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Posted on Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 6:10 a.m.

Bridgewater Township official turns to militia for help; watchdog groups question decision

By Lee Higgins


Michigan Militia member James Schiel, second from left, holds a debriefing with fellow members of the Michigan Militia, from left, Wendy Lineweaver and her two dogs Bella and Brix, a member who goes by the name Chainsaw, a member named Kevin, and Will Bachman. They were helping local law enforcement officials search for a Bridgewater Township man who was missing.

Lon Horwedel |

Bridgewater Township Supervisor Jolea Mull has twice sought help from militia members this year to search for missing township residents.

The move is drawing criticism from militia watchdog groups, who say Mull is legitimizing an extreme right-wing movement that has a history of being associated with criminal activity.

And the partnership comes as the militia movement is exploding across the country, driven by fears of economic collapse and the potential for a crackdown on gun rights under the Obama administration, watchdog groups say.

About 50 militia members from five units live in Washtenaw County, militia leaders say. They are survivalists, who favor larger local government and a smaller federal government. Members are fiercely protective of their free speech and gun rights.

When Mull learned from Washtenaw County sheriff's deputies that a township woman was missing Jan. 13, she contacted local militia leader Jimmy Schiel.

“She said, ‘Hey, we need help to do a ground search for Anna-Maria Wheeker,” Schiel recalls of their phone conversation that morning. “I said, ‘So you want the militia?' And she said, ‘Yes.”


Fritz Hartgers, a member of the West Michigan Volunteer Militia, practices firing his AR-15 at the firing range during the Michigan Militia training at Island Lake Recreation Area March 6.

Angela Cesere |

Schiel, a member of the Washtenaw County-based Michigan Militia Corps Wolverines, 9th Division, 13th Brigade, started making phone calls. He quickly rounded up three members from his unit and three from the Lenawee County-based Hutaree, 8th Division, 20th Brigade.

They responded to the township hall with two search dogs, backpacks containing medical supplies and a non-militia volunteer on horseback. They met with deputies, firefighters and other volunteers before fanning out in the area to search for Wheeker.

Wheeker, a 45-year-old mother of four, was found dead on her roughly 20-acre property. She died of hypothermia, but the manner of death was not determined, the county medical examiner's office said. Wheeker had taken more anxiety medication than normal, officials said.

While the result was tragic, Schiel said, it was a significant event in his 15 years with the militia unit. “That was the very first time we were deployed in an official capacity,” Schiel said.

Mull, who said she was pleased with the militia’s response, contacted Schiel again Feb. 17 when deputies told her 56-year-old Robert Melvin Wise was missing.

Four members from Schiel’s unit, one from Hutaree and a member from a Livingston County unit responded. They were given the task of driving around Jackson County to look for Wise on state hunting grounds.

Wise was found dead in the driver’s seat of a car in Freedom Township. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning, and the manner of death was suicide, the county medical examiner’s office said.

Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Montgomery, Ala.-based Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors extremist groups, questioned why an elected official would reach out to the militia.

The militia movement has been involved in an “enormous amount of criminal violence” and “huge number of domestic terror plots,” Potok said.


Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia member Rusty W. stands with a group of militia members in the parking lot of the firing range for training.

Angela Cesere |

“It certainly seems poorly advised to be kind, to ask people who believe in completely false conspiracy theories and see the government largely as an enemy to help in law enforcement matters,” Potok said. “I don’t see how that could work out well.”

Mull, a Republican, turned to the militia because of their training in search and rescue techniques, familiarity with the local community and willingness to help, she said in a prepared statement. About 1,700 people live in Bridgewater Township in southwestern Washtenaw County.

“Unfortunately, in both cases, the searches ended tragically, but there’s an old cliché that says, ‘You are either part of the problem or part of the solution," she said. "It is clear to me from these experiences that our local militia is part of the solution."

“Based on what I have observed of our local militia’s efforts, I highly recommend that other municipalities coordinate with and get to know their local militia members."

The sheriff’s department was grateful for the help, said Derrick Jackson, the department’s director of community engagement.

“The volunteers were helpful whether they were militia, whether they were residents of that community or friends of elected officials,” Jackson said. “They did exactly what we asked of them.”

A resurgence of the militia movement

An elected official seeking help from the militia is “extraordinarily rare,” said Mark Pitcavage, director of investigative research for the Anti-Defamation League.

“Most people would stay away from these groups like the plague for very understandable reasons,” he said.

Mull’s decision to reach out to the militia comes as the militia movement is experiencing an “incredible resurgence” across the country, Pitcavage said. The movement gained steam after the government's siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, in 1993 and later tapered off.

Key events involving
Michigan militia members

  • 2005: Michigan militia member Norman David Somerville is sentenced to six years in federal prison for possessing and distributing 13 machine guns. Authorities claim Somerville planned to retaliate against Michigan State Police troopers for the death of Michigan militia member Scott Woodring.
  • 2003: Michigan State Police Trooper Kevin M. Marshall is fatally shot during a standoff at the home of Michigan militia member Scott Woodring in Newaygo County. Police say Woodring killed Marshall. Woodring was located a week later and fatally shot by troopers after he pointed a gun at them.
  • 2001: Michigan militia member Paul Darland is convicted of murder in the 1994 fatal shooting of William Gleason, a bodyguard for militia member Mark Koernke. Darland thought Gleason was spying on him, providing information to Koernke, authorities say.
  • 2001: Michigan militia member Mark Koernke is sentenced to between three to seven years in prison for fleeing a police officer, assault with a dangerous weapon and resisting and obstructing an officer. He led police on a 40-mile chase after his car was seen near a bank robbery in progress in Dexter. Koernke was not involved in the robbery, but refused to stop, police said.
  • 1999: North American Militia of Southwest Michigan member Bradford Metcalf is sentenced to 40 years in prison after being convicted of conspiring to blow up government buildings, threatening to kill federal officers and weapons violations.
  • Sources: The Associated Press, Anti-Defamation League, Southern Poverty Law Center, Detroit Free Press

But in the past 18 months, the number of militia groups has quadrupled to 200, Pitcavage said.

Like other organizations, militias have been using social networking sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to recruit members.

The central belief of the movement is that the rest of the world “has been taken over by an overarching, globalist, socialist, tyrannical, government conspiracy called the New World Order” and the U.S. government is participating in that conspiracy, he said.

Militia members fear FEMA may set up concentration camps to house government dissidents, the government may impose martial law and start door-to-door gun confiscation, Pitcavage said.

“They wanna change the world,” Pitcavage said. “They are not satisfied with the status quo.”

Among the most high-profile militia incidents in the state was the July 2003 fatal shooting of a Michigan State Police trooper by a militia member during a standoff in Newaygo County.

“Certainly, the militia movement has generated a number of violent or otherwise dangerous individuals,” Pitcavage said.

Preparing for the worst

The Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia, a group that covers Washtenaw and five other counties, didn't participate in the searches. However, they hold public meetings and training sessions that offer a glimpse inside the movement.

The group aims to protect against disasters, crime, foreign invasion, terrorism and tyranny, members say.

About 22 mostly middle-aged men met for one of their public meetings earlier this month at Mayberry’s Family Restaurant, a diner in Farmington Hills. The group included a salesman, an IT specialist, a landscaping company owner, a firefighter and some unemployed people.

Members opened the meeting with the pledge of allegiance and a prayer.

Jeff Kindy, 42, an SMVM leader in Wayne County and U.S. Army veteran, told group members he should have contacted them when one of his children recently didn’t return home from school and several hours elapsed. His child was later found safe.

“We’re about taking care of each other, taking care of our neighbors,” Kindy said. “Making sure everybody’s safe and secure.”

Members participate in monthly training including navigation, identifying wild edibles and combat first aid.

On a recent Saturday, a handful of SMVM members arrived at the Island Lake Shooting Range in Brighton, wearing camouflage, boots and unit patches.


A Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia member who wished to be called by his nickname "Thumper" uses a spade to shave down his piece of wood into a hunting bow during the Michigan Militia training.

Angela Cesere |

Matt Savino, 34, a member of the Lenawee County Volunteer Militia, joined them. Savino, a U.S. Navy veteran, was firing an AK-74 at targets from 100 yards.

The militia, he said, is not “anti-government,” but “pro-Constitutional government." He opposes the U.S. government detaining people without charging them.

“The militia is supposed to keep the government in check,” he said. “The people are supposed to be above the government.”

Savino owns more than a dozen guns, including two AK-47s - the standard weapon for his unit. If everyone has the same gun, it will help during combat in the rare event that Michigan is invaded by another country, he said.

“One of our guys goes down, we can grab his magazines and still use them.”

The target practice at the range took place after about 22 militia members learned how to make a survival bow from a sapling at Island Lake Recreation Area. The bow can be used to hunt small game.

Bryan Ondercin, 32, another SMVM leader in Wayne County, participated in the training. He keeps three months worth of food at home, a gas mask, generator and other items. During the 2003 blackout, people were scrambling for food, but he wasn’t, he said.

The fatal stabbing of his mother nine years ago contributed to his decision to join the militia. He found his mother’s body in her Livonia home and said he was questioned by police for two days, making his life a “living hell.” Police later moved on with their investigation.

