So Let Me Get This Straight
October 16, 2021
By Robert Altomare, BreathEasy
In my article from last week, I described for you my realization that I was a de facto prisoner in my own country. It occurred when I noticed that I unconsciously responded to a social distancing sticker on the floor with the POW survival tactics (SERE) that I learned while in the military.
The military taught us a variety of techniques to not only survive captivity, but to also survive it with honor. One of these techniques given to us was the idea of “little wins.” Now, little wins aren’t meant to bring the prison camp guards to their knees or get extra food rations. No, the purpose of creating small victories for oneself while imprisoned was to maintain the prisoner’s self-respect when forced into unimaginable conditions.
My ‘small win’ that day in the grocery store was my instinctual refusal to obey a little sticker on the floor that was put there for my “safety.” It was the moment when I moved off the sticker and realized why I moved off the sticker, that’s when I knew that my country was in serious trouble. I realized in that moment that I was being forced to ACT like a prisoner by my own government.
There are many among us who are fighting to restore these United States to what it was intended and founded to be. And, ultimately, I am an optimist in that regard; the state of the world today is simply not sustainable and the People have simply seen too much. These things cannot be unseen, no matter how hard MSNBC tries to tell us that the crowd is chanting, “Let’s Go, Brandon!” However, no matter how assured our victory is or how inevitable Liberty is ordained, this does not excuse us from defending and fighting for our national ideals and the Rights inherent to our Humanity in the here and now, no matter how optimistic we may be.
This notwithstanding, this week’s essay is not a discourse on Traditional American Values. Instead, I’d like to expound on last week’s lesson to better arm you for your daily fight for personal freedom. I provide this lesson in the form of a personal story to teach how you personally can create those little wins in your normal day-to-day to resist the tyranny seeping in all around us.
Now, before I earned my refugee status in Florida, I lived in Portland, Oregon; the belly of the Antifa beast. I can tell you from personal experience that Portland is no longer simply “Keeping It Weird” and Portlandia is not just some quirky little show. It is a documentary!
The inmates have most definitely taken over the asylum in Portland. The ironic thing, of course, is that it has always been “governed” by fools, ignoramuses and true believers of their Marxist cause. All 2020 did was poor gas on the already smoldering garbage pile in front of the hobo tent that they called a city.
So, in 2020, I had had enough and decided to leave (thus my refugee status) and moved back to the Sunshine State. For a variety of reasons, I decided to fly to Orlando, via Denver, on Southwest Airlines (yes, THAT Southwest Airlines). Now, I absolutely knew I was going to be forced to wear a mask in order to fly aboard their aircraft; this was a given. And, normally, I would not do such a thing (even in Portland I could count on one hand how many times I wore a mask) but I simply had no leverage to avoid it at the time.
And this is one key idea that I wish to communicate to you, the idea of leverage. Sometimes you have it and sometimes you don’t. But you ALWAYS have a choice to participate. Nowadays, I approach every commercial interaction the same as when I walk onto a used car lot; I can always walk away. I can’t tell you how many restaurants or other businesses I have spun on my heels and left when they demanded I wear a face-diaper while saying, “It’s our policy…” Yeah, well, I don’t work here, Toots. Smell ya later.
But a lack of leverage does not mean I must fully submit like some simp, either. And this is where so many Patriots get tangled up and where the idea of “little wins” becomes so important: Many fighters for Liberty believe that they must die on every hill they encounter. Now I am not advocating for unmitigated surrender. But what I AM saying is that there is a way to follow a POW’s survival tactics; find that middle road, survive with honor, and then flip them off later while you’re sipping your latte without a mask.
Here’s how I did it on my flight from Portland to Orlando in 2020:
First stop: ticketing. As many have seen, it is now no longer necessary to go to the ticket counter at many airports; there are kiosks where you can obtain your boarding pass. Of course, key to this is not having any bags (I sent mine ahead and only had 1 carry on). PLANNING!
So, I exited my Uber, maskless, walked through the terminal, maskless, and obtained my boarding pass from a kiosk, maskless. Remember! This is Portland, “there are 486 genders,” Oregon! In spite of my location, nobody hassled me as I walked through the terminal. Not one of those hipster doofuses with their sustainably sourced, horn-rimmed glasses, hemp-woven skinny jeans and ironically-worn Converse high tops made one comment to me. In fact, many looked at me with a “I didn’t know we could NOT wear a mask in here” look plastered on their handlebar mustachioed faces. Little Wins. I will not be my own jailor.
