What I Learned After Taking a Week Off… – Forward Observer Shop

What I Learned After Taking a Week Off…

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Hey Gang – Sorry for the lack of posting here. I taught two courses in Idaho last month and then took a week off to enjoy nature, do some fishing, and get my mind right. It’s so odd because when I was up in the mountains and out on the water, there was no “civil war” brewing that I could see. No constant reminder that political discourse is leading to violence or that society’s ills are leading to national-level instability. But then I came back.

I’m refreshed to the point that I can’t wait to jump back into our Forward Observer mission. There’s a ton of stuff going on, and a lot of things that need to be mentioned and dissected, so let’s start here…

On the drive back to Texas, a friend asked me if I really thought there was going to be a civil war. He asked if I wanted that to happen, and if this conflict is avoidable.

My answer, of course, was that we’re already in a low-grade low intensity conflict. Yes, there’s going to be one, and, no, it’s not avoidable because it’s already here. Let’s recap the high points of the past week or so…

  • Last month, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was refused service at a restaurant and was made to leave. Political party is not a protected class.
  • A few days before that, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was heckled out of a restaurant by Democratic Socialists of America protestors. (And should anyone need the reminder, just over a year ago, a Bernie Bro gunman nearly killed Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA). (“It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”, the shooter wrote in a Facebook post.)
  • Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) said last week at a rally: “If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. You push back on them. Tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere!” That drew criticism from some her fellow Democrats, but the message hit home for many. It’s a tactic that we’re going to see again.
  • Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy reported that he’s retiring, and the Left went mad because they understand the implications of Trump’s now two supreme court picks. The absence of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (she’s 85) would make three.
  • MSNBC host Chris Matthews predicted that the battle over Justice Kennedy’s replacement will resemble the Spanish Civil War. “I think it’s going to be almost like Spanish Civil War stuff. You watch the next few months.” To be fair, Democrats should be angry because the Republican House and Senate denied then-President Obama the opportunity to replace Justice Antonin Scalia (PBUH). The GOP saved a SCOTUS seat from the Democrats, but turnabout is fair play. When or if the Democrats come back into power, they’ll have their retribution.
  • Over the weekend, a conservative/libertarian group called The Proud Boys wrecked some antifascists who were protesting a Patriot event in Portland. Portland is ground zero in an ongoing cultural war between the reactionary right wing and the radical left wing. (VIDEO) (We write an intelligence report each week on revolutionary communist groups, radical anarchists, ethno-fascists, and the culture war.)

Now that’s just some of what happened while I was away from my desk. Here are three major events coming up…

  • Depending on what polls you read (and how much you believe them), the Democratic “Blue Wave” is looking more like the tide slowly coming in. We’re four months away from the 2018 mid-terms and there’s a good chance that the Democrats don’t take back the House or the Senate. As of right now, polls show (for what they’re worth) that the Dems will pick up some seats but there may not be a transfer of power in D.C. That’s likely to rally the Leftists to more aggressively combat the “fascism” of the Trump administration. More rhetoric, more violence, more social and political instability. Buckle up, right?
  • In 2020, the Trump administration will oversee the National Census. Each and every individual living in the U.S. is, by law, to be counted. For the past several decades, there’s been no distinction between citizen and non-citizen in the Census because there was no question about citizenship on the forms. In 2020, the Trump administration will be asking census respondents to indicate their citizenship status. If the Census goes out as intended and non-citizens (i.e., illegal immigrants) don’t fill out their census forms, then we could see states like California actually lose representation in the House. Representatives are apportioned by state population, so if the Census indicates a lower population because there are fewer Census responses, then we — Constitutionally — should see states lose some of their House seats. And if California’s population shrinks through the Census, then the state will also lose out on some federal funding and grants. Right now, 18 states are suing the Census Bureau and the Department of Commerce to have the citizenship question removed. Maybe nothing much will come of the citizenship question, but it has the potential to rearrange some deck chairs.
  • Lastly, and perhaps it’s the biggest event on my radar, is the next recession. It’s not imminent (pending some black swan event), but these things are cyclical and inevitable. For the past 100 plus years, we’ve had a recession every six to eight years. The last recession was in 2008, so the next should have been in 2014-2016. In other words, we’re overdue. Whether or not we actually grew out of the 2008 recession is up for debate, but what’s not up for debate is that we could absolutely see an economic downturn in the next few years. It could obviously have an impact on the 2020 election, which is why we’re seeing Leftists like Bill Maher hope for a large recession that could sink the Trump administration and get us another left wing elitist in the White House. From what I’m reading, several prominent economists are pointing to late 2020, give or take a year. Whichever year it comes, the next recession is going to inflame populist movements on both the Left and the Right, lead to more socioeconomic and political instability and, for everyone who expects a domestic conflict, actually lead to one. We’re going to see members from two politicized social bases out of work. What could go wrong?

That’s some of what I’m seeing right now. It’s just a 30,000 overview of larger trends, and we’ll be breaking down what this means and a whole lot more in our weekly Intelligence Summaries.

In celebration of the Fourth of July, take 10% off a monthly or annual subscription to all our Intelligence and Training products using coupon code FREEDOM.


Always Out Front,

Samuel Culper




Mike Shelby is a former military intelligence NCO and contract intelligence analyst. He spent three years in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now the intelligence and warfare researcher at Forward Observer.

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