Archive for September 17th, 2009
Status update: Barack Obama is archiving your opinions and personal information
The NLPC argues that Presidential Records Act does not apply because any comments are pasted onto a third-party Web page and do not constitute official correspondence with the president.
The watchdog group also points out that the program is suspicious because it is shrouded in secrecy and the public cost is being withheld.
“[V]irtually any communication mentioning the president or the administration could become subject to collection and archiving under the act. This is not out of an ‘abundance of caution,’ but out of an over-abundance of power. President Obama should make sure that this plan goes no further.” a statement on the NLPC website reads.
The move represents another broken promise of “change” on behalf of the president who consistently pledged to protect privacy on the Internet during his campaign.
It also comes on the back of recent news that the Obama administration is proposing to scale back a long-standing ban on tracking how people use government Internet sites with “cookies” and other technologies.
Recent disclosures under the Freedom Of Information Act also reveal that the federal government has several contracts with social media outlets such as Youtube (Google), Facebook, Myspace and Flickr (Yahoo) that waive rules on monitoring users and permit companies to track visitors to government web sites for advertising purposes.
With further news today that Obama is seeking to reauthorize warrantless wiretappingunder the PATRIOT Act, and that the DHS plans to supply local “fusion centers” with military surveillance intelligence, it is clear that the privacy of American citizens continues to be systematically eroded under a regime that was voted in on a promise to scale back such activity
Only one in four Oklahoma public high school students can name the first President of the United States, according to a survey released today.
The survey was commissioned by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs in observance of Constitution Day on Thursday.
Brandon Dutcher is with the conservative think tank and said the group wanted to find out how much civic knowledge Oklahoma high school students know.
The Oklahoma City-based think tank enlisted national research firm, Strategic Vision, to access students’ basic civic knowledge.
“They’re questions taken from the actual exam that you have to take to become a U.S. citizen,” Dutcher said.
A thousand students were given 10 questions drawn from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services item bank. Candidates for U.S. citizenship must answer six questions correctly in order to become citizens.
About 92 percent of the people who take the citizenship test pass on their first try, according to immigration service data. However, Oklahoma students did not fare as well. Only about 3 percent of the students surveyed would have passed the citizenship test.
Dutcher said this is not just a problem in Oklahoma. He said Arizona had similar results, which left him concerned for the entire country.
“Jefferson later said that a nation can’t expect to be ignorant and free,” Dutcher said. “It points to a real serious problem. We’re not going to remain ignorant and free.”
|Question||% of Students
Who Answered Correctly
|What is the supreme law of the land?||
|What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution?||
|What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress?||
|How many justices are there on the Supreme Court?||
|Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?||
|What ocean is on the east coast of the United States?||
|What are the two major political parities in the United States?||
|We elect a U.S. senator for how many years?||
|Who was the first President of the United States?||
|Who is in charge of the executive branch?||
Other stories at We Are Change Colorado Springs
In a stunning move, the FDA has approved four monovalent Swine Flu vaccines for the following companies: CSL Limited, MedImmune LLC, Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited, and Sanofi Pasteur, Inc. Adding to the confusion is the fact that purported ’safety trials’ for the Swine Flu vaccine haven’t even begun, in some instances.
By example, Novartis is just starting vaccine safety trials for three to eight year old children supposedly as of 09/15/09 as reported in the last article I wrote entitled, “Ingredients Found in Spermicides, Cleaners, and Cosmetics along with Thimerosal, and Squalene Present in Experimental H1N1 Vaccine“. One can only wonder as to what head FDA officials are thinking when they approved the vaccine on the same day. Yet, according to the newly released package inserts, we now know exactly why this decision was made.
VacTRUTH Editor’s Note:
An Army unit is reviewing how it delivers information to families after a call to a western New York couple led them to believe their son had been killed in combat.
Ray Jasper of Niagara Falls said he, his wife, Robin, and their extended family spent four hours Sunday mourning their son, Sgt. Jesse Jasper, before learning from his girlfriend that he was alive.
The 26-year-old soldier called his father from Afghanistan to prove it after hearing about the mix-up.
“Dad what’s going on?” Jesse Jasper asked.
“I said, ‘Oh my God you’re alive, I love you, I love you, I love you, you’re alive,’” Ray Jasper, 49, said Tuesday.
An Army spokesman with Jasper’s unit said officials may revise the written scripts used by volunteer liaisons to inform all families of any deaths within the unit to avoid similar misunderstandings in the future.
The nightmare started about 2 p.m. Sunday when Ray Jasper, while on a family camping trip, got an urgent message from a family liaison from his son’s unit in the 82nd Airborne Division, based in Fort Bragg, N.C. When he reached the liaison — the wife of a soldier deployed with Jasper’s son — she told him she had a “red line message” that she needed to read to him verbatim.
“She said, ‘I’m sorry to inform you that on Sept. 12, that Sgt. Juden and Sgt. Jesse Jasper were killed in Afghanistan,’” Ray Jasper recounted.
“My wife was talking to me at the time and I said, ’say that again,’ and she said the same thing over again. I couldn’t do any more. I hit the floor,” he said.
Jasper knew the military’s policy is to notify families in person when a soldier has been killed, but after being away all weekend, he thought someone might have called after finding no one home.
The Facebook.were given a number to call for details but decided they would not dial it until after making the 60-mile trip home from the Ellicottville campground and assembling other family members. As family and friends gathered, others posted on
Jasper’s girlfriend in North Carolina saw the postings and called the Jaspers.
“She was screaming to me, ‘He’s not dead! He’s not dead!’” Jasper said. “I said, ‘How do you know this?’ She said, ‘I just got off the phone with him.’
Their son called soon after.
A spokesman for the 82nd Airborne Division said Jasper’s unit, through its, notifies all families of deaths within the unit to prevent undue worry and misinformation. Maj. Brian Fickel said callers are instructed to read from a written script to prevent misinterpretation.
In this case, families were being notified of the death of Sgt. Tyler Juden, a 23-year-old from Winfield, Kan.
Fickel said the script used Sunday began: “Sgt. Tyler A. Juden … was killed in action while conducting combat operations in support of bravo troop 473 cav.” It went on to say Juden’s family had been notified and services would be scheduled.
“I can’t speculate on how it was transmitted or how it was received,” Fickel said, “but during that process the results speak for themselves. The family believed their son was killed.”
The family liaison said she was not able to read the complete message before the call to the Jaspers was terminated, according to Fickel.
“I don’t know why they would tell us about someone else’s tragedy,” said Ray Jasper.
Fickel said the unit is considering starting the scripts with “your son or daughter is fine.” Internal jargon like “red line message” will probably go, he said.
CORRECTION: In a Sept. 15 story about a family that received a telephone call from theincorrectly saying that their son had been killed in , The Associated Press misspelled the surname of another soldier who was killed. His correct name was Army Sgt. Tyler A. Juden, not Judin.
Other stories at We Are Change Colorado Springs