Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Swamp Gas Keeps Bubbling Up

 h/t JW

We thought we had thoroughly shat upon the notion of a national breakup into nifty sub-countries hard enough to highlight the perpetual unlikelihood of the prospect - at least beyond the initial 15 minutes.

But it seems there are always those who cling to the notion that they will get to keep their little patch intact, while the rest of the world burns, because someone shook Tinkerbell and sprinkled Magic Pixie Dust and therefore, it will be so, because they think happy thoughts, and God loves them best of all.

Not just "No", but "FUCK NO!"

JW threw this idea out as a trial balloon at the end of a post, but there's no shortage of earnest monkeys who will latch onto such a thing and begin humping it with all their might.

So for those Baby Ducks:

The idea of "balkanization" after a civil war/national divorce/banana is pure codswallop.

The why isn't difficult to suss out.

Let's start this small, and go bigger.

Everyone knows it takes two people to go to the courthouse to get married. But it only takes one to get divorced.

(This is why, with all due respect to JW and the Mrs., marriage is exactly like a hand grenade: anything that requires a ring to keep it together is not your friend.)

War and peace have exactly the same calculus:

It takes two nations to maintain the peace.

It only takes one of them  to say "F**k that!", and suddenly you have a war on your hands.

So, you're going to balkanize into separate territories.

How has that idea worked out with the two-state Israel/Palestine plan?

How about with the two Koreas?

North and South Vietnam?

East and West Pakistan?

Two Irelands?

How's the "two Chinas" policy looking these days?

So, knowing that track record, you're going to split America That Is into separate Leftard and Liberty pieces, and you figure the Leftards, who can't help finger-banging anything they see because they think they know better than you, are going to merrily leave other people in peace, rather than jam their fingers into other guys' pies up to the armpits?

Srsly? Anybody thinks that??

Riiiiiiiight. that'll totally happen. When monkeys fly outta my butt.

You may have no desire for D.C. 

Rest assured D.C. has designs upon you, along with the cheerful support of vast hordes of dependent minions in every metropolis in America - you know, the urban locii where 82% of Americans currently live - who will cheerfully and gleefully come to get you and what you think is yours, simply because they can.

People have lived so long under the protection of a republic that safeguards the minority, and the smallest minority, the individual, they've completely forgotten what happens when might becomes right.

People in Alsace, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Poland should be consulted before anyone proposes to build castles in the air based on the allure of "balkanization". What looked like a great plan in 1919 didn't work out so well by 1939.

Suggestions to the contrary are merely normalcy bias writ large.

And you don't even notice that any hope - including your own - for any piece of the puzzle living happy and peaceful afterwards depends on the good wishes and honest intentions of the exact folks you despise the most right now. If you're going to gamble like that, the Powerball grand prize has better odds. Just saying.

The same thing happened in Korea. And Vietnam. And the Middle East. And on and on.

In the rest of the world, that time is known as the Overture.

Idiots claiming balkanization as the permanent end state, rather than the prep phase, are going to have one helluva shocked face when the curtain goes up on Act One.

Pray, don't be one of them. 

So, inevitably, even a semi-peaceful "divorce" quickly becomes an existential hot shooting war. 

(Side note: How did Ukraine trusting Russian promises to guarantee their original borders work out?)

So this, as always, becomes a cage match, where two sides enter, and only one leaves.

There will be one America with one people when it's done.

Not 2, or 4, or 9, or eleventy.

And anyone who thinks the Canuckistanis or the Mexican'ts, or any other country is going to take advantage of the situation should best look to the response when the cops show up to a domestic violence call: both parties attack the cops more often than not.

Now imagine the US with Blue Helmets or any other silliness. Everyone living here would exterminate the interlopers before we returned to knocking off the native-born enemies.

This will be rivers of blood, mountains of skulls, and oceans of tears before it's over.

One side is going to be smaller when it's over.

One side is going to be extinct.

Which is which will be determined by who wants it more. Period. Full stop.

You think the two (three/four/seven/eleventy) sides will live and let live?

Show your work.

Change my mind.

Start by sharing with the class how the same excremental fucktards who made anyone want a divorce, are going to respect it afterwards, and let you live in peace.

Even if you never wanted a communist paradise, and never voted one in, you're going to have to shoot your way out of one, and back to the republic you miss. And I've yet to see anyone, anywhere come up with a better template than the one instituted in 1776, but there have been dozens and dozens before and since that example all done far, far worse. You will garner enthusiasm for those lesser attempts in the single digits, on your best day. Wrap your head around that reality good and tight before you think to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Which is why I'm also far beyond sick of the asinine city/country wrangling. The people who can add without taking off their shoes already know the vast majority of the country are city folks. (That would be 82% urban, for Common Core grads.) Some of you Baby Ducks new to that bit of intel had best step up your efforts to befriend your ideological allies in Cities you Don't Like (which, word to your mother, they don't like either), instead of shit-talking them for not living in Bumfuck, Bugtussle, or Hooterville. They will be the exact people who'll monkey-wrench Leviathan when the time comes, from inside the citadel walls.

Or, not.

Your job, and as exactly what all insurgencies require to succeed, is to be the place they can recruit, relax, re-arm, refit, recover, and recuperate. America is the one nation that can be its own "foreign power". No one else is coming.

But if you keep pissing off and pissing on your city cousins to where they sit things out, like far too many of the dim-witted seem to pine for fondly, there a bare 18% of you sit, out there in flyover country.

Your move, bumpkins. But don't take my word for it. Call a seance, and discuss with the spirits of Bobby Lee and Stonewall Jackson what a martial contest looks like at 82:18 odds, when you're the 18. The brighter lights out there should be (and are) already looking for ways to make friends, not enemies. You can get to a peer war if you learn to make friends, or simply content yourselves with being the baby Harp seals in the upcoming hunt.

I imagine the hardest thing to do was to teach the caterpillar that in order to become a butterfly, he just had to die first.

Slaughter your delusions, instead of yourselves. Stop hanging your hopes, dreams, and plans on fairytales and fond wishes, and start doing some hard work. Starting with some hard thinking, and hard thoughts. We're running out of time to make enough like-minded friends. 3AM friends. And FFS, quit taking leadership lessons from a herd of cats. Learn to work and play well with others. If only from an enlightened sense of self-preservation.

In closing, I cannot help but observe the number of witch doctors out there, and the dearth of medical common sense. Anyone with a lick of medical acumen knows that amputation is the last option, not the first choice. And that when there's a cancer, you don't give it a sacrificial piece of the body in hopes that will satiate it. You kill it, all of it, down to the last molecule. With fire.


maruadventurer said...

Been saying a variation of this for years. You may get the divorce but it won't last. Once things get hard the Leftist types usually cast about to blame others for their woe. That tends to lead to war as a diversion.

Dan said...

Nobody can say with any certainty what the future will bring. Balkanization while unlikely isn't impossible. How well that works and how long it lasts is again unknowable. Total collapse to a Mad Max level is conceivable. About the only thing certain is it will be ugly and it will involve violence to some extent.

Aesop said...

My reply to anyone who thinks balkanization is any kind of viable solution is to look at the slides of a map of Europe in 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940, and 1950.

I'll be at the bar when they have their lecture notes all organized.

Skyler the Weird said...

Yugoslavia broke up but it was a Charlie Foxtrot jumble of people with different ethnicities put together at Versailles to reward Serbia as a victor in the Great War. Though if we wouldn't bomb them, the Serbs would probably take it all back.

Best case is Spain 1939. Kick their ass, use your fifth column to take the cities, kill the Communists. I can't see a Franco rising up but then again, Franco wasn't well known in 1935 either.

Anonymous said...

I don't see Balkanization, but I do see the cities in flames before the mobs hit the back country. The larger army doesn't always win - American Revolution comes to mind - and city folk for a large part (AAL in particular) aren't familiar with a "nature" environment. Just two-legged deer wandering the countryside.

Anonymous said...

Ok, not a veteran, so no experience. Asking an honest question. Would closing the roads out of the city offer better chance of success than working with city conservatives for us country boys?
Let's try a scenario like Martin Armstrong's prediction that $10 trillion that needs to be refloated in the Treasury market this year won't be bought. The government declares war as part of a planned default in September. The economy goes into shock and people, especially poor people can't afford/access food either because of supply chain problems, inflation, food stamp failure, or civil disturbances prevent restocking.
First, how do I help my city friends other than to have prepared and encouraged them to come? (Well, the useful ones.)
Not knowing any better, wouldn't it be easy to find a pinch point and start shooting cars to block the flow? Pretty soon there are thousands of cars that have run out of gas. And a long way to anywhere but back.
Yes to everything else you said, especially the less and extinct part. As a side note, if you have tapped into a crop of fools that want to buy pixie dust and unicorn farts you ought to sell it to them.

Aesop said...

Look up Leonidas at Thermopylae.
You aren't bottling anybody up.
You will stack some, and then be overrun, by an enemy 10x as enraged.
Who will happily slaughter all he finds as just recompense.
And this time, there'll be no monuments of poetry for the conquered.
They'll just be dead.

I refer you no farther than a bona fide Subject Matter Expert:
"Fixed fortifications are monuments to man's stupidity." - Gen. George S. Patton
Mind you, this was after he'd watched Guderian waltz through the "impassable" Belgian and Luxembourg through the Ardennes forest, go around France's Maginot Line, and continue on to crush the Anglo-French army in 40 days.

The way to stop an enemy in the cities is to keep him too tied up there to ever get out, and hamstring him if he ever does. German troops had to travel by roads in France, because the trains kept going all explodey, not a single German tank was built in French factories from 1940-1944, while innumerable duds were shipped to soldiers on two fronts from French munitions plants.

Bear well in mind that even so-called "blue hives" have a cadre of 25-45% Red State players.
An underground and auxiliary of even 1% of the population makes for a permanent state of war and chaos, and means your enemy would never have secure interior lines.
As much as 5%-10% would result in Stalingrad, every single day.

