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October 31, 2014

My Militia Weekend

Friday, June 20, 2014
17:00 hours
Anchorage, Alaska
The Holiday Station Superstore

Paper towels! I knew I forgot something. The sales clerk tried to talk me into the “Buy Two, Get 50 Cents Off” Duck Dynasty lighters at the checkout, but I already had my ice breaker – a 1918 German Luger from World War I that my dad brought home from the war that followed.

My strategy reminded me of when I went to France as a teenager and my host family kept wanting to barbecue everything all the time. Americans like barbecues, so we barbecue! You want to jog, yes? When will you jog? Well, I assume that militia guys like guns. So, I just brought one. “Hey, guys! Anybody want to see my Luger?” It seemed like as good a conversation starter as anything. Heck, I didn’t know. I was grasping at straws at this point.

I’m heading to the Alaska Militia/Prepper/Survivalist Rendezvous about an hour and fifteen minutes north of Anchorage, in the little community of Sutton. I’ve been there several times, hunting the plentiful fossils of ginkgo leaves, and cinnamon, and ferns and petrified wood that erode out of the bluffs. There are also many dirt roads and trails that wind up and down the hills, and back into the woods making it a popular spot for those with dirt bikes, and four-wheelers.

I covered the Day of Resistance Tea Party rally in Fairbanks this past winter, and the organizer David Luntz, who is the commander of the Central Alaska Militia, said I should come to the Rendezvous. And so I am. I have absolutely no idea how a female, liberal blogger is going to be received here, and I cannot help but feel a little squinchy as I drive north into the unknown. I can always leave, I think to myself, if things are bad.

sign

20:53
Sutton Alaska
Jonesville Road Camping Place

I have arrived at the rather large encampment, and found a spot to park in an area with a couple dozen on and off-road vehicles and trailers belonging to the other attendees. To my left, the Gadsden flag flutters in the breeze. Two Gadsden flags – one the traditional yellow with the coiled snake, the other with a camouflage background which makes both the snake and the slogan “Don’t Tread on Me” more difficult to see. I’m not sure whether this is ironic, or not ironic at all. The flags are mounted somehow in the grille of a large white truck.

This is the 3rd annual Rendezvous. The first two were held in Delta Junction, far to the north near Fairbanks. This time it’s closer to the major population centers of Anchorage, Palmer, and Wasilla, and the turnout according to the organizers is larger than last time. You couldn’t have picked a better spot, really. The campground here is large, easily accessible for large vehicles, and ringed by ochre bluffs, and snow capped peaks. Thick stands of aspen, birch, and spruce create a high defined wall around the large open area where we are camped. The sun has just dipped below the ridge, although true sunset won’t come for hours. Billowy grey clouds are rolling in, and we expect rain this weekend.

“Don’t cut yourself, dude! That’s a big fucking knife, and there’s no doctor anywhere near here,” were the first words I heard spoken when I turned off the engine and opened the door of my forest green Subaru. “No, I think we actually have a doctor,” came the reply.

tent

A group of a dozen men are now erecting a large tent behind me, pounding stakes into the ground with a sledgehammer, and almost everyone is packing a sidearm. A large pole flying the Stars and Stripes on top, and a Gadsden flag underneath, has been erected, and the copious guy wires holding it up are marked with little ribbons of pink fluorescent tape to prevent the unwary (like me) from accidentally running into them.

Some of the trucks and RVs at the event have towed four-wheelers behind them. Kids, including a couple little girls in pink camo, and several adults are happily driving around the large open area, over the bumps and down the side roads, leaving long horizontal clouds of brown dust behind them.

My first stop was the Safety & Operations tent, where I met Mikel the Colonel of the Anchorage Municipal Defense Force –  energetic, happy-faced and 20-something with a black scruffy beard and dark eyes. He greeted me and took me under his wing. He was like if Julie McCoy on the Love Boat had been a guy, and in a militia. He asked me if I was with any organization, and I said yes and told him which one, and that I was here to report on the event. He seemed slightly surprised, but I wasn’t sure whether it was because I was a reporter in general, or that The Mudflats is a fairly well-known left-leaning blog. I made sure to tell him that I’d been invited to cover the event by the organizer, David Luntz. Saying that felt like a secret password, or a spell that gave me credibility, or at the very least would put people at ease.

Mikel got me all signed in and registered for the event – the first name on the second page of the spiral notebook. I then signed a two-page waiver stating that I don’t hold anyone responsible for any horrible thing that may happen to me, via natural or manmade causes. The form stated that they expected everyone to have medical insurance coverage. I thought of the thousands of Alaskans who weren’t able to have that until recently, and the thousands more who will suffer because of the governor’s thumbs down on Medicaid expansion. I came to the conclusion that mentioning this in my first 15 minutes at the event was probably not a good plan, so I stayed mum. Mikel witnessed my signature with his own, and handed me a detailed rules and regulations sheet about firearms safety. No rifles can be loaded, handguns must be holstered and only used for urgent matters of self-defense, no drinking for 8 hours prior to shooting a weapon in the designated range area, with a range master. Their “gun control” list was actually rather impressive, and made me feel better right off the bat. Mikel put a thick red zip tie on my wrist to indicate I was registered, and trimmed the excess plastic tail with a Leatherman tool. I was in.

Then, he introduced me to Rick, a Major and the head of security, an intense stoic-looking man with steely blue eyes and greying hair, who looks like he just stepped out of an epic WWII saga; and then to Gunnery Sergeant Jon, aka “Gunny,” who sported a long bushy reddish beard, with tattoos down his forearms, and a handgun strapped to his right thigh. He was standing in a group of half a dozen men, and I went over and shook his hand. “Now you have three points of contact,” Mikel said, “me, the Major, and Gunny.” Then, I met Noah, and fell in love. Noah is half pit bull, and half Sharpei. He is wearing a pair of doggie saddle bags made of thick cotton jungle camo.

noah

Noah, the Ammo Dog.

“This is the ammo dog,” said Mikel, smiling. Andy, Noah’s owner, told me that Noah is two years old, and this is his second Rendezvous. “So, he’s a veteran,” I noted, and chuckles went up in the group. Dogs are also good ice breakers. “Oh, you should have seen him when he was a puppy,” Andy said. “I got him at 5 weeks old, and he could sit right in my hand from here to here,” he held out his hand, palm up, to show me. “He should have stayed with his mama longer than that, but I couldn’t let him go to someone who didn’t know what they were doing, and wouldn’t take care of him right.” He then showed me proudly how Noah liked to fetch a stick, and would sit, and lay down, and move here and there on command. Noah liked his stick a lot, and took off like a shot over the hill after it when Andy threw it.

There is cell phone reception here, but I have not seen a single person with a phone, or a tablet, or any other electronic device. It is noticeable, and frankly it’s kind of nice to see people talking to each other and doing things without being glued to a screen.

I, on the other hand, am now sitting in my Subaru typing on my laptop, posting occasionally to Facebook from my Blackberry, and eating the Chinese take out I got on the way, which undeniably makes me a bad doomsday prepper. Depending on how long ago my last trip to Costco would have been, I figure when doomsday comes, I’ve got anywhere from a week to a month before I’m in trouble. And that’s just the food part, and doesn’t count the big earthquake, or the men in black, or the zombie apocalypse, or some other invading force. This weekend is designed, it says, to teach and train people like me. “We’re hoping to get more non-militia people to come to these events,” said Mikel. “Well, you’ve got me,” I said.

Despite the convivial nature of my greeting and introductions, it’s hard not to feel a little on edge. In my rear view mirror, I can see a man walking about 20 feet away, armed to the teeth in full camo. In my side view mirror, another man is unloading bags from the side of his van with a handgun strapped to his waist. I don’t fear for my safety, but not having been raised around guns, the involuntary stiffening of the spine, and intake of breath, and little pump of adrenaline I get when I see one is a reflex – one I hope to outgrow before the weekend is over, or it’s going to be exhausting.

Saturday, June 21, 2014
01:00 hours
My Subaru

I heard people signing up for “watch” earlier, and now patrols of the encampment are happening. They began at 22:00 hours with two armed men in full camo with semi-automatic rifles, and pistols. They wore Kevlar helmets, and carried a hand radio while walking the perimeter – one clockwise, one counterclockwise. This meant that about every 10 or 15 minutes, one or the other would pass just feet in front of my car, which was serving as my tent. Shift changes happened every two hours.

I am transfixed watching the guard. Occasionally the one with the beard stops, and scans the trees that encircle the encampment. I don’t know why he is scanning the trees, but I watch him from inside this patrolled rectangle of tents and vehicles, cordoned off with wooden stakes and string, and (just like with the guy wires on the flagpole) pink fluorescent plastic tape tied at intervals to prevent people from tripping over the perimeter. There is a surreal paramilitary/safety first feeling to all this, and I’m not quite sure, looking out my window, if I feel more safe, or less safe. I decide, ultimately, that I will choose to feel more safe, because I’m going to sleep alone in my car out here, and I may as well look at it that way.

patrol

The second shift comes on at midnight, and one of the patrol people is a woman. I open my door asked her where the bathrooms are.

“There aren’t any,” she says with a regretful and compassionate wince.

“Wait… there’s no port-o-potty?” I was hoping that she thought maybe I was asking about a real bathroom or something.

“No… It’s just the trees. I’m sorry. We really tried to get one.”

(long pause)

“The trees?”

“I’m so sorry! We really did try!”

“Ok, well I was just wondering. Thanks.” I tried to smile.

Shit just got real.

Did I forget to mention it’s pouring rain? It’s pouring rain.

This is not ok.

01:20
My Subaru

I am not above going into the woods. I, and any Alaskan worth his or her salt, have gone in the woods plenty of times, so it’s not that per se. But right now, it’s pouring rain. Pouring rain. And there are also people with firearms scanning the trees for reasons of which I am not completely clear. For both of these reasons I really don’t want to exit and reenter “the perimeter” right now. So, after doing a terrain assessment of the inside of my car, and a supply check, I opt for Plan B. I wait for the patrol to go by, and launch Operation “Pee in My Travel Mug.”

01:26

Mission Accomplished.

03:10

Dogs barking. New patrol. This one has a German Shepherd. Rain pounding on the roof. I am dozing at best. Was that a loon in the woods giving a distress call? I may be hallucinating. I should hydrate. But then I will have to pee…

08:00

Dogs barking again. I’ve managed to sleep on and off through the night in relative comfort in the back of my car. I folded the back seat down and used a heavy cotton sleeping bag as a pad, with another lighter one as a blanket. And I somehow managed to lose consciousness in my Subaru fishbowl, while the patrols walked past me every 15 minutes all night.

I go into the cooler and discover my mill of pink Himalayan salt has gotten flooded from melting ice and is ruined. Somehow the gods have found pink Himalayan salt at a militia campout to be as ridiculous as pink Himalayan salt at a militia campout. And they smote it.

Morning grub is a hard boiled egg with regular salt from a small paper packet, a handful of Cheetos, and a diet Coke for caffeine. Don’t judge.

09:05
The Big Tent

I pull on my boots and squish through the gooey mud bog that the parking lot has turned into, to see what’s on the schedule at the operations tent. I’m already 5 minutes late for the first morning session, “Camouflage.” I look around and realize that the large tent that was set up the night before will serve as a lecture hall.

boots

I stand in the back, and a nice man pops open a camping chair, and sets it down with a gesture that I should sit. I thanked him and did so. The camo instructor is in his late 20s I’d guess. He has a thin face, high cheekbones, and a reddish close-cropped goatee. He is not surprisingly wearing camo, including a hat with a brim all the way around.

“Darker colors make an object appear further away,” he is saying as I sit. “That’s why when people paint their faces, they’ll make the nose darker, to flatten the face.” I have learned something new in the first five seconds.

I learned more things in the next hour.

14 Things You Never Knew You Never Knew About Camouflage

1) Don’t ever mix camo patterns – your tops and bottoms, your gloves, your hat, your rifle, should all be the same pattern.

2) The best thing ever is a “ghillie suit,” which is long shaggy fringe that looks like deer moss, or pale seaweed. If you cover yourself in ghillie, nothing will ever see you. It is at once hilariously funny because you look like Cousin It, and diabolical because you can hide in the woods and snipe people without being seen.

3) If you use a flash-bang grenade, you can disable the enemy’s night vision goggles. Anything using phosphorous will burn out the cathode, rendering them useless. Flashing strobe lights will also mess with night vision goggles.

4) There are no perfect shapes in nature, so keep that in mind. Make things look asymmetrical. If you use ghillie, it can make you look too wide to be a human being and people will miss you because the eye is trained to see human shapes.

5) If you want a decoy for when you’re under fire, put a 2×4 in a haystack and let the end stick out. The other guys will focus on it because it is a perfect shape. See #4.

6) Camo is not just visual, there is also acoustic camo, like the rain that is pouring outside. Dry ground makes more noise than wet ground, and falling rain will disguise your movements. But you will also leave tracks. So it’s a trade off.

7) You can use animal calls to communicate while avoiding detection. AHA! This may explain the loon distress call in the woods I heard last night! Yes, a loon would be distressed in the woods, but I’m pretty sure I figured this one out. I feel smug a little.

8) Despite “Hollywood’s campaign against suppressors” (silencers), they are useful. They do not completely muffle sound, but if you shoot a gun with a suppressor and you are 15 feet away from someone, it will sound to them like someone pounding a nail, not like a gun shot.

9) There is also olfactory camo. Dogs have many more scent receptors in their noses than we do. They will pick up on scent we leave behind. We are basically like giant peppershakers, he says, shedding dead skin cells out our sleeves, and pant legs, and off our heads.

10) You can deter dogs sometimes with pepper spray on your trail because they don’t like it. It has to be strong enough to make them stop, otherwise when they find you, they will just be mad at you because you are the thing that made them smell pepper spray, and that could go badly.

11) Camo guy knows someone who lost a pack of dogs that was chasing him by running into a thicket of Devil’s Club. The room groans, and laughs, and says, “Ohhhh…. shit, man.” This is because one little prick of Devil’s Club is enough to annoy you for weeks with a festering painful blister. Running through a thicket is unimaginable. But this guy did, and he got away. Whatever it took to get away from the pack of dogs.

12) You can also deter dogs with a bottle of mountain lion pee, which apparently you can buy in a store. (!!!)

13) You can also roll in horse manure to confuse dogs, but it’s not fool proof. And they do not like freshly cut hay for some reason.

14) But you will never confuse a bear with anything. Ever. If a bear wants to track you, it will track you and find you, and there is nothing you can do about it.

For further reading on camouflage, you can check out the Boy Scout Handbook, The Art of War, and the Army Camouflage Manual.

The Q&A session started a conversation about various countries and their style of engaging with snipers. The United States likes to use lots of weaponry early and hugely. The Russians use camouflage to “crawl up your nose before they take a shot.” The British are obsessed with hitting the target with just one attempt. And the Finns in the winter of 1939-40 apparently just wore white, and hid in the snow and killed thousands and thousands of Russians in narrow passes. Everyone is impressed with the Finns, and how many Russians they killed. Everyone seems to know about the Finns.

10:15
Outside the Big Tent

Time for a break between sessions. Camo guy loads his gear into a white pickup truck draped in camo netting. Camo guy knows his shit. I think if you put Camo guy in the woods with a bottle of mountain lion pee, and he dug a hole and climbed into it in his ghillie suit and covered up with camo netting, he could hang out there as long as he wanted. Unless the other guys had a bear. Nobody hides from a bear.

A youngish man comes into the tent and says he’s moved his generator so it isn’t as loud from the tent. Someone asks him why he’s running a generator, and he says he has two little girls who can’t play outside because it’s raining, so they’re in the RV watching movies. Someone says, “You shouldn’t have said that. Now we’re all going to want to hang out at your place later and watch movies. Do you have Lone Survivor?” Everyone laughs.

Next up is the event organizer, and commander of the Central Alaska Militia, David Luntz.

His topic: Base Defense. Base defense is just what it sounds like – defending your base, whether that be your home, or an encampment like the one we are in now, or a building, or any large gathering.

defendingbase

I’m still in the back on the camp chair. I am the nerd in the class, and the only taking notes. Raindrops come through the little holes in the tent that are not patched with duct tape, and they periodically drip with a smack on to my little yellow pad.

Before we get into base defense, he says, there are some thing we can learn from a recent event, which has gotten a lot of TV coverage – Cliven Bundy’s ranch. He didn’t go to the ranch himself, but has talked to several people out there.

“There are lessons to be learned in how we deal with the enemy. I’m not going to name the enemy,” he says. “I’m just talking about what we do in a situation when any group of ours needs our help and assistance.”

Someone at the Bundy ranch set up an 800 number “comms line” and promoted it through a Facebook group, and people were able to call and get a daily update on the situation on the ground. “If anything happens in this state, it’s imperative that we have smoothing like this,” Luntz said, “if you’re coming north or we’re coming south.” He explained that if militia groups were to come to each other’s aid, they will need scouts on the perimeter talking about conditions on the road, in the air, where there is a “high point advantage” in the terrain, and any other things of interest or import. And this information needs to be communicated. “You don’t want the people coming to help you hitting road blocks, or to get policed up.”

Then, there were the lessons about what not to do from the Bundy Ranch. They didn’t get scouts out fast enough. They didn’t realize the national attention they would get. “It surprised both sides, but it really surprised the feds. And I’m not saying that the feds are enemies,” he said pointedly, “but you need to know your enemy and understand your enemy.”

“What we are doing here right now,” he indicates the room, “is we are building a coalition of like-minded people. It will bring us closer and develop trust. So, if something happens I can say, ‘I know you, and I know you.’ There is some trust there, versus, ‘Who’s this guy?’ And those guys are out there. They’re out there… especially in our line of work,” he said, presumably talking about infiltrators from federal agencies who we are not saying are the enemy.

And at the ranch they were very open about everything, he said, and that this was a good thing. “That’s how we get grassroots support,” someone called out.

“Yes. And what does the President like to say? ‘Transparency.’ He likes to use that word,” said Luntz to a low rumble from the group.

Next we moved on to prepping the battlefield. First get a map and identify good areas to assemble. “’You need to be able to say, ‘Assemble at Advancing Mermaid, and have everyone know that’s Chuck’s hayfield.’”

15 Things You Must Never Ever Forget When Defending Your Base

1) Use the terrain to your advantage so you can funnel people and ambush them like the Finns did with the Russians, or take out bridges, or make barricades, or use a bulldozer to dig ditches, or reroute rivers with dynamite. I did not know that rerouting rivers with dynamite was a thing. Use the terrain to defend your position. Think about how you might be attacked from the ground, the air, or by subterranean tunnels. Yes, that has happened so be aware.

2) First, send scouts to your location to feed you information. Build a plan, don’t just roll everyone in to Advancing Mermaid at the same time, because then you could all be wiped out at once. Security must sweep and clean the area. A quick reaction force can assist if needed.

3) Secure your perimeter with people who have guns and comms (communication via radio or some other method). Then time-phase people in, little by little, so you don’t make everyone vulnerable at one time. Don’t send leaders in together. Stagger everyone. Safety is paramount when creating and defending your base!

4) Then start dividing your area into wedge shaped pie pieces with identifiable edges. Azimuths and landmarks are needed so everyone is clear about their area to defend. If there is an area you can’t see, decide how you will handle it, like maybe with a barricade, or land mines (!), or pushing the perimeter out so you can see the edge. You need to make these decisions. “Everyone becomes an artist,” he explains. You can tell that he likes the strategizing part of this. It’s like he’s describing how to play chess.

5) Stagger your weapons placement. Don’t put all the heavy stuff in one place – like your Claymores and mortars. Consider knock-down power, and killing ability and figure out where things will have the best use. Spread things out.

6) Build your area up. After the big pie wedges, create smaller ones and make sure there is overlap so everything is covered. You don’t want guys madly swinging their weapons to and fro, all over the place. You want to be able to say, your area is between the broken tree, and that big rock over there, and that’s it.

7) Do not forget things coming at you from the air. “I don’t think anyone here has anti-aircraft guns,” says Luntz, “but if you do… hey, I want one!” He and everyone else gives a good laugh. He then points out that you can bring down an aircraft with small weapons fire, if you have enough people to do it. You can find out about this on the internet. “And they say it’s against the Geneva Conventions, but if we’ve got Russians or U.N. troops dropping in here…” “I’m fuckin’ shooting ‘em!” a voice interrupts from the crowd. More laughter.

8) Law enforcement will shut down cell phones and power, so think of other ways to send messages like with signal mirrors, or lasers. Low tech is a huge advantage. Passwords, color codes, signals, or known locations for message drops should be used. Technology can be monitored and disabled.

9) Remember, just because they have drones, doesn’t mean we can’t have drones. They are expensive and cost $1500 apiece. But they will give you a live feed of what’s happening for 12 minutes. That remark makes me realize we are talking about reconnaissance and spying-type drones, not missile type drones. The cheaper aerial drones give you less time to record, and it’s not a live feed. You have to download the video. The quad copter style is the best performer in high winds, but you need two people to operate it to make it “combat effective.” I learn that there is a drone here at this event, and someone who can operate it! I also sense some mixed feelings about drones in general.

10) You can see a cigarette from a mile away, and “that gives the enemy a head shot.” So there’s another way that smoking can kill you.

11) In Alaska the road system is limited, and if supply routes are held “by the wrong people,” we will have to go across land. Traveling 10 miles in a day with a pack, and pulling a sled is a huge thing. It can take weeks to travel from place to place. Leave small caches of food, fuel, and a water filter for yourself in places where you can find them on your route. It doesn’t need to be much to make a huge difference in survivability. Someone chimes in and suggests leaving yourself baby wipes, and everyone agrees. “It boosts your morale,” he says, “It’s nice to feel fresh.”

12) The harsh reality is that you may at some point need to evacuate Advancing Mermaid, “because you want to live.” So, have a rendezvous point and time for people to meet and arrive as close to that exact time as you can so you’re not just sitting around, like a duck.

Home Security

13) Some people have a gun in every room in their homes, just in case. Or a picture frame or mirror that you can open and there’s a gun rack behind it.

14) Be careful when you shoot in your home because a shotgun blast can go through two interior walls and lodge in the exterior wall. Know where people are and what rooms are connected. You can also get special home defense ammo that will only hit a person and not go through a wall. Air Marshals use this on airplanes so they don’t shoot through the wall of the plane and depressurize it if they need to kill someone.

15) You can create fencing with felled spruce. Chop the limbs off and leave the jagged stumps. An older bearded man pipes up, “I did that at my house, and everyone says ‘Why’d you do that?’ and I says, ‘Try to get accrossed it!’” Point taken, older bearded man. Point taken.

12:20
My Subaru

Lunch time. I’m having PB&J. I feel like a camper.

pbj

I lick the remnants of peanut butter off the plastic picnic knife, and cut my tongue. I feel like a bad, lame camper.

But, there is good news! I have seen the drone! A man parked next to me in a white pickup truck opened a large hard plastic case, and took the drone out of it. It is black and has lots of propellers. I wonder what it will be like.

14:20
The Big Tent

Time for the next session. But this one is not just a lecture. Something is going to happen… a mission! Major Rick asks how many people will be participating and counts hands. There are 16, which means four squads of four, which is two companies – Alpha and Bravo.

It will be focusing on basic formations, to give people an idea of what it actually feels like to move in wedges and staggered columns, and other configurations, instead of just looking at drawings, or YouTube videos. People will learn, if they don’t already know, how to move as a unit both in open country and in narrow wooded paths.

You can work in small groups and be effective, he says. Three or four people could hold Isabel Pass with only light arms.

Now Gunny takes the floor and explains what will be happening. His voice is loud and booming. The next thing that happens is a five-minute barrage of words that sound like English, but whose meaning is completely obscure to me. Things like – tapping, and peeling off, and advantageous positions, and yelling bang bang bang, something called a FOB which I’m assuming has nothing to do with pocket watches, enemy contact on the trail, using trees and ridges, and many other things. He writes a bunch of lines and X’s on a large sheet of white paper like a football coach while he speaks.

“Okay, is everybody tracking?” he booms. A collective “yeah” goes up from the tent. “Everyone got this seared in their memory?” “Yeah!” I did not say yeah, because even though I am the nerd taking notes, I do not even know what has just been said. I opt not to raise my hand and say, “Excuse me, Sir! Can you repeat that please? I don’t get it.” I will just be following along behind, so as long as I stay out of the way, I’m hoping it won’t matter that I have no clue what is actually happening.

Everyone must now leave to go drop off the clips from their rifles, and make sure they are disabled with zip ties so they are inoperable. I am relieved by this information. They are allowed to keep a loaded sidearm, but they are absolutely not to use it “unless you get mauled by a bear or shit-stomped by a moose,” Gunny says. This seems reasonable to me.

16:15
The Field

Everyone is ready, and moves en masse to the large open area next to where the cars are parked. They move across the field in wedge shaped formations, like migrating geese, and drop when Gunny yells, “DROP!” Noah the Ammo Dog loves this drill, and is running up and down the field wearing his camo pouches, and visiting the fallen troops wagging his tail.

I hear from a man named Jim who seems to know, that we will not be seeing the drone demonstration after all, because “the guy forgot the cord or something.”

It’s always the cord…

Alpha company then moves off down one of the four-wheeler trails and in to the woods. I stay with Bravo company to be their war photographer. I do this mostly because Noah the Ammo Dog is in Bravo company, and I like him and want to be on his team.

Bravo Company stakes out an area on the dirt road at the edge of the woods to wait. Four wheelers, with people who have come for a weekend ride, zip past on the trail, and without fail everyone does a double take when they see guys in camo holding AR-15s and wearing side arms lurking in the bushes, or standing vigilant at the edge of the road.

“I could see where this could be intimidating if you just came out here to go four-wheeling,” one of the militia members confesses sheepishly.

A few moments later, as if to affirm this sentiment, three four-wheelers stop on the trail at a high point overlooking Bravo Company. They are not sure which trail they want to take. A woman’s voice comes over the ridge, “Um, you guys? We’re surrounded by crazy people with guns, ok? So, can we just like, move now?” They do.

fourwheeler

Another group comes from the other side a few minutes later, led by a woman with her small daughter sitting in front of her. She looks at me, and says, “Y’all ok? Are we good?”

“Yes, yes it’s fine,” I say, smiling.

“You’re taking pictures of this?” she asks me, looking at the cameras around my neck, and probably my lack of firearms.

“Yes, you can go ahead, it’s fine,” I reiterate, trying to be as casual and breezy as possible, as though this situation is perfectly normal and happens every day, and the group passes quickly through.

I have felt mostly like an outsider until this point. But speaking for the group even in this minimal way, and being, for all intents and purposes a member of it was disorienting. Suddenly, I was part of the “crazy people with guns.” And I realized that even by this point, it all didn’t seem as strange as it had only yesterday. I’d chatted with these guys, and listened to their conversations, and heard the safety measures, and read the sheet about the strict weapons policy for the event, and knew the rifles were empty and disabled with zip ties, and that nobody was to shoot anything unless there was shit-stomping or mauling by a wild animal happening. And I knew that when they encountered the enemy, they would literally be yelling “BANG! BANG!” into the woods instead of shooting anything.

But I also realized that this woman knew none of that. And Bravo company probably looked completely terrifying, and I was probably the least terrifying because I had cameras and was wearing a shirt from The Gap, but still I was part of the terrifying people. And a little short circuit occurred in my brain. I got a very small taste of what it feels like to be feared, even when I wasn’t dangerous, but also knew that if I was on a four-wheeler, I’d be freaked out if I came upon this scene I was now in. I figured the best thing to do was smile a lot at passing motorists. Big smiles, with teeth. I noticed that a few of the others would give a little nod and a small smile as well.

It seemed like we were waiting a long time for Alpha Company to meet their fate. And then David Luntz, who was orchestrating this exercise came over to talk.

noahstick

Noah brings Andy (left) a stick while he stands watch, waiting for Alpha Company to be ambushed.

“Well, what do you think?” Luntz is affable, and soft-spoken with a soothing voice, and a chestnut colored beard. He’s the sort of guy you’d have over for a barbeque or a beer.

“I’m definitely learning a lot,” I said. “But it’s taking a little getting used to.”

“This is all about networking, you know? It’s about getting to know people. Like, I’m up in Delta Junction, but now that we’ve had the event down here, I’ve met new people. And if I’m ever in Anchorage and get a flat tire, I know people I can call.”

“I’m glad there’s no ammo,” I said.

“No, no, no…” he replied. “We don’t want accidents here. We want people to be safe, and learn, and have a good time. If we had the money, we could use blanks sometimes, but this is a self-funded operation.”

“Can’t blanks cause damage too?” I wondered aloud.

“Funny you should say that,” he said with a chuckle, taking off his glove and showing me a scar on the palm of his hand. “I got that from a blank.”

I looked at the scar, “Someone shot you in the hand?”

“Yeah,” he said sort of sheepishly. “Back when I was a private.”

“What happened?” I wanted to know.

“Well, I was wearing a pair of leather gloves with wool liners, and so I wanted to see if the leather glove would stop the blank. So I put my hand on the end of my rifle and shot.”

“You shot yourself on purpose? What could go wrong?” I smiled.

He laughed. “Yeah, privates are stupid.”

He told me that the militia he commands, the Central Alaska Militia, is totally self-supporting, and that all the guns and equipment that I saw had been paid for out of pocket by militia members themselves. His militia collects $25 a year in dues, and uses the money to buy things like the big tent we were in earlier.

I mentioned to him my observation that despite some major political differences, that the progressive left, and the far right actually had some important things in common concerning issues of civil liberties, NSA spying, engagement in foreign wars, the importance of independent media, rights to privacy, and pushing back against corporatism.

“Yes!” he said. “I agree. But people on both sides like to stick in their corners. But if we stick in our corners, we’ll all go down together.”

I said that I had learned this weekend that we can come together on other issues as well – nobody likes camping in the rain, and everyone loves their dogs, and indoor plumbing. “We should basically be singing kumbaya right now,” I said and he gave a big smile.

Suddenly we hear noises like firecrackers coming from down the trail. Alpha company had been ambushed! I could tell it wasn’t gunfire, but it made a loud hissing, crackling noise, whatever it was. Shortly, Alpha company came back down the trail looking a little dejected, and Bravo Company gave them a quiet supportive cheer and a golf clap.

Now it was Bravo Company’s turn to head into the forest of doom.

forestofdoom

Don’t go! It’s a trap!

“You can go down there and take pictures if you want,” Luntz said.

I turned back to him as I walked down the trail. “David Luntz, I do believe you are sending me into an ambush!” He laughed.

The trail was lovely, lined with tall thin birches and spruce, and beautiful dappled light. Noah was on a leash at this point, pulling up the rear while Andy was out in front. We walked for a while, silent and stealthy, scanning the trees, looking backward on the trail, hyper-alert and focused like ninjas.

Noah sensed the ambush before we did. He laid down on the trail, chin on paws, and gave out a little whistling whine. Moments later, there was the crackling sound again from up ahead. “Shit,” called Andy in disappointment from the front of the formation. “Contact left! Contact left! Contact right!” He came running back down the trail quickly, followed by several others who took up position on the side of the trail. He’d been looking at the high ground, a suspicious ridge where the enemy might be hiding out of sight. And in looking up, he’d neglected to also look down, and had set off a trip wire, triggering the crackling noise.

“Bang! Bang! Bang! Pow! Powpowpowpow!” People shouted gun sounds into the trees, and out from the trees. There were shouts from everywhere.

