Thursday, July 29, 2010

A little clarification on some recent posts: the NM incident and scrounging for militia supplies.

Auto-de-fe of the Spanish Inquisition, 1475.
First, the New Mexico Incident.

As a Christian, I find these folks' tactics to be short-sighted, if saving souls is what they are about. I like the comment that handing out bottled water to the folks in line and quiet testimony would have been a much better avenue. This is not to say that the cops didn't screw up. They did, big time. But the thing about Christians is that we must hold ourselves to a higher standard if we wish to be respected AS CHRISTIANS. Now, if this were a Threeper piece of street theater calculated to get a rise out of the "authorities," it would have been perfect. But it wasn't. Thus, although it was tactically flawless, from a Christian point of view it was strategically misguided and self-defeating.

There are many examples today of such behavior on the part of folks who espouse Christianity. Another, more egregious example was the guy I heard today on Birmingham call-in show while I was out paying bills and collecting military surplus. The fellow is a pastor in Florida (he shall remain nameless as far as I'm concerned) who has announced that on the next anniversary of 11 September, he and his congregation are going to be publicly burning Korans. I tried to call into this show while he was on, but failed to get in. What I would have told him was this:

a. Christians should not be in the business of book burning. It summons ghosts of the Inquisition and the auto-de-fe, and reinforces the fear of religious tyranny. Burning books is not engaging in the battle of ideas, nor is it a profession of faith.

b. Instead of burning Korans, the church should rather be quietly distributing Holy Bibles, of the anonymous cover kind so that the folks you are trying to reach can read God's word without exciting retribution in their community.

c. This pastor is writing Al Quaeda propaganda checks that will be cashed in somebody else's blood, namely the blood of Marines or soldiers like my son. Every little "Crusader" slight to the Moslem faith is amplified a million times by the jihadi media who inflame the Arab street and use it for recruitment purposes. This is not to say that we shouldn't stand forthrightly both as Americans and Christians for what we believe, but we should do it intelligently. And if this guy is really trying to make a faith statement of this, let him have the courage of his convictions and go to Dearborn, Michigan or downtown Riyadh and do it himself in broad daylight.

d. The fact that this pastor is at the same time trying to sell his latest book is highly suggestive that this is a publicity stunt, pure and simple.

All of which is why I refuse to publicize the moke here on Sipsey Street.

I love the smell of a really junky military surplus store. What is wrong with me?

Now, as to the deals I got today on military surplus. There were several reasons I wrote this post, none of them had anything to do with bragging or highlighting, as one e-mailer alleges, my "Arab trader skills."

First, I have a couple of advantages over the average thrift and surplus store scrounger. I have been doing it for about 20 years now and have been all over God's creation, in and out of dumpsters, little hole-in-the-wall neighborhood second-hand shops, etc. In the process, my face (and the recognition of my steady business in the acquiring of military gear) gets to be familiar to the folks who run the stores. Thus, when they get something they think I might be interested in, they but it back for me. The same goes for the regular vendors at gun shows.

In the case of surplus and gun stores, I have over the years sent a lot of other militia folks' business their way, so I end up getting what amounts to a "militia discount." Like every other business, they try to take care of their repeat customers. Also, you can teach them things about the goods they handle and broaden their knowledge base. Shopkeepers of all varieties usually appreciate that, and reciprocate in kind. In addition, my notoriety has brought me discounts and even outright gifts of material over the years from like-minded business people, and I in turn pass those on to the needier folks I run into -- newbies, mostly.

My experience has also taught me the stocking cycle and rhythm of thrift stores, so I usually know what days are best to go and at what time of the day they put out the new stuff in a given department.

I mention these things because ALL of them can be done by ANYONE, including all of you. I ain't that special, I'm just determined and consistent. Every now and then I'll find something that is not militia-related but which I can sell or trade for stuff that is.

In terms of the thrift and surplus stores around here I probably do have an advantage over many folks, because Alabama is such a military friendly state, and has so many of its citizens who have been in the military, that more militia stuff pops up for sale around here than anywhere else except perhaps towns with military bases like Clarksville, TN or Columbus, GA (Fort Campbell and Fort Benning, respectively).

