Saturday, July 14, 2007

Respect on the Internet... something that is sometimes easy to find, and easy to lose. I guess it is often easy to find if you find yourself in agreement with someone on a blog, or find they agree with your own blog. The sad thing seems to be that it is just as easily lost, often when one person finds himself in disagreement with another. This often causes one or the other of those involved, sometimes both, to lose respect for one another; and you know disagreements should not necessarily do that.

I usually write out my opinion in no uncertain terms. I do so with respect for the other person whom I am addressing or for the audience I am addressing. In the case of the Internet, that audience could be just about anyone. I expect the same back from my readers, or from other bloggers on whose sites I leave comments. I do not always get such. In fact sometimes you get little to no respect at all if you are not a supporter of whomever you are addressing, or of their blog and viewpoints. I find that makes for such a dull, and boring world , and that usually people who expect you to bow down to their opinions and theirs alone (or at least ones that support theirs) are dull and boring no matter how otherwise intelligent they may be. Differences of opinion make for great discussion and great writing, and being able to respect the opinions of others within reason, even when you may disagree with them, goes to show a great person.

When I comment on a post on another's blog, I truly appreciate it when that person allows me to continue to post even though we maybe strongly opposed to one another on some issues. What I do not appreciate is when that other person twists what I have said, or starts name calling or other childish BS, to make it appear as if I am some person not worthy of a readership, or not worthy to leave comments on their blog.

Along those lines, I can say that without a doubt, I do not read any one's blog with the intent of causing trouble by leaving opposing comments, opinions, viewpoints, and ideas; but nor do I go to any one's web site or blog with the intent of getting down on my knees to bow to them as some sort of guru who is the know all be all of whichever subject is at hand. It would be pointless to do either as far as I am concerned, and all it would amount to is animosity or arse kissing.

Of course, sometimes in the source of reading forums, blogs and such, I come across a site that is interesting, wherein the people are usually respectful, and wherein I can leave comments of my own opinion about the issues discussed without having to worry about offending anyone so long as I remain civil. It is often at these sites that I develop what amounts to an association with the person who runs the site, or with the blogger. Many of the blog sites to which I link over on the right are virtually inhabited by folks like that, and although I do not link only to ones like that, I try my best to link to sites wherein I think you will find a respectful attitude should you post a comment therein whether or not it agrees with the mindset of the blogger in question.

The best thing about trying to link to the sites of bloggers who are like that is that you often wind up making a virtual acquaintance that turns out to be surprisingly amicable; like having made a friend. I can say without a doubt that even though I have never personally met any of these bloggers in real life, a few of them seem like old friends already. That is a nice thing about the Internet blogs and forums, and I'll try to keep this blog respectful to the opinions of others even when we do not agree with one another; and I'll try to keep linked to the sites of other bloggers whom to me seem to do likewise.

In closing I'd like to say, thanks to those of you who are respectful commenters and bloggers. You make the Internet a better place, and I am happy to link to your sites here.

Before I close, allow me to say that this post has very little to do with any previous one, and this one is not directed at any particular person I mentioned in a previous post. This one is directed at you folks who make this blog a nicer place to visit, who have your own blog that is worth a visit, and who can share ideas, and voice differences of opinion, and still respect the opinions of others within reason. Thanks.

All the best,
Glenn B

Jim Cirillo - Another Good Man Gone

Jim was killed in an automobile/truck accident on Thursday July 12th. See: for more details.

I seem to remember I first met Jim Cirillo back in the early to mid 1980's when I worked for the U.S. Customs Service as a patrol officer. I met him at a firearms range in his capacity of Firearms Instructor. Earlier today when I thought back, to those way back times, I had thought I met him at the NYPD range at Rodman's Neck in NYC, but upon further thinking about it, we may have first met at the FLETC either when I was in the Border Patrol Academy in 1979/80, or when I was there for the CPO academy in 1983. Whenever is not so important, what is important, at least to me is that I met him at all, and that he took his time to make me a better shooter and better law enforcement officer.

When we first met, I was almost immediately enthralled by his feisty, yet gentlemanly mannerisms, and by his stories of his time on the New York City Police Department (NYPD) Stakeout Unit (commonly called the Stakeout Squad). I say almost because if I remember right, I at first wondered who was this crusty older guy who was reprimanding me for whatever I had just done wrong regarding how I was aiming, when I figured I had done it right. Boy did I still have a lot to learn about getting it right regarding combat/tactical shooting, and there I was being chewed out, unknown to me at that moment, by one of the all time most experienced shootists the world has known. He got me to pay attention right away, but what else could I have done than pay attention to him with his slightly antagonistic, self assured, yet pleasantly dynamic personality. Despite my thinking I was right, and despite my wondering who was this crusty old geezer (and he was not all that old but I was all that young still in my twenties) he got me to listen to him that very first time, and not only did I listen, I actually learned something. I got better at tactical shooting with the very next shot. Oh those days of blued steel revolvers and the real men who shot them!

Later on, one of the other range officers told me who he was, and told me about him. I was awestruck, and the reason for it was because I just had been in contact with a living legend, but yet a man who considered himself just a regular guy. He was in fact a living legend because of his time on the NYPD Stakeout Unit during which time he was in multiple armed encounters, and during many of which he shot it out with the bad guys - him always coming out the winner as far as I can recall. If I have it right, while he was on the Statkeout Squad from 1968 through 1973 he was involved in 17 shoot outs with bad guys, 11 of which resulted in fatalities (yes - of bad guys).

I was honored to realize he had just taken some time to pay attention to me. After that we were on friendly terms in the way you are friendly with people at work while at work. Jim always had a good story, a good joke, and a good way about him. Over the years, I saw him at FLETC and also at the NYPD range at Rodman's Neck when he visited NY and stopped by to say hi while we Customs folks were using the NYPD range. He always remembered me and I was nicely surprised by that. Up until just before his death, Jim remained active as a firearms instructor. I am sure that many others owe him a debt of gratitude for the skills he taught them.

I will remember him always, he really was a good guy; and the stuff he taught me is still useful to me today. I have been in a few armed encounters in my career, only one where I had to shoot someone and that was while off duty. I am sure what he taught me at least helped me in part to come out a winner.

My condolences to his loved ones and friends, and to all of you, who like me, will miss him.

I also wish to express my hopes that the other driver involved in the accident recover quickly.

All the best,
Glenn B