The Dangers of Illegitimacy

A more proper title for this article would have been “The Dangers of Perceived Illegitimacy” as often it’s the perception that matters even more than the reality of legitimacy.  An illegitimate government that is perceived as legitimate will wield power as peacefully if not as effectively as a government that is truly legitimate and perceived as such.  Conversely a legitimate government that is perceived as illegitimate will create an atmosphere of civil discord and strife.

legitimate: adjective le·git·i·mate \li-ˈji-tə-mət\ : allowed according to rules or laws : real, accepted, or official : fair or reasonable per merriam-webster.com

Today in much of the U.S. we find ourselves in a position where there is a camp that increasingly believes our federal government is exercising unconstitutional powers through a variety of mechanisms including executive orders, legislative shenanigans (like the White House failing to submit the Iran Nuclear capitulation ‘Deal’ to the Senate for approval as the Constitution requires for treaties), an activist judiciary, kill lists that include the names of U.S. citizens…likely bad people yet still U.S. Citizens who are assassinated without ‘due process.’  There’s even a subset of this camp that believes that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States and is therefore not eligible to lead the nation.  As to that latter allegation that same camp never alleges that the President’s mother wasn’t a U.S. Citizen which would make him eligible in any case.  Not hearing the same outcry against Senator Ted Cruse who was born in Canada to U.S. Citizens either.

As if the perception of federal illegitimacy wasn’t bad enough there’s a different, sizable camp that believes that their state and local governments are illegitimate due to racism, the legacy of slavery or because minority interests are merely protected and not promoted at the expense of other minorities and the majority populace.  In fact as George Will so eloquently puts it there are so many things to be offended by, and so little time to agonize about each.  The dangers of illegitimacy were put brutally on display recently when a uniformed official of the high school football variety was brazenly attacked on the field by two high school students who perceived him as racist.

The dangers of illegitimacy, perceived or correct do have the power to destroy our nation.  I’d argue that the various perceptions of illegitimacy have already greatly weakened us.  When a first lady of the United States says that ‘for the first time in my adult life I’m proud of my country‘ because it elected her husband she was expressing her perception of our entire nation being illegitimate.  When a leading presidential candidate states that our country was founded on ‘racist principals‘ instead of properly stating that our great nation was founded on the concept that all men are created equal in spite of the human failings of some of our founders he’s questioning our legitimacy.  When the race baiters and extremists highlights our differences instead of our commonalities then we enter dangerous territory where those with communications platforms or even just a social media account begin calling for the execution of police officers for the ‘crime’ of keeping the peace or for outright class war or ‘race war‘  When our unelected two party officials craft debate participation rules so as to assure their desired range of outcomes they add to this perception of illegitimacy.  When congress passes tax laws so Byzantine and clearly targeted at the producers and entrepreneurs that the IRS becomes a symbol of oppression and illegitimacy we are in danger of inciting a tax revolt.

To make matters worse our federal government now regularly sues our State and local governments to force the States to stop enforcing the very laws that the federal government itself is sworn to uphold while our States regularly, in turn sue our federal government for abridging the rights of the States and her citizens.

Only by once again embracing the principals of transparency, fair play and rule of law can we hope to recapture the perception of legitimacy at the State and federal level.  Those willing to commit government overreach on the left and the right would do well to remember both the words of President Jefferson and the legend of Robin Hood that so many generations were raised on.  Even if we do everything right…perceptions are fickle things and people will believe what they want in spite of the facts but if we don’t try then the dangers of illegitimacy may prove fatal to our Republic and many of our fellow citizens.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. it is it’s natural manure. Thomas Jefferson writing to William Stephens Smith from Paris. Aug. 30. 1787.

Prepping for Riots & Civil Unrest – 10 Tips

Ferguson Response NetworkAs the mainstream media positively salivates over the anticipated civil unrest and rioting that’s expected following the release of the dual Grand Jury investigation and Department of Justice investigations that are expected to exonerate Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, a teenager of African decent we thought it might be a good idea to review tips on prepping for riots and civil unrest.  According to a knowledgeable multi-juristictional law enforcement analyst the law enforcement community is more concerned about the aftermath of the Ferguson shooting information release than any event since 9/11.

A riot or period of riots/civil unrest is best avoided and the Prepping for Riots and Civil Unrest tips below should help you avoid or if necessary safely escape a dangerous situation.