Two snipers paralyzed DC for a month, and one lone nutjob tied up all of California from Mexico to Oregon for a solid week.

Now picture 100.
Or 1000.
In every major city.

Building things is hard.
F**king them up is easy.
Look at what one stray ship did to Baltimore, by simple accident.
Now imagine a dozen "on purposes".

There are lessons there, for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.

Skyler the Weird said...

Gretna,LA blocked the Mississippi River Bridge coming out of New Orleans after Katrina but the horde was still looting the French Quarter. They took a lot of Media and DOJ heat afterwards.

Old NFO said...

Regardless of 'which' way it goes, it will get UGLY quickly.

John Wilder said...

Again, never said I was in favor of it, it's just one of two possible outcomes.

Gray Fox said...

Here in the South, a couple log trucks with all the tires flat blocking the bridges/overpasses out of major cities would suffice for quite a while. Especially if you have the obstacles covered by accurate direct-fire weapons, i.e., .300 Win mag. That would give the Red guys in the cities time to cherry-pick those in the backed-up traffic. Gray Fox

neomunitor said...

Modern civilization is so much more fragile than the world of the 1940s. Advancements in transportation, communication, computing, refrigeration, electrification, manufacturing, distribution, have all made life easier, but no one has spent any time hardening the system against intentional disruption or even against natural disaster like large solar events. It is not anti-fragile.

The US offshored all of the manufacturing that it could and instead is an expert importer and distributor of finished goods and produce. Every urban area is an island that continuously imports all of its power, water, fuel, and food. All of that can be disrupted by taking out a few transformers or switches, or even just some telecommunications.

Most don't know it, but take out comms and the grid goes down. You can download a map of the major fiber nodes here http://pages.cs.wisc.edu/~pb/tubes_final.pdf. Taking down just eight of the major nodes would take out the entire US communications network. You don't even need to attack the grid directly, just the substations near those nodes. No power, no functioning fiber. But a few Malatovs in the right place and those fiber nodes are history. They are easily accessible underground vaults. BTW, even StarLink requires the fiber network on the ground to function. Those satellites just do the last miles hard part.

In chaos there is opportunity - of one kind or another. Shining Path used to make a point of taking out the power lines feeding cities in order to create issues and refugees that TPTB would have to address, in a country much less dependent on electricity than the US.

I dealt with the aftermath of Katrina, cleaning up a flooded house just outside of New Orleans, in a vast area, over 25,000 square miles, with no comms, no power, no gas, no help. A Glock on my hip and an AR near to hand. It wasn't a conflict zone and it was still hard. At least I could drive a couple of hours and get fuel and water and air conditioning at the end of each day.

When the lights go out in a city, there will also be no phones, water, sewer, traffic lights, and no gas stations. If people wait until then to get out on the roads to flee, it will turn into a parking lot, and the cars will run out of gas, and that will be that. Saw it in numerous hurricane evacs.

Unless urban people are prepared for such a disaster, I think it quite likely that the 82:18 number may change dramatically. I see no reason not to expect that the grid feeding the cities wouldn't be hit right off the bat. City dwellers who hold traditional American values might, I think, want to prepare by networking with like minded people within a gas tank of the city and plan to evacuate at the first sign of trouble. Over 90% of cities are Democrat run incubators of gangs and homeless. Strategically, cutting the power and letting there be a die off over the first month or two makes some sense.

Jester said...

At Anonymous,

Speaking from having manned and gone though more military check points than I can count they are there to slow things down in the tune of perhaps a couple vehicles. Having seen the aftermath of a VBIED in a check point I can tell you it just takes one to punch a hole. Yes you can indeed shut or snarl things up for a while but if you're thinking this is going to go the highway to Hell in Kuwait on that highway 80 you are not going to see it. You could shut down things like you say on interstates and secondary roads here and there for a very short time with out an Air Force but not long. Consider your average 4 banger SUV could in a dry ground get around a lot of the stuff you see out there. You are not going to bottle up hundreds of thousands or millions of people in a city or urbanscape enviroment. Not alone anyway. The better use of such ideas would be as Aesop pointed out there's going to be a lot of people in Blue cities that are not blue. In such an enviroment you may have internal city folks getting messages outside the city for high value targets or if they observe a large movement of the natives heading out. There would be hit and run manuvers with this stuff. To stay stationary is making yourself an even bigger target.

Anonymous said...

That logistic picture doesn't make sense, nor does the logistics picture to defend supply lines to cities. Cities don't make food or ammo. In the short term, city residents don't have the ability to be replacements for the rural people making food or ammo. All those humans in the city, with needs for water, food, and energy supplied from outside, are liabilities, not a fighting force. When big cities get put under siege they are no longer livable. If city-exiters try to be 'locusts upon the countryside' then the cities will be set on fire, and be even less livable. Please redo this 'locusts upon the countryside' story with logistics as the centerpiece, running for a timeperiod longer than the two weeks the city-exiters can scrounge gas and food.

streamfortyseven said...

Here's an interesting example of insurgent warfare - the insurgents are rural-based, the regime controls the cities - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wv87VzxGa_A Lots of improvisation here and crowdfunding...

Aesop said...

@Gray Fox, neomunitor, and Anon 8:28A,

1) You're conflating a civil war with TEOTWAWKI.
2) If you try to turn A into B, they'll come at you like a swarm of hornets, and kill all they find. Including the red-staters who still live in cities. Once you become the common enemy of 80% of the country, you'll be treated as such. Best wishes with that jackassical plan. You can't buy the blood hatred you'd create; but you'll earn it for free in about a New York Minute.
3) Cities deal with traffic snarls every effing day. They even deal with assholes with guns every effing day. You think "covering it with fire" is going to stop them dropping a few SWAT teams behind your "cover", and wiping you out to a man? You think there aren't 100 guys with recent combat experience in urban and rural warfare who would happily take the opportunity to end you, because you're the assholes keeping food from their families? You're dreaming, and you're going to make the red staters you've trapped inside those cities, who might have otherwise been your allies, decide you're a bigger problem than the government in 0.2 seconds. Well-played. You're playing checkers in a chess world, and you've threatened the exact people who might have otherwise helped you, and made them your enemy's staunchest allies. They'll hunt you down and exterminate every swinging Richard, and they'll do it at 4:1 odds. And then go after your families.
4) Anon, you seem to think there are ammo farms in rural America, and that bullets grow on trees. Show your work.
5) You figure you're going to cut all rail access too? And air? And water-borne? Everywhere? Simultaneously? Sh'yeah, with your herd of cats organizational skills. That'll totally work the way you think it would.

The only way to keep cities bottled up is to give them too much to deal with inside the cities.
Attempting to half-ass "besiege" them is simply going to accelerate their priority of killing every last one of those opposing them off, at warp speed.
So you'll kill, at your rosiest-assumption attempt, half of them, and ALL of you.
And the network to co-ordinate this brilliant plan is...where? How?
What command infrastructure have you got?
You think you're literally going to pull a vast army out of your butt, and conquer the country overnight?
Or that city dwellers will totally lose their shit (like didn't happen in Katrina, or any dozen earthquakes, or 9/11, or any other time in history) and then obediently just sit and starve to death because somebody shot at a few roadblocks?
They'll swoop down on you from all sides and clean you out to the state lines, X every rural area that tries that, and having conveniently taken out the grid, you'll be even more blind, cold, and isolated than you are now. They'll leave those cities to every compass point until you're all slaughtered to the last child, long before they even get hungry, and they'll root out the last person dug in anywhere important, burn them out with unfought fires, and do armed convoys with air cover until you're a faint memory.


Aesop said...

You won't care, because you'll already be deader than canned tuna, and instead of building a resilient network in the hinterlands, you got yourself killed in the opening weeks.

For but one example, there are only about 7 major interstates out of the greater Los Angeles area. Trying to bottle up 30M people there by interdicting them would work about as well as bottling up a hand grenade by squeezing it tightly in both hands, after you'd already pulled the pin.
And that's with handy deserts and mountain ranges on your side.

Show the class the last city destroyed by the method you imagine would ever work, and prove me wrong. Recount how Katrina wiped Nawlins off the map.
Even the Taliban in Afghanistan nor the factions in Iraq weren't stupid enough to try the methods you think would do anything more than sign your death warrants by Tuesday of a civil war that started on Monday.

This ain't gonna be state to state. It isn't going to be rural/urban. (Unless you stupidly try to make it such, in which case you'll lose rapidly, and bigly.) Your plan is to drain the exact sea of people guerillas need in order to move, and poison the waters against you on Day One.

IIRC, there was a conflict where one side tried to hold the countryside, and attack the cities.
The Viet Cong were wiped out in droves during Tet '68, and ceased to exist as a coherent fighting force after that. Their "allies" sacrificed them as the Useful Idiots they were, then divided the spoils amongst themselves once they were no longer an issue for either side, after the real war was concluded. The few that remained were the second ones thrown into the camps after the war was over.

So instead of aping the Stupid Plan, you might try making friends and allies, and learning how to win the Long War, instead of getting yourselves killed in the opening volleys of a short but interesting one.

Just a suggestion, mind.

Aesop said...

@John Wilder,

As noted, you only made it a discussion point.
And then the Checker-Playing Posse saddled up, and rode off in all directions.

Just like will happen when it's for-real. :(

Cities have existed since before history was written down.
Only the entire empire of Rome was able to destroy Carthage.
In modern times, not even Dreden nor Hiroshima was fully destroyed, despite the expedient of nuclear weapons and entire air armadas.

But some folks think they're going to pull it off now with a few rifles and molotov cocktails.

Someone should inform the laggards that both London and Berlin got harder after being bombed, not weaker. And that besieging cities requires an army stronger than the city can muster, which odds they'll have precisely never and nowhere.

And it would really blow their minds if they took their shoes off to count, to find out there are more people on their side already inside Los Angeles or Chicongo, than there are outside either one, to a distance of 100 miles in any direction, if only they had the wit to link up with them instead of alienating them on Day One.

Scruff said...

FWIW, in my corner of the country. I've been driving transport trucks (Food and now Fuel) for a number of years. Distribution Warehouses and fuel terminals tend to be in our large population centers. Deliveries emanating outward from there can stop and it's the outlaying areas that will run out first. Being coastal and having airports means supplies keep coming in. Logistics are crucial. This will not be your daddies war, times have changed. The enemies have been preparing for a long time, do not underestimate the strong horse allure for Soo many weak people.

Infidel753 said...

Neomunitor and those with similar views -- If it's that easy to destroy the modern infrastructure of a whole country, why isn't this constantly happening in countries all over the world that have active enemies? Why haven't the Palestinians knocked out Israel's communications and grid in the way you describe? Why haven't the Ukrainians destroyed Russia's similar infrastructure? For that matter, why haven't the jihadists paralyzed and crippled the US in exactly the way you describe? They are hateful enough and organized enough to carry out 9/11, after all. If what you describe would work, they would already have done it.

Modern civilization isn't so fragile. If it were, it wouldn't continue to survive in a world with so many groups who would love to destroy it.

neomunitor said...

I point out that the infrastructure today is ultra-fragile. Indefensible unless you put guards on every high tension power tower all the way out to every generator station and beyond, which just isn't going to happen, because a single 300 Win mag round to a single insulator will bring that feeder to a halt. And as I pointed out, all that power depends on the fiber network to operate. Cut the fiber and the generators and switch gear go down. It is all too fragile, too vulnerable.

Seven interstate highways will be seven parking lots when everyone tries to all exit the city simultaneously, which they will do when the lights go out. Witness Houston, a city that has its share of daily traffic and five interstates exiting the city, during the Rita evacuation where dozens died while the area still had EMS, power and working gas stations (briefly) and most cars didn't get more than 50 miles from the city limits, even with turning most of the interstates one way. Luckily the hurricane passed to the east.

Regarding New Orleans, there are vast swathes in the east that were abandoned after Katrina and have never been re-occupied - 19 years later. The city was a shambles for years after the storm, and that with billions of aid and a country backing reconstruction. Most of the core businesses downtown left, never to return. Many of those office buildings are empty. It has a very busy port, a core entertainment industry, and that is why there is still a New Orleans, with 75% of the pre-Katrina population.

Planning to preserve the cities as vast strongholds of allies seems naïve if infrastructure is likely to get damaged and most people will be struggling to survive. And I really think it is very likely to get damaged. You can't hope that a house of cards is going to survive people getting violent. A few enhanced Molotov cocktails on a transformer housing will make it overheat and damage the insulation. Five years to get a replacement. Punch a hole in the main housing with an AP round to let out the oil (not the cooling fins) and the residual heat of the core will fry the insulation and you get the same thing. And civilization today can not function without electricity and instant, widespread telecommunications. Without those you can't maintain the cities.

So it is good that we can find huge numbers of allies in the cities. But I think a realistic expectation is that the cities will turn into a mess when the utility infrastructure gets hit, those allies will get stuck just trying to survive, and most of the attention of authorities will be on trying to help those cities because that's where the most people are. I certainly could be wrong. But as you point out, it is so easy to break things. When planning, one should certainly consider that as one outcome to plan for. Because someone in this leaderless resistance is probably going to bust that stuff, allies be damned.

JoshO said...

I admit that I didn't want to admit it but Aesop is probably right about the City/Country thing at least in principle, don't know where he's getting those numbers though. If there's that many real people in the cities then they are keeping their own counsel through most bits of trouble and every damn election. He's 100% dead on right about the talk of "national divorce" and "balkanization". The people repeating those lines haven't done any reading or thinking on the subject.

Aesop said...


My numbers aren't hard to arrive at.
Multiply voter tabulations X total population.
The L.A. metro area is nominally 30M people.
If it's only 26% conservative/Republican (and it's more than that), that's more people on your side just in what you think of as "L.A." than the entire populations of any one of 36 other entire states.

There are more Trump voters in just NYFC than there are soldiers in the entire US Army: active, reserve, and Nasty Guard, combined.

So there are no "blue hives", except to idiots who think the map is the terrain.
There are only differing shades of purple.
Do. The. Math.


Can You Dig It?

neomunitor said...

You continue to provide historical examples from times and places where people used candles and oil lanterns for light and act like they pertain to modern society. In WWII the Germans were still using horse drawn wagons to move their supplies and every third worlder has been through a genetic filter to weed out the ones too weak to survive conditions that are routine for them but anathema for people used to clean water and flush toilets.

Also which power outage was it that went 11 days and took out LA? It is one thing to lose power in an area and have external help. Another to lose power and have no help. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_major_power_outages

An example: Phoenix is over 80 miles south of the nearest power plant that feeds it. There are two to the north. There is a network of high tension power lines also linking to other plants (that's why it is called a grid) that feed into it that pass down from the Arizona highlands. You are going to cover all the transmission lines between the power plants that feed it with how many counter snipers? Show your work.

I'm not saying cities won't still be there. But I expect a modern city will be turned into some kind of very nasty situation pretty quickly because somebody is going to take out the grid, and those people will be in Sarajevo survival mode while gangs roam around running things. You seem to be saying that the grid will not go down, or that even if it does everything will be just peachy keen and folks will just soldier on as if they are on an extended camping trip. With gangs. And homeless. And no gas. In cities designed for cars...

Aesop said...

1) And that's exactly the point: people will continue on, they won't go all batshit crazy and dash for the interstate. The ones frail and least able will die, but the rest will survive, and you'll be dead, long since hunted down as a lesson to others.
(You're also going to find that some of your neighbors have relatives in town, and will make it a point to see you get got. Like in every war and conflict in recorded history.)

2) 1994. You could look it up. And as the sole source, you've just been bitten on the @$$ by the fact that Wikipedia is frequently worth exactly what you paid for it.

3) You're going to attack what part of the lines?
Great, now 20 teams know just where to go, and will cover 5 miles in each direction, drones, cameras, and/or sound detection (ShotSpotter is a waste of time in a big city, but it'd be hell on wheels in the Sonoran desert) will spot you from miles away, and a couple of helicopters will drop a team or two to pin you down and take you out.
Best save one bullet for yourself, because field interrogation under such circumstances would make Aztec priests puke, and there'll be neither Geneva Convention nor Marquess of Queensbury Rules to help you.
Now you're done, forever.
Thanks for playing, and the buzzards get the leftovers.

4) I'm saying if you take the grid down, you'll make 2M-30M blood enemies who want to see you drawn and quartered while you're still alive and screaming, and will then go after every living relative you have and do the same thing to them, just for good measure.
And if you're very lucky, they'll do it in that order, instead of letting you watch your wife, kids, and family go first, screaming all the way.

Fucking up you and anyone who thinks likewise will be a priority for any city so stricken.
The casualties back in town will score a distant second priority, and the people hardest hit will likely be turned loose to hunt you, with the cheerful benediction of the city leadership, and all they'll ask for proof is your severed head, no game regs, and screw the bag limit. Everything you owned will simply become the spoils of war.

And the most earnest pursuers will be the people that would have otherwise felt as you do, until you became a bigger threat to their existence than Uncle Govt., and they'll be the ones with prior military experience at hunting men, and liking it.

Own Goal.

And then they'll go after the nearest 1000 neighbors you have, and do it again, just to preclude a repeat, and drive the lesson well home.

Which is why I say 50:50 your neighbors will present your severed head and your family's carcasses as a peace offering, 5 seconds after you do it the first time.

You go on ahead with your plan to alienate the entire world.

Become a modern day Apache or Comanche, and see how the city folk regard the next war of extinction on your tribe. You and everyone you know will be dead before city folks miss their first meal under those circumstances. And everything outside city limits will be declared a Free Fire Zone, meaning anything caught moving will be exterminated with extreme prejudice, 24/7/365. So that when the city folks do push out, there'll be nothing but your whitening bones to confront them.

Personally, I give it a week, tops, before severed heads of Comanchesv2.0 decorate telephone poles from any city to the horizon, pour encourager les autres, but I'm sentimental like that.

That's the difference between doing things dumb, and doing them smart.

You should have paid more attention to Bob Dylan:
To live outside the law, you must be honest.

neomunitor said...

Well, the 1994 earthquake happened on Jan 17 and "Jan. 20, 1994: Electricity is restored to nearly all parts of Los Angeles" per the LA Daily News. Didn't even make Wiki's list of major power outages, which is maybe why I couldn't find it. Perhaps it was out 11 days where you lived.

You think 20 teams can cover nearly 800 miles of high tension lines (yes the network is that complex)? In some place like the Arizona high desert? Impressive. Of course, there's always other ways than shooting an insulator to stop transmission of power. And that is the real problem. Fragility.

I go back to my point. In the specific case of widespread, serious, violent civil unrest, I don't need to worry about people in cities, because I figure they are dicked. I think it likely somebody is going to take out their grid (anarchists, ruralists, CIA, aliens, incompetence, etc.) and then those islands that depend on the 24/7 flow of power, water, food, fuel, and medicine that are packed with gangs (typically outnumbering police by 2:1 per the DOJ), homeless, are going to become a big game of Survival because probably every city is going to be in the same situation, soon. I have personally witnessed and experienced massive civil disaster and evacuations. I have dealt with complete loss of infrastructure and civil authority over a broad area, to the point where the local sheriff would not allow unaccompanied women in, and recommended that men carry arms into the area (obviously not California).

So when a modern city goes to shit quickly, you can say you think it is going to be okay, but I think it is not, and I am basing that on my experience.

maruadventurer said...


