Episode-1095- Listener Calls for 3-22-13 — 34 Comments

  1. Jack,

    I appreciate your comments on racism. I also wish that we could extend those thoughts to other nations. It saddens my spirit that we cannot end these wars. It used to be that only soldiers fought wars. Now, governments don’t hesitate to drop bombs on citizens as well. War is pain for everyone. And even the citizens of the victor lose.


    • I’m not sure what wars you are thinking of, but citizens have always been endangered in war throughout history. I’d actually say today that most combatants try very hard to minimize civilian casualties. While some combatants see no difference between a soldier and a civilian most make every reasonable effort to keep civilians out of things, often putting soldiers in even more danger by doing so.

      • Brian, I was thinking more of wars before WWI. In any case wars solve nothing. Combatants might try to minimize civilian involvement, but governments don’t.

        • I agree that wars solve nothing but your contention that war was for soldiers only before WWI ignores all history of war. Including our own war between the states, the revolution and the war of 1812. As long as one nation has warred with they have also victimized the citizens of the other whenever possible.

    • Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

      I think the difference you’re alluding to is killing the civilians of countries that we’re not ‘at war’ with, and that have no means of national defense (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc.).

  2. Hi Jack,
    I agree with you that I have observed more racism in the north than the south. I have lived in Florida, Indiana and Illinois.
    And I was also part of the busing thing in Florida as a kid. It was a disaster. My guess is that 90%+ of all parents hated it and thought it was downright stupid.

  3. I already have the greatest respect for you Jack but your response to the racism issue was both intelligent and logically put. Well done often a tricky one to tackle but your dissection of the issue was skillfully done and mentions of your somewhat intolerant background shows that there is hope for all of us if we just open our eyes a little to what is really going on in our society and minds. I’m a big Star Trek fan too lol and it’s true that with alien humanoid species they’re able to tackle such issues with re delicacy of distance from our current situation. Always makes me think of the original Star Trek which had the first televised interracial kiss between Kirk and Olholra( name spelling may be wrong :-/) so fundamentally groundbreaking moment at the time in history that it had to be filmed from an angle where the touching of lips was implied not actually seen. Anyway hope you like that little side note love the show dude keep up the great stuff 🙂

  4. Good job Jack on your tactful and honest approach to the racism question, and the point about “welfare mama’s” seen my fair share of white ones, it’s not a “minority” thing and that needs to come to light.

    Secondly I am curious about the bentonite, in the drilling industry, we used it a lot to hold the walls open on sandy gravely holds, for temporary surface seals and such. Every time I hear you talk about it you talk as if its not natural yet all it is after all is clay, powder or pellet form, why is this? And if it were me I’d use a pellet form not powder. It expands more using the same/less amount.

    • What are you talking about I never said it isn’t natural. Seriously where did you get this? The only thing I said that LOOKED unnatural today was rubber liners. I know perfectly well what bentonite is, that is why I recommend it. My original experience with it is from drilling as well, in my case horizontal drilling for laying down pipe and cable with directional boring.

      • My apologies, Jack I went back and listened to it again and I made a mistake when I heard ” look all natural” and “you can go au naturel”, I guess that is what happens when I try to multi-task. Again didn’t mean to offend

  5. You are right about Texas being a more open-minded place than other States I have lived. I was raised in CA. When I was in school 30yrs ago, it was a constant problem. Here in Texas, it seems more related to the quality of your character. If your caller moved to Texas. We would welcome him.

  6. I am originally from Ontario, Canada, and moved to Prince Edward Island in 1997, without knowing no one except for the consultant who hired me for a contract. Well, sixteen years later, I know more people than I ever thought possible. And if you study “Island” nations or “Island” communities, they are very slow to accept outsiders. So, knowing that, I took the attitude “When in Rome”. And it has worked out great.

  7. I have spoken of my daughter in here before. She is an English teacher who thought she was going to CHANGE THE WORLD and requested a low income, bad neighborhood school for her first year of teaching. She was one of the few white people there. Two 7th grade girls were going to fight so she was taking one out in the hall to separate them and the other one jumped them both from behind which resulted in my daughter having her hand broken and her shoulder dislocated. She told me that what few parents showed up for parent/teacher conference smelled of alcohol/various types of smoke/and some were both of those plus clearly coked up. She made it through that year there and was also a cheer leading coach and her kids won at cheer leading competitions. From there she went to an all white high school in a very wealthy area and was STUNNED at the racial hatred. She had a photo of her cheer leaders on her desk and students would say: “who are they?” and she would answer and they’d respond with “but they’re BLACK” to which she would say: “OMG…they ARE. I never noticed before. Thank your for pointing that out to me.” and then everyone got to read “To Kill A Mockingbird”. She was also shocked to discover the KKK is alive and active in that general community. She truly believed they were pretty much a thing of the past. So she is now getting her REAL education…the one after college….the kind of education money can’t buy.

    My parents were very racial and attempted to teach me to be. But I grew up in the 60s and that was a very different era where I took on the personal phrase of “this is the package God sent me here in. If you don’t like it take it up with Him.” and that would generally make racially hateful people back off. I tell people I am a FEGNA. I’m French, English, German and a splash of Native American so take the first letter of each and that’s what I am.
    I remember standing behind a black woman who had gone into a rage at some clerks who would not give her a refund on a product that she had opened and used. She went into the “you’re treating me this way because I’m black” thing and I said “omg…I’m French, English, German and Native American….I wonder what they’ll do to ME!!!!” She shut up and left.

    Suggested reading to everyone: THINK BIG by Dr. Ben Carson who is truly one of my top heroes and is almost like a modern day Moses. I have listened to his speech at the National Day of Prayer multiple times. THINK BIG describes how desperately poor he, his brother and mother were as he was growing up and in case you do not know who Dr. Carson is, he is one of the world’s top neurosurgeons. His book changed me. It changed how I think about myself. It changed how deeply determined I am to succeed. I must say that I admire this man probably the most of any. BTW…Dr. Carson is black.

    My suggestion for the gentleman who called in is to go to a city counsel meeting and say HELLO! If you have some special skills, let them know. I am an artist and have offered my artistic skills to my little town of Low Moor. They also know that I am not one to stay silent if I see things that are wrong and I do ask serious questions. Some have suggested I run for mayor. Oh my!
    Anyway, ask the city counsel what community events are coming up and find out if you can help in some way. Or perhaps you have skills where you can offer some type of community event.
    Jack is right… have to lower your shields so everyone knows you wish to be a valuable asset to the community. Putting your hand out first can take a lot of courage. Your call to Jack tells me you have that in yourself already.

    I hope we hear from you again. I would truly deeply love to hear where you settle in and in what way you made your way into the community. I believe that would be of great benefit to everyone.

    Remember…there is only one race…..THE HUMAN RACE.

    • If there is only one race why do the government forms ask the question “race”. I have wondered what box Barack Obama checks when the form asks race, other?

  8. If I remember correctly, this was created YEARS ago to control black people from owning guns. I always check “other”. Keeps ’em guessing! LOL. I have a friend who is 100% Irish. He checks “other” all the time and if it has a spot to explain he puts Irish-American. He does that in jest of the African-American. He’s as white as they come. Five minutes in the sun and he’s running for the aloe-vera gel!! But he refuses to check Caucasian. Says it’s none of their business.

  9. I think the tolerance of the young can be a bit overstated. True, there tends to be a lot less knee jerk bigotry among us than in older generations but there’s still a fair amount of what has been called “hipster racism” that’s essentially a response to the overzealous (“the N word”) political correctness of Gen X.

    And well, it’s all fun and games until somebody gets hungry.

    The simple fact of the matter though is that barring a very few backwaters the average black man is likely safer living in a rural white community in a WROL situation than in an urban black one. Better to get yourself into a situation where you’re not likely to be around people who are looking for scapegoats than it is to get hung up on avoiding being the first one.

  10. Jack,

    Outstanding explanation of the race threat issue! It takes real guts to speak on this hot topic. I agree totally, as many do: Character is what matters, not race. I would rather have an honest black family as a neighbor than the white criminal meth-heads that surround me.

    Fricken awesome job Jack!


