Covid Is No Joking Matter!
Man was arrested and fought three years in court over his Covid joke.
Let me open by telling you a free-speech tale about the school where I work. During the past week of orientation for teachers and staff before school begins, the school presented its first gender-pronoun policy to much applause from nearly everyone required to attend. As could be expected from just about any school these days, except religious ones, the policy, handed down by Biden’s government, is that students who change their gender will be addressed with the pronoun they choose and will be regarded as whatever gender they choose in terms of sports, bathrooms, etc.
Here’s how crazy it is. The school’s faculty presenter told us that his own boy became a girl, and then he used his new girl as an example for all of us of a high-performing transgender person, even though he started by calling him a boy. He explained that, so long as we all try to use all students’ preferred pronouns, but just forget what the preferences are, everything will be fine, and everyone will be happy, because we, at least, tried. I wonder how long that will last before some are accused of not truly trying. I can barely remember people’s names, so I have no idea how I’ll remember their gender preferences, not that I intend to go along with the game of “Emperor’s New Clothes” that has so quickly swept throughout our nation as to already be mandatory school policy, presumably with the risk of losing one’s job if they/them/she/zhe/him do/does not comply because now we get to the actual crazy part: (That was just setting the stage.)
The school’s presenter told us, “It is not as though we will be limiting your free speech. You’ll still be free to say the things you wish so long as you say the things we tell you to.”
Yes, he said that with a totally straight face. It wasn’t a joke. Our speech will remain free, but we will have to speak the pronouns they tell us to use, wether we want to or not. It was like Henry Ford telling all his customers they could have their car in any color they wanted so long as it was black. Only not nearly so innocent.
Except it gets even weirder.
The presenter said, "Of course, they may change gender whenever they want, and they don't have to change body type to do so. If they decide they are a different gender AGAIN, we are to honor that. Some, he said, may change gender several times in life. (But we dare not say they are "confused.") How do you keep up with that -- same costume, but at the start of the school year someone says she is a girl, but she still looks like a boy because she was a boy last year (and all of her prior life as far as anyone knew), and the person didn't do any surgery over the summer but decided at summer camp for kids to be a girl now; then, by the end of the school year, the person decides to be a boy again who looks like the same boy he/she looked like last year? That's how crazy it's getting.
Yet, it gets crazier per the presentation: There are girls who become boys who still consider themselves queer as they did before having transgender surgeries because he/she/they still are attracted to girls as they were before. Shouldn't they be heterosexual now since they are now saying they are a boy who is attracted to girls? Oh, no! They still feel they are queer because they liked being queer and want to be regarded as such. You have to refer to their sexuality as they want to call it, whether they, as a new boy, are attracted to girls or to boys. So, all words related to gender actually have no meaning in this word salad that can cost you you job if you don’t eat the salad as a regular course. Words like man, woman, etc. are just the meaningless label you want to hang around yourself because it feels good. No one can define the meaning. Not even a Supreme Court justice who says she is a woman but cannot tell you how she knows that, so must refer you to a biologist, who, being woke, will tell you zhe cannot tell you by looking at your chromosomes either because it would be upsetting to some people to tell them their chromosomes defines their gender.
And on and on the insanity goes; but if you don't go along with enabling it, then the entire school sounds ready to send you packing for the evil child-abusing person that you clearly are! They are the ones who care about and love children.
And, so, the insanity is hitting close to home now for me. It may not be long before I am terminated like I was for refusing to get the mandatory vaccine the government told me I must shove into my veins a couple of years ago, whether I wanted to or not because my body is apparently public property. I suddenly became government issue.
The joke’s on the one who tells it
It may be a good thing for the presenter that he was not joking about having free speech so long as we say what they want us to say because it turns out jokes can also get you arrested in these withering days of censorship. That hit home with a man who is in the headlines today. He thought he had the right to say whatever he wanted about Covid. We’re not talking about him getting censored from writing whatever he wanted about Covid, as happened to me by more than one publication. (Sure, they have the right to determine what content they published, but they were pressed to make that determination by Google, which cut them out of search engine results for carrying my articles and a couple of other people’s articles about Covid.)
No, this particular man didn’t just get censored from being able to publish; he got arrested for posting a joke about Covid on Facebook, and we are not talking being put in “Facebook jail.” It’s no laughing matter. (And this is mainstream MSN news today.) He was charged with felony terrorism and spent three years of his life fighting in the courts over it.
Why terrorism? Well, he joked that the local sheriff’s office was going to shoot people who had Covid.
OK, I suppose that could be a little like yelling “fire” in a crowded theater when there is no fire, except that he just got news that the appeals court finally saw it as a harmless joke (after the original court ruled it criminal behavior):
There “were no facts that would lead a reasonable person to believe that Bailey’s post caused sustained fear,” the judges wrote. “No members of the public expressed any type of concern. Even if the post were taken seriously, it is too general and contingent to be a specific threat.”
Bailey, 30, told The Washington Post that the ruling “was a huge weight off my shoulders.”
…Bailey said he was trying to find a moment of levity amid the national emergency. He compared the pandemic to the zombie apocalypse from “World War Z,” a 2013 movie starring Brad Pitt.
“SHARE SHARE SHARE ! ! ! !” Bailey wrote in an emoji-filled post. “JUST IN: RAPIDES PARISH SHERIFFS OFFICE HAVE ISSUED THE ORDER, IF DEPUTIES COME INTO CONTACT WITH ‘THE INFECTED’ SHOOT ON SIGHT….Lord have mercy on us all. #Covid9teen #weneedyoubradpitt.”
Well, he’d better get his pronouns straight, or Bailey may need to be bailed again.
How seriously did the sheriff’s office take this? They arrived with a SWAT team to arrest him. Why a SWAT team? Well, I suppose there was a high risk he might lob another joke at them. You know how that can hurt — almost as bad as a misguided pronoun.
So, Bailey needed to be taken down at gunpoint. The news media covered it big, as they like to do with these stories about the Covid monsters who roam our society with their fake-news jokes about Covid. And, while Bailey got out on $1,200 bail the same day, a measure of how big a risk he was to the community, and the DA did not prosecute in the end, the stories in the news lost him friends and community.
He sued the county over his First and Fourth Amendment rights. The first judge who denied him wrote,
Bailey’s arrest was warranted because his post “may very well have been intended to incite lawless action.”
So, you’re determined guilty of criminal behavior based on what MAY have been your intent! But the appellate court apparently had judges who, themselves were not yet zombies, who ruled,
“The post did not direct any person or group to take any unlawful action immediately or in the near future,”
And they noted that the plea to Brad Pitt for help should have been a clue to the sheriff’s department and lower courts that the whole thing was a joke. Well, if they had a sense of humor.
The sheriff’s office had no probable cause for arrest and no warrant.
So, don’t be terribly surprised if, in this day of aggressive censorship, a SWAT team arrives at the door and hauls you in for booking because you posted something sarcastic on Meta like I am now inclined to do, right after I figure out the pronouns of all the student’s I will be interacting with, even though I cannot remember all their names.
Life was complicated, but then it just got plain stupid.
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