Listening to advice from friends, I am going to start other blogs to carry topics unrelated to writing, instead of clogging the space here. Since my favorite off-topic interest is off-the-wall stories in our modern or pop culture, the first new blog is called “I’m Off My Meds Again” and can be found at http://www.offmymedsagain.wordpress.com. It’s MY platform for MY craziness. If you love the world of abnormal, bizarre, whacko things, then you’ll love this space. If crazy talk isn’t your cup of tea, stay away!
On November 13, I cut the segment below from a lengthier post on ZeroHedge.Com, a financial web site that monitors all things Wall Street. Since this topic is atypical for the organization, it caught my eye. Quotes within the article from Retired Major General Jerry Curry riveted my attention, particularly the last line of the portion pasted below.
Today, writing about the Apocalypse is popular. The form the end of time takes in a book plot is as varied as the authors writing on the topic. One of my readers has an indie book out in this genre, with a second book in the works. Book two is due to be released by the end of the year.
Given the high level of interest in doomsday matters, I had to share the following text. It is FACTUAL fodder for fictional stories. At this point, I normally sign off with something like “Enjoy, and happy writing,” but given the words you are about to read, I think I’ll pass on the cheery salutation.
Retired Major General Jerry Curry wrote Friday, November 9, 2012:
The Social Security Administration (SSA) confirms that it is purchasing 174 thousand rounds of hollow point bullets to be delivered to 41 locations in major cities across the U.S.
Those against whom the hollow point bullets are to be used — those causing the civil unrest — must be American citizens; since the SSA has never been used overseas to help foreign countries maintain control of their citizens.
What would be the target of these 174, 000 rounds of hollow point bullets? It can’t simply be to control demonstrators or rioters. Hollow point bullets are so lethal that the Geneva Convention does not allow their use on the battle field in time of war. Hollow point bullets don’t just stop or hurt people, they penetrate the body, spread out, fragment and cause maximum damage to the body’s organs. Death often follows.
Potentially each hollow nose bullet represents a dead American. If so, why would the U.S. government want the SSA to kill 174,000 of our citizens, even during a time of civil unrest?
If this were only a one time order of ammunition, it could easily be dismissed. But there is a pattern here. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has ordered 46,000 rounds of hollow point ammunition. Notice that all of these purchases are for the lethal hollow nose bullets. These bullets are not being purchased and stored for squirrel or coyote hunting. This is serious ammunition manufactured to be used for serious purposes.
In the war in Iraq, our military forces expended approximately 70 million rounds per year. In March DHS ordered 750 million rounds of hollow point ammunition. It then turned around and ordered an additional 750 million rounds of miscellaneous bullets including some that are capable of penetrating walls. This is enough ammunition to empty five rounds into the body of every living American citizen. Is this something we and the Congress should be concerned about? What’s the plan that requires so many dead Americans, even during times of civil unrest? Has Congress and the Administration vetted the plan in public.
All of these rounds of ammunition can only be used to kill American citizens, though there is enough ammunition being ordered to kill, in addition to every American citizen, also every Iranian, Syrian or Mexican. There is simply too much of it. And this much ammunition can’t be just for training, there aren’t that many weapons and “shooters” in the U.S. to fire it.
We have enough military forces to maintain law and order in the U.S. even during times of civil unrest.
This is a deadly serious business. I hope I’m wrong, but something smells rotten. And If the Congress isn’t going to do its duty and investigate this matter fully, the military will have to protect the Constitution, the nation, and our citizens.
The article on ZeroHedge.com ends with a 1987 quote from a United States Senator. That quote, which follows, when combined with the words of Major General Curry is enough to make the hairs on my neck stand on end. The words of these powerful, knowledgeable men stimulate my imagination. How about yours?
Senator Daniel Inouye said in 1987:There exists a shadowy Government with its own Air Force, its own Navy, its own fundraising mechanism, and the ability to pursue its own ideas of national interest, free from all checks and balances, and free from the law itself.
Before Hurricane Sandy hit U. S. shores, I heard a few emergency preparedness public service announcements that urged people to collect food, water, and other supplies needed for three days in the event Sandy cut off access to services.
What Sandy–and Katrina for that matter–taught me is this:
- The loss of electricity means more than the absence of lights. Use of gasoline pumps, ATM machines, heaters, cold food storage and other necessities can be lost. Pharmacies close so that those who are ill can’t get prescription medications. Refrigerated or frozen food at home or in grocery stores and restaurants spoil. Banks close so no one has access to their money.
- The loss of access to necessities can last much longer than anyone anticipates. Older or disabled persons living on top stories of buildings without electrical power to run elevators or health-related equipment may be cut off from things they need to stay alive. In the aftermath of Sandy, some communities were told the citizens would have to make do without power for six weeks or more. At the onset of winter, life can get brutal quickly if one has no way to keep warm.
- The destruction of infrastructure impedes the flow of commerce. In the aftermath of Sandy, it was difficult to get food and water to stores or distribution centers because debris clogged roads. Further, disruptions in energy distribution meant folks had a hard time buying gasoline to fill tanks so they could drive outside the destruction zone for supplies. Or vehicles were destroyed by flood waters, leaving owners stranded. One cruise ship that departed before Sandy hit, and was scheduled to sail for seven days, returned to New York to find the port closed and access denied. On the 15th day, the ship was still at sea, uncertain when it could return to its home port. Those on board didn’t know if their cars were still where they left them or washed away.
