How to React to Burns

There are a lot of blog posts out there “suggesting” and “directing” a reaction to the Burns situation. They range from outrage to ridicule. Some folks that I greatly respect have called it an extreme sadness.

The conspiracy folks are out in large numbers, indentifying government snitches and calling the road block and arrests a method of getting the government assets out of harm’s way.

Some are turning LaVoy Finicum into a martyred saint.

Yet others are commenting that they wish the law enforcement community had taken different actions to end the occupation.

The remaining comments cover everything in between.

What do we really know?

Other than the obvious that one man is dead and others have been arrested, we don’t know much. “Witness” accounts vary greatly and depending on which ones you decide to believe, support is out there for everyone’s beliefs.

But, we don’t really know right now. Developing and implementing courses of action at this point is premature.

Regardless of how you feel about the Burns occupation, we know that a man who seemed to be a nice guy is dead. We can mourn his passing no matter if he “committed suicide by cop” or he was wrongly killed.

We need to remain vigilant and demand the truth. Truth is a rare commodity in this day and age, but we must demand it in this case. Truth of not only what happened, but why it happened.  The release of the video is a good start.  Armed with the truth, we can then come up with actions to be taken.

Sadly what’s missing in our reactions are any actions to achieve one of the stated goals.

The Hammonds are still ignored. As folks raise money for the Finicum family and legal funds for the Bundys and the others arrested, we really shouldn’t abandon the Hammonds.

Surely there must be liberty minded folks who can provide physical support to the Hammond family while their adult men are in prison. Talk to any older woman who loses her husband. It’s the physical contact and folks willing and able to help out on the “little stuff” that makes a difference. When we go to visit my wife’s mother (who lost her husband a little while ago) I always bring a bag of tools to do the little “honey-do” things that don’t get done now that dad is gone.

If the Hammonds get lost in the post mortem of the occupation, it really will all have been for nothing.

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Oregon Lessons Learned – Or – Lessons You Better Learn

Regular readers know that I am a huge advocate of local preparation and execution.

There will be times though when other groups will call for aid and support.

You might be inclined to assist. Today, we’ll discuss some criteria to help you decide if you want to or should provide support.

Will leaving your local area leave you and your tribe at risk?

  • Your number one priority is you, your family, and your local area.  Do you have enough trained members of your group to send some of them somewhere else?
  • It’s the same thing with logistics. Do you have access to extra supplies?  You should never give your core supplies to someone else

Do the folks that you are going to assist have a clear statement of why they are taking the action? Does it have an obtainable end state? In other words, have they defined success?

  • A good objective needs to be getting the middle 40% of America to see us as not evil. We shouldn’t expect then to love our cause, but certainly they need to see that we are being wronged.  If we can show the government as overbearing and overreaching, we win.

Another thing to consider is whether or not you have local support.

  • It doesn’t matter if the liberty event is in the middle of BLM controlled land, or in a town with a tyrannical sheriff, or something else. If the locals are happy with the atrocities or evilness, we are wasting your time with an occupation.
  • In Oregon, it’s not that the locals are ambivalent. They are overwhelmingly against the occupation.  The Hammonds, who are claimed to be one of the reasons for the occupation, are adamant in their statements that they don’t support the occupation.  And other than Tom Baugh, no one seems to be talking about how to help the Hammond family as they try to make it with while their bread-winners are in prison.
  • Stealing government vehicles and driving them around town, destroying government property, and otherwise causing the taxpayer who actually owns the stuff to have to pay for repairs, sends a terrible message to the locals.
  • In Oregon, there was an outstanding opportunity to seize the high ground by protecting the historical artifacts, but it seems that they took the ISIS approach to the artifacts.
  • Remember that the locals lived there before we got there and will live there after we leave.
  • Quite frankly, other than the lack of logistical support, this was the thing that I found so bizarre with the Jedburgh concept. The notion that some folks would get together from God knows where and show up in my locality seemed bizarre. I always figured that they would be shot on contact.

Consider who you are going to support.

  • Someone else started the fight. If you go to help, you won’t be in charge and will have to willingly follow their rules. If you can’t do that, you best not go. If the group in question gets a bad reputation, you will too, just for having been there.
  • If you don’t know them at all, but think the objective is strong, and there is local support, be cautious and be prepared to disengage if you have to.  Plan your own exit strategy from the beginning.

Do the folks conducting the action have a comprehensive public relations plan?

  • Obviously, if there isn’t a clear objective, it’s hard to garner support. However, even if you have a clear objective, it is critical that you keep the locals informed of your daily actions and what is being done (or should be done) to achieve your end state.
  • A media center is very important.   The message needs to be consistent and professional.  As the situation develops, there may be a time where you can’t talk to the media directly.  Consider the use of “pirate radio” to get your message out to the masses.

What logistical support are the fighters depending on?

  • Assuming that a clear objective was established and local support was available, the planners must have an idea of how long the fight is going to last.  They must show up with enough supplies to last for the initial estimate, and develop a plan for resupply

In conclusion, choosing to support an effort with “boots on the ground” requires some serious thinking.

  • If you can’t leave your local area, you shouldn’t go at all.
  • If you can leave your local area, but have no access to extra logistical supplies, you shouldn’t go at all.
  • If you can leave your local area and you do have extra supplies, but the folks doing the action have no clear objective or feasible end state, you shouldn’t go at all.
  • If you can meet all of the criteria, but the action is in a place where there is no local support at best, or the locals are hostile at worst, you shouldn’t go at all.

It’s time to remember that it’s all local.

 

 

Time to Move On

Five months ago, I started this blog in response to some serious allegations of misdeeds on the part of Sam Kerodin. Being part of the III movement for some time, I was familiar with many of the bigger players in the movement.

This blog was never about Kerodin versus Mike Vanderboegh versus the myriad of influential players in the III movement. Not supporting one or the other didn’t make you an automatic fan of the other folks.

Over the years though I got skeptical over some of the actions of the Kerodins. It seemed that they weren’t focused so much on the goals of the III movement and liberty, but instead became focused on self interest – power and money.

Last year I started hearing from folks that I consider to be very solid IIIs. Many of them were planning on leaving the III movement.  I started hearing about folks being run off by the Kerodins.  Folks whose business efforts were being attacked by Kerodin and his supporters.  Folks who just wanted nothing to do with the IIIs and liberty any more.

I decided to investigate. What I found disgusted me.  You’ve read the results of my investigation on this blog.  I thought that what the Kerodins did to JC Dodge was the lowest thing that I had seen in a while.  Leave it to the Kerodins to double down on being lowlifes, though.  I found out about the “legal” action that they had started against Kenny Lane.  Three legal actions initiated.  First was a temporary restraining order against him and it was thrown out before it got to court.  Second was the court trial to take his guns away.  Third was the civil case that the Kerodins decided to not show up in court for.

There has been a lot of evilness being thrown around regarding these cases. It was interesting to watch the evolution of the supporters of the Kerodins as the truth came to light.  The comments went from nasty attacks to many folks seeing the light as the evidence mounted.  The Kerodins took advantage of the time between the second law suit and the last law suit to attack Kenny, knowing that he wouldn’t comment until the final suit was heard.  They even asked for a continuance to keep Kenny from commenting until April!  Hopefully, the last few Kerodin supporters have finally seen the light and have washed their hands of them.

So, where do we go from here?

Folks, the cause was and remains liberty.  Sammy tried to make it about him.  Some fell for his glib tongue.  It’s easy to understand.  Folks are always on the lookout for the easy solution vice the hard work.

We need to remember that the III movement is you. It’s not Sam, it’s not Mike, it’s not Pete, it’s not anyone else but you.  Watching the downfall of the Kerodins doesn’t automatically make you a supporter of someone else.  A fail for the Kerodins is not a victory for anyone else.  Let’s not be liberals here!  It’s the Kerodin’s downfall.  Period.

One of the biggest problems that most folks have with police misconduct isn’t the misconduct itself. It’s the fact that the police won’t police themselves.  Misconduct get’s ignored at best, and covered up at worst.  Some of us in the III movement fall into the same trap.  We defend the actions of folks that claim to be IIIs even in the face of clear misdeeds.

I am very proud of the folks that stood up to the Kerodins and weren’t afraid to question their misdeeds. Some of them took harder hits than others, such as JC and Kenny.  Some of them took professional and personal hits that most of us will never know completely.

It is a sign of a healthy group like ours that we can police ourselves.

So, what is the future of the Kerodins? I think they are done with the III movement.  They have been tried and found wanting.  They own a lot of assets that we in the III movement paid for.  They own the land for the Citadel (sorry for the “investors” but the Kerodins own the land).  They own whatever III Arms stuff still exists (sorry founders, but legally it’s theirs).  They own the TOC and everything that was donated to fill it (night vision goggles, comms gear, etc.).  They own their dojo.

Much of this isn’t very liquid, so getting cash out of it might be a challenge in the near term.

I see one of two things happening.

The first one is that they sell everything, change their names again and move on. I’m guessing that they have been selling things for a few months now and getting everything ready to move.

The second is that they try and save something out of this. Sammy will claim to have to go “dark” to take care of some “serious III business”.  He passes control of the society and some of the other things that don’t make money to some gullible III.  And then we never hear from them again until the next con with a new name.

Either way, I won’t miss them.  It’s time to move on and double down on our preps.

Is Honest Debate Not Part of Rightful Liberty?

The Oregon occupation has been a very good learning experience for the III movement, but for very different reasons than many think about.

The biggest lesson learned to date is that we in the III movement do not have a single, unifying objective. While some will say it is “restoring rightful liberty” and similar sayings, this is so vague that it’s meaningless.

We in the movement have yet to determine what the desired end state is. In other words, in a perfect world, after we win, what do we want America to look like?

In Oregon, we have groups occupying the Federal building, with a variety of different goals. Some seem to be  deeply “old-school” ranchers who don’t like the federal government making it harder to use land that the ranchers don’t own.  Another group seems to clearly want to “pick a fight” and perhaps  incite another Waco.  Others seem to be in it for the purpose  of rebelling against anything the Federal Government does.  There may be other reasons.

It doesn’t seem that these differences were sorted out before they came together and we’re seeing the results. The stated objectives to the media were very unclear in the beginning and seem to be evolving as time goes on.

The problem with the III movement not having a central goal is that anyone can take an action, claim it’s a liberty event, and expect all the other IIIs and liberty-minded folks to support them. And they don’t just expect moral support.  They expect physical support such as boots on the ground, logistical support, and written support in the forms of blogs, letters, etc.

The support of the Oregon occupation has been mixed. Some in our movement have supported them logistically.  Some have actually traveled out there to be with them.  Yet others have written blog entries supporting the effort.  Others have chosen not to support them for a myriad of reasons.  Still others have taken to the blog and other media and questioned both the occupation and the occupiers.

In the absence of a overall III goal, such responses are to be expected. We all claim to be liberty-minded, so the inference is that we can and do think.  It’s part of makes us so different from the masses.

The reaction to those who question the occupation and the occupiers was not expected. Those who weren’t in support of the occupation have been called cowards, pussies, traitors and even enemies of liberty.  And these were the nice words.

It seems to me that if you were upset that there wasn’t an outpouring of support for the occupation, convincing others to support the cause would stand a better chance if you resisted denigrating the opposition and spent more time convincing people of the virtues of the effort.

If we are going to convince others of the values of the liberty movement, we need to spend more time explaining ourselves, and less time telling folks that if they don’t see the virtues of the occupation, the problem is with them.

I want a country where you can believe what you want as long as you don’t really hurt someone else. The enemy spends a lot of time and energy convincing folks that there must be blind support of the “approved” causes.  How does it serve our cause when some in the blog world tear apart, denigrate and call names to those who might not be completely convinced?

My blog entries have been clear in sharing my thoughts and beliefs. It’s never my intent to make fun of or denigrate folks that don’t agree with me.

My vision of liberty includes the concepts of open and honest debate. If you can convince me, then you’ve gained a convert.  If I can convince you, then I’ve gained a reader.  If we can’t convince each other, then we can agree to disagree.

We in the III/liberty movement need to have open discussions about what our overall objective is. We need to learn to differentiate tactical objectives from strategic objectives.  For example, we might agree that the BLM shouldn’t own so much land.  That’s tactical.  The strategic objective is federal government overreach in virtually every aspect of our lives.

