Hey, North Dakota, ready for your state government to waste millions to get you to comply? It's coming.
Before going any further, I want to make an important point: CARES Act money isn't free money for the state, it's TAXPAYER money.
We should not be gleeful when Governor Burgum brags about how much money he netted for this state. If he'd have left businesses open, we wouldn't have needed most of it. All of that "free" money comes at a cost. Burleigh County Commissioner Mark Armstrong, in his excellent post on Facebook, made this point well:
Perhaps one reason we're having difficulty getting the legislature together to end the governor's state of emergency is that once we do, the money spigot shuts off. North Dakota being greedy with this money is no different than the large states we sometimes make fun of.
Second, let's be blunt: the media in this state and in the city of Bismarck have failed miserably.
Considering their profession and their duty, they have a remarkable lack of curiousity which is shown in their softball questions. For months, they have pursued a line of questions at press conferences that delves barely any further than the current case count and other information that can easily be found on the state websites. If they miraculously pitched a real question at the governor, I might tune in again. North Dakotans are easily controlled because they are uninformed because our media fails to go to meetings, dig into buried public records, routinely send FOIA requests, and ask difficult questions. Even worse, some seem to be cozy, having learned early on that if you don't toe the line with our state CEO Burgum, you don't get a seat at the table.
So, with the understanding that all the "free" money that came into North Dakota during this pandemic wasn't free, and with the lack of media doing much real coverage, we have a couple of interesting things the citizens of North Dakota ought to know.
$1.8 Million To Get You To Comply
No joke, that's the budget established to get you comply with masks (right now) and vaccines (coming soon). We are a state of about 700,000 people. We've taken in a boatload of CARES Act money. We grabbed all we could, and now we're going to spend it by the year's end.
That's taxpayer money being wasted. Don't you get angry when you hear of other states getting taxpayer money for stupid stuff? Did your property taxes go up? Has life become more financially challenging this year?
Our state is going to send almost two million dollars to an ad agency to make your eyeballs bleed with posters, billboards, radio ads, TV ads, online ads, and who knows what else simply to get you to do something you've decided, after six months of it all, you don't want to do.
Anyone telling you they need to raise awareness after six months of nonstop pandemic everything everywhere is a fool. You already know.
PR campaign to get compliance.
The bid for this PR campaign to get you to comply is $1.8 million. That is $1.8 million to be used by the end of December. That's a nice chunk of change in a short span of time. You can see the bid here. If you click in the "Request For Proposal" area, you can read a 33-page PDF of what they have planned for us in the coming months.
On page 7, we can see what the budget is.
|The Chief Communications Officer is Tammy Miller.|
The state must think so, because here's what they want: "DoH is issuing a solicitation to contract with a vendor to assist the marketing and communications team to improve awareness of initiatives related to the COVI-19"
As God is my witness, I legitimately wonder who possibly has the need for MORE AWARENESS at this point? Do they not understand that people who don't comply may do it not out of being unaware, but instead, by choice? Dr. Birx came to North Dakota last week and when asked about how "good" we were doing with masks, basically wagged her finger and said some of us had just forgotten and accidentally left that mask at home probably.
No, Dr. Birx, I purposefully left it at home. Chew on that.
If the billboards along the interstate and the posters and the social media and the signs and the press conferences and the lap dog media and the agreeable doctors who are given a platform weren't enough, we get even more!
I don't know. Is $1.8 million in screwball coercive advertising enough to make us give up the will to live? It could be.
Money spent for testing.
Why, after months of walking lockstep with every whim of the CDC, is Gov. Burgum now departing from their recommendations? After all, the CDC now recommends not testing people who have no symptoms.
"But Julie, Burgum wants so much testing because his heart goes out to people who get sick and/or die! That's what this is all about!"
Well, read this email:
|Email from Rick Becker for ND Facebook page.|
We want to be number 1! Whoo hoo! Don't you guys want to win the 50-state competition for meaningless numbers?! We're gonna be the best in testing, in numbers and...wait for it...vaccination rates. You watch. Our governor is chasing numbers using us as the dogs on the track so he can get his prize. Every new challenge is a chance to chase numbers at our expense.
Contrary to the number cruncher, you could save livelihoods by not forcing business owners to close or reduce their ability to earn a living.
I'll let you draw your own considerations as to why we keep pushing massive amounts of testing, but here's some information for you to consider.
Significant amounts of state/CARES Act money went for testing because no, folks, your "free" test wasn't free. It cost all of us as taxpayers a significant amount, and all of that money went into some corporate pocket.
Like the pocket of Abbott, creater of the tests and expensive machines used with the tests.
Which leads us to Miles D. White, executive chairman of the board of Abbott.
Guess who has a friendly connection to Abbott, who came out pretty well with our push for ridiculous non-stop "free" testing that wore out our National Guard and generated questionable results and sent asymptomatic people into a forced quarantine for two weeks?
Why Gov. Burgum does!
Our governor kept pushing for more and more testing, using taxpayer money to run a public ad campaign to get people take the test, used taxpayer money to pay for the test, and Abbott got some sweet dough.
This image shows that both Bill Gates (highlighted) has donated to Burgum. Look down the list and see who else has:
Here's another site showing the connection:
It's Miles D. White.
Maybe $50K doesn't sound like much compared to other political races elsewhere, but consider that in light of the total. It's a nice bit of change.
In 2020, White also gave $50K to Burgum's Dakota Leadership PAC, which is the entity that was used to unseat or defeat actual conservative North Dakotan candidates in the 2020 primary. Remember Thomas Beadle? Trump actually endorsed Dan Johnston, who was running for state treasurer. But Beadle is who Burgum wanted to win, so he had the money of the PAC behind him, and sent out creepy postcards with Trump photoshopped in to imply he had Trump's support.
