Category Archives: Deep Thoughts

Deep thoughts, omphaloskepsis, and other random musings.

Animal’s Daily Balkanization News

Continuing on yesterday’s theme:  America Faces One of Three Inevitable Paths: Unrest, Tyranny, or Divorce – Pick One.  Excerpt:

In a piece for The Federalist entitled, “It’s Time For The United States To Divorce Before Things Get Dangerous,” writer and former Marine Corps combat veteran Jesse Kelly ruffled more than a few feathers with his contention that the time for the United States as a united nation may be nearing an inevitable end. 

Comparing the Left and Right in America to “the couple screaming at each other all night, every night as the kids hide in their room,” Kelly cites a congenial divorce as the best option for a country that’s “hopelessly divided” on seemingly every important issue. He even tweeted a helpful accompanying map with a hand-drawn red line ceding the Left coast and the northern states to the liberal governance they deserve.

In his piece, Kelly cites issues from gun control to border security, issues that, while both sides hopelessly disagree, will soon prompt increasingly intolerant Leftists to “start coming for the careers (and lives) of any normal American who sees things differently.”

But here’s the part that provoked my interest:

And these days, the idea isn’t just coming from the Right. The Calexit movement would secede California from the United States entirely, and it’s more financed and organized than you might think. Perhaps it’s time to give them what they want.

“[Conservatives’ reasons for splitting] would be a major cultural shift toward the left and half the country refusing to go along with tyranny,” writes Kelly. Liberals’ reasons might be a desire to run things their own way without the adults in the room interfering. But either way, the way I see it there are three possibilities for America’s future – unrest, tyranny, or divorce.

Out on a limb.

Look at loony Californey these days, and the solution may be obvious:  Let California go, and let “progressive” folks in the country go with them.  Encourage leftie emigration to the new Left Coast socialist state, but off California with their big block of Electoral College votes and their Democrat supermajority – oh, after collecting fair value for all the Imperial lands and installations in that state – and let them lie in the bed they’ve made.

With California gone, the political Left in the United States will be set back several generations.  Of course, that has us stuck with the GOP, who thus far has shown not one iota of testicular fortitude; but who knows that with confidence in majorities and the White House, maybe even the current soft-shelled creatures in the Imperial City might grow some semblance of a spine.

In any case, it beats the hell out of a civil war.

Rule Five Age of Majority Friday

Florida has raised the age for purchasing a long gun to 21.  The drinking age is technically set by the several States, but back in the early Eighties the Imperial government used highway funds to blackmail the states to raising that age to 21.  Imperial law has for years stated the age to buy a handgun at 21, and now croakers in the Imperial City are talking about following Florida in the case of long guns.

I’m wondering if that’s such a bad idea.

Now, before you square away at me, let me explain.

Our society seems to have arrived at the conclusion that kids from 18 to 21 years of age are fundamentally irresponsible.  We don’t allow them to drink, to gamble, to purchase handguns; we don’t allow them to adopt children or (in most states) rent cars.

But at 18, we allow these kids to sign contracts.  We allow them to drive; we allow them to join the military.  We allow them to vote, for crying out loud.

Last month, over at Reason.com, A. Barton Hinkle weighed in on the whole gradual age of majority issue.  Excerpt:

The U.S. already has raised the drinking age to 21. But as is often noted, you need be only 18 to enlist in the armed forces—i.e., to volunteer for missions that could entail not only losing your own life but taking others’.

The age of enlistment offers two rationales for not raising the age at which someone can buy a gun. If you’re mature enough to enlist, goes one, then you’re mature enough to own a gun. (Rebuttal: Enlistees’ lives are regimented to a ridiculous degree. Unlike civilian 18-year-olds, they’re not being given free rein.)

The second rationale holds that if you are old enough to sacrifice your life in America’s defense, then you should have access to all of America’s constitutional rights. Indeed, that was largely the rationale behind lowering the voting age once the age of conscription had been lowered.

Of course, nobody ever died because somebody picked up a ballot in a moment of anger. Nor has an improperly or accidentally used ballot ever killed anyone. People die from gunfire under those conditions all the time. So there might be some sense in leaving the voting age at 18 but raising the age of access to devices that can kill.

Except that most states let teenagers drive without supervision at age 16—and sometimes earlier—even though the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety points out that “teenage drivers have the highest crash risk per mile traveled.” In fact, the Institute says, the fatal crash rate for drivers age 16-19 is “nearly three times as high as the rate for drivers 20 and over.”

