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January 3, 2022 

Robert Altomare, Founder of the BreathEasy App. Coming Soon 

www.breathez.org 

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is the Ignorant Communist gift to Conservative, Free Market satirists that keeps on giving. I mean, really, who were the applicants they decided against when they were picking who to run in the election?? 

In recent weeks, this walking/talking cautionary tale has graced us with three, count them: 3, examples of what Stalin meant by ‘useful idiot.’ And I swear to God, I don’t know how she pulled it off, but this ignoramus has managed to be both a self-important, narcissistic apparatchik and demonstrated a lack of self-awareness so great that it rivals Joe Brandon, but without that pesky, pant-crapping dementia (or so I’m told).  

Let’s start with an article I ran across a week or so ago by David Harsanyi entitled, AOC’s Grasp on American Governance is a ‘Farce’ which came out on Christmas Eve on townhall.com. In it Harsanyi describes AOC’s foot stomping little hissy fit about Joe Manchin torpedoing the Build Back Better raid of the American Treasury. Harsanyi quotes AOC as complaining that Senator Manchin engaged in an “egregious breach” of President Brandon’s “trust” when he refused to support the legislation. Further, she groused, “The idea that Joe Manchin says that he can’t explain this back home to his people is a farce.” 

While I appreciated Harsanyi’s article and I felt it was well-written and insightful, he DID miss a key implication of AOC’s stupid (not ignorant) statement. And seeing her statement for what it implies gives us all the information we need to understand that there is no arguing with these enemies of a Free Republic. What’s the old saw about wrestling a pig…? 

You see, Manchin is approaching the topic from the perspective of representative government and that he still has an obligation to explain to West Virginians his vote. Why? Because they (purportedly and without a vote audit) sent him to Washington to represent the interests of Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.  

But if you read AOC’s caterwauling about President Brandon’s ‘broken trust’ in Manchin, she is unequivocally stating that Manchin’s loyalties should lay with the Party and not the people who sent him to Washington in the first place. She is almost explicit in her statement. She states that the interests of West Virginia must be negotiated in Washington DC and only then will the people’s fates be revealed and 'defended.’ Her statement implies the underpinning and assumptions embedded in her thinking: that government is to rule the people, not represent them. Sickening. 

Separately, just the other day AOC provided yet more grist for the pity mill when she tweeted the following,  

“If Republicans are mad they can’t date me they can just say that instead of projecting their sexual frustrations onto my boyfriend’s feet. Ya creepy weirdos.” She continued with, “it’s starting to get old ignoring the very obvious, strange, and deranged sexual frustrations that underpin the Republican fixation on me, women, & LGBT+ people in general.” 

Wait…what? Mad we can’t date her? Is that what she said? Are we being punked? This imbecile is a walking SNL skit…if SNL were funny. How is it AOC can embody both comedy and tragedy at the same time? Quite the trick... 

Let me just say that, as a bachelor who’s been around the block a time or two, can I just ask the obvious question? What in God’s name could possibly be at all attractive about a girl pretending to be a woman?  

What I see underlying her stupid (not ignorant) statement is that AOC still has the mentality of the young girl working behind the bar. She is so used to getting hit on by drunk Chads that she stupidly (not ignorantly) believes that real (and sober) men find her equally attractive outside the dim lights of a bar. She has no frame of reference other than her former workplace where low cut shirts and Daisy Duke cutoffs juice the tip jar.  

“But I’m a Congresswoman!” No, Miss. You are a toddler wearing your mother’s heels and pretending to be a grown-up. Just as Jordan Peterson refuses forced speech, I will similarly refuse to call you an adult.  

Follow up question: What do you suppose her eHarmony profile looks like? 

And finally, rounding out number three in the AOC stupidity Olympics, we have her showing up in Free Florida, maskless, with her boyfriend (you suppose they met at the bar?) sipping drinks while her actual constituency is left behind in NYC, masked up and fearing the next lockdown. If hypocrisy were a crime, she certainly wouldn’t get arrested since we all know that the Communists believe in a two-tiered judicial system. But maybe it’s a good thing that hypocrisy isn’t against the law? Or at least, it doesn’t matter.  

Why? Because under the old rules of the game, her visit to Free Florida would never be made public due to the completely and utterly compromised ‘free press’ that would bury such a revelation. Under the old rules, AOC’s absence from the wan spotlight of political theatre would be explained away with a simple alibi of “visiting old friends” or “getting over a mild cold.”   

But those Good Ole Days are long gone and it seems that these idiot communists simply haven’t gotten the memo (which is good for us) that we are paying attention now. These hypocrites continue acting as if the old rules are still in play when in fact, literally everyone with a phone is a citizen reporter now. Just ask Project Veritas founder, James O’Keefe how he got his start. 

And the more these fools continue to act foolishly, the more consistently the message will be delivered to the People that you must obey and that they aim to rule you. The good news is that this message will be consistently delivered precisely because these idiots can’t stop acting out their despotic and hypocritic tendencies. Fine with me, honestly; We see you now. 

