Archive for the Privacy Category

Public Bathrooms:  “Separate and Unequal” (December 26, 2016)

Posted in Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, Gay Politics, Gender, Privacy, Society on December 26, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Someone who was one of the three or perhaps four heterosexual intellectuals in American to support gay marriage during the dark ages – in the early summer of 2011 – finds himself troubled by this new unbounded license to choose bathroom policy.”

J          “That makes you all kinds of very bad things, you know.  A reactionary, a red neck, a misanthrope, a misogynist, a mugwump and a sexist.  For openers.”

. . .

K          “Decades ago, I argued that notions of equal protection required more physical bathroom facilities for women than for men.  That turned some folks apoplectic.  Look at the lines outside the women’s bathrooms that form even today.  The average time per visit for women is much longer than for men.  I contended that the only way to achieve equality was and is to implement inequality.  That did not sit well in some quarters.”

. . .

K          “Clean available public bathrooms are key to public health.  Think about it.  When you turn on the television, they say that you invite into your living room deplorable characters that you would not allow to tread anywhere on your property.  Public bathrooms are part of the social contract we make with fellow citizens allowing all of us to enter and share the most private chamber in one’s castle for a short and awkward period of time.”

J          “When I stand next to an imperfect stranger at the wall urinal, I recognize that I am waiving my privacy in an uneasy truce with the other chaps for a minute or two.”

K          “Exactly.  We all agree to a ‘modus vivendi’ that entails a temporary suspension of our privacy.”   

. . .

K          “Thus, there must be an unequal number of stalls for women than men.  And the stalls should be kept separate based on decisions made by Nature.  In all other ways, treat everyone equally.”

. . .

J          “The likely response and compromise will be more single ‘family’ bathroom units in the future.”

K          “Building design will change.  The total number of square feet per person dedicated to public restrooms will increase.”

. . . 

K          “I wonder if being way ahead of the curve in the past is likely to lead one to be way ahead of the curve in the future.  Few see it.”

J          “You are still a filthy troglodyte.”

K          “I resemble that remark.”

. . .  

[See the “e-commentary” at “Brown: 5 – Plessy: 4 (June 29, 2015)”, “The Tsunami Hits Shore (March 24, 2014)” and “The Sea Change Is Now A Tsunami (March 11, 2013)”.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Public Bathrooms:  “Separate and Unequal”

The Great Google Wall (June 27, 2016)

Posted in Courts, Google, Privacy on June 27, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “I am found on Google, therefore I am; I am not found on Google, therefore I am not.”

J          “If you are not making money for Google, you are not found on Google; if you are not found on Google, you do not exist.  You are not.”

. . .

K          “You could play one of those Will Shortz puzzler games.  ‘Drop the word “ogle” which means “to look at amorously, flirtatiously, or impertinently” and add a “d” and what do you get?  . . .  God.’”

J          “Google is the gateway to reality and the wall to existence.”

. . .

K          “Google has emerged as a natural monopoly.  By definition, the free market cannot regulate a natural monopoly.  A natural monopoly should be broken up or regulated.”

J          “Google is our contemporary ‘Pa Bell’ much like ‘Ma Bell’ that dominated the telephone industry forty years ago.  Google is a national public utility.” 

K          “And the United States Court of Appeals for The District of Columbia Circuit agrees.”

. . .

[See “United States Telecom Ass’n v. Federal Communications Comm., No. 15-1063 (June 14, 2016).” and “Court Backs Rules Treating Internet as Utility, Not Luxury” by Cecilia King, June 14, 2016.]

[See the e-commentary at “Less Government Regulation Series:  Google (November 30, 2009).”]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Google is God; net neutrality is good.

Chelsea And Ed:  Time For “Con” “dign” Treatment (November 30, 2015)  

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Bureaucracy, Civil Rights/Civil Liberties, O'Bama, PATRIOT Act, Privacy, Profile In Courage Award, Supreme Court on November 30, 2015 by e-commentary.org

 

. . .

K          “Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of Edward Snowden’s receipt, along with  several standing ovations in the Swedish parliament, of the Right Livelihood award for his revelations of the scale of government surveillance and monitoring.  And a fortnight ago O’Bama announced the recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and forgot to mention Edward.  And right after he released Edward Pollard, a spy who pedaled state secrets for money.”

