How They Hunt


I’ve cobbling this entry together between uptime and downtime over the last couple of weeks so bear with me on this one. I think there’s a fundamental misunderstanding of how counter-insurgency intelligence and exploitation systems work so I’m going to touch on them a bit in this entry.  It’s by no means comprehensive as that would take an entire volume to document.  So what I’m going to attempt to do here is give the reader some insight into how an insurgency is identified, exploited, and targeted using a fairly simple and brief scenario.

Make no mistake that over the last decade plus the DoD, DoJ, DHS, NSA, and CIA have definitely learned their lessons.  From shortly after 9/11 when the new lessons of counter-insurgency still lay ahead to the recent (last few years) capture and killing of Al Qaeda’s top officers the concepts and techniques of counter insurgency targeting have been vastly refined. Lessons learned not only on the battlefield but in the ops center have developed intelligence exploitation systems that are genuinely lethal due to their ability to be comprehensive and timely.  Instead of sitting here typing out how these systems work I’m going to throw out a bit of a scenario for you.  Not every system is represented but hopefully I’ll depict enough of them to give you an appreciation of just how dangerous they can be.

In this scenario we’re going to assume to perspective of the lead intelligence officer in a built up area with a fairly large population.  Austin TX sounds good at this point.  Anyway the country has de-stabilized to the point that National Guard units have deployed but martial law hasn’t been declared yet.  Over the last few weeks we’ve been faced with a frequent insurgent attacks against logistics columns traveling up and down I-35 in areas around Georgetown and Salado.  Additionally this (or other groups) have attacked the infrastructure junctions and  in that area as well.

We just happened to get lucky (from our perspective anyway) and kill one of the insurgents and have possession of his body.  He had no identification, the serial number on his rifle had been removed, and he had even gone to the trouble to remove his own fingerprints (talk about dedication).  Those are some significant hurdles to overcome figuring out who this guy is right?  Yeah, but not something we can’t work around.  A quick phone call to the field gets us a good high resolution frontal image of the DIs (dead insurgent’s) face.  The case officer uploads that image into a work file and sends it off to multiple agencies, say the DoJ (FBI specifically), DHS, and the State Fusion Center (there are more but let’s keep it simple).   The Fusion center comes back a few hours later and identifies the individual as Bob Jones of Llano TX. How did they do that? By loading the pic of the DI into a biometric facial recognition program and running a comparison to Texas’s drivers license photo database. If they hadn’t gotten a hit it could have been compared to other states databases as well.  It would have taken more time  but eventually would have given us the identity.   Now we have a starting point.

First thing we do is get a quickie warrant and pull all of Bob’s home and cell phone records for the last 90 days.  Then we’ll identify every call he made or received in a certain radius say 200 miles.  These calls automatically get categorized into business numbers and residential numbers. All calls will be looked at however we’re going to jump into the residential numbers first.  In that pool we’ll separate the numbers into known and assumed family (by last name, tax returns, public records databases, etc.) and unknown reason contacts.  In the last 90 days there have been roughly 300 calls to personal numbers which belong to a pool of 125 individuals. These 125 are now our short list for the time being.

Now we have an identification and an address it’s time to generate physical warrants.  So the local boys go and raid Bobs home and take any and everything electronic, anything that remotely looks like correspondence, and any credit/debit cards or checkbooks. They even go so far as to search vehicles.  But here’s an oddity: Bob’s truck isn’t at his house.  And we know his make, model, and plate number by querying the state registration database and we put out a watch for the vehicle. Note at this point we’re not trying to build a case against Bob – hell he’s dead.  We’re looking for cross referencing information to identify other remembers of his group.  Once those items are collected they are handed over to a team of forensic technicians which begin to dissect the information and cross check other databases.  Within 24 hours we have a comprehensive list of who he sent and received emails from, the IPs and cookies of the websites he’s visited,  any purchases he’s made online and quite a few of the offline ones as well.  Remember this isn’t all encompassing but intended to give you an idea of how it works.