Given all this then, how can we possibly engage with AOC on any substantive issue? She is a spoiled child playing pretend and demanding obedience from the people she treats not as individual citizens of a Free Republic, but as the little dollies she dresses up on the floor of her bedroom festooned with Che and Justin Beiber posters. This poor creature merits pity, not attention.  

Now, maybe when I want an Old Fashioned served up by an empty-headed nobody who did nothing more than answer a casting call for her government job….Maybe I’ll give her my drink order, but definitely not a microphone or any real responsibility. 

R. Altomare 

Founder of the BreathEasy App, coming soon 

www.breathez.org 

--

Had I known in advance the path I was going to travel, I would never have made it this far...

- Unknown

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OSHA And The Power to Mandate Vaccines
by KrisAnne Hall, JD
KrisAnneHall.com
biden vacc art
 

Recently the United States Federal Court for the 5th Circuit held that the federal agency, Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA), cannot lawfully mandate vaccines on American businesses while a trial concerning the matter is pending.  The majority opinion establishes that this mandate is “staggeringly overbroad” and the “loss of constitutional freedoms ‘for even minimal periods of time…unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury.’”

What The Court’s Opinion Means for The Rest of America?

During the Trump Administration, the Senate confirmed federal judges for the 5th Circuit making that circuit one of the most “conservative” courts in the federal court system.  The 5th Circuit was the perfect court, from a constitutional perspective, to hear this issue.  Other circuits, namely the 9th Circuit, would likely find, under the same conditions, a completely different result.

The federal court system is divided into twelve circuits that divide the States into twelve legal districts.  Each federal district court holds a binding authority in federal issues over the lower federal courts of that district.  Under normal circumstances, the 5th Circuit opinion would put a halt to OSHA enforcing the mandate in every district, so as to act in the abundance of caution; but, we are not operating under normal circumstances.  Since this presidential administration is already refusing to comply with court orders it doesn’t agree with, there should be no surprise when they treat this order with the same contempt.  Additionally, the main objective of this administration has not been to uphold the Constitution, but to force this vaccine on as many people as they can convince or bully into taking before the Supreme Court legal hammer falls. Because the 5th Circuit opinion is only legally binding in the 5th Circuit courts, OSHA could legally continue to enforce the mandate within the States located in the other districts.

The Supreme Court Will Have to Settle The Issue

Now that the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has been assigned the task of resolving the other suits against OSHA, the Supreme Court will ultimately be tasked with settling any disputes or hearing any appeals. The OSHA vaccine mandate question will have to be answered by the Supreme Court to have finality and possibly the respect of this administration.  The question then becomes, “How will this particular Supreme Court decide this case?” 

The issue of an OSHA vaccine mandate will definitely test the so called “conservative” justices; this will likely be a 5-4 split opinion -- the only question being, in which direction?  In my opinion we can almost guarantee which way several of the justices will cast their vote.  If past opinions dictate future trends, we can be guaranteed that Sotomayor, Kagan, and Breyer will cast their vote in favor of any government mandate issued by the Biden Administration.  If past opinions dictate future trends, I believe we can be equally guaranteed that Neil Gorsuch will vote against this mandate.  That leaves the justices that many believe to be “conservatives:” Roberts, Kavanaugh, Barrett, Thomas, and Alito.

If I had to make a prediction based upon experience, I would say that Roberts is more likely to side with the liberals than with Gorsuch.  Not necessarily because he is a liberal in disguise (and he is), but because Roberts is a corporate courtier; he almost always sides with the big money.  I also believe, in spite of Thomas’s occasional tendency toward the police powers of government, that Thomas will side with Gorsuch.  I believe that Thomas will feel a greater pull to his Constitutional tendencies than his “security over liberty” leanings.  Justice Alito’s tendency is to follow either Thomas or Gorsuch.  Since I am predicting that Thomas and Gorsuch will be on the same side, I will put Alito in the group that will vote against the mandate.  That leaves just Kavanaugh and Barrett.  What made be unknown to many conservatives in America, unless they were watching my podcast during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, Kavanaugh is NOT a consistent constitutionalist.  During the confirmation hearings I warned that Kavanaugh is most aptly described as “Kennedy 2.0” and he has lived up to that title so far.  He is a moderate at best who leans conservative on some issues and liberal on others.  In this case I will, with hesitancy, predict that Kavanaugh will lean conservative.  With these predictions we now have a 4-4 court that leaves only Barrett to break the tie.

