A national leader without honor and integrity cannot be trusted; he cannot act in the best interest of others, but only of himself. He is captive to ideology and incapable of change as he surrounds himself with sycophantic philosophical soul mates. He cannot abide criticism, constructive or otherwise, as he will always view it through the lens of personal insecurity, thus truth for him becomes a casualty of unrestrained narcissism…
The whoppers from this administration and its CEO have nothing to do with hamburgers. Although the ease with which ground beef can be shaped into various forms is analogous to the ways reality is being reshaped for political purposes.
The president routinely makes statements so at odds with truth that the proper response is incredulous laughter, not the applause he seems to think is his due. If comedians’ late night ripostes are an indication, laughter is becoming more common.
What is happening to this country, however, is not a laughing matter. The assaults on our liberties are coming so fast and in such profusion that keeping track becomes more difficult by the day. But keep track we must if we are ever to restore what is being taken away by legislation and executive order.
It is an indication of this president’s arrogance that he continues to behave as though whatever he says will be believed because he said it. Some of that hubris is due to a magnanimous media that persistently ignore events that cast doubt on the president’s veracity or reflect poorly on his administration. (“If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound?”)
The media’s lack of interest in the Justice Department’s dismissal of the New Black Panther Party’s voter intimidation case is an on-going example.
Legislation proposed on April 1 (no joke) that would give government power over both public and private communication networks has yet to receive media scrutiny. The rationale for the legislation, the threat of cyber terrorism, is real, but the House bill is so broadly worded that, should the president deem it to be in the interest of national security, government could intrude into virtually every aspect of cyber communications, including private networks.
The staff working draft of the bill states:
To ensure the continued free flow of commerce within the United States and with its global trading partners through secure cyber communications, to provide for the continued development and exploitation of the Internet and intranet communications for such purposes, to provide for the development of a cadre of information technology specialists to improve and maintain effective cyber security defenses against disruption, and for other purposes.
“Other purposes?” The now infamous words of the president’s chief of staff regarding crisis and opportunity are sufficient reason for scrutiny. This 50 plus page bill creates a new government bureaucracy with far reaching tentacles that affect privacy, individual rights, and technical innovation.
The federal government is also launching an expansive program with the Orwellian name of “Perfect Citizen.” Perfect Citizen is “to detect cyber assaults on private companies and government agencies.” The National Security Agency (NSA) would surveil computer networks for unusual activity suggesting an impending cyber attack. Ideally, Perfect Citizen will combat security threats to vital infrastructure. However, the extent of NSA’s intrusion into domestic affairs is of general public concern. Yet, the public knows little about Perfect Citizen.
Similarly, coverage of the change of purpose for NASA has lacked critical appraisal. According to NASA administrator, John Bolden, President Obama has declared that now the foremost “mission” of NASA is “to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science…and math and engineering.”
Bolden was also told to “re-inspire children to want to get into science and math” and to “expand our international relationships.” Where was this president when America put men on the moon and inspired a whole generation? Perhaps no one recalls NASA’s pre-Obama mission: “To understand and protect our home planet, To explore the Universe and search for life, and To inspire the next generation of explorers….”
The very use of the term “mission’ is an affront to the men and women who gave their lives on a real mission to explore space. This “mission” is so ludicrous, so divorced from reality, it is difficult to know whether to laugh or rage. Does anyone believe that the American people have any interest at all in turning NASA into a cheerleader for Muslim self-esteem? Reasonable people might think that such a radical transformation of NASA would elicit media attention.
When the media does function as liberty’s watchman, it has been known to influence government policy. For example, CBS recently reported that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) told its employees that five categories of websites would be off-limits because they were deemed “inappropriate for government access.” Those categories were: “Chat/Messaging,” “Criminal activity,” “Extreme violence (including cartoon violence) and gruesome content,” “Gaming,” and any websites that contained a “Controversial Opinion.”
After the media questioned whether excluding “controversial opinion” violates First Amendment rights and the freedom to access information, TSA reversed itself. A new memo to employees was issued saying that “after further review, TSA determined this category may contain some sites that do not violate TSA’s policy and therefore has concluded that the category is no longer being considered for implementation.”
The Founders, although often annoyed by the press, understood its importance to a free society. The First Amendment speaks to that importance. In a 1786 letter to John Jay, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it.”
Justice Hugo Black elaborated, “The Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have (to) bare the secrets of government and inform the people.”
“Bare the secrets of government and inform the people?” Without the Internet, Fox News and talk radio, the secrets of government would be, like those trees that fall in the forest, sounds that no one hears.