Being Prepared

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Several months ago a good friend of mine told me that every time she goes to the supermarket she picks up an extra bag of beans and an extra bag of rice. Her husband, a Second Amendment enthusiast (to put it mildly), has the ammunition stash covered; she’s making sure the family has plenty of food if things should get really bad.

Following her advice, I’ve started doing the same thing.

But there’s another type of preparedness we should all consider.

My wife and I like music, especially live music. Last month we went to our favorite music venue in the world. Our neighbor has a band, which was opening up for another band that he highly recommended, so, funds and a babysitter being available, we had a night out.

Both bands were great. We danced and drank good beer. The low-point, however, came at the end of the evening. The headliner band, after playing one long set, dedicated their encore to "President Obama." The crowd, mostly young people from nearby University of New Hampshire, cheered enthusiastically. But it gets worse: the bass player stepped up to the microphone and, pumping his fist in the air, shouted "Obama Forever!" I’m not kidding. The crowd went nuts.

I don’t remember what song they played; I’d stopped listening at that point. I did shout "Long Live the King" at the top of my voice, but I doubt anyone heard, or understood what I was talking about, or cared, if they did. I walked to the back of the room and stood by the main exit. As soon as the encore was done the lights would come up, and everyone would start filing out.

I made it a point that night to look in the face of every single person that went past.

After a few minutes my wife spotted me and came over. "What are you doing?" she asked. "I want to see what evil looks like," I responded.

This isn’t partisan; I feel the same way when I see McCain’s Republican Robots chanting wildly and waving their fascistic "Country First" signs at their would-be Emperor.

On Tuesday and Thursday evenings I take a small class; I’m learning to play bass guitar, and gather with several others to play in an Ensemble coached by a local musician. Just a few days ago, when we were taking a break, me and one of the other students walked to the Panera next door for a coffee. I’ve talked to this guy before, and know he’s a Democrat; his frequent pontifications on the virtues of high taxes, government regulation, and universal healthcare was my first clue.

He also knows I’m a libertarian. We haven’t talked much, but I’m sure to inject a reasoned rebuttal everytime he fouls off at the mouth. As we stood in line, he said, "There’s something about New Hampshire. I feel different when I’m here." (He’s from Maine.) I didn’t really care what he meant; I was certain I wouldn’t agree with it. So I said, "Maybe it’s freedom. You live in one of the highest-taxed states in the union." He then proceeded to lecture me, sneering all the while, about New Hampshire’s high property taxes.

"Sure," I said. "It’s too high — especially when so much of it pays for services I don’t use! How’s about I get back that third or so that funds the public schools?"

In a classic deflection, he said, "When I lived in Florida I got so sick of listening to old people, whose children were grown and out of school, complain about the property taxes."

I didn’t hestitate. I said, "The difference is, I’ve never had a child in any public school. So can I have that money back now?"

More deflection: "So who’s going to pave that street in front of your house," he sneered, "the Road Fairy?" I wanted to stay on topic, so rather than get into a debate on private roads, I kept him focused. "If I use a service, I ought to pay for it," I said. "But what about those public schools?"

At this point he’d had enough. Turning his back to me, he said, contemptuously, dismissively: "We’re all in this together." No dictator ever said it better.

Later that evening, in class, I took a good, long look at that man. I wanted to see what evil looks like.

Be they Fascist Republicans or Marxist Democrats, one common thread runs through their thinking: there is no right or wrong. There’s only a desire to impose their will on the rest of us.

By all means, stock up on beans, rice, ammunition, fuel, and gold. If the Empire is crumbling — and I believe it is — you’ll need all of those things.

More important, though, is that we be mentally prepared for what is coming. When your friend, neighbor, colleague, or any passing aquaintance declares himself for evil, take him at his word.

Scott McPherson [send him mail] lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

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