Many conservatives would be overjoyed with that conclusion, believing that Barrett is not only a conservative, but someone who would choose the Constitutional and Religious Liberty option to deny the mandate.  Unfortunately, nothing in Barrett’s term of service in the Supreme Court or her previous legal experience supports that conclusion.  During Barrett’s confirmation hearing, the American people were told that Barrett was a constitutional, religious liberty nominee.  Other than being a devout educated Catholic, nothing in Barrett’s history establishes that she is either constitutional or religious liberty minded.  Barrett is a slave to precedent.  She will mindlessly adhere to whatever the court has established in the past, right or wrong.  Since she has become a Supreme Court Justice, Barrett has sided with the liberal justices on some of the most important cases.  I am not comfortable with Barrett being the tie breaker on what could be the most important Supreme Court issue of my lifetime.  Will she side with the errantly portrayed precedent of Jacobsen?  Or will she side with the Constitution and the rights of the people?

What Is the Most Certain Solution To This OSHA Overreach?

The uncertainty and the tendency of the courts to be personally biased in their opinions is the reason why the courts are not the ultimate or final check and balance of federal gourmandizing of power.  Those who ratified our Constitution and designed our Constitutional Republic were repulsed by the notion that the federal government itself would be its only check and balance.  The designed ultimate and final check on the federal government exercise of authority is and always has been the people through their States.  Thomas Jefferson (18120 explained it this way:

…when all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another…If the States look with apathy on this silent descent of their government into the gulf which is to swallow all, we have only to weep over the human character formed uncontrollable but by a rod of iron…

The design of our Constitutional Republic created a most powerful check on the federal authority through the power of the State to refuse to comply with unlawful federal laws, regulations, and executive orders.  Proponents of the Constitution made multiple arguments regarding the authority of the States to be the ultimate limit upon the federal government when that government steps outside the specifically enumerated and delegated powers of the Constitution.  Hamilton’s explanation may have been one of the most influential since he was the one arguing for federal power, yet explaining that even the power he proposed was limited by the Constitution to be enforced by the States.  Alexander Hamilton expressed the basis for this check by the States in Federalist 78:

There is no position which depends on clearer principles, than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void.  No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.

Hamilton’s explanation is a direct reference to Article 6 clause 2 of the Constitution that declares that when the federal government makes laws that are inconsistent with the Constitution, “the judges of the State” are not bound to them.  When the judges of the States are not bound, no one in the State is bound; those laws, regulations, and executive orders are “null and void.”  There is no authority delegated to the federal government to exercise an Occupational Safety and Health Association within the boundaries of the States.  Without a specifically enumerated delegation of power to do so, the federal government’s assertion of power is invalid.

Florida is exercising this State authority to check and balance unconstitutional federal power as it begins to separate the State from federal OSHA authority altogether.  Florida is making moves to refuse OSHA authority and regulations and create their own State agency that will fill that gap.  There are some in the federal government who profess, like political activist lawyer Ron Coleman, that it is outside Florida’s authority to deny OSHA in their State.  For people like Coleman, that errant understanding of State authority and professed unlimited power of the federal government is the product of one hundred eighty-eight years of bad education sparked by federal supremacists and certain political activist Supreme Court Justices.  People like Coleman have decided to set aside the true design of the Constitution and the facts regarding its proper application as dictated by those who actually wrote the document, in favor of an ideology that the federal government itself is its only limit to power, and the courts can alter and expand federal power through judicial opinions contrary to Article V of the Constitution.  This progressive ideology flies in the face of every agreement made to ratify the Constitution, every limit to power designed by the Constitution, and the very principles of separation of powers instituted to ensure that the people are the governors over government and not subjects to rogue federal agencies.  Coleman’s assertion, and those who agree with him, that the “commerce clause” is some kind of boilerplate phrase that endows upon the federal government the authority to create for itself unlimited authority over every aspect of life as long as they can somehow bootstrap a “money” argument to it cannot find any justification in the Constitution or the writings of those who created that Compact.  No to mention Coleman’s argument was brilliantly defeated by James Madison in 1792 (see the Cod Fisher Debate, also see Federalist #45).

The only sure solution to ending federal vaccine mandates will be when the States decide to exercise the powers reserved to them as enshrined in the Tenth Amendment.  That will mean that the people in the States must get educated and demand that our States start behaving more like the “independent sovereign governments” the Supreme Court in NFIB v. Sebelius recognized them to be and less like the subservient colonies that Coleman and his political and educational aristocrats want them to be.

If you would like to understand the principles of limited federal power and the State check and balance as the founders created them, please consider joining LibertyFirstSociety.com and learn from the founders themselves instead of activist professors.

                                                                                

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Don’t Be Your Own Jailer

By Robert Altomare, Founder of the BreathEasy App

www.breathez.org

November 11, 2021

I can still remember the first time I said ‘no’.

It was at a Radio Shack in San Diego, California in 1995. I had recently learned that Blockbuster was selling their customers’ personal information to businesses called ‘Information Brokers’ and it certainly didn’t sound like it was for my benefit. I had never heard of such a thing, but as I learned more about these information traffickers, I finally understood where all those robo-calls and junk mail in my mailbox came from! I realized that my personal information, everything that defined me as a person, was a commodity to be bought and sold like so much wheat, peanut butter or gasoline. While this might seem obvious today in 2021, in 1995 this was very new information.

