Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

To ban cameras and cell phones after Boston is the same as to ban 8-mm cameras like Zapruder's after Dallas and JFK

  Today, April 27, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., we will stream live from the Isaacs Center of Peace, 8001 Westfield Boulevard. Guest panelists will be Gary Welsh, who has covered the Boston bombings and the investigation thereafter, on "Advance Indiana," and Marilene Isaacs, from whose Center we will do The Show.

   Odd but interesting speculation was discussed yesterday. I heard discussion of limitations planned for future distance races that draw significant numbers of participants and spectators. Amongst the limitations discussed were a ban on cameras---presumably that would mean cell phones, since cameras continue to go by the wayside as people use their cell phones instead---clothes easily discarded, and packs left at or near the finish line.

   The Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini-Marathon will be staged next Saturday, May 4. It is billed as the World's largest half-marathon. I have blogged this week and shall blog next week about how my diagnosis, in 1994, and my loss of the ability to walk led to my participation in the Mini. Next Saturday will be my 15th straight "Mini." 35,000 participate in the Mini. I cannot estimate how many people line both sides of the area around the start line to cheer on (usually) loved ones and/or friends, or just to be there for a huge event. Both sides of the street are packed. A lot of people takes pictures. Also, this is the 21st Century. How many people in the crowd do NOT have a cell phone?

   I understand that cell phones can be used as devices to detonate explosives. Anyone who has watched an episode of one of the "Law & Order" or "CSI" clones would know as much. If cell phones are banned, another means by which a device can be set off would be used. Besides---were cell phones used to set off the Boston bombs?

   More importantly, where goes our freedom? Osama bin Laden's goal was to take our freedom from us. This, it seems to me, is one more step along that path.

   Finally, to ban cameras in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombs is similar to a ban on 8 mm movie cameras after the existence of the Zapruder film was discovered post-JFK assassination.  Had it not been for that 8 mm footage, so many questions about the assassination of the President of the United States would have been absent from our public discourse. No one has been punished as a result, but at least questions were raised.

   During the Watergate hearings, etc., I taped up on my bedroom wall a newspaper headline that consisted of a quote from President Abraham Lincoln:  "Let the people know the facts, and the country will be safe." I think the reaction to Boston, in the form of a ban on cameras, might be more of a reaction to release of information than from a concern for the safety of people at the start/finish line. After all, if the government really is concerned about saving lives, I think our troops never would have been sent to Iraq, drones would be on the ground or in hobbyists shows, and the United States Navy's coaling station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, would be closed.

   Listen from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. You also can call in to 317.489.9219.


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