Hero

“When the sun is low in the sky, even dwarves cast long shadows.”

Just as U.S. flags seem perpetually at half staff for this person, that person, any person, “hero” too is a word, a thing, an idea, that has virtually lost its meaning.  Although it still has a positive ring, when an athlete with the IQ of an ice cube scores to win a game and is called a “hero” or when an entire 4th grade class at Orwell Elementary are proclaimed “heroes” because they successfully raised $500 to help feed poor “migrants” in their town, then somehow calling someone a hero who performs a truly heroic act loses lots of luster.  My quick definition of a hero would be someone who, without any hope of recognition, enrichment or advancement, nevertheless chooses to risk his skin in an attempt to perform a great deed of altruism.

Glen Greenwald was the journalist who reported the leaked NSA info given to him by the young whistle-blower, Ed Snowden. Here is what he said of Snowden:

“What I actually started to realize about all this is two things. Number one, courage is contagious. If you take a courageous step as an individual, you will literally change the world because you will affect all sorts of people in your immediate vicinity, who will then affect others and then affect others. You should never doubt your ability to change the world. The other thing that I realized is it doesn’t matter who you are as an individual or how formidable or powerful the institutions that you want to challenge are. Mr. Snowden is a high school dropout. His parents work for the federal government. He grew up in a lower middle class environment in a military community in Virginia. He ended up enlisting in the United States Army because he thought the Iraq War at first was noble. He then did the same with the NSA and the CIA because he thought those institutions were noble. He’s a person who has zero privilege, zero power, zero position and zero prestige and yet he by himself has literally changed the world.”

Hero?  This kid (33 years-old) fits my definition neatly.   Don’t want to split no hairs, either.  What is the point of protection when freedom is missing?  Rather than be a totally protected prisoner behind four gray walls, someone just  mercifully shoot me.

And yes, I’m positive that another false flag “terror” event like 9/11 is on tap to show American sports fans and Walmart shoppers just how much we need even more war, not less, and even more “protection,” not less . . . and our protectors will point and say, “Now, do you see why Edward Snowden was so bad?  Traitors like him allowed this to happen.”  And alas, polls will show that 96% of American sports fans and Walmart shoppers agree.

But just as power corrupts, so too does secrecy.  Unless we, each of us, seize the baton that this young, selfless man has extended to us we may expect more secrecy, not less, more surveillance, not less, less freedom, not more.  Any government that runs on secrecy, torture and war is not a government I want any part of.

“I don’t want to live in a world where everything I say, everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity and love or friendship is recorded.”

Nor do I, Ed.

We need more heroes like Edward Snowden, not less.

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