree, my vote is my voice, although I feel that is being drowned out by the storm around us. I also agree that we must teach. We cannot live in a bubble, I know that, but at times you just don’t know what you can do and so, being ignorant, we sit back in a corner and become defensive – guilty as charged. Ignorant simply means we are uneducated as to what to do, it does not mean someone is stupid or foolish, they just do not know. And while I know for myself, how do you engage someone like your cousin to let them know too?

          I guess until we have a truly clear path before us, we press on and keep the faith.

  41. The day after the DC shooting we met with the other two groups in our area. We only spent a few minutes on the shooting as all there expected it to happen long before then. The main discussion was on preparing our kids/grandkids to cope with the verbal, physical and financial attacks that they are subjected to because they don’t subscribe to the leftist ideology. We have only been home schooling this year while these groups have for a very long time.
    They don’t fit in with the hive mentality. Public schools don’t teach they indoctrinate. Teachers haven’t been taught. They are indoctrinated themselves.They have been promised that the “socialist utopia”is right around the corner. They expected that with either Bernie or Hillary this would come to fruition in the next 8 years. All us conservatives have thwarted their hopes and desires and the hive cannot stand for it. There is no room for cooperation and compromise within the hive mind think. That should be obvious by the behavior of the leftist in this country. Conservatives are compromising with the left who have no intention to reciprocate.
    We are on a battle for the future of this Republic. Stop acting like Chamberlain and start behaving like Patton.
    The cousin may be naive but she is not innocent. She may not pick up a brick or a baseball bat but she walks lockstep ideology wise with those who do.
    I have people in my extended family that have the same hive mentality. I will not lift a finger to save them.If they all need to perish to preserve this Republic so be it.
    I too have seen,done and experienced those things that brING on the bad dreams and nightmares. I don’t wish them on my kids/grandkids. The leftist seem Hell bent on making it happen. So that is why I prepare my family. So they have the mental /physical and spiritual toughness to persevere this unwanted battle from the left.
    The litmus test for me is when a person can see the short comings of their position,acknowledge it and find common dialogue to tolerate each other’s point of view. That is not to be found in the lefts agenda.
    So know my tolerance is such that I don’t shoot them onsite.
    But even that is wearing wafer thin…
    Thanks for the article.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Bill. I agree with every word…if we’re referring to the extreme left. I’m not at the point where I look at everyone on the left as the enemy. On the flip side, not everyone on the right is a friend. I hold the same low opinion of extremist on either side of the fence whether it be political, religious, or socio-economic.

      The media only shows us the extremist because it makes for better TV ratings. When they do, folks somewhere in the middle get a distorted perspective of how many are out there, and how quick they are to turn violent. I can’t accept that my country is looking at another Civil War because of the f’n media.

      There are people out there on the right ready to kick my cousin’s teeth in because of her beliefs. I know you have to take my word for it, but she’s one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. She’s genuine, intelligent, and wouldn’t hurt a fly. If I didn’t mention her political side, I strongly believe you’d agree with my description of her. How do you think I’d react to someone kicking her teeth in?

      I prepare for extremist on both sides, not for everyone who holds an opinion different from mine. I don’t prepare for everyone on the left.

      I did what I was supposed to do. I went to the polls and voted a national turd out of office. I voted a few local turds out of office as well. My cousin did her job and went to the polls. Her turd lost. In four years, she’ll be back at the polls and so will I. In the meantime, we’re going to hold on to our beliefs until proven wrong and we change our minds. It won’t be because I forced her, or she forced me. That’s how the majority of Americans operate on a daily basis.

      Yes, there are those out there who want to kick our teeth in. Yes, there are idiots on TV screaming, crying, cursing, throwing rocks, and burning city blocks down because their turd lost. Yes, there are people you know who piss you off because they bash our President, spew venom about the right, and disagree with everything you say.

      Let them bash, spew, and disagree. It won’t change the outcome of the elections, or how I cast my next vote.

      Some may think I’m too tolerant. Some may think I’m not tolerant enough. As with most, I’m somewhere in the middle. Those dark places you and I have been, I don’t want to go back. Don’t think that I won’t.

      1. Eric, I appreciate the reply. We have more in common than most.
        I’m going to give you a title to a book. You check it out and I will check your books out.Fair enough?
        “THE GOOD OLD DAYS” edited by Klees,Dressen and Reiss.
        The rest of the title lets you know where I get the mind set about the left. The content of the book cements it.
        I will warn you,it’s a hard read. Even for hardened men.
        It’s where I see the logical path to this new violent left movement…
        Btw,I’m a Constitutional Conservative. Don’t have much use for the Republican agenda either these days.

        1. Fair enough, Bill. I’ll let you know when I finish it. Wishing you and yours the best, brother.

  42. E.E. – Thank you for a great article! You have done a wonderful job of illustrating and contrasting two extremely different philosophies. Its rewarding and reassuring to read the comments of so many like-minded readers.

    Unfortunately, the role of the NEA (National Education Association = union) has not been given enough (dis)credit for shaping your cousin’s and other snowflake’s thinking thru their teaching philosophies and methods. The NEA has become the Liberal’s Youth Corps. As the twig is bent, the tree shall grow. Think about it. Its the liberal’s divine plan.

    We all know the real world is not so pretty – but it doesn’t have to be ugly either. You talk about your and your cousin’s thinking – who will challenge the NEA’s thinking? If no one does, positive change will never happen and the world will never be real.


    1. Thank you for your thoughts, Shamrock. I agree it’s been a pleasure reading the responses to the article. I’d rather offer something engaging than preachy. I also try to create some form of balance between opposing point of views. If I didn’t, it would just be my opinion. Where’s the lesson in that?

      I also couldn’t agree more about NEA. There was a time and a place for it, but it looks nothing like its former self anymore. I could write a book about that subject alone.

  43. Many have never worked in a school environment to see what transpires with teachers, students, supporting staff.

    E.E. understanding that you have a difference of opinion on what life should be like with your cousin is understandable. As some one mention the HIVE mentality, if you are not a part of it, heaven help you!

    There were two only conservative women(myself & my immediate boss)in that school. If a job had to be preformed outside of their job description(office staff-teachers)for said employee you would have thought they were being abused. We would hear “IT’s NOT MY JOB!”.

    My entire career was in the private sector until working at the grade school, only being there because they could not find anyone who did not have a drug/arrest record that could be placed with children during the lunch hours. Since my nieces attended I went to volunteer but they hired me instead. At the end of the 5 years working there the kids loved me, the teachers HATED me. I was old school, kids were they to learn, mind their manners-sorely lacking, teachers were to teach, not indoctrinate into the environmental peace of the 1960’s. You and she will never ever find common ground you are searching after being around this mind set. This is not to sound snarky but I truly do wish you the best.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Antique Collector. I didn’t take what you wrote as snarky at all. For the most part, I agree with everything, but I’m not ready to give up looking for that common ground with her. As long as we keep inching forward, I’ll keep trying. If it ever reaches a point of stagnation, I’ll put my energy elsewhere.

  44. A very interesting article. If your cousin lives near you in GA., she is in hurricane, tornado, bad weather area. If nothing else she should have preps for bad weather since all grocery stores no longer have a back stock of food but rely on “Just in Time” deliveries of food. A bad weather event snow, ice storm, hurricane could stop the flow of food for days. Here where I live we rely on 2 weekly ships to bring food and supplies to us. January 2016 one of the ships went down for 3 days maintenance that stretched into 3 weeks. The food on the shelves in most of the grocery stores in the state were getting very thin, in fact another week there would have been a crisis. Then that same month at around 01:30 we had a 7.1 earthquake. The shaking lasted for what seemed like hours but was about 30 seconds. Lots of items in the grocery stores fell on the floor and broke and in my home. I could smell pickle juice and Lysol for a few days in the grocery stores. This alone should convince her to have at least one month of food in her home stored away.
    You also hit a nerve with me in that in 1972 while at Ft. Bragg, NC one night I woke up on top of my wife trying to strangle her. Not that I wanted to kill her but I had a bad dream. She would complain that at times some nights it felt that I was running in my sleep and screaming shoot. The dreams are now very infrequent but there are somethings that trigger them. I go to bed early and wake up at the slightest noise and on many nights, I’m wide awake at 03:00 listening for incoming mortar rounds.
    My wife knows that there is evil out there but sees good in most situations. My #1 son is on board but he never experienced what I have and both would be appalled at what I would turn into if attacked.
    We prep for a natural disaster but I prepare for something more dark and sinister that I hope will never happen.
    I have my vegetable gardens, yes plural, and I have taught myself how to can my surplus, raise small livestock, rabbits & chickens. This soft side is what people see. The dark side is locked up only to be released in extreme danger. A danger I faced in 1969 as a 19-year-old member of the 173rd. Airborne BDE. RA117302XX.

