News stories — Ukraine, “mass shootings,” the current occupant of the Oval Office falling off his bicycle and face-planting on the tarmac — hold our attention as long as they’re headlines. Then we move on, both because media needs fresh content and and because nothing’s important (or interesting) forever.

That’s as it should be.

Up to a point.

Liberty-minded Americans are especially susceptible to being lulled by calm or distracted by The Next Shiny Object. The anti-American Left, however, never sleeps. And that, boys and girls, is a big reason why we are where we are — though our principles are intact (or so we say), we tend to be short on stamina, persistence and especially vigilance.

Then we’re startled when progressives spring the trap — not all of us, certainly, but the majority of folks who call themselves “Patriots” end up compromising or, worst of all, fighting back with statistics.


Look, what I’m about to say may sound extreme, and I don’t much care — Liberty isn’t subordinate to public safety or popular opinion, legislative action or judicial decision. And it sure as hell isn’t strengthened by statistics.

The next time the enemies of Liberty throw more “gun control” against the wall — and that’s in play as I write this, for cryin’ out loud don’t respond with intellectual counterpoint. Say this:

“No. Your move.”

We fight for Liberty by exercising the Liberty we were born with.

Whenever I acquire a new vehicle, tool, camera, phone or anything that (by some definition) needs to be operated, I “go to school.” I’ve done that over the last couple of years with the Bumper Bunker and with Ernie, with Mercy and with our Ranger.

Yeah, I’m the guy who reads the owner’s manual — cover-to-cover, several times. Beyond that I scour the wwWeb for reviews, tips and tricks, brochures and other material. I add “filetype:pdf” to my searches to uncover items that I can save to my computer for future reference.

Before long I have my education — but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t surprises. Yesterday I stumbled onto a feature on the Silverado that I didn’t know it had.

While installing those tie-down loops in the bed the other day I noticed what looked like a small junction box tucked under one of the bed rails. I didn’t think anything of it ’til last night, when I was investigating what it’d take to add auxiliary lighting to the bed. The images I found looked very much like what I saw in my own truck.

I went out to the driveway, climbed into the driver’s seat and pressed the paddle switch that actuates the cab-mounted cargo lights. They came on, along with — surprise — two under-rail LEDs that washed the floor of the bed in a useful glow.

I’d always wanted bed lighting. And now I have it.

Maybe the lights were part of an optional package, or maybe the previous owner dropped $130 to add them himself, but I suspect they came from the factory. There’s every indication that this was a work truck, a tool, used but not abused — no geegaws or trinkets, no lift kit and no fancy wheels or tires.

It’s basically a stock Silverado, seven years old with 91,000 miles, exactly what we were looking for.

Before we picked up the truck it was “detailed,” sort of. I’m sure the dealer ran it through a car wash and vacuumed the interior. It turned a vehicle that had been sitting on the lot into a “blocker” — that is, it looked good from a block away.

I’ve always maintained my own vehicles, keeping them tidy and clean. Right now, though, with the purge’n’pack going on, I just don’t have the time to devote to putting a spit-shine on the SilverSilverado. a good friend recommended I entrust it to a local detail shop, and this morning they picked up our truck and drove it off for a spa treatment.

We didn’t opt for the full polish and ceramic-coat treatment, just enough to bring out the clean and gleam it deserves. Especially important to us was scrubbing the carpets and the cloth upholstery. They did an outstanding job — the pictures tell the story.

Farming out that task freed Deb and me to spend all day making progress toward The Move. I dove into the shop, packing up tools and supplies and gear, separating what I’m keeping from what’ll be auctioned. It looks like I’ll be hanging onto only 10% to 15% of my stuff.

That, my friends, is an amazing feeling.

One year ago today, we pulled away from Bandera bound for the High Plains, setting our sights on eastern South Dakota for Independence Day.

That was the plan, anyway. Within a week, our route — and the way we rolled through our American Life — would change yet again.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB