Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Film The Road as a Cautionary Tale

The Film The Road as a Cautionary Tale


The film The Road based on the book by the same title, is a very good cautionary tale illustrating why it’s not good to get caught with your pants down with regards to preparedness.

As the film begins, the father, played by Viggo Mortenson, knows something is wrong.  When he begins filling up the bath tub, his wife, played by Charlene Theron ask him something to the effect of “Why are you taking a bath?”  He wasn’t bathing.  He was stockpiling water for drinking.

As you get further along in the film, it becomes obvious that the wife is not going to make it.  She does not have the psychological survival skills to make it.  She wants the pre-TEOTWAWKI world back and it's not coming back.  Hence, the reason to prepare, so you can rebuild the world if it comes to that.  The wife simply wonders off into the night and never returns.

After the wife is gone, the father and the boy, forgive the terrible pun with relation to the title, hit the road.

As someone who has been a student of preparedness for more than two decades, a writer of a paid, print, subscription preparedness newsletter for two years, and a blogger on the subject 2 to three years now, I was floored, absolutely floored, by what I saw in this film.  (Yes, I know it was just a movie, but what a lesson it teaches.)

Ever heard this?  “For want of a nail......”  In fact, the film could have been titled For Want of a Nail.  Or better yet For Want of a Bullet.  Let me explain.

The father and the son faced many dangers that could have been taken care of if they had just done only a little bit of preparation.  They were presented with INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITIES they could have taken advantage of if they had prepared.

Before we examine the dangers and opportunities, I want to make some comments about the film.

I thought the film The Book of Eli presented an accurate portrayal of what a post TEOTWAWKI would look like.  As good as that film was in portraying TEOTWAWKI, the realism of what TEOTWAWKI would look like in The Road was, in my opinion, a power of ten increase over The Book of Eli.  (The Book of Eli was an awesome film!)

Dangers-If you ever want a reason to get motivated about stockpiling ammunition for your firearms, just watch this film.  Before the wife walked out into the night and never came back, there was a scene in which husband and wife were talking.  They talked about how the raiders (for those of the Rawles school of preparedness this is the “golden hoard) would come back and that they only had TWO BULLETS!!!!  Does one have to go to school and take special courses to be that stupid?  In addition, they only had a revolver!

Fast forward now to the scene where the men on the truck were hunting.........humans.  Yes, there is cannibalism in this film.  In this scene the father and the boy head into the woods to hide.  One of the members of the cannibal hunting party walks into the woods to urinate and discovers the father and son.  He states that he thinks the father won’t shoot him.  The father deposits high velocity metal into the skull of said hunter.  Now the father has only one bullet, and the other hunters are streaming out to find out what happened.

If you observe close, essentially all of the hunters had scoped, bolt action rifles.  If the father had only had a Ruger 10/22 with a 25 round detachable magazine, he could have killed half of the hunters before they even knew what was happening.  But when you only have a revolver with one bullet........

Opportunities-The father and son had numerous opportunities they could have taken advantage of, if only they had prepared.  If they had say 300 standard sized nails, 300 two inch screws, a hammer, screwdriver, and a small hand saw, they could have had their choice of accommodations.  In one scene, the father finds the house he grew up in.

The items mentioned in the previous paragraph could have been easily carried in the cart the father and son  carried their supplies in.  With said items plus a Ruger 10/22, they could have fortified the houses they walked up on.  (To be fair though, running a 24/7 LP/OP watch with only two people could not be done for an extended period of time.)

With regards to missed opportunities, it gets even worse. 

When the father and the boy were just about to drop from starvation, they find an underground shelter loaded with food and supplies!  (The owner(s) of that underground shelter probably were dead-most likely because they bought into the lie that firearms are not needed for survival.)

The father and the boy stay in the shelter for a while, gain some weight with all the food there, and get much needed rest.  In additions, the father gets to spend time with his son doing what fathers do in normal situations.

Then one day they hear people walking on the surface.  They have to leave BECAUSE YOU CANNOT DEFEND YOURSELF OR YOUR PLACE OF SAFETY WITH A REVOLVER THAT HAS ONLY ONE BULLET!!!!!!!!!!!!

As bad as this was, it still gets even worse.

