“The sin which is unpardonable is knowingly and willfully to reject
truth, to fear knowledge lest that knowledge pander to thy prejudices.”
It would seem that among those who dislike what I have to say there are some who actually fear me; or at least feel threatened by me. Without going into too much detail, yesterday the company I work for held Active Shooter training; what to do in case someone comes to work with the intent of causing as much death and destruction as possible.
During one of the morning classes someone mentioned, (and I’m paraphrasing here so forgive me if I don’t quote what was said word for word), that there is this guy (me, apparently), who brings these articles to work and he is constantly talking about killing people. I guess this person, (the one who brought the subject up), feels threatened by me and found that Active Shooter training to be the perfect platform in which to express his concerns.
To clarify, one time, and one time only did I ever say anything along the lines of the things this person said I am CONSTANTLY saying. The time I did it was a figure of speech, not an actual threat. How many times have you, (and this applies to anyone reading this), said that you’d like to slap the shit out of someone for being stupid? Does that mean you are actually going to carry out that threat, or was it just a figure of speech? That is all I did when I made that ONE comment, make a figure of speech that declared that something someone told me was so stupid that I either wanted to puke or shoot them. It was NOT a threat against that person, or anyone else’s life. I cannot help it if people are so illiterate that they cannot distinguish between a figure of speech and an actual threat.
Anyway, at the end of the training session I attended I walked over to the instructor, the son of an employee who is/was in the Special Forces, and first, thanked him for his service, then said that I’d heard about what happened and I introduced myself as “that guy.” I then explained that most of my articles are about the Constitution or Bill of Rights and how our government is violating both. I told him I sometimes vent my frustration with the ignorance of others, but I am not CONSTANTLY making threats against the lives of my co-workers. This seemed to satisfy them. (Again, this is a paraphrase of the conversations that took place)
I only found out about all this because a friend who was in attendance at the meeting where this occurred told me about it in the parking lot before I clocked in to work. I also had a note on my time card to see HR again. They simply wanted to give me a heads up about it; although they still refused to tell me who my accuser was for confidentiality.
It would seem that those who dislike what I have to say have upped the ante and gone from simply disagreeing with what I write about, or calling me an asshole, to defaming my character or publicly slandering me. If I were the spiteful bastard that some think I am I would sue the company, and the person, for defamation of character and seek monetary retribution. That’s not the kind of guy I am; I simply sit back in despair and shake my head thinking; “What a fucked up world we live in.”
How did it come to pass, (I know, but I want YOU to think about it), that we’ve gone from a nation that once valued the truth and open, honest discussion of beliefs, to one where the truth is found to be offensive? Why is it that these people who always complain that something offends them are the same ones who cry the loudest when their freedom of speech is violated? You tell them you want to ban the music they listen to or the TV Shows they watch because you find them offensive and they get all up in arms about censorship and start spouting off at the mouth about their First Amendment rights. Yet the minute someone says something they find offensive, (even if it is the unadulterated truth), they go running to turn the bearer of that truth in, or have their voice silenced.
Can you say H Y P O C R I S Y? Or is that word too complicated for your petty minds? Freedom of speech is a two way street; either everyone has it, or no one does. You can’t have it both ways; sorry.
You do have the right to disagree with what I say, and to try and prove me wrong, but your feelings do not even enter into the equation as they are irrelevant. Let’s just say for a minute I was sitting at a table in the cafeteria and I suddenly said, “I think Colin Kaepernick is probably the best running back the Dallas Cowboys have ever had.” How do you think my statement would be taken? I would be ridiculed for making such an ignorant, and openly stupid, statement; rightfully so I might add. My comment could easily be disproved; Colin Kaepernick, first and foremost, is not a running back. Secondly he does not play for the Dallas Cowboys, he plays for San Francisco. Thirdly, he probably isn’t the greatest at anything; at least according to some sports fans.
The point is, you people would feel it was within your rights to correct me as to the facts and to ridicule me for being ignorant about football players and who they played for. Yet when the tables are turned and I try to correct YOU about your beliefs about the history of this country, or its system of government; or when I criticize you for being ignorant and stupid, you get all butt hurt and turn me in for being offensive.
