Facebook Becomes Job Killer

Here we are back at a lovely Monday morning. Is it me or do the weekends move entirely too fast? Now that I have a new schedule that allows me to spend more time with Mrs. Weapon, it seems like we get to doing stuff and before I know it the weekend is gone. But I did get a lot accomplished. I attended the gun show here locally, which was a lot of fun. And both of our vehicles are sparkly clean, which was way overdue. In keeping with what I am transitioning to, I present another article that won’t be too overly long. I will still have the occasionally long article where needed, but stuff like this where I pull an article and give some quick thoughts or ideas to spark debate will become more common. And of course we will start seeing more of the articles from the new SUFA writing staff! This week I am planning on having BF, G-Man, and possibly LOI all presenting articles! Exciting!

Tonight I bring a topic that was brought to my attention by Ray. Ironically, he posted it on Facebook and when I saw it I immediately commented that this would be a SUFA topic soon. We are all familiar with the Facebook phenomenon. I have lots of thoughts about Facebook. I am not an addict like some. I get annoyed with some folks, who post 100 times a day to tell us all every aspect of their life. I don’t need to know each time your child takes a poo or eats lunch. I don’t need to hear daily how much of a rock star you are in the “drinking arena”. Those who do that one actually make me a little sad that that is all they have in life. And when you get dumped for the third time in the last year, I don’t need a daily post from you giving me your daily affirmation that you are “soldiering on” or that “what doesn’t kill you is making you stronger,” especially if you are a dude.

The thing that makes me the most wary of Facebook is the drastic change that it is having in sharing our information. Those in the young crowd (18-28 year olds) have fallen into the mindset that EVERYTHING has to be shared on Facebook. There are people who literally have thousands of pictures and videos of them on Facebook that show them out having a “good time.” I feel fortunate that there is no photographic or video evidence out there of the stupid shit I did when I was young. How would I explain that to my son? Apparently today’s young folk don’t worry about that. And to take it a step further, they are not concerned with your privacy either. I had a Christmas party for my staff a couple of years ago. We played Rock Band and everyone participated. Magically a video of me showed up on Facebook singing Bon Jovi. No one asked my permission to film me or to post it on the internet. Fortunately, I was able to ask the person to take it down. I was fine with having fun with my friends and making an ass of myself trying to sing something out of my wheelhouse. I was not fine with the rest of the world having the ability to see it, however.

Because to the professional world, I am a professional guy. I am not “friends” with the people who work for me. I am not “friends” with the people who work above me. I keep my personal life private. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, there are only a few people who know that I write a political blog, and none of those in my new company know where to find it. They don’t know that SUFA is mine. And why? I post some pretty opinionated stuff. The last thing I want is to wind up looking for a promotion only to find that the decision maker is diametrically opposite of me in political beliefs and has read my blog. My political views stay out of the workplace.

Which means, as many of you can guess, that I don’t have friends on Facebook from the company that I work for. For that matter, I don’t have friends in the industry that I work for that I am friends with on Facebook. There are a very few exceptions, as so far three former employees from my last company have followed me to the new one. But I have sworn them to secrecy. Facebook and your career simply don’t go together. Not if you have any aspirations of moving to the top of the food chain. So imagine my horror when I read the following:

Atlantic senior editor Alexis Madrigal asks, “Should Employers Be Allowed to Ask for Your Facebook Login?” He’s not being hypothetical:

“The American Civil Liberties Union has taken up the cause of a Maryland man who was forced to cough up his Facebook password during a job interview with the Department of Corrections in that state.

According to an ACLU letter sent to the Maryland Department of Corrections, the organization requires that new applicants and those applying for recertifications give the government “their social media account usernames and personal passwords for use in employee background checks.”

The ACLU calls this policy “a frightening and illegal invasion of privacy” and I can’t say that I disagree. Keep in mind that this isn’t looking at what you’ve posted to a public Twitter account; the government agency here could look through private Facebook messages, which seems a lot like reading through your mail, paper or digital.”

It seems a whole lot like that. While I think the prospective employee has a lower expectation of privacy when applying for a government job, especially a particularly sensitive one like military, intelligence, and law enforcement positions, there are limits. And, I’m sorry, “If you don’t like it, don’t apply to work there” has some limits, too.

Should employers Google the names of prospective employees and perhaps check out their public Facebook and Twitter profiles? For many white collar jobs, I think that’s reasonable. But accessing private information seems out of bounds. Indeed, if they can demand to look at the inside of yourFacebook account, why not your Gmail account?

You can read this article at its original source here:  Want A Job: Give Us Your Facebook Password

I immediately said WHAT!!!! The Maryland Department of Corrections requires applicants to furnish their Facebook usernames and passwords as a condition of employment! How on earth is that legal? How on earth is that deemed acceptable? And most shockingly, how is it that the American Civil Liberties Union and USWeapon are in agreement about something?

Let me tell you, reading this made me absolutely livid. What I do and say on my Facebook account is none of the business of my employer or potential employer. I understand that there are jobs where this isn’t true. If it requires a Top Secret clearance, I can understand demanding to access your information. Although I would feel much better about it if they required you to sit down and go through the information with them rather than demanding that you give them your information and allow them to poke around as they please.

And it isn’t just my information at that point. Facebook has privacy settings. You cannot see a lot of my information unless I accept you as my friend. But once I do, you can see all my information. So when the State of Maryland enters that password and logs in as you, they also have access to the private information of EVERY ONE OF YOUR FRIENDS AS WELL! And you know what, my friends didn’t apply for your shitty job. The potential employer can now see, unknown to all your friends unless you tell them, everything that you can see about your friends. This includes any personal emails that you have sent to people on Facebook. Rest assured any of you who are friends with me on Facebook. Should I ever apply for a job or anything that would require such nonsense, I will contact you all personally and inform you so that you can delete me as a friend before it starts. Realistically though, I would never consent to such nonsense.

What is happening here is a travesty. And they are getting away with it so far because they are a government organization. I am glad to see the ACLU stepping in on this one because it is an absolute overreach on the part of a government agency. And if this infringement on our privacy is allowed to go unchecked, I don’t believe that we will see an end to the demands of a government that goes way too far already. They will start demanding access to your email accounts, perhaps your Amazon account to see what books you are reading, or even start to investigate friends of yours who have made off-color remarks. This is a continuation of a horrible path already started down a decade ago: The PATRIOT Act.

We already have a government willing and able to spy on its citizens. Now they are requiring that you help them to dig into your personal life. And it is done under the mantra of “Big Brother has the right to access whatever information he likes.” Well, NO he doesn’t. The level of information that I choose to share is my decision to make. As many of you know I am uber-protective of SUFA reader’s email addresses and identities. I have never shared any such information without the express written consent of both parties. And I never will. Because I respect everyone’s right to privacy and their right to share or not share whatever personal information exists. I would shut down SUFA and destroy my computer before I would acquiesce to a demand that I furnish private information.

So what say you SUFA? Anyone willing to stand up for the State’s right to demand such information from potential employees? How far would you go to get a job? In today’s tough economic climate, how many people would be so desperate that they would agree to this rather than lose what may be their first potential job in quite some time? I understand employer’s desires to fully vet potential employees, but there are plenty of other ways to do so, and those ways can produce acceptable results without infringing on the right of citizens to privacy.

 

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Comments

  1. Richmond Spitfire says:

    US Weapon…I saw that article and totally po’d about it also. There is no way that I would ever hand over my Login Information to anyone.

    A couple of additional things to consider:

    The person receiving your login information could now use it for social engineering or to “steal” your identity.

    I can’t begin to list all of the things wrong with this that are counter 1st Amendment.

    Alot of people “play” games on FB…what if you are taking a 5 minute break during work hours and post or play a game…that could be used against you…(i.e. we’ve noticied that during work hours, you were not working, but playing, commenting, liking, etc.

    Screw this…

    I, too have my account locked down…

    Remember, once you type it anywhere on the i-net, you can NEVER take it back — you can only try to back-pedal if it was really bad.

    My daughter’s best friend had been tagged on a photo that in my opinion was VERY damaging to him. I wrote him and begged him to remove the tag…explaining that later in life, he would come to regret it. He contacted that person and had the tag removed…P.S. I think that you can remove “your” tag on a photo.

    On the bright side, I think that people are finally getting the hint that no-one wishes to read about the color of their baby’s poo poo. I’ve seen a drastic change in those types of postings…

    P.S. Please don’t send me any requests to help you build your barn…!