In one part of the movie they run up on what appears to be an empty house.  The basement/cellar is locked.  The father opens it.  He discovers a group of people being held prisoner, chained and naked, to be eaten by, you guessed it, more cannibals.  Just as the father gets back to the main floor, the cannibals return.  Father and son hide upstairs and discover the area where the prisoners were butchered to be eaten.  Just as father and son are about to be discovered, the prisoners start coming out of the basement/cellar and this gives father and son time to escape.

Have you ever heard the word “charity”?  Protecting yourself, your family, and your property are not the only reason to own guns.  When other humans are in danger, and the risks to you and yours are relatively low, you have not a responsibility, but AN OBLIGATION to defend your fellow human beings.  The obligation is even stronger if those other human beings are old, sick, children, handicapped, or weak.  I chose the word obligation purposely.  ‘Responsibilities” are made to be shirked off.  Ever hear these kindergarten teachers who try to brainwash young children into believing the lie of man made global warming?  They make children repeat “With rights come responsibilities”.   Factually incorrect.  With rights comes only ONE obligation: Don’t violate the rights of other human beings.

An obligation is stronger than a responsibility.  I wish there were Samurai kindergarten.  If I had any children that is where I would send them.  At least they would get the opportunity to choose honor instead of mediocrity.

In that scene, it never shows what happened to those people.  It’s highly likely they were put back in the basement/cellar, naked, because THEY HAD NO GUNS, BUT THE PEOPLE WHO TOOK THEM PRISONER DID HAVE GUNS.

At this point, the reader might have noticed a, shall I say subtle, sub-theme in this post?  If you have, excellent!

This whole anti-gun thing is getting, correction, has gone, way past the point of logical thinking.  I’m fine with keeping guns out of the hands of people who meet the clinical definition of psychosis.  (Psychosis is any mental disease in which the person has lost touch with reality-they hear things other people don’t hear, they see things other people don’t see, etc.)  But to restrict firearms ownership by people who are law abiding, have no violent crime convictions and no psychosis is done only for one reason:Tyranny.

(Also, if a charge of domestic violence is going to keep one from owning a gun, domestic violence needs to be raised to a felony in areas where it is classified as a misdemeanor.  Otherwise you have felony accountability for a misdemeanor crime.)

If the U.S. government wants to restrict or take guns away from people who obey the law, you can be sure of this: The U.S. government is planning on BREAKING THE LAW sometime in the near future.

I do recall something about “of, by and for the people.”

Sorry for the rant.

Do learn the lesson that The Road teaches.  It says:

1.  Be prepared and don’t get caught with your pants down.

2.  Being prepared is not only about helping yourself.  It’s also about helping others.

3.  Being prepared to take advantage of opportunities is a large part of winning in survival.

4.  Keep the fire alive.  (You’ll have to watch the film to get that one.  This is arguably the most important thing in survival-attitude.)  The father taught this to the boy in the film.

5.  With regard to guns, have more than a revolver with two bullets.


To all of you all around the planet, keep the faith, think noble thoughts, do noble things, take care of the ones you love, help others when possible, behave in an honorable manner, judge others solely by their actions, respect the person and property of other people, and remember that when individual human beings work together, we can improve the lot for all. 


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Interesting Survival Products

Night Vision Equipment

Has this “zombie apocalypse” thing gone too far or what?

Extreme Ratio RAO Ultra Heavy Folding Knife

Dark Ops Knife’s Vindicator

Survival Bags Inc.

Tactical Tailor

SCCY Industries CPX-2

Bravo Company U.S.A.-tactical gear

Elite Survival Systems

Check out their Crossroad Discreet Escape Bag

Personal Defense World

Survival Prep Store

Emergency Birthing

4 EverLites

Dr. Power Burncage-Burn those sensitive documents!


Survive Tomorrow Supply

Convertible Greenhouses Co.

“The Globalgig solution stands out from the crowd by applying an innovative use of technology designed to provide you with truly seamless internet access when travelling to or between the UK, USA or Australia.”

B’Twin Folding Bicycles

X Products High Capacity Magazines

LifeStraw Portable Water Filter

American Survivor Website

Texas Ready Seed Banks!

Just Water-Water Filters

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Defending Yourself Against the “Intellectual Punt”

The intellectual punt is a disinformation technique designed to get individuals to reject certain ideas by associating them with other ideas.

I DO NOT assume that everyone understands football as played in the United States of America, and since I played a little in junior high and high school, I’ll explain the concept of the punt.

