Monday, May 10, 2010

Obama Attacks Information

  Over the weekend president Obama gave a commencement speech in which he attacked all the new media outlets and technological gadgets that bring us 24 hour news and information at our fingertips. He said, "all this is not only putting new pressures on you, it is putting new pressures on our country and our democracy." An apt translation would be as follows, " If I, or the federal government doesn't get a handle on the dissemination of news and information, we may not be as free to control the reigns of power with impunity." This is a chilling concept that our president is criticizing the technological breakthroughs that put the American people in the know, and has given them a wide variety of voices and the individual freedom to choose their source of information. Instead of the old media which is obviously biased and inconsistent with the sensibility of most Americans, we now have multiple choices and can choose for ourselves whom we believe. He also mentioned that, "with ipods and ipads, X Boxes and PlayStations ....none of which I know how to work...information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment..." This is incredible to believe that a president of the United States, the land of the free, is declaring war on information and the availability of it.

I don't know about you but I would have expected words like these to come from a "Hugo Chavez" or a "Fidel Castro," Marxists socialists, that can only protect their regimes by controlling what the people hear, and whom they hear it from. He also said, "You are coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don't  always rank all that high on the truth meter." Hmmm....Bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments? That sounds to me like a free an open debate in the market place of ideas. That sounds like what we're suppose to be exposing our kids to when we send them to college. The opportunity to hear and debate and decide for themselves where their ideological tent stakes should be driven and form an understanding of what they believe. Is he actually saying that we should censor our children from certain voices? I guess that's what he meant when he attacked Fox News, and discouraged Americans from listening to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. I guess that's why this administration pushed the net neutrality laws, to control internet content, and the fairness doctrine to control radio content 

How ironic it is that those now in power who came of age in the sixties and seventies and called for openness and freedom of thought are now pushing censorship and political correctness. How inconsistent their  message is when they routinely blacklist dissenting voices and go so far as to remove politically incorrect speech from the ivory towers of higher education that used to stand as pillars for freedom of thought and expression. This president will never succeed in taking our first amendment rights away, but the fact that he is indirectly attacking them is troubling to say the least. 

I for one, have no problem with censorship as long as it is self imposed. Governments ever increasing tentacles become longer as well as stronger and choke the liberty out of it's citizens when they censor the dissenters. All technologies can be animated and silenced with the individual's push of a button. I for one believe my children are intelligent enough to hear many inconsistent voices and still have the ability to sift the wheat from the chaff. Hearing lies won't make me believe them. In fact the more lies I hear the more I want the truth proclaimed and am determined to shout it from the housetops. Mr. president, stop insulting the intelligence of the American people while setting yourself up as the arbiter of truth. We are informed because we crave information, and no potus will be allowed to turn back the technological gains that have given us a voice. Let's all remember that this president fought the secret service to keep his blackberry. Do I detect an air of hypocrisy?
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