And as North Dakotans are starting to realize, our "conservative" down-home aw shucks governor is pretty cozy with Bill Gates, who comes to Bismarck quite a bit to stay at our governor's mansion. (I wonder how much security costs for his visits, and who pays?) Gates has been very vocal about pushing a vaccine and even desiring it to be a requirement for everyone.
Maybe all that PR spending is starting to make sense, right?
Get tested, get the vaccine, use our own taxpayer money for a PR campaign to gaslight us into doing something we don't really want to do but are pressured to do, and when we follow the marching orders, those folks profit.
This should bother North Dakotans significantly, that the entities making and running the tests, and someone who will profit off of vaccines, are friendly with a governor clearly promoting the people of this state to do things that will profit those entities.
P.S. Abbot has some other neat technology in the works. And we know Gov. Burgum loves technology. He repeatedly called the "Care-19" tracking app a "fun thing" during the press conferences. So maybe we can expect to be a testing ground for what Abbott has next.
|Hey guys, want a digital health pass to be allowed to go to work and stuff?|
Remember how all of this was gently started a few months ago, and where we're at now. Just keep that in mind as we see more PR coming out about the vaccine despite being reassured that being chosen as a COVID-19 vaccine planning state by the CDC is not like what it sounds and that everyone can choose what they want to do and it's all just good folks and harmless good will.
Task Force Meetings Are Public Online
One thing we've learned this year is that what is conducive to liberty and freedom is "unsafe" in a pandemic. It's much easier to control the public when the public can't actually be present and able to speak when and where decisions are being made.
Bookmark the Burleigh-Morton COVID-19 Task Force (BMCTF) web page. Familiarize yourself with it. Click around the pages and links, see meeting schedules, and find out who is on the task force.
If you think that because you don't live in Burleigh or Morton counties that this doesn't affect you, you're wrong. This is the capital city, and this is a great proving ground for pushing it out across the state. It's coming to you.
For a sample of what these meeting calls look like, every single person should watch this call and note:
- The lack of dissenting opinion allowed.
- What these leaders, essentially approved by Gov. Burgum, are advocating.
- A woman doctor using a study or two, and then stating something is "conclusive" when at best it can only be considered a correlation (i.e. we can't conclude because the data is only showing a possible correlation to something i.e. manipulating numbers and words to stop dissent).
Watch the recorded videos. Share them and let people know of worrisome things you see in them. Learn to spot logical fallacies in them, and understand that the key one at work but unspoken is an unquestioned appeal to authority.
What Do I Do?
It's no good if we don't do anything, if we passively go along to get along, or just feel anger but let them run roughshod over the citizens of this state.
1. Contact the governor, the task force, and other leaders. You can find that information here. Tell them you don't want this money being spent for this, that you're tired of the public relations campaigns, and that you want the state government to support personal liberty instead of using emotional coercion to get people to comply. Contact them once, at least. More is better.
The governor's office will give you a generic form email that says nothing, but don't let that hold you back. I have about six at this point. Build your collection!
2. Familiarize yourself with the messaging and learn to ignore it. They are going to use messaging that has been studied to get compliance out of people. I encourage you to read this page and start practicing in identifying the messaging in the things you read online, whether it's people's comments or the official state PR.
3. Don't vote for Doug Burgum. From his own mouth, he has said he sees himself as the CEO of North Dakota, not a public servant. He's not here to serve the people, but control and manage the people. Anyone who has tried to contact his office or meet with him has met the wall of staff and extreme controlled communication. You will not be heard, acknowledged, or given access. He talks to you, not the other way around. Hear his ideas, do what he says, or hit the road.
He's even begun using this technique at elections, using his personal wealth to get rid of true conservatives who have solidly served this state.
|It's not a very nice graphic, but let's face it, he easily bamboozled ND in the primary.|
You can write in a Constitutional Republican candidate in Michael Coachman. You do have options.
|Write in, and DON'T FORGET TO FILL IN THE CIRCLE!|
4. Make your decisions, and learn to accept the discomfort of other's personal liberty. If you want to wear a mask and get a vaccine, that's fine. Make your own decisions. But despite being subtly encouraged by things you see online and state-sponsored PR campaigns, do not confront or get all up in people's faces who have chose otherwise. Do not become a puppet "influencer," little more than an unpaid foot soldier in the $1.8 million Gaslight Extravaganza. Others make their own decisions, live with different acceptable risk levels, and are free to do so.
5. Start digging on the public sites, and through FOIA. We got a lot of CARES Act money, people. Wouldn't you like to know where that slush fund is headed, who it profits (both financially and in appearances during an election year)?
6. Write to your newspaper and news outlets and demand they do their damn job. I am an artist. I make cupcakes and read mystery books. Why the heck I have to be the one to put this stuff out there on my personal blog instead of reading it in the Bismarck Tribune is beyond me.
7. Spread the word. Share this post. No, not because I want hits. I have no ads and make no money and don't care about hits. Share it to inform everyone before the election. Print it off and share it with people who don't read stuff online. The PR blitz is coming, and it's going to be ugly.
UPDATE: I've been informed that Miles D. White also gave $50K to Burgum's PAC in 2020, in addition to the $50K from 2016, which is what was used to fund the campaigns of North Dakota candidates that unseated actual conservatives. So I've updated the post to reflect that.
UPDATE OCT 2, 2020: I haven't been on the ND Dept. of Health Facebook page for a long time because it was getting extremely coercive. I popped over there to see how bad it had gotten to find this gem:
There were a lot more. It's wall-to-wall propaganda. You could put all the posts, posters, and media together and create a NDDOH version of Pravda. It might not be in print. But our tax-payer funded departments in the state government have truly and unquestionably been churning out a digital Pravda.