We need to be honest with ourselves and recognize that liberty includes defending ideas that you hate. We see it all the time where many in the III/liberty movement will say on one hand that they despise the large federal government, but then defend some of the pieces of a large federal government that they like.

We must embrace the discussions and the debate. We’ll be better and stronger for it.

 

We Can’t be the Mirror Image of our Enemies

We in the Western world often raise the question, “why aren’t moderate Muslims more outspoken in the face of atrocities incited by or actually committed by other Muslims?”

Perhaps a fair question.

Perhaps in light of how violent Muslims are to both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, perhaps it’s self-preservation because they are scared.

I got an email yesterday from a friend who was very upset about something he had read on someone’s blog. I had seen it myself last week, but considered it to be just another sign of how the author was a fool.  But what if he really meant it?

As a bit of background: Last week Sam Kerodin posted a story about a bombing at a police academy where at least 47 officers died.  He titled the story on his blog, “How Others Do It”.  Here is the link:  http://iiipercent.blogspot.com/2016/01/how-others-do-it.html

My friend went on to ask, “In a way I can understand the “kill something evil” but how can all LEO be evil? His implied call to just kill police needs to be addressed and a separation drawn. He’s willing to use the system and its resources but calls for the killing of those same resources.

How can the III even attempt to succeed if we are nothing more than a terror group? I understand the perspective aspect but acts of terror and execution of random .gov assets while the ones pulling the strings are unharmed should not play well.

How is what Kerodin calling for and endorsing any different than the ambush of the Philadelphia police officer? The only difference I can see in the III world is that we all condemn the Philadelphia event and fail to condemn the Kerodin call out.”

I’ve got to agree with my friend. If killing those who Sam disagrees with is part of his model for “restoring rightful liberty”, I want nothing to do with it.  Replacing liberal totalitarianism with conservative totalitarianism is not ‘restoring rightful liberty.’

I’d like to think that most of us also find this hideous and evil.

 

 

Is Honest Debate Not Part of Rightful Liberty?

 

Does The Oregon Occupation Further the Cause of Liberty

For the sake of discussion, let’s assume that everyone on every side is well-intentioned. Citizens for Constitutional Freedom (CCF) has no hidden agendas and the government has no hidden agendas.

CFC hasn’t been too clear on their objectives, other than saying they don’t plan to leave soon. Although this tweet from Ammon Bundy was later deleted, he tweeted that the occupation would end when “the Hammonds are freed and the federal government gives up control of the Malheur National Forest.”

The Hammonds through their attorney have distanced themselves from CCF.

The government so far has been pretty clear with their goals of negotiating a peaceful end to the occupation.

We in the liberty movement must have a tactical goal and a strategic goal.

Our tactical goals should be all local. We need to be prepared locally, building caches of supplies, building groups, learning skills and training others like us.  Local role models for liberty.

Our strategic goals are different.

We can’t win this war by fighting tactical skirmishes and ignoring the strategic battle. The original III% would never have won the first war if they had not had at least the acceptance of the majority of the people.  Yes, maybe only III% actually took up arms.  But the majority didn’t support the enemy.

The government has been spending a lot of time in the past 15 years trying to convince the middle 40% that we in the Patriot world are evil at best and domestic terrorists at worst. They have many willing co-conspirators in the media helping them sell this concept.

Bundy ranch was a strategic success, but not because we won the tactical battle on the ground. It was a success because the federal government was shown to be out of control tyrants who terrorized regular folks.  Regular Americans who never thought about or even cared about the liberty movement rallied in support of Bundy ranch.

So far we don’t have this kind of situation in Oregon.

Some in the blogosphere are commenting that we need to support anyone who is willing to step up in the face of tyranny.

Heroes of Lost Causes are heroes, but the cause is still lost.

Some in the blogosphere are commenting that this is a good cause because it’s time to point out the overreaches of our government, particularly the BLM. Oddly enough, there was no such support and discussion when Ammon Bundy and others were involved in last year’s dispute between miners and the BLM at the Sugar Pine mine near the Oregon coast.

