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This is the newest revelation from Snowden.  It should not be a surprise knowing what we already knew.

Essentially the NSA uses cookies to track your internet traffic.

Which brings up this moral question.

Cookies were allowed for commercial opportunity.  To find what you like, and then offer you ads for that activity.   That sort of benefits both advertisers and potential consumers.  if I as a consumer have to look at ads, aren’t i better served seeing ones I’m interested in, as opposed to ignoring all of them as I do in the News Journal?

Yes… I’ve benefited from cookies.

At the same time, someone out there, knows a lot about me.  And a lot about you…  Whereas computer technology can accurately predict where Peyton Manning will throw the ball on 3rd and 10, it can also predict when and what you will buy at Wal*mart with 90% accuracy…  One could get in big trouble if ones spouse ever got hold of that information….

But we were given ways of opting out of cookies, of removing them if we wished, and it continues to be allowed…

There are no laws against making bets on what someone will buy..   However.. THERE ARE LAWS AGAINST  government spying on you.   Against powers of prosecution innocent victims have no powers other than forcing prosecutors to produce evidence.   Now that evidence can be produce readily whether a person is guilty of anything or not,  there is no defense against state prosecution.

This disrupts commerce.  Now I can’t engage in commerce because my government may one day invade my domicile, grab my computer,  pull one or two bytes out of one or two gigabytes, and prosecute me.

So now, with the NSA, a government entity using cookies,  the actual use of cookies themselves may become under suspect of being illegal…

With continuous free use of cookies, using them to spy on you will continue.  Now is the time to  move to requiring cookie-use only with a court order, and hopefully, it must emanate from a court which has an advocate for privacy rights being the antagonistic force against the government’s claim for its right to spy….

So with the right advocacy, this crumbling cookie situation may lead to legislation ensuring our privacy is again under our control, and as a result… no longer forcing us to live like celebrities or former witches and fear Allan Loudell or the paparizzi  (of course, in the form of cookies)….   hiding in our bushes

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I have a running joke with my conservative buddies who bristle every time I bring it up… Most likely because they know it’s true.

They cite small things to try and paint a different picture, but every president has those small things he has to overcome. Washington, Lincoln, there is no exception, except maybe Calvin Coolidge who thought the Chief Executive should do absolutely nothing.  If those little tweaks weren’t there, we probably wouldn’t need an executive branch.   So when Conservatives cite the screw up of the Insurance Sign up computer system as a blemish, I ask them to compare that in scope to see if it is on the same level, as selling weapons to our arch-enemy, and funding an insurgency that Congress forbade giving money too, because the American People didn’t want it.

That of course, is their hero who stooped so low.

If one just takes economics  the greats have to be these… Obama, Clinton, Reagan, Roosevelt….

Roosevelt is sketchy.  His legacy is that he built up legislation protecting the American Middle Class to last for decades, However during his actual term they were either out of work, or fighting a war overseas.

Reagan is best known for reversing his conservative plan and raising lots of taxes along with Tip O’Neil.   That tax raise boosted the economy and got him re-elected with a landslide, so he was able to cut taxes in his latter term, which led to the recession later inherited by the first Bush.

Clinton is best known for his longest running economic expansion in the history of the United States.  He is also best know for creating something no American every thought they would see in their lifetime:  A Federal Surplus.   These two accomplishments put him very near the top.

Finally Obama.  Inherited Roosevelt’s mess, the same one Franklin faced in ’32, and in two years, had most of America back on its feet.  Roosevelt took 9 years.  Of course Roosevelt was acting blind; this president could learn from history and what didn’t work, he could simply not do.  He did this despite a depression similar in scope to the Great Depression, but because quick action was enacted, it was able to be revived soon enough to only be classified as a Recession.  A pretty amazing feat.

Over 5 years, there has been a positive increase in the number of private sector jobs every month… There has never been a month we lost jobs.  No other president, not even Clinton can boast a record like that…  Every month we’ve added private sector jobs.  A fact with which we’ve gotten so comfortable,  the stock market drops if the number of new jobs is not as much as the new jobs created the month before….

Since no other president as ever accomplished this, this would certainly put Obama up for the nomination as the best president ever….

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Now consider this….   What other President do we know of … who when he came in …  Had their opponent Senate Minority Leader stand up in front of his caucus, and with a ring of reporters, say…  “We have only one goal, To make this a one term president….. “

And then…..

had that SAME person acquiesce to a deal of un-conditional surrender, that got their party “absolutely nothing“.

From “making this a one time president”   to …  “getting absolutely nothing...”

Surely this is the greatest president in our lifetimes…

America gets up in arms when it’s privacy issues are at stake. How dare you know that about me! However when someone slips through our net and blows up a building or car, they exclaim, how did you not catch him in time?

Soon to be announced if not already out there, is our nation’s now no longer classified Trap Wire System. In the reports of its inception this package was held up as the ultimate surveillance tool. Cameras across the country would capture data from cities, highways, tolls, parks, public arenas, and everywhere else there is a camera, encrypt the data, then send it to a central point where it gets incorporated with all other data already compiled on every citizen. That data including public on line events such as dating services, chat rooms, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, as well as corporate files, employee rosters, and the vast cesspool of corporate data gleaned each and every time you use your credit card.

On every adult citizen, a computer can spit out a file of facts that even that citizen doesn’t know… The computing power is unparalleled. You are sitting at the stoplight, and for no reason a camera goes off, you think weird, no one tripped it. and instantly your face has been identified, your file pulled, and a program knows you buy Colgate toothpaste 39% of the time. And it knows you are on Zoloft. Your credit score is 593. And you are cheating on your spouse of 27 years with a 19 year old who gets something from Victoria Secret every month…..

A song comes on the radio and your mind jumps to it and you go on never thinking of that random event again…….

Of course there is the other side of the story. You pull up to the light right beside the dufus mentioned above. The same thing happens. You wonder too. Your picture triggers an alarm because your image was last seen in the lower Philippines having been traced there from Manila before paying for the boarding of a private boat off Gov. Lim Ave, then going dark 18 months ago. The alarm is because you were once an acquaintance on the third level of a Detroit sheik who propagated militancy. The file shows you worked with explosives on construction sites, you were terminated at one time being blamed for some missing C4. You denied you had anything to do with it. The camera notes that your car is low in back, and alerts other cameras on the route your are traveling that you will soon be entering their view. Your facebook page shows you liked Iran and support Assad of Syria. Your high school psychological profile says you were quiet and brooding. Your license plate is registered to a car reportedly at the gas station on Rt.273 undergoing lengthy repairs. You are unmarried. You don’t date, and your credit card has a large cash balance, yet you spend very little and that is only on food, gas, and a furnished apartment in Christiana Meadows. As you drive by a transponder, your new phone signal gets captured, and all your calls are now being pulled up. You spoke with a person of high interest, 2 times this morning, for a length of one minute each. Your visage is updated to all local cameras and all transportation portals, and put at the top of each face recognition program. Someone is dispatched to scout your apartment.

You see. That is the dilemma. We enjoy our safety, and abhor our loss of privacy.

If you haven’t noticed already, on your emails sometimes you have these buried within the routing: Abraxas and the others you see will say, Stratfor…. Bloggers are very used to seeing these on a rather regular basis. They are everywhere across the net.

One thing noticeable during the Olympics was that the Brits live this way all the time. They are used to it and prefer the cameras and intrusive software over a coordinated attack on their trains. And no one can blame them. But what the Brits have, and we don’t, is a set of rules regarding this capturing of information. If someone violates this code as did Murdoch, then the ramifications are severe; perhaps bringing down an entire corporate empire. The CEO, Vice President, and quite a few others all charged with illegal actions.

And that is the lesson we need to take. Accept the surveillance but know that if anyone, anyone breaks the code of privacy… you are going to be filthy rich for the rest of your entire life at their or their employer’s expense…. For if that is truly the case, going back to the original story up top, if you got busted for your too hot to fail 19 year old lover, and lost your spouse, for $83 million, you really wouldn’t mind too much… My bet? You would see it as a blessing in disguise. And if you still loved your spouse, don’t worry. When you are worth $83 million, she won’t go far.

This has to become the future of surveillance. Here is why.

I’ll use Facebook as an example. I can always tell when one a friend has to hand over their password to their employer. Whereas they used to be so lively, responsive, and fun, they suddenly stop posting anything showing their personality. Their presence on line becomes reduced to “look at my kid”; “here is my dog”. Whereas you used to be able to talk to them about their spouse, their parents, how they were feeling, how they liked their job, how they were doing in the lover department, how their head was, what hopes and dreams they possessed, how drunk they got, suddenly their presence is as chilled as someone passing Checkpoint Charlie in the 60’s. There is a rigidity that they must conform to. There is a corporate mentality that they must express, and most deal with it by staying silent.

That is not what America is about. America is about freedom, about life…. about liberty….. and about the pursuit of happiness…… What once was open air on the internet is now poisoned with carbon particles, so much so that it is hard to breathe.

We can’t lose our nation’s fun-loving identity. And we can’t stop protecting ourselves by our newer and newer technology. So, what we can do (and we can easily do this), is not to constrain the surveillance, but penalize any misuse of the data that gets captured.

And make the punitive damages so huge, so grand, so big, that American citizens will actually enjoy having their privacy breached when it comes time for the judge to make the monetary judgment. Which means we need to rethink all things private, and that includes the intrusiveness of the press into private lives…

I’m always saddened when someone suffers because of something got out of control on their social media, and everyone gangs up on line, saying, “well, you shouldn’t have put it on the internet.”

Really? REALLY? A person should never have a light moment with an acquaintance, one of those few joyous moments we as people treasure forever, because someone they don’t know, someone they never met, might hack into their account, and spread it across the world?

That is ridiculous. The internet IS us. If we want a fun moment, we have the right to exercise it.. Back when I was growing up, laws were passed and on the books to control the positions that went on within the bedroom. That has fortunately faded away into being ridiculous. The same needs to happen on the internet. And the easiest way, the simplest way, is to have huge, gigantic fines, ones that are so big they will bankrupt anyone, and everyone who breaches another’s privacy.

So what if some entity knows you use Colgate 39% of the time. If no one else ever knows that they know it, as far as impacting anything in the real world, their knowledge of that minutia, doesn’t matter.

We need to start the process. We first announce the problem; we offer a solution; we educate the public; we elect responsible legislators, we pressure responsible legislators, we get legislation signed, and then, we relax and really enjoy the rest of our lives.

It is past time that our personal privacy be now given a price tag that is equal to what it is worth. Something in the range of tens of millions comes to mind….. Hell, you can get $90 million for spilling hot coffee in your lap…..

When we had a surplus, the GOP’s answer was to cut taxes. When the surplus became a deficit (in large part because of the Bush tax cuts), the Republicans answer was to cut taxes. During times of peace they argued for cutting taxes. When we were involved in two wars, costing billions of dollars a month, then-House Republican leader Tom DeLay said, “Nothing is more important in the face of war than cutting taxes.”

Tax cuts define the Republican Party…. Yes, they do…

The Republicans are fighting against a tax cut for the middle class. And the President is supporting it?

A tax cut? Republicans against? The President for?
Is the world turned upside down?

Even twenty-seven Senate Republicans thought their own party’s stance was unconscionable, and voted against the Republican version of the middle-class tax cut, which deleted tax on millionaires and replaced it, with a federal pay freeze and draconian spending cuts.

The research firm Macroeconomic Advisers projects that the Obama middle-class tax cut will create 1.3 million new jobs by the end of next year and 800,000 more in 2013. Former Sen. John McCain’s economic adviser Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics says the payroll-tax cut has prevented us from slipping back into a recession. If an extension of the cut does not pass, he told MSNBC, “at the very minimum, we’ll likely go into recession.”

Voters are coming to the conclusion that the GOP cares more about protecting tax breaks for millionaires than the benefits that millions of middle-class retirees depend on.

Rush Limbaugh: “i hope he fails.”
Mitch McConnell: “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” And the single best way to defeat Obama is to sabotage the economy.

Republicans want to kill Obama’s middle-class tax cut, his American Jobs Act, his extension of unemployment benefits and everything else he’s advocating to revive the economy, and they want millionaires to pay no taxes….

Perhaps they are against extending the middle class tax cut, because they know it is a good bill, and it will improve the economy enough so we won’t then vote for them in 2012?

It comes under the heading of GImmicks:

Shopping for the holidays, you pick up an item, scan it with your phone, and BOOM, you can see how much it would save you had you shopped on line… at… Amazon.com…

Great service. The customer has a need for information. It is provided conveniently. The customer can make a decision on the spot.

Gone are the days of writing down prices, walking through 8 stores, then returning to the one with the lowest… It is all in the palm of you hand…

Ahhh, but is it fair for those retailers trying to stay open another year, by capitalizing on the surge of holiday book sales?

AS one enterprising book shop owner exclaimed to the NY Times: “to “everyone who comes in my store. If you let me, I’ll get to know you through your reading life and strive to find books that resonate with you. Amazon asks you to take advantage of my knowledge & my education (which I’m still paying for) and treat the space I rent, the heat & light I pay for, the insurance policies I need to be here, the sales tax I gather for the state, the gathering place I offer, the books and book culture I believe in so much that I’ve wagered everything on it” as if it were “a showroom for goods you can just get more cheaply through them.”

Are small businesses who lack the gigantic resources required, put at a competitive disadvantage? Is it morally correct, to allow corporate espionage on a scale that could wipe out all small business competitors in one Christmas season.

Somewhere in Amazon.com, is a listing of every price in every bookstore, as well as a guide as to which books are popular. And no one gets employed to go out looking for that information.

On one hand, businesses have the right to innovation. they have the right to compete, they have the right to outsmart the competition. That is how society moves forward. The weak fail. The strong survive.

But on the other hand, like an endangered species, little bits of Americana, of life as it used to be, those pieces of the good side of life, do not return the next season; it gets worse year after year….

On one hand prices are low now, meaning other things can be bought with the savings.

On the other hand, as we saw with Standard Oil at the beginning of the last century, monopolies do raise prices to levels a lot higher than they would be if they had competition….

It is quite similar to the Wal*mart takeover of America. For one, I love Wal*mart. It is how I find out what’s new. But my folk’s small town, died the day Wal*mart opened its doors onto the Interstate exit. Understandably. You saved $20 dollars buying the same assortment of items………. back when they first opened that is. Now, with Main Street closed up, the prices are about where they were in the small shops the day before it opened…. All we did was move spending our money downtown, to spending it 3 miles out of town. Whereas the local businesses used to give back both in taxes and in donations…. the corporate giant now sends our money overseas….

Do small businesses have to take this onslaught. “The law has long been clear that stores do not invite the public in for all purposes. A retailer is not expected to serve as a warming station for the homeless or a site for band practice. So it’s worth wondering whether it’s lawful for Amazon to encourage people to enter a store for the purpose of gathering pricing information for Amazon and buying from the Internet giant, rather than the retailer.”

And so, the issue actually moves from economic, to political.. Sort of like the “Buy America” campaign in the 80’s. It involves conceding the economic war; establishing a new front in the form the political war. It becomes a moral issue, and not a price-point one. Do you like small bookstores? Do you like seeing a business open? Do you like establishing a solid tax base for your community? Do you like the option of your son or daughter being hired by someone you personally have known for years….. when they come home for Christmas breatk? If so, then support your local bookstore, and don’t buy on line at Amazon.com….

That may work for those politically motivated, which if the past presidential election can serve as a guide, applies to only 61% of us… The rest of us need to save that $20….

If there is any wisdom that comes from watching this past decade unfold, it is this: you have to treat corporations like children; you can’t let them have the upper hand… Historians know this. Teddy Roosevelt proved it during the dawn of the 1900’s. You HAVE to break up corporations so they become SO worried about other’s moving in on their territory, they don’t have time for mischief. You give them time (with no supervision), they’ll make mischief. Just like one’s kids.