  1. Avoid:  Riots and protests that could easily become riots are often organized on social media including sites like this one currently being used to organize protests and riots following the release of the results of the Grand Jury investigation into the acts of Officer Wilson.  Sites like these tell you where and in some cases when ‘actions’ will occur.  They tell me what parts of town to avoid like the plague.  If you find yourself in a mob, avoid confrontation…don’t argue, verbally engage or negotiate.
  2. Know What Time It Is:  Many planned riots and protests that could easily become riots happen in the first few hours and days after the precipitating event.  Keep an eye on breaking news that could trigger a riot and go out of your way to return to safe areas or stay out of danger areas entirely if there is a potential precipitating event or planned release of information like the Officer Wilson Grand Jury and Department of Justice investigation results.
  3. Stay Calm:  Keep a calm, clear head and don’t get emotionally involved and compromise your decision making skills.  Mob mentality really exists but you must its lure even if you are sympathetic to the precipitating cause or excuse for the violence.
  4. Move Carefully but Decisively:  By staying calm you’ll be less likely to move quickly or rashly.  You want to keep your footing and avoid falling to the ground at all costs where you are in danger of being trampled, kicked or worse.  Move with intention through the crowd with a stern look on your face…don’t stop just continue moving and gently force your way through to safety.  One technique that works well with crowds that haven’t turned violent yet is shouting “make a hole, coming through…” as if you own the place…people will just move out of your way and continue on their business.
  5. Fade Away:  If you find yourself in the middle of a crowd that might get ugly get away immediately and quietly before a problem starts.  Move to the outer edge of the mob and fade away into a side street.  I was backpacking through Europe in the mid 1980s and stopped over in West Berlin (when there was such a place) for a few days and found myself drawn to what I thought was a street fair and parade.  After just a few short minutes I realized that I’d walked right into the middle of an anti-American protest complete with effigies of President Reagan being burned and lots of anti-nuclear propaganda being given out (it later came out that the Soviets organized and financed these types of protests in West Germany for decades)…anyway, as soon as I realized what was going on I silently pointed it out to my buddy so no one could hear my language and accent and we moved our bluejean (not something Europeans wore in those days) wearing asses down the nearest side street and outside of the danger area.  I didn’t know that it would turn violent but I wasn’t going to take the chance and the riot police on hand were conscripts from the same population that generated the protesters.  Reports I’ve read over the years indicate that if just 1-2% of a crowd turns violent then there is a potential for mob mentality to set in…become the grey man and fade away.  Don’t overlook the possibility of moving through a building if necessary but be very careful to avoid getting cornered or stuck.
  6. Strategic Relocation:  One thing I quickly noticed while living in Baghdad in 2006-2007 was that the same neighborhoods seemed to erupt in violence over and over…and I’m talking about Iraqi on Iraqi violence…turns out these were the neighborhoods on where Sunni and Shia neighborhoods met.  If you find yourself living in an area that’s a demographic fractional divide…find a way to move someplace safer.
  7. Don’t Lose Your Life With Your Property:  There are wonderful stories of business owners of Korean descent putting on a show of force outside and on the roofs of their stores to deter looting during the 1992 LA Riots but I’d be very cautious about trading my life for my property because in the end you may lose both.  This caution assumes that the property you lose only represents a financial loss and doesn’t represent you or your family’s best chances of survival.
  8. Be a Voice Of Reason:  The best way to keep riots from starting in the first place is to multiply those willing to act as the voice of reason.  Become that voice of reason in your community by encouraging adherence to the rule of law and oppose extra-jurisdictional killings, lynchings, ‘payback’ activities and post sports championship winning car burnings.
  9. Employ Camouflage:  If possible look like the group you find yourself within until you escape the immediate area at which point your camouflage might make you a target for rival groups or police.  When I found myself in that situation in West Berlin I really stood out in my American blue jeans.  Rearrange your clothing, add or remove a cap or pick up discarded items in order to look as much like the folks you want to ignore you as possible.
  10. Keep Together:  Don’t allow your group to get separated.  In dense crowds one technique to stay together is to hold hands or place a hand on the person in front’s shoulder and follow the leader very closely until you’ve reached safety.

I hope you never find yourself in a riot but if you do…I hope Prepping For Riots & Civil Unrest helps get you out safely.

Welfare Running Out Of Money – Today’s Quote

We are always hearing about how Social Security is going to run out of money.

How come we never hear about Welfare running out of money?

The Prepper Investment Guru (P.I.G.)

Andrew’s Note:  My buddy P.I.G., The Prepper Investment Guru recently sent me this thought…and whodathunkit…but it happened in at least a few states earlier this week when a computer glitch shut down the E.B.T. (Electronic Benefit Transfer) card system.  A related glitch actually removed the charging cap at other stores and led to a massive spending spree by some welfare recipients who found that they no longer had a spending cap.  God help us on the day that this entire ‘entitlement’ system suddenly crashes hard or shuts down for good because the only thing scarier than an zombie apocalypse is an E.B.T. riot…come to think about it, it might be hard to tell the difference.

The Durants on Savagery and Civilization – Today’s Quote

Civilization is not inherited; it has to be learned and earned by each generation anew; if the transmission should be interrupted for one century, civilization would die, and we should be savages again.

