No Difference

I have a horrible summer cold and have just been trying to relax. This morning I’ve been reading the outraged comments from the citizenry over the revelation that the government has been secretly receiving millions and millions of phone records from Verizon. I’m not shocked by this kind of thing anymore. Deeply opposed to it, yes; but not shocked. I’m completely disillusioned with the government. Eisenhower, of all people, warned us about this stuff, and it’s happening. Heavier and heavier all the time. I’m reminded of what a friend once told me back in the 1970s. He said that in the Soviet Union you’re not free to say whatever you want. In the United States you are free to say whatever you want—as long as it doesn’t make any difference. I think that’s very clear-minded.

We need a huge change in this country. How are we going to make it happen?


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13 Responses to “No Difference”

  1. Dc Says:

    I agree. I’m surprise that after 3+ hours I’m the first to comment. As to what to do I’ve about given up on the Great Experiment.

  2. David Says:

    Eisenhauer was a clear-thinking, far-sighted individual. Open to different viewpoints. Power tends to corrupt tho, as Lord Acton said more precisley.

  3. Shelley Says:

    Mark, I think we’re close in age so my comments will be relevent. Ours was the last generation to participate in widespread protest and I think non-violent protest in the form of mass civil disobedience is a good starting point. The main problem with that approach is successive generations subjected to public “education” indoctrination don’t have any real foundation in our history and thus no understanding of what freedom means. Add to that the rapid population growth of non-natives and I wonder if it’s primarily our generation and older who understand what’s happening. This did not happen beginning in 2008. The movement to destroy our republic has been ongoing for decades. Americans have been asleep at the wheel…….

    • markbittner Says:

      All through the 70s I was saying, “Come on, folks. We gotta get it back together.” My persistent assumption was that the lull between the periods of activism times would be brief and we would push the movement forward. But it never happened. We kept drifting. Now it feels like we have to start all over again. Maybe that’s not the case. Maybe we grew some seeds thatwill sprout in ways that we don’t expect when conditions are ripe. I don’t know. But it’s either death or growth. We really are near the end of our rope.

  4. Tim Mueller Says:

    “We need a huge change in this country. How are we going to make it happen?”
    MAKE? You answered your own question, Mark. Seeds. What kind of seeds? Yeah, we really don’t know; there’s no label on the sack. Is the U.S. like every other empire, rising then falling? Most of the world seems to get along just fine NOT living in the “most powerful country in the world”. To be an American: a blessing, a curse, or both? How do we resist Despair when Hope seems like an escaped helium balloon? I find myself becoming most fearful when I realize the speed at which the pillars of my beliefs are being demolished. But, to create one must destroy. However, I’m not the stoic type.And on top of all that, every comment I make could be the title of a book! Count the words I have typed here; each one shouts out, “I haven’t a clue!” It seems as if there are two types of resignation these days: there are those who shut up, and those who say, “I give up.” Is there nobility in either?

  5. Linda Says:

    I have been very depressed of late, myself, I’ve stopped watching the news or posting on any of the news outlets, Newstalkers or Newsvine. I have the same problem with our government and it’s little spy system. The recent whistle blowing incident is one thing I have heard about. Whatever the opinion of the government, I am on his side, because he didn’t compromise national security, he only compromised the government encouraged complacency that most of the population has fallen into. The government has become dealers in conspiracy, they don’t want any of us to have privacy, not because of national security but because they are pushing us into a corner and they know it and they are terribly afraid that their time is coming, that they have gone too far,I think they are right, it will take a little longer and some of us won’t be around when it does, but it will happen. I am almost as old as you Mark, and I, too remember the days of protest. My parents were good little members of the Republican party and felt that the kids that died in protests deserved it. They were as cold and callused as they could be about it.

    Now this government tries to keep the population in this country scared and nervous about terrorism, but in other countries they are giving aid to rebels that as I understand it are aiding the same terrorists in fighting to overthrow their secular democracies in order to establish theocracies. I think that this may be part of a preemptive strike against their own population, they want us to be too afraid to fight them when the really bad stuff starts.

    I don’t believe in heaven or hell, so I don’t worry too much about death, I’ll be back again anyway. Sorry if I’ve started to ramble, I’ve started the day spraying for bugs and it has a terrible affect on me. I had to quit early because of it.

    • markbittner Says:

      I have little to add. I agree with pretty much everything you say. The NSA is not about protecting us. It’s about keeping us in line. That’s all.

  6. Dc Says:

    Bill Moyers has a great interview with Lawrence Lessig. It can be watched online at Lessig claims that the real issue is campaign finance reform and proposes ideas to effect change.

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