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Don’t Tread On Me

George Grombacher July 3, 2023

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Don't Tread On Me

Don’t tread on me. How often do you think about your personal liberties? How important are they to you? What are you doing to protect them?


George talks about why it’s so important to nurture and strengthen them and how to do it. 


Here’s the WSJ article:


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Episode Transcript

Don’t tread on me. No doubt, you’ve heard that you could probably picture in your mind the Yellow Flag, coiled up rattlesnake, the bottom, Don’t tread on me. That is the very famous Gadsden flag. And it was created in 1775, by Christopher Gadsden. And it was meant to serve as a warning to Great Britain, to not tread on us to not tread on the colonies, and to not try to infringe upon our liberties. And obviously, shortly thereafter, what happened, happened, and here we are celebrating our nation’s independence on July the fourth, so happy July the fourth, and wanted to talk a little bit about maintaining our liberty, and the importance of, of proactively thinking about and nurturing and protecting and fostering that liberty, because that’s required. If we are not intentional, if we are not paying attention, if we are not making sure that we are doing everything that we can be doing as individuals to maintain that liberty that we have, and that we enjoy that every single one of us enjoys every day. If we take it for granted, then it will go away, we will lose it. And that would be literally the worst thing in the world. So what is personal liberty? Have you ever thought about that? Spent a lot of time thinking about that, have you spent any time thinking about that, I think that we’ll probably have an understanding of what is but the definition of actually is the freedom of the freedom of an individual to do as he or she sees fit. limited only by the authority of a politically organized society. So we can do whatever we want, within the rules of, of the society we’re living in. So based on what is set forth in the United States Constitution, and our laws, and all of those things, so long as we are working within that framework, or those frameworks, could do whatever we want. I love telling my kids specifically like, well, I can’t do this, I can’t do that I say I, I can do whatever I want. And part of its tongue in cheek, sort of joking around. But it’s true. And I live my life that way. And I do whatever I want. Obviously, within the rules of the game, then the ordered structured game, that we are all for lack of a better term plane. But if we are given for not protecting and maintaining that personal liberty. It’s, it’s not it’s not a guarantee, we can give it away. And I think in a lot of senses, that’s exactly what we’re doing. Steven Pinker in his work, he talks about how, by many, many, many metrics, we are living in the best time that has ever been. And one of those or big part of that is just the amount of violence that we’re living in. It’s lower today than it has been. And we’re starting to see that ticked up a little bit because of the decisions that we’re making. And I’ll get into that more in a little bit. But Pinker, I think, he wrote that he wrote his book, I think 10 years ago, maybe even longer at this point. And a lot has changed over the course of this 10 years, and a lot will change over the next 10 years. And I’m interested in having the next to 10 years before the far better versus continuing on the current trajectory that we are on. And one of the things that pinker also talked about is that while violence has is down existential anguish, is is on on the on the upswing. And that was 10 years ago, and I think it 1,000,000% is even more than it was 10 years ago. What do you mean by existential anguish? Well think about things like loneliness, we are experiencing a legitimate epidemic of loneliness, which is horrible, by every measure of human health and flourishing, sort of the opposite of human flourishing if we’re lonely. We’re super overweight, or fat, we’re unhealthy. We’re over medicated, or I’ll pilled up where you know, just I tried to cover up all of our problems with pharmaceuticals. And good news, bad news, we’ve got pharmaceutical companies who are happy to, to continue that going, and to continue to introduce new ways to mask and cover up our problems instead of us getting to the actual root of the problems that we’re experiencing. But we’re broke. That went down for a little bit, but now it’s back up. So many of us are living paycheck to paycheck, our emotional or emotional health is poor, our mental health is poor. We are we are muddling through our existence, we are not thriving, we are not flourishing. We are muddling. And muddling is not the way forward. We deserve to be, we’re supposed to be thriving. We deserve to we’re supposed to be pursuing our potential, we’re supposed to be doing that every day. But what we’re doing is just being lulled to sleep, and not doing those things. I am such a proponent and such an advocate such a fan of personal agency, and recently heard somebody describe that as having the power and resources to reach your potential. So I think that that is a beautiful description of what personal agency is, again, having the power and the resources to reach your potential, I believe it is our prime directive, our number one thing to realize our ultimate potential, that’s what we’re put on earth to do whatever that potential may be. It is striving every day to achieve that potential. And as I just talked about, I believe that we’re giving that away, we have the opportunity to do whatever we want through our personal liberties, we have the ability to pursue whatever, whatever we’re interested in whatever those interests are in service of reaching our potential, if we find that through business, or family, or arts, or politics, whatever, you and I have the ability to go out and pursue whatever our desires are, whatever vision we have for ourselves and our future and our for our lives, we can go out and get that. But we’re squandering it, we are giving that away. And it’s not just, I’m not just pointing my finger at other people, I know that this is something that I am constantly, it’s, it’s a struggle. It’s a struggle. We’re constantly struggling between the desire for pleasure and the avoidance of pain. And on the short term, when we choose pleasure too much. Now, that just sets us up for long term pain, when I’m choosing to pursue comfort, over discomfort, that may feel good in the moment, get that dopamine rush or whatever it might be. But we’re, we’re fucking ourselves over long term. And I think that we all understand that. But again, not easy, something I struggle with, too. But that’s, that’s that’s the game right there. Am I Am I aware of what my potential is? Am I aware of my desired future? Am I aware of what these things are? And then, am I able to act in a way that is in service of those things? Am I acting in a beneficial way? Or am I acting in a way that is essentially giving away my agency? So So there’s all that there is when we look across the the broad landscape of let’s just focus on us folks here in the United States of America. When we’re focused on the landscape, I sort of highlighted some of the things that we’re struggling with Steven Pinker talks about this existential anguish that we’re experiencing, and that was 10 years ago. Now, it’s even worse today. When we give it away as individuals, there’s a void. When I abdicate my responsibility, there’s a void. And what steps in to fill those voids is a good I don’t think that it ever has been good. Where responsibility has been abdicated. That’s when bad stuff happens. And I think that we’re seeing that I think that we are seeing that and this is the whole purpose of Don’t tread on me.

