So What Exactly SHOULD You Be Doing?

There’s a certain peace in accepting a situation as it is, as I talked about yesterday. For many who still believe that camo and rallies are the way to change the status quo, acceptance means, on some level, taking away their purpose. I get that it’s a hard thing to accept; if you’re not ‘working for the cause,’ what else is there?  When you’re suddenly not spending insane amounts of time and (often someone else’s) money on the ‘fight for liberty,’ what are you supposed to do with yourself? It can cause some severe psychological effects for those who are engrossed in it.

I get that sentiment. My own thought progression has occurred over several years as well.  I’ve done the rally thing, the open activism thing. I’ve given speeches at events and sang the anthem in front of tens of thousands in DC. At each and every action, my heart was 100% in it — I believed in the necessity of fighting, and the hope that we could change things.

Over time, those beliefs were challenged again and again by watching what was going on around me. I can’t tell you how many times I had to find a way to either cease being ignorant, or cease being honest.  Little by little, the books I read, the things I saw, the facts I had to accept changed me.

Throughout that time, I’ve approached people I didn’t agree with and asked them to explain their position. I’ve studied the feedback I’ve gotten on various articles and taken the time to study the viewpoints of those who disagreed with me. I’ve tried to take all of that to heart and truly learn from it. I’ve said before — and just said again this morning — I’d rather be factually correct than be ‘right,’ and that means having to be brutally honest with myself when it’s possible I’m wrong.

That process means that some things I’ve done, I won’t do again. It means my involvement with certain communities or groups had to end. It means that I no longer agree with viewpoints I once shouted from the rooftops. Sometimes that knowledge is a bit embarrassing, quite frankly.  In most cases, however, I don’t regret it because it was a place on a journey that is ongoing.  I don’t want to remain stagnant, I don’t ever want to reach a place in my quest for knowledge where I think I’ve “arrived,” and can now retire to meme-sharing and pontificating in comment threads. I want to continue to learn, and to help others around me learn as well.

There is much more to all of this than we realize, and there’s no way any of us will ever know every single aspect of it all. But I think it’s a noble undertaking to give it every effort to try, to read and study and learn from those who are smarter than we are, or who have much to teach.

It takes a certain humility to do that — and I sometimes struggle with that because I’m human. It requires setting aside feelings and desires and even emotional needs in order to seek facts, objectivity, and analysis.  Sometimes it even requires setting aside personal dislike of a messenger in order to truly hear the message. There is something to be learned from everyone — even if they are a cautionary tale.  I daresay I’ve learned just as much from watching poor examples set by others (or even myself) than I learn from the solid role models — the numbers of which seem to be dwindling by the day.

What is ‘the answer?’ I’m not a guru. I know what I know, and I’m painfully aware of what I don’t. For me, the answer is to continue to seek truth — not the warm and fuzzy stuff that makes me feel good about ‘fighting for liberty,’ but the cold, hard truths that let me know exactly where I’m at, what needs to be done, and how I can get it accomplished.  Right now, that means training on my firearms and associated things, but it also means learning how to breed chickens for positive traits. It means learning how to get the absolute most yield out of a garden plot — and how to preserve that yield in a variety of ways. It means understanding the ins and outs of graywater recycling and networking with neighbors to create avenues of trade.  It means learning how to create medicines with the bounties of nature, and how to grow all of those components yourself. It also means a lot of reading — everything from philosophy to history to logic to how-to manuals on a host of things I wouldn’t normally have the faintest idea about how to accomplish.

That sounds like a lot of work — and it is. Oddly enough, however, when I stopped going to rallies and yapping on FB groups and getting on a thousand conference calls and organizing various actions, I suddenly had a lot more time to focus on the things that will help me prepare for a situation I cannot control and cannot stop.

I still believe in liberty. I still agree with privacy and the right to have the government leave me alone. I still believe all of those things. I also, however, believe that our time is best spent working on the things we CAN change, the things we CAN accomplish — and all of the things on that list come under one heading:

local, local, local.

 

Hard Truths and The Biggest Duty You Have

In 1978, Sir John Glubb wrote a paper entitled The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival. While many in the so-called ‘patriot movement’ have read it, far more have not — and that’s a shame, because reading it will show you something that will affect your entire mindset. Well, if you’re open to things like truth, it will.  And it’s freely available, so you don’t really have an excuse.

Fate of Empires shows a very disturbing truth about what happens to the great empires (or superpowers, if the term ’empire’ somehow offends you if applied to the US).  While I know some of you have read it, I’m going to assume that some of you haven’t, so I’ll recap.  From the introduction:

The experiences of the human race have
been recorded, in more or less detail, for
some four thousand years. If we attempt to
study such a period of time in as many
countries as possible, we seem to discover
the same patterns constantly repeated under
widely differing conditions of climate,
culture and religion.