Will & Ariel Durant

Middle East Escalation in a Dangerous World

The news reports have been particularly troubling lately especially considering our increasingly dangerous world.  It almost makes you long for the stability of the Cold War and Détente.  Here are a couple of examples out of the Middle East.

An apparent Israeli incursion into Syria…

Israel must defend itself but now we’re mixing Israel, Hezbollah, Iran, U.S. interests, European interests, Russian interests and the rest of the world interested to boot.  Complicate that by having Persian, Shia’, Iran assisting Sunni, Arab (Ba’ath Party) Syria and the situation gets very volatile.  Oil supplies are in jeopardy, there’s risk of violence escalating generally throughout the region and one of Israel’s other neighbors (Egypt) is being run by the Muslim Brotherhood…where there’s rioting in the streets.

Conflicting accounts emerged Wednesday over an apparent Israeli airstrike inside Syrian territory earlier in the day—with several regional and Western officials saying Israeli jets had struck a convoy of trucks carrying arms near the Lebanon-Syria border, while Syria’s state media described an Israeli strike on a military facility near Damascus.

via Syria Says Israel Struck Military Site, as Accounts Diverge – WSJ.com.

Iranian response for an attack on Syria?

Issuing Tehran’s strongest warning to date, a top Iranian official said Saturday that any attack on Syria would be deemed an attack on Iran, a sign that it will do all it can to protect embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Ali Akbar Velayati, an aide to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, made his comments as Syrian troops conducted offensive air raids against rebels and discovered a trio of tunnels they were using to smuggle weapons in their fight to topple Assad.

via News from The Associated Press

Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Chicago, Libya, Mali, Philippines, oh my it’s a dangerous world!  Are you prepared for this dangerous world?

Shadow Globalization – Bazaars of Violence

Andrew’s Note: Today we return to our crystal ball…or at least the closest thing that the Department of Defense (DOD) has to it…namely the Joint Operating Environment (JOE) 2010. The JOE is the DOD’s keystone document used to project the world in which it will operate up to 25 years into the future.  As I’ve mentioned previously, it’s a sobering read for the prepper and likely to turn the non-prepper into one.  The following is excerpted from PART IV: THE IMPLICATIONS FOR THE JOINT FORCE, War in the 21st Century.  Links have been inserted by me to provide additional reading for context.  Read on to learn what the Department of Defense thinks about Shadow Globalization: “Bazaars of Violence”:

Shadow Globalization: “Bazaars of Violence”

The globalization of trade, finance, and human travel across international boundaries in the commercial world has an analogous dark side as well.  Criminal and terrorist networks are intermingling to construct their own “shadow globalization,” building micro markets, and trade and financial networks that will enable them to coordinate nefarious activities on a global scale. The ubiquity and ease of access to these markets outside of legal structures attract shadow financing from a much larger pool, irrespective of geography.  In these markets, rates of innovation in tactics, capabilities, and information sharing will accelerate and will enable virtual organizational structures that quickly coalesce, plan, attack, and dissolve.  As they grow, these markets will allow adversaries to generate attacks at a higher level of rapidity and sophistication beyond law enforcement’s capability to interdict. For example, we have seen Somali pirates hiring indigenous spotters to identify ships leaving foreign harbors as prime targets for hijackings. We should expect shadow globalization to encourage this outsourcing of criminality to interface increasingly with insurgencies, such that actors in local conflicts will impact on a global scale, with perhaps hundreds of groups and thousands of participants.

The line between insurgency and organized crime will likely continue to blur. This convergence can already be seen in the connections between the FARC and cocaine trafficking, MEND and stolen oil, and the Taliban and opium production. This convergence means that funding for violent conflicts will interplay and abet the growth of global gray and black markets. The current size of these markets is already $2-3 trillion and is growing faster than legal commercial trade; it has the potential to equal a third of global GDP by 2020.    (more…)

News to Know

Situational awareness is a key element of survival and today, situational awareness must be global.  Today we present news to know from the past week with a dab of commentary:

Security Threat News:

DHS Admits It Is Unprepared for EMP Threat:  The Department of Homeland Security says that our electrical grid is even more vulnerable to an Electromagnetic Pulse attack than we were a few years ago.

Al-Qaeda blamed for Europe-wide forest fires:  If true, Al-Qaeda has found an extremely efficient and low risk way damage Western society.

‘Killing Is The Solution,’ Gang Member Tells Walter Jacobson:  A disturbing look inside the thought process of a street gang member.  Give some thought to what’s between your family and people like this…then take appropriate steps.

Communication News:

Britain in talks on cybersecurity hotline with China and Russia:  In all the old movies the nuclear hotline phones are red…what color will the cyberhotline phone be…hope it’s not an IP phone.

