> Revised January 2023 < This is the third revision of this article and series.

Now that we have gone over the basic categories of post-disaster personalities, let’s talk for a minute of a couple of situations that may occur, called “hybrids”. If you didn’t read yesterday’s post…now is a good time to do so before we move on.

Hybrids will start out as one personality type and morph into another; possibly without the person themselves even being aware of their true nature to begin with. And, folks may morph more than once.

This morphing will generally not be to the betterment of the person, or the people around them. Probably the most common morphing will occur would be considered unintentional morphing or situational morphing. Meaning they change but it is due primarily to circumstances and it is unintentional in the fact that there was no conscious awareness of who they were prior to grid-down but have to change in order to survive.

I consider all morphing to be towards their true self, who they really are deep inside. It will be a stripping away of the layers that have hidden their true nature.

Another type of hybrid will be a latent personality who knows exactly who they really are inside but they are waiting for the right time to let their real personality surface. They will have disguised themselves, their true personality, to avoid others from detecting who they really are. Again, the morphing will not be considered a “good” change, and these will probably be the most dangerous of the morphing individuals in a post-grid-down environment.

There will also be those that do morph into something better but this will be extremely rare. Example: some sheep will become sheepdogs, some sheepdogs may become shepherds.

Gang thug changed his life around.

Even an owner/master may repent, change their nature, and become a sheepdog or shepherd.

And yes, some herding dogs may even become sheepdogs. But rarely, herding dogs are simply too used to power, authority, and control of others; their lust for control is simply too strong to overcome.

I think all of those “betterment” morphings will be very rare, generally speaking. But within this category the primary change will be sheep into sheepdogs. This I believe will be due to the general good nature of many folks who are currently just going through life trying to do the right things such as being good parents and spouses, going to work, and watching out for neighbors.

I think that particular evolutionary personality type, sheep to sheepdog, may be more prominent than anticipated. Society today does everything it can to eliminate any sheepdog tendencies…in favor of simply being compliant sheep. Today’s Progressive, liberal, Democrat/Republican society wants sheep not sheepdogs, they want compliance not challenges. But the underlying goodness of many people will not be denied, many may become sheepdogs when needed…just don’t count on it being a widespread phenomena.

Interestingly, those same cabal people on the left, plus Republicans, coupled with the law & order freaks, want to develop herding dogs…as long as the herding dogs do their masters’ bidding and are controllable. When herding dogs step outside of that box then they become the enemy to be crushed…or at least “defunded.”

All that being said, hybrids, generally speaking, could be very dangerous to deal with because they are unpredictable and have the capacity to be extremely violent while implementing the element of surprise.

A wolf in sheep’s clothing –

We’ve all heard that expression before, and there is good reason for it. These types of people are readily prevalent in current daily life, and they will definitely be present, and even more apparent, in any post-apocalypse wolf in sheep's clothingexistence. First off, this will be a person that is well versed in deception, such as lying, deflection, and misdirection.

They may, and probably do, currently deceive those around them every day in their marriage, their work, their personal relationships, their religious/church life, and/or their interactions with people in general. They are probably going to be business people, especially sales people, also government workers and politicians.

The key ingredient that keeps them from surfacing quickly as a predator is their potential lack of power or lacking in confidence, in successfully getting away with openly predatory behavior in today’s society.

In a post grid-down scenario that lack of power could come in the form of lack of support from people (i.e. weak group, or lack of respect) or lack of resources (i.e. food, weapons, etc.). It boils down to they just don’t have enough “juice” at first.  They may, and probably will, recognize that fact and bide their time as they acquire enough power and resources to attempt a successful morph.  Only then they would feel confident that they are ready to make their move against fellow flock members. Consequently, this person will likely try to keep a low profile to ensure not being easily or quickly identified too soon. They know that if they are identified too soon, before they had/have sufficient power, that they would suffer retribution or punishment. They won’t want to risk their current situation/status until they feel they have a high probability of success.

This person will be the one that most likely steals from an individual family or the group they belong to.

wolf in sheep's clothing.

Bradley Stone & wife – less than 1 year before he killed her and 5 other family members.

They will be capable of selling out (betraying) their own patrol to an enemy force if they think there is sufficient reward for doing so (i.e. acquiring status in a new, more powerful, group). They will most likely be identified only after a period of time where a number of the individual’s acts can finally be connected to crimes or betrayals.

This is a very dangerous individual because they will keep escalating their types of crimes until they are forcibly stopped. This person could well be a rapist and/or abuser. And they will also stop at nothing to avoid being caught or punished. This most likely would be a person that would kill sheepdogs and shepherds to avoid being held accountable.

Wolf masquerading as a SheepDog –

Within a group there is a very real possibility that a “wolf” could masquerade as a sheepdog. In this case they will portray themselves as powerful and not to be trifled with. They will be both defensive and aggressive, Herding dog disguised as a sheep dogappearing to be a strong Type A personality, above reproach, and not to be challenged.

Watch for signs of them making lewd and inappropriate comments about members of the opposite sex. They are most likely to be males and come from a profession where they had power, virtually unquestioned authority. If a particular “wolf in sheepdog’s clothing” is a law enforcement person, they probably had a history of citizen complaints against them, including sexual harassment and/or “use of force” complaints. They may also hide behind religion. They may appear as a “defender of the faith” and criticizing/condemning a person as not being religious enough, or not agreeing with their version of religious beliefs. In this particular situation think…”Taliban-like” behavior.

This is a very dangerous person and a very dangerous situation for a number of reasons. First, they probably have some competent skills…especially if they come from a law enforcement or military background. Second, they understand tactics and the advantage of timing. Thirdly, they understand, and are probably very good, at social engineering; meaning they know how to manipulate people.

Do not underestimate the potential danger from these types of people. While still under the guise of being a sheepdog they can get people to lower their guard making it easier to take advantage of them when the time is right for their true purposes. The same thing could be said when applied to the entire group…they let their guard down collectively.

Once this person is discovered they are even more dangerous and the situation is particularly volatile. The now exposed wolf will try to maintain their false persona at all costs. Failing that, they will lash out, probably violently so. Due to this propensity to commit extreme violence and their skills do so so, they must be dealt with quickly and decisively. They will likely be irredeemable due to their exaggerated ego, narcissism, and view of self aggrandizement; in other words…no humility. They almost assuredly see the situation as “survival of the fittest”…their survival.

A herding dog masquerading as a SheepDog –

This could be a very hard, probably the hardest, situation to recognize. These two types dogs are very similar and appear to have the same goal, protecting the flock. But the herding dog’s desire and intent is to “control” the flock more than protect it.

A herding dog that is hiding in the guise of a sheepdog will probably complain about the lack of discipline within the group, lack of use of force, lack of weapons, lack of ammunition, or lack of offensive tactics/actions, etc. They will likely promote more use of force, especially when dealing with external threats. They will likely volunteer for the more dangerous tasks/missions or where violence would most likely be used or required.

They can come from a military background, but normally not a successful, respected, or rewarding career in the military. The most probable of backgrounds would be troubled law enforcement personnel. A person who felt underappreciated and/or underutilized in their military or law enforcement role.

Most law enforcement personnel, by a large margin, currently are herding dogs; some very aggressively so.

Cop brutally kicks handcuffed woman.

Cop brutally kicks handcuffed woman.

The law enforcement personnel that will normally be the most aggressive will tend to be younger, 20’s & early 30’s, or older late 50’s+ towards the end of their career. Currently and post grid-down they will tend to be single, muscular from strenuous physical training and/or steroid use. The steroid users will be the most dangerous subset of this group due to the resulting and increased aggression from steroids’ chemical makeup.

Law enforcement personnel are trained in, and function daily in, an unquestioned/unchallenged authority system. And they expect instant compliance from those they deal with in daily life…comply or die…comply or at least get beat-up really good.

They are also used to large supporting systems (i.e. fellow officers, courts, other agencies, unions, etc.) to back them up regardless of the situation. Subsequently, they will most likely expect unquestioned support from the flock and leadership regardless of their actions. This group of personality types will be very susceptible to being influenced by an owner/master or wolf hiding among the flock. They will gravitate to them because they crave and respect power and authority…and they are willing to “fit in” with that tougher crowd (brotherhood), including committing violence. They will strongly desire to once again operate within their previous environment of power and authority, while being respected…or at least feared.

Officer Jackie Neal handcuffs and rapes teenager.

San Antonio police Officer Jackie Neal, 11 year veteran police officer, was in uniform and on-duty when he groped, handcuffed and raped a teenager.

All the while they will be thinking and saying their actions are for the good of the flock, that they know best, their actions are to protect and serve. This individual can be extremely dangerous and vicious if confronted and challenged, especially if punishment/discipline is attempted. Once this “herding dog” person is exposed and challenged they will become very defensive and susceptible to wolf morphing.  If the group continues trying to hold them accountable, this personality type can become extremely dangerous and violent…a huge singular threat to the flock. Their greatest threat may come from them feeling betrayed…as that may force them to seek another group/flock…and then lash out at the former group/flock as retribution.

An owner/master in sheep’s clothing –

This person is similar to a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and must be watched for with great vigilance.
This person can be very dangerous overall to the group in many forms. Left unchecked, they will think that

Charles Manson Family

Nice family!

whatever power-grabbing scheme they are hatching is working if they just do it long enough.  They will feel certain that they can achieve their goal of becoming an owner/master no matter who stands in their way or what they do in the process.

One key indicator will be they will tend to be a primary or regular source of conflict. Not a “complaining” type of conflict nor assertively offering alternatives.  But these people will be more playing one person off against another in order to create doubt in people’s minds of someone, probably the group leader.

In others words…regularly creating conflict against or between people, especially leadership.Think of the term “playing politics” or “playing mind games” to get a better understanding of this personality.

This person is likely to lay low with the sheep until they can put together a sufficient power base and then they will move against existing leadership. They may try to gain some control over, or at least associate with, herding dogs so they can have an opportunity to identify current or potential allies.

Charles Manson Family

Charles Manson years later. This “not so nice family” brutally killed 7 people.

They would then use deception, promises of power and other rewards to lure current or potential herding dogs into doing their bidding. Once a latent owner/master has established himself, he is likely to attempt (and succeed in) surrounding himself with herding dogs, or “wannabe” herding dogs. He may also be successful in attracting some “wolves in sheep’s clothing” as well. But this is likely to only occur should he appear to have a high probability of maintaining and growing his power.

Herding dogs won’t want to be on the losing side of group dynamics. And anyone he allies himself with will only be “tools” for him to use…then discarded as needed/required.

The “wolves in sheep’s clothing” would most likely be his “secret weapon”, kept hidden while doing his dirty work for him, such as creating additional group conflict. That would be different than his use of herding dogs which he would use as tools of intimidation. Once found out, a latent or rising owner/master is not likely to willingly give up his power base…or give up his quest for power and leadership.

They may feign a “surrender” move or appear repentant if needed, but it will only be a deception to buy him more time to grow stronger and improve his chances of success later…and to avoid discipline or punishment.

Once a latent owner/master makes a move against existing leadership he will be hard to deal with. This will be true due to his knowing he will likely only have one real chance to establish himself as the new leader and absorb the associated power. He will place all of his efforts and resources into play once he makes his move.

Watch for a hidden/secret resource he keeps in reserve to be his “stop gap” or “last resort” option…kinda like an “October surprise” in politics. But this hidden/reserve resource will be one capable of almost unchecked violence.

Hybrid Summary –

In the last post on this subject I went over identifying post-disaster personality types in today’s world by occupation and personality signs.  Being able to recognize the potential typical personality types is important to good Situational Awareness (SA).  It is even more important to know about the “hybrids” and the danger associated with them.  Don’t be blind-sided…be informed and aware…be ready.

Healthy inter-personal relationships are difficult in normal times for hybrids; they will become exponentially more so when you are talking post-disaster. If we are talking TEOTWAWKI it will be difficult to figure out who these people really are and what they are capable of. The reason being is our normal personal and societal boundaries, limitations, rules and morals will be absent post grid-down for the most part, whether in actuality or only perception.

