� This page is PART THREE, continued from � Part Two. It was split into FOUR pages in order to adhere to principles of web site optimization. Here you go...
� Young Ed Snowden: Courageous NSA Truth Teller (Verax)
You shouldnt be surprised to learn that I feel a sense of kinship with Ed Snowden. Yes, there are the obvious reasons ..
.. such as a distaste for the government snooping up my butt and peeking over my shoulder.
.. but my sense of brotherhood goes beyond the obvious.
First, I like that he is (only) 29. Aaron, who was martyred for the cause earlier this year, was 26. So was Bouazizi.
Jesus was only 33 when the government nailed him to a tree. Young, no? (Young and strong. Lots of hiking .. and deep knee bends.)
[ Bouazizi is the young man who torched himself in the streets of Tunisia ..
.. over frustration encountered there, dealing with a corrupt government bureaucracy.
That was (quite literally) the spark that ignited the Arab Spring Revolutions ..
.. fires which continue to burn in the Middle East today, and which continue to spread to other nations.
Here is a pattern that you will, I'm sure, see more of � poor young boys getting fucked by rich old men produces social unrest.
Speaking of social unrest .. if Bush sent us into Iraq .. in order to bring 'democracy' to the people of Iraq (.. one of his many-splendored reasons) ..
.. then why wouldnt we want to help the people in neighboring Syria .. to help them liberate themselves .. from an oppressive regime ..
.. lead by a dictator who uses chemical weapons on his own people? (another one of the infinitely varied reasons that we used to invade Iraq and depose Saddam)
Or maybe we didnt go into Iraq to bring anything to anybody.
What's that smell? (Sniff, sniff.) Smells like .. the dung of hypocrisy. Must be a farm nearby.
Update .. I have looked into the Syrian conflict a bit more and it seems very tricky.
Proceed with caution. Both Russia and China are standing up for the dictator ..
.. tho he seems far too soft-spoken to be a dictator. So I suspect others are running the show in Syria.
Dude, I looked up the Biblical term � Armageddon, and Google maps shows it being a mere 25- or 30-mile bike-ride away to Syria. For what it's worth.
But there has definitely been 'convergence' there. Rather global convergence. Coincidence?
In the context of Snowden, anyway, China and Russia appear to be on the SAME SIDE. No? I mean, regarding both Snowden and Syria.
Dear Goverments of the World (the 'nations'), we do not want to live in a post-apocalyptic world .. like the kind in that movie � Book of Eli with Denzel.
That would suk. Really suk.
The greatest mathematician of all time ran the numbers and said that we're good to an absolute maximum of 2060. In other words, 47 years.
He ran those numbers more than three centuries ago. </update>
Do you notice any patterns? All three men were/are in their twenties, all taking a stand in the name of their generation .. in the only way left them.
Since I have a second grader .. I am naturally concerned about the world we are leaving for our next generation.
My generation appears to be living high on the hog .. with its record level of debt (growing every minute .. of every day) and leaving the bill for our kids to pay.
� The Aloha Spirit on a Sportster in Paradise
Snowden lived in Hawaii. (He even pronounced the name of the state like a real Hawaiian.)
I lived in Hawaii (the Aloha State) for two years (.. tho half that time was spent underway).
So "the Aloha spirit" is something to which I can relate.
It was while I was in my twenties, also, when I was there. (I landed at Honolulu International one week after my 21st b-day.)
I had my Sportster there in Hawaii. [ The military shipped it from Hemingway's Idaho. ]
The Dog liked to ride it, too. (.. my roomie, who went on, a few years later to study at Columbia (.. Industrial Engineering).
Most impressive however, is what he got from reading the Core curriculum. The Dog can handle himself with ease in just about any discussion. With grace. Even when disagreeing, he shows how he can see your side, and makes you feel intelligent.
Some years later, the Dog earned a Masters degree from USC .. in Safety. Which cracks me up .. cuz, if you knew the Dog when *I* knew the Dog .. uh, safety is not something that readily comes to mind. Feel me? =)
[ Young Ed Snowden reminds me of the Dog, because they are both thoughtful and articulate. ]
I replaced the Sportster's stock wide-grip handle-bars with 'suicide' bars (handles closer together). Stick both your arms straight out and there are your grips. 1,000 cc's. Black.