The offense, that’s the team with the ball, has four chances (four downs) to make ten yards of forward progress from where they started.  So if they started on the twenty yard line, they have to make it to the thirty yard line in four plays.  If, after the third down, the offense has not made ten yards of forward progress, the team has two options.  If the team thinks they can INTEGRATE and work together, they go for it on the fourth down.  If the team thinks they cannot INTEGRATE and work together, on fourth down the ball is snapped to the punter who drop kicks the ball away.  Had the offence gone for it on fourth down (assuming they started on the twenty yard line) and made it only to the twenty nine yard line, the other team would get the ball and only have to go twenty nine yards to score a touchdown.  So if the offense cannot INTEGRATE and work together, the punt gives them better field position and increases the distance the other team has to move the ball to score.

Rather than give a precise definition of the intellectual punt, I’m going to define by example.  I’m going to give 6 generic statements and 1 specific statement.  When I give the specific statement, some of you will recognize the person I’m quoting.  He’s a bit “iffy” on some things.

This person gives a lot of good data in his books about the ongoing movement to create a world government.  By “movement to create a world government” I’m simply referring to the ongoing movement to get sovereign nations to cede more and more of their control to a central global authority.  There’s no big secret there.  However, I do think it’s bad, because once you have a central global authority and it goes bad as all governments do given enough time, there will be no other force there to keep it in check.

Lets begin.

Statement 1-True statement about the movement for world government.  Easily confirmed at even a small town library.  Easily confirmed using 1st rate, 2nd rate, and even 3rd rate internet sources.  (We’ll cover how to determine what is a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rate internet source another time.  However it is a process of elimination-all sources are considered 3rd rate until proven otherwise.)

Statement 2-True statement about the movement for world government.  This statement might require a medium size town library to confirm.  It can be confirmed using 1st, 2nd, or 3rd rate internet sources but it takes a little more time.

Statement 3-True statement about ongoing conspiracy for world government.  For confirmation, a  large city library might be required.  Confirmation via the internet will be tedious because the 1st rate source will say one thing, the 2nd rate source will say basically the same thing as the 1st rate source-it will just say more, and the 3rd rate source will say something totally different.

Comment: At this point you were hit with the word “conspiracy”.  The term “conspiracy theory” has been turned into a bonafide psychological weapon.  A man or woman could say “The sky reflects blue light and the grass reflects green light”.  Call their statement a “conspiracy theory” and 99 times in 100 they will back off. 

Let’s define our terms.

conspiracy-When two or more individuals work in secret to achieve a given end.

I think that has happened a few times in recorded history.  A number of Roman emperors were assassinated via conspiracy.  It’s how “honest” Abe Lincoln was removed.  It how J.F.K. was removed. (If you actually believe a bullet can turn 180 degrees in flight and move opposite the direction it was fired, you may want to look into a scientific discipline known as “physics”.  )

People tent to associate “conspiracy” with bad things.  As such, it’s worth noting that two or more individuals can work in secret to achieve a good end.

The term “conspiracy theory” is really a term used by weak minds who reject an idea on an a priori basis.  In simple terms, they reject an idea simply because it does not fit in with their way of thinking.  At best, the a priori fallacy is very dangerous.  At worst, it gets you killed.

Let’s continue.

Statement 4-True statement about the ongoing conspiracy for world government that is very complex.  This hits even harder because the statement seems outlandish to someone who is not well versed on this topic.  You will need a big city library and a lot of time spent in that library to confirm this one.  The information you find on the internet will be so convoluted you won’t even be able to make an educated guess at what is a 1st rate, 2nd rate, or 3rd rate internet source.  Also, the various internet sources will contradict one another.

Hang on, it gets worse.

Statement 5-True statement about the ongoing conspiracy for world government.  To confirm this one you will need to go to one of the less than one hundred university libraries in the United States designated as a “research library”.  If you go to such a library, you will have to spend from half a day to 3 days to confirm the statement and you will have to check multiple sources.  If you do an internet search, you really have to know how to work the internet.  For example, if you’re looking for the number “4", you’re not going to find a “4" on any one web site.  You might have to go to one site and find a “2" and to another site to find another “2" to make a “4".

Statement 6-True statement about the ongoing movement/conspiracy for world government.  Notice that “movement/conspiracy” is used together.  This further muddies the water.  You will need a research library.  However, if one cannot “read between the lines” as it were, a research library is not going to help.  Let’s say again, for purposes of example, we are doing an internet search for the number “4".  This time it isn’t going to be as easy as 2 + 2 = 4.  This time you might have to go to four web sites and find a “1" at each site to make a “4".  You might have to go to eight web sites and find a “0.5" at each web site to make a “4".  You might have to go to sixteen web sites and find a “0.25" at each web site to get a “4".

