Friday, August 3, 2012

An Open Letter to Joe Donnelly

Below is the text of an email I have just sent to Indiana Congressman Joe Donnelly.  Fortunately for me as of this next election he will no longer be my congressman and if all goes as it looks will have not a snowballs chance in hell of ascending to the Senate, hopefully ending his political career for the time being.

In reference to your Aye vote for Question On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass: S 679 To reduce the number of executive positions subject to Senate confirmation.

NO! This is not only wrong from a legal view point IMHO it is tantamount to treason!
The Constitution cannot be changed except through the amendment process which requires ratification by the states. This is wrong.

What checks and balances are we left with anyway? This just formalizes what has already occurred. We have "Czars" in charge of various areas. We have a surveillance and intelligence apparatus that is larger than the East Germans and Soviets ever dreamed. And its about to be turned on us more fully. 

I've written letters. I've tried to be involved. But I'm a layman who has real financial responsibilities and who is not getting bailed out of my mistakes by my government. I write what I feel is an informed letter and I get a book back written by a staffer whose sole job is to research the politician's views on the matter and articulate them in such a way as to be unarguable. 

Face it. The average citizen is outgunned. I don't have time to do the rebuttal research. I stated my opinion. It is ALWAYS ignored because the official has already made up his mind and he has volumes of data to support his choice.

We have NO say over our government so long as we continue to elect the same clowns over and over. 

The only hope we have is for enough people to say "enough!" and elect local friends and business owners that have never held political office to the Senate and the House. We must do away with this two-headed monster called Democrats and Republicans and elect real people. Is it going to happen? No. It was such an uphill battle to get simply Rand Paul elected. And that has to happen everywhere and not under the standard political banners.

I do know that I again will do all I can to keep you from gaining a Senate seat this fall.

Enough commentary. I have to get back to my real job so that my family still has a roof over its head and we can eat next month.
  David McDougle"

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Google Coopted by Federal Government to Spy on Customers

