Monthly Archives: May 2014

Are you on the NSA’s List? Today at 12 p.m. PT (3 p.m. ET)

Glenn Greenwald is going to publish a list of people targeted by the NSA. (Should we start a betting pool? How many listeners of this show are on the list?) In addition, this week NBC broadcast its exclusive interview with Edward Snowden within days of Objectivist Peter Schwartz publishing a scathing critique of Snowden. These stories and more on today’s show. See Program Notes, below, for all the stories, etc., we plan to discuss.

Join in live, either by phone or in the chatroom!

The show can be accessed here.

To access the show’s page at BlogTalk Radio, which will allow you to check out a past episode or to subscribe via iTunes and other services, use this link.

To access the iTunes store page for “Don’t Let It Go…Unheard,” where you can find past episodes, subscribe, and leave ratings and reviews (pretty please!), use this link.

Finally, if you would like to support the podcast financially, please donate using your Pay Pal account or Credit Card here.

Program Notes

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The Jezabels

A Brief Response to Peter Schwartz on Edward Snowden

NBC’s Primetime Special: Inside The Mind of Edward Snowden

Snowden on: 9/11

Snowden on: Patriotism

Kerry: ‘Pretty dumb’ Snowden blames US for stranding him

Glenn Greenwald is about release a shocking list of Americans Obama’s NSA has targeted for unconstitutional spying HT: Rick Wilmes

Attack Watch as Case Study of How Force Stops Thinking

Rand Paul: The Founding Fathers Would Have Protected Your Smartphone HT Rob Abiera

Remarks by the President at the United States Military Academy Commencement Ceremony

BRUCE: Sounding retreat at West Point

Obama’s Labor Secretary Tweets Advice to Grads: Don’t be an Individual, Join the Collective! HT Rob Abiera

Remarks by the President with the “My Brother’s Keeper” Task Force

Sudanese woman sentenced to death for apostasy gave birth with her legs chained, her husband says

Mitch McConnell to GOP: ‘Our average voter is not John Galt’

Nation Waits on OK Gov. Fallin: Will She Repeal Common Core Standards? HT Rob Abiera

5 Reasons Why Everyone is Suddenly Putting Butter In Their Coffee

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A Brief Response to Peter Schwartz on Edward Snowden

Let me start by saying that I respect Peter Schwartz and am very much looking forward to his new book on altruism, The Tyranny of Need.

In addition, those familiar with my podcast and writings know that I agree with Schwartz’s condemnation, in an article he posted yesterday on his blog, of the NSA’s indiscriminate surveillance programs. However, I disagree with his view, stated in that article, that “what Edward Snowden has done is worse.”

Schwartz questions Snowden’s commitment to the principle of “the individual’s right to be free from a coercive state” for a few reasons.

First, he notes that Snowden stole over one million classified documents, many of which concern legitimate NSA surveillance programs. But I doubt that Snowden, working covertly, had the luxury of sifting through the million-plus potentially relevant documents. He may have had a window of only a very few minutes to download what he needed. Moreover, Snowden has given permission for only a fraction of the total documents to be released and Glenn Greenwald has said that he and the other journalists have heeded Snowden’s wishes (more on Greenwald in a minute). Finally, it may be true that revealing information about the NSA’s methods — some of which it uses legitimately — could make a terrorist’s job easier. But if revealing those methods is necessary to alert the American people to the injustice committed by the NSA, then so be it.

Schwartz writes that, when Snowden went to Hong Kong, he “identified for Chinese officials which of their computers had been penetrated by the NSA.” I did a brief Google search on this and found this article, in which we learn that Snowden spoke to the Hong Kong press about NSA monitoring of computers in Hong Kong and mainland China, but I didn’t see anything about Snowden indicating, to Chinese officials, which specific computers had been hacked. As for “cozy[ing] up to rulers of . . . police states” (Schwartz quotes Snowden praising several of these), he unfortunately had no choice. It is only that type of state that entertained, in any serious way, Snowden’s request for asylum. Early on, Snowden said he had hoped to go to Iceland, and in later interviews he said he sent requests to numerous countries. But I am unaware of any semi-free state in the world that offered to take Snowden in, much less give him safe passage.