A few minutes after that, our nemeses came out of their hiding places. We have seen the enemy, and they are us, only now instead of just the camo they left in, they sported bright blue berets on their heads – except for Camo Guy who was back in his full ghillie suit. I expected no less.

“Damn! I knew it was gonna be the blue helmets!” someone in Bravo Company said laughing.

It struck me after a second that the “blue helmet” reference was a political one.

“Well, I don’t know what you mean!” said Gunny, feigning ignorance of the reference. “Why, blue is a symbol of peace throughout the world!” This was perhaps for my benefit. There was chuckling.

bluehelmets

Gunny and Major Rick do a quick recap of events on the trail.

We gathered around and debriefed about the trip wire, and about the importance of looking up and looking down. Andy was disappointed in himself that he’d been the one to trip the wire. “That’s why we do this,” Gunny said. “That’s why we practice this stuff. That happens. Now you’ll all know next time.”

We did learn that we were much quieter and stealthier than Alpha Company. Camo Guy said that he’d actually seen us before he heard us, even though we had a dog. We beamed with pride. I asked Noah, “Who’s a good boy?” and scratched his ears.

Both groups joined to discuss the exercise once we got back to camp.

 

17:35
My Subaru

Dinner time. I am glad I survived the ambush, but it was tiring anyway. Another survivalist cheater’s meal of leftover fried rice.

18:30
Inside the Perimeter

It’s time for a self-defense class from Major Rick, with wooden stakes in the place of swords. I have to say, I did not see the sword fighting part coming. I learn that if you make your opponent believe that your thigh is vulnerable, you can execute a quick three-step maneuver wherein you sever his leg tendons by surprise, allowing you to then eviscerate him, and quickly follow up by removing his head.

19:25 The Operations Tent

Mikel said earlier that he was around if I felt like chatting, and we spent a nice time talking about the militias. He is the commander of the Alaska Municipal Defense Force, an Anchorage militia that has been in existence for three years. He was the one who signed me in yesterday, and is happy to talk about the purpose of his militia. “It’s all about uniting as Alaskans,” he says. “Alaska is prone to all kinds of natural disasters – tsunamis and earthquakes and floods and fires. We want to keep people safe.”

He vets potential members, he says, first with a phone interview from the chaplain, Captain Nick, who is a non-denominational minister. “We are open to all faiths,” he says, and the chaplain’s job is to provide counseling and foster moral character. If the potential candidate passes muster, they’ll then have a face-to-face meeting with Mikel, and if that goes well they will be invited to hang out with the militia, which meets every Wednesday for training exercises. They also do a “light background check” of prospective members for criminal history, and to make sure that they are not “too overeager, or aggressive towards the government.” They understand if people have “made a mistake,” he says, “but if someone cannot legally possess a firearm, or has a consistent history of criminal activity, this is not someone we are interested in having in the group.” The Anchorage Municipal Defense Force has 15 full-time core members who act as leadership and train other volunteers.

I ask him why, if he is interested in being in a militia to help people in natural disasters, he did not sign up for the State militia, The Alaska State Defense Force. “It’s essential for citizens to have a militia that is apart from the state,” he says. “We need to make sure that when the government does respond, they don’t abuse it. And private, local militias can truly serve local interests. The state focuses on the state, but we focus on individual communities. We are well-regulated, and autonomous. We want to partner with other groups, like shelters, and the Red Cross, and the American Heart Association, and preferably non-governmental organizations.”

He pauses for a second and looks at me earnestly, “Do you feel like we’ve been acting in a professional manner?” he asks, and appears concerned. I told him yes.

We talked about the perceptions of the public concerning militias after the Schaeffer Cox trial, and the recent blowback about people open carrying in public and how that is perceived by people outside his world. He acknowledged that the militias have some work to do to improve their public image. “All we can do to change that perception is to educate people as best we can, and to keep doing positive things. We don’t want to scare people, we want to teach them who we are.”

I mentioned the woman on the four-wheeler earlier in the day who was freaked out, and he looked a little dismayed. But overall Mikel, a former manager of a Best Buy store, retains an upbeat and optimistic attitude.

23:45
My Subaru

It’s late now and I’m getting ready to sleep. As I sit here typing in the front passenger’s seat, a group of 10 adults and one child have begun to cross the open space toward the perimeter. Noah the Ammo Dog throws his head back and lets out a good wolf howl as they approach, and runs over to greet them. “He’s really friendly! He’s really nice!” calls Andy who is one of the two guards on patrol now.

Camo man is nearby, still in full ghillie suit. I can tell he likes wearing the ghillie suit, and everyone likes when he does. He’s like a big awesome seaweed monster.

“Oh, my gahhhhhd!” a woman calls out. She appears to have been drinking, and is holding a large bright pink cup with a lid and a straw that one might imagine contained some kind of cocktail. It matches the color of her bright pink jacket. “This is really difffficullt!” she says too loudly in our general direction. “I don’t know whether I should just laugh, or get a picture of you! I feel like I’m at Disneyland!”

I feel defensive of Camo man for a minute, and am overcome with the desire to explain to this ignorant drunken women how the ghillie suit is the best kind of camouflage and why. “It can make you look wider than a human being so you are not recognizable to the enemy! It has no definitive lines and can render you virtually invisible!” I want to call out my window, as this is happening directly in front of my car. Camo man says she can have a picture with him if she wants, and the group sends over several members to pose with him.

“This is just so… Alaska!” the drunken woman declares to no one in particular.

drunkenwoman

Go back to KampKrazy™ and burn a tire or something, drunken woman!

The pre-teen boy in the gathering picks up a longish stick from the ground and starts making automatic weapon fire noises, pretending to mow down his group.

They drift away, slowly weaving across the open area toward a column of thick black smoke that has begun to rise from behind several parked RVs, which are not with the militia – an area where there have also just been vigorous and prolonged bursts of gunfire. The smoke does not look like campfire smoke, and there is a lot of it. This is apparently party central on Saturday night. Anarchy by the pond.

This Saturday is also Solsice night, and even though it is midnight, you can easily read a book with no artificial light. Cars and trucks and jeeps filled with hooting people file past our encampment. Last night, the patrol was a little off-putting but tonight, with all the inebriated cavorting, and gunfire, and smoke, I’m actually glad there will be people circling the perimeter. The shift has changed, and Noah the Ammo dog is probably slumbering in his little blue tent.

I am going to try to sleep now. It’s been a long day. David Luntz is on patrol, but seems to be walking throughout the encampment, and not just the perimeter.

08:15
My Subaru

I am awakened by the bright, warm, morning sun streaming in the car window. The rain clouds are gone and the sky is blue and clear, with only a few high horsetail clouds. I check the time and it seems very quiet in camp considering it’s so late.

David Luntz sees that I’m up and moving and comes over to the car. He asks how I did last night, and did I sleep alright. I tell him I slept fine after the gunfire subsided. He shakes his head, and points over in the direction of the former column of smoke last night.

“So I just want to point out that those people over there are ‘average citizens’ with guns, and it’s the people here in the militia who know what they’re doing and are acting responsibly. That was a dangerous situation over there last night. You don’t want to mix alcohol and firearms like that. And they were burning tires too – crazy stuff. But I think that’s how people see us…”

“Is that what that big column of smoke was?” I ask.

“Yeah. We actually sent someone over there to check it out because we thought there might have been a vehicle on fire. That was an unsafe situation. Those people were not acting responsibly… That’s why we had the roving guard last night instead of walking the perimeter. There were vehicles driving close by, and checking us out and we’ve got a lot of people and expensive equipment here.”

11:00 Inside the Perimeter then Outside the Perimeter

This morning started off with another self-defense class, put on by David Luntz’s son, also named David Luntz, who is a martial arts expert. I learned what to do when someone sneaks up and grabs you from behind, or comes at you menacingly with a hand on the shoulder. The keys to putting someone in a world of hurt, apparently, are nose, solar plexus, and groin. The bending of thumbs and elbows in directions they were not made to go can also give you an advantage. I learned a fancy trick to swat a knife out of someone’s hands, but it is easier to do with a larger knife than a plastic picnic knife. But don’t scoff and think you can’t get hurt with a plastic picnic knife. I did that yesterday at lunch. Just ask my tongue.

Mikel was my partner, and much bigger than me so I had to stand on tiptoe and reach up when I was attacking him from behind, but we had fun twisting each other’s arms until we fell in the dirt, and pretending to crack each other’s skulls into our kneecaps, and slow motion severing each other’s spinal columns with our deadly elbows.

Here’s one way you can do that. You’re welcome.

The next classes involved food preparation and storage, and how to maintain your Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK), and Splints and Tourniquets. I was looking forward to these, but I got sidetracked and missed them completely. But I will tell you the reason I got sidetracked, and what shiny object did that to me. THE DRONE.

Yes, the drone is back! The missing cable was retrieved, and the drone was activated to do a flyby of the knife fighting class. “Don’t look at the drone!” David Luntz senior instructed everyone. “And don’t shoot the drone!” someone else called as everyone laughed. The drone sounds like a swarm of angry hornets, and has a camera attached to it, which is operated via remote control. The person operating the drone has special goggles that show what the camera is seeing. The drone is very, very awesome. I would like a drone.

Josh the drone guy is Mikel’s friend, and is a general contractor who uses his drone for all kinds of things like before and after shots of construction projects, and movies. Today he will be shooting footage for a promotional video about the Anchorage Municipal Defense Force to spark interest and recruitment.

I follow along again to the location of the mission in the woods yesterday, so that a half dozen militia members – all in full camo with rifles – can do some formations and running through the woods, and the drone can film it. I get to look through the goggles and at the monitor in the lid of the hard case, which shows what the camera is seeing.

drone

It’s a beautiful day for a drone strike. The good kind, of course.

At one point there’s another four-wheeler coming down the trail, and I brace for the raised eyebrows and wide eyes and searching looks I got yesterday. It’s a guy in his 30s with a 5 or 6 year old boy wearing a helmet sitting in front of him.

“Hey, that looks like fun!” he says with envy.

14:18
Back Inside the Perimeter

By the time we get back from the filming, there are people already starting to take down their tents and pack up equipment, and I begin to do the same.

David Luntz comes over to say goodbye and gives me a quick interview.

“Everybody out there in Mudflats World should have a love of freedom, and liberty, and protecting their rights,” he says, as he puts his parting message out.

He hugs me and thanks me for taking the time to come out and see for myself what the militia is all about.

I found Mikel, and thanked him for his hospitality, and for letting me smash him in the groin, and crack his skull and throw him down in the mud. He said I’d done very well. He reiterated that he hoped I found the event to have been run in a professional manner, and confessed that there were a few people in the group who had some misgivings, and worries about what I was going to say.

“All I’m going to do is to say what happened, and what I saw,” I said. And that seemed to be good enough for him. “You should come out and join us some Wednesday in Anchorage when we meet!” he said as a final good-bye.

Then I went over to the group of organizers who were sitting in camp chairs by the Operations Tent to thank them for having me. Gunny asked if I’d had a good time, and I told him I had a surprisingly good one. This made everyone in the little circle beam.

Tamara, the guard who broke it to me about the bathroom situation leaned in and said, “I kept my eye on you every night, you know.” And I remembered her smiling and waving at me as I typed in the car when she was on patrol. I thanked her a lot, and told the group about how my perception of the patrol changed from Friday to Saturday night, which they liked.

“That’s why we did that,” said Major Rick, looking over to Kamp Krazy on the other side of the lot. “People can get a little out of hand sometimes.”

And I also thanked them for being so friendly, especially to someone that they knew probably didn’t share their political views. I went through my usual info share about how progressives and Tea Partiers have more in common than you might think at first.

Gunny piped up in his growly baritone, “We may have differing opinions, you know. But you tell me what you think and I’ll tell you what I think and let’s talk about it, and talk about why we feel the way we do. People on each side just shut down and don’t want to talk to each other. We need to talk, and we need to listen. And hey, thank you for coming out, and actually doing this, and giving it a shot.”

“Speaking of that,” I said, “Is there going to be any shooting or any target practice or anything?”

It was explained to me that there was a range set up in a nearby gravel pit, and there was also a range master, and targets, but that it had gotten late, and there was still a lot of take-down to do, and that it wasn’t going to happen.

“Next time!” they said.

15:15
Departure

I pulled out of my parking space and around the little string with the pink tape flags. I had exited the perimeter. I passed by the little pond of anarchy, and the cluster of RV’s that had caused all the ruckus last night with the fire, and the hail of bullets. And as I did, it struck me that despite the hours last night of continual gunfire, the Militia had not fired a single shot the entire time.

I rolled down my windows and blasted some Mozart, as a soundtrack to the incredible Alaska mountain vistas. The weekend was not what I’d expected. Granted, there is always the reporter’s equivalent of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle – the act of observation, by its nature, will change the events being observed. It actually makes more sense to me thinking of it in terms of human nature than physics. So, I’ll never know how much of what I heard was for my own benefit. And I cannot know what happened when I wasn’t around, and I don’t know who didn’t come to this event. I have no doubt that there are scary people out there in the woods, and they are likely not the ones to show up and socialize at a public event where they have to sign in, and there are people with cameras around. If the militia movement hopes to win over the hearts and minds of the average citizen, it will be up to them to keep those people out of their organizations, and to police themselves. They will have to stay vigilant to the threat caused by the dangerous rogues and lone wolves of which they may become aware. A couple signs on the trails to reassure people they’re entering a harmless training exercise with no ammunition might not hurt either. And bathroom facilities.

But I can say, I left with a much better feeling about the militias than I started with. They could have easily ignored me, or asked me to leave, or given me a hard time. But they didn’t. They were welcoming, and kind, and fun, and willing to talk. And that’s something. And for Americans who lament the growing political and philosophical divisions in our country, that’s really the beginning of everything.

IMG_5910

The group photo. Too bad camo guy wasn’t in it… oh, wait!

 

Comments

comments

Comments
70 Responses to “My Militia Weekend”
  1. Alaska Pi says:

    7.14.14- just listened on streaming -whatever -they -call -it for KFQD to AKM being interviewed about her weekend here.
    Good job Jeanne!
    And good job Mr Luntz too! I forgot/forget the name of the 2nd militia gent who called in- my apologies.
    I’m still ticked about the “isms” list on the mission statement :-) but glad to hear the broader talk about what this couple of groups are doing and who they are.

  2. Norm Olson says:

    Several contributors to this blog seem to lack an understanding of what the unorganized citizens militia is all about. Before the US Senate, I explained to the entire viewing audience and media the following:

    Thank you for the opportunity to testify today. The following statement will attempt to answer the question of the legitimacy and the need of the citizen militia.

    Not only does the Constitution specifically allow the formation of a Federal Army, it also recognizes the inherent right of the people to form militia. Further, it recognizes that the citizen and his personal armaments are the foundation of the militia. The arming of the militia is not left to the state but to the citizen. However, should the state choose to arm its citizen militia, it is free to do so (bearing in mind the Constitution is not a document limiting the citizen, but rather limiting the power of government). But should the state fail to arm its citizen militia, the right of the people to keep and bear arms becomes the source of the guarantee that the state will not be found defenseless in the presence of a threat to its security. It makes no sense whatsoever to look to the Constitution of the United States or that or any state for permission to form a citizen militia since logically, the power to permit is also the power to deny. If brought to its logical conclusion in this case, government may deny the citizen the right to form a militia. If this were to happen, the state would assert itself as the principle of the contract making the people the agents. Liberty then would depend on the state’s grant of liberty. Such a concept is foreign to American thought.

    While the Second Amendment to the US Constitution acknowledges the existence of state militia and recognizes their necessity for the security of a free state; and, while it also recognizes that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, the Second Amendment is not the source of the right to form a militia nor to keep and bear arms. Those rights existed in the states prior to the formation of the federal union. In fact, the right to form militia and to keep and bear arms existed from antiquity. The enumeration of those rights in the Constitution only underscores their natural occurrence and importance

    According to the Tenth Amendment, ultimate power over the militia is not delegated to the Federal government by the Constitution nor to the states, but resides with the people. Consequently, the power of the militia remains in the hands of the people. Again, the fundamental function of the militia in society remains with the people. Therefore, the Second Amendment recognizes that the militia’s existence and the security of the state rests ultimately in the people who volunteer their persons to constitute the militia and their arms to supply its firepower. The primary defense of the state rests with the citizen militia bearing its own arms. Fundamentally, it is not the state that defends the people, but the people who defend the state.

    The second line of defense of the state consists in the statutory organization known as the National Guard. Whereas the National Guard is solely the creation of the statutory law, the militia derives its existence from the inherent inalienable rights which existed before the Constitution and whose importance are such that they merited specific recognition in that document. While the National Guard came into existence as a result of legislative activity, the militia existed before there was a nation or a constitutional form of government. The militia consisting of people owning and bearing personal weapons is the very authority out of which the United States Constitution grew. This point must be emphasized. Neither the citizen’s militia nor the citizen’s private arsenal can be an appropriate subject of federal regulation. It was the armed militia of the American colonies whose own efforts ultimately led to the establishment of the United States of America! While some say that the right to keep and bear arms is granted to Americans by the Constitution, just the opposite is true. The Federal government itself is the child of the armed citizen. We the people are the parent of the child we call government. You, Senators, are part of the child that We the People gave life to. The increasing amount of Federal encroachment into our lives indicates the need for parental corrective action. In short, the Federal government needs a good spanking to make it behave.

    [TOP] [BOTTOM] [Militia of MT]

    One other important point needs to be made. Since the Constitution is the limiting document upon the government, the government cannot become greater than the granting power, that is the servant cannot become greater than his master. Therefore, should the Chief Executive or other branch of government, or all branches together act to suspend the Constitution under a rule of martial law, all power granted to government would be canceled and defer back to the granting power, the people. Martial law shall not be possible in this country as long as the people recognize the Bill of Rights as inalienable.

    Since the power of self defense and the defense of the state is ultimately vested in the people, there is no possible way that a Governor or the Chief Executive of the United States, or any legislative body can “outlaw” the citizen militia for to do so would rob inherent power from the people. If that were to happen, our entire form of government would cease.

    Historically, we have found that the Governor’s militia, that is the National Guard, is intended to reduce the need for the citizen militia. Simply, if the National Guard did it’s job in securing the state, the citizen militia would not emerge. That it has emerged so dramatically seems to indicate that the people do not feel secure. Simply stated, the growing threat of centralized Federal government is frightening America, hence the emergence of the citizen militia. When government is given back to the people at the lowest level, the citizen militia will return to its natural place, resident within the body of the people. Civil war and revolution can be avoided by re-investing governing power to the people.

    To summarize: Citizen militia are historic lawful entities predating constitutions. Such militia are “grandfathered” into the very system of government they created. The Constitution grants no right to form militia, but merely recognize the existing natural right of all people to defend and protect themselves. The governments created out of well armed and free people are to be constantly obedient to the people. Any attempt to take the means of freedom from the people is an act of rebellion against the people.

    In order to resist a rebellious and disobedient government,the citizen militia must not be connected in any way with that government lest the body politic loose its fearful counterbalanceas the only sure threat to a government bent on converting free people into slaves.

    Submitted by Norman E. Olson

  3. Peg says:

    Four years ago my husband and I were harassed physically, emotionally and legally by Schaeffer Cox and his band of idiots. The situation was so dire LEO put cameras on our property out of concern for our safety. We were also counseled to have an exit plan from our home and to carry a firearm at ALL times – including while at home. How did this happen? Well we had the audacity to check on a neighbor (at the neighbor’s request) who was experiencing significant health problems and who had triggered a very loud alarm at his place. We didn’t understand how bat-shit crazy this neighbor really was or that he was involved with Cox. The neighbor assaulted my husband at gun-point, there was a 4 hour stand-off and Schaeffer showed up with that ridiculous hat, video camera and his smirk – which I am quite happy to know has been rubbed off his face. After almost two years the dust finally settled and while our life has never really returned to normal, it has become better.
    I don’t remember exactly when Dave Luntz and I had a sit-down but we did. It was part of a journey for me to try to come to terms with understanding what the hell had happened to us. I expected to be meeting with a hostile, gun-toting, sexist, foaming-at-the-mouth anti-government type. What I didn’t expect was a thoughtful, calm, quietly earnest man who wanted to hear my story. At one point he commented about not wanting to make some of the bad decisions Schaeffer had made and that the militia was not about scaring and bullying people. He made a major contribution towards our healing that day.

  4. juneaudream says:

    Hi Mike..greetings for another day..in The Life. In school I learned to draw ..on the edges of my paper , tear out the pages..workbooks..back in the late 1940s and 50s. Caught hell for it. It was, however..the way I delt..at that early age..with a culture that kept..sep. out everything, RATHER..then seeing..The Wholeness of All. By second grade..I learned..as an only child..that my urban mates..were all black/white/yes/no/boys/girls. I grew up..hearing dad speak of uncle Wilho who worked as an agent..in Sweden/Finland/Germany..WWll. I have always been..a human first..and thus..not a feeling of ‘becoming a strong woman..I AM..a strong HUMAN. The fact that I am a woman..is about as important as being ..that particular leaf, or that flake of snow..sifting down..this year, 40,000 years ago..or more. Any ..who hail from a healthy, inclusive mindset..and the cultures thereof..know ..wholeness..everything is whithin us, and we..are a part..of the flow of everything. At 76..my mascara..is ‘sketcilly applied’..at best..but try to figure out..where my skinning-knife..is secreated… ;)

  5. mike from iowa says:

    There went that thread and it’s possibilities. I guess,Ms Pi,you were just too hard on the lads. I was hoping to hear from some of the women involved. I’d like to hear their opinions of what would have happened in Nevada using the women as human shields and hoping the US would open fire,killing women.Wasn’t that similar to what dumbass dubya accused Saddam Hussein of having done? Using civilians as human shields? I didn’t miss much hitting the sack early last night. Soldier on,civilian warrioress or porivo or whatever Western Snakes call women who are allowed to council with men.

    • Mike,

      I appreciate your interest in the militia, not so much your effort to childishly poke at those who wish to exercise their rights in hopes of drawing someone into what you veil as an intellectual engagement in hope that you will appear somewhat intellectually smarter than them and be able to score some points in your feeble mind. Is this what folks on the left do? Criticize and scoff at those who exercise their rights while enjoying the liberty of living within the bounds of the documents protections? Your actions remind me of the bully on the playground who is the teacher pet, yet when the teacher turns their head they strike at the weak and defenseless, probably giving piglet grunts while engaging in your actions.

      Maybe you would prefer that there was no Constitution or Bill of Rights? The way you go on – its very evident you enjoy stoking the fires of the left and right argument in a ridiculous attempt to foment unhealthy communication and argument. Play your games keyboard commander.

      Just in case you believe that folks running around the woods dressed in camies are doing so without any official authorization ill direct you to 10 U.S. Code § 311.

      (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

      (b) The classes of the militia are—
      (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and
      (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.

      Hence citizen militias fall under b.2.

      Now as far as woman being used as human shields. Only cowards do so.

      I wouldn’t say that the militia came up with that nor exercised that. The Bundy situation was a coalition of many organizations, the ranch and its security to my knowledge directed the actions taken on the ground. I really don’t know enough about what happened there to make a good judgment on who directed or who did what there as I was not present, where you? If not – regurgitating what you heard probably isn’t to valid these days as many post falsehood just to further their ideas or agendas, kind of like you do.

      Have a good day Sir.

      P.s. Keep those pot holders on as we wouldn’t want you getting burnt while you stoke the fires.

      • boodog says:

        “I really don’t know enough about what happened there to make a good judgment on who directed or who did what there as I was not present, where you? If not – regurgitating what you heard probably isn’t to valid these days as many post falsehood just to further their ideas or agendas, kind of like you do.”

        Mr Luntz, as a militia man trying to enlighten the rest of us who have doubts and fears, I would have hoped you would have more interest in the Bundy fiasco and would have seen this interview. How could you not, the rest of the country has been talking about it.

        This is exactly what we are afraid of. Who wouldn’t be?

        • boodog says:

          Sorry Jeanne- that was supposed to be just a link to the video! :)

        • Boodog,

          I didn’t say I didn’t monitor the situation out there. However it’s hard to get the ground truth on every detail unless you yourself are on the ground. I have talked to folks who were on the ground and still get conflicting details… I like verifying my sources of information and what I get conflicting info on I don’t pass or assume not substantiated.

          I can’t watch your video right now, but can say that I have saw a video I think from Sheriff Mack promoting the idea of woman out front. But I also saw a video where the participants marched on the federal position and there was no such lead element. There were woman patriots intertwined, so at this point I’m not sure that woman were actually used as a blocking or provoking force and this is why I can’t really make a judgment. Either way I stand by my statement that if they were used, I personally would not support that as it is a cowardly move.

          Yes I am in the militia, however, I can only rely my experiences. I do not speak for the militia en total. There are hundreds of groups in the U.S. and I can tell you from ideology to operational techniques, they vary slightly from each other. Even here in Alaska where we have over ten groups all vary slightly in some form or another. So please when reading what I post, keep that in perspective.

          • boodog says:

            My point, Mr Luntz, was that you replied to Mike, asking if he was present at the Bundy ranch, and wrote “If not – regurgitating what you heard and probably isn’t to valid these days as many post falsehood just to further their ideas or agendas, kind of like you do.”

            I was just asking how you could accuse Mike of spreading falsehoods without checking or knowing the facts yourself. No, we weren’t there, but I posted a video that shows what supposedly was being plotted by the Bundy crowd- I assume what Mike was referring to and what terrified most sane people across the country.

            And I understand your militia had nothing to do with Bundy, but if you want to come here and have an open discussion, it would better suit your purposes to follow Jeanne’s attitude and keep a civil, open mind. You obviously know you’re not preaching to the choir here, so as you told me, please keep THAT in perspective.

      • mike from iowa says:

        Gee chief,sounds like you watched A Few Good Men way too many times. I do not want you on that wall. I don’t need you on that wall. I will not shut up and kiss your ass as if you are doing me or anyone else any favors You can run around playing army all you want,no sweat off me. But,for the record,who are you accountable to? You have zero formal recognition. You aren’t affiliated with any real military or police force and I missed the part where you militia guys bailed out the National Guard during Katrina.Best joke of the year-me,an intellectual. Maybe you should give up your day job and become a comedian.

        • WOW..

          Guess the bully got alitlle frazzled.

          10 U.S. Code § 311 and the 1st and 2nd ammenedment is all the formal recognition we need.

          Don’t worry Mike, I live in Alaska, and we have no intention of leaving Alaska and coming to Iowa. I won’t get on your wall, nor walk your streets.. i’ll refrain from doing anything with your body parts as well but thanks for the offer..

      • slipstream says:

        And does your “militia” group conform to 10 U.S. Code § 311 by retiring out any member who reaches the age of 46? And refusing any female who is not a member of the National Guard?

        Or do you operate illegally?

        • What people don’t understand is that EVERY male 17 – 45 are already in the organized or unorganized militia. Thats not an option.. Its law.

          Again cant speak for other groups, but our group allows members who are beyond the age of 45 if they are former Regular Army, Regular Navy, Regular Air Force, or Regular Marine Corps. If others would like to support the militia we find something for them to do.

          We bend the rules and accept woman. Im not telling a woman no.. There is no fury like a woman scorned… LOL

          And if woman can serve our nation overseas, they can serve in the militia.

          We accept all race, creed or gender (we are an equal oppurtunity organization)

          if thats breaking the law, paint me red.

      • David

        10 USC 311 is important when talking about the Militia, but you are not taking into account AS 26.05.010 to 26.05.140 in paticular 26.05.110 and 26.05.070.

        The Governor and only him may order and Muster the unorganized Militia into service and only the Governor/Congress may appoint the officers and training required, Article 1 Section 8 Clause 16 Constitution of the United States of America, also adding Houston v. Moore (1820), the Supreme Court stated that the federal government’s power over the militia “may be exercised to any extent that may be deemed necessary by Congress.”

        So calling ones self “militia” does not make one a “Militia”. Within the United States, “Militia” and its definition are a Codified concept and definition.

        Also wearing a 3% hat and t-shirts while trying to say your not “Anti Government” is a little misleading. I am well aware of what that represents and with any internet search anybody can find out. I think its great you guys want to help your community and I could care less if you bring guns and wear camouflage .

        • David Luntz says:

          everyone has an opinion Your opinion on the three percent is exactly that opinion. And your assuming wrongly that we wouldnt answer the governors call. I think youve been reading too many splc articles and have been schooled in the art of falsehood that they spew. We just choose to prepare for that call instead of getting caught with our pants down, but you know all about catching folks with their pants down or should i say coaching and pursuading? Just because state code wasnt cited doesnt mean we dont reference it so go back to exercising your provocuturism as If anyone is anti govt it is you with your deceiving and underhandedness and disrespect for personal notority. For as you claim to know the III% bill, I know you. Its really amusing that a few folks out for the weekend sharing knowledge and preparing for the future scares so many. Again we should be judged by our actions and not those of others. Theres a difference in being anti govt and wanting your govt to run within the bounds of its limits. But you keep reading those splc articles.. We may criticize our government but we are not anti govt, and until criticizing your govt becomes illegal then I think were well within our rights and actually expected to question and challenge our govts decisions and activities. It would be nice if we didnt have too but man is not perfect and we elect folks and put them in office to do the right thing , its our responsibility to insure they do.

          • mike from iowa says:

            You go,Renegade! Yee-hawwww!!

          • David

            Slow down man not trying to get into a screening match here

            I am neither a tool of the SPLC, nor do i subscribe to most of there rhetoric. I have no issue with you guys getting together for the weekend only calling yourself a “Militia”, handing out rank and wearing the 3% stuff. David I have nothing against you or 90% of the other people up there. I am sick and tired of people who have no idea what there talking about calling me names and assuming they know my motivations, seeing your tone in this interview I assumed you were open to debate.

            I believe it is the duty of every american to to question and criticize there government. I also think you may want to look into what group designed that 3% patch on your hat once you do let me know.

            As for the “Militia” stuff I never said you wouldn’t answer the call of the Governor I would expect you all to. I was saying that because State Law says only the Governor can Activate/Muster the unorganized Militia and only Congress is allowed to approve of the Training you guys being constitutionally minded should call yourselves anything but “Militia”. I really like the way Anchorage does it with the Defense Force thing (Although with ASDF there is some opportunity for mix up) something like that may be a better idea and more in tune with your stated mission. I have always had a huge issue with anybody in a “Militia” assuming the rank or position of an officer as that is not only Codified in State and Federal Law as the sole purview of the Governor but has a well documented history.

            Again just to make this clear I have no problem with you, I still like most of the “Militia” guys/gals I met when I was up there. There are a few people that continue to give you guys a bad name and I think its important that you guys do outreach like this article so there is a better understanding of what you do.

            I also know you would be much more widely excepted as a group if you dropped the “Militia” title and tried to stay away from the fringe elements within the wider Patriot movement .

            “You changed my mind with what you posted in the comments” said nobody ever , I don’t expect you to be sending me flowers for valentines day, but try not to attack folks mostly if you don’t even know a smidgen of the truth about there situation.

            • David Luntz says:

              Bill and others. I am open to discussion, please don’t think I am not, but it is hard to not be a little irritated by some of the comments. I guess its ok to be a target of criticism and words of ill, but if I choose (and I did refrain) to use some I am the guilty one. That is ok, I can sleep at night, which Im sure you all can too.. To this point Ive thought the discussion has been pretty civil.