Oh, excuse me for being so stupid, I forgot that football is far more important than history or politics! What was I thinking? It’s perfectly acceptable for a person who says something stupid about football to be ridiculed and corrected, while making a stupid statement about history or politics is forgivable and does not necessitate a rebuke. (And if you don’t know what sarcasm is, this was a perfect example of it)
The other day I saw a video on the internet of a speech given by J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books. Before seeing this speech I didn’t think much about Rowling one way or the other, but after hearing what she said my respect for her went up a couple notches. What she said is something ALL OF YOU need to take into consideration. Here is her speech, (and it’s not very long, so don’t freak out), “Intolerance of alternative viewpoints is spreading to places that make me, a moderate and a liberal most uncomfortable. Only last year we saw an online petition to ban Donald Trump from entry into the U.K; it garnered half a million signatures (applause). Just a moment…
Now, I find almost everything that Mr. Trump says objectionable. I consider him offensive and bigoted, but he has my full support to come to my country and be offensive and bigoted there.
His freedom to speak protects my freedom to call him a bigot. His freedom guarantees mine. Unless we take that absolute position, without caveats or apologies, we have set foot upon a road with only one destination. If my offended feelings can justify a travel ban on Donald Trump I have no moral grounds on which to argue that those offended by feminism, or a fight for transgender rights or universal suffrage should not oppress campaigners for those causes.
If you seek the removal of freedoms from an opponent simply on the grounds that they have offended; you have crossed the line to stand alongside tyrants who imprison torture and kill on exactly the same justification.”
I don’t know who coined it, but there is a saying that I wish more people would take as their personal mottos. It states, “I may not agree with what you are saying, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
Unfortunately freedom of speech is now interpreted to mean freedom from being offended; a total and utter violation of the concept of freedom of speech. British actor Stephen Frye once said, (which I wholeheartedly agree with by the way), “It’s now very common to hear people say, “I’m rather offended by that,” as if that gives them certain rights. It’s no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. “I’m offended by that.” Well, so fucking what?”
I’m not saying someone should go around being intentionally offensive; doing and saying things just to get under people’s skin; that is wrong, (even though they retain the right to be offensive no matter how much anyone dislikes it). But if the truth offends you; GET OVER IT!
Sometimes I feel like the character Colonel Nathan Jessup in the movie A Few Good Men, when he screams at a much younger Tom Cruise, “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” I suppose ole Hendrik von Loon was right, “Any formal attack on ignorance is bound to fail because the masses are always ready to defend their most precious possession – their ignorance.”
As a nation that claims to value and cherish the truth, there certainly is a lot of silencing of the truth going on. It is said the truth will set you free. Author Joe Klaas also said, “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” If you can’t get past the being pissed off part then you will never grow as a person and you will end up living the rest of your life believing a lie. The choice is yours as to which path you choose to take; accept the truth or whine and complain every time someone says something that offends you.
However, if there is one thing I’ve learned it is this, “But you can’t make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them.” Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
I can’t get you to accept, or even think about the truth; I can only lay it before you to consider on your own terms. Whether you choose to think about it, reject it, or get offended by it, that’s up to you. But make no mistake, I care little about whether or not the things I write about offend you; that’s your problem, not mine.
As Winston Churchill once said, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something once in your life.” So I don’t care whether the things I say in my writings offend you. Time, history, and justice are on my side and you will be found guilty of rejecting the truth when it could have made a difference, put off the inevitable. Instead you have chosen to live your lives believing a comfortable lie. In whatever future courtrooms of public opinion it will be you, not I, who will be found guilty of allowing the greatest nation on Earth to implode and become just another tyrannical nation ruled by despots.
But at least you’ll be remembered by historians for something…but then again everyone remembers the names Lee Harvey Oswald and John Wilkes Booth. In this instance, instead of killing a president you will be known for killing liberty.
I hope that in future times when your children, and their children, read about how you let liberty slip through your hands, that they are proud of you.
Me, I’m just disgusted by you.