It might be useful to point out the overreaches of our government in the BLM, NSA, congress, etc. That may be true, but as far as I can see there is only one candidate for President that has emphasized government restraint and liberty in every speech.  And Rand Paul is far down in the polls.

We call ourselves the III percent, but no one really believes that there are that many of us.  The US military can be sent to fight in lost causes, but they have virtually unlimited resources.  We have few.

Just as our country has gotten into this mess from the top down, our success in achieving liberty will be won from the bottom up. We must achieve local, tactical success.

My family needs to be ready to go. I need to develop tribes to our left, right, front and back.  And then they do the same.  My street.  My neighborhood.  My area.  And liberty grows.

At this stage of the war for liberty, we must pick our strategic battles from the perspective of whether or not it helps us to get the majority to stop seeing us as the enemy.

Does CCF’s occupation help us to get the majority to stop seeing us as the enemy?

No matter how it comes out, we’ve already lost.

Does that mean that we ignore the Oregon situation?

Of course not.

It is imperative that we do not let the government conduct another Waco operation. No matter how it comes out, we’ll be painted as domestic terrorists.  We can help to make sure that those in Oregon receive the full due process protections that our country used to guarantee.

Does that mean we all should pack up and show up in Oregon? Is a show of force by folks who don’t know the locals and don’t know the terrain a good idea?

There are some who in hindsight suggest that we should have all gone to Waco and surrounded the federal government. How could we have done that?  How much of your logistics is fully mobile?  How much ammunition, food, water, gear can you carry?  Is putting all of your supplies in a single vehicle and traveling to a place you don’t know a good idea?

If it appears that Oregon is going to turn into another Waco, a better solution is for folks to create Oregon situations all over the country. Can the government respond to five situations at once?  How about ten?  Maybe 30.  All peaceful on our part; but principled in cause.

The lesson of “no more Wacos” isn’t that we somehow can engage the government on the field of battle and beat them. It’s not that we can engage the government and get them to back down. The lesson is that we won’t let such atrocities go unchecked ever again.

Now that these folks have started Oregon, we’re in the Fort Sumter situation. We can claim all day long that CCF was provoked, but the message currently sent is that CCF started it.  Our responses need not be to help them double down. We need to be resolute in our beliefs and plans so that there won’t be another Waco. So far it appears that the government understands what this means.

It’s time to double down on our local preps.

 

 

Oregon Occupation Part Three

So, how does this play out and what are our options?

There is no strategic victory here for the III movement.

We will not get the government to back down in the case of the Hammonds, nor do the Hammonds have any desire for the movement to make that happen.

We will not create a situation where the government will look like overbearing totalitarians. The American public will see this as a group of armed men being criminals.  Ryan Payne will get the notoriety he seemingly wants, but for the wrong reasons.

There is no strategic “draw” here either.

We will not see a scenario where everyone agrees to go home. The occupiers at best will go to prison.  At worst they will go to the undertaker.

We as Americans should have the expectation that this criminal situation will be treated as such and the occupiers will receive the due process that they are entitled to. Sadly, I don’t  think this will fit the government’s narrative.

We will never know if this is a government false flag operation. We’ll never know if the organizers of the occupation were put up to it by our government.  But it won’t matter.

Our government and their allies the media will use this event to help convince the middle 40% of America that we are all a threat to their way of life. This occupation will help trumpet the calls for increased gun control, increased surveillance of we “domestic terrorists” and other means of tearing down Patriots.

And some who claim to be on our “side” are helping the oppressors.

If there is any “win” to this action, it will be because some of us will see:

who is supporting the oppressors

who is supporting the instigators of the occupation

who is condemning the actions of the oppressors and the occupiers.

Now is the time to double down on your local efforts.

How will it end?

If I was the government, I would isolate these folks and wait them out.

Hesco barriers to form a complete perimeter. Nothing physically in or out.

Jammers to insure that there was no communications in or out of the site. No radios, no internet, no comms.  No manifestos coming from inside.  No attempts to win public support.

Turn off all utilities. They probably came with food and water. But eventually they will run out.  No heat, no electricity, no nothing.

Convince the media to ignore this.

Wait them out.

But that won’t serve the government’s cause of more control.

Watch for a bloody ending.