I can still remember the first time I said ‘no’.
It was at a Radio Shack in San Diego, California in 1995. I had recently learned that Blockbuster was selling their customers’ personal information to businesses called ‘Information Brokers’ and it certainly didn’t ound like it was for my benefit. I had never heard of such a thing, but as I learned more about these information traffickers, I finally understood where all those robo-calls and junk mail in my mailbox came from! I realized that my personal information, everything that defined me as a person, was a commodity to be bought and sold like so much wheat, peanut butter or gasoline. While this might seem obvious today in 2021, in 1995 this was very new information.
I also learned that I had even agreed to my commodity status when I signed up for my Blockbuster membership! I didn’t believe what I was hearing until one day when I asked to see a blank contract. Sure enough, down at the bottom in the fine print, there it was in black and white: I had expressly given Blockbuster, Inc. the permission to collect, retain and sell my personal information. How naïve I had been. How naïve we had all been.
After learning the ways of the new and emerging “Information Age,” I decided to take a more active role in policing my own information and Radio Shack was going to be where I made my stand.
So, one day, I needed to purchase some long-forgotten something and to this day, I don’t recall what it was, maybe some batteries, a universal remote control or a new phone (Land line! Remember those?) and went to my local Radio Shack to engage the information enemy.
As I brought my item to the cash register placed upon the glass display case full of watch batteries, flashlights and radio-controlled cars, I could feel the anxiety rising in my chest. I had never actually told Radio Shack (or any store, for that matter) ‘no’ before when they asked for my phone number or address. I’d never even seen anyone deny Radio Shack’s request! What would happen? Would he allow me to buy my item? Would he call his manager? Would he make some sort of scene? I was charging into terra incognita armed with nothing but righteous indignation.
I truly was a little nervous as I approached the cashier. I placed my item on the counter and in a short moment he rang it up and, right on schedule and not even looking up, he asked, “phone number?”
Moment of truth…
My voice cracking slightly, I responded, “I don’t really want to give my phone number, is that ok?”
The look on his face told me that he hadn’t come across this response too often. It was a mixture of surprise and confusion. After I drew my line in the sand, there was a moment that seemed to last seconds, my heart beating just a little harder than normal. I looked down at the counter avoiding eye contact hoping to squeak out of this unscathed.
“Well,” he began, “that’s fine. I’ll just put in the store’s phone number so I can get to the next screen.”
Was that it? My chest was tight as a coiled snake for that?
I audibly exhaled, not realizing I had been holding my breath through the short interval waiting for his response...
Suffice it to say, a lot of water has gone under the bridge since that day nearly 30 years ago. I now realize that ‘no’ is quite possibly one of the strongest, most potent words known to man. ‘No’ embodies the Human spirit’s need and right to chart its own course; even more so than what ‘yes’ could ever possibly be.
There is a mile’s worth of difference between, “Yes We Can” and “No, I Won’t.”
Fast forward to 2020. The “Pandemic,” the lockdowns, the business closures. The movie “12 Monkeys” had come to life with abandoned signs everywhere declaring to nobody in particular that masks, “vaccine” tests or something else were required to enter buildings.
And it was under these circumstances that I would rely on my POW training and Radio Shack Resistance to summon the courage, gumption and self-confidence to get through the madness we’re experiencing now.
You see, in addition to the tenet of “Little Wins” to help you survive captivity (or the Brandon Administration) that I described in my previous essays here, here and here, there is also the closely related technique of “Testing.” Testing is the act of essentially dipping your toe into the lagoon of resistance and seeing how long it takes for the piranhas to bite.
For example, if your jailors insist you eat your prison gruel with your left hand (but you’re right-handed) simply eat with your right hand and ‘test’ to see if they correct you. Every moment that you are eating with your dominant right hand and NOT succumbing to their rules, you are freer than you would have been otherwise. No need to fight, no need to yell. Claim your Freedom.
Key to this strategy of ‘Testing’ is the fact that you are forcing your captor to enforce their rules. Every time you eat with your right hand, you put your captor into the position of stopping everything he’s doing to enforce his rule on you. How long will it be before even HE gives tired of it? Survival is a marathon, not a sprint.
