Tip of the Iceberg
In today's Democracy Now, journalist Glenn Greenwald said the NSA spying shows that our ruling elite has an institutional obsession with surveillance. It turns out that our government has been spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel since 2002, before she was in office.
Another thing Greenwald mentioned is that much spying is now on foreign businesses on behalf of American corporations
Thousands showed up in Washington Saturday for a "Stop Watching Us" rally. As more revelations are made, outrage will likely grow.
Where will it end, one might ask. Our "leaders" are determined to spy on us. It is one of the psychological perks of power - to be the spyor rather than the spyee. Of course it is all pretend. We are all spyees.
NPR aired a story entitled "4 Things To Know About Spying On Allies" today. They interviewed some "experts." Nowhere in the discussion was it mentioned that there is any right or wrong involved. Someone had to bring it up, so I did:
No one mentioned the amorality of spying on everyone. Amorality has consequences. If there is no right and wrong, then anything goes. And anything does go. If the idea of invading some country occurs to our "leaders," fire up the bombers. If you need a place to hold prisoners without regard to rights, duration or treatment, voila, Guantanamo. If you want to kill an American citizen in a foreign country, a drone strike will suffice. Senate asking questions? Give them your least dishonest answer, as if there is such a thing.Regarding the proposed Social Security and Medicare cuts, an economist should know better than to use the term "entitlements." It is a "right-wing" propaganda word for what economists call money awards like Social Security, unemployment, food stamps (now "Snap") and farm subsidies: TRANSFER PAYMENTS. They are lateral transfers from one sector of society to another, for which there is no exchange of goods and services. When an economist calls them "entitlements," he or she is using political language, and for obvious political purposes.
Among the many problems with amorality is that it doesn't stop at the nation's borders. The NSA spying on Americans is only part of the glut of amoral activities emanating from our various governmental bodies. The "drug war" and zealous deportations are national embarrassments largely due to the absence of morality in their implementation. Our prison industrial complex would be a lot more humane if there existed a sense of morality.
No need to mention the shutdown and deficit ceiling debacle. We all saw the amorality. What is worth mentioning, though, is that these fiascoes somehow have perversely enabled "Democrats" to propose cuts to Social Security, all under the guise of being "bipartisan." If morality existed in their considerations, this wouldn't even appear as an option.
The only real question is what next? Likely we will find out about some amoral activity that has been going on for years, decades even.
The worst effect, though, is the message amorality at the top gives to the general public. When government, Wall Street, and corporations behave without morals and with impunity, citizens are in effect told "anything goes." We are seeing the results.
We'll see if the "Democrats" succeed in cutting Social Security and Medicare. The President's top economic adviser is advising that they should. Some are following his advice. If they have no morals about this, they have no morals about anything else. Spying is only the tip of the iceberg.
Click here for the Stop Watching Us website.
Here's something curious.
Common Cause made an online comic book.
R.I.P. Lou Reed. Here's a song.