All of this information gets laid out into what we’ll call a virtual “starfish” with each bit of info representing a point.  We’ve got systems running the phone records down to individual names associated with those accounts referenced by physical location and date, systems referencing any known purchases referenced by location and date, and any and everything else we can dump into the system to expand the starfish.  Once this part is done it’s time to start looking at known associations.  We do this by take the folks we’ve already identified and trying to determine  their association with good old Bob.  For the sake of simplicity we’ll start on phone records – those 125 individuals.  Those individuals names now generate their own starfish.   As the multitude of systems begin to return information on each individual those starfish grow as well.  at 36 hours to keep things simple we’ll reject all information on those other starfish if they do not correspond to any of the kegs on the starfish that represents Bob.  That narrows down things considerably.  Now it’s time for some human review (most of the action up to this point has been fairly automated.  So we get a couple of analysts to start scrutinizing the associated information points between Bob and the other 125 folks we’re looking at. Some of the info can be dismissed fairly easily however other pieces have to be physically researched and even though it’s done via network it still takes some time.  A couple of days later the analysts come back with a narrowed list of 16 people that could still be considered suspect however Bob had no contact with those people within 14-21 days of the attack in which he was killed.  How did they arrive at the 16 people? Remember when the forensic team tore apart Bobs computer? They took his known data (his IP)  and ran it across the stored multiple metadata databases to identify which websites he had been visiting.  Of those websites a dozen were considered radical or fringe (at least under TPTBs definition of such).  they then ran a cross check against those 125 folks from the phone records and 16 other people on our list had visited some of those websites.

What we have so far isn’t sufficient enough to start kicking doors in and shooting dogs so we’ve got to dig deeper.  And for that we turn to financial transactions.  Breaking them down into periods working outwards from the attack we find that Bob bought gas in Florence TX the evening before the attack.  So now the Florence local boys get a call to specifically look for his vehicles.  While that is going on we’re going to start looking at the transactions of those 16 other folks and compare them to Bobs.  One thing that is puzzling is the fact that Bob didn’t have any phone or email contact with our new 16 person  short list in the period immediately preceding the attack. Attacks are typically coordinated so there had to be some form of communication.  By scrutinizing Bob’s debit purchase records we find that he had bought a “disposable phone” at the local big box store one day before his last contact with any of the 16 individuals we’re looking at.  Getting the number to that phone isn’t hard at all with a quick warrant for the metadata for that carriers phones that were activated within a 36 hour period in Bob’s area.  But for timeliness we’re also going to scrutinize those other 16 individuals transactions for the same type of purchase – disposable phones and we come up with nada for them.

The carrier returns the information from the warrant we wanted and two numbers show up as having been activated in the big box store parking lot within that time frame. A quick cross check shows one of the numbers has no association  with any of our existing data however one has a call to his personal cell phone.  Bingo we now have his number.  And we can go back and get all of the metadata for that number including numbers called/received, location, time, and length of call.  The phone data itself is built into a starfish of its own and cross referenced against any known contacts Bob had.   The vast majority of it turns out to be other disposable phones which result in financial transaction dead ends (probably paid for by cash) but two do get a hit.  The first is a call to Bob’s younger brother. The second is a call made from a diner near Georgetown the night before the attack.  Bob’s younger brother now joins our short list simply due to association.  Another quickie warrant and we’re going to get his brothers phones and computers and any correspondence.  And we’re also going to start looking at the financial transaction and phone records of the other folks on the list to see if we can establish a point in time at that gas station or diner for any and all activity.  Bob’s brothers stuff goes off to the forensics team for dissection and we wait for the data for the day preceding the attack.  As that data comes in its correlated to Bob’s info and we come up with two positives.  Bob’s younger brother called his house from that location at the same time Bob was there and a large meal charge was purchased on a debit car belonging to one of the 16 folks on our short list.

Meanwhile Bob’s vehicle has been found outside of Georgetown in a wooded area and the forensics folks descend on it to photograph and catalog everything – tire tracks, fingerprints, footprints, you name it.  All of this info begins to get processed and correlated as it comes in to try and establish links to our known associations with bob.  We get a hit off of this.  A pair of shoeprints that match the size and model of a pair of another one of Bob’s known associates.  How do we know they own those?  Financial transaction records show they were bought a month prior to the attack with a debit card (hint – next time you buy a pair of shoes at Wally World look at your sales ticket – the model and size are listed).

