20 November 2003

Credit Reporting Files Now Sent Abroad

A story floating below the awareness of many who instead, are more captivated by whether Michael Jackson is a child molestor or who is the Sexiest Man Alive.

But it's an article that should alarm all Americans.

Privacy advocates say the outsourcing of files that include Social Security numbers and complete credit histories could lead to a surge in identity theft because U.S. laws cannot be enforced overseas.

The article's author correctly points out that foreign countries are devoid of laws protecting piracy but glosses over another charge. A credit bureau lobbyist spokesman, labeling critics against offshore relocation of such functions as "xenophobic", misses a more essential truth. It isn't that I think Hindus are "less safe" - it's that conditions in countries like India are inducive to impropriety. Bribes and kickbacks in developing countries are standard operating procedure and there is no doubt that for a small pittance, sensitive information would be readily given up by foreign nationals. Granted, there's no guarantee that a U.S. operation can provide a 100% warranty against such malfeasance. But here workers don't have to buy the families of electric utility workers dinner to keep the power from getting yanked out either.

12 November 2003

George W. Bush a Disgrace to this Veteran

One veteran's Veteran's Day screed for 2003:
A soldier’s responsibility is to “defend America,” at all costs and with his or her life if necessary. It is an oath. It is a creed. However, on this Veteran’s Day, this Veteran has to wonder exactly how our troops in Iraq are “defending” this nation, “defending” our way of life, or are “defending” our shores. This is not a “defensive” war. There were no Iraqi citizens on those planes that fateful day in September. There were no Iraqi citizens “infiltrating” our shores. This war didn’t have to happen and we are no safer as American citizens because of it. Our soldiers are being forced to kill rather than protect. Yes, there is a huge difference. As a veteran, that does not make me proud at all. In fact, I feel used.

This war, and the death that is the result, is the direct fault of the President of these United States. He decided that he had a score to settle (for numerous reasons) and it is evident that his decision serves the self-interests of his business partners. This is in no way a “defensive war,” nor are our troops “protecting” this country or its citizens. American forces are not “protecting” our way of life. They have been misused and they are now dying as are their “enemy,” which includes many civilians. This is a war created by Americans so powerful and wealthy that one could call them demigods, who preemptively invaded a region of the world they neither understand nor respect. They have turned the men and women serving in our Armed Forces into cowboys wearing black hats, the same black hats you saw on TV worn by the ‘villains’ in old Western movies.