Two separate newscasts report that the town of Seaside Heights NJ is under martial law.
1:08 minute in
50 seconds in
The reaction on Twitter-verse was the usual wit laced with some Macabre humor:
“As fun as it is watching NJ steadily creep toward martial law after Sandy, I think I’ll try to fly to Columbus today. Football is the cure.” Ramzy Nasrallah @ramzy
“NJ declares martial law in desperate attempt to stop me as I collect fallen branches to throw on cars of those who doubted me in high school.” Cory snearofwushjki @corysnearowski
Wikipedia has a good definition of Martial Law. I think explains what it is clearly and succinctly.
“Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis. Martial law is usually imposed on a temporary basis when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively (e.g., maintain order and security, or provide essential services), when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law becomes widespread.”
“In most cases, military forces are deployed to subdue the crowds, to secure government buildings and key or sensitive locations, and to maintain order. Generally, military personnel replace civil authorities and perform some or all of their functions. In full-scale martial law, the highest-ranking military officer would take over, or be installed, as the military governor or as head of the government, thus removing all power from the previous executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.”
The situation in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy is dire. Many places look like a war zone, and what comes with war zones is chaos. Hence, the Martial Law to restore order. Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures, I guess.
People are hungry and dumpster diving. They have no fuel and can’t use their generators to heat their homes. They can’t get to work. Sanitation is a problem and they are defecating in their apartment hallways. Anger is rising and long lines for food, water or fuel often turn violent. One man pulled a gun in his gas line. I won’t list for you all the issues, because Michael T. Snyder has a serious and detailed article on his Economic Collapse blog. It is called Anarchy Along the Jersey Shore and On Long Island In the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
He opened his essay with this sober reminder:
“Hurricane Sandy is another reminder of just how incredibly fragile the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted on a daily basis really is.”
One twitter comment along those same lines struck me:
M. @MKriegbaumJr: “Seeing what essentially is martial law surrounding gas situation in NYC/NJ area is what the world will be like if catastrophic event hits.”
Indeed. One hurricane and a few days later, people are reduced to animals, pooping, fighting, scrambling for food. I had written last Tuesday in the height of the storm, “Anyway, as millions upon millions are discovering now, living on any floor above, say fifth, means a lot of walking up and down stairs. No elevators. No running water. That means you have to lug water up, if you can even find any. No flushing, unless you stored water ahead of time and can use it to flush the toilet. No food, or if you find some, you have to lug it up. If you go out on the street there are a lot of other tired, desperate, hungry, thirsty people. There were twitter meet ups planning a mass looting, so it is even more dangerous than usual to be out and about. Then cabin fever sets in. What to do with the kids for days on end inside an apartment with no internet, tv, or PlayStation? And where would you even go? The subways aren’t running, along with bus and most likely, cabs. The streets are littered with tree limbs, flood sludge, dangling electrical wires, and debris. Even if you want to get out and about it is impossible and dangerous. … So the city is a bad place in the best of times. It is downright survival UNfriendly in the worst of times.”
That wasn’t a prophetic statement. It was a realistic statement.
The LORD knew we were not ready for cities. He told Adam and Eve to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth. (Genesis 1:28). But they didn’t. After the flood Noah to go throughout the world and be fruitful and multiply. (Genesis 9:1). But they didn’t. In one famous case, Noah’s great-grandson Nimrod collected the people into one city, Babel. So God He stopped the city-making at Babel and disbanded the people. (Gen 11:5-7).
With a veneer of civilization over us we tend to forget how full of sin we are. We forget how close to the surface it is. We do not think of how easily our sin will come out. All the imaginations of the unrenewed heart are sinful. (Genesis 6:5, Genesis 8:21). All.
Did that man in the gas line who pulled a gun think that a week ago he would be tempted to take another man’s life? Did he envision any circumstance in which he would be arrested and awaiting trial for his crime? Likely not. The Queens blog says that the man allegedly pulled a gun just because he didn’t want to wait in line. He allegedly wanted to cut, so he could fill up his BMW before everyone else.
We’re sinners. When pressed, and not too much either, sin comes out fast and hard.
So for this next thought, as we transition into this part of my essay, is to think about some words I’ve already used, anarchy and chaos.
Wikipedia describes the time of Presidential transition this way:
“A presidential transition or presidential interregnum refers to the period of time between the end of a presidential election and the inauguration of a new President of a country. During this time the incoming President usually designates new government personnel, including selecting new Cabinet positions and government department or agency heads.In the United States, during a presidential transition, the outgoing “lame duck” President has lost many of the intangible benefits of a Presidency (e.g., being perceived as the default leader on issues of national importance) but the incoming President-elect is not yet legally empowered to effect policy. This ambiguity in the roles of the President-elect and outgoing President creates the potential for a leadership vacuum, which may be most acutely felt during wartime or times of economic crisis.” [emphasis mine]
Our nation has been a beacon of light in terms of what democracy can do with the support of the people and an informed electorate. We have shown the world that no matter what happens to our President, we can institute an orderly transition from one man to the next. Whether from assassination, unexpected death, impeachment, voting irregularities, or resignation, we have always gone from one President to the other without civil unrest, chaos, or the application of martial law.
I believe that time is over.
I usually don’t speculate on the blog because I want to stay biblically grounded. Also, I don’t like to add to the general confusion and anxiety. But in my opinion this is a serious time.
I read people saying things like ‘I can’t wait for this election to be over and Obama is out.’ Given the nature of sin, the nature of the times, and the nature of the man we have come to know as Obama, do we actually think that if Obama loses he will participate in an orderly transition from the most highest position in the world down to obscurity? Really? I don’t. I think the times are over when we can expect anything that has gone before to continue going as before, and this includes political processes.
When was the last time Congress really worked? When anything got accomplished? They haven’t even passed a Federal budget in years.
Do we really think that Obama, the most arrogant man in the world, the most hateful in terms of actively destroying America, will actually leave office with the job unfinished? Do we really think that a little piece of paper, or historical tradition, will stop him from simply enacting martial law and staying in power?
I hope it does not happen. I really do. I am proud of our hundreds of years of orderly transitions in both Congress and the Presidential office. But we need to stop thinking that these are normal times. Men are increasingly sinful. If a NY Yuppie would pull a gun just so he could get gas into his BMW what would the most evil president we’ve ever had do to get what he wants?
This is the man who campaigned on instituting civil national security force. He said in 2008, “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” (July 2, 2008, in Colorado Springs, Colorado).
Now one reason I don’t like to speculate is that people take conspiracies and run with them. Viral emails are even now circulating that claim that Obama has signed 900 Executive Orders, that they add up to creating a platform to an easily implemented martial law. Liberal sites claim that Obama is doing no such thing. Somewhere in the middle lies the truth. But the truth is hard to find these days.
But even the site FactCheck.org admits that “It’s true that President Obama is increasingly using his executive powers in the face of staunch Republican opposition in Congress. He’s changed federal policies on immigration and welfare and appointed officials without congressional approval.” However the site claims that “Obama’s executive actions have nothing to do with martial law.”
FactCheck.org (an extremely liberal site, remember) does state that Obama is “sidestepping Congress through his ‘We Can’t Wait’ initiative, a series of executive actions that he says benefit the middle class through infrastructure projects and economic policy changes.” He did the same when he created the DREAM Act.
A new Executive Order that was signed last week adds fuel to the fire. On October 26, 2012, Obama signed, “Establishing the White House Homeland Security Partnership Council“. The Order tightens Department of Homeland Security ties with local law enforcement and other federal agencies.
Joseph Farah of World Net Daily (a conservative site I do not usually cite or read or use), said of this Order,
“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If Barack Obama is re-elected Nov. 6 for a second term, he will declare a full-scale war on his domestic opposition. There may not be another free and fair election in America. I would expect due process to go the way of the horse and buggy. I think he will move to shut down and destroy all independent media. In fact, I think his biggest critics will be rounded up in the name of national security. Last week, for instance, with little fanfare, Obama issued an executive order establishing something that sounds so innocent on the surface – but it could prove to be a vehicle for the kind of political putsch I am describing.”
“It establishes the “White House Homeland Security Partnership Council.” What’s the purpose? As Obama put it, to advance the federal government’s use of local partnerships to address homeland-security challenges. He claims to be doing it under the authority of the Constitution. Why is such a council needed? Don’t we already have a Department of Homeland Security that works with local governments? Of course we do.”
As I’ve said, I don’t like to run with conspiracies. However, we have to be realistic. If Martial Law was called in some parts of New Jersey after just a couple of days without power and fuel, what might happen if Popocatépetl Volcano in Mexico were to erupt and millions of Mexican citizens were to stream north as refugees to America? Or if the New Madrid fault were to let go and millions of Americans in the central US were to be facing a worse catastrophic situation than NY/NJ in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy? Or if the earthquakes along the western coastline and British Columbia were to raze Seattle? Or if an EMP were to be loosed over the United States in a terror attack? If any of these situations that we are currently facing were to happen imminently, what are the chances of an orderly transition? The catastrophes are going to keep coming, and they will only increase. There is already a Nor’easter forecast to soon hit Hurricane ravaged areas, though it will not be as severe. It is forecast to bring cold rain and high winds, with snow further inland. Those are woes to people already cold and hungry, and worse still for those without shelter.
As I’ve said before, it is a long time between November 6th and any inauguration that would install the successful candidate. And it would be a long, long four years if Obama were to be re-elected. (If the rapture doesn’t take us first).
It is a hard ministry, this. On the one hand I am called to watch and warn. To report what I see and point to impending doom. On the other hand I point to Jesus and assure believers that they need not worry. In sum, what I do is to say “Doom is coming! But don’t worry!” It is a fine line. But it is also a fact, the bible says that things will go from bad to worse. (2 Timothy 3:13; 2 Timothy 2:16, Matthew 24:12)
In Matthew 24:12 Jesus said that love will grow cold. The Greek here is plēthýnō – properly, made full, especially to maximum capacity (potential); hence, “multiplied; to increase, multiply”.
In other words, as the end time nears its conclusion, coldness in our hearts will increase until its full capacity. People are never going to get nicer than they are today. Tomorrow they will be worse. And worse, and worse, until they are completely mean in the Tribulation when the Holy Spirit does not even restrain their sin any longer. (2 Thessalonians 2:7).
We have every reason to claim that this period of election and power transfer might not go as expected according to law or tradition. Alternately, we have every reason to claim that that no matter what happens, Jesus is in control.
So on the one hand we have legitimate biblical reasons to be pessimists on earth. On the other, we have eternal reasons to be optimists; for heaven is our hope!
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11).
“Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.” (Jeremiah 15:16).
“I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.” (Psalms 132:16)
“And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (Romans 5:11)
So though we expect worse and waxing worse because the bible says this will occur, we hope for the best, which is our Holy Jesus delivering us out of this present world into His beautiful heaven. Maranatha!