I think we can all agree that humans are cyclical creatures — we tend to repeat the same mistakes over and over as a society and as a greater humankind.

I know you think that American exceptionalism makes us immune to such things, but stay with me.

The entire crux of Glubb’s research can be summed up in two major points. First, the chart below:

Do you see a trend?  Let me spell it out for you. Every single empire in recorded human history fell at an age of 200-250 years. This occurred irrespective of era, tech, culture, education, or military capability.  He didn’t even count the ones that are mentioned primarily in the Bible, or he’d have had a few more to add to the list.

How is this possible? These empires, regardless of environment, all lasted about 9-10 generations.

Glubb goes into the second commonality between all of these historical ‘master nations’ — they all followed an identical progression of stages, and while they may have ultimately ended due to invasion or financial ruin or cultural failure, they all followed the same progression.

  • The Age of Pioneers (outburst)
  • The Age of Conquests
  • The Age of Commerce
  • The Age of Affluence
  • The Age of Intellect
  • The Age of Decadence

How do you know a country has reached the age of decadence? You see the following indicators:

  • Defensiveness
  • Pessimism
  • Materialism
  • Frivolity
  • An influx of foreigners
  • The Welfare State
  • A weakening of religion

So where, pray tell, do you think the United States is on that timeline? If you need me to tell you THAT, you’re probably on the wrong site.

I told you all of that to tell you this:

If Glubb’s research is correct (and I see no reason to think it is not), then the United States as you know it will cease to exist in the next nine years, maximum.

Now, before you start screaming about Constitutions and militias and all the amazing, ballsy things you plan to do for liberty, consider the following:

1.  A 30-second perusal of what’s going on in this country right now will tell you that we are so deep into the Decadence age that we are on the tail end of it.

2. If you spend a fair amount of objective time and effort looking deeper than the regurgitated lies and narrative forced on you by the media, then you probably understand that the fall of the United States has already begun, and is actually in full swing.

Several people who know enough to intelligently discuss the matter see Balkanization as a very real probability.

Some of you might think, “well YEAH, let’s get our secession on!” That might be fine and awesome if you live in a place where you and people like you are the majority — and even then you’ll have a very sporting time. But what about the folks who are deep in ‘enemy territory,’ like California or New England?

I’ve been told that it’s cowardly to possess the viewpoint that the USA is lost. My lack of hope and belief in the ability to return to “the things that made America great” is a downer for some, who insist that the wrongs can be righted and the phoenix of individual liberties will rise again from the ashes or something. I do believe that individual liberty could rise again. I just also paid attention to the “ashes” part that comes first.

Here’s the thing. It’s not cowardly to assess the situation and understand it for what it is, rather than what we want or even need it to be. If anything, being able to set emotion aside and objectively see the predicament we’re in makes you better prepared to deal with it.

If you insist on believing that there is hope for this carcass of a nation, because militias and Constitutional rights, then you haven’t been paying attention nearly as well as you think.  There are a few things you need to understand.

a) The Constitution, while brilliant in its time, is dead. It is largely ignored in the courts and on the streets.  This is evident by watching the shenanigans in Nevada, or the protests in which cops are ordered to allow and even encourage violence. It’s obvious in the fact that when some cops do choose to become tyrants, they often do so with the tacit approval of their departments, who either look the other way or award them for their actions. In fact, the very people who are supposed to defend you in this corrupt system, are currently calling for gun confiscation and ex parte orders. Yes, the American Bar Association, many of whom are criminal defense lawyers, want your guns taken away.

b) The surveillance state is complete. You cannot hide from it anymore, unless you are willing to engage in a lifestyle that is painstakingly annoying and lacking in technology — and even then, you can’t hide completely because eventually you have to use a piece of societal infrastructure. This means that unless you are engaging in a very specific type of action, in a very specific kind of way, bolstered by a very specific level of tradecraft, they will always know what you’re doing before you do it — and if the current situation is any indication, they’ll already have someone near you to ‘help’ you do it whether you were actually doing it or not.

c) Your absolute, core level, most important job in this nation is to raise and train the next generation. If you have kids and you’re setting them aside to run all over the countryside “defending freedom” then you are abdicating your biggest role — and your kids will grow up not even understanding what the point was. Teaching your kids that “Daddy’s missing your birthday because he’s defending liberty at a rally” is NOT the same as sitting down with them every day and training them to think critically, to be self-sufficient, to understand what the principles of liberty are, and to have the intestinal fortitude to act with grace, courage, and strength in a world gone mad. If you’re a parent, that’s your first, top, most critical purpose. As a friend of mine says: It’s “God, family, THEN country.” You can go to every rally imaginable — but if your kids aren’t getting raised in the truth, then what you’re doing is all for nothing because they won’t be able to carry it on — and they won’t have the balls to do it even if they manage to pick up the concept.