              AS far as using the word militia. We do this for a few reasons. One because that is what we are, sanctioned or not. Secondly I would rather hear folks call themselves militia then hide behind soft sugar coated names or use organizational names such as some national groups do who claim they are not militias but do everything we do and more because of tax exemption and funding from national level memberships. At least you know what you get when you see and hear of us, we do not try and camouflage our purpose.

              I do appreciate your words Bill, although we have some history, it is ok to talk, no flowers though.

              I would like to dispute the two specific statute’s you pointed out.

              AS 26.05.070. Governor May Order Organized Militia Into Active Service.
              There is no use to regurgitate the written word in this section as it deals with the “organized” and not the “unorganized” such as we are.
              I will state though that it is my belief and many others in the state to include current members of the organized militia that the Governor has and continues to mishandle the Sanctioned state militia “The Alaska State Defense Force”.
              It is many folks belief the state militia should be solely that and not connected to the Federal Government at all. The Governor has disarmed the state militia, has removed their certification standards and requirements and their stated mission relegating them to simple support folks. Many see this as a grave error in the defense of our state for a number of reasons of which some include: the reoccurring deployment of our state’s national guard (our last line of defense) being the primary one. Another just as dire point is the placement of the ASDF under the National Guard which basically for all intensive purposes has been federalized. We see this as a non-supportable issue. Additionally the ASDF should be given its own HQs and installation off Federal property allowing it to be self-sufficient, and finally it needs to be rearmed and funded properly.. Probably some would say this is conspiracy thinking but Alaska is not the only state that this has happened in. As a matter of fact many Governors were directed by the Federal Government to take these steps.. One must ask themselves why?

              AS 26.05.110. Governor May Order Unorganized Militia Into Active Service.

              In the event of imminent invasion by a foreign power and for the same reasons set forth in AS 26.05.070 , if the governor has ordered into active service all of the available organized militia or if the organized militia is in active federal service, the governor may order the unorganized militia or any portion of it considered necessary into active service, and have them perform military duty for the state subject to this chapter, as the circumstances require.

              *** Notice the use of the word “May” . There is a reason for that.

              Most of Alaska Statute is clearly written in support of the Governor’s exercising of the organized militia. The ASDF falls under the organized militia as well. The unorganized militia really has little guidance and is referenced just as little.

              You must understand the reason behind what we do to understand the purpose of our existence..
              1. WE prepare and stay ready for the call if ever there is one.
              2. Our activities are also a form of peaceful demonstration of our 1st and 2nd amendment rights. The act of simply coming together causes politicians to think. To act appropriately if you will, for we are but a small representation of the citizenry. We do not threaten, we do not have to. Our existence is enough to trigger thought and remind our political leaders of our constitutional rights and that folks can and will exercise those rights.

              Finally, I understand that we will not convince everyone, and that is fine. All we can do is throw awareness out there and let the community make their decision, kind of like every other social cause we see on a daily basis. I don’t agree with them all, however, it is their right to push them. I want to tell you all that we are not here to hurt the public. We are here for the public to fall behind us if they are being hurt. We don’t care if you’re a liberal, or a republican or an atheist or a Muslim, all we care is that you support or natural rights as affirmed by the constitution and the rule of law. That’s it. We are not here to rob banks, shoot up schools, torch your house or steal from you. We are here to protect our state against what ever may present itself in the future. We understand that you didn’t ask us to do this, and we understand that you may not support us right now, however, in the future if we are standing a line you will still be afforded our protection. Lets hope that day never comes.

              I would like to say thank you to all those who have spoke up in support of our groups, We are not perfect, but I can tell you we do police our own groups. We do not accept Felons, Sex Offenders or AWOL military, we police our own. I can tell you our group has personally discharged / released four individuals for conduct we felt did not meet our ethical standards. I can tell you all the groups in the state that I know exist operate the same.

              I know this is long, and I once again I thank Ms. Devon for allowing us to show ourselves off somewhat. I will get off my soapbox now. If anyone has any questions in the future about the militia please feel free to email me at: david.luntz@hotmail.com – I will answer any questions the best I can. Thank you all.

      • Slaughter says:

        The Bundy situation deteriorated to where the different factions turned on one another. I imagine that if they had done a joint exercise such s this that it wouldn’t have happened. The same could be said for those split on the left and the right. I am decidedly on the left, but these folks strike me as organized and responsible. This was a great read on a Saturday morning. I learned quite a lot.

  6. juneaudream says:

    Were to start..where to start! Loved the full scale write up, but cringed at .the picture of peanut butter. If it is not Adams peanut butter..is too much sugar and salt. Peeing in a cup..well..suggest you do some ..trials..as to creative ways you could solve the toileting concerns. Noted the 20-26 time frame..it took you and your mug..to make contact. 76 and a half..and yup..a Mongolian-finn. Truly..Have not had such a ..Good Read..in ages! Thanks much. :)

  7. mike from iowa says:

    Ms Fearless Leader Jeanne,I appreciate the lengths you went to to explain and visualize your culinary creations while at day camp. I was almost left with the impression you had chopped liver with peanut butter on what looked to be wheat bread. You’ll have to forgive me if I retch-here.

  8. Alaska Pi says:

    Ok. I was hoping folks would engage in conversation here but here I am flapping on again all by myself .

    I am trying not to be confrontational and that’s a dang-all hard thing for me to do.

    I am still trying though this next set of issues/questions may hit a whole lot of buttons;

    http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/04/18/how-did-i-miss-militia-god-gave-land-settlers-not-shoshone-154472

    A critique of methods to support Mr Bundy was included in talks at this meetup.
    I see no critique about whether Mr Bundy had a compelling beef with the Fed. I do not think he did/does and reject the idea that the militias who responded were righteous in supporting him.
    AND I sure would like to know why the Dann sisters who had a much more compelling beef have not had similar support.

    ———————————————————————

    ‘…Tradition is historic practice after all. Transgressors who want to test this are treated like trespassers on private property.

    Private property draws its own boundaries meant to include and exclude. Those who own have the right to be protected. Those who don’t own have no right. The more you own, the more rights you have.

    Couple this thinking with overtly white institutions and you arrive at what legal scholar Cheryl Harris describes as “whiteness as property.” Whiteness becomes a form of property that must be defended and valorized. It seeks inclusion as well exclusion. It demarcates social boundaries. Those who trespass must be punished as if they violated property rights. Border towns such as Chamberlain are the epitome of such thinking.”

    Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/06/25/chamberlain-south-dakota-border-town-and-its-indian-problem

  9. As far as speaking for other state’s militias I cannot. We do try and educate ourselves on the constitution’s original intent, and we do try and become as proficient in our skills as possible. For what purpose would you own material if you could not use it effectively? We do not profess to be perfect, nor attempt to correct other’s imperfections. It must really be nice to be so high and mighty and perfect as some of you feel so free to do so. For those of you that live outside of Alaska, I can appreciate your feelings and misgivings, believe me when I travel outside and visit the lower 48, I feel pretty out of my environment as well. Alaska PI, you and I have talked before, so hello its been awhile… Sorry to see you still feel the need to hide behind a fictitious name though.. as far as state vs. fed, i am letting neither off, both have problems to be corrected. Unfortunately without people exercising their rights they will only get worse. As far as God, yes I guess I can agree that means higher authority. To you, me it means our lord and savior jesus Christ. To someone else maybe Buddha and others something else. The basic tenant is live by the Golden Rule. Finally, the Central Alaska Militia and every other Militia in Alaska to include Mr. Cox’s now dissolved Group are separate and independent group’s one to not be judged by the actions of another. We are all responsible for our own actions are we not? Thanks again to the Mudflats staff for crossing the line, it was a pleasure to accept the olive branch and it will be extended back again in the future.

    • mike from iowa says:

      I believe the original intent of the 2nd Amendment dealt with militias as owners/possessors of weapons,not as private citizens..

      • Matt from Soldotna says:

        I disagree with you on that Mike. Each militia member back them had to report with their own gear just like today.

    • Alaska Pi says:

      Mr Luntz- thank you for remembering we have chatted before.As for the hide-behind-ficticious-name dealie- well, that’s a yes-no thing.It IS my real nickname, but not my given name… well, sorta… doesn’t matter. Have my reasons but please be assured, there’s no real hiding going on .
      If I wasn’t clear- I was not branding CAM as the same-as Mr Cox’s defunct organization.I was merely remarking I had looked at the CAM mission statement when his trial put militia’s on my radar. I looked at other outfits’ statements too.
      My remarks were specific to CAM’s mission statement.
      To start from a different angle- while I understand where notions of natural or God-given rights come from , I don’t necessarily agree with those notions , which fall in the category of status-based justifications for rights theory.
      http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rights/#6
      Nor do I necessarily fall in the usual other camp- instrumental rights. I am intrigued by the notions in 6.3 of a kind of contractual rights justification but rarely find anyone who wants to chat some of it through.
      ( I have a similar set of issues with the 2 main theories – will and interest- as regards the functions of rights.)
      All this is by way of saying I’m uncomfortable with the teaming of a set of documents such as the Constitution and Bill of Rights with what feels to me like a law-of-the-universe dealie and tying it to non-defined notions of freedom and what it means to be free as in the section I named A.
      I am glad to see you are wary of our state government . I really, really do think the tension between the federal and state governments is important and while it is stomach churning and blood pressure raising at times , it has served good purpose from both sides and totally disagree that the “greatest system of checks and balances exists with the people and their States to check the powers accrued by the federal government.” – ( from the section I called B )
      And I’m not joking I was ticked about the tyranny making list of isms.
      Each and every form of human organization be it governmental, religious, familial, whatever has the seeds of tyranny just waiting to for a drop of water to take root and grow if we don’t stay on top of it.
      Every form- not just the listed isms…
      Plato recognized that over 2000 years ago when he wrote about maintaining a constant eye on our institutions .

  10. mike from iowa says:

    MJ: You point out that the NRA has the Second Amendment inscribed in their lobby, but with the militia clause removed.

    MW: Yes. That was first reported in an article in Mother Jones in the ’90s. But I didn’t want to rely on just that, so one of my colleagues went out to the NRA headquarters to look at the lobby. And she had her picture taken in front of the sign so we could confirm that it was actually still there!

    If you don’t agree with an amendment,just remove the offending part and voila-you’re a budding expert.

  11. mike from iowa says:

    Well Jeanne,you got trucks and a dog,so far. All you need is some Mom and apple pie and you’d have the makings of a pretty good country and western song.

    • Elsie says:

      Hey, Mike.

