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Upcoming Open-Enrollment Course

We did not have any more open-enrollment courses for the rest of the year, but we’ve had a pretty last-minute opportunity come up in NE Missouri, in the vicinity of Hannibal, MO. We will be teaching a three-day Clandestine Carry Pistol course, followed by our two-day TC3 course. The days/dates for these classes are:

FRI-SUN 21/22/23 OCT for Clandestine Carry Pistol
MON-TUE 24/25 OCT for Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TC3)

Cost for the classes is $500 for the pistol course and $300 for the TC3 course, BUT…

For students that choose to attend both courses, we will offer the TC3 for the reduced rate of $100, to cover the cost of materials. That means, you can get into CCP and TC3 for $600.

Because of the last-minute, short lead time on this course, deposits will be due by 8 OCT, with the balance payable upon arrival at the training location.

For more details, or to enroll for these courses, email HH6 at MosbyHH6@hushmail.com.

Wake The Fuck Up, Already!!!

In the last several days, a couple of different IEDs have been detonated within the CONUS borders of the United States, along with several IEDs being discovered that were not successfully detonated. A jihadist in Minnesota attacked a handful of people, armed with a knife…

Those things happened.

Here’s what didn’t happen…

The United Nations did not invade. The US Armed Forces were not used to invade a town or city and declare martial law. An EMP device was not detonated over the CONUS, plunging us immediately into a new dark age, instantaneously (but, damn, that would have been convenient, huh? “Look, Honey, I don’t have to go to work today! It’s SHTF time!”).

If we are actually PRACTICAL “preppers,” “survivalists,” or–to use the term I prefer–simply, “adult human beings,” we SHOULD be prepared for bad events and WTSHTF. Far too many people who call themselves “preppers” though, focus too much on far-fetched “Black Swan” type of events that “could” happen (and perhaps even “will” happen), but choose, whether consciously or unconsciously (I tend to believe it is semi-consciously, because the implications of the potential for something that occurs regularly elsewhere, to happen to “me” is fucking scary), to ignore the reality of what is happening all around them every day.

Yesterday, I was stuck at a social event for about five hours. In the course of that, I had conversations with an even dozen people (after the first three in a row, I consciously kept count) who admitted that they were actually carrying their CCW gun, even though they “normally” don’t carry it regularly, according to their own admission. When I asked what had happened to change their normal behavior, each of them pointed at the “bombings” in NYC and NJ, or the knife attack in MN, as the catalyst.

Don’t misunderstand me, this is not a “bad” thing. Good guys carrying guns is seldom, if ever, a bad thing. However, I would hasten to point out that, against a remote-detonated IED, a gun is fundamentally as useless as “teats on a boar,” to borrow an old Southern Highlands colloquialism. Despite that, none of the twelve that I conversed with had so much as a pair of nitrile surgical gloves on their person, let alone chest seals or a tourniquet. Three or four acknowledged that they had a current First-Aid/CPR certification, but even those admitted that their certification classes had actually not even mentioned dealing with gunshot wounds or burn/blast injuries. The other eight or nine admitted that the depth of their “first-aid training” extended to putting a band-aid on a cut.

Guys and girls, putting on your multi-cam ACUs and plate carrier, with lots of “sheepdog” and “III” and Homo Hoplite “SPARTA!” morale patches does not make you an “operator.” It does not make you “prepared.” There is nothing wrong with taking these classes, otherwise I wouldn’t teach them. BUT…my experience, among both “preppers” and the general public has been that there is a metric fuck-ton of Dunning-Kruger going on, when it comes to CCW handgun skills. When it comes to medical shit? Hell, most people know they don’t know fuck-all, but they are also dumb enough to believe “it’ll never happen to me.”

I’ve had the discussion on this blog before, about the ideal progression of training, using my classes as the metric, but whether you’re taking them from me or someone else, your first training priority, from a contemporary emergency/SHTF perspective, should be a serious medical/trauma aid/TC3 course that covers GSW and burn/blast injuries, followed by a concealed-carry APPLICATIONS course (note that this is distinct from the concealed-carry licensing course). After that, there’s lots of value in attending rifle courses and tactical classes like SUT, vehicle-based, and fighting in structures.

In light of this, because I believe this so ardently, from now on, anytime I teach an open-enrollment Clandestine Carry Pistol course, or a Combat Rifle class (whether Fundamentals or Applications), I am going to attach a TC3 class at either the front-end or back-end of the class. It will be a completely separate course, but…students who choose to attend both will get a steeply discounted attendance price for the TC3 class. An example of this is the class I am getting ready to announce in the next post. It is a Clandestine Carry Pistol course, followed by a two-day TC3 course. The cost for the CCP course is $500, while the cost for the TC3 course is $300. If you choose to attend BOTH courses however, the TC3 course will only be $100, for a total price of $600 for both. The cost for TC3 won’t ALWAYS be $100 when appended to the other coursework, because we determine what we charge for classes largely on travel expenses, etc, but, it will always be steeply discounted. You NEED TC3 training. The life you save might be MINE!

The point though is not about the upcoming class (that will be in the next post). The point is, if you don’t have a realistic, effective, fighting handgun course, focused on getting the gun out from concealment and getting solid hits on an appropriate target, in time, but you have a dozen carbine/rifle courses under your belt, and are doing SUT training every weekend or every month, you’re wronger than two boys fucking. Whether you carry a gun or not, if you consider yourself a “prepper” of any sort, because you are concerned about the state of affairs in the nation/world today, but you don’t have first-aid/trauma training in a course that specifically deals with GSW and burn/blast/shrapnel injuries, you’re even more wrong.

Fuck Your Feelings, You Old Goat.

(In which I offend the delicate sensibilities of old people, fat people, Krav Maga True Believers, and 99% of the Three Percent…)

I’m currently suffering from a real job-induced case of severe “tennis elbow.” In the simplest terms, this is a case of a severely inflamed tendon in the elbow, from repetitive, high-stress, high-impact overuse. This particular case of tennis elbow, in my right arm (and yes, I am right-handed), is having a profound impact on pretty much everything that I do: from swinging a hammer, or carrying groceries and kids and other loads, to shooting and yes, (gasp!) my PT (seriously, my deadlift loads currently would be a joke for a serious strength athlete half my body weight).