I also learned that I had even agreed to my commodity status when I signed up for my Blockbuster membership! I didn’t believe what I was hearing until one day when I asked to see a blank contract. Sure enough, down at the bottom in the fine print, there it was in black and white: I had expressly given Blockbuster, Inc. the permission to collect, retain and sell my personal information. How naïve I had been. How naïve we had all been.

After learning the ways of the new and emerging “Information Age,” I decided to take a more active role in policing my own information and Radio Shack was going to be where I made my stand.

So, one day, I needed to purchase some long-forgotten something and to this day, I don’t recall what it was, maybe some batteries, a universal remote control or a new phone (Land line! Remember those?) and went to my local Radio Shack to engage the information enemy.

As I brought my item to the cash register placed upon the glass display case full of watch batteries, flashlights and radio-controlled cars, I could feel the anxiety rising in my chest. I had never actually told Radio Shack (or any store, for that matter) ‘no’ before when they asked for my phone number or address. I’d never even seen anyone deny Radio Shack’s request! What would happen? Would he allow me to buy my item? Would he call his manager? Would he make some sort of scene? I was charging into terra incognita armed with nothing but righteous indignation.

I truly was a little nervous as I approached the cashier. I placed my item on the counter and in a short moment he rang it up and, right on schedule and not even looking up, he asked, “phone number?”

Moment of truth…

My voice cracking slightly, I responded, “I don’t really want to give my phone number, is that ok?”

The look on his face told me that he hadn’t come across this response too often. It was a mixture of surprise and confusion. After I drew my line in the sand, there was a moment that seemed to last seconds, my heart beating just a little harder than normal. I looked down at the counter avoiding eye contact hoping to squeak out of this unscathed.

Well,” he began, “that’s fine. I’ll just put in the store’s phone number so I can get to the next screen.”

Wait. What?

Was that it? My chest was tight as a coiled snake for that?

I audibly exhaled, not realizing I had been holding my breath through the short interval waiting for his response...

Suffice it to say, a lot of water has gone under the bridge since that day nearly 30 years ago. I now realize that ‘no’ is quite possibly one of the strongest, most potent words known to man. ‘No’ embodies the Human spirit’s need and right to chart its own course; even more so than what ‘yes’ could ever possibly be.

There is a mile’s worth of difference between, “Yes We Can” and “No, I Won’t.

Fast forward to 2020. The “Pandemic,” the lockdowns, the business closures. The movie “12 Monkies” had come to life with abandoned signs everywhere declaring to nobody in particular that masks, “vaccine” tests or something else were required to enter buildings.

And it was under these circumstances that I would rely on my POW training and Radio Shack Resistance to summon the courage, gumption and self-confidence to get through the madness we’re experiencing now.

You see, in addition to the tenet of “Little Wins” to help you survive captivity (or the Brandon Administration) that I described in my previous essays here, here and here, there is also the closely related technique of “Testing.” Testing is the act of essentially dipping your toe into the lagoon of resistance and seeing how long it takes for the piranhas to bite.

For example, if your jailors insist you eat your prison gruel with your left hand (but you’re right-handed) simply eat with your right hand and ‘test’ to see if they correct you. Every moment that you are eating with your dominant right hand and NOT succumbing to their rules, you are freer than you would have been otherwise. No need to fight, no need to yell. Claim your Freedom.

Key to this strategy of ‘Testing’ is the fact that you are forcing your captor to enforce their rules. Every time you eat with your right hand, you put your captor into the position of stopping everything he’s doing to enforce his rule on you. How long will it be before even HE gives tired of it? Survival is a marathon, not a sprint.

Putting it another way, every time aPOW follows the prison’s rule, even when his health or wellbeing are not in danger, he has become his own jailor and easier to manage.

And so it was when the mask mandates and lockdowns began in 2020. We were all implored to wear masks, demanded that we wear them everywhere we went. Of course, because I don’t wear masks, I was, by default, testing these businesses on whether they would enforce their own mandates (You can read more about how the BreathEasy App emerged from this experience at www.breathez.org).

To be certain, some businesses did enforce their insults to Freedom and Liberty. I was living in the belly of the Beast, Portlantifa, Oregon. These hipster zealots were ruthless in their enforcement of meaningless rules; we’ve all seen the YouTube videos.

However, some businesses were not so anxious to be the government’s jailors and enforce a mask “requirement.” I specifically remember my first ‘test’ of a local chain grocery store. I could feel the anxiety rising in my chest exactly as it had that day in that long bankrupt Radio Shack 26 years earlier. I walked right past the ‘masks required’ signs, through the automatic sliding glass doors and into the store completely maskless while literally everyone in in the store was masked up and ‘following the rules’ like the unwitting POWs that they were.

