You might worry, too, if your last name was Zacharias.
Not surprisingly there isn’t a Jones, Brown, Greene, or Smith in the bunch.
But there is a Gill.
Somebody better warn Vince.
This particular Gill was under surveillance by the US government while he was a Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates.
For the 40 and under readers, there was a time in US history when spying on its own citizens was illegal. Such activity cost one president his presidency.
Ever heard of Richard Nixon?
But it seems that many citizens may be too preoccupied shopping for good quality marijuana to give a bong about who the US is spying on.
Many don’t care if our government is spying on us. What’s anyone gonna to see? Pot is legal man. We are just toking and listening to In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. Everybody just needs to chill out about all this NSA fuss.
Let ’em spy, Dumb said.
It’s for our own protection, right? Dumber said.
Here, pass me that joint, Dumb said.
Wait! Did you try this one? Try this one, Dumber said.
If people would simply get high more often, none of this stuff would matter. Who cares that Gill is a veteran? That he served in the Navy?
Wait! Isn’t spying on its citizens the thing that Russia does? That China does? That Syria does? That Germany did?
Isn’t it part of everyday practice for North Korea?
Do North Koreans even have access to an email account?
Oh. Maybe not.
Still, our government wouldn’t put good American citizens under surveillance. Would they?
Why would they need to put any of us under surveillance these days? What with Twitter and Facebook, Instagram and Reddit, every single detail of our daily lives is already out there for public consumption. The government doesn’t have to hunt very far to track down
– the names of our children
– where all our family members live
– what we had for dinner last night
– the name of our high school English teacher
– exactly where we live
– what time we leave for work
– where we most often go to lunch
– the church we attend, if we attend
– the school where we teach or learn
– the graves of our next-of-kin
– where we are going on vacation and when we will return home
– the car we drive
What more could they possibly need to know?
Oh, and remember all those freedoms those soldiers have been reportedly dying for all these generations?
Yeah. The US government has stomped those suckers flat.
It appears Janis Joplin had it right all along. “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”
(Dear NSA: I see you there, looking back at me, while I am looking back at you.)
Karen Spears Zacharias is author of After the Flag has been Folded. William Morrow.