    1. OldAlaskan /EE Burton,
      Not sure how often your bad dreams/nightmares come to visit…
      I found that between 10 P.M.and 2A.M my mind would betray me and they would come right in. There was a time pattern. At least for me. So I don’t sleep between 20 and 2A.M. I find other things to occupy that time.Read ,write in a journal.cruise the perimeter of the homestead.
      It has helped alot.At leastfor me they have become less and less.Maybe it’s something to think about…

      1. Thank you for your comment and advice, Bill. The nightmares don’t come as frequently these days, but they’re still just as intense. I’ll start keeping a log of when they happen and give your method a try.

    2. Thank you for your comment, OldAlaskan. I appreciate you sharing your personal experiences with me and the group. It’s nice to know there are more than a few of us out there dealing with the same demons as best we can.

      My cousin lives near Alexandria, VA. A place where people have to deal with all the elements you listed. Not to mention it being the most target rich environment for every whacko out there looking to hit the capital.

      Like you, I prepare for more sinister events, but I tell most of the people close to me the primary reason is Mother Nature.

  45. Experiences I went through in my younger years caused me to become much more aware and cautious thereafter.
    But becoming a MOM is when it all kicked into high gear! (“It” meaning my critical thinking, survival, protection and preparedness instincts.)
    Living in la la land is just irresponsible when you have lives counting on you.
    Yes, we hope for the best.
    But we MUST prepare for the worst!
    Anything less is negligence in my eyes.

    And we should be teaching our kids real life skills. Period.
    It should be a requirement for “educators” to be educated in real life and the skills to preserve it. And then mandatory for them to teach it!

    Thank you for the article.

    1. Thank you for your comment, lifelonglearner. I can absolutely relate to kicking it into high gear once you become responsible for lives other than your own. Philosophies and perspectives change in an instant.

  46. E. E. Borton,
    I am now reading your book, Without, and it has gripped me!

    Has your cousin read any of your books? If she has read Without, then she has tasted the evil and destruction that awaits our society if we get to a Level 3/4 scenario. How could she read Without, or see any of our modern crime/thriller movies, and not understand that caution and awareness are paramount to survival?

    1. Glad you’re enjoying the book, Modern Throwback. I’m not sure if she’s read any of the Without series, but she has read my other novels.

      She doesn’t throw caution to the wind and knows the world can be an ugly place. I believe she looks at most of the events that we prepare for as happening somewhere else to someone else. It’s hard for her to understand the things that I do because she’s never experienced anything close to it. Not making excuses for her, but I don’t want to give the impression that’s she’s completely unaware. I will say she’s completely unprepared.

  47. I would have E E Burtons cousin read “One Second After” Then “Patriots”

  48. To: EE Borton,

    Once again, a very well written and insightful article. It illustrates not only a divide within your family but also within our nation as a whole. From what you have written:

    I would not bother applying for a job as a public school teacher. The “corporate culture” of a school and NEA (union ) would be too much of a clash for you to reconcile with your personal values. (You would not be happy there.)

    Along those lines, I would highly recommend that your cousin, and folks like her, never bother applying for a job working within a prison or mental hospital. Even within the CONUS, these are nasty places to work in and even nastier places to live in.