So, the answer is obvious.  The age of majority should be regularized.  Teenage drivers are dangerous, it seems; obviously the Tide-Pod Eating Generation can’t handle rifles or shotguns, or a glass of beer.  Good, then; take this to its obvious conclusion.  Congress should immediately act to raise the age of majority overall to 21.  Prior to that age youths will not be allowed to drink, to drive, to sign contracts, to join the military, to purchase firearms and, most important of all, to vote.

At least then our idiotic graduated-age-of-majority system will be gone; at least then we will have some damned consistency.

And, yes, I am being sarcastic.  I actually am in favor of regularizing the age of majority for all things.  At eighteen.  But occasionally it’s useful to take an argument to its ultimate, ridiculous conclusion.

Animal’s Daily Civil War News

Here are two takes on a possible second American civil war:

Why Democrats Would Lose the Second Civil War, Too

And:

Think They’ll Never ‘Come and Take’ Your Guns Without an Armed Revolt? Think Again

Here’s a relevant excerpt from the first:

There are two Civil War II scenarios, and the left is poorly positioned to prevail in either one. The first scenario is that the Democrats take power and violate the Constitution in order to use the apparatus of the federal government to suppress and oppress Normal Americans. In that scenario, red Americans are the insurgents. In the second scenario, which we can even now see the stirrings of in California’s campaign to nullify federal immigration law, it is the blue states that are the insurgents.

The Democrats lose both wars. Big time.

And the second:

So what will you do, dear AR-15 owner, when the ‘Cheka’ comes for your neighbor, and you know the laws are on the books to prosecute? Will a “buyback” and “amnesty” be enough to convince YOU to acquiesce? You’ve got a job, a wife, kids to raise. When they “come and take it,” is your family worth risking? 

No, when they take your guns there will be no civil war. There will be no large-scale revolution, because liberals are experts at pushing that Overton Window enough not to shock the system. Like frogs in water that’s about to boil, people won’t jump until it’s too late.

Of the two scenarios, I am (sadly) inclined to believe the latter.  Why?

Because I honestly don’t believe most American gun owners are quite ready to join an armed insurgency.  I’d like to think I’d be willing.  I know quite a few of my fellow veterans would be, enough to make things pretty hot for the would-be tyrants.  But in the end?

Fifty years ago we were a nation of outdoorsmen, farmers, tradesmen and woodsmen for whom strength was their stock in trade and for whom marksmanship and woodcraft were taken as a given.  Now?  We have a generation grown up on the Internet and game consoles, and while many of them are ardently pro-Second Amendment (yes, really) how many of these mall ninjas would give up their homes and all their possessions, taking the risk of being shot on sight, to go forth and join a cause where the odds are stacked against you?

I sure hope I’m wrong.  I sure hope we never have to find out.

Animal’s Daily Good Old Iowa News

Japan.

Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. are heading out shortly to catch our flight to the Land of the Rising Sun, so watch for reports from those environs.  Tomorrow’s Rule Five Friday and this week’s Saturday Gingermageddon are already queued up.  Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, here’s something interesting; my childhood home state  of Iowa has claimed the #1 spot on U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of the best states to live in.  Excerpt:

Iowa may be better known for its corn, caucuses and creative writing programs, but the Hawkeye state also leads the nation in efforts to bring ultra-fast internet access to every city block and every rural acre.

Iowa’s No. 1 rankings in the infrastructure category and the broadband access metric within that came as a “pleasant surprise” to David Daack, a broadband consultant for Connected Nation, which does business in the state as Connect Iowa. Previous data reports have shown Iowa more in the middle of the pack.

“When people think of Iowa, they usually think of agricultural places that won’t necessarily need to be connected,” Daack says. “But given the big data needs of agriculture today and in the future, those areas are going to need to be every bit as connected as the urban areas. … You could almost argue that maybe we should go (to the farms) first and work our way back into the cities.”

Combine those No. 1s with Iowa’s Top 10 rankings in health care (No. 3), opportunity (No. 4), education (No. 5) and quality of life (No. 9), and the state becomes “first in the nation” not only in terms of its presidential caucuses, but also when describing Iowa’s overall placement in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best States rankings.