You, as well as all those in your family and/or group, will need to be hyper-vigilant in assessing people on a regular basis, especially “new-comers.” Become familiar with the signs and symptoms of sociopaths and psychopaths…then don’t ignore them or rationalize them when spotted in a member of your group…or another group you interact with.

You will have to establish baseline behaviors for each person and then watch for deviations from that baseline. Situational Awareness of people, including your own people, will have to be spot-on to recognize deviant behavior.  Or you may suffer by missing signs that could point to personality shifts (a.k.a. morphing). Worse yet, you could miss the signs that a person falls within one of the dangerous hybrids mentioned above to begin with. Be careful, very careful.


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POST-DISASTER PERSONALITIES : Part 2 – How to Identify Them In Today’s World

> Revised January 2023 < This is the third revision of this article and series.

Identify personality types during emergenciesSecond post in a 5-parts series. Make sure you read yesterday’s post to more fully understand today’s post.

So how exactly do you identify who in a post-collapse is what type of person in today’s world? There is no exact science to accomplish that…and it can be rather subjective. Well, on the other hand, this “identifying” might not be real hard in some situations but it can be challenging and very tricky in others.

Yes, this is generalizing people into broad categories, while in reality each person is different and unique…to a point.  Not all people may fit into these generalized descriptions, but it is a starting place.  It is however a good beginning on identifying folks and what they look like today to know what they may look like in “grid-down”…

Sheep –

This category will be the largest category of people, I am thinking upwards of 80%, maybe more, of all people. This is a pretty easy category to recognize now. Almost to a person those that will become sheep are the Sheeple - welfare and government handoutsbasic progressives, liberals and political Democrats. Also, anyone who is a big supporter of the government or the “law & order” freaks (that includes most Republicans and Conservatives) will generally fall into this category.

Obviously, anyone who currently receives government handouts will continue that mentality and expect to continue to receive those handouts…disaster or not. Also, this category will contain almost all of your neighbors, fellow church congregants, neighbors, and community members. Virtually all academics (all grade levels, including college professors), many doctors, and most professionals are in this category.

Some folks in sales may be excluded from this generalization due to a potential present day aggressive personality. Some people, such as doctors and academics, may start out thinking they are herding dogs or owner/masters, maybe even sheepdogs; but will soon be relegated to sheep status due to lack of survival skills and/or proper physical preparations. So don’t let current profession or academic status fool you into thinking they will be something special. Obviously medical doctors will be “special” due to their skills alone, but little more than that.

The sheep are not a bad thing!  Sheep can be very productive after a grid-down has hit because there are plenty of tasks and chores that need done; sheep are perfectly capable of performing work such as manual labor and organizational tasks.  They can also perform supervisory responsibilities to a point.  But do not expect the sheep to stand up on their own to defend themselves or others; for the most part it is simply beyond their capability. These “sheep” are your fellow citizens and probably family members as well. And…regardless…if you are a shepherd or sheepdog you have some responsibility to care for sheep.

Predators (wolves) –

This is also a fairly small category of folks, probably somewhere in the 10% range. They are also likely to be easily recognized. They are low-lifes now and will be low-lifes post-disaster.  They are the criminals of today, Predators gang members wolveswith rare exception, regardless of their incarceration status.

One notable exception will be someone who is otherwise a “sheep” in today’s world but sees the benefit of being a predator once it becomes clear that it gives them power in a post grid-down scenario.

There are far more male predators than female predators. But the true Alpha or Beta female predators are seriously dangerous and ruthless. Sexual predators abound…even Sexual predators during grid-down and emergenciesdressed in Dockers. They try to leverage their resources to take advantage of people for physical gratification. However, should trickery fail to work they will often resort to outright violence to get their sexual gratification and other needs met.

Some predators are some sales people today, albeit not many. If a salesperson is truly aggressive today, that may carry forward to post grid-down. But, they may also fall into the “wanna-be” category as well. And yes, there are some bad cops who are solidly in this category, mostly at the federal level but also at the state and locals levels as well.

Herding Dogs –

This is a somewhat tricky category due to their close resemblance to sheepdogs. This category represents about a 2 – 4% portion of the population.  Herding dogs will generally be Type A personalities but not strong most cops are herding dogsleaders when you look under the surface. They will most likely be manipulators vs leaders. In reality they are more likely to be along the lines of a Beta male/females in today’s world. Many military, current and former, will probably fall into this category. Same would be true for law enforcement officers.

Position in their organizational food chain will not usually determine herding dog status. For instance, a deputy sheriff from a small county department is more likely to not be a herding dog, but a sheepdog. Whereas, LEOs from large police departments and state LEO agencies, and virtually all LEOs from all federal agencies, will almost certainly be herding dogs…maybe even wolves if truth be told.

These folks will attempt to sound noble and will probably be very convincing but their herding instincts are there Cops will commit violence as herding dogs when they want to.and can be seen in their current daily jobs/activities. Those negative herding traits usually display themselves quickly when dissent is voiced or their authority is challenged.

Herding dogs will not tolerate having their authority challenged, especially by anyone they see as a sheep. By default they do not like sheepdogs due to the sheepdogs’ closer relationship with, and dedication to, the sheep. The loyalty of sheepdogs is also seen as an inferior trait by herding dogs.

Herding dogs try and control sheepdogs by whatever current authority they have. Herding dogs respond to command authority in today’s world, and they readily accept being told what to do, and rarely (if ever) question authority. They will only feel secure and safe when they are in control of a situation and in control of others beneath them.

A common way to identify a herding dog is to listen for, “Hey I don’t make the laws I just enforce them.” or “I was just following orders.” Both statements show intense weakness of character and lack of morals and ethics…and a strong disposition to be a herding dog.

SheepDogs –

This can be a tricky category of folks to identify in today’s world. Sheepdogs are a very small percentage of today’s population; maybe less than 1%, maybe much less. Failing to recognize sheepdogs in today’s world is Sheep dog rescuing childdue mostly to two reasons; 1) many sheepdogs in today’s world are low-profile, you simply don’t see them acting as a sheepdog, 2) some of today’s herding dogs are actually sheepdogs but that sheepdog characteristic won’t manifest itself until the “owner/master” of today disappears after grid-down.

Some sheepdogs in today’s world are looked at by sheep as “extremists”, “nuts”, “kooks”, “tea party members” or similar labels. Some sheepdogs are seen in today’s world as, and labeled as “heroes” but not always. Sheepdogs are generally very humble, don’t want the spotlight, and willing give the recognition and praise to others.

Progressives, liberals, and Democrats…and most Republicans…in general hate the concept of sheepdogs because they embrace, and far prefer, Sheep dogs may be militia membersherding dogs. Progressives, liberals, democrats, and republicans love sheep, they want everyone to be sheep with the exception of herding dogs (if they, and they only, can control the herding dogs). And yes, some Progressives, liberals and Democrats, and most Republicans, see themselves in the roles of herding dogs and owner/masters; all Progressives do for sure…99.9999999% of politicians see themselves as herding dogs also. And that is why they have a natural enmity towards sheepdogs and shepherds.

Most sheepdogs will normally keep to themselves until they are needed. Not always, but commonly, they are the person helping to change a tire on the side of the road, Some cops can be sheep dogs but very few.they are the person carrying groceries for an old lady, they are the ones helping mow an elderly neighbor’s grass or shoveling the snow off their walks. The reason I said “not always” is because predators will also use those acts of apparent kindness and helpfulness as a tactic to engage potential prey (i.e. social engineering). The difference is a sheepdog does it because it is the right thing to do, a herding dog does it because he was trained, or told, to do it…and a predator does it because it is one way to gain access to prey.

Owner/Masters –

This is an easily identifiable group in today’s world. Mostly they are politicians, community leaders, media celebrities, and heads of businesses (mostly large corporations). They tend to be rich and include all of theOwner/Master country’s elite old-money families, and most of the new-money families as well.

However, they can also be low-level bureaucrats and mid-level government employees. These are people who currently have some authority and feel they are entitled to special treatment and specially entitled being able to control others. They see themselves as natural leaders in today’s world as their right and destiny.

For the most part:

    • They expect special treatment; most of the time they demand it.
    • They are used to having their way, either through paying for it or intimidating for it.
    • They feel that they are superior in intellect and capability to everyone else.
    • They generally drive the fancy cars, live in large and expensive houses, and take extravagant vacations.
    • They lust for power and money; and want as much of both as they can acquire.

With exceptions doctors and academics will more than likely start out in this category but will soon find themselves lumped in with the sheep. Probably the largest identifiable group of people in today’s world that will become owner/masters are some military leaders, some law enforcement, and most of all – politicians at Owner/MaOwner/Master manipulating herding dog.ster manipultating herding dog.the federal and state level. Many politicians at the local levels will be in this category but by a smaller relative percentage compared to federal and state politicians.

Generally, these folks already have a power base of one kind or another. They actively engage…currently and post-grid-down…in expanding their existing power base any possible way they can…usually through money and flattery.

One of the “groups” that are the most dangerous are unions, particularly unions that have been known for violence such as teamsters, miners, and pipe-fitters…to a lesser degree public employee and police unions. These groups have large powerful bases and existing leadership that will see themselves as naturals for the owner/master role…since they already see themselves in that role.

Shepherds –

This is the rarest of person in today’s life and especially after a “grid-down” has occurred. They are a small fraction of 1% of the population. Most people will be mainly concerned with survival and that means securing Shepherdresources and power. Shepherds are not interested in either.

The focus of a shepherd, almost exclusively, is and will be the protection of a flock. There will be no desire to be exalted above the sheep, any indication to the contrary will indicate that you are probably dealing with an owner/master NOT a shepherd.

Shepherds will recognize sheepdogs and appreciate them and be grateful for their support. Shepherds also are generally able to recognize herding dogs and the inherent danger they represent. Shepherds will most likely try to convert herding dogs into sheepdogs. They will probably be successful to some degree in this and exhibit great patience in this effort. However, the converted herding dogs may well turn on the shepherd should adverse situations, or opportunity for personal gain, present themselves.

The archenemy of the shepherd is the owner/master. If a latent owner/master is a member of the shepherd’s flock they will probably do one of two things; 1) make a play to unseat the shepherd from their leadership position, 2) try to bring in outside influence or bargain with a neighboring owner/master to overthrow the shepherd.

Shepherds’ behaviors and actions should never be confused with any form of cowardice. A shepherd will be ferocious in defending the flock and will do anything within moral and ethical bounds to do so. A shepherd who has been a sheepdog, especially a trained sheepdog, is very competent and able to defend the flock.

A shepherd is normally cautious with their own ego and desires. Should a shepherd begin to place his own needs and wants above the welfare and needs of the flock, they normally rather quickly slip over into the category of owner/master. And they unfortunately turn into a very capable and brutal owner/master since the moral and ethical foundation will have been removed. Rare (extremely) will be a true shepherd who converts to an owner/master.

In summary…a shepherd will earn your trust and deserve it. Give your trust freely to a true shepherd…then defend them.

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> Revised January 2023 < This is the third revision of this article and series. In late 2022 and early 2023 I did extensive updating and editing on this series of articles. It is of great importance that we understand who we are dealing with after a disaster or grid-down event…and I am talking of a TEOTWAWKI as well. If we fail to understand who people really are, who they are inside, and what they are capable of…well, we are at their mercy. And human nature in extremely tough times can be ruthless…and fatal. Educate yourself on the personality types referred to in this series of articles. Be watchful and careful, humans by nature want to trust…and the bad guys know this…and know how to play you.

Post disaster personality types.Have you ever given much thought to the type of people there will be walking around after an emergency or disaster occurs?

I have wondered that…a lot. And, over the last 40 years through my work as a first responder I have seen them first hand. I’ve also worked with them as fellow responders so I know them generally and individually.

Then again, have you ever thought much about what label to put on people after a “grid-down” event? Yup, right again, I have. And that is the point of this series of posts – What kind of people will there be after “grid-down”, which will be notably different than those after a more simple emergency or disaster.

Oh, you are not comfortable putting a label on people? So, you don’t believe in Situational Awareness (SA)?

Observing people and assessing their threat level is a key aspect of SA; then label them accordingly is just plain commonsense. Then once properly identified, acting accordingly could well keep you and your family alive. So you are not really judging people, you are assessing, the best you can, their potential behavior and the impact that potential behavior could have on you and your family.

Maybe a more fair question would be…Can how people act now influence/predict how they will act after grid-down? Is there some way to predict or identify who they “will be” or “might be” based on who they are now?

Based on what I’ve seen firsthand I have put a lot of thought into this unique phenomena and how it might affect survival post-grid down. I mean, come on, the biggest risk you will face after a “grid-down” will be the threat, or risk, of violence. But violence will come primarily from people. So you have to understand people to understand their potential for violence.

I believe the “types” of people will breakdown into a short list of categories:

  • sheep
  • shepherds
  • predators (wolves)
  • sheepdogs
  • owners/masters
  • herding dogs
  • mass murderers (added in January 2023)

The trick is trying to figure out which category people fit into and who is the most dangerous…both now and in the future. Based on that challenge I did a little reflection on my experience with emergencies and disasters and how people, victims and responders, acted during those events. Then I compared it back to what I knew of them before the emergency or disaster. That way I think I can make some general assumptions of what people are like now and project/guesstimate what kind of people they may become, or how they will act, after grid-down. Remember, this is all in general terms about people generally speaking…and solely my opinion.

Let me describe what I think are the personality attributes of people after grid-down:

Sheep – 

These are the folks are easily identified, they are the folks who are basically lost, unprepared, having no clue what to do, but overall, decent folks.  Or they may be folks that are prepared in many ways but not prone to be leaders, they are submissive in Most people are sheep.nature, and they are inclined to avoid conflict. Either way, they will be seeking assistance, direction, and leadership…they will actively seek out opportunities to be followers. They will start out benignly and humbly requesting help of any kind and will wait for someone to take care of them and their family. They will not be able to take care of themselves and will panic easily, they will be easily driven by fear and misinformation.

They will also be easily manipulated and controlled. They will have a breaking point, there is no doubt about that. But by then, the majority of them will be mostly useless (unless constantly led and fed) and of little threat or danger.

A small percentage of this group will become dangerous and must be considered as such in direct proportion to their capability to be so. Capability example: access to, and ability to use, weapons. Their greatest weakness will be Normalcy Bias.  Many will be useful, they may be good people who just didn’t have it together in terms of preparedness…or unable to be leaders in their own right.  These sheep can become productive resources in the right group setting with strong and constant leadership. In such a setting some/many may be mostly seen as “high maintenance” individuals.

Predators (wolves) –

These folks are also easy to spot. They will typically be armed, assertive, demanding, and dangerous. They will prey on anyone that they can dominate, or who they can overwhelm by surprise, numbers, or superior Predators / Wolves will prey upon sheep.power. They will have no scruples, morals, or ethical base. They will simply feel entitled to what others have that they themselves lack, or simply want. They will have no reservation to humiliate, hurt, maim, or kill other people. At first they will act fairly independently but will quickly form gangs/packs/tribes with a clear hierarchy that is strictly and violently enforced.

Some wolves will have true predatory skills while others will be purely “posers” and “wannabes” trying to act the part of a predator. The later will be quickly crushed by those who are prepared and capable of resisting, and the “wannabes” who survivor will probably assimilated by the true predators.

All predators will be dangerous regardless of their current weapon status. If lacking weapons they will use cunning, deception, and subterfuge to gain any weaponry they may need or want. Or lacking that level of finesse…they will simply take weaponry by any means available.

For the most part the wolves’ greatest weakness will be their Competency Bias. That will not be true for the upper level apex predators (Tier 1) that will have skills, experience, knowledge, and intelligence. Hence, they will actually be competent…and deadly…true apex predators.

Sheepdogs –

These are folks who will be prepared for emergencies and disasters…and see themselves as protectors of others. Although their level of preparedness will probably vary widely from minimal preparations to multiple-years worth of supplies and appropriate defensive gear.  Some may only have their skills vs. supplies & gear but will Sheep dog guarding and defending the flock of sheep.quickly assume the role of sheepdog because of their inherent desire and self-perception. These folks will be honest of heart and have a true desire to help and protect the sheep.

The “help” may manifest itself in feeding, medical assistance, or training. While sheepdogs may be reluctant to share their supply of food, they will probably step up when sheep need to be protected, but, they may not risk all for others.

However, sheepdogs have been known to attack large packs of predators even when highly out numbered; and have been known giving their lives to protect the lives of their flock.

Sheepdogs will likely be neighbors and community members that have a strong sense of family, community, Sheep dogs don't tolerate predators.and duty. They will most likely be Christians and feel a God-given calling to help take care of and protect people.

Sheepdogs will be highly drawn to shepherds and allow themselves to be led by those shepherds that they truly trust. Sheepdogs will be naturally opposed to owner/masters and will rebel against them. Sheepdogs will generally be tolerant of herding dogs to a point. Sheepdogs will tend to feel that they can change a herding dog into a sheepdog with enough work and being a good example.  However, should a herding dog show too much aggression towards the flock, a sheepdog will not hesitate to attack a herding dog to defend the flock…or the shepherd.

Herding Dogs –

While actual herding dogs might be appear superficially to be sheepdogs, there is a significant difference. Sheepdogs live, eat, and sleep with the sheep; they are part of the flock.  And when necessity calls…sheepdogs will sacrifice themselves for the flock’s protection.

Herding dogs work for the sheep’s Herding dogs are controlled predators NOT sheep dogs.owner/master and respond to their master’s commands. Those commands are given for a specific intention…to strictly to control the flock of sheep. Herding dogs circle the sheep and move them by acting much as a predator would; which in-turn makes the sheep respond to the non-verbal body language of the herding dog (i.e. threat of violence).

A herding dog is actually a predator who is so highly trained that they won’t kill sheep (normally) but will not hesitate to “nip” (i.e. light bite) the back legs of the sheep. Herding dogs are Herding dogs are controlled predators NOT sheep dogs.also known for a game called “sheep tag.”  Herding dogs will run among the sheep biting them and then run off.  To them, sheep are little more than “chew toys.”

Herding dogs are not known for protecting a flock, they are there to control the flocks movement and behavior. And they don’t respond to the needs of the flock and rarely repel approaching predators on their own. They only respond to commands given to them by their master/owner.

Herding dogs will view sheepdogs with contempt and disgust. Herding dogs will see sheepdogs as beneath them in status. Herding dogs will view sheepdogs as lacking skills & intelligence and not living up to their potential.

Herding dogs and sheepdogs will be natural opposites and will have open conflict with one another if the situation presents itself. Herding dogs may/can change allegiance from a flock to a violent pack of predators given certain circumstances.  Should an owner/master not provide enough incentive (or strong enough leadership), a herding dog could be easily persuaded to join a predator pack that promises greater rewards. Should the right set of circumstances present itself, a herding dog could betray an entire flock to a predator pack. A herding dog sees sheep as just another animal or toy, beneath them in status and not truly worthy of anything other than to be controlled.  They have virtually no allegiance to the sheep other than as a means to gain rewards from the owner/master.

Shepherds –

These folks will be few and far between.  They are of high moral and ethical character. They will be leaders of Shepherd watching over his flock.sheep. They will also be the leaders of sheepdogs. They may have the ability to change some herding dogs into sheepdogs, but that will rarely occur due to the natural instincts and desires of herding dogs. Shepherds will understand predators but not hate them. Shepherds will protect the flock from predators to the point of freely giving their lives but not hate predators.

Shepherds will naturally draw sheepdogs to them. Sheepdogs will see the positive leadership traits and “goodness” in a shepherd and want to serve him while concurrently following their instinct of protecting the flock. The sheepdog will see that a shepherd frees them up to concentrate on what they do best – protection.

Shepherds will “serve” their flock. The will make decisions that are in the best interest of the flock and not for The Good Shepherdthe gain of the shepherd himself…or for the exclusive benefit of sheepdogs.

Shepherds will be those folks who will gain close-knit followings of sheep and sheepdogs who are committed to not just surviving, but thriving as a group and as individuals.

Some herding dogs will be drawn to shepherds but will rebel against the nature of the shepherd’s leadership, preferring to control the sheep vs. lead the sheep. For those of us that are believers, we have a great example in “The Good Shepherd” referred to in the scriptures.

Owner/masters –

These folks will be those that have a sense of entitlement to leadership. They will feel it is their right, even their duty, to lead sheep…or everyone for that matter. They will voice that they are doing their best to protect the sheep from harm and danger but their true intentions will simply be to control and manipulate…then benefit from the work and sacrifice of others.

They will make decisions primarily serving their own agenda and gain. Any benefit to the flock will be secondary, incidental, even accidental. However, the owner/master will take great efforts to make the appearance of what they do is completely for the benefit of the flock.

When pushed owner/masters will be ruthless with all members of the flock, including sheepdogs. They will have no trouble sacrificing flock members or sheepdogs for their own gain or protection.

Owner/masters normally will be “pretty boys” who talk good, look good, act good, and smell good…and the like. They will use flowery and/or passionate speeches and quote learned men; they may even use scripture verses to justify what they do. But all they do will be for their own benefit and advancement.

Owner/masters will readily identify herding dogs and elevate the perceived status of herding dogs to control the flock…ruthlessly if they have to. They will reward herding dogs with special privileges such as praise, recognition, food, liberties, and sexual partners. They will provide herding dogs with higher quality food, tools, weapons, and living accommodations.Justifying it by declaring it keeps them strong and ready to defend.

Additionally, the owner/master will provide a sense of “purpose” to the herding dogs. They will touch the herding dog’s sense of duty and work ethic. They will manipulate the herding dog to think they are as noble as a sheepdog, and even superior.

An owner/master will naturally not like sheepdogs; they will see them as competition for leadership. But they will keep that feeling/view hidden from others. They will see in sheepdogs everything that they, as owner/masters, are not. They will try and change sheepdogs into herding dogs. If that is not possible they will try and ostracize them. Should that fail, the owner/master will use whatever means necessary to remove the sheepdogs from the flock. And that will include an owner/master killing the sheepdog should the sheepdog be seen as a big enough threat by the owner/master.

The greatest threat to an owner/master is the shepherd. It is a prime example of the “evil” of an owner/master vs the “good” of a shepherd. Owner/masters will work to destroy shepherds.

So there are the basics of how I see people will fall into the basic post-disaster caste system. I have seen it on smaller-scale disasters (i.e. hurricanes, floods, wildfires, etc.) over the last 40 years or so and I have no reason to believe anything different would happen after a major “grid-down” experience. Actually, I think the likelihood of this caste system occurring increases in direct proportion to the scale of the disaster. And my research of history has lent credence to my view.

There is one additional group of people but I will cover that group in an entirely stand-alone additional article just prior to me publishing the revised summary article in this series.

So what do you do with this information? Where is the value? What does it all mean?

It makes the difference between life and death in all probability. Yeah, potentially that dramatic.

I wrote a series on Situational Awareness (SA) and this information on post-disaster types of people is directly related to good SA. If you don’t know what kind of people to expect then you are likely to get sucked into a bad situation or worse.  In the next post I will cover how to identify the different post-disaster personalities

Next Article in this Series >

All Articles in this Series –

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(__XXX__) Fatigue

Fatigue is a major concern for folks when in the middle of an emergency, disaster, or during a grid-down event. And the longer duration of the incident, the more fatigue and the worse the impact on a person from that fatigue.

But there are different kinds of fatigue. There is; 1) Food Fatigue, 2) Cognitive Fatigue, 3) Decision Fatigue. In this article I will just touch briefly on each…no need for lots of details, you can easily figure it out.

Food Fatigue –

This is a simple one, and you may have already suffered from it. Let’s say the grid went down…and Food Fatigue during emergencies and disasters food storageyou are in day 204. For breakfast you are again eating oatmeal. The eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, etc. are long gone…so oatmeal it is! Oh wait, the sugar is gone, the honey is gone, the raisins are gone, the fruit is gone… so it is just plain oatmeal…for the 90th straight morning.

Do you think that might get a little boring?

So for lunch you have soup…containing; dried carrots, wheat berries, and pinto beans…for the 92nd straight lunch.

