Thursday, October 23, 2008

Who Is The Ol' Grey Ghost?

I first ran into "The Ol' Grey Ghost" in a discussion forum that we helped to moderate. Over time I came to really respect Peter for the way he handled adversity in the forum, and in how well he used the medium to get folks thinking on subjects in ways that they were not used to, what some would call "thinking outside the box".

I like Peter, he reminds me of one of the men who most influenced my life while growing up. Before going to Blackwater, I contacted Peter to get a copy of a column he wrote concerning the founders views of a standing army. We got to talking back and forth, and before you know it he is writing for "A Keyboard and a .45".

Here is Peter, in his own words:
It has been joked that a Conservative is a Liberal that has been mugged and a Liberal is a Conservative who has been falsely accused of committing a crime, but what do you get when both things happen to the same person? A gun-toting Anarchist like myself.

I was born in the Washington D.C. area during the Eisenhower administration. My father being a military man, I was raised at and have visited points all around the globe, from the Far East to Northern Africa and Western Europe along with the North American Continent. By the time I graduated high school, I had attended 14 different schools. When my father retired from active duty, my family settled in Central Texas. Once here I met and married my high school sweetheart and we went about our business raising our family.

In college, I worked in retail, selling, customizing, and repairing firearms. When I finished college, I went into a profession I had wanted to do since I was a little boy; I became a police officer. Along with my regular patrol duties, I was my department's Primary Firearms Instructor and Range master (Advanced-level, FBI-trained), Defensive Tactics and Mechanics of Arrest Instructor, DWI/Vehicular Homicide Investigator, Hostage Negotiator, Weapons Armorer, and Commander of our
on-again, off-again SWAT Team.

When the Persian Gulf War broke out, I got a letter from the U.S. Army offering me good money and a prestigious position if I went to work for them in Counter Intelligence. I took them up on the offer but before I could really get my career going I started to have trouble with my health. It seems the Army had given me a regime of vaccinations it had been advised might adversely affect the health of 5% of those to whom they administered it. My own immune system began to turn against me and attack my muscle tissue. I was medically retired from the Army and am getting along as best as I can.

Being retired I've had some time on my hands so I'm working in extreme slow motion (I'll never make any money off of it) on a Doctor of Arts degree in Political Science with secondary emphasis in American History, Criminology, Economics, and Sociology. I am a prolific reader and I enjoy watching "that boring crap" (my wife's words) on the History, Discovery, National Geographic, etc., cable channels. I also enjoy watching the Rangers, Astros, Texans, or Cowboys but a good UFC card trumps them all.

I do Karate-Jutsu as exercise and always enjoy a day on the range, especially if I can get someone else to do the cleaning-up part (I'm such a stickler for a clean weapon, particularly if my life depends on it working right, I usually have to do it myself). My favorite activity, though, is hanging out with the youngest members of the family. There is nothing more exciting to me than the beaming smile on a child's face when a knowledgeable adult takes time to explain to them how this mystical universe we live in works.

I have pretty well dedicated my life to securing the rights "to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" for myself, my family, and our friends and we have no problem sharing that with others. Politically speaking I am an Anarchist, a proponent of Anarchism. But I understand where some people cannot, figuratively speaking, sleep without a night light on so, being a reasonable man, I consent to some minor measure of government if protecting our liberty is the primary mission. Therefore, I could be considered a functional Minarchist or Anarcho-Libertarian. I do, however, have a big problem with those people who can't sleep at all unless someone tucks them into bed (parasites), or even worse, those who have to tuck everyone into bed, even when nobody is sleepy (authoritarians).

When I write, or speak before groups who invite me, I do not see it as my purpose to change people's beliefs but instead to get people to think. Think about why they hold the beliefs they do. Think about how to defend the beliefs they hold in a rational fashion. And if their beliefs are based on false premises, think about how they should adjust their beliefs. I believe if more people took the time to think instead of having a knee-jerk gut-reaction to the problems of life, this would be a better world.

If anyone has any questions for me, you can e-mail them to JR here at his blog and he will kindly forward them to me. You might even plant the seed for my next column (please let me know if you don't want your name mentioned). If you agree with what I have written so far, hang on as I'll eventually get to writing something where you won't and might even tick you off. When I do, keep an open mind and think about it...

Peter W. Wickham, Jr.
AKA The Ol' Grey Ghost
I hope that you enjoy Peter's essays as much as I do, and I hope that including his perspective will create thought provoking and lively discussion.

Now I just have to figure out how to hand him the keys so he can post directly.


Ride Fast said...

Guest posts, stupid people and rioting

Rustmeister said...

Dashboard - Settings - Permissions - Add Authors

John R said...

ride fast, you had me confused until I noticed the trackback here

John R said...

Thanks rustmeister, done.