Don’t let the turkeys get you down.

I’m weird.

There, I said it.  I have personality quirks that set me apart from the mainstream, from poor impulse control to social awkwardness, and a wealth of other items in between, not the least of which is my passion for history(yes, evidently being into things that aren’t popular in the last few years makes you a complete luddite).

Until recently, I’d been a part of a small social group since 1997.  This group, due to its basic nature, has a tendency to pick up on the out-of-the-norm aspects of people, blow those aspects out of proportion, and use that as a bludgeon to beat those people down.  It’s been going on ever since the group formed; criticizing the flaws or eccentricities of other people was the very basis of its formation.  It’s treated as a given; if you’re a part of the group, it’s accepted that you’re going to give people trouble and you’re going to take it, whether it’s all in fun or not.

After having been around for 17 years and making a number of close friends and acquaintances, I was still regarded as racist, ignorant, living in a dream world, in denial of negative historical facts(never mind that I was likely one of the most knowledgeable in the group regarding history) and in favor of a whitewashed vision of the past(one of the things that irritates the hell out of me, by the way, is the tendency of people in my hobby to idealize aspects of certain eras instead of taking a realistic, pragmatic view of history).

I grew sick of being mischaracterized.  I was sick of being demonized, sick of being talked down to, marginalized, disregarded, ignored, made fun of, disrespected, and and dismissed.

If people repeatedly prove that they can’t accept you, don’t change yourself to try to win their acceptance.  Walk away.

Nearly 10 months ago, I did.  It was a massive release.  I haven’t looked back, and I don’t care to again.  All of the negative feelings generated by my visits there are no longer present.  I no longer struggle with being accepted by my peers, because I got rid of a large number of them.

Life has since changed significantly for the better, and seems that it will continue to do so.  I can now bask in my own weirdness and nurture relationships with people who accept me as I am, without the needless background noise from those who don’t understand me, or care enough about me to make an effort to understand.

If people in your life beat you down instead of lift you up, kick their sorry butts to the curb.  You don’t need them.  The resultant lack of noise in your life will be positively liberating.

 

Kali-maaaaa!

happy_vd

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State: Insanity.

A government that cannot be trusted to balance its books and stay out of debt is not one that should be trusted with a monopoly on force.

As of September, the state of California has mismanaged its citizens’ tax dollars to the tune of 617 BILLION dollars in debt. Law enforcement agencies across the state have slashed their manning to the bone, and potentially tens of thousands of felons have been released from prison to reduce the burden on the prison system.

Our elected officials are now pushing for laws that will make millions of peaceful citizens felons overnight, stripping them of their ability to defend themselves, despite the increased number of predatory individuals among the public, despite reduced emergency services, and despite the new policy of many law enforcement agencies to not respond to most calls.

A manhunt in Los Angeles for a former police officer whose political view sided with that who wish to disarm us has resulted in two innocent women being shot at by police without provocation, simply because they drove down the wrong street in the wrong color vehicle.  Another individual driving a vehicle that bore only a passing resemblance to the suspect’s was rammed and shot at without provocation, their vehicle totaled, and somehow they miraculously escaped injury.  This incident has been nearly completely blacked out in media outlets, save for two photographs of the Honda Ridgeline with a wheel torn off and the back of an LAPD cruiser in the corner of the photo.

In a time at which independence, self-reliance, and SELF-DEFENSE is paramount, your government(composed of supposedly everyday citizens just like yourself) is stripping you of that ability, demanding you comply and rely upon them as they attack us in the streets.

THIS IS NOT THE NATION OUR FOUNDERS CREATED.

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Deployment, week five

The New Year has come and gone, and the Christmas decorations have been taken down. Hail 2012, you were a good year.  I didn’t manage to increase my skills as an outdoorsman, as I’d resolved, but I do have some neat toys that lend themselves towards that purpose.

Out here we have ‘rotations’ – that is, people come and go on a regularly scheduled basis.  The group manning the workcenter is constantly changing, people are leaving and arriving often.

I have come to call the tent I’m living in my tent, as I’m the ranking individual, and I’ve done a significant amount of work to improve the living conditions since I moved in.  We got a new group of airmen rotated in last week, and they were put next door, in the other tent my squadron uses.  Through politicking, another squadron misappropriated that tent for their own use, and they kicked those airmen out, into mine.  I was sharing the space with just one other person until a few days ago, we’re now at full capacity.

