Rutherford Institute: No, the Government Shouldn’t Be Policing the Globe

Here is another good article from author and Constitutional law attorney John Whitehead on whether the U.S.A. will have its empire collapse and remain a democratic republic, or have its democracy collapse and keep the empire. An excerpt follows:

Guns for Hire: No, the Government Shouldn’t Be Using the Military to Police the Globe

“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes… known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few.… No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” — James Madison

Eventually, all military empires fall and fail by spreading themselves too thin and spending themselves to death.

It happened in Rome.

It’s happening again.

At the height of its power, even the mighty Roman Empire could not stare down a collapsing economy and a burgeoning military. Prolonged periods of war and false economic prosperity largely led to its demise. As historian Chalmers Johnson predicts:

The fate of previous democratic empires suggests that such a conflict is unsustainable and will be resolved in one of two ways. Rome attempted to keep its empire and lost its democracy. Britain chose to remain democratic and in the process let go its empire. Intentionally or not, the people of the United States already are well embarked upon the course of non-democratic empire.

The American Empire—with its endless wars waged by U.S. military servicepeople who have been reduced to little more than guns for hire: outsourced, stretched too thin, and deployed to far-flung places to police the globe—is approaching a breaking point.

War has become a huge money-making venture, and America, with its vast military empire and its incestuous relationship with a host of international defense contractors, is one of its best buyers and sellers. In fact, as Reuters reports, “[President] Trump has gone further than any of his predecessors to act as a salesman for the U.S. defense industry.”

Under Trump’s leadership, the U.S. military is dropping a bomb every 12 minutes.

This follows on the heels of President Obama, the so-called antiwar candidate and Nobel Peace Prize winner who waged war longer than any American president and whose targeted-drone killings resulted in at least 1.3 million lives lost to the U.S.-led war on terror

Click here to read the entire article at the Rutherford Institute.

Risk of Skyscrapers Collapsing in CSZ Earthquake Higher than Thought

New research from the University of Washington has determined that buildings in the Puget Sound lowlands and Willamette Valley will shake more than previously thought in a 9.0 Cascadia fault zone earthquake. Existing high-rise buildings may have a 20-25 percent chance of collapse.

Seismologists and structural engineers associated with the M9 Project at the University of Washington used supercomputers to run dozens of three-dimensional simulations of a magnitude 9.0 rupture of the offshore Cascadia fault zone. UW professor Jeff Berman said the modelling showed enhanced shaking in the vast, sediment-filled basins beneath the Puget Sound lowlands and Willamette Valley. Affected cities include Seattle, Tacoma and Everett, as well as Portland and nearby Tualatin, Oregon.

Berman said when “The Really Big One” hits, the geology of these basins could magnify seismic energy through what he called the “bowl of Jello effect.”

“If you shake a bowl of Jello, you can get the Jello to move a lot faster than the bowl,” he explained in an interview. “That is exactly what is happening in the basin. The ground motions are coming in and you’ve got this bowl that is not as strong and stiff as the surrounding volcanic rock underneath.”

Existing high-rise buildings that were built to minimum code standards have approximately a 20 percent, and maybe as high as 25 percent, probability of collapse, Berman said…

 

Forward Observer: SHTF Predictions & Intelligence Analysis

Sam Culper’s most recent Forward Observer podcast is about predictions about collapse as compared to using intelligence analysis to reduce uncertainty about the future.

Sam discusses how predictions are usually wrong, but that intelligence analysis does not make predictions. Rather intelligence analysis is used to reduce uncertainty about the future, to discover the most likely courses of action. He spends a little time at the end discussing how our country is already in collapse; a collapse that will simply continue, rather than being a sudden catastrophic event.

…One reason our society is already in collapse is because we can’t even agree on what American is. We’ve always had competing sides, but I think it could actually be different this time because so many on the Left are pushing so hard towards the Far Left. I don’t think it will be this election cycle that we swing hard left. But my concern is still that inequality is exploited so greatly and capitalism is so widely blamed for economic turmoil that in another decade we’ll have a legitimately far left government.

