Edward Snowden Hero or Traitor

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                                                            Should Edward Snowden be hailed as a hero

  Edward Snowden’s release of NSA material was a hugely important leak. The leaks confirmed that the U.S. government, without obtaining any legal warrants, routinely collects the phone logs of tens of millions of Americans, who have no links to terrorism whatsoever. A series of exposes beginning June 5, 2013 revealed Internet surveillance programs as well as the bulk collection of US and European telephone metadata. This amounts to breach of online privacy laws. The reports were based on documents Snowden leaked to The Guardian and The Washington Post while employed by NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Dan Carlin refers to Snowden as a hero even though he did break the law and many see him as a traitor and a risk to national security.

  I agree that Snowden is a hero. He was showing that we have right to speak as we choose and express our opinions. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States and it states “Criticism of the government and advocacy of unpopular ideas that people may find distasteful or against public policy are almost always permitted.”    In  Ireland  Freedom of expression is protected under the constitution.

You have a right to freely express your convictions and opinions. However, the Constitution asserts that the State should try to make sure that the radio, the press and the cinema are not used to undermine public order or morality or the authority of the State. It also states that it is an offense to publish or utter blasphemous, seditious or indecent matter.  http://www.citizensinformation.ie.

Edward Snowden, is a hero. Through standing up to the US gov’t and NSA, he put his job, his freedom and his life in danger just so Americans could have their freedom.

  None the less under American law he did commit treason and it is within America’s legal obligation to prosecute him so to many he will be looked upon as a traitor. Snowden knew that the government was doing things which people would not support and was deliberately not telling them about it. He acted on their consciences, and should not be condemned for doing so. He believes in the common view that the government does not have the right to define its own powers. That is the prerogative of the people, and in order to pass judgement, we need to be informed. We should ask ourselves are unaccountable governments dangerous things and even more dangerous than whistle-blowers.

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Coolock Community Garden

  ImageVolunteers Working in the community garden

  Up until October, the CHANGE Community Garden was merely a patch of unused land in the grounds of the Coolock Development Centre in Bunratty Drive. Doras Bui, who are part of a nationwide Community Food Initiative Programme funded by SafeFood and managed by Healthy Food for All, partnered with local organisations Northside Partnership and the Coolock Development Centre  have come together to transform this space into a community garden. Funding alone was not enough to get this garden started though, extra hands were badly needed to begin the heavy work of digging beds, landscaping and planting trees.

After putting out an appeal for help ,over 30 volunteers from theDoubleTree.Hilton.com/Dublin began the backbreaking  work. Volunteers from the Hilton were followed by another 30 volunteers from Mondelez International (Cadbury) who continued on with the excellent work started by the Hilton team.

 Speaking at the volunteer days, Linda Devlin, who is coordinating the project for Doras Buí, explained to volunteers that:  “Your work for us is invaluable. It can be difficult to get people excited about a community garden when all they see is grass. The work that you have begun today is already arousing and interest from the community with several people stopping to ask what is happening.    nmgarden                                              The CHANGE Community Garden is a key part of a wider enterprise ‘CHANGE’ (Creating Health Around Nutrition, Growing and Eating’), which aims to address issues of food poverty in the local community and to enable people to make healthy food choices for themselves and their children.  It is anticipated that the Community Garden will be a great resource for many groups in the Coolock area both as a learning exercise   offering  horticultural training. garden volunteers and the nearby Healthy Food Made Easy courses, and as a relaxing and therapeutic space for locals to come along and relax.

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Maeve Times

                                        

           

               Maeve’s Times: Irish Times Selected Writings by Maeve Binchy

 Maeve’s Times is both witty and intelligent and entertaining, which are excellent qualities in books. She began writing for The Irish Times when she was still working as a teacher, and became the paper’s women’s editor in 1968. In 1973 she moved to London, where she continued to write features and columns. Maeve Binchy’s much-loved Irish Times writings spanned five decades. An accidental journalist whose work first appeared after her father sent in colourful accounts he had received from her travels, from the beginning her writings reflected the warmth, wit and keen human interest that readers would come to love in her fiction.

 The book celebrates the work of the world’s best-loved writer, revealing her characteristic directness, laugh-out-loud humour and unswerving gaze into the true heart of a matter. Once I read one of the letters in the book I knew I had to read the next on and it became a cannot put down book. From ‘Life as a Waitress’ to ‘Encounters at the Airport’, ‘Staving Off the Senior Moments’ and the hilarious ‘My Theodora Story’, Maeve as  always put her own, unique take on life.

Maeve Binchy was a born ‘people watcher’ and wrote with the sharp eye and keen human interest that readers would come to love in her  fiction.

‘As someone who once  fell off a chair while trying to hear they what they were saying at the next table in a restaurant, I suppose I am obsessively interested in what some might consider the trivia of other people’s lives,’ she once confess ed.

Unsurprisingly, this is a very funny book; Binchy could make pretty much anything hilarious, from having one’s photograph taken to going to hospital. It was a great read and I would recommend it to be read wrapped up in a blanket on a cold winters night with a mug of drinking chocolate  or even a good bottle of wine in hand.

  

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