- To complicate matters more, society breaks down. Tempers flare and fights start over situations where one person attempts to take advantage of another. People cut into line instead of waiting their turn. Vandals use the cover of chaos to steal or damage property. Price gouging is rampant. The vulnerable are fearful. Children are sent to the safety of homes of distant relatives, while parents stay behind to clean and defend the homestead, which may have become a hazardous dump site.
- Few individuals had a plan for how to survive a disaster of Sandy’s magnitude.
When writing about a disaster setting, be accurate about the depth of the devastation. In the days following Sandy, several persons who were directly impacted by the storm said to us, “It’s nothing like you see on TV. It’s much worse.”
The televisions are blaring in both the bedroom and kitchen with non-stop weather reports as Hurricane Sandy closes the gap between riding north on the Gulf Stream and slamming ashore at the mouth of the Delaware Bay. Outside the kitchen window, wind is howling and rain is pelting the house. Dark clouds obscure nature’s light.
The missus surveys the collection of flashlights, candles, oil lamps, hand-cranked L.E.D. lanterns, matches and other emergency notions lined up neatly on the linen-cloaked dining room table. She is drying her hands after scouring the bathtub, then filling it with water. The water can be used to drink, to flush toilets, to water dogs or wash dishes if the power goes out, taking the well pump with it. In the kitchen, a pot of boiling water cooks spaghetti noodles. Garlic Texas toast browns in the oven. A freshly made pan of homemade sauce steams beside the spaghetti pot. The kitchen timer buzzes, calling the missus to attention.
She spears a noodle with a fork, runs it under cold water to cool, and pops it in her mouth. Perfect al dente. She turns off the oven and pulls the cookie sheet holding the savory bread from the rack, setting it on the countertop to cool. The noodles are draining in the colander when she calls her husband. It’s meal time.
He stands from a reclining position in his easy chair. She sets plates beside the stove and fetches grated parmesan cheese from the refrigerator.
Pop. Blink. Flicker. Whoosh. Out go the lights. It’s not the candlelight dinner she imagined.
Wow! That was cutting it close, I thought, when the docs decided to let Hubby loose from the hospital on the eve of Sandy’s arrival.
On the way home, I filled five prescriptions for him and one for me. He got medications to keep his heart beating regularly and to maintain his blood pressure levels on exertion. I would have preferred a nice bottle of Kahlua for my Rx, but I got an antiinflammatory instead to be sure my old back doesn’t ache while assisting Hubby with daily activities.
After picking up a few groceries, we beat it home to complete preparations for the hurricane’s arrival. One daughter lives close to ground zero in the Washington, D.C. suburbs. We fielded questions for prepping from her.
Our sailboat is docked in the northern Chesapeake Bay. May it stay tethered where it belongs!
The last time the power grid was interrupted in metro-D.C., it was weeks before customer service was restored. At that time, the temperatures were 100 degrees. HOT! No air conditioning or fans. This time, more than 20,000 customers are without power a half day before the eye hits land. The power outage in the midst of the storm is estimated to be severe in impact.
In western Maryland, we experienced a several-hour long outage last night. Who knows why the power cut off, but power has resumed for now.
I’ve cooked food, filled the bath tub with water for flushing toilets and watering animals, gathered water and snacks for nibbling if the power goes out, assembled emergency lighting, filled gas cans for the generator, and other tasks to make riding out the storm as comfortable as possible. I have one more trip to make out into the elements to feed the horses and check on the chickens. Wind is gusting at 40 MPH and getting heavier. Soon no one will stir outside without risking bodily harm.
I am thankful I live in the day and age when I get lots of lead time to prepare. By taking advantage of the information provided by TV and radio, I am as ready as I can be.
This post is way off topic, but I had to post it as an example of how crazy things are getting in the world. This excerpt came from www.zerohedge.com on 8/7/2012, posted at 18:37, submitted by Tyler Durden:
Last Friday, US Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced HR 6357, a bill which aims to ‘prohibit the extrajudicial killing of United States citizens’ by the federal government. In other words, in the Land of the Free, they need to pass a law to prevent the government from indiscriminately murdering its own citizens. Now if this doesn’t give one reason to pause and consider the distortions of liberty that have taken place in western civilization, I don’t know what will.
Two A.M. The farm family is roused inside the remote cottage by the sounds of running engines and the glare of headlights. Father, mother and three children fuse in the living room. A banging fist. The farmer turns the knob and a tsunami of soldiers flows in and around the family knot. Others move to the kitchen, the hall pantry, throwing open doors.
“The law says no more than seven days of food. I could arrest you for domestic terrorism.”
The children, now crying, cling to their parents. Soldiers box up food and shuttle the boxes to waiting trucks.
“Farming is our livelihood. It’s what we’ve done for generations. What are we to eat?”
“The law says no more than seven days of food.” Soldiers exit. The food is gone. Silence, except for children’s sniffles. Father’s eyes are hollow. Children’s eyes are fearful. Mother’s eyes are knowing.
Hidden away in the rafters, there are strings of jerky, dried beans, fruits and vegetables. Mother is both squirrel and ant. Her family will be fed.
Here’s a visual treat to stimulate your imagination for a story of diaspora. If you are a science fiction writer, your tale may have humans forced from earth in order to survive. Or you may write about the survival, prepper-style, of a select few who dodge an extinction event on earth. Whatever doomsday event you imagine, this little video will prod your timetable forward to finish your book.