    Best Regards,
    RS

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Good Morning R.S., Hope today finds you well. 🙂

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Hi GMan…Doing well…Hope you are well too…

        Would you post your WordPress Link to your Blog?…I didn’t bookmark it…

        I’m sure I could “google” it, but that would be just too simple as Matt states below….

        Best Regards,
        RS

        • gmanfortruth says:
          • Richmond Spitfire says:

            Oh…btw…anybody up there you know looking for a nice piece of land outside of the Pittsburgh area (North of Butler)…? When my uncle passed away, he left it to my Parents and my other Cousin… I think it is about 8 acres of land with a lovely stream running through it. Would make an awesome hunting camp… Just north of Slimey Pebble (uh…Slippery Rock) in New Hope, PA…

            • gmanfortruth says:

              I will make some phone calls. I have two relatives who may be interested. I’m familiar with the area, I’m about an hours drive North. If I do find somebody, I will post here and go from there.

  2. Good morning, USW. I am sure that it will please a lot of folks on here but I do not have much to say about it. I stay off social net working, Facebook, Twitter, etc. If I wish to remain private….I shut up. My kids and several good friends have all fallen victim to these social phenomena not realizing that even when they check the boxes for being private, their information is still accessible. There is a mindset that if I amdoing nothing wrong, then why do I care what the government sees. That is not the point, as you know. Following someone on Twitter and Facebook, as I am told, requires you to join such and create an account.

    I am a private person and I will share my information when I get ready. Being on linked computer networking is not my idea of privacy.

    Many employers are making it a condition of employment up front so a prospective employee should have no problem with it being required. In my line of work rigt now, all social networking monikers and ID’s are to be surrendered upon request but I work in a highly classified environment. I have warned many not to post on their social networking where they work or what they do or where they are going. IF they do, they will be fired because it is considered a breach of security. But their social networking is subject to being monitored as a condition of employment. Peope accidentally divulge information all the time without realizing they are setting themselves up….even with their friends. Not that their friend will do it but who is monitoring their friend?

    Bottom line, if you are security conscious…do NOT be on any social networking. It is dangerous.

    So…do you have a right to privacy in a public social network? It will be interesting to see the differing view points today because there are those on the left that claim any public disclosure, such as Wikileaks, is ok. I do not think you can EXPECT privacy on public social networking and since it is public……then does not anyone have the right to the information and does an employer have the right to monitor such?

    I do not like the idea of being watched and monitored without my permission, but I also do not put myself on public access…..and that is what all social networking is, in my opinion. So, if you are public with your information, and your employer has a BFOQ…..I think that you do not have the expectaion of privacy. If you lie about it and your employer has a rule against it and you intentionally with held the information….then I think you are subject to whatever rule there is…..

    Bottom line is….stay off of social networking. You do not have an expectation of privacy.

    • USWeapon says:

      Colonel,

      I can understand that position that you take on this. I have found Facebook to be a nice way to get into contact with a lot of people that I hadn’t talked to in years. It is nice to catch up with some of them and for that I am glad to have done it.

      But I have found peril in social networking as well. I have been mistaken for someone else based on a page on a different social networking site. I haven’t yet had anything really “bad” happen, and I hope that I don’t end up having it happen.

      Facebook, on the other hand, has opened up what I want to be public to those whom I want to have it be public. I try to be careful in what I share there. But some of our favorite folks on SUFA are here because of Facebook. I would imagine that is how Ray found himself here as I haven’t actually seen Ray since High School. It also resulted in Chris Devine coming over at times.

      I am OK with a potential or current employer monitoring Facebook. What I put out there publicly is just that, public. But I have a severe issue with the idea of requiring that they be given access to your private stuff as well. And that is what is happening here.

  3. I have two things going for me and internet searches, an extremely common first and last name, and i put next to nothing personal online. Yes I have a facebook account, but with almost no personal data that wouldn’t be on a resume anyways, and pictures are set to friends only. Having a common name is extremely helpful too. I challenge people to find me on google. Ain’t happening. I can’t even find myself. And I am fairly good at finding people on google, for example when a friend and I challenged each other to find something, he had to find me, and I had to find his parents, when I only knew that they were unlisted doctors living in another state. Not only did I find their names in 2 minutes, but shortly afterwards I found their address and his dads plane registration number. Searching for me results in millions of pages.

    I remember one of the first discussions I participated in on SUFA. It was about internet anonymity. And Ray was asking everyone why they use a handle and not their name. I am the only Naten53, and only the internet knows it.

    • You can be found.

      In the case of someone as privacy conscious as yourself, it would take a deliberate effort to get your data, rather than just a cursory search o’ the net.

      It wouldn’t be too hard though. Set up a dummy website, post a link for you. Once you click, I have your IP address. From there it’s just a matter of putting the pieces together. Home address, real name, phone, banking, etc.

      The truly scary thing is password entropy. People tend to use the same password for all their logins at different sites. So, what you can do is set up a dummy website (say, a photo sharing site) and require an account setup. Even if you give me all dummy data, people will tend to use their standard password. Once you have this, though, you can gain access to their other information, and possibly even their personal computer.

      Unless you are a cyber security expert, and a neurotically security conscious one, you are not safe if someone is out to get your data. You are probably safe is someone is just out to get someone’s data. But you should never make the mistake of thinking you are completely safe.

      PS: I’m back, baby!

      • my point was that it would be extremely difficult to find me (as a person) unless you already knew a lot. I did not mean identity theft as a criminal would hit anyone they could get instead of a specific person.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @Naten53 – you are decently hidden – the Maltego transforms (I only used your blog ID here and then amended some of the results based on 1st run transforms) pull up some interesting results based on other blogs and sites where you posted and potential email addresses used. One would have to do some far more invasive testing to try and better triangulate you (something better than “Pittsburgh-area”).

          😉

      • Welcome Back!
        Also, I am with Naten, I tend to be difficult to find due to safety in numbers. I do not even post here under an assumed name due to the common nature of my name. I know I can be found, but it is tricky. Having no physical address helps a lot too.

        Matt, I would lvoe to know what you can find out about me, I have tried finding myself with little success, but I have not put a lot of time into it.

        I am a bit looser on my identity and privacy than most here. I have a variety of reasons for this, including the fact that I have little to lose in the case of an ID theft, at least financially. I am not easy to find anyway. I do not care of people, including my clients, know my political leanings and rantings. I am a contractor, I work for myself, so I am not subject to as many whims as the average employee. Certainly, a client could drop me as a provider, but most recognize that I act professionally and their systems are somewhat dependent on me, and alternatives are, at best, more expensive for them.

        That said, I do not have many friends on facebook from work, only from my oldewst two clients with whom I have close personal relationships do I allow as friends on facebook. I use facebook to market my blog and my involvement in the music industry through my girlfriend, so I tend to be quite open. I also tend not to do a lot of stupid stuff where cameras are, or anywhere else for that matter. I’m just not a stupid partier.

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          @Jon – interesting that you post blogs under an alias as well as “jon smith”.

          😉

          • Indeed, In fact, I have stopped or slowed down using the alias because it is MORE recognizeable than my real name. I started out using the alias exclusively. You will probably find that most of my alias postings are older, and in some cases do not match my current perspective as I have developed my thinking since that time.

        • What I can find about you is your IP address, which I can easily enough use to find your ballpark (or possibly specific) geographic location.

          All I would have to do is what I described to Naten: create a dummy website and send you a link (“Hey, Jon! I was reading what you wrote and I thought you’d find this interesting..”). It’s a safe bet you’d click on it. Sometimes, however, it’s even easier – just get you to send me an email, then look at the full header (this depends on your network and email client).

          If you’re online from work, a simple reverse DNS lookup may also tell me the name of your employer.

          As I said, if you’re conscientious, it would take a deliberate effort to find your information. But it can be done.

          But I’m not really an internet hacker. I’m competent, but nothing special in this regard. I’m sure that a good hacker can do all kinds of crazy things to find you. As has been said, it’s the “unknown unknowns” that you have to worry about.

          • gmanfortruth says:

            Welcome Back Matt 🙂

            Your comment is intereting. I’m curious to see if you can find me, say within two miles. Give it a shot if you can.

            • Thanks! It’s nice to be back at SUFA, even if it’s not nice to be back in the northeast.

              As I said above, though, I would need to do something sneaky to grab your IP address. Commenting through a blog won’t cut it. But, assuming that I could easily trick you into clicking on a dummy link, let’s just go on the premise that I already had it. (you can go to whatismyipaddress.com to easily find your own address).

              Now, pop it into here: http://cqcounter.com/whois/

              I did this and it told me the name of my employer, the exact latitude and longitude, and address of my building, the name of my service provider, and a few other goodies.

              Note that, because I’m doing this from behind a router and firewall, they can only find out about my employer – nothing about my personal computer. If I did this from home, it would probably dead-end at my ISP, but maybe not.

              • gmanfortruth says:

                I did this too! The long/lat they gave was for the town of my address, not my location (I’m 11 miles away). No name, no real way to find me!

              • Scroll down to the details. The “address” they gave at first was in NJ somewhere for me, but they had my accurate one below.

                Then again, maybe it doesn’t have it for you.

                But either way, 11 miles is a lot closer than I would want someone who is stalking me..

              • gmanfortruth says:

                I did scroll down, they gave some ladies name and e-mail that was not me at all. Stalkers? Not concerned with that. Stalking crazy people is suicidal.

              • I find it fun when I am online to watch the targeted ads for the city of my IP. Since I have satellite internet the ground station changes every time I log on.

                Sometimes I’m in Texas, sometimes Utah, sometimes New Mexico, etc, etc…. It’s funny.

              • Plainlyspoken, the targeted adds on my computer at work are for florida and germany. Never where I actually am.

          • Oh I am aware of the process. I have the advantage of getting online almost exclusively on an air card or at various wifi locations. Certainly you could find that I am in richmond and maybe some of my regular haunts with enough research, but I would have to have an actual enemy for that to happen, I am not worth the effort to most, at least not yet. Big Brother is the only one that might start hunting….

  4. Dread Pirate Mathius says:

    Bwa Ha Ha Ha! I’m baa-aack!

    Now, that said, if you don’t like the terms of employment (ie, handing over your social networking passwords), then find a different job. Your employer has a right to ask you for whatever they want and you have a right to refuse whatever you want. If you can’t come to terms that are mutually acceptable, walk away.

    That said, just make another Facebook account, put nothing incriminating on it, and give them that password.

    Now, I’d like to add one thing here. I use a free outlook plug-in call Xobni (“inbox” spelled backward) which gives me an advanced search function, and improved contact organization among other useful features. One extra thing it does, however, is log into social networks (Facebook, Linked-In, etc) and pull personal information from your contacts into your database.

    So, imagine that you’re a complete stranger and you just emailed me as part of your job. My outlook will take that email address, look it up on these networks and tell me everything that’s publicly available about you. It will give me your picture. It will show me your resume. It will give me your cell phone number. It will give me your Twitter feed if it can find it.

    I can imagine that many people do not want me seeing as much about them as I do. When it comes to your personal information that you don’t want everyone to have, you have to be extremely vigilant. Far, far more vigilant than you might think necessary.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      @DPM

      Some places can and do polygraph employees

      Maltego also works well

      • Dread Pirate Mathius says:

        So what if they polygraph you? Don’t want to take a polygraph test? Find another job.

        No one is forcing you to take the test.

        If it’s too onerous, many people will balk at the idea. If too many people balk, the employer will find that they are having difficulty finding quality employees. Either they will settle for inferior employees and ultimately go bankrupt, or they will change their policy.

        But nothing forces you to submit. That’s a free market matter. What right do you have to tell employers what they can and cannot request?

  5. My daughter started with MySpace while she was still in high school. I smelled a rat immediately and told her to be extremely careful what she put out there. She dropped MySpace for Facebook when she started college. I continued harping about what she was putting out there but by then she was over 18 and what can I really do? She doesn’t post anything offensive its just scary to me who can see what she posts.I suggested a few years ago that potential employers could twist anything they saw and unintended consequences could end up trapping her in the future. She blows me off as ‘old school’. I continue to shrug and worry. She married, moved to Hawaii and started posting pics of the island on her page and she suggested if I wanted to view them I’d have to be on Facebook also. I agreed only because I sooo wanted to see her pics but I made her set me up as an alias. I have 6 friends..3 real friends and three family…all sworn to secrecy about who I am. I am amazed what I’m able to see with only 6 friends..an unlimited amount of info and pictures of people I don’t even know. That is waaay scary to me. I get furious when I see pictures of me out there. I don’t have anything to hide but I sure don’t want my picture seen around the world..that’s why I’m an alias but I have no control of what others put out there on me. My daughter continues to scare me..she and the other marine wives post how many more days or months their husbands will be deployed. All it takes is one stalker to see that and it could end up in a dangerous situation. Now my son is caught up in it. He knows I monitor every word or picture he puts up. Luckily he would rather have a wrench in his hand or just be out on his bike.

    I see these consequences catching up to people and Facebook will end up fading away. But as far as I’m concerned the damage is already done. SCARY!

  6. Ray Hawkins says:

    USW – thanks for posting the article – as you know I was equally livid when I read this – but maybe not surprised…..

    (1) For some folks that are longer in the tooth, or even just generally more suspicious/skeptical than I – it is difficult to wrap one’s head around the notion that personal and business/professional identities are beginning to merge (for many younger folk – there simply is no distinction).

    (2) If an entity I am to share information with or through requires me to register a password to access services and they have a privacy policy and they have privacy “settings” that help govern “our relationship” then I have an expectation of privacy. The amount of privacy expected and received can be up for debate (and with Facebook it often is) – but the expectation is still there.

    (3) I do NOT agree that even TS/SCI should require one to divulge user names and passwords for private accounts. If proper recruiting, behavioral screening/interviewing and standard SF-86 investigation has occurred then there is little reason to go this extra/invasive step. Hire the right people, use technology and monitoring to keep honest people honest and be done with it. Develop strong policies and guidance on acceptable social media/networking use and then enforce it.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Hi Ray!

      Hmmm…maybe it’s a corporate conspiracy…If you actually “give” them your personal Passwords/IDs, they won’t hire you…because it was all a test to see what you are willing to “give up” all for the sake of getting a job!!!

      I hope you are well…

      K

    • Ray

      Item 3: Absolutely and totally AGREE!!

    • Good Morning, Ray….ummmmm…long in the tooth? Geez…just call me an old fart why don’t ya.

      Ray says: it is difficult to wrap one’s head around the notion that personal and business/professional identities are beginning to merge (for many younger folk – there simply is no distinction).

      The “Long in the tooth” Colonel says: Not hard to wrap one’s head around it….just disagree with the herd mentality. And experience has taught me that too much information is detrimental unless I am the one gathering the information, of course.

      Ray says: If an entity I am to share information with or through requires me to register a password to access services and they have a privacy policy and they have privacy “settings” that help govern “our relationship” then I have an expectation of privacy.

      With arched eyebrow, the Colonel responds: You might “expect it” but to assume so is a naive approach, in my skeptical long of tooth opinion.

      Ray then says: I do NOT agree that even TS/SCI should require one to divulge user names and passwords for private accounts.

      The security conscious old bird colonel responds: We will part company on this one. experience has taught me that the best screening processes and the best back ground checks out there have and will miss important details. Behavioral screenings and the SF-86 investigation do great for surface analysis. It is easy to beat a polygraph exam and it is easy to beat even the most ardent psychological exam. A persons personal behavior off the job is relevant for high security. The internet and social connections are teeming with information that is not found in normal background checks. We see it all the time.

      Ray then states: Develop strong policies and guidance on acceptable social media/networking use and then enforce it.

      Nodding in agreement, the old fart says: YES. This is a key element and enforcement is paramount. AND, the “acceptable” use is totally subjective and up to the company or entity to determine their own acceptability. There is no universal acceptance level.

      By the way….hope you and the youngun are doing well. My best to the mrs.

  7. SUFA

    There should be no expectation nor requirement for ANYONE to turn over private account information to anyone in the Govt for any reason short of criminal investigation. And that would require a Court order to do so.

    Private enterprise is something different, however. Our choices are to boycott such companies or to Pass A Law prohibiting the practice.

    Perhaps one could simply file charges of blackmail against the HR person making the demand. 🙂

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      Totally agree dear JAC!

      I would like to add something though.

      If a person should choose to utilize “work” resources (i.e. a company owned computer) to access Facebook, etc., then I do feel that it is within the realm of said company to be able to make decisions on employees based upon that…

      I hope you are well today!

      Best Regards and hugs,
      RS

      • My dearest Spitfire.

        I am well thank you. Scrambling a little getting ready for a move, but very well.

        I hope your weekend was wonderful.

        I agree with your point. Company’s computers are the company’s computers. And, even though it would harm SUFA greatly, I am bothered by the number of employees these days who spend company time chatting on screen.

        Sometimes I wonder what the impact to productivity has been since the chat rooms, blogs, and other social connections have come along.

