Ideals

My Ideals

Why do we prepare?  Why do we spend so much time studying, training, and learning about preparedness?

Because when a calamity happens, we want to be able to rely on OURSELVES, not anyone else.  Because we believe in the American Ideal of self-reliance.  Because we believe in not just giving up and waiting for someone else to come in and rescue us.

We understand that most basic human ideal is not giving up.  Preparedness allows us the ability to be truly free.  

As stated in the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

It is for freedom’s sake that Christ has set us free.

Stand firm, then, & do not let yourselves

be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:1

Relying on anyone but yourself is SLAVERY.  Develop the skills, gear, and most importantly, the MINDSET of self-reliance.  If I was to allow anyone other than myself to provide for me in an emergency or otherwise, then that other entity, be it a person, an organization, or a government, can bend me to their will by denying me what I need to survive.

If I have a mountain of gear, and am adequately trained, yet I lack the mindset that I will stand firm and prevail, I will die.  It’s that simple.

SERE Training

In the United States military Survival, Evasion, Resistance, & Escape (SERE) school, the very first thing they teach is mindset, because nothing else matters.

Be of the mindset in any situation that you will WIN, not merely survive.  When I teach a self defense or defensive firearms class, I hammer this point home.  I can “SURVIVE” and yet have horrible things happen to me.  WINNING is entirely different.  Merely surviving puts you at the will of someone else, winning means YOU determine the outcome. You are relying on yourself to prevail, not on the goodwill of the attacker.

I know that in our polarized society and powder-keg environment, it’s easy to lose sight of this.  Going along to get along seems pretty attractive in a modern society, and giving up our ideals for the sake of peace might seem like a good idea.

Ideals

But what if the other side never “goes along to get along” or gives ground, while always asking you to?

In a preparedness context, let’s say the next mutual assistance group over didn’t prepare as well of yours, but is heavily armed.  When they come asking for food, if you just give it to them because you don’t want a fight, what’s going to happen the next time they need food?  Eventually your group will spend most of their time working to provide for the other group, also known as SLAVERY.  In a true “without rule of law” situation, this is a real threat.

A lot of times in our discussions, we hear people say “Well, I won’t prepare, I’ll just come to your house”.  Us preparedness people always reply “No, you won’t, I won’t accept that”.  Why don’t we do that outside of a survival situation?

In other words, why are we willing to compromise our ideals so easily in society, when the other side, whichever side that is, demands that we do?  Because our society has gotten so comfortable that “going along to get along” is just easier than making a stand on our ideals.

I’d like to use a story to illustrate this, so bear with me.

Two men were traveling and came upon a town.  While these guys were there, there was a wacky fortune teller.  The fortune teller was loud and obnoxious, and she followed these guys around shouting (I’m fairly sure she had purple hair).  Eventually, the guys got sick of it and demanded that she shut up, rather loudly & forcefully.  In rather short order, these guys were grabbed and beaten, and then turned over to the local police, who also beat them & then locked them up.

In the morning, the court magistrate realized that they actually hadn’t committed a crime at all and he told the police to quietly let them go, and the police passed on a message to these guys to just quietly leave town, without making a scene….just “go along to get along”.

Well, the leader of these two guys, his name was Paul, said, “Hold up….they attacked & beat us and you locked us up for it.  Nope.  The magistrate himself is going to have to release us & then escort us out”.  He stood on his principle, even though it put him at greater risk.

He didn’t just “go along to get along”, because Paul knew that if he did, the same thing would happen again the next time there was a dispute.  Doing what’s right is always right, even if it is easier not to.

By now, some of you may recognize this story as Acts 16, and the two men were Paul and Luke.  All I did to apply it to our world is change it to a modern context.

The moral of story is no less relevant than when written nearly 2,000 years ago.  If you allow people to trample your rights, they will continue to do it.  This isn’t a right or left thing, it’s “do the right thing”, thing.  

Applying this to preparedness, let’s link it back to why we prepare…..so that we can be self-determining.  So that we aren’t dependent on anyone but ourselves.

Most importantly, so that no one can bend us to their will by denying us what we need to survive.   We are self-reliant.  

We are free.

Let’s stay that way.

Last Minute Reminders

We are being inundated with rumors of impending power outages and/or internet & cellphone outages, there are literally troops on the street in every state capitol, and everyone is talking about potential unrest over the next 5 days.

The odds are, none of it will happen at all.  

But…a quick check of the Ultimate Tactical Handbook tell us we must take immediate actions anyway:

The prudent see danger and take refuge,

But the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Proverbs 27:12

Some of these actions should be taken today, and some should be ongoing throughout next week.

First, keep your car filled with gas, DAILY.  I know, this seems like a burden, but if the power goes out, YOU WON’T BE GETTING ANY AT ALL.  The simple expedient of stopping for gas can save you from not being able to move.  I recommend filling up an extra gas can or two.  It can’t hurt, and you’ll use the gas eventually.

Make one trip to the grocery store, and I’m hearing that stores are already nearly empty or instituting limits.  When you get there, buy what you normally buy in a three week period of non-perishable food.  Again, if nothing happens, you will eventually eat the extra food, but if the power does go out, you are in a good position.   Consider also canned replacements for fresh items you normally buy.  For example, the canned chicken breast is just as good as fresh in recipes.

Stop by the bank.  If the power goes out or the communication networks are disrupted, you won’t be able to use credit or debit cards and cash is king in an emergency.  Take out whatever amount you are comfortable with, and secure it.  You can always put it back in the bank in a couple of weeks.

Develop a communications plan.  We are already experiencing disruptions among internet communications.  Having a method of contact other than cell phones and email is vital.  A lot of you are thinking “But there isn’t any”.  Yes, there are.  Two way radios, and (dare I say it) face-to-face communications are a possibility.  Yes, face-to-face.  If the power goes out and cell phones go down, you can head over and check on old Aunt Edith, or even that crotchety old Vietnam Vet who lives down the road (I’m talking about you Uncle Larry), but you should probably let him know that you will check on him ahead of time.

Having a plan with your whole family/preparedness group about when and how to check in and what the rest of the family/group will do if you miss a check in is vital in an emergency.  Even something as simple as saying that if someone doesn’t make it home by 2 hours after the normal time, someone will start moving along the planned route.  

That brings us to making sure everyone you care about communicates their plans/schedules over the next week with each other.  This is not a week for trying out a new route home or doing spontaneous things.  If I don’t know where you are and the normal route you take, I can’t come over the hill with the cavalry.  At this point, it may even be actual horse-mounted cavalry.

Neither I nor my brothers nor my men

Nor the guards with me took off our clothes;

Each had his weapon, even when he went for water.

Nehemiah 4:23

Nehemiah developed a security plan to meet the threat outside his walls, BEFORE there was any fighting. 

You should too.  Each family/group should have a plan and rules for protection.  It may involve firearms or other weapons to defend your home or person.  I can’t tell you how that looks for you, but the time to decide is BEFORE anything happens.  The biggest problem in personal defense is the idea that “You’re just running to the store, why do you need a gun”.  It defeats the entire purpose…attacks are not scheduled and quick trips into stores and gas stations are where problems occur, especially in an emergency.

Consider that in most urban areas, the average house has about 36-48 hours worth of fresh food in it.  What happens on day 3 of a power outage where some people didn’t plan ahead?  People do things they would never consider when hungry or when their kids are hungry.  Make some decisions and develop a security plan BUT TELL NO ONE outside of your family/group.

Which brings us to operational security.  No one outside your group/family needs to know your plans of any type or your preparedness status.  A lot of people in the preparedness community like to brag about how much food they have or how much ammunition they have (never about how much medical gear they have, which is more important, but I digress).  That paints a target on your house.  Prepare QUIETLY and resist the urge to post the photos of your “Dollar-Store prepping haul” on Facebook.  Remember that Facebook began as a military information gathering platform and remains so to this day.  Research LifeLog.

Should the power go out, remember operational security.  When everyone on your block is out of food, don’t grill ribs and steaks out in the front yard, while running your 70” TV on your solar panels.  People who were your friends will turn on you when hungry.

A caution about charity in an emergency…If you decide to give some people food, understand that the very next day you will have more people showing up for food.  The deal is, use Paul’s example for charity during an emergency:

We gave you this rule:

The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.

2 Thessalonians 3:10b

In other words, if someone asks for food, find out what they can do to help you in exchange for that food.  It’s literally, if you break it down, the basis for our society.  You have a job to make money, which in turn enables you to obtain food and shelter.  It should be no different in an emergency.

Let’s cover the last topic, which is rumors.  There is a ton of information flying about ranging from impending Chinese Invasions to either left or right wing groups overthrowing the government (depending our which source you listen to), and everything in between.  I’ve even heard one guy talking about “space weapons” about to be employed.

Listen, apply logic and reason to any rumor you hear.  None of them are facts, they are all rumors.  

I frequently ask people who share these rumors with me to explain the credentials of the source of the rumor.  They usually get angry when I do this, because it’s either a letter of the alphabet who literally no one can identify and therefore cannot validate, or it’s an unemployed English gentleman who lives in his parent’s attic.

If any video comes to you that starts with “My friend got this email from his son who….” (Literally saw this one today) ask yourself why they aren’t just forwarding the email.  Why isn’t the person who WROTE the email talking to you on a video. 

Mark my words….these emails and videos and rumors flying around are the dangerous part.  Someone, motivated by an unconfirmed rumor, will take some action (see Nashville bombing) and touch off this powder keg we are all sitting on.

Think I’m exaggerating?  What do you suppose would happen if there was indeed a 2002 level power outage in the next few days totally unrelated to anything else?  How would you know what happened?  How would Jim-Bob’s Country Militia know it wasn’t an attack?  How would the John Brown Gun Club chapter know?  Those two groups would arm up and the fight would be on.

Take a deep breath, look at rumors with a skeptical eye (even if it’s one you like), and don’t contribute to the hysteria.

Be safe, be prepared, and stay out of the fray on both sides.

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Skill – Reporting Formats & Verification

Recon Team

One of the biggest issues I’ve faced since this slow-moving collapse started last spring is verifying all the information coming in.

At the very beginning, we heard reports from all over of checkpoints at state lines, roadblocks for “COVID” checks, ID checkpoints, etc.  Nearly all of it turned out to be rumors and none of it could be independently verified.

In this post, we’re going to discuss some tools and formats to help your team learn to gather & report information properly, how to research what you receive, and the standard NATO matrix for evaluating information.

I know, for a lot of you, this is review.  But review never hurts.  Also, I know a lot of you imagine that in the SHTF world, you’ll be some kind of high-speed operator the likes of which we haven’t seen since Mad Max Rockatansky patrolled the outback for the Main Force Patrol (bonus points if you get the reference).  

However, in a world gone dark or a world in conflict, INFORMATION is the key to survival.

From the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

Then Joshua secretly sent two spies…

“Go, look over the land”, he said, “especially Jericho”

Joshua 2:1

Sending out a team to look at the land, spot the opposition, etc, is as old as humanity itself.  What’s more important that just telling them to go look is to tell them EXACTLY what you want them to look at and how they should report it.  That’s where reporting formats come in.

Solocator Image

A great tool to ensure accurate reporting is an App called Solocator.  It’s a camera and GPS function that gives a date/time/location stamp on any photo.  It will work without a cell signal, as long as the phone is receiving a GPS signal.  

I used this when all of the news videos without date and time stamps came out, allegedly showing overwhelmed emergency rooms, and lines out the doors.  I simply drove to several metro Detroit ER’s and took photos with the Solocator app, proving that there were not actual lines or crowds.

SALUTE

The first format is SALUTE.  It’s an acronym meaning Size, Activity, Location, Unit (or uniform), Time, and Equipment.  

Let’s say I was watching for an ANTIFA security team to get set up at a planned protest (yes, they do, about an hour before).  An example of a SALUTE report of their arrival would be: “4 personnel, securing a perimeter with tape, corner of Any Street and Loser Parkway, all wearing black clothing with yellow bandanas on the left arm, 2:30 PM today, each had a BaoFeng BF 888 radio, one had a sidearm, unknown model”.  

As you can see, it’s far more accurate & concise than “some ANTIFA guys just showed up”.

The format works for anything you want someone to report.

BattleBoard Scout

I use my BattleBoard Scout Small (www.battleboard.us) to help me gather the information for a SALUTE report, and this reference card inside the polycarbonate window (see photo above) allows me to write the information directly on the window with a dry erase, and then I can transfer it to something more permanent after getting down the urgent data.

In a fluid situation, sometimes only SALT is reported rapidly, for everyone in your group’s situational awareness.  Knowing immediately the Size/Activity/Location/Time of a potential adversary near your location is vital, other things can be developed later.

While your current situation or SOP will dictate how the information is reported originally, It should always be reduced to a written form,, for retention and use later.  Something that appears irrelevant today, can suddenly become vital next week, if you had the information at hand.  You can also review weekly trends and in a true SHTF situation, your reporting review may show that the local RevCom group slides through the area every Wednesday afternoon.  That’s usable intelligence.

Even if a report is transmitted via radio, eventually reduce it to paper and retain it.  When this first began, a group us began have a nightly information sharing session via radio.  I took down all the information reported and began seeing trends in National Guard movements, police activity, and food shortages, that have helped me plan in this second round of shutdowns.

Patrol reporting is just as important as well.  Let’s say you didn’t send a team out to look at something specific, just to take a stroll around your perimeter and see what’s happening outside your gate.  While they should transmit back or record any SALUTE reports they generate, they should also document people they encounter, vehicles they see, any activity on-going. The easiest way is for them to write this down while conducting the patrol, documenting the date/time/location of every observation.  

Again, the BattleBoard Scout is a great medium for this.  Inside the Scout, it holds a Rite in The Rain (www.riteintherain.com) Tactical Notebook, that will allow you to take notes regardless of the weather and it’s a very sturdy product.

Once the patrol returns, they can reduce the notes to a written patrol report, which should again be saved for analysis.  You don’t know what will become relevant later.  A vehicle seen once on patrol, arrives at the gate 3 weeks later and tries to force their way in.  Would you rather try to remember the license plate & description from 3 week old memory, or have it already written down so that everyone can watch for it?

An example of this is when I began my ANTIFA observation project this spring, sometimes, rather than joining their march, I just recorded vehicle description and license plate data.  Within a few days, I was able to identify the organizers and security team because the same vehicles appeared all over the region, a short time before each planned protest.

Standardize your patrol report format.  A simple format is a short narrative describing the route and what was encountered, followed by a listing of people/groups encountered and vehicles encountered.  It’s that simple, and you’ll be able to quickly review it all.

Sketch

Another tool is sketching.  Sketching is simply drawing out a representation of what you are looking at.  It doesn’t have to be museum quality, but it does need to be somewhat representative of what was seen, so that it can be used.

There are 3 types of sketches for our purposes.  The first is “Panoramic”, where you are just drawing what you see while looking forward from your position.  The second is “Topographic”, which is like an overhead view, where you are essentially drawing a map of what you see.  For the record, most military scouting requires BOTH sketches.  The third type is “Range Card”, which is essentially a mix of the two with ranges to all landmarks, but range cards are a topic for another time.

Every sketch needs to contain the location where the observer was, the date and time it was made, and a graphical direction indicator.  You can indicate which direction is north, which direction the observer was facing, or both (both is best).  It’s also not a bad idea to jot down the weather conditions at the time of the sketch.

Now we are on to the topic of evaluating information or validating it.  The best way to validate information is to just go to the location and look for yourself.

In a true SHTF/WROL situation, that may involve sending out a more substantial, planned scouting team to specifically investigate a location.  

Right now, in the weird semi-SHTF situation we’re in, it can involve jumping in a car, driving out to the location and taking a look, recording your observations.

If one person saw it, it’s just information.  If someone saw it, then a second team validated it, it’s intelligence.

NATO Matrix

Most often, though, you will be getting information third hand, whether it’s from a neighboring preparedness group, refugees passing through, or other human sources.  You can use the above NATO Matrix for assigning a value to the information that comes in.  This allows you to prioritize your scouting efforts on the most likely information.

In our current situation, the best thing we can do is to STOP re-sharing information that we cannot validate.  The internet is full of unfounded rumors from the plausible to the highly unlikely, yet strangely commonly believed.  You can find information supporting whatever crazy snippet of information, but that is not the same as VERIFICATION.  

So often, people share something and when you ask them for a source or verification, they say something like “I don’t know, but I’ve seen it from multiple sources”.  The truth is they’ve seen THE SAME INFORMATION multiple times, but not from MULTIPLE SOURCES.  Two different people sharing the same meme isn’t multiple sources. 

When you see something, use multiple search engines to try and verify the information.  If the searches all point you to the same picture or meme, it’s unconfirmed.  If you find a reference to a press release, or multiple news stories, then you may have found confirmation.

Don’t turn around then and just share the original item, share what YOU VERIFIED.  Better yet, just keep the information yourself.

I hope this information helps you and your preparedness group gather and evaluate information.

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First Aid Kits – AGAIN

Med KIt

Events of the last seven days have weighed on my heart and I feel the need to talk to you all again about first aid kits and what you need to have with you at all times.

As I watched the incident at the Capitol unfold, I was shocked that NO ONE, not even the police, produced a first aid kit when the woman was shot.  A trauma dressing or an occlusive chest dressing may have saved her life, and we will never know.  People from both sides of the political spectrum were there and this isn’t a partisan issue.  

SAVING HUMAN LIFE IS AN EVERYONE ISSUE.

The preparedness item you will use the most is a first aid kit, and the preparedness skill you will use most is first aid.  

First aid is even mentioned in the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

“He went to him and bandaged his wounds, 

Pouring on oil & wine.

Then he put the man on his own donkey,

Brought him to an inn and took care of him.”

Luke 10:34

No, ladies, wine doesn’t go in your first aid kit.  Let’s talk about what does.

Whenever I go anywhere where there will be a large crowd, I carry a Solatac PTK (www.solatac.com) in my cargo pocket or my back pocket.  It’s a small but highly effective kit for major trauma, such as gunshot wounds or penetrating injuries, such as those from a car accident.

Solatac PTK

The kit contains a tourniquet/pressure dressing, a trauma pad, vaseline gauze, some Kerlex gauze for packing wounds, hemostatic agent for stopping bleeding, medical tape, gorilla tape, and gloves.  It comes in a resealable plastic bag.  It’s very convenient and the business is literally just a husband and wife team.  

The only thing I’ve added to my PTK is a set of Hyfin Chest Seals to deal with a sucking chest wound.  The directions are printed right on the package, so it’s easy to use.  A caution though….never buy just one chest seal, always buy two.  Bullets tend to pass completely through and it does you no good to only seal an entry wound, when someone is losing blood and air out the exit wound.

When this isn’t in my pocket, it’s in my laptop bag, along with a package of various band aids and another large trauma pressure dressing.

In the back of my SUV, I keep a large med kit attached to the Velcro seat back, with the unmistakeable red cross on it, in case someone comes across my vehicle and I’m unconscious, they’ll see it.  It has a CAT Tourniquet attached.

Vehicle Kit

Here are the contents of this kit:

  • Various sized band aids (including knuckle & fingertip)
  • CPR mask
  • Tweezers/Hemostat
  • EMT Shears
  • Several trauma/ABD pads (4×4 gauze)
  • A trauma pressure dressing
  • 2 rolls of sterile gauze
  • Triple Anti-Biotic 
  • Medical tape
  • Duct tape
  • An Ace bandage
  • Triangular bandage
  • Survival blanket (to prevent shock)
  • Nitrile gloves

This is a very comprehensive kit that can treat most injuries you may come across.

Vehicle Kit Open

Every kit should contain duct tape or Gorilla tape, because they will stick to ANYTHING, even when wet (such as with blood).

I have several more kits with the same contents in various locations.  

  • My “Get-Home” bag
  • My home office
  • My “Patrol” bag
  • Near the front door (in case something happens in the street out front)

Whenever you use something from the kit, even a band aid, replace it immediately; don’t wait until the item is completely out.  If you do that, you’ll have an emergency and be missing what you need.

Training is also important.  It is not enough to simply own a first aid kit.  You can find low cost first aid training at your local fire department or Red Cross office, or some community education departments.  

I do CPR and AED training every time that I can, not merely to stay certified, but because practice and repetition is the key to retention of physical skills.  

Practice bandaging wounds.  Practice applying a tourniquet; the time to figure it out isn’t after you’ve been cut in the femoral artery.

There are also training resources on the internet, but again PRACTICE the skills.  Ordering the Boy Scout First Aid Merit Badge book isn’t a bad idea for a reference either.

Once you’ve learned the basics of applying bandages, start practicing doing it ONE HANDED.  You may need to apply a pressure dressing or a tourniquet to YOUR OWN ARM.  And, if Murphy shows up, it’ll be your dominant arm.  Practice, practice, practice leads to mastery (hat tip to PKSA Karate for that www.pksa.com).

I beg of you, no matter which side you support, carry a first aid kit everywhere you go and learn how to use it.

This very real conversation illustrates my point on carrying first aid gear:

CAT Tourniquet

Her: What is that?

Me: My tourniquet.

Her: What do you need a tourniquet for?

Me: In case I get shot.  What’s your plan for if you get shot?

Her: I wasn’t planning on getting shot today.

Me: Nobody ever PLANS on getting shot, yet it still happens.

You can’t use things that you don’t have, and your life could very well depend on it.

You can use Health Savings Account funds to buy first aid kits.  My two go-to sources for full med kits are:

Solatac www.solatac.com

Bear Independent www.bearindependent.com

Please get trained and please carry a kit, ESPECIALLY if you go to where a lot of people are gathering.

Gray Man Vs. Camouflage

Gray Man

In a Without Rule of Law (WROL) situation, should I try and remain a gray man, wearing normal street clothes, or should I fully kit up and wear full gear and camouflage?

The answer is….That depends.

If I have to egress an urban area on foot, and I am trying to slide out of the area without drawing any attention, I’m certainly going to with gray man tactics (check out my articles on it).   If I wear body armor, it’ll be soft armor under my clothing, or my bulletproof laptop sleeve in my backpack, covering the side I can’t see (check it out at www.premierbodyarmor.com). I’ll also be wearing a plain black backpack.

On the flip side, once I’ve left an urban area, what’s the ultimate “gray man” tactic?  It’s being fully camouflaged and completely unseen.  Before you all fill up the comments with why I’m wrong, understand that this is MY opinion.   I’ll explain my rationale and then give some advice.

When the wicked rise,

Men hide themselves;

Proverbs 28:28a

We are discussing in an ACTUAL WROL situation, not the current situation.

Let me first say that on a daily basis, if I’m not conducting interviews in a business suit, or conducting surveillance in gray man gear, I wear earth toned clothes almost exclusively, as a preparedness point.  A pair of khaki pants and a green shirt or green pants and khaki shirt are a good start, in case you have no choice but to bail out on foot and try to blend in.  We don’t get to pick the day or time it happens.

In a true WROL of situation, if I get out of the city (which you had better, cities will be DANGEROUS) and moving, I will be wearing camouflage appropriate to the area I am transiting.  There is nothing more “gray man” than not being seen at all.

Many people disagree, saying that if people encounter you and you are in full camouflage gear, you will stand out to others and they’ll follow you.  Well, if you encounter others while trying to move stealthily, you failed, but it should also be very easy to evade others if they do see you and try to follow if you are in camouflage.  I’d also challenge this viewpoint by saying that in a TRUE WROL situation, EVERYONE will stand out outside of a city and EVERYONE will want to know if you have food.

The best way to avoid being seen is to use proper movement.  When moving in the wilderness, you should avoid roads, trails, or any area where people normally traverse.  That’s the best way to be gray; don’t be where other people are.

I understand that this may lead to navigation issues for some people, but it’s very easy to walk in the woods, paralleling a road or trail, which would allow you to navigate and not encounter people.

Understand how vision works in order to avoid being seen by others.  People see by contrast, color, shapes, and movement.  As far as contrast and color, simply not wearing your shiny North Face baby-blue puffy coat will help (I know, North Face means adventure).  People associate shapes with familiar items, like the shape of a human, or a car.  Change your outline so that you don’t stand out.  

The most important way to prevent being seen is avoiding movement, when you see other people moving nearby.  Simply stop moving and remain still.  When you do start moving again, do it slowly.  Rapid movement attracts the eye.

There is no “universal” camouflage pattern that works in every environment, but I’ll discuss a few that may help you.  Disclaimer:  I own a RIDICULOUS amount of camouflage in a variety of patterns.    I have a reason for it that, which will become apparent as we move along.

First, I want to give a caution about hunting type camouflage.  Hunting camouflage is intended to hide you from ANIMALS, not HUMANS who are trying to kill you.  Nation-States invest millions into testing and developing camouflage patterns to hide you from human observation, take advantage of that research.

Understand also that camouflage and being unseen in the wild is a SKILL, that is supplemented by gear….buying the clothes isn’t enough.   You have to learn individual fieldcraft movement and individual camouflage techniques.

USMC MARPAT Woodland

In my opinion, the two best camouflage patterns ever made for northern temperate climates (essentially all of the US) are USMC “MARPAT” Woodland and the venerable British “DPM”, or Disruptive Pattern Material.  I have more sets of MARPAT woodland than I’m willing to admit to, and a few sets of the DPM, just because these two are the most versatile for general camouflage.

British DPM

There is, however, no single camouflage pattern that truly meets every need.  The US Army attempted it with their “Universal” Army Combat Uniform camouflage and it failed miserably.  The intent was to have a pattern that worked in an urban environment, the desert, and woodlands, all in one uniform.  What they ended up with was a pattern that was too light in an urban or night environment, too dark in the desert, and moderate in the woodlands.

ACU

The only items I own in ACU camouflage are a notebook cover and a Leader’s Pouch, and only because they only came in that color.

The improvement to this was the adoption of MultiCam “Optical Camouflage Pattern”, or OCP.  This pattern is very versatile, and worked better for the US Army in all environs, but recently, they have tweaked it a bit, now have variations based on climates.  For example, there is now OCP Arid, OCP Tropical, and Scorpion OCP, all of which meet different needs.  The reason for the tweak was again that while original Multicam was better in the desert and urban areas, it was still too light in some wooded areas and at night.

British MTP Camo

The British Army took a middle of the road approach with their MTP or “Multi-Terrain Pattern”.  Basically, they combined MultiCam OCP with their own DPM, and have created a middle of the road pattern.  I have a pair of sets of British MTP camouflage, and their Combat Shirts (Under Armour shirt with heavy duty sleeves) really are the best I’ve found.

Different seasons and different environments will require a change in patterns.  For myself, I own mostly woodlands (MARPAT and DPM) since most areas I would operate in are wooded.  My bug out location is in a wooded area, near a massive cedar swamp, making woodland camouflage the best choice.

However, as fall arrives, I switch to the either USMC or British desert uniforms, because in my area, the woods loose their leaves and the background then consists of browns and tans from fallen leaves and dying grasses.

British Desert DPM

In the cedar swamps and woodlands of northern Michigan in winter, I wear desert camouflage pants and a woodland top, because the lighter pants blend with the snow and dead grasses, while the woodland top blends with the evergreen trees.  You have to adjust your camouflage to the location and the season.  That’s why I own so much camouflage.

This brings us to a discussion of night camouflage.  Most camouflage patterns are too light for use at night, because the browns and tans gather light.  The exception, in my opinion is MARPAT Woodland.

A solution that many people adopt is to just wear all black at night.  This is a half-measure, because in all honesty, once you get out away from the light pollution of the city (or when the power is out), black is actually TOO DARK for night camouflage..  Wearing all black presents a perfect silhouette of a human, darker than the actual night.

There are a few solutions, the first of which is dark grey.  I caution against this again, because if you wear all one color, you are presenting a human silhouette and the edges will contrast with the background.      

There are three camouflage patterns that all excel at night, not surprisingly because they are made for night use.  I own articles of all three, in fact.

Midnight Digital

My personal favorite is a pattern called Midnight Digital.  It’s similar to MARPAT, but it uses shades of grey, blue, and black.  It’s a couple of shades darker than the Navy blue camouflage that the US Navy wears, and it’s highly effective at night.

ATACS LE

Another night pattern that is overlooked is ATACS-LE.   It was originally designed for urban, law-enforcement team use, but the mixture of blacks and grays make it highly effective at night.

MultiCam Black

The third is MutliCam Black, and while I own a couple of articles of it, I refuse to buy it on the principle that everyone else is buying it to try and look like a “cool-guy”, and that’s not why I buy uniforms.  

Another consideration, when operating with a mutual assistance group, is the ability to identify your group, in a sea of people in their Tacti-Cool gear.  If you’re all wearing MutliCam, like every other militia, prepper, or mutual aid group in America, how will you rapidly identify your own people?

In most situations, this isn’t actually an issue, but it’s something to consider.  I saw one militia group in Lousiville all wrap bright day-glow green bands around their arms, thus negating the entire purpose of wearing camouflage (unless you only wear camo to look cool – hint, hint).

Brilliant Tactics

Another option, if you don’t want to go full-camouflage commando (you can’t all be as cool as me, I get it), is what my friend, Clay Martin recommends in his outstanding book, Prairie Fire (available here).  You could wear earth-toned pants (green/khaki) and a camouflage top over it.  I don’t do it myself, but it’s just because I’m not one for half measures.  It is indeed an option.

On a daily basis, in the back of my SUV, in addition to a set of general earth-toned clothing, I also carry one set of the ATACS LE (for night), and one set of MARPAT digital uniforms, just in case I need them.  It’s not a bad habit to get into.  I also keep three changes of T-shirts, underwear, and socks, so conceivably I could change daily in a survival/WROL situation while trying to get back to my main supply cache.

I hope this discussion has helped you decide whether or not to include some type of camouflage clothing in your preps.  If you do, remember that gear is only one part of the equation, skills and practice are the others.

Skill – Entry Control Point/Traffic Control Point

In a Without Rule of Law (WROL) situation, many people will be forced from their homes by fires, riots, looters, and whatever other disasters caused the WROL situation.  One of the most over-looked skill sets for dealing with this is setting up and manning an Entry Control Point or Traffic Control Point.

When Nehemiah was first rebuilding Jerusalem, the gates & walls were all destroyed, and his first order of business was to get them repaired.  In the meantime, this is what he did:

But we prayed to our God and posted a guard

Day & night to meet this threat.

Nehemiah 4:9

An Entry Control Point is a location where you check everyone entering the area and ensure that they are someone you want to enter the perimeter.  You could set one up at the entrance to your subdivision, or on the road leading to your Bug-Out Location.  A note though, unless you have 100% fencing around your perimeter or a 24 hour foot patrol of your perimeter, having an ECP will do you no good.

A Traffic Control Post is simply a checkpoint placed on a road through an area to check everyone entering the area, and perhaps to give them directions on passing through, where to find help, etc.

You may think these are extreme measures, but without them, you will be overrun with refugees in a true WROL situation.  If you don’t establish with these hungry and desperate people that your area is defended and that there is a semblance of order, they will take advantage, it’s just human nature.  

Gori Refugees

Study any modern conflict and you’ll learn about it.  The road from Gori, Georgia was lined for miles with refugees fleeing the Russian invasion in 2008.  Streams of refugees fled from both sides as soon as the war in the Ukraine broke out in 2014, with groups of ethnic Russians displacing Ukranians from their homes on one side, and vice versa on the other.

In any WROL situation, mass groups of unprepared people will be on the move seeking food AND shelter.  They’ll be looking for areas where they can find food, or even squat in an unoccupied house (that happens NOW in many areas).

The purpose, then, of an ECP at the entrance to your subdivision or Bug Out compound (fortunately, both my neighborhood and BOL have single road entrances), is to establish that this is a defended area and that only authorized people are allowed to pass.

Your choicest valleys are full of chariots,

And horsemen are posted at the city gates.

Isaiah 22:7

ECP’s are IN ADDITION TO sending out patrols outside your gates and having Observation Posts outside your gates, not a REPLACEMENT.  Remember all the times that I said you can’t survive without a tribe?  It’s true.

Both types are set up similarly.  

Chicane

First, for any roadway or entrance, you should construct a “Chicane”, which is a barrier that requires vehicles to make tight turns to enter (see graphic).  This prevents vehicles from just ramming through.  You can build this with barbed wire, if you have it, or with logs.  A field expedient method is to use two vehicles each blocking opposite parts of the roadway.  If you choose this option, ensure that the engine block is the part blocking the roadway, so that ramming is more difficult.

Some over-the-top people recommend more permanent barriers be built, like concrete (as if you’d have that available), but I caution against it.  Remember that no bug out location is permanent; a threat may arise that may cause you to have to flee, and if your barrier plan is too complex, you might be trapped inside.

Once you have some type of barrier in place (even a fencing gate is a good start), you should next build two fighting positions near it.  The first one should be directly adjacent to the entrance, as a place for the person manning the entrance to be able to take cover & fight from if attacked.  

The second one should be back and away from the gate/entrance, to cover it by fire, and to be able to protect the person manning the gate.  This one should be well concealed, so that someone who talks to the person manning the gate can’t “scout it out” to come back later.

If you have the time and personnel, another fighting position can be built on the opposite side, also concealed.  This one would only be staffed during an emergency or if a large group approaches.  It would be able to support the other two positions.

After establishing the barrier, and then establishing survivability (your fighting positions), next you need to look to team shelter.  Set up some type of shelter, back and away from the gate, for personnel to use in the event of bad weather.  Since we aren’t talking about a remote outpost 10 miles away, this set up should work nicely for a small compound or housing development.

Your ECP needs a way to communicate back to the rest of the group, and obviously radio is the choice here, since again, we aren’t 10 miles out.  Use two channels, though.  One channel is the main frequency that the entire group monitors at all times, and the second channel is a talk-around channel for the team manning the gate to talk to each other.  See some of my communications articles for a discussion of this principle.

Once the ECP is up, then all that’s left is to run it.  Your group can set the requirements for entry, and you should follow them to the letter.  Letting in unvetted people is DANGEROUS in a WROL situation, and it should be a very rare exception.  You can provide people with directions to a local shelter or food distribution location, rather than letting them into your compound/neighborhood.

Never allow more than a single person to approach your gate sentry.  If it’s a whole group, ask them to have just one person approach.   While the group or person will most likely be asking you about food or shelter, attempt to gather as much information from them as you can.  Try to learn where they came from, where they are heading, what things they’ve seen along the way, and if there are any other groups coming along the same route.  

Ask all groups approaching the gate to provide their own security.  What that does is gets them to keep an eye out along the road, so that your over-watch team can focus on protecting you, while establishing an attitude of cooperation…”if your group protects the road, we’ll protect you while we talk”.

Establish a policy with those approaching the gate that any firearms they have must be holstered or slung while talking to you.  Explain that it’s safer for both sides, because your over-watch team (don’t point them out) won’t misunderstand their actions, and you won’t have to worry about them either.

After providing them with information about where they can find food or shelter (literally anywhere but your location), provide a final warning…your location is protected and will not tolerate unauthorized entry.  This can be done in a friendly but firm manner, and must become a habit at the ECP.

A caution here about charity.  I know that we all want to help those in need, but we are talking about an exceptional situation here. You may be tempted to hand out water, or small food items to people appearing at the gate who are in need or desperate, but once word gets out that you have extra food or water that you hand out, two things will happen, almost immediately:

  1. More people will flood the gate for the handouts.
  2. Bad actors will start trying to find a way in to take ALL of your food and water.

Don’t invite trouble by being overly charitable.

…we gave you this rule:

The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.

2 Thessalonians 3:10b

As a group, you may have to decide to admit some people with skills that you need in exchange for feeding them.  An example would be a doctor or a nurse, or someone with a mechanical skill that you need.  Don’t take people at their word, ensure that they demonstrate their skills and can prove them.  If you do decide to admit someone this way, make sure that they know that it is on a “probationary” basis, and is dependent on them assisting the entire group and getting along.

Running a Traffic Control Post is done exactly the same way, but it is ran away from your location and probably on a “community” basis, where a couple of groups band together to run one for mutual benefit.  TCP’s are short-term.

An example would be if you hear from some refugees that a larger group is walking in your direction.  Your group and a few others may decide that setting up a TCP at an intersection where you can guide others AWAY from your compound/neighborhood is a better idea than letting come all the way to your gate.  You could send them around your local area, rather than letting them get a close up look at your defenses and preparations.  Avoiding the problem is much better.

When setting up a TCP, though, you need an observation post a little bit farther down the road, before the TCP.  This OP can radio back when someone is heading up the road, but their main purpose is to watch for people who see the TCP, and then jump off the road to try and avoid it.  Those people may try to slip around your TCP and then continue on to your neighborhood/compound.  Anyone avoiding a checkpoint in those circumstances would be suspect and should raise your alert level.  

Refer back to my previous posts on setting up OP’s, fighting positions, and on communications to help develop the defensive skills that your group needs.

I hope these tips and graphics give you some ideas and spur you on to realistic training.  I know, shooting targets and practicing room clearing is more fun, but these defensive skills are actually practical and something you can really use.

Validation – Nashville

Nashville Bombing

Yesterday morning, Christmas Day, a bomb went off in an RV parked in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.  Next to nothing is currently known about the attack.

A potential suspect has been developed, but the stated facts don’t make much sense at this time.  

The purpose of this article, however, is to discuss the fact that being prepared would have helped a lot of people in the area.  This attack, and it’s immediate effects in the area, validate everything that we talk about.  

Let’s analyze what the immediate, second, and third order effects were, and how you can prepare to mitigate them in highly likely event of additional attacks.

But first, as we always do, let’s see what the Ultimate Tactical Handbook has to say about seeing an event like this and then not preparing yourself for more:

The prudent see danger and take refuge,

But the simple keep going & pay the penalty.

Proverbs 27:12

Learn from the Nashville incident, so that you are prudently prepared.

First, let’s analyze the initial situation and discuss preparedness steps.

The first warning many got was a loudspeaker blaring from the RV, telling people that a bomb was going to go off and to evacuate.  That went on for a while, and then a countdown began.

Many of the witnesses reported staying in their apartments, waiting to see what was going to happen.  Those are people are lucky that only a few were wounded.  

From a preparedness standpoint, if you hear an announcement that there will be a bomb going off, why on earth would you stay in your apartment?  Remember the verse above?  Is staying put when warned that a bomb is going to detonate prudent or simple?

Urban Bug Out

If you ever hear such a warning….it costs you nothing to grab a go-bag and LEAVE.  If there is no bomb, you can always come back.  If you choose to stay, it could cost you your life.

As we are discussing leaving, I would be remiss if I didn’t say a couple of very specific things.  First, someone telling people to evacuate could be trying to draw you into the open for a different attack, so it should go without saying that you should leave ARMED & AWARE.  It’s worth noting that multiple witnesses have reported hearing a lot of gunfire before the bomb announcement.

Second, never leave without a first aid kit.  If the bomb detonated as you were leaving, you might need to treat yourself.  If you got out of the immediate area before the bomb detonated, you might be in a position to return to help the wounded.

The next preparedness item from this is that the bomb did massive damage to the first floors of about 41 buildings, most of which had apartments above.  Do you have light rescue tools readily available to assist you in exiting your own home or apartment in such a situation?  Can you find them in the dark, with smoke all around?  Would you be able to assist others trapped inside?

Mongol Moon

On that note, author Mark Sibley, In his excellent novel Mongol Moon, addresses a threat most of us never think about.  In one scene, a person who is normally well-prepared was in his office on the second floor when the power went out, but all of his supplies, including his FLASHLIGHTS, were downstairs.  A tragedy occurred in the book because of this simple oversight.  This amazing book can be found at www.amazon.com/dp/1734077115.  Do you have flashlights in every room of the house?

A well-stocked first aid kit is an essential.  I have several throughout the house and in each bag, as well as in the car.

Just before the blast, as I mentioned before, multiple witnesses reported hearing a lot of gunfire.  In fact, the Metro Nashville PD admits that they were in the area responding to multiple shots fired calls when their officers heard the announcement.  Do you have a plan for responding to an active shooter while at home?

Jersey City Shooting

I know that this may seem only to apply to people living in apartments, but recall the shootout in Jersey City, just about a year ago.  A group of black Hebrew Israelites opened fire in a Jewish market, then continued their rampage through a neighborhood.  It led to a many-hour standoff.  What is your plan?  

You could arm yourself and remain in place, hoping that the attackers don’t run into your house to hide from the police.  I’ve said many times that hope is not a successful strategy.  A better idea may be to arm yourself and leave the neighborhood, remaining on the alert as you leave.  Every situation is different, but planning now prevents panic when it happens.  Have a plan.

Bomb Damage

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, streets were clogged with debris, parking garages were damaged, and traffic lights were out everywhere.  Have a plan to leave areas you frequent on foot.  Remember though, to make sure you take some type of go-bag or bug-out bag with you, since you don’t know how long you’ll be gone.

I’ve mentioned it a few times but I always keep in my car a “get home bag” and a couple of other bags.  My get-home bag contains rain gear, spare underwear/t shirt/socks, a poncho & cordage for shelter, a pry bar & fixed blade knife for light rescue, a full first aid kit, some food, hand sanitizer, and wet-wipes, along with a radio.  More on radios in a bit.  

A second bag in my car just contains clothing and boots.  In it are a basic long sleeve shirt and a pair of rugged pants (always wear long sleeves and long pants, no matter the heat, for protection), and a set of camouflage gear so that I’m adaptable to the situation, and a pair of good boots.  Most work clothes aren’t conducive to preparedness, especially business casual or business dress.  And work shoes are generally useless.

The third bag in my car was originally a US Military “Sleep System Carrier”, and is fitted with a shoulder strap, so that I can wear it across my body, while also wearing a backpack.  Inside this bag is a pair of tarps, some more cordage, a survival kit, fire making supplies, and a hatchet.  This is my longer-term survival bag, or “campsite” bag.

Having a few items on hand can help you survive by walking out of an area affected by an attack or disaster.  You can come back for the car later.

Radios

The next immediate effect was the loss of phone communications and internet nodes, due to the damage at the AT&T switching station.  I have written several articles on buying handheld radios and learning to use them, along with having alternate plans for communicating with your family that don’t involve cell phones.  Get radios, learn to use, keep them charged, and KEEP THEM WITH YOU.

It’s worth noting that in an emergency that involves risk of life or property, anyone can broadcast on any channel without a license, and this event certainly qualified.  

CH 3 Project

The Channel 3 Project of AMRRON (www.amrron.com) would have preparedness-minded patriots monitoring FRS channel 3, CB channel 3, MURS channel 3, and 146.420 every hour at the top of the hour.

Also, I have the local amateur radio disaster assistance frequency programmed into my radio, mostly for listening purposes.  You can gather a lot of information by listening to your local disaster channels or the national Urban Search & Rescue frequency.  Listening to local ham repeaters will also give lots of local intelligence and an awareness of what is going on.  You can find them at arrl.org

Another good use of radio in this situation would have been coordinating an escape before the blast with your neighbors.  If you had planned ahead and had a group of people all prepared and on the same channel, a couple of armed people could scout ahead and secure an exit path for the rest of the families, and then performed rear security while you loaded the cars and left the area, or they could have leapfrogged ahead during a foot egress.

Plan NOW and make SOLID plans with people on how you will reach each other, and how you will react in order to keep everyone safe.

It’s also important to note that unless you’ve done some preplanning, your cell phone wouldn’t have been able even to help you navigate out on foot.  Without a cell network running, it wouldn’t have been able to display mapping for you, despite the GPS inside the phone still working.  Google Maps does allow you to download large areas to use offline, and if you’ve thought ahead, you will have already downloaded a map of your immediate area for use.  For example, I have all of Metro Detroit as an offline map.

Another good app for navigation is Sygic.  It allows you to download entire states to your phone, so that even if the cell network is down, you can navigate, as long as your phone has power.  Always keep battery banks handy.  

Here’s a note about the solar power banks….everyone complains that it takes too long to charge the bank by solar.  Yes, that’s true, but to RUN your phone from it, you only require a trickle charge, as long as you put the phone in airplane mode.  Putting it in airplane mode stops the phone from wasting mass amounts of energy looking for a signal.  You can put it back in regular mode once you’ve gotten away from the immediate area, if you wish.

Now that we’ve addressed the first-order effects of the attack, let’s discuss the second order effects.

Immediately after the attack, the mayor established a curfew in the area of the attacks.  While this normally wouldn’t be too much of a problem, many people live in that immediate area, and businesses were already on reduced hours/staffing due to COVID.  It has set up a situation where you might see people run out of food & water quickly.  The lesson here is to always have a few weeks worth of food & water on hand for such an emergency.  

Sillcock Key

A second order effect here is also damage to building water systems from the blast.  Do you know how to find safe water in a city?  A sillcock key is invaluable in urban survival.  Most businesses have outside water faucets for watering lawns and other things, but they require a sillcock key to open.  I bought mine for about $8 at Lowe’s.  Get one and keep it with your supplies.

Looting/security is another second order effect.  People from outside the area will try to wander in and take unsecured items, or just generally walk around to “see what happened”.  These “sightseers” frequently walk into unsecured buildings, “just to see”.  With law enforcement tied up with the incident response, your security falls to you and your neighbors.  The time to discuss and plan for this is NOW.   Understand your local self defense and citizen arrest laws.

A word about the curfew….some may say that the curfew will keep this from happening.  First, curfews only apply to the law-abiding, criminals aren’t dissuaded by them one bit.  Next, ask yourself how hard it would be to tell an officer that you live in the area, but you had to evacuate without your wallet and ID?  The curfew isn’t a deterrent at all.

Fire Damage

Another second order effect is fire.  Late last night, about 18 hours after the blast, a fire ignited inside the AT&T facility (allegedly).  This led to additional evacuations, and an extension of the power outages and cell phone/internet outages in the area.  Do you have supplies on hand to deal with fire?  At least one fully charged fire extinguisher that is checked regularly is essential.  Fire blankets and escape ladders are also a good idea.

Lastly, let’s discuss the third order effects.  There are two:  Tyranny & Riots.

Why tyranny?  The mayor issued a curfew that lasts for several days, despite the immediate attack being over.  Yes, he says it’s just so that they can secure the scene and work the investigation, but a days-long curfew seems excessive.

Next, the FAA issued a NOTAM or “Notice to Airmen”, establishing that the airspace over downtown Nashville was “National Defense Airspace”, and warning that aircraft traveling over the area could be subject to the US Government using deadly force against airborne aircraft.  This warning is in effect until the 30th.  It’s worth noting that order wasn’t put into effect until 2:15 PM, almost 8 hours after the attack.  Odd.

Why would they need to shoot down any aircraft over the scene of the attack, for 5 days?  This was (allegedly) not an aircraft attack, so why the very public threat of shooting down aircraft?  

That’s why I label Tyranny as a third order effect; it’s very easy to issue draconian orders without question in the immediate aftermath of an attack.  We need to monitor these orders and see if they are extended.

The other I listed is riots.  As the investigation progresses, a narrative and motive may come out that makes one community rise up against another in rage.  I would have called this a small risk in any other year, but right now, this nation is a powder keg, and any small spark could lead to widespread violence, so we should be prepared for it, and have plans to either bug in or bug out, but at least have a plan for riots or disturbances.

This incident is wake up call.  I anticipate many more just like it in rather short order, so prepare as if your life depends on it, because it just might.

Lessons Learned – Salem Today

I will be discussing what happened at a right-wing protest in Oregon today, but I’m not advocating a position.  I’m simply pointing out some facts that we, as prepared people who care about our civil liberties and rights, should be aware of. The quote above, from God’s Ultimate Tactical Handbook, should be your guide.

Today, in Salem, Oregon, the government held a meeting to discuss attaching a mandatory vaccine provision to the budget.  When right-wing protesters arrived, the building was ordered closed under COVID guidelines.

Side Note:  COVID is the excuse for all kinds of tyranny.  Under Oregon State Law, any meeting of a government body MUST be open to public.  Most states have these open meeting laws.  A government official can say “COVID” and set aside that law as they choose.

The right wing protesters attempted to stage a sit-in non-violently.  The Oregon State Police attempted to push the people out, and made one arrest.  When people didn’t immediately leave, the OSP pepper sprayed the crowd and began firing pepper balls at everyone.  

The crowd walked outside and immediately the Salem Police began making announcements that the Oregon State Police had declared the assembly as unlawful.

At this point, all that had happened was non-violent civil disobedience of attempting a sit-in.  This is in OREGON, where ANTIFA/BLM have burned down buildings and the assemblies either weren’t declared unlawful or no action was taken by the police.

The crowd was ordered to leave the Capitol grounds or face arrest for disorderly conduct or criminal trespass. 

At this point, there were about 400 protestors, and around 15 were armed.

Side Door Arrest

One group was near a side entrance and tried to re-enter the building, but the police prevented their entry.  One woman attempted to open a window and a phalanx of Oregon State Police stormed out, firing pepper balls at the crowd and arrested the woman.  When some of the men stepped forward, the police detonated a gas grenade and ran back in the building, taking at least two people with them.

At this point, I began monitoring the police reaction, and there are some lessons to be learned.  

First, once again, the police responded far more forcefully on the right than they do on the left.  There is a reason for that.  The reason is that the right is more likely to follow police orders. Police are like everyone else, they’ll take an easy win.  The right is also very reluctant to resist the police.

Second, police spotters were calling out people who were arriving to reinforce the protest, giving vehicle and personal descriptions, while mentioning which groups were armed and then tracking their movements.  The lesson for anyone who attends these protests is don’t park near the event.  You are an easy target for law enforcement or counter-protesters.

The police also began calling out patrols and observation posts that the protesters were running.  This is a win on the side of the protesters because usually, protests focus only on the location that they are protesting at, which allows the police or counter-protesters the entire perimeter to organize on.  Any preparedness activity, even just hiding out at your bug out location, must also include patrolling and observation posts.  You need to know what is going on outside your perimeter.

The police also called out over the radio the license plates of all vehicles in the immediate area.  This causes a few problems, because your vehicle just being in that area does not imply that you were at the protest.  You could have been shopping in the area, but you are now on the official “BAD GUY” list.  The lesson here is, once again, stop being lazy and park a LONG way from the actual protest and walk in on foot.  This will also allow you to make a “Surveillance Detection Run” on your way back to the car, to make sure that ANTIFA, who is known for following people to their cars, isn’t following you.

There was a police radio broadcast to the scene commander, asking him to take a call from an intelligence unit inside the crowd.  As I frequently warn, at protests, especially right wing ones, state & federal law enforcement will have an undercover presence inside the crowd.  Be careful who you talk to and what you say to them.  If you doubt me, ask the Michigan Militia guys what happens when you just say dumb crap to people you don’t really know.

A while later, the crowd gathered at a door and someone suggested getting a chain to force the door open.  A short time later, a guy, mostly like a FEDERAL AGENT, showed up with a metal object, and someone took it and broke the glass on the doors.  As soon as the glass was broken, the police, who were immediately inside the doors, pounded the area with pepper balls.

There are two lessons in that:

  1. I guarantee you that the guy who broke the glass will be arrested within 24 hours, because the feds completely set him up, taking advantage of the situation.  Don’t get me wrong, he was in the wrong, but he wouldn’t have smashed the window if this other helpful soul hadn’t magically appeared with the object.  Don’t let yourself get talked into doing dumb things.
  2. The police are monitoring the livestreams, too.  There’s a lesson in there.

After this incident, the police rolled up in force, blocked both ends of the streets, and rammed the vehicle parked in the middle of the road, tossing it aside.  They again declared the assembly unlawful.

Salem PD Today

As it began to rain, one the senior police officers met with the protesters and within 3 minutes there was an agreement to get out of the road.  If the protesters got on the sidewalk across the street from the capitol, then the police would leave.  

Both sides agreed immediately.

Here’s the deal:  The right-wing side is way too ready to do whatever the police tell them to do.  The Constitution guarantees you the right to peaceably assemble, and to petition your government for the redress of grievances.  When the government refuses to allow you to do so, you NEED to stop caving in to their orders.

Second lesson in the ending:  Another one I’ve mentioned repeatedly…the right side gives up the minute the weather becomes less than ideal.  “I demand my rights….as long as it doesn’t rain or get too cold”.  Train for it…If civilization collapses, it won’t only be during good weather.

I noticed an ANTIFA streamer on the scene.  She was wearing body armor with a “PRESS” patch, and immediately under the PRESS patch, she had a combat knife.  ANTIFA is well known for stabbing people, by the way.  They always demand Geneva Convention protections for their medics and press, yet a PRESS person being armed invalidates that.  I also know, from my work inside them over the summer that she wasn’t there to report the news, she was there to GATHER INTELLIGENCE.  You should also be gathering intelligence.

When BLM/ANTIFA blocks a road, the police block traffic for them, and arrests anyone who tries to interfere with the unlawful activity.

When BLM/ANTIFA enters a restaurant and harasses customers, the police stand by and watch, arresting anyone who resists ANTIFA assaults.

There is even the famous video of when a BLM/ANTIFA group in Louisville surrounded a man’s house, telling him that they were going to kill him and burn his house down for having a Trump flag, yet the minute the man, who was alone, armed himself INSIDE HIS OWN HOME, the police arrested HIM.

From a preparedness situation, understand that the police are not coming to help you, and in fact they will hinder lawful self-defense.

From a broader perspective, understand that this whole thing has already been lost.

During the Revolutionary War, there were cool slogans like “Don’t Tread on Me” or “Liberty or Death”.  This time around, that right’s motto is apparently “Always Home By Dinner Time”.

Be careful, be vigilant, and prepare yourselves.

Facing Reality – Revisited

Earlier today, I had a conversation with a fellow member of the preparedness community who said that everyone thinking that a total societal collapse could happen here in the US was crazy.  

I presented my evidence, he presented his, and he still thinks “it can’t happen here”.  That led me to ponder how many others are still rooted in normalcy bias.  I’ll discuss his points here and why they are based on mis-understandings and a super-nation status bias.

First, I want to give you a caution about normalcy bias from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

Since they heard the sound of the trumpet

But did not heed the warning,

Their blood will be on their own head.

If they had heeded the warning,

They would have saved themselves.

Ezekiel 33:5

That’s right; it’s up to you to heed the warnings.  Your feelings & opinions about the warnings don’t make them any less valid.  Many people went to work on September 11, 2001, thinking “it can never happen here”. Same as on December 7, 1941.

We need to see the situation as it is, not as we want it to be.

The prudent see danger & take refuge,

But the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Proverbs 22:3

Normalcy bias is such a problem that the Ultimate Tactical Handbook for Life mentions it many times, and even discusses that people called Noah crazy right up until the flood came.  

Now, let’s discuss the conversation.  This person said that a total collapse could never happen here, or in any modern Western Society, because we are apparently too “advanced”.

I pointed out that The Ukraine, the Balkan states, and the Republic of Georgia all went from modern societies to total collapse in a short period, just days in The Ukraine, and hours in Georgia.

What was this fellow “preparedness” person’s response?  That those places were already “sh#tty” places to begin with.  Yes, really.

I will grant that the former Yugoslavia wasn’t as modern as the others, but ONLY because the disaster struck in the 1990s.  You can’t compare pre-war Yugoslavia to the United States or the UK TODAY.  I will challenge though that the ethnic disparities that led to the mass murder, warfare, genocide, and destruction of all civilization (yes, it was that bad) in the former Yugoslavia were actually LESS than they are here.  

Yes, I’m saying that our PERCEIVED differences here are more acute than they were when the wars of secession began in the Balkans.  Never forget that the Balkan Conflict was the break-up of a diverse nation into ethnic and religious enclaves and the related hate for each other drove the violence.  That’s the path we are on TODAY, and the destruction now will be worse, because people NOW are even more reliant on electricity than we were in the 1990s.  

Today, every transaction of life, from purchases to learning to medicine, relies upon the free movement of electrons.  Shut off electricity and this “comfortable & peaceful” life comes to an immediate halt.  More about that in a few minutes.

I say that our problems today are worse, because we have an added feature that the Balkans did not…..SKIN COLOR.  It seems silly, but we do have people here who feel that the color of one’s skin is a reason to hate or vilify them.  In the Balkans, while they considered themselves ethnically different, they were all Slavic peoples.  Their differences came from GEOGRAPHY & RELIGION, not true ETHNICITY.

Moving up the timeline, the South Ossetia War occurred in 2008 and was considered the first European War of the 21st Century.  Russia invaded Georgia through South Ossetia and invaded by sea in Abkhazia.   In just 12 days, the modern western nation of Georgia was reduced to a war-ravaged landscape without electric or running water in it’s northern half.  While a cease-fire occurred, services weren’t immediately restored and ethnic cleansing of Georgians by ethnic Russians occurred on a wide scale.

His argument when I mentioned that Gori, Georgia was a city just as modern as any other western city was “Yeah, but it was over quickly”.  No, the FIGHTING was over quickly, and that’s when the ethnic cleansing started, as well as the deaths from disease and lack of running water.  Large parts of the city were leveled by Russian bombers and tanks. And for the record, no matter quickly it ended, the dead stayed dead.

And as far as the comments that “it was over quickly”….South Ossetia and Abkhazia are STILL occupied by Russian troops.  Do you imagine that life today as a Georgian patriot in Abkhazia or South Ossetia is a cake walk?

In 2014, in a matter of 72 hours, The Ukraine went from a fully modern Western nation, to a war-torn hell-scape without electricity or running water in a third of the country and four different armed forces battling each other in that same space.

What began as street protests led to the overthrow of the government, which in turn led to the secession of two regions, without the permission of the central government.  The new Ukrainian government sent troops to retake the breakaway areas, resulting in heavy combat.  Then, Russia decided to send in “peacekeepers”, which were really just another invading army.

All those forces still hold ground and skirmish daily to this day.  The people of Eastern Ukraine had electricity and running water, and now haven’t had either on a consistent basis for years.  

These three stories prove that YES, it can indeed happen here, and with less tensions than what we currently have here in the US.

It’s worth noting that all three major wars that led to societal collapses began as secessions.  I didn’t mention it above, but the reason for the tensions between Georgia and Russia was that ethnic Russian separatists in Abkhazia and South Ossetia wanted to secede from Georgia.

There is open talk of Texas, California, Oregon, and Washington all seceding from the Union.  There is rampant ethnic, racial, religious, and ideological tension throughout every sector of our society.

What’s important to note is that no matter what you want, it CAN happen here and it becomes more likely that we will see a major internal conflict here every day.

I’ll agree that it MIGHT not devolve into a Mad-Max or Book of Eli landscape, but to say it COULD NEVER do so is closing your eyes to clear signs that it very well may.

It wouldn’t take an invasion or civil war either.  All it would take is turning out the lights.

The Department of Homeland Security Estimates that if the electricity went out in the US for one year, 90% of the population would die.  

Hackers are constantly probing our electrical grid system to look for vulnerabilities.  The government knows that the grid is old and susceptible to damage, but it would be ASTRONOMICALLY expensive to replace it.  

On April 16, 2013, an incident occurred that is called in the security business the “Metcalf Incident”.  From 12:58 AM to 1:50 AM, multiple snipers using 7.62×39 rifles (most likely AK Variants) fired several hundred rounds into 17 power transformers at the Metcalf, California substation. There was a small outage in the area, and media reported it as a failed attack.

The DHS, on the other hand, doesn’t consider it a failure.  Their operating assumption is that it was a test of the police response and a “proof of concept” attack by an unknown entity to see if they could cause a power outage via gunfire and then escape.  They met all of their objectives.

What was our response?  To raise physical security standards (fencing, lighting, and locks) at power stations,  That response doesn’t even make sense, since the attackers never breeched the perimeter and engaged in their attack from stand-off distance with precision gunfire.

At our current level of tensions, a large disruption in the electrical service would lead to wide-spread panic and civil disorder, especially if it could be blamed on one side or the other.

I noted in an earlier article that a local power company field office had increased their physical security drastically and quickly in recent weeks.  They are reacting to the same indicators that I keep warning about.

Two women were just charged with Sabotage and Terrorism for intentionally derailing trains to cause disruptions and panic.

So, my dear friends, please set aside your normalcy bias and acknowledge that yes it can happen here.  Prepare yourself for the worst case scenario, a grid-down collapse, and if anything less than that happens, you’ll be prepared to handle it.  I don’t see a down side to preparing for the absolute worst case.  

Keep your eyes open, looks for indicators, and develop a plan.  Keep in touch with your tribe and watch out for each other.

Cold Firearms Combatives

At 2:30 AM on 9/23/2020, the Fargo, North Dakota police received a 911 call regarding a burglary in progress. A woman reported that they heard glass breaking, and a man entered their window. Her husband had armed himself with a shotgun and went to confront the attacker. Upon their arrival, the police found the burglar in the front yard, struggling to recover from a strike the homeowner had given him in the face with the stock of the shotgun.

Rather than killing the suspect with the shotgun, the homeowner applied a strike known as a butt-stroke in the parlance of cold firearms combatives.

Cold firearms combatives consist of strikes, blocks, and combinations using your firearms as other than a projectile weapon. They are a vastly over-looked part of self-defense.

Even in the military, here in the US, only the US Marine Corps continues to train in cold firearms combatives. Krav Maga retains the skill-set, but no school here teaches them to civilians, and that’s a shame.

When watching action movies, I always scream at the screen when the hero throws down an empty rifle…It’s still a very viable weapon empty, and you can always pick up ammo from the opposition.

I also wouldn’t be me if I didn’t add that as long as you have a bayonet in your gear, your rifle can still be made lethal if you run out of ammo or it malfunctions. Sticking people with the pointy end is how war was waged for millennia, and it’s still effective.

In the film World War Z, the hero makes an improvised bayonet by duct-taping a kitchen butcher knife to the end of a deer rifle. That’s excellent advice and worth remembering.

All of the techniques we’ll discuss can used with a bayonet, just understand that they become lethal with a blade attached.

A long gun makes a highly effective blocking tool against either other weapons or empty hands. Hold the long gun at where the stock meets the grip and the forward hand guard. A high block can be done simply by raising the rifle up the body and just over the head, with the magazine well facing out. A low block is done exactly the opposite, thrusting the arms straight down, with the magazine well facing down.

Mid-Blocks are effected by holding the hand guard up and the stock down, directly out in front of you, so that the long gun is straight vertical, covering your midsection, with the magazine well facing out. Left and right mid-blocks are done by twisting this same motion to either the left or right.

Those five moves will keep you relatively safe from attacks, but no one ever won on defense.

The basic cold firearms combatives with a long gun are the slash, the thrust, the butt-stroke, and the smash.

For a slash, imagine that there is a bayonet on the end of the rifle, and just slash at the attacker. I assure you that being hit with a metal barrel hurts, even without a blade attached.

The thrust is exactly what it sounds like, thrusting the weapon forward and striking with the end of the barrel.

After learning the the slash and thrust, practice the most basic combination of a slash to open the defenses, followed immediately by a thrust to a vulnerable point.

The butt-stroke is striking the attacker with the stock of the rifle. The first variation is horizontal, swinging the butt horizontally and hitting the attacker in the face or mid-section from the side. It is best followed up in a combination with an immediate slash and thrust.

The second variation is the vertical butt-stroke, swinging the butt of the long gun straight up the mid-line, striking them in the solar plexus or face. It’s best followed up with a smash (be patient, we’re learning that next), followed by a slash/thrust combination.

The smash is done by raising the long gun over you shoulder and “smashing” the butt straight forward into the attackers face. It’s best followed up with a slash followed by a thrust.

A variation of the the smash is a rear smash. If someone grabs you from the rear or is running up behind you, twist your body and thrust the butt of the long gun directly behind you, striking the attacker in the face or solar plexus.

These tactics can enable you to defend against a close in attack so that you can gain distance to use the firearm as intended, if needed.

Long gun retention is also a good skill to practice. If anyone grabs your long gun, rotate the firearm in a C motion while stepping back quickly, and the person will let go. There is a whole additional skillset here, that we aren’t covering today.

Cold firearms combatives can also be employed with a handgun. You can throw a punch, striking with the pistol instead of your fist. You can also conduct a knife hand or hammer fist strike using the handgun to strike the attacker.

A handgun is particularly effective in a ridge hand strike, striking with the slide of the hand gun instead of your ridge hand.

As you can see, a malfunctioning or empty firearm is still a highly effective weapon, capable of defending yourself.

Also, firearms can be used to effect less-than-lethal force on attackers to save your life or the lives of others.

Get a standing or hanging bag and practice these techniques until they are instinctive. It takes hundreds of repetitions before a technique becomes useable in combat, so train.

An excellent resource for learning more about this is Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. You can also buy the book “Krav Maga Professional Tactics” by David Kahn of the Israeli Krav Maga Assocation (www.israelikrav.com).

Skill – Fighting Positions

In all of our preparations, preparing an actual fighting position is often overlooked. Many people feel like “I’m not planning on fighting anyone, so why learn it” or “if bad people come, we’ll just go hide”…First, you may not get to make these decisions in a Without Rule of Law situation. Second, a well-made fighting position would indeed allow you to hide, if that was your decision. Third, having a position away from the house or compound that a small team could engage attackers from at standoff distance, could allow others the time needed to gather supplies for an evacuation.

Fighting positions have other uses as well. They can be used as observation posts, hunting blinds, or a temporary “hide” if you just want to avoid contact. There are a lot of reasons to build them and camouflage them. One use could be as a back-up bug out camp for a few days.

As we frequently do, let’s check the Ultimate Tactical Handbook and see what it says about individual fighting positions:

Therefore I stationed some of the people

Behind the lowest parts of the wall at the exposed places,

Posting them by families, with their swords, spears, and bows.

Nehemiah 4:13

Sounds like Nehemiah assigned each grouping their own sector and designated a position for them.

When selecting a location, remember to consider the military aspects of terrain (see graphic).

Whenever you occupy ground, even if just for a few minutes, select a hasty fighting position in a small depression or under some cover. You may need to dig out a little ground, just enough to lower your silhouette. Any dirt dug up can be used as a parapet or side protection.

When you are ready to dig a fighting position, start with digging a hole about 6-7 feet long by about 2 feet wide. The depth should be chest-high. Carefully remove the top layer and any grass on it, and set that aside for camouflage. Use the dirt from in the hole to build a parapet about 6 inches high by about 18 inches across. When making the parapet, leave about 6 inches between the edge of the hole and the start of the parapet for use as an elbow rest or to set up a tripod for optics. Slope the bottom from the middle down to a “grenade sump” at each end, so that any thing tossed into the hole actually ends up down in the sump.

Excess dirt should be hauled away from the position and hidden under trees or in a stream.

After the basic hole has been dug, work on camouflaging it by putting some of the top soil on the parapet. Use some local foliage, but don’t over-do camouflage.

After the hole is dug and camouflaged, you can work on overhead cover by laying logs over the middle or by making some sort of a lean-to roof over the position, as long at it is camouflaged and not very much higher than your parapet. A naturally downed tree, laying across the ground you want to use makes a great place to put a fighting hole. You can dig the hole under the tree, and lay other logs onto the downed tree and it will look natural.

From that day on, half of my men did the work,

While the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows, and armor.

Nehemiah 4:16

There’s a reason I call Nehemiah the Grandfather of Combat Engineers; his principles are still used by forces all over the world.

When you are setting up fighting positions in an area outside your own perimeter, part of your force should be providing security while the other part works. Once the first hole is dug, roles shift. Once you have the holes dug, then they move on to camouflaging them in the same security/work shifts as before.

The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her…

Revelations 12:6a

I recommend if you are setting up permanent positions around your bug out location or home, setting up at least one fighting position that is well-hidden with a buried supply cache, in case you need to use it as a “lay-up position” where you go hide for a few days. You could cache some food, ammunition, camping gear, and communications gear there in case you had to flee in a hurry. Consider placing at least one long gun, if you can spare it, in this cache as well. A secondary bug out bag could be cached as well, in case you faced total surprise and had to flee with absolutely nothing.

Again, creating fighting positions is skill you can only perfect by getting out and doing it. It’s not a fun skill that people enjoy practicing, but it’s literally a life saving skill. Get a good entrenching tool, go out into the woods, and have fun building yourself some “forts” in the woods.

Once you have mastered the basics, you can begin adding “supplemental positions”. A supplemental fighting position is one designed to cover a slightly different sector, at an angle to the primary position, in case you are approached from a different direction.

After you’ve built the second, dig a “communication trench” between the two. At first, only dig it deep enough to crawl through, while remaining covered from enemy fire and concealed from his observation. After the initial trench is fully connected between the two, you can work on digging it deeper. The goal is to get the full trench crawl-depth as soon as possible, then to improve the position.

The longer the position is in place, the better fortified it becomes. Eventually, a static fighting position near your base, whether it be your home or bug out location, will be an earth-and-timber fortification that you can hold out from or hide in for a long time.

Get out and practice…we are running out of time.

More Indications & Warnings

As we approach this weekend, there are a few news stories that the media hasn’t shared that I want to update you all on, as well as the plans of several groups that will end in violence this weekend, most likely in Washington DC.

Here’s a bit of advice on paying attention to Indicators from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

Buy the truth, and do not sell it,

Wisdom, Instruction, and Insight as well.

Proverbs 23:23

Actual screen-grab of bombing

First, in Detroit last Saturday (December 5), there was a bombing.  A man was home with his girlfriend and his dog when an explosion on the porch shattered the bay window and blew in part of the wall.  A secondary device exploded in the driveway, underneath a car.  Video review from the neighborhood indicated two white male suspects who fled in a two-tone 2004-2014 Ford F-150.  

Why was the victim targeted?  He believes it’s because of a large Trump sign and an anti-Gretchen Whitmer sign that he has in the front yard.

This is a SIGNIFICANT escalation in the violence and attacks by the radical left.

But, they aren’t the only ones escalating; the far right is doing the same thing.

In Olympia, Washington, on the same night, there was a series of escalating clashes between ANTIFA and Stop The Steal protestors, and there were some far-right groups present as well.  

At one point in the conflict, a far-right subject fired into the ANTIFA group that was attacking.  One ANTIFA member suffered a grazing gunshot wound to the abdomen.  A 27 year old man was arrested.

These types of battles in the streets are becoming more and more violent, and the police are just standing on the sidelines.  

In their defense, Olympia police did eventually arrest the man who fired the shot, but it was well AFTER the shooting occurred.  Be aware that in these street conflicts, the police are simply BYSTANDERS and are not intervening.

GM Jay Mug Shot

Last Thursday, John Fitzgerald Johnson, who refers to himself as Grandmaster Jay, was arrested at his home without incident.  He is the leader of the NFAC.  The fact that he was arrested without incident at his own home proves that he was full of crap from Day One.  Recently, he told his followers that if the police “put their hands on you, you put them in the hospital”.  He doesn’t appear to have taken his own advice.

His charges stem from the Kentucky Derby protests in September, when Johnson pointed an AR at 5 members of a Federal Task Force.

The fact that his group has done exactly not one thing to protest Johnson’s arrest proves that without him, they are all talk.  I would have expected at least a march or some bluster, but nothing.

It’s also very telling that not one single black media figure has stepped up and demanded Johnson’s release.  The truth is that Johnson has distanced himself from BLM, and was critical of the BLM platform, so he got arrested and disowned.  If he had supported the BLM line, he would have gotten away with his antics, with cover from Democrat lawmakers.

An interesting side note to all of this, and the reason you should be concerned, is WHO these Federal Task Force officers were.  There were a new Federal Law Enforcement Task Force set up solely to target “anti-government ideology”.  That’s right….to target anyone who opposes the government.  The First Amendment guarantees you the right to petition your government for the redress of grievances, and to peaceably assemble for that purpose, but apparently, just not too loudly or stringently.

I’m serious here, this a very dangerous escalation by the federal government.  They are saying that if you oppose the federal government, they are going to target you for investigation.  They knew how Johnson would react if they appeared on a rooftop to watch him, so they arranged a situation where they knew that he would react in a certain way, and they tricked him right into a criminal violation, which is the FBI’s favorite way to target any group. Ask Randy Weaver, since you can’t ask his wife or son.

All of these updates are to set us up for where this weekend could lead.

ANTIFA, Shut Down DC, BLM, and Refuse Fascism are all planning events in Washington DC, to coincide with planned Stop The Steal rallies, as well as planned Proud Boy marches.  The last time this happened a few weeks ago, there were multiple assaults and stabbings, as well as some hotel evacuations.

Already, Shut Down DC has published a list of hotels where Stop the Steal rally members are staying.  They claim that publishing the list is so that people can call and harass the hotels (which is ACTUALLY the fascism they claim to be fighting, but I digress), but the real purpose to allow protestors to target those hotels and assault people leaving them, just like they did the last time.

When these two groups clash on Friday and Saturday, it will get ugly.  Violence will escalate.

The propensity for a false flag attack is also very high.  The last time these two groups met, there was a mass stabbing that the media quickly blamed on the Proud Boys, yet had to retract once the Proud Boys released video of their members knocking the attacker unconscious.  It’s obvious that the BLM/ANTIFA/MSM plan was for the attacker to escape and allow the Proud Boys to take the blame.

The best advice I can offer you is to earn your black belt in Don’t-Be-There-Jitsu by avoiding the situation altogether, while remaining aware of local protests.  

However, I would be remiss if I didn’t advise you to make sure you have extra food and water on hand, as well as a communications plan for your family and friends.  Make a point to know where everyone is for the next few weeks, until this election situation is resolved one way or the other.

I will stand at my watch

And station myself on the ramparts.

Habakuk 2:1

A small reminder:  Once a final resolution is announced, regardless of which candidate is declared the official winner, mass violence is going to result.  There is no way to avoid it.  Use this time to prepare and ready yourselves.

Stand your watch.

Station yourself on the ramparts.

Skill – Patrolling

Another area which a lot of preparedness groups overlook is patrolling.  They apparently believe that a fence or some fields will give them advance notice ahead of time of any threats.

The purpose of patrolling is to get out and see what is happening in the areas around your position.

One can defend from inside their own facility, but how will you know if a group is watching you from a nearby hilltop, devising a plan to attack you, unless you go out and check that hilltop?

But before you run directly to the hill and walk right up, there are a few scouting skills that you should develop and train on.

The first is the ability to move over rough terrain.  That seems simple, but when was the last time you walked through the woods, not on a trail or a road?  When was the last time you did it carrying a heavy load?  When was the last time you moved cross country, carrying a load, and trying to stay quiet enough to not be detected?  It’s not as simple as just walking in rough country.

The best training for this is rucking.  Rucking is loading up a backpack (a “ruck”) with gear, putting it on, and walking.  Start with doing it on sidewalks and roads until you get used to moving with a heavy load.  Then, begin moving cross country with it.

After you have the basics down, begin learning how to move quietly in the brush.  It’s very tempting to walk along trails, and you can do so very quietly, but if there are other people about, some of whom may want to do you harm, where do you think they’ll be?

A caution here…People who train for “rucking” events train for speed while moving carrying a load…you aren’t.  You will not be entering a competition to be first over finish line, you are training to be able move a distance with a load QUIETLY and remaining undetected.  Don’t confuse the two.  I stopped participating with a local veterans rucking group because they were going for time.  I’m going for stealth and life preservation, not speed.

Throughout the patrol and when training, frequently conduct “SLLS”.  This means “Stop, Look, Listen, Smell”.  Take either a knee or the prone position and just observe.  Observe with all your senses, including smell, which is a vital sense on patrol.  There are many smells that only humans cause (cooking, fire, etc.).  Do this for 5 minutes.  There is a tendency just to pause.  Wait….take the full 5 minutes.  Everyone on the patrol should face outboard in a different direction.

Learn the basics of using cover and concealment.  Cover is anything that can stop bullets and concealment is anything that can hide you from observation. Cover is frequently also concealment, but the reverse is not always true.  Plan your movements to parallel trails, but keeping cover and concealment between you and the trail, so that you can observe it without being seen.

Stacking trees is a skill to provide both cover and concealment.  You can angle your self behind trees, enabling you to remain covered and concealed, while watching or engaging someone.  It’s a skill only learned by practice in the field.

Stealth is an important outdoors skill that is helpful for hunting, and absolutely vital for patrolling.  The entire object of a patrol is to find information without giving any away.  Learn to walk without stepping on sticks, and how to move through heavy brush without the noise of moving too much brush.  Again, it’s a skill that is only learned through practice.

We’ve discussed the need for a backpack of gear, but what is a good basic “existence” load?  I’ll discuss what I carry in my ruck as a rule, and you can decide what you want or need.  Remember, it’s always dependent on your local situation, weather, and climate.  I keep in the ruck the basics to survive outdoors in all weather.  Inside the main compartment I have a rain suit, both pants and jacket.  They are Goretex (USMC Issue), so they also function as a wind-proof layer.  Inside a waterproof bag in the main compartment, I keep a poncho liner (blanket), a couple of pairs of extra socks, and change of underwear/t-shirt.  You don’t know how long you’ll be in the field, even you were only going for a few hours.  In other compartments on the bag I keep a full first aid kit, a USMC rain poncho (for use as a tent), a few tent stakes, some paracord, gloves, a camouflage face mask and camouflage face paint, a firearms cleaning kit, two “broken-down” MREs (removed from the packaging), waterproof matches, binoculars, and a fixed blade knife.

This gives me enough gear to survive comfortably for about 72 hours in the field without a need for resupply.  The bag weighs out at about 25-30 pounds and is a very comfortable weight.  

Another caution…invest in a HIGH QUALITY backpack.  Even brands like 5.11 don’t hold up very well in rough country with a heavy load.  I have two bags that I switch between, depending on the environment.  The first is a USMC ILBE Assault Pack.  It’s designed by Arctyrex, and is very sturdy (the USMC is demanding).  The bag I have is the original in Woodland MARPAT, not the newer coyote tan one.  I also have the full-ruck pack that the assault pack attaches to, but that’s not for patrolling.   The other patrol bag I have is the Apollo II bag from Highland Tactical (hltactical.com).  This bag is in ATACS Arid/Urban camouflage pattern.  

I know a lot of people recommend avoiding camouflage bags to stay as a “gray man”, but we are discussing patrolling in a without rule of law situation, and I believe fully in using camouflage.  In a WROL patrol, being unseen is far better than being seen and taken as a sheep.  In the unlikely event that someone sees me when patrolling in these conditions, I would rather that they have NO DOUBT that I am a WOLF, rather than mistaking me for a SHEEP.

The next area of skill needed for patrolling in a WROL situation is observation.  Observation is different from seeing.  You can see without observing.  

Always try to observe from a concealed position.  Look around objects, not over them.  With practice, you can learn to use binoculars through brush by focusing them beyond the brush.   Never part brush to look through it, just look through it.  Be sure that you blend in with the background.  You may have to change your individual camouflage when moving from a wooded area to a field, for example.  Wearing dark green camouflage in a sandy area will make you stand out, and vice verse.

Human beings, by nature, are lazy creatures.  We generally look for other humans at eye level first, then we look at obvious places.  Use this to your advantage by remaining as low to the ground as you can to observe.  Another possibility is to observe from an elevated position, but understand that this limits your mobility.

Make sure that when moving or observing, that you do not skyline yourself.  Cross hills and ridges at low points or wooded areas only.

 An important thing to understand for patrolling is the concept of twilight.  Every evening and every morning there is a period called nautical twilight as the sun sets or rises.  It is a very difficult time for observation, because the sky is light, but the ground is dark.  The best way to use this in a preparedness/survival situation is ensure that at twilight you are as low to the ground as possible and still.  The human eye sees movement and contrast.  If you observe while still from ground level at either evening or morning twilight, you will have an advantage over anyone who is walking upright.

Communications is an important issue.  The members of the patrol (never less than 2, and preferably 4), should have radios to communicate with each other.  I know, some of you may say “why, if they are together”.  If the members of a patrol are close enough to each other to be able to hear each other whisper, they are way too close to each other.  They should remain 5-15 meters apart.  Each person having a handheld radio with earpiece would enable them to communicate at great distance by whispering into the radio.

The patrol also needs to be able to communicate back to the location that sent out the patrol.  Having an armed group approach your compound without communications is dangerous, you might mistake them for an opposing group.

Again, short-range handheld radios should be sufficient.  Yes, I know some HAM radio operator is going to jump into the comments on this, but…If you have an 8 watt Baofeng radio and transmit on full power, you’ll be fine in a rural area.  Yes, I know it violates the FCC regulations, but if society has collapsed to the point that I have to send out patrols for local security, then the FCC is not anywhere on my concern list at that moment.  By the way, immediate protection of life and property are permissible reasons to violate FCC Regulations, according to the FCC.

An ancillary skill to patrolling is navigation.  The ability to navigate using a paper map and a compass is crucial.  I know that many in the preparedness community preach about having the latest and greatest handheld GPS, but the truth is that you cannot rely on GPS.  In a grid down situation, GPS performance will begin to degrade almost immediately, since the system relies on the ground stations having power.  Also, the US Navy, during the Second Amendment protests at the Virginia Capitol last year, showed their capability to shut off GPS reception any time that they want.  It’s not unconceivable that the US Military would do the same in an emergency.

All information gathered on the patrol should be documented thoroughly, as you don’t know what information may become relevant later.  I recommend Rite in the Rain products (riteintherain.com).  I carry mine, along with the paper map in my BattleBoard Scout (battleboard.us).  All of this fits easily in my backpack.

No patrol should ever be undertaken without a plan.  The plan should cover what the patrol is designed to accomplish, the areas which the patrol will visit, and the information that the patrol is seeking.  There should also be contingency plans in the event of trouble during the patrol.

Lastly, understand that there are no Lone Wolves.  Rid yourself of that concept.  You need a tribe, you need partners.  Find a like minded group and form a mutual aid group.  Caution…never call yourself an M word.  Yes, that word (the M word mentioned in Amendment 2).  Thats like putting out bait for the ATF and FBI.  No, you aren’t doing anything wrong, but why invite scrutiny?

It’s even mentioned in God’s Ultimate Tactical Handbook….

Saul also went to to his home in Gibeah,

Accompanied by valiant men whose hearts God had touched.

1 Samuel 10:26

If Saul had a team of valiant men a few thousand years ago, you need one today.

Find others, and work on these skills together.

Patrolling is a vital skill and in a WROL situation, it should be an ongoing activity.  

Skill – Observation Post

I frequently mention that skills are far more important than gear, and that all the Uber-tactical cool-guy gear in the world can’t help you if you don’t know how to use it.  In keeping with that, I am launching a series on some practical skills for people and groups into preparedness.

Whenever preparedness groups or mutual aid groups (we don’t use the M word here, it attracts the Feds) get together to train, they spend an inordinate amount of time on what are really OFFENSIVE SKILLS.  Things like ambushes, room & building clearing, etc.  The reason is because these things are FUN.  The defensive skills aren’t as cool, but they are twice as vital.

Let’s be honest, if a true “Without Rule of Law” situation happens, you aren’t going to go on the offensive.   You’re going to focus on keeping what you have and protecting your home, neighborhood, or compound from intruders.

The first skill to master in that endeavor is how to establish and run an observation post.

I know, decidedly not very “cool-guy” at all.  No, it isn’t.  But it’s absolutely vital if you are TRULY interested in non-aggression and self-protection.

On a side note, of all the action movies ever made, really only a few are about defensive operations.  13 Hours is a great example of a defensive operation.

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith;

Be courageous; be strong.

1 Corinthians 16:13

The first thing to understand is that an observation post is OUTSIDE your defensive perimeter.  That requires a little courage from whoever mans it.

An OP is a forward position where a team of at least 2 can watch over territory that anyone is likely to approach from.  The position should be concealed and have a way to communicate back to the perimeter (radio normally).

Three things area critical in positioning your OP:

1. It should provide maximum observation of the area you want to watch.

2. It should offer cover & concealment to anyone inside it.

3. It should have concealed routes away from it.

Don’t put the OP on top of hill, but just below it.  In an urban setting, the same thing applies; since the rooftop is an obvious spot, place it on the floor just below the roof line.

An OP should be far enough outside your perimeter to be of use to you, but close enough that you could send help to it, or that the OP people could quickly and quietly escape back to the perimeter.

There should be a covered and concealed route from the OP back to your perimeter for people to enter the OP undetected, and to escape undetected.

In an urban setting, an OP can be a bit more creative than in rural areas.  In the city, two guys sitting on a porch is a normal sight, yet it can be an OP.  In the country, 2 guys hanging out on a hill is unusual.

Be on guard! Be alert!

You do not know when the time will come.

Mark 13:33

I bet you didn’t know that the Ultimate Tactical Handbook discussed being on duty in an OP, did you?  It does, repeatedly.  Some form of “be alert”, “be ready”, and “be on guard” appears throughout the Bible.  Here’s one more before we discuss duty in the OP.

Therefore keep watch,

Because you do not the day or the hour.

Matthew 25:13

These are both excellent advice, and guidance for those on duty inside an observation post.  Every OP should be staffed by at least two people.

One person should watch, while the other takes notes.  They should switch duties every 30 minutes, to prevent eye fatigue.  Your OP, in addition to the radio, should have paper for notes (I use Rite In The Rain products) and optics.

As far as optics, a good pair of binoculars is a minimum, but for true detail work, you should have a spotting scope mounted on a tripod.  A tripod is necessary, because at higher zoom levels, the slightest movement will be amplified.

So then, let us not be like the others,

Who are asleep,

But let us be awake and sober.

1 Thessalonians 5:6

Notice when I mentioned the split duties, I didn’t mention sleep?  No one should sleep in an OP.  Send out a relief every 2-4 hours so that people can be back inside the perimeter for sleep.  

Sleeping should never be allowed in the OP.  

If you aren’t going to man an observation post 24 hours a day, you should at least man it from dusk to dawn.

Having said that, it only needs to be manned in times of heightened alert.  For example, you receive information via your intelligence network that 2 days ago, a large group of refugees left the city heading your way.  Another example would be a string of raids or burglaries at other locations near yours.

The OP should be set up as soon as possible, since you don’t know when you’ll need it on short or no notice.  Get it set up now, and then all you have to do is maintenance, like refreshing the camouflage.

The OP, while it should be built as a fighting position (coming soon in another article), should not be used as a fighting position, unless absolutely necessary. 

Let’s say you detect a group approaching your bug out location from the OP and immediately launch an ambush from the OP and drive the attackers off.  Guess where they are hitting first the next time?  Your OP, and now that they know exactly where it is, they can avoid it on their next approach.

When reporting observations, you should use the SALUTE format to help you remember what’s needed (see graphic).  In most situations for preparedness, you can just use SALT from it (Size/Activity/Location/Time).

Train on setting up an OP.  It’s not as fun as room clearing, but the skills learned can keep you from having to clear rooms inside your own compound, which is the entire point of preparedness, not actual combat.

In the coming days we’ll discuss security patrolling, entry control/vehicle checkpoints, and fighting positions, along with other defensive skills that often get over-looked in training.

Outdoor Skills

Recently, a friend asked me to recommend a book on outdoor skills and survival.  I quickly gave him the names of a couple on my bookshelf, and he replied with a few more he’d found.

This led me to think about the state of affairs in our country and the average citizen’s ability to live in the field if needed.  It’s not a good state.

As recently as the 1950s/1960s, nearly every man in the United States had the skills to start a fire, find or build shelter, and hunt or gather food, in the wild.  Even the men who lived in the city and worked in factories could survive if needed.  During the Great Depression, many did.

The advent of the microcomputer and silicon chip is where we went downhill.  As jobs and life became more technologically-dependent, people lost those skills.  

If the power went out today, the Department of Homeland Security estimates that in one year, 90% of the US population would be dead.  That’s a lot of people.

Can you imagine a current 16-25 year old with no WiFi?  For days?

Do you have outdoor skills?

Some of you will say, “I don’t need them, I’m bugging IN & staying put”.  That’s a good plan, right up until it isn’t.  Let’s say you bug in, as society collapses around you.  The neighbors will eventually know you have food, and they don’t.  I don’t care how well you shoot, odds are stacked against you.   What will you do when FEMA rolls in and seizes your “excess food” under the Defense Production Act (look it up)?  There are many scenarios in which bugging in will need to become bugging out.

Not to mention, that as society collapses, the power will go out, and with it water and gas service.

Remember…In a crisis, movement is life.

Others say, “I don’t need those skills, I have a fully stocked bug out location”.  OK.  What if you can’t drive to to your bug out location because of the situation?  A 2 hour drive can easily become a 10 day walk….Outdoors.  

Let’s say you drove up to your idyllic bug out location, and a few weeks later, several hundred armed and hungry refugees arrive on foot.  You’ll need to bug out again, at least temporarily.  

Having the skills to stay safe and hidden in the field (what we Marines call “outdoors”) can save your life.

Shelter

Go out into the hill country & bring back

Branches from olive & wild olive trees,

& from myrtles, palms, & shade trees,

To make temporary shelters.

Nehemiah 8:15

Nehemiah knew what he was talking about. 

Get out and learn how to make a natural, temporary shelter NOW, while it’s not absolutely crucial.  Shelters are easy to make, once you learn how.  It’s really nothing more that using branches and forest debris to make overheard cover.  

There are many good books available on Bushcraft, Wilderness Survival, and Primitive Camping.  Find one that you like and make it a reference guide.  I use the SAS Survival Guide, 3rd Edition.

Hunting/Trapping

Now then, get your equipment – your quiver & bow –

And go out to the open country

To hunt some wild game for me.

Genesis 27:3

Isaac knew he was too old & feeble to hunt himself, so he sent his sons.  I’m probably too old & feeble, but I’ll do it myself anyway.

The ability to hunt and trap game is an essential survival skill.  I don’t care how much canned or freeze-dried food you have, you’ll need to supplement it with fresh protein.  Wild game is better for you anyway.  

Again, there are many good books on the topic, and the same one I listed before can help. Most state Natural Resources departments also publish hunting tips and guides to help with wildlife management.

Learn these skills now, because if you try to learn when it’s critical, you can’t afford to fail.

Learning to identify plants and fruits/berries is also vital.

Environmental Conditioning

We’ve become so accustomed to artificially-maintained norms, that we generally refuse to go outside during bad weather and when we do, it’s uncomfortable. 

If you were going to go for a walk, but saw that it was raining out, what would you do?  Be honest, you wouldn’t go.  I submit that you should go for the walk anyway.   

The United States Military uses the best outdoor gear you can find.  Their basic rain poncho design hasn’t changed in decades because it WORKS.  Combine a USGI poncho and a USGI Gore-Tex rain suit and you’ll be warm and dry despite the rain.  The poncho is so good that it can be used as a tent.  I have two and when snapped together, they make a VERY nice tent.

Last spring (the one before covid, like 4 years ago), I wore my USMC-Issue Gore Tex rain suit and a USGI poncho for a 13 hour day in the field and it rained the entire day.  I was mostly dry at the end of it.

Learning to be comfortable outdoors in all kinds of weather is a good skill to have.  The hard part is, there is only one way to do it.  Get out, put on a rucksack, and start walking in the rain, the heat, the blizzard, whatever.  Once you learn that you can be comfortable moving a distance carrying a load in bad weather, doing it in good weather becomes simple.

The Viking Test

Viking Preparedness suggested a test and beginning training exercise.  He said put your gear in a rucksack, including fire starting materials, cooking gear, and a lunch.  No matter what the weather, put on the ruck, walk out into the woods for one hour, make a fire, prepare lunch, then break down the site, and walk the hour back.  It’s a great test and preparedness exercise.  Do it  at least once a month for a year and you’ll be fully acclimatized to all four seasons and all weather types.  

If it’s raining or snowing, DON’T put it off, do it anyway.  When the time comes, you won’t get to pick the day.

The only thing I’ll add to this exercise is when you first arrive at the halt/lunch location, immediately prepare either a camp site, including a shelter, or a fighting/security position that you could defend yourself from.  It’s a good habit to get into whenever you halt (establishing a hasty fighting position), and it will get you analyzing terrain from a security standpoint.

Make sure you are picking a halt location tactically, something out of the way, hidden, and defensible (but that’s a whole other article).  Sterilize the site when you are finished so that no one can tell you were there.

Map & Compass

Another lost skill is using a compass and map to navigate.  We’ve become so reliant on our phones or GPS, that most people don’t even know what direction they’re facing.  

I frequently get called a “Human GPS” because I always know where I am and what direction I’m facing.  I don’t think it’s anything unusual myself, because it comes from being in tune with my surroundings and remaining engaged with the natural world, not the technical one.

In the preparedness community, many people place a false reliance on handheld GPS.  They realize that, yes, the cell networks will go down, so they buy a handheld GPS.

There is a problem with that, though.  The GPS satellites are only HALF of the equation.  25% is your handheld unit.  The other 25% is the permanent ground stations that the GPS satellites track to know where they are above the earth.  What do you suppose would happen if those ground stations were either without power or destroyed?

The best option then, is to obtain paper maps, lots of them, and a QUALITY compass, not a $10 Wal-Mart special.  I have a USGI luminous compass and while it was expensive, it’s worth it.

Get out and navigate using the map & compass, so that you can do it when it becomes necessary,

Summary

We’ve lost a critical skill set.  Having been in the Boy Scouts in the last 15 years isn’t a help either, since they generally only camp now at places with gas grills, showers, and restrooms.

Learn what the Marines call “Rough Terrain Skills”, the ability to move yourself and your gear over rough terrain in any weather condition.

Once you’ve mastered that, start doing it at NIGHT.

Learn to rely less on technology, and more on your own skills.

I was fortunate to grow up living an outdoor lifestyle thanks to my grandfather, my father, and my uncles, all of whom were avid sportsmen and those surviving are still to this day.

These skills can be learned at any age, with just a little effort and study.

Battle Tracking

Battle Tracking is creating a visual display, usually a map, tracking all friendly and enemy actions on the the battlefield so that you have a better view of what’s happening and can then make informed decisions about what course of action to pursue.  In the US Military it’s called a “SITMAP” or situation map, so that you can glance at it and see the situation.

How strong is your situation map game?  It’s probably just as good as your Area Study game, right?  Non-Existent.

Understanding your current situation is not just for the battlefield. As a corporate security professional, we use a SITMAP when conducting a surveillance operation or when conducting executive protection in the field.  We also use it for disaster planning/active shooter incident war-gaming.  Any type of graphical representation of what’s happening is a great tool.

Knowing where the opposition is in relation to you is the best way to plan where to deploy resources to defend against them.  

Here’s what Nehemiah, the GrandFather of Combat Engineers, had to say about knowing what’s going on with the enemy in God’s Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

Therefore, I stationed some of the people

Behind the lowest parts of the wall

At the exposed places, posting them

By families, with their swords, spears, and bows.

Nehemiah 4:13

Nehemiah knew where he was weak and where the opposition was strong, so he placed resources there to guard against it.

This applies to more than just battle, it applies to every aspect of security for your home, bug out location, or business.

Sun Tzu also said the same thing:

If you know the enemy & know yourself,

You need not fear the result of a hundred battles.

If you know yourself, but not the enemy,

For every victory gained, you will also suffer a defeat.

If you neither the enemy nor yourself,

You will succumb in every battle.

Sun Tzu

This weekend, while ANTIFA and Stop the Steal groups squared off in Washington DC, there was a third group quietly along the sidelines, tracking everything: Those tasked with protecting certain personalities who traveled to the District for the events.

What was learned almost immediately was that ANTIFA had a strong battle tracking game.  They have obviously received some serious training, and I’m not certain that this mapping of theirs wasn’t created with the help of someone speaking Russian or Mandarin, but the fact is, someone trained them to a high level.  So high, in fact, that our professional SITMAP looked eerily similar to theirs.  I’m going to share with you their SITMAPs that they posted PUBLICLY for anyone who wanted to see them.  That was their only mistake.  

First, here is an image of the SITMAP legend, explaining things.  

Notably, their elements are black, the Stop the Steal elements are red, and police are police images.

There are a few more images attached of things as the day progressed and the police engaged.  They began the tracking as soon as their opposition began arriving and continued until only their personnel were still on the street (so they thought).  

The lesson to be learned is this:  If you opposition is tracking you and planning on how best to confront you, shouldn’t you do the same?

The lazy do not roast any game,

But the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.

Proverbs 12:27

Don’t be lazy, be diligent.

The tool that I use to maintain a SITMAP while in the field is a BattleBoard (www.battleboard.us).  My addiction to these is complete, because a new one arrived at my house just yesterday.  I have the BattleBoard Scout in all three sizes, because each is good for a different task.  I use the small size for checklists and documenting notes.  The medium I put a map of the immediate operations area in the window and track what’s going on right where I am.  I then use that to transfer it to a larger SITMAP in my Scout Large.  The polycarbonate window of the large accommodates a map size of 9×12, so it’s perfect for putting a street map in and planning routes, tracking incidents, and maintaining awareness.

The polycarbonate on them allows me to use either dry or wet erase markers, or grease pencils, but I prefer to use wet-erase.  Wet-erase markers have plenty of color options for tracking different groups or events, and being wet erase prevents them from being accidentally erased through rough handling.

I generally keep the small one in my hand or a cargo pocket, the medium in the outside pocket on a backpack, and the large in the large compartment of a backpack.  They are easy to carry and allow you to quickly brief anyone else on exactly what is going on in your local area.

When running some type of permanent on-going map, you would prepare a large wall map with some type of an overlay sheet that you would draw on.  You can use a table top, but I prefer a well map, so that no one is tempted to set things on the map itself.

Battle Tracking and maintaining a SITMAP is a critical skill for those interested in preparedness.  

Let’s say you and several others live in a rural community and are concerned about refugees from the city traveling to your area and causing problems (check out Prairie Fire by Clay Martin for more on this).  You could maintain a wall map where you track contact with groups entering your area.  After a few contacts, the map will show you the trend of where these groups are entering your area and you can then either direct patrols in the area or set up a checkpoint.   That’s just one example of its usefulness.

A great resource for training on battle tracking is our friend Sam Culper at Forward Observer (www.forwardobsever.com).

Start learning how to conduct battle tracking and I even suggest maintaining a SITMAP at all times.  I don’t recommend making it exclusively digital, because if the power goes out, you lose your SITMAP.  

As I say every few days, buy paper maps.

Track your opposition, they’re tracking you.

Redundant Communications

As I sit in an undisclosed location, doing what I do, several members of the team began to report issues with data.  Texting, secure messaging, video streaming, and general internet was slow or stopped, due to the sheer number of people using the services in the immediate area. In this area, today, that’s a life-or-death problem.

There is a lesson to be learned here.  First, we over-rely on our phones.  Most people use their phones for communication, navigation, and entertainment.  In an emergency, relying on your phone for communications and navigation, as most do, is DANGEROUS.

Second, when something is going on, everyone in the area will be using their phones for a multitude of things, all of which eat up the bandwidth and quickly overwhelm the system.

You have to have other methods of communication. 

In God’s Ultimate Tactical Manual, the Bible, there are several examples of Paul sending both a letter, and a messenger, just in case one or the other didn’t get through. This is not a new problem.

In our modern society, we have many more options for sending messages, so let’s talk a little about redundancy.

Whenever I consult with “groups” and we discuss their communication plans, they always bring up cell phones, encrypted messaging apps, Zello (2 way radio app), text messaging, and of course voice phone calls.  Seems like a lot of redundancy, right? 

WRONG.

There is absolutely ZERO redundancy in those plans, because they ALL rely on the same device and the same network to deliver the message.  If the phone dies or the network goes down, not a single one of the “redundancies” will be available.

What other options do we have?  Many.  They just aren’t as high-tech, or cool as having a ton of cell phone apps, all running at the same time.

The best secondary method I can recommend is RADIO.  Yes, I know, the range is limited.  Answer me this….would you rather only be able to communicate at short range or not at all?  If the cell system and internet is down, you are getting zero range, so a couple of miles is infinitely better, is it not?

In the world of radio, you buy anything from a cheap blister-pack radio at Walmart (a few hundred meters of range) to a several thousand dollar base station and repeater that gets a hundred miles or more.  The only thing is, everyone in your group needs to be on the same set of Signal Operating Instructions.

The Signal Operating Instructions (SOI) is your group’s plan for radio communications, detailing times, frequencies, and methods of contact.  The American Redoubt Radio Operators Network, or AMRRON (www.ammron.com) publishes one SOI manual for all their members, so that there is a national plan.  It’s well worth the price of membership.

How to set up your radios and which frequencies or bands to use is something that will keep HAM radio license holders talking for hours, which we aren’t going to do.  I’m going to anger them all with the next few points, but my friends who have a HAM license will still love me though, because they know I’m right, they just like to be all technical.

First, I’ll admit that I do NOT have an FCC Amateur License, or as I like to call it, a “Where the Federal Government Can Find Radios to Seize” license.  I don’t fault anyone who does, it’s just not personal choice.

You can buy the Baofeng handheld radios, which are sufficient for most of your purposes.  Sorry, HAM guys, most everyday use in a true “Without Rule of Law” scenario involve TACTICAL communications at short range.  Yes, you should have other equipment for receiving at longer distances, because that’s how you’ll get your news.  But for everyday keeping in touch with family members or your security team, the $40-$50 Baofeng radio can’t be beat, especially if you buy a roll-up J-Pole antenna that you can toss into a tree.  

Now, most of the Baofengs operate in the 5W-8W range on high power, so I would be remiss if I didn’t warn you that those power levels violate FCC regulations on a lot of bands.  I’ll also tell you that in a WROL situation, I’m pretty sure the FCC won’t be rolling around, tracking down people broadcasting above the power limits or even broadcasting on unapproved bands.

For ease of communication planning, I have my radios programmed with the FRS/GMRS/MURS radio frequencies (you can find them easily online).  It just makes it easier to add people or discuss channels for the day, when working off a known list. (To the Feds lurking here: Of course I have the power dropped to appropriate levels….)

Because I have also been known to work security operations in unusual places, I also have things like the EU’s PMR frequencies programmed in, which is their version of FRS/GMRS.  While in North America, those are HAM band frequencies, again, in an emergency, it won’t matter and I may run into a group of lost British security detail members (hey, I’ve been at a facility FULL of them in North America).  It’s just another list of known frequencies to work from.  By the way, if the grid IS down, and you tell someone to switch to PMR 6, no one will be able “Google” the listing of PMR frequencies, will they?  Perhaps I’ve thought about this….

I know that a lot of my counterparts object to using these frequencies based on the communication security problems, but we aren’t dealing with combat against a nation-state level actor, no matter how many times you’ve seen Red Dawn (both versions).  We’re talking about real-world local security operations.  You can make this much more secure by using your own SOI.

Let’s say that we’ve decided to use FRS 9 as our main channel, GMRS 18 as a TAC (Talk-Around Channel) , and MURS 2 as a fall back (TAC 2).  Everyone in our group would just know that FRS 9 is our main channel and monitor it.  The main channel is ONLY for making initial contact, not for holding full conversations.  That way, if someone stumbles across the channel, they only get us making contact.  Once I’ve made contact, I could say “switch to TAC” and we would all know to switch to GMRS 18.  It’s more secure than saying “switch to GMRS 18”.  It’s not perfect, but again, we aren’t dealing with fighting a war, just local security.

Our group has 9 FRS/GMRS frequencies preplanned with Digital Coded Squelch codes, and have them labeled in all our radios as MAIN, and TAC 1-8. All we say is “switch to TAC 6” for example, and someone would have to be both close and lucky to stumble across us. No, it’s not perfect, but it’s SIMPLE and in an emergency SIMPLE is always best.

I know there a lot of guys who say, “I will only buy encrypted radios”.  Yes, for professional work, I have encrypted radios as well, but remember that only works against local chuckleheads.  The US Government isn’t about to let you be able to buy radios that they can’t break the encryption on easily.  And if they can, you can bet the Chinese, Russians, or whoever your favorite boogeyman is (maybe the Indonesians, I don’t know) can, too.

In a local compound, wire is also an alternative, especially between an observation post/security checkpoint back to your main post.  Since WW1, the US military has taught nearly every person who has entered service how to run wire and hook up a phone that can talk to another phone on the same wires (sound powered). Equipment is available online and it’s really as simple as laying wire and attaching the two phones to it.

The most secure method, of course, has been around since Adam & Eve, and that’s face to face communication.  In a true emergency, you may have no alternative but to seek out your friends and family and talk to them face to face.  

As long as there is electrical power, you can use email to supplement cellular calling if the cell networks are overloaded, but most people send & receive all their email via their cell phone, so you can’t be sure the message will arrive when you need it to.

In my opinion, your communication plans should look like this:

Primary: Cell Phone

Alternate: Radio

Contingency: Email

Emergency: HF Radio

Yes, I know radio is on there twice, but HF radio has been the mainstay of true grid-down emergency communication ever since the radio was invented, and I don’t see that changing.

Some of my fellow Executive Protection practitioners will inevitably say I left out SAT Phone comms, but that was on purpose.  If we’re in a situation where the grid is down, a SAT phone won’t be able to find a signal for the same reason your $800 GPS won’t….without powered-up ground stations for the GPS system, neither your SAT phone or GPS will know exactly where it is.

On a side note, for security operations now, the order is a bit different:

Primary: VHF/UHF Radio

Alternate: Secure Messaging App

Contingency: Cell phone

Emergency: Sat Phone

In every emergency plan you make, use the PACE acronym to help you plan four different alternatives for everything (especially routes).

While we’re on the topic, Western society has all but replaced the GPS with mapping apps on your phone, no matter how habitually inaccurate they are.   Could you navigate home from somewhere without using your phone?  What about if your normal route is blocked? Let me give you a few ideas.

1. Google Maps will let you download your local area for use offline & Sygic navigation will let you download your entire state.

2. Carry a separate handheld GPS that doesn’t rely on the cellular network.

3. Carry a paper map in something like a BattleBoard Scout (www.battleboard.us).

4. Learn to use a paper map & compass (invest in a good compass).

Build redundancy into everything you do.  I carry a flashlight on my belt and one in my EDC bag.  I carry cash and a credit card.  Always have another way to do anything.

As our country continues down this uncertain path, having redundant communications is absolutely vital.  The last point is, always carry the redundant part with you.  It’s habit for me, because I’ve kept a radio with me pretty much daily since I was 18 (that was a LONG time ago ), but if it’s new to you, make sure you take it.  Redundant programs are only redundant when they are available to you.

Be safe & be aware.

The EDC Bag

Everyone, especially in these tense and violent times, should carry some essentials everywhere they go, to enable them to be a little more prepared than if they had nothing with them. 

We’re not discussing a full get-home bag, or a bug-out bag, this is a small, simple bag that carries some very basic items to assist you.  It’s a supplement, not a replacement for larger bags.

I always like to check God’s Ultimate Tactical Handbook, and in the very same verse that He commands His followers to always be armed, he tells you to carry an EDC bag.  What, you didn’t ever see that in the Bible?  It’s clearly spelled out in Luke 22:36

He said to them, “But now if you have a purse,

Take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, 

Sell your cloak and buy one.”

Luke 22:36

In modern terms, a sword would be a handgun/firearm, a purse would be a wallet, and a bag would be an EDC bag.  See? You learned something from the Bible today. 

What I use is a Bail Out Bag.  There are many manufacturers, and nearly all identical.  Mine is from LA Police Gear (www.lapolicegear.com).  

As an overview, it has pockets all the way around, two end pouches that could hold gear or water bottles, and a center opening, with a removable divider.  My center divider has a universal holster built in.

Let’s work our way around the bag, and I’ll discuss what I carry in each area.

On this side, we have a long zipper pocket on the bottom (which fits an expandable baton or 32 round Glock 23 magazine nicely), a medium zipper pocket on top, pen slots, and another larger slot that can hold either a flashlight or an expandable baton.

The contents I have on this side are a Rite in The Rain pen (www.riteintherain.com), another pen and a mechanical pencil, a 700 lumen flashlight from Tactical Gear (www.tacticalgear.com), and a sillcock key.  The sillcock key will enable you to open commercial water faucets on the outside of commercial businesses in an emergency.  It’s a great little tool to have, and I got mine at Lowe’s.

In the medium pocket, I keep a Solatac PTK (www.solatac.com).  This is a great first aid kit, with everything you need to treat major penetrating trauma, like a gunshot wound or a knife wound, or a serious traffic injury.  The kit includes a SWAT-T tourniquet, which is one of my favorites.  I like Solatac kits because of the quality, and it’s literally a husband & wife operation.  I’d rather support small business than buy a kit from a major corporation.

On the opposite side, the bag has several smaller Velcro-closure pockets.  The two larger ones can hold AR/AK mags quite easily, but I don’t use them for that daily, I’d rather not panic people everywhere I go.

Inside the pockets on this side I keep a trauma bandage (you can’t carry too many of them), a boo-boo kit of several different types of band-aids, a package of hand sanitizer wipes, surface cleaning wipes, spare flashlight batteries, a mini-tool, a multi-tool, and a ferroceum rod (you never know when you might need to burn down a capitalist monument or something).

Inside the main compartment, I have my two Battleboard Scouts (www.battleboard.us), a Medium and a Small.  In the Medium, I carry a map of the local area I’ll be in that day, in case I need to move quickly without cell service.  The other one I have in the window either my checklist for the day or, as the photo shows, a Rite in The Rain tactical checklist, this one is for treating a casualty or completing a SPOT Report.  The cool thing about the Battleboard is that I can write directly on it with dry or wet erase pens, recording the information.  I also keep inside my tablet (in it’s nice Realtree case), some index cards, and additional maps or paper.  Whatever I need for the day.

The end pouches are perfect for Nalgene water bottles, but I usually throw some of my modular kits in the ends.

This kit is my Admin/Daily kit.  I holds pens & mechanical pencils, a Rite in The Rain notebook, a signaling mirror (although I use it daily for surveillance), a small knife, a penlight, and a UV light (I use that to verify ID cards professionally), and a spare handcuff key (who doesn’t need a spare handcuff, they can come in handy…).

In the other end, I usually carry a survival kit with another ferroceum rod, fire starter kindling, stormproof matches, a small knife, a tool card, and camouflage face paint, which also has another mirror.  Yes, camouflage face paint can come in handy (don’t ask).  I also keep an Anker power bank and a small bottle of spray hand sanitizer in this pocket.

Attached to the bag in various points, I have a P38 & a P51 can opener, a bottle opener, a couple of small pry tools, a CPR mask, and a USB rechargeable light. I also always keep a Camstick 1080p body camera in the bag…it can be a life-saver.

The last thing I carry in the bag is an “Instant ANTIFA” kit.  In the event I find myself trapped in a spontaneous protest, throwing on a black full-face mask and a pair of black gloves is the best camouflage you can have.  I also keep a couple of different colored masks for quick appearance changes (in our current situation, people fixate on masks for identification).

You’ll notice that I mentioned that the bag has a holster and that a couple of the pockets could hold batons, but I don’t carry any of those in the bag.  The reason for that is that personal weapons belong ON YOUR PERSON.  They shouldn’t be kept in anything that can be stolen or removed from you.

I also carry on my person, because it’s that important, a Surefire ProTac 2L and a Gerber multi-tool.  I can’t forget them if they are attached to my body.

I hope this gives you some ideas help spur you to create or modify what you carry daily. 

As our situation gets more and more precarious, you need to carry at least some emergency supplies everywhere you go.

Chaos Actual

I want to relay to you all my observations on the last few days in Michigan.  Bear with me, and at the end I’m going to discuss concrete actions that you can take as the chaos escalates.

On Thursday, I was with some some people down at TCF Center (Cobo Hall for the Detroit old-timers) in Detroit, to observe what was happening where the Wayne County ballots were being counted.  

There were people from both sides present, and our friends of BLM/ANTIFA were present in brand new yellow hoodies that said COUNT EVERY VOTE.  

I wasn’t there to promote or defend either side, and live-stream footage of the day from a few sources shows that I was clearly in the middle, restraining both sides at times and chatting amicably with both sides at times, and I even got the professional agitators from BLM that I’ve seen all summer long to laugh along with me at the Detroit Police antics.

I spent most of the time with a legislative candidate (who will not be named for his protection), and our friends from American Patriot Media and the American Patriot Council (check them out at: www.americanpatroitcouncil.org).

Within a few minutes, I quickly spotted a known personality.  He’s the second in command of the Metro Detroit ANTIFA security team.  I normally see him in full battle gear, including an Interceptor Body Armor vest.  Today, he was dressed down and pretending to not really be involved.

Upon watching, he kept walking over to the 2 known BLM agitators, and within seconds, they would target a conservative for harassment.  There’s a certain irony in that, but that’s not my point.

BLM Agitator

My point is, while the media portrays BLM as a “grass-roots” spontaneous group, and ANTIFA as an “idea”, there is a well-established hierarchy and organization, that puts leaders where they need to be and the “spontaneity” is rather scripted.

When CL Bryant, a civil rights legend and former NAACP leader, began to speak to the crowd, BLM started to rush the crowd, but the Detroit PD Tactical Services Team held them back….at first.  

As soon as the police formed a line, the ANTIFA organizer got involved.  He said “Why did you let the white people in but not the black people?”.  The conservative crowd had white, black, hispanic, and asian people in it, but that does’t matter, they played the race card anyway.  I’d also like to point that CL Bryant is indeed a black man and a Baptist minister.

The Detroit PD quickly melted away, after being called racist, and predictably, the BLM/ANTIFA crowd took over the stage and began screaming at CL Bryant, calling him a “Coon”, and a few other things I won’t repeat here.  I took a peacekeeper role, placing my body between CL and the violent men trying to shove him and created space, while telling the DPD that it was really this easy and that it was probably their job to protect BOTH sides.  They didn’t answer or act to protect either side.

When the BLM women’s auxiliary arrived and began screaming at both black and white women on the conservative side, we again all put ourselves in the middle and tried to calm both sides.  Eventually, everyone had to leave that area, and that’s where we found some common ground, when we pointed out that the police could trample all of our assembly rights equally.

Throughout the day Thursday, I saw the conservative side attempt to make rational arguments, while the leftist side made emotional ones.  As Jason from the American Patriot Council pointed out, they were speaking two different languages and not understanding each other.

The most important observation from the day though, was the observation of the police action.  Every time a conservative stepped off the curb into the road, a line of tactical officers came over and ordered everyone out of the street.

The same thing did not happen when BLM/ANTIFA stepped into the road to harass the conservative side, or to harass the driver of the Trump Unity Bridge (www.trumpunitybridge.com) or other drivers.  If a conservative intervened in this harassment, police responded quickly.

Ironically, on Friday, the Detroit Police arrested Rob Cortis, the driver of the Trump Unity Bridge.  The alleged charge:  Noise Ordinance violation for playing music from his vehicle speakers after 9 PM.  In over 150 nights of BLM/ANTIFA marching into neighborhoods after 9 PM and shouting on loudspeakers and banging drums, they have NEVER made a noise ordinance arrest.

So, why does the police target the conservative side?  No one knows for sure, except that the city has democratic leadership, but we’re seeing it nationally.  I personally feel it’s because when they try to engage in law enforcement on the leftist side, they get a violent response.  When they conduct law enforcement on the conservative side, the conservatives comply.

There’s a lesson in there.

On Saturday, there was a Stop The Steal Rally planned at the Lansing Capitol.  As part of my ongoing project to observe ANTIFA tactics, I decided to go and watch.  ANTIFA was heavily armed with rifles, shotguns, handguns, bats, and shields.  There were a few rifles and handguns among the conservatives, but ANTIFA/BLM had people in FULL COMBAT GEAR.  There was even one in a full head-to-toe German Army uniform, including a German helmet and body armor.  I guess no explained the irony of claiming to be “Anti-Fascist” while wearing a full GERMAN uniform.

The first time ANTIFA/BLM tried to disrupt the rally, they forced their way into the center and occupied the area in front of the Capitol.  How did the conservatives respond?  Was there a violent response from those wacky right-wingers?  No, they sang patriotic songs.  After a couple of songs, and no fighting, ANTIFA marched off.  It’s hard to pick a fight with people who are singing to you.

Since ANTIFA/BLM had arrived fully armed and in full battle gear, you’d think the Michigan State Police and Lansing Police would be out in full force to keep everyone safe, right?  WRONG.

The absence of law enforcement was COMPLETE.  It was so absent, that it could only have been intentional.  I’ve never been at the Capitol where you didn’t see at least a trooper on a bicycle.  Nothing.

After a couple of hours, ANTIFA marched back into the area, and no one paid them much attention.  They quickly seized control of the portable toilets and wouldn’t let anyone use them, and wouldn’t let anyone out.  When a woman tried to slip past them, they shoved her back.  Immediately, at the other end of the area, several ANTIFA/BLM members rushed into the crowd, pepper-spraying people indiscriminately.  There were a lot of small children present at the time of the attack.  

Me being who I am, I went forward to try and break things up and I saw a man come out of the bathrooms.  ANTIFA/BLM members jumped on him and took him to the ground.  I tried to get him, just to extricate him, and a woman shoved me with her shield, demanding I get back.  I ignored all 95 pounds of her (I’m no Drew Baye, but I’m a substantial man) and stepped closer to try and free the man being beaten.  Another BLM/ANTIFA man shoved me with a shield, also ordering me to get back.  I asked him if he was a police officer and he said no.  I then informed that he couldn’t tell me to get back and I told them to let the man on ground go (he was simply leaving the restroom and hadn’t done anything).  He told me to get the *expletive* back as he snapped out his ASP baton.  I ordered him to drop the weapon, but he raised it, and told me he would hit me if I didn’t get back.  I told him that if he swung that weapon at me, he was going to have a very bad day.  

By this time, I had gotten enough of them to look my way that members of a local “group” were able to rescue the man from the bottom of the pile.  

Another round of pepper spray from BLM/ANTIFA occurred and the young man in front was still deciding what to do about me when the state police arrived.  I immediately informed the *SINGLE* trooper who arrived what had happened, pointed at the man STILL HOLDING A WEAPON IN AN ATTACK POSITION, and he said, “There is nothing I can do”.  I informed him I had the entire thing on body cam video, and he said  “I can’t do anything”.  I pointed out the man who was spraying the crowd, who still had the can in his hand, and explained that he had attacked dozens.  The Trooper said “I didn’t see it”.  I pointed out the dozen or so victims reeling from spray and the dozens of witnesses, who were all agreeing with me, and again said I had it all on video. He said “If you want, we can sort it out much later, but I can’t do anything right now”.  I told him never mind.  If the police don’t ID the suspect at the scene, since they are all wearing masks, and all dressed in black, there is no sense wasting time reporting the multiple felony assaults.

ANTIFA Leader in Middle

As I looked across the street, who did I find directing this attack?  The same man I had seen in Detroit on Thursday, only today he’s in full gear and toting an AK.  I have significant information on him, but it will do me no good to report it.  I’ll keep it for my own protection.

Now, let me come to the preparedness point of these tales.

THE POLICE ARE NOT COMING TO HELP YOU.  

As you are preparing for the coming and rapidly increasing unrest, understand that and make your own safety and security plans.

Also understand that if any enforcement action is taken, it will most likely be against the side that defended itself.  Yes, it’s a horrible catch 22.  The police won’t help you and they’ll arrest you if you resist.  As I’ve said, this war was lost months ago.  

So what can you do?  The most important thing you can do is practice Don’t-Be-There-Jitsu.  Yes, I’ve already had several friends point out that I violated that myself, but I am a professional and it’s just not in me to let an innocent person be beaten in my presence.  I wasn’t there for either side, and I have principles I won’t violate.

Aside from not being there, gather information on local personalities and groups that cause unrest and track where they’re going to be, so that you can avoid flash points.

Get out and train in fitness and self defense.  I can’t tell you what that looks like for you, but if you aren’t doing anything at all now, even 5 pushups a day is an improvement over sitting on the couch.  As fitness instructor Drew Baye (www.baye.com) says about fitness, do something every day to make yourself harder to kill.

As things come more and more off the rails, you’ll want to avoid grocery stores.  The Safety Doc has reported that many trucking companies are paying drivers extra to deliver to cities involved in unrest.  There isn’t a truck driver alive who doesn’t know the name Reginald Denny, and as unrest gets worse, drivers will just refuse to go, creating food scarcity.  Buying a few cans of food extra per trip RIGHT NOW may carry you through the unrest.  Subscribe to the Safety Doc Podcast on YouTube for great analysis, by the way.

I keep saying it and I’ll say it again…get and carry with you EVERYWHERE a quality first aid kit.  A few days ago, ANTIFA/BLM stabbed 4 different people on the street in Washington, DC.  Having an aid kit on hand is VITAL and could save your life.  Both days I documented here I had Solatac PTK (www.solatac.com) in my cargo pocket.  It’s a robust kit, in a convenient zip-loc bag that fits in a pocket.

I know, many of you still believe that the AP calling the election for Biden means this is all coming to an end.  Let me dispel that for you.

First, Biden has already promised another full lockdown and more movement restrictions.  NY just deployed literal troops to airports and land borders to check for “interstate travel papers”, also known as “test results”.  Those troops are forcing anyone without the papers into 14 day house arrest (quarantine).  Just because you’re confined to a hotel doesn’t make it any less house arrest.  Do you think that this will cause more or less unrest?

Second, BLM & ANTIFA are now openly admitting that they don’t want Biden/Harris either, just like I reported to you months ago.  They’re now also attacking Biden/Harris rallies.  Do you think that is going to cause more or less unrest?

Lastly, Donald Trump, right or wrong, has absolutely nothing to lose by fighting all the way to January 19th.  Do you think this is going to cause more or less unrest?

Be alert, be aware, and prepare.  Things are going to get worse, not better.

The Danger of a Color Revolution

Taken in Detroit today

Let’s talk about Color Revolutions.  A Color Revolution is the name given to various movements throughout Europe and the Middle East.  A Color Revolution most often involves a disputed election, followed by mass street protests, which ended in the government being overthrown or resigning.

What is common among them is serious provocation of government forces by protestors, leading to the government over-reacting, usually with deadly result.  In turn, the protestors then make their case to the international media, pointing at the government’s violent response as evidence.

What they don’t show are the provocations beforehand.  Many people saw videos of Armenian police attacking protestors outside a police station, but they didn’t see the video of the protestors fire-bombing the police station just before that.

Any of this sound familiar?  It should.

Another feature of the Color Revolutions was the involvement of international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) like the Open Societies Foundation and others.  This lends the revolution free media coverage with a false air of legitimacy and neutrality.

Michael McFaul, US Ambassador to Russia under Obama, classifies the following stages of a Color Revolution:

1) A perceived semi-autocratic rather than fully autocratic regime

2) An unpopular incumbent

3) A united and organized opposition

4) An ability quickly to drive home the point that voting results were falsified

5) Enough independent media to inform citizens about the falsified vote

6) A political opposition capable of mobilizing tens of thousands or more demonstrators to protest electoral fraud

7) Divisions among the regime’s coercive forces.

Keep in mind, these points are from the point of view of the REVOLUTIONARIES and were written by an Obama official.

We can argue that President Trump is wildly popular, with his base, but he’s also wildly unpopular with the opposition.  The opposition sees him as autocratic.

When an Obama official says “independent media”, they mean media willing to go along with their narrative.  Do you have any doubts that the American Mainstream Media will claim that the vote is falsified?

Do you have any doubt that the opposition is united?  Do you think they can organize tens of thousands of protestors?

So many in the preparedness community keep saying “This will all get better right after the election”.  The Color Revolutions tell us that the danger doesn’t even begin until the day AFTER the election.  That’s when the mobilization and violence begin.

Ukrainian Antifa Logo

Protestors will flood the streets worse than they have all summer.  They will provoke the police into increasingly violent control tactics, and scream foul, while they hide the molotov cocktails behind the bushes.

My point in saying this isn’t to stoke fear, it’s to get you to realize that the danger is GETTING WORSE, and not less.  Sitting down on the couch and saying “we made it” is far too premature.

Nothing in my over six months of going undercover inside these organizations leads me to believe that they will suddenly become rational and say “Aw, shucks, our guy lost.  Maybe next time”.  

Everything I’ve seen indicates that they will increase the violence and scream foul about everything.

In fact, the documents I gather indicate that their plan has been a violent revolution all along and that they don’t want EITHER candidate to control the country.

Many people say, well, if they come to my neighborhood, I won’t let them win.  THEY DON’T HAVE TO COME TO YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.  They just have to take control.

Ukraine ANTIFA Fighters

The Ukrainian Revolution was over in 72 hours.  It began as protests in the capitol and all the fighting was confined to Kyiv.  After 72 hours, the government was overthrown, but the majority of the people didn’t even know it; they just heard that the protestors were clashing police in the capitol.  They thought it didn’t effect them, in their neighborhood.  “Those people are always protesting”, they said.

When they woke up on the 20th with the President fleeing to Russia and a new government, re-writing their constitution, THAT finally got them out of their comfortable homes and into the streets to fight.

One problem, though….they were now the OUTLAWS, instead of the good guys.  Because they didn’t ever get off the bench and support the elected system of government (good, bad, or indifferent), they lost their ability to legally affect it.  By taking up arms, the men of Luhansk and Donetsk were unlawful rebels.

Why is that significant?  Because they can be ARRESTED, rather than be treated as Prisoners of War.  That’s an important distinction.

Today, there are now three countries in the space once called the Ukraine, and a foreign army from Russia controls another third.  Citizens of a once-modern western society now struggle to maintain electricity, dodge land mines, and under constant threat of military action.  This all happened in 72 hours.

If you wait until they overthrow your government, you are letting the opposition gain control of the tools of the State to fight against you.  ANTIFA & RevCom doesn’t have tanks today, but if they somehow take control, as they plan, they will.  And bombers.  And artillery.  Do you doubt that they have the will to use them?  Read their Twitter feeds, they already want anyone who disagrees with the extreme far left DEAD.

Major news organizations are openly talking about the need to abolish our existing Constitution and go back to some type of loose confederation, giving even more power to tyrannical governors (I’m certainly not talking about sweet Aunt Gretchen Whitmer, because that will get you arrested).

Gretchen Whitmer
Alien Nazi Leader Diana (Whitmer)

Think it can’t happen here?  GrandMaster Jay is a folk hero, and he claims he’s going to establish, by force, a black-only ethno-state.  Consider how his militia is portrayed by the media versus all of the others.

Be aware.

Be prepared.

Consider what you will do to preserve the republic, and protect your loved ones.

Book Review – Prairie Fire

Prairie Fire is a training and readiness manual focusing on people in rural areas.  It’s written by USMC and US Army Special Forces Veteran Clay Martin.  This is a companion book to his earlier “Concrete Jungle”, which focused on Urban Preparedness.

Let me start off, once again, by saying that I bought these books myself, and Clay Martin did not ask me to write these reviews.  In fact, he has no idea what I’m about to say, and he’s seeing this review for the first time, too.

We are indeed at a crossroads, as a nation.  It’s virtually impossible to envision an outcome to our nation’s differences that does NOT result in violence.  We can hope for a miracle, but hope is not a strategy.  Taking a few actions to prepare yourselves will, at worse, result in you being a little better prepared and well-trained.  The opposite is not true; if you don’t prepare or train, and should have, NOTHING you can do will make up for it.

Overall, it’s an outstanding guidebook for building a local defensive organization to protect yourselves from groups migrating from the cities, whether they be refugees, marauders, or an opposing (or foreign) force.

Clay begins with a good discussion on building your group, and guarding your information from ANYONE else.  Once again he points out the risk of over-zealous federal law enforcement agents trying to find groups and convince them to undertake things they shouldn’t.  If you keep your core group small, and tight knit, you don’t have that problem.

He also introduces the idea of a larger organization made up of everyone from the local area.  While Clay uses the term infantry, I’d be more likely to call them “Watch-Standers”, which is closer to the truth.  They’ll stand watch over the community, but they are an infantry of last resort.

Clay highlights the differences between defending in an urban environment and a rural one, and they are truly two different animals.  An excellent point he makes, which I’ve also made several times, is that the US military cannot enforce martial law or hold territory over most of the country.  At most, they could hold a few of the larger cities.  

Side note of my own at this point…The minute things go sideways in the United States, with any widespread violence, our enemies will not sit idly by.  Russia will retake the Baltic states and the Ukraine, while China will immediately retake Taiwan and start the expansion into northern Australia (northern Australia and Western US are both among their national strategic goals, they need arable land to grow food and land for people).  Our conventional military will have their hands full with those issues.

As things begin to go south and people start fleeing the cities (they already are, look at rural real estate markets), Clay recommends immediately beginning intelligence collection on them , deciding which side they support, and who could be useful.  These are essential information requirements and you may as well start now.

Clay makes the same point that I’ve been screaming from the rooftops…were losing and losing badly in the street war.  Everyone has this misconception that “When they come to my neighborhood, I’ll fight them”…they don’t NEED to come to your neighborhood to win.  In 2014, in the Ukraine, they only took a few square blocks around the capital and overthrew the government.

Martin points out the errors in assuming your enemy is stupid.  This is a big point, because everyone on the right likes to crack jokes about the left and guns, but the TRUTH is, they are buying guns, they are training, and they are actually gaining battle experience while we eat Cheetos and lick the orange off our fingers.

Clay makes the point that ANTIFA and BLM are adapting, a point I’ve seen with my own eyes conducting surveillance and undercover operations among them.

Clay made a great point, in the book he says bombings and assassinations are next ,and we’re already seeing assassinations.  Clay then said we are “One step away from People’s Courts and Tribunals”, which has ALREADY come true.  Last Sunday, in Detroit, the local RevCom/BLM/ANTIFA consortium broadcast literally a “People’s Tribunal into the Death of Hakeem Litteton”.  It’s on the Detroit Will Breathe Facebook page, if you want to look for yourselves.

We need to get over the normalcy bias, that this will all just magically work out.

Clay mentions that hygiene is often overlooked in preparedness, and he’s right, because it isn’t a fun topic.  But don’t plan on it and see what happens (You can from “Dissin’ Terry” in places other than the Oregon Trail).

I’ve frequently made the point that you need to train on checkpoint operations, and so does Clay.  I know, training on building clearing and shooting upside down hanging from a jungle gym (don’t laugh, it’s a drill someone teaches on YouTube for no apparent reason) are much more cool, but reality is that DEFENSIVE operations are far more likely than you storming the Capitol (or the Governor’s summer home – but more on that later).

Clay points out that it’s silly to play by the rules when your opposition isn’t, and I co-sign that 200%.

So many groups (I won’t say the M word here, I live in Michigan and those peeps are vanishing left & right) focus on offensive combat operations, but that defeats the entire purpose of having a mutual aid group.  You are playing defense.  As Max at Max Velocity Tactical (www.maxvelocitytactical.com) frequently says, “You are NOT light infantry”.

Clay goes into detail with some great tips on patrolling, but you’ll have to buy the book.  Pick up MVT’s “Small Unit Tactics” while you’re at it for additional reading.

In both of his books, Clay points out that if you prepare for the worst and anything less happens, you’re ahead of the game.  The opposite is NOT true. 

One of the best parts, ties directly to my blog post titled “On Being a Warrior”.  In my post, I said that in the coming times, you will have a choice to be a warrior, or a slave serving someone else.  Clay says the same thing when he points out that the day will come soon where you have to decide to either fight, or bend the knee.  I don’t know where you are at, but I won’t bend the knee while I’m still alive.  Right now, we aren’t bending the knee, but we are doing some squats to get ready to bend the knee by not doing anything.

Again, Clay brings up the military.  As a veteran, it pains me to say this, but the military will be in a tough spot.  They can’t hold everything.  In a fluid situation, who do they take orders from?  What if a Battalion Commander and Sergeant Major disagree?  The most likely default position is that most US Forces will focus on local base defense and preservation, and fighting any external threat that occurs.  The cavalry isn’t coming over the top of the mountain in the nick of time.

Clay stresses refugee screening at Entry Control/Vehicle Control Points, and gives some excellent advice in the book.  Buy it.

When it comes to defending your area from an attack, Clay makes the great point that you should defend from as far away as you can.  He reminds us all that while they fought to the last man at the Alamo, they LOST and there were NO survivors.  This idea of defending your home from attackers from the inside is a last-case scenario.  It means things have already gone bad.

Let me take an aside here…When I’m advising or training those…..groups whose names don’t start with an M… the push-back people give me when I tell them to stop with the building clearing is that they need to be able to clear their own house.  Let me tell you this…If you need to clear your own house, YOU ALREADY LOST.  As Clay pointed out in Concrete Jungle, no one breaches until they have the building perimeter secure, so if they breach, you blow the escape hatch and run.  Lose the fantasy of John Wick taking out 22 guys in his own house.

One of the greatest examples Clay gives of what is to come is one that I frequently point out as an example as well.  Once the killing starts, it will be nearly impossible to stop.  Clay uses the example of the South African farm attacks.  For over a year, I’ve been screaming from the rooftops that the vilification of white males is going to lead to that exact situation.  To see what eventually comes of it, look at Rhodesia/Zimbabwe.  They killed or drove off ALL of the white farmers.  Then, predictably, they began to starve to death in large numbers, because no one knew how to farm.  Now, they are welcoming South African farmers with open arms.  I say…#MakeZimbabweRhodesiaAgain.  The killing doesn’t have to make sense.

After mentioning the Boer farm war currently going on, Clay gives great tips on turning isolated farms into Combat Outposts that can hold out until a response force arrives.  In James Wesley Rawles’ Collapse series, he gives much the exact same advice.  The only thing is, farms need a way to communicate with a response force.  Enter CB radio, it’s HF, so it has range, and no one needs a license.  They are readily available.  Once the SHTF, all power restrictions go away, so crank up the watts for range.

Clay gives another reminder that everyone needs…anyone who suggests shortening rifles, building silencers, building bombs, or KIDNAPPING A GOVERNOR (even if she’s likely Hitler’s grand-daughter) is a federal agent or crazy, neither of which you want.

I have to disagree with one analysis Clay gives on evaluating veterans t o place them in positions…MARINE Military Police are NOT the same thing as ARMY Military Police, while the roles are SIMILAR.  Marine MP elements operate much farther forward and are frequently used as either infantry or mechanized infantry, far more than their Army cousins, so I feel he should have included them in the “Combat Arms”.  (*re-polishes USMC MP Badge in resin case on my desk*).

Clay gives a very good discussion on organizing your forces into tactical elements and I agree (as well as Max at MVT) that the USMC model is the most versatile.  That’s not inter-service rivalry, Max was never a US Marine (I think Brit army, then US). It’s just a robust organization.

After discussing organization, Clay discusses how to train on fire and movement.  While I’m not giving you any free data from the book, it’s a great and important discussion.  This basic infantry tactic is so important that if you ever train at Blackwater/US Training Center/Whatever They Call Themselves This Week, no matter what your prior service experience is, you do fire and fire & movement drills on a desktop with literal plastic green army men before you go out and do it for real.  Practice it.  Buy little green army men.

Seriously, I can’t stress this enough.  The major difference between Special Forces and regular troops isn’t Whiz-Bang Tactical-Ninjary, as Clay calls it, it’s how well they perform the most basic tasks of fire & movement and immediate action drills.

I’d add to his discussion on Fire & Movement the classic Marine Corps memory aid “I’m up, he sees me, I’m down” as a way to time 3-5 second rushes.

As a fellow Marine, I’m highly disappointed that it took Clay Martin until page 117 of his SECOND VOLUME to mention bayonetting people.  While I’m making fun, a bayonet is a solid piece of kit.  I highly recommend one…If the barbarians are in the wire and you get a stoppage, bayonetting the dude keeps him in place until you can clear the stoppage and put 3 in him.

In the book, Clay outlines the basic types of patrolling and how absolutely vital they are to our task of defending our areas.  Learn how to patrol.  While Clay gives great examples, find the original copy of “Scouting & Patrolling for Infantry Units” written by Lt Col Rex Applegate.  It’s awesome, and even better than the current Marine Corps version (because you can’t exactly call in artillery or air). 

Another excellent point Clay brings up is finding a pre-1997 Boy Scout Manual. Yes, really.  Before the SJW’s took it over it was an AMAZING organization.  My Scoutmaster was a Marine and we truly ran a paramilitary organization.  The older manuals discussed things like tracking and counter-tracking, survival, “Kim’s Game” (still used to this day to train snipers and recon personnel), and my dad’s old 60s version even had an entire section of self-defense with a quarter-staff.  Cool stuff to have.  Current versions are all about how to report your Scoutmaster for micro-aggressions and sexual assault.

My two cents on patrolling…Start rucking, which is just getting out and moving in full gear for fitness and the ability to move, under a load, in all weather.  My second piece of advice is to buy a book on Leave No Trace camping.  Yes, it’s a tree-hugger concept, but on a practical level, the ability to hike and camp without leaving a trace of your presence is NOT a bad thing.  

Clay goes over the basic bare minimum gear you need, with some low-cost, but tried and true options.  Really, you aren’t going to need all the stuff you saw in Off-Grid Magazine’s “Super-Ultra-Prepardeness Mega-Issue”.  Not by a long shot.  I will add to his recommendation of 2 actual military canteens: a canteen cup and canteen cup stove.  They cost you nothing in weight and you may use them at some point.  A lot of research goes into designing US gear, take advantage of it.

One of the best points made in the book is that we have become a soft and weak people.  We are not the same men who liberated the world from fascism.   As recently as the 50s, every man in the US could start a fire and build a campsite.  Do you think that’s true today?

Ivan Throne mentioned in one of his programs, what skills does the average US businessman possess that would help him in a dark world, without electricity?  NONE.

Clay gives good advice on making yourself harder and more weather resistant.  This is absolutely vital.  Yes, I live in Michigan, but I rarely wear an actual winter coat.  I don’t put on a jacket until it’s under 30, and I don’t put on a winter coat until it’s below 10.  It’s not because I’m from the frozen north…It’s because, like Clay, I once attended the Winter Session at the USMC Mountain Warfare Training Center.  That course has no equal in the US, and the 10th Mountain Division has NOTHING on a MWTC-qualified Marine.  The closest course would probably be the German Mountain Leader School.

Another point I completely agree with is training in the rain.  Most of those “groups” postpone their training or very few members actually show up when it’s raining or snowing.  Get used to being wet, cold, and hungry or hot, dehydrated, and hungry.  

In Generation Kill, as some of the Marines are scouting out an Iraqi camp, one of the young Marines makes fun of the rice and beans the Iraqis left behind.  Old hand “Doc”, the Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Corpsman, says “These are some hard men, sleeping out here on the cold ground, living on beans and rice.  You guys bitch if you don’t get a Pop-Tart in your MRE”.  There is a lot of truth in that. Become the hard man (or woman, or Zhe).

Clay mentions Drew Baye for fitness training, and I second that (www.baye.com).

Clay wraps up with a discussion of combat marksmanship, which isn’t just putting holes in paper, and a very good discussion of guns and accessories.  When considering a gun, stick to readily available calibers.  If things go sideways, you aren’t going to find too many bad guys gifting you stacks of 300 Blackout or 6.5 Grendel as their final act on this good Earth.  But, 5.56 and 7.62 will literally be laying around.  You really don’t need the rifle in that niche caliber that Rifle Ricky from Awesome Cool-Guy Rifles Magazine used in his YouTube video.  I don’t care what it did to the ballistic gel, as I’ve never been attacked by ballistic gel.

Clay finishes with some real life possibilities and the admonition to not just let things happen.  To fight and push back.

Just like Concrete Jungle, I highly recommend buying this book, highlighting the crap out of it, and putting dozens of post-it notes on pages you want to reference.

This isn’t a buy and read once book, and neither is Concrete Jungle.  They are meant to be a reference manual, so use it.

You can find the book at: 

Observing Your Surroundings

Let me remind you

In our digital, social media age, it’s easy to quickly get all your information from social media.  It’s also incredibly easy to believe things that aren’t true by getting all your information from social media.

Normalcy bias also comes into play.  We tend to look online for stories that confirm our worldview and ignore those that don’t.  

The current state of affairs here in America is a classic example of this.  People on both sides are saying that if “their guy” wins, all of the conflict will magically be resolved, and both sides are also saying that if “the other guy” wins, rioting and violence will continue.  Both sides point at these comments to confirm their own normalcy bias…”See, it’ll all be fine after the election.”

What neither side sees, because of normalcy bias, is that both sides are both wrong and right.  If the person whichever side wants loses, there will be violence.  I hate to break this to you, but one of them HAS TO lose. 

So what can you do to develop the ground truth where you are?  Get out and make some observations on your own.  

David Perrodin, PhD,  (safetyphd.com) is a well-known expert on school safety and he calls this process “Face Validity”.  Essentially, when you are given a piece of information, decide how you can confirm it, rather than just panicking off internet rumors. 

Let me give you an example from today.  A few days ago, someone posted a photo of empty shotgun ammunition shelves at Wal-Mart.  Several of us chimed in, speculating on the cause, but it was just that, speculation.

This morning, a post came out as BREAKING NEWS….that Wal-Mart had removed all guns and ammunition from their shelves, in anticipation of unrest following the US election.  Rather than run with the unconfirmed report, I immediately reached out to some of my counterparts at Wal-Mart, and jumped in my car, to drive to the nearest Wal-Mart that still carries guns.

Upon my arrival, I noticed immediately several vehicles from an alarm company in the parking lot, along with two patrol vehicles from a local security guard agency, which is HIGHLY UNUSUAL.  I went in and went directly to the sporting goods area.  All of the guns were removed from the display, which is always full, all the ammunition was gone from the shelves, and even the single-shot muzzleloader rifles were taken down and off the floor.

Wal-Mart Gun Department, 10/29/2020

Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the United States.  It is currently the hunting season throughout the United States, and Wal-Mart makes a lot of money off the sale of ammunition during this crucial time period, but they removed it all.  That should illustrate the risk level as far beyond mere speculation.  

Muzzle-Loader Shelves

As a career corporate loss prevention professional, these decisions would not have been made for a low risk or a medium risk event.  They made the decision because they assessed the risk of national civil unrest as HIGH, not low or medium.  That means “PROBABLE”, not “POSSIBLE”.

If a company as large as Wal-Mart thinks it probable enough to cut out a huge area of profitability at a critical time, shouldn’t you take steps to prepare?

Another point to observation is just looking at what’s going on around you.  I frequently pass a local service center for the local power utility.  The facility is not a power production location, but a customer service center and a garage for the utility service trucks and is generally open to the public.  In the last few weeks, they have installed a row of incredibly-bright security lights, facing outboard.  Bright security lights are common, but facing them OUTBOARD only, is an anomaly.  

VCP

They also installed a temporary Vehicle Checkpoint (VCP) at the entrance, limiting traffic to a single lane.  There is also a higher-level (read professional military contractor-grade) security vehicle parked behind the normal security vehicle.  

This is an indication that the energy company is expecting people to arrive at this location (it’s in an industrial park not near residential areas) and trying to enter the property without authorization.  Ask yourselves why people would want to force entry into a utility company service center and it’s not hard to imagine that the energy company is expecting a disruption to power and resultant civil unrest or unhappy customers over-running their facility.

Stores locally are also re-instituting purchases limits for water, toilet paper, and other items.

Taken apart, these are all just odd one-off situations.  Taken together, they are an indication that mass civil unrest is HIGHLY PROBABLE throughout the US related to the election.  Installation of security lights, upgrading alarms, and tactical-level security services aren’t cheap.  Companies wouldn’t spend that money unless they considered it CHEAPER than the losses they would incur if they didn’t spend the money.

But what can you do?

You can continue to be aware, buy some extra supplies, and have a plan for your family and friends to stay connected and in touch with each other.  Scroll through my other posts to find gear lists and ideas.

Conduct an area study (forwardobserver.com).

Carve out some time each day to drive around to local critical infrastructure and see what emergency security measures are being put in place.  

Check out the preparations at your local polling center.  Over lunch yesterday, I was informed that in Flint, Michigan, they are closing all the roads directly in front of polling locations, to protect against potential vehicle attacks.  That’s an indicator.

Visit local stores and see what security measures have been added, what purchase limits have been put in place, and what shortages there are, particularly in groceries.

I can’t stress this enough, observe and gather information.

Observing Indicators

In our current situation, you have to gather your own information and learn to evaluate it.  As we’ve seen, media sources are not reliable, no matter which side they favor.

Frequently getting out and checking indicators is great way to stay situationally aware, as well as just paying attention and gathering information in your daily travels.

I want to use a few indicators that I’ve observed later to spur your thinking and maybe get you to check them out in your own area.

But first, a reminder about using indicators from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

The prudent see danger and take refuge,

But the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Proverbs 22:3

Yes, I know, I say that a lot, but clearly many people don’t grasp it yet.

Indicators at the Grocery Store

Grocery stores are a great place to observe indicators, as well as to gather a bit of human intelligence, by talking to store staff.

The first indicator I have observed, is the presence of security guards at the entrance of grocery stores.  If your local grocery hasn’t had one, but in the last few weeks, uniformed guards have shown up, ask yourself why.  Now, stores have always had their own plainclothes staff to deal with shoplifting, but that’s not what I’m talking about.  The local grocery chains here have recently implemented uniformed security guards just sitting at the entrances.  

This indicates the possibility of a few situations that led to the placing of the guard, all of which you need to worry about:

  1. Theft has risen to a much higher level.  This could lead to other threats/higher prices.
  2. They are experiencing violence as a result of resistance to mask mandates (trust me, I have a LOT of personal experience with this one).  This puts you at risk.
  3. They are anticipating a need to control large crowds at their entrance in the near future, indicating additional state mandates/restrictions.

To find out which it is, ask a few different employees as passing comments.  They’ll all give you different answers, but each will have a grain of truth and combining them all will give you a picture of the mood in the store, which will help you make informed risk decisions.

The next indicator I found at a few stores was food availability.  Here in Metro Detroit, there appears to be a serious shortage of fresh turkey products, with chicken and pork both dwindling. 

There are also severe shortages in the canned meat area.  I call this the SPAM indicator.  In good times, people still buy SPAM, but it’s readily available.  Today, at several stores, there were only a can or two of SPAM on the shelf at each location.  That tells you that locals are worried about food availability, so they’re buying SPAM, which keeps longer.

Walk the aisles and note “out of stocks”.  Out of Stocks is the bane of retail existence and they fight to prevent empty holes on shelves.  Right now, you will find them EVERYWHERE.  This indicates a food shortage, as well as a general economic slide.

The best way to validate true food shortage is to check Wal-Mart.  What happens as food suppliers run low, is that they cancel orders to smaller stores in order to fill orders as best they can for national chains, like Wal-mart.  When Wal-Mart is out of stock on the same items that your local or regional chains are, there is a true food shortage for that item.

Another good retail store indicator is in what things they are selling that they haven’t before.  While masks come to mind, at the beginning of the pandemic, you saw retail grocery stores carrying industrial sized cans of vegetables.  That’s unusual and an indicator. 

Recently though, I found an even bigger one in the electronics department at Wal-Mart.  Normally, for the last few years, they have carried one or two different brands of FRS/GMRS radios.  About a week ago, they re-formatted the area and there are now SEVEN different brands/packages of FRS/GMRS radios being sold.  

“Big deal”, you may think.  Consider this…Why would a retailer who had barely been carrying emergency radios suddenly quadruple the selection of emergency radios?  Because they are anticipating massive sales of emergency communications devices.  That’s a MAJOR indicator of potential unrest or disorder.

Watch the number of gas cans available on the shelf as well, it’s also an indicator of people’s unease.

Local Police Indicators

Observe the posture of your local police department during your daily travels.  

Are they all wearing traditional “soft” uniforms, or are they wearing BDU/Tactical uniforms with full chest rigs and level 4 armor?

What is written on the sides of police cars you see?  For example, some say “Special Operations” or “Tactical Response”.  These vehicles indicate that the local police are on a higher alert level.

Indicators in the Media

I know that I said that the media on all sides is unreliable, but watching what kind of stories that they are running can help you predict what’s going to happen, on both sides.

My Twitter followers have dubbed me “Joestradamus” because of my ability to predict the news cycle for the next few days of events based upon the news reporting, but there’s nothing hard to it.  Just watch.

As an example, the only thing being talked about for the last few days has been the new case count.  Every day they point out that we are at the highest case count since the pandemic began.  If you sit down and think critically, you’d understand that since they are talking total cases, yes, every single day would be the highest.  But it’s being done in a manner to imply that the disease is spreading beyond control. This indicates that lockdowns are just about to come back, and the media is being used to justify them.  

Now, I’m not going to argue the validity or danger of the disease, or anything like that, but, if I wanted the general public angry on election day, renewed lockdowns is a sure way to get it.

Another media indicator is the onslaught of stories over the last few weeks about militia groups.  They have been painted as white supremacists, dangerous, and terrorists.  The truth is that every militia group I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a few) is multi-racial, non-violent, and wants only to ensure everyone’s rights, EQUALLY.  But you should understand WHY the media is pushing the narrative about them being dangerous.  

Over the last week, two different men have been arrested for targeting Joe Biden.  Both were white men and immediately tied to either the “militia” movement or the “boogaloo” movement (which isn’t even a thing).  Upon closer review, these stories have fallen apart, and both were found to be fanatical Bernie Sanders supporters, and not truly affiliated with any movement. Ironically, both also had large amounts of cash that can’t be explained.

If you think it’s just their own money, do an experiment. Go to your bank and tell them you want to withdraw $8,000 in cash. Let me know how that goes. News flash, they’ll do everything they can to keep you from withdrawing more than a thousand dollars, yet the media expect you to believe that this 19 year old walked out of a bank with nearly a hundred thousand dollars in cash.

Also, we’ve seen widespread reporting on a white male arrested for firing rounds in the direction of the Minneapolis Third Precinct back in March.  Again, he was reported as a “Boogaloo/Militia” person.  Further review, however, indicates that he was actually part of a group that supported Black Lives Matter and was most likely an ANTIFA affiliate.

So, why do I bring these stories up?  Because they’re an indicator.  Without asking you all to put on tin foil hats, it isn’t hard to predict that we will see some sort of an attack this week, blaming a white militia group or person, right after we’ve been fed three very well-publicized stories about the risk of it.  

Why do I say that?  Because the media ARE professionals.  They knew these people weren’t what they painted them as, but they did it anyway.  Why?  Because the narrative is needed and needed quickly.  Ask yourself this, why did the FBI arrest the Minneapolis shooter, who struck nothing and didn’t set the fire, RIGHT NOW?  He has been stopped several times and they’ve known about him for a long time.  Because the FBI, for good or bad, has always been a POLITICAL creature and they need the story NOW.

Contrast all of this with the next media story indicator I want to discuss.  On Sunday, CNN’s main story was about the NFAC.  You’d think, after the crazy comments of Grandmaster Jay, their history of randomly shooting their own people, and the group’s stated goals, that CNN would paint this group with the same brush as every other militia, right?

Not at all.  They wrote a glowing story, blaming, of course, police brutality for the forming of the NFAC.  They went so far in their story as to publish the BLATANTLY false comment that the NFAC is not racist in any way.  Yes, they said that.  Jay himself is on video berating a member for showing up with her white boyfriend, throwing her out of the formation for having an inter-racial relationship. He has said repeatedly that he wants to establish a black ethno-state (“We’ll take Texas”) by force arms, and regularly makes racist rants on Instagram.

So, ask yourself, why would CNN even run this story?  It would have been to their benefit to just leave it alone. 

Unless of course, you combine it with the other related indicators.  Taken alone, they seem as just news stories.  Taken together, we see that true militias to ensure equal rights are inherently evil, and a truly racially-based militia (yes, race is required to join NFAC) with a truly racist agenda is good.

Now, when both groups appear at polling locations, who will be seen as evil, and who will be seen as protectors?  If, God forbid, these groups fight (which NFAC regularly asks for), who be painted as the racist aggressors, and who will be painted as the virtuous defenders?

I don’t share this to advocate for either side, other than the TRUTH.  The TRUTH is that Grandmaster Jay and his militia are indeed RACISTS.

The thing I am advocating for is for all of you, regardless of political leanings, to understand that a narrative is being created to justify violence by one side against the other, and THAT puts you at risk.  You may be also considered a risk, based upon someone’s reporting (Don Lemon – “White men are the biggest terror threat”) and you should plan accordingly, especially on election day.

So, What Do I Do?

Get out and gather local indicators and figure out what the local risk level is.  Monitor locals groups to see what they have planned.  Listen to the media on both sides to see what is being pushed.

Use that information, along with your area study, to plan your own level of preparedness, based upon local risk.

Elijah – Prepper and Secret Agent

Elijah & the ravens

There is a lot of preparedness and tactical knowledge in the Bible, and that’s where the motivation for this blog comes from.  Hidden inside the Bible are a lot of great adventure stories that rival the Lord of the Rings, but you have you to know where to find them.

The story of Elijah is one of those.  His story is one of wilderness survival, resisting a tyrannical government, intelligence gathering, and war.  I know, your pastor doesn’t tell you that in the snippets he gives you on Sunday, but hold, on, we’re going for a ride.

I am going to briefly recap his story, and illustrate the preparedness and tactical truths that are just as valid today as we go along.  Historically, we know that the one major battle depicted did in fact occur between King Ahab and King Ben-Hadad in about 857 BC, so these truths are over 2,000 years old and still valid.

This story is found in 1 Kings 17-21.

First, Elijah delivers an ultimatum and warning to the King, Ahab, right at the outset.  Elijah, being a smart and prepared young man, knows that it’s a good idea when you put the government on notice, to immediately clear the area.

He immediately fled from the capitol, and went and hid in a ravine.  He choose a ravine because it had a solid water supply.  In verse 17:6, God tells Elijah “I have commanded the ravens to bring you food”.  Now, the Bible is an odd book, because sometimes you’re meant to take it literally, and sometimes, you aren’t.  This notice from God was basically saying that the Elijah was to live off the land.  Ravens are scavengers and that’s the example for Elijah.  The water eventually dried up, so Elijah had to move on.

There are a couple of lessons for us here:

  1. Pick a location with access to water.
  2. Have the skills to enable you to live off the land.
  3. If conditions (like access to water) change, be prepared to change locations.

I always say that skills beat stuff (gear) every day.  I didn’t say, “Bring all the gear to live off the land”, I said have the skills.

In Chapter 18, we learn about a man named Obadiah.  While Elijah was playing Ted Kaczynski Mountain-Man, chilling out with the ravens, Jezebel had ordered her guards (the police) to round up all the Jewish followers of God (sound familiar?).  When Obadiah saw this happening, he gathered 100 of them to hide.  

But…Obadiah was SMART.  He found 2 caves, and hid 50 of the people in each cave and kept them supplied with food and water.  That way, if a cave was found, they weren’t all found.  

Sounds like a principle we can use today:

  1. Establish multiple bug-out locations.
  2. For supplies, never put them all in one cache, in case it is found or seized (Yes, the Defense Production Act allows this).
  3. If forced to, reveal only one location, which will allow you to preserve at least 50% of your supplies, more if you have more than 2 locations.
  4. You could theoretically have a planned “surrender” stash for exactly this purpose.
  5. Have a network or plan for resupply as needed.

Shortly after Elijah returned, Jezebel sent him a messenger.  The messenger advised Elijah that she was going to hunt him down and kill him.  Doesn’t that sound exactly like the rhetoric we’re hearing right now?  Anyway, on hearing this, Elijah immediately showed his wisdom and tactical acumen by immediately leaving the area.  

  1. Listen to what people tell you they’re going to do.  Take them at their word and prepare accordingly.
  2. Never accept the fight on someone else’s terms, if you can avoid it.  You pick the time and place, not the opposition.

Elijah fled, but this time, he wasn’t prepared.  He ran out into the wilderness with no supplies and quickly got overwhelmed.  He laid down under a tree and asked God to take his life.  Now, God sent an Angel to feed Elijah in verse 19:7, but you and I can’t plan on that.  After he ate what the Angel brought (This Angel was the first Uber Eats delivery ever recorded), Elijah felt better and made a concrete plan.

Elijah’s Uber Eats Finally Arrives
  1. Never plan to move without food & water.
  2. Your “bug-out bag” or “5 minute bag”, whatever you call it, should contain at least some food and water, and a means to get more food and purify more water.
  3. In verse 17:6, the Angel LITERALLY tells Elijah he needs food & water for strength for his journey, and so do you.
  4. Every situation looks better after a bite to eat.
  5. If you don’t have food in a mobile format to allow you to live long enough to get to your 25-year food stash, it doesn’t matter how much you have stored in that cabin in the woods.
  6. Never just flee blindly, always have a plan & destination in mind.

After Elijah made it to his bug out location (a cave in the mountains), he was sent on an intelligence mission to gather forces to launch an attack against King Ahab.  Elijah set out and gathered a coalition of 33 Kings to come together and fight the battle.

  1. The enemy of your enemy might not exactly be your friend, but he is your ALLY.
  2. Build coalitions of nearby mutual groups or residents to band together in the event a larger force is needed for defense.
  3. Establish a clear chain of command, because this large force, LOST the battle ultimately because each King had his own goals, rather than a mutual goal together.

In Chapter 20, The Battle of Samaria, which occurred in 857 BC plays out, and there are lessons in it.  Israel won the battle, despite being overwhelmingly outnumbered (7,000 versus about 200,000).

Pretty sure they were Kung Fu fighting

But first, before the battle, Ben-Hadad sent a list of demands to Ahab.  While the demands were tough, all his gold & silver, and his best wives (I wonder who made the cut, and how happy the ones he kept were at not being the best), Ahab agreed.  The next day, Ben-Hadad sent more demands, which were too excessive, and Ahab refused.

  1. Appeasement to demands will only get you more demands, until you have nothing left.
  2. The Munich Agreement of 1938 is a classic example of this.

The lessons learned in the battle are:

  1. The Arameans were not surprised because they had scouts out watching the enemy.  
  2. Always establish observation posts/listening posts and send out scouts, even if you can only send 2 people.
  3. Israel won with a small force, because they gave full authority to conduct the battle to “junior officers”, rather than the generals.  The Arameans didn’t.
  4. Always empower small unit leaders.

In Chapter 21, a man named Naboth owned some land that King Ahab wanted, but he refused to sell it to him.  Jezebel sent some government agents, who arranged a meeting.  At the meeting, they sat Naboth between some known criminals, who were told to accuse Naboth of conspiring with them (Man, does that sounds familiar?).  Naboth was arrested and killed.

  1. Entrapment to meet government goals has existed as long as man has established governments.
  2. The more tyrannical the government becomes, the more it uses informants and undercover agents (Read that again.  Then again.)
  3. Don’t trust “new “ people that no one else knows.
  4. Vet anyone who wants to be affiliated with you.
  5. If anyone starts talking about taking illegal action or building illegal items, RUN.  Cut them off completely.

Thanks for bearing with me and listening to the tale of Elijah and his band of subversive agents.  There is much more to the story, but this is the part that applied to our topics.  I hope these tales gave you a couple of ideas to help you prepare.

If you have any feedback, leave me a comment.

Book Review – Concrete Jungle

Concrete Jungle – A Green Beret’s Guide to Urban Survival is written by former Green Beret Clay Martin.  I usually give things written by Green Berets the proper respect by tossing them on the bookcase without ever reading them, but since Clay was a Marine Scout Sniper before he lost his mind, I decided to read it.

Let me be clear, Clay didn’t ask me to read it, and I bought it myself.  When it first came out, I thought, it’s like all the others, just a rehash of either FM 7-8 or Military Operations in Urban Terrain.  But, online I kept seeing more and more people praising it, and the political tensions keep going up, so I decided to get it and read it.

It’s very well written…most survival-type books are dry and boring.  Clay writes in a conversational style, just as if you are sitting on the barstool next to him.  The book takes into account so many things that are commonly overlooked in the preparedness community, and you’ll find blog posts on this site where I mention them as well.

The best measure of how smart a man is is how much he agrees with you, and by that standard, Clay is a genius.  Almost as smart as me.  Almost, but we’ll talk about that in a few minutes.

The introduction throws you into the cauldron right away, with a stark warning about how things are going in the United States and why you should be making preparations NOW, especially with the election just 2 weeks away.

I’m not going to give away the secret recipe here, you’ll have to buy the book to get the details and you’ll want it as a reference.

Clay mentions right out of the gate that so many in preparedness want to talk about gear, but neglect skills.  All the coolest cool-guy tacti-cool gear in the world won’t save your life if you don’t have the skills to use it, and that’s where Clay opens.  

In his first chapter, Clay gives a better presentation on the intelligence gathering topic of elicitation than the professionals at Fort Hauchuca.  It’s an essential skill you can be doing right now.  Check out some of my protest intel gathering posts to learn a bit more on this.

As he outlines how to begin gathering supplies and skills, he gives a great formula of buying a little of everything, and eventually you’ll have a lot of everything.  It’s a great way to prepare on a budget.  Medical gear is commonly overlooked, as well as the skills needed to use it, and Clay addresses it here.

Side note for my followers…He also mentions buying paper maps and a compass, so if we both say it, you should probably do it.  Today.  

The chapter on building your team is excellent, and matches what I’ve posted here.  Find people with skills and cross train.  Read the book for the specific skills sets you need to build, Clay does a great recap, far better than mine.

Clay repeats my warning about vetting the people you meet, especially online.  The various federal agencies have this institutional belief that patriotic Americans are the most dangerous people on the planet and set up operations to infiltrate groups, and encourage, yes, ENCOURAGE criminal acts.  The Michigan group recently arrested have filed a defense that the person who pushed the scheme and hatched the scheme was the FBI informant.  You don’t need that hassle.

Here we come to my one and only complaint…I disagree with Clay about the value of traditional martial arts, and if you read my martial arts training posts, you’ll see why.  Any particular style or school is only a product of the local instructor.  When I teach, I only focus on real-world applications, not winning tournaments or looking cool.  It just so happens that my students win in tournaments because training for real life just happens to make their movements sharper and more powerful.  My point is that literally ANYTHING is better than no unarmed skills, and traditional martial arts, WITH THE RIGHT INSTRUCTOR, will give you a warrior mindset and confidence.

As an example, when I teach forms (Hyung in Korean, Kata in Japanese), rather than just having students learn the movements as part of a belt requirement, I break the form down and explain the combat purpose of each sequence, making it relevant to self-defense.  Anyone who just teaches “forms” as part of a belt test requirement is teaching DANCE, not martial arts, and you should get your money back.

We still cool, Clay?  OK, good.

In his chapter on “Stabby Things”, he gives an excellent and realistic discussion about knife training and I agree completely.  Knives are a “let me get to my handgun” tool and handguns are a “let me get to my rifle” tool, so you must absolutely develop skills.  He gives a great idea that I’ve never thought of to skirt some concealed knife laws.  Buy the book, I’m not telling, but I’m for the item he suggests. 

The only addition I have for his knife chapter is the 3 Blade Rule.  If you carry a folding knife, a multi-tool, and a fixed blade knife, they aren’t any immediate survival tasks you can’t accomplish.

I’ve long held that Rucking is the best fitness preparation for preparedness and Clay agrees in this book, laying out a great program to get you out and moving.  A note about rucking…if it’s raining on the day you wanted to ruck 6 miles, DO IT ANYWAY.  In the real world, you may have to move over terrain carrying a load in the rain, & your life will depend on it.  I swear that the instructors at the West Coast School of Infantry aboard Camp Pendleton knew a rain dance because it was like a monsoon every time we went over 5 miles in full gear.  Stop being soft.

I really liked his discussion of Tactical Darwinism, and it applies in life in a lot of other areas as well (like organized retail crime, my current focus).

Clay makes the same case I do about going gray in public.  We’ve already lost in the streets, and they are straight up killing people in the streets right now for wrong think and the police are arresting only people from one side who get out and resist.  Save your energy for when this situation goes kinetic, which is unavoidable at this point.  Right now, Don’t-Be-There-Jitsu is your best tactic.

Y’all know I like to quote God’s Ultimate Tactical Handbook, but in this edition, a new verse has been added by Clay:

A bully will put you in traction,

But a professional will put you in a pine box.

Book of Martin, 9:168

This is 100% accurate and why tip your hand which one you are ahead of time.

Martin gives a very good discussion on planning for neighborhood security and how best to go about organizing and securing the neighborhood, including how to fort up in a strongpoint and he gives great advice on how to fortify a house.  Buy the book.  All I’ll say is that after reading it, I’m pricing chain link, 2×4’s, and barbed wire.  I would add to his neighborhood security section the force multiplier of using radio.

In the book, Clay gives very practical advice on guns and gear, and he gives the same caution I do…If you have a main combat rifle in an obscure or special caliber, because the editors at Guns Gone Wild told you it was THE caliber, what are you going to do when all that’s on the battlefield dropped by the bad guys is 5.56 or 7.62?  Clay points out that after your initial load out, you should be able to re-supply off the battlefield.  If you’ve read anything by me, you’ll know that “Battlefield Pickup” is one of my favorite phrases.

In his discussion on hardening your home, I admit, I had never considered his escape hatch idea…buy the book, you’ll love it and get to work on it immediately.

Another great quote from the book comes from history and the Rhodesians….”An obstacle is only an obstacle if it’s covered by fire”.  Agreed, and let’s Make Zimbabwe Rhodesia Again.  In all seriousness, if you want a free preview of what’s to come, read about what happened there.

The chapter on escape planning had a few great ideas I had never considered and are highly recommended.  I live a block from a river & had only considered using the hiking trails along it, not the river itself.

To recap, this book is worth three times the price you’ll pay for it.  It’s available at https://www.amazon.com/Concrete-Jungle-Green-Berets-Survival/dp/B089TWRYPL .

The book is certainly worth adding to your preparedness library.

2 Week Warning

2 Week Warning

As we approach the 2 week line, it’s vital that you take a few minutes to ensure that you are prepared for the chaos that this election is going to bring.

No, I’m not saying “may bring” or “might bring”.  If you are of the belief that the election is going to resolve the state of affairs in the United States, you just aren’t being realistic and you haven’t been paying any attention.

Just today, from the right, I had a woman say “After the election, ANTIFA will be destroyed just like ISIS by Trump”.  Really?  Is Donald Trump not the President today?  Who’s votes does him waiting secure?

On the left, today you literally have prominent figures talking about opening “deprogramming centers” and “re-education camps” that Trump supporters will have to go in.

Neither side is completely rational at this point.  

Both the left and the right have become so entrenched in their positions, that the final winner of the election, no matter who it is, will spark violence.  Now, actually read all the words (You know who I’m talking to), this article has nothing at all to do with left or right, it has to do with your PREPAREDNESS, because BOTH sides have a potential to erupt into violence.

Should Biden win, the right will scream that they only way he won is through fraud, and if Trump wins, the left will scream that he only won through election tampering and foreign influence.  

The actual facts or accuracy of either position ARE COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT.

What you need to do is prepare to look after your family and loved ones, regardless.

…In this life,

You will have trouble…”

John 16:33

No one promised us peace on earth, in fact, we’ve been promised that in this life, you will have trouble, so let’s prepare for that eventuality.

The first thing to check on is that you have a sufficient supply of food and water for 14 days at home.  That’s not hyperbole, staying home during street protests is far more preferable than daily resupply trips.  

I know, a lot of people in our preparedness community will point to their 10 year supply of canned goods, but that doesn’t equal MEALS.  Do you have actual meal plans, using what you have?  SPAM and green beans gets old.  Have a variety of things that can be mixed together to make actual meals, not just going for quantity.  

Next, you should have an emergency binder that has information on all your family or group members.  Complete details, like phone number, height, weight, description, and a photograph, along with copies of any documents (Driver’s License, passport, Concealed Pistol License, etc).  This information should be checked for accuracy and updated right now, so that in the event someone goes missing, you can rapidly provide all details and a photo right away.

Area Study

Conduct an area study (for more information on this see: forwardobserver.com).  Locate areas that may be scenes of unrest on election day or right after and develop plans to avoid those areas in your daily travels.  If you can’t avoid them, develop alternate routes away from the area in the event you get caught up in a situation.  It’s also not a bad idea to make sure you have extra paper maps on hand.

In all honesty, if you can, plan to leave the cities for the first few days after the election.  If nothing develops, you can always come back.  The opposite is not true if you wait too long to leave an urban area.

Develop a communications plan.  Get with your family, or group of friends, or whatever mutual assistance group you have, and develop a mutually agreed on communications plan.  As a society, we are FAR too reliant on cellular technology,  Most of the groups I advise or train with have cell phone as the first method, and something like Zello, a cell phone 2 way radio app, as a back up.  If the cell network is overloaded or is down, you’ve lost them both.  When I work in executive protection, RADIO is the first option, and cellular the second. 

For most people, though, cellular can be the first option, as long as you have additional methods.  You methodology should include several options, such as cellular, then radio, then email, then pre-arranged signals left in areas to be viewed by those knowing the signals.  A lost communication plan is important as well, and that’s actions you decide to be taken if someone hasn’t been heard from in an agreed upon time.

If you’re incorporating radio, maintain a listening watch right now on the channels you plan to use so that you’re aware of any interference or changes that may need to be made.  When we do an Executive Protection advance, we carry our radios on the planned frequency to see if we hear anyone else using that frequency, who might interfere with our operation.

Whatever you decide on, make sure everyone agrees and IMMEDIATELY begins to carry the supplies to make that happen.  What I mean is, if radio is your back up to cellular, you need to carry a radio in your vehicle or with you at all times, for the next few weeks.

Develop and implement a security plan.  No, it can’t be “rely on the police”.  The police already aren’t coming to assist people caught up in civil unrest, so as it gets worse, you absolutely should not make them your first line of defense.

Matthew Doloff shot Lee Keltner, right or wrong, within 50 feet of police who watched the confrontation unfold and did nothing.  Yesterday, police watched ANTIFA attack a black man and simply asked them to go back behind their barricades.  In several cities, police have just stood by and let both sides fight it out in the streets.  

Police are primarily a response force, not a peacekeeping force.  

Develop a plan to keep your family or group secure and to check in on each other.  As it gets closer to the election, you may even decide to make up a duty roster of who monitors the news/social media at certain hours to learn what is happening in your area.

Inventory and gather needed first aid and medical supplies.  In addition to restocking all kits, consider buying to have on hand any medications you might want or need.  I keep a lot of ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and allergy tablets on hand, as well as some Anti-Diarrheal medications (you don’t know what condition water supplies will be in).

Stage your supplies.  Keep a “go bag” or emergency kit ready to walk out the front door at all times.  I call this the 5 minute bag.  In the worse case scenario, you can take that bag and walk out of the neighborhood for a few hours or days and come back later, after the danger has passed.

Have additional supplies ready so that with a little more notice you can take more things with you.  I have 15 minute, 30 minute, and 3 hour designations.  With 3 hours notice, I can leave the house with enough food and supplies to survive indefinitely. It has enough food for a few months without hunting, fishing, or foraging.  Beyond that, I’d have to work at it, although my bug out location is self-sustaining as far as farming and hunting is concerned.

Your car should be kept prepared as well.  Maintain a full tank of gas daily, it doesn’t cost you any more to top if off each day than it does to fill it once a week, and it could literally save your life.  I also maintain additional gasoline storage at home, just be sure to rotate the stored gas occasionally (I do it whenever the price is very low).  In my car, I keep emergency supplies, including tarps and an emergency blanket, as well as a change of clothes and boots.  A change of clothes is necessary, because in a lot of jobs, work clothes aren’t exactly conducive to survival or overland travel.  A well-stocked first aid kit (check out solatac.com) is a literal life-saver.

Begin a daily intelligence-gathering and awareness routine where you check out local news, national news, and local Facebook groups of known protest organizations, to remain aware of potential disturbances.

Most importantly, get over the normalcy bias that this will all go away after the election, it won’t.  It’s actually more likely to get worse.

Let me leave you with one last piece from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the Earth.

I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

Matthew 10:34

If Jesus Himself warned of war and troubles, shouldn’t you listen and prepare?

Being A Warrior

Knight’s Oath

In the tactical community, many people talk about being a warrior, or having a warrior mindset, but do they really understand what that means?

A lot of people in the preparedness community calls themselves warriors as well, but it’s not really required to be a warrior and that’s OK.

Here, we’re going to give a historical perspective on it, and consult the Ultimate Tactical Handbook, the Bible, for a few references.

We are referring to someone who considers themselves a righteous protector, not just a warrior.  Throughout history, there were also evil warriors; so in here we’re dealing only with those who consider doing good (or at least not evil) as their goal.

In the middle ages, men were generally either serfs or warriors. In other words, you were either a poor person who served someone else and lived at their pleasure, or you were a fighter for someone else.   The only way to not be a serf (read: slave) was to become a warrior.

The time is coming when this will be true again.  The tools and modes of travel will be different, but the concept will be exactly the same.  You will either be able to fight for your independence and the well-being of others, or you will serve someone.  Those are the only two choices.

At the outset of the article, I began with the Knight’s Oath from The Kingdom of Heaven (highly recommended film).  While it’s not exactly what every order used, it captures the essence of the medieval knight:

  1. Be fearless
  2. Be brave & upright
  3. Speak the truth
  4. Safeguard the helpless 
Bushido

The Code of Bushido had similar requirements:

  1. Honor
  2. Respect
  3. Integrity
  4. Heroic Courage
  5. Honesty & Sincerity
  6. Duty & Loyalty
  7. Compassion

I find it fascinating that warrior cultures thousands of miles apart who had no contact with each other had similar ideas and almost an identical code of what a righteous defender was.

May be that’s because they had a divine inspiration & foundation.  Let’s look at what the Ultimate Tactical Handbook has to say about Warriors and the Warrior Ethos:

Rescue those being led away to death;

Hold back those staggering toward slaughter.

Proverbs 24:11

That seems pretty similar to safeguarding the helpless and having compassion, as exemplified by the Knight’s Oath and Bushido.

We should all strive to defend those who cannot defend themselves and help those who cannot help themselves.  In a without-rule-of-law scenario, it will be equally vital, particularly if the police cannot or will not respond to help.

…But if you do wrong, be afraid; 

For he does not bear the sword in vain…

Romans 13:4

This relates directly to serving justice, honor, integrity, and duty.  The wrong-doer should fear good warriors.  A true warrior is a righter-of-wrongs.  Not for the sake of desiring to punish others, but for the sake of justice itself.  Side note for the social justice warriors who will read this…Justice has nothing whatsoever to do with FAIRNESS.  Life isn’t fair.

Have you ever noticed that the current mob violence never targets true warriors, unless they vastly outnumber them?  That’s because a TRUE warrior gives off a vibe that bad actors can sense.  

Watch a true warrior walk into a crowd…the crowd parts for him, not the other way around.  They don’t do this out of fear or out of his menacing; quite the opposite.  They do it because a true warrior just appears to be someone to be respected, and so they move out of his way.  (Or her way…don’t send angry emails).

Be watchful, stand firm,

Be like men, be strong.

1 Cornithians 16:13

Everyone should be watchful, but a true warrior, like the Knight’s Oath and Code of Bushido explain, will stand firm, brave, and courageous in the face of whatever comes their way.  Adversity is a fact of life.  A warrior faces it and deals with it.  

Being fearless doesn’t mean that we have NO fear, it means that we put those fears in their proper place and don’t let them control us.  We are the masters of our domain.

We certainly don’t cower in fear in own homes, just because our government tells us to (I’m looking at you, Governor Whitmer).

Together they will be like warriors in battle,

Trampling their enemy into the mud of the streets.

Zechariah 10:5

Admit it, like my friend BullRush admitted, you had no idea such cool things were in the Bible, did you?  Wait until next week, when I introduce you all to one of God’s secret agents and expert prepper Elijah.

Warriors have restraint, but once they take action, they fight together with a determination to win.  Mindset is the most important part of fighting. 

Warriors know that the Lone Ranger is a children’s story, and that true warriors need a band, a tribe, a clan.  It takes a team to accomplish anything worthwhile, so warriors find like-minded people and train to work together towards a common goal (like trampling your enemies in the mud).

I am the Good Shepherd;

The Good Shepherd lies down His life for the sheep

John 10:11

A warrior is willing to lay down his life in the defense of his family & friends, those who cannot defend themselves, and his cause.  But, most importantly, he is willing to lay down his life for his PRINCIPLES.

Complying and giving up principles for the sake of getting along is called SERFDOM.  

At some point, everyone who considers themselves to be a warrior must decide which principles they are willing to sacrifice their lives or freedom for.  If you feel that there is no principle in which you are willing to either die for or be imprisoned over, you aren’t a warrior; you’re a serf.

I hope these points provoke some thoughts and soul searching.  

I’ve already made my decisions.

How Not To End Up On The News

I’m not going to defend these geniuses (because you can’t) and their crazy, I’ve-seen-one-too-many-action-films plan to attempt to kidnap the Michigan Governor, but there are some pieces of tactical wisdom that this tale brings out, along with some truths from the Ultimate Tactical Handbook.

First, let me say that I don’t advocate or condone any illegal activity.  The problem lies with folks talking about hypotheticals and drawing you into something that you THOUGHT was a hypothetical discussion, right up until the FBI tosses a flash-bang into your living room.

My friend Rob (robsays.net) frequently mentions the martial art of Don’t-Be-There-Jitsu, or the art of avoiding situations but not hanging around with idiots or in places where idiots congregate.  That actually would have prevented all of these people being charged.  That brings me to our first truth:

The mouths of fools are their undoing,

And their lips are a snare to their very lives.

Proverbs 18:7

This entire situation began with people talking big and running their mouths about “What I Would Do” at an event, and it got overheard by an FBI Confidential Human Source.

If someone attempts to engage you in a such a crazy conversation, don’t even entertain it.  Simply nodding or laughing politely at their dumb proposition could be interpreted as going along with it, and can land your name on a law enforcement report.  Unequivocally reject their statement, “No, I don’t want to hear your plan and I don’t want any part of it”.  WALK AWAY from these people.  IMMEDIATELY.

When you read the indictment, you’ll see that these discussions occurred at events where people into preparedness might have been; a shooting range, a Second Amendment Rally, an Open The State Rally.  Guard your tongue and don’t engage people (no matter how well you know them) who espouse extreme ideas.

Also in the indictment, you’ll read that while they only relied on data from 2 Confidential Human Sources (informants) and 2 undercover agents, there were several other Confidential Human Sources inside these groups.  I’ve mentioned before that militia groups and preparedness groups are a favorite institutional target of federal law enforcement, despite a lack of any evidence that they are dangerous.  That bring us to another point:

 Keeping a close watch on Him,

They sent spies, who pretended to be sincere.

They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said,

So that they might hand Him over to the power and authority of the Governor.

Luke 20:20

Federal law enforcement lives and breathes through “Source Operations”, or informants.  It’s their lifeblood.  The indictments here indicate that at least 4 informants were inside a small group of people.  Let that sink in.  

I’ve long held that the White Supremacy movement in America is 14 actual White Supremacist guys living in Idaho and about 1,400 federal agents and informants trying to convince them to take criminal action.

I know, all of you are thinking, “But I’m not doing anything illegal”.  No, you aren’t, but there is still no reason to ever put yourself in a situation where a Confidential Human Source can put your name on their report or in a recording.  Mere presence during a stupid conversation is enough, so make sure that your disagreement with the premise of any stupid conversation is loud and vocal.  

So many of us meet some eccentric personalities in our preparedness community, and we smile and nod our heads at their silly rantings.  If you read this indictment from Michigan, that appears to be where all of this started.  Read all the way through and you’ll see that merely NOT saying anything isn’t enough.  Several of the people arrested failed to answer a fishing expedition for interest from one of the informants, but that wasn’t enough.  An unequivocal NO is what you need to say, loudly and publicly.

Again, Don’t-Be-There-Jitsu is your best defense.  I’ve mentioned before that joining a militia or calling your assistance group a militia automatically puts you on the law enforcement radar.  Arguing about how wrong that is doesn’t help; we have to live in the reality as it is, not as it should be or how we want it to be.

This week’s very public arrests will make this situation worse.

That being said, if you find yourself in a situation where someone brings one of these situations up, we feel awkward about rejecting them.  We usually say how impossible it would be, or how expensive it would be.  When someone then suddenly presents a funding source, or a viable plan for their crazy scheme, run away from that person immediately.  Reject their idea and cut ALL ties.  

As we can see by the indictment this week, the Confidential Sources were provided over $20,000 for expenses to further the scheme.  Now, I know none of us are interested in illegal activity, but if an acquaintance suddenly has a large bankroll to do stupid things and buy things for you, don’t accept.  Run the other way.  

I genuinely believe that most of these people honestly thought that they were having a hypothetical conversation and training just for fun.  Even if only 3 or 4 people take active steps, but you all meet regularly, you’re a part of it.  Read the indictment, that’s what it truly sounds like.  It sounds to me like the CHS’s provided the ideas and cash, to buy explosives and gear from the undercover agents, which is a tactic the FBI has used for decades.  Anyone who didn’t specifically say no, was rounded up.

We’ve all sat around and had conversations, especially in this current environment, about our government, and our leaders.  It’s sad to have to say this, but you MUST be careful of what you say, even among friends.  The federal government is looking to find people in the preparedness/militia community, rightly or wrongly, who are interested in going farther than talk, and you could get caught up in a dumb situation.  

Social media is another place to guard your words.  Putting out comments about government figures can later be used against you.  Be smart and level headed. I know, too, that my militia friends and acquaintances love to post their training photos, but they really should understand the risk they take in doing so.

The indictment mentions that they monitored encrypted chats, because an informant was part of the chat.  Now, I use encrypted email for my client’s security, because we discuss confidential business issues.  But I’d never be a part of an encrypted group chat, unless I KNEW that the purpose was 100% lawful and would withstand scrutiny.  

I’ve had people ask to have an encrypted chat with me on a one-on-one basis, and I have had those conversations, but it’s always about a one-on-one issue and someone I know and trust, and about entirely legal, but sensitive issues (an occupational hazard, unfortunately).  I honestly can’t imagine a situation in which I’d accept a request for a secure chat with someone I don’t know, and neither should you.  Also, if that one friend (you know who I’m talking about, we all have one), asks everyone join an encrypted chat, say no. 

To recap, in our current environment, it’s easy to fall into discussions with people about the government, government figures, or public figures.  Even the most best-intentioned of us can find themselves in an uncomfortable discussion that we want no part in.  In our current state of affairs, you can’t afford to be polite; you must reject any discussion about taking illegal action immediately, unequivocally, and publicly, for your own protection.

Avoid fools and spies, by practicing Don’t-Be-There-Jitsu.

Communications Preparedness

Recently, there was a social media discussion about radios and being prepared.  I frequently talk about this topic, and while most people talk about what gear your need, you all know I’m more about the practical skills aspect.

Let me say it again: SKILLS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN GEAR.

Just as it does me no good to have a $3,500 rifle that I don’t know how to clean or zero, it does me no good to have a $5,000 HF Radio set up and no ability whatsoever to make contact with anyone.  

And guess what?   That’s the norm in the preparedness community.  Don’t get offended, you and I both know it’s true.  People watch a YouTube video (because that’s the same as learning, right?) and run out and buy whatever “Super Prepper Steve” or “Ultra Ready Randy” were using in the video.  Then it sits in the box.  

I recently helped teach an event for a local group and I was amazed at how many had radios that they hadn’t programmed.  The core group had theirs ready, but many people had just bought the radio and left it in the box until someone offered to program it for them.  

That boggles my mind….what if the power had gone out before they ever got it programmed?  They’d have a cool paperweight.

So…lesson 1….For every piece of gear you have, commit that you will not buy another until you’ve learned how to put this SPECIFIC piece of gear into use.  This applies to everything, because knowing how to shoot a deer rifle, for example, isn’t the same as firing an AR platform, which is also different from firing an AK.  Radios are the same, backpacks and tents are the same, etc.

The next point that comes up in discussing radio preparedness is should you get licensed or not.  That’s a personal decision you have to make, I personally choose not to.  Before all the Amateur Radio guys (who are a great resource and good friends) pounce on me, let me explain:

  • It’s my PERSONAL choice, I’m not advocating either way.
  • Just as the Second Amendment allows me to choose how I exercise it, I feel that the First Amendment is also an absolute with no government regulation needed.
  • I feel no need to add myself to another government list.
  • When the government decides to invoke the Defense Production Act, guess where they will find a list of people who might have the radio gear they want to seize?
  • In an emergency, no license is needed to transmit on any frequency.
  • The biggest value radio has is in the ability to GATHER information by LISTENING.
  • Lastly, my local team will all be in the same area, so we can use license-free gear for local comms, including CB and CB SSB for long range if needed.

Let’s address some of the problems people will claim there are in this philosophy and the practical skills to combat that.

First, people will say getting licensed allows you to practice and stay aware of what’s going on now.  I can practice the same radio skills using license-free bands and equipment with my local team and some other groups.  

Also, everyone is able to listen in on ARES/RACES/SKYWARN radio traffic.  These are Amateur Radio emergency networks that operate in weather/disaster scenarios and they run regular networks and training events.  Monitoring them with your own equipment will help develop skills and will keep you informed.  Learn the local Amateur radio frequencies and program them into your radios.  When severe weather or a potential issue arises, you can establish a radio listening watch.

The next argument people raise is that there will be a lot of traffic on license free bands like FRS and MURS.  I submit that there might be now, but when a disaster strikes, the average person is going to run out of battery power within hours and the traffic will drop almost immediately.  Most FRS equipment is so low-power that it won’t affect me and my team anyway.  

Among the arguments against using the 5 no license required MURS channels is that businesses use them, like Walmart (here they use 4 and 5).  Again, in a grid-down, without-rule-of-law situation, that’s not actually going to be a concern.  

They way to combat these issues to set up your radio and LISTEN now.  I’ve been maintaining a watch on FRS 3, and occasionally I’ll hear a couple of kids playing around on the radio.  I seriously doubt that in an emergency the kids will break out the radios and run around the neighborhood.  As a side note to that, human beings are lazy creatures.  Monitor FRS 1 for any period of time and I’ll prove it.  On FRS 1, you’ll hear constant chatter that is ether kids playing or some local business, because they’re too lazy to actually change the channel.

“But, FRS 3 is the national prepper channel and I can’t use it if someone else is”.  No, FRS 3 (and MURS 3) is the National Prepper CALLING channel.  You should practice making contact one on channel, and then switching to another to actually talk.  Your group should have have pre-planned calling and then “talk-around” or “tactical” channels.  

For example, in my group, we have our own calling channel we call Main, and then 8 other channels we call the TAC channels, all of which are in license-free bands.  I can call someone on the main channel, and tell them to meet me on TAC 5, and no one listening in will know what actual channel I’m referring to.

The next issue people will raise is the ability for others to monitor your traffic.  News Flash…that still is a concern if you have an amateur radio license.  Any handheld has a maximum of 5 watts of power, and someone would have to be pretty close to actually interfere with or monitor  our radios.  Conversely, we regularly monitor ANTIFA radio traffic (yes, they use license free bands).

Truth be told, there is literally no way you can make your radios free from interception.  Even encryption is false security, because the United States Government isn’t about to let you buy a radio that they can’t listen to.

Skill wise, work with your team on a radio calling protocol.  Your main channel should be used for emergency traffic or for ALL-CALL type traffic that everyone needs to hear.  Practice calling on your main channel, then switching to an alternate for conversations.  This is more secure, and keeps the main channel clear for emergency traffic.

Carrying that to a larger perspective, if you have a large group at a compound or small community, you could assign TAC channels to each group, security, medical, farming, etc, while all groups also monitor the main channel.

Quad Watch

Getting a radio with Dual-Watch capability helps here.  This refers to the ability to monitor 2 channels at once. My vehicle radio (which doubles as a base station) has a Quad-Watch capability.  

Get radios now, and start listening to amateur bands, and start monitoring the license-free bands around you, to determine what channels will most likely be free for your group.

The next thing your group needs to do is establish a set of Signal Operating Instructions, or an SOI.  This is a mutually understood plan for communications.  It will list channels/frequencies, pre-set radio plans, contact schedules, and the like.  This should be typed out and everyone should have a copy, because in an emergency, it’s a lot easier to open a book than it is to remember things.

Membership in the American Redoubt Radio Operators Network, or AmRRON (www.amrron.com) includes a copy of their SOI, as well as guidance for modifying it for your own group’s use.  They also conduct training exercises and weekly network tests.

During a true without-rule-of-law situation, you’ll have to accept that there is potential to be monitored, so some sort of mutually agreed upon code should be devised.  Yes, HAM friends, I know that the FCC forbids codes on radio traffic, but if the grid is down and a band of looters is planning to attack my bug out location, the FCC rolling up is the least of my concerns, and quite frankly, they’ll have bigger issues to attend to than me calling my barn “The Nest” on a half-second 5-watt transmission in the middle of nowhere.

Besides, every group of friends has nicknames for the places they go or frequent that is unique to them, so start there.

There is a ton more information on this topic in the AmRRON SOI.

This was a brief recap of an extensive topic, and I highly recommend doing additional research and seeking real training opportunities.

In short, get radios and spare batteries, and learn how to use them NOW, before they are needed. 

Survival Tool Reviews

I Love GEAR

I want to start by saying that I haven’t gotten paid for these reviews, and I bought these items myself.  Having said that, these three are fantastic tools that each person should have. I keep all three in my vehicle emergency kit at all times.

The first one I bought was the emergency shovel.  I wanted a portable shovel, but something larger than the E-Tool (entrenching tool) that I carried in the Marine Corps.  This shovel is quite a bit longer, but still not as long as a traditional shovel.  It’s exactly what I was looking for.

When I was in the USMC, the first thing everyone did with their e-tool was sharpen one edge to use as an axe.  This shovel head has a pre-sharpened axe on one side, and a serrated knife/saw on the other, along with a small blade cut-out for cutting cordage to lengths you need in camp or the field.  There are also two hexagonal cut-outs to be used as wrenches, although I’ve never used them.

As you can see, it has four sections.  The shovel head can be used as a shovel, at 90 degrees as a hoe, or at 45 degrees as a pick or hook.  The next section has an impact head, which, as you can see below, can be used to make the handle into a self-defense weapon.  The third section has a combination saw/knife blade, which is decent (but not as solid as a dedicated field knife).  The top handle section accepts standard screwdriver heads.  There is also a compass and a fire steel inside this top section.

A few months ago, I bought a “survival walking stick”.  This tool is the longest and it has five sections plus the walking/striking tip.  Inside the top handle is again a compass and fire steel, but this one also has a whistle.

Survival Walking Stick

You can make tools of any length with the walking stick and it comes with a knife/saw blade that also has a bottle opener and a can opener.  There is a spear tip, as well as a second spear that they call an “ice breaker” tip.  It also has a section that accepts standard screw driver tips.

You can see how this walking stick and be useful for many survival and camping uses, and I carry it on every hike and keep it my car.

For the martial artists among us, I practice bo staff forms using the walking stick, so that I’m comfortable using the shorter length of it to defend myself.  You can also make two sections, each with a spear point, for self defense.

The last one, I just bought this week and am still field testing it.  It’s a survival axe.  Inside the box, it comes with the axe head, two handle sections, and a knife blade that has a saw back, and a can opener.

Inside the handle again there is a compass, fire steel, and a whistle.  If you unscrew the compass top, underneath is what they call a “window breaker”, but I call a striking tip.  You can use the axe at one end, and strike with the base as well.

The axe head also has a small hammer on the other side, perfect for putting in tent stakes, or many other camp/survival uses.

The axe also came with a sharpening stone and some lubricant for sharpening.

These three tools are a great collection to have.  I bought them all from different places, but they are clearly all from the same original manufacturer somewhere in China.  They are all made of high strength steel and are very solid.  I was surprised at how well made they were for the price.

I got them from Amazon (www.amazon.com) and E-Bay (www.ebay.com).  

All three came with a compass and fire steel, and two out of three also have a whistle.  There is plenty of extra room inside the sections to store survival items like water purification tablets or sections of fishing wire with hooks, which is what I do.  You could also put waterproof matches and tinder inside the sections.

My only complaint is that they are all of different widths, so that the sections aren’t interchangeable.   I imagine that’s by design so that you have to have all three, rather than just buying interchangeable heads.

I did find however, that the axe head fits on the shovel handle, and that the top handle section of the axe has a size reducer, so that you can actually use both the axe and shovel handles together.  I made a full-size axe using both handles together.

The items are fairly inexpensive, I paid less than $100 for all three, which makes them a great deal.

They area very portable, with both the shovel and the walking stick coming with carrying bags, and the axe coming with a belt-loop sheath.  However, I’ve found that the axe fits very nicely (just like my SOG Tomahawks do) inside a USMC issue 40mm grenade pouch (the handle slides down nicely through the hole at the bottom for drainage), and I attached the pouch to my backpack.

I’ve also carried the shovel on my backpack inside a USMC issue E-Tool carrier, but if you do that, you need a towel or shemagh wrapped around the sections to reduce noise, as they fit too loosely and rattle.

I hope these reviews help you decide on some gear to carry.

The NFAC….Again

GrandMaster Jay

The illustrious NFAC made an appearance in Lafayette Parrish, Louisiana this weekend, and there were the usual hilarious photos of the knuckleheads with ridiculous magazines, WalMart optics, and airsoft vests.

Several people came out on the internet right away, dismissing them once again as clowns and dismissing GrandMaster Jay as a fraud trying to glorify himself and the Black Hebrew Israelite ideology.

While I don’t disagree with these on a straight analysis basis, I think there is a real danger here that we are overlooking because we’re so busy laughing at them.  I’d like to discuss the danger here.  Don’t worry, we’ll do our fair share of laughing along the way.

Before they even began marching, one of them, right in front of the cameras, dropped his shotgun.  Listen, if you’re going to carry a long gun into battle, invest in a sling.  Hell, tie a string to it if you have.  I once learned at a training center that shall not be named in Moyock, North Carolina, “Always look cool, always look like you know what you’re doing, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, at least look cool.”  Dropping your primary weapon system violates all those rules at the same time.

While moving to the park, at least one member had a magazine fall out of his gear while running, right in front of the media.  The difference between real gear and airsoft gear is that real gear allows you to actually secure your magazines.

Heavy Weapons Section

I think the guys above were taking the term “Heavy Weapons Section” a bit too literally.

Don’t be fooled by their fancy posturing during their “patrol”.  If you watch the video, you’ll see that there are fences erected all the way along the route.  That’s because the NFAC got a permit and they walked along a route that was secured by the LaFayette Parrish Sheriff’s Office, who they were allegedly protesting.  Real defiance to authority is apparently getting a permit and walking only where they allow you to.

I heard one guy as the march began shouting “Keep your head on a swivel”….cool movie quote, bro.  At least he didn’t say “Stay Frosty, gents”.

At one point, during a security halt, they had the main body kneel, while the personnel facing outboard stood.  If you have ever served in anything other than Motor T or Food Services, you know that this is backwards.  If there was a threat, the people in the center of the formation would have had to return fire through their own people.  

Cool Mag, bro…

Then, there’s this gem.  I guarantee you that the 90 round AK magazine was empty, otherwise this cat would’t have made it 4 blocks carrying it.  Also indicative of an empty AK mag is the fact that this guy kept drawing his pistol and holding it in his hand during GrandMaster Jay’s speech.  Now, if I had been on Jay’s detail, and a man within 10 feet of Jay had drawn a loaded pistol, he’d have only done it one time.

Jones

It certainly wouldn’t have been an NFAC march without an accidental discharge, and this one did not disappoint.  While the Sheriff’s office claims that this guy (Terrance Jones) was not affiliated with the NFAC, he was armed and inside their perimeter when he accidentally discharged his handgun.  Twice.  It’s worth noting that he was illegally carrying the firearm.

Now, let’s get onto the danger part.

Watch out for false prophets.

They come to you in sheep’s clothing,

But inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matthew 7:15

Grandmaster Jay is a good public speaker, for his target audience.  He was a US Army sergeant (an admin clerk by his own admission on Saturday, “I was the S1”).  I can remember a time in history when a corporal from the Austro-Hungarian army who happened to be a good public speaker set the entire world on fire and launched a genocide on a massive scale.  

Those aren’t the only similarities between Jay and Hitler.  Both openly proclaimed the superiority of their race.  Both believed that their race was unfairly policed, unfairly persecuted, and deserving of it’s own exclusive territory.  They both believed that every member of their race deserved guaranteed employment, healthcare, housing, and the right to self-police their own community. They both also, interestingly, believed in occultist religious ideology.

I’ve always maintained that no matter how ridiculous you think the NFAC is, they can still kill you, and they can still cause widespread disorder, death, and destruction.  The British laughed at the ragtag band of men who gathered on the green in Lexington with mis-matched gear, hunting rifles, and no formation.  It didn’t work out very well for them.  ISIS was about as disorganized as modern forces can be, but they seized most of Iraq and Syria after starting with just a few pickup trucks by being more committed and willing to die than the other side was.

I want to take a few minutes to point out some of his more egregious quotes, that most will overlook, because they are too busy laughing at the NFAC.  

Grandmaster Jay led several chants of “BLACK POWER”.  He also admonished the crowd to “Be BLACK first”, which got him thunderous applause.  You see, it’s not Jay and the NFAC we have to worry about; it’s who his racist rhetoric INSPIRES TO ACTION.

At one point, Jay said don’t vote for anyone who doesn’t make promises to do something for your race, which is a very racist statement.  I prefer candidates who will do something for EVERYONE.  But the scarier part came just after…Jay said that after that person gets elected, if they don’t deliver for the black race, you have to be prepared to do it “old School” and go and physically remove them from office.  That violates 18 USC 2385, for those keeping score.

From there, it took the turn that scared me the most.  In reference to Black Lives Matter protests, he said that the black community is doing it wrong.  He said that the black community needs to stop “bringing signs to a gunfight, and stop singing and dancing for the police who are killing you”.  These are specific calls to violence.  

Now, we all know that Grandmaster Jay himself isn’t going to take violent action; he loves the spotlight and attention that freedom and stages give him.  But make no mistake, he intends to incite violence by others.

Grandmaster Jay also said, in reference to interacting with the police, “If they put their hands on you, put them in the hospital or in the morgue”.  Again, while he isn’t going to do anything, he’s specifically calling for violent resistance to any police contact.  That violates 18 USC 2384.

We all know that Grandmaster Jay himself is all talk.  He said they’d burn down Louisville if they didn’t get charges within 4 weeks; that deadline came and went.  Then, he said they’d overrun and shutdown the Kentucky Derby; yet all they did was march around on the route the police allowed.

However, rhetoric like his is why a young man in Louisville opened fire on police during the protests there, wounding two.

It’s so easy to look at the images and watch the NFAC march and laugh, but that is dangerous.  Pay attention to what he’s saying and encouraging others to do.  Like all race hustlers, he isn’t going to risk arrest and take action, but he hopes others will.

It’s very easy to write off the American sergeant, but remember the lesson the world learned when they wrote off the Austrian corporal.   They are far more similar than they appear.

Tactics – David in the Desert of Ziph

David Stealing the King’s Spear

Modern tactics are really nothing more than the same tactics used for thousands of years, just re-written to sound more high tech.  It was once said that it was the longbow, and not the infantryman that became obsolete, and the horse, not the cavalryman.  That is very true.

However, the same combat engineer and security skills that Nehemiah used in Jerusalem are still in use today, as are the same recon skills and tactics that David used in the Desert of Ziph, thousands of years ago.

In 1 Samuel 26, a great adventure story plays out that proves that the Bible is still the ultimate tactical handbook.  Let me set the stage.

King Saul knew that David was going to replace him some day, so he decided to kill David.  David has already survived one assassination attempt.  David and his small band of warriors were hiding out in the wilderness of the Desert of Ziph.

King Saul brought 3,000 troops and because the force was so large, they had to camp right beside the road….You can’t hide 3,000 men making a trail.  These two pieces are the first tactical lessons in this story.  

  1. Don’t bring a massive force to search for a small force, it’s very easy to track, and hard to hide.  
  2. Don’t set up or halt in an obvious danger zone, where you can be found or observed easily.

When David heard that Saul was near, he immediately sent out scouts, who fixed the location of Saul’s forces and reported back to David.  Two more quick tactical points that are equally valid today:

  1. Have an intelligence network up and running, so that you hear about things happening.  Because David had a network, his team immediately knew when a threat was near.
  2. Confirm all reports by getting your own people to physically observe what’s been reported.  David could have launched an attack as soon as he heard, but what if Saul wasn’t really there?  David would have exposed his meager force.

Once David’s scouts reported back to the main body where the enemy was, David immediately went to take a look himself and finalize a plan.  Today, we give that the fancy name of “Leader’s Reconnaissance”, but despite the modern name, it’s the same thing David did. 

  1. Conduct a Leader’s Recon to finalize the plans.  David took one other man with him, for security.
  2. When leaving on a Leader’s Recon, issue a “GOTWA” plan.
    1. Going:  Where you are going
    2. Others: Who is going with you
    3. Time: Time of your return
    4. What: What to do if you don’t return
    5. Actions: What to do if you are attacked or the main body is attacked.

Now, David and his partner were able to sneak into the enemy camp undetected, because the King’s forces were confident that no one would attack a force of 3,000.

1. ALWAYS post security and have a security and sleep plan for your entire team.

David found where the King was sleeping, and the King’s spear and water jug were sitting near his head.  Rather than killing the King, which would have meant a victory, for about 2 seconds until the other 3,000 men killed David, David disarmed the King and took his water jug.

  1. Fighting is not always the best option.
  2. Sometimes, removing resources from an enemy force can force it to retire or lose (The Crusaders lost the Battle of Hattin because of a lack of water).

David and his escort then withdrew, but continued in a direction AWAY from their own forces, and secured themselves a position on a hill overlooking the enemy camp.

  1. Use deception by traveling in a unexpected direction or by leading pursuers away from your true positions.
  2. Always secure high ground and commanding terrain.
    1. Use the Acronym OCOKA to pick out the best position:
      1. Observation and fields of fire
      2. Cover and concealment
      3. Obstacles
      4. Key terrain
      5. Avenues of approach
OCOKA. Observation and Fields of Fire. Cover and Concealment. Obstacles. Key Terrain. Avenues of Approach. FM

The next morning, David contacted the enemy force and let them know that he had penetrated their camp and could have killed their King in his sleep, but chose not to.  The King was shaken by this, and saw it as a sign.  The King immediately vowed to stop pursuing David.  While we know that outcome isn’t certain in today’s world, it does give us a couple of tactical points.

  1. Sometimes, simply making it known that you COULD have taken action, but instead showed FORBEARANCE accomplishes far more than fighting.
  2. In preparedness, not every fight is a fight we SHOULD make.  In fact, we should avoid it as much as possible.

Now, that’s a fun analysis that illustrated some very basic tactical principles, but how does that apply to preparedness?

Most people who are into preparedness want to immediately talk about all the guns they have and all the tactical training they do, but that misses the entire point of preparedness.  

The point of preparedness is to SURVIVE.  Sure, being able to fend off an attack is a good skill to have, but it’s not always the best option.  

You aren’t going to be light infantry out in the outback with Mad Max, righting the wrongs of society. 

This story illustrates that by applying proper tactics, and accomplishing your goals WITHOUT fighting, you’ll be a lot better off in the long run.  Sure, David could have been all secret-squirrel ninja and killed the King, but how would he have gotten out of the camp, and then away from the pursuit that was sure to follow?

By not fighting, he solved the problem on a far more permanent basis.  Let that be the one tactical truth you take away from here.  

He was not showing weakness; remember that at this point, David was already known as a great Warrior.  He showed STRENGTH by choosing not destroy the King.

There is a great lesson in that.

The other lesson I hope people take away from this analysis of David’s tactics in the Desert of Ziph is that your training shouldn’t always involve punching holes in paper.  The ability to conduct Scouting & Patrolling, operate a Listening/Observation Post, and how to gather intelligence are all skills that anyone into preparedness should master, even more than shooting.

Be safe, and train for the real world.

Self-Defense Climate Change

Have you had enough of 2020 yet?  Honestly, if October 1st rolls around and either aliens land from space or the reptilian under-lords emerge from underground, I won’t even shrug.  

I can however, report that 2020 has proven that climate change is REAL.  No, not that climate.  The self-defense climate has completely changed, and regardless of your political leanings, you need to understand what this means.  You need to IMMEDIATELY adjust your self defense plans to match the current legal climate.

The current climate means that certain activities are protected by the police & courts, and certain others, which would normally be lawful, are now being treated with zero tolerance.

As an example, armed protestors are stopping cars that are just trying to drive down the road.  If you hit the armed people in the road and drive away, you will be arrested, and they will not.

Last weekend, in Hollywood, California, a crowd of 300 blocked a road and began harassing drivers.  One driver, in a Prius of all things, drove out of the crowd, yet the protestors mounted up in two vehicles and chased the subject down, pinning the vehicle in.  The protestors got out and immediately began breaking windows with poles, bats, and skateboards, trying to pull the driver out the window, so the driver backed up into a vehicle that was part of the assault, and then drove off.  A short time later, that driver was ARRESTED AT GUNPOINT.  Not the pursuers who attacked him, but the person who used what would normally be lawful self-defense tactics to flee.  Arrested at GUNPOINT.

The next day, the police issued a statement, due to massive public pressure.  I expected them to apologize, but they defended their actions and even stated that they chased down another vehicle who fled from the crowd as well.

The week prior to that, a man inside his own house had a large group surround his house, chanting at him, and threatening him.  I heard one protestor say over a loud speaker “You don’t know what we have pointed at you right now”.  The man armed himself and showed the shotgun at the window.  While that wasn’t a smart move, it’s a gray area because while every state has brandishing laws, none has clearly defined what “brandishing” is and brandishing must generally be done in PUBLIC, not your own home.

Sure enough, the police arrived, and did the bidding of the hostile crowd that moments before had been threatening to harm a man for flying a Trump flag, and arrested the man.  As soon as the police left with the man, the crowd sprayed the house with graffiti.

We are seeing time and again, the crowds instigating a confrontation, and the police arresting people who resist the crowd.  

During one of the early protests, a Dallas business owner was attacked, and he fought off two men who were trying to hit his head on the pavement.  He shot and killed the third, and despite the local prosecutor ruling the shooting lawful, a “special prosecutor” filed murder charges.  The man took his own life last week.

This begs the question…Has our nation already been lost?  

Last weekend, highly publicized video went out showing police officers rounding up a church group that was meeting in a public park, socially distanced.  The legal issue was that the State had banned worship gatherings.  Most people who saw it wrongly assumed it occurred in California, but it happened in MOSCOW, IDAHO.  Yes, really.

Has our country already been lost?

Some police departments and chiefs are trying to stand against this, but they are being fired and branded as racists (no matter what their race).

Most famously, Chief Craig here in Detroit has taken a stand.  He stated clearly on the first nights that criminality will not be tolerated.  On August 23rd, a BLM/Antifa group tried to establish an autonomous zone (exactly like I predicted) on Woodward Avenue.  The police moved in and a riot ensued.  Of course, the ones who were unlawfully seizing territory by force claimed that the police “attacked” them.

The following Monday, the protestors filed a federal lawsuit and almost immediately an injunction was granted preventing the police from using riot batons, expandable batons, tear gas, pepper spray, flash-bangs, acoustic devices, and smoke against the protestors.  Chief Craig immediately responded that he hasn’t seen a peaceful protestor yet, but the injunction stands, allowing the protestors control of the streets.

If the police can’t defend themselves or the city against the mob, what do you think the courts will do with you?

Most police departments are not engaging at all with the mob.  They are letting them block streets, scream at people, and harass diners with impunity.  Invariably, you’ll see police standing by, just in case you attempt to defend yourself.

So, what does this mean for someone concerned with self-defense?  Well, it means a few things.

First, practice Don’t-Be-There-Jitsu and avoid areas where protests take place.  This isn’t always possible, but pay attention and do what you can.

Second, stop with the online comments, because they are being used against you.  As an example, a couple of men commented on what they would do to rioters if they were in Kyle Rittenhouse’s situation, then they drove towards Kenosha.  One night, while they sat at a hotel, federal agents arrived and arrested them.  Among the evidence presented for the arrest warrants were their social media posts.  The same thing happened with the Dallas bar owner who killed himself.  While the local prosecutor only relied on what happened that night, the Special Prosecutor scoured months of social media posts for evidence.

I know, you’re going to say, “But my First Amendment rights”.  Understand that the First Amendment is DEAD.  They’re arresting people for worship, arresting people who lawfully assemble for the “wrong” causes, and are using your free speech to lock you up.  WE’VE ALREADY LOST.   

Third, set aside your pride.  If you’re trapped in a restaurant, do what they ask, it means nothing.  However, if you resist and are arrested, the protestors and their friends will DESTROY you. 

The same applies to traffic.  If you’re driving and see a crowd ahead, throw it in reverse and leave.  Make a U Turn, illegal left, whatever.  I’d rather get a traffic citation than be charged with attempted murder by a liberal prosecutor for resisting the mob.

Lastly, my friend sent me this picture earlier today.  It’s a banner on the side of a local Target store.  The words “By the order of the State” should chill you to the bone and wake you up from the normalcy bias.

If they can order you to wear a face covering (notice they dropped the word “mask”), they can order you to do anything.  Decide right now what level of tyranny you’ll accept.

Many say, well, if they come to my house, I’ll resist then.  They don’t need to come to your house.  They’ve already won.

Understand your local self defense climate and adjust your personal self defense plan.  What was permissible 6 months ago will land you in prison today.  Adapt.  

Or, better yet, decide to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

Immediate Steps – RBG Protests

Crowd at Supreme Court

The impending appointment of a Justice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg is going to erupt civil disturbances, protests, and riots across the country as soon as the nomination is announced.

I’m not going to discuss the issues surrounding whether one should be or should not be appointed, because the politics of the situation don’t matter, the need to be aware of the potential for violence and make preparations for you and your family’s safety is what matters.

All across the country, media figures and prominent political figures are already threatening that if a nomination is made, they will “burn it to the ground” and “nothing is off the table”, yet I still hear people saying nothing will happen, and that once the election passes, things will go back to normal.  The Ultimate Tactical Handbook talks about this:

The prudent see danger and take refuge, 

But the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Proverbs 22:3

Let me ask you this….which of these two courses of action is more prudent?

1. Take a few steps to prepare, and not need to have.

2. Take no action, but you should have.

Easy, right?  If I buy a little extra food and water, and pay a bit more attention to my surroundings, and maybe carry a little gear and it all be for nothing, I’m out nothing and I have some extra things that I will use anyway.  If I do nothing, laugh it off, and then get caught in a riot and power outage, I’m in a bad spot and may not recover at all.

So, what steps can you take?

First, and I know I keep saying it, but INCREASE YOUR AWARENESS LEVEL.  On the Cooper alert scale, you should absolutely be at at least Yellow.  Pay attention to local news, conduct daily social media searches for events in our area that could lead to protest activity, and pay close attention to what is happening around you.

Many people say “I don’t watch the news anymore, it’s all so depressing”.  That’s a silly position to take, you need information to keep safe.

Second, seek alternative news sources that are fact-based.  Independent journalism, unfortunately, is far more honest than the mainstream media.  As an example, did you know that last Friday, a Black Lives Matter supporter in a Breonna Taylor t-shirt walked into a bar owned by a police officer and randomly murdered 3 people?  It hasn’t been carried on a single major network, yet it happened.  The fact that it occurred should increase your awareness level when sitting in a restaurant. 

No matter what news source you use, verify the information from a second, unrelated source.  Information from a single source is just that, information.  Once confirmed by a second source, it becomes intelligence that you can take action on.  In the above example, you might decide to make sure you sit where you can see the entrance and be near an emergency exit.  Don’t be afraid to ask the host/hostess for a seat near an emergency exit, you are paying for the experience.

Third, gather food and water.  In the event of mass protests and rioting, going out to get groceries or to go eat could be dangerous.  During the Ukranian Revolution, while there was a literal war going on in downtown Kiev, the rest of the city had open stores and restaurants, until the tanks and troops finally rushed in.  You don’t want to venture out and risk getting caught up in it or trapped on the wrong side of a sudden battle line.

Highland Tactical Apollo

Fourth, carry basic emergency supplies with you.  I alway keep my “patrol bag” in the car as a “get home kit”.  It’s a Highland Tactical Apollo backpack (hltactical.com).  Inside I keep rain gear, a US military poncho and poncho liner (excellent emergency tent/sleeping bag), a full MRE, emergency drinking water, some protein bars and jerky, full first aid kit, and a few specialized items:

1. Shemagh – A shemagh can protect you from dust, smoke, tear gas, and other nasty things in the air.  It can also be used as a bandage or for warmth.  While I own various colors, in an urban area I use a plain black one so that it doesn’t look “tactical”.

2. Sillcock Key – A specialized tool for turning on outside water faucets at businesses in urban areas.  When you need water in an urban area, this tool is a life-saver.

3. Multitool – Always a good item, I carry a Gerber M600 and a Gerber Suspension.

4. Flashlights – In an urban area, flashlights are a must.  I generally carry a 700 lumen light on the backpack and a 300 lumen light on my belt.  A headlamp is also inside the backpack.

5. Packable Jacket – The ability to quickly change your outward appearance can be helpful.  I carry a Propper packable jacket that folds up into it’s own pocket (www.propper.com).

6. Paper Maps – I always carry a map book in the backpack and I also have a paper map of the local area (wherever I go) in my BattleBoard Scout Medium (www.battleboard.us).

BattleBoard Scout Medium

Next, realize that, YES, THIS REALLY IS HAPPENING.  Normalcy bias is the tendency to assume things aren’t really that bad and will return to normal shortly.  Things ARE really that bad, and they aren’t going to go get better anytime soon.

Lastly, make an important decision, RIGHT NOW.  What issues and ideals are the red lines for you and what will you do to preserve them? The biggest problem we’re seeing right now is the desire to “go along to get along”.  That only works with people who actually WANT to get along with you, on either side of the political aisle.  

On September 30, 1938, in an attempt to appease the demands of the National Socialist Workers Party of Germany, Britain and France agreed to let Germany annex Czechoslovakia.  That decision led to millions of deaths worldwide and the near world-domination of National Socialism.

While you are considering that last point, I want to leave you with one final instruction from God’s Ultimate Tactical Handbook:

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.

Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves

Be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Galations 5:1

Seems fairly clear, doesn’t it?

Prepare, and stay safe!

Handling Spontaneous Crowds

Don’t let this be you

As the security situation continues to deteriorate, we must all improve our abilities to defend ourselves.  Many in the preparedness community immediately recommend concealed carry of a firearm as the ultimate defensive capability, but I always teach that a firearm is a tool of last resort.  That’s even more true inside a crowd.

There are many situations in which we are seeing as protests pop up in areas with little or no notice, so you need to develop self-defense skills that don’t solely rely on the use of a firearm.  Many of these situations involve scenarios in which a firearm isn’t the best option, and others involve situations in which there isn’t time or room to draw a firearm before defending yourself.

Right now, you should devise a family (or friends) plan for handling protests while out.  Have a standing plan so that all you have to do is say the word and everyone executes the plan.  You won’t have time to decide what to do when they are already walking up to the restaurant you’re at.

In this article, we’re going to discuss a few weapon defense skills you need to develop, and analyze the mindset of one of my favorite Biblical soldiers, Nehemiah.

Those who carried burdens were loaded in such a way

That each labored on the work with one hand, 

And held his weapon in the other.

Each of the builders had his sword strapped

At his side while he built.

Nehemiah 4:17-18

Not only did Nehemiah require everyone to have weapons and weapon skill, but this standing order of his would have also had the effect of raising the situational awareness of his people.  “If Nehemiah wants us to be armed at all times, there must be a threat….”  The lesson here is raise your threat level, and raise your awareness to Condition Yellow whenever out of your own home.

We are seeing large groups targeting people in public and demanding that the people either raise their fist or kneel.  You have to make your own decision on what to do if trapped in this, but there are steps you can take.  When you hear the loudspeakers and chants down the street, get up, find the cash register to pay your bill and LEAVE THE AREA.  Don’t-Be-There-Jitsu is the best martial art for these riots.

If trapped in one of these restaurants, you have two options.  The first is to comply.  Raising the fist to keep from being harassed isn’t fatal and it doesn’t mean you really believe.  The other option is to get up and leave via an emergency exit.  Yes, I mean either without paying or by just leaving cash on the table.  A large crowd approaching a restaurant to harass people is an emergency, and as yet, not one restaurant has lived up to their legal obligation to protect their paying customers.  The police are standing around watching, to make sure that YOU don’t attack the protestors (meaning defend yourself).  You can always return the next day and speak to the manager about paying any bill left behind.

They were all trying to frighten us, thinking,

“Their hands will get too weak for the work…”

Nehemiah 6:9

In the story of Nehemiah, he knew that the opposition was just trying to make his people too afraid to resist what the opposition wanted.  That is exactly what’s going on today.  They want you to think that you can’t resist the mob.  If I’m not there when they arrive, they can’t force me to do anything.  There will come a time for a fight, but it’s not when surrounded by a larger crowd, with unknown civilians everywhere in the way.

I know I’ll get comments about “I’m not backing down, ever”….that’s just false bravado and many tombstones say “Here lies Jim, he never backed down”.  I’ll pick the fight I can win over a no win fight.  Tactical withdrawal is not retreat.  It’s fighting when the conditions are conducive to winning.  Are there times to stand your ground?  Absolutely.  But a loud crowd of idiots isn’t the time.

The Vikings had a saying that a Warrior can only die one time, so he should make it count.  They went to great lengths to only fight when they knew the fight was worthy of throwing away your life.  Arguing about raising your fist isn’t one of those times.

Blessed by the Lord, My rock,

Who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.

Psalm 144:1

You must possess unarmed weapons defense skills.   If a member of a crowd suddenly lunges at you with a stick, a baton, or a knife, if try to draw a firearm or other defensive tool, you’ll be seriously injured.

There is absolutely NO SUBSTITUTE for obtaining instruction from a qualified instructor.  Seek one out from a reputable organization (PKSA Karate has schools all over this country and even one in India www.pksa.com).

I highly recommend David Kahn’s book “Krav Maga Weapon Defenses” for learning basic weapon defense skills.  In fact, I own every book and video David has out there.  Check him out at www.israelikrav.com.

Buy this!!

The basic skill sets you need in this environment are defense against a blunt object, defense against a knife, and defense against a takedown.

Fortunately, the same skill set can be used to defend against a blunt object or a knife.  The primary objective to move outside of the attack and use both hands to deflect it away, preferably while launching a low-line kick to either the groin or the attackers knee.  The reason to kick while making a defense is to take the initiative away from the attacker and gain space.  I’m not going to going into more detail, because you need to seek out a qualified instructor.

**YOUTUBE IS NOT A QUALIFIED INSTRUCTOR**

As far as defense against a takedown, understand that in a crowd, being taken to the ground IS A DEADLY FORCE SITUATION.  You can easily be killed on the ground by a large crowd.  Awareness is your best defense.  If someone tries to take you down, sidestep to the outside and launch a kick at their exposed head or ribs.  

For my final point about mindset, I want to discuss the deputies shot in Compton this week and the female deputy I have dubbed the “Shield Maiden of Compton”, because she displayed a true Viking Warrior mindset.

Two deputies were sitting in the vehicle when an unknown subject calmly walked up to the window and fired several rounds point blank into the vehicle.  The female deputy was shot in the arm and through both sides of her mouth.  The male deputy was hit in the head and both arms.

Imagine that scene…It would be easy to just slump down in the car and wait for help to arrive.

The Shield Maiden of Compton didn’t.  She knew that when ambushed by an unknown force, your first order of business is to get off the X.  She got out of the car, and immediately dragged her partner with her.  She had him draw his weapon and so did she, despite their injuries.  She got them both away from the vehicle (which was an obvious target) and in an area with concrete on two sides, and behind another concrete pillar.  

Once there, she assigned the male deputy a sector to watch, and focused on a group of young males down the street.  We would later learn that the males were making videos and taunting them.  She kept focus on the males, while also scanning rooftops as she applied a tourniquet to her partner, which probably saved his life.  She called for assistance and then they both maintained their awareness until other units arrived.

Mindset means more than skill, when talking about combat survival.  USMC SgtMaj Brad Kasal, during the battle of Fallujah, is depicted below.  SgtMaj Kasal arrived at house where 3 of his young marines were trapped.  He went in, and laid down cover fire, getting shot in the process. While the young Marines began to extract, SgtMaj Kasal saw a grenade fly through the air and land among the young men.  He later said that he knew that he was older and they had more life to live, so he jumped on the grenade.  Despite grievous wounds,  SgtMaj Kasal was still alive.  He credits mindset to this. As you can see in the photo, despite multiple gunshot wounds and having contained a grenade blast with his body, SgtMaj Kasal still has his pistol in hand, and is still very much in the fight. His book, My Men Are My Heroes is a great read.

Look at that WARRIOR!

Avoid a fight if you can, but if you must fight, stay in the battle until you win

Hope Is Not A Strategy

Be alert & of sober mind,

Your enemy the devil prowls around,

Like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

A couple of weeks ago, I put out a post about Heeding Warnings.  I got some feedback, accusing me of being political in the post.  

I would challenge that the politics of the situation DO

NOT MATTER ONE BIT.  The politics are the symptom, the danger is the widespread violence.  

The person went on to explain that the left was justified and the right wasn’t.  I say again…IT DOESN’T MATTER ONE SINGLE BIT.

If you are truly into preparedness, you would have realized that, just like I’m going to today, I’m pointing out that you need to be aware that it’s getting worse, and that every indicator is pointing to even worse violence and more widespread, not less.

Yesterday, an unknown subject walked up on a police vehicle and shot two officers in the head, for no reason.  The BLM/ANTIFA crowd then went to the hospital and surrounded it, threatening the other officers, saying “You’re next” and screaming “We Hope They Die”.

Now, if you think that there is some justification for either the shooting or the behavior at the hospital, go ahead and unfollow me and block me on your social media.  

HOWEVER, my point is that this is another INDICATOR and warning that you should heed, regardless of your politics.  This was a military action against the government of the United States (yes, I know they were county officers, but they represent the nation).  The fact that HUNDREDS of others immediately came out into the streets to praise the attack should alert you that we are closer to a civil war than you may think.

The prudent see danger and take refuge,

But the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Proverbs 22:3

I keep seeing posts on social media that say “This is why you have to vote Trump in November” or “After the election, Trump will solve this if he wins”.   What on earth motivates people to think like this?  Is he not President TODAY?  What will change after the election?  And, more importantly, why do you think that these insane people in the streets protesting will just shrug their shoulders and go home if he wins?  They won’t, they’ll get 10,000 times WORSE.

I also hear “This is why you need to vote in Biden”.  Biden has been in government for 50 years and hasn’t solved the problems that led to this situation, and 8 of those years he was Vice President.   Also, if you actually attend the protests to try and learn what these people are saying, you’ll hear that they don’t want him to be President either.

The point I’m making, yet again, is that we ALL have to get past this normalcy bias that it will all get better after the election.

It’s going to get worse, no matter who wins the election.

Watch out for false prophets.

They come to you in sheep’s clothing, 

But inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

By their fruits you will know them.

Matthew 7:15-16

To analyze some of their plans, just listen to the media.  Stories are being ran on every network and paper that say that any outcome other than a landslide by Biden will result in widespread disorder and violence.  THAT’S what you need to prepare for, rather than hoping your candidate wins and that the magical peace fairies will arrive.

They are telling you exactly what they are going to do.  They mentioned a war game that they ran that indicated that the Governors of several states (Including Nanny Whitmer here in Michigan) would direct their Electors to cast ballots for Biden, regardless of the State results.  This would lead to more protests and Joe Biden himself even said he’d send troops to remove Trump from the White House.  

“By their fruits, you will know them”…Just listen to what they are telling you.

There is absolutely nothing that you or I can do, aside from vote, to change the SECOND ORDER EFFECTS.  Everyone is so focused on the First Order effect, which is who wins, that everyone is neglecting the SECOND ORDER effect, which is widespread civil disorder and violence.  

This second order effect will also likely lead into a third order effect, which is a Balkan-Type civil war.

I mentioned this potential the other day and this guy spammed my Twitter repeatedly with “Nah, it’ll ever happen”.  Seriously, how do these people not see it?  There is a current news story about a few dozen families buying up land in Georgia to make “a city safe for black people”.  During the Balkan War, NATO enforced Muslim enclaves or “Cities safe for Muslim people” and Serbian enclaves  or “areas safe for Serbs”.  See how that worked out?

The entire point of this post is share with you some Bible wisdom about being aware, while also URGING you to stop thinking that the election will solve any of this.  

I’d also like to point that whether or not YOUR particular candidate wins, has NOTHING AT ALL to do with whether or not you should prepare for the potential for widespread disorder and violence.  If you are TRULY into preparedness, you’ll agree that the risk of civil war hasn’t been this high since the 1860 election.

Please be safe, please prepare according, and help others break their normalcy bias.

Hope is not a strategy.

Counter-Intelligence: Guarding Your Information

Those who guard their lips preserve their lives,

But those who speak rashly will come to ruin.

Proverbs 13:3

Solomon wrote those words thousands of years ago, and they are just as valid today as they were then.  Our biggest security threat is ourselves.  With the advent of social media and cell phones, we are encouraged to literally narrate our lives, broadcasting everything we do and everywhere we go to the entire world.

An entire industry has risen around tracking our movements, called surveillance capitalism.  Every search you make, every errand you run, every message you send, and every area you visit is cataloged and sold to advertising companies & information brokers.  The information is available to anyone who wants to buy it.  Yes, anyone.

Today, we’re going to discuss some things you can do to secure your movements and reduce your signature in the world.

Obviously, throwing away the cell phone, never driving a newer car, and never going anywhere will solve this problem, but that’s not practical in the real world.  Yes, I said newer car…newer cars have a “black box” recorder which can be accessed by law enforcement should they feel a need (like after an accident).

What does the Ultimate Tactical Handbook say about posting all your intimate details for the world to buy?  (I bet you didn’t think this is in the Bible, but it is…)

Buy the truth & do not sell it – 

wisdom, instruction, and insight as well.

Proverbs 23:23

This is a simple truth that is just as valid today…gather the information everyone else puts out there, but don’t put your own information on the auction block.  Sam Culper at forwardobserver.com puts it this way: “farm from social media – but never plant”.  

Set your security options tightly, so that only your friends can see it.  I also don’t allow tagging of me in anything without my approval.  Never tag yourself in a location, but if you must, do it after you’ve left.

One of the biggest issues I see is people posting photos and tagging themselves in locations.  While this alerts anyone who might want to do you harm to where you can be found, it also alerts the entire world to where you CAN’T be found…in other words, it tells potential burglars that you aren’t home.

Resist the temptation to tell the world about every step of your 30 day European vacation.

An unexpected consequence many young people are learning is that now employers are reviewing social media posts prior to making hiring decisions and their unrestricted tagging and photo posting is labeling them as a security risk.

Many believe that turning off the location services on your cell phone, or placing it in “airplane mode” protects your location, but even when your phone is off, it is SAVING the location of the phone.  Once you turn it on and re-connect, it still sends the location history to the service provider, regardless of your settings.  Yes, YOU have privacy rights, but one of the things you agreed to when you accepted the service agreement was location reporting.  It’s how the phone companies make money, selling your data.  Your monthly fees pay for their maintenance of the network, the real money-maker is your data.

If you truly want to hide your phone’s location history, store it in a Faraday Bag (available online) and only take it out when you need to make a call.  Is it inconvenient…Yes.  But, security and convenience is ALWAYS a trade off.

Faraday Bag

I have a homemade Faraday Cage in my car for times when I want a little privacy and security.

Many people roll their eyes when I talk about your phone constantly listening or Alexa/Google Home constantly recording, but it is indeed a fact.  How do you activate it?  By saying Hey Google/Siri/Alexa, right?  Ever wonder how it knows that you said that…..BECAUSE IT’S ALWAY LISTENING.  Try this….discuss something you really want out loud and that you wonder about the price of it, without searching for it.  Do this a few times over a few days.  Then watch your ads on your phone.  

Multiple criminal cases have involved subpoenas for Alexa recordings.  It’s worth noting that Alexa allows you to delete a day’s worth of recordings….why would you be able to delete something that allegedy never was recorded?  Don’t invite surveillance into your homes.

Network connected security cameras contain the same risk.  Ring and Nest are both involved in partnerships with police departments allowing police to search footage for investigative purposes.  I know, many people say, I’m not committing a crime, so why should I care?  Laurenty Beriya, the founder of the KGB once said “Show me the man, and I’ll find you the crime”.  As so much of our daily lives is recorded and documented, why allow the chance that a vindictive investigator can link you to something blown up (see General Mishael Flynn/Kyle Rittenhouse).  Ever driven home after one drink too many?  Your own Ring doorbell has legally admissible evidence of you pulling into the driveway and staggering to the door and once it’s backed up to their servers, you don’t own that footage.

Found Footage of Kyle Rittenhouse

A classic example of this is the Kyle Rittenhouse case.  Regardless of how you feel about his actions, within hours by searching traffic cameras, local business CCTV cameras, live stream footage, and social media posts, the media was able to paint a picture of a right wing extremist hoping for a fight, whether it was true or not.  Everyone was able to see the kid’s every move for the 48 hours prior to the shooting.  Limit your exposure.

I’ve warned before about vetting the members of your preparedness group.  The Ultimate Tactical Handbook mentions this as well in Luke 20:20 (that’s not an election slogan “Luke 2020, Jesus’ Physician for President”).

Keeping a close watch on Him, they sent spies,

Who pretended to be sincere.

They hoped to catch Jesus in something He said,

So that they could turn Him over to the power & authority of the Governor.

Luke 20:20

I know, you aren’t doing anything illegal.  But that’s not required.  Randy Weaver, like it or not, wasn’t seeking to do anything illegal before an ATF informant harassed him into sawing off a shotgun & selling it.  Yes, that’s what the court ruled…As Weaver hadn’t wanted to commit a crime himself, the agent talking him into committing one was entrapment.  Thus, with vetting, the entire Ruby Ridge situation could have been avoided.

Randy Weaver may seem like an extreme example, so I’ll mention that General Flynn sat down with two FBI agents, who convinced him that he was “just clarifying an earlier statement”.  They convinced him that he wasn’t a target, and that he didn’t need an attorney.  We now know that he WAS a target, and that they went specifically to MAKE HIM TELL A DIFFERENT STORY THAN BEFORE for the purposes of gaining leverage.  And now, a vindictive judge won’t even let the government admit their entrapment. Don’t put yourself at risk.

Patrol Car Licence Plate Reader

Lastly, lets discuss traffic cameras and license plate readers on patrol cars.  Traffic cameras and patrol units outfitted with license plate readers watch over the roads and make a record of every license plate they come across.  In court, they have claimed that they aren’t reviewing the license plates unless an incident occurs, yet there are many cases of a patrol car passing a car with a person who has a warrant tied to a license plate, ending with an arrest, so draw your own conclusions.  

Again, people say, Hey, I’m not doing anything wrong, so why worry?  I worry because the entire idea of the government tracking your daily travels without probable cause is repugnant to our Constitution.  We have the right to not be tracked in our very movements.  The point of doing this is that if they ever wanted to, they COULD recreate your every movement.  Our Constitution forbids BEGINNING that tracking until AFTER they present probable cause to do so.  

We aren’t supposed to gather evidence IN CASE you eventually commit a crime, we are supposed to gather evidence AFTER you have committed a crime. 

But, what can you do?

While you can’t eliminate license plate tracking, you can limit your exposure to it by taking a few small steps.  First, I avoid major roads and intersections, which just makes my day easier anyway.  Second, whenever possible, I back in to park.  From a safety perspective, this is better anyway, and I live in a rear-plate only state.  Back into your driveway as well, and if you live in a two license plate state, store something moveable in front of your car.  Yes, I know, your plate is registered there, but you are trying to avoid letting someone make a record of your movements.  Lastly, and most obviously, don’t break traffic laws (or any laws).

On a side note, I disagree with required mask wearing, but it has made it easier for VOLUNTARY mask wearing, which I whole-heartedly endorse. Wearing a full “neck-gaiter” type mask right up to my sunglasses and hat DESTROYS facial recognition. Again, I’m not doing anything wrong, but it’s the constant police-state information gathering that I detest.

Taking some caution in your daily lives can protect you from others gathering information on you.  In our modern society, you can’t realistically eliminate the information you expose, but you certainly can limit what you put out.

Gathering Intelligence

Intel Gathering

Gathering intelligence refers to the practice of learning as much as you can about your local situation, to enable you to make better decisions about how you should react.  

Many people enter into preparedness and buy all kinds of gear, buy all kinds of food, guns, and ammunition, but then are caught completely unaware when a situation happens locally.  If you are going to be prepared, information gathering is a key.

People also make all sorts of emergency plans without gathering the information to be able to determine if that plan is even workable or not.  I’ve pointed out many times that most people’s plans involve jumping on the highway…without understanding that the entire purpose of the interstate highway system is to allow a system of roads that could be closed to civilian traffic, allowing only government vehicles to move quickly.  

Then all of you came to me and said,

“let us send men ahead to spy out the land for us

And bring back a report about the route we are to take

And the towns we will come to.”

Deuteronomy 1:22

As you can see, the Ultimate Tactical Handbook suggests doing a route recon and checking out the way, before you actually have to travel the route.  In other words, gather intelligence before you take action.

Conduct an area study on your local area.  Our friends at Forward Observer (www.ForwardObserver.com) have excellent training resources on conducting an Area Study. Basically, you want to analyze your local area, identifying potential trouble areas and personalities, so that you can monitor or avoid those areas.  You also want to identify potential safe havens and resources.

A great resource to use when route planning is a BattleBoard.  Check them out at www.battleboard.us

Battle Board

Keep in mind, a safe haven in normal circumstances could potentially be a danger zone during a crisis.  For example, a police station is generally recognized as a safe haven during normal times, but during a riot, it’s absolutely the last place you want to be.

I’ve identified the Facebook groups of my local protest organizers, and I check them every single morning, so that I am aware of potential areas of protests.  That’s a simple and easy intelligence gathering task that you can conduct.  It’s as easy as searching for protest hashtags like “#BLM” and then looking for groups or individuals tagging themselves with that hashtag.  Simple and it could save you from being trapped inside your car when they block a road.

One of the big dangers of intelligence gathering in our social media-influenced lives is falling for unconfirmed information.  When the pandemic first hit, it seemed like every single person on social media had a cousin, uncle, fiancee, or friend at Homeland Security, FEMA, or the FBI.  First, no, they don’t.  Second, it’s not like every single federal agent is given all classified data on a daily basis.  

Let’s use a quick Biblical tale to help us understand how to handle unconfirmed data.  In 1 Samuel 26, David was hiding from King Saul, who was trying to hunt him down and kill him.  On a side note, there’s a quick lesson in that Saul, who represented the government, knew that David was a threat to Saul remaining King, so he wanted to kill him.  Anyhow, David was hiding and Saul sent 3,000 elite troops to hunt David in the wilderness.  David heard rumors that these troops were in the area, but didn’t know where or if it was true.

He sent out scouts and learned

That Saul had definitely arrived.

1 Samuel 26:4

So, when confronted with unconfirmed data and an uncertain location of the threat, David sent out scouts to confirm the presence of a hostile force and fix its actual location.  That’s a great lesson and that’s how we develop Priority Intelligence Requirements.

As a current-world example, let’s say that you heard that there was going to be a Black Lives Matter Protest outside of your work location.  Regardless of your political beliefs, that’s a potential threat.  Your Priority Intelligence Requirements are #1, Is there actually a protest planned and #2, What is it’s exact location & route.  Until you confirm it, it is just information.  Once confirmed, it becomes intelligence that you can act on, or “actionable intelligence”.

Sometimes, we can’t 100% confirm everything, so we need a way to assign values to information.  Fortunately, there is already a generally accepted way to evaluate this information.  Below is the NATO Credibility/Reliability matrix, to help you judge the likelihood of something being true.  Only experience with a particular source will allow to judge their reliability over time.  Not very often will you encounter information that you can assess as “A1”.

NATO Matrix

As the men started on their way to map out the land,

Joshua instructed them, “Go and make a detailed

Survey of the land and write a description of it”.

Joshua 18:8

Once you have completed the area study, write it down (type it up) and keep it handy, so that you can update all or parts of it.  

In the Executive Protection business, we conduct “Advance Surveys” which are area studies of everywhere that our client wants to go, and we keep them on file.  The reason for that is in case another client wants to go to the same location, most of the work is already done, and therefore all we have to do is a quick check to make sure the data is still valid, and only correct the areas that need changing.  In this way, you also develop a quick historical record of areas you frequent.

I completely recommend doing separate area studies on places you frequent.  When you have five small area studies, rather than one large, all-encompassing one, it’s easier to make changes, without completely re-writing the entire thing.  It’s also easier to another area for a new place, rather than completely rewriting the whole study.

Conducting these areas studies and then conducting daily intelligence gathering in areas your frequent allows you plan your travels and avoid being surprised by events.  Surprises will still happen, but at least you’ll be armed with the information you need to make an educated decision about how to handle surprises.

I also recommend placing these on a flash drive and carrying them with you.  Of course the flash drive should also be password-protected and encrypted.  I use a Survivor Flash Drive, which is water-proof, shock-resistant, and EMP-protected.

I hope this helps you gather local intelligence for your safety and planning purposes.  In our next article, we will discuss Intelligence’s ugly step-sister, Counter-Intelligence, or protecting your information from collection.

Be safe and prepare as if your life depended on it.

Heeding Warnings

Watchtower

For the last few months, I’ve been warning you about ANTIFA security.  I pointed out that they are armed, that they are confrontational, that they will target and follow you, and that they are prepared to use violence against anyone they feels opposes them.

Now a man is dead, stalked and murdered by an ANTIFA security leader, just as I predicted and warned.

I noted that ANTIFA security staff follow people to their cars and confront them while armed.  Once, I detailed how I was followed by an entire ANTIFA security team, but was able to evade them.  I warned that this would lead to violence at some point.

Here’s what the Ultimate Tactical Handbook of Life has to say:

….and he sees the sword coming against the land

And blows the trumpet to warn the people,

Then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning,

And the sword comes and takes their life,

Their blood will be on their own head.

Ezekiel 33:3-4

Last Saturday night, Michael Reinhoehl and his security steam stalked, followed, and ambushed Aaron “Jay” Danielson.  Danielson was part of a Patriot Prayer protest, and Reinhoehl’s team was there to counter-protest.

Now Dead Michael Reinhoehl

Reinhoehl was interviewed by Vice News less than 2 hours before his death at the hands of US Marshals (which I find HIGHLY convenient, but that’s another article), and in that interview, he alleged that he acted in self-defense, stating that he feared that Danielson was about stab an unnamed friend of Reinhoehl.   

When the Portland Police detectives searched the body of Danielson, they recovered an expandable baton, a can of bear spray (that had been struck with a bullet), and a handgun, BUT NO KNIFE.  This renders Reinhoehl’s entire self-defense story false.

It’s worth noting that Reinhoehl was arrested on July 5th, at another protest, for unlawfully carrying a firearm, but the charges were dropped.

The police and prosecutors in this nation are scared to DEATH of the left wing mob, and they bend over backwards to not engage.  The converse is not true, they rapidly drop the hammer and over-charge when anyone even remotely right wing does anything.  

Why is all this important?  Because while history doesn’t always repeat itself, it frequently rhymes.

On October 16, 1859, John Brown and his band of abolitionists & freed slaves attacked the US Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, hoping to incite a general uprising with ultimate goal of establishing their own autonomous zone (sound familiar?).  On October 18th, a company of US Marines, led by Army Colonel Robert E Lee and Marine Lt J.E.B. Stuart (both would go on to serve the Confederacy), re-took the arsenal, killing 10 and capturing Brown.  Brown was convicted of treason and hung.

As he was walked to the gallows, Brown slipped a note to his guard, which read:

I, John Brown, am now quite certain

That the crimes of this guilty land

Will never be purged away but with blood”

John Brown, December 2, 1859

Man, does that like something we’re hearing from the left right now?

But that’s just the publicly known history of John Brown.

In May of 1856, a group of men raided the abolitionist town of Lawrence, Kansas.  A few days later, on May 21, Brown and his sons raided the homes of people they thought were responsible, killing 5 men.  This attack triggered a series of guerrilla attacks on both sides.

Interestingly, the murder committed by Reinhoehl was committed just days after Kyle Rittenhouse killed 3 ANTIFA/BLM rioters in self-defense.

History doesn’t always repeat itself, but it frequently rhymes.

Since they heard the sound of the trumpet

But did not heed the warning,

Their blood will be on their own head.

If they had heeded the warning,

They would have saved themselves.

Ezekiel 33:5

My point in highlighting these similarities isn’t to vilify the left or justify the right, it’s to warn you.

Regardless of your politics, heed the warning signs that are in front of you.  Pretending that a wide-open civil war isn’t impending will not make it stop.

A modern civil war in America won’t have front lines, or organized groups.  It will have roving bands of fighters from both sides, struggling for local control, which is infinitely more dangerous to the general public than large battles between organized armies conducting campaigns.  

Fighting could literally pop up in any neighborhood at any time.  The organized forces of order (the police and courts) have indicated that they won’t intervene, and when they do, it’s against the side actually defending itself, because that side won’t resist.

Portland Police literally said this publicly.  A few weeks ago, when the Proud Boys and ANTIFA/BLM held dueling rallies that spiraled into violence, the Portland Police Bureau issued a statement that they couldn’t control two large groups fighting each other, so they wouldn’t even try.

Warn a divisive person once,

And then warn them a second time.

After that, have nothing to do with them.

Titus 3:10

Prepare.  Prepare as if no help is coming, because it isn’t.

Establish emergency plans for your family and your mutual aid group.  Rehearse them.  Gather supplies and keep them in a ready state.  

Most importantly, stop pretending this ins’t happening or that “It’s all going to go away after the election”.  No matter who wins, there will be violence.  If Trump wins, the left will crank up the violence to 10.  If Biden wins, the right will exclaim that the election was stolen and fraudulent, causing violence.  Prepare.

Stop under-estimating ANTIFA/BLM as well.  So many people laugh at their weapon choices and their lack of training, but ANTIFA has street experience, they ARE buying weapons, and they ARE training. 

As the Reinhoehl case illustrates, they are indeed willing to hunt down and kill those who oppose them.

Prepare.

Partner Training in Martial Arts

Two are better than one,

Because they have a good return for their labor.

Ecclesiastes 4:9

Everyone interested in preparedness and self-defense needs unarmed skills.  Unarmed skills enable you to live long enough to get a gun in the fight.  There are also times in which a gun isn’t a proper response, or you could be attacked in a place where you couldn’t bring a concealed handgun.

In an earlier article, I discussed solo training and how to effectively train by yourself.  

Working with a partner is necessary at some point, in order to learn how throws and defenses actually work, as well as to develop timing.

Here we will discuss some ways to get the most out of training with a partner for real-life self-defense, in order to develop the most skill in the shortest time.

Developing skill in a relatively short period of time is the basic tenet of military combative training, as well as the founding philosophy of Krav Maga (which itself is really just a military combative).  The way it’s achieved is by a VERY HIGH number of repetitions.  

Generally, any skill you practice in any given session should be done a minimum of 25 times on each side (left and right).  The most common problem with modern martial arts training, is that people only want to do 5-6 reps, then learn something new.  Resist this temptation.

I do not fear the man who practiced 10,000 kicks one time;

I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.

Bruce Lee

Let’s begin discussing some of the drills seen in traditional martial arts.  In Korean Martial Arts, the basic defensive training is called Il Soo Sik, which Japanese arts call “One Step Sparring”.  The drill basically involves the attacker launching a punch, and the defender executing a defensive combination.  When you learn it at a Traditional school, like PKSA Karate (www.pksa.com) both partners bow, and begin in a formal stance.  

To make this practical for real-world defense, start with both partners in a fighting stance, and alternate who attacks, just launching into the defense, without being so rigid in formal stances, just make it effective.  

This makes the training apply to real life….I’ve never had a guy step back into a low block and then let me know when he was going to launch his attack.

Most martial arts involve wrist grab defenses and a lot of people roll their eyes, saying “is there a real danger of someone grabbing my wrist?  This is for kids”.  Really?  Let’s say a man intends to rob you and you go to draw a handgun….what’s the bad guy going to do?  He’s going to GRAB YOUR WRIST to prevent you drawing a gun or a knife.  

Take wrist grab training seriously.  To make the traditional training more realistic, adjust it.  Traditional training generally has them grabbing your wrist, with you both squared off.  Make it realistic by having the attacker grab your strong side wrist with your hand near your waist, as if drawing from concealment…You’ll find the mechanics are very different, and train as if your life depends on it, because it might one day.

Most traditional throws lend themselves easily to punch defenses, and you adapt your training the same way.  Rather than beginning in a formal stance, start from a fighting stance and block the punch, immediately launching into the throw from there, and then following up the throw with either a punch, joint break, or hold, simulating real combat, rather than just stopping once the throw is complete.  Attackers don’t stop when you throw them.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has an excellent series of drills called “fight simulation drills”, that illustrate this.  It involves both parties executing techniques throughout an entire encounter, and then they start over, reversing roles.  It’s great training.

For example, one begins with a takedown, and one partner passing the guard, then the person on the ground executes a trap and roll defense, passes the guard, and attempts a choke.  Next, the new bottom person executes a defense against the choke, and then applies a joint lock to end the encounter, and then they restart the drill, reversing roles.

A caution about BJJ, though, and I’m sure I’m about to get a bunch of angry comments, but BJJ is a SKILL SET, not a complete system.  It’s absolutely a skill set you should have, but you also need striking skills, weapon skills, and blocking skills.  

Blessed be the Lord, my Rock,

Who trains my hands for war,

And my fingers for battle.

Psalm 144:1

When doing Krav Maga drills, the component to master first is called the finish or the “point of reference”.  Point of reference means that you end every defense the exact same way, rather than learning 25 different finishing moves.  This makes it easier to master in a short period of time.  

The point of reference is that after you have removed the immediate threat and secured a proper Krav clinch, you then finish with the same combination every singe time.  I teach two knee kicks to the solar plexus, one front kick to the groin, followed by a leg sweep takedown, finishing with a punch and a shoulder dislocation.  

To set this up for training, your place your strong side arm against the opponents face, while grabbing their collar.  The weak side arm secures an over-hook on the opponents arm.  At this point, they can’t attack you and can’t shoot in for a take-down.  Execute the three kicks, then sweep the leg, while maintaining the over-hook all the way down.  Once they are down on their back, punch with the strong hand, then lift on the over-hook, dislocating the shoulder.

Any Krav Maga defense you execute, no matter what attack you are defending against, ends this way.  It really makes is easier to learn, because now you only need to learn how to get to the point of reference on any given defense.

You can literally spend entire training sessions just working on the point of reference, because under stress in a real fight, you’ll find yourself here at some point, and the response should just be ingrained and automatic.

 …And let the one who has no sword 

Sell his cloak and buy one…

Luke 22:36b

Working partner drills with a knife (not a sword, but that’s fun, too) is just as important as unarmed skills.

It’s the only way you can develop timing and the ability to strike a specific target while moving with a knife (experience).

Basic two person drills include practicing the 12 basic Arnis striking points, as well as the accompanying blocks.  Start slowly then work your way faster.

Krav Maga/Haganah has 8 slashing lines and 9 stabbing targets.  You can work drills involving targeting those areas, as well as developing endless combinations (slash followed by stab, etc.) against a live partner (never with live blades).

KM/Haganah also has a series of knife blocks and defenses that can really only be learned by working with a partner and they make excellent drills, with one partner practicing the attack angle and the other practicing the defense.  Start slowly, then build speed.

As you can see, there is a lot of value to training with a partner.  It’s important to make sure that you are training safely, because no one likes to work with the partner that always hurts them.  

Train seriously, but not to the point of injuring each other.

Organizing a Preparedness Group

Group Picnic

One of the most common questions I get is, “How do I find like-minded people”.  That’s only half the issue….the more important question is “How do I organize my group, once I’ve found them?”.

First, in answering the first question, the internet is full of resources.  Social media groups, websites, forums, and discussion groups are full of like-minded people, usually organized geographically to allow you to make contact with others like you.

I will give a caution about this.  I had a guy contact me in a Facebook group and ask to speak privately.  I directed him to a secure platform, and he immediately began to ask me about taking direct action against a government figure.  Not only was I not interested in taking any action, I can guarantee you this was most likely a federal officer fishing for a case.  I will tell you that conservative groups interested in organizing for self defense (notice I don’t like the “M” word –  militia – for this very reason) are a long-time boogeyman of the FBI, ATF, and Homeland Security.  

While I don’t condone any unlawful activity, I also don’t see a reason to subject my group to federal surveillance unnecessarily, so I don’t get involved in, say, or plan things that would raise their interest, nor do I use any of the leftist platforms for any actual organizing, beyond meeting people.

The very first step, once you have identified people is vetting them for this very reason, as well as to keep people who ARE interested in illegal activities or racist activities from joining your group, and exposing you all to their ideas.  A great way to do this is to host a “meetup” at a public location, like a park, for a picnic-style meet and greet.  Talk to everyone in a group setting, establishing your expectations that nothing racist, violent, or illegal will even be contemplated.  Anyone who gets upset at this, is someone you don’t need.

After having a meal and chatting with everyone, collect contact information from anyone who might be an asset.  Set up at least one more group meeting, whittling down the members each time.  Check the social media posts of potential members, as these are great indicators of future behavior and attitudes, as well as in the unfortunate event that something happens, the media will tie your whole group to those posts.

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility,

Count others as more significant than yourselves.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests,

But also to the interests of others.

Phillipians 2:3-4

Establish from the outset that it is a mutual aid organization, above all else.  In a true Without Rule of Law situation, Lone Wolves will not survive long.  It will take a group of people, banded together for the common good, and for mutual aid.  Paul’s words to the Phillipians above is a great guiding principle.  If there is that “One Guy” who only wants to talk about how many expensive guns he has, replace him.  Preparedness is so much more than firearms ownership, yet it’s the most common thing discussed.

Develop a list of what skills everyone has and put the best person in each role.  Understand that the role you want may not be the role the GROUP needs you in….”Do nothing from conceit”, remember?  The GROUP is more important.  Skills trump gear every time and if I have sufficient skills, I can acquire whatever gear I need.

Think about what skills you bring to a group, and how best to present that.  Ask others who want to join what skill set they bring.  When, inevitably, someone says that they bring firearm skills, point out that while that’s necessary, EVERYONE is required to possess those skills, and that they need to present something else.  In the Dark World of the future, skill in arms will be a baseline requisite for everyone (much like the motto “Every Marine is a rifleman). 

Patriots

I liken this to the early days of America.  Every single person was a rifleman, in addition to whatever else they did.

Your group will need medics, more than it will need gunfighters.  

Ideally, you’ll have medical personnel, hunters, gatherers/salvage people, a mechanic or two, a woodworker, several farmers, a teacher (in the event there are children), a food preservation specialist (canning/drying), at least one radio operator (advanced) and any engineering skill set that may come in handy.  IT staff need not apply.  If the only skill someone brings is “security” or “infantry”, you may be able to apprentice them to someone, but more than likely, they are just an unproductive mouth to feed at group expense.  Having said that, you’ll need a supply/warehouse chief as well.

I’m not saying that watch-standing isn’t needed, you’ll need a 24-hour interior guard, which brings me to my next point…

Standing Watch

I will stand at my watch

And station myself on the ramparts…

Habakkuk 2:1a

So many groups want to focus on close quarter battle skills and infantry assault tactics, because let’s face it, they’re fun.  But the reality is that your group should be focused on SURVIVAL and SECURITY, not offensive action that you won’t really be taking.

Focus collective training on security skills.  Every member will need to know basic interior guard skills such as standing a post, reporting a post, challenging, and how to call out the guard (radio/alarm).  These skills have more practical use than planning to re-take your state capitol.

Security Patrolling

Security patrolling skills are essential.  By security patrolling, I mean a small detachment leaving your secure perimeter and quietly looking to see what’s going on around you.  These can be directed recon’s of a particular area (town or intersection), or just generally scouting around your perimeter, to make sure someone isn’t scouting you out.

Classic

Probably the best resource for this is USMC Manual “Scouting and Patrolling for Infantry Units”, or, even better, the original WW2 version of this written by Col Rex Applegate.

Another area of collective training should be first aid skills.  Those who read my blog regularly know that I bang the drum pretty hard on this, because in true WROL situation, EMS isn’t coming.  Training sessions should include practice time on dressing wounds and treating common injuries.

Everyone should have a specific regular assignment, as well as a security position.  Everyone is responsible for protecting the group, as well whatever their main role is.

Establish an emergency drill or security alert or general quarters bill (for those of us with Naval traditions) so that everyone knows exactly where to go when the alarm goes up.  Everyone rushing immediately to the area where a problem is is the last thing you want.  Medical staff should report to your designated medical area, and security staff should respond to their emergency post, not the incident site, as it could be a distraction.  Even if you don’t have a physical location, this drill must be set.  You can have a plan for this at a permanent site, a temporary camp, or while moving in a convoy.

The point is to establish a Standard Operating Procedure for every possible event, I was just using a security alert as a kicking off point.

Another example is the suggested SOP I offer of never stopping for a stranded motorist in a WROL situation.  While I agree that we must help our fellow man and be compassionate, the risk of an ambush set-up is too high.  SOP’s must be harsh to keep people safe.  In fact, I would recommend re-routing if your lead vehicle encounters this situation; as bad actors may trigger the ambush anyway once they see that you aren’t stopping.

Similarly, you should have an SOP for a lost member of your group, medical emergencies, contact with other groups, etc.

The most important first steps in organizing a group are to meet and vet potential members, organize everyone into groups based upon skill sets, establish a security plan and a security alert plan, and establish group SOP’s.  Note, these things should all be done by committee and democratically, with the exception of when responding to a security incident. 

I hope these ideas have spurred your thinking. 

How Civil Wars Start

First, let’s lose the idea that a Civil War will be some sort of noble quest.  It will be violent, brutal, and will destroy this nation forever.  But is there any other possibility at this point?

I will stir up Egyptian against Egyptian – 

Brother will fight against brother,

Neighbor against neighbor,

City against city,

Kingdom against kingdom”

Isaiah 19:2

The Ultimate Tactical Handbook (The Bible) paints a bleak picture of civil war in the Prophecy Against Egypt that Isaiah made, and it has never been inaccurate throughout human history.

Probably the most recent and best example we have of a civil war in a modern Western Nation is the example of The Ukraine.

Ukraine is the second largest nation in Europe, second only to Russia in size.  As far as population, the ethnic makeup is 77.8% Ukrainian, and 17.3% Russian.  This is relevant, as the percentages are similar to ethnic makeups in the US.  The Ukraine maintains the third-largest military in Europe, behind the Russian Federation and France.

On February 17th, 2014 a group called Right Sector (see flag below, does it look familiar?) called for protestors to flood the streets in a “Peace Offensive” and the Maidan People’s Union also called for a “Peace Offensive”, suggesting some coordination between groups (again…sounds familiar). 

Large groups turned out to protest the morning of February 18th, and by 10:30 AM, the protestors had seized several buildings.  Riot police counter-attacked around 11:30 and fighting continued all day, with many reports of snipers shooting civilians.  When they seized City Hall, the protestors beat a computer technician to death for resisting them.

The first day’s fighting saw 20 people killed.

The next morning, while everything downtown was closed, life was operating as normal throughout the rest of the city and country (normalcy bias).  Overnight, the death toll had risen to 26, 10 of those being police officers.  The Government declared that it was responding to an illegal attempt to seize power, a coup, and began using military forces.

Sporadic clashes continued all day, and the Ukranian Military increased security at it’s facilities throughout the country.  Both sides accused each other of employing Russian snipers against each other.  Throughout the day, 42 people were killed.

The government and the protestors reached a deal, but the most radical group, Right Sector (flying their red & black flags) refused to agree.

The President fled to Russia, and immediately Russian minority groups in the south and east of the country formed armed militias and began protesting.

On February 23rd, protestors tried to bring down the statue of Vladimir Lenin in Kharkiv, but it was being protected by Pro-Russian militias and clashes ensued (sound familiar?).  Of course, those militias were also called fascists by the opposition.

Protests and clashes between supporters of the revolutionary government and the loyalists to the Constitutional government continued daily until March 1, when the former President requested Russian military assistance and Vladimir Putin received Parliamentary authorization to use military force in the Ukraine.  Within 24 hours, Russia had seized complete control of Crimea, to “protect ethnic Russians”.

Pro-Russian Militias who supported the country’s Constitution rapidly seized power in Donetsk and Luhansk, and declared themselves as independent nations, and Russian military aid to the separatists was immediate.

The Ukraine has been in a state of Civil War ever since, refusing to accept Russia’s annexation of Crimea or the secession of Luhansk and Donetsk.

Then another horse came out, a fiery red one.

Its rider was given the power to take peace from the earth

And to make people kill each other.

To him was given a large sword.

Revelations 6:4

The similarities and parallels between the Maidan Revolution in the Ukraine and current events here are striking.  We have people targeting statues and we have both sides shooting each other on the streets.  We have “mostly peaceful protests” that are actually riots.  

Most importantly, we have an aggressive side that wants to abolish our Constitution waving the same red and black flags, and we have patriot militias, loyal to the Constitution, trying to defend buildings and statues, and being called fascists for it.

Life in The Ukraine

Quality of life in the Ukraine has gone down for everyone.  While life is nearly normal in most of the country, the country is at war and there is a constant risk of Russian attack.  There is active fighting and mass destruction in the south and east where the separatist governments are.  Rolling blackouts are common and in parts of the country, there is no electricity or running water and people are living off the land.

Make no mistake, as brutal as the fighting in the Ukraine was, a Civil War in the United States will be worse.  The cities will become war zones across the nation.  Autonomous Zones and enclaves will spring up, we already have the NFAC claiming large parts of the south as a black nation, and I’m certain that the residents there will oppose that.  

Every week, we are seeing escalations.  

Kenosha Fires

At the time of the Kyle Rittenhouse shooting, the situation in Kenosha could only be described as open warfare; any other description is window-dressing.

Since then, a Patriot Prayer member was executed simply for wearing a hat and we’ve had at least 4 police officers shot.  While I am typing this, the LAPD is searching for a sniper that fired on a Trump vehicle caravan in what can only be described as an ambush.

Stop pretending there isn’t a war already happening; it’s here.

Communications

Communications are vital to survival.  You need a way to find out what is going around you, as well as a way to communicate securely with members of your team.  The problem we have is that most modern methods of communications rely on grid power or a communications network existing.  In a true Without Rule of Law situation (WROL), that’s not a certainty.

Too many groups rely on cell phones or social media platforms to communicate, even in an emergency.

Here, we will discuss the pros and cons of several communication methods.

Cell Phones

Cell phones are convenient and quick methods to communicate.  They are also the biggest item in the surveillance capitalism business.  Businesses literally make millions of dollars selling information about your every move to anyone who wants to buy it.

Any more questions about cell phones?

In all seriousness, in any emergency, if the power is still on, the cell networks will be overloaded, making this mode unreliable.

I have a homemade Farady cage made from an ammo can lined with foam and foil, where my phone spends drive time.  When you are at home, your microwave makes an EXCELLENT Faraday cage.

You can also buy Faraday bags on Amazon cheap.

Zello App

The Zello App is a tool that turns your cell phone into a two-way radio.  It’s convenient, private, and relatively easy to use.

However, it has an odd quirk of limiting you from sending too many messages too quickly, which in a critical event, will be a hinderance.  

While it should work even if you can’t make actual phone calls, much like SMS, it does rely on the cell network having power, so it’s not exactly a true WROL tool.  It’s good for now, but isn’t a replacement for radio, yet many 3%, militia, and preparedness groups are using it as just that.

Radio – VHF/UHF

You can pick up high quality VHF/UHF radios relatively cheap.  Stay away from the department or sporting good stores bubble pack radios, as those are generally very limited in power and range (generally 0.5 Watts).  A good, low cost radio is the BaoFeng.  They offer many models with 8 Watts of power and you can program 127 channels in them very easily ( I use CHIRP software).

Many people warn against buying BaoFeng radios, saying they are made in China.  Nearly all radios are.  You can spend more for a Japanese radio with less features, but why?  I’m not looking to share national security information, I just want to talk to my team. As far as reliability, I actually use my BaoFeng BF-8HP at work rather than using the Kenwood radios we have there, and I’ve been using the same one for about 5 years.

In addition to a few BaoFeng handhelds, I also have a QYT 25 Watt 200 channel mobile radio in  my car with an external magnetic antenna.  I use it for work on a daily basis and while low cost, it’s very high quality for my purposes.

I have mine programmed with the FRS/GMRS frequencies, so that I can talk to others I encounter on it, or in a true grid-down disaster, I could just call out on frequencies that are very commonly used to gather news and information.

I also have the MURS (Multi-Use Radio Service) frequencies programmed in.  MURS is a license-free system available for anyone to use, and many businesses do.  That’s the push-back I get from most militia groups, “Walmart uses them”…But if a true disaster happens, I assure you that I probably won’t have to worry about traffic from Walmart or the local TJ Maxx store and neither will you.

Many people point out that these radios can violate FCC regulations by broadcasting at a higher power level than allowed on certain frequencies.  I assure you that in a true WROL situation, the FCC is the least of my worries and I doubt they’ll be running around my bug out rural area looking for radiated power violations.

Another common concern is security.  Many groups say that they want radios that can be encrypted.  While that’s a fair point, and I have 2 Kenwood radios that have encryption, I promise you two things:

  1. The US Government won’t let anyone sell a radio to civilians that they can’t already break the encryption on.
  2. Your local ANTIFA, BLM, or Leroy Jenkins gang isn’t running a COMINT decryption cell.

For radio security, first, don’t mention common channel names.  Give the channels a different name, rather than their commercial name.  For example, you could call FRS channel 3 “MAIN”, instead of FRS 3, so that when you tell someone to meet you on the MAIN channel, the opposition would have to guess where you went.

The second thing is use good COMSEC and develop code words.  I know, I’m about to get 50 comments….Yes, codes violate FCC rules.  Again, I’ll say that if there is a civil war, or massive disaster, I doubt that a guy calling a gas station a green box is going to be too high on the FCC priorities.  

Here’s what the Ultimate Tactical Handbook says about codes:

Whoever guards his mouth, preserves his life;

He who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

Proverbs 13:3

Even King David knew that sharing your information too widely would lead to disaster.

CB Radio

Every time I bring up CB Radio, I get a bunch of amateur radio guys rolling their eyes at me and saying “CB is dead”.  I say GOOD, for our purposes, that means that there are 40 channels available (120 with an SSB radio) for us to use in the HF band.

CB operates in HF, which gives you longer range in all but urban terrain.  It’s certainly a good option and requires no license.

I have a handheld CB (Uniden Pro401-HH) and for my purposes, patrolling in a rural area or convoy operations on the road, CB is perfect.  I’m looking for a good price on an SSB vehicle radio. 

Yes, truckers use Channel 19 still.  That gives you 39 other channels that are almost never used.  Why not use them? And, by the way, truckers are a FANTASTIC intelligence source and are very aware of law enforcement activity.

Amateur Radio

Some will question why I mentioned this last, I assure you it’s not because it’s my last option.  It’s a great medium for talking long-distance and has been used throughout history to share information during emergencies over long distances.

It requires a license and it’s certainly worth researching for you.  It opens a whole new world of communication possibilities.  There are repeaters set up for common use (but again…power is required), and a great community to talk to and learn from.

The only drawback to it is the reason why I don’t use it.  You are required to register with the government to use it, and the Libertarian in me just flat out refuses to add myself to another government list.

Under the Defense Production Act, the government could decide it needs your radios in an emergency…guess how they’ll find good quality radios?  They’ll start with the list of people who registered with them as radio operators.

AMRRON

The American Redoubt Radio Operators Network (www.amrron.com) is great resource and I’m a member there.  For members, they issue a full Signal Operating Instructions book full of resources for people interested in emergency communications in a WROL situation, including a network of people in your state, and a complete reporting and code format for you to use.

Check them out.

Channel 3 Project

The Channel 3 Project is an AMMRRON idea that says that you monitor or call out on Channel 3 of whichever system you use (CB-3, FRS-3, and MURS-3) for 2 minutes every hour at the top of the hour.  

Let’s say I was traveling through an area in a WROL situation, and I needed to know conditions in the next town I was arriving at.  I could call out on Channel 3 and make contact with a like-minded person in that area who can give me a briefing and maybe even an escort, or assistance.

It’s a great idea and a great SOP to set up.

I hope this article gave you a few ideas to help you plan for communications in a WROL situation.

The Speed of Life

Yesterday afternoon, around 5 PM, people in Kenosha were doing what everyone does on a Sunday afternoon.  Visiting family, cooking on the grill, maybe visiting with friends.

By 6 hours later, the city was a dystopian nightmare, with gangs of roving looters and people committing random acts of violence.  I listened as the police reported that they were trapped in the HQ building, and protestors were pouring gasoline around the building.  Garbage trucks and car dealerships were burned down, there were multiple calls of retail employees barricading themselves in backrooms while the stores were looted.  A complete breakdown of law and order.

What a difference 6 hours can make.  A few weeks ago, I wrote a story about how entire countries can devolve in 72 hours.  That’s not helpful information if you die in the first 6 hours because you weren’t prepared.

Now, first, understand that I’m not going to discuss the shooting that touched all of this off, nor discuss the motivations of the various factions involved, because none of that matters to you.  What matters is what you can do to be prepared for a situation like this.

In the military, we use a five paragraph operations order format to address any situation and it’s just as applicable here.  That format is:

  1. Situation
  2. Mission
  3. Execution
  4. Administration
  5. Command (and signals)
SMEAC means – Situation, Mission, Execution, Administration and Logistics, Command and Signal

Situation

We must first correctly understand the situation.  Tensions in the country are at an all time high.  Every small incident, no matter how justified, is magnified to the 100th degree and used as a reason for people to get into the streets and act wild.

So, for our purposes, the situation is that the potential exists for violent riots with little or no notice at the present time, regardless of your location.

Understand that this situation EXISTS, and it doesn’t matter one bit why or how justified/authentic the tensions are.  We aren’t here for a political debate or a debate about any particular incident, all that matters is that the tensions are there and you can do NOTHING to change them.

This is a common issue in preparedness; everyone wants to dispute the validity of the tensions or the validity of one position or the other, and that really is IRRELEVANT to our stated MISSION of survival (see how I tied that to our next point).

Mission

Our mission is to be prepared to defend ourselves, and our homes if necessary.  

You may also have an implied mission of retrieving a loved one from a work or school location and getting them home, as well as getting yourself home.

Let’s discuss what the mission IS NOT.  The mission IS NOT going out and fighting off the hordes from the police station.  The mission IS NOT going out and hunting down the leader of the local Leroy Jenkins gang (at least not on the first night).

Your mission, when an unexpected riot breaks out is DEFENSE.  Offense MAY come later, but not necessarily.

Execution

Here’s the part you’ve been waiting for…what to do now to be ready.  We have two separate parts…what to do to prepare, and what to do to respond when an incident occurs.

Prepare

  1. Ensure that all vehicles are kept full of gasoline.  Gasoline sales are frequently severely restricted in areas where a riot is occurring or has occurred.
  2. Ensure that you have enough fresh food in your house for at least 7 days.  I say fresh, because with the exception of Portland, riots are a temporary thing, and you don’t want to break out your long term survival food if you don’t have to.
  3. Buy water.  I don’t care if you have 4 cases right now, you’re underestimating how much water you’ll need, and you can always use more water.
  4. Restock and redistribute first aid kits.  Every car should have one, I carry one in my laptop bag as well.  You can’t have too many.
  5. Double check fire extinguishers.  If you don’t have one at home, and one in each car, buy them.  They are way less expensive than insurance deductibles.
  6. Have enough personal hygiene supplies on hand (toothpaste, razors, soap).  No, I did NOT say go and buy 147 rolls of toilet paper.
  7. Raise alert levels in your tribe.  Ensure that everyone understands the risk level and is being aware in their daily travels. 
  8. Update all of your emergency plans.  Many people make them once at that’s it.  Planning is a constant process and your plans should be updated to reflect areas prone to disturbance, current construction, political climate, and road closures.   
  9. Do something everyday to make yourself harder to kill.  I stole this one from fitness expert Drew Baye (www.baye.com).  Doing anything to work on your fitness is better than eating Cheetos and watching YouTube ultra-cool guy training videos of things you’ll never do.
  10. Gather intelligence.  Start tracking local protest groups and personalities.  Knowing who to look out for is vital.
  11. Don’t get complacent, this threat isn’t going away anytime soon, regardless of the election results.

Respond

  1. Once an incident occurs, immediately execute whatever plan you have, whether it’s bug in or bug out.  Do NOT adopt a “well, let’s wait and see” attitude.  If you bug out, and you didn’t need to, you can always come back.  The same may not be true if you stay in place longer than you should.
  2. Avoid the affected area, if possible.  As my friend Rob says (www.robsays.net), practice Don’t-Be-There-Jitsu, or the art of self defense by not going places you shouldn’t.
  3. Limit movement, but not the ability to move.  There are two corollaries that both contradict and complement each other in combat.  The first is that movement attracts attention, usually unwanted attention.  The second is that movement is life.  Stay inside and secure until you have to move, then move quickly and confidently.
  4. Don’t flaunt preparedness.  Don’t tell people about all the cool gear and food you have.  I maintain that morality is a sliding scale.  What is moral today is different that what’s moral when you haven’t eaten for 3 days or your kids haven’t.  On day 9 of a power outage, don’t be outside grilling steaks because you have a freezer hooked up to a solar panel.
  5. Be armed everywhere you go during an actual crisis.  The police aren’t going to be concerned with you if you aren’t looting and you may need the weapons.
  6. Maintain a 24 hour watch schedule.  Someone should always be awake and watching.
  7. Know where every member of your tribe is and ensure that you are checking on each other.  A dry erase status board helps here.
  8. Utilize GOTWA if someone needs to go somewhere.  GOTWA is a very basic contingency plan for when someone leaves a secured area:
    1. G – Going: Where you are going specifically
    2. O – Others: Who is going with you
    3. T – Time: Time of estimated return
    4. W – What: What actions to take if you don’t return
    5. A – Actions: Actions to take if you are engaged or if the group left behind is engaged.
  9. Beyond these basics, implement whatever plan you have set up for your family/group/tribe.
The amount of time he plans to be gone! The actions taken if the leader does not return! The unit’s and the leaders actions on chance contact with the enemy! GOTWA is a 5 point contingency plan. Before a unit separates a contingency plan needs to be addressed.

Administration

In your administration section, make sure know what you have and where.  As part of this paragraph, I keep every piece of gear in a module that can be picked up.  For example, I have food modules that are each about a week’s worth of food in a small bag that can be thrown in a vehicle or backpack.  First aid kits are also modules, and my extra first aid is in a backpack that doubles as a …you guessed it…first aid kit.  

I have a gun cleaning module, observation module (binoculars/night vision), camping module, fire starting module, etc.

Administration is keeping the supplies you need organized and ready.

Administration also entails everyone knowing the plan, and everyone reporting their location.  Whether it’s your family, friends, mutual assistance group, or militia, you all need daily updates on each other’s locations and intentions for that day, so that you will know if someone needs help.

Command & Signals

This how you will let everyone know that the plan is in effect and how to communicate afterward.  We have become so over-reliant on cell phones, that many preparedness and militia groups have migrated fully to platforms like Zello, which is an excellent cell phone radio app, but what if the power is out?  What if the leftist tech-giants lock you out in an emergency?

I alway recommend PACE:

P – Primary 

A – Alternate

C – Contingency

E – Emergency

Have four different ways to communicate.  This could be as simple as cellphone, Zello, VHF/UHF radio, and CB radio.  

I lean heavily toward radios, because I use them every day professionally and they aren’t reliant on any other medium to communicate.  Yes, they are limited in range, but that can be planned for.

Another part to this is SOP’s or Standard Operating Procedures. Everyone in your tribe should know the plan for if the power goes out, or a riot is declared.  If everyone knows that the SOP is then to immediately meet at a central location, then you don’t have a need to communicate to everyone, just go.  Then, after a set period of time, you can go looking, in strength, for the stragglers.

Make sure you have a pre-arranged communications plan, including any radio instructions/schedules.  The American Redoubt Radio Operators Network (www.amrron.com) can help with that.  They also developed the Channel 3 Project (see images below).

Conclusion

I hope these ideas and the format help you devise more effective plans and get you up to speed on the current risk level.  Complacency and normalcy bias are getting people hurt.

Let me know if you have any ideas below.

Facing Reality

Today, 3% and Militia groups made appearances in Portland, Louisville, and in Virginia.  It’s time to face reality about our movement and take quick corrective action.

In Virginia, Militia and 3% groups marched to oppose new guns laws proposed by the State Legislature.  This one appeared well-organized and disciplined, however, as a Marine, I have to speak about professionally wearing uniforms.  

When you are conducting an operation, that may result in conflict, such as an armed march, everyone wearing combat fatigues of any type, should be required to have the sleeves fully rolled down and secured.  The reason is that during operations, there are a lot of harmful things flying through the air and if you have to jump into a hedgerow, you’ll be grateful for sleeves.

This current trend “cool-guy” look of rolling up the cuffs once or twice is ridiculous and not very practical.  It also opens your professional militia group to ridicule by the media.  

In the group that marched, while they did well, I saw a mix of people in full combat gear and some people in jeans & T shirts.  Mandate a uniform of the day, one way or the other.  That’s the ONLY positive mark I give to Grandmaster Jay and the NFAC boys, they ALL show up in uniform.

The best mark of the day goes to this group, because at one point, as they began to march down the road, the police stopped them and ordered them up onto the sidewalk, and the militia refused.  They should have.  

The police never demand that BLM or ANTIFA get up on the sidewalk.  They only confronted our side, because we are generally law-abiding and more likely to comply with law enforcement.  We need to do more of this, forcing the police and local governments to treat us the same as they treat the leftists.

In Louisville, things went downhill.  The same group that showed up to oppose the NFAC arrived.  

I’m only going to say this one time.  If you want to be taken seriously, as a paramilitary organization, you CANNOT ALLOW your personnel to arrive at an operation in shorts and t-shirts.  JUST STOP IT.  You showed up with personnel in combat fatigues, yet you allowed guys in shorts and t-shirts to join your formation.  CLOWNS.  Even the NFAC doesn’t.

This group showed up, allegedly planning on marching, but then they never left the parking lot.  They didn’t seem have any actual plan and never really took action.

This is my biggest problem with most 3% or militia groups.  I’ve gone to events with some, and attending training with others.  Most of the groups just give a date and time to show up for “training” and everyone shows up and stands around talking for the first hour, arguing over over the plan the next hour, conducts a rambling lecture and maybe finally goes for a hike or shooting for about an hour, before getting back together for food and drinks to end the day.

Then, when you show up for an ACTUAL OPERATION, without a real plan, the media watching you can tell you have no plan, and they will mock you mercilessly as backwards country people, which is exactly what they are doing tonight.  Even Ford Fisher, an independent media personality who supports our side, was mocking this group today.

But I haven’t even gotten to the part that sent me screaming through the office today.

When it began to rain in Louisville today, the hard-core militia group broke ranks and sprinted to their vehicles, seeking cover from the rain.  Now, the media filming them didn’t and they had a great time covering this mercilessly.

Hear me out….If you stop conducting an operation because of LIGHT RAIN, how do you possibly expect to fight a war, defend your town, or whatever?  Are you going ask the Chinese or UN troops to come back on a better weather day?  

I will give this to the leftists….they are in the streets every day, rain or shine, heat or cold.

These guys deserve to be mocked.  Seriously….How do you propose to defend or reclaim your nation, which is what you claim your purpose is, if you will ONLY do it as long as you can be comfortable?  

“Sorry, General Washington, I hear it’s going to be a particularly cold winter here in Valley Forge.  I’ve got a new series to binge-watch on Netflix.”

They also, for fratricide avoidance, I suppose (I hear Louisville is RIFE with friendly fire incidents), put runner’s green reflective bands on both arms.  Imagine how ridiculous it is to have a team in ultra-Tacti-Cool Multi-Cam uniforms, with bright green bands on both arms.  I get the idea, but a better way is all wear the same gear in the same fashion, with the same patch.  Some might say that is the entire point of calling it a UNIFORM.

A bigger threat with this is that the item they used for a recognition flash is readily available at every store that carries sporting goods.  If I wanted to commit a false flag attack and blame it on your group, I just had to pop into a store and spend $5.  

After surviving the brutal rain deluge, the group left the area and gathered for pizza, allowing the media to film them eating pizza in a parking lot.  Yes, really.

At the other end of the country, in Portland, right wing groups squared off against ANTIFA.  The police rapidly vanished and very publicly stated that two large opposing groups fighting was beyond their capability to control, so they were just going to withdraw and let the groups “sort it out”.  

Yes, really.  But more about that tomorrow.

After initially pushing ANTIFA back due to the sheer shock of an opposing group appearing, the alleged militia and Proud Boys groups were then driven away by ANTIFA, into headlong retreat.

You know why that happened?  BECAUSE THEY UNDERESTIMATED ANTIFA.

I’ve been warning against that for months.  ANTIFA has over 2 months of combat experience fighting the US Marshal Service and the DHS and they learn every week.  They are organized and committed.

The second reason is that our side is reluctant to break the law and use severe violence.  ANTIFA has no such aversion to violence.  There’s a lesson in there.

LESSONS LEARNED

So, how do we salvage anything from this?

Well, first, we had a win in Virginia, so we accept it.

We need to apply the following lessons learned:

  1. You are either a para-military group or not; demand professionalism.
  2. Establish uniform requirements.  It develops teamwork and esprit de corps as well.
  3. Set a uniform of the day and ENFORCE IT.
  4. Establish a standard recognition device such as a unit patch.
  5. Plan ahead.  This applies to training and actual operations.
  6. Stop backing down.
  7. Understand that preserving your freedom might actually require you to be less than perfectly comfortable sometimes.  This is why we don’t fight as well.  Too lazy.
  8. Understand that violence may be necessary.
  9. If you aren’t willing to use violence against your fellow man in advancement of our cause, then kindly stay home and go back to being a Twitter Warrior.
  10. Stop underestimating the opposition.
  11. Get off the couch and into the field.
  12. Don’t let the media make video that they can use to mock you, and certainly don’t invite them along.

The Morality of Self Defense

One night, a good friend and I were discussing the escalating situation, and since we were walking out of Bible study, he said how can we justify killing in self defense, or, in a larger context, justify civil war, especially against people who might call themselves fellow Christians.

Granted, this conversation was months ago, pre-canonization of St. George of Floyd, and just prior to the lockdown.

For me, this is a simple issue, yet for others I understand how it can cause conflict.  I’m going to discuss the general morality of it, as well as a Biblical justification.

The first pushback most people present to our side is the claim that Moses brought down from God a command, Thou Shalt Not Kill (Exodus 20:17).  That’s a gross mis-characterization.  The actual literal translation comes out to “Thou Shalt Not Murder”.  There’s a difference between killing and murder.  If God had meant not to kill at all, then He wouldn’t have commanded Joshua to kill his enemies and put their heads on poles in front of the city (Yes, that cool battle story is in the Bible).

As a legal concept, nearly every civilization and culture has recognized the ultimate right to self-preservation, and have not considered killing in self-defense to be murder.

From even Biblical times, war has also been set apart from murder.  If you truly read the stories in the Bible (which are cool adventures), rather than just listening to sermons, you’ll find countless times that God himself ordered Moses, Joshua, David, Nehemiah, and dozens of others to wage war, and destroy the enemy’s will to fight by being merciless and destroying their resources.

In the 1930s and 1940s, Germany was a majority Christian nation.  Do you feel like God would have wanted us to allow them to continue unopposed?

Rescue those being led away to death,

Hold back those staggering towards slaughter.

Proverbs 24:11

Rescue the weak and the needy;

Deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

Psalms 82:4

Those 2 verses seem to definitely authorize force in the defense of others.  

In fact, in Exodus 2:11-12, we see Moses doing just that.  We can all agree that Moses was a good man, can’t we?  Moses came upon an Egyptian overseer beating an Israeli slave.  The overseer would have been the modern-equivalent of a police officer, I suppose.  Moses killed the overseer, and then hid the body.  I’d think that if God didn’t approve of the killing of an oppressor by the oppressed, they would have left that story out and Moses would have been punished, not exalted.

But what about in defense of your home?

When a strong man, fully armed,

Guards his own house,

His possessions are safe.

Luke 11:21

If a thief is caught breaking in at night

And is struck a fatal blow,

The defender is not guilty of bloodshed

Exodus 22:2

Well, seems clear.  Defending your home is fully justified.  

At this point, most people bring up the “Yeah, but Jesus said turn the other cheek” argument.  That’s taking Jesus 100% literally, which is not the way Jesus spoke.  He spoke in parables and circular turns of phrase.  The “turn the other cheek” also has to be taken in context.  He was discussing “en eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” in the same sentence, and He was simply saying don’t take VENGEANCE.  Defending yourself isn’t vengeance.

If Jesus truly didn’t want people to defend themselves, how can you then explain His actions in making a homemade whip and then chasing the money changers out of the Temple?  He was taking offensive action there.  Jesus wants you to stand up against injustice and regularly commented this. Jesus was a man of righteous action, not a timid appeaser.

Like a muddied spring or a polluted well

Are the righteous who give way to the wicked.

Proverbs 25:26

Appeasement of wickedness and evil only gets you more wickedness and evil.  That’s what we’re seeing right now.  The rioters were trying to burn down Portland and demanded we withdraw the federal agents, and when we did, they just kept on burning buildings and have expanded into the neighborhoods.  

That’s the exact same lesson that the Western World learned when Neville Chamberlain appeased the evil of Adolf Hitler by consenting to the surrender of Czechoslovakia.  How’d that work out?  

Never give way to the wicked.

But how does God feel about carrying weapons?  I’m glad you asked….

David said to his men “each of you strap on your sword!”

So they did, and David strapped his on as well.

1 Samuel 25:13a

“…If you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak & buy one”

Luke 22:36b

There you have it.  You should be armed.  

In the Book of Nehemiah (or as I call him, the Father of Combat Engineers), Nehemiah mentions dozens of times that he and his men were armed at all times, even when sleeping, eating, and working, because they were surrounded by people hostile to their cause.  Sound familiar?

In Mark 6, Jesus sent the disciples out on a mission, telling them “take nothing for the journey, except for a staff”.  In those days, a staff was common self defense weapon.  Even Jesus wouldn’t send His boys out into the field unarmed.  He wanted them to be able to defend themselves.  That’s also why He told them to sell their cloaks and buy swords.

In District of Columbia v Heller (2008), the Supreme Court ruled that self-defense is an inherent right and is inherently justified.  It also held that the Second Amendment guarantees you the right to defend yourself with firearms, and that you don’t have to keep them in a locked state; you may keep them ready to use at all times.

In conclusion, the right to self defense has existed throughout history, and is morally justified by Judeo-Christian morality.  The defense of your home and others is also inherently moral, as is the carrying of weapons.

Go forth and defend thyselves, my disciples.

Increasing Escalations

I really hate being a guy who keeps saying I told you so, but….I really did tell you so.

A couple of weeks ago, I put out a post titled “Organizing a Tribe”.  In that article, I warned that militia and 3% groups are far too reliant on platforms that hate them, such as FaceBook, and that was causing a huge organizational risk for militias.  

Today, FaceBook conducted a massive purge of militia and 3% groups, some ANTIFA-related groups, and many right-wing pages, such as The Silent Majority private group.

It’s not a good strategic move to rely on your opposition for your communications and organizational backbone.

Another I-told-you-so was about the left arriving prepared to commit violence.  I pointed out that my personal observations from getting out among them included seeing more of them armed and a majority in body armor.

This weekend, everywhere across the country, ANTIFA & BLM showed up in body armor and committed a lot of violence, set a lot of fires, and caused a lot of chaos.  

I’ve been warning you about getting trapped in your vehicle inside of a protest and I gave a lot of advice on how to learn what is planned in your area and to NEVER STOP YOUR CAR.  This weekend, a guy stopped his car to help someone when he accidentally got caught inside a protest, tried to get moving again, and they caused him to crash.  They pulled him from his vehicle, stole his stuff, and beat him nearly to death.

Marquise Love

Portland Police are currently looking for Marquise “Keese” Love, because despite receiving multiple 911 calls, the police didn’t respond to the attack, just like I said….THE POLICE ARE NOT COMING TO HELP YOU.

The prudent see danger & take refuge,

But the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

Proverbs 27:12

I know I keep using that same piece of Tactical Wisdom From the Bible, but y’all aren’t getting the point.

The reason these I-Told-You-So situations keep happening is that despite my warnings and those of several others, everyone still has normalcy bias and keep saying “We have to win the election to stop this!!”

What exactly is winning the election going to do?  Is Donald Trump not currently the President?  Are the ANTIFA & BLM idiots going to just say “aw, shucks” and go away?  Get real, it’s going to get WORSE.

That’s enough of the I-Told-You-So, but let’s please start acting like things are getting dangerous, OK?

INTERESTING OBSERVATION

About 3 weeks ago, I noticed that the local ANTIFA at the events I was attending in Detroit handed out red placards/stickers with large red numbers on them, so that they could identify each other over the radio by number, rather than by name.  I found it interesting and reported on it in my blog and to a few militia groups in the area.

A few days ago, Bacon from www.thegoddamnbacon.com reported seeing the EXACT SAME NUMBERS on ANTIFA vehicles in SEATTLE.  I had him send me photos, and the numbers appear to be the same.  We also received reports of them in St Louis.

What does this tell us?  There is a national-level coordination on issues of security organization and communications security.  That is a HUGE indicator of an escalation and intent to continue to escalate.

If the enemy is upping their coordination and comsec, shouldn’t you?

ACTIONABLES

I can’t say it enough, attend local protests and observe.

Attend some, but use a radio or scanner to identify the radio frequencies that ANTIFA is using.  You will learn a lot that will absolutely open your eyes.  They are actively conducting counter-surveillance.  The way I locate them is by using the scan function on a Baofeng radio pre-programmed with FRS/GMRS/MURS frequencies, as well as the standard frequencies that BF-888 radios come programmed with.  You’ll find them in a few minutes.

Now, several people commented on one of my posts about reporting them to the FCC.  That’s a silly idea, because you can gather tons of intel by just letting them talk.  As Sun Tzu said:

Never interrupt your enemy

When he is making a mistake.

Don’t toss your advantage away by reporting them or by sending “spoof” transmissions over their frequencies…just listen and document the intelligence.  If you interrupt their transmission, they’ll  switch channels and you’ll have to start over.

Take photos of vehicles clearly involved and record license plates, developing a persons of interest list.  Know your enemy.

I’ll say it again…track local agitators and BLM organizations on FaceBook, and check them every single day.  This way, you won’t find yourself trapped inside a protest while driving.

If you live an area where protests are frequent, make sure you have emergency gear in your car, including an escape and evasion kit.  An E & E kit should contain a change of clothes, either a reversible jacket or a hoodie, and a couple of hats, along with a GPS/compass, a paper map, and some food and water.  I keep mine in a plain black backpack.

As fitness expert Drew Baye (www.baye.com) reminds me daily, do something everyday to make yourself harder to kill.  That doesn’t mean you have be in top shape, just DO SOMETHING.  Literally anything is better than nothing.  

Train.  Now, when I say train, everyone says “YEAH!” and runs out to the local shooting range and shoots 100 rounds at a stationary sheet of paper in slow fire, because that’s all the range allows.  Get out of this mindset.  Learn tactical skills, not just shooting.  The ability to conduct observation is far more important than shooting skill.  Communication skills…train with your mutual assistance group on radio or Zello protocols.  Learn to drive in a convoy.  Learn to conduct a security patrol or an urban gray-man surveillance/recon.  Learn escape and evasion.

More importantly, learn unarmed self defense skills.  No, attending a self-defense class once isn’t enough.  Earning your green belt isn’t enough.  Even earning a black belt isn’t enough, if you don’t continue to train.  I have a second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do, and am certified as a KyoSaNim (instructor), while working on my third degree belt.  I’m also a Krav Maga instructor and train in it a few days a week.  I’ve also started working on a Hapkido black belt.  Constant training keeps the skills fresh.  Remember also though, that theoretical martial arts doesn’t make you invincible, just more aware & capable.

The most important actionable isn’t what you SHOULD do, it’s what you should STOP DOING.  Stop assuming that this will get better somehow.  COVID isn’t going away (the governors love their new powers), the civil unrest isn’t going to stop, and no magical secret spy group is going to swoop in and rescue the world.  Prepare to defend yourself and your family, because before this is over, you’re going to have to.

What do you have to lose if I’m wrong?  You’ve picked up some more skills, a little extra food & water, and are in better shape, while also being more aware.  But, sadly, I’m not wrong.  

Go back and review my old post and check my predictions.  Not one has been wrong.  I literally predicted the Rashard Brooks shooting to the exact day it occurred.

Be alert & of sober mind;

Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion,

Looking for someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

Prepare. Train. Remain Aware.

Route Planning/Recon

One the best things you can do now, before a Without Rule of Law situation begins, is to conduct route planning and reconnaissance.

The basic principle is that you should have four different routes to and from everywhere you go on a regular basis.  When conducting a personal protection mission, the first step is route planning.

Route planning consists of identifying these four routes, then determining where the risk lies along that route, where safe havens are, where you can exit that route.

It’s important to note that route planning is very different when there is Rule of Law in place and when there is NOT Rule of Law.  For example, during normal day-to-day routines in a western nation, police stations and hospitals are natural safe havens, where you can find assistance and protection; however in a WROL (Without Rule of Law) situation like widespread rioting, they are the exact opposite…places to be avoided at all cost.

It may seem extreme, but as my good Twitter friend “Skip Collapsitarian” keeps reminding us, the Collapsitarian Olympics begin the day after the election.  There WILL BE widespread civil disorder in the weeks following the election, regardless of who wins.  States are already filing lawsuits to extend vote count days.  Prepare accordingly.

Discretion will protect you,

And understanding will guard you.

Proverbs 2:11

Discretion is the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation; understanding is knowing and applying that decision.  Based on that, Proverbs 2:11 tells you it’s best to plan ahead.

“Understanding will guard you” also means that we need to lose the normalcy bias that all will be better after the election.  It hasn’t gotten better for the last 4 years, what makes you think one day will put the genie back in the bottle?

The four routes that you should plan are:

  1. Primary
  2. Alternate
  3. Contingency
  4. Emergency

As you can see, the likelihood of you having to use each route goes down as you work your way down the list. PACE is a good way to remember them. PACE everything you do.

The primary and alternate routes should utilize major travel arteries, but preferably not highways, because protestors frequently obstruct them, and in a true WROL emergency, highways will be closed to all but emergency traffic (that’s the actual purpose of the highway system).  Contingency and emergency routes should use secondary streets and possibly even alleys, if you know that they are passable.

Once you have selected the routes, you need to do two things.

First, conduct a Map Recon.  A map recon is looking over a map, preferably paper, and identifying areas that may cause issues.  These areas include major intersections, areas with known congestion, high crime areas, etc.  The map study should also identify potential safe havens.  During normal operations, that would involve listing hospitals (including what level trauma center they are – You need level 1 for gunshot wounds), fire stations, police stations, and the like.  During WROL situations, a safe haven may be a known friendly position, a known government checkpoint, or an area previously decided on by your mutual aid group as a place to hide and wait for assistance (a safe house).  You also want to highlight no-go zones, such as areas of high crime, known construction zones, and the like.  These both apply in a WROL scenario, but you would add police stations, grocery stores, government facilities, pharmacies, and known areas of violence to the no-go list.

Route Recon

Second, you are going want to drive all four routes, conducting a route recon.  This involves actually driving the roads, noting areas of congestion, construction, areas where an attack may occur, and you may find paths you couldn’t see on a map (never discount driving along the alley behind a strip mall – it’s a concealed route and generally empty).

When doing both of these things, it is helpful to make a map overlay, or to write directly on the map this information (I prefer an overlay for security reasons – it can be destroyed and only you know what map it applies to).  You can list and highlight these various areas on the map with your own symbols or obtain a copy of NATO standard map symbols (my preference).

Battle Board Scout

I also use my BattleBoard Scout 4.0 for this – It has a polycarbonate window for exactly this purpose.  The BattleBoard products (www.battleboard.us) also usually have a LocSac, which is a waterproof cover that you can write on with dry or wet erase markers.  I prefer wet erase, because the information won’t be accidentally wiped away.  As an expedient tool, you can also do this with a standard sheet protector.  I also have a government issue Map Protector, which is a large format waterproof bag you zip a map into that you can write on.

After the map study and route recon, you may make adjustments to your routes based on what you learned.  There is absolutely NO SUBSTITUTE for putting your own eyes on things.  Yes, Google Maps has cool satellite mapping, but those photos aren’t looking at the same things you want to see, and they are conditions AS THEY WERE the day the photo was taken, not today.

After designing these routes, and then putting them into practice on your daily routine, remember every 60-90 days to re-run recon on your other routes, as conditions may have changed, requiring you to plan a new route.

Even Sun Tzu spoke about route recon thousands of years ago:

EARTH comprises distances, great and small;

danger and security; open ground and narrow passes;

the chances of life and death. 

The Art of War

Chapter 1; Verse 8

In addition to planning these for my frequent locations, I did an entirely separate planning sequence for my emergency egress from home to my bug-out location, and emergency routes from the office to home.  When planning bug-out routes, you definitely want to AVOID major arteries and use back roads as much as possible, because everyone will be trying to leave the area at the same time.  

Consider also planning on-foot only routes, understanding that there are many areas that you can access and traverse on foot, that you can’t by vehicle.  As an example, my house is in a subdivision right off a major artery, but by walking down the railroad tracks a bit, and following the utility line road, I can cross the major artery away from an intersection into a park trail system.  That trail system leads all the way through the suburban area and into a rural zone, where things will be less dangerous.

You may be thinking, this is a lot of work.  Yes.  It certainly is.  Military units have entire planning cells who do this full time, but you don’t.  You have to do the work.  Tackle it a bit at a time, and maybe start with the urgent needs first (bug out route).  You need to do it now, while you have time.

Plans are established by seeking advice;

So if you wage war, obtain guidance.

Proverbs 20:18

Ask others for their input.  This can be informal information gathering, such as talking to the gas station attendant at an intersection, or the Department of Public Works, or it can be open-source intelligence gathering, like reviewing the police department’s crime maps online, or searching newspaper archives for local crime stories along the route.

Sam Culper at Forward Observer (www.fowardobserver.com) offers information on conducting an Area Study on his website, I highly recommend his information.

The most important point is to gather information and make plans now, time may be running drastically short.

NZ – A Cautionary Tale

It is for freedom’s sake that Christ has set us free.

Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves

Be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

Galatians 5:1

That stern warning from Paul was written nearly 2000 years ago, yet here we are again, with Nations born from a Judeo-Christian tradition, going down the path to subservience to the State.

Today, I want to discuss the situation in New Zealand, and explain why it’s a caution to us all.

First and foremost, on the two biggest freedom issues of our time, firearms and the COVID-19 crisis, the left has held up New Zealand, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern specifically, as the shining example.

Let’s begin with some facts.  The left is holding them up as a shining example of how to beat COVID-19, because their number are low.  If we’re being realistic, the first fact to point out is that their population is around 5 million, which about half that of the State of Michigan.  In fact, 23 states have populations larger that New Zealand.

The fact that New Zealand is small string of islands thousands of miles away from anything of any importance also helps.  

Politically, New Zealand has always been exceedingly liberal.  The first liberal party victory was in 1891, and they were the first organized political party on the islands.  They were the first nation to grant women the right to vote in 1893.  During the Great Depression, New Zealand, much like the US, created a massive welfare system.

Jacinda Ardern

Jacinda Ardern is the country’s third female Prime Minister.

In the immediate aftermath of the ChristChurch massacre in 2019, a ban on semi-automatic rifles and any magazine over 10 rounds was passed 119-1.

New Zealand gun law requires people to have a lawful, proper, and sufficient purpose to use, carry, or discharge a firearm, and the burden of proof is on the PERSON, not the STATE.  The problem with that is that “sufficient purpose” is subjective. What is sufficient to me, mostly likely isn’t to Nanny Jacinda.

When the ban went into effect, the American firearm lobby and firearm rights supporters all warned the New Zealanders that in giving up gun rights, they were putting themselves at risk of a government trampling their rights.  We were all told that it was none of our business and that the State would protect them.  

Yes, but who will protect you from the State, we asked.  “Don’t be absurd”, they said.

Under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act of 1990, it states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the right to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form”.

In the aftermath of the ChristChurch shooting, the country’s Chief Censor (side note – if your country has a chief censor, you don’t have free speech) decreed, without legislation, that mere possession of the shooter’s manifesto, freely available on the internet, would be a 10 year felony, and anyone caught sharing the document would face a 14 year felony.

Does that sound like they honor their freedom of expression?

Several people posted videos of the New Zealand Police Service at their front door demanding that they stop talking about the shooting online or face criminal charges for “hate speech”.

Here we are in 2020.  

All new arrivals into New Zealand are sent to “hotels” for “voluntary isolation”.  These voluntary isolation centers have 1.8 meter (6 foot) fences around them, and are guarded and locked.  The facilities are “managed” by Air Commodore Darryn Webb.  Air Commodore….That’s a one-star general, so the military is running the camps.  

On July 10, 2020, CNN ran a story discussing a man who had escaped from one of the camps.  He was one of several who cut the fences and left.  The story pointed out that the man had already tested NEGATIVE for coronavirus twice, but was still forced to remain in the camp, and now faces charges for escaping from the “voluntary isolation” camp.  If you can be charged for escaping it, it isn’t voluntary.

Currently, in the Auckland area, travel is heavily restricted and there are police checkpoints for you to explain your need to travel.  Keep in mind that there are currently just 69 active cases in the entire nation.  You must carry documents to explain your need to travel.

So, allegedly free nation New Zealand currently polices speech, has internal travel checkpoints requiring you to prove a need to be out of your house, and literal concentration camps, all of which came to be after requiring the citizens to largely disarm themselves.

Can’t get any worse than that, right?

Jacinda Ardern said “Oy, mate! Hold me Foster’s….”

Elections were scheduled for September 19, but Ardern has postponed them until at least October 17th.  When Donald Trump merely suggested postponing them, in jest, he was vilified by the media as threatening democracy and a dictator.  When Ardern announced ACTUALLY postponing them, she was called a leader and smart by the very same media.

The left loves dictators, so long as they are THEIR dictators.  Look at the outpourings of love and respect when murderous Fidel Castro died.  Or Hugo Chavez.

They promise them freedom,

But they themselves are slaves of corruption

2 Peter 2:19a

New Zealand is a warning to us all.  Do not surrender your freedoms, because they won’t be coming back any time soon.

Her Supreme Excellency, Gretchen Whitmer

For those who live in Michigan, Governor Whitmer is no different than Jacinda.  Both women have gotten a taste of the raw power of ruling by emergency decree.  You don’t have to go through the troublesome process of getting people to agree with you, you just scream emergency, and order whatever you chose.  

Here in Michigan, Gov. Whitmer is using COVID 19 to push a racial justice platform that she could never get authorized via the legislature.  She changed medical licensing requirements with an executive order.  She is using emergency powers to create new programs that technically violate the civil rights act, as she is directing benefits (free masks/medical screenings) to people based upon race.

Lt. Gov. Gilchrest went on TV last week and claimed that “black people aren’t able to work from home”, despite me personally knowing at least 20 who did.  Imagine if Donald Trump made that same statement….it’s honestly racist at it’s core to honestly believe that black people couldn’t possibly get a position where they could work at home, but I digress.

The point is, Jacinda Ardern is an example of the danger of letting a committed liberal retain emergency powers, and Governor Whitmer is following the same path.

At some point, we MUST say enough is enough and do whatever is required to set this nation back on the path the Founders anticipated. Fortunately, they left us a blueprint called The Constitution of the United States.

Rescue those being led away to death,

Hold back those staggering towards slaughter

Proverbs 24:11

I don’t know about you, but Proverbs 24:11 seems pretty clear to me.

Heed the warning that is New Zealand.  It can happen in a democracy with alleged free speech and a right to bear arms.

Normalcy Bias & Awareness

A few days ago, I posted my Indications & Warnings article, discussing the high potential for civil disorder and conflict within the United States.  In it, I pointed out that the ultimate goal of the left was to increase violence to the point an emergency is declared, so that they can set aside the Constitution to implement far left policies and eventually rewrite the Constitution.  I also shared a document where they state that they have no intention of allowing an election to decide the course of this nation.

Let me share with you a few general responses to that article:

  1. They can’t do that, it’s unconstitutional.
  2. We need to wait and see what the election brings.
  3. LOL, they don’t like guns so we’ll win.
  4. They’re amateurs, we’re not.

These response are EXACTLY the kind of normalcy bias I warned about a couple of weeks ago, and we’re going to revisit the concept today, along with discussing awareness.  

THIS ATTITUDE IS GOING TO PUT YOU AT RISK AND MAKE US LOSE OUR COUNTRY.

That’s not hyperbole.  That’s not exaggeration.

First, let’s address the comments.

“They can’t do that, it’s unconstitutional”

The left despises the US Constitution.  They think it doesn’t go far enough to limit speech they don’t like, they hate the right of people they disagree with having weapons, they hate our entire system of limited government.

Barack Hussein Obama himself once said in an interview that there were many changes he wanted to implement, but the Constitution limited his power.

Can we just agree that people who hate the Constitution aren’t real concerned with the Constitutionality of their actions?  They’re literally burning down buildings and shooting at people; the Constitution is the least of their worries.

“We need to wait and see what the election brings”

They are literally admitting that they aren’t going to accept the results and don’t want either party.  

What good do you think an election will do?

More importantly, let’s say Trump wins.  Do you think they’ll suddenly become reasonable, shrug their shoulders, and accept defeat?  OR will they get even more violent and take action to remove him?

Let’s say Trump loses.  Do you believe that the majority of Donald Trump’s supporters will just shrug their shoulders and say “Shucks, I guess Biden and Harris were the better choice… maybe next time”?  Not very likely.  What’s more likely is claims of a stolen election and violence.

My point is, regardless of the side you support, the day after the election is filled with risk of violence and it only goes up from there.  We are beyond a point of reconciliation in this country, so stop acting like we aren’t.

“LOL, they don’t like guns so we’ll win”

Really?  Read my blog.  Watch their live streams. Watch the news.  The left is buying guns in record numbers to arm themselves for violent conflict.  They’re out there every day, carrying long guns, conducting their own local patrolling around their protests, practicing securing objectives.  

Make no mistake, they are training for an armed revolution.

We are underestimating them.

“They’re amateurs, we’re not”

First, no, the vast majority of our side are not professionals. Most are amateurs as well.  Even most “militia” groups consist of people with no actual military training (sorry, Militia friends).

Second, the Viet Cong weren’t professionals, how did they do?  Afghanistan is full of illiterate farmers…how are they doing?

Stop underestimating them, the left is FAR MORE DEDICATED to their cause than we appear to be.

Now, let’s turn to what we can do.

For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,

And the complacency of fools will destroy them.

Proverbs 1:32

Here, Good King Solomon was warning against normalcy bias.

Normalcy bias is the tendency, despite evidence to the contrary, to believe that nothing untoward is happening.  It’s a belief that no matter how bad things get, life will return to the normal state that we are accustomed to.

For some reason, people on the right seem to believe that the new restrictions on religious freedom, freedom of movement, and personal liberty will just somehow magically go away after the election.  The left is LITERALLY calling it the “new normal” but the right keeps saying “it’ll go back to normal”.  

The right is also of the ridiculous belief that once the election is over, if Donald Trump is re-elected, the left, who already demand his removal by force, will suddenly just become rational somehow and shrug their shoulders and return to Mom’s basement, casting aside all their dreams of a glorious Socialist revolution.

Why?

Normalcy bias.

The first step in defeating normalcy bias is awareness.  By raising your awareness, you’ll better understand what is happening.

Sam Culper at www.forwardobserver.com discusses conducting an Area Study, and it’s a great first step in raising your awareness of the local situation.

Use social media to your advantage by monitoring the accounts of activist groups in your area and see what they area saying and planning.  Either attend their events to actually listen and observe, or watch their livestreams.  This will open your eyes QUICKLY.  Personally, I get out and attend 3-4 of their events every single week because I want to see the things they don’t show on social media, such as their security posture, their awareness, their readiness for confrontation.  It’s eye-opening.  

Use a tool, like the BattleBoard Scout 4.0 (www.battleboard.us) to track on a map where protests are planned so that you can avoid them.  I have both a small and medium Scout.  I use one for map tracking, and one for note taking.

Take responsibility for your own safety.  We continue to see videos of cars getting trapped inside protests, which is totally avoidable.  This weekend, we saw ANTIFA/BLM people pull out firearms when vehicles refused to stop.  This is an escalation that should tell you that they are ready to kill for their cause.  I was heartened to see a video where people took the advice I give, which is flip a U-Turn and go the wrong way if you have to, but DON’T STOP in a crowd.

Understand that if you are trapped in a car inside a protest, or a building, as we saw at a Walgreens in Chicago on Sunday, and you call the police, the police will flat out tell you that they aren’t coming.

YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN.  That alone should get us off the couch and armed, but it hasn’t.  Normalcy bias, again.  “The police will come.”  No, they won’t

Use Cooper’s Color Codes to raise your awareness.

You should try to use Condition Yellow the majority of the time.  It’s easy, and can be maintained for long periods.

Condition Orange can be maintained for short periods without ill effects other than an increased heart rate.

You should NEVER find yourself in Condition Black, unless awoken from a dead sleep.

Lastly, stop underestimating the threat posed by leftist protestors.

In my post on the Battle of Ai, I discussed Joshua and his attack on the town of Ai.  In Joshua 7, he sent a recon team ahead to analyze the enemy positions.  This was a good idea, and it’s exactly what I’m doing by attending these events.  But in Joshua 7:3, his recon team reported that the opposition was weak, there weren’t that many of them, and they weren’t all that well trained.  They also reported that marching up the hill to the town would be too hard on the troops.  Any of this sound like excuses we’re making to not engage?  

Well, Joshua took their advice and only sent 3,000 of his men up instead of a larger force.  When they arrived, they were met by a large and well-trained force that completely routed Joshua’s men, who had to flee from the field of battle.  

Yes, Joshua eventually won (read my post “The Battle of Ai” for the whole story and tactical analysis), but the point is, he and his whole army under-estimated that forces arrayed against them and paid the price for it.  Learn from his lesson (HINT: That’s the entire point of the Bible).

Look, I know it’s easy to look at these screeching kids and laugh, or to look at the NFAC (Not Frightening Actually Clowns) Brigade and giggle, but don’t underestimate them.  If you are killed by an untrained amateur, you aren’t any less dead.

Uthred Ragnarson

As my hero Uthred Ragnarson warns: A Warrior can only die once, he must make it count.

In conclusion, stop thinking this is all going to go back to normal, take responsibility for your own safety, analyze the threat, raise your awareness, and stop under-estimating the opposition.

Train. Prepare.  Be safe.