      Jeanne could also mention the drone, that it happened in Alaska, and, of course, somewhere, somehow, contrast her little Subaru with big and powerful, 4-wheel drive, diesel-spewing trucks.

      And instead of apple pie THIS time, maybe use MREs and Chinese takeout?

      Oh, one last thing: she can’t forget Mr. Camo Guy in his ghillie suit…

      NOW, I think we’re getting somewhere…

      • mike from iowa says:

        Thanks Elsie. Suppose,just for the sake of C&M genre, we could call “camo guy” Mickey ghilley? This is a collaborative effort and anyone/everyone feel free to contribute. :)

        • camo guy. says:

          Ghillie is actually a Scottish term for Man, so technically Ghillie suit means Man suit. it was originally used by the Scottish Lords to keep poachers, thieves and brigands away from his land as well as to help the Lord hunt deer and fox. very similar to a modern day Game Warden, Hunting Instructor and ‘Sherrif’ all in one.

  12. camo guy. says:

    the camo and rifles aren’t to protect from the earthquakes or any other natural disaster. they are to protect from the looters and thugs that come out of the woodwork when any natural disaster strikes.

    Hurricane Katrina – had a lot of looters, and aside from the water damage people and businesses both lost a lot to people with less than honest intentions.

    Miller’s Reach Fire – people would drive or walk TOWARDS the fire, to find stuff to steal or brake while the owners were out of the house, and several neighborhoods had to set up their own version of a militia just to protect from the thieves that came out of the woodwork.

    now think if someone had shown up to help protect and feed and if needed help move more people during the miller’s reach fire, or hurricane katrina, or any other natural disaster.

    that’s what this is all about, helping people who need help during a any disaster.

    • mike from iowa says:

      Or,quite possibly,to protect yourselves when you feel the Black Potus has overstepped your idea of the constitution and your personal interpretation of 2nd amendment rights. As far as protection against tsunamis-that was un-camoed snark. I guess you need a sense of humor to understand it.

      • camo guy. says:

        no, i just won’t give into any jibes or sarcastic remarks.

        and my interpretation of the second amendment follows what the Supreme Court has held in it’s decisions.

        • mike from iowa says:

          Which Soopreme Court and which decision(s)? Are you referring to the present activist,right wing nut job bunch of justices? This idea of being able to buy whatever gun you want-including military assault weapons-is a fairly recent decision. It also doesn’t hold water with “original intent”.

    • Mo says:

      Gee, I thought our National Guard was supposed to do stuff like that.

      • camo guy. says:

        so are you going to carry a National Guardsman in your back pocket ?

        the National Guard has a very specific mission and sometimes they can take too long to get to the emergency whatever it may be. they can only do so much. and are only allowed to do so much without several different levels of approval.

        i can drive down the road and help my neighbors anytime without any needed approval. i just go and help them. same with the rest of the groups at that weekend.

      • Matt from Soldotna says:

        How did the National Guard do during and after Katrina?

        • mike from iowa says:

          If memory serves,many of our Natioal Guardmen and women were over in Iraq and Afghanistan getting their silly asses killed for no apparent reason. otoh those that were present for Katrina did a far superior job than any Alaska militia.What was your point?

    • Camo Guy

      I think its great that you guys want to serve your communities, armed or otherwise. I do have to take issue with the use of the term “Militia” as it pertains to some of the groups involved. “The Militia” as defined in Alaska statute is every able bodied man over the age of 17 within the state and is under the control of the governor. Although many of the folks involved here are members by default of the unorganized state Militia these groups you guys keep referring to are nothing more than private clubs not “Militias”. The governor is the only one who can form and activate Militia units and establish there chain of command. These clubs that are calling themselves “Militias” are nothing more than a fantasy and the appointment of officers within these units is a direct affront to the Constitution of Alaska and the United States.

      It would be better and more in tune with the law if you guys stuck with using anything but the name Militia.

  13. David Luntz says:

    You are correct Elsie; we are nothing like that.

    We appreciate the opportunity to open our organizations up for a peek.

    If I knew you were eating PB&J I would of thrown ya an MRE!

    AS far as dealing with natural disasters and or Terrorists, Foreign or Domestic, we will continue to build our response capabilities. Be patient, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

    If your interested in finding out more you can check out our web page at: http://www.centralalaskamilitia.com

    Thanks again Jeanne, your welcome anytime, and ill insure next time you eat better than PB&J and even walk away with some militia swag.. ;)

    Thanks again for crossing the line to check us out.

    • Alaska Pi says:

      AKM- This post is a lot of why I visit MF regularly and will continue to do so.
      Thank you!
      Mr Luntz-

      I do have issues – many, many, many issues , with the guiding philosophy , implicit and explicit in the Central Alaska Militia’s mission statement and given the oft made point that those of us from the left share many goals/ideas/whatever with these folks , I have some comments.
      For Mudflatters who haven’t read from the link the ABC dealie is mine and just to make it easier for me to comment. The points I chose are mine and not a full list of the items in the statement.

      from Chapter 2
      Central Alaska Militia’s Mission Statement

      We therefore pledge

      A-“To defend the Constitution of the United States of America. To uphold and to defend the Bill of Rights,seen as inalienable, given by God to free men that they may remain free.”
      ————————————————————————————————
      B-“To promote and defend the principles of just government bequeathed to
      us by our forefathers to WHIT,which the principle of the Tenth Amendment shall stand inviolate, as history has shown that the greatest system of checks and balances exists with the people and their States to check the powers accrued by the federal government.”
      ————————————————————————————————————
      C-‘To repel foreign aggression and invasions, by preparing and training for defense and by our encouraging and showing reason why all citizens should stand stoutly against socialism, fascism, communism, humanism, and all forms of tyranny”
      ——————————————————————————————————

      re B-
      1- typo alert. WHIT is a scrap, a small amount, etc. to WIT is what y’all seem to be saying
      2-the same Constitution, which was amended to include the 10th amendment , was amended to include the 14th. I trust my state as about as much as the fed to look out for individuals and classes of people the majority is “squishy” about extending full rights of citizenship to. The pushme-pullyou of the two authorities is messy but works out relatively well so I reject the notion that the 10th amendment is “inviolable”. I think the adjustment the 14th makes is necessary and just as important.

      re A and C-
      As a hippie commie liberal weirdo atheist (folks do call me that quite often) I have a bit of a go accepting the God-given rights dealie, though I do understand the genesis of the notion that by lodging a notion of certain rights as natural, or given by a higher power, humans are precluded from trying to take said rights from others, or at the very least that attempts to infringe/take away said rights allow for righteous response from folks.
      The equal protection clause is every bit as important as the state’s rights stuff and should you want I will provide a long list of things I think our state does which torches my shorts as regards rights about which I am happy as hell to have the Fed sticking its nose into.
      I’m more than a bit ticked off about the list of “tyranny” making isms there
      but then I’m a far, far left libertarian socialist who wouldn’t be welcome at CAM anyway.
      Humanism is a strange add to the list given the history of ideas and actions behind the idea. It can be said , with a fair amount of veracity, that humanism had a lot to do with the growth of ideas which formed our country and to some extent the constitution… also too, even and as well.

      I had read this whole thing about a year ago when the Schaeffer Cox stuff was fully in my mind and have skimmed it again. I am impressed with the internal discipline of the groups AKM observed but still very, very leery of the WHYS and WHEREFORES of all this , well regulated or not.

      • boodog says:

        ”To defend the Constitution of the United States of America.”

        The Constitution would need to be understood fully and completely in order for these militias to defend it. Even the Supreme Court has trouble interpreting parts of it or relating it to today’s standards. We would have to trust that all members of militias across the country know state and federal law. yikes.

        I wonder if well regulated also includes well educated.

      • First Peoples says:

        You have a built in Militia in Alaska – the First Peoples…
        Instead of bolstering their ‘guns’ they are using them to hunt for meat…
        Instead of camping to fill the woods with diesel they get a boat and go fishing…
        I am guessing the First Peoples might have built a boat for them already…
        They are just waiting for them to show up so they can give them the gift…
        Then they can help them launch it in the ocean…yes go spread the word…
        And good riddance…just like they did to Russia way back when…
        I noticed that Putin thought Alaska was too ‘cold’ for Russia…lol…
        Aww…what’s the matter…don’t want to get whooped twice? grin…

  14. Matt from Soldotna says:

    You could have had rid eyes and Caesar salad under the green tarp. I enjoyed your article. I had never attended an event like this before and I was glad to see that everyone was so likeable and normal, you included. I’m the bearded guy that was watching the tree line during the 2200 to 0000 watch. I was looking for sneaky squatchs!

  15. Well trained citizen militias are nothing to be feared. Thanks to all for making this happen. I fully support your efforts.

    • WakeUpAmerica says:

      “Well-trained” is the key word isn’t it? Therein lies the problem and the test that most militias fail.

  16. Zyxomma says:

    It’s too late for me to watch the video, so I’ll come back. You had a much more interesting solstice than I did, Jeanne, and the photos are perfect.

  17. slipstream says:

    I, for one, am glad that these guys are around to keep us safe from natural disasters – tsunamis and earthquakes and floods and fires. Because when a tsunami hits, it really helps if somebody is wearing camouflage. And with enough semi-automatic rifles and assorted sidearms, you can shoot an earthquake.

    Yeppers, I feel so much safer.

  18. Elsie says:

    Outstanding post. Good for you, Jeanne, to go willingly, and alone, into that weekend adventure as a known liberal blogger and political activist. I really respect your fortitude there!

    I love that the stereotypical, skeery old, militia types with an itchy gun trigger were actually found to be responsible, mature, friendly citizens willing to share their knowledge and concerns about self-protection and developing community support in times of need. They kind of seem like “regular folks”, don’t they?!

    They sound nothing like militia nutcases who make the news, such as one Alaska Militia leader; Schaeffer Cox “who spewed anti-government rhetoric and amassed weapons in a plot to kill federal law enforcement officials will spend nearly 26 years in a federal prison” and “was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court on nine felony counts, including conspiracy and possessing illegal weapons. The 28-year-old is the third and last member of the Alaska Peacemakers Militia to be sentenced after authorities used an informant to infiltrate the group.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/08/schaeffer-cox-sentenced-26-years_n_2435659.html

    Yup, nothing at all like that.

  19. tmm says:

    Great article, Jeanne.
    Always love your writing’s informality & voice – like friends jus’ talkin’.

  20. RipleyInCT says:

    typo alert- right after the KampKrazy photo, “solstice” is misspelled.

    Other than that? You made me feel as if I was there. Or at least wished I was driving by on a 4-wheeler ;-)

    PS: I have used a super size soda cup from Burger King in a micturation emergency in my vehicle. Filled it. Just sayin’.

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