        Safety ON???? Big hug to you as well.
        JAC

    • Top ‘O th” moanin” to ya….

      Curious…..why do you see a precondition with the government different than that of a private company where employment is concerned. Both are looking for employees and both have the same expectation. What is the difference? YOu can choose not to work for the gov and you can choose not to work for the private employer.

      • Richmond Spitfire says:

        Col, Sir…I know my name isn’t JAC, but…for me, Government has the power to make into LAW strange things that Corporate America doesn’t have the power to make into law….Just my two cents sir! I hope you are having a wonderful day!!!!

        • Doing great Richmond….but that does not answer the question… a precondition is exactly what it is….gov or private. why is one ok and the other not?

          • Richmond Spitfire says:

            Maybe sir, I’m taking it out of context for the purposes of keeping it at employment. Yes, of course, you could choose to work or not work based upon those pre-conditions…

            In going down a rabbit hole, I could see the “possibility” of Big Gov’t requiring passwords/ids for other services.

            Wasn’t there recently alot of airtime where the Gov’t was proposing a “single” Internet ID for everyone? I guess I’m kinda equating the two things together.

            For me, the difference between Gov’t vs. Corporate requesting it and my saying, “Screw You” is that Corporate doesn’t have ANY power over me; whereas, Gov’t unfortunately does…and can send my butt to jail for not being in compliance with law….

            I hope your day continues to be great!

            • YOu are certainly within your rights of being skeptical of the gov….hell, I worked for them in the military for 40 years….I know government….up and down….and hate it. I am working for the State of Texas now as a military security consultant to the Texas National guard…..so, your skepticism is warranted….however, that is why I narrowed the scope to precondition of employment. Some may see it as discriminatory but it does not fit the definition as it stands today. It is not against the law, as far as I know, to refuse employment for refusal to submit to a precondition that is not race, gender, age….etc based.

              • Richmond Spitfire says:

                Let me ask another question…

                What about the situation where employees were previously hired w/o these intrusive conditions — and it then becomes policy (i.e. intrusive conditions)…”We now need your ID/Passwords so that we can comply with xyz”. What’s a person to do?

      • d13

        Good morning sir. Prepare for bitter cold.

        The GOVERNMENT is NOT a private enterprise. That is reason enough.

        However, the Constitution clearly prohibits such “fishing” expeditions. There is adequate means to verify a potential employees integrity and qualifications. It has been done for centuries before the twitter and facebook came along.

        Govt is a MONOPOLY on the use of force. In a free society the Govt CAN NOT have unilateral power to demand information for any reason. It may ask, but it man NOT demand.

        I do not like private enterprise doing this either. But we do have recourse against the private business we do not have against the government.

        And of course, the STATE laws would dictate on such matters, as our Republic currently stands. I know some states have very strong “privacy” laws.

        We have become a lazy and unthinking country of imbeciles. These latest “hiring” practices, along with using “credit scores” and such are just further evidence of how severe the rot has grown.

        Best wishes to you today my Texican friend.

        JAC

        • Tks, sir…doing fine and the blustery winds just hit. A fine running weather 64 this morning….then whammo….winds outta the North 35 mph gusts to 40……temp went from 64 to 47 before god got the news….

          • d13

            Yup, that’s the one. A good 20 degree drop. Hung around here for about 4 days.

            Went out in a T Shirt yesterday. It got up to 10 and felt like a heat wave.

            • I was running in nice 64 degree clothes…..then the change…great incentive for getting back quicker…my 8 minute mile turned to a 6 minute mile with the wind at my back and a 20 degree drop blowing up my skirt…..

              • You run in a skirt? Tell me it is at least a Kilt…

                Actually, I have been wanting to run the locally famous 10k race here in richmond (the Ukrops Monument Ave 10k race) in a kilt, but I have yet to have the spare $500+ for a proper kilt…

    • USWeapon says:

      I am with you on this JAC. Private industry is a different animal altogether. But when government does it I have a real issue!

  8. I’m with you here, brother. It’s pure bullshit that any employer (state or private) demand anything more of a worker than his ability to do a job, end of story.

    Hell, imagine if I was hiring and got a hold of Gman’s blog? Oy vey …

    • Charlie, my friend…how are you today.

      I found it very curious that you are a freedom loving…no one is entitled to this information…type of person where the internet is concerned..but you are an ardent activist on the greater good philosophy and taking freedoms away from other areas…..or do I have you misread (which is also possible since I am “long in the tooth” and a retired old Colonel who knows nothing).

      • Fine, thanks, Colonel. I tihnk you pretty much have it (about me). I don’t see the greater good concept as being anything more than cooperation for a greater cause (rather than taking away freedom). I know the arguments (lord know, I’ve heard them enough) on both sides of the fence, but I feel humanity in general is best served when everyone is taken into account vs. individual. Both sides suffer from the same poison, which is corruption and neither side has a remedy for it.

        Trust me, I know there’s abuse on my side of the argument and some of it makes me pretty sick to my stomach (why I walked from the Dems in 2000 & 2004) and much of what the libertarian movement encourages is appealing but … there are some significant areas there where we disagree and I can’t join any party for the same reason (including the communist party because they believe in non-violent revolution and I don’t believe in turning the other cheek).

        What’s going on in WI right now sickens me but probably for different reasons than you, sir. I am appalled at Obama’s refusal to step up and honor his 2007 campaign promise to walk the lines and the head of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka, should be tossed out on his ear for his performance on Meet the Press yesterday … he was giddy about protecting Obama rather than his workers.

        Sorry for the long-winded answer, Colonel. I am definitely against employers going anywhere near FB, etc., when hiring someone. Job qualifications are all that should matter.

  9. If you were in an interview and got asked this question, what would your response be after you asked if they were serious, and they replied that they will only hire you if you give them this information and if you don’t like it then too bad.

    • While walking out, I would tell them to do you know what to themselves and thank them (sarcastically) for wasting my time.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      I would reply back to them “good luck” finding an employee of any stellar caliber who is willing to do anything for the sake of money!

    • How hungry am I?

      • you skipped a meal because you had to hurry to get to the interview on time.

        • LOL…in that case…..there is no need to lie….which is what most would probably do to get a job.

          I would tell them to jam it where the sun does not shine and politely leave…slamming the door violently behind me….

          Naaahhhhh…I would simply say thank you and go.

      • I think that’s a key question. They have a lot of people who compete for those jobs which usually pay a little higher than the avg. wage with much better benefits. If this becomes a trend, moves from acceptable to expected, where does it end?
        Maybe the unions will require full access for membership?
        hehehe

        People trade freedom for security. Better job=more security.

  10. From a “long in the tooth redneck” from Alabama, what is Face book (just kidding)? I have heard my children talk about it but me and the Misses don’t use it. Heck besides my work email I just now set up a private email account for me 3 or 4 months ago, I do most of my talking the old fashion way, face to face or via telephone. I don’t like mobile phones and do not own one but my employer requires me to have one at work and so provides me with one to use there, but once I leave work off it goes.

    • Richmond Spitfire says:

      I’m with you on that one Bama…I’m probably one of the VERY few women/girls in the US over the age of 14 who doesn’t have a cell phone.

      I always get the same disbelief from everyone, “What happens if your car breaks down?”…Well…what happened prior to the cell phone invasion…I walk!

  11. One other important note as an aside:

    Posting of Pictures

    Embedded in photo’s take with devices with a built in GPS has the coordinates of that photo.

    So, if you take a picture of your car outside of your house for a sale ad, you’ve exposed where you live to the world.

    Take a picture of your diamond necklace for a eBay sale, and thief now know where to find your necklace.

    Take a picture of your kids at a playground, now everyone knows what play ground your kids play at.

    Adam Savage of “Myth Busters” took a picture of his truck in front of his house and posted it and…. you can guess what happened.

    Facebook now becomes a massive tracking device — where a half-baked maniac can track your typical whereabouts – where you party, live, work, eat, etc.

    • BF

      I am assuming that this only holds for phone cameras and perhaps regular digital photos directly downloaded to the computer. Is that correct?

      And Best of Wishes to you this find chilly Monday. I have been neglectful of late to not wish you a speedy recovery. I hope that arm works well enough to hoist a brew or two when I come to visit.

      JAC

    • USWeapon says:

      I had never heard of this BF. I am interested to learn more at some point. I will have to research. Do you have any sources on the fact that this data is in the pictures you post on Facebook or somewhere else?

  12. Ok, a company is within their rights to ask for such a thing, if it is a private company subject to the effects of the free market. If it is a publicly owned company or governemnt office, or a company that has or does accept any government funding then they cannot ask for such a thing.

    The reason for this is that the refusal of persons to give such information can shut a company down. If such a company has taxpayer support such that it will not shut down due to lack of staff or lack of competent staff, then it cannot legally require such private information.

    This is at best an unethical request. A request for social media pages addresses for the sake of monitoring to make certain an employee is not publicly bashing the company or handing out secrets is acceptable. Asking for personal login info is not acceptable. I could possibly even see a company requesting acceptance as a “friend” for these purposes, but as a condition of employment? No, I do not think so. Still, even that is better than actual login data.

    As was mentioned by USW, a login allows them access to potentially restricted/private data on the employee’s friends pages. Also, most people have similar logins for various things, meaning that the person’s login for their facebook page is probably similar if not identical to their personal login for their email, bank accounts, and other private things. Furthermore, this would permit access by company officials to hi-jack an employee account and do things to them. What if the HR person with this data was the one with a vendetta against an employee and tergetted them because they had their password? Or the IT people. Or a manager. Anyone with access to personel files would now be able to send private messages to other people, as if they were that person.

    Not acceptable. Even in a situation of a private company, such risks should be divulged as part of the request for said information so that the person being hired has full awareness of the risks. If such risks are not divulged, the employee would have grounds to sue in the case of such a violation, even if they agreed to the arrangement in exchange for the offer of a position.

    I expect that the reason that a state agency is the only one to request something like this is that private companies already know better than to pull this sort of Orwellian crap. This needs to be stamped out of any government employment requirement quickly, it is a gross violation of privacy.

    • Companies DO NOT have RIGHTS.

      I know this is knit picking but that is my story and I am sticking with it.

      • nit pikin’? Hell, JAC…that is thinner than piss on a plate….metaphorically speaking of course.

        But you stick with it, my super glue friend….I like it.

      • Indeed, I shall rephrase:
        An employer has the right to ask for whatever they wish as a condition of employment, but only if subject to the market consequences of such a request. If they ask for only black employees who must be female and topless, they can do that, but they better be prepared to have no employees or patrons for being discriminatory and sexually innapropriate. ANY protection of ANY sort from a legal or taxpayer funded source negates any such rights, which technically removes such rights from any and all corporations.

  13. Down here Richmond.

    Great question and a dilemma if you ask me. An employer has the right to make and enforce reasonable (subjective) rules and expect the employees to abide by said rules. On the surface, I see no difference in…let’s say smoking. Smoking on the job was allowed but the employer decides to ban smoking in the workplace. They post a memo according to whatever policy they have and eliminate smoking. You do it or lose your job.

    I can see the same in the high security arena. New security measures are now requiring monitoring of public social networks.

  14. Naten, Jon:

    …safety in numbers…

    The threats of Facebook do not come from strangers.

    The threats come from your local enemies – those whose lives you may have merely brushed past and forgotten …. but they have not forgotten you….

    • Indeed. I just do not see that much that can be used against me that could not be found in some other way even more easily.

      • Is there anyone in your life against whom you hold a grudge? Someone who, in some way, slighted you? Maybe you’re not out seeking revenge, but if the opportunity presented itself, you would be more than happy to hamstring them?

        A few names leap to mine for me – and I facebook friends with all of them (except for my brother – I can’t stomach the idea of being “friends” with him). I have my settings cranked up so that they can see nothing of mine, but I can see their information. And I can see their incriminating posts. And I can see their incriminating photos. And some day, maybe, just maybe, I’ll get the opportunity to use these constructively.

        If the opportunity presents itself.

        • Yea, I have people on my poo list, but none are friends on FB. Also, I know all I need to know about all of them to create an opportunity AND take advantage of it. I choose not to because I do not believe vengeance is wise, at least not for the offenses that have been committed. As far as I know, I am on no poo lists except for possibly teh government’s. Of course, the government is the only one that would waste resources trying to locate me.

          • Does everyone on your list know that you’re laying in wait?

            How sure are you that no one is laying in wait for you?

            Today I found, completely inadvertently, the name of the employer of one member of my list (high on my list). He probably doesn’t even remember that he belongs on my list. I am contemplating an anonymous incriminating email. The individual works for a law firm (no, it’s not Buck!) and I have a picture from Facebook in which he appears to be inhaling a controlled substance. Sending it to his employer would certainly square the books. Sending it to the bar association would be far more satisfying. Sending it to the DA might be pushing it a little bit too much.

            Either way, his decision to put it online is monumentally stupid, but the picture is mine now, and so is his fate.

            hehehehehe

            • gmanfortruth says:

              Mathius,

              What you are suggesting to do to someone because he is “high on your shit list”, is akin to shooting your enemy in the back. It is less than honorable, and frankly, an act of cowardice. 😦

              • I prefer to think of it as acting as an agent of Karma.

                I wouldn’t consider it cowardice, however. More a decision not to facilitate reciprocity. Though he doesn’t have (I hope!) anything on me, I wouldn’t want him calling my employer and making things up, or throwing rocks through my windows in the middle of the night.

                In all likelihood, I will do nothing. But I am enjoying thinking about it. Though he does deserve a good punch in the throat, ruining his livelihood strikes me as just a tad too much.

                My point, however, was more to the effect of how vulnerable people are, even when they think they have few or no enemies.

              • gmanfortruth says:

                I’m glad you reconsidered, maybe there is some hope for you 😆 People putting themselves in vulnerable positions is the long term dumbing down of America in real time.

              • You could say that. I would suggest that stupidity is why he is on my sh*t list in the first place.

                You’d have to be an idiot to piss someone like me off that badly.

                I rarely forgive, and I don’t forget.

              • Hey going on vacation is suppose to make one happier or are you just angry because you had to come back to work. 🙂

              • My car wouldn’t start this morning. I was almost three hours late to work. Oh well.

                Meanwhile, Twain said it best: “No man needs a vacation, so much as the man who just returned from one.” (or something close to that)

            • Richmond Spitfire says:

              Hi Matt,

              Welcome back! Although you may feel some extreme satisfaction in doing this (he’s a jerk, he deserves it, etc.), believe me, you will be damaging yourself if you were to follow through.

              You may think of it as karma getting him, but it would really be manufactured karma…you would have lowered yourself to his level; which is never good! Please believe me in this…Remember…you believe in what comes around, goes around…(karma)…just remember, it comes around back to you…

              Please try your hardest to take the high road — you’ll really feel better about yourself for doing so…

              Kill ’em with kindness…that’s what my Mommy and Daddy always told me!!!

              Best wishes!
              RS

              • The high road is rarely as fun as the low road.

                Still, if I had some sort of middle ground between doing nothing and destroying his career, I would probably take it. Oh well.

                Something you should know about me, RS, is that the universe has repeatedly shown its willingness to work for me in strange and unpredictable ways. Things always just fall into my lap. My whole life is a bizarre and irrational confluence of events which just so happen to work out for the best for me at every stage. It’s really quite eerie – I am frequently in exactly the right place at exactly the right time, or some odd coincidence just so happens to provide me with the perfect opportunity.

                So the universe dropped this in my lap.. even if I pass (and, realistically, I probably will), it will offer me something else sooner or later. Maybe someone else will do it for me and I’ll just get to read about it. Who knows.

                But the universe has my back, so I know that he’ll get what’s coming. I can wait.

              • Richmond Spitfire says:

                Karma is indeed funny in that way Matt! 🙂

  15. gmanfortruth says:

    A little boy comes down to breakfast. Since they live
    on a farm, his mother asks if he had done his chores.

    “Not yet,” said the little boy.

    His mother tells him no breakfast until he does his chores.

    Well, he’s a little teed off, so he goes to feed the
    chickens, and he kicks a chicken. He goes to feed the cows,
    <> and he kicks a cow. He goes to feed the pigs, and he
    kicks a pig. He goes back in for breakfast and his mother gives him a
    bowl of dry cereal.

    “How come I don’t get any eggs and bacon? Why don’t I
    have any milk in my cereal?” he asks.

    “Well,” his mother says, “I saw you kick a chicken, so
    you don’t get any eggs for a week. I saw you kick the pig, so you
    don’t get any bacon for a week either. I saw you kick the cow so for a
    week you aren’t getting any milk.”

    Just then, his father comes down for breakfast and
    kicks the cat halfway across the kitchen.

    The little boy looks up at his mother with a smile,
    and says, “You gonna tell him or should I?”

    • A little boy was sitting on the footpath with a bottle of Turpentine.

      He was shaking it up and watching all the bubbles.

      A Priest came along and asked the little boy what he had.

      The little boy said, ‘This is the most powerful liquid in the world; it’s called Turpentine.’

      The Priest said, ‘No, the most powerful liquid in the world is Holy Water. If you rub it on a pregnant woman’s belly, she’ll pass a healthy baby.’

      The little boy replied, ‘If you rub turpentine on a cat’s arse, he’ll pass a Harley Davidson !’

  16. To SUFA left side: Just sent out to us in twix….not classified.

    Omaba authorizes the movement of troops to the Northern border of Africa…will actively participate in no fly zone….

    So much for not interfering in other countries.

  17. I am with you on this one USW, getting in to your facebook info without you being there is totally bogus!

    Once upon a time in the USMC, I was applying for CWO school because I wanted to fly helicopters. I had passed all the written parts and had the required letters of recommendation. The next phase was the personal interview board. I showed up looking like Mac Marine Himself, all spit-shined and the like. Now, mind you, this was a few years after my first marriage had ended in a not-so-good divorce. What was the subject the interview board focused on? Not my thousand hours of private pilot experience, not my 100+ skydiving jumps, nooooooo. All they wanted to know was what the cause and who was responsible for the divorce. Needless to say that when I answered all those questions with a polite “With all due respect that information is not pertinent to my Marine Corps career”, I was not accepted and never became a helicopter pilot. To this day I believe that the quota had been filled by the time my alphabetical slot came up and those in charge just did not have the decency to be honest about it.

    • #@%*(*^&^$ cable ISP service dumped me and then came back online. Sure glad the above comment posted.

      To finish. There are things that no one has any business looking into our private lives need to know. We all have done some rather bonehead things in our youth – NO ONE IS PERFECT. And I also believe that no one needs to know personal info about the people we associate with for any other reason than a T/S or CRYPTO clearance application.

      Sure am glad that I am retired!

  18. Belgium Breaks Record for Longest Time Without Government

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20110221/wl_time/08599205284300

  19. I would think the proper answer is that I do not divulge logins and passwords, private or corporate. I take security seriuously and will bring that attitude to the job.

  20. I just love this 🙂 Go South Carolina!!!!

    Lights On in South Carolina? Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Restore Incandescent Bulbs

    Published February 28, 2011

    Lights. Made in South Carolina.

    That’s the label a group of lawmakers is looking to put on incandescent light bulbs soon to be made scarce as a result of federal legislation.

    Six Republican and one Democratic lawmakers in the Palmetto State have introduced legislation to get around the federal law and bring back the incandescent bulb through in-state only sales.

    Bill sponsor Rep. Bill Sandifer said the federal government had “far overstepped the bounds of the Constitution” with its proposal. He said the South Carolina bill could open the door for incandescent bulb manufacturers, which don’t have a presence in the state to Sandifer’s knowledge, to set up shop locally. But he said the bill was not introduced for economic stimulus reasons. He said people just don’t want to be forced into buying a specific kind of bulb, which could either be more expensive or less effective, or both.

    “The bottom line is that the people of South Carolina really do not like to have, quote, big brother, telling them what kind of bulbs to light our homes,” Sandifer said.

    The South Carolina Incandescent Light Bulb Freedom Act would require the bulb to be manufactured and sold within the state, thereby evading Commerce Clause arguments used to force South Carolina to comply with a federal regulation that raises the energy efficient minimums on light bulbs. While the new rules, to go in effect next year, don’t ban incandescents outright, the energy requirements would exclude incandescents and lead to wider use of LEDs (light-emitting diode) or CFLs (compact flourescent lamp).

    “An incandescent light bulb that is manufactured commercially or privately in this state from basic materials that can be manufactured without the inclusion of any significant parts imported from another state and is offered for sale and sold for use only within the borders of this state is deemed to be in the stream of intrastate commerce, rather than interstate commerce, and is not subject to federal law or federal regulation,” reads the legislation introduced last Wednesday in the General Assembly.

    The bill notes that the item may include some “generic insignificant parts” imported from other states, including steel, glass, springs, screws, nuts pins and ceramics but their incorporation is as a raw material and not a manufactured good.

    “The incorporation of generic and insignificant parts imported from … which have other manufacturing or consumer product applications does not bring the incandescent light bulb into interstate commerce and does not subject them to federal law or federal regulation,” the bill reads.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/02/28/lights-south-carolina-lawmakers-introduce-restore-incandescent-bulbs/#ixzz1FJVYDpoU

  21. Wisconsin teachers union now targeting small business’ from campaign donation records released by the Obama administration. According to MSNBC and Fox News, the Obama administration has released campaign donations from the IRS to the Wisconsin teachers union and they are now organizing boycotts against the donors to the governors campaign. In an interview on MSNBC, there was a young male teacher that allowed the class room is not off limits on targeting the children of campaign donors while in class and singling them out. Nice lesson.

    • That teacher should go to the corner, sit on the stool and put on the dunce cap.

    • USWeapon says:

      That teacher is precisely the reason why unions for teachers need to go away. He should not be allowed anywhere near a classroom.

  22. gmanfortruth says:

    Good Morning Colonel 🙂

    As much as I would like our nation to unite, I take pause when I hear this : In an interview on MSNBC, there was a young male teacher that allowed the class room is not off limits on targeting the children of campaign donors while in class and singling them out. Nice lesson.

    With those on the left continuing to show how unethical and immoral they are, I’m waivering between revolution and civil war (bloodless of course).

  23. gmanfortruth says:

    LeCharlie thinks I’m crazy! The USDA has now joined me in my little insane world.

    Jonathan Benson
    Natural News
    March 1, 2011

    When the upswing in commodity prices eventually makes its way throughout the food system in mid-to-late 2011, food prices are sure to spike with levels potentially reaching those of 2008, announced U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) economist Ephraim Leibtag at the agency’s annual Outlook Forum. And if conditions escalate rapidly, there is also the potential for food riots and other civil unrest.

    http://www.prisonplanet.com/food-prices-to-skyrocket-riots-could-follow-suggests-usda.html

  24. gmanfortruth says:

    “The Gun Is Civilization” by Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret)

    Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force.If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument,or force me to do your bidding under threat of force.Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that’s it.

    In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

    When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.

    The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats.
    The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

    There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we’d be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger’s potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat–it has no validity when most of a mugger’s potential marks are armed.

    People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that’s the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

    Then there’s the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways.
    Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser.

    People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don’t constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender,
    not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.

    The gun is the only weapon that’s as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldn’t work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn’t both lethal and easily employable.

    When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I’m looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don’t carry it because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason,
    only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation… and that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act.

    By Maj. L. Caudill USMC (Ret.)

  25. D13, do you have any comments or are you allowed to comment on this?

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/02/28/texas.lake.killing/index.html?hpt=C2#

    Two suspects identified in Mexico lake killing

    (CNN) — Two additional suspects have surfaced in the fatal shooting of an American man on a lake that straddles the United States and Mexico last September, Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez told CNN.

    David Hartley was allegedly shot on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake. He and his wife, Tiffany, were on personal watercraft on the lake when gunmen opened fire on them, authorities say. The killing remains unsolved.

    Gonzalez said officials would not release the new suspects’ names.

    “We’re just waiting for more information. We understand that they were there, they participated in the shooting. They were given the orders to go kill (Tiffany) also,” the sheriff said.

    The new information, based on cooperation from informants, came to light last month, but is just now being released publicly.

    Hartley’s account of what happened has never changed. She and her husband were returning from touring a well known local landmark, the previously submerged town of Old Guerrero on the Mexican side of the border. They were about a mile from the town’s well-known church when three boats approached. The men in the boats had guns and began to fire. David Hartley, his wife said, was shot in the head.

    In the months since the attack, many doubts have been raised by law enforcement sources suggesting Tiffany Hartley’s version of events does not ring true. Rumors persist that somehow, in some way, the Hartleys themselves were involved.

    Gonzalez, who says he always believed Tiffany Hartley, said that the new information on the suspects corroborate her story.

    The suspects are known Mexican drug traffickers and “do come over to Zapata County (Texas) every once in awhile. We’re waiting to try and grab them when they’re here,” he said.

    A factor hindering the investigation is that the shooting took place in Mexico. Mexican authorities have not publicly provided any new leads since the investigator on the case was found dead.

    The new revelations bring the total number of suspects in the case to four, Gonzalez said.

