It is a nearly perfect essay. In my mind, it cannot be improved by adding or removing a single word. A few excerpts:
Others, however, want to "get on" with "getting it on", despite some rather conspicuous lack of necessities on Team freedom's side of the ledger.
So for the two hundredth time, a few reminders:
I) It ain't time to switch from ballots to bullets. Yet.
II) When it is time, you won't need me (or anyone else) to clue you in to that reality.
What...you thought you were just going to grab a rifle and a bandolier and head out the front door?
Sh'yeah, when monkeys fly outta your butt, that might work.
Where's your log train, your medical evac, and twenty-seven million other things you didn't think about, plan for, or lock down cold, as if this stuff hadn't been a thing since before the Babylonians, except you never learned that, because you never served, or never made it (mentally) above PFC, and you're just a literal babe in the woods?
A little less enthusiasm, and a helluva lot more preparation, might be indicated at this point in the discussion.
I went through a CG inspection, two floats, and three deployments - two of them intercontinental, and four major training exercises with stone-cold professionals, who've been doing this stuff for eighty friggin' years, and it was still an unmitigated clusterf**k much of the time, every time.
And you think you're just going to free-lance that on the fly, and out of your tailpipe?
My two cents
I don't know squat compared to Aesop so it is presumptuous for me to add to his fine essay.
Regarding "knowing when the balloon goes up": it is likely to be a handful of signals all coming one on top of the other.
One school closing due to a bomb threat is not the signal. The entire city school district closing all of its schools, all grades, all locations could be the signal depending on the reason. Did it close because of a pandemic or did it close because the bus drivers and teachers had a pandemic of blue-flu?
One gas station running out of gas is not the signal. All of the gas stations running out of gas on one end of a small city (100,000 people) probably is.
"Protesters" closing three lanes of a freeway in the center of town on a Friday night is not the signal but armed combatants "snipping" the freeway at multiple points, isolating large chunks of mid-town real estate in the middle of the work day is.
Are TV and radio stations going off the air?
Multiple building and vehicle fires with cops and firefighters not addressing them is likely the "the signal". Rule-of-law is dead.
The common thread is that these are solid pieces of evidence that the logistics infrastructure is dying. It is evidence that it is no longer possible to move critical goods, equipment and personnel to where they are needed. At that point general, over-all chaos is a matter of days or hours away. It is a great day to call in sick to work.
Regarding "winging it"
It is comforting for the arm-chair commando to sit in his Laz-E-Boy recliner and think that he will survive the learning curve because he is more prepared than the other team.
I won't dispute the other team's general lack of preparedness. However, there are some on that team who are. No guarantees that he is not the first person you meet on the street.
The other issue involves noise. Aesop did a great job smacking the reader in the face with how reality is a cluster festival. It bears repeating. Life is not a book. Books are written by authors. Authors meticulously pare away the chaos that masks the story. Nearly everything is clear in books and is revealed in its own time.
It ain't gonna be like that if the balloon goes up. Most likely you won't be able to tell good guys from bad guys from folks who just want to survive.
Life is noisy and chaotic. That noise can and will kill you after the balloon goes up. You might nimbly dodge the first surprise that is thrown at you. You might be able to duck, dodge, bob and weave around the first twenty. Can you count on your luck to DDBW one hundred? A thousand? How about your wife, kids and grandkids? How are their DDBW skills?
All those fussy things the military "figured out before the Babylonians" is armor against the noise.