America: Land of the Mindless



America: Land of the mindless    by Mustang

I recently read an article by David Abel in the Boston Globe that spoke in sympathetic terms about Mr. Victor Ruiz, a 64-year old retired bartender in Puerto Rico, who was forced to wait 35 hours for gasoline.  Ruiz, father of six, is well known for his skill in making Pina Coladas and playing dominos.  Abel writes that Ruiz was a patient man and one who would rather do things for himself and not rely on the help of others.  His four-bedroom home was destroyed by Hurricane Maria, forcing Mr. and Mrs. Ruiz to stay with a daughter.  There is no power or running water, which placed the Ruiz family in the same predicament as everyone else on the island of Corozal.

At some point, Victor noted that their cars (e.g., more than one) began to run low on fuel, which was crucial because without power, Victor needed the use of his car battery to power the machine he uses to treat his emphysema.  So, one morning about a week after the hurricane, Victor took his gasoline canister and walked to a gasoline station a half-mile from his daughter’s house.  There, he waited with others also attempting to get gasoline.  Well, with no power, there won’t be any pumping of gasoline and so Victor and other neighbors waited in the hot sun, in a growing line.  They waited until nightfall, passing the time by playing cards, and eating rice and beans.  Mrs. Ruiz came to relieve him for about a half-hour while Victor took a power nap.

Not long after that, a worker at a nearby propane plant opened a valve that had been damaged by the hurricane, sparking a fire that sent a dark cloud of smoke over the town.  Police ordered Ruiz and others waiting for gas to evacuate the area.

Ruiz lumbered to his wife’s SUV and drove back to his daughter’s house, but upon arrival Victor lost consciousness.  His wife found him dead sitting half inside the vehicle, still wearing his inhaler.

So, okay, what we have here is a tragedy, but not an unforeseen one.  Who doesn’t know that hurricanes are a destructive force of nature?  Who living in Puerto Rico, or anywhere else where hurricanes are known to visit, doesn’t understand that the aftermath of a terrible storm brings weeks of challenges and discomforts?  Who living in such places doesn’t know that preparation for a hurricane is the key to survival?  If you are living along the beach, you must evacuate.  If you are living up to several tens of miles inland, you need to prepare your property for strong winds, heavy rain, and flying debris.  Some of us even have to be watchful for tornadoes.  If we rely on gasoline for power, then we stock up on gasoline; we store it in a safe place.  Or, if we are on breathing apparatus, then we need to evacuate to a community shelter where medical personnel are always nearby.

In the aftermath of a hurricane, or any other natural disaster, there is no magic wand to wave to make everything better again.  Life isn’t like that … so, as I mentioned earlier, preparation is the key.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Why didn’t Mr. Ruiz prepare for himself and his family in advance of Maria’s arrival?  My guess is that Mr. Ruiz has become mentally dependent upon the government.  The aftermath of a large storm isn’t his problem, it’s the government’s problem —except that we can now see that it was Mr. Ruiz’ problem and no one contributed more to his own demise than he did.

Now let’s extrapolate.  Suppose thoroughly bad people have been able to hack into America’s several electrical grids and let’s say that they are able to shut down the power supply over huge areas of the United States.  Without power, there will be no gasoline for anyone; no one will be able to go to the grocery store and buy food, or water.  Under these circumstances, we can say that it would be the fault of the United States government for the government has done nothing at all to prevent such shenanigans.  Huge populations could be affected and it is my guess that, failing the opportunity to secure cash from an ATM, or obtain gasoline, or food and water, it would not take more than a few days for anarchy to reign … and it wouldn’t be pretty.

So, here are my two points: first, understanding how incompetent the government is, isn’t it time for Americans to stop relying on the government for their total wellbeing?  Second, if Americans aren’t willing to prepare for the worst-case scenario, whether that be terrible storms or enemies of the United States, they have no one to blame for their suffering but themselves.  If we persist in relying on the government to feed us, water us, provide us with power to generate the things we value most, then we are simply mind-numbing stupid.

Where am I wrong about this?


18 Responses to “America: Land of the Mindless”

  1. angryamericanblogger Says:

    While I do agree that there are far too many Americans that rely too heavily on the government, I would be willing to take it a step further and suggest that not only is it evident in a survival situation as you’ve outlined, but also in everyday living when you consider individuals that rely on government assistance. What would they do if the government cut them off? It could very well turn into a survival situation and it’s quite possible that they would act exactly how they should’ve acted before applying for said government assistance: they’d get another/better paying job. Mind-boggling isn’t it?

    Politics aside, you do make a very strong point that many Americans are ill-equipped when it comes to individual well-being and survival. Very good read. I will have to share this with my friends and family!


  2. Kid Says:

    It does seem like no one (must have been some) in Puerrrrrrrto Rico prepared at all. Water, Gas, Can goods. Simple. Just like no one in the 9th ward of New Orleans prepared. Didn’t even take an extra diaper to the superdome for thier kid or a bottle of water. That’s a big swath of America today if you’re talking about a major electrical outage. Everything stops. If it is countrywide, I predict 90% of America would be dead in two months even if they weren’t killing each other for food.

    If it happens, my canned goods will be behind fake walls and we’ll be sitting on the front porch with signs asking for food. You don’t want to look fortified like you have something to protect. You’ll get swarmed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • bunkerville Says:

      Right you are….Hurricane Irma and ATM’s — Friday before the storm all were empty and banks had shut down…another hint..keep some loot in the house.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. jtdorsaneo Says:

    You are not wrong about this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. bunkerville Says:

    I thought I had it all planned out.. going to a hurricane proof house with a safe room about 80 miles north. Car was loaded up with bug out and important papers well in advanced. I did not figure I would see my home again as Irma had us in the bulls eye. Soon to learn that storm surge was in the works in my escape home.. Ended driving North as i did not want to lose the car. At least I needed the car.. ended up in a shelter. Sometimes all the bug out plans just don’t work and we have to count on others. The people were wonderful at the shelter while they had their own homes to worry about. Still many of us are struggling with PTSD… was bad…very bad..

    Liked by 1 person

    • the unit Says:

      Yeah, you’ll live through each hurricane season with a lot of anxiety…well, if you continue to live in a prone area. I do each year. At least I don’t have to worry about the water anymore as I moved 30 miles inland 133 ft up.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bunkerville Says:

        Good for you Unit… I’m moving back North! 450 feet

        Liked by 2 people

  5. petermac3 Says:

    I don’t know Mustang, see how well cradle to grave gov’t dependency works in the hood? It works so well the families don’t even need a father in the home. And hurricane Katrina showcased how well prepared one can be in an emergency living on the 30th floor of a gov’t high rise with broken elevators and crack dealers making house calls. Once the bulk of PR’s population moves to Florida the democrat run federal, state and county bureaucracies will fulfill all their want-needs for which we will foot the bill.?

    Liked by 2 people

    • the unit Says:

      Yep, I’m living in FL now and I’ve heard that prediction. Supposed to turn FL blue.

      Liked by 1 person

    • bunkerville Says:

      Will make NJ look like a piker before its over….what with Cuba and now PR… though these folks don’t come across as angry.


  6. Brittius Says:

    Reblogged this on Brittius and commented:
    I lived eighteen feet from the Atlantic, and the flood of 2012, SuperStorm Sandy, was a bit, as for three days my wife and I were in water up to our waist. The Nor’easter that blew in on top of the hurricane had turned the water icy cold. As most did, we too, lost everything. I did take notice that those who rode the storm out, we were fairly better in mental preparation, while those who smartly evacuated, were a bundle of nerves. I tethered hand tools. I knew everything would be needed. In fact, it was watching a television program by Les Stroud, that made me think, because living on the water, I never considered a flood. The cable network re-aired the program many times, and I always watched it, taking note. We did good, because of Les Stroud. No joke. Afterwards, I collected driftwood and set it standing on end so that water would drain with gravity. I also know how to make primitive fire. Everything wet and moist, I was about to give up. It took. Fire. Made a cross feeding the fire, air gap, wood burning and the end, smoking and sizzling. Found a cooking pot, and a sealed pound can of espresso, and boiled up coffee. It was like the pied piper. The point is, preparations, need to be done, no matter where anyone lives. We did okay until FEMA got involved. Then it became a fear mongering fire drill.