    • I can comment but there is not much more that I can add. The Old town of Guerro is well known. When the lake was formed, the water backed up and flooded the town. There is a partially submerged church that is a very popular sight seeing area, however, it is on the Mexican side of the border. But, in recent years, it is well known that the area is also dangerous as is the lake. It has been subject to kidnapping and robberies on both sides of the lake. There are warning posted on the American side of the dangers involved. Sport fishing and sight seeing on the Lake is at your own peril or was……We now have two gunboats on the lake and the robberies have stopped. It was widely speculated that this couple was involved in the drug trade but everyone knows that they were not. There is unreleased video of the girl being chased by boats well into the Texas side and the druggies shooting at her. The investigation was originally stalled by the Obama administration to avoid publicity but Gov Perry started his own that has results. We know who did the shooting and where they are but are blocked by the Mexican authorities from going into Mexico and they will not arrest them. They have arrested a couple of sacrificial lambs, however.

      • I might add, that Janet Napolitano knows where they are as well. All intelligence has been turned to the US Government which is doing nothing…..probably because Obama and Janet Napolitano have decreed that the border is safer than it has ever been.

        We have offered to escport them around the border for first hand observation but they have so far not elected to tour the border in Texas.

  26. Many of us have long suspected and now it’s been verified! Watching the crap that has been going down in Madison over the last two weeks, I can personally attest that there is definitely a severe mental disorder amongst this group!

    Veteran psychiatrist calls liberals mentally ill
    Publishes extensive study on ‘Psychological Causes of Political Madness’
    WASHINGTON – Just when liberals thought it was safe to start identifying themselves as such, an acclaimed, veteran psychiatrist is making the case that the ideology motivating them is actually a mental disorder.

    “Based on strikingly irrational beliefs and emotions, modern liberals relentlessly undermine the most important principles on which our freedoms were founded,” says Dr. Lyle Rossiter, author of the new book, “The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness.” “Like spoiled, angry children, they rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave.”

    While political activists on the other side of the spectrum have made similar observations, Rossiter boasts professional credentials and a life virtually free of activism and links to “the vast right-wing conspiracy.”

    For more than 35 years he has diagnosed and treated more than 1,500 patients as a board-certified clinical psychiatrist and examined more than 2,700 civil and criminal cases as a board-certified forensic psychiatrist. He received his medical and psychiatric training at the University of Chicago.

    Rossiter says the kind of liberalism being displayed by both Barack Obama and his Democratic primary opponent Hillary Clinton can only be understood as a psychological disorder.

    “A social scientist who understands human nature will not dismiss the vital roles of free choice, voluntary cooperation and moral integrity – as liberals do,” he says. “A political leader who understands human nature will not ignore individual differences in talent, drive, personal appeal and work ethic, and then try to impose economic and social equality on the population – as liberals do. And a legislator who understands human nature will not create an environment of rules which over-regulates and over-taxes the nation’s citizens, corrupts their character and reduces them to wards of the state – as liberals do.”

    Dr. Rossiter says the liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population by:

    creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;
    satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;

    augmenting primitive feelings of envy;

    rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.
    “The roots of liberalism – and its associated madness – can be clearly identified by understanding how children develop from infancy to adulthood and how distorted development produces the irrational beliefs of the liberal mind,” he says. “When the modern liberal mind whines about imaginary victims, rages against imaginary villains and seeks above all else to run the lives of persons competent to run their own lives, the neurosis of the liberal mind becomes painfully obvious.”

    Read more: Veteran psychiatrist calls liberals mentally ill http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=56494#ixzz1FNBhDthv

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      “Conservatism is essentially a set of neuroses rooted in “fear and aggression, dogmatism and the intolerance of ambiguity”

      But who can forget the study a few years back that was accomplished partially with the help of 1.2 million of your tax dollars (grant from NIH)?

      More….

      “A study funded by the US government has concluded that conservatism can be explained psychologically as a set of neuroses rooted in “fear and aggression, dogmatism and the intolerance of ambiguity”.

      As if that was not enough to get Republican blood boiling, the report’s four authors linked Hitler, Mussolini, Ronald Reagan and the rightwing talkshow host, Rush Limbaugh, arguing they all suffered from the same affliction.

      All of them “preached a return to an idealised past and condoned inequality”.

      Republicans are demanding to know why the psychologists behind the report, Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition, received $1.2m in public funds for their research from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

      The authors also peer into the psyche of President George Bush, who turns out to be a textbook case. The telltale signs are his preference for moral certainty and frequently expressed dislike of nuance.

      “This intolerance of ambiguity can lead people to cling to the familiar, to arrive at premature conclusions, and to impose simplistic cliches and stereotypes,” the authors argue in the Psychological Bulletin. ”

      I suppose I wonder why it took 1.2 million to state the obvious?

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/aug/13/usa.redbox

      🙂

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        In fairness – they said of Liberals:

        “Liberals might be less intolerant of ambiguity, but they may be less decisive, less committed, less loyal.”

        😉

  27. Mathius says:

    A good take on the Koran:

  28. This is what “collective bargaining” gets us and why public employee unions should be busted:

    Hans A. von Spakovsky, a Senior Fellow at the Heritage Foundation and former member of the Federal Election Commission, discloses:

    “From 2001 to 2010, Wisconsin taxpayers paid more than $48 billion for state employee health care coverage, while state employees contributed only $398 million, less than 5% of the total costs. From 2000 to 2009, taxpayers paid $12.6 billion for public employee pensions, while the employees only contributed $55.4 million, less than 0.5% of the total cost.” Naturally, the unions which represent them (what’s the difference between organized labor and organized crime?) are anxious to keep having involuntary relations with the state’s taxpayers.

    Von Spakovsky estimates that the average Wisconsin family of 4 is paying $1,560 each year for public employee benefits – exclusive of salary.

    http://www.grasstopsusa.com/df022511.html

    • Ya know, Kathy, I am in your camp on this but there is one major thing. Collective bargaining takes two sides. The State government also agreed to this. They need to be fired. There is nothing with bargaining…..just do not agree to crap.

      • Remember, we’ve been under Dem rule here for some time and you are right – those previous Dems agreed to everything the unions wanted because it got them votes and campaign contributions. Collective bargaining was just a fancy name for it.

        We flipped the Gov/Senate/Assembly in November (and ousted progressive Feingold). Huge move and voice that Wisconsinites have had enough and they are now not agreeing to the crap.

        Developing: perhaps some politicians have found their conscience?

        http://nation.foxnews.com/politics/2011/03/01/exclusive-awol-democrats-experiencing-dissension-ranks

        • Ray Hawkins says:

          Its easy to play Monday morning QB – you should be equally unhappy with all your fellow voters that were asleep at the wheel / sitting on their hands / staring at their shoes = any voter in WI pissed about the net result of YEARS of negotiating I call as equally irresponsible as responsible as any lefty/moderate is for giving away the house.

          A profound swing of the pendulum in one direction will only result in an equal swing in the opposite direction in the next cycle.

        • Yeah, it’s the teachers that are killing us … right (sarcasm intended):

          Salaries in Inv. Banking (w/ bonus)
          1st Yr Analyst $90-150K $125K BA
          3rd Yr Analyst $120-350K $165K BA
          1st Yr Ass. $150-250K $180K MBA
          3rd Yr Ass. $300-500K $350K MBA
          …VP $350K-1MM $700K 3-6 yrs
          Dir-Principal $400K-1.5MM $900K 5-10 yrs
          Mng Dir-Partner $500K-20 MM $1.5 MM 7-10 yrs
          Dept head $800K-70MM $3.5MM 10+ yrs

          Avg WI Teaching salary: $46,390
          And teachers didn’t bankrupt the economy.

          • Richmond Spitfire says:

            Hi Charlie,

            I’m not in investment banking, but I do work for a large bank in Technology and I’m a Vice President. While I do make a very decent wage, I’m no where in that league above.

            Aside from that point, you are comparing apples to oranges.

            You, Kathy, me and everyone else here are paying the salaries of teachers (and other “PUBLIC” employees). While in no way do I resent that the public employees get a fair wage, I do resent the fact that with Collective Bargaining and signed contracts that State and Localities are obligated to fulfill — I don’t have a say whatsoever in being able to get rid of $hitty teachers or that the best teachers can’t be financially rewarded for being the best.

            I also resent that “PUBLIC” unions have such a hold that they are able to continuously throw money toward politicians to “buy” laws and policy; and repeat the cycle over and over again.

            Personally, I applaud the clean-up that these states are doing.

            What a Corporate does/doesn’t do isn’t my business…if I don’t like it, my wallet snaps shut and I move on; when it comes to Services provided by my hostage tax dollars, I just don’t have that choice to move on.

            This is my two cents and I’m sticking with it. I’m willing to maybe add/deduct a cent — but the basic premise is that most AMERICANs are tired of being held hostage!

