When Bloggers Go Bad

Wow, here’s a wild one to end the week with:

The California National Guard has placed on leave the personal assistant to its top general and started an investigation after questions were raised about a Web site he maintains that advocates mass violence.

“I, honestly, would like nothing more than to assist in the wholesale slaughter of every idiot on the face of the planet,” Senior Airman Travis Gruber, of Sacramento, Calif., writes on the site, HowToKillPeople.com. In other postings and in a related blog, Gruber denigrates African Americans, Jews, Asians, women, gays and people with physical disabilities.

Oof! I’m a free speech purist, believing that the best form of censorship is your own good judgment. This guy clearly lacks the slightest shred — a National Guard general is a government official, and our blogger here is in essentially the same position as a political staffer. I’d obviously rather not have someone in any position of influence or authority having thoughts like these in his head, but you can’t court-martial a man for thinking. It’s ten times crazier to actually print this in public:

Gruber blogged that when ordered to drive “the big guy” to Oakland this year, he loaded a shotgun with extra shells and filled a pistol “to the brim with hollow-point” bullets because he feared entering the city unarmed.

In a separate posting, he wrote of a woman who once approached him with a question as he waited for Wade at the state Capitol and that he later regretted not “crushing her windpipe” and slamming his car door into her legs for bothering him.

How can you write this stuff online and not expect it to be traced back to you eventually? Here’s the site; all the content except for a brief statement has been removed. Thanks to the Wayback Machine, though, we can read Gruber’s bio and sample some of his collected wit and wisdom. Note to prospective writers who want to keep their jobs, reputations and body parts intact: you probably don’t want to adopt this guy as a role model. Thanks to Burt Edwards for passing the article along.


Written by
Colin Delany
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