    Liked by 4 people

    • hocuspocus13 Says:

      I too survived Hurricane Sandy living 5 blocks from the Atlantic Ocean

      No flooding for me

      My house built in 1910 I could feel swaying in the winds of the storm

      After it all had settled down I had like everyone else no power no heat etc

      So I looked around for firewood any pieces of wood would do including looking in my basement and fortunately there was quite a bit of driftwood on the beach

      I rolled up my sleeves got my hands dirty busted my back and did what I had to do to survive for the moment

      So thru this I was able to keep my fireplace going in which it not only kept me somewhat warm but I was able to make a pot of coffee and cook food (for me and my neighbors who by the way brought me firewood they found along the way)

      We had no power for 13 days

      In the aftermath…

      I looked down at my hands one day which I had been too busy to do beforehand

      The palms of my hands had dirt grime and soot embedded deep into the lines of my palms

      They looked well…hard worked and it actually took quite a while after running water resumed to get the dirt to finally come off

      Liked by 3 people

      • Brittius Says:

        The house I currently purchased has no flood damage, because I examined FEMA flood maps and topographical maps, it is the highest elevation in this area. The home destroyed at the water’s edge, was, lifted a bit, and considering that flood tide is 1.5 feet above high tide and 10.5 feet of water above flood tide, we had 42 inches inside the home.
        Through it all, with so many saying I am crazy, I would do it all again, in a heartbeat, and, I also have a closeness to the ocean. The area remains, ruined. Cuomo placed ridiculous demands exceeding FEMA’s 12 inch above flood mark for the house sill plate, Cuomo went 24 inches to top FEMA for no reason. My neighbors there, were better than my blood relatives, and we were a tight knit community. Of the things, I knocked off electric power 30 minutes before the power company shut down power. October 29th, 2012, and we did not get power back on until the day after Thanksgiving, along with natural gas. So much more happened, and I had closed the canal with 1.25 inch line set with empty milk jugs on paracord so that people could see the line in the water. Many questioned me for doing that but, a 45 foot Silverton Sportfisher broke loose, and snagged on the line, saving it. The owner was overjoyed as he was beside himself with grief. I simply waved to him as he said “thank you”. I believe you understand much of the time, where I am coming from, and I am glad that you were able to get through the flood, also. Maybe it’s in the bloodlines, not to give up, and not to run. I do not fault those who evacuated but they had a bad time in mass auditorium conditions from what I was told. I recall people standing in queues for water, food, blankets, medical attention, laundry, and such. Faces were shell shocked, and the Thousand Yard Stares, I know all too well. My face looks terrible with lines. They only got deeper and heavier with age.
        I too, cooked for people, made coffee, boiled, as I enjoy to this day, grinds in the water. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that I gave people the gift of fire to take home to cook, in the 21st century. Boats tied off to my bulkhead with kettles for coffee, and brought fish they caught. I cooked the fish, bartered the cooking and coffee, to feed people. State Police were the best, my home became a rally point and police showed up with news and to check up on us. Everyone says that once again, as on numerous other times, I earned my tattoo, “I SERVED MY TIME I HELL”.
        Take Care, Hocus.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Brittius Says:

        Typo: IN HELL.
        PS: So, what will I be doing minutes from now, I will be climbing up a big maple tree to trim branches. (Who’s, nuts??)

        Liked by 1 person

      • bunkerville Says:

        1955 was the big one for me, no less in the Pocono Mts of PA. No power for a couple of months with food drops for over a month. Every bridge was taken out in the county. I was very young, but the fear remains with me. Seeing whole houses float by is embedded forever. Whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger – and indeed so… Great comments guys.


    • the unit Says:

      Brittius I’ve read your comments for a long time, several years, here and other sites. Always interesting. You and wife had it bad. I’ve been through many since the unnamed one in ’47. My stories too many and too long to tell. I’ll just say I was in the northeastern eyewall of Katrina last with my then 90 yr. old mother. Whatever you can imagine happened did, just short of drowning.
      Just one short story though. Preparations ahead of time for sure. After Camille no water to flush. Had to go in brown paper bag. Then planned to throw in grown up vacant lot down the street. On the way a neighbor yelled “Whatcha got in the bag Coop. I bet it’s your lunch.” Brown paper bags not on the list of supplies by the Weather Channel, but good to have. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Brittius Says:

        Thank you.


  7. Simply Linda Says:

    We (at home) often discuss this…its a catch 22. Living in town, we can walk everywhere, but our cards would be useless if the power grid went down…but if we lived in the country, we could grow our own food, raise chickens, cattle and live off the grid etc. Being reliant on the government or companies for paychecks has become a way of life…I think that’s what they want. EVERYTHING TAKES MONEY.

    Great post, Bunk. smiles


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