Next Stop: TSA. Now, this is a completely different story than the kiosk. I must actually interact with a government burger flipper security guard in order to get to my gate. So, what did I do? I put the mask on. Why? Because I had no leverage at that stage of my journey.
HOWEVER! When I finally got to the TSA gatekeeper, I told Officer Zul repeatedly that I “could not hear him” until he finally pulled his mask down to speak to me. Of course, what did I do? I asked him to put his mask back on! That was just for me as I smiled beneath my face diaper.
Once through the useless TSA gauntlet, I immediately took my mask back off again and walked through the terminal, and again, not hassled by anyone. Of course, nobody would KNOW you could walk around the airport maskless because nobody ever dared to test! Stop being your own jailer. Again, through this small act of defiance, I created for myself a small circle of greater Freedom than would have been normal. Again: Little Wins.
Next Stop: The Gate. I walked down the concourse to my gate, maskless, of course, and found a nice window seat looking out over the ramp to patiently wait for my flight to begin boarding.
Now, in short order, the masked, middle-aged, Portland female (I assume, this is Portland, after all) gate agent walked over to me and asked, “Do you have a mask?” to which I responded, “No” (I of course DID have a mask, but I was feeling plucky.).
She then proceeded to say, “Yes, well, masks are required here at the gate, here you go” and she handed me a mask. I dutifully and politely took the mask but laid it on my lap and returned to surfing the internet on my phone. It was at this point that she saw that I was openly ‘defying her authoritay’ when I didn’t put the mask on “as required” and proceeded to inform me of such. Now, I can’t exactly remember how the whole interaction went, it’s been a year now, but she was visibly perturbed when I told her very simply, “No.” As I knew and she was quick to learn, she had no leverage (yet) to force me to do literally anything (to say nothing of authority). So, after some words were exchanged, she finally let me be. Little Wins.
Later, when it came time to board, they lined us all up, firing squad style, in preparation for boarding as efficiently as possible (no social distancing required, incidentally!). Did I put my mask on at that point while waiting to board? Of course, I did. Why? Because I had no leverage to avoid it. I needed to be on the plane.
Finally when we were allowed to board, I handed my boarding pass to the very same gate agent who before felt she had some sort of authority over my health and she dutifully (but begrudgingly) allowed me to board the plane.
Find out next week when I share more examples of creating little wins on my flight and the small kerfuffle created when they called the police in Orlando! Spoiler alert: no jail time was served. ;)
Rob Altomare, Founder of the BreathEasy App, set to launch in just a few short weeks!
So Let Me Get This Straight
October 8, 2021
By Robert Altomare, Founder of the BreathEasy App
It wasn’t a thunderous clap of an epiphany when I realized I was a prisoner in my own land last year. Instead, it crept up on me without a conscious thought as I stood in the checkout line in my local grocery store. I was simply standing there, my eyes softly touching upon all the candy bars and celebrity gossip rags lost in my own blank mind when I looked down at the newly installed decals providing the ‘proper and scientific’ social distancing spots we were all instructed to stand upon. Sure, I had seen them before, but this time was different. This time the dots connected, and it all became clear in an instant.
You’ve seen them, haven’t you? Those ubiquitous circular decals on the floors of so many of our local businesses? They all have some variation of the ‘for your safety, stand here’ theme and they are all precisely laid out exactly six feet apart. These stickers are about as subtle as a Communist speech writer from the 1930's.
It was in that moment as my eyes touched upon the bright yellow sticker at my feet that, without thinking and by pure instinct alone, I moved off the sticker to stand literally anywhere but that sticker. This was not a conscious decision of noncompliance but rather a return, an unconscious recollection, of my POW training so many years ago during my military service. In that moment, in that small act of unconscious and instinctive defiance, I carved out just a little more freedom for my already-greatly diminished circle of Liberty and in so doing, made a hard and unavoidable conclusion.
What I am describing may likely need a little context, so please let me provide you that background now:
In general, the military trains its people in their chosen specialty and then ships them off to the ‘field,’ whether it is Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines. However, for some military specialties that carry a special risk of capture by our enemies, these individuals are provided just a little extra training; that training is called SERE (Survival, Evasion, Rescue and Escape).
The purpose of this training, at its core, instructs a potential Prisoner of War how to survive his capture (presumably in a POW camp) and return with honor. Again, the purpose is not to dig tunnels like in Hogan’s Heroes, nor is it to calmly tell his interrogator, “I ain’t tellin’ you nuttin, you red commie bastid.” I can think of no quicker way to not survive captivity than these Hollywood-inspired tropes. It also doesn’t teach you the Hawaiian sign for ‘good luck’ (but that’s another story).
No, the purpose of SERE training is to survive the un-survivable and return with honor. Keywords here are: ‘survive,’ ‘return’ and ‘honor.’
The need for this type of instruction was identified after the end of the Korean War (if memory serves) when the North Koreans allowed (some) American POWs to return home. These former POWs were not only in a state of shell shock, but they had also endured extreme and inhumane treatment that only illiterate North Korean communists could dream up. This included things beyond ‘simple’ torture to also include brainwashing and other psychological torture.
The American military of the 1950’s and ‘60’s discovered that many former POW’s were committing suicide after their return home. These men had endured unspeakable horrors only to pack it all in after they were safely home? Why?
Guilt. These men felt unresolvable guilt for having succumbed to torture and gave up information that they felt obligated to protect and not divulge. Such was the state of mind of a 1950’s military man.
So, after hundreds if not thousands of interviews and studies, the military developed the SERE training program. It was intended to give potential captives the tools to survive inhumane conditions and captivity the best they can while at the same time maintaining their self-respect, dignity and honor after they broke from the torture (everyone breaks). I personally went through this training. Trust me when I tell you: a lot of self-learning happens in that training.
One of the small tools the training gives you is the concept of ‘little wins’ in the face of insurmountable obstacles. In a POW situation, you are not John Rambo, and you will not defeat the entire North Vietnamese army by yourself with a belt of bullets hanging over your shoulder. So, instead of unrealistically fighting making a ‘last stand’ that will surely end up with you dead, the prisoner is instead trained to carve out little freedoms for himself where he can, if even just a little bit and if even for just a short while.
For example: If a rule is made by your captors that you must eat with your left hand, you eat with your left hand. That is, of course, until they aren’t looking and then you immediately switch to your right hand. This tiny act of non-compliance is in fact a HUGE victory psychologically. These tiny acts reinforce the individual’s inner strength even when beset upon all sides by injustice and cruelty. Do not underestimate the cumulative power and strength of the little wins.
Returning to the grocery store and my instinctual move off the little sticker (the idiomatic megaphone on an Orwellian street corner) imploring me to stand exactly here, it was in the moment that after I moved off the sticker I realized why I moved off that sticker: I was implementing the little win strategy taught to me as a survival technique as a prisoner. That was when my slow realization took hold: I was a prisoner in my own country.
My move off the little sticker was the unconscious move to resist a soft tyranny. Right there, standing in the checkout line of my local grocery store, I carved out just a little bit of freedom for myself and chalked up one little win which, later, would later build to yet greater wins (more stories to come!).
There is a time and place for everything. But all the while, just remember: It all begins with the small wins.
Yours in Victory
"I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past." Patrick Henry, 1775
There is nothing more dangerous to illegitimate power than when the groups you yourself created, defined and amplified begin to coalesce against you. I wonder if Dr. Frankenstein ever thought that his creation would turn against him? Did Soros?
While the event occurred in January of this year, its importance can’t be overstated, so I bring it to you now, just as I found out about it. In case you didn’t hear about it, and I’m 100% certain that you didn’t hear about it given the state of journalism in the 21st century, let me give you the Cliff’s Notes:
In January of this year, NY representative Linda Rosenthal (D) introduced a bill to mandate the Covid injection. So, what, you ask? There’s certainly no shortage of jackass politicians who think they’ve been chosen by God to rule over us.
But what did her idiot action cause? Nothing more than a joint protest of MAGA and Black Lives Matter groups. Yes, you read that right. Now, don’t jump to conclusions or think MAGA and BLM are now baking cookies and ridesharing to their respective protests, but the two groups did coordinate to protest together.
From Cara Castronuova’s facebook page:
#MAGA and #BLM came TOGETHER yesterday for a common cause. YES, you heard that right. I personally co-organized a Demonstration with a BLM organizer named Hannah, to fight the Bill proposed by NYS Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal that will make the Covid Vaccination MANDATORY for all New Yorkers.