Now we’ve got 2 hot suspects.  More warrants, more seizures, more forensics.  And now comes the time for interrogation.  Bob’s brother is brought in and leaned on – hard.  He’s good but the interrogators are better.  These aren’t your run of the mill local PD Detectives – there are professional psychologists  trained and experienced in mental and physical manipulation.  Here’s some insight for you: If you’ve never been interrogated every second of it serves a purpose.  The long waits are designed to build up anxiety. The sometimes cordial manner of the interrogators contrasted to the often brutal treatment from guards is designed to gain your confidence and make you feel more secure.

Anyway prior to interrogating Bob’s brother they build a profile of him and look for any and all means to break him – because that is precisely what interrogation is intended to do – make you talk.  We’re not talking waterboarding here.  Strong men can keep their mouths shut when being tortured.  No we have to get at his psyche.  So we gin up some false charge sheets and press releases naming him as a terrorist (which also happen to mention his wife and children’s names), let him know we know he’s associated with the guy that we got the shoeprints, from (everything we can present to make it look like we have a substantial volume of information), and we go a step further and have his kids picked up by human services and placed in foster care on the grounds of child endangerment – all to easily “substantiated” for the time being.  One thing we don’t do is touch Bob’s brother’s wife – she’s critical to all of this.  But we do freeze his accounts so he can’t afford a lawyer (or anything else for that matter like bail) .  We’ve got to make her suffer so we let this run for a week – basically putting her through a mental hell.  In the meantime we’re still working on Bob’s brother but after we’ve determined his wife is beginning to get desperate so we allow her to see him. The combination of all of this is what finally breaks Bob’s brother – hell the only person it wouldn’t get to is a true sociopath.  So a few days later after we’ve let him mentally wrestle with the prospects of his and his families hell we offer him a deal.  We’ll back off the family and return the kids, unfreeze the assets if he’ll talk and take a plea bargain of murder one with life instead of the death penalty. He initially refuses but after another visit by his wife a week or two later (and trust me we’re not letting things get better) he breaks.  We’ve now got other names, places, times, and so forth.

With that info it’s wash, rinse, repeat of the entire process with each individual until we run into complete dead ends and wait for the next break – like another corpse.  But within the span of a relatively short time we’re able to cripple the insurgency in the area for the immediate future.

Is this realistic?   Folks shit like this is happening NOW.  Biometric identification is real – you’re drivers license photo and thumbprint is in a database that routinely gets accessed at the state level and is available to the Feds (Fusion Center anyone). Facial recognition is how the Tsarnaev’s were initially ID’d.  Your communications meta-data is routinely being stored and accessed by the government. Your financial transactions records are stored by your banks and creditors.  All of this info is available through a rubber stamped fill in the blanks warrant.

So what happened?  Bob was sloppy.  Unreal fucking sloppy.  He thought he was taking safeguards by using things like disposable phones but in reality his laziness killed his cell.  If he had consistently used cash drawn out of ATMs in his normal routine for his purchases, if he had shown some phone discipline (seriously – that disposable phone ain’t for calling ma), and maybe if he had been a bit more discreet in his using technology the links might not have been established.  But one link is all it takes and then the system starts chewing people’s lives up.  And those links are how the powers that be identify and pursue their targets. Think your safe online?  Even the vaunted TOR has been compromised by the DoJ lately.