So the answer lies not in boycotts. The answer lies not in public shame. The answer lies not in micromanaging colossal giants…

After thinking about it for a very long time, it appears the only answer is to eliminate them, by breaking them up so they have to compete against themselves.

The laws are already on the books to do it.

The recession has popped a lot of dreams… It has forced a re-evaluation of priorities. It has put reality in the forefront.

So wiping off the table of everything, everything, and sitting down to a blank space, and asking myself, … what do I want, by the time I die.

It is:

A country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home and secure their retirement,”

After watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” you can be sure it can’t happen on a Republican’s watch….. For that dream to happen, we need protection from corporations and Big Money; not giving them more and more of what we make.

We need more money funneled away from big business, to be reinvested into the Middle Class… Since they haven’t done it voluntarily, we’ll have to force it.

Republicans can’t force anyone to do anything. They are putz’s. It will take a government of all Democrats to make Americans who die, at least die happy that they were able to secure:

“A country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home and secure their retirement”.

Having recently seen the Harry Potter movie, it is scary. Ever since watching…. I now see giants everywhere. Before when I looked, I never knew they were there…

Two giants will be doing battle here in Delaware… (The recession is finally paying off for our little state.)

Papers were filed with the ITC (International Trade Commission) by the South Korean giant Samsung LED against a division of another giant this time from Germany, Siemens….. over 8 patient infringements.

Samsung LED also said it filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Delaware to seek damages and a permanent injunction to bar Siemen’s subsidary, Osram’s alleged patent infringement from entering this country.

At stake is the financial future of these two companies. One will win, and the other for lack of a better word, will be vanquished.

Since Siemens actually has a plant in Delaware, next to the Glasgow Park off Route 40 and 896, I’m putting my bets on that giant…. if they get hurt, it will cost jobs.

Hotels, restaurants, transportation companies all stand to be a little busier as this gigantic fight, gets under way…. It would be helpful to practice on the Korean and German dialects now, before the event gets under way…

Sprechen sie deutsch?

니미럴 개자식 ….

It should be an interesting fight.

Obviously first, you have to see this as the propaganda for what it is…

Second, you have understand that everything to which we are exposed is propaganda… We just sort and pick out what we wish to believe out of the mess both sides have thrown at us..

Third, with those clarifications in place, you have to realize that this would never have happened just a few months ago….  If its idea even existed at all, it was only in the wildest dreams of some Chinese party official….. who would have been afraid to even mention it to his supervisors, for fear of sounding too outlandish for a position respected by his Party…

It has now come to pass….

An economic conference to which the US was NOT invited… hosted by who else….China.

Reading between the lines:

The summit was a pragmatic, open meeting, which embodied the strong wills of Asia and Europe in meeting challenges and seeking common development,

Discussed was how prevent future ties with the United States, so that our selfish machinations when they implode, would not bring the global economy to core meltdown.

Asian and European leaders agreed to enhance information sharing, policy exchanges, and pragmatic cooperation on supervision and management in the financial sector and effectively monitor, prevent and respond to financial risks to ensure sustained, stable and sound economic growth.

In other words to bypass the United States in their discussions.

The Beijing Declaration says all parties concerned are committed to promoting the realization of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as schedule.

The Cheney/Bush Administration removed the US from this initiative.

He said China has appealed to promote regional financial dialogue and cooperation and for reform of international monetary and financial systems. It had also proposed to build an Asian-European eco-city net, hold an Asian-European cultural and art festival, enhance trade safety between the two continents and promote disaster relief cooperation.

Meaning that the bullying down by our current administration has led our partners and allies to seek redress elsewhere. How can we bypass the US was the prime topic of cocktail conversations.

The summit has given the world a better understanding of China and stronger confidence of China’s development,

That it does. Meaning that the US is too busy saving its own ass to be counted upon for any leadership role.

The summit plays a key role in the process of Asian-European cooperation and will definitely push forward the new partnership between countries of Asia and Europe, contribute to global peace, prosperity and harmony,

The United States is conspicuously absent…..

My friends on the right who believe that Alaska is our strongest defense against Putin, who believe that not talking to China will force them back in line behind our failed policy, that making fun of their allies, is the way to curry favor….. have in 8 short years….brought the United States from its unsurpassed pinnacle of global dominance, to the rest of the world meeting behind our backs to whisper how to unseat us…..

What’s next?

Privately everyone wonders if China is about to call her loans……

And to even remotely consider putting in a new administration that has one of their spokespersons rattling off the same failed policies….(when she can adequately express them that is) does far more damage to this nation’s future……than those actions long ago partaken by one Benedict Arnold……

A Good Delawarean Comparison Between Gubernatorial Candidates

We’ve all been there…

It could be at Cold Stone, Haagan Daas, Ben & Jerry’s, Brewster’s, or even the Dairy Palace….

The question that stumps us all: What Flavor?

We finally decide on a purchase, someway, somehow….

I feel that way with our governor’s race… What Flavor?

We are comparing maple butter pecan to black raspberry here, both are fine quality indeed….. But in the candidates own words, I think the campaign has drawn down to a dead heat, with the only distinguishing factor being whether one looks first to experience, or to innovation as ones first gut reaction when burrowing down against a strong head wind….

Those in the real world know that both qualities do well in a pinch….

I sympathize with John Carney…. As a youngster, there was no one in my field more qualified than myself, to run my organization… I was the expert, the driver, the go-to person, the human specialist who knew exactly what buttons to push to get things done… I had exemplary results to prove it…
(Why do we always think we are the best qualified on the planet, lol)…..

But I got passed over by someone brought in from the outside…. who could only get things done by using my talents… It wasn’t fair…. But if they convinced me to remain aboard, I usually came to the conclusion that several years later that they made the right choice… Things I never would have thought of, we tried, and some of them worked splendidly… We could have always done, what we always did, and gotten what we always got….. but there was a better way… and I learned from it…

People are good at what they do… Most people are not flexible and able to change their personality on a dime…. The trick in personnel placement, is to match the right person to the right task….. Sort of like mapping up the future…

We saw the future clearly on June 30th, 2008… the last day of legislature… Carney riding high on his part in Bluewater Wind, dropped back to even on eminent domain….. Both of those show who he is tied to, who he is part of…

Our state’s most pressing problem is our royalty… Thurman Adams, Tony DeLuca, Harris McDowell, Charlie Copeland, and all who support them, that DO NOT LET THE PEOPLE’S BUSINESS COME TO THE FLOOR TO BE DISCUSSED AND VOTED UPON…..

Now if one is having problems with mob violence in one’s neighborhood, putting a mob boss in charge will most certainly calm things down once the opposition has been completely eradicated, but will do nothing to stop the protection payments from coming out of your pocket….. They may have tommy gun battles among each other, but no one else will get hurt….

Enter Elliot Ness. The playing field has changed… Now cops are getting whacked, political families are targets, the public is terrorized so it will not cooperate, but eventually the public weighs in on the side of the law and the criminals are pulled off the streets…

Life goes on; this time though, the individual shop owners are keeping what used to be protection money and investing it into their businesses…. We have progress, store by store, street by street.

The only parallel this history lesson has with Delaware Today, is that we have a mob….

Do we acquiesce and let the mob run things, and wring our hands and accept it, or do we put someone in that will bring the mob out fighting, so that we the voters can pick them off, one by one….?

Once you the voter have made your choice as to which direction you want this state to go during the next four years, you have decided on which flavor will serve you best ….. Put the man with the talents you need, into the position to take you where you want this state to go……

It is not that hard, really… Just remember “eminent domain” and who the “real” enemy is…….

Just a couple of coincidences. To the Chinese, the number 8 means prosperous. The Olympics began on that date, and based on the number of records being broken, the Chinese should be commended. Incidentally, American viewership is up….way up…..

Coming from an American official, the invasion of Ossetia being timed on that same day, 888, was no coincidence…..

That invasion and its Russian reply, has recently convinced Poland to secure those controversial missiles from the United States. Today Poles marched in the street to celebrate the anniversary of a rare victory over the Russians…..That battle happened exactly 88 years ago.……..