I created a public Facebook page that has my blog posts, brain droppings, and general discussions. You don’t have to add me as a friend on Facebook to like and follow the page. It’s a discussion medium.
So if you have an account, go here and give it a like.
As most of you know, I’ve been in Germany, studying hard to improve my Russian language skills, so I haven’t been as diligent about catching up with blogs as I should. But for those of you who aren’t aware, there’s been a bit of Internet/Blog drama going on the past couple of days. Now that I’m caught up and have spoken with the main person involved, I feel confident that I need to write about this.
A few days ago, a blogger and commenter on this blog Erin Pallete wrote a very profound, very honest, very courageous blog entry about who she really is. I will admit I was surprised. Until yesterday, I thought Erin was a fairly hot, very tough, very intelligent woman, based on her comments here and on her writing on her own site. No, I’ve never seen her in person, and have never met her. Our dealings have been Internet-based only, although she and one of my closest frieds, Oleg Volk, are good friends as well. But to me, Erin is still Erin. Nothing has changed, except now I know what she looks like, and she’s not anything I imagined. To me it’s not a big deal.
If you want to read about Erin and her revelation, I would encourage you to do so via the link I provided above.
Now, here’s what I want to say to Erin and to the rest of the blogosphere:
- I support Erin. I support what she did and I support her as a person. I think what she did took a lot of courage. Having made a lot of friends and gained a lot of readers over the years, who have undoubtedly developed their own picture of what Erin is/was, no doubt made the decision to reveal herself a lot more difficult. Good for Erin!
- Erin is still Erin. She’s a terrific writer with an incredibly sharp mind. If your opinion of her writing changes based on the fact that she didn’t fit your perception of her, you’re a moron. Period.
- If you have been a longtime reader or Internet friend, and are all of a sudden feeling “betrayed,” get over it! Erin is not your wife. She’s not your girlfriend. Most of you don’t even know her in person. Ergo, feeling betrayed, because she doesn’t fit the Internet persona you created for her in your own mind, is stupid.
- If you insist on feeling betrayed, fine. It’s a free country. Go sulk in a corner. Stop reading her blog. If you have a blog of your own, vent your sullenness there. But if you insist on using the Interwebs to castigate Erin, to ridicule or insult her and to express your feelings of general ooginess publicly, because ZOMG! ERIN PALLETTE IS NOT WHAT YOU IMAGINED, I promise you I will trash you just as publicly. And I guarantee you I can make up invective better than you can.
- I will continue my blog policy of never banning bloggers or deleting comments, even if they’re rude and offensive to me and/or my friends (unless you’re a spammer, an outright racist or post threats of any kind), so you never need to worry about getting banned.
Now, I need to write a few words about my own views. You all already know my views on gays, gay marriage, etc. I treat everyone alike. I believe in equality. I love my gay friends as much as I love my straight friends, and I refuse to pass judgment on whom they love. Period.
My views on transgender, transvestite, trans (insert description here) are much the same. People are people. I will treat them with respect if they reciprocate. I don’t care if you’re a 6’5″ football player who likes to wear women’s lingerie at night. It doesn’t bother me, and it’s your own business. I don’t care if you’re a former Navy SEAL who has decided to live his life as a woman after retirement from military service. You have earned the gratitude of a nation and my eternal respect. I don’t give a flying rat’s ass with whom you sleep or how you live your life. If you are a woman, then you are a woman. Your talents, abilities, skills and knowledge don’t change because of your gender. If you say you are a woman, I will refer to you as “she.” Period. It’s a matter of respect.
That said… Bradley Manning.
To be honest, I’m just not sure how honest he is about this whole wanting to live his life as “Chelsea” thing. We always knew he was gay. So what? What’s the big deal? But he REALLY started to whip out the “Transgender Card” when he realized he was in danger of serious consequences in court. All of a sudden, “Chelsea” was an excuse to violate his oath, betray his country, and do incalculable damage to our diplomatic relations worldwide, not to mention endanger innocent people. So yeah… I’m going to kick that assmaggot as often and as hard as I can. Not because I think being transgender (if he really is) caused him to do these things, but because he’s now using it as an excuse for the inexcusable.