Then for dinner you have stew…containing; dried carrots, dried onions, wheat berries, and black beans…for the 103rd straight dinner.

Yeah, all the salt, pepper, garlic, and other seasonings ran out 3 months ago. No chocolate, no Pepsi, no sugar, no honey, no candy, no cookies…not much of anything that makes meals and snacks great.

So do you think food and eating gets a little boring? Yeah, I think I do.

Long-term Food Storage to prevent food fatigue, freeze dried foodNow…another couple months later…how you doing? Yeah, that is food fatigue…eating the same boring food day after day. Sure, you are grateful for the food, at least it is something in your belly. But it is drudgery…boredom…and fatigue.

Food Fatigue is easily avoided…store and grow foods/herbs that keep meals interesting, tasty and enjoyable. Keep the ingredients around, or grow/acquire them, to make cookies once in a while. Hideaway some candy for long winter nights. Keep some Spam hidden for that morning you actually have real eggs to cook.

Cognitive Fatigue –

This is a condition that you can probably readily identify with…and more than likely you have already experienced it. Officially it is essentially the process of acquiring knowledge, thinking about it, processing it, coming to conclusions about the knowledge acquired. You could look at it as Situational Awareness overload. Many folks suffer from it at work due to an overload of information and/or tasking…or a very long day working with dummy folks in a stressful situation.

Cognitive fatigue can result in a person shutting down mentally and/or physically. Yup, it can get that bad. It comes from the brain being overloaded with information and its circuit breaker just flips off and a person goes into self-preservation mode mentally.

A good way to help fight cognitive fatigue, and fatigue in general, is to stay hydrated and eat right such as:

  • Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols
  • Berries with vitamin C and anthocyanins (blueberries are great)
  • Foods that are high in antioxidants
  • Foods with lots of vitamin B12 (eggs are great)

And you try and get decent rest if at all possible. Allow for some “down time” where sensory input is nonexistent or at least kept to a minimum.

Decision Fatigue –

This is the worst fatigue of all! And so designated for several reasons; 1) it disproportionately affects leaders, 2) it can lead to poor, even fatal, decision making, 3) can ultimately affect a whole group or family.

Decision fatigue is basically a condition where a person has to make too many decisions consistently over too long period of time. It can be a little hard to explain but it is easy to see when it is in front of you.

Say you are dealing with a protracted incident…example…two-weeks. And the leader of the group is constantly making decisions all day…every day…decisions, one after another. It is multiplied by a factor when the situation is, or could be, life-threatening. They have very short nights of sleep because people are constantly coming to them asking for decisions to be made and advice given. Pop! Their head explodes.

The results can be everything from poor decisions to angry outbursts to violence against people. Of course they could also simply shutdown entirely; virtually becoming uncommunicative. And how would any of that work out for the harmony of the group?

One of the reasons why wildland fire personnel are limited to 2-week deployments on fires is this very problem…especially among leadership. A special process is required to extend a deployment to 3-weeks…and it ain’t all that easy to get approved. Why? Because a wildland fire leader (i.e. Division Supervisor, Ops Chief, Type 3 Incident Commander, etc.) has a whole lot of responsibility, works 16 – 18 hours days, and gets asked a ton of questions all day long…not to mention the potential for loss of life and property.

Now imagine food/water shortage, no power, looting, bad weather, no stores open, potential for violence against your family, etc. See the potential for problems when it comes to making hundreds of decisions, great and small, all day long?

Ask anyone who has to, or has been, in a high state of readiness or has to maintain high Situational Awareness for days or weeks straight. It can wear you out. Ever hear the term “1000-yard stare”?

To avoid it you can:

  • Delegate responsibility to qualified people and empower them to make decisions in their area of responsibility.
  • Set aside time where you can be alone, quiet, and contemplative about other things than the situation.
  • Maintain a “larger picture” or maintain an attitude of “the future” and how much better it is going to be.
  • Get as much adequate sleep as possible.
  • Stay hydrated and intake something along the lines of Gatorade (but not more than 1 Gatorade to 2 waters).
  • Eat foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols.
  • Eat berries with vitamin C and anthocyanins (blueberries are great).
  • Eat foods that are high in antioxidants.
  • Eat foods with lots of vitamin B12 (eggs are great).
Summary –

Cognitive and decision fatigue can kill you…and/or those around you. You have to be able to recognize it, obviously. And from the very start you have to be able to combat it.

Generally speaking:

  • Stay hydrated.
  • Eat as well as possible.
  • Get quality rest if at all possible.
  • Have some down time to yourself. It doesn’t have to be long, just something.
  • Spread the load around to those who are qualified…or can learn quickly.
  • Have a good plan in-place before the incident.
  • Ask others to monitor you for signs of fatigue…and listen to them.

Please don’t ignore food fatigue to keep people happy.

Please don’t ignore cognitive fatigue and decision fatigue to keep people alive.



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FAQ – 10/26/2021

  • You mentioned “Deepfake” quite a while ago, thank you. I heard it is getting worse for potential fraud. What is happening now?


It is getting WAY worse and the potential for abuse is skyrocketing! Yes, there is the normal criminal element involved and they will use it for scamming and other criminal activity. And yes, there is the entertainment industry who are taking advantage of it, but as of yet they are not 100% sure of the legal ramifications involved. But I find their use of it really pretty amazing and ah, entertaining.

Then there is the political aspect of Deepfake. I expect we will see some use of it shortly as we enter the run-up to US elections in 2024. And I think we will see it used internationally in the political arena before we see it appear in the US political scene to any great degree.

Various militaries around the world are training in the technology on how to defend against it…and how to use it offensively to attack another country. The US military appears to be clearly leading the way in this activity.

Where I see one of its most dark potential is in the secret police world. Dark ops players like the USA’s CIA, Russia’s FSB, and China’s MSS will use it to destabilize other countries. The CIA is probably the best equipped to use it and has a long infamous track record of similar operations. More minor players such as North Korea and Iran, maybe even the Ukraine will increasingly use it, but they are not at the competency level of the major players and their usage of it will be more obvious.

The worst and darkest potential I see is with the US Federal Law Enforcement agencies. Those agencies are well-known for fraud, lying, abuse, and outright perjury in courts…especially the FBI <click here to read more>. I believe we will see a substantial use of that technology in the coming years once a whistleblower steps forward to reveal it…such as Edward Snowden, (a true American patriot and hero). Where/when it will be used on a widespread basis will be when the feds see the need to use it against the various serious “revolutionary” movements…and I am not talking BLM or other radical leftist organizations.

And FYI…”Deepfake” now has a more sophisticated name…”Synthetic Media”.

To see a great media piece on Deepfake watch the below

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How to identify REAL misinformation…

AZ responded to a comment on one of my articles. I didn’t allow his comment for several reasons. But let’s explore his comment so we can know how to spot true, actual, and real “misinformation.”


AZ’s comment:

“SO you don’t think FOREIGN MILITARY ARE COMING IN,well you are wrong,I’ve talked to RUSSIAN SPECIAL FORCES AT WALMART,I’VE TALKED TO CHINESE MILITARY COMMANDERS,who said they were traveling around COLORADO looking to see what towns they wanted to be in charge of,AND THE UN MILITARY are coming in by the BUS LOAD from US MILITARY BASES ALL OVER AMERICA,and OH YES I’VE talked to them to,they said we are here to kill stupid americans,well there won’t be any shortage of them,THEIR ARRIVING IN GUTTED OLD MOTORHOMES,the interior was removed and bench seats installed,40-50 in every one,YOU KNOW you best wake up,AMERICA HASN’T TOTALY ENDED,but soon it will have,WHEN THE ATTACK BEGINS,it’ll be a BLOODBATH ,the US MILITARY will be coming DOOR TO DOOR,taking GUNS,BIBLES AND ANY GOLD OR SILVER THEY CAN FIND,That little tid bit came from a NAVY SEAL….”

So let’s get into his statement and figure out what is real and what is not by asking some logical questions. No, I am not going to talk about his “big picture” at all. We will examine the details and then make a judgement call on his big picture at the end.

    1. What were Russian Special Forces Operators (RSFO) doing at Walmart?
    2. How did he spot (RSFO) at Walmart?
    3. And if they were there and he spotted them, why would they talk to him?
    4. And if they talked to him, why would they reveal their mission to him?
    1. What special connection(s) does he have to even know Chinese military commanders?
    2. And if he does know Chinese military commanders, why would they reveal their secret mission to him?
    1. Where are the credible pictures of the busses full of UN troops?
    2. Why aren’t there credible reports of busloads of UN troops on, or leaving, military bases all over America?
  4. I’VE talked to them to,they said we are here to kill stupid americans”
    1. How did he spot them, why did he talk to them, why did they reveal their mission to him, why didn’t they kill him first to prevent them from being exposed? Or at least detain him to prevent revealing their presence and mission?
  5. WHEN THE ATTACK BEGINS,it’ll be a BLOODBATH ,the US MILITARY will be coming DOOR TO DOOR,taking GUNS,BIBLES AND ANY GOLD OR SILVER THEY CAN FIND,That little tid bit came from a NAVY SEAL”
    1. How does he know a Navy SEAL?
    2. Why would a Navy Seal reveal the most top secret of mission information to him?

So, when you look at his statements and begin to ask logical and realistic questions concerning his statements what do you see? Is there a pattern?

Here’s what I say:

  1. I doubt RSFO troops would be in Walmart and be recognizable. They would either not be in Walmart at all or would at least be sufficiently trained to not be noticed. Remember, RSFO troops are the Russian equivalent to our Delta operators.
  2. If a person went up to a RSFO trooper there is absolutely no way they would just stand there openly talking to a stranger about their secret mission to kill Americans
  3. I doubt he knows any Chinese person outside of a Panda Express let alone knowing a Chinese military commander. And if he happened to talk with a Chinese military commander, that commander would not reveal their secret mission to kill Americans.
  4. If there were large quantities of UN troops on military bases, someone would notice and report. If those busloads of UN troops were leaving American military bases someone would notice and report. There has not been a single credible report, let alone multiple reports, of any such activity. If he did find one of these UN troopers, they would not speak to him about their mission to kill Americans.
  5. If he actually does know a Navy SEAL, that SEAL would not reveal top secret information of a major mission against US citizens.

So, when you look at his statements, ask the logical and realistic questions, and then answer those questions objectively and realistically…his statement is pure fantasy.

Well, there is one other option…he is making those statements to purposely create chaos and havoc, or shape opinion of easily influenced people for nefarious purposes.

Whatever the case, this person is writing complete and total misinformation to the degree of absurdity.

Now, and especially in the near future, you must be able to recognize and analyze all information. You must be able to determine whether information is true or not. And even more important…recognize the people who are creating and/or spreading that misinformation and why.

If you fail to do so…you have no, or poor, Situational Awareness…and that could prove fatal to you and/or your family, your congregation, or your community.

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Situational Awareness: Part 8 – Summary

Situational AwarenessA lot has been written in the academic world about Situational Awareness (SA) and most of it would make your eyes glaze over.  The exception would be when the academics fight over what SA actually is, that can be kinda fun to watch.  I am not going to get into the academics of SA because it is mind numbing to say the least.  What I shared with you is practical and how to use it.

SA is the ability to recognize and understand what is happening around you, how it will affect you, and how you use it for a positive outcome.  Well, at least to me, that is my definition of SA.  There is a lot of material, some of it quite good, scattered about the Internet so there is no lack of sources for learning.  But what I want to do is summarize a down-to-earth practical understanding and application of SA from the previous 7 parts of this series.

In any “high-speed, low-drag” situation (high-speed = complex and high stress) there is always a large amount of activity taking place around you.  The key is to acquire, assess applicability, understand the impact incoming information…and then accurately predict the result and then act on it.  That is the SA process.  The successful “outcome” to the SA process is sufficiently manipulating your actions for a positive result for you and your team.

