Are your Rights for Sale? PART IV

Ladies and Gentlemen, esteemed visitors and new readers,

I am blogging tonight about privacy;  Your privacy.

Lately, I have been keeping an eye on the media and the issues around online privacy.  These issues range from company heads telling people to “get over it”, to cloud computing, (including web-based e-mail) and even Facebook’s new privacy features.  Granted, most of the links are from a few sites, but they are issues that seriously concern me.

It comes to show that people are being just plain irresponsible with their personal information.  People are obsessive…. about everything.  If they have a place where they can post every little detail about their life, their friends lives and more… many people will.  That’s why social networking sites exist.  So your friends can see all of this stuff about you…. but what good is it to brag about something if it might cost you your future?

One by one, allow me to address these issues.

Company heads telling people to get over their breach of privacy

This is wrong on many levels.  First, no corporation should ever say anything like this.  The whole idea of a corporation is to keep the owners’ assets separate from a publically traded business. These company heads are sying that their information is more important than everyone elses.  Second, selling or allowing access of someone’s personal details is like someone selling or giving away a company’s trade secrets.  They’ll scream bloody murder, but you should get over us selling you out.  Finally, why should everyone know that I occasionally search for new products to cure pimples on my back side, or whatever strange thing I want to know about? There are plenty of perfectly legal reasons to not want people to know what you are doing. So “get over it” ?  I don’t think so, get over any company that spouts this garbage.

Cloud Computing

Are you nuts?  Store all of your documents and data on someone else’s server?  What if they have a security breach and you have your business plan in an online office suite?  Some jerk breaks in, takes your business plan and makes a fortune off it…. while also pushing you out of the market because he was able to execute it faster with the profits made by stealing people’s credit card numbers. This is a bit off the wall,  but it goes to show. You might think it’s no big deal to store your documents online, but it’s like storing your underwear in your front yard.  Sure, probably not a big deal….but it can be real easy.  If you want to get into the cloud.  Get a server of your own and put the cloud there.  Use a good Cloud server OS.  Want online office capabilities? Look at Zimbra Open Source, and eyeOS (the next release is going to be real impressive).  Take some responsibility, and keep your data safe, secure and accessible.

Those are just the most basic things.  Keep in mind that once your info is out there …. it can be a lot of work to make it go away.

Don’t sell your privacy folks.  I might not want to know about your obsession for googling for Gay Donkey Porn, but on the other hand do you want it to turn up in a Google search at some point?

Here are some tools to help out with privacy -

  • Mozilla Firefox or Chromium Web Browser, they both have a safe browsing mode.  IE does too, but you can’t verify their safety due to lack of community code auditing provided by open source.
  • Scroogle – Secure, anonymous Google searching.
  • Tor
  • Freenet
  • Enigmail
  • and finally….most importantly…. not a download…. Common Sense!
Posted in Government and Politics at December 11th, 2009. No Comments.

Socialist Healthcare? Yuck!

President Obama is trying push through a government funded Universal Healthcare plan.  This plan will use taxpayers’ money to fund medical coverage for anyone in the United States.

Personally, I don’t like it, I don’t want to see Government supplied health care. I don’t go to the doctor’s very often, I rarely feel ill and take care not to damage my body when possible. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I am invincible or can’t become ill, but I am making the point that I don’t use my health insurance that often.  That being said, I don’t want to be paying health insurance premiums (by way of taxes) for someone else who uses it considerably more than I do because they do not lead a healthy lifestyle or take more dangerous risks than the average person.

What I would like to see is  more people taking the responsibility for themselves. Rather than forcing everyone to pay for everyone else’s health care, I would like to see more options for the individual that understands the need for health care, but would rather not pay for something as restrictive as an insurance policy.  I for one would love to switch to a Health Savings Account (HSA) and a High Deductible Insurance Policy (HDIP) where I pay about the same, but the money to cover my high deductible goes into an account held at my bank.  This means, that whatever happens, as long as I continue doing banking with my bank, I have that HSA built up as money to cover my own health expenses.

Better yet, I would like to see more banks come up with their own form of voluntary Health Savings plan for individuals who would rather just put all of the money they would normally pay for insurance premiums into a savings account that can only be used for medical expenses.  That way, medical expenses are completely funded with one’s own money and can be taken along wherever you go.  This would be good for individuals with or without jobs, employed or self-employed because it would offer the option of not paying, but still having health coverage when times are hard.

Providing education and expecting responsibility is always better than being “mother” to everyone and doing everything for them.

Posted in Government and Politics at July 24th, 2009. No Comments.

Off the Grid

Wouldn’t it be nice to not pay your electric bill?  How about grocery shopping?

Imagine not having to buy electricity, food or any of the bare necessities.  You could buy a farm, but that’s pretty expensive. It would take care of food, but how about energy?  Maybe you’re not into “roughing it”…

If any of these questions got you thinking… “wow, that would be nice” or “Don’t I wish?” then this post is for you.

