|The seal of the U.S. National Security Agency. The first use was in September 1966, replacing an older seal which was used briefly. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
There are many things that annoy me about my local paper The Los Angeles Times. I've tried to cancel on several occasions, but then some phone agent in the Philippines gives me a better offer that makes me decide to keep the subscription coming to my house. At the rate they're going I figure that eventually they'll start paying me to take the paper.
It's no wonder that they've been steadily losing subscribers over the past several years. The Times is no longer a quality news reporting service that delivers objective journalism, but instead it has become an agenda driven rag that clearly doesn't speak for those who should logically be counted as its true readership. Conservatives can rarely count on receiving any fair coverage let alone much positive coverage at all.
The latest outrage that has raised my annoyance level has to do with an editorial that appeared in the Thursday edition on June 13th. This piece comes from regular columnist Meghan Daum. This writer is well credentialed with many articles in national publications and a few somewhat respected books to her name. I was not familiar with her work until I read this editorial piece and I daresay I will not be seeking out anything else by her based on what I've read in her editorial.
The subject of her editorial was in regard to the National Security Agency whistle blower Edward Snowden, who released information about how the government is spying on the citizens. We've known much of this already, but Snowden confirmed more of what we'd already suspected. If you don't know what this Snowden story is all about then Baum's piece is partly about you.
Actually, Baum's editorial covers an important issue in our society--our general apathy about what's going on in our country. She titled her piece "Big Brother? Meh." Aside from from using "Meh"--one of my least favorite modern expressions--I was extremely bothered by her statement, "I'm betting he'll eventually be revealed as an angry white geek." If this statement had been applied to any other race or cultural group, we would have undoubtedly heard a clamorous uproar of protest. But maybe few noticed that she said this and even fewer cared.
Discounting that statement and moving on to her premise, Daum suggests that most of us don't care if the government is spying on everything we do and that we are more than willing to divulge ourselves to the world without any second thoughts. We don't care who knows what we do. And that often seems to be true.
My post of last Monday asked if the U.S. should give military assistance to the Syrian rebels. The general attitude of most Americans is one of ambivalence. Even after my post, as the President was doing a Father's Day tribute, a nonchalant aside was given by a White House spokesperson to the press that the U.S. was indeed going to provide arms to our future enemy, the Syrian rebels. Ho hum. Who cares. It's like the surveillance. "Well, they're gonna do it no matter what I think, so why should I care?" Then again many may not care because they figure they can't do anything about anything anyway or maybe somebody else will fix things. It's easier not to care.
"Meh--don't bother me. I'm on Facebook."
Do you think most people are fairly apathetic about what government does? What can citizens in free societies do to influence government? Is it worth the time and effort? Does it bother you that government agencies might be monitoring your phone records, internet usage, and other aspects of your life?