d) Going to a protest and acting like you have the authority of the cops or military is not the same as deploying as the military or working as a cop.  Some might say they are “assisting law enforcement,” but if you haven’t been given authority, you don’t have any — and while it does happen, it’s certainly not the norm. Showing up to a rally that isn’t even yours, looking like you just crawled out of a surplus clearance sale doesn’t give you authority. In fact, if you roll up to a rally armed and dressed like you’re about to take Fallujah, you’re no different than Antifa — you just have better patches and a rifle instead of a club. And who do you think will be seen as the bigger threat — the kids with clubs, rage, and the support of the media and half of the powers that be? Or the guys who look like they have a Charles Whitman fantasy and just need a tower?

e) You and your friends will not somehow overcome a trend that has been present in all of recorded human history. I hate to say it, but it’s true. All your flags and camo gear and standing at rallies will not change the cycle of all humanity. If every single empire that has ever stood ended in 250 years at the most, what in God’s green earth makes you so arrogant as to think that you will somehow be the exception to the rule? Oh, that’s right — you have God on your side, yes? That’s the difference? Here’s the brutal truth. Solomon’s empire was the strongest, richest, and even wisest of all. He had everything, including the blessing of the Almighty, and his countrymen thrived under his rule — until that sentence you see over and over in Old Testament era history: “Every man did what was right in his own eyes.”  That sentence always signaled the end, because it means the society in question had reached the age of decadence. And it always comes — because humans are all the same.

All of this adds up a very simple fact: You can’t stop the tsunami that is coming; you’re not going to be able to “restore” anything. You can, however, shift your mindset to preparing for how to survive it, as opposed to failed attempts at preventing it. You can make it through the storm, come out the other side, and possibly start something even better — unless you’re in jail or dead, of course, which is where it seems the movement is hell-bent on getting to, and the gov is all too happy to oblige.

You can stand on a street corner at a rally with your camo, shemagh and patches all flipping day but if your kids aren’t getting trained, you’re failing. If you’re too busy running your mouth on Facebook and posting memes to read the books that will educate you, and train your mind, you’re failing. If you’ve got every piece of military gear known to man but you haven’t the faintest idea how to be sustainable without the food/water/power infrastructure, you’re failing.  And if you’re on food stamps or government assistance because you can’t support your family, but you’ve got money to go to rallies, you are the ultimate failure, because you preach a doctrine of self-determination that you cannot even bother to live by.

Let’s STOP failing, and let’s stop pretending. Prep for the situation that IS, not the one you desperately want it to be.

No, the WaPo Isn’t Giving Kudos to the Militia

The recent article in the Washington Post about the militia “commander” who says he went to Charlottesville to defend free speech is being lauded as the return of good press for the militia. Some on Facebook have even gone so far as to claim that the WaPo is giving the militia “kudos.”

This could not be further from the truth, and it’s a dangerous belief that needs addressing in a firm and blunt way.

I’m about to break down this article and show you that not only is it a well-constructed piece of anti-gun, anti-patriot propaganda, but it’s also Exhibit A in the neverending case titled “Why You Should Never, Ever, Ever Talk to the Media.”  In fact, I’ll even go so far as to say it’s also Exhibit A in the case titled “Why Certain People Should Never Represent Your Overall Group.”

For those who’ll say I’m ‘punching right,’ or targeting a good man for ridicule, I’ll simply say this: He put himself out there. He wanted that attention, he wanted the platform, and in accepting that platform he also, by default, accepted all that comes with it. If you cannot read this with an open mind for facts, then you’re part of the problem.

I’m not even going to touch the militia authority issues inherent in this. My friend JC Dodge already handled that here, here, and about fifty other places on his site.  I’m merely talking about the propaganda/representation angle in this article.

Start With the Title

The title of the article is “Militiamen came to Charlottesville as neutral First Amendment protectors, commander says.” This should have signaled to everyone that it would not be a complimentary piece.  Why? Because it includes the phrase “commander says.” This means the WaPo author is saying, “We all know what they were actually there for, but THIS guy is lying and saying differently.”  Or, more to the point, “Hey folks! We interviewed one of the crazies that were at Charlottesville and he’s saying he was there to defend free speech…can you believe this guy?” It sets the tone for all that comes after.

It Just Gets Worse

The first sentence of that article is:

Of the harrowing images televised nationwide from Saturday’s white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville, one of the more chilling sights, amid hours of raging hatred and mayhem, was of camo-clad militiamen on the streets, girded for combat in tactical vests and toting military-style semiautomatic rifles.

What exactly about that sentence is in any way condoning, supporting, or offering “kudos” to the militia? Here’s a hint: It’s not.

  • It uses the word “chilling” to describe their appearance, an inherently negative word.
  • It specifically calls out their “military-style semiautomatic rifles.”
  • It announces that they were “girded for combat,” which implies that they wanted to engage in combat.

It’s easy to interpret things the way we want to see them. The problem is, while some of you might read that and think, “Oh, gee, the WaPo says we are WARRIORS,” you need to read that without your biases. The author isn’t saying anything of the sort. He’s saying “You, Mr. Public, should be afraid of these people.” But let’s keep going, because the author isn’t done.

Photos and video of the heavily armed cadre — a relatively small force commanded by a 45-year-old machinist and long-ago Navy veteran from western Pennsylvania — spread rapidly on social media, raising fears the clash of hundreds of neo-Nazis and counterprotesters might end in a bloodbath.

What’s being said here?

  • They mention he’s a machinist and “long-ago” Navy veteran, and there is a subtle insult there, both of his vocation and his service. In other words, this guy is a freaking machinist, he’s not even in a career field conducive to security work, and he was in the military like, ages ago so that doesn’t even count.”
  • They purposely link his “relatively small force” with “fears” that the rally “might end in a bloodbath.” Again, the underlying message here is that these guys are scary and were all about violence.

Next we have the ‘commander’ talking about his “show of strength.” Well, judging by the title and first two lines of this article, their intended “strength” came across a lot differently to the audience. As a friend pointed out to me this morning:

A polo with the unit logo, some pressed cargo pants, shined boots, a decent haircut, and a pistol that looks like its seem use in a holster is all you need to send message of strength.

Someone might want to mention this to the camo crowd; not that anyone’s listening. but let’s move on.

The fact that no shots were fired, Yingling said, was a testament “to the discipline of the 32 brave souls serving under me during this particular operation.” In a telephone interview Sunday, he sought to dispel “the absurd idea in the public’s mind” that his group of “patriots” was allied with or sympathetic to the white nationalists.

Mistake: Crediting discipline for them not opening fire.  That’s basically the same as saying, “Hey we could have shot people, but we’re disciplined so we held ourselves back. You’re all very welcome.”

Eroding the Credibility

Then there’s the part where WaPo says he “sought to dispel” the “absurd idea” about them being sympathetic to white nationalists. The phrase “sought to dispel” is a lot different than “dispelled.” It means, for the record, that he tried and failed. The WaPo is once again saying, “yeah he SAYS this, but we all know it’s BS.” In addition, the commander makes a point of reminding everyone that the 32 “brave souls” were “serving under me.” That will become a common theme as we move forward.

Many militia units in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast have “mutual defense agreements,” Yingling said. Because he has overseen several militia responses at contentious gatherings in recent months — helping “keep the peace” at right-wing public events in Boston; in Gettysburg and Harrisburg, Pa.; and at an April 29 rally in Harrisburg for President Trump — Yingling said the commander of a Virginia militia asked him to organize and take “tactical command” of the Charlottesville operation.

An entire paragraph devoted to “I’m in charge and here’s why.” Note the quotes around phrases like “keep the peace” and “tactical command.” That’s not the author quoting the commander, that’s the author using selective phrasing to mock the commander.

“He had never handled anything like this,” Yingling said. “And given the volatility of the event, it was not a good place to start.”

See the theme yet?

When his group arrived in Charlottesville, “we put our own beliefs off to the side,” Yingling said. “Not one of my people said a word. They were given specific orders to remain quiet the entire time we were there. . . . Our mission was to help people exercise their First Amendment rights without being physically assaulted.”

…except they got “drastically outnumbered.”

“Jacka—s,” was how he described both sides, meaning the white nationalists, who billed the gathering as Unite the Right, and the counterprotesters, many marching under the banner of Antifa, for “anti-fascist.” Yingling also criticized police, saying that officers were poorly prepared for the violence and not assertive enough in combating it and that they should have enlisted the militiamen to help prevent the mayhem.

On what authority, pray tell? Did the camo and rifles impart some kind of special authority? Because claiming you’re a militia sure doesn’t, as Dodge and many others have pointed out about a million times.

He said several of his troops were battered and bloodied, having been attacked by people on both sides of the demonstration, yet they did not retaliate.

So they got their butts kicked? They turned the other cheek? Hey, we showed up looking like we just came from Frank’s Military Surplus to defend free speech, and we got “battered and bloodied” but we didn’t retaliate.

Now, I need to also point out that there’s some prime-grade stupid in the remarks of the police and authorities here as well. The Secretary of public safety said, “The fighting in the street was sporadic. But soon after it started, we began to have conversations about when to go in.” Really? Hey guys, people are killing each other out there so let’s talk about what we should do. Fail to plan, plan to fail.

And then we get back to the commander, who is apparently in contradiction mode.

Yingling called the weapons “one hell of a visual deterrent” to would-be attackers from either side.

So, according to this guy’s own words:

  • They were there to defend free speech and defend people from assault.
  • They carried loaded rifles and chambered sidearms which were a visual deterrent to attackers.
  • They got battered and bloodied and did not retaliate.

Those points don’t make sense.

In addition to having overall command of units in Pennsylvania, Yingling said, he is the leader of his home unit, the Light Foot Militia Laurel Highlands Ghost Company, based near his home in New Derry, Pa., about 50 miles east of Pittsburgh. The Ghost Company has about a dozen members, he said.

More discussion on this commander’s level of perceived power. The readers who are plastering this all over Facebook miss the part where it’s being portrayed in much the same mock-serious way as one might interview former presidential candidate Vermin Supreme, or the lady who sincerely believes that Cleopatra lives on in her cats.

But here we get to the coup-de-grace, a one-two-three punch meant to destroy whatever credibility the commander had.

A Navy veteran of Operation Desert Storm, Yingling said he was an aviation machinist’s mate for three years before leaving the service in 1993 as a petty officer third class, meaning he was four rungs up the enlisted ranks.

One. This guy was a nobody in the military, only four rungs from the freaking bottom. Keep your own knowledge out of it – read it like someone who isn’t familiar with the military and is already predisposed against it.

“I joined the military to avoid the addictive lifestyle of my parents,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “I was raised in a VERY dysfunctional, abusive home. The military gave me the structure I needed.” After his discharge, however, “I quickly fell right into the lifestyle I had known all my life with my parents. I quit going to church, I started using drugs and alcohol, heavily becoming addicted to both. It started a . . . downward spiral which led to an eventual suicide attempt.”

Two. Heartwarming stories about overcoming adversity and addiction are for reality shows like The Voice, not for an interview with the media trying to explain why someone is credible and should be trusted with firearms in the public square. If anything, this will get used later to push the “SEE? These patriot people are former drug addicts, alcoholics, suicidal…”

Then, in 2008, President Barack Obama was elected. Yingling said he was drawn then to right-wing, anti-government extremism.

Aaaand THREE. While the commander said later that he said “anti-corrupt government,” not anti-government, it doesn’t matter. The media did what the media does, and no one cares what he actually said because the article says what it says.

When I was interviewed for Lies of Omission, one of the questions all of us were asked was whether our activism and/or liberty beliefs came as a result of Obama being elected; that’s one of the biggest misconceptions about the movement – that we’re all racists who just hated Obama because he was black. We all laughed at how preposterous the idea was, and every last one of us treated it like the idiotic and false idea it was. Yet here Mr. Commander hands that exact vindication to them on a silver platter, and the author does the expected thing – he uses it to paint him as a racist with his own words. He’s done.

In the interest of this somehow not being any more of a book than it already is, I’ll skip to the end paragraph.

“We knew what we were walking into,” he said on Facebook Live. “We knew what the results were going to be. And yet we walked in anyway. We weren’t afraid. And we didn’t give a good damn about our image or about what anybody thought about us. And I still don’t.”

Great. You knew what the results would be and you did it all anyway.  You got the exact effect you expected. That’s not noble, it’s not something you should be getting back-pats from your peers for. It means you knew that your presence would be a) ineffective, b) send a certain message, and not the one you think; and c) you’d get whacked around by protesters and thrown out by police. If you knew all this and still went, there’s only one reason: you wanted the attention.

I’m glad he’s so open about not caring what anyone thinks, because it means the rest of us can point out that he screwed the pooch so thoroughly that it’s now dead and rotting. This so-called commander accomplished nothing good for the movement. He did, however, achieve the following:

  • Told the public that a former drug addict who basically radicalized because Obama got elected is now in charge of all the armed ‘militia’ forces in the entire state of Pennsylvania.
  • Told the public that it was only their ‘discipline’ that kept shots from being fired.
  • Told the public they all knew exactly what would happen when they showed up, and did it all anyway.
  • Told the public that he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him.

He must have missed the part where he needs the support of the public in order to win.

But hey.  Never mind that.  There’s another rally soon.