Financial News: (more…)

REALITY CHECK Preparing for Class Warfare – Battling the 47th Entitlement Corps

Andrew’s Note:  Today we present another commentary in Roger’s REALITY CHECK series.  This time Roger takes on the current frenzy over Presidential Candidate’s Mitt Romney’s recently released comments regarding The 47%.  Enjoy your REALITY CHECK, Preparing for Class Warfare – Battling the 47th Entitlement Corps!

This is not a political website!  [AJJ’s Note:  Maybe a little bit when it comes to assaults on Individual Liberty]  Its purpose is to educate, communicate and facilitate the process of personal preparation for disaster and build self-reliance.  However, one of the highest probability and greatest threats likely to cause The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) comes directly from the political realm!  I have discussed taxation, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Dependence, and the national debt-saster, in previous posts.  I, like a sizable majority of Americans, feel the country is “headed in the wrong direction” and that is a direct result of the actions and inactions of politicians.  Thus, I will Reality Check various partisan political topics from time to time.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been sodomized for committing the politically mortal sin of telling the truth during a private political event in which he stated that he felt 47% of Americans would be disinclined to support him because they pay no federal income taxes and/or receive a federal stipend of some kind under the current administration. Romney had the temerity to openly and accurately discuss the taxation and dependency realities of our country!!  He then had the gall to stand by his statements and beliefs rather than blubber about how he didn’t mean it and feels horrible about it!!  No one, expects his “honesty attack” to catch on with other politicians and, in fact, this condition is likely to prove terminal for him.  What it has done is to provide counter-battery fire, a return salvo, to the drooling mutants making up the Occupy Movement and their successful ‘1%’ attack. (more…)

Required Reading – When the Music Stops – How America’s Cities May Explode In Violence

In yesterday’s article, Roger Reality discussed Preparing For The National Debt-saster.  Author and former Navy SEAL, Matt Bracken in his article “When the Music Stops – How America’s Cities May Explode In Violence” provides us with an example of how civil unrest could result from the government’s inability to pay the entitlements that many have come to expect.  His excellent analysis matches what we’ve seen in other multi-cultural societies when times get tough, people ‘gang’ up with those of similar ethnicity, religion, social standing, etc. and it becomes ‘us’ versus ‘them.’ Yugoslavia and Iraq are two great examples where multi-cultural societies lived peacefully with each other for decades (as long as you weren’t Kurdish in Iraq), intermarried, worked together, etc…then when a situation or faction lights the fuse everyone runs to their racial/religious/social corners…gets together and comes out fighting.

If anything I think that Bracken’s article understates the dangers represented from rioting groups who will have many of their own veterans of conflict as well as the potential for manipulation by criminal organizations (street gangs, motorcycle gangs, etc.).  There are an estimated 1.4 million gang members in the U.S.

His article should be required reading for every prepper.  Check it out at When the Music Stops – How America’s Cities May Explode In Violence.

REALITY CHECK Preparing For The National Debt-saster

As you have probably read in the mainstream media or noticed in the left column of this website, the U.S. National Debt has now surpassed $16,000,000,000,000!!  Yes, that’s 16 TRILLION dollars, 16 followed by 12 zeros!!  The number itself is staggering but the collective “shrug” of the populace concerning this outrageous profligacy is appalling and indicative of two things.  First, it demonstrates how utterly incapable a very sizable majority of the populace is with fundamental mathematical and economic principles.  Second, it emblazons the entitlement mentality across the sky in astronomical proportions!

A million seconds is 13 days.

A billion seconds is 31 years.

A trillion seconds is 31,688 years.

via Million, Billion, Trillion.

My conversations with a wide variety of people concerning federal spending make it abundantly and infuriatingly clear how pathetically inept people are with rudimentary mathematical concepts such as (gasp!) multiplication and exponents.  Far too many “citizens” and “voters” the seem to think that the primary difference between a million, billion and trillion is merely a spelling issue involving the letters ‘M’, ‘B’, and ‘T’.  There is little comprehension; much less appreciation, for the Reality of the thousand times each is multiplied to change that one little letter!  Most people can grasp the impact that winning ‘The Lottery’ (Definition:  a self imposed tax operating as a long-odds gambling scheme disguised as a ‘game’ to the “math challenged with the odds of winning roughly equivalent to the odds of being struck by a meteor) would have on their lives.  However, very few comprehend that 16 BILLION equals 1,000 winners of such a jackpot.  Assuming a two week cycle to reach a 16 million plus jackpot it would take ~40 years to have 1,000 jackpot winners in any game and pay out 16 billion.  For our hypothetical winners to collectively win 16 Trillion dollars the game would have to go on for an additional ~40,000 years.  This is just one way of trying to conceive of the number representing our current national debt.  These are numbers that the “average voter” cannot comprehend and therefore has little concern about. (more…)

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