  11. Jack,
    Thanks for the mention on today’s show, imagine my surprise when I heard my name!

    Thanks again,
    Mike Prunty

  12. Response to racism question in the form of my own travels. I’ve lived in Illinois, Arizona, Oregon, Ohio, and currently New Hampshire. I’ll just talk bluntly. They all had places that I’d not want to live in but if I had to live in any of the above states forever i’d be fine with it. My advice is as the area gets more rural you should spend more time there before moving. I live outside Lebanon NH now and I feel pretty comfortable because the population is large enough to find people I like of any race (mostly white because most people here are white) while still having land. Smaller populations can get this critical mass where an a-hole group can really change the feel of a place. Also, a very important addition to what Mr. Spirko said, most of this country is white so if you need to find a job the FACT is despite education, experience, etc blacks are employed at a lower rate so DON’T make it harder on yourself! If there are only two companies in the industry you work in where you plan to move, make sure they will hire you first!! Lol! Just sayin’ brotha 🙂 I was lucky enough to race bicycles all over this country and I can’t count the number of times on training rides I had racial slurs yelled at me with an occasional vehicular assult thrown in for good measure while in rural areas. The more urban environments were just a-holes in general. Ha! anyway, there are crazy bastards out there of all races.

    In closing, the more rural, the longer you check it out. That’s this black man’s advise. I came out here twice before buying a place.

    • “In closing, the more rural, the longer you check it out. That’s this black man’s advise. I came out here twice before buying a place.”

      I would say that seems like a reasonable rule of thumb in my opinion. Not that you can’t live in a place, but there are realistic concerns you should have and be looking for I think.

  13. Regarding the race question. This is an interesting topic and I’ll try to limit my post to the question.

    I’ve lived in Arkansas my entire life. I’m white. Actually I’m hispanic. My mother is white, I grew up in a white community with white friends. I look white, my father (who I was not raised by) is a white cuban, heritage from spain, so if you think about Northern Spaniards, that’s my skin color, slightly olive. I get a nice tan. I don’t speak Spanish and I’m not attached in anyway to that culture. My speech, interests, knowledge, etc. is typical of a southern rural white guy of my age with a significant amount of additional education. Really the only thing about me that indicates spanish descent is my last name. In every meaningful way when dealing with people they would have no way to know I am hispanic or to think I’m “not from around here”.

    The reason I’m highlighting all that will be a bit more meaningful in a minute. For all intents and purposes, if you look at me, knew me or talk to me you will think of me as a southern white guy.

    In my experience, the amount of racism in Arkansas and in The South in general is significantly overstated by popular culture. I think Jack’s points are great and accurate and agree with them. I would imagine a black person considering living in this part of the country would be overly concerned with the level of racism in this part of the country if he relied on popular culture to make that determination.

    To illustrate how overstated I think the problem is, in my opinion there is more risk for a black person to live in a place like L.A. or NYC than in Little Rock, Arkansas or one of the surrounding towns people commute to LR from (Conway, Jacksonville, etc). Once in a while I’ll hear about a NY cop shoving a stick up a minorities ass ( that happened a number of years ago) or a questionable shooting in LA (the old “driving while black” type crap) by a cop. That stuff would concern me. I’ve never heard about that stuff happening in smaller, rural areas in my lifetime or at least not around here (Central AR). It seems to be a big-city problem mostly.

    For the most part, I think people in the south are generally more polite, whether you are black or white, and there’s generally not a great reason for a black person to NOT live in the south relative to any other part of the country.

    Having said that, I know for a fact there are some specific areas of this state which I would absolutely not live in if I were black. I suspect Jack’s experience in this regard is mostly in the Dallas area and not as much deeply rural areas. Even the Hot Springs area where he lived, that part of the state fine. Similar to NW Arkansas in a lot of ways (a lot of that having to do with income levels).

    There are north-central parts of the state, however, my wife and I have considered moving to and EVEN I, having grown up here and knowing the culture etc., do have some hesitation with my kids growing up in these areas with an hispanic last name. We haven’t really decided whether to ever make a move like that. I imagine my level of discomfort would be somewhat minimal and I would probably be willing to live in these areas. BUT I would absolutely not recommend a black person from another part of the country to live in a few of these areas without spending a lot of time there first.

    For instance, I know of a case where a friend of mine, his dad runs some delivery trucks out of Little Rock, he sent a black driver to make a delivery to a grocery store in Harrison, AR. The driver was specifically told by someone in that community he was not to make another delivery to that town. I would not have a problem (if I was black) driving through there, for instance on the way to Branson, but I do not think it makes any sense for someone from another part of the country, who is black, to live in that or a surrounding town, at least not without investigating significantly first. I’m not sure it would ever reach a level of “dangerous”, but I’m not sure it won’t either.

