Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Truth, Consequences, and Politics in the Union.

c. David Grim (taken 5/11/08)

Wow. I didn't want to get into politics too much on this new blog. I have tons of stuff to concentrate on here in the 'Burgh, with my son, moving, and my show all very omnipresent in my thoughts. Truth be told I went to the coffeehouse today just to get away and out of my head. And what happens there on this hot, hot afternoon? I run into one of my astute friends who keeps up with current affairs, and likes to share the information he comes across. Normally I'm psyched to get the 4-11 from MV, but today he dropped something unsettling.

Reportedly, the Federal Justice Department has made it illegal for journalists to take photographs of the OIL SPILL without getting permission from the Coast Guard first. The penalties of breaching this order are said to include a $40,000 fine and 5 years in a federal prison. If this is true, I believe that it is a clear violation of our freedom of information rights, as well as the very basic guarantees of the First Amendment. The idea that this decision might have been issued by the Obama administration has me disturbed. This could just be a disinformation campaign circulating the net, but who can tell at this point?

I haven't even wanted to think about THE SPILL this summer with all of my personal business overwhelming me. The Serenity Prayer keeps popping up in my head, and that has allowed me to push this blot on our environment aside for later reflection. But how can I not ruminate over the possible suppression of information? Don't we need to share every detail of this catastrophe with anyone and everyone that can possibly help?

According to the narrative, Obama has agreed to a gag rule in his dealings with BP. In order for him to make them set up a $20 billion fund to pay for the damages they (and Halliburton) have caused, he has to enforce a cover-up of the situation. I can only imagine what is going on behind the scenes at the highest of levels, and believe me, intrigue and plot are among my speculations. We don't even know the ramifications of this thing environmentally... and it seems like the social and political consequences could be just as devastating.

I try to remind myself that we have a president who is complex in his thinking, and that he has surrounded himself with an array of brilliant minds. I try to reassure myself that even Abraham Lincoln resorted to curtailing our civil rights to keep the Union together. But these are perilous times, and faith is difficult to come by. I hope that Obama starts explaining what's going on in a way that minimizes panic, and justifies the potentially extreme measures that his administration is said to be taking.

This is a threat that extends far beyond what we've experienced since 9-11. Make no mistake- the OIL SPILL is a game-changer. Will it spur us to positive change? What do you think?

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