You may still have some extra duct tape laying around, or perhaps some Cipro? It may be funny to look back at scams past where news reports played into the hands of fear-profiteers by broadcasting ginned-up reports of impending calamity.
If you miss those days, a recent TownHall.com email issues a "critical, time-sensitive warning" that the US Government is underway preparing for "coming social chaos".
This ad was sent to TownHall subscribers describing itself as a "briefing" which purports to make a case America's economy is worse than we know and that government officials are not only secretly bracing for pandemonium in the streets, they have designs to detain citizens by the thousands because "so much financial mayhem lies ahead U.S. troops may have to impose martial law to deal with social unrest."
Written by the publisher of a monthly "advisory" called Independent Living, the author badly blurs the line between fact and salesmanship, hawking his timely "Social Chaos Survival Guide". Imagine an infomercial for a product that literally tells you your life depends on buying it. This is what Lee Bellinger is telling "think-outside-the-box, keep-out-of-the-herd, individualist" TownHall readers.
But wait! There's more - included are three bonus pamphlets for the do-it-yourself survivalist, explaining how to hoard food, water, and fuel, make antiobiotic alternatives and barter for emergency goods when the government turns the troops on Americans during the imminent economic collapse.
His proof another depression is coming? Chain stores like Sharper Image, Levitz, CompUSA, Circuit City, Linens and Things, and Shoe Pavilion are folding. He cites riots in Iceland and Greece are harbingers of what's to come here (the Greek riots were actually in protest of rampant government corruption).
...there is mounting evidence tens of millions of low-income government dependents and many others infected with a sense of entitlement are prone to crime and violence...in response to financially-troubled New York State making minor trims to its budget, an ugly 50,000+ mob took to the streets around city hall to demand higher taxes against the "rich."Actually, that was a protest against budget cuts of existing school, hospital and healthcare funding by teachers, nurses and other unions. The city's "minor" proposal would have cut jobs for every schoolteacher with less than 3 years on the job, some 16,000. There were no unlawful or "ugly" incidents reported and critical funding was restored, using federal funds to close state and city gaps.
Citing a National Center for the Victims of Crime reports of a 24% increase in calls from October 2007 to October 2008, the author even uses trends begun during the Bush era to scare TownHall subscribers. With police and jail budgets being cut, the author paints a picture of desperados at your doorstep, with the government issuing emergency "scrip" currency to devalue your cash, then coming to take away your guns, describing:
"...looters and thugs terrorizing the elderly with impunity, besieged hospitals without power, doctors and medicine. People forcibly herded into "containment zones" and denied access to food, water, and medical attention...the energy supply chain is stretched dangerously thin...panic runs on food are a distinct possibility as the potential for social chaos continues to mount...getting everyday items such as gasoline, batteries, plywood, medicine, water, and food becomes next to impossible. Social services, police protection, public transportation, and highway systems become next to useless...the police abandon law-abiding neighborhoods to mobs..."
How does he know this? Because whites and Asians were "hunted down, robbed, and slaughtered" during the "the murderous racist rage" of the 1992 Rodney King riots in LA. Except he leaves out that the precipitating incident was white-on-black police brutality and that minorities were far more likely to be victimized, having a great number of their homes burned by rioters. He praises the Korean merchants who took up arms and "by placing shooters on the roofs of buildings within their defense perimeter", calling you to do the same because the "coming social chaos will magnify these problems a thousand-fold."
Bellinger reveals that government insiders are installing emergency back-up generators, safes and alarms all over DC, after Vice President Dick Cheney predicted hundreds of thousands of deaths in a nuclear or biological attack. Bellinger predicts more like one million, citing a home-grown viral attack. That's when people will "start to overwhelm banks, pharmacies, gas stations, and supermarkets".
Sourcing "one idea on the boards", Bellinger chronicles "temporary detention centers" for citizens, warning readers how to forage for edible food, how to avoid being herded into a government "quarantine center" after a bio-terror attack and how not to land on a list of "trouble-makers" to be rounded up when civil liberties are suspended. Maybe he got this idea from Bush's "watch list" which included reporters and peace activists.
Then, after telling us these materials are worth well over $300, we are told we can take advantage of a special offer and get the Social Chaos Survival Guide FREE by subscribing to his journal for a paltry $49, noting "events are moving fast and if I may say so, in near-biblical proportion. This is not the time to be alone, or unprepared, or unaware...there isn't a moment to lose."