Lots of torque. Soo much torque. Not so much speed, as � power (torque).
When I reflect back on the glory days of my youth, when I was both bulletproof and invincible ..
.. I see myself on a black Sportster, cruising Kam Hwy in Oahu, on my way past Ala Moana ..
.. having just returned from operating a nuclear reactor on a military-grade ballistic missile submarine.
Not to mention running reactor water chemistry control there. Ego's ville.
"Who's your daddy?" I say to the Polynesian girl sitting in the convertible Ferrari next to me at the light.
"You are, of course," she says as I speed off down the road.
"Correct answer," I think to myself.
I won't even mention the sunglasses or the golden Waimea tan.
On the Sportster, my rice-burner friends would invariably leave my ass in the dust ..
.. but they always wanted to take the Sportster for a spin.
"What is this I keep hearing about Harley's legendary torgue? This putt .. that I keep hearing so much about?"
And I found their rice-burners dangerously-fast. You are at freakish speeds in 2 or 3 seconds .. not unlike you find with a Porshe 911/930 turbo. I call it "the slingshot effect".
[ Update 04 Dec - Certainly understandable how the death of Paul Walker occurred. He had a Porsche Carrera GT.
Dude, Porsche does not need to add any extra letters to the names of their cars. When they start adding extra letters, it's a warning.
It's like signing a waiver that you understand this thing is loaded .. and that you release the manufacturer from all liability.
When I returned the keys to my buddy's (George's) 930 Turbo .. I said, "Nice. Very nice. Too nice."
I could see that the thing would be so easy to get away from you. It was like a missile. A freaking rocket-powered missile.
And you know how much I like performance.
George said that the guy he bought the car from used the phrase, "It's like driving a backwards dart." .. to describe the experience.
Because the heavy engine is mounted in the rear, and the light front end feels like it comes up off the ground when the slingshot kicks in.
It genuinely feels as tho the front wheels are NOT ON THE GROUND.
I could see right away that the car was too fast for me .. just like those rice-burner motorcycles that friends let me take for a spin around the block.
Something seemed to say � "Dude, owning one of these is like asking to be a grease spot" (.. to borrow a phrase from Vincent Vega).
But the fact that Paul Walker himself was not the one driving when the GT crashed .. reminded me of � Julie Allen.
In other words, you have to give him credit for that.
Paul's car was a half-a-million dollar car. George's car was not nearly that expensive, but still rediculously fast.
George ended up putting a lot of money into that car. Maintenance & repairs.
Thought I had died and gone to heaven there. (Paradise, literally.) Watching the sun rise over Diamond Head. "Pinch me."
I have always appreciated performance technology. I mean, it is a very cool thing .. for a young man in his twenties .. to start-up a reactor plant on a nuclear submarine (military-grade) ..
.. with a crew of 10 other dudes in their early twenties, from all over the nation, operate it as necessary, and then shut it back down when the ship returns to port. Flawlessly.
The reactor plant felt like MY reactor plant .. like OUR reactor plant .. turning mass into energy .. in accordance with � E=mc2. You can FEEL the power. The humming. The vibration. The noise. The roar. Home sweet home (.. for 4 years, anyway).
� A Thoughtful & Articulate Young Man
But mostly .. I relate to Ed Snowden because he is thoughtful. Obviously thoughtful.
And articulate enough to convey that thoughtfulness.
Intelligent. Principled. And courageous enough to confront the enormity of another government bureaucracy run amok ..
.. even tho an execution [ "He slipped on a banana peel, honest. And he apparently landed on a bullet. Three times." ] would really surprise few honest souls.
[ How many of our government officials today do you think would be willing to die for our country? Precious few.
Heck, they won't even take responsibility for their oWn fuck-ups. "Blame it on the little guy. Find a private who we can pin this on." (Because we can, and because we don't take responsibility for our own fuck-ups.)
"And we do everything we can to avoid serving in the military when our own number comes up." ]
Nietzsche was thoughtful. Dostoevsky was thoughtful. Tolstoy waas thoughtful. Einstein was thoughtful. Aaron Swartz was thoughtful.
Snowden also seems to have been a migrant-worker of sorts. I myself was a Migrant Nuclear Worker for many years. Snowden appears to have been a Migrant Intelligence Worker. (Intelligence sounds much cooler than nuclear reactors.)