    As a health care provider within a locked facility, I can say that a majority of health care providers are unarmed peaceful types. The one exception is the staff working within a locked facility. (majority of us are armed at home outside of the job.) I knew of one young nurse that used to be a hippy gal. She sat and listened to the ramblings of a kindly old man in the yard one day. ( he was a serial rapist back in the day. Now he is locked up for life-3 strikes state) She turned to me and asked about buying a gun. She went out and bought 3 guns and she practices with them too. ( people can change )

    My own “nightstand story” was a bit different than yours with an outcome that did not involve injury. 4 hours into my sleep after working a 16 hr shift, my wife woke me by shaking me and telling me: “there is something outside” she was amazed at the speed at which I rolled out of bed and pulled the slide on my 1911 and grabbed a flashlight. I walked down the hall and told my wife: “Get your cell phone, do NOT turn on the lights.” I walked the perimeter of inside my house before hearing something outside my back door. It was a possum licking grease off my bar-b-que. I did not shoot because the possum was close to the 5 gallon propane tank. ( Even though I am on tactical mode, the brain must still be on or you risk bad outcome.)

    In the Great State of Kalifornia, those of us that drove patrol cars had a saying: “A republican is a democrat that has been mugged” This saying predates my time on patrol. Who is right? I would say that you both are right for the jobs that you do. Your cousin works for a company and culture that is trying to bring out the best in young people ( the blank slate) You and I work in industries where we go to work after something has gone ( horribly) wrong.

    “We sleep in our beds at night without fear because of the actions of a few rough men that do rough deeds in order for us to be safe within our homes” I do not think I got this quotation right but I believe Winston Churchill may have been the one who said it decades ago.

    1. Thank you for your comment, CaliRefugee. I think Ken should start a section called “Nightstand Stories”. I’m sure more than a few would involve ‘possums! As always, I appreciate your experience and insight with your responses. (I’ll also be using the mugged democrat thing.)

  49. I am wary due to two young men who came to our house at 3 am, continued to bang on the door and woke us all up. I told my mother not to open the door and that I was going to call the police. Mother went to the door and asked them what they wanted. One said that they wanted to rape her – a woman in her sixties. The police came but the thugs had left by then. The police officer said he believed thet were lookng for a drug house on the next street. All this in a nice leafy patch middle class area. I always keep my door locked even when home. I loathe drug dealers. They terrorise families, seniors, etc. Of course if we had shot them we would be in jail, despite their treats. In pothead Canada we are not even permitted to have guns to defend ourselves, our families and our homes. I plan to get two fire extinguishers, one for the kitchen and one for the front door in case of intruders. Plus bear spray. Several people were sentenced to long, in Canada anyway, jail sentences for trafficking in fentanyl. I am sure that families of police and military take extra precautions compared to the rest of us because they know just how evil some people are. This experience does not mean that I will not talk to strangers but I am selective and old people more frail than me are safe as well as a mom with her kids. However I do not go with them anywhere or invite them into my home until I can be sure that I can trust them. For my protection I would never invite a child alone into my home due to potential false allegations. Same with a confused senior. I will call 911 for them and have the police handle it if it is an emergency. Any person coming to my home at weird hours is cause for suspicion since I don’t socialise at odd hours. If you are someone I know, phone first, because any knock on my door at odd hours will result in a call to 911.