Putting it another way, every time a POW follows the prison’s rule, even when his health or wellbeing are not in danger, he has become his own jailor and easier to manage.
And so it was when the mask mandates and lockdowns began in 2020. We were all implored to wear masks, demanded that we wear them everywhere we went. Of course, because I don’t wear masks, I was, by default, testing these businesses on whether they would enforce their own mandates (You can read more about how the BreathEasy App emerged from this experience at www.breathez.org).
To be certain, some businesses did enforce their insults to Freedom and Liberty. I was living in the belly of the Beast, Portlantifa, Oregon. These hipster zealots were ruthless in their enforcement of meaningless rules; we’ve all seen the YouTube videos.
However, some businesses were not so anxious to be the government’s jailors and enforce a mask “requirement.” I specifically remember my first ‘test’ of a local chain grocery store. I could feel the anxiety rising in my chest exactly as it had that day in that long bankrupt Radio Shack 26 years earlier. I walked right past the ‘masks required’ signs, through the automatic sliding glass doors and into the store completely maskless while literally everyone in in the store was masked up and ‘following the rules’ like the unwitting POWs that they were.
I’ll never forget the looks I got from so many of my fellow customers. All I could see was their eyes, but their body language expressed everything I needed to know:
“I didn’t know we could do that...”
“Isn’t somebody going to say something to him?”
As I am writing this, I can already hear some of you thinking to yourself, “Sure. It’s easy for you to ignore those signs, you’ve been trained! I could never do that...”
Trust me, I empathize with these thoughts. We have been so numbed our entire lives to simply comply with any rule provided to us that we assume the rule is legal. The problem is that that we have forgotten how to say ‘no.’
I say to you now, dear reader, it is time for us to relearn what we have forgotten.
But how do we begin? We’ve all seen the YouTube videos of patriots fighting for their/our rights. Raising their voices, angrily and righteously resisting, telling the world of the injustice of it all; going toe to toe with Marxist employees or self-important Karen businesses.
That is definitely one strategy one could take and I by no means disparage it. I took this tack in the early days of the lockdowns myself! I was in the fight and had quite a few ‘forceful interactions.’ I even had the police called on me, twice. Once in Orlando by Southwest Airlines and the second by the Tallahassee Hilton. Understand, the police were not called because things were violent. They were called because I simply refused to abide by illegal ‘rules!’ The look on the police officers' faces said everything that needed to be said.
But I realized something during all this civil combat. The employees simply don’t care that they are driving business away. All my protestations were meaningless. It’s not THEIR business that will whither and die, after all.
So, instead of dying on every hill (and there were a lot of hills to die on in Portlantifa), I merely forced upon the businesses the economic results of their decision to support mask mandates: I avoided them.
But again, how do we begin? How does one test to find out if a business is friendly or unfriendly to Liberty and Freedom? It’s simpler than you think: Ignore every sign you see that mandates stupid masks or ‘vaccine’ requirements. Every one. And, if someone says something to you such as, “Do you have a mask?” feel free to answer truthfully. The answer is a very simply, “no.”
“Well, you have to wear a mask to be in the store”
And your response to this? “I see. Goodbye.” I treat every interaction with a business the same way as I buy a used car: be prepared to simply walk away and find a more reasonable business.
That’s all there is to it! Just leave. Show the business you don't need them. Remember, saying 'no' is an extremely powerful tactic.
Yes, while a loud declaration decrying injustice is definitely satisfying, it is ultimately:
Possible that you could be cited/arrested by an all-too-accommodating police officer too scared to take a stand for law and order himself.
Don’t forget, the purpose of these POW techniques that I’m teaching you is to survive, with honor. It could be argued that getting arrested might not be considered ’surviving.’
And, while you’re at it, break out your BreathEasy App and let the world know to avoid that particular Vichy business and let’s direct our comrades in arms towards those businesses who are standing with us shoulder to shoulder in defense of Liberty and Freedom.
Who knows, maybe our example might stiffen the spines of those around us. Remember:
Iron Sharpens Iron
Give your countrymen the courage to make the most powerful statement a free Human can make:
I will not comply.