I’ll never forget the looks I got from so many of my fellow customers. All I could see was their eyes, but their body language expressed everything I needed to know:

“I didn’t know we could do that...”

“Isn’t somebody going to say something to him?”

“Don’t look...”

As I am writing this, I can already hear some of you thinking to yourself, “Sure. It’s easy for you to ignore those signs, you’ve been trained! I could never do that...”

Trust me, I empathize with these thoughts. We have been so numbed our entire lives to simply comply with any rule provided to us that we assume the rule is legal. The problem is that that we have forgotten how to say ‘no.’

I say to you now, dear reader, it is time for us to relearn what we have forgotten.

But how do we begin? We’ve all seen the YouTube videos of patriots fighting for their/our rights. Raising their voices, angrily and righteously resisting, telling the world of the injustice of it all; going toe to toe with Marxist employees or self-important Karen businesses.

That is definitely one strategy one could take and I by no means disparage it. I took this tack in the early days of the lockdowns myself! I was in the fight and had quite a few ‘forceful interactions.’ I even had the police called on me, twice. Once in Orlando by Southwest Airlines and the second by the Tallahassee Hilton. Understand, the police were not called because things were violent. They were called because I simply refused to abide by illegal ‘rules!’ The look on the police officers' faces said everything that needed to be said.

But I realized something during all this civil combat. The employees simply don’t care that they are driving business away. All my protestations were meaningless. It’s not THEIR business that will whither and die, after all.

So, instead of dying on every hill (and there were a lot of hills to die on in Portlantifa), I merely forced upon the businesses the economic results of their decision to support mask mandates: I avoided them.

But again, how do we begin? How does one test to find out if a business is friendly or unfriendly to Liberty and Freedom? It’s simpler than you think: Ignore every sign you see that mandates stupid masks or ‘vaccine’ requirements. Every one. And, if someone says something to you such as, “Do you have a mask?” feel free to answer truthfully. The answer is a very simply, “no.”

“Well, you have to wear a mask to be in the store”

And your response to this? “I see. Goodbye.” I treat every interaction with a business the same way as I buy a used car: be prepared to simply walk away and find a more reasonable business.

That’s all there is to it! Just leave.

Yes, while a loud declaration decrying injustice is definitely satisfying, it is ultimately

  1. Unnecessary and,
  2. Possible that you could be cited/arrested by an all-too-accommodating police officer too scared to take a stand for law and order himself.

Don’t forget, the purpose of these POW techniques that I’m teaching you is to survive, with honor. It could be argued that getting arrested might not be considered ’surviving.’

And, while you’re at it, break out your BreathEasy App and let the world know to avoid that particular Vichy business and let’s direct our comrades in arms towards those businesses who are standing with us shoulder to shoulder in defense of Liberty and Freedom.

Who knows, maybe our example might stiffen the spines of those around us and give countrymen the courage to make the most powerful statement a free Human can make:

I will not comply.

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Website is almost done!
 
Here's the latest.  Thanks! 
 

October 29, 2021  

Over the last several weeks, I have been instructing you, dear reader, how to leverage the skills and techniques taught in the military to withstand and survive wartime captivity and return home with honor and self-respect.  

I began by showing you the tactic of finding “Little Wins” in your day to day jousting with the insults to Liberty and Freedom that we all are confronted with of late.  

Part and parcel to the idea of Little Wins is a corollary idea of forgiving yourself when you are unableto find the Little Win and thus must submit to tyranny (however briefly), if only to survive for another day. We all have limits that we are willing and able to withstand. It is our duty that we keep faith with our fellow prisoner-patriots and hold ourselves accountable to be in the fight and not find fault when our patriot brothers and sisters falter; we accept that not all our battles can be won. There is no shame in losing a battle or failing to find the Little Win. The only shame is not fighting at all.  

In point of fact, it is for this very reason that I have invested so much of my time and personal resources to bring BreathEasy to market. Years from now when we are all looking back on this time and comfortable in our dotage, how will I describe to the children yet to be born how I spent my time during this era while others fought for the very foundations of western civilization? How will you?  

OK, enough of the heavy stuff. Let’s finish up my story of finding the Little Wins on my trip from Portland to Orlando at the end of 2019:  

Southwest Airlines does not have assigned seating. As a result, and if you’ll recall, I purchased a small upgrade to my tickets to be among the first to board the aircraft. Little did I know how important this small detail would become later!  

Just as in Portland, I wore my face diaper like a good little prisoner while we waited in line to board and until the time we were at our cruising altitude.  

But unlike the first leg of the trip, the conditions of the second leg were a little different. You see, on the first leg of my trip, I had no leverage to resist their diaper mandates; I still had one more leg to go and if I misbehaved, I ran the risk of being denied my connecting flight in Denver. But this wasn’t true for my second (and last) leg of the trip. Their leverage over me evaporated just as we hit about 30,000 feet and the flight was (more or less) committed. 

