This past weekend in Chicago, we attended my youngest surviving son's wedding. It was held on a date, which he selected, that was three years and a month after his brother's death, to the love of his life, as stated in his marriage vows. His beautiful daughters watched this elegant and simple ceremony, each as teenagers looking for love and acceptance themselves -- but certainly they are the light of my life -- and trying to grasp how their Uncle Robert's murder changed the course of our little family. Our family, what is left of it, spent the long weekend celebration under one roof for the first time in over two decades, comfortably spreading out in my son's suburban mansion. This was a very healing and special time, and sent the newlyweds off to their life with joy and happiness. But it got me to think about my favorite subject community and how the formation of a strong and loving community is a great protection from violence or is it.
Here in a Chicago suburb a few miles from the Clinton Global Conference focused on world peace, I was surrounded by my entire family trying to put the pain behind us and be happy together. All of us have been struggling to let go of the past and focus on better times in our future. I thought about those who were no longer on this earth but with us just in spirit and how of our lives had been reformed by tragedy and early death. Anne, my new daughter-in-law, lost her mother seven years ago to cancer, as did my own step daughters who lost their mother to cancer at the age of 38 when they were 15 and 11. Then there was Andrew's brother the family leader for decency and honor, who guided the younger siblings whether they asked for it or not. His strong personality shaped all who he came in contact with, his sisters, brother and friends. He was gone in 6 minutes at 48 years old at the hands of out of control uniformed maniacs who beat him to death in front of his home one beautiful spring evening in Palm Desert, California.
It started me thinking about the current expose that the NSA has been taping everyone's phone calls, emails and text messages since they were able, through the advent of technology advancement and legal changes after the passage of the Patriot Act. I believe that we as tax payer underwrote all that creativity through our tax dollars, so doesn't that information belong to all of us? I am not speaking about the super high security clearance stuff that the NSA is supposed to follow, but, I am speaking about conversations where people reveal all sorts of secrets, plotting, maneuvering, romancing, confessing to another in the safety and security of our communication devises. Until now, whoa what are you going to tell your best friend about the beautiful hulk that just joined your firm, or confess to that little bit of work on your face that no one but you best friend will know, not so. What if then NSA decides to sell that information about how many women confess to have cosmetic surgery, or how many men has elicit affairs all accumulated by some big data government intervention and stored away safely until it is no longer safe, or since our data bases are so easily hacked as our whistle-blower would lead us to believe available for all to see and use.
Wouldn't it be great if there was a crime and the police could just listen to all the taped conversations with key words and find the criminals? This idea popped in my head, which left me spinning with fear and concern. I was thinking what if that there was several conversations between those four deputies who beat my son the death with each other when they got home from their duties and as they went through the investigation process, those conversations would certainly reveal the true picture of what happened the evening of May 14, 2010. If I had access to that information it might changes the entire outcome of the next trial. Now I am not saying that I would be able to have access to their phone calls without a subpoena, providing that they exists, but what an intriguing and scary thought. Is this the reality that Big Brother has been here for quite a long time, and we are not in on the game?
I am going to ponder this new wrinkle that we now know that we are being monitored by our government to this new extent and for some time, as I set out to raise crowd funding help for our Peacemaker Corps Association "Peace in the Streets" initiative. In a perfect world where we all know everything about everyone, I could just pick up my phone ,or my e-mail and let everyone know what I am doing and just get the necessary funds wired in. Oh, right this is the 21st century with social media, Twitter, etc. where we tell all to anyone who will listen, I now have another listening audience, the NSA. I hope that they learn from my ranting's about building a Culture of Peace as part of our diplomacy and they can broadcast that information to whom they want whenever they will.