Sunday, April 15, 2012

QotD: Wipe That Smile Off Your Face Edition.

In a you-need-to-go-read-it ├╝berpost, Kevin sighs
I don't think "our best days are still ahead of us." I'm in very good company. I'm aware that Cassandras have been proclaiming the downfall of civilizations since time immemorial, but as Billy Beck once observed, "Sometimes they're right."
Kevin doesn't seem very sanguine about the near-term future, and neither am I, truthfully.

What disturbs me is how many of the "I bought a Century Arms AK and a case of ammo; let's get it on!" crowd talk like they're looking forward to this because, I don't know, it means no more mortgage payments, or they won't have to go in to work on Monday. ("Yeah, boss? I'm not going to be able to make it in. I'm kinda pinned down by enemy fire and... WOLVERINES!")

Hey, Sparky, go do a Google image search for "Civilian taking a dump in a frozen shell crater in Sarajevo, 1995." Does he look like he's having fun? 'Cause that was frickin' Yugoslavia; they had to go steal guns from the army to get their civil war on. If the lid ever comes off this pressure cooker for realz, it's gonna make Yugoslavia look like a Sunday school picnic.

35 comments:

Wraith said...

Anyone who's looking forward to the upcoming shitstorm is, to put it bluntly, a Walter Mitty armchair ninja with his head positioned decidedly north of his decending colon.

I have no military experience. I'm not even going to pretend to know the horrors of a real war firsthand. I have, however, experienced enough of life to know that it's something I don't want to see.

But "what I want" and "what's going to happen" are two diffferent things. Barring a miracle straight from the Lord Almighty Himself, we're inexorably heading for either tyranny or revolution. However it goes, America's not going to have a good day.

:(

Knitebane said...

The guys looking gleefully forward to a civil war are no different than the boys in grey that figured they could whip 10 Yankees and be home for breakfast.

Or the doughboys that looked at a map and saw that the U.S has STATES bigger than France and Belgium so how bad could it be?

As for the rest of us, we're mostly hoping it will hold off until after we're gone and if not that it will happen while we are still young enough to have some hope of surviving it.

Anyone that's talked to survivors from Yugoslavia or Cambodia or Rhodesia or anywhere else that has self destructed knows that it's going to suck.

Chris Byrne said...

Funny enough, I have a one word reply to those people who say things like

"we might as well speed up the crash and make it as hard and fast as we can so we can get it over with and rebuild"

or some other such garbage.

That one word is:

Bosnia

They usually don't get it.

Keads said...

I have to agree with your previous post that if you are on the Titanic, try the wine and the lobster is great. I cannot change the course of this ship, the best I can do is to observe the collision.

Brad K. said...

Tam,

Some worry about Wolverines (and the guy that wipes Wolverine's butt). I worry about badgers (http://www.badgerbadgerbadger.com/).

Of course, the rising tide of lack of credit (like, causing refineries to close and be sold off -- Sunoco is stopping their refineries this year, just buying from distributors for their stations), intermittent outages of stuff, loss of profit margin for stuff made and shipped from overseas -- the dude wiping Wolverine's butt could face real trauma as the TP hits the end of the roll. It will sure leave me scratching. (http://www.wikihow.com/Use-a-Squat-Toilet The part about "bring something to dry off with" addresses the TP issue.)

Joe in PNG said...

The other total BS phrase used is "Constitutional Reset". The problem is that pretty much every revolution since that rather unique little event in 1776 has followed either the French or Bosnian templates.

Bubblehead Les. said...

My Father was on the Losing end of the Hungarian Revolution. He used to tell us tales of how one doesn't beat T-54 Tanks rumbling down your street with just Molotov Cocktails very often, in spite of Hollywood Movies. But he did say that they had good luck doing Sniper Work from hides, until large amounts of Warsaw Pact Infantry coming in behind the Tanks would clear the area. But he did wish that the American Tanks sitting in West Germany would come in, but he also realized that would probably have started WW3.

Bottom Line: I fear that the Republic could turn into the Balkans or Lebanon, but anyone who WANTS to have a Civil War needs to have their head examined. But I do recommend that one be prepared in case the SHTF, and you have to try and keep the Loons out of your Neighborhood. But running through the Woods playing "Wolverines!" is asinine.

westofthewest said...

Andrew Wilkow says that the left would be extinct in weeks if the troubles actually started in this country his reasoning is that we (on the right) have all the guns. I know for a fact that he is wrong on this count.

I also suspect if the ball ever did get rolling, plenty of logistical support would be available from overseas to groups like ANSWER.

And on a personal note, all those skinny young #occupy twits in their hoodies are in a hell of a lot better shape physically than me and the loudmouths I shoot with out at the range.

Jenny said...

"if you are on the Titanic, try the wine and the lobster is great. I cannot change the course of this ship, the best I can do is to observe the collision. "

I don't think that is the best we can do.

If everyone on the Titanic had known six hours before impact the hull would be breached -

How many people would have taken stock of the lifeboats, and finding them lacking, built rafts? How many would have assembled kits of survival rations? How many could have made sure their loved ones were in place, and looked out for the old couple in the compartment next door?

A looming iceberg is unsettling as all hell - but even if you can't steer, it's quite a blessing to be able to see the doom well in advance.

At best, one can prepare, and salvage lives otherwise lost.

At worst, one can be ready to meet the deep calm in soul and composed in mind.

Anonymous said...

Not something to look forward to for sure. Doesn't mean it won't happen though. Hard to tell how valid of a data sample comments on news stories are but they are getting uglier and uglier as time passes. So unless they have become a less valid data source over time, something is building. Trotsky may or may not have said "You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you." but there is truth there anyway.

Mossyrock said...

As someone who spent 18 collective months in Bosnia chasing War Criminals and investigating mass graves, you're right...you DON'T WANT that to happen here. But, we are rapidly becoming as polarized/Balkanized as Bosnia was before the lid blew off. In their case it was a combination of religion and politics. Here, it is largely just politics. No matter what does or does not happen, one thing is an absolute certainty: if Obama gets reelected, the gloves come off, and life is going to get interesting.....

Drang said...

Jerry Niven and Larry Pournelle noted in Lucifer's Hammer that, when the subject of a catastrophe came up, some people didn't seem too daunted. They were mostly folks who had skills that they felt would let them cope. Of course, that was a novel, and stuff in novels never comes to pass...

Tam said...

Drang,

"Jerry Niven and Larry Pournelle noted in Lucifer's Hammer that, when the subject of a catastrophe came up, some people didn't seem too daunted."

I call BS on that. Anybody who thinks they're "prepared" for Sarajevo-comes-to-Springfield is delusional.

And there's a difference between being prepared for a disaster and getting excited over the idea of one. One is wise and the other is sick.

No matter how much homeowner's insurance you have, no sane person wants a twister in the living room.

Kristopher said...

Bubblehead Les:

Tactics had been developed to deal with that.

The Chechens would hug enemy forces and stay at a range between 300 and 500 meters. At 300+, the enemy infantry couldn't hit them, but they could easily kill them with scoped sporting rifles. Inside 500 meters, the Russians couldn't use aircraft or arty without endangering their own troops.

Eventually the Russians just pulled out and had bombers level and napalm their towns. So the Chechens just left and infiltrated every Russian city as refugees ... the Russians ain't ever getting rid of this problem now.

Kristopher said...

Tam ( concerning Drang ): yup.

Got a medical problem? How about dental issues? Insulin, blood pressure meds, and root-canals are hard to come by in a crater.

Kristopher said...

Jenny; You could re-arrange the deck chairs into a giant floating raft.

And invite the band to sit in the middle of them with you and play while the ship goes down.

Commander_Zero said...

I am always surprised by the number of people whose plans for personal advancement and financial security hinge on the end of the world.

Hank said...

I tried your search. I didn't see the image you spoke of, but you were the third picture in the results. Go figure.

Tam said...

Hank,

Since this may be the only place on the internet where that particular character string occurs verbatim, I am not surprised.

Stretch said...

House is built on a concrete slab so no basement to fortify.
Frame construction with vinyl siding is not bulletproof.
Neighbors and I have mutually supporting fields of fire but to what end?
What's the best option?
Military Coup?
Secession along racial/political lines? "Indian Partition" ring a bell?

I think I'll have a another drink.

toadold said...

AS stated by others, the aftermath of civil wars is usually pretty nasty. After the US Civil war, every where you went there were men missing pieces of themselves to some extent. They talk about the hit the Southern Economy took, but the North didn't escape either. The trouble with war is that it is chaotic and only predictable in hind sight...Excuse me I have to go practice my manual of arms with my Century Arms under folder..

Anonymous said...

"Here, it is largely just politics."

Ethnicity is going to play into this in a huge way, especially in the large urban concentrations.

I agree with you about the political aspect, though. If 2ACW happens, it won't feature any of that sentimental "brother against brother" stuff from the first one. I have my doubts it was viewed as such at the time, anyhow. 2ACW would turn into what Tam describes, "Bosnian". A war of extermination is at least a possibility.

Mike James

Matthew said...

"What disturbs me is how many of the ... let's get it on!" crowd talk like they're looking forward to this because, I don't know, it means no more mortgage payments, or they won't have to go in to work on Monday."

Made me think of this.

http://www.pitt.edu/~super1/lecture/lec11361/002.htm

RL said...

There won't be a 2nd American 'civil' war...Not with the full speed ahead into the pretty red brick wall our national discourse, finances, and individual liberties have been set on; It promises to be a decidedly uncivil "Bellum omnium contra omnes" trainwreck of truly epic proportions.