My principal reason for publicizing my finds is to motivate those of you who are short equipment and funds to emulate my success. Again, this is not rocket science. ANYBODY can do it.

So please understand. I'm not bragging. I'm just trying to get y'all to go forth and do likewise.


Anonymous said...

Mike, the picture in your post is of the Army Navy Surplus store on South Main in Greenville, SC--my town. Their prices run high but they have excellent service and the store is...brace yourself...ORGANIZED!!

Representin' SC

A Graves

Anonymous said...

Dizzy Dean famously said that "it ain't bragging if you can do it". Trust Old Diz to say it just right.


Cannonball888 said...

I love the smell of military canvas with a hint of cosmoline.

BTW, I really dislike cheesey chinese copies of military surplus which is carried in most stores nowadays.

d'Heat said...

Is the Florida Pastor Chuck Baldwin?

skybill said...

Hi Mike,
First off, right on about the "Book Burning," I'm with you totally on that! Funny you should mention those old mil-surp stores,"That smell, that Military Surplus Junk Store Smell, it smells like...(your choice of adjective here!)" all due respects to LC, Bill Kilgore! Reminds me of rummaging around the one in my home town when I was a kid looking for "Goodies!" All the ones I've been in since then still smell the same but the prices have gone thru the roof!!


PS, Put me down for a copy od "Absolved" when they get printed, make that "TWO!!"

T.A.M.N. said...

Our militia gear-up website for militia defense commanders has two Patriot vendors. Their pricing was already good but they agreed to slash prices even more for our members because of who we are and what we do for our nation, our *lawful* government and our neighbors. Sure they are also looking to make money on volume purchasing and individual sales from this targeted (in more ways than one) customer base. And they should expect that!

At least a dozen milsurp vendors whom I have dealt with many times because they dealt well with me personally were hoping to participate in what we were doing. There were several factors used when we finally chose the following two:

California Army and Navy (California, PA)
Maine Military Supply (Brewer, ME)

But the biggest was their record of association with Patriot entities. I hope you will allow this post with their names, Mike.

Pericles said...

The store pictured is far too tidy for a guy like me.

Anonymous said...

People are complex. A few years back that church ran a thrift store. Childrens' clothing and shoes were free, and they left the distinct impression this policy was intended to benefit the poor, not the yuppies. Maybe the pastor is sincere about his distrust for Islam, and maybe it was first revealed to him in a dream or vision. Maybe it is honest Christianity.

The American soldiers in the Middle East are not there being peaceful missionaries. This pastor is just following the government's example.

Anonymous said...

Some Christians don't realize Jesus died as a lamb.

He will return as a King with Saints behind Him.

We are to glow as a candle but not shine as a spotlight.

Burning books is what Nazi's did and serves no purpose.

Certainly not Americans.

Dennis308 said...

100% agreement Mike the Inquisition had nothing to do with Christianity it was Political Control by Spain with the assistance of the Roman Catholic Church. Crimes committed under the name of God. Protesting a concert and damming people to hell are about as Christian as blowing up Abortion Clinics. I believe Abortion is wrong but blowing up Clinics or Murdering Doctors and Staff make me right.

As far as Military Surplus I don´t have a lot to say most of my gear is of the hunters variety that way I can keep the ¨GRAYMAN¨
ideology in my own AO. But you have the luck of finding great deals on equipment.


Defender said...

I think Christians need to choose their battles. A concert? No one was there who didn't want to be there. In my day, they railed against a skinny Juilliard graduate who found that classical music doesn't pay very well. His name was Vincent Furnier and his brilliant marketing gimmick was becoming ... Alice Cooper. Rob Zombie is serving a market niche. People like to go to the haunted house at the state fair; shock rock music is the equivalent, and I've heard much worse than Zombie on the radio, with much blanking out of profanity. The real Satan worshippers wear three-piece suits and ride in limos and want to tell all he rest of us what to do.
The hardest thing in the world is saving people from their own choices. Leading by example seems to work best. They'll follow or not.
That shelter is awesome. Much better -- for about the same price -- than canvas shelter halves, and better even than the commercial Predator shelters, which are larger and I think heavier.

CowboyDan said...

I live near a major US Army supply command which often has surplus goods for sale. Go figure!

The quantities are WAY beyond any needs I have or expect to have, so I haven't bought anything yet.

I think I can find a place to store some goods if there might be others in need of them. I'm not hoping to make a living reselling this stuff, but I'd need to cover my costs. My wife would definitely like me to bring in some dollars.

I've seen boots, BDU's, medical gear, vehicles and service parts, etc.. No weapons, but now and then some parts.

Mike, you have my contact info, so if you want to get in touch, please do so. Maybe I need to set up a business...

Carl said...

" I love the smell of a really junky military surplus store. What is wrong with me?"
NOT A DARN THING!! That's where the best buys are. And cannonball888 is absolutely right. That Chinese knock-off crap doesn't deserve a place next to real surplus gear.

Chuck Martel said...

^5 A Graves. When I saw that pic I thought to myself, "Hey, I know that place."

Knuck said...

My dad was Merchant Marine in WWII and Korea. Guys used to cut holes in places in the ships and stash contraband in there and weld steel plate over it. 50 cal machine guns,German Lugers,hand grenades,swords,bazookas. You name it,my Dad saw it. In the sixties I was with Pop visiting an old shipmate on Staten Island,NY: he told Dad about one guy that had completely dismantled a jeep and brought it back to the US from Europe.Man, I wish I knew where that stuff ended up.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been by it in a while, but this is probably still true. That church is on the back corner of a lot with several acres of grass, in front of a backdrop of trees. At night, the only light near the building comes from a lit cross-shaped sign placed on the front facade of their main building. The sign seems like a commercial design, probably fluorescent tubes behind a white plastic face panel in a box. At night, viewed from the street, your eyes adjust to the bright intensity of the cross, and then you can't see anything else near the building. No silhouettes of people walking, you can't tell where the windows are, nothing, it's all blackness. But up close to the building, the diffuse glow from the cross lets you walk around without a flashlight.

I don't know if it's intentional, but I've always appreciated how that lighting arrangement blocks vision at night from the street, yet supports operation near the building. The lit sign hanging in the blackness like any logo on the Interstate gives the impression of being completely mundane, not like deliberate security. If you had a homestead in the country, you could probably get the same effect with a streetlight placed over your house, perhaps with a plate under it to control where the near edge of the shadow fell. It wouldn't look like anything special, but anyone coming in at night would be blind, squinting, and looking through their hands as tubes.

Anonymous said...

Christian preachers are called upon to preach publicly. The prophets did it, Jesus did it, the apostles did it, EVERY revival of historical importance was attended with and promoted by public preaching which included denunciations of sin. Public preaching is protected by the First Amendment specifically because it a)is free speech, b) is in public, and c)tends to offend people's sensibilities.

George Fox routinely got arrested for preaching in other people's churches, denouncing the pastor as a false teacher and demanding to know where the book, chapter, and verse was for their teachings.

The Reformation was fueled by public preaching which focused primarily on the idea that the Roman Catholic Church was the Antichrist beast system of prophecy and that anyone who did not repent and put their faith in Christ was damned to hell.

The Great awakening in America was fueled in large part by early Methodist public preaching in fields and towns.

All this modern antipathy to public preaching is not only unchristian, but unAmerican. It is an American tradition to get out in public and speak against what you believe needs to be spoken against. And it is an American tradition that such speech ticks off the hearers.

It is a TORY tradition that such speech is 'uncouth' and 'improper' and ought not to be done.

With the country practically overrun with wussified yuppie-types, I am heartened to see some semblance of life in the national body politic, regardless of their viewpoint. Life means breathing and activity and conflict. Death is characterised by stillness, quietness, and lack of vigour.