Devil or angel,
I can't make up my mind
Which one you are,
I'd like to wake up and find
Devil or Angel,
Dear, whichever you are,
I miss you, I miss you, I miss you. . .
(from the song Devil or Angel, famously recorded by Bobby Vee in 1960)
If you plan to become a government whistle blower, I'm not really sure that the proper course of action is to run to China for asylum after the fact. While you run for your life. As if things aren't all messed up enough already.
Edward Snowden -- very much a liberal and former Obama supporter who now (rightfully) sees the president as a liar -- may be a candidate for the Bradley Manning Civics Award of 2013, perhaps bestowed by Julian Assange at some fancy global black-tie affair Or should Obama's grossly unearned Nobel Prize be taken away and awarded to Snowden?
What may have tipped toward boldly disclosed information to the American people on a very gray line becomes particularly muddled once one seeks out communists to hide behind. Yet, Snowden is neither the despicable Assange nor the errantly misguided Manning. He seems to care deeply about American rights, no strings attached. Is he the nouveau patriot, warning us that our constitutional rights are severely jeopardized?
As many of you know, I'm no fan of a world increasingly ruled by digital anything. Genius can be a tremendous asset or it can present itself as pure evil. Our reliance upon the gamesmanship and constant one-up maneuvers necessary to stay ahead merely to stay ahead will eventually impact a world unprepared for even incidental electronic chaos. Yes, it's all so wonderful and clever and convenient, but ultimately so deadly. What could be more internationally appealing than a recipe calling for a mixture of nukes and digital guidance?
If all the government digital expertise couldn't prevent terrorism in Boston, even with considerable help from Russian warnings in advance, what good is it? Apparently, it's good enough to keep tabs on everybody in America with the ability to dial a phone. Good enough to store everybody's e-mails and keep tabs on web sites visited. For our own good.
One suspects that Snowden realized that raising a plethora of complaints within the system would serve no purpose, predictably destined to fall upon deaf bureaucratic ears. Maybe he truly believed a leak was the only way. Maybe we've reached a new plateau in terms of loyalty oaths vs. the public's right to know. Obviously, there are no winners here. Um, except maybe the American people.
Arguments about progressive fascism take to the airwaves across the country. Is this the alternative to that "chill wind" conjured by actor Tim Robbins a few years ago?
And some hear echoes of Hitler’s secret police. . .when houses were searched, premises violated and people told, if you haven’t done anything wrong, there’s nothing to worry about.
Fast and furious. Benghazi. Border security. Lies. Gun control. The IRS expands to control us. Syria. The Fort Hood Islamist murderer who skates along while Sgt. Robert Bales gets swift justice in a military court. Eyes on Internet control. Threats to whistle blowers. Make us fear our government before our government fears us. Military services instructed not to let members read about White House scandals. Treasonous actions conducted by those who themselves threaten good people with treason.
It should and must become crystal clear who and what defines treason in the current era. Prime examples appear to cower and plot in unreachable heights, cloaked falsely in national colors, but the fall may now simply be unstoppable in a nation intended for the people’s will.
I suspect many of us cheer Snowden on because we know the decades have given us government lies and fabrications, on and on until our very heads spin in utter dizziness and consternation. We've reached a point where we simply don't know who or what to believe anymore -- and the shadowy portions of the government like it just fine that way. The egg must crack, it was unavoidable. We just didn't know how or when. Or who.
Snowden runs for his life, having provided evidence worth its weight in gold, warning that we should all take steps either to repair a government out of control or blindly accept the worst yet to come. Really, his actions should hardly come as a surprise -- young people lovingly, yet clueless, took Obama quite seriously when he promised openness and transparency in government. Then he removed the mask and displayed the countenance of a political lizard.
Why is it more important to spy on innocent Americans than on Islamic terrorists? Why does Homeland Security worry more about nebulous dangers from returning Middle East military folks than terrorists? What are all those hollow point bullets for? Why the purchase of all those tanks, apparently anchored firmly in homeland soil?
What happened to the Fourth Amendment?