  50. Mr. Borton,
    Excellent article, very well written. In my very subjective opinion, you stated the case for several different “cultural mindsets”, that seem to infect our Uniquely American society as a whole.
    Again, your writing is much appreciated by this USAF VietNam veteran. (Very tail end)
    I read with some interest the post by “Hermit US”, wherein he/she seemed to indicate that because they did not serve in the military, their comments are somehow not as appreciated.(my emphasis and meaning)
    My friend, not everybody can or does serve in the military, however, I personally believe we all have equal “opportunity”, to voice our opinions based upon our own subjective interpretations.
    Where Mr. Borton’s article so aptly points out that his cousin, (bless her heart), again MY personal interpretation, has a myopia that causes her to not only miss the entire forest, because of a few ideological trees.
    If I have misinterpreted the meaning,apologies.
    I am ever continuing the personal struggle to be as grey a man as possible. Frankly, with my personality, not speaking out, or not speaking truth to outright and contemptible lies is almost impossible for me to NOT do.(yeah,oliticians and I are not even on the same wave length, nor will we ever be)
    I do not wish to see anyone suffer needlessly, however, when it rains, it rains on us all, regardless of our religious, political, personal, cultural or other ideology and demographics.
    Choosing to be as prepared so that those in my “personal sphere of influence”, that I control, don’t have to suffer as much, is my personal choice and lifestyle.
    Yes, I have been in some sticky situations both as a military member, and in 27 years of law enforcement in Southern California. I prefer to not get myself nor my loved ones “involved” at all, IF, at all possible. Would much rather go a different direction than expose the grand kids to the vagaries of societal predation and its’ disciples of doom.
    Have enjoyed all the comments on this one, Ken, Mr. borton is an excellent writer.

    1. TPS

      I probably have had too many opinions on this site, but I try to comment on topics related to my experience. I have never shied away from new occupations or adventures. Worked as a golf caddie, pin setter, paper boy, delivery driver, sales clerk, sales manager, farmer, carpenter, contractor, computer drafting company, travel agency, municipal employee, gardener, nursery worker, forestry worker, … and was even unemployed for a few months. If encouraged, I can blather about these for days.

      The experiences that EE Borton writes about, the divergence of the far left kumbaya position as compared to the dark side of human nature are situations or feelings that I have never experienced. I have a somewhat dark spot that feels we humans have a self-destruct gene but then I read some other positive posts that give me faith. Thanks for the thought provoking article Mr. Borton.

    2. Thank you for your comment, TPSnodgrass. I believe your interpretations are correct. The ideological trees are big and seem to be growing taller every day. Unfortunately, they’ll only be removed through experiences that show others the world can be an unforgiving place.

  51. Eric,

    You totally nailed it in this article. Most of us are in the middle. My values are Libertarian but I vote Republican to stave off the Progressive/Socialist agenda of the Democrats. But I have friends who are intelligent, level-headed and well-meaning, who vote Democrat because they buy into mainstream media “news” defaming and deriding any smaller government, pro-freedom Republican. We often have discussions where we simply end up agreeing to disagree. But we still agree on more things than we disagree on. We still like and respect each other–realizing that simply because we don’t see eye to eye on everything doesn’t make us bad, evil or anything other than human. We’ve just lived different lives and had different experiences that shaped our differing world views.

    We, the majority of Americans, really can all get along if we are willing to look past our differences. We need to work together to make the world better for our children. If we don’t, we will continue to fracture and balkanize our society and the sh*t really will hit the fan.

    I prepare for emergencies and practice situational awareness not because I think the worst of people but because I have a duty as a man to protect my family.

    As a fellow vet I salute you for your service. As a fellow writer (apocalyptic fiction and terrorist thrillers) and a reader of same I will be checking out your Without series.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Raymond. It’s good to know there are more of us out there than I had thought. The responses to the article have been encouraging, intelligent, and genuine. It’s one of the many reasons why I enjoy writing and interacting on MSB.

      I’ll be checking out your work as well, sir!

  52. Wow, very well written, but more importantly, a very mature, accurate portrayal of differences in world views. It is easy to become hardened and not so understanding of those that just do not seem to get it. I truly hope I have wasted a lot of money, time and effort in seeing things differently than your cousin,,,my cousin, etc,,,
    Thanks for writing, Razman

    1. Thank you for your comment, Razman. You’re absolutely right that it’s easy to become hardened. I find that the older I get, the easier it gets!

      Ultimately, my cousin and I want the same things. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We just have different opinions on how to get there.

