Last week, Edward Snowden accused the German government of being one of the multitude of international governments engaged in promiscuous electronic spying against their own people and those of other countries. That accusation, unlike those he has made against the United States, does not appear to have resulted in widespread Germany-bashing or propaganda campaigns being waged against Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Indeed, one could find pictures of Merkel with a Hitler mustache, but that's almost all due to foreign reaction against Germany's habit of imposing crushing austerity policies on its debtor nations - you know, actions that actually harm people rather than abstract sensibilities and Libertarian egos. And, of course, you won't find any shriekfests in the blogosphere over China's or Russia's 24/7 assaults on the global internet, because that's just to be expected. Instead, we find some random German's quasi-Godwin attack accusing the US of being the "Stasi" promoted on Daily Kos as if it were (a)rational, (b)substantive, and (c)helpful. Unfortunately the answer is (d)none of the above.
The "light graffito" in question (created by projecting an image on to a building) is just a lazy smear by someone for whom reality is less important than symbolism, but it's at least excusable within the context of its own medium: Its creator is, after all, an artist who specializes in "light graffiti" and probably thought they could score some cheap visibility by pandering to zeitgeist. Well played.
But the Daily Kos diary ecstatically covering it, posting a picture of Barack Obama's eyes with "Big Brother" above them (which also appeared in that diarist's previous offering), is much more difficult to give the benefit of the doubt. The diarist in question has a long history of citing Spiegel articles to justify what appears to be their paramount raison-de-blog - the proposition that America sucks and Germany is paradise. So it's both unsurprising and discrediting that this diarist apparently wasn't reading Spiegel the day it covered Snowden's accusations against the German government, and instead asks this question from their America sucks/Germany rocks fantasy world:
Finally there's the question, can we as Americans learn anything from Germany?Yes, there is. But as the person asking the question has made clear, that fact doesn't extend to everyone who happens to live there. Every German I know is much more reasonable than the bigoted attitudes being represented in their name, so maybe don't wrap someone else's flag in your careless ODS smears and grudges against this country. Germany is not a liberal paradise, and America is not the "police state" drawn in Crayon in the self-important, malignant narcissist fantasies of Libertarians and their equally privileged fellow travelers on the fauxgressive left.
Everyone who goes on the internet is under surveillance by something like half a dozen different countries' intelligence agencies at any given time, and everyone who places a call that's routed through a satellite is being watched by at least three. I'm sorry you're just now joining the party, but the internet was constructed on top of a military network. So by all means, pursue constructive changes in policy, intelligently, in full knowledge of what you're talking about and the context of the issues. By all means, make personal choices to place a higher priority on your privacy by using different technologies or using them in different ways. But I'll tell you what I tell the NRA: If your problem is that governments are more powerful than you and have the capacity to abuse your rights, get over it and learn to fucking prioritize.
And if your approach to raising the issue of internet privacy is to call Obama Big Brother and call our country the United Stasi of America, please just take it to WorldNutDaily where it belongs instead of pissing in the meme pool of a progressive blog.