My blog grew up today

I got my first piece of hate mail, and it was such a piece of work I felt it was best posted and responded to here.  All quotes are left unaltered, all quotes in red are a part of John Fowler’s email.  The whole email start to finish is contained here, with my comments placed in between parts.

From: 
Sent: Friday, February 25, 2011 3:23 PM
To:
Subject: [Barron Barnett] You

John Fowler sent a message using the contact form at http://www.the-minuteman.org/contact.

I have a few things to say. Now, before you dismiss this as some random message filled with insults, I’d like you to consider this rather a form of aggressive constructive criticism.

A list of insults is not a good sign.  Constructive criticism, now that I can appreciate.

Firstly, you are extremely ugly and at least slightly overweight, which can cause health problems (you should have those checked out, maybe even the ugly part). Your fat cheek cups the stock of your gun like a baby breastfeeding.

It almost makes me feel dirty to look at it, despite there being no pornographic material whatsoever.

I fail to see how my being ugly is constructive criticism.  I am exactly how my mom and dad made me.  While I am overweight, I am still active and in decent shape.  My wife feels no fat in my cheek, neither do I.  I have the standard pad from the gap created by the Maxilla, Zygomatic Bone, Zygomatic Arch, and the Sphenoid Bone, where the Coronoid Process of the Mandible inserts.  The gap is covered by the Masseter muscle, as well as the Zygomaticus major and minor muscles which allow facial expression.  If you want I can have my doctor remove them so I can no longer smile and just constantly looked pissed off.

Secondly, your article on TSA, Lost Fliers and EPIC Lawsuits: No. They are not breaking the law. Because the law has not yet been defined. Therefore they CANNOT in any way, shape or form break that law. You say that yourself in the article, you idiot. You contradict yourself a minimum of four times in the article. And you know what? Flying is a choice. A privelege. Provided NOT by the government, but by individual companies who must make flight safe by THEIR standards, not YOURS. These are BUSINESSES, not government fucking agencies.

Actually they are breaking the law, the 4th Amendment is pretty clear on that fact. It is so clear in fact they admit to violating it, but I guess you were too lazy to watch the video.  That is in fact breaking the law PERIOD.  Can you please point out how I contradict myself in that article, because the theme through the whole article is how the TSA is pointless and breaking the law.  The closest it gets to violating that theme is my translation full of snark regarding the TSA requesting the justice department to NOT issue an injunction banning the use of the body scanners.  So the government was asking them not to give an injunction and let them continue breaking the law.

As for flying being a choice yes it is, however airlines are run by private enterprise just as you state.  The TSA though, is a part of the Department of Homeland Security and is run by the government.  Airlines are not free to choose their own screening methods, or what they deem necessary for the security of their airlines.  The TSA is refusing to allow private screening companies to take over and replace them.  So what voice do the airlines have in these standards, because as the Port Authorities attempt to replace the TSA, the TSA isn’t allowing it to happen.  The TSA is the one responsible for creating their standards and practices.

Thirdly, comparing your "plight" in this country to the Jews defending themselves from Nazis in WW2? Really? Do I even need to comment on this? Are you really so colossally fucking ignorant and self-absorbed that you believe you can empathize with THAT particular group of people? Wow. Just wow.

What exactly is the “plight” you are referencing?  My assumption is you are referencing gun control and gun rights.  I in no way started this comparison; it has been attributed to a man by the name of Aaron Zelman.  His grandfather survived the Holocaust and he founded the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership.  There is a direct tie between gun control and the disarmament of the Jewish people.  I am not the only one who has used this analogy, and it is a very common thread given history.

Fourthly: "Many ask why I feel this way and the answer is always the same, history. I’ve studied it, learned from it, and found things that embodied the best in humanity" – Is this part of the reason you got kicked out of college? 

You ‘know too much’ about stuff? Since your car crash "ding" on your record provided you such "insight" into "the system", one might assume that you would have the knowledge and foresight to graduate from a fucking four year college.

Obviously you didn’t read very carefully (quote below is from me):

“I graduated in 2008 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, or applied mathematics as I call it.”

I was never kicked out of college, I don’t know where you got the idea I was kicked out.  I left UW and went to WSU because I wasn’t accepted into their engineering program.  I attribute this to the fact I wasn’t an international student paying a huge tuition fee or altering their diversity numbers in a politically correct way.  I know this because others were accepted into the UW School of Engineering who had received lower grades. Instead of being a wuss and going to business school, I transferred to WSU and was immediately accepted into their engineering program. 

Your constructive criticism is downright helpful!  You made me go back in time and finish a degree I already had earned, not for you, not for anyone else other than myself.

Fifth, "What we’re seeing now is their fear, they know it’s coming to an end if they can’t get the public to believe their lies again. Well if they can’t get the lies to be believed, all they have left is violence." – your comment on the Democrats’ opinion of the labor battles in Wisconsin. You know, for all you criticise others on violent behavior, narcissistic tendencies, and even sociopathic behavior, you certainly display a lot of the signs yourself.

