“I expect the crowd in power to destroy everything…”

Over at Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds posts, amid a wall of discouraging stuff, two especially grim bits:

FOLLOW-UP ON FOOD PRICES:

I just wanted to weigh in on the food inflation issue with a local data point. I live in Southern Iowa and have a small flock of sheep (12) that I use for weed control in my vineyard. I feed grass/alfalfa hay in the winter months (roughly early November through mid-March), and typically start planning in early summer . . .People are scrambling everywhere to get hay lined up for this winter, and not just cattle operators. Craigslist is loaded with horses for sale at fire sale prices because people are having trouble lining up enough hay for this winter, at a price they can afford.

Read the whole thing. Back in the day, my parents had a freezer and would go in with a friend on buying half or a quarter of cow, depending on the finances. Stocking up sounds a good idea.

Except of course, you need electricity (or at least a generator) to see to all of that. Another Insty post from another reader:

GOING JEAN GALT? Patrick Carroll writes:

I decided to take six months off this year. I sold stock and did what I wanted for a blissful six months. I read books, drank good wine, watched my garden, got out my high-powered binocs and looked at the planets, hiked, cooked, ate well, just lived. I did so because I expect the crowd in power to destroy everything, so I thought I’d take a break before the deluge…I also bought guns (rifle, shotgun, pistol each for the wife and I), and have contracted with a local landscaping company to build a highly-defensible, nice-looking (fence/hedge combination) perimeter for my property.

Oh, and I bought water barrels. And a propane tank. And a generator.

What’s interesting is that I am hearing similarly discomfited talk around me, and seeing it in my emails. In the past few weeks I’ve heard some surprising people admit they’ve been arming themselves and purchasing ammunition — one such discussion happened all around me at the hairdresser’s while I sat and listened. The stylist and his boss, they’re storing food and arming themselves. The chiropractor who popped in to say hello while taking his afternoon stroll said he is armed, too: “never in my life thought I’d have a gun in the house, now we have two.”

They’re arming, they say, because they “see it all going bad.” These same folks who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 were now asserting an idea the far-left had floated around before that election, but instead of “Bush is going to install martial law and suspend elections.” they’re saying it of Obama. “He paid off his friends and did nothing to create jobs and he wants it all to go bad, because then he can stay in power and dictate.”

Yeah, it seems as paranoid and nuts as it did when it was said about Bush, but this stuff is not being said in an extremist corner of the internet — it’s being said in a middle-class suburban salon in an area where 30% (or more) of the businesses are now shuttered, and houses are being foreclosed upon and then re-occupied seemingly overnight, creating what the stylist called “a neighborhood full of changes and no hope. Forget about new small businesses,” he said, gesturing across the street, where a small food shop’s “opening soon” banner had become sun-faded and worn, even as the door remained locked. “That guy is never going to open.”

“I can’t get a loan,” the woman in the next chair told me. “I want to consolidate my kid’s college loans into one loan, and the credit union says they don’t give loans to consolidate student loans. I told them, I have job-security and excellent credit — what if I just want a loan for myself, a personal loan?” She was in high dudgeon and her voice grew louder in a perfect arc of Long Island umbrage-taking. “They said they’d need to know what it was for. I said, ‘it’s my personal business what the loan is for! Maybe I want to go on vacation, throw a wedding, pay off college loans, why do you have to know?’, and they said, no, they had to know what the money was for, because they’d be paying it out for me — like I’m a child who can’t be trusted with money! So, I figure, okay, it’s a credit union, I’ll try my bank. They said they don’t make personal loans anymore! It shook me up. I felt like maybe I didn’t realize how bad things are.”

There is an absolute collapse of faith in our systems and in the guy they helped put into office. These folks who were so quick to believe the press in ’08 and to believe in “hope and change” are now willfully believing the absolute worst. While I was getting my grey washed away I heard about local goings-on that I won’t write about here until I check it out for myself, because I don’t know what is real and what is paranoid fantasy or conspiracy theory. But the thing is, the anxiety is real, the doubt is real, as is the willingness to believe the absolute worst of all of our institutions — the press, the churches, the government. These folks are utterly convinced that the only thing that is going to be installed come next January is chaos and oppression. They’ll vote for Romney (“assuming there is an election and we’re allowed to vote and the vote is actually counted…”) simply because he’s not Obama, but they’re convinced that America’s best days are over.