Sir, the Ukes have not destroyed RU assets because the NATO countries supplied UA with munitions but forbade them from attacking RU proper. That has changed in recent weeks with a couple of refineries, air fields and power plants being blown up using NATO assets. Its the same logic (if you can call it that) that prevented the US from bombing Haiphong harbor for the longest time in the Vietnam war -- did not want to widen the conflict.

maruadventurer said...

The only proven ways to bring a city down for good are:

1) Remove the water supply.
2) Remove the source of food.

But there is a trick to it. The absence of either resource must appear to be 95% a permanent fact. Roman period Rome went from 3m population to less than 500k as the aqueducts had been destroyed. By the time of Theodosius the Roman Army was not the same army as Cesar, able to mount feats of engineering so the aqueducts remained destroyed. Carthage was destroyed by the second factor no food. At the conclusion of the second Punic war the surrounding countryside was wherever practical salted to prevent a return to farming.

Here are some modern equivalents -- https://www.businessinsider.com/abandoned-cities-2018-8 -- but they differ as many were boomtowns that existed because of a single resource. Once it was exhausted people moved on.

Aesop said...


Your persistence is matched only by your innumeracy.

1) I lived within a couple of miles of ground zero. They didn't try bringing up the power grid from a cold start for some number of days, which wasn't two, and we had no power whatsoever for 11 of them. They were rather explicit at the time, and lot of after-action temporizing and happy-gas editing has been added after the fact. Not least of which was hurriedly downgrading the magnitude to under 7.0, once it was revealed that such a magnitude would trigger billions of dollars of insurance liability; suddenly, it was only a 6.7.

2) No one has to cover 800 miles of power lines. They only have to cover the point at which you fuck with it. Unless you can teleport throughout the entire network at the speed of light, you'll get one shot. The second time, you'll be localized, targeted, and eliminated, and your carcass nailed to a barn door.
If they have to, they'll simply round up anyone within twenty or fifty (or whatever seems necessary and prudent) miles of the power line corridors "for questioning", declare martial law in that zone, and hold you in a stadium until they find out who was responsible. While you get fed the leftovers of what's available in town, if not piss soup and shit steak. You can write a letter to your congressman once you and your clan are in the bag with a couple of thousand of people who don't think it as funny as you do.
Dollars to donuts, they'll then take the opportunity to charge anyone convenient for terroristic activities, and you'll be with several hundred of your closest friends someplace like Gitmo, getting waterboarded twice a day until they get tired of the sport, or until you've given them everything they want.
Any break or breaks you induced in your sole shot will have long since been repaired, and the permanent vacancies in the region in Tumbleweed City and Cactusville will serve as a stark reminder of why no one should f**k with TPTB.
You'll single-handedly have torched any hope of rural resistance for 50-100 miles in all directions, all by your lonesome, for a generation or more.
Well-played, sir, well-played.
Go with that plan.
You keep forgetting that The Enemy Gets A Vote. You should have that carved on your tombstone in advance.


Aesop said...


3) There isn't going to be "widespread, serious, violent civil unrest". There were no riots after the Northridge Quake, nor after hundreds of thousands of other events.
It turns out crooks have moms too, and after a major problem, people tend to dig in and rebuild first. They don't go back to criminal activities until things return to normal.
People who don't go with that program get shot as looters and rioters in about a minute, and they cease to be a further problem forever after that. Just like you will.

You keep playing checkers in a chess game. Nota bene that even in checkers, it takes seven moves for any piece to become anything like a king. You've got one, on your best day. You're going to come up a wee bit short, and get taken off the board, just as you will in real life.
And worse, you'll get millions of people who'd agree with you and be your ally if you weren't such a blockhead, and they'll probably end up being the exact ones who catch you and mount your trophy head on their wall, and know they did civilization a favor for doing so.
Wishcasting magical widespread violence, and massive insurgency, when you've got no basis for either fairytale and laid no groundwork for any of that, is the recipe for dying with a surprised look on your face when reality refuses to conform with your imagination.

4) I never said things are "going to be okay". I said that volunteering to be The World's Biggest Threat To Life And Safety is going to get you the intense personal interest and volcanic level of dislike from millions of people overnight, and you're going to lead a short but interesting life, for about 48-96 hours.

After that, you'll be a notation on the display case in a museum, if you're not simply chucked in a hole and forgotten about entirely, and in perpetuity.

You're the guy who always had to stick his hand up on the infiltration course to see if they were firing real tracers, until they raised the stream so high because of guys like you it became a hazard to aircraft, and they had to switch to simulated gunfire with LP gas faux machineguns.

Do everyone a favor: tell the class where the resistance is going spring forth out of nowhere. Then explain why, when they send in a SF A-team, the point of the exercise is to build the exact resistance up that you'd be busy sabotaging on Day One.

Everyone who finds out about you is going to break records to bring in your head, to either side, because you've got a hammer, and you think everything is a nail.

Some of us want to end a cancerous governmental leviathan.
You just want to kill millions of people, on every side, because that's as smart as you can be.