“We’ve been basically working within this model since 2011, and as you can see by the results in so many indexes, it’s working,” says Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

Having grown up in Iowa, I can vouch for its status as a good place to be a kid.  Allamakee County was a great place to be a kid who loved to hunt, fish and bum around in the woods.  My folks had sixty acres of hardwood timber with a great trout stream running through the property, and pretty much all of the surrounding farms were open to free-range kids who spent the summer roaming around; if someone noticed a couple of boys crossing their pasture with .22 rifles, most would just shrug and say “they’re local kids.  Just being kids.”

Like most places, though, Iowa has changed.  Our oldest kid lives there still, along with two of my sisters and my folks.  Iowa always has been home to them, but the Iowa of my youth has moved (somewhat) away from its overwhelmingly agricultural past to being a more well-rounded place.  Cedar Rapids is emerging as something of a high-tech hub, and the state’s universities are attracting more out-of-state students.

Farm Worker.

Not everything has changed, though.  I think it’s the pace of things in Iowa that lots of folks find appealing.  A couple of years ago I had occasion to go to Elkader for a family event; Elkader is a small town in northeast Iowa, about thirty miles from my old Allamakee County stomping grounds.  When we left the town, we stopped at a gas station/convenience store for a drink, and I commented to the older lady behind the counter that I “…hadn’t been through Elkader for at least thirty years, and it doesn’t seem like anything has changed.”

She replied, “come back in another thirty years and nothing will have changed then, either.”

It’s nice to know of places like that.  Stability should count for something.

Animal’s Daily Random Thoughts

Some of my actual bucket list items:

  • Taking a dump on Turkmenistan.
  • Being in a situation where I can accurately say to someone “you have arrived just in time for my moment of triumph!”
  • Go on a Cape Buffalo hunt in which I kill a massive bull in a full charge, timed so that he slides, dead, up to the toes of my boots.  Note that this item will likely necessitate a change of underwear immediately thereafter.
  • Bitch-slap Chuck Schumer.
  • Drive the AlCan.
  • Go hunting in Siberia.
  • See the following places:
    • India
    • Vladivostok
    • Iceland
    • Scotland
    • Wales
    • Rome
    • Tierra del Fuego
    • Patagonia

I have more bucket list items, but those are just a few of my favorites.

I know the science in Jurassic Park is pretty much at the Star Trek level of bullshit, but I wish it wasn’t, solely because I think hunting a full-grown bull T-rex would be an unimaginably awesome adventure.

Being able to teleport would be the best superpower you could have.  Being telepathic would be a close second.

Having spent a fair amount of time in Japan, I’ve often wondered why Japanese schoolgirls wear what amounts to a sailor’s uniform.  They aren’t going to school on a ship – so, why?

By the time Mrs. Animal and I leave here on Saturday, I will have spent nigh unto a year now working and living in Silicon Valley.  I can sum up my experience temporarily residing in California with three words:  Fuck this place.

On that note, we return you to your Thursday, already in progress.

Rule Five Sapiosexual Friday

Thanks to Darkness Over the Land for the pingback!

Moving on:  Yes, apparently this is a thing; for some folks, at least, brains are an essential part of what makes another person sexually interesting.  (I offer no speculation on the intelligence of today’s Rule Five girl; that’s not why she’s here.)  Excerpt:

To get to the bottom of the question, Gilles Gignac, a psychology researcher at the University of Western Australia conducted a survey of both undergraduate students in Australia and participants on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. He and his co-authors had them complete a questionnaire that asked whether they found high levels of intelligence attractive, in addition to more general questions about intelligence. Examples included “Listening to someone speak very intelligently arouses me sexually,” and “very high level of intelligence alone is enough for me to be attracted to someone sexually.”

Gignac also asked them directly whether they would find people with varying levels of intelligence attractive, ranging from well below the 50th percentile to the very top end of the intelligence spectrum. His study was published in the journal Intelligence, natch.

Tallying the data revealed that for most people, intelligence isn’t a significant factor in deciding whether someone’s hot or not. While it wasn’t totally insignificant, it’s likely that other characteristics override brains for most people. For a select few, however, it appears that a prodigious intellect did indeed serve to stir desire. Eight percent of the participants scored a 4 out of 5 on Gignac’s test, meaning they responded strongly in the positive to most questions that asked whether they were turned on by intelligence. He interprets this as evidence of sapiosexuality among a small subset of people.

Interestingly, it seems there’s a limit to how much intelligence people can handle. When asked to rate what level of intelligence they found attractive, most people stopped at an IQ of 120, which corresponds roughly to the 90th percentile of intelligence. Gignac, isn’t sure about why this is so, though he suggests that portrayals of extremely intelligent people as socially awkward, as well fears of compatibility problems, could come into play.