These tactics are how insurgencies are broken.  They’re what enabled the system to pin Bin Laden down, catch the Tsarnaevs, and identify drone strike targets in the middle east.  Networks are deadly to an insurgency.  Even operating in meatspace can be deadly without the right precautions.  All it takes is for one person to use that phone to call or that debit card to pay and they’ve been nailed in time and space.   Sure you may be using your regular phone (and not your disposable one) to call ma but you’re there and the records show it.  And if your battle buddy does something similar he’s fixed at that time and place as well – so now both of you are associated.  The key is discipline.  When you meet you go completely off the grid.  Completely.  No phone use, no debit card use, nada in and around the geographic area and  timeframe you meet.  Recon and identify how you could expose yourself.  Does a certain route have license plate readers?  Then don’t use it.  Convenience stores?  They all have cameras at the counter and pumps. Nearby ATM machine? Cameras and transaction records.  The golden rule at all times (and I mean all times)  is to ask yourself:

How will what I’m doing at this second expose myself and others to identification?

In Bob’s case they started with a corpse with no fingerprints.  Bob thought he was doing right by sterilizing himself prior to the attack but in reality he left gaping holes everywhere else. That one corpse is what allowed a local insurgency to be broken.  The same techniques are used in Afghanistan with significant success despite the lack of things like financial transaction records.  It’s used stateside on a daily basis.  And all it takes is one sloppy SOB to destroy everything.  Whether you’re a four man team, nine man squad, or distributed cells EVERYBODY has to have complete OPSEC uber alles hammered into them and practice it.  And the larger your organization the more likely someone is going to get sloppy.  Discipline and vigilance is the key not only to success but survival as well.  It pays to have rules on who does what, who contracts whom how, and where and when all of this takes place.  And those rules have to be understood and enforced.

Till next time stay frosty amigos.

Posted in General Info | 21 Comments

The Current State of Affairs


Just a brief update.  No I haven’t been nabbed by TPTB (I figure once they snag Bracken then I’ll start worrying about that).  I’m currently out on a contract that is going to last a few more months and ‘net access is few and far between so if you leave a comment and don’t see it right away no it probably didn’t get deleted I just haven’t been able to get on and do anything with the blog.  Once I get back things will get going again and the posts will pickup. Until then stay frosty my friends.

Posted in General Info | 6 Comments

An Open Letter to Lee Siegel @ The Daily Beast


Lee Siegel – the thinking mans douchebag.

A reader sent me a link to an article and I am not the kind to respond but in this case I’ll make an exception.  Especially because the author is such a fucking douchebag.

Take a moment to read the article – it’s short.

What Mr Siegel fails to realize is this – the North cannot survive without the South.  The South has a much more well developed AG industry.  Arkansas is the #1 rice and soybean producer; Texas, Missouri, and Oklahoma are 3 of the 5 top beef producers;  and  the south is pretty much got a stanglehold on the cotton industry.  Louisiana has a burgeoning fishing industry.  The south pretty much has the poultry industry sewed up.  Granted the north has Ag but does it have enough to feed those EBT dependent mouths?  Lee, how long would it take before your dependents resort to cannibalism (and yes the Donners were Yankees)?

Another thing Joisey douche fails to realize is that industry is flocking to the south at record rates.  Hell the mass migration from the north is well documented and reported – even by the rag that calls itself Newsweek.  The auto industry?  Shit – don’t make me laugh.  The south has the largest concentration of foreign automaker factories in the US which in turn are responsible for a majority of the auto sales in the US.  And they didn’t need a bailout.  Lee take a trip to Detroit but make sure you get your vaccinations first.  That rusty metal that was once the center of industry can give you a nasty case of tetanus.

So we split and you get to pay jacked up rates for our exports to you.  I like the sound of that.  And health?  Jesus man don’t lecture us about health as long as you have that fatass waiting for a heart attack Christie as Govenor.

I do agree – an amicable split would be a good thing.  And as that young law student suggested I think these terms are fair:

“Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al: We have stuck together since the late 1950’s for the sake of the kids, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has clearly run its course.

Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right for us all, so let’s just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.

Here is a our separation agreement:

–Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a similar portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.

-We don’t like redistributive taxes so you can keep them.

–You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU.

–Since you hate guns and war, we’ll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military.

–We’ll take the nasty, smelly oil industry and the coal mines, and you can go with wind, solar and biodiesel.

–You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O’ Donnell. You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them.

–We’ll keep capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street.

–You can have your beloved lifelong welfare dwellers, food stamps, homeless, homeboys, hippies, druggies and illegal aliens.

–We’ll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO’s and rednecks.

–We’ll keep Bill O’Reilly, and Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood .

–You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we’ll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us.

–You can have the peaceniks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we’ll help provide them security.

–We’ll keep our Judeo-Christian values.

–You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, political correctness and Shirley McClain. You can also have the U.N. but we will no longer be paying the bill.

–We’ll keep the SUV’s, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Volt and Leaf you can find.

–You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors.

–We’ll keep “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “The National Anthem.”

–I’m sure you’ll be happy to substitute “Imagine”, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”, “Kum Ba Ya” or “We Are the World”.

–We’ll practice trickle-down economics and you can continue to give trickle up poverty your best shot.

–Since it often so offends you, we’ll keep our history, our name and our flag.

In the spirit of friendly parting, I’ll bet you might think about which one of us will need whose help in 15 years.

John J. Wall
Law Student and an American”

So Lee, in summary you’re pretty much just a Jersey Douche drama queen in most of our eyes.  Seriously – WTF is a culture critic? Does that “job” even serve a real purpose other than amusing snot nosed spoiled northerners?  I’m done with ya – and hell I didn’t even get to the part about Sprezzatura and the New Republic debacle.

Posted in General Info | 12 Comments

Putting Some Teeth in the Tribe: What Do We Need To Be Able To Do?

Fightin' Lizards

Alright – a new topic (here anyway)  and a lot to write about. Now we’re going to start digging into the process of actually building usable fighting skills and knowledge among your tribe members.  The next few entries are going to attempt to impart upon you some basic realities you’ll be dealing with along with some nice simple tips to use when establishing your security force.  To set the record straight right now I’m going to be referring to what I call a “Rural Defense Force” (RDF) throughout this series.  That is simply the defensive element of your tribe.  The folks that actually defend the area.

This entry is going to deal with defining operational capabilities and using a simple training methodology.  Operational capabilities are the tasks that you need/want to be able to execute.   I.e. do you want to establish roadblocks, conduct ambushes, raids, deliberate defenses, etc?   You need to sit down and conceptualize what tasks your RDF will have to accomplish.  This is how you focus your training as your efforts need to be geared towards supporting these capabilities.  For the .mil guys out there this is what we used to refer to as a developing a Mission Essential Task List (METL) along with associated drills but we’re going to go through this without the luxury of having higher echelon tasks and directives to work this out. Basically we’re going to build a list of tactical tasks that we identify are critical to the defense of our tribal area.  The difference here is normally a METL goes no lower than a Company but unless you’re really fortunate chances are you won’t have the kind of strength.  So I’m going to make another convention at this point – when I refer to METL what I am actually using are more akin to ARTEP battle drills for a Platoon and Squad sized element.  Training methodology is simply the way we’re going to train.

Before you begin this process it’s a pretty good idea to go through a throughout terrain and threat analysis.  As an example if the threat is known to not and will not likely have armored vehicles then establish an anti-armor ambush would be low on your task list.  If you need some help identifying tasks this is where the Army field manuals can come into play.  Take a look at ARTEP 7-8-Drill which lists tasks for the platoon and squad sized elements. The lists in that manual should help you identify the kind of tasks you want to be able to accomplish.  Are we going to use the info from that manual verbatim?  No we’re not. But for now use it to help identify tasks.

One thing about tasks.  Right off the bat you need to understand that there are individual tasks and “collective” tasks.  Individual tasks are the tasks that folks do as an individual – i.e.  applying a tourniquet is an individual task.  “Collective tasks” are tasks that are executed as a collective element be it a buddy team, fire team, squad, or platoon.  Individual tasks usually support collective tasks – i.e. an individual might acquire and engage targets with their rifle while conducting team fire and maneuver.  For now we’re going to focus on collective type tasks.


Dose of reality time: There are some tasks which will probably be worthless and some you won’t have the resources to accomplish.  An example of a worthless tasks for your purpose might be “Change formation (mounted)”.  That task is designed for forces that are mounted in vehicles and have the terrain to actually change their physical association during travel. Granted if you live in the desert it might be worthwhile but that’s just an example.  A task you might not have the resources to execute would be “Knock out bunkers”.  Now does that mean we ignore them?  Not necessarily.  The possibility to adapt and develop techniques to deal with those tasks using our existing capabilities might just be worthwhile.

So we’ve gone through our analysis, familiarized ourselves with tasks, and for Shits n’ Giggles we’ve come up with this list of critical tasks.  To keep it simple we’ll focus on one task for right now: Conducting an ambush.  Sounds simple right? Welp there are different categories of ambushes (hasty, deliberate) and different types (point, area, L shaped, etc.).  Don’t get lost in the weeds at this point instead focus on the general task itself and identify the collective and individual skills required to support this task.  The graphic below illustrates how those individual tasks support the collective tasks.


Sound training methodology dictates we need to be proficient in the individual tasks before we attempt collective tasks otherwise we’ll not only waste time having to teach individual tasks while trying to focus on the collective tasks but our execution of the collective tasks will be sloppy at best. That equates to a waste of training time and energy.

In the graphic notice I circled the “engage targets” individual task.  Sounds simple enough but think about what that task entails.  It could include such supporting skills like :

  • Load your rifle
  • Acquire targets
  • Apply elevation and windage to engage stationary and moving targets
  • Perform suppressive fire

These individual skills are once again supported by such tasks as maintaining your rifle, zeroing your rifle, etc. .

The key thing here I want to impart upon you is that we need to identify our collective task requirements and then work downward to identify the critical tasks and skills needed to execute those collective tasks. By focusing on the individual tasks prior to training the collective tasks we avoid unnecessary training frustrators and save time and effort.

Posted in RDF | 10 Comments

Real Work and Slapfighting in Happyland

Old Fat Broken Down Man in a tutu - a real drama queen.

Recently I’ve been asked more than once about my position on the III Citadel that some folks are setting up and what I thought about it.  I was also pointed to some of the surrounding drama that’s taken place of late.  Here’s my take:

I hope like hell the III Citadel concept grows and flourishes.

Pretty simple, huh?  Why?  Because the concept is Tribex10.  These aren’t folks looking to march into D.C. and make some grand and final stand but folks that want to build a safer and freer society for them and their posterity.  I applaud the hell out of that.  Am I a part of it?  No – I have my focus here in my battlespace and I’m winning.

On the drama surrounding it?  In every movement, with every aspect of our culture there will be people that tear things down or seek to destroy because of whatever petty jealousy exists in their heads. Maybe they miss some former imagined glory, who knows?  Who really cares?  Folks these types are agitators (although I prefer the term Drama Queens) and ignoring them will make them go back to the obscurity they deserve. Look, no-one is perfect.  But to insist one’s own background is irrelevant because of their current position while throwing stones at another’s background  is pure and utter hypocrisy and reeks of a childish mentality or at least of someone with low or no self esteem.  If the shoe fits wear it.

Folks ignore the agitators.  If you work hard enough and are dedicated enough things will happen.  And ignore the drama queens in tutus that seek to tear things down.

And that’s the last time I’ll address this.

Posted in General Info | 14 Comments

SITREP From The Farm (And What’s Left Of Free America)

A worn out old cowboy

Just a quick situation report.  Nope, I haven’t abandoned the blog and yes I am literally busier than a one legged man in an asskicking contest.  I have so many irons in the fire right now the prioritization is kind of a jumble.

The next blog entry is awaiting some refining of graphics.  I am going to take a basic photoshop course at the local clown college so my dependence on a graphics smart guy will be nil.  But in the meantime This is a little glimpse into my world:

I’ve got two 3 day SUT classes scheduled over the next month.  Since thanksgiving I have run two different groups through a full weekend course short notice.  Demand is high folks – on everyone.  Especially with the insanity going on.

The incoming county Sheriff (whom incidentally is my second cousin and a helluva Constitutionalist) has asked me to put together a framework for a volunteer force to guard local schools in both an armed and unarmed capacity.  This is currently priority one on my taskers.