    Aside from being black, I don’t care what color you are its not a GREAT idea to wonder around on people’s property in that part of the state anyway. Things are just done a little differently here. If you move to an area like that, you need to meet the folks. Be humble, be considerate and allow yourself to be adopted into the community. Bring your neighbors some homemade pie or a bag of okra from the garden or whatever…

    In contrast, in the NW part of the state, there’s no reason in the world for black people not to live there. It’s great. Most of the rest of the state as far as I know is fine, and some parts of the state have relatively more dense populations of black people, so if a black person wanted to live around a population like that those options exist also. There is a range of options regarding race distributions in AR (as with any state, I imagine).

    So to answer the question, it still seems that to make a determination you should talk to people (on forums, in person). Ask around. I’ve heard people who live here over-state the level of racism, I think its a tendency for people to try and exaggerate these kinds of things, so be aware of that and consider multiple takes on the issue for a particular area before deciding. And spend some time there. And do it without some kind of “attitude” (and that’s good for any move like that regardless of your color).

    • I guess I should add there are parts of this state you should not live in if you are white for many of the same reasons. I guess it’s helpful to point that out as well for anyone considering a move to Ark. Pine Bluff: might as well stay out of that whole town. Really that town has the “poor urban” feel to it, so probably not a great place for preppers of any sort in a SHTF scenario.

  14. Jack spoke a lot about racism in general, but not a lot about how to deal with it when finding a place to live. I’ve moved all over the country and the best piece of advice I’ve found for someone worried about racism/prejudice is to find a blue/liberal community. I’ve lived in red states with complimentary red state laws, but every red state always has some pockets of blue. This works well not just for skin color, but sexual orientation, lifestyle, whatever you need. Those communities tend to be much more accepting. Additionally, once you’ve found a place and want to make a bid, I’d suggest knocking on neighbors doors and introducing yourself. Tell them where you’re from and that you’re thinking of buying the place down the street and what do they think of the neighborhood? Their reactions (more than their words) will tell you what you need to know.

  15. This was a great point by blueprint,

    “Aside from being black, I don’t care what color you are its not a GREAT idea to wonder around on people’s property in that part of the state anyway. Things are just done a little differently here.”

    This can be pretty bad to create perception bias if not fully understood.

    Last week a man and his son came to my gate, the main gate is locked but the smaller gate (walk though only) stays unlocked for visitors during the day. They parked the gate and honked (friendly beep beep) the horn. I walked out, sized them up and opened the small gate. We talked about that adjacent piece of land next to me they want scrap parts from an old back hoe and are looking for the owner, I helped as best as I could. I will mention just due to the subject these men were white.

    When I left I told them here is my card, if you guys need anything call or just come by, I even said we keep the gate unlocked during the day for visitors which now that I knew them they were but not to come in because of the dog who would not yet accept them, just ring me and I will let you in and he will be fine as long as I tell him you guys are okay.

    The son said, we were afraid that if we walked up to the door behind this gate we might end up looking at a shot gun, I told him well it could happen but likely the 45 I carry would have been easier to get to, we all laughed.

    These guys KNEW the local rules, gates are gates they don’t get crossed unless you are invited in or know the land owners. Dog bites, goose attacks and gun shot wounds are risks of breaking said rules.

    Now just imagine a black man and his son came for the same reason and saw the unlocked gate, figured we will just ring his door bell, they mean nothing by it. Next thing you know they have a 150 lb German Shepherd “holding them” with a clear growl saying “if you move I am going to latch onto your ass” and a “205 lb corn fed redneck” with a “survivalist shirt” pointing a 45 at them asking why are you on my property without invitation. It likely would have not gone any worse then that, they would have been sent packing.

    If they called 911 the sheriff would come out, talk to me and tell them, “boys you just don’t go onto gated property around here unless you are invited” and likely warned them that this was a bad idea in the future.

    These black men may have very well left thinking that Azel area is full of rednecks that hate black folks, hell all we were doing was saying hello.

    Well if that white guy and his kid did the same thing, they would have gotten the same treatment. Down the road a bit are normal suburban houses, no gates they could walk up to those doors and ring the bell no trouble. Had they rung my door in Arlington a few years ago when I had such a home, I would have simply said how may I help you. Conversely if they had gone into my backyard without invitation we are back to a big mean dog and a redneck with a 45 who is polite but not exactly welcoming. Why? You don’t do that right, you don’t go into a gated back yard, most know that.

