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Overthrown, The Death of America

Book Fourteen

Chapter One

What do you mean I cant go to the store? Diana almost


hollered at Carl. We need to get some groceries and Im going to
go get them.

I didnt say you cant go, I said dont go right now. He


answered.

Why not? She demanded.

Because of that.

Carl pointed at the T.V. which was showing the breaking news at
the moment. It was showing with the collapse of the economy
happening, everything was beginning to grind to a halt. When the
value of the dollar fell through the floor, everything had doubled
or tripled in price overnight. The cost of even the most basic food
items was now almost beyond the reach of the average citizen.
One of the major reasons for that was the cost of fuel for the
trucks that brought the food to the stores. Delivery costs had
more than doubled and the trucking companies had no choice but

to raise the cost of their services. That raised the cost of food and
other necessary items.

Those who had any money at home had purchased everything


they could, leaving very little for those who didnt have much to
spend in the first place. The people who counted on government
assistance were getting nothing at all. Store managers were
unwilling to accept welfare cards in exchange for their goods.
Mainly because they believed they would never be honored. It
was cash and carry only. Because of that in most of the major
cities in the country, riots had started. People were dying over
food and gas.

Do you see what is happening out there? Carl asked his wife.
How long is it going to be before that comes here?

Diana just blew his protests off.

Thats in New York and other big cities. This town doesnt have
more than seventy thousand people. That isnt going to happen
here.

Di, dont be foolish. No town in this country has more than three
days of supplies. And thats when times are normal. Youve lived
here in Florida long enough to know that when a hurricane gets
too close the grocery stores get emptied overnight. This is a lot
worse than a hurricane. It isnt just local either, this is

nationwide. What is happening there will happen here almost


before you know it.

Thats all the more reason for me to go now.

I didnt say dont go. I said dont go now. Give me a few minutes
and we will go together.

A few minutes for what?

For this.

Carl had finished cleaning and loading his pistol while they had
been talking. He worked the action and put a round into the
chamber. Dianas eyes widened and she told him,

Youre not bringing that thing with me into the store. People will
think you are nuts.

Youre wrong on two counts. First, I am bringing this pistol with


me to protect us from that! Again he pointed at the T.V. And
nobody is going to think Im nuts if I just keep it in my pocket.
They wont even know I have it, unless you tell them because I
wont.

You are so paranoid! I cant believe it.

Im not paranoid, Im careful. If that is happening in the big


cities, then it is only a matter of time before it happens here.
Thats just the way the world works. When people get hungry
they will do ANYTHING to fill their bellies. If that means stealing
or killing others, then they will do it. Ignoring that truth will not
change it. What is happening there will come here and we have
to be ready for it. Are you ready to go? I am. Carl asked as he
stood up and tucked the pistol into his pocket.

What would you know about being hungry? Havent I always fed
you well enough? Diana demanded.

I havent always been married to you. There have been times in


my past before you and I met when I WAS hungry. I know what
Im talking about, Ive been there.

And when did that happen?

It has happened more than once. But there was one time in the
service when my section got cut off from my company. We were
under radio silence so we couldnt call for help. We had two
vehicles and eight men. We also had two boxes of the old
fashioned C-Rations to feed us. One box is one meal for one man.
We had two boxes to last eight men for three days, before we
finally got linked up with another unit. When we did, I STOLE a

case of C-Rations from them so that we could eat. Thats how I


know.

Diana wasnt satisfied.

You ARE NOT coming into the store with me while you are
carrying that thing.

I wasnt planning on it. Im going to be guarding the car while


you get whatever you can.

Guarding it from whom?

From whoever might want to take what we have and they dont.
I told you, Ive been there and done that.

You are just so paranoid. That isnt going to happen here. Diana
said, ignoring the truths that Carl had told her.

I hope you are right. But Im not going to bet your life or mine
on what you hope will or wont happen. Are you ready to go?

Not if you are carrying that thing.

Okay, fine. I hope we have enough food to last us until this is


over.

You know we dont. Thats why I have to go to the store.

Then lets go.

Not with you carrying that thing.

Fine, have it your way. Carl sat down.

I thought you were going to help me with the groceries.

I am willing to help you, but not at the risk of our lives. He


answered from the chair.

All right Mr. Paranoid. But you stay in the car and load the
groceries when I come out.

Carl smiled. Isnt that what I said a minute ago?

Just get in the car.

The trip to the store was short and VERY quiet. Diana was
absolutely fuming over Carls insistence on bringing the pistol.
She just didnt understand how this man whom she had married
had become so timid, so paranoid, in recent days. He actually
wanted to keep a loaded weapon in every room of the house. She
had challenged him on it. As usual, his answer was calm, polite
and one she couldnt really argue with. He had told her;

Honey Ill tell you what. You tell me which room Im going to be
in when the bad guys come breaking through the door and
THATS where I will keep my weapons.

Of course she couldnt answer the question, so she changed the


subject.

Thats not going to happen.

Im sure that is exactly what the Barkers thought. Thats why


they didnt own a weapon of any kind. Are you ready to pay the
price they did for their mistake?

That stopped Diana in her tracks. Mr. and Mrs. Barker, while not
close friends, had been friendly with Carl and Diana for a long
time. A short time ago they had suffered a home invasion. While
neither of them had died, Mr. Barker had been beaten very badly.
He had multiple broken bones and some internal injuries. Mrs.
Barker had been raped repeatedly throughout the night and was
in the same room with her husband in the hospital. Both were

expected to survive, but neither would be leaving any time soon.


Diana agreed to compromise. There wasnt a loaded gun in every
room. But Carl was never more than a short run away from one.

They pulled into the parking lot of the local grocery store. Carl
was happy to see that while the lot was over half full, there were
no lines leading to the door. He watched as Diana grabbed the
first available shopping cart and started towards the store.

Ill get what we need and be back in about half an hour. She
told him over her shoulder.

Under his breath Carl said, Sooner than that I think. He then
called to his wife. Here, take this. He handed her $200 in cash.

I dont need that. Ill just use my debit card.

Di, the banks are closed. Your card isnt going to work. Take the
money and get what you can.

What are you talking about? The banks may be closed but all of
this is computerized. The computers still work. Its just a matter
of waiting for the banks to get the rest of it straightened out.

Diana, take the money. You may be in for a surprise.

If the banks are closed, where did you get it? she eyed him
suspiciously. And how much did you get?

I got it before they closed. I could see the signs and thought it
best to be prepared. And I hope I got enough.

She did take the cash, but with the idea that she would keep it
when she paid for the food with her card. It would be a good
lesson for Carl and his paranoia.

As Carl watched Diana wheel her way through the door he


noticed a short line at the ATM. The man at the machine kept
repeatedly trying to get it to give him money he knew was in his
account. But the machine refused to co-operate with him. He
couldnt hear what was being said, but the man at the ATM was
clearly upset and the people standing in line behind him were
getting upset at the delay. Finally the first man in line removed
his card and waved the next person in line to the machine. As
with the first customer, the ATM refused to issue any money. Carl
couldnt see what the screen said, but he could guess. He
imagined that the screen was telling everyone that due to
circumstances beyond its control it was temporarily out of service
and to please try again later. He watched as the patrons became
more and more upset and while most of them left, the first man
in line picked up a nearby garbage can and threw it at the
machine. He then stormed away to return home with nothing to
show for his efforts.

Under his breath Carl said, And so it begins. Ive got to load the
rest of the weapons when we get home.

Diana had promised that she would return in half an hour. She
came out of the store in less than fifteen minutes. She had
wheeled a cart in, and walked out with one plastic bag on her
arm. She opened the door and got in, in a huff. Clearly she was
mad about something but Carl decided not to say anything about
it. He just started the car and began the trip home. After a few
minutes he did ask one thing.

So what did you get?

I CANT BELIEVE IT! Diana almost blasted out the windshield.


Do you have any idea of what they are charging in there? I had
to pay $30 for just two loaves of bread! Did you hear that? $30
for just two loaves of bread. It shouldnt be more than $5 a loaf.

I did warn you that you might be surprised. Did you get anything
else?

I can tell you what I didnt get. Im not paying $40 for a can of
coffee. When what we have is gone then we will do without until
things get better. And I refuse to pay $20 a pound for
hamburger.

So what DID you get?