Our society is in collapse because half of America believes our Founders and their ideals are evil. Our society is in collapse because somewhere around one-third to one-half of us believe that government’s sole purpose is to take care of its citizens from cradle to grave, and to provide universal, fundamental human rights like healthcare and the freedom from want. Our society is in collapse because we’ve lost the one thing that used to unite us, which is the desire for freedom and liberty. We’ve lost our freedom and liberty incrementally since this country’s founding. And I say country, because we’re are no longer a nation. We are a country made of numerous nations, and that’s why I’m pessimistic about social cohesion.

Yes, it is an assumption; in fact, it’s my key assumption, that as things get worse financially and economically in America, that things will also get tougher socially and politically. I feel safe in making that assumption, because we’re already seeing this “low intensity conflict” bubbling beneath the surface of our country. And I’m concerned that the next election will make things much, much worse.

And if you want to talk about the value of intelligence analysis applied to SHTF preparedness, we really have to start with what Democrats are planning once they return to power. That, by the way, ends with how national-level politics will affect you locally…

John Mosby: Seeking Sustainability in Preparedness

John Mosby has a nice article up at Mountain Guerrilla about Seeking Sustainability in Preparedness, expounding upon the importance of not having just a store of stuff built up but being able to survive and thrive without such a stockpile on your own skills and sustainable living habits. Getting to a self-reliant, sustainable lifestyle is difficult and takes time and trial and error. Patrice Lewis will be talking about some of that in her two talks at this year’s NW Preparedness Expo. Mosby talks about it frequently on his blog. This article is not short, but, as usual with Mr. Mosby, it is well worth the read.

…One of the recurring themes in preparedness circles is the argument over the nature of any impending disaster. One of the original theories in preparedness of course, is the idea of what was once referred to as a multi-generational collapse. This is a collapse of such magnitude that it will take multiple generations to recover from, if in fact, recovery is even possible.

In recent years, of course, while people still talk about the “remote possibility” of this, it has become equally popular, in many circles, to dismiss the idea of a multigenerational collapse as unrealistic, and urge people to focus on more immediate, “realistic” disasters of short-duration, like hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires.

Without arguing the fact that wildfire, tornado, or earthquake is a far more immediate, and pressing concern for most folks, I WOULD point out that these are pretty simple to mitigate, and there is a well-developed set of basic planning considerations for doing so in all of these, because people have dealt with them for the entire existence of humankind…

We need to develop mitigation plans that address the continuance of life, through the duration of the emergency, even if it stops being an emergency, and just becomes “life.” (Which, long time readers know is my view of where we are any-fucking-way.)

We need to be looking at food production. We need to be looking at producing light and heat. We need to be looking at long-term trauma and chronic illness medical care. We need to be looking at educating our children and grandchildren, so they don’t revert to full-scale savagery. We need to look at maintaining—or more accurately, recreating, culture.

We need to stop looking at “survival,” and start looking at “Sustainability.”…

Click here to read the entire article at Mountain Guerrilla.

Survival Rules from Venezuela

Prepper Website has a guest article up from a man who recently visited his brother in Venezuela – Survival Rules When Society Collapses. It’s worth a gander to find out what life is currently like there and could be like anywhere else that experiences a severe collapse — violence warning, though.

…The trash bags I brought were used to store clothes that you got from pretty much anywhere. You store them in the trash bags for months to allow time for the lice, crabs and the eggs to hatch and die. It’s a must. There were whole families I saw shaved from head to toe, and not because they are getting cancer treatment. It’s because it’s the only way to get rid of the lice and crabs.  Hygiene here means having no hair. The good news is that there are no fleas, which used to be the problem before the collapse. The reason is there are no dogs, cats, or small animals left. They’ve all been eaten.

…Realize That There Will Always Be Evil and People Willing to Hurt Others!

Two days before I left to come back to the states, some of the gang members on the corner in front of my brother’s house saw a cat in the window of a single elderly lady across the street. From my brother’s broken window, we could hear the gang members discussing how she must have food and lots of other valuable stuff. Later that evening, we heard them discuss how they were going to break into the lady’s house later that night.

At about midnight, my brother and his wife woke me up because there was a gang of about fifty people outside their house. As we lifted the shades to see outside in the dark, the moon was bright enough to watch those fifty or more people descend on the elderly woman’s house. In less than five minutes, every window had been broken, every door had been kicked in and the house entirely ransacked. We watched a person in front of the house cut the still living cat in half and share it with another hooded person who ran off with it…

Click here to read the entire article at Prepperwebsite.com.

