Observing Indicators

In our current situation, you have to gather your own information and learn to evaluate it.  As we’ve seen, media sources are not reliable, no matter which side they favor.

Frequently getting out and checking indicators is great way to stay situationally aware, as well as just paying attention and gathering information in your daily travels.

I want to use a few indicators that I’ve observed later to spur your thinking and maybe get you to check them out in your own area.

But first, a reminder about using indicators from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

The prudent see danger and take refuge,

But the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Proverbs 22:3

Yes, I know, I say that a lot, but clearly many people don’t grasp it yet.

Indicators at the Grocery Store

Grocery stores are a great place to observe indicators, as well as to gather a bit of human intelligence, by talking to store staff.

The first indicator I have observed, is the presence of security guards at the entrance of grocery stores.  If your local grocery hasn’t had one, but in the last few weeks, uniformed guards have shown up, ask yourself why.  Now, stores have always had their own plainclothes staff to deal with shoplifting, but that’s not what I’m talking about.  The local grocery chains here have recently implemented uniformed security guards just sitting at the entrances.  

This indicates the possibility of a few situations that led to the placing of the guard, all of which you need to worry about:

  1. Theft has risen to a much higher level.  This could lead to other threats/higher prices.
  2. They are experiencing violence as a result of resistance to mask mandates (trust me, I have a LOT of personal experience with this one).  This puts you at risk.
  3. They are anticipating a need to control large crowds at their entrance in the near future, indicating additional state mandates/restrictions.

To find out which it is, ask a few different employees as passing comments.  They’ll all give you different answers, but each will have a grain of truth and combining them all will give you a picture of the mood in the store, which will help you make informed risk decisions.

The next indicator I found at a few stores was food availability.  Here in Metro Detroit, there appears to be a serious shortage of fresh turkey products, with chicken and pork both dwindling. 

There are also severe shortages in the canned meat area.  I call this the SPAM indicator.  In good times, people still buy SPAM, but it’s readily available.  Today, at several stores, there were only a can or two of SPAM on the shelf at each location.  That tells you that locals are worried about food availability, so they’re buying SPAM, which keeps longer.

Walk the aisles and note “out of stocks”.  Out of Stocks is the bane of retail existence and they fight to prevent empty holes on shelves.  Right now, you will find them EVERYWHERE.  This indicates a food shortage, as well as a general economic slide.

The best way to validate true food shortage is to check Wal-Mart.  What happens as food suppliers run low, is that they cancel orders to smaller stores in order to fill orders as best they can for national chains, like Wal-mart.  When Wal-Mart is out of stock on the same items that your local or regional chains are, there is a true food shortage for that item.

Another good retail store indicator is in what things they are selling that they haven’t before.  While masks come to mind, at the beginning of the pandemic, you saw retail grocery stores carrying industrial sized cans of vegetables.  That’s unusual and an indicator. 

Recently though, I found an even bigger one in the electronics department at Wal-Mart.  Normally, for the last few years, they have carried one or two different brands of FRS/GMRS radios.  About a week ago, they re-formatted the area and there are now SEVEN different brands/packages of FRS/GMRS radios being sold.  

“Big deal”, you may think.  Consider this…Why would a retailer who had barely been carrying emergency radios suddenly quadruple the selection of emergency radios?  Because they are anticipating massive sales of emergency communications devices.  That’s a MAJOR indicator of potential unrest or disorder.

Watch the number of gas cans available on the shelf as well, it’s also an indicator of people’s unease.

Local Police Indicators

Observe the posture of your local police department during your daily travels.  

Are they all wearing traditional “soft” uniforms, or are they wearing BDU/Tactical uniforms with full chest rigs and level 4 armor?

What is written on the sides of police cars you see?  For example, some say “Special Operations” or “Tactical Response”.  These vehicles indicate that the local police are on a higher alert level.

Indicators in the Media

I know that I said that the media on all sides is unreliable, but watching what kind of stories that they are running can help you predict what’s going to happen, on both sides.

My Twitter followers have dubbed me “Joestradamus” because of my ability to predict the news cycle for the next few days of events based upon the news reporting, but there’s nothing hard to it.  Just watch.

As an example, the only thing being talked about for the last few days has been the new case count.  Every day they point out that we are at the highest case count since the pandemic began.  If you sit down and think critically, you’d understand that since they are talking total cases, yes, every single day would be the highest.  But it’s being done in a manner to imply that the disease is spreading beyond control. This indicates that lockdowns are just about to come back, and the media is being used to justify them.  

Now, I’m not going to argue the validity or danger of the disease, or anything like that, but, if I wanted the general public angry on election day, renewed lockdowns is a sure way to get it.

Another media indicator is the onslaught of stories over the last few weeks about militia groups.  They have been painted as white supremacists, dangerous, and terrorists.  The truth is that every militia group I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a few) is multi-racial, non-violent, and wants only to ensure everyone’s rights, EQUALLY.  But you should understand WHY the media is pushing the narrative about them being dangerous.  

Over the last week, two different men have been arrested for targeting Joe Biden.  Both were white men and immediately tied to either the “militia” movement or the “boogaloo” movement (which isn’t even a thing).  Upon closer review, these stories have fallen apart, and both were found to be fanatical Bernie Sanders supporters, and not truly affiliated with any movement. Ironically, both also had large amounts of cash that can’t be explained.

If you think it’s just their own money, do an experiment. Go to your bank and tell them you want to withdraw $8,000 in cash. Let me know how that goes. News flash, they’ll do everything they can to keep you from withdrawing more than a thousand dollars, yet the media expect you to believe that this 19 year old walked out of a bank with nearly a hundred thousand dollars in cash.

Also, we’ve seen widespread reporting on a white male arrested for firing rounds in the direction of the Minneapolis Third Precinct back in March.  Again, he was reported as a “Boogaloo/Militia” person.  Further review, however, indicates that he was actually part of a group that supported Black Lives Matter and was most likely an ANTIFA affiliate.

So, why do I bring these stories up?  Because they’re an indicator.  Without asking you all to put on tin foil hats, it isn’t hard to predict that we will see some sort of an attack this week, blaming a white militia group or person, right after we’ve been fed three very well-publicized stories about the risk of it.  

Why do I say that?  Because the media ARE professionals.  They knew these people weren’t what they painted them as, but they did it anyway.  Why?  Because the narrative is needed and needed quickly.  Ask yourself this, why did the FBI arrest the Minneapolis shooter, who struck nothing and didn’t set the fire, RIGHT NOW?  He has been stopped several times and they’ve known about him for a long time.  Because the FBI, for good or bad, has always been a POLITICAL creature and they need the story NOW.

Contrast all of this with the next media story indicator I want to discuss.  On Sunday, CNN’s main story was about the NFAC.  You’d think, after the crazy comments of Grandmaster Jay, their history of randomly shooting their own people, and the group’s stated goals, that CNN would paint this group with the same brush as every other militia, right?

Not at all.  They wrote a glowing story, blaming, of course, police brutality for the forming of the NFAC.  They went so far in their story as to publish the BLATANTLY false comment that the NFAC is not racist in any way.  Yes, they said that.  Jay himself is on video berating a member for showing up with her white boyfriend, throwing her out of the formation for having an inter-racial relationship. He has said repeatedly that he wants to establish a black ethno-state (“We’ll take Texas”) by force arms, and regularly makes racist rants on Instagram.

So, ask yourself, why would CNN even run this story?  It would have been to their benefit to just leave it alone. 

Unless of course, you combine it with the other related indicators.  Taken alone, they seem as just news stories.  Taken together, we see that true militias to ensure equal rights are inherently evil, and a truly racially-based militia (yes, race is required to join NFAC) with a truly racist agenda is good.

Now, when both groups appear at polling locations, who will be seen as evil, and who will be seen as protectors?  If, God forbid, these groups fight (which NFAC regularly asks for), who be painted as the racist aggressors, and who will be painted as the virtuous defenders?

I don’t share this to advocate for either side, other than the TRUTH.  The TRUTH is that Grandmaster Jay and his militia are indeed RACISTS.

The thing I am advocating for is for all of you, regardless of political leanings, to understand that a narrative is being created to justify violence by one side against the other, and THAT puts you at risk.  You may be also considered a risk, based upon someone’s reporting (Don Lemon – “White men are the biggest terror threat”) and you should plan accordingly, especially on election day.

So, What Do I Do?

Get out and gather local indicators and figure out what the local risk level is.  Monitor locals groups to see what they have planned.  Listen to the media on both sides to see what is being pushed.

Use that information, along with your area study, to plan your own level of preparedness, based upon local risk.


Published by JD

I am the author of the Tactical Wisdom Series. I am a personal protection specialist and a veteran of the US Marine Corps. I conduct preparedness and self-defense training.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: