I don’t know how I feel about this whole Snowden NSA thing. I mean anyone who thinks the government wasn’t spying on us from the time government existed, is a fool. Back in the day when “government” was the biggest guy in a grouping of caves, he had his nosey wife keeping an eye on the neighbors and reporting back to him. Maybe I am less upset about the government keeping an eye on me because I am used to the government protecting me. Back in the day, when we still had “The Troubles”, even in the Republic precautions would be taken. For example, small villages didn’t have banks. So the Bank of Ireland used to have travelling banks. In my village, I briefly lived in the flat behind the location they would set up once every week. Because these travelling banks were prime targets for the IRA, I was used to having heavily armed soldiers outside my door every week and I was damn glad of it. So on the one hand I am okay with a nanny state who takes care of you. On the other hand, I understand Snowden and those who support him because they think the government is too much in our business. What surprises me is that people are surprised. Do they not read? Articles about judges ruling in favor of the FBI over Google for example. The government is clearly in our business and it is not new. It was touched on briefly in a Lesley Stahl piece just a few weeks prior to Snowden.

It is what else that 60 Minutes piece touched on that bothers me more. It is one thing for the government to be in my business, but Nordstrom is another story. I looked at a pair of $600 boots on their site last winter. Now I wasn’t going to buy them or anything else at Nordstrom. I was going to buy them out of season at a discount place or get a knockoff. Just like I used to window shop at Harrods to see what was in style then hit the trendy small shops for cheap knockoffs. But months later, everywhere I go online, I get bombed with Nordstrom ads. What really gets me is how specific their knowledge of you is. I read an article about 5-HTP. It is a natural remedy that helps people with depression. Studies have found however, it also helps people with chronic pain conditions. I have such a condition so I went to my favorite site for natural supplements, Puritan’s Pride to see if they carried it.

open tabs htp pur

htp fbThey do. And as you can see from my tool bar, I also had Facebook open. I heard a ping so I flipped back to Facebook. And what is already there? Not just an ad from Puritan’s Pride for 5-HTP, but an ad for Aleve. Why? Why not an ad for something for depression? Because they know me, and you, that well. You go ahead and worry about the Government. I am more concerned that Walmart knows more about me – even if I pay cash – and has more computer capabilities than the government and is more organized than the government. Face it, the government may be collecting all that data, but they have government employees compiling it and they are overwhelmed. They probably couldn’t find it in an emergency until after the bombing or whatever happens. If privacy is your concern, worry about Walmart not the government.


Published by Kate Eileen Shannon

Artist, Crafter, Writer, purveyor of ephemera and bagatelle


  1. I too have noticed those ads following everywhere I go and it really irks me at times. I don’t mind ads because – well – that’s just how business is done. And I don’t even mind the target ads as I got really tired in the “early days” of the internet of clicking on an ad to find it wasn’t available in my country… so that’s an improvement. But now, just because you look at something once, those are the only ads you see for the next six months. That’s when it get’s boring. I think we’d all be shocked to discover how much our banks and stores know about us – cash or no cash.
    Erica from


  2. Yes, spying done by the governing people is not something new. I wasn’t surprised but I think sometimes in a ‘free’ country or a more relaxed country like the USA or other western countries, we take the government’s protection for granted. Maybe that is why there is so much buzz around this topic.

    Frankly if you use a phone or the internet there is NO privacy. Can’t accept that then maybe you should reconsider technology in your life. 🙂


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: