Saturday, October 19

Analyst predicted EBT card glitch would cause riots

In certain cases the future can be predicted accurately.

Those cases involve events with huge numbers of players, since the large number makes individual random outcomes "wash out."

One of the fascinating uses of the internet is that it enables individual analysts to make a public, dated prediction of how they think certain events will unfold.  Such individuals have always existed but in earlier times they could rarely get their predictions published.

With that background, consider this article by Matt Bracken, who predicted welfare recipients rioting after EBT cards stopped working.
What if an economic crisis, even a temporary one, leads to millions of EBT cards not working? This could also be the result of deliberate sabotage by hackers, or other technical system failures.

Since tens of millions of Americans now consider government-provided money for food as their right, their reaction to a cutoff of “their” food money will be immediate rage. Supermarkets, shops and restaurants will be looted, and the media will not initially condemn the looting. Unfortunately, the initial violence will only be the start.

The mobs will quickly move their activities to the borders of their ethnic areas, occupying major intersections and highway interchanges that commuters must use to reach what forms of employment still exist.

The clashes at these points will resemble the intersection of Florence and Normandie during the Rodney King riots in 1992, where Reginald Denny was pulled out of his truck and beaten nearly to death with a cinder block.  (If you don’t remember it you can watch it on Youtube.) 
But in 1992 Twitter and Facebook didn't exist.  So today instead of a few dozen thugs terrorizing the ambushed intersections there will be hundreds in just minutes.

Rioters will throw debris into the intersection, causing the more timid drivers to pause. Once the lines of trapped cars have been stopped, they'll be swarmed by the mob. Traffic will be frozen for blocks in all directions. Drivers and passengers from other ethnic groups will be pulled from their vehicles to be beaten, robbed, and in some cases raped and/or killed. It will be massive, hyper-violent and overtly racial.

Implausible, you say?  Not at all; this is just age-old human behavior patterns, adding flash mobs and 2012 levels of racial anger to the old recipe.  Consider that for the past five or six years urban black youths have been "playing the Knockout Game,” attacking people on the sidewalk just for kicks--and then smugly uploading the videos to the internet.  One can expect far worse when they can blame whites for taking away "their" rightful money.

Law enforcement won't go near the mob-controlled areas.  The police, with riot squad reaction times measured in hours, will be fighting flash mobs that materialize, kill and evaporate in 30 minutes. This difference in cycle times has been evident during the massive riots by immigrant French Muslim youths during the past few summers.

Many policemen will stay home to take care of their own families, as after Hurricane Katrina.  Overwhelmed with calls for help, they'll be forced to triage their responses.

Because of the avalanche of violence in minority areas, truck drivers will refuse to deliver to markets in those areas, delaying the recovery.  Most business will be looted of everything of even modest value.

The former Yugoslavia, with its Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim divisions, comes starkly to mind. The Lebanese civil war between the Christians, Sunnis, Shiites and Druze raged across Beirut (a city once called “The Paris of the Middle East”) for fifteen brutal years. Once a city turns on itself and becomes a runaway engine of self-destruction, it is difficult to impossible to return to normal pre-conflict life. It’s not inconceivable that the United States could produce a dozen Sarajevos or Beiruts, divided on racial instead of religious lines.


 Interestingly, Bracken wrote the above essay 13 months ago--over a year before the instant "food riots" that followed the brief interruption of EBT benefits in 15 states.

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