    Well in rural communities outside of a real emergency you don’t go into gated front yards especially if the gate is CLOSED.

    So in my scenario had the visitors been black, asian, hispanic, white, etc. they would all have been treated the same but a person who didn’t know the local rules and was of a different race would likely have a clear perception bias and think it had something to do with said race.

    Which reminds me I do need to make a sign that says “Visitors please dial 972-xxxx-xxxx or 817-xxx-xxxx for access to property. Access by invitation only.” to help avoid said confusion.

    • There are, literally, deep, deep holes in north central arkansas likely to contain bodies of (white) hippies from California or wherever who thought they could just show up and steal from the “stupid” (hint: they aren’t stupid, at all) hillbillies running the still the hippies “found” out in the woods…

      A number of months ago, I looked outside to see a (white) guy who had walked up from the woods poking around my shed (its a ways from the house). I pulled up in the truck headlights shining on him (it was just getting dark). He had something I couldn’t discern in his hand, small military style shovel or something maybe, so I decided it would be best if I were armed. He turned at me and smiled as I was stepping out of the truck. The twelve gauge that followed me out of the truck wiped the smile off his face.

      We talked a bit. He was basically an idiot. I explained if he wants to know something about me or my place (or any place for that matter) it’s better to knock on the front door of the house before poking around out buildings. Good way to get shot.

    • Another story:

      When I was in college I took an ROTC course. The instructor was bullshitting with us one day. He was “not from around here”. He was describing once walking around some woods in North Ark. He was planning for some kind of ROTC drill with students and was making plans, scouting, etc. He ran upon a group of men. According to him, he told them who he was and why he was there. He asked what areas he should avoid. They were nice and simply pointed out the areas he “shouldn’t go to” and generally provided otherwise useful information about the lay of the land etc.

      That was the end of it. He didn’t go in those areas. No other explanation requested by him or offered by them (and probably none needed…we all know why he shouldn’t go to those areas). That’s how you deal with natives of any area when you’re an outsider, white or black, with due respect. It’s just good sense.

  16. Thank the Lord for people who believe/live the teaching “do unto others as you would have done unto you.”
    My family and I are wannabe homesteaders in Central Virginia — very close to Lynchburg. I just thought I’d let the caller with the racism question know about this very welcoming area. We are a white family in a predominantly black rural area and we love it. We are living in the middle of about 70 acres, so we don’t closely interact with our neighbors, but we are friendly when we do. I think it is good that most of us are spread out, because no matter what the color is–when people are jammed up too close there will be issues. There are many black people around here that raise cattle and what not. My husband and I moved from the Hampton Roads area of VA and were really shocked by the friendliness of strangers—practically everyone waves. You would NEVER see that around the VA beach area unless it was one finger. After being here for 14 years WE have learned the friendly practice of waving at EVERYONE–and it’s genuine. It would translate to a real hand of help if need be. Another favorite verse comes to mind on this issue: “A man that has friends must show himself friendly…” Proverbs 18:24

    JACK–Thank you I love your show. It’s become a laughing point between me and my husband when I begin a statement with “Well Jack Spirko says….” because of the frequency of it = D
    God bless!!

  17. .
    Great show!, ditto on ALL topics.
    (Of course I have to chime in today 😉 — Gene Roddenberry was a true visionary.)
    We are finally on 3 acres in Westerly NC, and looking foreward to digging some swales and “woody beds” (on a zero $ budget).
    I feel the terrain is perfect here for that here.
    (Sure wish I had you here to give some advice on zones etc.)

    Given a choice,
    Would you prefer to dig several smaller ponds at the ends of the sills?
    – OR, keep the water moving down to one larger pond?
    If I do dig a pond(s) in North Carolina “clay”, will it be sufficient to hold water without any additional leak stopping measures. (i.e. bentonite–and, why does it have aluminum in it?)

    Thanks for all you do.

  18. Racial distrust is a complicated issue. I’m almost the same age as Jack, grew up in Pennsylvania a town about equally 50/50 split between black/white, and the racial tensions and issues were just as bad there as anywhere else; on both sides.

    One has to be a realist about stuff like this. But at the same time, do what can be done can to try to mend fences when and where possible.

    On the whole, Jack’s comments reminded me of the closing lyrics to a song, “Old White Men” by Vance Gilbert:

    Are you gonna just stand there
    With that sanding block, son
    Or make it so these pieces fit again?

    (you can listen to it free, here: