The Warning on Privacy and Required Reading

My goal has been to maintain a sense of balance over the ongoing economic and political turmoil but the cumulative news about the IRS, the AP phone pulls and now the revelation of the extent of governmental eavesdropping strike with the force of body blows.  My principal job as a parent – a father – is to not only care for and raise the kids, but prepare them to make their way in the great wide world.  How am I supposed to raise my children to be productive, moral adults in a society which increasingly makes such traits difficult to uphold?

Thanks to the spot-on and hilarious rants of Jon Stewart, even Youngest is aware of the furious controversy over the use of the IRS as a political weapon.  Once the laughter was through, it served as a jumping off spot for a series of short conversations about the function of the IRS and how it’s been mishandled; the conversations have occurred as well with the older two kids.  But with the disclosure of the extent of domestic surveillance by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, there was a very brief and pointed conversation with Eldest as she reclined on the sofa after the end of her work shift.  The preface to the conversation was the question of whether or not she had heard about the NSA domestic surveillance program and when she indicated that she’d heard of it, I advised her to begin following the story at length and directed her to the English newspaper, The Guardian.  The reasonable question was why? and my response was that this particular issue was one that put her own plugged-in generation at greater risk than their elder generations.  And that’s why the warning and start of further conversations about the NSA mess; our kids’ generation – the so-called Millenials – is the most technologically savvy generation in the history of this planet and use the surveilled media for almost all of their various thoughts and plans.  Yet for the technologic erudition, they lack the common sense that dictates what should and shouldn’t be written, what should and shouldn’t be shared, and what should and shouldn’t be discussed via the various media; it’s not unknown for me to cease an electronic conversation simply because there are some things that are best done face-to-face.  That said, a previous career in Risk Management taught me that some things should never be put on paper or digitized simply because it’s potentially discoverable in the event of litigation.  Whether it’s discoverable by opposing counsel or some dink in an NSA cubicle is irrelevant, once it’s out there, it’s out there.

The word came down to Middle as well and he went to the

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