It's My Birthday
As I've said in the past, August 6 is an interesting date. Orthodox Christians celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration on this date, when Jesus went up on Mount Tabor to pray with his disciples and they saw him suddenly start glowing. That's kind of ironic, given what else the date is famous for.
On this date in 1945, the US dropped in atomic bomb on the people of Hiroshima, causing a deadly glow of its own and ushering in the nuclear age.
And then in 2001, on August 6, President George W. Bush waved off a CIA officer trying to deliver his Presidential Daily Briefing warning that Al Qaeda was about to attack. On September 11, they did just that and set in motion events which have essentially defined events since then.
With the post 9/11 attacks came the Patriot Acts which get renewed with great regularity. Those acts made it possible, even justifiable for the massive spying program of the NSA, a program with no real oversight. We are all now subject to having our emails, our regular mail, and, yes, our blog posts monitored by the government, First and Fourth Amendments be damned.
It's been a rough year for civil libertarians, especially progressive ones. More time and effort has been spent on spying on us than dealing with very real problems like the economy and the environment.
So it hasn't been a very good year for me, or the rest of the world for that matter. I guess our charge is to keep plugging along and doing what we can to change things. But I'm 67 and I'm getting worn out.
I'm counting on you folks to keep things moving. That would be the best birthday present of all.