“Soon, it’s going to be every man for himself, mark my words” said the salon owner. “I’m telling you, get a gun. Get a generator, now, because in six months you won’t be able to. Stock up.”

Honestly, what I thought was, “I need to get a new salon…” Because that was a miserable way to spend 90 minutes and my hard-earned cash.

When I met up with some friends later that weekend, one announced that her husband is talking about getting a gun, too. “I told him, over my dead body. He says he wants a rifle to go hunting! Please. This man doesn’t like to be outside, where there is dirt, now he wants to go hunting? Baloney. He thinks there is going to be some kind of revolution, and I’m saying, ‘what, you’re going to fend off revolution with a rifle you don’t know how to shoot and your barbecue grill?’ Everything is going to be fine. People need to calm down.”

So, let me ask you, readers — do you also “expect the crowd in power to destroy everything”? Are you arming yourselves, stocking up on food and buying generators? Or do you think everything is going to be fine, and we all need to take a breath?

Or are you, like me, just a tad wary but still hoping that the nation can pull itself together?

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: Ann B.
    RE: Mass Water Storage

    Get a water bed mattress. Keep it collapsed until needed, then fill with water and a little extra chlorine bleach.

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  • http://bastionofliberty.blogspot.com Francis W. Porretto

    Yes, it can seem paranoid to stockpile food, to acquire weapons and ammo, to prepare for a lapse of services such as water and electrical power. But much depends on one’s perspective — and one’s priorities.

    If you are badly afflicted with fear for the future, such that your health, work, or relationships are being degraded by that fear, then stockpiling, arming, etc. isn’t just service to an imagined future priority; it’s also service to your immediate quality of life. Your loved ones and friends can giggle all they want; you’re doing what you must do to relax adequately in the present. Always assuming your activities in this regard aren’t destructive of your present in other ways, of course.

    Myself, I adhere to the Ziggy Principle: “It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.” Granted that closet space is a limiting factor, but then, isn’t it always? Ask my wife.

  • BlogRot

    Your question:”do you also ‘expect the crowd in power to destroy everything’?”
    No, but this government behemoth is beyond critical mass and it will consume itself and us. You have a God given right and the duty to protect yourself and your family; I do not pretend to know the future but I would be morally in the wrong to *not* do anything while I still could.

    “Pray to God, but swim to shore.”

  • KM

    That which most astounds me is that good people don’t seem to immediately see that God is our FIRST solution to any of the anxiety or uncertainty. WHY aren’t we all repenting as a nation and asking God to heal our land? Prudence and wisdom of preparation will then follow.

    “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” … Alexander Solzhenitsyn

  • Squid

    The population has known subconsciously for a long time that something is very rotten, and that things are going to fail at some point, in what will likely be an ugly upheaval. ‘Til now, that sense was captured by the “zombie apocalypse” trend, which gave middle America a way of considering the pending chaos and collapse in a manner that didn’t require them to consider shooting their neighbors.

    In recent months, it’s become undeniable that the government gravy train is going to run out of Other People’s Money sooner than later, at which point the 50% of the country dependent on government largesse is going to have to find a way to get by without all the “free” stuff they’ve come to rely on. I’m not saying that people on welfare are evil per se, but I am a bit concerned about what happens when mothers and fathers look at their hungry children and see no way of getting food for them. That will be the trigger for massive unrest, and that will also be the trigger for the National Guard response to try to keep a semblance of order. There need not be an overt government coup; just stopping the flow of goodies will be enough to start the gears in motion.

    As to those who think having firearms is useless or silly, I can only say that it’s no more silly than having a lock on your front door. If somebody really wants to get in, they’ll find a way. But it’s enough of a deterrent that most bad guys will go for the easier targets first.

  • RebeccaH

    I admit to being uncertain and a little scared of the future, but we are still quite a ways from total collapse. As to Obama declaring martial law and cancelling elections in order to stay in power, I can’t say that those things never crossed his narcissistic mind, but there are some pretty powerful barriers to that in our system of government. I think the real danger will be what happens if the Middle East erupts in all-out war, and Europe goes bankrupt.

