I have a friend who recently applied to work with the Wichita Falls Police Department. Apparently, one of the many qualifications for acceptance within the department is to have a clean record with no ‘criminal mischief.’ In other words, the applicant cannot have committed certain acts that are labeled criminal and mischievous by the city of Wichita Falls. (i.e. toilet papering someone’s residence)
I have no problem with this qualification. If the Wichita Falls Police Department feels that toilet papering someone’s house is unacceptable for applicants they have every right to do so. (Personally I feel that possessing a cocky attitude should be among the list of qualifications that exempt applicants- I know from one particular incident it is not.) What I don’t agree with is how the department recently overstepped a boundary in learning about the un-named applicant’s ‘criminal mischief.’
On Friday August 10, 2007, the Wichita Falls Police Department used my blog (The Dialogue of Joseph James) as evidence to not hire a prospective applicant due to a past post- at least that was their excuse. As ridiculous as it sounds, I am not making this up.
The post sited had listed the applicant’s name, along with other individuals, as a group of people who had toilet papered my house. This individual now has on his/her record a listing for ‘criminal mischief’ due to my posting- as I assume do all the names that were listed in that post assuming the WFPD is an equal opportunity entity.
Needless to say… I am anything but speechless…
As an American citizen I am guaranteed a right to freedom of speech, privacy, and in the case of those who were listed on my post, freedom from incriminating evidence without a reasonable doubt.
In case someone might have misunderstood the reason for my blog, let me be the first to say that my site should be the last site quoted by anyone as doctrine. (I take this moment to refer my readers back to Dialogue Record Entry Number 1- how any good inspector could have missed it is beyond me.) I don’t know of anything that causes me to rest easier at night than knowing the Wichita Falls Police Department brain trust is using the proven and expert method of searching peoples’ ridiculous internet web logs to track down our city’s hardened criminals. Go WFPD!
I believe, as dutiful members of this American Republic, we have a solemn duty to protect our basic rights, insuring freedom’s survival for however long God chooses to leave us on this earth.
When entities like the WFPD use sites such as this in the underhanded fashion in which they did, it causes a certain amount of fear to be possessed by the individuals who create such sites. This should not be. In fact- if freedom is to remain what it is- it cannot be.
Woodrow Wilson said it like this, “Just what is it that America stands for? If we stand for one thing more than another; it is for the sovereignty of self-governing people.” In other words; America is a government unlike any on Earth because it is a government responsible to the sovereign will of its people.
When we as citizens fear what we say because of our government we are less likely to speak. The process of a democratic and open dialogue without fear of repercussions is suddenly closed. People should not fear government- government should fear people. You think that statement is off?
James Madison, fourth president of the Republic, signer of the U.S. Constitution, and author of many Federalist papers which frame all of our American doctrine, said this: “We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.” As citizens of this country we have every right to stand up and take alarm at any entity which degrades our liberty.
Thomas Jefferson said it like this, “…If our house be on fire, without inquiring whether it was fired from within or without, we must try to extinguish it.” Do you understand what he is saying? It does not matter who attacks our ‘house’- our own government or a foreign entity- we must stand up to anyone who seeks to destroy our liberties without even stopping to question why.
Do I advocate total anarchy? No. Do I hate police or those who serve in public service on behalf of our government? No.
I believe that America is a nation that was created by God to exist in a specific time in history to work His will; however, I do believe that government should be bound by the will of its people and that people should not fear speaking due to government or police retaliation.
Perhaps my favorite quote of all comes from Jefferson as well. “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.” Wow.
For anyone who thinks that people should not be in total control of government at all times; for anyone who thinks that government should exercise control over our speech, business, education, or other unalienable rights; to anyone who believes that our society should be fearfully ignorant of government entities then educate yourself in the classroom of our nation’s founding fathers.
You and I are the safest way to protect liberty and freedom. If we, or other members of our society, cannot exercise this control responsibly then we must educate ourselves and others. We cannot- absolutely cannot- turn such an important responsibility over because of fear.
So, in conclusion, this is a ridiculous site created to express my first amendment rights guaranteed to me by my Constitution and the God who gave me an individual mind and mouth. Anything I write could be completely fabricated- then again it could not. No self-respecting, half-minded nitwit should consider anything on this site to be absolute.
Oh… and before I forget…
I openly invite the Wichita Falls Police Department to read this post. Feel free to use this one in the next interview.