snowed in (and data mined)

When i was a kid, long before the WTC towers buckled and fell, I lived with my mom, my dad, my brother, and our little dog Buttons in Massachusetts, south by southwest of Boston. We split time on a lake in New Hampshire, long before the Patriot Act was signed into law. The snow would accumulate so fast and furious in a big stormfront. The blizzard of 1978 was one of those times. Everyone got snowed in, then. That’s what we would say, if someone called and the power lines were still up. We’re snowed in! To us kids back then, these were glorious words!

This man in the news today, the one who ignited the now public and politically charged stormfront regarding data mining that has been carried out without our knowledge but (sadly) within the law, flew to Moscow today out of Hong Kong, and is waiting to get a visa en route to Ecuador (where he has filed for asylum). His passport has been pulled by the State Department. He is accused of espionage. His life enjoying the freedoms we are given as U.S. citizens, is technically over. He appears to be in the front of a very short line of those willing to stand behind a choice to share a storehouse of classified information with the world (in wikileak fashion). Purportedly. He seems to have ignited another round of disussions in the public forum worldwide, regarding the repeated and incessant violations of privacy of citizens in government-sponsored intelligence gathering campaigns. Campaigns which, in the United States, are most likely legal (though widely regarded as unconstitutional) under the difficult to swallow generosity legislated by the Patriot Act at a moment in time when fear ruled the land. Now he is a wanted man.

The plight of this man stirred up my memories of the blizzard of ’78. He  was not even born then. And I was still sucking my thumb. Feeling the feeling you feel when you are snowed in. New Hampshire gave us the opportunity to get snowed in, several times each winter. We spent the great majority of our time in Massachusetts in the winters. Though only a two and a half hour drive south, the winters were significantly milder. The difference of a few degrees on the mercury, meant the difference between snow and frozen rain. Most people and my parents, preferred to suffer sleet than constantly shoveling out after being snowed in.    (tbc)…

Katya Mills, June 2013

http://www.katyamills.com

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