Thanks Obama

I am going to have to try my best to be vague in order to protect the privacy of certain individuals, so bear with me.  I am a government contractor, which often leaves me waiting until the last minute to find out if my contract has been extended and I still have a job.  I’m not faulting my contracting company, as this is just the way it’s done.  To their credit, I have never been out of work due to last minute renewals not going through as planned.  Not everyone in my building is as lucky though; contracts end all the time and some without much warning.  Last week, one was forced to put their employees on furlough “until further notice” because the funding was not approved and they have no way to pay their employees until it is.


Naturally, the affected employees were upset, and they had every right to be.  One took to Facebook almost immediately to voice her disappointment.  Her comment got feedback as you would expect, but one person (I’ll name him Bob) went slightly overboard.  Bob was also affected by the furlough and was apparently more upset than anyone could have imagined.  His comments were not only inappropriate, they were threatening towards important people in the United States.  Word got back to his supervisor about what was said, because it’s Facebook and you can’t say anything on there without the whole world finding out.  I heard rumors that the FBI and the Secret Service were both notified and looking for Bob.  I heard for sure that both of his supervisors suggested he be dismissed immediately, as employees that say what he said should not be employees for the government.  The whole thing is a mess.

Apparently, Bob went to the hospital shortly after stirring things up with his comments.  The general opinion is that he did this in order to explain the comments away as some sort of temporary insanity.  That opinion is just that, and he could be genuinely sick for all I know.  From the feedback I’ve heard and the remarks from those involved, it’s not looking as though it will matter what frame of mind he was in when he said what he did.  Regardless of intent, he made threats.  I highly doubt Bob would have gone through with anything, but one look at the front page of any news website or paper will tell you that we’re no longer allowed to go easy on people and give them the benefit of the doubt.  Too many psychos in the world are causing irreparable damage for anything to be ignored at this point.


What did surprise me though, which may reveal my naivety, is that Bob is very likely without a job now because of a Facebook post.  I recently made a comment on Twitter that sometimes I’d like to throw people out of windows when they get on my nerves.  I will go through life without throwing a single living thing out of a window though; it’s normal for us to turn to social media when stressed in order to vent.  If my comment was about throwing my boss out of a window, would that be a threat?  Would I lose my job?  It’s a strange thing to think about, but offhand remarks about harming others are taken much more seriously now that we know that people exist that will be more than happy to follow through with a vengeance.  If I posted about throwing my boss out a window, and then I did so, the first thing people would cry out is “why wasn’t anything done to her when she made those threats??!?”

Bob behaved like an idiot and unfortunately he and his family are currently paying the price.  People are going to say awful things about he and his wife as they try to navigate through this mess.  It’s unfair and could have easily been prevented had he just watched what he said or simply said it in the privacy of his home rather than a public website.  Freedom of speech only goes so far.  There are things you just can’t say.  I can say Obama Sucks until I’m blue in the face, but I can’t say I’m going to track him down and do something awful without suffering some sort of consequence.  I might know that I’m not being serious, but how is anyone else to know unless they check me out?  I’m curious to know what you think.  Where do we draw the line with critiques on our government and officials?  What is okay to say and what is crossing the line?  How should we decide what is a serious threat and what is just someone blowing off steam?


About Jamie C. Baker

“Long time no see. I only pray the caliber of your questions has improved.” - Kevin Smith

Posted on May 7, 2014, in Crazy People, Friends and/or Enemies, News, Work and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. There’s a pretty solid line between writing something that provides an alternate opinion, even a diametrically opposed one, even if written angrily, and writing something violent or threatening. “Bob” should have known better.

    Now, not having read what Bob wrote, I will simply assume the worst. It’s not that he can’t think those thoughts or even share them with friends and family in some private setting, or some variant of the off-the-permanent-for-all-eternity-record (i.e., NOT Facebook). He can, of course, 24/7.

    I am sure if a rational Obama knew how many millions of Americans think and speak privately the same thoughts that Bob did, I don’t think Obama would be making any more public appearances, but since he is an irrational narcissist that thinks he’s the great American messiah and believes his followers are legion, I’m sure the thought never occurs to him.

    Until the “Thought Police” become a reality (which I could argue already exists to an extent), then we are free to think whatever we want. It is actions, not thoughts, that break laws but the documented or verbal threat on someone’s well being is entirely different from, say, blaming Obama for destroying healthcare, the economy, increasing the national debt, exponential government expansion, war mongering, union protectionism, empire building, constitutional deconstruction, massively furthering the agenda of Democratic Socialism…wait…wait…I digress…

    At any rate, a blogger or whomever can go on and on for miles of electric paper criticizing, derailing, blaming, exposing hypocrisies, citing lies and half-truths, name calling, and no line is crossed. Such blogs may be tagged by the Government as whatever they call us these days, “Government Dissidents” or some such, to be “dealt with” at some point in the future, but until an act of violence is committed then there is no crime, no line crossed, it is simply an exercise in free speech, an educational campaign to provide an opposing viewpoint.

    That said, no amount of being a dissident against an individual REQUIRES threats of physical violence. Writing as a dissident is simply to educate or inform using words. Violence is only justified in response to violence. It is the Libertarian principle known as, “the non-initiation of force” which simply means no man has the right to use force upon any other man, for any reason, no matter how “good” the reason – EXCEPT in response to having force thrust upon them by another man. This one simple rule eviscerates most of what our current Government does to us, but of course, I’m commenting not blogging at the moment, right JB? lol.

    This does remind me though of one of my absolute favorite movies, V for Vendetta when V states..“Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission.”

    Words lead to ideas, and “ideas are bulletproof” as V also said. The formation of ideas that attempt to convince people to accept freedom and not be afraid of it are not violent, and do not require violence. Words without threats are more powerful than threats. Government is not stupid, it knows that the words that power ideas carry a subtle threat with them…another quote from V, “Our masters have not heard the people’s voice for generations and it is much, much louder than they care to remember.”

    If words were not more powerful than violence, Governments would not try so hard, for so long, to end the right of free speech or crush it (free speech “zones” on American campuses or during the Battle of Bunkerville, for example), or spend decades subverting the print and TV media, the educational system and trying to control the internet. The Government would not have asked people to “report” bloggers who wrote “disinformation” about Obamacare, or asking Google to remove “political” speech from their search engine. The hourly war our Government wages on our free speech is significantly more violent to us than any threat of violence could be to them, and that is precisely because they understand that words are more dangerous than threats. Bob should have known that.

    Take the typical American Peasant, like you or me. Even a heated discussion between two individuals is not enough to justify the threat of violence from either unto the other, legally. But the law does recognize that as soon as one individual threatens violence against the other, the other is now legally empowered to defend themselves, “for fear of their life.” At that moment, that half-second that one person threatens physical violence, a legal veil descends down and surrounds the other individual like a shield, granting them protection, under the law, from retribution based on committing violence in their self-defense. It is one of the rare instances where violence is legal, but only in response to the fear of losing their life or property due to the explicitly stated, and pending (even if it does not actually occur), violence from another.

    The President, although he forgets this and acts more like the Persian King Xerxes from “300,” is still just a lowly human mortal animal who still has to flush his own toilet like the rest of us, and is therefore protected by the same legal veil that we all are when someone threatens violence. Whatever thoughts Bob had are fine in a free society (for as long as that lasts) as long as he does not document them for all the world to see.

    Bob would have been more effective keeping his violent thoughts off the permanent paper and attracting attention to himself, and instead using words to instill ideas that move people in the same direction, a direction against the Government, against Democratic Socialism, against altruistic sentimentality, against the cages we are all imprisoned in so we can breath the fresh air and not be afraid of our freedom.

    It is the fear of our freedom that is our greatest enemy, not any single individual. It is an idea that imprisons us, not a man. One man can only do to us what we allow him to do, and it is only through the rejection of the idea of collectivism and the embracing of the idea of freedom that we strip him of all his power over us and that requires words, not threats of violence.

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