Our grandparents hold us in utter contempt

Most people are aware of the fact that present people (i.e. people alive now) hold former people in contempt (especially in Germany.)  In America we look down on our grandparents because of their unenlightened views on civil rights, women’s rights and gay rights.  It’s less well understood that our grandparents also hold us in contempt.  One of them even went to the trouble of warning us what could happen if we let go of our right to privacy.  George Orwell told us to never, never, never let the government monitor your activities while at home through TV sets with surveillance capabilities.  Serious, how hard is that to understand?

Apparent way too hard for the pathetic people of the 21st century:

FBI Director James Comey said “there is no such thing as absolute privacy in America,” during a cybersecurity conference at Boston College Wednesday.

His comments come after Wikileaks dumped a trove of CIA documents revealing various hacking tools the agency reportedly uses to gather data and intelligence, including turning smart devices, such as phones and TV’s, into surveillance devices. The data also revealed a special hacking division inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence dedicated to developing and gathering flaws to manipulate iOS and Android devices.

Although Comey did not specifically mention Wikileaks’ recent release of alleged CIA documents, he did emphasize that absolute privacy is non-existent.

“We all value privacy. We all value security. We should never have to sacrifice one for the other,” said Comey after discussing the spike of encryption use since NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the agency’s spying practices in 2013.

So here’s what Comey is saying:

1.   We should never have to sacrifice privacy for security.

2.  Sometimes we should have to sacrifice privacy for security.

Orwell would be proud.

PS. On the bright side, millions of people are out in the streets right now protesting the arrival of “1984”.  Americans won’t go down without a fight!

PPS.  But heh, at least we absorbed our grandparent’s warning to never, never, never elect a populist demagogue who repeated engages in the Big Lie while demonizing minorities and foreigners.  Thank God we dodged that bullet!



15 Responses to “Our grandparents hold us in utter contempt”

  1. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    10. March 2017 at 11:46

    “On the bright side, millions of people are out in the streets right now protesting the arrival of “1984”.”

    -Where? All I see are hundreds of thousands of people yelling Oceana was always at war with Eurasia.

  2. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    10. March 2017 at 13:42

    There are much better reasons for our grandparents to hold us in contempt. For instance;


    Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg used to offer all sorts of cosmic advice on the evils of smoking and the dangers of fatty foods and sugary soft drinks. Bloomberg also frequently pontificated on abortion and global warming, earning him a progressive audience that transcended the boroughs of New York. But in the near-record December 2010 blizzard, Bloomberg proved utterly incompetent in the elemental tasks for which he was elected: ensuring that New Yorkers were not trapped in their homes by snowdrifts in their streets that went unplowed for days.

    The Bloomberg syndrome is a characteristic of contemporary government officials. When they are unwilling or unable to address pre-modern problems in their jurisdictions — crime, crumbling infrastructure, inadequate transportation — they compensate by posing as philosopher kings who cheaply lecture on existential challenges over which they have no control.

    There’s an old saying that, You can’t cheat an honest man. Paraphrasing; You can’t fool an intellectually honest electorate into voting for you.

    Donald Trump is the official least likely to resemble that.

  3. Gravatar of Scott H. Scott H.
    10. March 2017 at 14:52

    I always thought of an Obama obedient media and a “helping” Google and Facebook as a scenario much more aligned to 1984. Meanwhile, the power and the reach of the Presidency used to be the same regardless of the party that took it. Not any more.

    Ironically, Progressives will have some real soul searching to do when they get done here.

  4. Gravatar of Scott H. Scott H.
    10. March 2017 at 14:54

    So here’s what Comey is saying:

    1. We should never have to sacrifice privacy for security.

    2. But, like I just said, we’ve done it anyway.

  5. Gravatar of Justin Justin
    10. March 2017 at 15:22

    This is such a boomer view. The younger generation are largely reactionaries, latent or otherwise. True in France, true in America.

  6. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    10. March 2017 at 17:06


    Dare I mention that Donald Trump is exploring a streamlining and paring back of the $90 billion a year spent on 100,000 employees in the national intelligence complex.

    Trump is receiving no public support from the chattering classes on this issue.

  7. Gravatar of mbka mbka
    11. March 2017 at 01:34

    Benjamin Cole,

    dare I remind you that you were similarly optimistic that Trump would be less militaristic than his republican opponents at the primaries? It seems to me that Trump just dislikes “soft” (“effeminate”?) means of wielding power such as diplomacy (State Department) and information (CIA etc). And it seems he rather does favor traditional (“macho”?) power posturing, i.e. brute force military hardware, as shown by his aim to increase the military budget.

  8. Gravatar of Bob Murphy Bob Murphy
    11. March 2017 at 04:53

    I get what you’re saying Scott, but I actually think the tone of this blog is part of the problem. The people who hate Trump are biting their tongues on the spying stuff because that’s their team right now. E.g. this kind of sentiment.

    I know you liked to be coy and say, “What? You guys actually thought I was saying Trump would be a bad guy? No, he’s totally harmless, modern presidents can do nothing” but then again it often sounded like you were warning us he was like Hitler.

    In fact, even in this post it sounds like you are saying that. Not sure why our grandparents would be upset at us if they also don’t think presidents have any power.

  9. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    11. March 2017 at 07:02

    Bob Murphy,

    It’s time to stop blaming people who didn’t vote for Trump for Trump. The only people to blame are the idiots who voted for him and the cowardly and incompetent Democratic Party for losing to him.

  10. Gravatar of Benjamin Cole Benjamin Cole
    11. March 2017 at 09:03

    Trump is probably still less a warmonger than Hillary Clinton or his GOP primary rivals.



  11. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    11. March 2017 at 09:44

    I was with you until your PPS, which was just a throw away troll line. Your OCD compulsion to link Trump with all things bad is getting boring.

  12. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    11. March 2017 at 14:13

    Bob, Actually I was making the identical points when Obama was President:


    But perhaps you only notice my tirades when they are directed at people you admire.

    And BTW, the post never even implied that any of this had anything to do with Trump. The post isn’t even about Trump (except the PPS) The spying described here occurred before Trump was President. It’s the deep state, as Presidents are very overrated.

    You said:

    “I know you liked to be coy and say, “What? You guys actually thought I was saying Trump would be a bad guy?”

    No, because I think Trump is a very bad guy—hard to believe you didn’t notice that from reading all my posts.

  13. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    12. March 2017 at 10:16

    Who invented this “We should never have to sacrifice privacy for security”-bull anyhow? An 8-year-old child understands that there are trade-offs in life. Even some economists might understand this.

  14. Gravatar of Scott Freelander Scott Freelander
    12. March 2017 at 10:42

    I’d rather see more deaths from terrorist attacks than surrender freedom. Unbridled government power is a far larger danger than terrorism.

  15. Gravatar of flow5 flow5
    13. March 2017 at 05:09

    There still a surveillance technology coverup. My neighbor posted pictures taken through my Sony flat screen TV on the internet (which the FBI investigated). What’ reported as capable is just a fraction of what is capable. That makes me certain that Trump was tapped.

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