Thursday, August 08, 2013

Top Secret.

Speak only in hushed tones, this is a secret. Maybe even TOP SECRET.  No one must find out. It's a matter of National Security. Well maybe not that National, but please, if you find out, do not tell anyone.  Today the President is meeting with former Negro League baseball players.  Of course they are former, since the League doesn't exist anymore. Maybe that's what the White House doesn't want us to know.  It's like A-Rod. If he doesn't acknowledge his punishment, then it doesn't exist.  The Negro Leagues existed because Black baseball players were not allowed to play in the White Leagues. This is, of course,  just speculation because I can't possibly figure out why the else this event would be Closed Press.  No Coverage.  Maybe it does make sense: wait 60 years to be invited to the White House, and then not let anyone know about it.

Last night, because the White House wouldn't share any information with the press, we watched "42", the Jackie Robinson story. Aside from the fact that it was made like a "Lifetime”  movie, though not quite the quality of a Hallmark presentation, and the audio was awful, the sound mixing was so bad you could barely understand one word that was spoken. But the shameful way in which the Negro League players were treated, was embarrassing - even today.  So really, you would think the White House would celebrate their heroism. Instead of a Closed Press event, they should have had it on the field at Nationals Park, and invited every news outlet in existence.  

Anyway, Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post, Murdoch bought the Wall Street Journal, and the two right wing Koch siblings are toying with buying  the Chicago Tribune and LA Times.  We won't have to worry about any news escaping from the White house or anywhere else.  Bezos says there won't be newspapers in 20 years. It will be interesting to see what he does in the meantime.  He revolutionized shopping and reading, it only makes sense to imagine that he will do the same to the newspaper business. At least there won't be any secrets.

And speaking of secrets.  Nevermind, let's speak of canceling the Olympics and closing all our embassies. During the Carter administration we cancelled the 1980 Moscow Olympics for a political reason (the Rooskies invaded Afghanistan with about the same luck we’re having), and it was the most ridiculous decision he made. Ok, not the most ridiculous, (there were so many), but sports, the arts, and culture in general are areas in which people of all political persuasions (except terrorists, who are known to be philistines but vigilant), are able to find common ground.  To cancel the Olympics because some low level staffer released information to which he never should have been privvy is shortsighted at best. It's apples and pecans. If we beat the shit out of the Russians in Russia, it will be much more poetic.  Making a Luger or Bobsledder wait another four years to go to Pyeongchang seems rather criminally insane.

Closing the Embassies may be a smart move.  Who knows. What those of us who have travelled abroad do know, is that they are hardly helpful or accessible when, as just an American tourist, you may need some help. To the general public, living or vacationing in places where there are consular offices or embassies, it doesn't make any difference. But to the rest of the world, the perception of the US, closing the places where we do international political business, is in itself a victory for the bad guys.  There must be a way to find an answer somewhere between opening the gates and let come what may, and boarding up the windows and sitting in the dark. Who knows: my State Department friends would say "I am of two minds about that". 

Secrets can be fun, like when like in the 50's, you make a game of the information (I've Got a Secret) or when you use them to torture a friend. But for the most part, information sharing is not usually a bad idea.  Which reminds me, I have a secret which could save the environment, open Cuba and defeat any terrorist organization. It is however, much too valuable to share without being compensated. I think I'll just keep it to myself, and Tyrone, my new puppy.
the new Deputy Assistant for National Security: Tyrone

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