It’s one of those nagging things that comes up, seemingly with far greater frequency after I passed forty, than ever arose in my younger years. What, even in my late-thirties would have been cured by a day of rest, a couple 800mg “Ranger Candy” boluses of Motrin, and a quart of water, has been nagging at me for the better part of a fortnight, with no real signs that it is going away (the fact that I have repeatedly foregone the “rest” part of that treatment, and replaced it with topical anti-inflammatory cremes and rubs, and then just “sucked it up,” to drive on and get done what needs to get done is immaterial…really…). It has become one of those things that, very distantly, and only occasionally heard, like a hollow cry from across the valley, reminds you, “Haha, dude! You ARE after all, mortal, and you are NOT getting any younger!”

It’s the same reminder my body gives me in the mornings, when I awake, and feel the arthritic stiffness that is the legacy of the broken hips, back, and femurs—along with a host of equally serious, but less dramatic old injuries—of a lifetime of hyper-aggressive combat athleticism and life. It has become, disturbingly, the sound of the Sirens’ song, tempting me to drive the ship that is my life, onto the rocky shores in a quest for the physical bliss of letting myself relax, and get fat, lazy, and useless.

STOP!!!

Relax. While I AM going to touch on the fact that this is not a temptation that I am willing to allow myself to succumb to, instead choosing to have myself bound to the metaphorical mast of duty, so I can hear the song, without failing, this is NOT going to be the expected “Oh, gee, look, John Mosby is bitching about me not doing my PT again,” article that you are probably thinking it is…much…

Instead, this is a discussion about the role we—as the elders of your tribes—have to play, even as we recognize that we are –if not “past,” then at least—rapidly approaching, the pinnacle of our physical prowess. While there are things I’m far better at now than I ever was in my teens, twenties, or thirties, they are generally not the things that require the maximum amount of physical agility.

Too often (admittedly, mostly in the past, as I’m entirely too busy to waste my fucking limited time these days on the nonsense ravings and pleading protestations of the spineless “ne’er dones” of the Internet), I’ve seen the rantings of “preppers” and “patriots: who self-identify as “old,” or “crippled up,” about their inability to A,B, or C physical training tasks, whether that is PT, or actual defensive shooting drills, instead of sitting their fat ass on a bench, behind a table at the range, but their “willingness” and “ability” to “take some with me,” as they “die on my hill.”

At the calculated risk of micro-aggressing your self-deluded imagined “safe spaces” of glory, it’s utter, absolute, complete, bullshit, for a number of reasons. Yes, that’s right. If you lay claim to a willingness to “die on a hill,” because you’re too “old/crippled/tired” (translated into English as, “I’m a lazy fucking Oxygen Thief who doesn’t actually care about my people”), you are fucking full of shit. Don’t like it? Wanna kick my ass? Take a number and get in line. Or, let me know. I’ll invite you to a class, on me, and you can give ‘er hell. I’m passed giving two shits about whiny bitches.

At the risk of sounding melodramatic (as if the last two sentences of that last paragraph weren’t enough, right?), I’ve spent my entire life immersed in some aspect or another of “warrior culture.” I’ve been training in combat sports since I was a kid. I learned to read by reading old army Field Manuals and Soldier of Fortune magazine (as well as all the other mercenary porn magazines of the late 70s, and 80s.) I went in the military at 18. I signed into Fort Benning less than 48 hours after I was handed my high school diploma, and in one form or another, I’ve been involved in training myself and others, professionally, for interpersonal violence on the collective and individual levels, ever since.

Today, I met a young NCO. He was an army Staff Sergeant (the same rank I held when I ETS’d), who was 24 years old. Think about that. He was not even in High School when 9/11 happened. He was not even out of diapers when I went to Basic Training. I see young guys with multiple combat deployments, who were in grade school, when I was getting out of the army. Fuck, I am THAT old guy, now (I mean, not really. I’ve never driven a taxi in Columbus, claiming to be the former Regimental Sergeant-Major of the Ranger Regiment, or around Fayetteville, NC, claiming to be a former Delta Squadron CSM. So, there’s THAT, at least….).

If I am ever again called upon to ruck up, and go conduct a six-day combat patrol through the mountains, I am NOT going to be a happy individual. So, why do I still train? I have a pretty respectable legacy behind me in that area. I can whip out my DD-214 and show some student who questions how I know how this shit I am teaching actually works. “Well, dude, look what I did ‘back then!’” It will elicit the appropriate “oohs!” and “aahs!” and they will probably pay attention, and still learn something. My children will continue to believe, as my oldest told someone a few weeks ago, “Daddy is a superhero!” So, why do I bother?

Because I care not just about me. I care about my people. My children, my wife, my cousins and siblings and nieces and nephews, and my oath-sworn kin and their children as well. I care about passing on the life-saving skills and knowledge that I have (not just in the “face shooting” spectrum of skills either. Fat people make shitty gardeners, and worse livestock husbandmen), to ensure that my people, and thus the cultural values of our tribal community, survive the death throes of this imperial civilization (and if you are still in denial about THAT, well, you’re dumber than a bag of rocks sitting in a pond full of shit).

You know who doesn’t care about my DD-214? You know who doesn’t care about what a hard-dicked, soul-stealing, gunslinger I used to be? My best friend’s son. All he knows, if I’m a fat, lazy bastard, who drinks too much, is “Uncle John? Meh, he’s an old fat fucker. He tells good stories, but I figure they’re about ¾ bullshit!” You think he’s going to pay attention when I tell him he needs to eat right, lift heavy shit, run far, fast, and know how to shoot, move, and communicate? Not just “no,” but “Hell, no!” He’s going to go back in the house, away from the old farts, sitting on the porch, swapping yarns, and get right back to playing video games. Hell, I don’t even blame him. I would’ve done the same damned thing.

