Week 4 in the year of our Lord 2021

Acta non verba, county before country

10 minutes to read

This week marked a real American tragedy—and given America’s influence, a real world tragedy. Only the wicked or the naive aren’t grieved by it.

The incoming administration is truly abominable. It is a major setback for freedom-loving Christians.

Don’t be ashamed to grieve the end of an administration which, though very flawed, did good work to root out the corruption and compromise rife in our government. It is good to grieve the passing of good things.

But don’t just grieve.

The biggest problem with most of the wild claims still floating around on social media, is that they basically urge Christians to be passive; to wait for something to happen.

The whole “trust the plan” mentality.

But men aren’t made to just sit around.

We got so many emails and messages with links to YouTube videos or websites supposedly leaking insider information.

But we would always ask the same question:

“What actions are you personally taking based on this news?”

That question seem to irritate these folks.

It was often interpreted as doubting the validity of the claims in the news.

To be fair, we often did—but that’s not what was behind it.

We just think most news is of little value. It’s largely just chatter and useless information.

(Interesting ≠ useful.)

We were just trying to figure out why we should care, and what we should do based on this info. Assuming it’s true…so what?

The answer was always some vague exhortation like “stand strong”…which is really just a derivative of “trust the plan.”

Again, that’s not a call to action.

One guy even admitted this:

Empty chatter at work

We like plans.

Michael has a five year plan for his life, vocation, and church.

Bnonn has a three and seven year plan for the same.

Our plans are built around goals and tasks. We ask, “What is the goal?” Then we reverse engineer what tasks, what actions, are required how to achieve that goal.

It’s simple—but that’s how you make a plan.

(Sometime soon we will share more about how we do this, with actual examples, so you can see how you might apply it in your own life. This seems to be something many men struggle with, at least until they see someone else do it. It’s not rocket surgery, but it does require having the right structure in place.)

“Trust the plan” never struck us as much of a plan. It certainly wasn’t a plan we could actively participate in—outside of telling others to “trust the plan!”

We want to move people to take actual steps. That’s our mindset. Always has been, always will be. We want to continually be upping our game in exercising dominion, and teaching other men to do the same. We’re all about building—our houses for God’s kingdom.

“Trust the plan” isn’t building anything. It’s sitting on your hands hoping someone else is gonna build for you.

We were willing to listen to all these plans, until it became clear they weren’t actionable. So we disengaged.

Are there crazy wicked things happening behind the scenes at a national level?

Absolutely. You can’t read Ephesians 6 and doubt that.

Can we directly do anything about it?

Probably not.

So what can we do? What is a plan in which we can actually participate?

This the question we’re most interested in pursuing. That’s why we’re pressing the idea of “county before country,” and why we intend to share the steps we are taking personally to apply that principle in our lives.

Acta non verba, brethren.

We’ll have more details in other emails on the specific actions we are taking in our own lives. However, here are some general steps to consider:

  1. Don’t go offline or camp out purely in right-wing ghettos (i.e. Parler). Stay active on the main platforms. But expand your network to more freedom-friendly locations like Gab. Most importantly, “back up” your online network “offline.” Big Tech will likely cancel, censor, and silence anyone that speaks against the zeitgeist, so make sure you have the actual phone numbers or even mailing addresses of the people you want to stay in touch with, and use encrypted messaging apps like Signal to eliminate central points of failure.*
  2. Build an analog library of important books and documents—and/or download your Kindle ebooks and PDFs to an external hard drive. Big Tech will probably start deleting works that undermine their plans, or speak against the zeitgeist. Amazon has proved itself an enormous enemy to free speech and conservative views, and they control your Kindle library, so…we’ll have a guide to backing up your Kindle coming out soon.
  3. Find a community that is a “winnable and worthwhile hill.” This is a place that is small enough for you to have influence, but large/strategic enough to have some cultural, economic, and/or political significance. Ask, “Could this town/county become a city-state? If so, put down roots. If not, consider whether on balance it is better to stay where you are long term, or whether it is better to move. If the latter, focus on getting this done quickly.
  4. Get to know your neighbors. Share meals, build trust, and learn to enjoy each other. And then look for ways to improve your community that will build a coalition around the common good. Make yourself a central part of that work. In other words, be a leader.
  5. Buy local whenever possible and reasonable. Open a business in your town. Buy and rehab old buildings on “main street.” Encourage others to do the same. Strengthen the local economy and make it attractive to likeminded people.
  6. Run for any and all local offices, and encourage all likeminded community members to do the same. You want your neighbors (the ones you’ve grown tight with) to be the department of health officials, sheriffs, heads of polling, etc.
  7. Belong to a church in your actual community. Be willing to compromise on some secondary issues if it means being more at a local congregation. If there isn’t a single good church, help get one started. Work, play, and worship together.

