Mar 242014

Edward Snowden made a surprise visit on TED Talks March 18th in Vancouver.

More than 100,000 people are watching the video every day.


Just watch the video, if you haven’t already.

If you have time for more, read on.  But not at the expense of watching the video!


Cheers!     Sandra

= = = = = = = = = = = = = =  =


March 18:   the Snowden video is posted

BY March 23:   805,203   views of it.

BY March 24:   942,215   views


You may experience the same high as I have?


To me, it’s about more than surveillance, internet freedom and data privacy.


Edward Snowden gives a glimpse of the future.   He gives me hope.    We have THE TOOLS to work our way through the mess we’re in.


Hallelujah!  We are creating a watershed moment in history.

Crossing over a divide,

leaving waters that flow into the ocean of self-destruction.

We have to discover where the waters on this side of the divide will take us.

It is an exciting time of adventure, with challenges.     . . .


A new acquaintance was surprised when I spoke of activism work.  She said, “You don’t look like the type.  You look like a nice quiet person”.    Ha! Ha!  And I had not even gotten onto the topic of Lockheed Martin and the census!


It reminded me:  I expected to exchange niceties with a sweet older woman who sings in the Island Soul Choir.  …  but don’t read a book by its cover!   We were soon plotting a time to discuss how we could mobilize community members around a local issue.  Good Lord,  She is a Revolutionary!


Which reminds me of the Soul Choir itself.   A hundred and fifty people.

They look . . .  ordinary.

They talk  . . . ordinary.

Like Edward Snowden . . . ordinary.


But listen to the lyrics they’re belting out.  Singing and rockin’,  Revolution.


I’m a living sunset, lightning in my bones,

Push me to the edge

But my will is stone

‘Cause I believe in a better way.   . . .


I will look the world straight in the eyes  . . .

What good is a man who won’t take a stand?

What good is a cynic with no better plan? . . .


Hope these words feel pleasant as they rest upon your ears

Reality is sharp

It cuts at me like a knife.

Ev’ryone I know is in the fight of their life

Cause I believe in a better way.


Take your face out of your hands

And clear your eyes  …


It’s not just ONE song, here’s another from the repertoire:

go out and make some noise . . .

put down your toys

the world needs your voice

and it sure could use your light


There’s no doubt about it

youʼve got to be your own light  . . .


We are making the eloquent words of former president of the United States, General Dwight Eisenhower come true.   It may have taken fifty years for us to do it!  but I don’t think it could have happened earlier.


The missing ingredient was something that Ed Snowden talks about:  the ability to connect with people all around the world.    (Snowden, Vancouver:


Western countries have to be stopped, for example, from dropping bombs out of unmanned drones, terrorizing people in other countries.  But so also, do the leaders of other countries have to be stopped from their brutalities.   Ordinary people around the Planet understand that we have to change our ways.   We are connected and working together on a thousand both common and different fronts to make things better.


Edward Snowden WON against the NSA.   He could do that because of the earlier work of Julian Assange and Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning.


I think we also helped:

Lockheed Martin’s work in the world is the same as the NSA:  surveillance.

It is accomplished through data capture on individual citizens.

There isn’t a separation between the NSA and Lockheed Martin.

Canadian activists said “NO” to Lockheed Martin, starting back in 2003.


I don’t think we would have

  • so clearly understood the need to stand steadfastly behind Assange, Manning, Snowden and Greenwald
  • and shared that understanding with so many other Canadians over the last ten years

if we had not become active resisters of Lockheed Martin.


So, the work of those four (Assange, Manning, Snowden and Greenwald) was aided by our work.  More people “got it”.  Which made it almost impossible for a successful propaganda campaign to be mounted by the American military-industrial-congressional complex, against Snowden.


By the way:

  • UPDATE  re Eve Stegenga, a delightful young woman from Powell River BC, who is on trial over Lockheed Martin and the 2011 census:   I attended Eve’s pretrial (March) – a daunting road ahead for her.   BUT NOW!  Wonderful serendipity, angels to the rescue and it’s looking good!   Will keep you posted.  The trial itself is likely a few months in the offing.
  • UPDATE  re StatsCan, data collection through SURVEYS:   The traffic to my blog from people who google for information because they are feeling harassed by StatsCan continues unabated.  “Comments” (usually questions) get posted to different pages.  A couple from last week, with my responses,  are at the bottom of Are StatsCan surveys mandatory? Interpretation of the Law.


BUT GETTING BACK TO EISENHOWER who spoke in relation to war.

Our “war” today is as much against the environment and the FUTURE, as it is against our fellow inhabitants of the Earth.



I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.

I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, From a speech before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16, 1953:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

The problem in defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without.
A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.

Public Papers of the Presidents, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960, p. 1035- 1040

Full text:


Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present

  • and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite.

It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system — ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.


Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society’s future, we — you and I, and our government — must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.


Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.

Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.

Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering sadness of war — as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years — I wish I could say tonight that a lasting peace is in sight.

Happily, I can say that war has been avoided. Steady progress toward our ultimate goal has been made. But, so much remains to be done. As a private citizen, I shall never cease to do what little I can to help the world advance along that road. . . .

These are difficult but exhilarating times.

I hope you are having fun!

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