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Edward Snowden asks Wonkie for asylum

Snowden: Privacy vs Gambling with Security

Edward Snowden is an NSA (National Security Agency) whistle-blower who has America, and indeed the world, divided on some rather thorny issues. These include what’s done in the name of national security, moral obligations, and the right to privacy.

Snowden’s whistle-blowing, however, has been clouded by his somewhat ill-fated quest for political asylum. Public interviews and his personal plight have overshadowed the real issues. The attention-deficient public appear to be completely distracted with the soap opera elements of the story: will Snowden be embraced by Venezuela, or some other country willing to spit in America’s face? What about Snowden’s girlfriend, Lindsay Mills: is she sympathetic towards his cause, and more importantly, is she cute?

The real issues affect more than just the Americans, Snowden and his girlfriend. They affect us all in a fundamental way:

Right to Privacy

Since 9/11, the American government has happily ridden on the coat-tails of public paranoia. Citizens there have surrendered many of their rights with the likes of the Patriot Act. What Snowden exposed, however, was the extent of mass domestic surveillance that is actually taking place. Do you believe it is right for government to be able to snoop through your personal email, Facebook posts and tweets? Is it ok for companies like Google to deliver your personal information on a platter to an agency like the one Snowden worked for?

National Security

While the first issue could easily position Snowden as a hero for exposing the truth, the issue of gambling with national security is proving to do quite the opposite. In his leaks, Snowden disclosed some spy intelligence which, while not life-threatening to anyone, was certainly important enough to embarrass his government and fellow citizens. No doubt disclosing state secrets isn’t going to make for a happy future for Snowden, but was he right to make America’s espionage dealings more transparent?

Bad government behaviour

The answer to the above might be an obvious no from most Americans, but to many in the rest of the world, it serves to take America, with its perceived arrogant holier than thou attitude, down a few notches. Naturally, it’s deemed nasty when the Chinese hack into American computers, but Snowden has exposed the American government to be none the better. And spying on allies at the likes of the last G20 conference hardly inspires global confidence in America’s motives.

Moral obligation

For Wonkie, the final issue is the most interesting one as it’s a personal one that most of us will face in some form or another. What does one do if one believes that something is wrong? Does one act, or ignore it? The argument that it depends on whether the decision to act affects others or not is a rubbish one. If the matter is of any consequence, then the decision to act itself, whether made or not, will inevitably be of consequence.

The question is, should one follow through on one’s convictions? To simply answer “yes, but only if it’s legal” is rather naive. Some of the biggest changes in history arrived through illegal actions against an established system. Consider the Arab Spring, as just one such recent example.

Governments do an excellent job of personalising the attack on whistle-blowers. This effectively takes the real issues off the table and redirects the attention of the dumb public to sensationalist headlines. Hence, as in this case, the issue becomes one of whether dear Ed should have done what he did, rather than about the question of whether the American government has been very naughty.

The truth is, there is a fair bit of cognitive dissonance in play here. It’s not like Americans didn’t know that they were being snooped on by their own government before Snowden, or that their country is doing just as dodgy things as any of their friends on the axis of evil. They just didn’t want to acknowledge it, and Snowden has forced their hand. In the end, Wonkie believes all this will turn out to be no more than one more inconvenient truth that will be ignored. Nothing will change, and unfortunately, the only real victim will wind up being Edward Snowden.

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Other articles on Privacy and Freedom of Speech:

  1. Free Press in South Africa
  2. SABC and freedom of speech in South Africa
  3. Protection of Information Bill – Dummies Guide to Corruption
  4. Secrecy Bill approved in South Africa

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Comments

  1. Al Viljoen says:

    There is a major dilemma for all today. Spying is obnoxious and should not be done. If somebody does not try to find out what the terrorists are doing and stop them carrying out murderous acts it is also wrong.
    With modern communications it is very difficult for anybody to track the terrorists (You can’t look at the envelope and say “This is the killers handwriting – we will open this letter”). Expecting the security services to find these people and stop them from murdering people without spying is like asking somebody to box against somebody blindfolded and with one hand tied behind his back.
    We all expect ourselves to be protected but want to hide behind somebody else to achieve this. The irony is that the same people who are most vocal in their criticism are the first to scream when people are killed. Also ironic that the loudest criticism is from the least democratic countries.
    I do not know the answer but we need to reflect deeply on the purpose of the spying and the potential results of stopping it completely.

    • Wonkie thinks that spying is much like the insurance industry – it is usually more about capitalising on people’s fears than something based on a well-informed strategy. At some point you have to draw the line based on one’s quality of life – e.g. in South Africa you could permanently lock yourself in a hole deep underground with a huge stockpile of baked beans – you’d prevent yourself being affected by crime, but it wouldn’t be much of a life, would it?

      The question in this case is how many civil liberties would you be willing to sacrifice in order maybe prevent some nut’s terrorist attack?

      • Al Viljoen says:

        Difficult question. I don’t want to lose any civil liberties – but also don’t really like the idea of being blown up. This is not a major issue here – but would be if I lived in the US. It is a moral and ethical minefield for everybody. Problem is people take take stances that suit their political affiliation or moral standpoints (Or the ones they would like people to think they have) without thinking the thing through.
        It is a matter for serious debate not grandstanding on any point of view.

        • Agreed – there are definitely no easy answers, and whether it’s security or civil liberties, something has got to give. If one is less inclined to trust government and its motivations, even in the US, then one would likely need to also consider how real the threat of an attack really is. Paranoia serves as excellent fuel for political power.

          • Al Viljoen says:

            In SA, with no threat of external attack, one would have to be very careful of our governments claims of “Security” requirements. Given the criminal acts of members of the ruling party one could be pretty sure any surveillance is to help cover their tracks. (Not to say their is no criminality anywhere else – they just don’t have the facilities to spy on us.) So here civil liberties definitely take precedence.

            In the US, with a continuous threat of terrorist attacks and their robust civil liberty laws and activist movements – I might be inclined to accept the spying more easily.

            But still difficult to make a definitive decision.

  2. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    Was Snowden more clever or more stupid that Bradley Manning? Manning passed his information to Wikileaks, presumably trying to stay anonymous and get more information into the public purview. And what a political hot potato that has created!
    Snowden, on the other hand, has made himself a public figure and will not be able to deliver any extra bits and pieces. Then out comes the Wikileaks connection – asylum brokering – travelling companion(!?!) etc.
    Of course this whole brouhaha raises yet other questions – questions with military-political ramifications for the powder keg we call the Middle East. With the “evidence” in the hands of ‘Der Spiegel’ and other leaks from Snowden (the man – not the Welsh mountain) showing that the US is/was spying on the other delegates at various “summits” of G8, G20 and any other Gs you can conjure, and their hacking of Russian and Chinese “classified” sites, what impact will all this have on trying to bring the Chinese and Russians into a consensus on the problem of Syria and the general unsteadiness of much of the rest of the Middle East region?
    And, then, again, North Korea. How will this affect Sino/American co-operation concerning the Kim dynasty?
    Whilst knowledge, in itself, may be good, we should always remember the old maxim: “A LITTLE knowledge is a dangerous thing!”

    • There is a valid argument, of course, that even if whistle-blowers start of as being anonymous, they inevitably become the focus themselves (e.g. can you think of a whistle-blower that remained anonymous permanently?). In fact, many watchdog organisations claim that it is a strategy that government uses to distract the public from the real issues that were exposed.

      • a-maize-ingly-corny says:

        The only anonymous “whistle-blower” that I know of that managed to remain anonymous was during WWII, when the, then, Secretary of State responsible for agriculture and food raised the price of pork products in England. The “whistle-blower” let England know that this Minister wanted “to put his sausage up another tuppence (two pence)” – a tuppence being mid 20th Century English slang for a “female of easy virtue”.
        Does this count as an anonymous whistle-blower?

  3. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    PS to all the Americans under the microscope – have a happy Independence Day!
    Many Brits also enjoy American Independence Day – they no longer have to be accountable for American actions!

  4. Gee corny, you sound almost intellectual. I have just returned from a holiday that included Britain, while there I went to north wales to look for Snowden and only found a mountain. However on TV I found a host of mealy mouthed commentators who think that they can spy on whoever as long as whoever does not spy on them. If this spying goes on for much longer they will soon net all the pedophiles who work in the BBC. To be more serious (seriarse) I heard that they hacked into JZ’s e-mail and could only find that he had been forwarding porn to his wives and potential wives so the NSA (national security agency not the Natal Society of the Arts, which is why they changed its name to KZNSA.) It is however a gross and illegal invasion of privacy but the Brits know how to handle that. They just go down the Pub

  5. My congratulations to you! The expression “cognitive dissonance ” used in the final paragraph has not been seen in any print in the last 40 years~! What is very impressive is that it was used in context in the full meaning of the words. Most persons in conversation have never heard of the word, let alone seen it in print. Well done Wonkie.

