To Friends in a Virtural World

Dearest Facebook friends,

It never fails that, after I post up something controversial or opinionated [as seldom as that happens] folks will respond with comments. Some benign, some…well, a bit more caustic. And somebody will send me a little note asking how I could possibly be friends with someone “like that”.

So for those who are new to my sandbox, here is an expanded version of my set response.

You will find all flavors of folks here, from the far left to the far right [and apparently the Far Side].

When the discussion turns to religion you will see the mix includes believers and non-believers, Christian ministers and evangelists, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Taoists, Agnostics and Atheists. And many of their positions will surprise you. And all of their beliefs are respected – though when they might want to foist their beliefs on others…that’s a different story.

When talk turns to guns and gun control, there are gun control folks, gun rights folks, gun hobbyists, collectors and some that until very recently didn’t care one way or another. There are a couple of folks who work in the gun industry, there are folks who work in law enforcement, there are folks who work full time on gun control issues, there are folks who stitch up those who are victims of gun violence, and there are victims of gun violence.

When it comes to the environment…there are lawyers on every side of the debate, there are folks who actively protest actions against our environment and there are folks who truly believe that global climate change is a hoax [and they have the youtube videos to prove it]. There are folks who focus on protecting animals, those who fight to protect our natural infrastructure, those who make their living in coal and oil industries. So when you chime in, and please do you might find that you are talking with an attorney – either for the industry or the government or one of the environmental interest groups. You might be talking to a geologist or a real climatologist [not weather guy]. So be prepared.

And every once in a while we will talk politics…There are Republicans, Democrats, Libertarian, libertarian, Tea Party and I believe Anarchists. They cover the political spectrum from “just voters” to political analysts and consultants. And they cover the newly exuberant young folks who see problems and demand change and they cover more seasoned folks who see problems and demand change…with a boatload more experience demanding it.

Friends here cover five continents [and Harlan] and professions that range from students to doctors, lawyers, systems folks, IT folks, engineers of several flavors, economists, professors, teachers, managers, small business owners, big business owners, disc jockeys, librarians, photographers, writers, government workers, politicians, career military, retired military, and some folks who work now or used to work for three letter government agencies. There are folks who stay home and raise their kids; there are folks who have been retired longer than some others have been alive.

And those friends include folks I have known since I was three years old to those who I have never once met except on the pages of Facebook or one of a couple dozen fora.

So, come and play, you will learn something if you keep your mind open and every opinion [no matter how bone-headed it will seem to some] is welcome…even encouraged.

And as I always remind those that are new…enjoy the sandbox and please, wear a cup.

___________________________________________________

McAllister is a life long liberal, environmentalist, Eagle Scout, and even gun owner – born in Harlan, Kentucky and has lived in Southern California, New York City and now resides in Lexington, Kentucky as a Systems Analyst.

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