“It was when I realized that no one can protect you but you,” he said.

Militia members must remain vigilant of the government, Ondercin said.

“We have to do everything we can to stop them from even taking an inch because they will take a mile."

While the SMVM training is public, Hutaree, a Christian-oriented group, shies away from public attention.

Wendy Lineweaver, 43, of Manchester Township, a Hutaree member, participated in both searches in the township.

She joined the tightly-knit unit after meeting several members at a Ron Paul rally several years ago in Ann Arbor. Lineweaver opposes surveillance cameras on streets, the use of body scanners at airports and fears the government may microchip people.


A Lenawee County Volunteer Militia member who wished only to go by his first name, Ryan, practices shooting with his AR-15 at the firing range.

Angela Cesere |

“If you really want to try and install a police state in this society, you’re going to hit a brick wall, meaning us,” she said. “That’s what we’re preparing for.”

Militia members are politically active, but have the same concerns as everyone else, said Rivka Pratt of Hamburg Township, who is Schiel’s fiancée. The mother of two is a member of Schiel’s unit.

“We all live normal lives,” she said. “We all worry about paying the bills. How the kids are doing in school…You don’t live your life worrying about the government.”

Lee Miracle, head of the SMVM and a postal worker, hopes the volunteer work in Bridgewater Township fosters understanding of the militia.

“Maybe it’s improved recognition that people realize we’re not a bunch of lunatics,” Miracle said. “We’re not 100 percent gun-oriented. When someone’s lost, you want to go help.”

Contact with law enforcement

Michigan State Police don't monitor militia members, and no one at the agency is particularly knowledgeable about their activities, spokeswoman Melody Kindraka said.

FBI officials in Detroit declined to assess whether local militia groups pose a threat to public safety.

Pitcavage, the ADL investigator, who has trained 15,000 law enforcement officers in extremism and domestic terrorism issues, said he would be concerned about “any militia group.”

“They’re all extremist groups and any extremist group has the potential to go off the deep end,” he said.

Mike Lackomar, 37, an SMVM spokesman, said federal, state and local law enforcement officials periodically contact unit members.

For instance, he said, the day before the 2008 presidential election, five unit members who were planning a meeting were contacted by law enforcement. Lackomar said a federal law enforcement agent asked him whether he heard of anything going on, but he said he hadn’t.


Jeff Kindy, the rifle team leader for Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia, helps militia member Katerina Miracle detach a small tree to make into a hunting bow.

Angela Cesere |

At times, Lackomar said, people drawn to the movement become frustrated it’s not “doing enough to bring down the New World Order.”

Certain groups, he said, are “gearing up or seemingly gearing up for a standoff with the government.”

“There have been a couple of occasions where law enforcement have asked us about individuals they are concerned about,” he said. “If this person was a danger, we would have to pass that along. The worst thing that could ever happen is Americans firing on Americans and nobody wants that."

Amy Cooter, a doctoral candidate in sociology at University of Michigan, has been studying the militia movement for two years and has interviewed a representative of every unit she can identify in the state.

Michigan militia members are still struggling to distance themselves from the legacy of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, who the media falsely reported was one of their members, she said. He attended one militia meeting in Michigan, members said.

Most militia members have achieved some level of college education, feel a strong need to be politically involved and simply want to be prepared in the event of a disaster, Cooter said.

“Most militias see their role as helping law enforcement and helping their communities when they need it."

Lee Higgins is a reporter for He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and email at



Thu, Oct 27, 2011 : 12:18 p.m.

take property from owners where the deem it "in the best interest of the many" and selling its soul to pay for its debt, why wouldn't these groups be more popular? I'm no extremist by any means, but much of what these guys are saying, Web Listings


Mon, Mar 29, 2010 : 5:33 p.m.

The incited speeches as of late, only contribute to more of these homegrown backyard terrorists attacks. The GOP will have the blood on their hands. Remember people that they are attacking brothers,sisters, mothers, fathers, etc. Human Beings! WE THE PEOPLE ARE THE GOVERNMENT. Broken? Yes. Can we fix it w/o the violence and vial words? YES WE CAN. So let's start today. Make the banks smaller(put your money in community banks or credit unions, know your Banker). Remember movie "It's A Wonderful Life"?? Help your communities. Buy local veggies when you can, grow a garden, stop shopping for processed foods that promote CORN that make Americans fat, stop shopping with the corporations (Wally Worlds-big boys) that are holding Americans hostage by raping our country and giving the jobs overseas, control your own 401K and make the short term profit w/o the long term risk of trusting those A Hoos on Wall St. or at your local brokerage company. Have we learned anything from these last three years of recession? There are so many things we can do on our own through simple common sense acts. LET's DO IT!

Robin Hood

Mon, Mar 29, 2010 : 3:41 p.m.

Think about it. What better way to get names and faces for investigation.


Sat, Mar 27, 2010 : 8:03 p.m.

"QUOTE : Tru2Blu76 These ad hoc militias are the same: except they tend to be even more fringe extremist. Essentially, they are on balance a negative value - using their volunteerism as a promotional gimmick. Underneath: they're still ideological extremists and self-appointed "guardians" of our freedoms. The same applies to leftist environmentalist groups like ELF. So lets just not let ourselves be suckered into volunteering for their defense. Lets put an end to the loopy debates and think about real civil needs and how we can contribute." The unorganized militia, which is what the Militia's in Michigan are, DO NOT pretend to be your "self-appointed "guardians" of our freedoms." That is something you best do for yourself. We are just citizens, united in our own local communities as a civic duty for our families, our neighbors and ourselves. I am not the least bit worried about you, that is your responsibility.


Sat, Mar 27, 2010 : 7:12 p.m.

Those who think that Morris Dees and Mark Potok from the Southern Poverty Law Ctr, are the font of true info about extremist groups, you might want t o read this article by Alex Cockburn, who is a well known, very left-leaning journalist, who is a regular writer for The Nation and Mother Jones.

Anonymous Due to Bigotry

Sat, Mar 27, 2010 : 11:32 a.m.

The point with the Weather Underground was that a bunch of leftists seem to be complaining that the Michigan Militia is no different simply because the MM sounds "right wing", has guns, and therefore must be evil. Also, if any member has ever been convicted then obviously they're all criminals even though nobody will say the same of the U of M because people there have been convicted of various things. In reality it seems we have more leftists right now with guns and other weapons who are actively attacking things. $100+ million in property damage. Other than pseudo-Islamic terrorism, I can't even find stats on any sort of "right wing" terrorism. Personally I think that individual municipalities should have militias, sort of like fire departments. That way they'd be regulated at a local level but still able to provide protection if the federal government "collapses" in some manner.


Sat, Mar 27, 2010 : 1:14 a.m.

It's not the militia that scares me.. it's the liberal's and progressive's that want to teach and fill my kids brain full of their veiws.. their the dangerous one's! as far I know.. the Militia folks pay their taxes and uphold the constitution.

Lee Higgins

Fri, Mar 26, 2010 : 7:48 p.m.

Here's a link to a report tonight on the local militia on WDIV:


Fri, Mar 26, 2010 : 7:02 p.m.

I agree DB, I believe it's called projection. I see it all the time from these types, especially when it comes to gun rights. In fact has a poll up right now on concealed carry. Just take a look at the comments section of the poll and you tell me who sounds paranoid, the concealed-carry supporters or those against concealed carry. As for the Michigan Militia if all you ever year are what extreme leftists say about them you'd think they were the devil incarnate. This article sheds light on the truth of the matter, some people are awfully upset about this truth coming out for some strange reason.

M. Lackomar

Fri, Mar 26, 2010 : 6:10 p.m.

There's been calm questions and discussion on both sides. Ann Arbor has always been a community where ideas are discussed and philosophies compared. reflects that. Even though the majority of it's readership is liberal, it's not afraid to present stories that question "Common wisdom" or stereotypes. What the readership doesn't realize about the MODERN militia movement vs. that of nearly two decades ago, is that we're much more "libertarian" in our beliefs and that we actually agree on a lot of social issues. We just feel that the people are the path to peace and equality and not the government. We stand for the rights of ALL citizens. not just the "Conservative" ones. And, Mark my words everyone reading this... If a future administration swings far to the right, and the rights of citizens are being tread upon based on faith, preferences, or background... We will stand strong and complain just as vocally. Everyone, Whether your left, right, gay, straight, fat or thin... Arm yourselves, Learn first aid, keep a little food and water on hand, and don't let ANYONE tell you what to believe or how to live your life. Boy, Wouldn't THAT be nice. M.W. Lackomar SMVM


Fri, Mar 26, 2010 : 12:37 p.m.

This has been an interesting thread to read. I dont know anything about the Michigan Militia, but what I notice is that the responses here from members have been very calm, rational and balanced compared to some of their critics. Is it just me, or is anyone else amused that some of the people who have suggested that they are paranoid nut jobs, seem to have no shyness (or awareness?) about exhibiting these qualities themselves?;-)


Fri, Mar 26, 2010 : 11:27 a.m.

movingontoarealpub, You just prove my point. You condemn them for their politics and in no way praise them for their actions. Helping to find missing people is praiseworhty and those that can't accept that do need to grow up.

American Family

Fri, Mar 26, 2010 : 11:18 a.m.

"Members are fiercely protective of their free speech and gun rights." and Most militias see their role as helping law enforcement and helping their communities when they need it." As it should be. If called for, I bet these people will show up, ready to help. Others will be hiding, waiting for someone else to protect them and their families. Like sheep. Our Forefathers would be proud of the people that are self sufficient and think for themselves, and send the modern day Tories, and Pacifists packing.

Adam Jaskiewicz

Fri, Mar 26, 2010 : 11:13 a.m.

Thank you, Awakened. Speaking of learning history, doesn't anyone remember learning about the Massachusetts Compromise? Local government is what the Militia is all about. It's Anti-Federalism, and it's a debate that's been going on since the founding of our great country. Anti-Federalism is why we have the Bill of Rights in the first place; several states insisted that they would not ratify the constitution without certain guarantees of individual rights, but eventually reached a compromise (the Massachusetts Compromise) in which they would ratify with wording recommending that the Constitution be amended with those provisions. These people are members of the community who happen to feel it is their duty to help out where they can and support the township and county governments without being beholden to the Federal government. These aren't "wolves in sheep's clothing", these are the mastiffs; living among the herd, protecting the rest of us from the wolves, and helping the shepherds find us when we go astray. All they ask for in return is a pat on the head, a scratch behind the ear, and a chance to serve their community. Why are we shunning them?

Not from around here

Fri, Mar 26, 2010 : 10:54 a.m.

Actually Zulu, they did back in the 90's in Detroit. Quest who they went to for training and support????


Fri, Mar 26, 2010 : 7:22 a.m.

There was a Militia called the Sons of Liberty. They objected to the government raising taxes and ignoring the will of the people. The government sent their agents to seize the militia's weapons before things got out of control. The militia fought back at Lexington and Concord and the revolution began. 1775. There is a reason we teach history. Have you bothered to learn?


Fri, Mar 26, 2010 : 5:13 a.m.

A wolf in Sheep's clothing is still a wolf. I hope our Sheriff Department understands this. I wonder what the reaction would be if a group of Blacks got together and formed a Militia to combat the devastation of the illegal drug trade on the Black community. Would our elected officials solicited their help and would the Sheriff Department be so complimentary?


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 8:50 p.m.

Question. What has the militia done that so many people are opposed to them? Before you answer that, think of what the federal government has done and continue to this country (wars, bank scams, illegal wiretapping, imprisonment without a trial, torture, renditions, sending jobs overseas, etc., etc., etc.)


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 7:09 p.m.

Right on MMCW and M. Lackomar. Let me be the first to offer you thanks, I know if one of my loved ones were lost, I would be very grateful for your help. Keep on, keepin on, this is America despite what some of these libs would have you believe.

M. Lackomar

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 6:15 p.m.

I echo what MMCW says in his comment. I'm quoted in the article, and, As the Livingston County team leader for the SMVM, I speak with a little "inside info" about the unit. I joined during the Bush presidency. We did speak out against a number of issues at that time. But, Because that administration already had a foe to focus on, We got very little coverage. This administration has started to follow the alarming path of looking for enemies among LAW ABIDING americans. Not ONE PERSON in my unit is a criminal or felon (Yes, Redundant. But I need to specify) We train for tracking, search and rescue, first aid, and wilderness survival, so we are equipped to do a search like the ones mentioned in this article, and we're willing to do it for FREE. In a time of stretched resources, economic hardships for municipalities as well as the individual citizen, Asking us for help when needed sounds like the perfect solution. I think the staff of was fair in reporting this story. They asked me and my teammates hard questions. They also interviewed our detractors and accurately reported what THEY had to say. So, Why are people getting bent out of shape? Just because the position they assign to us is different than what THEY believe? M.W. Lackomar Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 5:39 p.m.

Mr. Goldsmith, I will be happy to entertain any question hard hitting or not on this subject. As far as Mr. Obama is concerned "old boss looks like the new boss" in other words I didn't like Mr. Bush destroying our country either. Don't blame me for this mess I voted for Chuck Baldwin. I also supported Con. Ron Paul for president and Dem. Sharon Renier for US congerss in Mich. 7 district. Liberty is my political party. Liberty for you and for me as well. I look forward to your inv invigerating questions. Michigan Militia Corps Wolverines


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 5:25 p.m.

"I think you leftists out there need to remember the Weather Underground which was an armed group that was not only carrying guns around but also bombing federal buildings:" While not biting on the "you leftists" mumbo jumbo...can you cite me an example of a local municipality calling on the Weather Underground for help in a search? And are you really bringing up Bill Ayers? Puh-lease.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 5:21 p.m.

Anyone see the irony of someone calling someone else "enlightened" with quotation marks? Did I ever claim such a state, or is there some projection occurring? Simple question, what does "..well regulated.." mean? If we assume that the Founders meant a militia whose intent was to repel Indian attacks or British aggression, then it would follow that the govt would have a need of a list of able participants. If the intent was to have a body of men capable of overthrowing a federal govt, then does the same criteria not apply? Wouldn't such a militia then have a need to be drilled and schooled by certain standards rather than an almost random gathering at gun ranges and public (socialist) parks? Does anybody know of ANY govt program to microchip people?


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 3:42 p.m.

They wanna change the world, Pitcavage said. They are not satisfied with the status quo. Kinda sounds like our goverment. I moved to Bridgewater Twp 12 years ago. Shortly after, the good folks in washtenaw county goverment found a way to take our police services away. Now we have another millage to pay more taxes for Washtenaw county sheriffs to patrol our township.(I thought the taxes I was already paying were for their services)So any help we can get in our township is appreciated.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 3:18 p.m.

Ya'll be way to paranoid for my liking. Quit leaning left and right and walk in the center upright like the civilized homosapiens that we are.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 3:05 p.m.

Let me try this again even though I might hurt someones feelings. I tried to make the point that there are those that say we should trust our government to know what is right because they were elected by "the people" I doubt they thought that when Bush "stole the election" But I know there is a person that says they believe that at least that is what they said a few post higher. Yet when they heard that the city wanted to increase the hours for feeding parking meters in Ann Arbor. They did not think the government knew as well as this person. This same person said a local prosecutor "should have know better" when charged with drunk driving. I wonder if they would defend Kwame Kilpatrick he was elected by this same "people"

Anonymous Due to Bigotry

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 3:01 p.m.

Socialism is not the problem per se, but the authoritarian tactics that tend to be used to implement it. Socialism has had a very strong association with authoritarianism (National Socialist Germany, that is Nazi Germany, USSR, China, etc.) probably because the government always needs more authority, more power, over people to implement it's "noble socialist policies". Unfortunately these policies always seem to get undermined by the level of authoritarianism granted in other to implement them. So really, I don't personally care if the authoritarianism is Fascist or Socialist or whatever. Generally the fascism or socialism etc is just the justification for more authoritarian government, and that is what people should be more concerned about. If people really want non-authoritarian socialism, that requires working with charities and NGOs, and just being a good neighbor to people instead of saying "screw you, go talk to the government if you need someone's help." Unfortunately taking some personal responsibility for helping people is too difficult for many.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 3 p.m.

yea ok i'll accept that. at least they were found. God willing.

Not from around here

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 3 p.m.

I wonder what the comments would be if the Militia found her alive! Like them or not, they have more experience in the outdoors than most, and the michigan militia has a track record of helping groups when needed. Don't believe the socialist hype.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 2:53 p.m.

As I sit and read the artical and ALL the comments, I guess the one thing that stands out is that the Supervisor did what she had to do, to find the missing people.I commend the supervisor for being resourceful and even though the results were not optimal at least she tried. I am sure if any one of us had a loved one come up missing, we really would not take the time to ask and research everyone who is helping in the search.I for one is glad to see that they are giving us a diferent view of the Michigan Militia.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 2:50 p.m.

yea i had someone try to talk me into the idea that taxes were illegal. I was like, reeaally? are you serious? I suppose we should go back to preRoman times when we did everything by swords and pillaging. Wanna know what the real assembly is? the Government, nuff sed :P heck you pay dues for some of these other groups i imagine, why wouldn't you do the same for the elected body of officials? oh wait thats the 'other' America, ok my bad :P

Not from around here

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 2:37 p.m.

Ok, before everyone gets all crazy, this is The comments and opinions stated are going to be anti-republican, anti-gun, anti-individual rights pro-left wing, pro-Obama, pro-socialist. They will not listen to anything that doesn't come straight from the democratic talking points. No point in trying to reason with them, in there mind your to stupid and dangerous to have individual rights or express your opinion. Don't waste your time.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 2:30 p.m.

A very good artile on militias in this month's SPLC newsletter

Bob Needham

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 2:29 p.m.

A comment criticizing our comment moderation has been moved to the ongoing thread on that subject.

Raggety Andy

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 2:16 p.m.

"THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. THEN THEY CAME for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. THEN THEY CAME for the Catholics, and I didnt speak up because I was a Protestant. THEN THEY CAME for me and by that time no one was left to speak up." It's time to speak up! Enough with right wing extremism! Don't believe their slanderous and distorted hype!

Anonymous Due to Bigotry

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 2:10 p.m.

@Jon: "Wow, that's pretty amazing. Law enforcement seeking help from a group that has included felons, included a convicted murderer." I'm pretty sure that the University of Michigan has included felons and convicted murderers as well, so the cops shouldn't seek help from them either? Should we believe that the U of M is a bunch of criminals because some were? aachnsed: How are they not regulated? We have state and federal firearms laws. People have a constitutional right to free assembly so I'm not sure how the government is going to regulate that.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 2:07 p.m.

@Davidian actually that's what we say about right-wing extremists :P OKAAYY so we're done with the insults? should we just do a big group hug here and move on? IDK why the right wing has to continually say anyone with a left leaning idealism is beholden to socialism (as if that were a bad thing...) yea yea yea next thing you'll say is communism failed then we'll say well it really never had a chance. The point being isn't consensus gained by including multiple points of view beit liberal or conservative (which are NOT party stances btw), and eventually things will work their way towards the center? btw the center is not more sane then either, we're just more beaten down :P PS: Actually A2News is just being the refs here. any censoring they're doing is an effort to make us play nice. I got it, i'm a nut job. Actually learning alot how the other side thinks. so keep posting! :P


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 2:05 p.m.

@giddy I've never watched survior in my life


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 1:55 p.m.

Personally, I think David Koresh is the biggest nutjob in American history. Who ever said I was defending him? Where did anyone get that? That's the thing with left-wing intellectual dishonesty--twisting the facts, attacking thought, suppressing ideas through humiliation. That's far more dangerous than an obese redneck with a gun.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 1:54 p.m.

alot of commenters have gotten into the "which is worse:left wing-right wing" thing....this article highlights why the extremes of each arent all that different. both hate the government and subscribe to outlandish conspiracy theories that are often identical ( "zionist conntrolled yadda yadda blah blah"), although the right often has all kinds of christian apocalyptic nonsense that the left-extreme lacks. and both are remarkably similar to the islamic jihadists we should all be worried about..especially regarding gun ownership. god bless the sane center!.. ( which seems to be shrinking, courtesy of the FOX network's over the top rhetoric; the internet and its ability to allow cranks right and left to find each other; bush's throwing raw meat to the far right while (correctly) combatting the not all that different islamic extremists; the far left's willingness to bend so far over backward to "understand" islamic radicals that their heads are ( well figure it out); and now, regrettably, this articles free p.r from a representative extremist group.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 1:53 p.m.

indeed. I prefer to put my energy into helping government institutions and volunteering for church stuff, then spend money just to get my gun off. Fishing is fun, people should do more of that, imo. If you think the government has a hidden agenda, that likely is so, given the existence of the CIA and the military. Be scared if a president tries to take 3-4 or more terms, that indeed would be a sea change. what will fix the Michigan Militia and the Southeastern Michigan group, would be if they stop trying to undermine services. Actually, that's probably why the later group didn't participate, they didn't want to look like they were trying to take away, or perhaps avoid publicity, but i'm guessing here...


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 1:47 p.m.

@Anonymous Due to Bigotry: well spoken. I know these boards have a polarizing effect, but I've found most folks are in a middle gray area. My concerns are that *most* groups -- conservative and liberal -- are founded on GENERALLY NOBEL PRINCIPLES (sorry to shout, but I can't emphasize that enough). But these principles seem to get polluted eventually. The message the militias are publicizing don't match the ideal they claim (neither do most other orgs today). The larger an unregulated militia grows, the more danger they are of straying from the ideal and become more dangerous than institutions they want to protect us from. Plain and simple: the ideology eventually trumps the ideal. Usually this ends up with some lunatics with fire bombs. But with the militia armed to the teeth, its unregulated and widespread nature should raise concerns.

Jon Saalberg

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 1:44 p.m.

There's nothing wrong with people owning guns. It's just unnecessary and a waste of money. But it's your money, so keep making those gun shop owners happy.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 1:41 p.m.

"The militia, he said, is not 'anti-government,' but 'pro-Constitutional government.'" so they know what's good for the government better then the government, who's people are elected by the people, for the people? just askin' :P

Jon Saalberg

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 1:37 p.m.

Wow, that's pretty amazing. Law enforcement seeking help from a group that has included felons, included a convicted murderer.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 1:37 p.m.

clownfish "I interpret this to mean " This is not the 1st time something was misinterpreted. Or interpreted to fit our own ideology. The militia, he said, is not anti-government, but pro-Constitutional government." One of the stated goals is less federal government and more local government control. Anyone see the irony in one of the "enlightened" ones not being able to recognize fact in a story?


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 1:28 p.m.

@tdw oh is that all they were doing? just being do-gooders? I thought they may have at least thought they could save someone's life. I'll let you go back to watching 'Survivor' cya!


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 1:25 p.m.

@clownfish indeed. I hope they tipped the park attendant to make up for any back taxes! :O!

Anonymous Due to Bigotry

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 1:23 p.m.

@aachnsed: The most convincing scholarship that I've read says that the definition of "militia" at the time of the drafting of the constitution was the "able-bodied citizens" one, not the "national reserve" one. The later interpretation has occurred due to semantic drift. That's not to say that the courts can't essentially reinterpret the constitution in modern terms, but that requires revisionist rather than constructionist judicial philosophy. (Something similar has been done with "all men" meaning "all people", not just "all white guys" which might have been the original intent at the time). Individuals "rising up" to revolt is supposed to be the last "check-and-balance" so to speak, but the Declaration of Independence provides a guide to what would have to happen for a rebellion to be justified. The original idea seems to be that people don't start shooting at the government until the situation becomes similar to the conditions at the time of the American Revolution. I'm not sure why this isn't more obvious to people. (I guess it's probably the failure of high school and higher ed to teach civics.) The idea is that all governments devolve over time (as history has shown) and that one day "American Revolution" type conditions will occur. As far as I can tell though, we're nowhere near that. No President has declared himself dictator and refused to leave office, etc.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 1:22 p.m.

heavily armed, small minded, rednecks are probably not the best tool to use as help with law enforcement. What this makes them is a defacto paramilitary group, acting under the auspices of a local governmental official.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 1:21 p.m.

"People still wonder why the FBI/ATF/whatever didn't just arrest him on one of his visits to town." Because they were concerned about a Jim Jones type incident taking place if the "martyr" Koresh was taken in public. They were also concerned about the destruction of evidence if the Davidians were given notice. In hind sight...well....the whole thing is a stain on our country. However, when the cops come the door and call your lawyer, don't reach under the bed for the shootin' stick! You may hate what the government does sometimes, but it is made up of real people just like you, with families and loved ones.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 1:20 p.m.

Quick, hide your Fertilizers and Rental Trucks, the Michigan Militia is coming!


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 1:18 p.m.

Its amussing how anytime someting is written about any group that the goof ball left wing liberials don't like even if they are helping peolple or doing something good they take off on some stupid, has nothing to do with the topic tangent to attack them


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 1:12 p.m.

Does anybody else see the irony of an anti-govt group training at a government park?


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 1:12 p.m.

@clownfish lol well Cheney was the Emperor using little Georgie as his puppet for wielding power. let's forget these generalized polls shall we? they're really not helpful.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 1:10 p.m.

@clownfish: I am curious what the militia supporters think of the phrase "...well regulated militia.." That's the biggest issue in a nutshell. One of their goals (according to their public posturing) is to protect themselves and others from tyranny. But who defines what represents tyranny? The militia. When do they have the right to strike against a "police state"? Whenever they feel they are threatened. If the constitution allows any self-regulated militia to form, then *you* also have the right to join or start a militia to counter the current militias and keep *them* in check. Since the government seems unable to take action, there is a real need for additional militias that can protect our people should these militias decide to strike on false causes that jeopardize our country. Call it the Michigan Protective Militia or whatever. The more militias we organize the better -- each can keep the other in check with the threat of force, while each can adhere to its own ideological cause.

Anonymous Due to Bigotry

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 1:10 p.m.

Typo in my previous comment. Please delete it. I meant to say: @gibby76: Of course I'm not saying that all environmentalists are terrorists! But what I am saying is that some are, and furthermore the vast majority of people with guns or even huge gun collections are not militants. If there's some huge disaster and civil order collapses then you'll be looking to those people for help. Personally I think David Koresh should have just given himself up. It wouldn't surprise me to find that they were violating some sort of law, but whatever it was didn't justify killing all those people. People still wonder why the FBI/ATF/whatever didn't just arrest him on one of his visits to town.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 1:09 p.m.

@EyeHeartA2 Palin's PAC website removed it but do a google search on "Palin PAC attacks dems" you'll find a number of sources. Pretty careless imo, but I guess real gun advocates don't realize the affects of the messages they send out. We forget Columbine... or JFK...


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 1:06 p.m.

I am wondering if there is a history of local municipalities calling on the Weather Under Ground or PETA to help find lost inner city kids? Also, like many fringe groups, left or right, much of the foundation is based on misinformation and myth.. Recent Harris poll: Majorities of Republicans believe that President Obama: * Is a socialist (67%) * Wants to take away Americans' right to own guns (61%) * Is a Muslim (57%) * Wants to turn over the sovereignty of the United States to a one world government (51%) Smaller numbers believe the current Commander in Chief: Was not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president (45%) * Is doing many of the things that Hitler did (38%). Even more remarkable perhaps, fully 24% of Republicans believe that "he may be the Anti-Christ" and 22% believe "he wants the terrorists to win. I will not impose these thoughts onto the 8th Brigade, but I do wonder, if they use the term "New World Order", what other mythology drives them? "Govt takeover" of health care? "Death panels"? FEMA concentration camps? Buy gold when it is at record highs?


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 1:01 p.m.

@Davidian I got that when you tried to assert that liberals were guilty of corruption by somehow linking totalitarian regimes like Mao to Detroit. Detroit has it's own sources of corruption, it's not all from liberal mistakes, businesses have to own up to some of it as well.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:58 p.m.

@Gribble nice portrayal for the Militia workers. "Oh where do you think she ran off to. Oh lets check this direction. okie dokie!!" "hm it's getting kinda cold..." @Lokalisierung the point is they did have a warrant to search the premises. Granted it was fear that led those people to kill themselves, but the government is NOT in the business of just randomly killing citizens, so they must have been doing something that would have been considered illegal. You're looking in problems that don't exist.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:56 p.m.

DAVIDIAN, do you think the appropriate reaction to a signed warrant is to open fire on federal employees? That is what happened. Then, with their AK's they took on the evil federales, who brought in heavy weapons. That is why I laugh at these militias, they are under the impression that they will fight the US Army with pop-guns. I can understand the anger, but not the fear. But, if one is unhappy with the direction of congress, go out and knock on doors, run for office, hire a lawyer. Use the system the Founders created. Going to the gun range to express your outrage over the Commander in Chief, while we are fighting two wars btw, seems to me to be inviting ridicule and doubt.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:56 p.m.

Disenfranchised people, who hate their own government carrying around AK-47s and other deadly weapons...Makes me want to leave Michigan. I read the whole story. These "do-gooders" frighten me.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:54 p.m.

Gibby, I never blamed left wing ideology for Detroit's situation and I have no idea where you got that from. For the second time, I simply stated that left-wingers are not above corruption and murder.

Anonymous Due to Bigotry

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:53 p.m.

@Bryce: $100M+ in damage. Need I say more? Here's how the FBI defines terrorism according to this article: The FBI defines a terrorist incident as a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, in violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any state, to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social goals. [1] Semantics really don't change the key point though. What matters is whether or not a group is actively aggressive and causing damage. (I tried to find stats to compare damage estimates from other terrorist groups to the eco-terrorist groups, but I couldn't find any after a few minutes of searching.)


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:47 p.m.

"if everything was cool in Waco, then why didn't they open the door?? huh huh huh?? answer me that!!! Ha!! you can't!!!" Silly argument. That's the classic rank and file Police/Military response to anything. "If you didn't do anything wrong what are you worried about?" Worried about my rights being know that whole pesky bill of rights/Constitution/America yada yada?


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:45 p.m.

@Gibby: Because they probably figured they would be killed by the ATF. I'm not sure, but I think that's what happened.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:44 p.m.

I am curious what the militia supporters think of the phrase "...well regulated militia.." in the Owners Manual? I interpret this to mean that militia members would be registered with state and/or local government bodies, in order to be called out in case of need. In addition there would be a registry of the militia members skill sets and available firepower. The Founders set up a process for dealing with run amok govt, elections and courts. Why the need for violent action? If these people want to effect change, maybe more time in the law library and less time at the range would be in order? I ask again, why would a public official seek out a group of people whose purpose appears to be the violent overthrow of govt? Why not seek out trackers, dog trainers or amateur rescue workers? We have dozens of these people in the area. If one does not wish to harm not attack government workers! Hopefully I have offended no one with this post.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:44 p.m.

Guns are great, the bigger the better. I enjoy guns as a hobby, and also for safety. I don't want to have to learn Martial Arts in case myself or my family is put in danger. I want to pull out a firearm and protect myself anyway I have to.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:42 p.m.

@anonymous lol that's like saying all environmentalists are militant :P They used to say that about the Sierra Club but I promise you, we would not have had secured our natural resources that depend on protection from the feds, with out their input. THERE is your social justice, not barricading families in compounds and subjecting children to risky situations. if everything was cool in Waco, then why didn't they open the door?? huh huh huh?? answer me that!!! Ha!! you can't!!!


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:38 p.m.

I think the government's definition of the term "domestic terrorist" is dangerously broad. A good example of this is anyone who owns a copy of the Constitution:


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:38 p.m.

Eco-Terrorism is a myth? Yeah, and AIDS is fake too.

Anonymous Due to Bigotry

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:33 p.m.

@gibby76: Myth? Sorry, but in addition to the statistics, one of my relatives worked for the USDA for 40 years and he had some experience with them (eco-terrorists).


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:30 p.m.

@ Mitch: "an undeniably racially homogeneous group of people fanatical about guns" I was recently at Pontiac Lake State Game Area, and there was a large group of black men there who clearly loved guns and knew how to use them, for hunting and self-defense. They also fit neatly into your traditional militia stereotype (except for their skin color)--camouflage, isolationist rhetoric, etc. So I ask you: is it still wrong in your eyes if they are black? Anyone can read between the lines and see what you are really saying: that this is a white organization that is fanatical about guns, and therefore it must be evil. Isn't that in fact a racist, pre-conceived notion in and of itself? Just wondering.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:28 p.m.

moving on: so you guys are conceding this is just "Michigan Militia" postering? :P


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:28 p.m.

Many years ago I was a member of the Michigan Militia, however job and family obligations conspired to make it harder and harder for me to participate and eventually I quit going to meetings and training. In all of the time and hundreds of meetings I never once heard anyone propose to engage in any criminal act. I never met anyone who was Racist in their speech or attitudes. I didnt encounter any anti-Semites either. Yet, for years Ive watched and listened as the political left has demonized and outright insulted militia members. This same American left stands mute when confronted by criminal groups on the left such as the Black Panthers (recently filmed intimidating voters), Weather Underground (Bombers), Black Liberation Army, Republic of New Africa, United Freedom Front, Earth Liberation Front, Animal Liberation Front. The American left to me is far more frightening than the Michigan Militia.

Anonymous Due to Bigotry

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:28 p.m.

@gibby76: Not sure about Ruby Ridge, but the only crime of the people in Waco (if it even was a crime) is that they had weapons sitting around. They hadn't actually attacked and killed people or caused millions in property damage. Even if the illegal weapons charges were valid, I fail to see how killing all those people in Waco was justified just for that. Again, they were not bombing buildings or running around killing people. I'm not particularly fond of crazy groups like the Ruby Ridge guys or the Waco guys, but the point is that it's not people like the Michigan Militia who, for the most part, simply have guns and are willing to defend themselves that are the real problem. The problem is people who are engaging in active terrorism and that tends to be people on the left, both now and in the past.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:20 p.m.

@"Dale" Gribble lol she's censoring you cuz you're trying to inflame someone with insults and not actually contributing to the discussion. Don't worry it only stings a little. Ecoterrorism is a myth tbh. You can't say militant environmentalists have ever shot up a high school or stood their ground against an army of tanks, although we (collect 'we' not myself) have put ourselves into harms way to make a point when big business wanted to get greedy and cut down more virgin forest and such.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:06 p.m.

lol you guys decry oppression with ruby ridge and the nut jobs at Waco, Texas, and then you criticise ELF and Greenpeace any agression. nice double standard you got going there. @Davidian I just think it's funny how you automatically blame liberal ideologies for Detroit's situation. Reagonomics by Coleman Young would be just as to blame, but everyone loved the crap he did (stupid gambling). It's not one-sided so quick trying to make it look like so. Heck, I just want to hear you folks admit this so-called militia made a mistake by not bringing in the police or insisting on the township to include. That would have been the responsible citizen action. None of the PR postering.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:04 p.m.

"@Nick: As the story states, Bridgewater Township called on the militia the militia did not approach the township. The militia also did not solicit this story for PR gain. We decided to do the story and approached those members." Good try Amalie Nash, but libs don't let facts get in the way. In fact alot of comments are from people who didn't even read the story. Comments like "Wasn't that one guy serving life for the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City active in the Michigan militia?" or " One could say that Mull wasted time trying to get this stupid militia together when she could have called the sheriff together"

Anonymous Due to Bigotry

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 12:03 p.m.

Lets try a different version of the first comment rephrased for the Democratic Party: The Democratic Party has been welcoming these people with open arms. Animal Liberation Front (ALF), Earth Liberation Front (ELF), Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) members...the new Democratic Party of the 21 Century. I don't honestly believe that, but then again I don't believe the idea that the Republican Party is welcoming dangerous groups either. Both assertions are just as absurd. So, who exactly is the real danger? During the past two decades, radical environmental and animal rights groups have claimed responsibility for hundreds of crimes and acts of terrorism, including arson, bombings, vandalism and harassment, causing more than $100 million in damage. While some activists have been captured, ecoterror cells - small and loosely affiliated - are extremely difficult to identify and most attacks remain unsolved. Although it has been overshadowed by Islamic terrorist threats since September 11, ecoterrorism remains one of the country's most active terrorist movements. But I guess these ecoterrorists are OK. Maybe they'll come help you find your missing people next time, then kill them to save the animals.

Anonymous Due to Bigotry

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : noon

DHS: Eco Terrorism in US 2008 Detailed statistics with charts and graphs too! I wonder why eco-terrorism never gets any press?


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 11:59 a.m.

So they're organizing against "socialist tyranny" and a "government conspiracy called the New World Order" that they believe the U.S. is participating in? Yet at the same time so patriotic as to open their meetings with the pledge of allegiance at a family restaurant? (I beg your parden, I'm just trying to get to the salad bar) While preparing for the unexpected is admirable, let's identify this group for what it really is: an undeniably racially homogeneous group of people fanatical about guns (see their website, and waiting in the wings to become legitimized in the broader society. By using fear and deputizing them, Bridgewater officials strengthen a proto-right-wing paramilitary organization. And my thanks too to for this hard-hitting reporting that doesn't even touch on the deeper implications of local government deputizing such groups, and also for doing their part for the 'militia' by blurring the line between these people and the real military, particularly: "Schiel, a member of the Washtenaw County-based Michigan Militia Corps Wolverines, 9th Division, 13th Brigade, started making phone calls. He quickly rounded up three members from his unit and three from the Lenawee County-based Hutaree, 8th Division, 20th Brigade."


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 11:57 a.m.

Title 10, Section 311 (unedited) 311. Militia: composition and classes How Current is This? (a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard. (b) The classes of the militia are (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 11:50 a.m.

@Rhe Buttal. Good Point! Noah Webster's first dictionary was published in 1806. Here's the definition from that tome: militia MILI'TIA, n. [L. from miles, a soldier; Gr. war, to fight, combat, contention. The primary sense of fighting is to strive, struggle, drive, or to strike, to beat, Eng. moil, L. molior; Heb. to labor or toil.] The body of soldiers in a state enrolled for discipline, but not engaged in actual service except in emergencies; as distinguished from regular troops, whose sole occupation is war or military service. The militia of a country are the able bodied men organized into companies, regiments and brigades,with officers of all grades, and required by law to attend military exercises on certain days only, but at other times left to pursue their usual occupations.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 11:48 a.m.

When you've lost the battle, resort to the classic ad hominem attack, the first (and most basic) formal fallacy. Classy.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 11:46 a.m.

It's really tough and disheartening when your views and thoughts, which you believe to be true and reasonable, are suppressed. I'm sure the Michigan Militia can relate.

Martin Church

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 11:43 a.m.

Let see, the history of this country was founded on the idea of local Milita to provide law enforcment for protection from domestic threats. the Local milita was the basis of the National Guard under the control of the state Govenor and local citizens. So why not turn to our fellow citizens and get their help in doing what we do not have enough police and fire members to do. Or today's milita have radicals. And the left does not, Vandalism and BE from PETA, bombings from environmental groups, Priate attacks from Greenpeace. Do the members of the right to be concern about government take over of our rights. Just look at history. The Marxist took over Russia and brought us the cold war. Democratic China was lost to people looking for the government to provide services to the citizens. And now we have a congress following the same path, takeing from those who have worked for what the have and giving it to those who will not work for it. Which of the left will step up and start their groups on provideing free service to the government? Before you complain about the nuts on the right make sure you have locked up the nuts on the left.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 11:40 a.m.

@Townie You might want to check your facts about Randy Weaver and Ruby Ridge. I don't believe that Mr. Weaver was actually a member of any militia, but in either case if you look at the facts that hindsight and history has provided his is the perfect example of a government run amuck that most miltia members fear. Is 3.1 Million in reparations from your government equal to the many years in the justice system or the lives of your children and spouse? All over a $200 tax that was actually meant to be used as leverage against Mr. Weaver to be an informant. Who did the framers of the Constitution fear more? Overreaching governement or militias?


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 11:23 a.m.

Oh, by the way: You aren't keeping conservatives around. It's the other way around. They're the ones with the guns.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 11:21 a.m.

I was not comparing Leftist dictators to Detroit politics. I was merely pointing out that the left-wing is hardly above corruption and murder, past and present.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 11:17 a.m.

@Davidian lol you're drawing a parallel between Mao and Detroit politics? What does that have to do with anything? I'd sooner blame Henry Ford's isolationism for the state of Detroit economy before blaming unions (figure that's where you're going more union bashing, sigh.) Maybe business leaders need to stop treating workers like cattle, of course as Marx said the working class will overthrow those powers. The beauty of socialist capitalism is that it can occur without firing a shot. but admittedly that would be extremism that's why we keep you conservatives around, to balance things out :P


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 11:13 a.m.

@Amalie Nash: if you'd like to at least *appear* to be a professional news organization, maybe you could add a disclaimer to your offensive links like other pros do. @JSA: "This is apparently disturbing to the leftist members of society in Ann Arbor. These people need to grow up." -- what do you consider the conduct of grown up to be? Like that of the Michigan Militia Corps Wolverines? Did you see their public message on their website? They sound like pubescent boys and girls still rebelling against anything that sounds cool.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 11:10 a.m.

@ChrisW We all want the same thing. Peace, happiness, prosperity, liberty, etc. Unfortunately, there are those, throughout history, have tried to take them away fom us and it is no different today. Those that want to take these things away from us control our federal government. That is the ONLY way they can accomplish this. A centralized institution that can get their claws and tentacles into every facet of our lives. I am a social progressive but strongly support the militia. Everyone that loves freedom should also support them. The media has made the militia into something it isn't.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 11:07 a.m.

@Alan Goldsmith would you please explain how their opion of the president is relvant? I'm curious to know how that has anything to do with searching for missing people


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 11:03 a.m.

Townie Can we get a straight answer? What about the left wing radicals or as Davidian asked. What about Detroit politicians? WILL you renounce these radicals?


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 11:01 a.m.

These militias are exploiting the deaths of two unfortunate souls for their own PR gain.

Anonymous Due to Bigotry

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 10:54 a.m.

I think you leftists out there need to remember the Weather Underground which was an armed group that was not only carrying guns around but also bombing federal buildings: Also, remember that Obama has been tied to Bill Ayers who was a major ringleader of this group and who doesn't express a bit of remorse over any of it: Funny, but I think if Bush had been tied to the Michigan Militia you guys would be going nuts even though the Michigan Militia isn't anywhere close to being the Weather Underground who was actively trying to overthrow the US government.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 10:54 a.m.

Thanks for sharing the link to the Michigan Militia Corps Wolverines site. What a wonderful bunch of upstanding citizens with great phrases like "Don't rock the boat... sink the f***er". Wow, hey, I actually censored my quote this time after you removed the first one, but why if you direct folks in your story? I thought you like sensationalism?


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 10:53 a.m.

@gibby who said anything about shooting anyone you want? I'm glad to see some real wizards here


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 10:51 a.m.

It's a little bewildering the number of people opposed to the militia considering that what they are doing is legal and constitutional.Yes, some memebers have broken the law but so have lots of Democrats and Republicans. In this instance they are providing assistance in searching for a missing person. This is apparently disturbing to the leftist members of society in Ann Arbor. These people need to grow up.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 10:48 a.m.

If the language of the site *linked* to in the article is to rough to quote here in context, then please remove the link itself: "Michigan Militia Corps Wolverines".


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 10:48 a.m.

Yeah Townie....the left wing is totally innocent and uncorruptable. Pick up a history book sometime and go to the pages with Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao, etc. And then pick up your newspaper for current events and read about Detroit city politics and all the other corruption happening at the national level.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 10:47 a.m.

Some of you might want to do a little more investigating on local and State "Militias". Try for a start. Maybe this is why local Gov't officials feel comfortable using these organized groups.

Rhe Buttle

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 10:44 a.m.

@awakened: And then there is this - Title 10, Section 311, states that "the militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and... under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States." So, I say again, to be part of the militia, one cannot be part of The Militia.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 10:43 a.m.

Funny how the pendulum swings. These same folks tried to create a movement in the 90's and their radical, paranoid talk encouraged disturbed individuals like David Koresh and Randy Weaver. Unfortunately, the rhetoric also sank into the mind of an impressionable young man named Timothy McVeigh who took it to the extreme and bombed the Oklahoma City federal building. I will never forget the images of those dead and injured children, gently being carried out of the remains of the day care center by firefighters. I pray that others never forget it, either. That incident threw a big chill on these militia groups when people finally realized that their loose talk could incite their more unstable elements to violence against their fellow Americans. Then George Bush was elected, which seemed to calm all the right wingers down for a while. Then 9-11 happened which seemed, for a time, to re-ignite the patriotic sides of these folks and it became very unpopular to call for the violent overthrow of the U. S. government (also known as domestic terrorism). Ironically, Bush did more to impinge on the civil rights of American citizens than any president in recent history. Now that we have a black democrat as president, its as if Oklahoma City and 9-11 never happened. Only this time it's worse. We have nationally syndicated TV and radio personalities using violent rhetoric. One member of Congress was seen standing on the steps of the capitol, slapping the face of a photo of the Speaker of the House to the delight of the crowd. Members of Congress have been spit on and called the "n" word. Palin has images of rifle sights targeting various congressional seats on a map on her website. Another one is telling people to throw bricks through windows. I pray that it will not take another horrific act like Oklahoma City before America wakes up. Whether any of these people want to believe it or not, Obama was born in Hawaii and there is a valid birth certificate that was submitted to prove it. He was also elected by a majority of the people--a far greater majority than Bush ever had. The health care reform act passed by a majority of our elected representatives as called for in the Constitution. The great thing about America is that it is a democracy and when our leaders succeed or fail, they can be peacefully re-elected or peacefully replaced in fair elections. I find it so ironic that these people who claim their rights are being taken away think that they can solve the problem by a violent overthrow of our democratic society, (as if a few rifles would do the trick anyway). What then? Anarchy? A military dictatorship? Wake up and get real, and for God's sake, remember the children of Oklahoma City. Words CAN kill.

Rhe Buttle

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 10:34 a.m.

@awakened: I felt the original Constitutional definition of militia was important to know when making the 2nd Amendment argument. Therefore, I obtained a _copy_ of the 1st edition of Noah Webster's dictionary. In there you will find that particular definition. If one is using a 1775 document to justify an action, one should know the 1775 definition. The closest I was able to come was the Webster dictionary first edition, which was published in the early 1800s. Dictionaries of today -- JUST LIKE THE BIBLE OF TODAY --- are changed to satisfy the common meaning of words in today's culture. It is more important, to me, to understand the common meaning of the words at the time they were put on paper.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 10:34 a.m.

tl;dr. You wanna go shoot guns in the woods and pretend there are black helicopters all over the place? Fine, whatever. I don't care who is working with the cops when there are lives at stake. If a group of convicts wanted to do it, that'd be fine, too. This liberal is fine with citizens' militias. These people understand the point of the 2nd Amendment. Not the hunters. Not the scaredy cats who feel like they need a handgun under their pillow to protect against imaginary threats. These people. Private, unregistered gun ownership is the only way to give The People absolute control over who is in charge. A few assault rifles in the hands of locals is enough to stop the military (see: every war we've lost). An unlikely situation? Sure. But beyond the realm of possibility? Historically, governments run amok all the time. Liberals, do you _remember_ the Bush administration? Would you have put anything past Rove and Cheney? Did you catch that part of Katrina where the cops and national guard were refusing to let (black) people leave the city? Or where they suspended habeas corpus, tortured inmates, defied the Geneva Convention, set up random immigration checkpoints anywhere near a border, tapped our phones and generally went all KGB on us? They'd have _loved_ to go farther. Remember Japanese internment? The Railroad Riots of the 1800's? The race riots of the late 60's? The Civil War (admittedly, The People were kinda wrong in that one)? Those are just a few of the cases where (arguably) the threat of insurrection, or actual insurrection, pushed back against government when the legislative process was broken. These people are seriously frickin' delusional about what the government is and should be, but on the main point they're right: it's necessary to go to war with your own government if they try to violently strip your rights.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 10:33 a.m.

this article, and the majority of the comments that follow, is an example of Ann Arbor's leftist elitists, making fun of people who think and act different than said elitists do. Some elitists are "embarassed" at the horror that a few people own guns, like wearing military surplus clothes,and talk politics, ina manner very different from the sort of conversations one hears at ERC or Sweetwaters.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 10:20 a.m.

Before I say anything, I consider myself a libertarian leaning centrist. Their "radical" political views represent much of middle-America, at least the middle-America that doesn't live in liberal bastions like Ann Arbor. Unlike the militia and most liberals, middle-Americans don't wear their politics on their sleeves. That's why they are called the silent majority. There is nothing wrong/illegal with owning guns, standing up for your rights, and banding together with a bunch of like-minded folk in an effort to feel secure. They figured out a long time ago that the government does not have their best interests in mind. How can anyone deny this? I admit that wearing military uniforms and calling yourself a "militia" is pretty lame, but it's a constitutionally protected expression and assertion of their rights. I think it's far more intellectually honest than intimidating Ann Coulter (weirdo btw) to the point where she's afraid of her own safety and other "tactics" of the left-wing thought police. If there is a crisis, I'm not not going to align myself with those who hate guns, don't know how to hunt, don't know how to defend themselves, etc. Fighting with words won't go very far. Think I'm crazy? How close did we come to economic collapse? Not so crazy, am I?


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 10:09 a.m.

What I see are concerned citizens of a free country volunteering to help a person in need. What can possibly be wrong with that!


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 10:07 a.m.

Some of you are OK with a left wing radical groups? Fire ripped through luxury homes under construction in Washington state. Molotov cocktails ignited sport-utility vehicles in Virginia. Graffiti coated a dozen SUVs in Santa Fe, N.M. All in the name of Mother Earth -- and all apparently the work of a shadowy environmental group known as the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) Radical Environmentalists Take Aim at Suburbia Would you want this group out looking for your loved one? I would even though I vehemently disagree with their philosophy. The trouble is most in this group would be lost themselves if they ever got into the woods. Some think that as long as its for your cause its OK? Well I don't approve of either side using violence to make a point or advance their cause!


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 9:49 a.m.

Oh I left out free speech


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 9:47 a.m.

I love the attitude of left wingers who believe in Conistutional rights as long as they agree with them, they believe every one as the right to live legally as long as they agree with them they believe everyone as the right to their own beliefs as long as they agree with them


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 9:47 a.m.

Is it legal to cut saplings in a State recreation area?


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 9:40 a.m.

There is not a commenter on this site that would turn down help from this group if THEY had a child or loved one missing! Don't be a hypocrite! Lee did you ask the family members if they were glad to have the help? You apparently asked Mark Potok,in Montgomery, Ala.his thoughts. What is HIS political affiliation? "Mull, a Republican" Why is this pertinent to the story? "An elected official seeking help from the militia is "extraordinarily rare" said Mark Pitcavage Do we know if he is a democrat? Wanna Guess? While I don't agree with most of what these militia groups advocate I also did not and do not approve of some of the left wing radical groups of the 60's & 70's and the present.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 9:32 a.m.

To me, the anti-militia people quoted in the article and leaving comments come across as far more paranoid and irrational than the militia members. SPLC would run out of funding if they didn't have bogeymen to chase, wouldn't they? Just saying. The federal government is heading towards collapse. You can't run $trillion annual deficits without consequences. From what I've read on survivalist and prepper forums, the general belief is that taking direct action against the government is foolish at best. This interview is illustrative: Prepare and wait for the collapse. If it doesn't happen you'll be able to ride out unemployment, pandemics, blizzards, peak oil, and general disruptions of the grid in much less discomfort. Knowing that you're prepared should be calming. There's significant overlap with the more practical environmentalists on food security and skill development. Maybe we'll get lucky and Obama's ineptitude will have awakened voters enough to recruit and elect competent political leadership. That's how we got President Reagan, and let's not pair such a candidate with an Establishment type like Bush again shall we? Leave the "force of history" stuff to the leftists. Meanwhile, Atlas is starting to shrug.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 9:12 a.m.

West's Dictionary of American Law: Militia n. An army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers. A military force that is not part of a regular army and is subject to call for service in an emergency. The whole body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service. [Latin mlitia, warfare, military service, from mles, mlit-, soldier.] "


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 9:10 a.m.

@Rhe Buttal Per Mirriam-Webster on-line: "Main Entry: militia Pronunciation: \m-li-sh\ Function: noun Etymology: Latin, military service, from milit-, miles Date: 1625 1 a : a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency b : a body of citizens organized for military service 2 : the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service" Where did you get your definition?


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 9:03 a.m.

I live in this area and this is really embarrassing.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 8:56 a.m.

I was pretty skeptical to go to my first meeting. I thought the militia was just a bunch of crazies too. But to be honest the percentage of "crazies" was about the same as the church i attend lol. People seem so quick to judge without any first hand experience and i was one of them. But before passing judgment, why not check it out for yourself? Then you can decide whether it's bad or good.

Rhe Buttle

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 8:51 a.m.

About 10 to 15 years ago the militia was making a big splash. So I did some research... If I remember correctly, the Constitution allows militias. Checking the definition of militia I found that a militia is an unorganized group of people that receives no support from the government. Okay. These new folks, the Michigan Militia Wolverines is it?, claim to be a militia. I'll bet they are buying surplus uniforms, food, equipment and possibly ammunition and weapons. It sounds like they have a command structure and are organized. So the Michigan Militia, by definition is not a militia. That would make their actiivities illegal. To be in the militia, one must not be in the Militia. And by the way - all you ex scouts of any kind: when you get a security clearance and they ask "Have you ever been a member of any paramilitary organization" you need to answer yes. Check that definition too. And police and fire - that is a paramilitary organization as well (paramilitary: wears uniforms and has a command structure). Words are powerful weapons. More people should become accomplished with their use.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 8:51 a.m.

GIBBY, I am a gun owner, and enthusiast. I do not own, nor have I ever seen a need, to own an AK. I find it is a weapon for those that need some attachment to a militaristic theme, without having to join the most socialistic group in America, the US military. (Think it through, give up freedom of speech, movement, get free govt health care, dental, housing etc). Like Gen Clark said, if you want to play with big guns, join the Army, they have lots! Want to help your state, join the National Guard. Want to help fight illegal immigration, join the Border Patrol. I do not doubt that many members do do good things for their community, but why the need to dress in military drag and have the focus be the overthrowing of an elected government? If you don't like the govt, use the Owners Manual to effect change! Run for office, vote the bums out, bring lawsuits against government overreach, vote with your dollars against the Oligarchy by buying local (or is that too liberal speak?). Do people actually think that a couple of AK's are going to be effective against the ATF/FBI and a single Abrams M-1 tank? A good lawyer will do you more good. Get ye to the Thomas More Law Center or even the ACLU if you think the government has "stolen" your rights. That is the system our beloved Founders set up, use it.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 8:50 a.m.

Let's see: The militia is against surveillance cameras on street corners, body scanners in airports, and detention without criminal charges. Sounds like they have more in common with the ACLU than the Republican party.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 8:26 a.m.

@clownfish right on! it's just fear-mongering that terrorists like to do to undermine faith in the government. My grandfather was quite a shot with a rifle, but did he use it in church or in public places? No! it was a tool he used to provide food for his family. Do they need AK-47s or whatever crap they say they need for self defense? COME ON!! learn some freaking martial arts for goodness sake if it's so important to you. I'd suspect it's a all gun manufacturer ploy to get more money from the former middle class :P


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 8:24 a.m.

Good story, I was wondering about the Militia in Michigan. Its too bad that they do not get more coverage for all of the good things they do. I am sure that there are few bad apples but most sound like law abiding citizens who want to organize and share a common interest. Nothing wrong with that!


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 8:23 a.m.

For some reason, it still amazes me that people can be so cold-hearted as to to launch personal attacks by using a story about a misrepresented group of people that positively helped the community. If this is your demeanor to be so judgmental, then your morals need some reevaluation. RIP Victims.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 8:16 a.m.

With no money left for cops to do this job who do you think will do it? Ann Arbor dilittantes? Go back to watching Idol, give the government your money, and don't worry about it.

Adam Jaskiewicz

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 8:09 a.m.

So, to find someone who might be lost in the woods, she called together a bunch of people with Jeeps, dogs, walkie-talkies, and blaze orange knit caps who spend a good deal of their time traipsing around in the woods? So they're libertarians/anarchists/whatever. I don't see what their political orientation has to do with search-and-rescue.

Top Cat

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 7:54 a.m.

They are not breaking any laws or hurting anyone. They are exercising their constitutional rights to free speach and gun ownership. I don't hear them speaking about government programs designed to "control the people" the way Congressional Dingell did.

Steve Pepple

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 7:51 a.m.

A comment has been removed because it made personal attacks against other commenters. Please stick to discussing the story in a civil manner.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 7:50 a.m.

I think it is fantastic that people can set aside their preconceived differences and judgments of an entire group of people based on the ill actions of a small minority to come together and do something productive. Keep in mind how many criminals have committed atrocities acting in the name of God. That doesn't mean that everyone who is religious is dangerous or an extremist. Just because you can't relate to someone or their views, doesn't mean they're bad people. The militia understands what real freedom is and recognizes subversions of the documents our founding fathers bestowed upon us. When you have to ask permission to exercise your most basic inalienable rights, the form of government is no longer a Republic. This, in its most simple form, is why militias exist. I am not a militia member myself, but I am most certainly considering joining. I dont have any interest in associating myself with dangerous extremists but I do have a grave interest in preventing history from repeating itself again @Alan Goldsmith, The political structure is no longer Republican v. Democrat. Attention to detail, historical research and seeking more sources then the mainstream media conglomerates makes it very clear that our current 2 party system is the same two headed monster. For starters, research the bloodlines (lineage) of our current and past presidents. The mainstream media sources, Fox, CNN, CBS, MSNBC, WSJ and so on, are owned and operated by a concentration of corporate interest. Compare the ownership of such outlets to the international bankers, Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission and the Builderberg Group and tell me you dont see a pattern. This also applies to the presidential seat and their appointed cabinet. After recognizing a tightly knit pattern such as this, it would be nave to think they have your best interest at heart. Since when was it considered a conspiracy theory to question the official stories? This is just another method used to indoctrinate people to discrediting alternative possibilities. Some of the best discoveries have been made by questioning the facts and unfortunately, also some of the worst. Instead of using labels and preconceived notions to attack others, perhaps you should consider asking questions and doing some of your own research instead of being a repeater. @Militia members, Keep up the positive community support & thank you for your service. I know it's difficult to be patient with those who are stubborn and close-minded, but unfortunately in the near future, I believe they will see what's really behind the curtain of our shadow government. Peace and Love to all.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 7:28 a.m.

Nothing wrong with help in an emergency whereever it comes from IMO.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 7:23 a.m.

Gibby76: Terry Nichols is still alive. Recieved a life sentence, and I believe he is in SuperMax in Colorado.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 7:18 a.m.

If a guy named Chainsaw can't find somebody, nobody can.

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 7:16 a.m.

Glad the Militia was able to help find those missing people. You don't know how awful is it to loss a family member like that.. Good that the Supervisor was able to use the assets she had available - and that they could react within hours instead of weeks. Ms. Mull did well.. Rather one sided story - poor logic - why not list all the crimes that our politicians do as "key events" and then claim the Government as criminal? Certainly, the Federal Government movement has generated a number of violent or otherwise dangerous individuals, someone said.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 7:15 a.m.

ohh so they found this woman dead. One could say that Mull wasted time trying to get this stupid militia together when she could have called the sheriff together, but she was so deadset on sticking to the police and making an example of her friend that she decided to use the guys responsible for the Oklahoma City Federal building bombing. I'd really like to see how many of you Michiganders actually think that bombing was a good thing or that Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols should have been kept alive. I guess focusing on muslims distracts you from our own potential for chaos and terror.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 7:03 a.m.

Sorry, but this seems odd to me - where were these groups when the Bush administration was trampling all over the constitution? I KNOW they weren't nearly as active in the early 2000s-2008 (minus those who thought the end-of-days was going to be Y2K - there were more than a few of those in Mich.) Many (not all) of these groups seem dangerously close to unhinged "end-of-days" loonies. Interestingly enough - many of the old die-hard M.Milita folks left the state in '96 after the horrific Oklahoma City Bombing, and moved to Alaska to join the Alaska Independence Movement...yeah, with ol' loony Palin's hubbie.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 7:02 a.m.

"Wasn't that one guy serving life for the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City active in the Michigan militia?" He attended one meeting, it's in the above story. Feel free to read it.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 6:52 a.m.

I see American citizens helping out municipalities that obviously need it or can't get it done themselves. When government gives itself the right to tap its citizens phone, take property from owners where the deem it "in the best interest of the many" and selling its soul to pay for its debt, why wouldn't these groups be more popular? I'm no extremist by any means, but much of what these guys are saying, and have been saying for a long time, has some teeth to it.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 6:47 a.m.

The corporations control everything, not the government. It's the lobbyists, corporate leaders placed into elected official positions, and other corporate sponsored control that people should be mad at. They are the ones bankrupting the country.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 6:41 a.m.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 6:31 a.m.

I find it strange that the only update on the 2 deaths in Bridgewater Township has come in a "related" article. Ann has failed to keep these stories updated on their own.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 6:30 a.m.

They don't hate their government, they hate what it has become.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 6:11 a.m.

What a boost for the Militia. Ann Arbor.Coms slanted reporting of a group that believes in smaller government and a government that serves the people not dictate to it. Has given the militia more press than they could ever buy. To bad-mouth a group that comes out and helps the community when it is in need of help is a boom for their membership drive.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 6:08 a.m.

In one sense having extreme right-wingers look for a missing person, as long as they get some training in privacy and trespass laws, that they are to find the person not have the dogs chew up people, maybe couldn't hurt things. Some law enforcement people use psychics or mystics to find missing people, so this may fit in. If they plan to use these folks for anything other than walking the ground chosen for them and keeping their eyes open, I see many, many lawsuits in the future. Wasn't that one guy serving life for the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City active in the Michigan militia?

Chris Bidlack

Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 6:03 a.m.

Since "militia" can also refer to the National Guard, the headline and first paragraphs could have been made more clear had "Michigan Militia" been the term used, as was done in the first photo caption.


Thu, Mar 25, 2010 : 5:37 a.m.

I seem to remember one of our politicians saying he was only 3 days away from "FUNDAMENTALY CHANGING THE UNITED STATES". This scares me! We just had our congress go against the will of the people and pass a health bill that the majority of Americans did not want. We just had a local congressman talk about "controling the people". What else are they capable of doing? Our current leadership in Washington is doing everything they can to get more and more Americans dependent on the federal government. Go militia!