social media

Signs Of The Time, Part 117

Any Survival And Prosperity readers use Facebook?

I originally signed up for the social media/networking service some years back with the intention of creating a “page” for my research/blogging.

I would create the additional page and populate it with material… and then it would magically be “reset” the next time I tried to access it (yes, I did select “save” when available).

Weird, huh?

So I gave up on that. And these days, I just use Facebook to stay abreast of what’s new with family, friends, and others.

But in recent times- coinciding with the 2016 campaign season heating up to be exact- I’ve been required to scroll down my “Home” page much more than usual to read posts about exotic travels, kids’ accomplishments, new pets, and other good stuff.

Why? Because the rest of that page is often heavily-populated by political posts “shared” or “liked” from my Facebook friends. Most aren’t very complimentary about President Trump and the Republicans, I might add (and not too surprising considering where I live).

But I’m not complaining, as my Facebook friends are entitled to post about their personal politics on their chosen social media platform.

As for me, I’m not too comfortable discussing politics with other people, save my girlfriend, who is a distant relative to an obscure former Senator from Wisconsin by the name of Joseph McCarthy and rather well-versed in government goings-on (being a former civil servant herself).

As individual politics vary so much and “anomalies” exist even among the political partisans (I’ve encountered a staunch defender of gun rights… who also happens to be a hardcore Democrat), I figure I’m bound to tick someone off with “deep conversation” about such matters. Which works well with running Survival And Prosperity, as it’s a project focused on financial/personal safety and not a “political blog.”

That being said, my decade-long track record (counting Boom2Bust.com) shows I don’t hesitate to assign blame- be it the Republicans or the Democrats- where blame is undoubtedly due and identification of the political party is central to the discussion at hand.

I’ll leave readers with this. Regarding all the animosity being directed against the Trump administration and the Republicans, while a good deal of it stems from ideological differences, personal dislike of the man, the fact that POTUS is a male, etcetera, keep in mind something that FOX 32 News (Chicago) political editor Mike Flannery pointed out while getting gassed at the Washington, D.C., riot on Inauguration Day:

Democrats currently hold fewer elected offices nationwide than at any time since the 1920s.

And what’s that old saying?

“Desperate times call for desperate measures”

“Desperate measures” will undoubtedly be taken to compensate for/attempt to regain that lost political power. That’s just how the politics “game” is played.

And the “resistance” will continue for the foreseeable future.

Even on Facebook, by the looks of things.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

2/13/17 UPDATE: Regrettably, one of my Facebook friends has now been “unfollowed” for clogging my “Home” page with political posts. Like I said above, they’re entitled to post about their personal politics on their chosen social media platform. But consider the ramifications of such activity on the recipient(s) of this material. In this case, the number of political posts being authored, “liked,” and “shared” made navigating Facebook a real chore. I held out as long as I could- didn’t want to miss important achievements/events in this person’s life shared via Facebook- but it was just too much in the end.

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Thursday, February 9th, 2017 Government, Political Parties, Signs Of The Time Comments Off on Signs Of The Time, Part 117

Rich Americans Keep On Prepping

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know that I’ve been observing and blogging about “prepping” for several years now. Case in point, this 2011 post recapping a new TV show called Doomsday Preppers (ever heard of it?).

Early on I noticed wealthy Americans were getting into preparedness. They recognized and took steps to deal with potential TEOTWAWKI scenarios- just like their lower-net worth compatriots.

And such activity continues to this day, spurred on not just by concerns over major emergencies and man-made/natural disasters, but fears of a financial crash, civil unrest/war, and impoversihed and angry masses turning against the rich.

Earlier this evening I finally got the chance to read an article from the January 30, 2017 issue of The New Yorker entitled “Doomsday Prep For The Super-Rich.” Evan Osnos penned:

Survivalism, the practice of preparing for a crackup of civilization, tends to evoke a certain picture: the woodsman in the tinfoil hat, the hysteric with the hoard of beans, the religious doomsayer. But in recent years survivalism has expanded to more affluent quarters, taking root in Silicon Valley and New York City, among technology executives, hedge-fund managers, and others in their economic cohort…

The lengthy-yet-interesting piece took a closer look at the prepping mindset and priorities of the wealthy these days. One notable passage was:

I asked [prominent investor and co-founder of LinkedIn Reid] Hoffman to estimate what share of fellow Silicon Valley billionaires have acquired some level of “apocalypse insurance,” in the form of a hideaway in the U.S. or abroad. “I would guess fifty-plus per cent,” he said…

There was also this from Osnos:

In building Reddit, a community of thousands of discussion threads, into one of the most frequently visited sites in the world, [co-founder and CEO Steve] Huffman has grown aware of the way that technology alters our relations with one another, for better and for worse. He has witnessed how social media can magnify public fear. “It’s easier for people to panic when they’re together,” he said, pointing out that “the Internet has made it easier for people to be together,” yet it also alerts people to emerging risks. Long before the financial crisis became front-page news, early signs appeared in user comments on Reddit. “People were starting to whisper about mortgages. They were worried about student debt. They were worried about debt in general. There was a lot of, ‘This is too good to be true. This doesn’t smell right.’” He added, “There’s probably some false positives in there as well, but, in general, I think we’re a pretty good gauge of public sentiment. When we’re talking about a faith-based collapse, you’re going to start to see the chips in the foundation on social media first.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I’ve noticed a growing amount of anger directed against President Trump and the Republicans on my Facebook “home page” these days.