Looks like the two groups came to the same conclusion: Medical tyranny must be called out and eradicated, publicly. The newsworthy part here is that both MAGA and BLM not only agreed on the violation Rosenthal’s proposed legislation represented, but they actively decided to take action against it together.
How stupid of a politician do you have to be to support the one cause that turns your trusted and reliable brownshirts into allies of your sworn enemy? Custer himself couldn’t have done worse at Little Big Horn.
How was this not bigger news at the time? I didn’t even see it in the alternative media. And here’s the kicker: now that the first personal connections have been made between these two individuals, Hannah and Cara, how likely is that with that personal connection communication between the two will continue? Turns out, the one thing that is necessary to keep groups at each other’s’ throats, characterizing them as ‘the other,’ has now been undermined!
How long before even her reliable brownshirts start to get a clue finally about how they are being used by our (mutual) rulers? This joint protest is so much bigger than simply two groups protesting together.
Is it possible that the lines and limits and the definitions and delineations that were created to divide and separate us are beginning to fail as our rulers begin to tighten the noose around all our necks? Are we now realizing how alike we all are?
Is it Earthly possible that the very enemy we have discovered within our own borders and ‘leading’ our nation has sown the seeds for our country’s unification through their tyrannical diktats?
How ironic. How delicious. How Hopeful!
Founder of the new app, BreathEasy.
In 1995, OJ Simpson was acquitted of the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ron Goldman, a waiter from a nearby restaurant. To say that the acquittal was a surprise would be like saying the ‘Dancing Itos’ sketch was timely and topical comedy.
What made this case different from any of the other celebrity murder cases we hear about so often was the piles of evidence against Simpson. If evidence were a mountain, we’d be calling it Marcia Clark Peak or Kardashian Summit…
A large segment of the country (perchance the world!) felt this was a giant miscarriage of justice and that the Juice had gotten away with murder.
But the story doesn’t end there. OJ didn’t ride off into the sunset to live a life of leisure. In spite of the official proclamation by a ‘jury of his peers,’ an interesting phenomenon happened: the world refused to accept the acquittal. To the surprise of everyone, OJ Simpson was a pariah everywhere he went. He literally couldn’t go anywhere without being hounded and called out as a murderer by anyone who spotted him.
The ironic part of all this is that, now that we understand CNN’s true business model is influence and not news, by shoving this horror show of a court case down our throats for months, literally the entire world knew of the evidence against OJ! So of course, their influence completely blew up in their face when everyone refused to accept the verdict and called him a murderer anyway!
Could this reaction have been our first evidence of the power of ‘social’ before social media even existed? When Justice failed the people, the people themselves meted out justice individually.
Fast forward to 2021 and we are now seeing evidence of the People ignoring the proclamations of our betters yet again. Only this time, we are collectively thumbing our nose at the current ‘leader’ of the United States.
The number of people who believed Hidey/Ho won the White House legitimately was already incredibly small, but now?
If the Hidey/Ho crap-sandwhich were an act on The Muppet show, the American People would be Statler and Waldorf heckling the poor, addle-brained sap behind the podium.
So let me get this straight: Joe Biden beat the most popular incumbent president in modern history garnering over 80 million votes surpassing Trump’s already impossible-to-beat 74 million; and Hidey/Ho did it without holding any significant rallies and hiding in the basement during a ‘pandemic,’ all the while the incumbent held rallies of multiple thousands each? Is this what we’re supposed to believe?
Joe Biden is the OJ Simpson president. Once we are all collectively out of this nightmare, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be spurned by, literally, everyone. They have no future.
Why? Because just as the World judged OJ Simpson a murderer in spite of the official proclamation by a ‘jury of his peers,’ so too has Biden been judged a phony, a pretender, a usurper by the world.
For OJ, his not-guilty verdict simply didn’t matter to us. It was ignored by everyone.
The world has changed and, in real terms, it now no longer matters if you “win” an election because winning (as declared by the Demo(n)crat/Media Complex) is simply not enough. Our would-be rulers thought they could steal an election and we’d all just buy into the lie. But it hasn’t worked out that way, has it?
Winning is not enough; the winner must have the (obvious) consent of the governed. If you don’t have that, then you are faced with the impossible task of ruling the unruly; a tall order indeed especially when you need threats of violence against the very people you supposedly represent.
I almost pity them. Almost.
Founder of the BreathEasy App, Coming soon!