Wednesday, November 26, 2014

BROWN: Save your spy tactics, Barack

By LINDA BROWN, Hold Me up a Little Longer, Lord | 6/26/2013

Dear Barack,

I can call you that, right? I’m assuming we dropped all pretenses of propriety and political correctness when you gave your administration a big old thumbs-up to spy on me by looking at emails, social media exchanges, video chats, photos, stored data, file transfers and monitoring phone calls.

Dear Barack,

I can call you that, right? I’m assuming we dropped all pretenses of propriety and political correctness when you gave your administration a big old thumbs-up to spy on me by looking at emails, social media exchanges, video chats, photos, stored data, file transfers and monitoring phone calls.

To me, that means we are on a first-name basis because of the level of intimate details you are requiring me to share with you and your staff.

I thought I’d introduce myself and give you an idea of what kind of information and entertainment your administration can expect from me and the information you can potentially gather.

First, I have no plans to try to overthrow the government — ever. It doesn’t interest me that much nor do I have the energy for it.

As you might know, I am grateful to be one of the Americans who have a full-time job to go to five days a week. When I’m not working I’m resting up for the next time I get to go to work. When you factor in preparing a few meals and several loads of laundry, my time is pretty much used up. In other words, I have no time for mischief.

I am in this country legally, as were my parents, grandparents and all of the grandparents before them. In fact, many in my family actually greeted the Pilgrims. I speak and understand only one language: American English.

My computer skills are limited to knowing how to turn it on, off and when to call for tech support, so the most incriminating thing you’ll ever find in my email are hundreds of pictures of my 4-year-old granddaughter. Last I knew, there isn’t anything dangerous about being a proud grandmother — unless boring your friends to death counts.

I don’t do social media. I would never assume that my activities or life is interesting enough to share with the masses.

I wouldn’t have the faintest idea how to mine data or store it so you needn’t waste your time looking for that. Nor do I video chat. I know, I know, I’m about as plain-Jane as a woman gets.

Now, about my telephone calls: I talk to three people by phone every week. All of us are disappointed that our retirement years probably won’t be as we had planned.

We’re also fearful of Obamacare, as we have already seen a serious hike in our insurance premiums.

Not a single one of us has ever accepted any kind of government assistance, although between the four of us we raised nine children and have eaten lots of boxed macaroni and cheese. We were raised knowing “entitlement” as welfare, and that was a bus nobody wanted to ride.

Consequently, we resent paying for other women’s babies to be born or aborted, and we talk about it. We’re not actually going to do anything about it, like I said; we’re just four almost-old women who don’t have the time or energy for any rabble-rousing.

And, we often talk about taking Capital Hill by storm. That’s code for unleashing the Holy Spirit on every inch of ground in the Washington, D.C., zip code.

My mother used to unleash the Holy Spirit on anyone who was behaving badly because she believed that if anything could make a person sit up and fly right it was a good run-in with the Holy Spirit.

My friends and I simply wish a Holy Spirit encounter would give you people a moral conscience.

So, there you have it. I’m sorry you’re not going to actually get anything useful from spying on me. I suspect it’ll be the same for millions of other people you’ll be wasting your time on and the revenue you’ll be wasting that was made available by taxpayers.

Pity; I generally expect better from the people who work for me.

Linda Brown is marketing director for The Ottawa Herald. Email her at lbrown@ottawaherald.com

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