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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Big Brother is Watching You

"The only thing that saves us from bureaucracy is inefficiency An efficient bureaucracy is the greatest threat to liberty. "
--Eugene McCarthy

From a LiveJournal:
A couple of weeks ago, following the last presidential debate, I said some rather inflammatory things about George W. Bush in a public post in my LJ, done in a satirical style. We laughed, we ranted, we all said some things. I thought it was a fairly harmless (and rather obvious) attempt at humor in the face of annoyance, and while a couple of people were offended, as is typical behavior from me, I saw something shiny and forgot about it, thinking that the whole thing was over and done and nothing else would come of what I said.

I was wrong.

At 9:45 last night, the Secret Service showed up on my mother's front door to talk to me about what I said about the President, as what I said could apparently be misconstrued as a threat to his life. After about ten minutes of talking to me and my family, they quickly came to the conclusion that I was not a threat to national security (mostly because we are the least threatening people in the entire world) and told me that they would not recommend that any further action be taken with my case. However, I do now have a file with the FBI that includes my photograph, my e-mail address, and the location of my LJ. This will follow me around for the rest of my life, regardless of the fact that the Secret Service knows that I am not a threat.
If I recall correctly, threatening the life of the President is actually treason (someone with greater knowledge, please comment, because I don't have time to research). So, in a way, I'm glad that I know my employees (I've come to decide that if my taxes pay for their work, all government employees must ultimately be 'my' employees - I'm a shareholder) are taking their job seriously. I assume that they lack a sense of humor. (Based on the way that the current post is written I would have to think that in the context of this writer's work you shouldn't take them too seriously.) But I figure it's like the signs I used to see at the New Orleans airport even before 9/11 - "We have no sense of humor. We must take all threats seriously." In case you haven't been there, New Orleans is full of pranksters and jokesters and they love to tell a good yarn, yank your chain, and tease you. Add a little alcohol provided by the airport lounge and, well, you can imagine. So I have to say - I understand, I appreciate what the Secret Service is trying to do...... But this is still scary, and potentially a threat to freedom. And as Zift Pryme, who gave me the link, said: "So, why can't they just find all of the people who are posting to these 'terrorist websites' we keep hearing about?....And how many people like this kid have they arrested that we never heard about?"

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