I’m looking for people to help build a non-profit cooperative community.  Not strictly like the old Hippie Communes or an Amish settlement or anything… well, similar to both in some ways.

What we would do is start off by buying some acreage with a few important features.  A running stream of some sort, some cleared land for gardning, and some space for building the “village”

Ideally, the community would have it’s own utility services for water, sewage, electricity and communications.  The goal is to have a collective income for everyone.  Everyone works either a regular job, or one of the community-owned businesses to earn their keep.  There will be a weekly fee that everyone must pay to be part of the community, which covers the costs of operation.  Mortgage, taxes, Internet/Telephone uplink, maintenance of the roads and utilities, upkeep of the community businesses, gardens and other necessities.  After this is all taken care of, the remainder is divided up evenly to all residents to do with as they wish.

This all a non-profit organization, we could offer things that most businesses offer their employees, benefits such as health insurance, retirement savings, and so on.  Ideally, we would also have medical specialists in the community to operate a basic health center.

If it seems like I’m moving from tangent to tangent, it’s because I’m still brainstorming and coming up with things that would help a cooperative community work.  The main idea is to combine the buying power of a whole community to increase the standard of living for everyone.  The community could have businesses run by residents that are open to the public.  The business would be owned by the whole community, and any income from it would go towards the community.  Residents could also choose to have outside jobs and contribute back to the community.

Make no mistakes, it won’t be easy.  Everyone would have to provide some of the pie.  We would need people who are employed by the community to take care of the farm, and utilities even though such things as food, electricity, housing, and such are free to community members.

I’m not sure of all the details, or if anyone else would even be interested, but I know a lot of people who are struggling on their own who would be able to benefit from cooperating together to build a better life for everyone overall.

Things get cheaper when bought in bulk…especially land… For example, it might be pretty expensive for someone making $30,000 a year to buy an acre of land and put a house on it, but with 10 people making that, it wouldn’t be a problem to buy 30 acres of land and put medium-sized dwellings on it.  Once the land is purchased, and everyone is paying for it, one could start out living in a meager dwelling (second hand mobile home? campling trailer? etc) and build a larger dewlling little by little without having to worry about coming up with more loans and money right away.

Maybe others have ideas or thoughts on this… chime in please!

Are your rights for sale?

Daily I see people posting surveys and answering tons of very personal questions. I know most of you are going to say “So What, I don’t care, it’s just a few quesations.” So that leads me to ask one question.

Is your first ammendment right to privacy for sale?

Same thing with marketing surveys, companies offer to pay people for filling out personally identifiable information to use for “marketing demographics.” What they mean is “we’re going to get your information, and sell it to others looking to sell you things.” Yet they usually don’t even check to make sure the company they are selling your personal information to is Legit.

Why is this important? you ask. Why do people care that out government is among those who are spying on them? How about the premise “innocent until proven guilty” becoming “forget about it, we say your guilty” … What do you have to hide?

Nothing really, it truly is your choice to give up your personal information and share it with people who could collect your surveys and apply for credit cards, bank accounts, airline tickets and live the good life you want to live … at your expense.

Our forefathers who wrote the constitution obviously thought privacy of American citizens was important enough to be put into the main governing law of the entire nation. They obviously thought people should have the ability to protect themselves against being incriminated. Why do you think you cannot be held as a witness against yourself?

Privacy. How important is it to you?

So think about this next time you go to fill out a survey, or add a friend. MySpace is not owned by Tom it is a subsidiary of Fox News Corporation and Tom is a PR specialist. No one starts a company because they think “wouldn’t it be cool if everyone had friends?” The whole idea of starting a company is to make money… pure and simple.

Ok everyone…now to see how much you read:

1. What is your name?

2. What is your favorite Color?

3. Are you Male or Female?

4. What was the last Survey you filled out?

Posted in Government and Politics at May 29th, 2006. No Comments.

Are your Rights for Sale? Part II

I guess I wasn't just theorizing a conspriacy when I wrote the first part of this Entry.

[url=http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19025556.200?DCMP=NLC-nletter&nsref=mg19025556.200]This Article[/url] States that the NSA is planning to parse Myspace, and other online Social networks.

Did I predict this or what?

Are your Rights for sale? PART III

Well everyone, it looks like congress has approved a bill to allow warrantless wiretapping. (see attached article)

If you ask me, it seems that our government is going more and more towards what Germany had just prior to WWII. The government is going to have so much power that people will have to worry about the secret police coming to their home and leaving their families in shambles.

In a country where Freedom of Speech, The Right To Bear Arms, and the right to Privacy are laid out plain and simple in a special part of our constitution called the Bill of INALIENABLE rights, it seems that some people feel the need to challenge the foundations, and alienate these rights.

[b]From Dictionary.com[/b]
Inalienable
Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[in-eyl-yuh-nuh-buhl, -ey-lee-uh-] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation