So here is how it is.
A website called “Smoke & Thunder” appeared out of the firmament about a week ago and started hijacking names and reputations of pro-rights webloggers in order to provide a good, firm footing of astroturf for this upstart site. When challenged on this dickish and generally frowned-upon behavior, the mind behind “Smoke and Thunder” engaged in personal attacks against those who dared to question it. And, finally, when taken as a total gestalt, and when compared to the writings and behavior of known anti-rights cultists, it is a remarkably strong hypothesis that “Smoke & Thunder” is being run by a “gun control” extremist as a false-flag operation; who, we are not sure, but it could be the “Michael Frank” as he identified himself to other pro-rights webloggers, or it could be someone using that identity as yet another sock-puppet.
Various folks, myself included, have expressed concern at “feeding the troll”, given that, in general, there is no such thing as bad publicity. So why am I writing this post, much less the three before it?
As you can see, I am not logged in, and my cookies were recently cleared for this little exercise, so none of my personal, local browsing habits should be influencing the outcome of this Google search. However, thanks to the creative use of metadata such as post titles and tags, my writings are currently ranked over the actual “smokeandthunder.com” site, which brings me to the real purpose for writing these posts:
To serve as a warning.
Now, anyone who searches for “smoke and thunder”* will have the option to read through some of the material we have managed to gather regarding that site, and make up their own mind as to its purpose and motivations.
Because, honestly, when the proprietor of “Smoke and Thunder” behaves like this in public:
Dumbfuck, I said BILLION dollar business when I was referring to Yelp, and never claimed I was on track to earn that. Just stay tuned for some bombshells over the next few days…
The world needs to know.
(Oh, and for the record, that remarkably rude, obnoxious, and completely out-of-line comment was directed towards A Girl and Her Gun, a recent pro-rights convert and one of the better recent pro-rights writers I have encountered. Furthermore, she has already done more to encourage safe, responsible firearm ownership than I fear “Smoke and Thunder” will ever be bothered to accomplish. I am not a violent man, but “Smoke & Thunder Admin”’s incessant harassment of women (up to and including demanding “nudie pix” from them) sets my temper on edge.)
So, yes, maybe I am feeding the troll by posting about him, but none of my links go back to his site in any way, shape, or form (even as “nofollow”s), and someone has to stand by the bridge and warn people of the trolls that live beneath it. What they do after that warning is entirely up to them.
And speaking of trolls, the administrator of “Smoke and Thunder” has threatened that he will be drawing up my profile at that site shortly. As such, I am going to borrow a page from LawDog’s book:
1) I will not be joining this site "Smoke and Thunder", so if you see my name there, it isn’t me.
2) Nor do I give the site "Smoke and Thunder" any permission what-so-ever to use anything written by me on this site, or by me on any Internet forum or medium, beyond the minimum amount permissible under the "Fair Use Doctrine".
3) Furthermore, I deny the site "Smoke and Thunder" permission to use any of my intellectual property, wholly or in part, for financial gain.
I have every reason to believe this denial of permission will be ignored, but there it is, nonetheless.
A man of honor would respect another person’s wishes when it comes to the misappropriation of their identities, reputations, and personas; apparently the owner of “Smoke & Thunder” is a creature wholly devoid of honor.
(* – And, again, I feel sorry for the Purveyors of Fine Mountain Man Accoutrements. Hopefully this bout of idiocy on the part of “smokeandthunder.com” will not too significantly impact their site.)