So, as I described last week, I played cat and mouse with the Sky Waitresses for most of the flight. I would pull my mask down to breathe like a normal mammal until the Overseer noticed and admonished me to wear the diaper per the regulations. Instead of loudly and overtly deny their request, I put my mask on ‘properly,’ that is, until the Sky Waitress left at which point I immediately pulled my mask back down again. Little Wins. This went on for most of the flight and to such a point that they even posted a male Sky Waitress next to my seat to “keep an eye on me.”  

After the flight landed in Orlando, I did what I did on the previous flight: as soon as the main cabin door was opened, I popped out of my seat, ripped my slave muzzle from my face in full view of the Overseer by the door and walked off the plane, maskless.  

But this deplaning was different. This time, as I walked up the jetway towards the gate and away from the aircraft I passed a Southwest Airlines gate agent lady with a police officer in tow behind her walking down the jetway towards the aircraft. They didn’t even notice me or my maskless face as I passed them in the tight causeway.  

As I passed the two figures of ‘authoritay,’ I wondered, “Huh, I wonder if those two were for me?” 

So, instead of making my way directly to baggage claim as a typical passenger, and out of pure morbid curiosity, I turned left as I exited the jetway and found a seat near a window overlooking the parked aircraft on the ramp and simply waited. If the gruesome twosome were there to collar me for some invented crime, they should be back up the ramp shortly once they realize I’d already deplaned.  

No sooner had I sat down did I hear the Southwest Airlines harpy screech, “There he is!” I then quietly smiled to myself, stiffened my spine and prepared for a woefully lopsided battle of wits. “Here we go,” I thought to myself.  

Now, bear in mind, I was watching the jetway for the officer and gate agent (I’ll call her Madge) in the reflection of the window, I was not facing them and when I heard Madge call out triumphantly that she had “found him” I did not turn around immediately. I simply and calmly waited for her to engage with me.  

As any self-satisfied nitwit with an ounce of pretend authority would do, Madge marched over to me, yelling across the terminal and repeating, 

“You! Did you just get off that flight? What is your name! Give me your name!” Now, remember, this is an employee of the company that I was just the customer of! This was NOT the police officer following quietly behind her. This was the representative of a (allegedly) customer-serving company yelling at me at full volume in the middle of an airport demanding that I give her my name. Exactly from what well of authority was she drawing such confidence?  

Turning around, I asked, “Why do you need my name?”  

Because you refused to wear a mask on your flight! They called ahead and told me that you refused to wear a mask! You have to follow ALL ORDERS of the flight crew! You didn’t and that is a felony!!” she yelled.  

“I see, but why do you need my name?” I asked.  

Still feeling strong in her position, she responded, “Because you didn’t wear a mask and I need to make a report!”  

“But I did wear my mask,” I responded calmly. “Your information is incorrect.” 

“I don’t care! Give me your name!” Madge whined, wagging her finger at me and coming misdemeanor-close to me.  

We went ‘round and ‘round like this for a few minutes and, bear in mind, I hadn’t given either her or the police officer my name the whole time which only enraged this overpaid mental midget even more. How dare I not cower in fear of her authoritay? 

After this continued for several minutes, I decided to change tack.  

Still sitting in my seat, I looked up Madge and her wagging index finger and simply asked, “at what point am I no longer your customer?” 

Madge paused for a moment and a look of utter and obvious confusion took over her red, enraged face. The cognitive dissonance running through the echo chamber of her skull was palpable. According to her Overseer training, I was supposed to either respond with righteous (and possibly violent) outrage at Southwest Airline’s infringement of my rights (thus the presence of the police officer) or submit and acquiesce like many others that are intimidated by false authority in a cheap golf shirt uniform. They never taught her how to navigate a calmly-posed question 

“What?” she stammered? “What do you mean? You’ll always be our customer! Now, give me your name!” 

It was at this point that I pounced, bless her heart…  

I responded, “No. I was your customer. I paid your employer for carriage from Portland to Orlando. I am now here, in Orlando. Our contracted relationship is complete and satisfied. You are nothing to me now.” 

Well, you can imagine how this went over for poor old Madge. It now became evident that she was NOT going to get my name from me. And that was when it hit me: ole Madge was hounding me for my name because Southwest Airlines didn’t have it. Or, more specifically, they had no idea who the guy was that was sitting in the seat I occupied because it’s first come, first served seating. Ahhhh, the sweet, sweet irony of cut-rate airlines; hoisted on their own, cheap petard.  

Once I made this connection, it became a sport to see how wound up I could get this poor woman. She had no authority to require me to answer and she had no leverage to hold over my head. And they sent this poor woman to demand information from a man who had been specifically trained to withstand questioning. Grab your popcorn…  

So, of course, Madge continued her fluster and buster, I deflected her slipshod attempts to get the one piece of information I would never give up and that poor Orlando Police Officer just stood there watching the whole damn thing unfold in front of her as she wondered to herself, “I wonder if I should go back to school?” 