You can preach all you want, to your kids about “respect your elders!” but if those elders don’t earn that respect, they’re not going to get it. If you’re that elder, and you’re trying to pass on life lessons to the youth of your community/clan/tribe/church congregation/militia unit/what-the-fuck-ever, you’d damned sure better be able to walk the walk, rather than spinning a skein of bullshit yarns, or nobody is going to take you serious.

It’s really, Leadership 101, straight out of The Ranger Handbook: Be, Know, and Do.

If you’re going to tell your young tribesmen that they need to eat healthy, whole foods, instead of fast food and packaged, processed snacks, you’d better BE an example of the benefits of that diet. You’d better KNOW what they should be eating, why they should be eating it, and how to make it palatable. And, you’d better DO it. You tell me, “John, you should eat organic, grass-fed beef, and eggs from pasture-raised chickens! It’s better for you, and it tastes better too!” but I see you scarfing down a Sausage, Egg, and Cheese McDouble or three for breakfast, I’m going to know you’re full of shit.

If you want your young bucks to actually be able to fight well, as light infantrymen, in a grid-down scenario, to protect your community (and by inclusion, your precious self and all your resources), nobody expects you to outperform a 20-year old college athlete, but you’d better be able to at least keep up, most of the time, and you’d still better be able to outperform him at some of the stuff (like, oh, I don’t know, the shit that you’re supposed to be able to do better, like decision-making, “multi-tasking,” thinking and planning, etc, even on the run). If you can’t, then why in the fuck would they listen to you, just because you fought “in the ‘Nam,” or—for those of us of a younger, but still aging generation—“…in the ‘Stan?” Sure, I’ll listen to the old ‘Nam, Korea, and—rapidly decreasing—World War Two veterans at the local VFW or Legion Hall. Hell, I’ll even buy their beers. You’d better bet your ass though that everything they tell me is going to get filtered through whatever other experiences I have, or—in the case of the young buck who’s never been—think I have.

I met a young kid the other day, in a social environment. Early twenties, he’s a college student. Really nice kid. Conversation turned—as it seems to with increasing frequency these days, regardless of whom the conversation is with—about the “coming collapse.” He started telling me about how he is really well-trained and prepared for it, because he “used to teach Krav Maga.” Now, I’m not interested in a fucking debate in the comments to this article about how “awesome” and “effective” Krav is, “because IDF!” 1) The IDF guys I know laugh about the Krav marketing, 2) Whatever you THINK the Sayeret commandos are doing for combatives training is probably as accurate as what you think SEAL Team 6/DEVGRU is doing (in other words, not fucking very), and 3) Krav is a fucking joke. (I mean come the fuck on, US Krav guys are still teaching “Israeli Carry,” for fuck’s sake! If you think “Israeli Carry” is a good idea, do the world a favor, and go cut your own fucking throat, preferably before you breed that stupidity into the human gene pool.) None of that really matters though. What matters is, this was a kid in his early twenties. I guaran-damn-tee you, he didn’t weigh 125 pounds, soaking wet, in two pairs of boots. If he’s ever been in a fight in his life, it was getting beat up and shoved in a toilet in his high school gym class. However, because he “used to teach Krav Maga,” he is convinced he is a subject matter expert in combatives, knife fighting, and close-quarters gunfighting.

Do you think, for one minute, that me telling him, “Hey, dude, listen, that’s cool, but from a dude who has actually shot people for a living, for, like, real…that shit don’t work!” is going to make one bit of a difference in changing his mind to seek out more effective, REAL training? No. Fuck no. He doesn’t care. On the other hand, because I am—despite being “old”—still fit, strong, and training, I can “teach” him, in a friendly way, on the mats, that “that’s cool, but from a dude who has actually shot people for a living, for like, real…that shit don’t work!”

The offer of “Alright, you use whatever you think you’ve got to stop me from planting your face in the mat, and my foot in your cervical spine,” and then simply demonstrating, in a friendly training environment, on the mats (“Man, that’s really cool. We should train some time. Maybe you can show me some of that stuff!” actually works really, really, really well, in my experience. Far, far better than, “Your kung-fu sucks. My kung-fu is better!”), is convincing in a very visceral way.

(The same thing works for FoF training with firearms, incidentally. Even with AirSoft guns, the lessons of getting pellets smacking into your face shield, is apparently very convincing.)

“What the fuck is the point, John?” you are thinking. “I thought this was NOT going to be a ‘do more PT’ article?”

Your job; your role; your position, at the fall of empire, if you actually give a shit about ANYTHING beyond yourself and your material “stuff,” is to be a fucking mentor. You need to be making concerted efforts to pass on the traditions, values, and customs of your tribal/community culture, whatever they may be. From “these are the foods we eat, and this is why,” (that is a custom and the cultural value underlying it, for the anthropologically-challenged) to “we never hit women, because women are the mothers of the future of our tribe,” (again, a tradition and a value that is the reason for the tradition); from “hit him first, hit him hard, and keep hitting him until he can’t get up, because fair fights are for suckers, and if you lose, you—or someone else in the community—may die as a result,” to “stay fit and strong so you can protect the less able,” if you are not taking every opportunity that arises—and creating those opportunities when they don’t arise on their own—then you don’t actually give a shit.

If that is the case, you are the worst kind of caricature of a “prepper” or “patriot:” the kind who blathers about freedom, liberty, and cultural values, while really just being afraid of losing your stuff. If that is you, fuck you, I hate you, and I hope you lose all your stuff in a house fire, and the insurance company fucks you over.

If that is NOT the case. If you ARE creating and taking advantages of those opportunities for mentorship—or even just TRYING to do so—then you have to look at what kind of mentor you are being. Are you just THAT old guy, that the kids listen to because their REAL mentors convinced them to “respect their elders,” or are you the kind of mentor that actually mentors, by being a leader, and leading from the front? Remember, at the end of the day, ESPECIALLY when it comes to teaching, “Who Does More Is Worth More.”

