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This is a special episode of the Off-Farm Income Podcast. Episode #343 was scheduled to be released on the sixteenth anniversary of the attacks of September 11th, 2001. I did not want to gloss over this important anniversary. And, I wanted to provide something that might make a difference in the future for you or even our nation. So, I devoted this episode to remembering September 11th and understanding how to get in touch with your intuition.
On September 11th, 2001 I was between police jobs. I had left my police job in California to take a position as a herdsman of a cattle ranch in Southern Idaho. When the ranch was sold Autumm and I moved to Boise, and I was returning to law enforcement. However, I was in the hiring process and was not a police officer again yet.
When Autumm and I woke up and saw it on the news that morning, only one tower had been hit and neither had come down yet. We had been in Manhattan in 2000, and we had gone up to one of the observation floors of the World Trade Center. So that morning we were glued to the television, just like everyone else in America. Neither of us wound up going to work that day, and we were forever changed like the rest of our fellow citizens.
My biggest memory of that day is shock, horror and trying to understand what was going on. Then came anger. I was angry and wanted to hit back right away. I was angry at myself that I was between police jobs and if something happened in my community I wouldn’t be able to help in an official capacity.
I was going through the hiring process with Boise P.D. and would be back in uniform less than three months later, but that was a long three months wanting to get back out there.
Impacts On Agriculture
A lot changed after 9/11. We started assessing threats in every part of the country. This hit agriculture as well. Extra security was placed at dams, with concerns about breaches. Regulations went into affect regarding crop dusters with the worry that harmful materials could be sprayed on crops or population centers.
Regulations put in place after the Oklahoma City Bombing were ramped up with worries that terrorists would attempt to gather enough agricultural ingredients to create an ANFO or ammonium nitrate fuel oil bomb.
The story of flight 93 really showed something. The passengers on that aircraft correctly realized that if they took no action they were going to die. They also realized that if they took no action than more people than them would die. They gave up their lives saving others, trying to save their own and being the first Americans to fight back in what would become the War On Terror.
The biggest changed that happened was probably in the mindset of Americans. Terrorism had come to our shores from a foreign land with catastrophic consequences. We were woke up. We were going to war. We were not as innocent as we once were. And an airplane hijacking would never be done without resistance again.
The Rise Of The Lone Wolf
The FBI completely reorganized with counter-terrorism as its #1 aim. Since then, we have heard less and less about Al Qaeda while ISIS has risen. Terrorist tactics have changed from widely coordinated and planned attacks to the lone wolves acting on their own. A lone wolf attack means that the body count won’t be a high, but the odds of detecting it before it is carried out are really low.
Let me give you an example. On April 15, 2013 two homemade bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon killing three and injuring hundreds. In the aftermath and apprehension of the terrorists a police officer was killed. And later a police officer injured in the bombing died. The brothers who committed this act were lone wolves and the ability to detect this plot was really limited.
At the same time in Boise, Idaho there was a man named Fazliddin Kurbanov who had been communicating with a terrorist organization overseas and was planning a large scale bombing in the United States. Because of the communications and coordination of this attack he was detected, surveilled and arrested before he could act.
The “success” of the Boston bombing and failure of the coordinated bombing was a clear indicator to terrorists that seemingly undetectable, lone wolf attacks would have to be the new tactic.
There was a lot of talk about being vigilant right after the attacks of September 11th. Today that remains important, even more important than it was then since the lone wolf attack is now the weapon of choice. We’ve seen more lone wolf attacks in the U.S. with the shootings in San Bernardino and we’ve seen it in Europe with the vehicles plowing into crowds.
I know how hard it is to remain vigilant. As a police officer for 15 years I was supposed to be highly aware at all times. This is not an easy thing to do, particularly when nothing significant has happened recently. So, for those of us who are not in the military or law enforcement, what can we do to remain vigilant?
Sadly, I don’t think there is much we can do to constantly keep ourselves at a high level of awareness. However, we can train ourselves to recognize threats subconsciously and believe what our intuition is telling us. This is really not that hard. There are two things you have to do to accomplish this: trust your intuition and practice situational awareness.
Practicing situational awareness is something that will become a habit after you do it on purpose for a while. I still scan the waist lines of people for firearms even though I am not longer a police officer. It is just a habit. You develop situational awareness by just taking a moment when you walk into a convenience store or restaurant and look around at what is happening and make a mental note of things to watch.
But how do we develop intuition?
You actually don’t need to develop it. The mere fact that you are listening to this podcast and alive today means that your ancestors were survivors and survived by having strong intuition. This goes back thousands of years when attack by man or animal was always a possibility. Those instincts are in you, just like the independent spirit you have that makes you want to farm and live on your own terms.
What we do as humans today is we ignore our intuition. Or we dismiss it as paranoia. Or worse, we push it aside so we don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. We shouldn’t do that. Can you imagine a deer in a meadow seeing a mountain lion walking towards it and not running away because that would hurt the lion’s feelings? Crazy right? That would be a dead deer.
We have become so politically correct and sensitive to other people’s feelings that we often don’t realize our intuition was talking to us until after something bad has happened.
Start Recognizing Threats
So, what can we do to start recognizing threats and hearing our intuition?
I recommend buying and reading the book The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence. This was written by Gavin De Becker. One of my personal heroes. I was fortunate enough to attend his companies advanced threat management training in Lake Arrowhead, California some years ago. So, this is something I am passionate about. I am also passionate about this book. And the first chapter will clearly demonstrate to you how people ignore their intuition and how intuition can help save your life.
When I taught a domestic violence course at Boise State University several years ago I gave a copy of this book to every student in the class for free. It was that important to me. I want to give away two copies of this book and encourage the rest of you to purchase a copy for yourself, your friends and your loved ones. I want to help create a more vigilant and situationally aware population and do my part to fight back against the continuing threat of terrorism on this anniversary of September 11th.
If your would like a free copy of “The Gift Of Fear” mailed to you just go to the Off-Farm Income Facebook page by September 21st, 2017, and leave me a reply in the post about the free book giveaway saying you want one. I’ll pick two winners on September 22nd and contact you.
For the rest of you, do yourselves a favor and buy this book.
If you click on our Amazon link first that is great. If not, don’t sweat it. Just buy this book. It can literally save your life, and possibly help you save the lives of others.
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