“Early signs” of significant civil unrest coming?

If you’ve got some time to spare, head on over to The New Yorker website and check out the Osnos piece here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Thursday, January 26th, 2017 Civil Strife, Class Warfare, Emergencies, Government, Man-Made Disasters, Natural Disasters, Political Parties, Preparedness, Technology, TEOTWAWKI, War, Wealth Comments Off on Rich Americans Keep On Prepping

Illinois Emergency Management Agency: Develop Post-Disaster Communications Plan With ‘Text First, Talk Second’ Approach

Severe Weather Preparedness Month is almost over here in Illinois. But the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is still passing along valuable information to state residents on what to do when a disaster occurs. From a press release on the Illinois Government News Network website yesterday:

‘Text First, Talk Second’ Often Best Way to Contact Loved Ones When Disaster Strikes

IEMA Encourages People to Have Plan for Communicating with Family Members, Friends during Emergencies

SPRINGFIELD – When disaster strikes, your first instinct probably is to call loved ones to make sure they’re OK or let them know you’re safe. It’s likely everyone else affected by the emergency is thinking the same thing. In these instances, telephone lines can quickly become overloaded, preventing not only your call from going through but also blocking critical 911 calls.

During Severe Weather Preparedness Month in March, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is encouraging people to develop a Family Communications Plan that includes the “Text First, Talk Second” concept.

“Communicating with family and friends immediately after a disaster is important,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “We’re encouraging people to plan now so they’ll know how to reach their contacts in the chaotic aftermath of a disaster.”

Joseph said short, simple text messages, such as “R U OK?” and “I’m OK,” are more likely to get through to your loved ones than a phone call when phone service is disrupted. As phone congestion eases, you can follow up with a phone call to relay more information.

Data-based services like texts and emails are less likely to experience network congestion during an emergency. You can also use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to post your status to let family and friends know you’re OK.

While Text-to-911 is on the horizon for emergency communications, it currently is available only in limited areas of the U.S. If you need to contact 911, do so by landline or cell phone unless your community has notified you that this service is activated in your area.

Additional emergency communications tips include:

• Keep all phone calls brief by conveying only vital information to emergency personnel and/or family.
• If you are unsuccessful in completing a call using your cell phone, wait ten seconds before redialing to help reduce network congestion.
• If you lose power, you can charge your cell phone in your car. Be sure your car is in a well-ventilated place, not in a garage.
• Another resource for letting friends and family know your status after a disaster is the American Red Cross’s Safe and Well Registry at https://safeandwell.communityos.org/cms/index.php.
• Your communications plan should identify an out-of-area contact and household members should carry that information with them at all times. If a disaster occurs when you are separated, it often is easier to call outside your immediate area. Family members can call the contact to provide location and coordinate reunification plans.

For more information about developing a family communications plan, visit the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

Great advice regarding that “Text First, Talk Second” strategy.

Even I can text on my vintage “dumb phone” with its Shaun of the Dead ringtone.

To find out more about IEMA, you can visit their website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 Communications, Emergencies, Government, Man-Made Disasters, Natural Disasters, Preparedness, Public Safety, Weather Comments Off on Illinois Emergency Management Agency: Develop Post-Disaster Communications Plan With ‘Text First, Talk Second’ Approach

Illinois Prepares For Summer Mob Attacks

Just in time for the flash mob/mob attack/wilding season in Chicago. Monique Garcia reported on the Chicago Tribune website this morning:

People who use social media and other means of electronic communication to organize mob attacks could face tougher penalties under legislation House lawmakers sent to Gov. Pat Quinn on Friday…

Under the measure, which was approved 102-6, a judge would have the discretion to impose a more severe sentence on anyone who used social media, text messaging or email to orchestrate a mob attack.

According to the website of Chicago AM radio station 89 WLS yesterday:

During debate, Chicago democrat Monique Davis said this goes too far.

“Sometimes something occurs that creates what people see as mob action when it’s really just a bunch of young people with nothing to do! They can’t afford to go to the park because it costs money for a five or six week program. They can’t go free like I used to do!”

Try selling that that to the residents and tourists who’ve been assaulted, attacked, and injured, and downtown retailers who’ve had their wares shoplifted en masse, by these “young people with nothing to do.”

I suspect that when these residents, tourists, and businesses call in a flash mob/mob attack/wilding to the Chicago Police Department, it’s the real deal. If not, then I challenge Representative Davis and/or her staff to share those “sometimes something occurs” instances with Survival And Prosperity readers, at which time I’ll happily amend this post.

In the meantime, as summer rapidly approaches, residents and tourists would be wise to exercise situational awareness and be prepared to avoid or defend themselves as necessary when in downtown Chicago in the event such criminal activity occurs.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Garcia, Monique. “Flash mob attack bill before Illinois governor.” Chicago Tribune. 11 May 2013. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-flash-mob-crackdown-20130511,0,5034826.story). 11 May 2013.

“Illinois House approves crack down on violent flash mobs.” 89 WLS. 10 May 2013. (http://www.wlsam.com/common/page.php?pt=Illinois+House+approves+crack+down+on+violent+flash+mobs&id=37413&is_corp=0). 11 May 2013.

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Saturday, May 11th, 2013 Business, Communications, Crime, Government, Legal, Public Safety, Self-Defense, Tourism Comments Off on Illinois Prepares For Summer Mob Attacks
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