    • Clive Alexander says:

      Yep, had to look it up. As it happens I know exactly what you mean, Wonkie. Most of us can’t make up our minds whether Snowden was right or not. Terrorism is a no-no, but then so is leaking confidential stuff all over the internet

    • *Bow* Why thank you, U2R1.

      In your honour, if you suggest another rare phrase, we’ll make a sincere effort to use it in a future post.

  6. George Orwell”s novel 1984 predicted correctly that Big Brother would be watching you.
    Unfortunately many people unreasonably believe that they are being targetted when it is their own concept of self-importance that leads them to consider that everything that they post on the internet will be used to indite them at some point in the future.
    The Apartheid government spied on its citizens phone calls and even their mail. All governments do and the US is no different.
    Criminals and terrorists have every right to feel threatened because they are the target market.
    The US government would need a few million investigators to read all the crap generated daily in emails, Faecebook, Twitter, Skype, etc., etc. by 320 million Americans let alone many thousands of actually subversive persons residing in other countries around the world. All conversations on smart phones would also need to be recorded and monitored. Can you imagine how many of the investigators would require psychiatric help after a month of listening to the mind-numbing chatter of teenagers (or their mothers, fathers, brothers, etc.).
    If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear but even if one terrorist attack is foiled the surveillance will have been a success and our lives made safer.
    It might not be the RIGHT thing to do but in many instances it is the NECESSARY thing to do.

    • The necessary evil argument is great – well great, unless you inadvertently show up on someone’s radar as a (false) positive. Try being a brown person traveling to the USA and witness just how those ‘random’ inspection processes work.

  7. Ouma007 says:

    I find it really pathetic of someone to “expose” spy activity. We all know that it is happening, all governments spy on other government. I am sure that the SA government also do it. I cannot sympathize with Snowden. When he started working at the NSA he surely took a oath of secrecy. That he will not talk about what he and his fellow agents do. Spying happens in secret, that is why it is called spying. What happen to his loyalty to his fellow agents or his integrity with regard to his work and his bosses. He say that he cannot keep quiet about what is happening, but he ignores the fact that he took an oath. And then the “secrets” he revealed, that governments spy on their citizens? We know that. That governments spies on each other? We know that too. So all this and he did not tell anybody anything new. He is now a “victim” for no apparent reason.

    • Integrity is important, Wonkie agrees. However, the issue is what you hold your integrity to. If Snowden discovered something morally unjustifiable after he took the job, what should he do then? Continue to uphold his oath to others regardless? In the end, surely he has to answer to himself too.

      • Al Viljoen says:

        Exactly my argument about the moral dilemma.

        Is it more moral to live with the breaches of integrity to save lives.

        Or is it more moral to expose the breaches and cause (Possibly) avoidable deaths.

  8. Snowden is like a witch and I wonder which government would want him to be in its vicinity .

    • Good question – Wonkie’s guess would be one of Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, or Zimbabwe. As things stand though, it looks like Snowden is going to be sitting statelessly quiet at the airport in Russia for a long, long time.

      • Now he needs a facial surgery and a new name. As for his face, I would recommend the one similar to the mask worn by protesters in England and for his name I’d like to hear a few of your suggestions.

        • a-maize-ingly-corny says:

          Nah!!! the masks worn by Brazil’s protesters were much more dashing and aristocratic. I just LOVE that long, narrow moustache and beard.
          As to a name, instead of Snowden, he should call himself Ben Nevis. Now that is a TRUE mountain of a name!

  9. As much as what Snowden disclosed is to the benefit of the world, as far as the US is concerned he committed an act of treason and should be punished as such. Ultimately, he did, as Wonkie suggests in the title of this article, gamble with security and now he must face the music that goes with it.

  10. Petra Visser says:

    If it is only “key words” that they pick up (surely it is impossible to listen to EVERY conversation or message?) go for it. All the countries are doing it anyway if you ask me. Snowden should have thought about what the consequences were going to be and stayed to face them. I admire him for standing by his convictions but be prepared to face the music then.

  11. Collitjies says:

    All Snowden was looking for was cheap publicity. He’s probably an insignificant little shit trying to become somebody without much success. He should realise working for NASA you are just a number on a computer, that is all unless of course you do something real bad like he has done. Let him suffer the consequences of disclosures.

  12. Snowden is for sure a hero, sorry that he is not safe yet and hope some country grants him asylum, though that country has to be extremely brave, but if a single person without any power (Snowden) had enough courage to make the crimes public, that there should be at least one country in the world that would be brave enough to give him asylum

  13. Victoria Mudraya must be aware that if someone in South Africa’s security services did the same thing he would suffer a much worse fate than that meted out to the 14 Tlokwe councillors that ousted a criminal, corrupt, thieving mayor Maphetla.
    Snowden will be feted by the many countries with no civil rights or liberties than SA considers to be our friends.

    • a-maize-ingly-corny says:

      OK, I confess my ignorance! What is the connection between a Ukrainian-American medical assistant, who is now very high up in an IT company, with this whole story – especially with the 14 Tlokwe councillors?
      Educate me – please!

      • a-maize-ingly-corny says:

        Maybe the above post is from someone trying to hide behind a semi-public figure (the picture is directly from the real Victoria Mudraya’s Facebook page) – maybe not. But, in either case, what is the connection? Did the real VM help Snowden through her IT security systems? Does the real VM wish she had had the opportunity to do something similar? Questions – questions – but where are the answers?

  14. a-maize-ingly-corny, I don’t get the Ukrainian-American medical assistant angle in relation to Snowden but I was the one responsible for the allusion to Tlokwe that you queried.
    Snowden is facing sanction from the USA authorities for exposing his country to ridicule even if Snowden hasn’t the intelligence to realise that the USA are not alone in this worldwide practise arising from either espionage or security considerations.
    The Tlokwe 14 faced sanction from the SA authorities for exposing their government to ridicule even though the Tlokwe 14 didn’t realise that Tlokwe is not alone in this countrywide practise due to the ANC’s blatant condonation of corruption.
    A country, I might add, that illegally attempts to cover up the lies of the President himself to Parliament. A country that is deliriously happy to appoint a President who could sanction inflation of the cost for improving his Nkandla compound by 1000%. Millions wasted when the poor get poorer, the sick can’t access treatment, children lack education. The list of failures is too numerous to mention.
    Now you have good cause to question WHY I HAVE GONE OFF TOPIC AND BROUGHT THE PRESIDENT INTO THE SNOWDEN TOPIC.
    Hint: (It is all relative and relevant)

  15. WONKIE: Please can’t you add English spell-check to your site. We are after all, in general, an English speaking nation and certainly not American-English speakers even if the latter is becoming all too pervasive with few contributors knowing how few words in British English (the original and correct) actually contain a Z especially when it comes to ise and ize word endings.

  16. Kunle Leke says:

    I refuse to see Snowden as an hero, I will rather take him as a traitor. I believe so very much in patriotism and I think for us to be responsible we all owe our countries an unreserved and total dedication. It has never been a secret what America has suffered in the hands of fanatics like Al-Queda and the rest, so I believe the American security system can never do more than enough in this aspect. Whatever America decides to do as regard the security of her citizens should be welcomed by the Americans even at the little expense of their electronic messages. Nothing is too much for security. To the likes of Snowden, I say a very big ‘SHAME ON YOU’.

  17. Let me first answer Tony. English is not the exclusive property of the English, it is now too universal for that no matter what gung ho English patriots think. In SA as in other parts of the English speaking world we have an English Institute that decides more or less what we should be speaking, spelling or pronouncing. To use ise, ice or ize endings is dependent on whether or not the word derives from latin or greek, for more modern words the general rule is to follow a common practice which might not be to your stiff upper lip liking.

    Now let me answer Kunle Leke. We have a right under our constitution not to be spied on. So do the Americans under the 4th amendment to their constitution. Snowden was exposing the criminal activity of their government . we and them do not owe criminals any unreserved or total dedication. We also have the right to freedom of speech, do you want that curbed. Wonkie would have to shut down. You also say that the US has suffered under Al Al Qaeda and the rest. Maybe so but not as much as the innocents caught in their drone strikes or their indigenous people at Sand Creek or Wounded Knee. Just who are the terrorists.

