The Edward Snowden case seems pretty far away from the boundaries of my current book research. Yet the tentacles of domestic surveillance twist and stretch pretty far if you let your mind go. Before long, a tenuous link seems possible to all sorts of innocuous things. Like good ol' snail mail. And, no, I'm not currently wearing a tin foil hat.
Instead, I'm thinking about a distantly related domestic spying story that crossed my radar on July 4th. If you didn't see it, the mere novelty of Postal Service spying should garner at least an old-timey raised eyebrow. Goodness knows mine certainly arched when I saw a breakdown of "mail covers" and how one forgetful employee in Buffalo let an internal notice of doing so slip on by. The evidence ended up in the subject's mailbox. Who happens to run an anarchist bookstore. Nothing will come of it, in all likelihood. I humbly suggest that our collective lack of surprise to such matters - especially in the wake of Snowden's desperate cry for attention - stands as a most striking national evolution. This story stuck with me and I suggest checking out. You just might never look at your pile of Pottery Barn catalogs and ValPaks the same way again.