I was watching the Talking Heads going over this this morning. The liberals were crowing, the conservatives were morose. While I watched this, two thing struck me.
The first was that our country has not seen Americans getting off their butts, and going to either the local headquarters of their representatives, or actually down to the halls of congress and raising hell, in a very long time. People were going nuts this weekend!
And they were roundly ignored.
In fact, I can say I can never recall in my entire adult life any occasion - with one exception - where people went down and told our representatives to vote against something, and the elected officials went against the wishes of the people.
That one exception has been for anti-war protests.
If any readers want to understand how important this issue is to many Americans, think about that. This law will make formerly apolitical people become VERY political.
The other thing that struck me was the impact that the passing of this legislation will have on most average American families, and how they'll react.
Think about the last really large, mass protests this country had: The civil rights protests of the 1960's. These protests were primarily attended by people who had, in general, not been treated as equals in our society.
They correctly figured that our Constitution said that everyone in America was equal, they were Americans, and they demanded their rights be upheld. They had been at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder for so long, they figured that by protesting and risking beat-downs and jail they had nothing else to lose.
What we have today is the other side of that economic coin. The people now out protesting have everything to lose. They are seeing all that they have worked to achieve and obtain, is gradually being taken from them by laws written by people who are supposed to protect their interests.
This isn't some theoretical exercise. It is now very real. One-sixth of our economy will now be directly run from Washington, D.C.
They see a law in which the government will tell them how they must spend their personal, after-tax dollars. They see a law with a provision for the hiring of over 16,000 new IRS employees whose entire job will be to ensure these personal funds are spent appropriately. They see a law that is perhaps the most blatant, grotesque transfer of personal wealth in the history of our country.
And they're not pleased.
There WILL be violence this summer. Too many middle-of-the-road, never-get-involved Americans see they are going to be significantly, negatively impacted by what is going on. Many of these people are either out of work, know one or more people that are out of work, or have had their take-home pay seriously reduced. They are already feeling the pinch, and this law is going to take more of their already limited funds.
They're not buying what's being sold. The Tea Party protests of last summer are going to seem like quaint and quiet walks in the park compared to what will happen this summer. Government officials know this as well, as do anti-Tea Party folks.
I've read a number of recent news articles and blog posts on The Crossing of the Rubicon. I think most of these are correct. A line has been crossed and unpleasant events will result.
Moody's, the debt rating service, once again has stated there is a likelihood of civil unrest as well (they first said this back in January) -
"Growth alone will not resolve an increasingly complicated debt equation. Preserving debt affordability at levels consistent with AAA ratings will invariably require fiscal adjustments of a magnitude that, in some cases, will test social cohesion," said Pierre Cailleteau, the chief author.The students that have held protests regarding tuition increases and service cuts, are ramping up for more protests, including one today that is planned to be non-violent -
"We are not talking about revolution, but the severity of the crisis will force governments to make painful choices that expose weaknesses in society," he said.
One way to protest education cuts is to block classroom doors, shut down campuses and hurl torches at a chancellor's house. All have been tried recently by students angry at rising tuition and declining quality of California's higher education.I wish them luck. Honestly. I think it helps to bring to light the obscene growth we've seen at all levels of government which are simply unsustainable. Something has to give, and I think we're just seeing the first cracks in the levee.
Then there's the approach thousands of community college and California State University students plan to take today in Sacramento.
"We will be respectful, not disrupt class, and work with our administration," said Lee Fuller, a delegate to the Student Senate of the California Community Colleges, which is sponsoring what they've dubbed the "March on March."
Accept The Challenge
So how do we take this likely outcome and move it to our personal preparedness plans? Of the 12 Impacts that can result from an emergency, these, I think, will be the most heavily impacted -
Personal Safety: The safe suggestion would be to tell everyone to stay home and watch what happens on TV. I'm not going to suggest that, NOR am I going to suggest you join in the protests. This site is all about personal responsibilty - make the decision yourself.
If you're going to participate in any of these protests, understand that violence can be projected from fellow protesters, provocateurs or by government security forces. Be prepared to defend yourself, while ALWAYS having a number of avenues of escape. There is little you can do from a jail cell or intensive care unit.
Assume that, for at least short periods of time, you won't be able to be "out and about" -
Financial: Short-term - have at least a few days of expenses readily available in cash. Assume your credit and debit cards will be useless. Long-term - work to reduce your tax profile. 'Nuff said.
Food and Water: Most protests will most likely not affect water delivery, but stores might be looted. In the LA Riots in the 1990's, it took 6 days for order to be restored, and much longer before any stores would have been re-stocked. Have two or three weeks of food, at the very minimum.
Medical: Assume hospitals and emergency services will be strained and you will need to provide for yourself. You may need to be self-sufficient with regards to prescription medications, medical equipment and routine medical procedures (which may be required to sustain your life, such as kidney dialysis).
Transportation: Early in an emergency, assume that there will be limited access to gasoline for your car. If you absolutely must drive your car, be sure you have sufficient emergency supplies safely stored at your residence. Public transportation may be reduced or eliminated for periods of time.
Mental Health/Spirituality: There is always the possibility of some sort of martial law, or more likely, a curfew. You may be forced to spend long periods of time inside your home. Plan to provide your own entertainment and spiritual ministrations during these periods.
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