Citations please?  While I have posted some content that some would consider advocating violence, they are only such if completely removed from proper context.  Many have noticed that the left resorts to violence when their lies and deceit no longer work.  This is not constructive criticism otherwise you would have cited examples.  Have you ever actually done peer reviewed papers and actually had to provide constructive criticism, because I haven’t really seen any yet.  I have never openly stated that unprovoked violence is ok.  The closest I have ever come is my essay on “When to Fight”.  I avoid conflict as much as possible and attempt to resolve issues by peaceful means.  The only fights I have ever been in, I did not throw the first punch.  What I do advocate is defending yourself, your family, your property, and your tools for self-defense themselves.

Sixth, wow, I’m no professional writer but you are terrible with punctuation.

I mean, absolutely horrific.

Again, please cite examples?  I’m more than happy to make corrections when I am informed of errors.  What I’m actually sensing is that you are upset with my writing style.  I am the one writing, not you.  If you don’t like what I write or how I write, go someplace else.  I am not forcing you to read this.  If you think my writing can be improved, illustrate it. Please don’t forget the misspelling of “criticize” in the Fifth judgment, “privilege” in the Second judgment and the improper period after “No” in the Second judgment should have been “No!” or “No,” as it was being used exclamatorily.  If you want to criticize one must be flawless in doing so.

Seventh, you give other people who own firearms a bad name.

Well I cannot rebuke this directly because that becomes a “me versus you” argument.  So instead I emailed Joe Huffman for his opinion of your statement.  Here is his reply:

“I vehemently disagree with him on point 7.”

That from the man ranked #19 in the list of top gun blogs.

Then Laurel said the following:

“Don’t feed the trolls.”

So another gun blogger, disagrees, and obviously feels you’re trolling.

You piece of trash.

Sincerely,

John Fowler, your biggest constructive critic

Again, calling me a piece of trash is constructive criticism?   So let’s synopsize all of this.

  • I’m fat
  • I’m ugly
  • The TSA is not breaking the law because the law isn’t defined even though they admit violating the 4th amendment
  • Using a comparison made by a major member of the gun culture who had every right to makes me wrong.
  • I never graduated from college and my B.S. in Electrical Engineering doesn’t actually exist
  • I’m self-absorbed, prone to violence, and a sociopath, yet there is no evidence to support that since there are no examples given.
  • I’m horrible at writing because you dislike my style.  Again no actual examples or how to improve my writing.
  • I make all firearms owners look horrible despite the fact others would disagree.
  • I’m a piece of trash, why I’m not really sure.

Here’s some constructive criticism for you Mr. Fowler. 

  • Engage the person you’re trying to improve.
  • Make sure you really understand what you’re talking about.
  • Don’t make personal statements, no matter how much you want to, those are insults not criticism.
  • Identify areas that need improvement and then use them as examples stating how you would improve them.
  • Make sure you can back up any statement with evidence of why it’s true, and if it’s constructive you need to provide what can be done to change that fact. 
    Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

    He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do it’s thing.

    About Barron Barnett

    Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms. He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do it’s thing.
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    4 Responses to My blog grew up today

    1. Linoge says:

      As I probably mentioned on IRC, I am a little bit envious… I have been doing this weblogging thing for a little bit longer than you, and the best I managed to hook was a cyberstalker that took considerable effort to shake off… You, on the other hand, nailed some all-too-hilarious hatemail within a few years.

      *sigh*

      And, as I know I said on IRC, that phrase (“constructive criticism”) does not mean what he thinks it means. Dude is an idiot, plain and simple, and I guess wanted to share that information…

      • Barron Barnett says:

        I had your comment from IRC, I got an email back from Alan as well saying, “Wow, what an ass.”

        Salamander though the guy was Douche, I don’t have the quote handy though. My friend Corina called him a “pretentious dick”. My buddy Matt said “If you(me)make gun owners look bad, he’s making humanity look retarded.”

        I’m actually amazed I got this as well. I dug through my sitemeter info and found what I’m reasonably sure was his visit. Sadly there was no referring URL information. What I’m dying to know is what brought him to my site. What is interesting is it appears to have originated at a company my dad used to work for back in 93/94.

        I always expected to get some email about someone with a diffing opinion, but this one, all I can say is Wow. I’ll have to ask Joe next time I see him if he’s ever gotten one this bad.

    2. Nikulas says:

      That guy is rude, if he does not agree with your principles he should have disagree with you properly by firing a discussion. Not attack you with tasteless baseless insults. Funny though, John didn’t troll your site out with spamming your posts with hate comments. He actually used a contact form! That’s some grudge.

      Well sorry for exploding through your blog. I was just hopping around the Internet. I even forgot what I’ve been searching for that lead me here.

    3. Barron Barnett says:

      I know I wasn’t the only one who would get entertainment out of it. It distracted you to the point you forgot what you were searching for. A lot of people have gotten a kick out of it.

      I’m happier he didn’t take the spam route, it’s a lot more difficult to gather it all together for a formed response. Though my comments automatically close themselves since there reaches a point where all I get is spam.

      I still think my favorite part of the whole thing is that he calls it “constructive criticism”. As just about everyone has said, that doesn’t mean what he thinks it means.