  53. having had the problems you experience I can say that they are a result of your mental capacity to deal with what you have seen/done they are definitely not who you are. Its the same as the level of anxiety that is increasing in the general population as a result of our natural fight or flight responses have no real uses in the same way as they did when you were getting eaten by bears or the tribe over the hill.they are an appropriate response to the context of where you were, but not where you are now. You are experiencing the world as if you are in the place you were when you had your experiences, but they are not appropriate for the level of actual danger you are in now the problem is your perception of danger does not reflect the reality of your current life. Please don’t take offence as I have gone through the same but viewing the level of danger as you do in a normal civilian context and preparing so much is a mental issue that you really would benefit from talking to someone, as I did. regards mark.

    1. sorry just read what I wrote and it comes across as telling you how you feel etc not my intention. just it was a part of what was said to me, and allowed me to forget about what might (more likely not) happen and enjoy what is. apologies if it came across as condescending.

    2. Interesting. I’d like some additional clarification. Taking one statement (admittedly out of context) you said “Preparing so much is a mental issue.” So I assume you don’t prepare.

      Is it an emotional decision, or did you study the issues and consciously decide that nothing is going to happen in the future because nothing has in the past? If that is the case, please read up on “Normalcy Bias.” It might save your life.

      1. I understand what you are saying but every decision in life is based on a risk/reward decision, and also there are many different levels of prepping from fully stocked bunkers in the mountains to just basic awareness and protection. I am in no way criticising anyones approach. Some degree of suspicion is a good thing but an isolationist view of the the world is a self fulling prophecy and the mentality (of an isolationist) is a subjective reality based on a perception of the world and in my option not the reality of the world. Do people avoid driving in case you get in an accident, do you not fly in case of a terrorist attack. Also those with the most suspicion of the rest of the world tend (not always) to be those with no experience of the rest of the world which does explain the popularity of extreme prepping ideas in the US itself as generally the average US citizen is not very well travelled in terms of outside our own country. In terms of human existence we are the safest we have ever been interms of attack or death by either other humans or animals. An opinion only no offence intended

    3. Thank you for your comments, Mark. I didn’t take offense to anything you wrote. Nor do I take offense to any of the responses to the articles I write for MSB, critics of my novels, or any other platform I use to express my opinions and thoughts.

      If I put something out there for the world to read, I have to accept that others won’t feel the same way I do. If I took offense to that, I shouldn’t be writing. Where’s the fun in that?

  54. Well written piece , if I may remind you of that old saying about brave men standing in the gap ready to do violence so that others may sleep peacefully in their beds ignoring the danger. That is you . It is not very nice place to be but it has to be done, it is your calling. 20 plus years with my wife and she accepts my hightend awareness but she never will understand it because she is an optimist believing the best of man and I pray she always will. Good luck and God bless you and all your family.

    1. Thank you for the kind words and support, Old Bear. In spite of our hopes that the ones we love can always sleep in peace, there will always be evil lurking in the shadows waiting for us to be unprepared to deal with it. Knowing most in my family only dream about a bright future is worth me having a few nightmares. God bless you and yours as well.

  55. Thank you for putting into words what so many of us feel. I don’t think I’ve ever lived in your sisters shoes since I’ve been aware of the bad things my entire life. The bliss of childhood ends for most of us and we move on in our understanding. Keeping our Joy of life however is a choice not determined by the worlds woes. We just learn to walk with a bit more care.

    Choosing to ignore the way the world really is however is not an option for me. I think many people refuse to see what’s going on and that makes them doubly blind, not just willfully ignorant. There is good and bad. Safe and unsafe. But when someone or some ideology says they want to see me dead and a shipload of fools says they don’t really mean it and tries to make me as defenseless as they are ignorant. Then we have a problem.

    I don’t know if you see the world through Gods eyes but 2 Timothy 3 is how I see the world today. No I haven’t given up on kindness and brotherly love. Some have said of me that I’m like a big Teddy Bear. Perhaps but I like to say I still have my teeth and claws.

    God Bless

  56. – This is an article that deserves a new read by a lot of commentators. A very balanced offering for those who would be divisive.
    – Papa S.

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