THE WHISTLEBLOWERS: MODERN DAY HEROS?
“Does Big Brother exist?”
“Of course he exists. The Party exists. Big Brother is the embodiment of the Party.”
“Does he exist in the same way as I exist?”
“You do not exist.”
― George Orwell, 1984
There can not be a better adaptation of Orwell’s classic 1984 (BIG BROTHER) than what we are seeing play out in Moscow right now. Thirty year old Edward Snowden has gone–virtually overnight–from being a common, run of the mill, unexceptional in every way, law-abiding American worker to become the number one news item in every newspaper in every language in every country in the world. His story has gripped us like a soap opera where the grande finale is eagerly anticipated by a record audience. Books and movies will soon appear, no doubt.
What is more, Edward Snowden no longer exists, at least legally. The US has revoked Snowden’s passport. On the run and currently stateless, and as such finds himself outside of the protection and jurisdiction of international law. What is more, the US has decided to make an example of him in case others might consider similar actions and has used excessive and disproportionate force. Any country that might offer him safe haven has already been threatened or pressured. Just yesterday the Bolivian president’s (Evo Morales) plane was unexpectedly –and illegally– re-routed to Vienna and not allowed to exit european space because the Americans thought that Snowden might have been on board.
What has Snowden done that is so remarkable? Very little, really…Snowden had an attack of conscience…something that happens to most of us from time to time. When Snowden realized that his boss was not quite the boss that he had signed up to work for, he decided to become a whistleblower. Why? Snowden: ”to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them”
Had Snowden been an employee of a pharmaceutical manufacturer that was falsifying test results for the sake of profit margins, or of an aviation giant putting passenger safety behind meeting a deadline, then Snowden would be hailed as a hero. BUT because Snowden’s boss is NSA–the world’s most powerful, best funded and most secretive information gathering organization–Snowden is instead a fugitive, on the run; hunted and terrorized by the world’s most powerful country.
Ofcourse, no one can deny what Snowden did by leaking classified and ultra-secret information was illegal. What is more, he knew this BEFORE he embarked on this adventure: Snowden had previously signed a non-disclosure document before starting to work at the NSA. But this is not the point of Snowden’s actions. He knows perfectly well that he will not be able to hide indefinitely. He knows the risk that he might soon die as a direct result of his action. Snowden’s motivation is to stop our world from becoming what George Orwell feared it might become, before it is too late. Maybe it is already too late…
The Edward Snowden case has become the latest in a list of high-profile whistleblower revelations of how some of the American government’s most powerful institutions are running wild, operating outside of and at times in flagrant violation of existing laws. Only history will be able to accurately judge Snowdon’s sacrífice.
CUBAN STAR BRUZON WINS EDMONTON EASILY
x-table courtesy of ChessVibes
31-year old Cuban superstar Bruzon won the 8th Edmonton International with a fantastic 8 points out of 9 games. Congrats! Enroute to this success, Bruzon showed real class , defeating (crushing) all of his main rivals, including Short, Mikhalevski, Hansen and Porper.
The games can be found HERE.
In the OPEN section of the Edmonton Festival Alexandra Botez took first place. Congrats. Her prize included a cheque and a life-size rubber replica of Calgary legend Eric Hansen. (Doesn’t even look like him!–ed.)
I have already, on more than one occasion on his blog, written about the exploits of the Cuban duo Dominguez and Bruzon and how they have elevated Cuban chess to the world elite. LINK Both players are (or have been) rated 2700 for some time now. Both have played in many of the world’s elite tournaments, both scoring tremendous success.
BUT LIFE AT THE TOP is not a bed of roses and Bruzon went thru a bad spell a number of years ago that saw his rating drop from 2700 to the low 2500’s. When this happened he lost his special status, as well as his invitations. At about the same time Dominguez started a string of successes that propelled him into the top tournaments (rating 2700-plus). Since there is such a competition for getting such invitations, Bruzon finds himself excluded while Dominguez gets the invitations, even though both are about the same strength.
IN ANY CASE, it is easy to explain Bruzon’s success in Edomonton: every tournament is an attempt to prove himself, again and again. And his results keep getting better and better! Perhaps Bruzon is even better today than Nakamura…my Canadian readers will be able to follow the Cuban’s games this summer as he will be in Canada, first playing in the Canadian Open in Ottawa, and then playing in an even stronger Québec Open. I will keep the readers abreast.
CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE
A PIC IS WORTH A 1,000 WORDS…
Canadian teenager Ashley Tapp is something of a media sensation, having last year gone public to raise awareness of chess and to raise money for her to participate in youth chess tournaments , both in Canada and abroad. I wrote several blog articles of her excellent marketing skills. One such article is HERE. As well, Ashley has started a facebook blog which is filled with photos and news of her ongoing efforts. Just last week she launched a FOUNDATION for girls’ chess, at the DoJang Studio of Martial Arts.
SINGLE HANDEDLY Ashley has done more to promote chess in Canada in the past year than the CFC has done in the past 10 years! Ashley is proof that if you want to get things done then it is best to do them yourself!´The PHOTO above and those below are from the Vancouver Busker Festival (July1). ENJOY!