The history of SA goes back 100+ years when aviation was first becoming a tool of war.  Thinking in a three-dimensional world wasn’t really used much prior to WWI because man really didn’t get off the ground very often.  But with the advent of powered flight in a wartime setting SA became a necessity for man if he wanted to stay alive.  Those early pilots had to keep aware of where their fellow pilots and planes were in normal flight operations.  And when they engaged the enemy in aerial combat they had to keep track of multiple enemy aircraft as well.  And not only keep track of them but anticipate what they might do next, where they would be and then act to counter the enemy pilot’s maneuver…then shoot them down before they themselves got shot down. A daunting task! WWII saw SA turned into a formal process for fighter pilots.

In an emergency or disaster situation, and especially in “grid-down”, SA is absolutely imperative.  Good SA will help keep you alive, poor SA will assure failure and potentially bring about injury or death.  What I am saying is SA in normal everyday life can relax a little bit so you are not “on edge” all the time.  The exception would be SA for personal and family safety.  However, when something goes wrong in your world (i.e. emergency, disaster, grid-down) then your SA must be turned up full throttle.  You must maintain that “edge” all the time.

To qualify as good SA you must first be able to “see” what is happening around you.  You must use all your senses to take in all that is happening.  And most importantly you must be able to see these indicators in reality NOT your interpretation of reality.

Example:  Many times during WWII as Jews were being rounded-up they were told it was for their own good/safety and they would be fed when the train stopped.  Unfortunately, the reality was imprisonment and death.

One “sense” I am going to strongly suggest that you always listen to is your “gut”, your instinct, your feelings; whatever you want to call it.  Often your subconscious can discern indicators of danger that escape your normal senses, especially your consciousness.  At times your conscious mind can not properly process certain subtle danger indicators or articulate it so you have the opportunity to think about it.

Also, for those of us that are “believers”, listen to that still small voice that will come to you at times.  That voice will steer you in the direction God feels is appropriate for you at that time.

A good example of that “gut feeling” occurs when you feel something isn’t right and you turn around and someone is staring at you.  Women especially have that instinct…normally used when judging males it is known as the “creep factor.”

So you have all these information inputs coming in, now you must decide which are the most important.  I would suggest you read my post on LIPS  to understand how to determine “priorities” in a preparedness situation.

Example:  Your family is being stalked by a gang of bad guys who want to take your food and daughter.  Your Grid Down Chaos and violence against people are threat and risk to familyinformational inputs are: it is cloudy, it might rain, your feet hurt, you have a small hole in your pants leg, your wife has slung her AR15, the bad guys are gaining on you, your youngest son says he’s hungry, its been 3 days since you had a full nights sleep, your water is running low, and your tooth hurts.  All of these things contribute to SA.  But what are the highest priority information inputs?

To properly absorb SA inputs you have to establish a “baseline” and that baseline will change and continue to change often.

Example:  You are hiking through a wooded area that you think is abandoned.  So you know the smell of the area which might be damp leaves.  And you know the sound of the area which is birds chirping with an occasional squirrel barking and scampering away.  And the area is basically green in color with evergreens being predominant.  Then you notice the birds take wing, a faint waft of smoke smell and a brownish/grayish patch in the trees 100 yards in front of you.  DANGER!!  Your SA just acquired the indicators of a camp where people are now moving around.  What you now do with that change in SA is the key.

Team SA (TSA) can be exponentially more effective that individual SA.  However, it can also be exponentially Team based Situational Awareness - Team SAworse as well.  Keeping track of everything going on with multiple people is virtually impossible for one person, especially in a high-speed situation.  Let me explain…

For TSA to be effective a few things need to be in-place and clearly understood by each team member:

  1. Leader’s Intent
  2. Responsibility of each member
  3. Great communications, specific & assertive
  4. Good individual SA

Basically each team member is using their own individual SA to guide their own actions and assist the other team members in carrying out their respective responsibilities.  Team members must not wait to speak up when they see a problem, or potential problem.  They must deliver that information to the team in short, clear, assertive terms.  That must be done BEFORE the problem affects the team’s successful mission accomplishment.  Probably the best aspect of TSA is the saying “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”  While the origination of that phrase is debatable, it is no less applicable to a key aspect of Team Situational Awareness.

There are barriers to effective SA, they are:Barriers to team situational awareness.

  1. Normalcy Bias
  2. Competency Bias
  3. Too much motivation
  4. Information/mental overload
  5. Physical/mental fatigue
  6. Distorted reality
  7. False information intake
  8. Poor communications

Barriers to individual SA are items #1 – #7.

The ability to have great SA is a learned skill.  You learn it through training and experience.  With great SA you are far more likely to succeed.  With poor or non-existent SA you are almost certainly doomed to failure…and maybe not even know why you failed.

And during an emergency, disaster, or grid-down…failure is not a valid option. It is all your choice…learn and use SA…or fail. Yes, it is that simple.


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Situational Awareness: Part 7 – OODA (Out of the Loop)

I am out of the loopnote: I think this is one of the single most valuable pieces of information you will ever read for a grid-down event. When the violence is knocking at your door you better understand this concept or you will get killed. Yes, it is that important and I am that serious.

I am sure everyone has heard the saying “I was out of the loop on that” or some variant. Generally it is meant that a person wasn’t aware of something that was going on. However, the origins of the saying is a fascinating story itself. It goes back to the early Col John Boyd OODA Loop air force jet planes fighterdays of the Air Force and a man by the name of John Boyd, a Colonel.

Col. Boyd developed this model to assist the training of military pilots. Dogfights occur at a very high speed in a three-dimensional environment. A pilot must not only have lightning fast physical reflexes, he must be able to out-think his opponent as well. To win a dogfight a pilot must be able to get his plane inside the decision loop of his opponent to line-up a kill shot…and do so without himself being shot down. It is a daunting task in the best of circumstances. And the speeds at which this occurs is unrealistic and unfathomable to most of us mere mortals.

Any high-stress, high-risk environment tends to be high-speed as well, or at least at critical points in time. A person must be able to function in that environment to the point of success. Failure to function successfully in these types of situations can lead to injury or death of yourself or someone else. Boyd developed a system that trains a person Col John Boyd developed the OODA loopon success under stress, in high-risk environments, at high rates of speed. That system is all about acquiring information, processing that information, making a decision, and then acting on that decision.

The decision making model he developed is called OODA.

That is an acronym for; Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.



Broken down it means –

  • Observation of the raw information on which decisions and actions are based.
  • Orient the information to your situation and environment.
  • Decide a course of action.
  • Act quickly and decisively.

While it would be convenient to allow those brief explanations to stand on their own, it is impossible if you want to truly understand how it all works together for success.

One of the best explanations of the complete OODA cycle was by Harry Hillaker –

“The key is to obscure your intentions and make them unpredictable to your opponent while you simultaneously clarify his intentions. That is, operate at a faster tempo to generate rapidly changing conditions that inhibit your opponent from adapting or reacting to those changes and that suppress or destroy his awareness. Thus, a hodgepodge of confusion and disorder occur to cause him to over- or under- react to conditions or activities that appear to be uncertain, ambiguous, or incomprehensible.”

What I am understanding Hillaker to say is fairly simple – Embrace the confusion and use it to your advantage to defeat your enemy. I think I have that understood pretty clearly but that explanation is purely for a military or tactical situation.

What about when there is no person as an enemy?

How do you even describe “enemy” is these terms?

For this discussion I will revert back to our discussion on “objectives” as the enemy. We must “win” in terms of meeting the objective. If we can’t claim a “win” then we “lose.” Losing means that our objective was not met. And success in this arena is based on achieving our objectives, hence “losing” is the enemy.

Based on the foundation I just laid out where there is no person as an enemy, there is no option to turn confusion against our enemy. Confusion in this sense only hurts our team and hinders the successful accomplishment of our objective. However, we can easily state with certainty that seeing through, and/or eliminating, any confusion would make attaining our objective far easier. We can now agree that we only need to go half way on the confusion issue, remove it vs. install it on our non-person enemy.

In retrospect haven’t we already started down the path of confusion elimination?

When I wrote about Objectives and Priorities I presented the topic of Leader’s Intent we can/did ask for clarification to ensure a solid foundation of understanding. On the other hand, if we are the one delivering Leader’s Intent we used the SMART model to clarify the task. So exactly what confusion is left to clear-up?ColJohnBoydOODA-003If you look closely at the OODA Loop you will notice that there is a very close relationship between the “OO” and the Situational Awareness. In plain English the “Observe” and “Orient” matches perfectly with the concept of Situational Awareness (SA). If your SA is good, your OO is functioning correctly as well.

Situational Awareness & OODASo why the need for both models?

There is a vital need, the OODA loop outlines the entire process along with explaining the “why.” The “why” being defeating your enemy, or accomplishing your objective(s). I see the OODA loop as a bridge between two more detailed systems –

  1. Situational Awareness
  2. Risk Management

If you go back to Hillaker’s explanation there is a key part “…operate at a faster tempo to generate rapidly changing conditions…” That integrates a true sense of urgency into the overall process. The need to move at a sufficient pace to outperform your enemy. Is it not reasonable to assume that if you outperform your enemy that you win?

Col John Boyd OODA loop jet fightersBut, what about dealing with an objective as the enemy?

When you consider the different aspects of an inanimate foe, the process can be both more difficult, and yet easier. When dealing with a person as a foe you have to assume many things about that person and hope you are right. A smart foe can do things entirely unpredictable which subsequently disrupts your SA and hence, the outcome. However, an inanimate objective can be almost as unpredictable, but that same inanimate objective is lacking the ability to purposely be unpredictable. The end result is there are pluses and minuses to both situations, an animate vs. an inanimate foe. For this discussion we will focus on the inanimate foe, an objective.

Let’s review what the Swiss Cheese model of risk management looks like –

Swiss Cheese Risk Management You have any number of opportunities to stop a negative incident from occurring. Plugging just a single hole in any slice of cheese prevents the incident from ever occurring.

If you were to chart the OODA Loop process as consisting of a combination of Situational Awareness and Risk Management it would something like this.

Adding in Situational Awareness

Adding in Situational Awareness

Then adding in calculating the probability & severity aspect of the risk.

Then adding in calculating the probability & severity aspect of the risk.

Here we see the OODA loop link two systems that were previously envisioned as “stand alone.” While both of those systems were valuable and applicable, they did form a complete picture for our purposes. However, there is a third system that is still missing that carries considerable influence, if not total control, over everything – Leader’s Intent.

While some could argue that Leader’s Intent would be one of the “filters” of the SA process I would disagree. I think Leader’s Intent drives all of the systems from the very beginning. Thus, I propose the proper graphic representation of the system should look more like this.

Leaders Intent OODA Situational AwarenessNonetheless I still maintain that the graphic reorientation is still lacking a key piece. No doubt that you would accomplish the object, but in the graphic it is implied, not explicit. And, depending on the situation you may or may not be able to undertake the planning process formally, it may have to be done “on the fly” and not in written form. I am of course referring to planning as a key element.

In my way of thinking Situational Awareness is a more complete system/process to define and accomplish the observe and orient of the OODA loop. And, Risk Management encompasses the decide and act aspect of the OODA loop. Clear Leaders’ Intent drives the whole loop in harmony. How does planning work into the process?

Planning is actually a combination of orient and act parts of the OODA loop with a heavy influence of leader’s general eisenhowerintent. Have no doubt that planning will be a key element of any success in accomplishment of an objective. However, General Eisenhower said, 

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

What he was trying to get across through that statement was the fact that though the planning process we find the weaknesses, strengths, and alternatives to the environment in which we will operate. A good example of that is “combat loading” of ships. If you loaded a ship for an invasion such as D-Day the same way you would load a normal cargo ship, you would be doomed to failure.

Why? All the ammo would be loaded together in one area, all the trucks loaded in another, tanks in another, Humvees it yet another area, etc.

As the invasion takes place do you need all the Humvees at one time? No. How about needing all the trucks at one time? No. And the same is true for tanks, ammo, medical supplies, etc. The military loads ships in a manner that the supplies come off in the order in which they are needed. You may only need 20 trucks at first, but you need 10 tanks before that, and 15 Humvees along with the tanks and trucks. But a sufficient amount of fuel, ammo, and medical supplies need to off-loaded with the appropriate vehicles. The planning process allows for the discovery of such issues and making the appropriate adjustments.

Another example would be the same situation of the actual invasion. The leader’s intent would be to secure town “x.” While in the planning process it becomes obvious which beach is the best to land on due to any number of factors. But, good planning demands that you have multiple alternatives. The same would be true for routes to get off the beach and to the town you are supposed to secure. Once again, in the planning process you are looking at maps that show the best/fastest way to reach the town. And yet again, you must have multiple alternatives in case your run into resistance or other obstacles with the primary route.

As the invasion unfolds different invading units run into problems getting off the beach for any number of reasons. However, since the planning process revealed multiple routes to the town, the local (on the ground) unit leaders can pick alternative routes as the battle unfolds. And, those choices can be made without running it up the chain of command because the optional routes are already in the plan…and approved. Hence, the local leader on the ground is still operating within the authorization given through leader’s intent.

Had there been no formal planning, the alternative routes would not have been identified ahead of time…and previously approved. The leader on the ground would have to discover the optional routes causing loss of time and jeopardizing successful completion of the objective.

Yet another revision of the entire process would look something like this…

LeadersIntent-004Do I have you confused by now?

How about…do I have your eyes glazed over yet?

That is obviously not my intention or my objective.

What I do what you to think about is how to be successful when it comes to surviving after “grid-down” when all your prepping comes into play. But, surviving is a whole lot more than just beans, bullets, and band-aids! It is about how you become a successful prepper to become a successful survivor. And success depends on skills. No, not skill…SKILLS !

And you need to understand how to use systems such as OODA Loop, Situational Awareness, and Risk Management to improve your odds of success. If you can improve your odds of success in a grid-down situation, then it will be much easier for less serious emergencies and disasters as well. But it all takes time, effort, and commitment to develop such skills. Might as well start learning and developing…now.

Success or failure is the outcome of your situational awareness.

Two Potential Outcomes…make your choice!


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Situational Awareness: Part 6 – Dig It !

SItuational awareness during grid-down, learning to dig for teh real truth. Freddie Gray's death and who killed him.note: originally posted in the fall of 2015 as a standalone article.

OK, so “Dig It !”, really? Yup!

But more specifically when you are done reading this rather long post in regards to Situation Awareness (SA) I hope to have helped you to learn two things; 1) how to overcome Normalcy Bias , 2) learn how to investigate (dig into) events/information to know what is pertinent information and why. In other words, understand the “root” below the surface vs. what is above ground and what they want you to see.

In accomplishing those two objectives, as a “prepper” you will better be able to recognize “the big one” when it happens, accept what is happening. and take steps to deal with it.

But, let me clarify something first and assure you of a fact…most SA input will be in the field and come at you quickly. And then there will the most subdued situations with information that is larger in scope, slower to emerge, and just as important to the OODA loop.

I want to go into #2 first because I think it will greatly assist in accomplishing #1, making it much easier.

There is a model that exists in analyzing accidents and what causes them, it is called the Swiss Cheese model Swiss Cheese model of accident causation is a model used in risk analysis and risk management(a.k.a. “Cumulative Act Effect”). It is also used in things such as:

  • risk analysis,
  • risk management,
  • the principle behind layered security,
  • defense in depth.

Simply put it looks at human-based systems as a block of Swiss cheese made up of slices where each slice represents an act of a human as part of the system. The point is – every person will make a mistake (a hole in the slice of cheese) from time to time in any system. The trick is to keep from the holes in the individual slices and making itself all the way through the block of cheese. Because when that happens a catastrophic event occurs.

In this model every attempt is made to ensure enough qualified and competent people in a high-quality system to keep those “holes” to one or two slices.

Layered Security” example: To protect a forward operating base you have multiple layers of security that consists of outside perimeter patrols, an outer perimeter made up of mines, an inner perimeter of razor wire, barricades on the entry road to slow traffic, armed guards, guard towers, blast walls, etc. Each layer is meant to keep the bad guys outside of the wire and the people inside safe.

So how exactly does this work? Well, I want to touch on one other principle first; it will really help. There is a set of “best practices” out there called a High Reliability Operation (HRO). The principles are used to run high-risk operations where there could be catastrophic outcomes. US Navy uses it for its nuclear program, its aircraft carrier flight deck operations, Special Operations uses a variant of it, and the list goes on. There are five basic concepts to HRO:

  1. Preoccupation with failure
  2. Reluctance to simplify
  3. Sensitivity to operations
  4. Commitment to resilience
  5. Deference to expertise

I won’t go into detail because it would be a whole book by itself, but #2 is the important one. It means that when looking at the causal factors of failure you don’t simplify. In other words, the reason(s) something fails is usually far more complex than simple.

Swiss Cheese model of accident causation is a model used in risk analysis and risk management

click to enlarge

When you combine the Swiss Cheese model with #2 above you avoid reasoning such as “the last decision” caused the failure. Yes, the last decision might have been a bad one, but it not the worst one, it is just one of many bad decisions that started long before the outcome occurred. That means there has been a history of poor/bad decision making in the “organization” and in the “process” that led up to the last bad decision.

Looking at the visual of the Swiss Cheese model, the bad decisions are the holes and they all lined up to have a bad outcome, usually a catastrophic outcome. No person in the organization or process prevented the bad decision from proceeding; there was no slice of cheese blocking the way of the event occurring.


And to bring this SA concept to the point of more easily being understood I am going to use the death of Freddie Grey in Baltimore that has been in the news lately.

So, let me ask the question, “Did the police kill Freddie Grey?” Yes, I consider that a catastrophic event, death is catastrophic in my way of thinking. So, again, “Did the police kill Freddie Grey?”

I have heard two lines of thought given; 1) he was a criminal, resisted arrest, and died by his own hand in the police van, 2) murdered by police officers.

Which is right?

Let’s review what we knew early on as fact from the incident:

  • The cops’ own words for what Grey did, “He made eye contact and then ran.”
  • He was never charged with a crime, the cops never said a crime occurred.
  • He did run, cops chased him.
  • Witnesses and video said the cops were very rough with him, he appeared to be injured at the time he was placed in the police transport van.
  • The van stopped multiple times.
  • Grey was eventually placed in leg restraints.
  • Grey was never properly secured in a seat in the transport van.
  • Grey was alive before he went into police custody.
  • He died while he in police custody.
  • He died of a crushed larynx and a severed spine.

So how did he die? Is that even the right question? Maybe it should be, “Who killed him?” or, “Why did someone kill him?”

Why the different questions? Why not accept one of the two original explanations of, “Did the police kill Freddie Grey?”

Wait, why does any of this even matter?

In emergencies, disasters and especially during a “grid-down” situation there is always always bad information. Sometimes the information is “bad” because it is intentionally so. Yes, the government has lied to us before during events and will continue to do so. No matter the reasons behind it, we just know they do. Actually, we know they intentionally lie to use every day, all day, day in and day out.

We must be able to see through the lies and dis-information and understand what is actually happening. Because without a hard understanding, a true understanding of what is happening, how in the world would you ever be able to make the right decision for you and your family? You must be able to be Situationally Aware and not suffer from Normalcy Bias; anything less will result in poor decision making.

Back to the example – Let’s start by asking a couple of truly basic but insightful questions:

  1. Why would a person crush his own larynx?
  2. Why would a person sever their own spine?

Yes, there are a lot of people commit suicide each year; many in weird and unusual ways. So let’s apply Occam’s Razor problem-Chokehold by police can crush a larynx and sever a spine - Freddie Graysolving principle to this specific question. To do so let’s look at a two common police practices; 1) choke hold, 2) suspect restraint while handcuffing. Both practices being widely taught and used by police officers in the last couple of decades to restrain suspects before and after handcuffing.

So which is the most likely event to have occurred causing Grey’s larynx to be crushed and his spine to be severed?

To me, reality (based on Occam’s Razor) the cops are far more likely to have caused the injury vs. self-inflicted. But that alone is not enough to convince me so let’s continue.

There were six police officers involved in the incident, five of which eventually gave statements after conferring with union representatives and lawyers. The sixth officer pleaded the “5th Amendment” and didn’t provide a statement. To refresh you on the 5th Amendment, a suspect “…nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself…” In other words…a person can refuse to make a statement that would be an admission of guilt.

That pretty much says one of the cops knows he committed a serious crime and refused to make a statement because he would either admit he committed that crime or would have to make a false statement which is a felony. Reality once again speaks rather clearly based on this reasoning, a cop caused the death of Freddie Grey.

Then the medical examiner ruled Grey’s death a “homicide” not a “suicide.” Which means that Grey died at the hands of another person not at his own hands. Tie that back into the fact that the multiple injuries occurred while in police custody and no one but police had access to him during the time frame in which he injuries occurred.

In the previously mentioned statements of the five police officers they all failed to mention a stop that the transport van made. Officers knew of the stop but intentionally failed to mention it. If one or two had failed to mention it you could view it as a mere oversight, a lapse in memory. But when all the officers failed to mention the same stop it is called collusion.

Now let’s throw in another piece of the puzzle, Baltimore Sun News had done an extensive and thorough investigation into allegation of extreme abuse and violence against citizens by the Baltimore Police Department (BPD). It was proven through valid and reliable statistics that BPD has a very long, decades long, history of brutality and abuse against its own citizens. To substantiate the statistics…millions upon millions of dollars were paid out in abuse cases making it clear that the BPD had a systemic culture of violence by police against citizens.

Then later in the week the AP broke a story that was verified to be true, Lt. Brian Rice, the initial cop that went after Grey had extensive mental problems. His mental state had become so mentally unstable in 2012 that he had his guns confiscated and had been admitted to a mental hospital. The record showed there were deep “…concerns about self-control and judgment…” and these significant mental problems were still evident in 2013. But less than two years later we see a cop with significant mental problems, who was determined by a court to be so dangerous to himself and others that his guns were legally confiscated, is now back on the street with weapons and supervising other cops. Really? Tell me how, in anyone’s mind that this is possible. Once again this shows a significant breakdown in the BPD.

But what was the BPD doing while all this information was coming to light? They “leaked” information that Gray had a criminal record. The police union went on a dis-information program. Another report was “leaked” by BPD that said a bolt in the van matched the injury on Gray’s head proving that Gray killed himself. A statement was “leaked” that the other prisoner in the van “heard” Gray trying to hurt himself while in the van.

But no one was asking, “How does the ‘bolt’ injury explain the severed spine and crushed larynx?”

And little coverage was given to the CNN interview where the other prisoner in the van stated on TV that he never made that statement, or any statement, concerning Gray to police. And that he now feared for his life because of police threats against him.

So you start to line up the slices of Swiss cheese and what do you get? A very clear picture that Freddie Gray died at the hands of police. And his only crime was “eye contact” with a police officer, a police supervisor, who by all accounts is, or at least was, actually mentally ill.

So what is the most likely story of who killed Freddie Gray? Remember the principle of SA that says you only need about 40 – 70% of information to make a valid decision. You don’t have to have to wait for 100% of the information to make quality decisions. So in this case of Freddie Gray, cops killed him plain and simple.

Note: This was just revealed on Friday 5/1 that all six officers have been charged with various crimes including second degree murder in the death of Freddie Gray. It was also revealed that Freddie Gray was a confidential informant for the BPD and had done extensive work for them in helping to solve some serious crimes in Baltimore.

Now why again is this important?

Here are my answers and guiding principles:

  1. In a “grid-down” or other disaster situation you must keep your SA intact and at a high operational level.
  2. You must not be blind to the obvious, and you must be able to filter out the “dis-information” that is doled out.
  3. Use common sense.
  4. Use Occam’s Razor problem-solving principle.
  5. Use the HRO principle of reluctance to simplify.
  6. And remember the two primary motivations of those in authority; money & power.

Before I close this section of the article I want to create a visual of the Swiss Cheese model of the BPD’s murder of Freddie Gray. Hopefully through this visual you will be able to see how this model can be used to research, solve and represent catastrophic events. Then you can use it within the realm of your “prepping” activities to make you and your family less prone to catastrophic events during emergencies and disasters.