Bread, a large bag of rice, some dried beans and a few spices.
JUST THAT MUCH took most of the money you gave me.

I thought you were going to use your debit card.

They wouldnt accept it. Diana told him and stared out the
windshield hoping he wouldnt say I told you so. Carl didnt but
he did ask,

How much do you have left?

About $75, why?

Id like to get some gas before they raise the prices on that
again.

I thought you have money, Mr. Know-it-all. You said you went to
the bank.

That doesnt mean I carry it around with me. Di, I need the cash
to get some gas.

How much of it?

All of it.

She was shocked.

Why do you want all of it?

I told you. We need gas for the car. Gas prices are like the food
prices. They have gone through the roof. We need about seven
gallons to top off the tank. Gas is about $10 a gallon. That means
I need all of the change.

Carl knew that Diana had always been very fond of money. He
had had a good job and made a very good living for them and
their children, who had by this time all moved away. He didnt
mind if she told him that she had spent $50 dollars on groceries
while the receipt in the bag said she had spent only $35. If she
wanted to put away a little mad money that was fine by him. He
was disturbed that she had a separate bank account which she
never spoke of and he had no idea of how much was in it. When
he noticed statements coming in the mail from that other bank he
had asked about it and she had assured him it was nothing. It
was just a little something for a rainy day. He let her have her
way and never questioned her about it. He respected her right to
privacy he never opened her bank statements when they came.
The one thing that did bother him about her love affair with
money is that when they spoke about the future, she always
talked about my retirement, and never our retirement. Still he

loved her and would do everything he could for her. He often


remembered the words of Paul in The Bible.

1Co 7:12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother
hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with
him, let him not put her away

Diana went to church with him, but it was obvious to him that she
didnt really believe. Her god was money and with enough of it
she wouldnt have to worry about a thing. The problem was that
no matter how much she had, it was never enough.

We dont need that much gas. Just get two gallons. That will be
more than enough.

Di, gas will cost more tomorrow than it does today. I would
rather have it in the tank now, at this price, than in the ground
tomorrow because we cant afford it. Give me the change.

She grumbled, but went into her purse digging around for the
money. Carl noticed the money never came out of her purse so
he could see how much she had, but after a couple of minutes
she handed him $70 and said,

At least leave me the five. I might need it for something.

He took the money, without comment and tucked it into his shirt
pocket. Soon he pulled into the gas station that has the cheapest
prices on the sign outside. After parking at the pump he went
inside to find the cashier. She was a rather tired looking young
woman, possibly in her mid-twenties, and she looked up at him
as he entered.

I need some gas on pump seven. Carl told her.

You and everybody else. She answered. How much?

Seven gallons.

We cant take debit or credit cards and no checks. It is cash


only.

Carl handed over the money and she actually smiled.

Its good to see someone came prepared.

The young lady punched some buttons on the register and


announced,

Youre all set.

Thank you. He said and went to the pump.

Carl knew the way things were going and how people were just
beginning to become ever more desperate in this situation. For
that reason he employed all of the skills he had learned in the
service so many years ago. The first one was observation. He
noticed how there were a number of people near the gas station,
seemingly doing nothing. But he could see they were watching
him. While he seemed to ignore them, he walked to the pump
and began to put gas in the car. He knew it would happen and it
did. As he was pumping gas a muscular young man walked up to
him with a gas can in hand.

Hey man, can you help me? He asked. I need some gas to get
to the store to get food for my old lady and me. Think you can
spare some of that?

If you cant afford gas, how can you afford to buy food? He slid
his hand into his pocket.

Hey man, I dont need any condemnation. I need the money I


have to buy food. Now come on, you can spare a little gas.

No, I cant. I need it for my wife and myself.

Oh come on man, give me some gas.

Im sorry, but I cant, maybe next time.

The man dropped the can and pulled a knife from his back
pocket.

I said give me the gas man.

Carl looked at him, and sighed. He then said,

This is stupid.

Are you calling me stupid old man?

Carl now pulled the pistol. He pointed it at the young man as he


rolled the hammer back and told him,

I guess I am. I think anyone that brings a knife to a gun fight is


stupid. Put the knife on the ground right now.

The mans eyes grew unbelievably large at the sight of the pistol
and the knife clattered to the ground.

Youve done me no harm, so if you start walking I wont hurt


you. Get moving.

The man did so, looking over his shoulder to see if Carl was going
to shoot him or not. Once the gas was in the tank Carl got in the
car and started it.

What was that all about? Diana demanded.

Protection. Was all he said.

Chapter Two

Diana, being so wrapped up in her anger didnt even notice the


confrontation until the would-be thief was walking away. By that
time Carl had already returned the pistol to his pocket. She was
in such a state that even when Carl said protection she didnt
really notice or care what he was talking about. As soon as he got
back in the drivers seat she was once again berating the store,
its prices and now the cost of fuel. Eventually she got to a point
where Carl thought he could possibly open her eyes about the
real world at least a little.

How could the government let this happen? she questioned


nobody in particular. Why dont they DO something? How can
they expect people to survive with these kinds of prices?

They are doing something. He told her.

Just what are they doing except sitting around and talking about
it?

They are controlling what happens.

Oh for goodness sakes, do you think THEY caused this?

I know they did.

Oh, so they planned to make everyone go broke and wind up


starving on the street. Give me a break. And just when did they
do this?

It has been coming for a very long time. The signs were always
there for anybody to see. But most people refused to even think
of it as possible.

And you, being Mr. Know-it-all did see it coming.

Not at first, but after you have enough evidence the conclusion
is inescapable.

Oh really, and just what kind of evidence do you have?

A lot of it, Im afraid. Lets start with the economy. Diana, every
businessman knows you cannot spend more money than you
bring in and expect to stay in business. They used to say the
business of America IS business. This country has been spending
more than it brings in since the end of WWII.

Then they should have printed more money.

They did. The problem with that is the more common an object
is, the lower its value becomes. For example, people dont pay for
pebbles. But they will shell out large amounts of money for
diamonds and other precious stones. Why? Because they are
more rare. When they made money more easily available, the
value of it dropped. This gets us back to where I started. When
the money supply increased and the value of it began to drop it
took more and more dollars to pay for things, because the money
wasnt as valuable. That is inflation. That means we couldnt
make deals with other governments like we could before. The
money wasnt worth as much.

To counter balance this ever increasing loss of value the


government made new deals. They allowed more and more cheap
foreign goods to be brought into America while the producers
paid lower and lower tariffs to get the goods here, to counter
balance the trade deficit. With the money not being worth as
much as used to be, people went for the cheaper foreign goods
and American companies began to feel the pinch. To stay in
business they had no choice but to lay-off or fire Americans and
have their products made overseas, then bring them here for
sale. That locked us into a cycle. Workers in this country had to
accept lesser pay and longer hours just to stay employed. With
less money to spend they had to buy the cheaper imports. This
meant more jobs overseas and fewer of them here.

So now youre an economics expert.

No, Im an over fifty year old man that has been watching this
come for a long, long time. Why do you think I insisted on a fixed

rate mortgage when we bought our home? The adjustable rates


were cheaper than the fixed ones at that time.

I never did understand why you did that.

I did it so that no matter what happened to the economy, the


interest rate on our home would remain the same. As it turns out,
I was right. Shortly after we got the house the economy took a
turn for the worse and those adjustable rates went through the
roof. You may remember a lot of people lost their homes during
that time. We didnt lose ours and the mortgage payments stayed
the same.

Okay, okay lets say you are right about what happened. Why
would the government do that?

In a word, control. The powers that be want total control over


everything. Mostly they want total control of the people. Look at
history. Every dictator and despot from the earliest recorded
accounts in The Bible, up to the rulers of today want total control
of the people. If they dont have that control there is always the
chance that the people will rise up against them, and put their
head on the chopping block.

But this is a democracy. The people are the ones who decide
how things are done by voting for the politicians in office.

Do you really believe that? What you have described is a


republic, like we used to have in the beginning. When the people
told the politicians what we would have or do. What we have now
is a democracy where the politicians tell us what we can have or
will do. Havent you noticed how it works? Take the health care
law that was passed a while back. The first thing the people in
Washington did was to exempt themselves from the law. But the
rest of us had to deal with it.

Now I know youre wrong. People didnt have to use the


governments health care system. They could keep their own
insurance if they wanted. We did.

Thats true. However our rates went up quite a bit. You see,
since the insurance system bore the brunt of the costs, they had
to raise their rates. That made it more difficult for most people to
continue their coverage. That, in turn, forced more people into
the governments health care system. In short, by passing that
law the government gained more control over the people they are
supposed to protect and defend.

I cant believe all of that. The government wouldnt treat us that


way, theyd get voted out of office.

Would they? Havent you ever heard about all the time
irregularities were discovered both before and after an election?

What do you mean irregularities?

I recall one time a voting machine had malfunctioned just before


the election. A man was called to get it working again. The roll of
paper inside the machine already had certain candidates marked.
It didnt matter who the individual voted for, the candidate
chosen by the government got the vote. Then there was the case
a few years back when the election of the president hung on
Florida. First one candidate was proclaimed the winner, even
before the polls had closed, and then the other was announced
the winner. It all came down to hand counting paper ballots and
deciding if the ballot was valid. In that case the ballots were
cards that got punched to show who someone had voted for. BUT
it the little piece of paper punched out, didnt separate cleanly
from the ballot, it was called into question. It didnt matter that
only one candidate had been chosen on the ballot. It was
questioned because of a little hanging chad.

That kind of thing happens in every election.

Havent you noticed it happens more and more every year?


Slowly, bit by bit, the powers that be are gaining complete control
over almost everything we think, say or do. The voting, our
health care, the right to own any kind of firearm, the right to
even worship God as we choose have all become ever more
restricted during our lifetime. Cant you see that?

Diana was a woman whose entire sense of self worth was based
on being right every time. It didnt matter if the facts were
against her, or if she knew absolutely nothing about the subject

at hand. She was right and everyone else was wrong and that
was that. That was why she hated it when Carl laid the facts out
in such a way the she no longer had an argument. Unwilling to
admit she was wrong she would always change the subject.
Seeing a supposed flaw in Carls reasoning, that is what she did
now.

You are just so wrong. The government hasnt done anything


against people who go to church.

Havent they? America was once a Christian nation. Now in


certain places it has become a hate crime to stand on a corner
and preach The Word of God. Why? Because some people might
be offended. Yet at the same time it IS a hate crime for
Christians, or anyone else, to complain about the Islamic call to
prayer broadcast from speakers atop the local mosque. That
doesnt sound like freedom of speech to me. It sounds like the
government is favoring one religion over another. And according
to the Constitution the government isnt allowed to do that. But
they are doing it anyway.

Now youre just getting crazy. The government hasnt done


anything against being a Christian.

No? Havent you seen the news stories about how military
chaplains have been banned from even mentioning the name of
Jesus Christ?

I dont believe that.

You and a lot of others, but that doesnt change the truth. Think
about it. If the government took God out of the schools and
courthouses, why wouldnt they take Him out of the military? If
the soldiers dont fear God, then they can do anything without a
worry about condemnation. Soldiers like that can be used to
control any population, including their own nation.

Diana had no further arguments to bring. Even though she knew


everything Carl had said was true, she could not bring herself to
admit that he was right.

I think you are just being a know-it-all paranoid. You are


twisting the truth to suit yourself, and I wont have anything
more to do with this discussion.

Carl realized that once again he had failed at trying to get Diana
to see the world as it was and not what she wanted it to be. He
sighed and decided to give it one more shot when he said;

Were almost home anyway. However I want you to think about


this. When people cant afford gas to go to work, they lose their
jobs. When people lose their jobs they cannot afford enough food
to keep them fed. They have no choice but to accept whatever
the government doles out to them. That, my dear wife, is total
control. The government has a list of every registered firearm in
the country. It will be most likely a very short time before people

will be required to hand them over in order to get something to


eat. But since Im so wrong about things, do you want any help
carrying in the groceries?

Dont get smart.

Once they had arrived home, Carl suggested that Diana take the
bread and other things into the house. He was going to get his
old pickup truck out of the garage and pull the car into it.

Why are you doing that? Diana asked. Just park it outside like
we always do. You know I hate backing out of the garage.

Because the truck only has one or two gallons of gas in it. This
car has a nearly full tank. I want to protect it inside the garage
instead of risking someone stealing it over night.

Diana rolled her eyes and turned to go inside, muttering to


herself. He is getting so paranoid.

Carl got into the truck and backed it out, and into the yard. His
wife considered it an eyesore and insisted he put it in the garage
to keep the neighbors from having to look at it. He then began to
pull the car in when Diana came up to him with an angry look.

Whats wrong? He asked.

Since you drove, I left my keys at home. Do you want to let me


in?

Oh, sorry. He answered sheepishly. He got out and opened the


front door for her then went back to the car. He had just parked
the car and pushed the remote button for the garage door when
the inside door leading from the house to the garage burst open
and Diana rushed in with a look of pure terror.

GET YOUR GUN! GET YOUR GUN!

Whats going on? He asked getting out of the car without


shutting it off, and pulling the pistol from his pocket.

Theres a man in our bedroom.

He pushed past her and made his way cautiously into the house.
As he did so he saw from the corner of his eye someone making a
hasty exit through the kitchen area, heading for the sliding glass
doors leading to the back yard. Whoever it was managed to reach
and use the open door before Carl could catch up with him. As he
reached it he saw the man scaling the wooden back fence and
trying to leave as quickly as he could. Carl raised the pistol
preparing to fire, but didnt. The house behind his had children
living there. If he missed the thief, the bullet would pass through
the board and could possibly hit one of the children or their

parents. The risk was too great. He watched as the man


disappeared from sight and listened to the sound of quickly
receding footsteps before turning and going back inside. He found
Diana in the living room, shaking.

Did you shoot him? I didnt hear a shot.

He was too quick for me. He got over the fence before I could
get him in my sights.

What was he doing here? She asked.

Isnt it obvious? He was stealing from us. Lets go see what


damage he has done.

They entered the bed room together to find everything on the top
shelf in both his closet and hers now on the floor, as if the thief
had simply swept them out of his way. The clothing on the rod
had either been pulled out and thrown to the floor or pushed to
the side as the man had been ransacking the place. Drawers in
the two dressers had been pulled out and dumped on the floor
and the drawers themselves simply tossed to the side. Dianas
jewelry box was open and while the jewelry was no longer inside,
it was laying on a towel on the bed.

Why would he do that? she wondered.

They call it smash and grab. You break in, grab whatever is
easiest to carry and run for it. He was going to get what he could
in that towel and leave with it.

Then why did he do all of this?

You didnt notice. Carl picked up one corner of the towel and
showed her the barrel of his shotgun and rifle. He was probably
looking for the ammo for these two.

But you keep that in the hall closet.

He didnt know that. I guess most people keep their ammo close
to the weapons. Since these were in the closet, he figured thats
where it would be. He sighed. We were blessed today.

How can you say that? Someone broke into the house and did all
of this.

It looks like he only had time to get to one room so the rest of
the house is okay, and he didnt find the ammo. If he had he
might have decided to shoot it out. That could have been very
bad for both of us.

Diana paled at the thought. How did he get in?

Through the glass doors. Somehow he slipped the latch and


walked right in. Let me check them for damage and see about
making them more secure. He looked at her. Seeing she was still
carrying the forgotten bag of food he suggested, Why dont you
put that away and when Im done we can get started on cleaning
up.

They made their way back to the kitchen area when Diana
wrinkled her nose and asked, Whats that smell?

Carl flushed a little. I closed the garage door and left the car
running. Could you get that while I check the door?

Put this in the kitchen. She handed him the bag and went to the
garage.

Carl put the bag on the counter and went to the door. The thief
had used something to bend the metal strip on the door frame
back so he could get to the latch of the door. Once that was lifted
it opened easily. Looking down he found a claw hammer at his
feet. That explained what had happened. He used the hammer to
bend the strip back into place and considered how best to secure
the door against future break-ins. While he was working, Diana
entered the kitchen and starting putting thing away when she
made a discovery.

I DONT believe this.

What is it?

Do you remember that bottle of champagne I got for our


anniversary?

Yeah.

That man drank at least half of it.

All things considered, that isnt too heavy of a price.

But I was saving that. She looked at what he was doing and
asked, How can you make that safer?

Id like to just board it up, but that will make it dark in here. For
now, Ive got some lumber in the garage. Ill install some kind of
a bar to keep the door closed even if the next guy jimmys the
lock.