I'm proud to be an American, but I am ashamed and outraged by the legislative body that governs us.

The NSA Wiretap/phone database scandal is just the latest in a litany of attacks on our civil liberties, and what it means to be an American. The press is happily reporting that 65% of the public approves of domestic spying (despite the fact that there is no evidence to suggest that this spying has made us safer, with plenty of evidence to the contrary.)

I believe the continued tolerance or even approval, by the public, of these transgressions is the result of a mixture of ignorance and naivete. Ignorance of what is really being conducted under the guise of public safety. Ignorance of the law and of the constitution on which it is based. The naivete based largely in the assumption that the government's ethical and moral values are similar to our own… that the government is one of us. However, we have plenty of evidence to show that the ethical and moral behavior of organizations can differ dramatically from the individuals that make up those organizations. Unsafe mining conditions, toxic waste emissions, substandard airplane parts, inhumane nursing homes, bungled response to natural disasters, domestic spying, concentration camps, war these aren't the result of one person or some evil cabal… although it might be convenient to think so. They are the aggregate results of thousands of individual actions… individuals just like us.

Therefore, we must remain vigilant. We must be outraged when the organizations we enable fail us. We must understand we all are diminished when one of us is victimized by the system. It is our responsibility to learn from history, to think critically, and act ethically in our long term best interests… we must demand the same from our government.

Off the soapbox for a moment:

Our recent survey of local and national TV news was truly saddening. I encourage you to diversify your sources of information. A sampling:

[Reason Magazine](http://reason.com)

[Bruce Schneier on Security](http://www.schneier.com/blog/)

[DefenseTech](http://www.defensetech.org/)

[Lawrence Lessig](http://www.lessig.org/blog/)

[Electronic Frontier Foundation](http://www.eff.org/)