A double standard for data collection…

I can’t believe it! A news item in one of my favorite progressive newsletters, Common Dreams, aligns it with the movement to pardon Snowden.  “’Pardon Snowden’ Campaign Takes Off as Sanders, Ellsberg, and Others Join” is an absurd article and this movement is ridiculous when you consider that Snoweden is as guilty of treason as Aldrich Ames, Jonathan Pollard, and Bradley Manning. Ames, a CIA analyst, spied for the Soviet Union. Pollard, a Naval intelligence analyst, spied for Israel. Manning, an Army analyst, and Snowden, an NSA analyst, were just spies who got their kicks from releasing classified information.  They’re all traitors who should be in jail for life (in such cases, I think that’s a more just punishment than a firing squad, but I’d go along with the latter). They’re all people who are indirectly responsible for many Americans’ deaths as well as the deaths of America’s supporters against our enemies.

Mr. Obama could put another nail in his legacy coffin (#1, a veto of that anti-Saudi bill, was considered last week): he could pardon Snowden. I doubt he will. In spite of his successes or failures in combatting terrorism (there are many in both categories), he probably likes the idea of electronic surveillance—actionable intelligence is the ubiquitous point of failure in our battle against terrorism, both foreign and domestic. But he might give a nod to all those faux-liberals in the land who support him and have put Snowden on a pedestal as the great American patriot and folk hero. You’d think the ex-NSA analyst could walk on water.  Maybe he can, using his inflated narcissism as a life raft?

I used to like Daily KOS too—supposedly liberal, but never progressive (if you don’t know the difference, shame on you!). When they started to bash Sanders in favor of Clinton, I stopped paying attention to their newsletter too. I guess I’ll have to do the same with Common Dreams. Faux liberals, faux progressives. Sanders disappoints too, echoing Green candidate Jill Stein’s support of Snowden: she wants this quintessential American traitor in her cabinet! It’s sad. Supposedly intelligent people who share many of my proclivities when it comes to domestic policies, perform DIY colonoscopies when it comes to foreign policy and the dangers to our country. The latter dangers threaten our very way of life and those very freedoms allowing them to speak faux-liberal nonsense so freely on their progressive issues. Is there a politician or political pundit left with any moral underpinnings at all?  Is there one left who isn’t an unthinking zombie toeing some party line? Since when does being a progressive mean you should be a traitor to America?

These faux-liberals and faux-progressives who ate mushrooms and fell into the rabbit hole to live in a fantasyland don’t deserve my respect. What’s so sad is that these unthinking people have double standards when it comes to privacy issues. It’s “wrong” for the NSA to monitor in order to gather intelligence and protect us from terrorism, but “right” for data-mining corporations to troll the internet and sell the data they collect to all those companies who bombard us daily with PR and marketing? It’s “wrong” for the government to check out Facebook and other social media websites, not only for terrorists but also criminals of other stripes, like the neighborhood perv, but “right” for Google to do more extensive information gathering, especially with all those gmail accounts that you just about have to have to do email on your cellphones? (How’d that happen, by the way?)

Snowden didn’t worry about what corporate America is doing.  He was out to grab media attention for exposing that vast and insidious government conspiracy that’s small potatoes in comparison to what corporate America does. C’mon people! Snowden, Wikileaks, and so forth were and are barking up the wrong trees. They’re not heroes—at best they are narcissistic headline grabbers.  The squirrels these squirrely gents and orgs were chasing were either the wrong squirrels or at least part of a much larger squirrel gang.  Better said, Snowden, Manning, and many others—Stein and Sanders included—don’t see the big picture.  Or, even worse, they see it, but ignore it, because the rest of that picture won’t bring them fame as conspiracy exposers.

Any sane person (Snowden, Manning, and their ilk are insane narcissists, of course) should be able to see that big picture. We all need to answer the following questions in a way that reflects common sense and morality: How far are we willing to give up our privacy in America, and for what reasons? Facebook manipulates those news items and ads on the side, and the faux-progressives don’t complain. A large percentage of websites allows these ads to pop-up, often using information gained about you by the data-miners, information they use to target you specifically, and faux-liberals don’t flinch, especially if it’s a Clinton ad. Hypocrisy isn’t new in politics, but it has become ubiquitous and insidiously immoral these days.  I see corporate America’s intrusion into our private lives as something much more dangerous than the government using information to track and prevent terrorist and other criminal acts. The justifications are completely different too.  Supporters who have made Manning and Snowden into folk heroes deserve to be victims in a terrorist attack—they’ve asked for it!

I’m one progressive who’s not going to hop on the “Pardon Snowden” bandwagon. I don’t see him as an American folk hero. He signed papers promising to defend and protect Americans, and criminally betrayed that trust and that promise. He’s right where he belongs, with Putin, another total narcissist and criminal.  Sure, Snowden wants to come back to America!  He’s probably had enough of Russia’s despotic oligarchy and yearns for America’s freedoms that he didn’t want to defend.  It’s like Clinton’s emails—most people who have dutifully signed such agreements know others who don’t take that seriously deserve what they get, and it’s not a pardon.  They also know that if there’s a double standard, it should be in favor of protecting the very freedoms we hold so dear (don’t SecStates at least swear on a Bible to protect the U.S.?), not in favor of a greedy corporate America led by one-percenters willing to break the backs of the poor and middle class in order to get richer.

So, bye-bye, Common Dreams. You’re relegated to my compost heap of faux-progressive and faux-liberal publications. I’ll not be reading you anytime soon because you’re on the same level as Fox News. And I take back my comments made in your recent survey: you’re no longer doing good work, at least not with respect to this issue.  You are, in fact, part of the problem here in the U.S.!  I’ll also backpedal on my support of Sanders and Stein. If I can do a write-in for the November election, I’ll do a write-in vote for Buddha.  If there’s no write-in, I’ll leave that part of the ballot blank. No candidate or political group in the country has earned my vote at that level in this election. ‘Nough said!

And so it goes…

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