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a really bad case of tennis elbow. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a jinky knee or hip, or a bad back. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re past your prime. You need to have good, quality information to pass on, and you need to be ABLE to pass it on by demonstrating it, and showing that it works. Be a GOOD mentor for the youth of your tribe. Be a LEADER. Quit making excuses. Go get training. Learn to do shit the right way, instead of the lazy way, then pass the good information on.

I’ve had men in their seventies show up to my classes. They couldn’t keep up with the guys in their twenties all the time on the physical stuff, and neither they, the other students, nor myself, expected them to. I’ve had guys show up to my classes, realize they weren’t fulfilling their potential, yet, and change their life afterwards. From becoming serious strength and conditioning athletes, to beginning training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, to becoming fucking gardeners in their 1/8th acre, suburban backyards.

Seriously…I saw just the other day, a former student, who wasn’t a weight lifter before he took his first class with me a couple years ago, is entering his first powerlifting competition…in his 50s. I posted an email from a former student a couple years ago who credited surviving a heart attack to the PT program he began doing AFTER he took my class. I know of three men, all friends, who started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, after training with me. One is in his sixties, the other two in their fifties. What the fuck is your excuse again?

So yeah, I’m old now, and getting older by the day. I am still going to continue doing PT, and shooting and doing dry-fire every day. I’m still going to do my combatives training. Not because I have delusions of being some sort of super-guerrilla commando raider in the “Coming Revolution,” but because I know that, if I want my children and grandchildren, and our cultural values, to survive the death throes we are currently living through, they are going to need a tight-knit community of kith-and-kin who are just as dangerous as my children and grandchildren will be (and are, really, already, on a pound-for-pound basis), to help them. The only way THOSE members of the tribe are going to take my training advice serious is if I am able to SHOW them why it works, rather than just telling them old war stories.

Go. Train. Be Dangerous. Be a Mentor.

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Editorial/Admin Bullshit Stuff:

A few readers have emailed asking about the proposed subscription-based training stuff. We’re still working on how to make that happen, and even if it should (apparently it should, according to the very…ahem…vehement responses I got from a couple of trusted confidantes…). If my previous track record of trying to monetize shit on this blog, such as the t-shirt, sweathshirts, ball caps, and patches/stickers sales effort, is any indication, it should go live sometime shortly after the climax of the world’s next imperial civilization, in roughly 2600CE, by the current calendar. HH6 and I are however, among a host of other, equally–perhaps more–pressing issues, trying to figure that out.

Also considering trying to record a few podcast episodes this winter, once I get started working on the next book. Any interest in it? I actually like doing the podcast interviews I’ve done with folks, and I almost feel like I can get more information across, more expeditiously, in that manner, than I can in articles, as long as I can stay on track while speaking (as anyone who has ever actually been in a class with me will attest however, I am really, REALLY good at going off on tangents, and then struggling to find my way back to the last en route rally point of the conversation…)

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

The title of this article is an old proverb that I’ve heard my entire life. Having spent all of my life except the decade I spent in uniform, living in rural locations, I’ve understood the truth of it, at least on the surface, for most of the last four decades. It wasn’t until I really started thinking about the lessons of tribalism that I was raised with, while writing Forging The Hero, that I really started understanding the deeper meanings though, despite it unconsciously being a core tenet of the philosophy I’ve lived my life by.

Good fences make good neighbors is directly related to the cultural concepts of innangarth and utangarth that I discussed in Forging The Hero. It is critically relevant to building tribal, resilient communities, both for intra-tribal relationships, and for inter-tribal relations. It’s really a large part of the core of “building rapport” and “winning hearts and minds.”

Boundaries are Boundaries

My innangarth is my tribe. It is composed of the people that I know and trust, and have frith with, because of our shared experiences of shared values, customs, and traditions. Within my innangarth though, there are layers of trust and closeness as well. My household, composed of myself, HH6, and our children are my absolute innermost circle. Outside of them are my kith and kin, then there is another layer of frith, indirectly, with their kith and kin, before looking over the outer walls of the community/tribe, at the rest of the world, whom I don’t know and trust, and are—by definition—utangarth, or “outside.”

It is safe to say, while I DO share cultural values, customs, and traditions, with my kith and kin, I don’t agree with them on everything. There may even be things that are important to me that they disagree with me on, and vice versa (it’s true, I can assure you). That’s okay though, as long as those disagreements are not detrimental to the CORE values, customs, and traditions of the tribe, and as long as practicing those do not violate the orlog, or “laws” of the tribe.

As an example, within the tribe, what my friend or my cousin does, with his family, inside of his family and home, is none of my business…as long as it doesn’t violate the CORE values, customs, and traditions of the tribe. This is an important distinction, that is too often overlooked by too many folks. If my cousin or friend is molesting his child, that is definitely a violation of the CORE values, custom, and traditions of our tribe. That is not acceptable, and it’s not something that we’re going to ignore, because of the belief that “good fence make good neighbors.” Some of OUR core values include, a) children are sacred gifts, and the future of the tribe, and so, must be protected, and b) we believe in protecting those that are incapable of protecting themselves from harm. As such, if this were to occur, there would only be a couple of viable options that would restore the frith of the tribe as a whole…1) would be burying the rotten piece of shit in a deep hole in the woods. 2) would be—possible–turning him over to the “justice” system, for prosecution (assuming he was actually adequately punished, by which I mean, at least the majority of the rest of his natural life in prison. Otherwise, we’d have to resort to #1).

The same would apply—in my tribe—with someone that beat their wife, except that in this case, there is the third option of outlawry, casting them out of the protection of the tribe. In today’s society, that doesn’t mean much, since he could, at least in theory, move to another town or state, and start over, with no one knowing his past, but, it protects OUR people. Ideally of course, such a scumbag would never make it through the initiatory process of inclusion into the clan.

On the other side of the coin however, if my cousin drinks more than I approve of, or decides he wants to smoke pot? It’s none of my fucking business, as long as he is upholding the core values of tribe. If he shows up sloshed for Thanksgiving Dinner at Grandma’s, and pisses on her kitchen floor? Now, he’s violated cultural mores and values, and recompense is due. If he’s losing job after job, and not able to pay rent, and keep a roof over his wife and kid’s heads? Now, there’s an issue we’ve got to deal with. Just drinking more than I think is “okay?” None of my fucking business. Making it my business is going to damage the frith of the tribe (obviously, if your religion believes that consuming ardent spirits is a sin, this particular example doesn’t apply. If you can’t extrapolate from there however, a) you’re an idiot, and b) your understanding of your religion must not be very good.)

So, how does that apply to intentional tribes, such as those discussed in Forging The Hero? It’s pretty simple really (notice that I did not say it was “easy”). You MUST define your core values. These need to be those values that you absolutely, positively, are non-negotiable on. I can’t tell you what those are, because it’s almost certain that yours are not the same as mine, and I won’t tell you what mine are, because they’re none of your fucking business.

When you start looking at a prospective kinsman; someone that has been hanging around, because of shared interests, it becomes critical that you look at them through the lens of those non-negotiable core values. Do they share those values? How do you know? Do they express those values through the same customs and traditions that you do?

Those core values are what matter. The other things? The things dude does in his own home? As long as they don’t violate your core values, they’re none of your business. If there is something he does that you can’t abide, then obviously, you didn’t do a very good job of defining what your core values actually are, did you?

Building Rapport and Winning Hearts and Minds
“Winning hearts and minds,” a phrase first codified by French General Lyautey, in the 19th century, is one that has gotten a really, really bad reputation, because of misapplication in the popular imagination, and by fuckwit politicians, who really don’t understand what the phrase actually refers to.

Winning hearts and minds is NOT about winning over your enemy. Once they’ve decided they need to kill you, for whatever reason, the only way to change their mind is to kill enough of them that their desire to live outweighs whatever urge led them to violence in the first place.

However…

There is still a place for “winning hearts and minds,” and that place is where “good fences make good neighbors” comes into play for the prepared tribe, during the Decline of Empire. The goal of “winning hearts and minds” is not to convert the enemy; it is to convert those of the population not on the enemy’s side, or your side, to either come to your side, or—worst case—stay neutral to the hostilities.

So, how does that apply in this context?

Minding your own damned business!

Not everyone in your community is going to be part of your tribe. At the same time however, that doesn’t necessarily make them the “enemy,” unless you force them to choose the other team to support. If you start looking for reasons to be a dick, or just end up being a dick because of negligence on your part, you WILL drive people to the opposition, and that is a negative outcome for you.

This does not, however, mean that you need to—or should—ignore the behavior of outsiders, when that behavior is antithetical to your core values. Unless you know what your core cultural values are, however, defining what is antithetical to them is impossible. That means someone else—in our world, this generally means either a) one of the political parties, or b) the media, and I’m including bloggers like myself, and social media in category B—will be defining what is antithetical to what they think your core values should be.

If another tribe or group exists within your community, they may be potential allies, even though they don’t share all of your values. They may not share your core values—if they did, they’d probably be members of your tribe—but as long as their core values and your core values are not antithetical, there is no reason that you cannot develop a mutually rewarding inter-tribal relationship with them, if you define your own core cultural values, instead of letting someone from the GOP or DNC define what your core values “should be.”

(And yes, I know for a fact that this blog has readers that vote R and D. I also know that there are readers of this blog who have allowed their respective political party define what their core cultural values “should be.” If you’re surprised at that idea, you’re probably one of them…)

There may be groups in your community who seem to be ideal allies, but once you look deeper, you begin realizing that their core values and your core values are antithetical, meaning there is no way you can have a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship. We’ve seen this in international relations, when the USG supports a force somewhere, following the adage, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” That is unmitigated stupidity. “The friend of my friend is my friend,” is true, if you choose your friends well, but “the enemy of my enemy” may very well be a complete scumbag, who is just as much your enemy as your enemy.

Conclusion
So, what are your core cultural values that are non-negotiable? (That was a rhetorical question. Don’t fill my comment section with lists of what your cultural value are. I don’t give a shit). How many people in your current “prepper group” share those core values? How do you KNOW they share those values? Did they tell you so? Or, have you spent enough time with them to KNOW, through experience?

Are there other groups in your community that could be potential allies, even though they may have a different emphasis than you? (The correct answer is “yes,” 95% of the time—and yes, I made that percentage up, but I would wager it’s close) Are there other groups in your community that might seem like perfect potential allies, but if you really looked, they are natural opposition to you? Are you practicing—like a retard—the belief that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend?”

What are your core cultural values? What customs and traditions do you use to exercise those values? Who do you know—who may not be a “prepper” as such—that shares those values, customs and traditions? That person—those people—should be the people you are looking to as “tribe” and “community,” for surviving and thriving, during the Decline of Empire.

(Finally, one hint about that last paragraph: All you tough guys who talk shit about your families? Where, exactly, do you fucking think your values and customs and traditions came from?)

Skull-Stomping Sacred Cows: Sun Tzu on Dallas, Cowardice, and Training

I’ve held my tongue publicly, for a couple days, in the interest of not treading on the dead. As I’ve watched know-nothing news commentators, and politician police officials make statements that are demonstrably wrong on the nature of the attacks, however, I’ve decided to vent a little bit, in the interest of helping increase the survivability of my readers…Fair forewarning however, while I’m going to try and keep my language clean for this article—because I believe the message is important enough that I don’t want to run off those milquetoasts who are scared to read harsh language—those afraid to read the truth will probably still not want to read this. If you don’t like it, stop reading when your feelings get hurt…or man up and read what needs to be said.

(For those that are going to jump on the “John hates cops! This article proves it! He’s badmouthing cops!” bandwagon…I ran this article by almost a dozen career police officers, at the local, state, and federal level. Every single one of them agreed, wholeheartedly, with the sentiments and conclusions of the article.)

Here’s what we—and by “we,” I mean, “I,” based solely on what I’ve caught of events on social media and various network news channels—know:

On the evening of 7JUL16, during a Black Lives Matter protest march that was, by all accounts, proceeding peacefully, at least one individual began firing at Dallas Police Department (hereafter referred to as DPD) and Dallas Area Regional Transit (hereafter referred to as DART) police officers who were providing security and crowd management for the protest march.

Over the course of the incident, five police officers were killed, seven were wounded, and two non-police citizens were wounded as well. During the course of the shooting incident, police finally cornered an individual, later identified as one Micah Johnson, age 25, of Mesquite, TX, in a building, where—after attempted negotiations—they sent in a EOD remote-controlled “robot” with a demolition charge and blew him away.

Law enforcement agencies quickly announced that Johnson was the lone shooter (Dallas has a strange proclivity for lone shooters pulling off amazing feats that defy logic and physics, apparently…), and pointed to his “military training” as the reason behind his apparently superlative combat ability. Ties to the New Black Panther Army and other Black Liberation Movement organizations were mentioned, as well, but not considered a possible source of training information, apparently.

During a search of his domicile, allegedly numerous notebooks with “combat tactics” were discovered, as well as “bomb-making materials” and additional firearms, other than the SKS the subject had at the time he was killed.

That’s what we (I) “know.”

Here’s what we (I) can surmise, based on relevant personal experience:

1) Dude was an E3, with six years in the Reserves—in an Engineer unit—and a deployment downrange to the ‘Stan. His MOS was 12W—carpentry and masonry specialist. He was not an Infantryman. He was not Ranger-qualified. He was not SF. While it’s possible—perhaps even probable—that, at some point during his deployment, he gunned up and ran a convoy or two, it’s also reasonably safe to assume he was not out kicking in doors and shooting Hajj in the face. He certainly didn’t learn to be some sort of super-ninja gunslinger as a reserve E3 in a Reserve Component Engineer unit. Further, the tactical techniques he used are not anything doctrinal to the United States Army.

Nevertheless, he managed to kill five uniformed, armed police officers, and wound seven others, as well as wounding a non-police bystander (the other injured bystander was, according to news reports, injured when he was knocked down, or tripped, and stepped on, as the panicked mob was fleeing the shooting.). Dude exhibited a level of tactical acumen and aggressiveness that indicates specific training. So, dude had training from somewhere.

One of the theories that has been passed around and looked at, by several people in law enforcement and the training industry, already, was the possibility that he had participated in MilSim (Airsoft). Comparing the video footage of his taking down the officer at the pillars, where he drew fire, then buttonhooked around and smoked the officer from behind, at contact distance, with videos of some of the tactical techniques commonly used in MilSim, hinted at a possible connection there.

None of the local MilSim people have admitted to recognizing him however. So, either SOMEONE ELSE had participated in MilSim and taught him, or he watched a LOT of MilSim videos and mentally rehearsed those TTPs to a level of proficiency, OR, someone else taught him some sort of tactical techniques they learned elsewhere. In any case, dude learned somewhere, and it certainly wasn’t in his Reserve Component Engineer unit.

Ask some of your friends who have been in the service—or, if you’ve been in the service, ask yourself—how many E3, junior enlisted guys, have any real education in operational planning? As a Ranger private, we learned to plan patrols, but that was because we were being prepped for Ranger School, and were expected to be able to perform two echelons above our current duty position. That is not the norm, across the Army, before you are an NCO, or in a duty position that the MTOE calls for being filled by an NCO.

Personally, I highly suspect he was trained by others in the political activist circles he ran in. This, of course, leads us to the next aspect…

While in a built-up, urban area, shots echoing off building facades can create strange noise patterns, leading some people to surmise there were more shooters than there were, there were plenty of people in the area—both police officers and non-police civilians—with combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan—that for all of them to have been deceived into believing there were multiple shooters when there was actually only one, requires quite a bit of a leap of imagination.

In the end, this dude supposedly killed give armed police officers, and wounded seven more, by himself, before being killed? That means, he kicked the piss out of one of the largest police departments in the US, all by himself…a Reserve Component Engineer private…with an SKS (although there are reports coming out now that it was actually a Saiga variant of the AK74)…Of course he did…(and make no mistake, if it WAS a single shooter, he DID kick the piss out of DPD…)

So, what can we learn from what we know?

1) News commentators, politicians, and politician police officials quickly labeled the shooter a “coward” and a “terrorist.” There are a couple of problems with this.

First of all, he was anything but a coward. The only way you could conceivably call him a coward was because he shot his targets from a covered, concealed position, and then moved before they could return fire at him. Calling that “cowardice” instead of “good tactical acumen” means that every US infantryman is also a coward, because that’s, well…sort of what we do. It’s called an ambush, and it’s a fundamental tactical task of successful combat operations.

If you expect people to fight stand-up, face-to-face, at conversational distance, you’re a sucker. The officer at the pillars was actively engaging the suspect, and got outmaneuvered. That’s not badmouthing the deceased officer; it’s simply a statement of fact. He crowded his cover and lost spatial awareness of what was going on within the battlespace. He died as a result. The shooter, on the other hand, displayed physical courage and aggressiveness. That’s not applauding the shooter; it’s simply a statement of fact.

Calling the shooter a “coward” because he chose to not engage in a stand-up, High Noon showdown with police, if we are intellectually honest, means that we also have to label the police officers who sent a robot, armed with an IED, in to kill the shooter, as cowards as well, because they didn’t choose to engage in a stand-up, High Noon showdown with the shooter. They were NOT cowards. They were demonstrating good tactical acumen, leveraging the available tools and technology to their benefit to finish the fight without further losses.

It may be reassuring to the masses to label the dude a “coward,” but that does a great disservice to the police officers who ran to the sound of gunfire, and it does a great disservice to both police officers and armed citizens who choose to run to the sound of the guns, in the future, by creating a false image of what the bad guys are, or are not. If you go running towards a fight, convinced that the dude who is displaying good tactical acumen is simply a “coward,” you are going to get jacked up, bad.

