Sunday, June 16, 2013


Friend Bilbo, who regularly shares some wonderful cartoons, is pretty worked up about Edward Snowdon, as evidenced by this post.  I don't have an opinion yet on Mr. Snowden, but this excerpt from Bilbo bothers me a bit:

Let's establish one thing up front: the program that Mr Snowdon, with all the vast, accumulated wisdom of his 29 years, exposed was perfectly legal under US law. It was approved by Congress, vetted by the courts, and operated under a network of legal and procedural oversight provisions designed to protect the rights of US persons. Reasonable people may (hell, will) disagree over whether the program is moral, as opposed to legal, and whether Congress has taken its oversight responsibilities seriously enough, but the simple fact remains that Mr Snowdon exposed for his own reasons a very expensive, very secret, very legal program intended to protect you and I ... and him ... from those who would do us harm.

After reading that paragraph, it reminded me of this quote from Walter Williams:

I will confess this "it's legal" argument hits one of my hot buttons.  Reasonable people may believe that this trivializes a very important issue, but, ok.  In Ohio, and in Newark, we have a whole host of very nice and very capable people in government who are "double dipping."  Double dipping occurs when you have worked in government for twenty or twenty-five years and become eligible for retirement, with said retirement benefits to be paid immediately upon retirement.  The result of this legality is that 50 year olds (nice and capable people) who began working for the government in their twenties, can retire today and begin collecting their benefits tomorrow.  Mind you, they are 50 years old, perhaps at their most productive age.  Since they are so productive, it only seems logical that we keep them working; after all, somebody has to do the job.  Makes perfect sense.  So, the day after they retire, they are rehired to work at the same job they just retired from, collecting the same paycheck as before, but now with their retirement pay as well.  Ergo, double dipping.  Oh, and if you comment on this you are quickly told it is legal.

Government employees receiving an extraordinary financial benefit created by other government employees, spending money not their own, with said benefit not being available to non-governmental employees.  But, it's legal.  Right.


  1. Edward Snowden blew the lid off a program that those in the top intelligence strata lied about and said was not happening. Lied. That would be General Alexander and James Clapper, at least. All people need to do is their homework and check it out. Lied. The NSA is unjustifiably spying on innocent American citizens. So how is that "legal" if the 4th Amendment is still in force? Now that the NSA was caught with their pants down, they are willing to discuss the "balance" that should exist between privacy and security.

    A whistle blower has brought this to the forefront and we damn well better begin to have a conversation about it and stronger legislation and oversight.

    Bilbo, bless their heart, needs to take the blinders off.


  2. "Very legal." I call bullshit. E.