Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story

Navy SEAL. The very term says “bad ass”.

Like most folks, I was surprised when the story broke that a former SEAL had recently come out as transgender and was in the process of transitioning from male to female. My first thought was “how incredibly brave”.

Imagine that, my first reaction to the story how brave this person was; a friggin Navy SEAL, with seven combat deployments to her credit.

I never served in the Armed Forces. But, I consider myself fortunate to know and call friend many who have; especially several combat veterans from Vietnam. Their stories, of the mistreatment they experienced when returning home, have always stuck with me. As a result, while I have not always supported our wars, I have always supported our soldiers. Those men and women prepare to make the ultimate sacrifice in service to the United States. They deserve our respect and support; especially when they return home.

Lady Valor” is the story of Kristin Beck. The film is equal parts gut-wrenching and poignant. It is clear that denying his true self was destroying Christopher Beck. At some level, it drove him to excellence as a SEAL while destroying his inner life and, ultimately, his marriage. Becoming Kristin seems to have changed much of that.

What I found most compelling was the way the folks around Beck supported her. Sure, there were and remain folks with negative reactions to her change. But, many of the folks you would expect to have the most extreme reactions (e.g. football coach father, big brother, fellow SEALs) have chosen to love and support the man they loved as a son, brother or brother-in-arms. It is clear that, in retrospect, each recognized and respected the emotional, existential turmoil with which Christopher Beck once lived. Rather than rejecting Chris as weak, they embraced Kristin; as family should.

As for the rest of us, if anyone deserves to live free … in body and spirit … in the United States, it is Kristin Beck.

Lady Valor” is now on Netflix and absolutely worth your time to watch.

Protect Net Neutrality!

Net Neutrality is Under Attack.

The following represents the the email I just sent to President Obama, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) and Representative Joe Heck (R-NV) regarding Net Neutrality.

I was disturbed by the recent District Court ruling on Net Neutrality. I understand the business concerns of AT&T, Comcast and the other Internet providers, but bandwidth consumption by their users … personal and professional … is a burden equally distributed across the system. No company is any harder hit than any other by increasing usage of the Internet.

The assault on Net Neutrality is a money grab and a recipe for corporate abuse. It gives corporations the ability to restrict the free flow of information on the Internet. The corporations in question say they information will still be free, but we have also been told that they would not dump toxic chemicals into our ecosystem, cigarettes do not cause cancer and a host of other half-truths intended at driving up profits at the cost of the common good, intended or not.

I am not a bleeding heart liberal or would-be communist. I believe in capitalism and the right of business to protect their intellectual property and deliver value to their shareholders.

Make no mistake, Net Neutrality is THE fundamental, First Amendment issue of the information age. The ability to freely share information should not be restricted by either government or corporate interests. It will stifle innovation and open the door to corporate abuse of the power inherent awarded by this ruling.

Corporate control over the free flow of information is fundamentally unAmerican and I expect my representatives to stand up for the American values, not corporate interests.

Respectfully,

Doug Daulton
Concerned Citizen

If you are content creator, parent, start-up business, poor person or just average, “Joe/Jane Lunchbox” average US. Citizen, the recent Federal Appeals court ruling that the FCC cannot enforce Net Neutrality should concern you.

No, it should outright frighten you and piss you off.

The future is online.

News? Check. Entertainment? Check. Education? Check. Business? Check. Shopping? Check.

All of these endeavors are fast becoming online first; bricks & mortar, traditional broadcast and print … second. This ruling means that the corporations can and will restrict access to your favorite websites based on their own bottom line, not the free and fair flow of information.

Democrat or Republican. Conservative or Liberal. It does not matter where you come down on the political spectrum, Net Neutrality is something you should be insisting on. Anything else is a fundamental violation of the principles on which this country was founded.

It is just that simple.

Do something about it. Let your voice be heard. Write President Obama today. Then, write your own duly elected representatives and let your voice be heard.

Stop. Look. Go. A Recipe For Happiness

Just watch. I have nothing to add that Brother David Steindl-Rast does not already say. 😀

I am grateful for …

My crazysexycool wife, Kelly. She makes every day brighter and more full of possibilities.

My healthy, smart, ornery boys. They make me smile, weep, beam with pride and check my ego at the door.

My folks and Kelly’s folks. They’ve provided an amazing foundation of love, respect and confidence on which we are building our family. And, they spoil our boys when we have to be harasses. 😀

My brother Vince and my “brothers from another mother”, Johnny Z, Kent, Bruce, John Daley (RIP), Drew, Stevebob and Neil. They know where the bodies are buried and they are not telling. 😉

My mentors, old and new, who have guided me along the path. From school, Mrs. Sandman, Mrs. Meyer, Brother Chuck, Mr. & Mrs. Hale, Ms. Mascari, Mr. Merkel, Mr. Downey, Fr. Tim, Dr. Temple. From budo, Bill, Steve, Frank & Don; Phil, Larry, Meik & Dave; Takara-san, Inomoto-san & Yoshiko Sensei. From media, Alex, Joe, Frederick and Scott.

My extended family, birth, marriage and choice (friends). Too many to name, you know who you are and I love and cherish each of you.

My insanely talented, gracious and professional colleagues and clients. Generous with their time and knowledge; the very definition of grace under pressure. Again, too many to name, but you know who you are.

A very Happy Thanksgiving to each of you. Enjoy the day with family and friends.

Don’t Look Away

A powerful, well-crafted short film about a disturbing subject.