SeaViews: Insights from the Gray Havens 
August 2004

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

Disclaimer: The editor speaks only for himself, and sometimes even he is wrong.


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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 campaign."

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 fiction.

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.

On Another Pet Peeve;
Cannot the ACLU and the rest of America get a clue about separation of Church and State? You Americans get all excited about the "One nation under God" clause of the Pledge of Allegiance or prayer in schools, yet seem to care not a wit about: states with blue laws (banning alcohol sales on Sunday), the "In God we trust" stamped on all of your money, the references to the Creator in the Constituion and Declaration of Independance, etc etc. Come on people, get a sense of perspective. You are pissing away real freedoms under the Patriot Act and waste breath on this stupid Church and State issue.

Guest Editorial:

author: unknown, but likely Micheal Moore or a NY Times columnist
submitted by: J Thorne

Somehow, you have to believe that:

1. Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred
of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

2. The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our
highest national priority is enforcing UN resolutions against Iraq.

3. "Standing Tall for America" means firing your workers and moving
their jobs to India.

4. A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but
multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind
without regulation.

5. Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a
conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our
prayers for your recovery.

6. The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in
speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

7. Group sex and drug use are degenerate sins unless you someday run
for governor of California as a Republican.

8. If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

9. A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies,
then demand their cooperation and money.

10. HMOs and insurance companies have the interest of the public at heart.

11. Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing
health care to all Americans is socialism.

12. Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but
creationism should be taught in schools.

13. It is okay that the Bush family has done $millions of business with
the Bin Laden family.

14. Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's
daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and
a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.

15. A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable
offense. A president lying to enlist support for a war in which
thousands die is solid defense policy.

16. Government should limit itself to the powers named in the
Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the

17. The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but
George Bush's Harken Oil stock trade are none of our business.

18. You support states' rights, which means Attorney General John
Ashcroft can tell states what local voter initiatives they have a right
to adopt.

19. What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest,
but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.

20. Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but
trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

21. Affirmative Action is wrong but that it is ok for your Daddy and
his friends to get you into Yale, the Texas Air National Guard, Harvard
Business School, part ownership of Harken Oil, part ownership of the
Texas Rangers, the Governorship of Texas and then have the Supreme
Court Appoint you President of the USA!


1. David Gay writes;
Date: 8/17/2004

This month;

"What will it take for the 2 Johns to give Dems something to vote

regards, S

PS: Please include any local anecdotes/news
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.


2. Jeff Thorne writes

Date: 8/20/2004

>"What will it take for the 2 Johns to give Dems something to vote


I do not think you need to worry about the election. The
Republicans are likely to win and I do not expect it to be close.
After the Republican convention, G.W. Bush should get an upswing in the polls and it will all be over. The Republicans have the money, the most practiced negative campaigners, and the majority on the Supreme Court. It is hard to imagine them losing.

Below, I forward to your readers a related message that I was forwarded. Unfortunately, I do not know who deserves credit for it.

Before signing off, I do have one question that maybe you could use for your next issue. It is: Is the person (people?) who exposed CIA agent Valerie Plame guilty of treason? If so, should the traitor(s) be executed?

thanks, J.L.T.
Ed: Thanks for the FIX suggestion, and we will use your "Hard to be a Republican" column as the guest Editorial.

Quote(s) of the month:

"Dealing with Microsoft is like a poor one night stand, no kissing before and no respect afterwords."
-- Serge

Fix of the month:

A 2 parter:

a. Is the person (people?) who exposed CIA agent Valerie Plame guilty of treason? If so, should the traitor(s) be executed?

b. Shuold a US soldier recently returned from war be arrested for treason if, while still in uniform, he appears on TV on the enemie's country and declares all of his comrades  performed torture contrary to the rules of war?



1. Seattle, Sept 1: Port Townsend to Whidbey island ferry riders are enjoying free WIFI service under a FTA funded pilot of WIFI access for the boat routes. Sadly, the state is taking bids now for the rest of the fleet, and it will be a fee based service.

Washington D.C.

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 world wide.