Minnesota Three Percent Manages to Dig the Hole Deeper

For some reason, people cannot stay away from the media. It’s like the attention is such a siren song they can’t control themselves. You’ve got Christian Yingling up in PA, who never met a camera he didn’t want to get in front of. You’ve got the vast ocean of stupid that was Malheur, as well as the months of drama, attention-seeking and donation-begging from a few notable folks in the so-called patriot groups. And now you have yet another exhibit in the ongoing Case Against Liberty-Minded Folk with this bunch of twits from Minnesota Three Percent under the “United Patriots” banner.

This article has so much pure idiocy in it that I’m not sure where to start, so I’ll just jump in from the beginning and pull some of the more entertaining/maddening quotes.

Joshua Raider is a commanding officer in the United Patriots of Minnesota 3% and one of the few willing to talk about the movement publicly. He said people told him not to do an interview. His brother video-taped the conversation between Raider and the Fox 9 Investigators.

When asked what the group stands for he replied: “Protecting community, gun rights, the 2nd amendment, that kind of stuff. Pretty straight up stuff.”

Seriously? That’s the best you could come up with? If you’re going to completely ignore the saner heads around you who advised you not to talk to the media at all, one would think you’d at least have something a bit more coherent to say than that. Then again, judging by how you’re sitting in your chair, you’re a lot less James Mattis and a lot more Gomer Pyle.

“I run into nuts here and there who try to join our group. You have to weed them out right off the bat,” he said. “Obviously no one thought to check out Jason Thomas.”

In case you don’t remember who that guy is, check out this story, which details how the former “United Patriots III% Commander” got his home raided by the FBI. How did he manage to get that kind of attention, you may ask? With Facebook posts like this:

I can guaranty (sic) you that I’ll be one of the first to start killing feds…. And am actually trying to build up our capacity to challenge them.

According to a previously sealed search warrant, the FBI considers the Minnesota 3 Percenters a “militia group which believes in the violent resistance to or intended overthrow of the U.S. Government.”

“I don’t know why they’re targeting us, just the ideology we have,” said Thomas.

So, the guy who brags about how he wants to/plans to kill feds doesn’t know why his group was ‘targeted’? Give that man a scholarship to some graduate program in Logical Thinking. He’s ready, and he’s obviously already mastered spelling and written communication in his native language of English.

Oh, and by the way, Mr. Thomas is a convicted felon, who did time for burglary and criminal mischief.  Wow, definitely commander material right there.

Hey, Minnesota III%, are you thinking to yourselves that just maybe this guy should never have gotten into your group to begin with, let alone being able to run it for a while?

But this, dear readers, is the crown jewel of the article:

Michael German is a former FBI agent who’s gone undercover in several other militia groups.

Notice anything? German has gone undercover in several other militia groups. As in, more than one. The same guy was able to infiltrate a militia group, gather intelligence, flip a person here or there, and maybe even cause an arrest or two, and yet was able to just go down the road and do it all over again in another group. Why is that, pray tell? It’s because groups don’t learn.

In the FBI’s investigation into the Minnesota 3 Percenters, agents flipped one of their members, who became a paid confidential informant.

Agents, plural, flipped a member, who got paid to snitch on his fellow threepers. So much for the whole ‘these people are my brothers’ crap. But here’s the real kicker. MN III% picked a new state president three days ago. Jason Thomas was raided last spring.

Then we have this special tidbit:

[Members] complained on Facebook that, “the last 4 training events have been drunk fests. Sat morning there was broken beer bottles in my fire pit and puke in my yard. One guy slept in his car with no idea how he even got there,” read one post.

Oh, but they’re ‘ready for civil war.’ Them, drunken parties masquerading as training events, their felon ‘ex-commander,’ and their Slouching Wunderkind.

If you’d like to know why informants and UCs continue to be a problem, and groups keep looking like evil freaks to the American public, here’s what it comes down to:

1)  Stop letting pieces of trash in your group.
2) Stop conducting yourselves like pieces of trash.
3) Stop talking to the media.
4) Stop talking to the freaking media.

Stay classy, Minnesota.


Chasing Conflict Isn’t Noble

We always hear these stories about people running towards the sound of gunfire. It’s meant as a compliment, usually, this idea that when it’s all hitting the fan and people are running for their lives, there are a few among us who have the balls to set aside their personal safety in order to stop the threat.

In the ‘patriot’ movement there are plenty of those kinds of people. Unfortunately, there’s another kind of person too. They tell you they’d run toward gunfire as well; what they don’t tell you is that they wake up every morning hoping there’s gunfire…maybe even trying to provoke some.

A lot of folks seem to mistake brashness for courage, and provocation as fortitude. The problem with this is that brashness isn’t courage. Provocation isn’t fortitude.


People who desperately want conflict aren’t noble. The ones running around daring people to ‘violate their rights’ or trying to spark altercations aren’t somehow braver than the rest of us. In fact, some of these folks want it so bad they’re willing to throw not only their own caution out the window, but they’ll endanger others. They’ll give away information, or throw people under the bus by involving them.

People who understand that conflict is coming and are preparing for it is one thing. People who think it’s not coming fast enough and want to help it all along? They’re a problem, and you should be avoiding them like the plague.


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.