J          “He released the wrong Ed.  He’s a busy guy.”

K          “The absurdity and the insanity and the dishonesty and the hypocrisy continue in overdrive.”

. . .

K          “For two individuals who did so much to protect our liberty and freedom, neither of them should lose a moment’s freedom or liberty.  Require them each to do one thousand hours of community service.  To send a message that actions have consequences.” 

. . .

K          “The FISA Amendments Act (FAA) is the unconstitutional law that allows the government to wiretap Americans who are communicating with people overseas.  Under the FAA, the government can conduct this surveillance without naming individuals and without a traditional warrant based on a showing of probable cause.”

J          “Despite the Fourth Amendment that requires a warrant.”

K          “Yup.  Despite the Fourth Amendment that requires a warrant.  When the Supreme Court addressed whether the unconstitutional law is unconstitutional the Supreme Court did not address the constitutionality of the law itself and instead ruled that the plaintiffs could not prove the surveillance was ‘certainly impending’.”

J          “We suffer because of the ignorance and intentional naiveté and dishonesty of the Supreme Court.  Goes to show.”

K          “They are only running show trials.  The plaintiffs were held not to have the ‘standing’ necessary to sue.  They were just a group of lawyers, journalists, and human rights advocates who regularly communicate with likely ‘targets’ of FAA wiretapping.”

J          “Seems like a ‘stand up’ group of individuals to me.”

K          “Since the ‘stand up’ group of Americans did not have definitive proof that they were being surveilled under the FAA, they cannot challenge the constitutionality of the unconstitutional statute.”

J          “And the government nearly always keeps its surveillance activities secret.”

K          “But you always knew they were illegally surveilling.”

J          “Sure.”

. . .

K          “‘Condign punishment’ is the ideal punishment that balances the rights and responsibilities of the individual and the society.  ‘Con’ means ‘with’ and ‘dign’ means ‘dignity’ so that condign means to provide ‘with dignity’.”

. . .

K          “Both should be given the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  They have made great personal sacrifices for our freedom.”

. . . 

[President O’Bama failed to name Edward Snowden as a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Again.  https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/11/16/president-obama-names-recipients-presidential-medal-freedom.  He cannot.  Yet he could pardon Ed and Chelsea on the way out.]

[See the e-commentary at Hero or Traitor? (June 10, 2013), Profile In Cowardice Award (May 12, 2014) and Profile in Courage Award, 2015 (May 11, 2015).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

“For especially meritorious contribution to (1) the security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”  Presidential Medal of Freedom

And Edward Pollard, a spy who pedaled secrets for money, gets released.

Cashin’ In Cash (October 26, 2015)

Posted in Banks and Banking System, Privacy on October 26, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

D          “You’re kidding?  I can’t withdraw all my money.  I could swear this looks like a financial intermediary.”

. . .

D          “I can’t withdraw my money and you want to monitor my deposits of cash on behalf of the government?”

. . .

D          “The government does not need to know everything.  If you protected our privacy when we sought to deposit cash, you might attract more deposits and have enough funds to allow me to withdraw $3000 or $3500.  Just a thought.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at Monitoring The Masses: The Card And The Chip (January 12, 2015).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

In November, we’ll begin requiring a valid identification (ID) for cash deposits made with our tellers.  Bank of America

In November, cash withdrawals are limited to $2500 in a business day.  Local Credit Union

Profile In Courage Award, 2015 (May 11, 2015)

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Courage, Global Climate Change, Privacy, Profile In Courage Award, Society on May 11, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Former U.S. Congressman Bob Inglis (R-SC) who recognizes that the Earth is not flat and that the Earth is getting flattened by global climate change received this year’s Profile In Courage Award.  The right person and the right issue.”

J          “Fitting.  I still say that they just cannot stomach giving it to the individual who undertook the most courageous act of the past decade.”

K          “Agree.  Awards for intelligence are rarely given to the most intelligent.  Awards for creativity are rarely given to the most creative.  Awards for courage are rarely given to the most courageous.”
. . .

[See the e-commentary at Profile In Cowardice Award (May 12, 2014).]

Bumper sticker of the week:

Edward Snowden – Profile in Courage Award recipient, May 2027?

