I have spent too much time thinking about Eric Snowden. When he first became news, I found myself far more empathetic to his situation. I could see how he felt that he had important information that he had to share with the world to protect the people of the United States. As time has gone on, he has fled the country, has been living in limbo in an airport in Russia, seeking political asylum, and threatening to expose more National secrets. My feelings have changed. I now think that he is a traitor to America. Whistleblowers are far more altruistic than he is. He seems totally cowardly and self involved. He is looking to go to any country that doesn't have extradition to the U.S. which happen to be all the countries that are not our "friends." Snowden is getting a lot of support from Julian Assange and WikiLeaks devotees. He is also getting encouragement from Putin.
I am sure it's not all black and white, but Putin is a bad guy. He is re-creating tensions that had been gone after the Berlin Wall came down. Putin is a bully. He is more of a dictator than a democratic leader. Taking Russia backwards. Putin has passed bills that are so frighteningly anti-gay that even to be a gay tourist could get you thrown in jail. The country is being led back into the Dark Ages. Now that the people of Russia have experienced a form of democracy, how can he keep them back down? It looks very bad and bleak for the near future of Russia and its people.
So with the horrific and combative leadership towards the United States of America, how can we, as a country, go to the Olympics in 2014? We have boycotted the Olympics before when the USSR invaded Afghanistan but now that we have too, it's not so objectionable. The current climate of anti-U.S. and anti-gay stance by the Russian leadership seems far more egregious. Why should we support them? Harvey Fierstein, Tony Award winning playwright and actor, has been all over the anti-gay government positions. He wrote a long op-ed in the New York Times and his conclusion couldn't be more concise:
In 1936 the world attended the Olympics in Germany. Few participants said a word about Hitler’s campaign against the Jews. Supporters of that decision point proudly to the triumph of Jesse Owens, while I point with dread to the Holocaust and world war. There is a price for tolerating intolerance.
I wish I'd written that. It's perfect. So other than Harvey Fierstein and I, where is the outrage for Putin and the Russian government??
Sidebars: Still catching up from being away for a week. Still catching up with friends, chores, and television shows. I would be remiss if I didn't say a few words about Alex Rodriguez and his battle with MLB. I do not particularly like ARod, but I also don't trust MLB and the Yankees management. If the Yankees didn't have so much to gain by losing Rodriguez from their payroll, I'd feel better about the whole thing, but this feels like David and Goliath. Rodriguez, right or wrong, will lose because he can't fight these two huge corporations. It's a very unclean fight. There is no holier than thou. They are all guilty.
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