And a final word…
This has been an interesting experiment in Interwebs. How well do we really know our Internet friends? Can you consider them friends, if you’ve never met, had a drink or shook their hand? How much do you all really know about me? Is my photo real? (It is.) Is Rob’s? The great Claire Wolfe hit the nail on the head with the following:
…Erin’s story is also a great testimony to one of the best (and least mentioned) things about the Internet — the ability to relate to others by their heart and soul, not by their age, color, location, sex, gender, or other non-essentials. Pretty damn good testimony for “gun nuts,” too. Gun nuts. You know — those ignorant, racist, homophobic, redneck intolerant good ole boys.
You all have been reading my blog for a while now. You know who I am. You understand my views. You may or may not agree with them, but you read them. I’m grateful for each and every one of you, even those with whom I ardently disagree. But will I match my public persona? I leave that for each and every one of you to decide. Ultimately, if you ever meet me in person, you will either love me or hate me. That’s your business. Mine is to remind you that I’m me, and I will not ever conform to anyone’s ideal of me.
Deal with it.
I got an email from “Chuck Wilson” recently. No, that’s not his real name. No, his real name is not relevant here. No, I don’t know it.
But he asked me to look at his website, which has news and reviews of holographic sights. I told him I would. Always glad to help out a fellow gunnie.
It’s a cool site, and one you might like to visit sometime.
I don’t use holographic sights. I’ve shot firearms that had them – most recently a pretty nice, decked out MP5 – but frankly, I can’t afford one, so I will continue to rely on my eyeballs as long as I can.
That said, Chuck’s site has all sorts of info from a basic intro to the holographic sights, to reviews, to their history.
Good info, so check it out.
In it, the author recounts his experiences in Kosovo as an UNMIK police officer, and his experiences are telling.
In postwar Kosovo, many tens of thousands of war refugees lived in the capital. Not enough jobs existed to support them all. Many of them became vendors in a sprawling, dirty bazaar. They supported their families by selling cheap Turkish and Pakistani housewares and trinkets. Under old Yugoslav law, which was still the legal standard, those vendors had to have permits. Few bothered to stand in line at a dilapidated government building to pay for a permit.
This officer – I’ll call him Joe – became infuriated every time he patrolled the bazaar. He’d find vendors without permits, then ticket and berate them. He’d make note of other illegal vendors so he could ticket them later. He’d even drive through the bazaar off-duty to spot illegal vendors for future targeting. He’d vent his anger about illegal vendors at us, which always made me laugh. I didn’t care the least bit about vendors without permits, and thought Joe would eventually get over it. I was wrong.
Joe got so mad at illegal vendors that he researched Yugoslav law. We had been advised not to do anything that violated the Bill of Rights, but officially Yugoslav law was still in effect. And Joe discovered he could use Yugoslav law to do something about those damn illegal vendors.
You can guess what happened next. The police went around and confiscated the goods from people who had just been through a nasty war, and who were trying to eek out a living by selling what few trinkets and goods they had available.
Because they didn’t have a permit.
Now, being a Kosovo vet, and having been deployed there just a few years after the author of this blog, I know about the corruption, the crime, etc. that goes on in Kosovo. I’ve seen smuggling of every good possible – from shoes, to tomatoes, to cattle, to firearms, to humans. I remember a chicken smuggling incident where some troops sat watching from atop of OP Thunder as chickens were offloaded from one truck to another – literally marched on a plank into the vehicle like some twisted chicken Bataan death march… So I understand.
However, what these petty tyrants did to people just trying to survive post-war was pretty repugnant.