I can tell you that poor Madge didn’t stand a chance in our interaction. I had been specifically trained to resist interrogation to include physical abuse. What possible threat could Ole Madge possibly muster? Arrest? Even being arrested doesn’t include waterboarding…I almost felt sorry for her. Almost.  

Finally, after probably 10 minutes of this, even I got tired of the fun I was having and looked up at the police officer quietly standing there and simply asked, “Am I being detained?” 

Roused from her daydreaming, her eyes quickly focused on me, startled and simply said, “No, not at all.”With that, I said, “great,” and I got up and started making my way to baggage claim leaving the Madge behind, dismissed, like a dog dismisses its feces.  

But Southwest Airlines wasn’t done with me just yet!  

As I walked down the concourse towards the tram that would take me to baggage claim, another Southwest agent came striding up to me with another Orlando police officer in tow. The only difference this time was that they were both males. Was Southwest Airlines attempting to up the intimidation ante? This should be fun…  

As the male Southwest Airlines agent (let’s call him Chad) came up to me, he forcefully asked, “What’s your name?” 

All his question did was reinforce the absolute lack of any leverage they had over me. But instead of engaging Chad on his terms, I changed the script and simply replied, “Are you law enforcement?” 

Ha! This really threw him off. What kind of stupid question was this? Couldn’t I see his equally cheap golf shirt uniform emblazoned with Southwest Airlines on the front?  

“What?” He asked. “No, I’m not law enforcement! Now give me your name.” 

Like a dog with a bone, these guys…  

“I see,” I responded. I did not stop. I did not slow down. I merely continued walking and going about my business forcing all four of them to keep pace with me 

At this point, Chad pulled out the felony threat again, just as Madge did. “You have to obey all orders of the flight crew and you didn’t. That’s a felony!” 

“If that’s a felony, then why am I not under arrest?” I asked.  

Chad ignored the obvious logical disconnect I created for him. Instead, he continued but in a different direction by saying, “When you bought your ticket, you agreed in writing that you would wear a mask during the whole flight!” This was true. I had agreed to wear a mask when I purchased my ticket. But my response was a simple one.  

“Yeah. I changed my mind.” 

This REALLY threw him off. The look of logical defeat flitted across his face almost imperceptibly, but it was there nonetheless. And just as when a fiddle-playing Devil went to Georgia, Chad knew that he’d been beat.  

Because I was specifically trying to NOT engage with this group of Overseers as I walked, I didn’t notice that their pace had slowed and they stopped following me until I had gotten to the tram stop. They had declared defeat and let me go about my business.  

Finally alone and free from the mindless molestations of people ‘just doing their job,’ I stood there waiting for the tram replaying the whole scenario in my mind. No matter the horrendous welcome I had endured in Orlando, I was still freer than I had been a mere 12 hours earlier and, in spite of all the ‘mandates’ to the contrary, I had made use of POW training given to me so many years ago within my own country to carve out a little more hard-fought freedom for myself that none before me had thought to even attempt. With that thought and the tram’s arrival, I boarded through the sliding doors of the car and made my way to my new life in Free Florida.  

R.A. 

Founder of the BreathEasy App, due out December 2021 

 
 
--
Had I known in advance the path I was going to travel, I would never have made it this far...
- Unknown
 

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So Let Me Get This Straight

Oct 23, 2021

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been describing my experiences during the Wuhan Flu lockdown and how I instinctively leveraged my POW training to maintain my self-respect and sanity during these most incredible times. I described a key element in that training called “Little Wins” where you resist and be as non-compliant as you can and when you can, all the way up to the point that serious consequences result.

Now, let me clarify one point here, and that is how one defines ‘serious.’ This can only ever be a personal, subjective judgment. In terms of a real POW situation, it translates to how much pain or discomfort a prisoner can withstand before he must submit. And to be clear, we all have our limits and to pretend otherwise is a fairy tale told by Hollywood script writers. Because I have built up my tolerance for “social pain” over the years my threshold is fairly high. As a result, I am willing to push and test (more on ‘testing’ later) the boundaries farther than most though not as far as others. We all bump up against our own limits from time to time (if we’re living a full life) and there is no shame in shrinking away from meeting those limits. Why? Because the attempt itself provides strength for the next attempt. It is, quite literally, a no-lose situation. Moving on...

Continuing our story from last week, I had just boarded the first leg of my Southwest Airlines flight from the People’s Republic of Portland to Orlando, Florida. I was dutifully wearing my mask, not because I agreed with any policy or mandate, but because I simply had no leverage yet to not comply. Yes, I could have driven my car across country as part of my permanent move to Free Florida or maybe even taken a bus. But because of the wildfires, I had simply run out of time before my scheduled start date for my new job. As a result, I accepted my condition of diminished options and decided to strategically comply, but only when absolutely necessary.

