It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s bound to in the near future. Earthquakes are part of life along our southwest coastline here in the US and hardly a day goes by without several reports are posted from the region on what they consider minor events. In looking at the USGS’s California-Nevada Fault Map this morning, I see 95 reports from the last week. While this doesn’t signify a major tremblor for the area, or an indication that an 8.0 or greater will occur, there also is no way to tell that there won’t be one, either.

Will there, or won’t there be a severe earthquake in the LA area soon? I can’t tell for sure, nobody can. But I can speculate on what will occur to the area if it does happen. And by LA, I mean the area stretching from Indio on up through San Bernardino and then to Santa Monica. It’s a big area, and while there seems to be more minor tremblors in the Indio area, there isn’t much recorded around the heavier populated LA to Riverside stretch. Could it just be a long nap along the fault lines, or are the plates getting ready to crack?

We’re all still fixated on the Haitian tragedy of a year ago when Port au Prince was devastated by an earthquake, and we still see today the effects of poverty and government corruption have had on the population. It’s a year later and people are still living on handouts and living in tent villages. Will that be the outcome of a major event here in the US?

It’s unlikely we will see the magnitude of poverty that Haiti has suffered from after their quake, but I believe there will be some similarities in the aftermath of such an event. For one thing, the LA area has a greater population spread out over a larger land area, but the infrastructure is significantly greater, and in a far better state than what Haiti had at the time of their event. Simply put, LA is better built after having learned from their experiences. Whereas Haiti had little resources to commit to rebuilding, we have significantly greater resources, and less corruption to channel those resources away from rebuilding the area.

But there will be some things happen that we have never seen before in an earthquake of any sizeable magnitude in the US. I believe that FEMA will attempt to build upon the mistakes made in the Katrina aftermath and impose some of the controls on the area that many in the conspiracy theater seem to feel the government can’t wait to try.

For one, I think we will see federal agencies flock to the disaster in record time, no matter the severity of destruction. We will see federally imposed Martial Law placed upon the affected area almost from the get go. I also believe we will see forced evacuations and quickly erected tent cities used to house those evacuees. The area will in effect become a ghost town, populated by lone holdouts, looters and gangs. Evacuated persons will not be allowed to return to the area, and the military will be used to patrol the area. I see little being done to actually control the resulting looting, however. The reason for that is the Posse Comitatus act of 1878. Originally intended to prevent out federal troops from being used in local law enforcement duties, we have seen that act become basically useless over the last couple of decades or so.

As disasters have seemingly increased as federal government power and autonomy has increased, we’ve seen an increase in the militaries use in providing disaster relief. Where we once would see local volunteers and the Red Cross handing out food and blankets, we now see uniformed soldiers performing the task. In Katrina, we saw a limited engagement of military patrols in the flood ravaged community. Next time around we will see a greater presence of troops involved in that duty. However, we are still a ways off from being able to stomach the idea of an armed soldier gunning down a gang-banger looting a 52″ television. The press would have a field day with that one, both liberal and conservative.

But still, the troops will be utilized to force innocent people from their homes and evacuated to what will be considered by FEMA to be a safe haven, namely the tent cities. It will be a grand exercise to test the will of the people of this nation, as well as to further de=sensitize us to the presence of what should not be in this nation. Government intrusion at its worst.

A page from DHS’s collection of pages has a piece by Major Craig T. Trebilcock called The Myth of Posse Comitatus, written in 2000. I’ve shared his conclusions here, and this conclusion seems to be the policy of the DHS when confronted with the possibility of using the military on our own soil.

Is the Posse Comitatus Act totally without meaning today? No, it remains a deterrent to prevent the unauthorized deployment of troops at the local level in response to what is purely a civilian law enforcement matter. Although no person has ever been successfully prosecuted under the act, it is available in criminal or administrative proceedings to punish a lower-level commander who uses military forces to pursue a common felon or to conduct sobriety checkpoints off of a federal military post. Officers have had their careers abruptly brought to a close by misusing federal military assets to support a purely civilian criminal matter.

But does the act present a major barrier at the National Command Authority level to use of military forces in the battle against terrorism? The numerous exceptions and policy shifts carried out over the past 20 years strongly indicate that it does not. Could anyone seriously suggest that it is appropriate to use the military to interdict drugs and illegal aliens but preclude the military from countering terrorist threats that employ weapons of mass destruction? For two decades the military has been increasingly used as an auxiliary to civilian law enforcement when the capabilities of the police have been exceeded. Under both the statutory and constitutional exceptions that have permitted the use of the military in law enforcement since 1980, the president has ample authority to employ the military in homeland defense against the threat of weapons of mass destruction in terrorist hands.

The government has weaseled in the usage of the military of some aspects of our security; will they go all the way and turn the military into a nationalized federal police force of sorts? Hard to tell for sure, but I do know there are those in power today that would love to see this come about. But if we do soon see an 8.0 in Commiefornia, we’ll be paying close attention to the results.

 Be sure to turn to Survival 101 to hear my broadcasts on preparedness planning!

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