At any point had a decision would have been made differently, had a different choice been made, had inappropriate behavior and culture been corrected then Freddie Gray would be alive and the city of Baltimore would not have experienced the riots when and where and to the extent that they occurred. A CVS store would still be providing goods and services to the residents of a neighborhood that needed them badly. There wouldn’t be a bunch of burned out buildings. The Ruling Class wouldn’t be more entrenched and more powerful. And the nation wouldn’t be one step closer to a National Police Force.

I painted how the “microcosm” looks in this situation but there is a bigger, far bigger, picture that needs to be painted. And that is the focus of this next section.


Those Baltimore Police Department officers didn’t just wake up that morning and decide to put such a beat-down on Freddie Gray that they would kill him. I actually doubt, to some degree, that they actually intended to kill him at all. But what is very clear is that there was a “culture” within the BPD that taught and tolerated this kind of conduct on the part of officers; probably even encouraged it. The BPD had a very long history of this kind of officer conduct. The BPD leadership didn’t stop it, the city leadership didn’t stop it and the citizens didn’t (or maybe couldn’t) stop it. Hence, the cultural-based conduct became the accepted “norm.”

But this didn’t develop in a vacuum either. The Baltimore officers didn’t just somehow dream this up all on their own. This kind of brutal and violent behavior can’t simply develop and exist in such a close-knit community such as law enforcement, other officers from other agencies knew about it. And since they didn’t do anything to stop it, it can only be logically assumed that they too participated in and advocated such brutality…or at least tolerated it.

So how does that happen and how wide-spread is it?

All you have to do is read the newspapers, the news websites, specialty/focused websites, this website or any other long list of media outlets, including books, that have documented the rampant and widespread vicious behavior that has developed in our law enforcement agencies at all levels.

Three excellent books that clear outline and expose the problems are:

A Government of Wolves by John W. Whitehead

Police State U.S.A. by Sheryl K. Chumley

Battlefield America by John W. Whitehead

AT all levels of law enforcement from the smallest town to the largest county, from state to the federal level, many  have become extremist in their brutal and anti-Constitutional treatment of citizens. Those agencies exists from border to border and coast to coast. It is pervasive, the impact is devastating and the very Constitution is in jeopardy.

So how did it happen and how is continuing?

I take you back to the HRO principle of “Reluctance to simplify” clearly sharing with you there is no single reason that it has happened but a myriad of reasons great and small. But you can chart it out via the Swiss Cheese model to understand it better by seeing the visual representation. Let me share with you my idea on “outcomes” vs. “intent” philosophy.

Intent is what someone wants to happen as a result of their effort. Outcome is what really happens when the person is done with their actions.

Example: Sixteen year old boy receives his driver’s license. He borrows his dad’s Mustang and picks up his friends. He intends to have a great night with his friends, driving around and having fun. Sounds great, yes? However, part way through the evening his friends egg him on to drive faster and faster since the car is made for speed. The young driver does so, hurling down the Interstate at speeds of well over 120mph. While going this fast, a deer jumps out, the young drive makes a futile attempt to serve to miss the deer and goes off the road and rolls over multiple times. His driver-side airbags inflate and he is severely banged up but two of his three friends are dead.

His intentions were to have a nice fun night with his friends. The outcome is a horrible wreck and he is now guilty of homicide having killed two people. But it doesn’t stop there. The parents of the two dead children file lawsuits in court and the driver’s family is decimated financially as well as emotionally. The fateful driver can no longer afford to go to college, nor his three brothers and sisters as well.

So regardless of the intent, the outcome ruins multiple lives forever from what they were on-track to become. Same is true with everything in life.

Back to the BPD and their culture of extreme violence and brutality towards citizens; and their disregard and disdain for the Constitution. It was obvious their conduct, culture, and decisions of street level officers, BPD leadership, as well as city and citizen leadership all allowed such a culture to exist. But what about Freddie himself? If he hadn’t made eye contact with the police officers and/or hadn’t run from them he might still be alive today. While that is a highly suspect assumption we will go with it for now. So how did Freddie fail?

Well, we identified his last two failed decisions, but is there more. Yes of course, logic dictates that there must be more. And there is plenty more. But the BPD officers that were involved in the homicide of Freddie didn’t act in isolation and they didn’t come up with original conduct. All the court records and investigative work done by the Baltimore Sun News shows that this conduct was wide-spread throughout the department and obviously tolerated, maybe even encouraged, at all levels. Just as that is true, the same is true of Freddie. Freddie Gray was not unique.

Let’s look at the average black inter-city male in America. The average person fitting that description according to provable statistical facts tends to be:

  • Less educated
  • Unemployed or under employed
  • Those that are employed are paid far less on the average
  • They will have criminal records
  • Come from single-parent families

What part of that recipe for disaster don’t we understand! Now don’t confuse my relating the “average” profile of a generic Freddie with a statement saying that young, black, inter-city, males can’t succeed. They can. And don’t think I am making some blanket statement excusing Freddie or any other young, black, inter-city, male of making terribly poor life choices. Ultimately we are all responsible for our own actions. But “trends” are reality, they do speak truth and they do explain what is happening. Then it is up to us to research “why” it is happening. Let me take a stab at it.

Here are the latent causal factors to “Freddie” failing to succeed (in no particular order):

  • Politics and politicians
  • Public school system
  • Economic policy
  • Social state
  • Police
  • Family

Politics and politicians – As I have maintained and I believe proven, politicians are interested in only two things, money and power. Whichever they have, they leverage it anyway they can to gain more of the other. And their only desire is to acquire all of both.

Simply look at our government today, any level of government today. The various levels of government and the politicians exist to serve themselves as much power and money as they can possible acquire. And service or benefit to their constituents is a distant by-product of their actual intent. I will include “race-pimps” in this group as well; the likes of Sharpton, Jackson and others. Their only desire is self-serving of power and money. So no politician and level of government is going to save “Freddie.” Why? It makes no sense to them to do so. All you have to do is look at the outcomes of politicians and politics:

  • Since the War of Poverty began poverty has actually grown far worse, the middle class is rapidly disappearing and the income gap is widening. The War on Poverty is an utter failure.
  • Any and ALL other government program enacted by politicians to combat poverty or in any real way help “Freddie” have all failed, failed on an epic scale. Food stamps, housing assistance, welfare and every other program has failed miserably. How? Just look at the exponentially increasing number of people depending on those programs to simply survive. All have failed.
  • Take a look at all the major cities where poverty is the worst, where “Freddie” is the most unemployed, the most uneducated, the most in poverty, the most devastated. They are all run by liberals, Democrats or Progressives. Their politics and their politicians all have failed “outcomes.”

Politics and politicians have failed “Freddie.”

Public school system – As all the statistics show the public education system in the United States is an utter failure and getting worse. It is almost that students are succeeding in spite of the education system. The teachers are run by Communist/Socialist unions. The school districts are run by politicians that are far left extremists that do not believe in a Constitutional Republic. Parents are apathetic at best when it comes to how their children are doing. You have lunch Nazis dictating what parents can feed their children. You have a legal system that forces children to attend school. You have “home school” families that are in jeopardy of losing that freedom. You have an educational system that no longer teaches the most basic of civics and losing all sense of history. And the same system passes on students to the next grade and even graduate them when they can barely read and write. You have huge amounts of money being spent on students and those amounts go up each year but student performance gets worse and worse as each year goes by. And worse of all, you have an educational system that doesn’t require and doesn’t teach discipline or respect. And this is exponentially true in the inner-cities. The public education system failed “Freddie.”

Economic policy – Once again, the statistics and facts all show that our economic policy is an utter and undeniable failure. For decades we entered into trade deals that moved millions upon millions of middle-class jobs. And both political parties gladly and willingly participated in that. At every turn we bailed out banks, investment bankers and insurance companies. Allowing criminal management and owners to walk away from their failures richer than ever while the American taxpayer pays the bill. We have a President who without regard for law, and in direct violation of the Constitution, moved 10’s of billions of dollars from legitimate bond owners to his crony union thugs. And if that wasn’t enough he also gave the union huge percentages of companies with them paying a single dime, while legal stock owners where robed of their ownership rights. In one statistical fact alone it shows where the system has failed, that is the income gap and loss of household income. The average person’s income in American is plummeting and it is at the hands of our politicians making policy that directly hurt each and every American with the exception of the richest 10%. That segment of Americans is seeing their wealth grow at a staggering pace. More people than ever in the history of our country are on food stamps. More people than ever in the history of our country are receiving government housing assistance. More people than ever in the history of our country are on Social Security disability. Over half of the country is receiving some form of government welfare. Over half the citizens in America pay no federal income tax. Our country’s economic policy failed “Freddie.”

Social state – Never in the history of our country has society been in this pathetic of shape as we find ourselves in. Every possible statistic shows that the quality of life in America is plummeting. Our society idolizes gangster rappers, professional athletes, and movie stars. All the while there is a growing persecution of Christians. Society loves to watch an NFL football game or Dancing With The Stars, but they can’t identify their own Congressmen, the Vice-President or understand even the most basic tenants of the Constitution. We legal legalize drugs while outlawing Christmas celebrations. We praise those that kill millions of unborn babies each year, while forcing Christians to violate their faith. The list goes on and on with the problems that face society, and those problems are simply getting worse and worse by the day. Single mothers now give birth to more than half of all children born in the US. All the while every single statistic in existence shows that single-parent homes have the worst problems for their children. And that includes substance abuse, violence, gang membership, criminal behavior and prison incarceration. Society utterly failed “Freddie.”

Police – Law enforcement agencies and individuals have become militarized. They inflict military tactics on civilians. Cops kill at will and most of the time with impunity. Police unions are strong and demand rights for cops that the average citizen can’t even dream of. Police now use military armored vehicles against unarmed civilians. Whendid these guys become these guys?Police agencies have acquired military hardware such as machine guns and grenade launchers to use against civilians. Police no longer honor the Constitution and perform no-knock raids at will. They kill unarmed citizens, kill people’s pets for no reason, and even mutilate infants in their cribs during such illegal raids with absolute impunity. People are subjected to the most unthinkable and unconstitutional acts at the hands of police and yet the only thing that changes is that it gets worse and worse each and every day. We see corruption at every level of law enforcement with the worst of it at the federal level. We see ourselves solidly in a fascist police state with no hope of turning it around. The police have utterly failed “Freddie” even to the point of murdering him. And he is not alone, hundreds of unarmed people a year are murdered by cops who are rarely held accountable.

Family – Families are becoming extinct and being replaced with “relationships.” Every single statistic shows that children raised in a hoe with a female mother and a male father fair far better at life in every single category than those who are not raised as such. Yet, society, politicians and government are doing everything they possibly can to continue to destroy the family. The breakdown and disintegration of the family failed “Freddie.”

I hope I have made the case clear enough that people like Freddie Gray (and millions upon millions) more just like him never had much of a chance to begin with. Virtually every aspect of society today is designed to make people fail. And the weakest, most needful, among us…it fails the most.

Could Freddie have made better choices? Of course he could. Could he have pulled himself out of the conditions he was living his life in? Of course he could.

So many “Freddies” never had or have a legitimate chance in life because everyone and everything has failed them, including themselves.

How does this apply back to “prepping” or Situational Awareness in any way?

Simple really, you have to be able to truly analyze a problem, really dig into the root causes and go beyond the “last bad decision” to understand what is happening. Until you do, you will not have good SA and you may well be working from false information that you yourself developed and put into your head. And then you too will fail…along with your family.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

And maybe with this warning you can now have even more motivation to prepare, prepare for when the grid goes down. And the grid will go down. The question is…

“Will you be prepared for it?”


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No reproduction or other use of this content 
without expressed written permission from
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Situational Awareness: Part 5 – Critical Thinking

Part of good Situational Awareness (SA) requires the ability to recognize valid (i.e. true) information. We already know that your SA requires you to establish a baseline and then watch for deviations from that baseline. When you start to see deviations from the baseline then you have to pay particular attention to those events/activities as compared to the baseline.  Once those deviations have been assessed then you have to decide what action is required, if any, to mitigate the potential increased risk or threat.

Without a baseline and the ability to appropriately assess deviations you can be considered “clueless.” Yes, that is a technical term in the SA world! In the world of emergency preparedness, clueless can be fatal. But just as important as part of SA is the ability to take action based on the baseline and deviations thereof. Without being able to take the appropriate action in a timely manner you are not only clueless, but probably dead or badly injured. All parts of SA must work together in synchronization.

