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The Elelphant In The Room

Sam Culper

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"I want to expand a bit more on a post from last week. First, I want to address a misconception that at least one reader had. Intelligence for community security is not about spying on your neighbors. It’s not about collecting information on their comings and goings; to believe that or to have inferred that is to have missed the point entirely.

No one in the community wants to be robbed. No one wants to come home and find that their home has been burglarized. Last night, I forgot that I left some cash in my truck, which is parked on the street in my neighborhood. No one broke into my vehicle last night, nor did they break into anyone else’s in my neighborhood, and I like to think that’s because I live in a safe place.

But as we saw during Hurricanes Andrew, Katrina, Sandy, Harvey, and others, safe neighborhoods can experience major problems, too. Looting, robberies, people in extreme need doing desperate things — we’re at risk of being on the receiving end of these types of crimes. Earthquakes, wildfires, riots; there’s always something that’s going to affect someone somewhere. It’s only a matter of time before that someone is you. And so my message with the last post is simple: during the next disaster, we and our neighbors need to have a frame of reference where we understand the value of information. Timely and accurate information enables better decision making, and since no one is as smart as everyone, I want the cooperation of my neighbors to be engaged and help monitor the security situation in our neighborhood during the next hurricane, earthquake, or insert-disaster-here. It’s not about spying, it’s about informing the neighborhood of area threats so we can make better decisions about the safety and security of our families." - Forward Observer , from 6/11/18

It's great regarding intel "shared consciousness", but it's not comprehensive.

There's a discussion that has to take place prior, at least for the worst contingencies:

"Who's on whose team?"

For natural disasters/shared events, what "Sam Culper" brings up in the message is pure gold, and as usual, RTWT.

But in the spectrum of potential problems, a yuuuuuuuuuuuge gap is the assumption that co-location = shared outlook.

If you have a household up the street that’s nothing but recently-removed-from-the-hood hood rats, they may be on the side of looters, not the neighborhood, come The Unpleasantness.

If a neighborhood group didn’t know that, and are sharing intel product with Team Looter’s neighborhood cousins , that’s the security leak in the levee.

If everybody inside the Green Zone had been pro-American in Iraq, there would have been no need for giant hesco walls around our bases.

That’s even truer in Austin, Houston, or anywhere else.

It may be convenient to think that there aren’t any people on some spectrum of opposition to what you want, in any neighborhood, but it’s neither safe nor sane to do so.

At some point, there’s going to have to come a recognition that not everybody inside the castle walls now ought to be left there. Wobblers are either going to have to declare, or decamp.

The side to figure that out first, and act most ruthlessly once necessary, is liable to be the side that prevails locally.

And if it leads to you being dead, who cares what happens twenty years down the road?

This is the difference between a factional and geographic revolution, like in 1860, versus an economic and philosophical one, like France circa 1789, or Russia 1917. Your neighbors will denounce you, turn on you, and split your gear after you’re gone.

It won’t be a war by even competing zip codes, or a neighborhood-to-neighborhood conflict. It will be fought house-to-house, and door-to-door in the same apartment building.

And that’s what’s capturing current interest and fears: I can prepare to ride out and survive, and even shrug off a mere hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or flood.

Because when it’s over, the event isn’t going to come circling back to my place to get even.

But that’s not true when the neighborhood socialists decide I did too well, and they deserve some of my stuff to augment their lack of preparation, or to assuage their hatred for my wisdom and material comfort. They want me to share in their misery, and may well be prepared to go as far as to kill me outright to punish me for not being as dopey as they were in the first place.

While the preparations for a severe regional disaster are similar for those to survive societal collapse, the briefing paragraph on “enemy forces” is one helluva lot different under Option B.

Hence the intense interest in the subject of late: Americans haven't felt the need to choose up sides since about 1860, and the prospect of such necessity now is rather frightful to contemplate.

Unless folks are actually going to wear shirts and skins next time out, you'd damned sure better do some due diligence regarding sorting the nearest sheep from the nearest goats, at least mentally, before you start including people on "your" team who may have quite opposing views. And even may chose to act upon them, on the day.

Greedo would've killed Han, or turned him in for enslavement and torture, just for a few bucks, and the good graces of the local warlord. And the difference between the aptly-named Greedo, and that nice old hippie couple up the street who had Shrillary and "Bernie" posters on the lawn, or that sketchy-but-smiling group of probably-illegal-aliens up the block, in sportier times, will be...what, exactly?

The Second Place Award is ALWAYS a smoking hole in your chest.

Damned right Han shot first! And had every moral right to do so.

"Be polite, be friendly. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet."

Truer words were never spoken, boys and girls.

You better know who's a friend, who's neutral, and who's an enemy, before you have to face them over rifle sandbags.

Thus endeth the lesson.