Barter Is the New Currency in Collapsing Venezuela

From Reuters, Fish for flour? Barter is the new currency in collapsing Venezuela describing how hyperinflation and failing banking infrastructure is being replaced by barter even in the capital.

Under the midday sun, dozens of fishermen wait to sell their day’s catch by a lagoon in the town of Rio Chico on the Caribbean coast of Venezuela. But they aren’t expecting cash in return.

Instead, they’re swapping mullets and snappers for packages of flour, rice and cooking oil.

“There is no cash here, only barter,” said Mileidy Lovera, 30, walking along the shore with a cooler of fish that her husband had caught. She hoped to exchange it for food to feed her four children, or medicine to treat her son’s epilepsy.

In the hyperinflationary South American country, where bank notes are as difficult to find as chronically scarce food and medicine, Venezuelans are increasingly relying on to barter for basic transactions.

Payment for even the cheapest of goods and services would require unwieldy piles of banknotes, and there simply are not enough of those in circulation…

Even in the capital Caracas, some 130 km (81 miles) to the west, many informal merchants lack access to bank services or point of sale terminals and prefer to be paid in kind.

The rise of barter exchange, amid hyperinflation and a dearth of cash, is a reflection of how the once-prosperous country is reverting to the most rudimentary of mechanisms of commercial exchange.

“It’s a very primitive payment system but it’s also very primitive for a country not to have enough cash available,” said economist Luis Vicente Leon of consultancy Datanalisis…

FO: What Could “Collapse” Look Like?

The fine intelligence folks over at Forward Observer have posted What Could “Collapse” Look Like? Let’s Look at a Country Currently in Free Fall. No, it’s not Venezuela, but Mexico.

There’s no shortage of “collapsitarian” thought and literature out there. Make no mistake, I do believe that the United States will undergo a period of collapse, but as I’ve written previously, I don’t actually like that word: it’s so vague. (What is “collapse”? 25%? 50%? 100%? Read this for my thoughts on that.)

I certainly do expect a more difficult future for the next 10-20 or more years, but I would much rather identify specific challenges and components of “collapse” other than to just call it a collapse. America has different geographies, demographics, and cultures, and so not every area will look exactly the same. I just finished reading another blog post from a guy who peddles in collapsitarian fantasy, where he argues that America is in a “supercollapse” unlike anything in the history of the world. He doesn’t really describe what the “supercollapse” looks like and he doesn’t explain what we can expect as a result.

That, by the way, is the job of intelligence. Intelligence reduces uncertainty about the future. That’s the absolute value of having good information to produce good intelligence. Through clear thinking, structured analysis, and gaining an expertise on societies in collapse (historical and contemporary), we can absolutely gain some insight into our future challenges. There’s nothing wrong with collapsitarian literature, by the way; one very positive benefit is that each book is like a very entertaining brainstorming session that informs us of the full range of possibilities. That’s extremely beneficial, yet it’s not intelligence. The next step is to examine your local area, complete an Area Study, and begin thinking through the consequences and form some logical conclusions about how specific events or conditions would affect your area. You’re reducing uncertainty about the future by identifying what’s more likely and what’s less likely to happen. But I digress…

So what could our collapse look like at a local level? Let’s look no further than Mexico, our southern neighbor in absolute free fall, for some ideas. Here are a few things we’ve observed over the past year:

  • Mexico just elected a Leftist populist leader who railed against the incumbent president over 1) widespread corruption, 2) rising crime, 3) the inability to deal with the cartels, and 4) a lack of economic growth.
  • Drug cartels run Mexico. Underneath the positions of de jure power (the president, the congress, state governors, mayors, etc.) are echelons of de facto power. When we talk about collapse, this is the collapse of the Mexican government which lost political control over large swathes of their country. Do you remember the scene in Captain Philips, where the Somali pirate is holding the AK-47 and says, “Look at me. I am de captain now”? That’s the relationship between irregular forces in de facto authority/control over an area, and the government with de jure authority. And for much of Mexico, that’s the relationship between cartels, militias, and their federal government. That’s a great example of collapse.
  • The Associated Press last week reported about a rise in “mass crime” in Mexico…

Click here to read the entire article at Forward Observer.