Now, when I purchased my ticket, I sprung for the extra $50 for the ‘privilege’ of boarding first. As a result, I was among the first to board and I chose a seat as close to the main cabin door as I could, row 1 or 2, if I remember correctly. This will become important later, but at the time, I could never know how important this choice would become.

Now, as I took my seat, I kept my mask on. I did this for the exact reason as I wore it to board the plane: I had no leverage (yet); we were still on the ground, and I was certain that these air-waitress Karens would kick me off the plane at the first indication of any non-compliance if they could.

Once boarding was complete, the aircraft pushed back from the gate, taxied and took off normally with nothing unusual occurring. However, once we were in cruise, I decided to start testing the boundaries of what was ‘permissible.’ I took the water bottle from my knapsack, pulled my hat down to feign sleep and, with my hand firmly on the bottle resting on the tray table, pulled my mask down like a normal human. Why? I was testing the limits of what they would enforce while in flight, in search of more Little Wins; I refuse to be my own jailor and will constantly be on the lookout for opportunities to carve out just a little more Liberty for myself.

Within moments, the Air-Karen waitress attempted to get my attention from the other side of my closed eyes saying, “Sir? Sir?”

Ha! Well, that didn’t take long...

I was ‘asleep,’ so I ignored her, of course. It was then that she actually reached across the passenger to my left and ‘woke me.’ “Sir, you have to have your mask covering your mouth and nose completely.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” I lied as I pulled my face diaper back up over my face. Now, from my perspective, this small test of their boundaries was a resounding success! The point was not to defy, it was to test. I now knew exactly how far I could push the rule and I knew exactly where/when they would enforce it. And boy, howdy. They were Johnny on the Spot with what little stolen authority they had.

Yes, I could have made a fuss and proclaimed how the air-waitress was a fascist or how Southwest Airlines was acting without authority. And I would have been absolutely correct in all of it, but could I call it ‘surviving’ if the flight landed early jut to kick me off and charge me with a felony?

No, their leverage over me was still in play because I had a connecting flight in Denver. There was nothing that precluded Southwest Karen Airlines from denying my ability to board in Denver and continue my journey to Orlando. So, while I had successfully tested their boundaries, I was still under their thumb for the time being. And then I wondered: If I continued to flout their silly rule, how committed were they to be enforcers beyond just the first request?

So, just as soon as the self-satisfied Air-Prison Guard returned to the back of the aircraft, I immediately pulled the face mask back down to my chin, carving out a little freedom for myself and continuing my test. Not long after, she returned, again instructing me to make sure my mask fully covered my mouth and nose adding, “I’m not going to tell you again.”

Well! Looks like this Air-Karen was feeling her fascist oats! I think I just had an up close and personal lesson on what the effects of no accountability are on the employee/customer relationship. This Air-Waitress had translated her very minimal responsibility to make sure passengers can properly operate a seatbelt and have a satisfactory supply of mini pretzels into a prisoner/guard relationship complete with implied threats of violence. Thanks Southwest Airlines!

Needless to say, this cat and mouse game continued all the way to Denver. After we landed, this particular waitress was at the main cabin door and, when she opened it, I stood up, made my way to the door ensuring that she watched me remove my mask and then departed the aircraft. And, as before, I walked through the Denver terminal to my next flight completely maskless. Nobody stopped me or made one issue with it. Little Wins.

My connecting flight from Denver to Orlando went in much the same way. I wore the mask during those times that I had no leverage and tested the limits of what the air-waitresses were willing to enforce throughout the flight. I think the most amusing part of the entire leg was when the Air Waitresses posted an actual guard next to my seat to watch me for the duration of the flight.

Yes, you read that correctly. They actually put a male air-waitress at my row where he stood just watching me. Yes. He stood there for the remainder of the flight, approximately 45 minutes, just standing there like a prison guard.

When our flight finally arrived in Orlando, I did the same thing as in Denver, removed my mask while on the plane, and left. How could I remove my mask before deplaning, you ask? Because Southwest Airlines’ leverage over me had just expired. So why continue complying when they have no leverage? Little Wins.

In spite of the small challenges on my trip, my arrival in Orlando was a resounding success. We can call it a success because I implemented my POW training and “survived with honor.” Specifically, I “survived” because:

  • I was NOT being arrested on a felony charge of “interfering with a flight crew” charge and
  • I had successfully completed my trip all the way from Portland to Orlando while carving out as much freedom as I could while en-route.

How better to define success?

But the story doesn’t end there! There was much more Liberty to find before I left the airport!

You see, because my flight terminated in Orlando, Southwest Airlines leverage over me had expired and once that leverage evaporated, so too did my willingness to comply with the SWA prison guards’ requests. But Karen Airlines wasn’t done with me just yet.

But more on my arrival in Orlando and the SWA gate agent who attempted to intimidate me using the poor Orlando police as a prop next week!

Robert Altomare

Founder of BreathEasy, the tool that crowdsources non-compliance, coming soon!

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