Did the title suddenly invoke a Simon & Garfunkel tune in your head?
The title deals with two specific issues regarding not only the song lyrics but my own silence, or lack of writing posts lately.
My wise business coach, Louise Barnes-Johnston, has always cautioned me about writing when I’m angry. You know; my rants. And she’s right. While I might feel better after writing them, it’s neither professional nor does it teach or provide any credible information to a subject.
The reason for my long silence here is because I’ve been very angry lately and could not write. And even now, I fight the urge to rant and spew out useless rhetoric just to get my point across.
So, I calmly write, breaking my silence in an attempt to get my point across coherently and intelligently.
If you read my July newsletter, you know it contained the hot summer topic regarding Edward Snowden. Ever since the release of his information on the NSA spying scandal, we are learning more and more of just how deep it goes and how widespread it is.
Understand that I just turned 57 years old this July. I’m not telling you this because I think I’m old but to give you the background of where I’m coming from with what I’m about to say.
Being 57, I was raised in a different environment. My parents were staunch Democrats on the South side of Chicago. My dad was a Union man who worked for the Steel Mills. Except for a short stint in Catholic School for my first 3 years, I received an excellent public school education that not only taught me how to read, write and do math, they taught me how to critically think.
While I didn’t retain the hard line democratic position my parents had, I was raised patriotic – love of county, support for the troops and a belief in the concept of freedom. I was taught that there was a balance of power in our government because of the Constitution and the 3 branches of government. I believed that our government would never do anything to harm its own citizens let alone spy on them like the KGB we’ve read about in history books.
Harming your own citizens and spying on them was something horrible rulers did. History had shown us that it was short step over the line from spying to killing your own countrymen.
Now, if you’re still with me and reading this, this isn’t a political rant or a political statement. I’m just setting the background here – this is how I was raised to believe.
Now, take that belief that our own government would never do anything to harm its own citizens let alone spy on them and add to it the level of knowledge I have in the world of malware and cyber security.
Folks, I’m not lying when I say this, but there are nights I cannot sleep!
I have told my students and some of my clients, that if you knew everything I know, you’d never use the Internet again.
Now, here’s the tie into the Simon & Garfunkel song.
Remember these words in the lyrics?
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
Think about these lyrics and the current state of the Internet and social media.
I’m pretty guilty of that myself so believe me, I’m not pointing fingers. However, I am working on changing the way I present my material starting with this post.
I want to also clear up one talking point that the media and President Obama have gotten wrong in regards to the Snowden situation.
I have heard talking heads all over the news, as well as our President, call Edward Snowden a hacker and a traitor.
Snowden did not hack anything. He was a contractor for the NSA and had access to the information he shared publicly. That is NOT hacking. Hacking is the unlawful and unauthorized access of information or systems.
Snowden is also not a traitor. He is a patriot who believes that the public – who by the way, pays the salaries of the same people who are now hunting him like a criminal – has a right to know that their civil liberties are being violated.
To me, Edward Snowden is more of a protector of the Constitution than most of our elected officials. He is by no means a traitor to the U.S.
It’s been no secret that the U.S. spies on Iran, China and other countries. The discovery of the Flame and Stuxnet was developed in cooperation between the U.S. and Israel proves that the entire world knew our government spies. So where did Snowden reveal anything those other countries didn’t already know?
His greatest sin is causing embarrassment to the current administration and all the politicians who believe that if they put us in enough fear of the threat of terror, they can strip us of every human right we have. That’s what Edward Snowden did wrong!
In closing, I would like to say that in the future, I’m no longer going to ‘talk without speaking’ as the Simon & Garfunkel lyrics say.
Since all this happened and I fell silent, I have been doing some extensive research myself. I’m about to ‘pull a Snowden‘ of my own and expose what I’ve found to you in a clear, coherent, non-angry manner.
What you choose to do with the information is entirely up to you but I suggest it’s time we all stop ‘hearing without listening.’
Image Source: MorgueFile.com