Revenge was sweet – since that other squadron decided to push us around and kick us out, we took the opportunity to supplement the supplies in our tent using the supplies in the other.  My tent didn’t have any wardrobes for the airmen’s’ belongings, so we moved over the ones they were using. There was a rug under a few pieces of furniture that looked as if it wasn’t being utilized to its full potential, so I replaced the doormat in my tent with it.  The back wall of the other tent was playing host to a strip of glow-in-the-dark tape that didn’t seem to serve any purpose, so I cut it into smaller strips and used it to outline the inside doorknob and corners of the front door in my tent. Now you can find the door in the dark, and the doorknob’s location is obvious, even from the other ends of the tent.  In all, it’s an improvement for the airmen, as the other tent was a shambles inside – beds were randomly placed about the interior, there were no walls for privacy, and numerous pieces of furniture in various states of disassembly were scattered all over.  It looked like a storage shed, not a living space.  That other squadron can have it, for all I care.

On the line, I’m trying to work on my leadership skills, which could definitely use improvement.  I’ve been teamed with, among others, a staff sergeant who has considerably more experience than me, but I have more qualifications.  As such, I’m the team lead.  I often turn to him for assistance in making decisions, and we get along well, but he also has a tendency to question decisions I make.  It’s disconcerting, and I’ve been having a hard time figuring myself out.  At home station and on temporary duty missions, I pretty much had things figured out, knew how to handle business, procedure, so forth.  I’ve had a rough time of things lately, trying to figure out what line I draw between boss and compatriot.  This is good experience for me, and I think I’m going to come home with a lot more to offer my squadron.

Moment of comedy from the other day:  I was assisting a rookie with some oil servicing and it seemed as if he’d pumped quite a bit of oil into the component with no overflow out of the drain…that’s the signal to stop.  We’d checked the line connections and proceeded slowly, with no changes.  I told him to stop the task and disconnect the servicing hoses as I didn’t want to damage anything.  As soon as I stopped talking, I heard a trickling sound and felt something hit my right shoulder.  I turned to look, and the plane was leaking out of a drain(not the one we wanted it out of) right onto me, indicating we had a serious problem.  Comedic timing, anyone?  After much documentation, panel opening and other hard labor, the specialists weighed in and said everything was all right.  It had me pretty nervous for a while, however.

I keep alternating back and forth between wondering what I’m going to do for work when I get home, and how I might invest the large amount of cash I’ve earned out here.  I’ve determined that I’ll have double the amount I’d need for a VERY nice mid-1930s coupe when I get home, and the temptation to run off and go get that Bogie special I’ve dreamed of for the last five years is pretty strong. Staring down the barrel of unemployment, again, is a sobering reality check.

I’ll air out the good news a little early: As of January 1st, my earnings statement and my online personnel record shows that I’m a tech sergeant.  What bothers me is that I didn’t get a phone call, a letter, an email, nothing to tell me.  I’ve got an email out to my section supervisor back home to confirm that it’s not a clerical error before I go sewing another stripe onto all of my uniforms and lay claim to the actual title.  Nothing back yet.

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The principle of the armed citizen

I wrote this in response to something Kevin Thomasan wrote on Facebook.

Many of those who oppose firearms ownership by the common citizen cannot fathom that government actually WILL at some point cause them harm. They honestly believe that at a basic level, mankind has good intentions, and with the right laws and the right people in the halls of government, peace will be achieved, no one will need weaponry, and we will all live in harmony.

This is a complete blindness to the truth; mankind is at his heart evil, the natural state of power is to augment itself. Left unchecked and unchallenged by the ability of the individual to enforce their will, human governments will expand their power to the point of tyranny and totalitarianism, no matter how well-meaning they were to begin with. The only check in such a chain of events is the threat of retaliation by the oppressed, and retaliation of such significance as to depose those who would dare to oppress them.

The questioning of the need for a citizen to possess military-grade small arms is BLIND to this fact. There is a need for the balance of power to be maintained, for force be balanced with force. The check of government authority as envisioned by the founders of the United States is the armed citizen, and citizens armed in sufficient manner to bring force equal to that with which they might be oppressed. At the time the nation was founded, colonists were armed on an equal footing with British troops, and that was one of the major factors that allowed the colonists to no longer be colonists, but free men.

The principle of equal force is not that violence WILL occur, but that the cost of oppressing the citizen will be too great to justify the potential gain, and may result in a total loss of power for the individual responsible for instigation. It is about potential, not about actual violence.

If you are the sort that wants ‘social justice’ and ‘equality’, then you are intellectually dishonest if you believe that the social injustice of the citizen being unequal in their ability to enforce their will against an oppressor is somehow morally superior to an armed citizen acting as a check to the potential tyranny of their government.

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