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Is The Wolverine Militia Our First Line of Defense?

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Meanwhile, the trial of the four members of the – ready? – Wolverine Watchmen paramilitary gang who are accused of plotting to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020 is going on in a Federal court in Grand Rapids, MI with opening testimony from two FBI agents who infiltrated the group. 

              The defense, of course, is claiming that the FBI agents were not only present when kidnapping plans were being hatched, but in fact were the instigators of the whole, crazy thing. It’s already been admitted in court that many of the conversations that were secretly taped took place while everyone in the room was getting high on a doobie. Next thing we’ll learn is that the FBI supplied the dope.

              The four guys charged in this case must have a collective, not individual IQ of 79.  Can there really be such schmucks walking around? And worse yet, can guys who are this friggin’ stupid walk into a gun store and buy a gun?

              One of the defendants not connected to the Wolverines but charged after January 6th was a kid named Anthony Antonio, who claimed he went to D.C. to storm the Capitol at Trump’s request. His attorney had a slightly different story to go along with his client’s ‘not guilty’ plea – in the courtroom he said that Antonio was a ‘dumb ass,’ but out in the street he was a little more precise, referring to his client as ‘dumb as shit.’

              Ever since Donald Trump decided to enlist groups like the Three Percenters and The Proud Boys as his shock troops for the 2020 campaign, there have been endless stories in the media about how paramilitary organizations, usually referred to as ‘citizens militias’ not only represent a threat to law and order but are actually planning to engage in a 22nd-Century version of the 19th-Century Civil War.

              These militia groups first got noticed when Timothy McVeigh hung out with the Michigan Militia before going down to Oklahoma City and blowing up the Murrah Federal Building in 1995. The Wolverine group is one of a number of militia groups which have sprung up over the past few years in Michigan and elsewhere. Their website is remarkable in that it doesn’t contain an online store. 

              What the website does contain, on the other hand, is a 36-page, single-spaced Handbook, which not only contains a very academic argument about the historic origins of militias going back to before the Revolutionary War (complete with footnotes) but references the usual hodge-podge of Libertarian philosophy (Hayek, etc.) as well as a listing of all the sins and transgressions of the national government, particularly the whole notion that any kind of taxes are both illegal and wrong.

              There is also a whole and very detailed section on the militia’s organization, starting at the top with a State Commander and staff, then nine operational divisions covering different regions of the state and specific officer titles including Air Operations, Ground Operations and Special Operations.

              Finally, the website also contains a calendar of upcoming training events, which includes a swap meet, something called Escape and Evasion and a day for Community Service although the actual service activity isn’t explained. For that matter, the calendar gives months and days but not a specific year, so who knows if any of this stuff is actually real?

              At some point, I don’t recall exactly which year, I found myself in Michigan with time to spare so I drove out to a shooting range where some members of the original Michigan Militia were shooting off their guns. I was impressed by two things:

              First, although I tend to walk around with an extra 20 pounds on my frame, I was a real slim-jim compared with most of the members of this group.  These guys weren’t just heavy, they were guys who really love to eat. And I happened to arrive at the range just in front of a car that was carrying a stack of fresh-cooked pizzas, along with potato chips, Fritos, and drinks.

              The second thing which impressed me about the group was that there was absolutely no talk at all about invasions or terrorist threats or anything else. There was talk about the weekend sale at the local Walmart and where someone had just bought a set of tires for their truck.

              Don’t get me wrong. I’ll let the jury in Grand Rapids decide whether those four schmucks are guilty of planning to kidnap the Governor or are guilty of just being loud and dumb. But if anyone thinks that the militia movement poses a threat to the government, like Joe says, they better show up with their F-15.

Why Can’t We Use The Militia To Defend Ourselves?

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Now that the Bundy Militia has decided that eating dinner at home is better than freezing in the administration building on the Malheur Preserve, I decided to spend a bit of time reading about the whole notion of militias, if only because the bunch at Malheur seem convinced that they represent some kind of unquestioned Constitutional mandate to protect liberty and justice forever.

rubio               Actually, if the modern-day Boy Scouts who go out on weekends and play soldier boy in some gravel pit with their AR rifles would take the trouble to read the Constitution, they might actually discover that as members of a militia they are first and foremost required to follow the dictates of their most hated enemy, a.k.a., Barack Obama, who happens to be Commander in Chief.  I quote from Article II, Section 2, Clause 1 which says: “The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States.”

But why let facts or legal texts stand in the way of shooting your mouth off on Fox News?  And it stands to reason that the group at Malheur would call themselves a militia since the modern militia movement has descended directly from anti-government ‘patriot’ groups which, if traced back to their origins, bear a certain clear resemblance to racialist groups which go all the way back to the Ku Klux Klan.  How could it be otherwise when Ammon Bundy’s father Cliven was about to be lionized by Sean Hannity until he screwed up the whole thing by saying, “Let me tell you about your Negro,” followed by a few other choice words.

In this respect, I just read an interesting Letter to the Editor of the Kansas City Star. The author pointed out that the Kansas State Constitution requires the Legislature to organize and equip the state’s militia, and he was wondering (obviously tongue-in-cheek) whether this meant that the Legislature had to supply these self-styled militias with guns.  It’s an interesting concept when you think about it, because currently 23 states have organized militias, usually referred to as State Defense Forces, which can be pressed into service if the National Guard units have been deployed somewhere else. And although such units are sanctioned by Title 32 of the U.S. Code, they are wholly volunteer outfits serving solely at the discretion and direction of state officials, normally the Governor and the Adjutant General who also commands the National Guard.

Not surprisingly, these modern-day militias tend to be called out in response to natural disasters, more than 2,000 SDF personnel participated in rescue and cleanup efforts after Hurricane Katrina, to cite one very important case. On the other hand, SDF units do not receive any regular training nor do the Feds provide any dough for weapons or other equipment and supplies.  Know what happens when a state government has to bear the entire cost of any program?  There usually isn’t a program.

Maybe the Bundy boys and their militia buddies aren’t really so off the mark when they claim to be standing up for their Constitutional rights against the abusive power of the Feds.  After all, wasn’t it Rick Perry who, as Governor of Texas, raised the possibility that Texas might secede?  Which means he would need some kind of armed force to make good on his threat, which means maybe he would use the state militia, which means that the Bundy brothers and their gang could drive down to Texas, volunteer for militia service and finally get a chance to use all those AR rifles to defend their God-given rights.

If you are thinking that I’m just having a little fun because Donald Trump lost the Iowa primary you’re right.  But let’s remember that it was Marco Rubio who took a day off from campaigning to buy a gun as a response to the looming ISIS threat. You think the boys at Malheur are the only crazy ones around?

 

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