Basically, get deeply invested locally. County before country. Work where you have influence. Control the controllables.

  • Bnonn attenuates this advice about remaining on the big platforms with an admonition to look for a balance of goods; he didn’t count it worthwhile to remain on Facebook and Twitter because he wasn’t active on Facebook anyway, and his following on Twitter was fairly small. He also isn’t keen on being the “product” on these platforms, and he is committed to hardening his life in 2021 so there are fewer squeeze points and vulnerabilities. Couple this with the enormous time suck that comes from social media context switching, and he has chosen to limit his presence to Gab: https://gab.com/bnonntennant. A.D. Robles has done a similar thing.

The steps above are for the men who are itching to get into the fight at a federal level. That’s not realistic. We think you should focus locally, where you can really have influence.

But there are plenty of men who also need to think even closer to home.

How can you be a leader in your local community when you aren’t being a leader in your own household?

How can you work together for a common cause with your townfolk when you can’t work with your own wife?

How can you expect to formulate and pursue a mission in your church if you haven’t practiced in your house?

This is something that comes out a lot in the one-on-one marriage counseling we do: most couples do nearly nothing of value together.

They share a house, a bed, and often even the kids.

But as their kids age, and either move out or are away from the house more, the marriage really has no shared projects.

They are less husband and wife, and more like roommates.

Marriage is about doing something. It’s about building a multi-generational household—and at the center of that is the relationship between the patriarch and matriarch. If they aren’t on the same mission, everything will spin out of control and start to fall apart.

And that kind of household can’t contribute much to their community except to share the chaos and discontentment.

Fortunately, a household doesn’t fall apart overnight. It happens as a couple fails to work on things together, and they slowly drift apart—until there is a huge space between them.

You can stop this and turn it around at any time. Even if you’re quite far down the path.

And obviously the more proactive you are, the better your house will tend to be in the long run (not to mention your ability to effect change on a wider level, in your community).

The simplest and most direct way to keep your house growing together, instead of growing apart, is to build things together.

They can be really small things. Like do a puzzle together. Paint a room together. Train and run a 5k together.

It just needs to be active and not passive. So streaming shows, watching TV doesn’t really fit this category.

For Emily and Michael, it has been running together, and working a side hustle. They sold on Amazon and Ebay for several years. They’d put the kids to bed, crack open the Pinot, pack up the things they sold for customers, listen to music, and talk about life. They’d also go out together to source inventory at garage sales, flea markets, etc. It was great.

For Bnonn and Smokey, it has been developing a vegetable garden that can feed their family without much supplementation from stores, and building up further resilience by purchasing quarter-beasts to freeze rather than buying meat every week. Now they are expanding their efforts to the rest of the garden, and to house maintenance, as practice for one day purchasing a homestead. They are also working at building up a side-hustle that Smokey started, selling home-made marshmallows—more lucrative than you’d think—so the household has two independent streams of income and centers of productivity (Bnonn already works for himself as a web designer and copywriter).

Nothing builds affinity and intimacy like working side by side.

Btw, one dark manifestation of this is the fact that most affairs start at work. So flip that to your advantage. Build something together.

The end of an age is always a time of turmoil, war, economic catastrophe, cynicism, lawlessness and distress. But it is also an era of heightened challenge and creativity, of issues, and their world-wide scope, never has an era faced a more demanding and exciting crisis. This then, above all else, is the great and glorious era to live in, a time of of opportunity, one requiring fresh and vigorous thinking, indeed, a glorious time to be alive. (R.J. Rushdoony, Intellectual Schizophrenia)

Men were made for times like these. Nice people weren’t. They won’t ever change the world.

Don’t be nice; be good.

Catering to SJWs is a fool’s errand.

They burn, they don’t build. They consume, they don’t produce. And they are quick to eat their own.

Many of these “woke pastors” will awake to find themselves on a spike over a BBQ.

To change the world takes someone who is willing to be misrepresented, hated, and even killed. So live in such a way that you are fiercely loved by some, and fiercely hated by others. (Make sure it’s the right people on both end.)

We are considering reducing the frequency of these emails. We know they’re pretty long, and we don’t want to overwhelm you. Would you rather get them once every two weeks? Reply back and let us know.

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Talk again next week,

Bnonn & Michael

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