The shooter was, in the strictest geopolitical definition of the term, NOT a terrorist. He was a criminal, because he violated the laws of the State. The argument that he was a terrorist however, can only be raised however, if we allow that he used violence to achieve political aims—which he did, but there’s a caveat. Let’s look at the first clause of that sentence, first.

a) The shooter allegedly told police that he was “angry” about police shootings of blacks, and as a result “wanted to shoot white people, and white cops specifically.” So, he used violence—shooting police officers—to achieve the political aim of getting police officers to stop shooting black people.

Admittedly, to the rational brain, this seems counterintuitive. I guarantee you, today, police officers that have interactions with black males are far more tense and wired for danger than they were the day before the shootings. However, we’ve also seen a host of police officer shootings in the couple of days since the Dallas shooting, and we’ve seen promises and threats of more, across social media. So, he actually DID achieve a probable political aim: he convinced other angry people to begin shooting police officers. Under that aspect of the geopolitical definition of “terrorist,” he certainly meets the criteria. However, let us look at the caveat…

b) Generally, in the common, classical geopolitical lexicon, it is understood that terrorists use violence—against civilian targets—to achieve political aims. However, when that violence is targeted against uniformed, armed government personnel, it’s not terrorism, classically; it’s guerrilla warfare.

Make no mistake: the level of tactical acumen and marksmanship displayed by the shooter—evidenced by the fact that, with the exception of one non-police civilian, everyone he shot was a uniformed police officer—clearly indicate that he was ONLY targeting uniformed, armed government personnel. Had he chosen to shoot at ANYONE—in other words, had he been a “terrorist” in the classical geopolitical understanding of the word—the death toll would have made the shooter in Orlando look like a piker by comparison. He had hundreds—if not thousands—of people, in a relatively contained, canalized kill zone. It would have been like the proverbial shooting fish in a barrel.

News commentators and politicians keep talking about the bravery of the officers, rushing to protect the protesters and bystanders. While I do believe most of the officers involved DID display physical courage, rushing towards the sound of the guns, to say they were protecting the protesters—when the shooter wasn’t shooting at anybody except police officers—is disingenuous propagandizing, at best.

We have, over the last sixteen years of conflict, grown accustomed to labeling all enemy combatants—even in their own country—as “terrorists.” It is part of the political theory. It dehumanizes the enemy and makes them MORE evil (as if they needed any help with that…), making it easier to justify killing them. That is a flaw of modern society in decline, that we need to “justify” killing the enemy. At every other point in our history, the mere fact that they were the enemy was adequate.

Conclusions
We—whether police officer or other armed citizen, concerned with contributing to the protection and security of our communities at the Decline of Empire—need to recognize, both intellectually and viscerally, that there are people out there who want to kill us, are willing to do so, and have the physical and moral courage to be aggressive in the pursuit of that goal.

An excerpt, from Forging The Hero, discusses this reality:

Historically, we’ve seen immigrants, during affluent periods of an empire’s existence, who felt—and expressed—great pride in becoming imperial citizens. Even Mohammedans in America, during the peak of American imperial power in the 1940s and 1950s, were proud to be Americans and part of The Great Experiment. No one is more patriotic, or fervent in their support of the Empire, than the immigrant who found success and fortune in his new homeland. When decline sets in and reaches a state that can no longer be ignored though, the memories of every slight—real or imagined—is suddenly recalled by those who have held on to the vestiges of their ancestral cultures, instead of integrating successfully and totally into the imperial culture. While the empire is affluent, and there is money to be made, all the diverse cultures seem to be equally loyal and filled with patriotic fervor. As soon as the decline begins to steepen however, and wealth and luxury begin to become harder to find and hold on to, because it is consolidated in fewer and fewer hands, and the rungs of the ladder are harder—if not impossible—to scale, ethnic enclaves begin reforming, in the form of self-segregating communities, and tribalism naturally finds a resurgence in a reversion to the naturally xenophobic state of mankind, within the borders of the empire, as people focus on looking out for their own.

If we hope to see our own, common cultural values survive, we have to survive. That means not being afraid to move to the sound of the guns, and kill bad people. THAT, in turn, requires having the tactical and technical expertise to deal with unconventional, but professional level small-unit and individual tactical techniques, as well as—you knew it was coming—being physically fit enough to execute those skills ourselves, on demand, even when completely unexpected.

Assuming, because the politicians and news commentators say so, that the bad guys are “cowards,” or “common criminal scum,” rather than angry, aggressive, professional fighters, is a good way to end up dead because you underestimate the enemy, and as a result, overestimate your own abilities.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory against you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” –Sun Tzu

If you view yourself as someone willing to move to the sound of the guns, whether professionally or by avocation and conviction, you owe it to yourself, your family, and even your community, to be effective and efficient—professional—in your execution of the fight. You can’t afford to be blowing away non-combatant bystanders. You can’t afford to get shot, because you sucked, and tie up critical emergency medical services—putting the EMS personnel potentially in harm’s way unnecessarily, when they could be treating other casualties. You certainly can’t afford to get killed, because you sucked, and leave your family behind. If you’re a cop, and think your Academy training is adequate, you just saw a very graphic example of the fallacy of that (one of the slain officers was a three-tour veteran of the GWOT. One was a former 1st Ranger Battalion veteran from the 1980s. One was a former Marine. Are you better in a gunfight than those guys were?). If you’re an armed citizen, and haven’t had professional-level training with your weapon, and in tactical skills, you will be doing your community a greater service by moving AWAY from the sound of the guns than by moving towards the guns and getting killed or wounded because your ego wrote a check your ass couldn’t cover.

Go. Get training, from someone who knows what the Hell they are doing.

If you are not someone who is going to move to the sound of the guns, that’s okay. At least be able to protect yourself, if the guns come to you—carry your gun—and be able to help those who have been shot—know your Tactical Combat Casualty Care methods, and carry aid gear, so you are not forced to become a fleeing, bleating sheep, running with the crowd, as people around you are being killed. Do your part to protect your community, whatever your part is.

Salem, OR classes next month

HH6 asked me to post a reminder, in case anyone interested had forgotten (since I suck at keeping that shit in front of readers’)….

We have four classes coming up in August, in the vicinity of Salem, OR.

5-7 AUG 2016 Clandestine Carry Pistol (this is Fri-Sun)
8-9 AUG 2016 Tactical Combat Casualty Care (this is Mon-Tue)

11 AUG 2016 Auxiliary and Support Operations Course (this is the following Thursday)
12-14 AUG 2016 Combat Rifle Fundamentals (this is Fri-Sun)

For class details, and to register for these classes, contact HH6 at Mosbyhh6@hushmail.com

For anyone interested, HH6 has been offering some pretty spectacular special offers for people who are taking the Auxiliary and Support Operations Course and/or the TC3 course, in addition to one or both of the shooting-centric courses.

In fact, if you are really ambitious, and sign up for both shooting classes, I’ll let the first three people to sign up for both into either or both of the others (TC3 and Auxiliary) for free, because we believe they are that important.

If you’ve been hesitating for some reason, you need to get on it though, before she closes registrations for these classes (we’ve got to get support materials en route). Seriously, registration deadline is like 11 or 12JUL, according to what she informed me of this morning.

New Directions

Since the beginning of this blog, some five or six years ago now, at the old blogspot site, I’ve endeavored to offer valid, valuable information on preparedness TTP, predicated on my past professional experience in the USASOC community, as filtered through my educational background in post-graduate history and daily life. I’ve offered—literally—thousands (and probably tens of thousands) of pages of information in what I’ve hoped was an approachable, vernacular style that is actually pretty much exactly like having a conversation with me (as readers who have been in classes will gleefully tell you, I really do manage to do what grade school teachers tell us to do in composition classes—I write exactly how I speak, for better or worse).

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve posted a mere 16 posts on this site, and only seven or eight of them were actually content articles, rather than announcements of classes or reviews from others of either classes or the books. For those readers that remember the old site, that is a very, very different rate than in the beginning, when I was posting an article pretty much every…single…day…and those were almost invariably anywhere from 15-30 pages long.

Some of the difference is a result of changes in my day job working schedules. Having a job that allows me to take random amounts of time off to travel and teach classes means I have to make up that time when I am at home. That severely cuts into my ability to create opportunities to write articles for the blog, without cutting into quality time with my wife and daughters, and our attempts to build our homestead…and I will happily tell you to go fuck yourself if you think I’m going to exchange time with my family for time writing articles for the blog, to be read by people that I mostly don’t know.

My wife and I—and some of our local kith-and-kin group—were discussing this recently, and believe we’ve come to a potential solution that will benefit those readers that want “more” and my own clan. What is needed is a way to make taking that time away from other activities worth the investment in doing so. Writing the blog after all, has always been a labor of community for me. It was a way to share the knowledge I gained in the military with a larger “community” of people with at least some shared values, customs, and traditions. I’ve never charged for content on this blog, and I’ve never asked for donations. I’m not going to start now, in either case (not that I’m going to send your cash or unaddressed money order back either, if you decide to make a donation though….).

One of the things I’ve long stressed to students in classes is that, ultimately, I’m creating speed bumps for the bad guys. If students—and readers—actually practice the stuff we teach, they will hopefully, become roadblocks, rather than speed bumps; they will STOP bad people before they reach my people, rather than simply slowing them down and tearing off pieces. Unfortunately, I can’t really afford, considering my obligations and responsibilities to my own clan, to write an article a day, or even an article a week, sans compensation.

What I am going to do is two-fold. First of all, I’m going to recommit—with HH6’s blessing—to publishing a minimum of one new article per week on this blog, at the same, traditional price of zero dollars, for all readers. They probably won’t be the lengthy treatises I’ve done in the past, but instead, shorter, more succinct pieces on various subjects ranging from individual hard skills like shooting, PT, combatives, and tactics, to “soft” skills like auxiliary taskings, ranging from PSYOP and intelligence to resource management to maintain logistics within the community.

In addition to that however, I’m going to do a couple of things differently.

First of all, I’m going to commit to producing a short e-booklet publication every month. Not The Reluctant Partisan volumes, or even Forging the Hero, but small, 25-100 page booklets on subjects relevant to the discussion topics here. One month it might be a complete training program for Combat Rifle training. The next, it might be a discussion on Guerrilla Farming in urban and suburban environments. It will always be relevant, and it will always follow the same pattern of my other work in the information-intensive format I write in. In other words, I’m still not interested in writing fluff pieces. I want readers to have useful, useable information in their hands that they can put to use right now.

Those are going to be available in one of two ways. In the first case, it will be a pay-for-download that you can buy, for a reasonable fee. Alternatively, they will be available as a subscription, slightly discounted rate, but with the subscription, I will provide an additional weekly “article” in the form of a weekly training drill you can incorporate into your training programs and plans.

One of the potential drawbacks to this in recent conversations with folks has been, “Can you produce enough content to satisfy what you’re saying you can do?” The short answer is, “yes.” The fact is, each of the staff functions alone is deep enough to provide well over a year’s worth of practical training articles in itself, and that’s not even getting into more mundane training articles like the shot-calling article I posted yesterday.

Those readers who have been around will probably remember that at the beginning of the blog, at the old blogspot site, I literally wrote a book a week worth of fresh material, all based in doctrine, but with practical, relevant, original twists to that doctrine, in order to make it relevant and practicable.

I’ll be talking with a couple of people in the training industry and the blogosphere about these options and making them work, over the coming days, with a decision on whether this is viable or not, in the next week or so.

This allows me to continue providing what has been widely credited as valuable information for training and preparedness for the readership community, while also benefiting my own people through not robbing them of my time without adequate recompense that can be leveraged towards our needs. My goal is not to create a Mountain Guerrilla business empire. My goal is to be able to afford to continue providing valid, valuable information and training to students who often become friends.

(And yes, we’re going to do some t-shirts and fucking morale patches, finally….eventually….)

(Edited to add: Alternatively, I may alternate each month or week, between the training drills and a subscription podcast, including answering reader/listener questions?)

Questions? Comments? Concerns?