  18. Garth, if every version of English was permissible few of us would be able to understand a lot of the comments on Wonkie. With the atrocious South African education system it is already a problem in many instances.
    I don’t object to people using USA-English but when very many SA-English or UK-English words are flagged because they are not Americanized, I do object as I am sure do many others who have not been taught Pigeon English.
    The Americans have little knowledge of Greek derivation which is why they pronounce encephalitis as ensefalitis even though word stems from the Greek word kephalos, there being no C in Greek just as there is no K in Latin where every word with a C is pronounced as a hard C as a K.

    • a-maize-ingly-corny says:

      I think you mean “Pidgin” English (á la Poly-, Mela- and Micronesia and other Pacific Islanders), but do rather agree about the “Universal” Ameringlish spell checkers that abound on the internet – and which, it seems, even a huge number of Americans pay no attention to.
      Of course the “Yanks” would HAVE to call it a SEESAR’S salad as opposed to the Kaiser’s salad which would be much closer to the original Latin pronunciation of an Emperor’s title.

      At the same time, never forget that English (the Queen’s English) is probably the most bastardised (spell check says it ought to be “bastardiZed”) language in the world, being a true amalgam of so many different languages as a result of having some of their words adopted into the Old English/Middle English evolving language which has become the Modern English of today.

      Weep no more Tony – just realise (z) that the inferior English is spoken by lesser ‘civilisations’ (again the spell check wants a “Z” – which the d**ned Yanks insist on calling “zee”) with less care for correctness. (Thank God for a Classical education)

  19. Tony, C in Latin is pronounced as an s if it is followed by an i or an e.

  20. Corny, the Queen’s English actually refers to English as she was spoke in Victorian times, thus the only place where the real Queen’s English is spoke is in India.
    I don’t know about your computer, but mine allows you to choose whether you want an English, English dictionary or some bloody awful Americanized one.
    Now instead of demonstrating our superior knowledge lets get back to he subject.
    The US spied on other governments who are supposed to be their friends and no doubt spied on you as an individual. Just don’t do anything they may construe as subversive or you could end up in Guantanamo. As Lee Kwan U (prime minister of Singapore) said in 1963 “I would rather have the USA as an enemy than have them as a friend”.

    • a-maize-ingly-corny says:

      “… the Queen’s English actually refers to English as she was spoke in Victorian times, thus the only place where the real Queen’s English is spoke is in India.”
      If what you say is true, Queen Victoria must have spoken werry vierd Ingrish. !!!

      • a-maize-ingly-corny says:

        In French, the “little squigle underneath” (squiggle, by the way has two ‘g’s – even in American spell checkers) is called a cedilla (pronounced sedi-la in French but as sedi-ya in Spanish – don’t ask me how it’s pronounced in Portuguese).
        As to the Latin C in English words derived from Latin, Garth should note that the C in Caesar is NOT followed by and ‘e’ or an ‘i’ and so should ALWAYS be pronounced as Kaisar (the ‘ai’ sounding like ‘eye’)

    • a-maize-ingly-corny says:

      As to the choice of spell checkers – there are many sites (including “Wonkie”) that give no choice but automatically use American and not English.

  21. Garth that might be the case in English words derived from Latin but a Latin C is ONLY a hard C pronounced as a K. Latin is completely phonetic and has an S for all s sounds.
    Check the internet for Latin Pronunciation
    c – This is always pronounced hard – like a ‘k’, not an ‘s’.
    g – Also a hard sound in Latin, pronounced as in ‘great’.
    i – When before a vowel, it is a consonant and is pronounced like a ‘y’.
    r – Roll your ‘r’s.
    t – Always pronounced hard in Latin, like ‘time’ not soft like ‘lotion’
    v – Pronounced like a ‘w’
    Even in Portuguese a C with a little squigle underneath is the only time a C can have an s sound as in Lorenço Marques

  22. a-maize-ingly-corny says:

    My response concerning the cedilla was intended as a response to Tony and not directly to Garth. Apologies for any ruffled feathers.

  23. My apologies, finger trouble

  24. The following words end with “-ize” in every variety of English:
    assize, Belize, capsize, prize, seize, size
    Words always ending with “-ise”
    The following words end with “-ise” in every variety of English:
    advertise, advise, anise, anticlockwise, appraise, apprise, arise, chastise, circumcise, clockwise, comprise, compromise, counterclockwise, demise, despise, devise, disguise, enterprise, excise, exercise, expertise, franchise, imprecise, improvise, incise, likewise, merchandise, otherwise, paradise, practise, praise, precise, premise, promise, revise, rise, supervise, surmise, surprise, televise, wise
    Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Spelling/Words ending with “-ise” or “-ize”
    Wikipedia:Manual of Style#National varieties of English
    The verb “prise” can also be spelt “prize” in American English but not in Oxford English. The verb is different from the noun “prize”, which cannot be spelt “prise”.
    1) The American English word “anise” is “aniseed” in British English.
    2) The opposite of clockwise is anticlockwise in British English and counterclockwise in American English
    3) The verb “practise” is spelt “practice” in American English but not in Oxford English. In all varieties of English, the noun is “practice”. I have always had trouble with practise/ce so must make a note that the verb is ‘s’ and the noun is ‘c’
    Then you have pronunciation problems like MEDSIN for the practise of Medicine as opposed to medicine that is prescribed and many other incongruities in English. Pity those to whom it is not their primary language. How many English speakers are aware that an honour, an hour are correct but an hotel is not but an ‘otel is. I was taught at school that it is an hotel but eventually learned that it is only the words where the H is not pronounced that the AN is used. English is the most difficult language to learn especially with all the different pronunciations of vowels e.g on, port, son, comb, move and probably others.
    Why is love and dove not pronounced like move or prove which are different to cove, rove or wove
    My objection is having correct spelling flagged because it is not American-English

  25. OutofAfrica says:

    Good for Snowden to ruffle the feathers of the eagle. A government who does not trust its people, cannot itself be trusted.

    • Al Viljoen says:

      I don’t think they have any trouble with their own people. It is the murderous Islamic terrorists they are trying to protect their own people against.

      • OutofAfrica says:

        One has to be in America with one’s eyes wide open to know what is actually going on internally! Obama has many Islamic Brotherhood members in his Dept. of Justice, so just maybe you have it the wrong way round. Spying on his own people is what got Snowden going. It is a widely held belief among Americans that Obama is actually trying to enable Islam entrance into America.

        • OutofAfrica says:

          Oops – the NSA might be reading this!!

        • a-maize-ingly-corny says:

          What, according to your own perceptions, is the difference between the Muslim Brotherhood (a well known organisation [this d**ned spell-checker is again demanding a 'z'] in many Arab countries) and the “Islamic Brotherhood” in your comment?
          There is no need for President Obama to enable Islam entrance into America – it is already there! Indeed there are many stories concerning Islam in the USA and they are not, by any means, all horror stories. Indeed, one of my favourites is of a synagogue in a small Mid-West town where, or some reason, the Muslims were prevented from further use of the building they used as a Mosque. The Jews offered and the Muslims accepted use of the Synagogue for their prayers.
          It appears that there is one fundamental difference in what Al Viljoen writes and what you write. Al speaks of terrorists – you speak of Muslims!

          • Al Viljoen says:

            There is a world of difference between Muslims and Islamic terrorists. The whole Islamic movement seems aimed at controlling all Muslims and forcing them to bend to their extreme (And I understand un-Muslim) opinions and to destroy all non-Muslims. This type of terrorism is a threat to all people and unfortunately it leads to nations taking actions many do not like. The question is – how do you stop them from committing crimes any other way except trying to intercept their planning. I do not like what is being done but find it hard to criticize as I cannot tell them how to do it any other way.

          • OutofAfrica says:

            Corny, get yourself a Mac!
            Yes yes, I know the terms Islamic, Islamists, Muslims, Radical Muslims, Islamic terrorists etc etc can become very convoluted. I am at the moment travelling though the USA so do not have time to give you a dissertation on who is what, but I do suggest you google sites like “Canada Free Press / Renew America” and others to find out what Americans are thinking and feeling. The press tells you what they want you to hear, mostly from a ‘progressive’ perceptive. However, my perception, from what I hear and read is that the ones in the White House and those in Egypt have the same agenda. It is all hidden!!
            AL, I agree with you. The extremists go under many different names worldwide and that adds to the confusion. I have a very good Iranian friend who is Muslim but does not follow the religious practise precisely because of their teaching to “capture the world for Allah – by any means.” However, the NSA and IRS have been snooping on and victimising legitimate Americans/respected journalists and other public figures who do not agree with Obama’s policies. THAT is what precipitated the Snowden whistle-blowing – a conundrum all round.

            So chaps, have a good day!

          • a-maize-ingly-corny says:

            I don’t need a mac – the rainy season is still a few months away!

  26. OutofAfrica says:

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