  • Rob Crawford

    To those concerned that their sense of charity or Christian duty would make it impossible to not give away your carefully prepared supplies: don’t you have an overriding duty to your family? Doesn’t charity begin at home?

  • Arch

    Should a breakdown in order occur, I doubt it would be a problem out here in the woods. We keep a freezer and a spare refrigerator stocked and a pantry with non perishables. We also have lots of deer, squirrels and rabbits on our property. Our western property line is a creek. We have a Kohler 12kW generator integrated into our electrical system.

    Where I live, everyone is heavily armed. My wife and I with 30 cal. 30-06, 243 Win and four 22 rifles, two .45 ACP, 9 MM, 380 ACP and .22 LR pistols and a shotgun, are out gunned by all our neighbors. I also reload and have enough brass, powder, primers and lead to load 15,000 rounds.

    If you are concerned about your personal safety and wonder what is the most effective weapon, you already own one – your brain. Recognize that anyone you don’t know is a potential threat. Think about what you would do if something happened.

    If you are going to carry a concealed weapon, find one you can shoot accurately and can afford to keep a level of proficiency. Take an NRA course or equivalent. Research local firearm laws and get a license. One of the most popular self defense philosophies was expressed by LtCol Jeff Cooper, founder of the American Pistol Institute. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooper,_Jeff

    Defending your home is best done in layers designed to have would be home invaders go elsewhere. On each corner of our house are double flood lights on motion detectors. Another great deterrent is a security system sign. Large dogs also frighten off would be intruders. We have two big greyhounds, Wagstaff who weighs in a 100 lbs and Sunny who is a dainty 63. The next line of defense is the cell phone. Call 911, tell the intruder that you are armed and consider him a deadly threat. Everything you say will be recorded. My plan is to secure the main hall to the bedrooms and evacuate out of a front window, taking an M1 Garand and at least three handguns. Following this Alabama boy (Vietnam combat veteran) into his woods would not be survivable.

    If unable to escape, We will use our Model 1911s, 9 MMs, then the shotguns. Advancing down a 36″ wide hallway in the face of this defense would be like the final scene in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

  • Hucklebuck

    Have you read “Lord of the Flies”? Piggy would be alive and well and living in Torquay right now if he’d had a pistol. When they come after you will sharpened sticks, that’s all it takes. Recent purchases: Mossberg 500 12 ga., WASR 10 AK 47 – with 1000 rounds for each.

  • PJ

    “And those 22s, are just going to make someone mad, that’s all.”

    Hey, those bullets sting! :)

    Seriously, I don’t believe we are going full Mad Max but returning to a time in America, like the 1800s, before Americans submitted to law and order and shared civic values. Now the media and our leftist leaders encourage people not to believe in America or each other. Law and order has become sociology, with predictable results: gang membership is up 35% in SoCal, for instance. 40K extra parolees on the streets is going to be bad, and local PDs are disbanding or are being cut. Thank you to the leftist lawyers and appellate courts! Property crime in our burb has increased 150% in the last five years, according to FBI stats. CARB is squeezing us to power down.

    So yes, be prepared, to defend yourself and feed yourself.

  • http://itsaboutliberty.com MichelleO

    With unsustainable debt, entitlement promises that will inevitably be broken, and a financial system that’s nothing more than a house of cards, there are likely dark times ahead. I wish I had a crystal ball to tell me what the future holds. The most important thing to me is the security of my kids. So what will be the reaction of people when their benefits run dry and the stock market crashes? Isolated riots? All out civil unrest? Martial law? Civil war? The next world war? Who knows. I’m looking to Europe to help me predict what will happen here, because whatever does happen will likely happen there first. In the meantime, we’re selling the suburban house at a loss and (at least temporarily) moving to a more rural community with more land. We’re taking various prepping steps. I can’t prep my family against war, militias, EMP. But I can at least prep against roving gangs of looters.

  • DarkHelmet

    The veneer of civilization is always thin. Great cultures have succumbed to chaos countless times in history and will do so again. Western civilization is incredibly dependent upon high technology — dependent as never before. If the veneer of civilization cracks in our time it will be very ugly indeed.

    I have no fear that the 2012 election will be cancelled nor that martial law will be imposed. I do fear what the country would look like after four more years of an anti-American president. Get yourself a 12-gauge shotgun and a couple boxes of shells. You can do this for less than $300 and if worse comes to worst you’ve bought yourself a fighting chance.

  • SilverDeth

    Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. Growing up in the 50′s, my family easily had 2 years food on hand at any given time. It was how you did things. You need to remember – my parents lived through WWI, WWII, and the Great Depression. They got to see social upheaval, crushing poverty, horrifying wars, and rationing first-hand. I still have some of my mother’s WWII ration card books – issued by the federal government for things like shoes, sugar, molasses, gasoline, and tires.

    Prosperity won’t last forever, and we should be looking to the past generations and how they lived for clues on where we are moving.

    Do you need a cabin in the woods stocked with thousands of rounds of ammo and crates of MREs?

    No.

    But you should have a quality shotgun or .22, some ammunition for it. and a good, deep pantry filled with the foods you eat regularly. A garden never hurt if you have the space or some flower pots.

    Don’t look to the doomsday shows on Discovery to emulate – go talk to your Grandparents and great Grandparents. They are the role-models for getting-bye in the upheaval that’s coming.

  • Dienekes

    It’s not about probabilities, it’s about possibilities and the serious consequences if given circumstances occur. Hence insurance, fire extinguishers and first aid kits.

    To take refuge in denial works for the turkey right up till Thanksgiving. Then “‘coulda, woulda, shoulda” is very cold comfort.

    God gave us brains; to choose be willfully ignorant is unworthy of Him.

  • gman

    our currency is a fiat debt ponzi scheme that has reached its peak and is now slowly imploding. our demographics are unsustainable and our productive population is in rapid decline. a massive draw-down is inevitable regardless of who is president or which party is in power or what any of them do. when our systems degrade many will not decline gracefully to a new lower level but rather will reach a step-change point where they suddenly cease to function at all. retirement funds will vanish, many government support services will be cut to the point of non-existence, and deliveries of goods will become unprofitable and will cease. managers quietly will steal all monies they can reach and then vanish, flash mobs and highway truck robberies will become common, and anything not nailed down or fenced in will be subject to theft. of those who are “preparing” the sole plan of most is a gun and the intent to take what they need.

    the first answer is of course god. he has told us what to do, and it is in our best long-term interests to do it whether or not you understand it. the second is practical preparations with an eye towards defensible independent communities – no man can stand alone, but every man needs to carry his share of the load. as water services decline and food deliveries cease you will need alternatives – this requires planning and practice now.

  • Iamnow

    I am not paranoid but, you are stupid if you don’t prepare for minor disruptions. I guess 2-4 weeks is prudent. Dried beans, rice and seeds for sprouts don’t take up much room. Pump filter that makes ditch water drinkable, $200 and processes 13,000 gallons of water, a few activated carbon filter for taste. All of this takes up very little room. Shotgun, rifle had a long time and just kept them after gave up hunting years ago. Added concealed carry permit and hand gun plus extra ammo in the last year. Not looking for trouble but plan on hunkering down for a month or so if needed.

  • Vietvet

    It is prudent to figure out how you can get along for a week or two if some disaster strikes. If the disaster is a total social breakdown, you will either join with others for a group defense or you will be consumed anyway. Best to have something to contribute to the group’s defense, to make yourself valuable to them. BTW, in all the security measures mentioned above, the best burglar alarm is a barking dog. It doesn’t need to be a big one, just a yappy one. But German shepherds, Rottweilers, etc., add to household “firepower,” so if you can handle one, consider it.

  • M. Report

    The head knows what the heart cannot admit; The world economy _will_ crash,
    soon, maybe when Greece defaults, and it will be “Hard Times’ everywhere,
    paradoxically worse in the US, because the higher one is, the farther one has
    to fall, and the harder one hits.