It’s worth noting that most people cannot effectively do what is necessary to confirm statement 6.  I would estimate/guesstimate/extrapolate that only 1 person in 75 can do this. 

Now, it’s time for the punt.

Statement 7-“The British royal family are alien, reptilian, shape shifters.”  At this point some of you know who I’m quoting.  Can you see the punted ball flying away?

So now let’s give a little more formal definition of the “intellectual punt”.

In simple terms, there are true statements that you do not want people to believe.  You then add to the true statements one or more statements of outlandish bullshit.  The idea is to make the bullshit so outlandish that the reader throws everything away, or “intellectually punts” all of the data away because he/she cannot INTEGRATE it all into a cogent whole.

So how do you handle the statement that is designed to induce the intellectual punt?  You handle it just like any other.

“Alien”-There is no fundamental physical law that says other intelligent life cannot exist in this multi verse or in our particular universe.  Given the size of our universe, an estimated 14 billion light years across, it’s essentially a sure thing there is other intelligent life out there.

(I do have a modest proposal.  Perhaps we should confirm intelligent life exists on planet Earth before we look for it elsewhere in the universe.  We as a species keep following these chemarims we call “politicians”.  If there are any reptiles on planet Earth that walk on 2 legs, politicians are the most likely candidates.  They’re certainly cold blooded)

“Reptilian”-There is no fundamental physical or biological law that prohibits there being highly intelligent reptiles.  However, I think it’s a bit of a long shot because reptiles are cold blooded, meaning they cannot internally regulate their body temperature.  This would make an advanced brain very difficult.

“Shape shifter”-This one is a bit more problematic.  While there is no fundamental physical law or biological law that prevents it, it would be very hard.  In a biological of this type, mass would be constant.  However, when shifting to a new shape, surface area would be variable.  As such, temperature regulation would be more difficult than it would be for a biological whose surface area were a constant.

But where is the evidence?  In simple language, it ain’t there.  I do remember an episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine in which the shape shifter on the station, Odo, was made to shift back to his original shape by being hit with what appeared to be a bolt of plasma or electricity.  Is the promulgator of this “alien, reptilian, shape shifter” theory going to hit the Queen Mother with an 800,000 volt stun gun?  I doubt it.


In all seriousness, do some observations yourself.  Notice how “controversial” ideas are mixed in with ideas that are just crazy.  Notice how other people “punt” when this occurs.  Take care not to “punt” yourself.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Some Thought for those Feeling Depressed During the “Silly Season”

Some Thought for those Feeling Depressed During the “Silly Season”

It’s not really odd for an article like this to be on a site about preparedness and survival.  You see, a significant number of people will not survive the Christmas Season because they will self-terminate a.k.a commit suicide.

My formal education is in psychology, and one thing we know is that while not the time of the highest number of suicides, a lot of people do commit suicide during the Christmas season, New Year’s Day being the day with the highest total suicides over the Christmas Season.

This article is for those people contemplating suicide.

There are a lot of good reasons for many of us to feel depressed.  Many of you will spend Christmas Day alone.  Many of you will get no Christmas Cards.  Some of you won’t even get a “Merry Christmas” from a single human being.  Many of you are unemployed or underemployed.  As such, you have a lot of time to think about the fact that you have no family and you are unemployed and in economic hot water.  (The economic hot water thing applies to me personally, so at least in that area, I do know what you’re going through.)

Now, if you are thinking about committing suicide, what I AM NOT going to do is ask you not to do it.  What I am going to do is ask you to put it off.  You see, if you’ve really made up your mind to commit suicide, you will find a way to do it, even if they lock you up in a padded room.  Just put it off.

It’s worth commenting on the phenomenon of depressive realism.  Individuals who are mildly depressed perceive the world more accurately than their non-depressed peers.  The key word is MILDLY in mildly depressed.  If you’ve reached the point where you are thinking about committing suicide, you are way past the point of mild depression.  As such, you DO NOT perceive the world more accurately, you perceive it less accurately.

So what do you do?

Get help is an obvious answer.  However, depending on where you are, even seeing a standard M.D. could take days or weeks.  To see a psychiatrist could take longer.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to see a doctor-do try.  But I want to give you alternatives in case you have to wait, because the wait could kill you. 