In addition, the participant’s own level of intelligence, as measured by a few common cognitive tests, didn’t seem to make them more attracted to smart people. In other words, sapiosexuality doesn’t seem to be relegated solely to the brilliant.

I’m a little skeptical about the whole thing.

I do find intelligence appealing.  Mrs. Animal is extremely intelligent; for twenty-five years now she has run the business side of all our small business ventures and managed her own small publishing company, all while raising four daughters.  She speaks several languages, and repeatedly demonstrates unfailing aptitude for almost any new project she takes on.  Yes, she’s a smart cookie.  I think I’m a pretty smart cookie too, and that’s one of the reasons our marriage has been so successful.

But where I think this article misses the mark is in shallowly confining the study to sexuality.  Compatibility in a relationship involves a lot more, including – perhaps too obviously – a certain amount of intellectual parity.  I could refer you to an acquaintance of mine, a man of above-average intelligence who for reasons unknown married a woman who I must in all candor describe as a drooling imbecile.  Not surprisingly, he’s unhappy in the relationship.

Sexual compatibility is important in a relationship, sure.  But more fundamentally, people have to be able to simply talk to each other.  That’s what this study missed.

Rule Five 2018 Inventions Friday

Every year seems to bring more new gadgets to make our lives easier and more convenient (hah!) and I’m sure 2018 will be no exception.  But while most folks will be thinking of new gadgets for commerce, for socializing, for… well, whatever, I have some ideas for new inventions that will make my life more fun – or at least, more tolerable.  Here they are:

  1. The Directed EMP Auto Sound Hush-O-Matic.  This will be a powerful directed EMP pulse generator intended for use when stopped at a traffic signal next to an obnoxious retard with a thumping, booming stereo.  Bear in mind that there is a natural law I discovered some years back, which has since been known as Animal’s First Law of Car Stereo Stupidity, which posits that the volume with which a driver blasts his car stereo is directly proportional to the crappiness of his preferred music.  The Hush-O-Matic is intended for just such a driver; the device will, when aimed and activated, immediately fry all of the electronics in said vehicle, rendering it into an inert hunk of scrap metal.
  2. Anti-Tag Electro-Paint.  “Urban Art” usually isn’t; some of it is barely acceptable as far as talent goes, but when it’s done (as it frequently is) on public or private property, it’s vandalism and a damned nuisance.  Some locales are deterring public urination by using paint designed to splash urine back at the urinator; the Electro-Paint will go one step beyond by sensing when any spray paint is applied to a surface and respond by sending a high-voltage charge back down the paint stream, stunning the vandal.  The charge is yet to be determined but should be sufficient to render said vandal into a gelid mass until law enforcement can arrive.
  3. Disabled Parking Abuser Auto-Flip.  My own dear Mrs. Animal is disabled, depending on a walker for full mobility.  Her parents are also disabled (blind) as is my mother (severe rheumatoid arthritis.)  So I’m something of a prick about abuse of handicapped parking spaces.  I’ve offered to turn a few smartass teenagers into grease stains over this issue, and was once delighted to see a van with a wheelchair lift scrape the hell out of the side of a car illegally parked in the cross-hatched space intended to provide room for such lifts.  The Auto-Flip will take the form of a hydraulic arm that may be extended from the underside of a vehicle, moved underneath the vehicle of a scofflaw, and used to flip the offender’s car over on its roof.
  4. Cellular Phone Blabber-Blocker.  Ever noticed how the advent of the cellular phone means that now we have to listen to everyone’s personal conversations in every public place?  Some time back the airlines were speculating about the possibility of providing cell phone service in-flight; I was horrified at the idea, since one of the few compensations in air travel is that at least I don’t have to listen to people blabbing all of their personal business.  The Blabber-Blocker will simply block all cellular phone signals within a certain radius, say, fifteen feet.
  5. The Left-Lane Vigilante Messenger.  Ever been stuck on a freeway behind some gomer tooling along at ten miles an hour under the speed limit in the left lane?  One that no amount of flashing headlights or gesturing will get to move right?  The Left-Lane Vigilante Messenger uses a powerful laser to etch the words “MOVE RIGHT, ASSHOLE” into the inside of the offending driver’s windshield.

