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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Edward Snowden: Hero or Traitor?

The big question on people's minds not relating to finance and markets is whether NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden is a hero or a traitor..

And people can make up their own minds..  Free country..

Heh Heh.. little jokey there..

Well its supposed to be, so we'll leave it at that..

A&G sees Snowden as a Hero.. capital 'H'..  Probably few braver or more selfless individuals have we observed in the public eye in the last 40 years.
Whether you agree with that stance or not, it takes a brave, selfless person to throw away a comfortable secure life, a six-figure salary and all the 'perks' we as Americans are supposed to be contented with-- nice home, the fancy car, a big-screen TV with a million cable channels,etc...

And suddenly to be a nomad; a man without a home.. to be hunted by the government to the far reaches of the globe until captured and either imprisoned or executed.

Most people would rather rat out their mothers, spouses or children then spend 10 minutes in a jail cell or incur any minimal discomfort...
Interesting poll today by the Pew Research Center...

"A majority of Americans – 56% – say the National Security Agency’s (NSA) program tracking the telephone records of millions of Americans is an acceptable way for the government to investigate terrorism"

Quite an amazing job by government of hoodwinking the American people, if we do say so..  Wonder what other freedoms people are desirous to willing give up in order to fight this faceless enemy..

A national identity card with all of an individual's personal information i.e. medical records, bank accounts, places visited, etc ?  Perhaps simpler to just put this all on a micro-chip which every person 'voluntarily' agrees insert into their arm for scanners to read?
Just wondering how far the slippery slope will in fact slope?

All this to stomp out Al Queda... the same Al Queda we're fighting alongside in Syria with the goal of removing Assad from power; the same Al Queda we assisted by assassinating Ghadafi in Libya and handing the rebels keys to the government (along with billions of dollars in IMF loans)

Fortunately 41% find what the government is doing to be totally unacceptable..   But 41% is still a minority... a position we at A&G find ourselves in often but never precludes us from nonetheless being correct in our views..

Here's another interesting finding..

Currently 62% say it is more important for the federal government to investigate possible terrorist threats, even if that intrudes on personal privacy.
Absolutely scary..  

How this is different from loyal 'patriotic' Communists in former Soviet Russia or loyal 'patriotic' Germans during the Nazi regime siding with their government, we're not quite sure...

No wonder sales of the George Orwell book '1984' has skyrocketed in sales by over 7005% on Amazon in the last 24 hours alone...

Yes.. Seven-Thousand Five percent increase in book sales in 1 day...

Governments do not trust their people... Never have & Never will..
And yes the US is no different...

From John Adams passing under threat of war with France, the Alien and Sedition Act in 1798 where the US government had to power to deport aliens who posed a threat to the security of the US and declared that any treasonable activity, including the publication of "any false, scandalous and malicious writing' was deserving of long jail sentences....

To that monster Abraham Lincoln suspending habeus corpus during the US Civil War and arresting without probable cause and detaining indefinitely without right to trial anyone even remotely suspected of Southern sympathies as well as burning down any newspaper that presented an anti-Union point of view...
To that even greater monster Woodrow Wilson who felt Lincoln didn't go far enough in controlling the populace in wartime and thus would set up a large spy network, the precursor to the FBI to find out who was anti WWI or worse a communist and if they got out of line would be arrested.  

Worse, if the person was an immigrant, they were shipped back to their home nation and not allowed to return again permanently...

On and on and on..

Its a long history... just too detailed to go into in one posting.
Suffice to say, we have a very long history of our government looking at the populace with fear and disgust and seeking ways to covertly acquire information for the purposes of prosecuting thoughts.

So no matter what happens with Snowden and the NSA.. no matter who is forced to fall on the proverbial sword.. even if it ever led to the downfall of a Presidency...

The spying will continue and 'patriotic' people will happily give up as many freedoms as possible to feel safe and secure from faceless enemies and nebulous threats
To paraphrase Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA":

'Well I'm Proud to be an American... Where at least I think I'm free...  And I'll divulge all anyone wishes to know, to Protect my 'Liberty'..  and I will Proudly do nothing.. As you record my texts, emails and calls, for I am a 21st century American.... I no longer possess any 'balls'...