A 'Constitution man'
EDITOR: I disagree with James C. Pera (“Snowden's a traitor,” Letters, Thursday). Edward Snowden didn't go to a foreign country unless you call Glenn Greenwald a foreign country. And he only requested asylum because he could not receive a fair trial anywhere in the jingoistic atmosphere that Pera's letter indicates.
When Greenwald writes his new book on the National Security Agency and its unconstitutional practices, the focus will be where it belongs, on the NSA and not on the whistle-blower.
Everything changed after 9/11. If we all agreed it was OK to give up our privacy for a little safety, that would probably be the end of it. But some people believe their private lives are worth dying for. That is what Snowden stands for. He is more of a Constitution man than most of us.
As for politicians, they are in alliance with security first, Constitution second. For them the idea of preservation is more important than Jeffersonian idealism.
EDITOR: Apparently anybody can shoot somebody if they feel threatened, even if they created the threat in the first place. The trick is to make sure to kill them so there is nobody to question the claim of “self-defense.” Under those rules, nobody is safe from vigilantes. A great day for justice, indeed.
Conquering, not taming
EDITOR: David Brooks' ideas about the “taming” of the West seem to come right out of a Hollywood movie script (“Men on the threshold -- but not moving forward,” Wednesday). He conveniently ignores the fact that while the John Wayne stereotypes were supposedly going about this taming business, other human beings had been living in the Americas for thousands of years, not by taming the wilderness but by learning to live with it. It is possible to consider that Columbus and his ilk might have chosen to learn from these people rather than to conquer them, but that was not their way. And so as civilization advances, we will continue to discard the washouts who can't fit in to the new order. Cleverness is paramount in our world; wisdom not so much.