Preserve Cash; Preserve (Some) Privacy (May 4, 2015)

Posted in Airlines, Banks and Banking System, Gold, Privacy, Taxation on May 4, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

L          “Over the decades, the private sector has addicted us to plastic with little reflection or resistance by us.  One irresistible inducement of the credit card is the prospect for person to accumulate miles on an airline mileage program.”

M          “The public has embraced plastic.  You have embraced plastic.  I have embraced plastic.  I read that the government considered requiring airlines to issue an IRS Form ‘1099-FF’ (Frequent Flier) statement declaring the market value of the airline ticket provided to a taxpayer.  The public regards the free or discounted tickets as an entitlement and off limits from the tax man.  The proposal was shelved.  For a time.”

L          “Those without a credit card likely have an EBT card.  The transition to 100 percent dependence on plastic was effortless and seamless.  We tossed the ultimate plastic explosive in our back pocket.”

M          “Plastic and electrons in the service of the government and the corporations.”

. . .

L           “There is a campaign to eliminate cash from society.  JP Morgan Chase restricted the use of cash for selected markets and restricted clients from using cash for credit card payments, mortgages, equity lines and auto loans.  Customers also will not be able to store cash or bullion in their safe deposit boxes.”

M          “The most safe safety deposit box may be under your bed or in your safe.  I read that the authorities were able to confiscate gold from one’s bank safety deposit box after Roosevelt banned the use of gold as a currency in 1933.”

L          “The real goal is to eliminate the ability of individuals to transact business without the knowledge of those in power.”

. . .

M          “Can you imagine the joy of transacting business with a Saint Gaudens Double Eagle gold coin.  An artwork crafted by the government and available to the public for decades for daily use.”

L          “Sure would be nice to undertake a few transactions that are not monitored by the government and companies even if we only use fiat currency.  With cash, we can also store some money in the Sealy Posturepedic Credit Union.  I like that freedom and privacy.”

M          “Without cash, the banks end run the possibility of a bank run.”

. . .

M          “The airlines no longer trust underpaid flight attendants to take cash for the food that was once free.  A few more bytes logging what you bite at 35,000 feet are now available.”

. . .

L          “In five to ten years, the IRS or its successor will send a statement via e-mail or its successor to each taxpayer proclaiming the amount that a person earned and spent during the year and dictating the taxes electronically debited from one’s account.”

M          “And the IRS will tax the market value of all frequent flyer airline tickets provided to a taxpayer.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at Monitoring The Masses: The Card And The Chip (January 12, 2015).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

He who has the gold makes the rules; he who makes the rules has the gold

Who would have thought that we would one day cherish worthless fiat currency?

Keep currency in circulation

Transact in dollars; protect your privacy

Net Neutrality (April 20, 2015)

Posted in Consumerism, Digital, Google, Internet, Less Government Regulation Series, Net Neutrality, Privacy, Society on April 20, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

A          “The business model is built on two pursuits:  the profitable and the prurient.”

B          “The prurient is the profitable.”

. . .

A          “The first image from the ‘Gaggle’ search revealed pictures from her ‘Spring ‘Show Us Your Tats’ Break ‘77’ revelry.  The announcement of her Nobel did not surface until page 3 of the search.”

B          “There is no profit in Nobels.”

A          “I just cannot ‘friend’ Gaggle, because Gaggle is not a friend.  For a decade, Gaggle allowed access to the site.  Then Gaggle blocked access to the site likely because Gaggle was not making any money by providing access to the site.  Even if I used the full HyperText Transfer Protocol address, namely http://www.myinsignificantwebsite.org, Gaggle still revealed nothing.  Darkness.  Only the honest search engines such as ‘Ixquick’ and ‘DuckDuckGo’ reveal what is really there on the Internet.”

B          “And those two search engines do not track your searches.  Hard to develop search engine optimization (SEO) when Gaggle calls the shots and practices website nullification.”

A          “The Internet is a collection of monopolies and is in effect a ‘public utility’ that needs to be regulated by the public.  Net neutrality sounds like a sound idea.”

. . .

Bumper stickers of the week:

If Gaggle does not allow one to access a website, does the website exist?

Net Neutrality Soon