Today was a huge day for America.
The Senate approved legislation that will prevent the National Security Agency from systematically collecting private data from Americans without legitimate cause.
This is something that greatly affects everybody. The NSA essentially faced no limitations in who it could spy on. Which means everybody was fair game.
And while the average citizen will scoff and say the government had no reason to track them, they’re missing the point. Just knowing that you could be watched anywhere and at anytime is a major encroachment of civil liberties, and a behavior by our government that is reminiscent of Nazi Germany.
It’s what George Orwell warned of in his classic dystopian novel, 1984. We were not many steps away from fearing that anything we say or type that diverges from our government’s thinking could get us arrested. We were a lot closer to that than you think. And yet most people will never know or care.
But thanks to Edward Snowden’s revelations two years ago, there is enough public knowledge out there to prevent it from ever getting to that point, and a majority of U.S. senators took note. Good, job, Senate. Never thought I’d say that.
On a more global level, something of even greater significance occurred today: Sepp Blatter, the leader of FIFA who for nearly two decades created a culture of corruption, exploitation and thievery, resigned. The word is that the U.S. Justice Department is investigating him and will likely arrest him in the near future.
This is probably the greatest American takedown since Osama Bin Laden.
It’s undoubtedly a good thing and hopefully FIFA can clean itself up moving forward. But, to me, it also begs a question: how hard is it to be in a position of excessive power and not utilize it to your advantage for personal gain?
I mean, it’s illegal, so that should be all the incentive you need. But it just goes to show — give a person a little power and influence and they’ll find it hard to resist.
These FIFA officials were accepting millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for their votes, and this is something you see among politicians all across the world. The more responsibility one obtains, the more they’re expected to live a squeaky clean life.
And that is why I am perfectly content being an unambitious, bottom-feeding slouch. If I ever become famous, TMZ would have a field day with my Twitter history. The mere thought of it terrifies me.
But anyway, the point is that today is one of the rare days when we can actually be proud of the powerful people in our country. They took action to protect our civil liberties while also ridding the world of its most corrupt sports executive.
Now just find a way to deport Justin Bieber, and we’ve hit the mother lode.