And it’s not coming from great A Britain this time it’s coming from companies, it’s coming from governments it’s coming from. Think about it like this. Either we solve the problem from the bottom up, which is you and I becoming the best possible versions of ourselves and making ourselves as strong as we possibly can be and as successful as we possibly can be. Or it’s going to come from the top down, it’s going to come from people, things, entities, whatever, who know what’s best for you. And who are going to do what’s best for you. But is that what’s best for you really what’s best for you? I don’t think so. You know, somebody’s gonna tell me what’s best for me. Somebody’s gonna tell me how to live my life. Who’ve? Fat chance? No way. Fuck off. Don’t tread on me. I’m not interested in that. So what am I talking about? Well, there’s this Wall Street Journal article, which I’ll link in the in the comments or the notes, and talked about how the IRS is making house calls. And you can read that and monta to back during the Twitter files. Renowned journalist Matt Taibbi, on the day of or the day after, before he testified before Congress, IRS agent shows up at his house, who, I think that that’s a scary thing. And so that’s one example. There, it came out, I think it’s 17 or 18, I’m gonna get these two mixed up because it was in 17, or 18, and 18, that these two things happened. One was the Pfizer CEO talking at Davos, and he was referring to a another pharmaceutical companies. But does that really matter? Their technology that when when that when the when the pill is ingested, it allows the authorities, it tells them that yes, George took his pill. So he’s following his protocol. And this fella, the quote is, imagine the compliance. And now it’s out of context. And this that the other thing, but you, you get the idea. And then either 2017 to 2018, Blackrock CEO, talked about how we need to force change. And I want to make sure that I I get that right force behavior, we need to force behavior. And it was all in context of dei and different initiatives like that. So you’d look at what’s what’s going on with those things. And then obviously, with different mandates that we’ve been living through, and maybe you think that that’s great, maybe you think that everything that I just said is great. And if you think that that’s great, then you probably you’re probably not listening anymore. So I’m not talking to you anymore. But I don’t think that that’s great. Again, stay out of my way. I know how to live my life better than you know, how to live my life. So, but the thing is, either we are going to be fixing this from the bottom up, or it’s going to be coming from the top down. We’re seeing it everywhere. So how do we do it? Well, I think that the way forward is several things. We need to stop. Stop being victims. If you are somebody who is making excuses, if you’re arguing for your limitations, if you are, if you are just so in love with your problems that you can’t let them go, Well, you need to stop that. We need to stop arguing for limitations. Being a victim is a losing game. It’s not getting you anywhere, become a survivor. Become a survivor of the terrible things that have happened to you and move forward. Figuring out what it is that you believe to be most important. What do you believe is most important? What do you believe to be true? What do you believe to be right? Figure out what your best future looks like figure out what your potential is, I guess, you know, shame on me talk a lot about realizing our potential. Do you even know what your potential is? Have you ever thought about what your ultimate potential is? Think about what it is that you want, what what what you want your future to look like what you believe in what is most important to you, and then make a plan for bringing those to your reality. And then make habits around what you need to do to execute that plan. So I think that that’s what it’s all about. It’s standing up for the truth. Figuring out what you believe to be true, and I’m not talking about your truth. I’m talking about the truth. Embrace the truth. That’s the way forward. Figure out what you believe what matters. Make a plan and create habits. Live with greater intention in your life. The wonderful Ben Franklin, the amazing Ben Franklin said, those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty, nor safety. So on this Fourth of July, thanks for your time. On this Fourth of July. Make your declaration Don’t tread on me. Don’t tell me how to live my life. I got this. Start doing your part by doing your best

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