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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Lying Is Not Illegal

According to a brief in today's New Mex, State Sen. John Grubesic, D-Santa Fe, didn't break the law when he lied to the NM State Police about his car accident, nor was it illegal for him to leave the scene of the crime because there were no injuries associated with the wreck. It is, apparently, illegal to lie to federal law enforcement, but not local or state police (bets on whether or not a law is introduced in the next session making it illegal to lie to any law enforcement agent). I actually had a conversation with someone in Whole Foods yesterday about this very topic in which I opined that I found it more than likely I would lie to a cop if I was nervous about something I'd done, it was 2 am and I'd just flipped my car over. I'm not saying that makes it right, just human nature, plus some of us get nervous around the police, what with their absolute power and guns and all. At any rate, I find it vaguely interesting to contemplate what it would be like if it were just illegal to lie in general. Would that include lying to oneself or would that still be OK? Doesn't the Constitution afford us the right to lie to ourselves and to others?
OK, enough of that.
The big, sad news of the day is the US Senate's approval to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. This is land that has been protected for more than 40 years. It is home to millions of migrating birds, as well as 45 species including polar bears, caribou, foxes, wolverines, snow geese. It's really just terrible to imagine the devastation to these animals and all the natural beauty there. And it's also just heartbreaking how, no matter how much time goes, these fights all take on the same patterns. Jobs versus the Environment. Back in the '60s, from what I've read, this is how the government kept people divided, by creating division between what was seen as the right thing to do versus what was needed for workers. It's how the government keeps people fighting among themselves, by making it seem as though the environment is an elitist value versus "work," an American value. And it's all bullshit, in my unstudied opinion. And sad to think of destroying something that's been preserved and unsoiled all this time. Well, it's apparently not too late to try to keep fighting this thing, although lately I wonder if it's too late to bother fighting any of these things. I love the good fight as much as the rest, but between civil rights, freedom of speech and environmental protection, this administration seems to be making quick and short work of showing who is boss. And on that cheerful note! You can find out more about saving the Arctic wilderness here.