The very beginning of the SA process requires a baseline as mentioned. Our baseline in anything will come from a combination of factors; training, experience, culture, and bias just to name a few. All of these, and more, work together in your brain to form a baseline regardless of the situation or environment.

Next comes the ability to correctly recognize and assess sensory input. Sensory input can come in a variety of forms; smell, sight, or words to name a few. For this discussion I want to focus on words. More aptly stated I want to work on discerning messages and evaluating their truthfulness.

A good example would be a statement by a government official…is it true or false…or worse, a deliberate lie. It is vitally important to know the difference between false information and a lie. Both are not “truth” in any possible sense of the word. However, false information and a lie are not equal in weight when it comes to SA. Specifically, it is absolutely significant in terms of action to be taken. The degree of the underlying lack of truth will determine the degree, or severity, that your action will be.

By that I mean that in an emergency, disaster, or grid-down event false information can simply be a mistake in knowing or understanding the facts. A lie however, is a deliberate and intentional statement to misdirect and control you.

Another way to look at it, false information can be seen as ignorance (not knowing the facts). There are also some that would call false information as an attempt to withhold pertinent information while not specifically lying, and yet not being ignorant.

While confusing, it might be easier to look at it in this fashion; lying is done with malice. However, false information is usually as a result of ignorance or simply wanting to gain an advantage without the intention of malice. And malice, for this discussion is meant in terms of doing harm against the message recipient (i.e. stealing, injury, death. Control, etc.).

If I don’t have you completely confused by now, let me try harder. Example: Mohamed Saeed al-Sahhaf was the Iraqi Information Minister under Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. He was comically referred to as “Baghdad Bob” during the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Bob would hold press conferences that spoke eloquently of how Iraqi forces where decimating US and Allied troops. This would go on day after day, sometimes multiple times per day. Why did he garner his nickname? Because everything that Mohamed was utterly untrue, simply nowhere near reality.

For anyone in the US it was easy to know that what he was saying was silly and absurd. Was this false information or a lie?

Here is where the real discussion takes place. The information was without question absolutely false. There is no wiggle room in that point. Once we know it was false information now we have to know his intention. For that you ask, “Why was he doing it?”

I doubt seriously that he was trying to trick the US. But, if not us, then who? I propose it was meant to trick and mislead the Iraqi military forces. If they felt they were wining they would fight and do so with confidence. If they knew they were losing, and were getting no information to the contrary, then morale would sag and troops would give up. If the troops gave up then Iraq loses the war, and that leads to Saddam Hussein losing power.  But…we are not done yet.

Let’s for the sake of this discussion assume that the troops believed what he was saying and fought on. Would more troops die than if they had given up right then and there? The answer is obviously yes, more troops would die on both sides. Therefore, what Baghdad Bob was doing was lying. His intention, implicit or explicit, was more death and carnage. He lied, and people died.

That is a real-life example of the difference between false information and lying…it is called intention.

Well, if that is the difference, how do you tell the difference between lying and false information?

Bingo! That is the point.. However, to truly drive the point home, to bring it to full light I feel I have to raise emotions. If not, the full understanding will be missed. So please bear with me. I am going to take a hot button subject and use it to show the difference between false information and lying. I am going to use examples, two of which are going to be in regards to Islam.

Now, for those whose blood pressure just went up, relax. This is not going to be an argument whether Islam is this or that, I will just use arguments on both sides to show false information vs. lies. And to use reason, logic, and facts in the process.

Islamic Terrorist hit again!

The United States suffered another terrorist attack, this time in San Bernardino in 2015. The terrorists who attacked a Christmas party were Muslim. That is an established fact, it is 100% truth. So the term “Muslim terrorist” is also 100% true. That is Philosophy 101 level logic based statement.

However, you have some that say Islam is a religion of violence, hate, terrorism.  They will then say that Islam itself is “terrorist” because all terrorism appears to be coming from Muslims.

The FBI defines “International terrorism” as activities with the following three characteristics:

  1. Involves violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
  2. Appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
  3. Occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S., or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to intimidate or coerce, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum.

We will use that definition and refer to it as simply “terrorism” for this discussion. And I am sure we can agree that the San Bernardino attack was terrorism.

Back to our Muslim terrorist statement, let’s test that for truth.

  1. Are all terrorists Islamic? Currently, the answer for some would be a resounding yes in as much as by statistics the largest number of terrorist attacks in the world right now are being committed by Muslims, and San Bernardino was for sure.
  2. Therefore, since all (or at least the vast majority) terrorism is being committed by members of Islam, and all members of Islam are Muslims, then all Muslims are terrorists.

Is that a true, or accurate, resulting statement? Let’s not worry about the answer just yet. Let’s test the statement itself, “Therefore, since all (or at least the vast majority) terrorism is being committed by members of Islam, and all members of Islam are Muslims, then all Muslims are terrorists.”

We can test that easily enough, do all Muslims commit terrorist acts? The answer is obviously no. Therefore, Islam by default is not a terrorist organization. I will even take it a step further and say that some Muslims are good people, but that is simply opinion since that is a subjective statement relative to my baseline. However, that also can’t produce a statement of truth, “Since some Muslims are good, then Islam is good.”

Where am I going with all of this? We need to have the tools to assess not just the truth of statements but what it means in relationship to ourselves. In other words, how does it impact us.

Let’s take the two opposing sides in one aspect of the Islam is bad argument:

  • Islam is bad, evil, and satanic creating terror around the world. Muslims are evil people and we must punish them.
  • Islam is a religion of peace and love. The terrorists are, and violence is being committed by, Muslims that are not practicing their faith. They are just evil people not Muslims.

So which is true?

I could by-pass a lot of discussion and ask a simple question, “What does each side gain by their position?”

  • The “Islam is bad” crowd probably wants war and a scapegoat for all the problems in the world.
  • The “Islam is peace” Muslim crowd wants the focus off themselves and their entire religion to not be held accountable.
  • The extremely vocal “Islam is peace” non-Muslim crowd is usually just full of vanity and self-aggrandizing.

All three sides have a lot to gain, all have significant self-interest. However, that self-interest must be considered in determining “truth.” And that doesn’t even begin to cover things such as bias.

So let’s test some more details of each side’s arguments.

  1. One side says Mohammad was a pedophile.
  2. The other side says that is not true and become enraged at the accusation.

Now, here is where it can get ugly…

A person trying to make Islam to be evil would say something like, “If the founder of Islam was evil because he was a pedophile, then the religion of Islam is evil. And if Islam is evil then Muslims must be evil.”

However, once again, that is an untrue statement using logic and fact. For it to be true, all Muslims must also be pedophiles. And we know that isn’t true, by anecdotal evidence and also Muslim religious and judicial guidelines in-place today saying that they cannot marry until a girl is at least in puberty.

Therefore that proves that not all Muslims are evil. Do some Muslims qualify as pedophiles? Are some Muslims criminals because they commit sexual abuse of pre-pubescent children? I cannot provide evidence or statistics to prove that point. Regardless of Mohammad’s standing as a pedophile or not, that alone does not make Islam or all Muslims pedophiles.

So when you hear statements, such as #1 & #2 above, you can’t simply make a snap decision and be assured of your accuracy. You must actually research the issue and know what you are talking about. Or you risk using false information or lies in your SA process. Doing so in emergencies, disasters, or grid-down events can then easily lead to making poor, maybe fatal, decisions based on faulty assumptions which was based on false information or lies.

But we still have the “action” aspect of the SA process I’ve been talking about. If you then take action, what are you taking action on…or for what reasons?

Based on the example statements, what action would or should you take?

My suggestions would be…virtually no action needs to be taken. And that is based on the amount of risk or threat to you if either statement is true or false.

What do I mean by that?

Statement #1 (One side says Mohammad was a pedophile.), even if it is true, so what? Does it require any action on your part? No. Plain and simple, no.

Statement #2 (The other side says that is not true and become enraged at the accusation.), if it was proven to be a lie, what threat or risk is there to you or your family? None. Plain and simple, none.

But, what it does mean to me (or you) is…if a person tries to advocate for Statement #2. I need to be cautious. Why? If a person is perpetuating that lie, they are then a liar and not to be trusted.

There is an exception to that conclusion. If statement #1 was true in your mind but a person can provide sufficient evidence that a reasonable person would believe that Mohammad wasn’t a pedophile, then you need to change your opinion. But, the evidence provided must pass a simple test – it must negate all the evidence you used proving to yourself that Mohammad was a pedophile.

An example of that would be definitive proof that A’isha lied when she said she was 6 when married to Mahmoud, then 9 when forced to have sex with him. That might be difficult, remember her own story in her own words was recorded by eleven authorities. Or, the writings/narrations, written in their holy book must be proven to have been fraudulently recorded. OK, you get the idea on that burden of proof.

But here is a problem, A’isha herself told the story of her and Mohammad, and that story was recorded as truth many times in their holy books. If someone in present day claims that it isn’t true, you would have to naturally ask, “How can a person 1400 years after the fact claim to know more than actual written history recorded multiple times by multiple people who lived it?”

And then you have to bring into the equation that no recognized or credible Islamic scholar or historian raised any red flag over the story of A’isha prior to some modern-day claim of fraud. Why would that be? If it was a lie and a fraudulent story, wouldn’t someone have objected to it being in their holy books in the first 100, 500, or 1000 years after it was written? Why would someone just bring it up in modern times and expect to have any credibility?

Now, there is a more actionable point. If a person tries to claim a different truth, a different factual history, now…ask yourself “Why now and why him?” That is far more important question to answer before you delve into the truthfulness of his claims. You must know “intent” first.

Until you can be convinced otherwise you would be well suited to view that person who is making the claim to be either providing false information due to ignorance, or lying for more malevolent purposes. And you maintain that position until he can prove to you otherwise.

Personal note: I don’t care who Mohammad was or is. Yes,I feel sorry for that little girl, but it happened a long time ago. I don’t judge Islam or Muslims based on Mohammad’s pedophile status or what he did to that little girl. I don’t judge, or at least I shouldn’t judge, one Muslim based on what another Muslim does. What I do care about it the content of a person’s character. If a Muslim, like any other person, lives a decent life and doesn’t hurt others, then they are okay in my book. In today’s world it is easy to be calloused about Muslims and view them as a single group. I urge you not to. Sure, logic and prudence does whisper some caution, but it doesn’t justify bias, prejudice, or bigotry.

Good SA requires the ability to think through all informational input. And you must be able to analyze it with facts and logic. Then, act only if the outcome, or potential outcome, requires it.

And beware of arguments filled with emotions. A solid position based on fact and logic needs no emotion. Emotion is meant to win an argument with little or no fact, without logic, and mostly upon the art of persuasion touching a person’s feelings.

Should that fail, some weak minded people may use “deflection” as a tactic. This is most often used when a person knows their position is without merit, wholly or partially, and uses something else to draw away attention. Example: Christians killed more people than Muslims.

In that argument they are trying to use a moral equivalent to justify their position. But use reason in relationship to your baseline…Christians killing people in the name of their religion or their god is just as evil as Muslims killing people in the name of their religion or their god. They are trying to justify or overshadow one evil act with another. When in fact, both acts are evil. But the person that makes that argument is unable to see the difference, approves of both, or simply can’t make the mental effort to understand the fallacy of the argument they are making.

You will also see some individuals that will use emotion, and when that attempt fails the person will then sometimes fall back to attacking the opposing person personally without the use of facts, reasoning, and logic. It becomes a personal attack vs. a discussion or debate.  Those tactics can be read about in a book called Rules for Radical by Sal Alinsky. The book ironically enough is dedicated to Satan.

Concluding…SA is essential to emergency preparedness. You must be able to recognize truth, false statements, and lies. If you don’t develop that skill set you will not be able to accurately assess information that you are receiving. And that will lead to poor decision making. And poor decision making could easily lead to injury or death through bad actions or lack of action. Us critical thinking skills…think it through…test all statements for logic and reason…and most of all, intent.


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No reproduction or other use of this content 
without expressed written permission from
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