Neither the Obama bunch nor Congress are blameless. This mess needs urgent cleansing. Maybe before everybody goes bat-crap bonkers over young Snowden, members of Congress who attained extreme wealth for no apparent reason after assuming office -- and "assuming office" means serving the people, not themselves -- should explain their riches. All the usual congressional big mouths are calling for Snowden's head, of course. If they want guilty heads, they need only look at their own reflections in a mirror. How did the Patriot Act get so far out of control?
The U.S. government hires the best and the brightest for positions of note, and Snowden apparently fit the profile, and racking up an annual $200,000 job as a brilliant and articulate high school dropout with eventual military experience is nothing to dismiss. In fact, he's likely far more brilliant than the lying dolt -- propped up by the crutches of party politics -- we currently tolerate as president. Which of the two, we might ask, conducts activities bordering on heroism, and which precariously walks a tightrope bordering on treason?
Sooner or later, the balance between national security and extreme surveillance of Americans had to go over a cliff, and this may be the episode. Yes, some of this started under George W. Bush, but Mr. Obama promised transparency in government -- well, here it is! Obama merely turned up the system's volume control and directed more juice toward the citizenry's personal electric chairs.
Mr. Snowden may be the new Patrick Henry for our times, breaking open the hard-boiled domestic spying egg before it could realize the horrors of its full potential. But this time our enemy is not the British. The enemy is among us. Or, as the late radio commentator Paul Harvey would frequently offer, have we outsmarted ourselves? The plague now upon us cannot be cured with violence, but only with truth and a willingness among Americans to see the truth. I say, good luck with that.
What's my government going to do, kill Snowden? Will he merely disappear? Don't do it. Don't. We need time to determine a patriot's pedigree in the current era.
The Democrats and Republicans. as never before, are looking out for their party interests, not ours. It seems pretty clear now that neither wanted the Tea Party to gain a foothold anywhere. Thanks, IRS. Thanks, White House. Thanks, political party fascists.
Our government, drunk on evolving digital technology, has become akin to the neighborhood enthusiast who plants cameras in a locker room shower area, able at any time to have a look at everything we reasonably expected could be held private. We may not be so outraged about government access to telephone records from Verizon and other phone companies as we should be about a faceless agency's power to track every American e-mail, conversation, Internet visit and keystroke. And the technology only grows faster and more reliable, as we hear official voices in the background promising that digital monsters will never be used against us.
As so often happens anymore, we needed to learn The Real News from the foreign press, this time from The Guardian of Great Britain and reporter Glenn Greenwald. Among U.S. media, an abundance of toadies catering to every White House whim effectively keep us endlessly in the dark, as our own lives become so increasingly entangled in government-created regulations and paperwork that we can hardly see straight. The only winners are the politically elite and faces the rest of us have no tools to recognize.
One wants the country to thrive and succeed -- but based upon founding principles, not based upon the political whims of lobbyist hacks and lucrative payoffs to the D.C. elite. Business as usual has evolved into unusual business, and the terrific world of government technology, in conjunction with a hungry Administration, seems just about ready to put a jackbooted thug under the bed, if not on the throat, of every true American in the country. Are whistle blowers the cure? Have we no other recourse in 2013 as government grows too big and unresponsive?
If. . .if. . .his reports are true as laid out by The Guardian --wouldn't it be ever so peculiar if Edward Snowden just helped save the USA? Imagine, an American who did more for his country than simply park his ass in front of the TV and agonize over how to imitate some Hollywood drug abuser, drunk or whore of a fashion model. Impressive!
In this case, it might be a good idea to take a really, really close look at those who condemn his actions, because there are few wearing either black or white hats here.
GOODBYE HILLARY FOREVER? Shocking new findings about sex abuse, prostitution and drug use in the State Department all over the world under Hillary Clinton's watch should effectively cancel her out for a presidential run, though life is strange and she may turn up anyway when her handlers believe the time is right and old times' sake comes back into style just in time for 2016.
TRANSPLANTS R US: With all the new attention placed upon organ transplants for both young and old, what are we going to do -- become China and harvest organs from prisoners who die mysteriously? Sounds weird, but "product" demand and supply are always so at odds in cases like these.