The previous Woodpile Report looked at the “Official Crowd” because it’s proactive and well positioned to dominate at the outset of the final collapse. Remus said Federal and state officialdom will work against you, especially the DHS, a stumblebum Frankenstein stitched from 40 existing agencies that’s been shambling from pratfall to pratfall since 2003. DHS is a creepy outfit that sees intimidating the populace and violating the innocent as a duty. It has nearly unlimited resources and a history which argues against the least trace of optimism. Notice DHS is buying a billion-plus additional cartridges on a hurry up basis and it’s not for the Olympics or to repel boarders, it’s in anticipation of spooling up the open police state of their dreams. When the collapse occurs, the initial wave of violence and looting may last for a few weeks but the DHS occupation force is intended to be permanent.
Let’s look reality in the eye. When considering looters the survivalists’s attention rightfully turns first to the usual suspects, the improvident by preference and violent by nature, the subsidized and utterly dependent, unstable, impulsive and all but bereft of ambition or realistic goals, perpetually hostile, constant posers and exhibitionists, often clever but always fundamentally incompetent if not astonishingly stupid. In all this they’re a close match to DC, which is why they adore each other. Their childlike grasping is often amusing, if embarrassing, their over-the-top, half understood rhetoric even more so. They’ve lived on ‘redistribution’ and ‘assistance’ and ‘social justice’ their whole lives, which in practice means they’re bribed to simulate a civility which doesn’t come naturally. “I beat down, therefore I am” is what comes naturally.
Some people have come to understand this through a protracted process of real life experience. Call them postjudiced. Others merely trust their eyes and see what they’re looking at as it really is. Perhaps one of them has cared enough about you to risk censure and told you these things directly.
When it all crashes down they’ll scatter like rodents fleeing a dockside fire, enraged and demanding as only the formerly entitled can be. Life long leeches deprived of a patsy to supply their wants and nurse their delusions will be desperation itself, worse, to their mind an unsatiated want is an injustice, and injustice warrants revenge. You’ll do. As looters go, this is the crowd to stay furthest from. Their onboard options are not extensive. They’re opportunists, not planners. They self-sort-of-organize, act and disperse, then often as not attack each other. Look for scorched earth flash mobs, warfare-like violence and unexampled destruction, mainly arson. They’ll target retailers familiar to them; mid-level jewelry and clothing stores, liquor stores and pharmacies, any ATM, gun stores, coin shops, convenience stores, and electronic gadget outlets. They’ll invade places others won’t; hospital apothecaries and police stations and nursing homes, and attack buses and subways, even firefighters and rescue crews responding to emergencies.
There may be some incursions into outlying suburban malls and big box outfits, if not seriously contested and if they’re undemandingly convenient. For what it’s worth, book stores are a field-tested refuge of last resort. Home invasions will mainly be to gratify instincts never far from the surface, same as now, horrors currently described as ‘robberies gone wrong’, the intimation being the victims got what they deserved for failing to perform their end of an otherwise normal transaction. Stay away from this crowd, or keep them away if it comes to that. And be aware federal and state officialdom has a decades-old symbiotic relationship with them. Many are thisclose to being the same people. Don’t be the last optimist.
Somewhat less threatening will be looting by the more businesslike, including suddenly unemployed commercial and industrial security workers, idled wholesale and transportation employees, rogue federal and state agents, newly surplus law enforcement officers, common criminals, the upper levels of cartel-connected gangs, and armed partisan outfits in the making. They’ll be efficient and well prepared, targeting transportation distribution centers, supermarket and restaurant wholesalers, pharmaceutical distributors, industrial-commercial warehouses and supply outlets, military depots, big rigs at truck stops, freight trains in rail yards and perhaps ships at their piers. This crowd is looking to optimize their return on time and effort, not to redress imaginary grievances or cause unproductive collateral damage. Unless you become bothersome or useful or plain unlucky they’re unlikely to take an interest in you, except for the gangs. Violence is their default negotiating tactic, even over trifles or nothing at all. Stay away from this crowd too.
The top end looters will be career big-ticket thieves, politician-level law enforcement, rogue military with grudges, and criminal syndicates other than governmental. They’ll be superbly equipped and professional, hired or working on speculation. They’ll sometimes employ specialists by the job. Much of what they do will be with inside help, bribed or coerced. You’ll find them looting museums and galleries, precious metal repositories and jewelry vaults and armored car depots, along with the occasional high value, quick turnaround kidnapping. Officialdom won’t seriously interfere with this class of looters, although their public condemnations will be memorable. There’s a form of camaraderie at work here. Call it the Corzine Effect. Avoiding this crowd takes little effort, but your presence at the work site will be as unwelcome as it is unlikely.
There’s one more kind of looter, the “pseudo survivalist”. His plan isn’t materially different from the career dependent’s. He’s surveyed sources of survival supplies and equipment, noted their accesses and security provisions, familiarized himself with the floor plans and availed himself of the necessary tools. He’s calculated the weight and bulk of his prospective haul, done familiarization runs, usually at night, scouted alternate routes and mentally rehearsed different scenarios, probably with background music. He’s counting on events to impart the necessary courage.
Other than procrastination or being clinically “expiration date adverse” there’s not much to be said by way of explanation. His rationale amounts to “everybody’s doing it,” the same excuse garden variety looters use when the perpetually shocked reporter from Action Breaking News puts a microphone to their face and inquires of the thirty pairs of designer shoes in their possession. There’s not much need to avoid the pseudo survivalist. Superior planning and careful selection aren’t exculpatory and he knows it. If confronted he’d likely wet himself. Extreme circumstances could temper our disapproval but he’s already proven he hasn’t what it takes to be a survivor.
Staying away from looters is simple, if not easy. Either be somewhere else or get somewhere else, anywhere they aren’t, or be somewhere defendable. A prepared defense is a huge advantage but even an “it’ll have to do” place is better than being caught out on the street. People have noticed marauding mobs of looters will hesitate, perhaps even break and run if they take incoming from a source they can’t quite locate, especially if they see some of their number drop like empty laundry bags. The best plan is to be where they aren’t, and if properly done, where they never want to be.