Recap: The Story so far.
What typical Americans learn about NSA spying, the Manning Trial and Edward Snowden from Mainstream Media
Mom and Dad Normal are Baby Boomers. They live in Bathtub Falls, in a pleasant housing development, on Primrose Lane. They always vote, although Mom votes Democrat and Dad votes Republican so they cancel each other out. Their children are all grown, although their 25-year-old son, Abe Normal, lives in their basement because he works at BoxMart and doesn’t make a living wage. Abe has a degree in Criminal Justice from State College and is paying off his student loans. Mom and Dad are co-signers on those loans, so they let him live in the basement rent-free. He has his own mini-bar down there and a private entrance.
Mom and Dad are just entering their late fifties/early sixties, and they hoped to be planning retirement now, but things don’t look as good as they hoped. Mom lost her job a few years ago, and hasn’t been able to get a new one, so they aren’t saving any more. They hope Dad will keep working and never retire. They put their savings into their 401Ks at work, but lo and behold, that didn’t add up to much money after all.
They have a neighbor, Buck Stopshere, who is trying to get Dad to join the Tea Party.
Recently, Mom and Dad learned that the NSA is capturing all the data from their phone calls and emails and storing it in a big database. They initially thought that was no problem, because they have nothing to hide. Also, they want to be safe, and the world is a dangerous place. Although Mom and Dad are aware that their risk of being killed by a terrorist is less than their risk of falling in the bathtub, they worry anyway. Their daughter, Sue B. Normal , who is an elementary school teacher, has been learning about the risks of terrorism, in her class to arm schoolteachers. As she learns things, she explains them to Mom and Dad.
Last night, Mom and Dad Normal watched President Barack Obama on the Jay Leno show. The President said, specifically, that the U.S. does not do any domestic spying. This put Mom and Dad’s worries to rest. Then Michael Hayden, former NSA director, explained to them that people who concern themselves with domestic spying are domestic terrorists, who live in their parent’s basements and waste their lives on the Internet.
They immediately ran to the basement to check on Abe, but he was sleeping. He had his backpack open, so they looked inside to see if there was a pressure cooker in there. Finding nothing but an empty Dorito’s bag, they felt calmer and went to bed.
This morning, they awoke to the news that Sen McCain wants the U.S. to punish Russia for refusing to extradite Snowden. They also were encouraged to hear that the NSA spying program successfully listened in on a coven of Al Qaeda operatives, who made a big conference call. All the BigShots in Al Qaeda were on the call, and they laid out all their plans, their organization structure, their command structure, and identified a Big Plot in the future. Mom and Dad were very happy to hear that President Obama responded by closing 20 U.S. embassies. They didn’t want another Benghazi in their future.
Just then, Abe came up from the basement, in his bare feet, smelling like he needed a shower. He scratched his belly and yawned, as the news droned on.
“Funny,” Abe said, through his sleepy yawn, “you’d think Al Qaeda would know not to use telephones now, after Snowden told them about the NSA. They never used them before.”
Then Abe went back to bed.
Dad Normal looked up from his Washington Post. Across the breakfast table to Mom, he said, “Is Benghazi the capital of Libya?”
“No,” Mom said. “It’s Tripoli.”
“Huh,” Dad said. “I wonder why there was an American embassy there.”
And the sleep goes on.