I stayed back. Officer Joe, the illegal vendor hater, picked out an old man selling bananas. The old man, who looked about eighty but was probably younger, struggled to pick up boxes of bananas before the truck arrived. Officer Joe reached the old man’s stall, tore a box from the old man’s hands and threw it in the truck. The old man grabbed the next box. Joe fought it away.
I remember standing there in impotent frustration, thinking, So now we’re literally wrestling food away from old men. This is disgusting.
They did it, because they officially could.
But this was in a foreign land, right? It couldn’t happen here, right?
How many times do we hear about cops breaking up evil, dangerous lemonade stands, because the children didn’t have a permit to sell the drink? Illegal Children’s bake sales? Criminal Girl Scout cookie sales?
Given the ridiculous “we’re just following official orders” excuse, what makes you think that many of them won’t go around confiscating firearms?
Hence, the Second Amendment discussion.
The Founders didn’t include the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights because they wanted to ensure we could all hunt and plink. They included it as a means of common defense – both against outside aggression and government tyranny – the kind of tyranny that includes breaking up a Girl Scout cookie sale, because the kids didn’t have a peddler’s license.
Now, the above statement is not a call to armed action against the police, so before any of you get bent out of shape here, you need to understand that. I’m not calling for armed conflict between police and ordinary citizens, because some idiot cop shut down a yard sale. I am calling for a fundamental understanding that power corrupts. It corrupts even people whom you wouldn’t think in a million years to be evil.
And the Second Amendment is a check on that power. I’ll defer to the author once again:
Our founding fathers were incredibly intelligent, insightful men. They knew an external threat of invasion could exist. And more importantly, they knew an internal threat of tyranny would always exist. They knew that even basically good guys like Joe can let their personal hatreds control their official actions. They knew that even Officer Chris Hernandez might maybe, once or twice, have a little nagging thought like, There should be an automatic death penalty for anyone who drives through a quiet neighborhood at 3 a.m. blaring gangster rap. They knew I better have threats over my head, to keep me from carrying out that death sentence.
The founding fathers knew guys like me and Joe need to be controlled. They wrote the 4th Amendment so we would have to follow rules when we took people’s property. And they wrote the 2nd Amendment so that if we ever decided not to care about citizens’ rights, the citizens could forcibly change our minds.
This is why I say we need more cops like this guy. He gets it, and he has taken a long, hard look at himself and his actions in Kosovo. He’s honest.
I know there are a ton of good law enforcement officers out there, so if you come here to yell at me about how I’m a cop hater, and how I don’t understand what it’s like to serve and sacrifice, I invite you to kindly shut your ignorant yap.
But I would love to hear from law enforcement officers out there. My question to you is the following: Realistically, and having taken a good look at yourself, would you see yourself following orders to disarm ordinary, law abiding citizens, because a law was passed?
Be honest with yourselves. Please.
After the shitstorm Adam Smith caused by abusing and harassing a girl named Rachel at a Chick-Fil-A in Tuscon, AZ, Rachel’s fiance started a blog about the incident. He detailed the incident, including the transcript of what happened, and he blogged the aftermath, including the subsequent apology from Smith. While Rachel doesn’t seem to be an active participant in the weblog, she did post the following, which tells me a lot about the caliber of person this woman is.
First off, this is Rachel posting. I have received many comments and messages from supporters concerning the response I will give publicly about the situation with Mr. Smith. I am aware of his current situation and the swift response of his former company, Vante, with his firing.
It is not, was not and will never be my intention or hope to see him or his family suffer. We all make mistakes, and with today’s viral media, this mistake has cost him dearly.
I don’t want to say too much, but I urge you all to keep watching as this event unfolds over the next few days. I’m still the same Rachel that I was two days ago before my face went out to every computer screen and TV in America. With the guidance of my amazing family, my supportive fiance, and the wonderful company I work for, I will continue to do the right thing.
Thank you all and have a good night!
And for those of you who are still making excuses for Smith’s behavior, maybe you should look up the definition of class.