Producers of the HBO hit, "Game of Thrones" aired an episode featuring the bloodied and severed head of George W. Bush on a stake last season. Were they set upon by Secret Service and detained for evaluation or questioned by the FBI? Of course not – all in good fun.
Should I bother stating what would happen if it were a Tea Party activist and a severed head of Barack Obama? When a theater in Colorado gets blasted or a lawmaker in Tucson gets shot in the face, it must have been a member of the Tea Party. Who else could it be?
It's a double-standard, and nothing more. Folks at HBO don't advocate the beheading of President Bush, and Brian Ross is a harmless liberal in journalist's clothing. We're so used to it now that most conservatives have been lulled into indifference, but when does a double-standard end; and an attempt to intimidate legitimate dissent begin?
Enter Brandon J. Raub: The 26-year-old Marine Veteran was confronted at his home in Virginia by FBI agents, ostensibly for some strident anti-government online missives. They didn't arrest Raub, but cuffed and took him to John Randolph Medical for evaluation after questioning him about entries on his Facebook wall. On August 5th, he posted; "If you are unaware of the great amount of evil perpetrated by the American Government I suggest you take your head out of the sand. The day of reckoning is almost at hand."
I'm fully aware there may be other reasons Mr. Raub was detained, but did his Facebook rants rise to the level of intervention he received? After all, I live in a time where our own president publicly advises to bring a gun to a knife fight; citizens who make political donations to the opposition Party are investigated and smeared; and big city Mayors tell a business owner his company is not welcome because they disagree on the definition of marriage. Does that suppress free speech, intimidate or silence dissent? You betcha.
Besides, who has time to be taken into custody? I just cut three paragraphs out of this article because I have stuff to do tomorrow. It would literally ruin my life. They spring you 72 hours later, but your family, fans, or potential employers don't just forget – it's the accusation that sticks, not the exoneration. I dig my life – you think I'm going to chance being taken away in handcuffs, all because I got a little too rambunctious? No way, Jose. I almost cut that.
To be fair, I myself would probably find cause to give Brandon Raub's family or fellow servicemen a ring to see what was up after things began to get a little jiggy in the stability department. Although he begins with reasonable gripes about the TSA and Constitutional issues, the tone of Mr. Raub's harangues took a turn for the worse, like this one:
"This world is secretly run by a shadow organization of people who among other things enjoy raping children. Some of leaders were involved with the bombing of the twin towers. It was a sacrifice and a complete inside job. Also the Bush's are very sick twisted problems. I believe they have a secret Castle in Colorado where they have been raping and sacrificing children for many years."
Borderline and delusional, yes – but I read and hear far worse stuff all the time. The leader of the (NEW!) Black Panthers declared publicly that he wants his army to kill white babies and skin white people. Was he detained, arrested, investigated or even told to lighten up, bro? Mental health workers should have given some heads up on the poor souls who gunned down people in Aurora, Colorado, Virginia Tech, Tucson, and Fort Hood - but they didn't. Why not?
It apparently matters whose side you're on when it comes to free speech and on the issue of freedom, it looks like I'm going to deserve what I get. If you run into me in the Gulag, you got the green-light to kick my ass for not saying what I'm really thinking today.
But like I said, I have stuff to do tomorrow.
Your buddy, Kowenhoven.