Perhaps your mission in life is solely to serve as a warning to others.

neomunitor said...

Aesop, you appear to be unable to read. No where have I said that I "want to kill millions of people, on every side". I have pointed out that modern society, and cities in particular, are incredibly vulnerable because their utility infrastructure is not just fragile, but ultra fragile. Perhaps I should not have given specific examples of how easy it is do intentional damage, because you jumped down that rabbit hole and never looked back. I'm not the only person to make this observation about fragility of modern society. Nassim Taleb wrote an entire book about it.

Phoenix once lost 20% power for 30 days in 2005 because a bird shit on an insulator and only through the miracle of a replacement transformer available in Seattle were able to get it restored that quickly. Otherwise they were looking at 3 years, minimum. One transformer. All the major equipment has an even longer expedited backlog these days, because it is all made in China now.

I'm not surprised ground zero took longer than a couple of days to get power back. Utility equipment in earthquake zones has event survival criteria at three levels: lowest is it can continue operating, middle is no damage but requires manual reset, and a higher level that will sustain damage but not catastrophic (no major equipment lost). Beyond that no guarantees. But all of LA did not have an 11 day power outage, which is what you implied. Though I'm not surprised there would be some white washing of the response to make everyone look better.

And if I can be a warning to others to look around and realize just how vulnerable they are, how dependent they are on something that the people we pay to worry about these things *do not worry about* (every levee board on the Mississippi, every utility company in the US, every water utility in the US), then that is great. Natural disasters have already demonstrated their incompetence and risk shifting (kicking the can), but also their resilience for managing the predictable.

You want to live in a city and think everything will be tickety-boo if some wacko group decides your city should lose its power, which BTW also takes out its water? Go right ahead. I'm figuring if the country loses its shit and we get civil unrest, there is no telling what the crazies may do, and smart people who live in cities should plan for the worst.

neomunitor said...

Blindness to vulnerability by people who are charged with protecting systems is not new. In 1981 I attended a presentation by the engineers building the Waterford 3 nuclear power plant. They showed how they had foreseen every natural disaster and possible terrorist attack, including an 80,000 lb 18-wheeler running at 60 mph into the containment vessel (the plant is right on the Mississippi River and has an access road that could be penetrated). The most bizarre of natural events had been considered (including the river running dry within 4 hours). But when I asked, they hadn't considered an LPG truck hitting the containment vessel. That was the first set of uncomfortable looks I got. And then I asked if they had considered what if a anti-nuclear power activist simply wanted to shut down the plant for several years by putting a few rounds of AP rifle ammo through the single 1.3 GW transformer for the facility, which was out in the open in clear sight from the road. They hemmed and hawed and said that they were charged with preventing a nuclear release, not keeping the plant online. That's over 10% of Louisiana's electricity right there. So I have been raising this sort of issue for over 40 years. Single points of failure abound in our systems.

Aesop said...


No arguments whatsoever with the points of failure, or the myopia of those charged with contingency planning.

Where you crossed over was shooting out transformers and insulators, starting a cascade failure of power, water, refrigeration, and most of the everyday mechanisms that make life tenable, which will kill exactly the millions in any city so affected.

Unless you have a trained saboteur squirrel or pigeon, to chew through a power line or shit on the right contact, anyone doing that is risking millions of lives of people for and against their political opinions. In response, they're going to be hunted down like rabid dogs, and dealt with in a manner that would make Genghis Khan or Vlad the Impaler lose their lunch when found.

People contemplating that course of action are on a level with people with try to feed grizzly bears with bags of marshmallows, or pet the buffalo at Yellowstone.

Should people in cities prepare for tough times? Absolutely.

Should people outside cities think of new ways to get the entire surrounding countryside burned to the ground, and all the inhabitants thereof -including spouses, children, elderly relatives, etc. - strapped to X-braces and set afire, or staked over ant hills naked, covered in honey? Probably not such a bright idea.

Not least of which because with the smallest of efforts, you'd be able to locate people inside those cities with similar political outlooks as your own, and together you and they could engineer ways to take out the problem children without burning everything down, just because you'd thought of a neat way to do it, and ignored the second-day and following responses, which start with the burnings and ant hills mentioned above.

So if you're so good at "what if", how about you think about the next five things that happen after any of the scenarios you posited, and cogitate just a tad bit on dealing with an entirely new set of problems, instead of only thinking about ways to grease the skids and bring those problems about, at warp speed, including for people you'd be better off not screwing with?

Every Half-Bright Scholar on this topic thinks they're going to be Robin Hood, and taking out Leviathan will be like sinking the Titanic, with no consequences to them afterwards, because magic pixie dust!

The trouble is, the Titanic in this scenario isn't 1000 miles out at sea, in the dark, with no comms. It's tied up at the pier, and anyone trying to cut the hull open is going to have to deal with a pissed off crew coming down the gangplank with pick and axe handles, determined to start stacking the troublemakers on the wharf in heaps. With their brains leaking out their ears.