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Friday, November 11, 2011

Lights Out, For Real

News Report from the Associated Press,....HIGHLAND PARK, Michigan. (AP) -- As the sun dips below the rooftops each evening, parts of this Detroit enclave turn to pitch black, the only illumination coming from a few streetlights at the end of the block or from glowing yellow yard globes. It wasn't always this way. But when the debt-ridden community could no longer afford its monthly electric bill, elected officials not only turned off 1,000 streetlights. They had them ripped out -- bulbs, poles and all. Now nightfall cloaks most neighborhoods in inky darkness.

UrbanMan's comments: Highland Park being $58 million in debt and taking out two-thirds of the light poles, is only one of many inner city and adjacent communities that are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy,...their own local financial collapse, which from a security pint of view sets the scene that many other communities across this country may very well experience in the coming months. In Highland Park's case, financial woes have taken this city to cut back on electric bills plunging many of the city's areas into darkness, causing crime, notable break ins and home invasions, to increased obviously from the advantage the unlighted streets give the criminals in casing, selecting, approaching and taking down houses.

This caused me to re-look my suburban community, adjacent from only a few short miles from the heart of a urban environment, and the possible security consequences of all public utility lighting turned off. Not only public utility lighting, but if the electrical grid goes down, which it will surely have the probability of doing in a large chaotic SHTF scenario, what will this mean to me and my survival team as far as added security requirements as all artificial light from ambient sources, mostly houses, will be gone?

Heretofore areas that provided good observations of oncoming traffic, friend or threat, were now dark with even darker shadowed areas that would provide concealed approach routes to our site.

The absence of lighting and threat of darkness can be mitigated somewhat with a larger security presence, obstacles and LP/OPs, but knowing ahead of time what areas will provide natural concealment will not only allow you to plan for security measures but also may allow you to channelize threats to where they be more effectively handled.

Solar powered flood lights that can be used in the motion detection role or modified to be turned on at the flip of a switch can be a great tool for early warning or to create the illumination for which to engage threats with verbal warnings and/or protective fires if need be. The problem with the sensitivity of motion detection lights can be gotten around by disabling that feature and using an initiator such as a pressure activated or pull release activated mechanism to turn the lights on focused on the appropriate area.

I have four solar powered floodlights currently mounted on my house, one on each side. All are mounted on bolts with wing nuts so I can rapidly take them down if needed someplace else or in case of a controlled Bug Out. Solar powered lights with low wattage bulbs can also be placed outdoors during the day time and brought inside during the night to provide interior illumination.

Of course, a robust night vision capability backed up by 81mm Mortar Illumination rounds would be a partial solution as well.:)

The bigger question is here is what does the bankruptcy of urban municipalities mean? This is a trend with debt ridden cities and the debt ridden national government. With less and less money to pay for entitlement programs we are much closer to seeing a Greece type economic collapse here and with 45 million people or so on welfare and that number growing every day, the Occupy Wall Street protests could turn rapidly into riots in major cities especially with any type of event that marginally interdicts the food supply.


  1. A number of cities have been in decline for years. Most of these are run by Democrats for Democrats (welfare bums and drug sellers) and they have scared away businesses, the middle class and jobs while at the same time increasing taxes and spending on government projects. They can only get better if the federal government gives them large sums of money (which they have and still do) OR if they go bankrupt and into chaos finally collpasing and then at som efuture date bulldozed. The biggest thing you have to fear is this: Is your Mayor, city council, school board all left wing Democrats? Then get out, don't wait until your city becomes the next Detroit.

  2. Not that this gentlemen’s page is for this sort of thing, and granted, I’m close to the middle of the isle… but I do most closely identify as a Democrat. I voted for Obama for my state Rep, as my senator, and as my president. I don’t like Corporations flooding politics with private money; I think if you make as much as 1000 average people, you should pay as much in taxes as 1000 average people. I think if you don’t make enough at your job to feed yourself, you’re entitled to a full tax refund. I think if you paid into Social Security when you were young, YOU’RE DAMN WELL ENTITLED TO FREE MONEY WHEN YOU RETIRE. On the other hand, I served in the air force, I'm armed to the teeth with big black guns, and I fully support the electo-vaporization of murderers, attempted murderers, wife beaters, child molesters, drug dealers, gang-bangers and those tools who double park you into your space.

    But if I had to guess, about half of the 45 million people on public aid are probably Republicans. About HALF, of the 31 million unemployed, are probably Republicans, and ABOUT HALF, of all the near bankrupt communities, are also majored by and populated with otherwise decent Republicans.

    In the event of a collapse, anyone who wastes even a second of moaning about who YOU think is entitled to what... is going to end up food for the more proactive thinkers among us.

  3. The Democrat philosophy that produced the great society was simple; to buy votes using tax money by providing a welfare system so lucrative that people would not work, would not learn how to take care of themselves and would be indebted to the Democrats forever. Do you really believe half of these state owned slaves are voting Republican?? If you do then YOU have proved beyond a doubt that you are indeed a Liberal.

    Here is a test: List the top ten most dangerous most corrupt cities in the U.S. Cities like Detroit, Oakland, New Orleans . . . Then look at their last 50 year history; who the mayor was, who was on the city council, who were the leading powerfull people. If most of them were Democrats then I win. If most of them were Republicans then you win and I concede.

  4. Chicken and the egg my friend... The more densely populated the area, the higher the crime rate, even if the number of crimes per person is the same.
    More highly educated people vote democratic, and populate large cities. Laborers, who vote republican, populate rural areas. And the poorest states in the country, Rural and RED!

    Poor people tend to congregate in large cities for the affordable housing, public transportation and yes... social programs. Kids growing up in poor areas have always been more likely to turn to crime. Crime in cities includes drugs, and drugs mean violence. And as long as they're shooting each other, I don't much care.

    As for how criminals vote... (IF they haven't been convicted of a felony and lost the right all together) I'd wager to say gang bangers don't bother much with municipal elections...

    At any rate, I wouldn't use Detroit to prove any point. Those poor people are living in Thunder dome! We can take away a lot of lessons on what they do wrong, but also what they do right. Watch a little Documentary called 'Rabbits: Pets or Food'. All about the downfall of the auto industry in Detroit, and what folks there are doing to survive, including urban farming. A must see for any Urban Survivor!