Saturday, July 13, 2013

FTC Fines NSA $22.5 Zillion Over Privacy Charges


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

#snowden4pres2020


Dear Edward Snowden,

You don’t know me, so as an ice-breaker here’s the second worst joke of the week (the worst if you don’t count anything about George Zimmerman):

Question: What do you get when you cross a Snowden with a whistleblower?

Answer: A Snowblower.

So, Eddy (now that we’re friends, I hope I can call you Eddy), you’re in a bit of a pickle and that must suck really bad. I feel for you, Ed, millions of us do. Maybe billions. I hope there’s at least a little solace in knowing you have billions of fans, thankful for your sacrificial actions in support of doing the right thing.

I’ll tell you who aren’t your fans: The US government. Man oh man, the US Government does not like you right now. There was a time when your government would have loved you to pieces, like two and a quarter centuries ago when they came up with The Constitution. Back then, the Founding Fathers would have been heard saying “Barkeep, a flagon of ale for goode olde Snowy, a fine fellow fan of privacy and liberty, to be sure.” But, for the moment, the US is too busy fomenting terrorism to care about The Constitution. For now, things like The Fourth Amendment are just old-timey words.

Snowdster, dude, I hate to break it to you, but before things get better they might get a lot worse. You may have to go to jail. The U.S. has a lot of jails, and we’re really really good at putting people in them (here in the land of the free we are #1 when it comes to putting people in jail! We’re #1! We’re #1!) so at least you’ll have a lot of company. Unless, of course, they put you in solitary confinement, which is where whistleblowers tend to go (ouch! sorry about breaking that to you, Snowman).

But hang in there, buddy, because that’s where the bad news ends. After that rock bottom there will come a turning point. In the end, I have to believe that you’ll come out of this OK and that all of us (both the 5% of us in the U.S., and the 95% of us who are not) will come out better, thanks to your brave and noble actions.

In just seven years there will arrive the first presidential election for which you, “The Snowblower”, will be constitutionally old enough to run for President of the United States of America (assuming that Article II, Section 1, is still standing in 2020). And when that happens, you have my vote for sure!

You won’t be able to vote for yourself (here in the land of the free we don’t let prisoners vote), but I will vote for you and so will a lot of others, because there are still a lot of us who believe our government can once again stand for something; for freedom, democracy, progress, transparency, human rights; and against oppression. We believe, with Ben Franklin, that “those who would give up essential library to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety”.  We can see that any small safety brought by abandoning our principles is indeed only temporary. Indeed, we have witnessed our country lose more than just its principles as we watch our war on terror vastly surpass, in terms of death and destruction, the acts of the terrorists.

But I digress. Back to you, Eddie Van Snowden. Yes, you may be in jail for a bit while your country takes time to come to it senses. Yes, that will bite the big one, but, in time, we will come to our senses. Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela, were jailed before their governments came around. Over time those men were all vindicated and adored. And although two of those jailbirds were later assassinated, one of them became his country’s president. So, there’s hope!

Keep the faith, E.S. We’re rooting for you. In seven years we’ll be voting for you.

#snowden4pres2020

Finally, let me end with a joke:

Question: What do you call a Snowden who has been released from jail.

Answer: A Snowbird. Mr. President.