Ideas are precious things.  It’s the duty of all intelligent people to use their intelligence to improve the lives of their fellow man; the inventions I have described above will surely do that.  Well, at least they’d improve my life.

So, what say you, True Believers?  Any suggestions?

Rule Five Manly Arts Friday

Manliness, as defined by strength, confidence, self-reliance, courage and honor, seems to be an increasingly rare trait in the Western nations today, our own republic among them.  I am inclined to think that this seeming lack is only an illusion, as the rise of PC culture has drowned out the actions and words of such men who, generally, see no need to blow their own horns.  The Old Man is one such; a man of few words but enormous presence, a small man physically but a giant in character, a man of great courage, honor, determination, confidence and self-reliance.  America has millions like him, and we’re better for it.

But while they may be men of few words, there are nonetheless quite a few relevant quotes on the meaning of manliness that are worth considering.  A while back I was perusing the site The Art of Manliness, and stumbled across an article presenting 80+ Quotes on Men and Manhood.   Some of my personal heroes are represented in that article, Winston Churchill, George Patton and Theodore Roosevelt among them, so I’ll produce some of my favorites here.  Hopefully the males among all you True Believers will find them inspiring, as I have.  For that matter, some of the ladies may as well.  Enjoy.

“A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality.  – Winston Churchill

“We do not admire the man of timid peace. We admire the man who embodies victorious effort; the man who never wrongs his neighbor, who is prompt to help a friend, but who has those virile qualities necessary to win in the stern strife of actual life.” –Theodore Roosevelt

“No man is more unhappy than he who never faces adversity, for he is not permitted to prove himself.”  – Seneca

“Private and public life are subject to the same rules—truth and manliness are two qualities that will carry you through this world much better than policy or tact of expediency or other words that were devised to conceal a deviation from a straight line.” –Robert E. Lee

“The way of a superior man is three-fold: virtuous, he is free from anxieties; wise, he is free from perplexities; bold, he is free from fear.” –Confucius

“We need the iron qualities that go with true manhood.  We need the positive virtues of resolution, of courage, of indomitable will, of power to do without shirking the rough work that must always be done.”  – Theodore Roosevelt

“The lesson taught at this point by human experience is simply this, that the men who will get up will be helped up; and the man who will not get up will be allowed to stay down.  Personal independence is a virtue and it is the soul out of which comes the sturdiest manhood.  But there can be no independence without a large share of self-dependence, and this virtue cannot be bestowed.  It must be developed from within.”  – Frederick Douglass

“Duty is the essence of manhood.”  – George Patton

“Stand true to your calling to be a man. Real women will always be relieved and grateful when men are willing to be men.” –Elisabeth Elliott

“A woman simply is, but a man must become. Masculinity is risky and elusive. It is achieved by a revolt from woman, and it confirmed only by other men. Manhood coerced into sensitivity is no manhood at all.” –Camille Paglia

“Adversity toughens manhood, and the characteristic of the good or the great man is not that he has been exempt from the evils of life, but that he has surmounted them.” –Patrick Henry

“What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason! How infinite in faculties! In form and moving, how express and admirable! In action, how like an angel! In apprehension, how like a God.” – William Shakespeare

Which is your favorite?  Anyone have any to add?

Rule Five Stupid Lyrics Friday

When I was a kid back in the Seventies, there was a song by the British band Ten Year After called I’d Love To Change The World.  That song included these lyrics:

Tax the rich, feed the poor

‘Till there are no rich no more

Even the seventeen-year old me thought that was stupid.  “If there are no rich no more,” I remember thinking, “who the hell is going to feed the poor then?”  These lyrics seemed to that younger me to describe the very folly of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Now, musicians – indeed, performers of any sort – are frequently of the redistributionist bent.  That’s nothing new.  But some popular song lyrics present us with some of the most intelligence-insulting economic illiteracy ever seen.  Here are a couple of examples:

1: Steve Miller Band, Take The Money and Run.

The lyrics in question:

They headed down to, ooh, old El Paso
That’s where they ran into a great big hassle
Billy Joe shot a man while robbing his castle
Bobbie Sue took the money and run

Isn’t that nice?  The young couple that are the subject of this song, in the very opening stanza, commit three felonies:  Breaking and entering, armed robbery and assault with intent to commit murder (if not actually murder – the song is unclear.)  Maybe the Steven Miller Band wasn’t trying to glorify violent robbery, but you couldn’t prove it by me.  The song goes on:

Billy Mack is a detective down in Texas
You know he knows just exactly what the facts is
He ain’t gonna let those two escape justice
He makes his livin’ off of the people’s taxes

Sure appears to me that the cop is made out to be the bad guy here.   As for his making his living “off of the people’s taxes,” well, sure – law enforcement is an example of a distributed interest, and one of the actual legitimate functions of a local government.  And bringing armed and dangerous felons to heel is a pretty damned good use of tax money.