Finally, Schwartz criticizes Snowden’s choice of Greenwald as the journalist to whom he entrusted the stolen documents. Snowden decided, I think reasonably, that the only way to fight the NSA’s unjust surveillance programs was to publicize their existence via the press. Snowden has spoken repeatedly about his attempts to complain about the programs via the proper chain of command, as well as the fact that the whistleblower statutes that Obama keeps talking about do not protect contractors like Snowden. So Snowden needed to leave the country, and then find a sympathetic member of the press, one with journalistic integrity. I don’t know of a non-leftist journalist who would (1) agree with Snowden that what the NSA is doing is wrong and be willing to travel to Hong Kong to meet him, and (2) have the position and contacts necessary to broadly disseminate the information. Greg Gutfeld and Ambassador John Bolton, for example, are two of the better libertarian-conservative commentators on Fox News. Both Tammy Bruce and I were surprised when both of these men came out in favor of the NSA bulk metadata collection programs and, consequently, against Snowden. (You can find my interview of Ambassador Bolton, in which we discussed Bolton’s condemnation of Snowden, here.)

I believe Snowden allied himself with Greenwald for the limited purpose of publicizing the NSA’s unjust, indiscriminate surveillance programs. In fact, Greenwald said that Snowden put restrictions on the release of the data with which he, Greenwald, disagreed, but nonetheless honored as a matter of journalistic integrity.

I am no fan of Ron Paul, and I disagree with some Snowden asides that sound like they’re right out of Paul’s foreign policy. But I have not seen anything that I believe Snowden has done with the intention of undermining a proper policy of self-defense. So far as I can tell, all has been incidental to the actions one in Snowden’s context would take if he wanted to uphold “the individual’s right to be free from a coercive state,” but not martyr himself completely in the process.

For more on Snowden as hero or traitor, listen to Leonard Peikoff’s podcasts here, here and here.

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Inspiration vs. Indoctrination, Today at 12 p.m. PT (3 p.m. ET)

Today’s show title was inspired (pun intended) by the juxtaposition of two stories about the future of education in the United States. One story is about a new startup that aims to inspire grade school children to love and learn about science. The other is about a White House official who, after considering the system of educational indoctrination in China, concluded that, even in the United States, “high schools probably have a significant ability to move students toward what they consider ‘a correct worldview, a correct view on life, and a correct value system.'”

But, as we’ll see, the theme can be carried beyond the realm of education, to Obama’s use of his “pen and a phone,” to his characterization of Obamacare, to Islam and other totalitarian religions, and more. This dichotomy might even help explain the success of non-liberal talk radio!

See Program Notes, below, for all the stories, etc., we plan to discuss in today’s show.

Join in live, either by phone or in the chatroom!

The show can be accessed here.

To access the show’s page at BlogTalk Radio, which will allow you to check out a past episode or to subscribe via iTunes and other services, use this link.

To access the iTunes store page for “Don’t Let It Go…Unheard,” where you can find past episodes, subscribe, and leave ratings and reviews (pretty please!), use this link.

Finally, if you would like to support the podcast financially, please donate using your Pay Pal account or Credit Card here.

Program Notes

Get a Free Audible Trial and Support the Show!

Mystery Science tackles STEM education gap at the source, putting curiosity back in elementary schools

Cass Sunstein: Chinese student indoctrination study may be an ‘OPPORTUNITY’ for America

A scathing interview with a 5th grade teacher who was in the room when Common Core was being created

Study: New Technology Development Pushed By Feds Allows For Data Collection on Every Child

This kid is fat (according to the City of New York)

(Reprise from August 2013) The $4 Million Teacher

The New Abolitionism: Why Education Emancipation is the Moral Imperative of Our Time

Obama blames Founding Fathers’ ‘structural’ design of Congress for gridlock

Obama’s Creative New Way of Describing the Obamacare Mandate

Appeal filed for Sudanese woman sentenced to death for her Christianity

Politico: 5 ways to rescue liberal talk radio (but it won’t be easy)

The Only Email System The NSA Can’t Access

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