  • GMichael

    As to your question: I am buying some food in bulk because of the drought. Have you seen the price of pinto beans and peanut butter and cereal, lately? The last drought around us lasted for 7 years. The cost of most everything is going up because of the price of fuel, which is double what it was 3 years ago and if there is a bigger war in the ME, who knows what the price of fuel will be? I have a generator because of weather related power failures. 5 days of no electricity in temperatures around freezing will remind one of the need for that (and thank you whataburger for the thermos of coffee always ready in the morning). So, no, I not preparing for any additional issues because of the political or fiscal calamities hammering our nation, we’ve been hammered so much already by nature, govt. career politicians and criminals that we are usually prepared for the initiation of whatever disaster next gets our attention, and we will deal with that, when it gets here. And as far as folks thinking on moving to Texas. Wait a minute,there are some bad issues in the state of Texas: we have tornadoes every spring and hail storms a lot of spring and summers, it’s a red state, with conservatives everywhere except in the state capitol, there are black widows, tarantulas, brown recluse spiders, rattlesnakes, scorpions, ticks, chiggers, mosquitoes with WEST NILE virus, unrepentant democrats lurking in the shadows, we have the death penalty for killers, pickups that have full gun racks, it’s a right to work state with very low unemployment benefits, the Federal Govt is always suing us because we believe in the Constitution, we pay property taxes so you never “own” your home and sales taxes, it’s hot in the summer, it takes 10 hours to drive across the whole state, north to south or east to west, our legislature only threatens us every 2 years whether it’s Dumblicans or Republicrats; So, help me out here fellow Texicans, it’s getting crowded on the morning commutes.

  • Glitchus

    Let’s just say that I find it much more likely that we’ll see a collapse worse than the Great Deppression, brought on by cronyism, out of control government spending and unsustainable social programs, than any anthropogenic global warming disasters. Actually, I’m inclined to think that we may have our deppression compounded by dropping temperatures, as a cooling trend is inevitable, given the planets full history.

  • Cynical Observer

    The answers to your questions are: Yes, Yes, No, and No, it’s too late for that. But if you’re not already convinced by what you know about Obama and what you can see unfolding before you then nothing I can say will convince you. I will be praying for you. God bless you.

  • Sigh

    The crowd in power already did destroy everything, it’s simply that we don’t know when the shoe is going to drop yet.

    The damage has been done – math is going to have the last word. There is no end to this but default. No other outcome is possible even with good faith efforts. Trillions of dollars of red ink are not being counted.

    ….And you think it’s bad now, wait until mainland China has their real estate bubble implode.

  • Glitchus

    As for preparation, I’ve taken the long view. A generator is nice, until you run out of petrol. I’m fortunate enough to live in a very, very secluded area on acreage with natural springs that run year round and a bounty of edible plant and animal life that is relatively easy to forage. I also have plenty of timber for fuel and construction as well as plenty of tools that don’t require electricity. I’ve also always been a military buff, having also served and retired, and have, over the years, ammassed a rather nice collection of firearms, bladed weapons and a couple of bows. I also have hardcopy books on; survival, gardening, medicinal and edible plants, civil engineering, etcetera. It will be a hard life, but what I actually fear most are other people who may find our little “island” and want to take rather than help produce, particularly those who are “from the government and here to help”. I’m kind of a peesimist I suppose, it comes from watching democrats.

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: Tom F
    RE: Heh

    Do you think we have such little regard for our country and it’s constitution that we would continue to follow such a leader involved in naked power grab like the one you guys have been describing? — Tom F

    In a word?

    YES!

    He’s been doing a ‘naked power grab’ for the last three years. And you—for some odd reason—can’t quite recognize it.

    Which brings up a good question….

    ….WHEN did you graduate from high school? Any time in the last 20 years? After the vaunted American public education system STOPPED teaching History and Civics?

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Used to be education replaced an empty mind with an open on. Not any more.....]

  • http://YAHOO Sam

    I have never owned a gun, but a recent incident has changed my mind. I run a retail store in a predominantly African-American district just south of Chicago. Recently 5 young people walked into my store, held their fists in the air, and yelled Barack Obama! Two of them stared directly at me like they were daring me to say something. I was speechless. Now I am concerned as to what the repercussions could be if Obama loses this election. I intend to protect myself.

  • Cynical Observer

    Just one follow up. I agree with what KM said. America needs to repent and return to God. But I’m not holding my breath. In the meantime, God gave me a brain, like Noah and Joseph, so I am going to prepare for a calamity I see approaching. Like I said, I’ll be praying for you.

  • Tom F

    To: Chuck Pelto

    For the record: 12 years of Catholic education, prayer every day and a Mass at least once a week.

    No contact with public institutions until College.

    And if the old Jesuit addage is correct you only need the first six years of an individual’s life to become the most powerful influence.

    So sorry the Catholic Church has been way more influential in my life than any public institution.