2:  The Beatles/John Lennon, Imagine

I loathe this song.  I’ve been called a heartless bastard for saying so, but I nevertheless loathe this song.  it’s the worst sort of mushy-headed puffery masquerading as some kind of high ideals.  Consider:

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world

No possessions?  To hell with that!  Heartless bastard I’ve been called and heartless bastard I may be, but screw that idea.  If I work for something and earn it, it’s mine.  If you work for something and earn it, it’s yours.  If anyone works for something and earns it, it’s theirs.

You want a brotherhood of man?  Fine.  Let’s have a brotherhood of free men, all using their own talents, skills, knowledge and abilities to produce value.  Let’s have a brotherhood of free men openly and freely trading the products of their work with each other, via mutual agreements openly and freely agreed to, in which both parties gain value.  What Lennon called greed, I call ambition – that urge that drives people to work, to achieve, to excel.  Want to eliminate hunger?  That’s the way to do it.

Much as I love my daily helpings of classic rock, there are nevertheless times when its creators drive me batty.

Rule Five Civil War Friday

Yesterday’s post on the Antifa fascists and their “non-violent” resistance  got me to thinking.

There’s been a fair amount of talk lately about the modern American political climate.  I have to agree with the seeming consensus that American politics has become increasingly divisive.  Groups of activists are taking to the streets, and the protests are increasingly violent.

From 1861 to 1865, this nation fought a war between the States.  Are we heading in that direction again?  We may be, but it won’t be like the 1861-1865 war; not even a little bit.  Why?

Here’s the catch; any 21st century American civil war won’t resemble the 1861-1865 war at all. And not just for technological reasons.

The 1861-1865 war wasn’t really a civil war.  It did not involve two factions fighting for control of one nation, as did the two Roman civil wars of the late Republic, or the English civil war. Our war was a war of secession, where one part of the nation tried to break away and form a new country.  The Confederacy did not succeed in creating that new nation, and it’s probably for the best they did not.  There would likely have never been an overwhelming American superpower if the U.S. had broken up in the 1860s.

Our war between the states was also a war with clear geographic boundaries, North against South (mostly, the West was a little confused) and mostly fought by established armies in the martial traditions of the time. The tensions of that conflict are still felt today.

Any second conflict will be a true civil war. There will be few geographic boundaries, other than urban v. rural. This will be a conflict that doesn’t involve the military so much as gangs of irregulars; imagine Charlottesville if both sides had come armed and willing to open fire.

And second civil war will be fought amongst us.  It won’t be fought on open battlefields; it will be fought in our city streets, in the suburbs, on the roads and byways of our nation.

Imagine pitched battles on the streets of our major cities, what is left of established authority against rioting mobs.  Imagine those mobs engaging in raids into the suburbs when the cities run short of food and water. Imagine a complete breakdown of emergency services in those cities as first responders encounter armed gangs willing to kill them for their vehicles, equipment, and medicines. Imagine hordes of refugees fleeing the cities, into the countryside, under the misapprehension that somehow there is plenty of food to be had in the countryside, but having no skills whatsoever to find or grow said food. Imagine rural residents facing rampant theft and trespassing responding by forming their own armed militias to repel the invaders, and thus escalate the conflict into the countryside.

The situation will likely escalate, atrocity breeding atrocity.  Just read some of the rhetoric on Twitter and Facebook – two essentially content-free forums catering in large part to the lowest common denominator –  and imagine the fevered rhetoric therein translated to action.

There are only two ways any government could respond to this crisis:

  • Impose martial law and restore order by force. Such force would have to be overwhelming, brutal and merciless. Bear in mind that this option is likely to fail, as a significant portion of our military would likely refuse to exercise brutality on their fellow citizens.
  • Respond weakly and fecklessly, as when Jefferson Davis pleaded with an angry, starving mob in Richmond in 1864, finally turning out his pockets to toss a few coins into the crown. Such a response would be worse than doing nothing at all.

In either case, the United States as we knew it ends at that point.