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1.) Thinking your decisions do not matter
The number one lie that modernity can tell you about yourself is that your decisions do not matter. Every moment, of every day, allows you an unlimited number of decisions. They matter deeply, as those actions show who you are and what you are made of. They also set the course for who you one day will become.
2.) Thinking no one is watching you
You are always being watched, by friend and foe alike. The overwhelming mass of people around you have no idea who to follow, so they are constantly looking for cues to help them figure that out. When you do as everyone else, you do not provide such cues. When you behave differently, you do provide those cues, but they will watch cautiously to see how you fare. Even strangers are watching you, talking about you, and evaluating you for long-term leadership potential. Imagine how much more those closest to you are paying attention.
3.) Telling yourself the lie that you do it for your kids
Your kids need to see a parental figure with bravery. Ideally, that is the dad leading, with the mom joining along. When you do not give them that, you promise them a complex set of problems that they will one day need to resolve. They will develop bravery late in life, if at all. They will under-develop in the many ways that the children of absent fathers do. When you fail to act like the protector and leader in the family, even if you are physically present, your words mean next to nothing, for you signal to them exactly what your actions show — they have a male in their lives, but he is no man, and he is hardly deserving of the term dad.
4.) Thinking you have no power
Well, if you can be convinced of your impotency in life, then you assure yourself impotency in life. That much is certain. Little more needs to be done to neutralize you as a threat. Any man worth his salt is always seen as some type of threat to all men around him, even family, even close friends. You can get comfortable with another man, you can trust another man, but there is always some level of edge to that man, leaving you a little uncertain. When he parts with that, he has shown that he has parted with his power.
5.) Thinking “It’s just a mask”
The mask represents so much more. Everyone around you knows that. They know it either consciously or subconsciously, but they know it, and you are broadcasting that nonsense to them when you comply with the mask. You tell them you have no boundaries, and there is so much else you will comply with. The man mentioned above who keeps his edge — his unpredictability — is an asset that others can find comfort in, because he will stick his neck out to stand by his values. If you cross his boundaries, you may find an unpredictable and unpleasant response. Maybe his actions can feel prickly and unpredictable, but his firm boundaries and his resolute defense of his values is so very predictable and reassuring.
The man who wears the mask, on the other hand, cannot be one who provides true comfort to others around him, for he has no boundaries. He provides the comfort that an old naugahyde couch offers — at once squishy and worn out — but he does not provide the comfort that others can find in the presence of a man who has come into his own and lives by his values.
This seems paradoxical for some, especially in this era — the edgy man who will get out of line when his boundaries are crossed, is more comforting than the comfortable naugahyde couch of a man, who never gets out of line, no matter what — but that is the reality.
6.) Trusting the wrong people
Many masked men believe the news media. The news media was once deserving of the term “Fourth Estate,” for they were an independent entity, separate from the established interests in society. Not here. Not now. They are mere shills for the status quo. Anyone who told you to mask up deserves for you to never listen to them again. Others were wise enough to at least not believe the media. But they did even worse in a way — they believed their bosses, their family members, their neighbors, and their doctors who fell for this, precisely because they believed the media, all the while assuring you that they followed “the science.” Not only were you gullible enough for them to lie to you, but you were so errant in your ways as to not ask them for the alleged proof of science they assured you they were following. If you would have, you would never have worn a mask. There is simply no legitimate science backing up any masking policy.
7.) Surrounding yourself with the wrong people
They say you are the sum of the five people you surround yourself with most. I tend to agree with that. Surrounding yourself with those smarter than you, holds you to a higher standard. Surrounding yourself with those richer than you, holds you to a higher standard. Surrounding yourself with those braver than you, holds you to a higher standard. Surrounding yourself with those dumber, poorer, or more cowardly than you is a great way to go through life with lower standards and talking about the things low standard people talk about with each other.
8.) Letting life knock you down
A man who would put on a mask without being held down and forcibly masked by at least eight guys, is no man I want to be around. To that man, I say: I have looked you in the eyes. Life has gotten the best of you. I get it. That is no reason to live another day that way. Just say no to the mask.
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P.S. If you know someone like this, do yourself a favor and do him a favor — leave a print out of this email laying around, and leave that print out sticking out of a copy of the book Face Masks in One Lesson. (Linked here) () It is time to help our loved ones move on from the deceitful past.
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