Momma always said “Stupid is as stupid does”

The intelligence factor at my University has been taken down several pegs due to the incompetence of a freshman, who thought it would be funny to say he wanted to replace the President of the United States with a monkey.

Yes, thats right a student posted on, a student directory and popular hangout where college students can meet other students with their same interests, a comment that said he thought that President Bush should be taken care of and replaced with a monkey. The student in question posted this in November of 2004. Well on March 1st, he was visited by the Secret Service. Now before anyone hops onto my message boards and starts calling me a right wing nutjob, its this kid whose hands that the future of the United States of America rest in.

“It was on a message board for a ‘Bush sucks’ group,” Saul Martinez said. “Someone before me said their fish was cute and should replace the president.”

“I thought it was really funny, so I said something along the lines of: ‘Maybe we should replace him with your pet fish. Or we could all donate a dollar and raise millions of dollars to hire an assassin to kill the president and replace him with a monkey.'”
Martinez said he was making a joke, but others must have taken it literally.

Now Saul Martinez is a bright boy, I mean come on, he’s attending a great university and receiving a wonderful education right? Nope, not by a long shot. The more he talks, the fewer brain cells this boy has upstairs.

He asked if I was obsessed with assassination, or if I ever wanted to assassinate anyone or if I was obsessed with assassination training. To that I replied, ‘I like the “Kill Bill” movies, but that’s about it.'”

Yeah, that’s really smart kid, joke with the SS. These guys are trained not to have a sense of humor.

“I guess they do have to take everything out there seriously,” Martinez said. “There might actually be some crazy person out there who wants to replace [President Bush] with a monkey.”

Umm gee, you really think so, kid? Did your mother drop you on your head when you were young or something? Did she drop you more than once? I think so, Charlie Brown.

These guys have to take every threat, no matter how silly, stupid, absurd, or just crazy, as a serious threat. And you have the gawl to joke about it?
This is how serious they took your joke, kid.

“The whole thing, first of all, felt like an invasion of me and my freedom of speech,” he said. “It felt ridiculous to be questioned like that for a silly comment.”

Chrisman said that, owing to the seriousness of a federal threat, the Secret Service had more than enough justification to obtain Martinez’s personal information. He added that the investigation was routine.

“We’re not looking at all Martinez’s e-mails or bugging his phone,” Chrisman said.

See this particular line, owing to the seriousness of a federal threat, the Secret Service had more than enough justification to obtain Martinez’s personal information. ?
Yep, making an idle threat is enough to warrant them obtaining your personal information. Is that a violation of your right to privacy and free speech? Nope. Free speech does not give you the right to yell fire in a movie theater or bomb on the airplanes.

And to boot, it has nothing to do with the Patriot Act as he states it is, he violated a previous precedent set by Oliver Wendell Holmes and I quote the following from that case,

But the character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done. Aikens v. Wisconsin, 195 U.S. 194, 205, 206. The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic. It does not even protect a man from an injunction against uttering words that may have all the effect of force. Gompers v. Bucks Stove & Range Co., 221 U.S. 418, 439. The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress. Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919)

So in essense, he never even came close to the Patriot Act as the Patriot Act does not deal with US citizens, but foreign persons living and working in the United States. It can be used against a US citizen, however; it has yet to be used against a US citizen. Although I don’t like the Patriot Act because it is very open to abuse of powers and does take away some rights to privacy but not as in the case above.

Case in point, in 1987, Hunter S. Thompson, said that then Vice President George Bush should be “killed” he should be “stomped to death and I’ll join in” but someone taped the lecture and gave it to the Milwaukee Journal… and the US attorney wanted to indict him on two felony charges, five years for the threat, then five years for inciting others. He said he got calls from the SS but blew them off because he thought they were cranks. then the SS showed up at the his offices. (Taken from an excerpt from Rolling Stone, Nov. 5th, 1987.)

Clearly the student doesn’t know what he got himself into when he opened his mouth or in this case, typed something out on a webpage.

Lesson learned, Think Before You Type.

Matt Luria