Archive for August 13th, 2009

Up to now, they’ve been pretty silent on Brother O’s czar appointments and power grabs, so you know it’s worse than we think when the ACLU (all communist lawyers union) has misgivings about OMB’s latest proposed policy change. 

Government Proposes Massive Shift In Online Privacy Policy

WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union submitted comments today to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) opposing its recent proposal to reverse current federal policy and allow the use of web tracking technologies, like cookies, on federal government websites. [Emphasis mine] Cookies can be used to track an Internet user’s every click and are often linked across multiple websites; they frequently identify particular people.

Since 2000, it has been the policy of the federal government not to use such technology. But the OMB is now seeking to change that policy and is considering the use of cookies for tracking web visitors across multiple sessions and storing their unique preferences and surfing habits. [Emphasis mine] Though this is a major shift in policy, the announcement of this program consists of only a single page from the federal register that contains almost no detail.

“This is a sea change in government privacy policy,” said Michael Macleod-Ball, Acting Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “Without explaining this reversal of policy, the OMB is seeking to allow the mass collection of personal information of every user of a federal government website. [Emphasis mine] Until the OMB answers the multitude of questions surrounding this policy shift, we will continue to raise our strenuous objections.”

The use of cookies allows a website to differentiate between users and build a database of each user’s viewing habits and the information they share with the site. [Emphasis mine] Since web surfers frequently share information like their name or email address (if they’ve signed up for a service) or search request terms, the use of cookies frequently allows a user’s identity and web surfing habits to be linked. In addition, websites can allow third parties, such as advertisers, to also place cookies on a user’s computer. 

“Americans rely on the information from the federal government to research politics, medical issues and legal requirements. The OMB is now asking to retain the personal and identifiable information we leave behind,” [Emphasis mine] said Christopher Calabrese, Counsel for the ACLU Technology and Liberty Project. “No American should have to sacrifice privacy or risk surveillance in order to access free government information.  No policy change should be adopted without wide ranging debate including information on the restrictions and uses of cookies as well as impact on privacy.”

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A One Question Poll

By Don Rowan

(HT – American Daughter Media Center

This is your chance to vote on Obama’s performance on this economy — an AT&T/Yahoo Poll.

This is a totally unbiased poll. The question is stated very simply and to the point. No tricks. No hidden messages. No nothing. JUST A SINGLE, SIMPLE QUESTION. There is no way that anyone can say that it was not a fair poll, or that it was “phrased” in a way that it can be interpreted later to fit someone else’s desired answer.

Q. The president’s progress with the battered economy has been both praised and criticized. How well are his efforts measuring up with you?

Extremely well. We are undoubtedly moving in the right direction.

Fairly well. There’s still a long way to go.

Not well at all. His plans are hurting more than helping.

Not sure/No opinion.

After you vote, you will see a second page that shows the running total and what the opinions are.




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(HT – CJ) 

Obamacare fence sitters should seriously consider the stories of two Oregon residents, 64-year-old Barbara Wagner, and 53-year-old Randy Stroup.  Wagner learned last year that her lung cancer had returned and would likely kill her. Her oncologist prescribed Tarceva, a drug that could extend her life another four to six months.  However, the drug cost $4,000-a-month, and she was insured under her state’s health care plan.  

The Oregon Health Plan, for those whose incomes fall under the poverty level, prioritizes coverage—from prevention first, to chronic disease management, treatment of mental health, heart and cancer treatment. The state plan would not pay for the cancer treatment because the drug does not meet the plan’s “five-year, 5 percent rule”—that is, a 5 percent survival rate after five years.

However, the plan did approve “comfort care” and offered to pay $50 for drugs to kill her in a physician-assisted suicide. Oregon is the nation’s first and only state to enact a physician assisted suicide law.   

Stroup has also encountered problems with the state’s health care plan. He has terminal prostate cancer, and his doctor prescribed the drug mitoxantrone to ease his pain and extend his life by six months. His request also had been rejected. 

Wagner’s daughter told ABCNews.com that she has “talked to so many people who have gone through the same problems with the Oregon Health Plan.” 

“It’s challenging because health care is very expensive, … We need evidence to say it is a good use of taxpayer’s dollars … but if it does wonders, we cover it,” said Dr. Jeanene Smith, administrator for the Office of for Oregon’s Health Policy and Research staff. And of course, the degree of wonder must meet the state’s “five-year, 5 percent rule.” 

Interestingly, Oregon established its state health care plan in 1994 and enacted its physician-assisted death law in 1997.  The question for fence sitters to ponder is if Obamacare passes how long will it be before the nation has its own physician-assisted suicide law?  Bye, bye!

I.M. Kane

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