Apparently I am now also the local gunsmith ironing out AR builds for folks that have attempted to put their own rifles together.  Folks please if you lack the tools or knowledge get with someone that has done it before.  It saddens me when I see a ruined high dollar upper.

A big one:  I along with most of the other local beef ranchers here have pulled our stock from the public market.  We’re selling to private parties only at what amounts to a lower rate than supermarkets charge.  We finagled a local butcher to slaughter and package the beef once it’s sold (so in essence folks are buying a live beef and for their cost getting a final product).  Why is this important?  We’re making more money, people are saving money and we’re throwing the finger to the markets.  Watch this type of movement because it’s going to gain momentum and is already happening in several states.  And not just beef either.  A friend of mine whom is a major supplier to Tyson poultry didn’t renew his contract with them after they tried to force him to lower his price.  He went local and he’s making more and folks are saving more.  Bottom line:

The Inner cities may control the vote but by God we control the food.  And to the man we’re ready to scorch the earth before we let them take it away.

Once the taskers clear up a bit I’ll hit this harder but for now my focus is local, local, local.  As should yours be.




Posted in General Info | 30 Comments

Thanksgiving Thoughts

I haven’t had a lot of free time to do much of anything but this afternoon I finally managed to sit down and get some work done.  Look for the next entry as soon as I finish getting my list of honey-dos cleaned up.  I wanted to jot this down more for posterity so I could refer to it later on than share it but I believe it’s good and decent to reflect on what I’m thankful for.  Some of the relevant things I’m thankful for are:

A helluva woman that has stood by me through thick and thin.  Without her I’d be and have  nothing..literally.

I’m thankful to be alive.  Really.  There’s been more than one close call in the past and for some unknown reason it hasn’t been my time yet.  My grandmother used to have a saying: “God takes care of two types of people sonny boy: those that do his work and dumbasses”.  I ain’t a Preacher so I guess I’m in the latter group.

I’m thankful that we still have some precious time left to prepare for what’s coming.  And that we’ve had the foresight to prepare. If you’re reading this blog chances are you one of us. And now is not the time to sit on our laurels.  Back in the day one of my Commanders had a poster in his office that stated : “On the plains of hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who at the dawn of victory lay down to rest, and in resting died.” Most of us believe time is running out so to be really thankful we can’t waste it.

I’m thankful I haven’t lost my humanity.  Lord knows there were times it grew dark but it’s still intact.  And regardless of how bad things get I refuse to let it die.  I’ll temper it with justice and common sense (don’t get me wrong – I’m capable of some pretty nasty shit if the need arises) but I believe once we lose our humanity there’s really no difference between us and those we so abhor.

I’m thankful for the guys out there that work to make a difference.  Mosby, AMerc, Max V, Sam, and the whole list that is too long to note here.  Whether it’s sharing training, doctrine, or even philosophy those that work to hedge the bet in our favor these folks are a true gift. Confucius said “If you want to make a stand help others make a stand”.  Thanks guys (and gals).

I’m thankful that I have the resources to help others that are busting their asses to survive.  Those folks that live by the TANSTAAFL mentality more than deserve it.  And in true country boy spirit I’ll continue helping until I can’t or they quit.

I’m thankful that there are still young men and women that are willing to go in harm’s way to confront evil.  Some of them are going to eat a Thanksgiving dinner out of cold inserts away from their families just as the generations before them have done.

You may have a list of things you’re thankful for and being thankful in itself is one thing.  To really be thankful we have to make a difference in some way, shape, or form no matter how miniscule in those that need and deserve help.  Sam has an excellent grasp of that with his “III to III” concept.  If you’re in the position to make a difference you don’t owe it to others to do so.  You owe it to yourself.

Myself and the rest of the pack are going light this year.  We’ve got one son in Afghanistan and one in Africa so this is going to be a different type of thanksgiving for me – it seems I was always the one gone over the holidays.  No doubt HH6 is familiar with not having the family near during this time of the year but for me this is going to be a completely different Thanksgiving.  So there’s no cooking for us tomorrow, instead we’re heading up to the VA hospital to spend it with some of my brothers and sisters.

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