Unfortunately for us, the railway map which many of our train dispatchers and conductors navigate by shows that all lines lead to the dark side of Rome, and insist that this is a feature, not a bug...And by golly! The trains will be made to run on schedule, and everybody will be equally on board - except for themselves of course.

DirtCrashr said...

The people who think you can re-build quickly and easily after collapse are brain damaged and missing out on about 200-years of engineering infrastructure growth-layers.
There are societies today that were once great Civilizations, and some 300+ years-on are not back to where they once were, 500-odd years ago, they're still re-building. Economic competition among countries is fierce and simple ancient hatreds sometimes don't allow them to get beyond a modest-means of self-sufficiency. In other places a thousand years of "Civilization" has lead to a thousand-foot deep circular trench of padding feet.
The raised-up Country built on progress is no guarantee, it's a MIRACLE - just look at Europe. There is no empty continent teeming with resources to expand-into anymore, only outer-space, and that may be where we necessarily must go to achieve our vision of the North American experiment in Government, once again.

Brad K. said...

RL,

"There won't be a 2nd American 'civil' war...Not with the full speed ahead into the pretty red brick wall our national discourse, finances, and individual liberties have been set on"

Um, I think just separating one's region from whatever still contains the national debt will be the equivalent of a butt load of money . . or at least credit. The 2ACW might be a matter of repudiating a debt considered to be someone elses, instead of about making money like most wars are. I mean, hatred and ideology are all fine things to breed wars, but unless someone wants to make money making and selling weapons and supplies, or gaining control of land or resources held by opponents, then any conflict will fall short of a "war". In this case, the objective could be as simple as "we won't have to pay down the National Debt".

That Russian KGB guy that predicted the demise of the US in 2010 expected New York State and California to lead the splintering -- by withholding their accumulated Federal taxes, to be used for their own needs.

Deciding the "south" should rise again (and include any interested states except the District of Columbia) could be made to look sort of attractive. I mean, voiler, with one change in perspective, the generations deep burden of the federal debt becomes someone else's many-times-greater generational burden.

Boat Guy said...

Having spent more time in the Balkans than I'd have preferred, I can't say I'm anything but dreading the prospect of "2ACW". As I do the best I can to "prepare" me and mine, I find myself really appreciating the material things we still have. Every day clean water flows out of the tap, I look at it with and increasing sense of wonder and thankfullness - and an increasing sense of dread that one day it won't be so...I sure as HELL don't want the things I now EXPECT to happen to manifest themselves, but the Titanic analogy is apt...

Sigivald said...

Yeah, I don't really understand looking forward to civil disorder (let alone the collapse of civilization or the end of the world as we know it).

I like not dying, and having fresh water, and fresh food, and not having to keep watch 24/7 to stop roving gangs or raiders.

Peaceful civilization is awesome.

Lergnom said...

Sigivald said it all.

Stay safe

Will said...

The caveat to Sigivald's post:

As long as you are not living in something resembling the III Reich.




Unfortunately, that's where we are headed.

Anonymous said...

"Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" - Early American armchair ninja.

Tam said...

Anonymouse 5:46,

Right behind ya, Tough Guy.

Who're we shootin'? Oh, wait... I don't seem to hear any gunfire from your pos...

mariner said...

The people I know aren't "looking forward" in the sense of happy anticipation. They're resigned to the fact that it's coming whether they want it or not.

One of my friends has a three-year-old daughter. He says, "Let's get it over with so my daughter won't have to do it later."

Justthisguy said...

Not quite off-topic: There is an inadvertently hilarious post at The Inductivist titled, "Disliking Races Might Be a Personality Trait."

A quotation: "Roughly half feel warmly toward all races. Thirty percent or so are neutral toward everyone. Fifteen percent like their group but dislike everyone else, and five percent can't stand anybody."

I'm a bit of a five-percenter m'self, but then I think I'm slightly autistic. Fuckin human monkeys get on my nerves.

Another good quote from the author hisself: " My white wife once said that she could be a white nationalist except that she hates white people."

RevDisk said...

Was in Kosovo, Serbia, Macedonia, etc for longer than I'd like.

It was less than pleasant, even living on a US base with plenty of infrastructure. Most powerful force in the region was the Russian mafia, not NATO or indigenous forces.

Most folks were concerned about food, medical and shelter. Even among the various hostile forces and paramilitary groups. Logistics of staying alive are often more challenging when normal distribution breaks down than mowing down civilians with automatic weapons.

Mad Max is not likely. Living in cities is... a very bad idea and can get horrific in days. Living in the country, you might get picked off by bandits/insurgents/criminals , but most likely you'll be under the ownership of the nearest warlord within months and life will suck but be survivable. Assuming you match the profile the warlord wants, of course.