Fear and Blogging

I’ve talked about this on the Newburyport Blog before, but 2 years ago, when I started the Newburyport Blog, I also started a national blog.

I would watch the IP numbers (an IP number is the number of a particular computer) and an IP number of a company used by Homeland Security would come and visit the national blog on a regular basis.

Even now, when certain words are used on the Newburyport Blog, I get a visit form the Department of Justice. And when I check to see why they’ve come to visit my small, local blog, I can understand why the key word or words sent up a flag. But still, it is unnerving. And being checked out by Homeland Security and the Department of Justice is pretty scary for me.

I said this in an earlier post as well, I am relieved in this presidential primary that not only the candidates, but also people in general feel much more free to speak out. And if they do speak out, they would not be labeled “unpatriotic.”

And I was also relieved to see PBS really speak out in a program called Cheney’s Law. A must read and a must see.

And one of the things I like about Barack Obama, is when the Senate voted on the Iraq war, Senator Obama voted “no.” He was not intimidated back then, so I don’t imagine he would be intimidated by much now.

And I remember watching both Senators Hillary Clinton and John Kerry vote for the Iraq war, but with many reservations. And as I remember, back then, it was scary times, and the administration would raise the “alert” status, it always seemed to me to manipulate the American people (although I’m sure that is not completely true) through fear. And the Democrats at that time were in a very difficult position. If they voted against the war in Iraq, they ran the danger of appearing “unpatriotic.”

So I am glad that the civil discourse seems to be no longer be log-jammed. And that is probably what pleases me most about this national primary season. That a free exchange of ideas and issues could once again take place without trepidation.

Mary Eaton