Motto: The surest way to get a reputation for being a trouble maker these days is to go about repeating the very phrases that the Founders used in the struggle for independence.
-- C.A. Beard
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On last month's Fix;
the answer to last month's Fix,
"What will it take for the 2 Johns to give Dems something to vote _for_?"
Perhaps the question was a bit vague. It would have been
better, "what can the 2 Johns credibly offer as an alternative to
Bush?" During JF Kerry's coronation speech, a quick tally shows that
his free health care, free education, free housing and what else would
pretty quickly chew up all money that could be gained by rolling back
the tax cuts for the rich that occured under Bush 2 (hear that all you
rich people who got your $300 or $600 checks from the IRS?).
But I think one of the readers nailed it when he said, "They'd
have to stop turning to Bill and HIllary to lend some spark to the
On a Pet Peeve;
Privacy, govt. and hypocrisy. The Surpreme Court in 1973 Roe v Wade
managed to find a "right to privacy" in the COnstitution, although
those words are not present in the document, and created a right to
abortion based on the assumed right to privacy. OK, so why don't I have
a right to financial privacy from the IRS? Long time readers will
recall the former editor's rants against the IRS. For one thing, an
Income Tax is unConstitutional, the Ammendment that was meant to make a
direct capitated tax legal was never lawfully ratified. To circumvent
this little problem, the
letter from the IRS Commisioner on the front page of each year's tax
booklet used to (until I think the mid 90s) actually thank the nation's
taxpayers for making our "voluntary tax system" the most generous in
the world. Yeah, voluntary. Now the IRS does not even bother with the
Second, this whole concept of one's Social Security number. Few of you may know this, but it began under FDR as a tracking system for the nation's elderly to dispurse checks for those who were on Social Security payments. That is all it was ever going to be used for, and it was to be kept private. Then Medicare/Medicaid came along, and the use of the SocSec was expanded to cover that. Then the IRS figures, what the hell, let's use the Soc Sec number for a national tax payer ID, but it will never ever be shared with anyone else.
Well guess what? This week I bought a hunting and fishing license,
and they required my Sec Sec number. Why? To comply with a 1996 Federal
Law to find deadbeat dads, so scoundrals that beget a child and skip
the state can be found when they get a fishing licencse in another
state. But that number will never ever be used for any other purpose -
really - and you can be assured that your right to a private abortion
is protected - although you will need to provide your Soc Sec number to
get one under the evolving national health care plan.
Several years ago, Oracle President Larry Ellison was asked about
privacy in the era of the Internet and large databases. He said, "There
isn't any - get over it." The proof Ellison's statement is in the News
from Britain - see below.
This month;I think that to give Dems something to vote for the 2 Johns will have to tell the 2 Clintons to get lost. Until any Dem has the balls to do this, they will all be considered second string.
"What will it take for the 2 Johns to give Dems something to vote
PS: Please include any local anecdotes/news
1. Aug 23: Aetne Insurance group has promised lower auto-insurance rates to 5000 policy holders who will volunteer to have GPS trackers installed on their cars. Said a spokesman, "We will only use these devices to reward good drivers with cheaper rates, and the data will never be shared with anyone else - really."
2. July 10: For the 3'rd time, Senator Ted Kennedy was refused permission to board a flight home from Reagen Natl. Airport. Why? Becuase his name appeared on the secret FBI's list of terrorist suspects. So far about 350 persons have been denied the right to travel under this Homeland Security measure, but unlike Ted Kennedy, they cannot simply call HS Director Tom Ridge to be taken off the list.
1. Wired, July 28: At the annual Big Brother awards, experts
consiting of judges, computer consultants and lawyers reviewed the
largest threats to British Privacy Rights. The award for Most
Instrusive Foreign Power went to the United States for its US-Visit
program that requires people entering he US on a visa to be
digitally fingerprinted and face scanned.
Worst Public Servant award went to Minister of CHildren
Margaret Hodge for her plan to use RFIDs to track minors in Great
Britain - for their safety of course.
British Gas was awarded the Most Hypocritic Company for
"Failing to notify authorties that an elderly couple could not pay
their overdue gas bill of $225, resulting in their death by
hypothermia." Had BG notified authorities, emergency rules would have
required BG to provide heating gas during the winter. BG said they
declined to provide such notification to protect the couple's privacy.
Winner of the Most Invasive Company goes to FollowUS for implanting
GPS chips in cell phones to provide "peace of mind." The phones will be
trackable by law enforcement.
Most Appalling Public WOrks Project goes to the Natl Health Service
for putting every citizens health records on a web accessable database.
Most Heinous Govt Project is similar to above, but aims to collect
_all_ property, financial, employment, health, tax and "other" records
on UK citizens for access by govt. agencies.
Runner up for most Heinous, the TRansportation dept. for planning to
put GPS and other spyware chips into all vehicles sold in the UK so as
to notify authorities of speeding, double parking, and other acts of
criminal nature. The offense would be transmitted and a summons would
follow in the mail..
Award winners are presented with a golden trophy of a boot grinding
a persons face into the soil.
This September, organizer Privacy International plans to release a
comprehensive list of all anti-terrorism policies going into effect