            I hope you are well today…It’s very pretty and sunny here in Richmond!

            • Richmond Spitfire says:

              Forgot to mention that the Bank Bailouts were simply handled all wrong. I have mixed thoughts about it…

          • And teachers should not make banking or corporate salaries. Want big money…get out of the public sector. Go private.

            • Here’s a thought (respectfully). Let’s just pay teachers and the like minimum wage with very few benefits. Then the private sector can have their kids taught by the same morons working at McDonalds. Then the profit disparity between rich and poor can be even greater (way to go 2%’s!) … Then we can work on nurses and minimumn wage and you can get your IV’s from the morons working at Target (like my stepson–you don’t want that, trust me) …

              Richmond: Those stats up above are for Wall Street bankers (not bankers in general) but … don’t forget they bankrupted the economy, not teachers and nurses.

              Let’s just pay everybody who isn’t already worth 50 or 100 million minimum wage … that’ll solve all our problems.

              • Richmond Spitfire says:

                Hi Charlie,

                Respectfully, I never said that Teachers should be paid minimum wage; I said that Teachers should get paid a fair wage. I also believe that teachers should get incentives for performance.

                Idea…Allow parents to choose where their kids go to school! If parents continue to use the Public Education System, then the funding (for that child) will be applied there at the individual schools…If parents choose private schools, then the funding (for that child) will be applied at the individual private school.

                Nurses…Corporations — Get paid what the market bears…. Unfortunately, with ObamaCare, the “Best” medical care professionals in the business will simply get out of the business (or work for private, non-obamacare providers) and we’ll be stuck with morons like, uh, that person you mentioned above.

                Collective Bargaining = rewarding people for poor performance.

              • See Charlie…all is not lost on you. But you forgot something….take it further. Take the education out of the public sector and turn it private and let the market decide. The salaries will climb, the benefits will multiply, and the teachers will be qualified. I feel that if you take public education and turn it private that the market place will fill all the gaps and I also believe that it will become affordable for every one but there is no free ride for anyone.

              • Here’s a thought (respectfully) – those “morons working at McDonalds” were taught by those very teachers you speak of.

                We have them to thank then.

                Teachers getting a fair wage and benefits isn’t even being discussed. They aren’t complaining about their pay rates in Wisconsin – just the “right” to collective bargaining. One would presume then that they’re satisfied with their current wage rates.

      • SK Trynosky Sr says:

        Thank you sir!

  29. Just announced: The Texas State Senate has passed the voter ID proposal for full vote tonight. It will pass the Senate and the House and become Law. It will require photo ID to vote with verifiable address. It is said to be the most stringent voter law in the United States.

    • SK Trynosky Sr says:

      perhaps it shall be deemed, let us say, unconstitutional? By the ninth circuit of course.

  30. gmanfortruth says:
  31. gmanfortruth says:

    Interesting, Soviet’s are saying that satellite imagry shows no evidence of aircraft strafings or other damage where there have been claims of such actions in Libya. HMMM!

  32. Canine Weapon says:

    A union employee, a tea party activist, and a CEO are sitting at a table with a plate of a dozen cookies in the middle of it. The CEO takes 11 of the cookies, turns to the tea partier and says, “Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie.”

    • February 28, 2011
      Why Middle America is Rejecting Big Government
      By Michael Barone

      It’s a question that puzzles most liberals and bothers some conservatives. Why are so many modest-income white voters rejecting the Obama Democrats’ policies of economic redistribution and embracing the small-government policies of the tea party movement?

      It’s not supposed to work out that way, say the political scientists and New Deal historians. Politics is supposed to be about who gets how much when, and people with modest incomes should be eager to take as much from the rich as they can get.

      Moreover, as liberal economists and columnists point out, income levels for middle-class Americans remained stagnant for most of a decade during the George W. Bush presidency and then plunged in the recession. Housing values fell even more.

      The conservative writer David Frum has made the same point and has said that Republicans must come up with policies that will raise ordinary people’s incomes if they hope to win.

      But the fact is that Republicans did pretty well among whites who did not graduate from college — the exit poll’s best proxy for the white working class — even in the otherwise dismal year of 2008. John McCain carried non-college whites by a 58 percent to 41 percent margin, more than his 51 percent to 47 percent margin among college whites.

      Barack Obama won because he carried all other voters 79 percent to 21 percent. But he carried non-college whites in only 14 states and the District of Columbia with 127 electoral votes.

      Liberals are puzzled by this. Thomas Frank’s book “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” argued that modest-income whites were bamboozled by the moneyed elite to vote on cultural issues rather than in their direct economic interest.

      But that’s no more plausible than the notion that rich liberals from Park Avenue to Beverly Hills have been bamboozled to vote the opposite way on similar issues rather than for those who would extend the Bush tax cuts. People are entitled to base their vote on the things they think important. They don’t always vote just to maximize their short-term income.

      In any case, the cultural issues seemed to be eclipsed by economic issues in 2010, when Republicans carried non-college whites 63 percent to 33 percent in House elections. That was almost as large a percentage margin as the Democrats 74 percent to 24 percent among the smaller number of nonwhites.

      My own assumption is that economic statistics have been painting an unduly bleak picture of modest-income America. When we measure real incomes we use inflation indexes, which over time inevitably overstate inflation, because they’re based on static market baskets of goods.

      The problem is if one item spikes in price, we quit buying it. In addition, inflation indexes cannot account for product innovation and quality increases.

      Liberal writers look back to 1973 as a year when real wages supposedly peaked — just before a nasty bout of inflation. But back then, a pocket calculator cost $110. The smartphone you can buy today for $200 has a calculator and hundreds of other devices.

      If you get out beyond the Beltway to Middle America, you find supermarkets with wonderful produce and big box stores with amazing variety, all at prices that are astonishingly low. You can eat well and dress stylishly at prices far below what elites in places like Washington and New York are accustomed to paying. In many ways, people with modest incomes have a significantly better standard of living than they did four decades ago.

      The recoil in 2010 against the Obama Democrats’ vast expansion of the size and scope of government seems to have a cultural or a moral dimension as well. It was a vote, as my Washington Examiner colleague Timothy P. Carney wrote last week, expressing “anger at those unfairly getting rich — at the taxpayer’s expense.”

      Those include well-connected Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs that got bailed out and giant corporations like General Electric that shape legislation so they can profit. They include the public employee unions who have bribed politicians to grant them pensions and benefits unavailable to most Americans.

      A government intertwined with the private sector inevitably picks winners and losers. It allows well-positioned insiders to game the system for private gain. It bails out the improvident and sticks those who made prudent decisions with the bill.

      Modest-income Americans think this is wrong, and they want it fixed.

      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/02/28/voting_for_the_national_interest_not_self-interest_109044.html

      • Canine Weapon says:

        ….

        Woof?

        • Being against big powerful government backed public unions does not mean you are for or discount the evil of big powerful government backed big business.

  33. gmanfortruth says:

    Price increases since Feb 1, 2011

    Brent crude = 12.8%
    Crude = 9.6%
    Gold = 6.5%
    Silver = 17.7%
    Corn = 9.5%

    Yet the idiots in D.C. says there is little increase in inflation. WTF!

    • You and I are of a like mind on this. Only thing is that I have based my evaluations at what we spend at the grocery store . . .

      Since the first of this year, our costs at the store has gone up almost a full one-third . . . Today is March First, that assessment is from January /First.

      Just 59 days . . .

      Most of our groceries come from Wal-Mart, the most economical (cheapest) store around these parts.

      • gmanfortruth says:

        I have to admit one thing. If not for Black Flag and his comments two years ago, I would be clueless as to the extent of this, like most people. For over two years I’ve learned alot about economics, at least what is important and how it affects me. I ONLY posted one month increases, but this has been going on for awhile, as the events of the Middle East have proven. Corn is of great importance to our food costs, that’s why I follow it. I will keep updates daily on my blog, and post here periodically, about once a week, for comparison.

      • SK Trynosky Sr says:

        It’s there alright. I’ve always been a careful food shopper. Other day I paid $ 3.59 for a loaf of rye bread. Revolutions have bee started over less.

  34. SK Trynosky Sr says:

    If you post something incredibly stupid on the internet, you deserve everything you get. A few years ago I wrote an extensive letter to the editor of our local paper taking issue with, of all things, a Memorial Day op-ed piece comparing American troops in Vietnam to the Waffen SS. Needless to say I was critical of the author. I used my real name and town and received no less than two death threats. So, if they know where to find you they will. People are trolling out there for trouble.

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