There are other people you can talk to.  Your minister, rabbi, priest, or other religious leader is a start.  If you have no religion or you’re an atheist, in larger cities there are organizations that offer counseling to people who are contemplating suicide.

If push comes to shove and you think you are going to do it, go to your local emergency room.  Ask to see the resident psychiatrist and tell them you are contemplating suicide.

With that said, I know some of you will never ask for help.  That means you’re going to have to take matters into your own hands to help yourself.  (And I’m not talking about a .38 revolver.)

What follows should be looked at as ideas, not a list of steps.  Some of the ideas will be good for one person and not another person.  Consider them all.

1.  Spend some time helping people whose lives are way more messed up than yours.  This sounds like b.s, UNTIL YOU DO IT.  Been there, done that.  Helping other people whose lives are way more messed up than yours helps you get a more realistic perspective on your own situation.

When you get depressed, you start focusing more and more on your own situation.  This starts a cycle in which you become more depressed.  You then focus ever more on your own situation.  You have to break this cycle, and helping others who are way more messed up than you helps you do this.

2.  RADICALLY CHANGE THE STRATEGIES YOU ARE USING TO ADDRESS YOUR OWN PROBLEMS.  Again, here we get into a vicious cycle.  When things are not working, what do we as humans tend to do?  WE DO WHAT WE’VE BEEN DOING; ONLY WE DO IT HARDER.  Sad but true.

A one hundred eighty-degree change of strategy and tactics is a good technique.  Totally change how you approach your situation.

3.  Avoid isolation.  Isolation will just give you more opportunity to focus on your own issues.  Get out of your house or apartment and get out in public.  One thing I suggest is going to the movies.  Even if your economic situation is bad, you can probably scrape up enough money for the ticket.  Eat something before going and sneak a water or soda into the theater inside your coat.  Snacks at the movies are so expensive because the theater makes ZERO money off the tickets.  That all goes to the movie makers.

If you are going to spend Christmas Day alone, I highly recommend this one for Christmas Day.  A lot of new films open on Christmas Day.

Movies, for a time, take you into an imaginary world.  That is a good thing when you are depressed.  You need to “get away” for a short time.

In the theme of avoiding isolation, most cities, even small ones, have lots of public events during the Christmas season that are free to the public.  Get a copy of your local newspaper or city magazine and find the dates and times of these and go to as many as you can.  If you’re going to be alone on Christmas Day and your city has an event on Christmas Day, go to it.

If a local Church has a service on Christmas Day, go to it even if you’re not a member.

4.  In survival and preparedness, we know this: You avoid if possible making big decisions when you are hungry, thirsty, fatigued, or sleep deprived.  If you are depressed and you are experiencing any of these, you need to fix it.

Try to eat at least 3 large meals daily or 4 to 5 smaller meals.  If money is an issue, the canned meat section of the grocery store offers a lot of good protein selections at low prices.

If you are fatigued, rest.  If you can’t rest, plan your activities in the most energy efficient manner.

Now, sleep is a biggie with regard to clinical depression.  THE CLASSIC WARNING SIGN OF CLINICAL DEPRESSION IS EARLY MORNING AWAKENING.  If you wake at any time between 2:00 A.M. and 5:00 A.M. and cannot go back to sleep, this is a big warning sign that you have clinical depression.  If you go to bed at nonstandard times, if you normally sleep on or about 8 hours and you wake up at a time on or about 4 hours after going to bed, you have early morning awakening.

If you simply cannot sleep, melatonin is a good option.  It’s available over the counter.  I personally have found the Natrol brand to work consistently.  I think this is because it is a pure synthetic as opposed to melatonin extracted from animal sources.

5.  Take steps to reduce bad stress.  Again, planning your activities in the most energy efficient and time efficient manner will help.  Plan your tomorrow TODAY.  Write down all the places you need to go, what you need to do, and all the addresses and phone numbers of the people and places you will need to go to and see.  It’s good to write it out in a small notebook.  If you do this in your smart phone or electronic devise, Murphy’s ghost will catch up with you-the electronic devise will fail when you need it the most.  (Also smart phones are easily hacked.  That’s a good reason not to keep detailed personal information there.)

If you don’t exercise regularly, start.  If you can afford a gym membership, I suggest you get one.  This will be another way to get you out of the house and interacting with other people. 

If you cannot afford a gym membership, consider local churches, your local YMCA, or Jewish Community Centers.  Many of these have exercise facilities.

If this is not an option, there was a very good book written more than 20 years ago by a U.S. Navy SEAL entitled Get Tough.  It is an exercise/running plan that requires no other equipment than a chin up bar.  Even if you have no chin up bar, if you do the other exercises you will be in great shape.

Double blind placebo controlled studies have shown regular exercise helps lift depression.

With regard to reducing stress there is a book entitled The Relaxation Response that has some very good techniques for lowering stress.

If you cannot afford the books mentioned, your local library can get them via an interlibrary loan if they don’t already have them.

6.  The herb St. Johns Wort is an over the counter product that has been proven to work as good or better than the prescription SSRI (Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors), what I refer to as the “Zoprac” class of anti-depressants.

Now, here is a big warning.  One of the most dangerous times in depression for those contemplating suicide is the time when the depression is first lifting.  When you are at rock bottom, you may be too depressed to kill yourself.  However, when you’re coming out of it there will be a time when you’re not over it but you will have enough energy to kill yourself.  So be careful.  I only offer this advice because I know some of you will not seek professional help.  Again let me say if you can get professional help, get professional help.

With regards to St. Johns Wort, you want to buy a standardized version.  One I recommend is a brand called Kira.  It is made in Germany.  The Germans were big into herbal medicine (until the dictatorial European Union regulated herbs).  It is of excellent quality.  The company Nature’s Way makes a standardized product called Perika  that is very good.

How does it work?  St. Johns Wort acts as a reversible mono amine oxidase inhibitor (as opposed to the irreversible prescription maoi inhibitors like phenalzine sulfate, tranylcypromine, and isocarboxazide which can cause blood pressure to rise to lethal levels if the person taking them ingest the chemical tyramine in certain foods or if the person taking them takes certain drugs, both over the counter and prescription).

7.  Try speaking to God in prayer.  Try this especially if you don’t believe He exists.  This comes from someone who has been on both sides.  Let me explain.

I started out thinking I was a Christian.  Then I swung over to the other side and essentially became an atheist.  Later, I read a book  by an orthodox Jewish rabbi (not a Christian) that convinced me that the Bible was real, so I became a real Christian, but not a “good” Christian.  I object on principle to anyone being called a “good Christian”.  If we were good, we would not need the overly generous deal offered by Jesus Christ.  Also, any honest Christian will tell you they commit sins on a frighteningly routine basis.  I know I do.

However, it’s not my purpose to make you a convert in this article.  My purpose is to keep you alive.

When you go to God in prayer, be respectful but say what’s on your mind.  If you have questions, ask them.  God is not interested in humans repeating mindless prayers over and over again.  In fact, He considers such prayers offensive.  God is interested in you.  Why you ask?  I can only give you my theory.

A large part of running the multiverse for God has to be boredom.  When your omnipotent, omnipresent, and not bound by linear time, you pretty much know all there is to know and all there ever will be.  In simple terms, God made us because he was bored and wanted (not needed) company.  God views all humans as his children, and like any loving father he does care about his children.  That’s why you should go to Him in prayer with your problems and issues.

I would be negligent here if I did not cover what many people, including depressed people, will ask.  They ask “How can a loving God allow evil and suffering to exist?”  Or sometimes it is stated “If 1. God is totally good and 2. God is omnipotent, omnipresent and all powerful; the existence of evil proves that one of the two has to be false.”

That is what I call a simple Simeon philosophical argument.

God does not mess with free will.  If humans had the choice to:

1.  Behave good.
2.  Behave good.

We would not be humans.  We would be mindless automatons.

You say “What about all the suffering in the world?”

Most of it is caused by us.  When a walkway in a hotel falls and kills a lot of people, we humans have a tendency to blame God when they should blame architects who can’t do math as it applies to statics.

Why doesn’t God remedy all the suffering in the world?  HE SENT US TO REMEDY IT.  This does not mean one has to end world hunger eradicate all injustice.  It may be something as simple as saying a kind word to someone who is lonely or a kind word to that person in the office who is not well liked.

If you’re depressed this Christmas and you get that, once you recover, it’s unlikely you will ever get depressed again.

One last thing before I go.  With regards to life on Earth, the secret to life may be this simple:

Keep putting one foot in front of the other.

May you stay alive this Christmas and live to see many more.