The federal obsession with peering into people's lives continues to metastasize. Today, I want to alert you to an alarming new situation where Google, the mega Internet search engine service, is in cahoots with Uncle Sam to root into Americans' personal lives.
And there are a few privacy defenses you can mount – which I will share with you momentarily.
Google's upcoming changes to their privacy policies are causing an uproar, because the new versions read more like "invasion of privacy policies." If you use any Google service and are concerned about your privacy and anonymity, there is a need to better protect yourself.
Biometric Fingerscan founder Dr. Ken Evoy wrote a terse letter to Google regarding its upcoming changes. His gripe is Google is not being clear on how its new privacy policies affect the typical Google consumer. Therefore, Google is forcing the consumer to accept a new contract without properly informed consent.
The typical internet user does not fully understand the business transaction taking place when using Google's free services: The real reason you get to use Google services for free is because Google sells away all your privacy to advertisers. That's the exchange; that's the contract. You may already understand this reality because my Independent Living and Executive Bulletin readers are more savvy than others, but few consumers in the mass market are truly informed.
Google is a private company, can choose how to operate its business, and can make changes to its privacy policy at any time. At the very least, though, it should make its policies clear so the average consumer understands them and can give proper consent, which in this case means agreeing to compromise his or her privacy in exchange for use of Google's services. There is one more problem, though...
The Feds Want Copies of Your Private Online Activity
and Google Happily Complies...
The public uproar focuses on how freely Google offers up your private online activities to the feds and other governments around the world.
Google's Transparency Report on Government Requests shows that in just a six month period in 2011 the U.S. government made 5,950 requests covering 11,057 specific accounts. Google complied 93% of the time! Due to all the different gag-like laws, you will never know if you or someone close to you was part of this or any future government dragnet.
India's government had the second most requests at only 1,739 covering just 2,439 specific users. In this instance, Google complied only 70% of the time.
If we look purely at Google's "percentage of compliance," the number two spot after the U.S. is tied between Brazil and Japan, at 87%. What's telling is Brazil's government only made 703 requests, while Japan only made 75 requests in the same period.
It seems from the data that other governments are more discriminating than the U.S. when it comes to rifling through the public's online activity. The feds' numbers are off the charts and Google happily complies.
What Can You Do About It?
Google's new privacy policy centralizes ALL your activity on its separate services and companies (YouTube, Gmail, online search, web browsing through Chrome, etc.). This makes it much easier for the government to pry into your online activity, past and present, without your knowledge or consent.
Before this change, each service was separated and compartmentalized by an internal "Chinese Wall" of sorts. When the new policy begins on March 1, all your Google activity will be consolidated, traced, recorded, and permanently stored in big centralized databases out of your control and oversight.
The first steps to push back (... if they can't "see" you, they can't trace you easily):
  1. For the tracing and recording of your activity to work, you must be logged into Google's services. Make sure to log-off from all your Google services if it doesn't require you to be logged-in to use it. For example, you don't need to be logged into YouTube to watch videos.
  2. Set your Google services to the maximum security available. For instance, Google's browser, Chrome, can be set to Incognito Mode to give you a bit more privacy. Simply strike Shift-Control-N while in Google Chrome to open a new window in Incognito Mode.
  3. Look over Google privacy tools for further directions.
Other Alternatives outside Google's Hive
Because centralization of your data is an Achilles' heel to privacy and anonymity, decentralization is one important solution. Here are a few Google-product alternatives:
  • Online Search Alternatives to Google – Ixquick ( is a privacy conscious search engine. It doesn't record your IP address when you search, and it has additional privacy tools like a proxy server to look at search results anonymously.
  • Email Alternatives to Gmail – Hushmail ( offers free online email similar to Gmail with one unique advantage: built-in tools to encrypt emails making them more secure from eavesdroppers. If you're open to a paid email service, Simon Black from Sovereign Man suggests adding a layer of protection from the feds by working with an email provider located in privacy friendly jurisdictions: He mentions ( headquartered in Switzerland and ( located in Norway.
  • Web browser Alternatives to Google's Chrome - Apple's Safari ( is a popular browser and so is Mozilla's Firefox ( Firefox also has many free security and privacy related add-ons that allow more anonymity.
  • Alternatives to Google Maps – Rand McNally ( gives you online directions and helps you find local businesses and hotels. Mapquest ( can do the same, plus it gives you traffic conditions.
Here's What's Truly Disturbing...
Considering Google's intrusion of privacy and how readily it surrenders customer data to the feds, many privacy critics on security forums shared this similar comment: "... be careful what you write or text in your email, blog, SMS; what you say over Google voice; what you browse or search for online..." In other words – Censor Yourself!
Before you capitulate to self-censorship, try some of the suggestions above to maintain more of your privacy, anonymity, freedom of speech, and especially freedom of thought.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Oh Walter...Where are you when we need you?

America’s news media has fallen from being a watchdog and defender of liberty to a worthless, sniveling pawn of the power brokers in Washington. That is why, today, after the Iowa primaries, the American people still have little useful information on the candidates.
Yes, our media is great at telling us which candidate is the most boring, the most attractive or what their favorite snack might be. Who cares? Americans need to know which candidates have the best ideas, the strength of character, courage and the leadership skills to put our nation back on track.
For more than twenty years, U.S. Border Control has rated the candidates for federal office, based entirely on their record in addressing our nation’s border and immigration policies.
And we will likely continue our detailed analysis of the candidates later this year. In the interim, however, we have assembled a brief scorecard of the Republican presidential candidates who competed in Iowa.
This rating provides three scores, one strictly on border and immigration policy; a second, more general rating on their capabilities, knowledge, and their defense of liberty, and, a third rating on their chances to defeat President Obama.
The ratings (Alphabetically):
NAME            IMMIGRATION  OVERALL  CAPABLE                                                 OF WINNING

Michelle Bachman         A-   C+       C

Newt Gingrich            C    B        B+

John Huntsman            C-   B-       C

Ron Paul                 B    A-       B

Rick Perry               C-   B        B

Mitt Romney              B    B        B+

Rick Santorum            B    B        B

As much as possible, the immigration ratings were derived from actual votes and bills sponsored or cosponsored by the candidates. When not available, public statements were also used. The Overall and the Capable of Winning are subjective but are based on our 30+ years of political experience in Washington.