Tag Archives: privacy

I Am Spartacus

Hello, normal people who care about the security of the Social Security we’ve paid into our entire adult lives! I’ve an idea. Let’s all go to Congress to see Mr. Jordan’s and Mr. Comer’s offices and offer them our laptops. It’ll be our own “I am Spartacus” moment, we can take a group photo of us and our laptops and post it to whatever service we use and be done with it.

Until then, I offer the mundane contents of my MacBook, iPad and iPhone. Who knows what I have on each, I’m neater in real life than in my virtual one:

Here goes;

  1. the only nude photos I have are of the dog (see above), partly because she’s only forced to wear a winter coat when it’s less than ten degrees outside. It’s clothing optional, including collar, indoors and she chooses nudity.
  2. evidence since COVID began in March, 2022 of attempts to learn two foreign languages. Ici, je parle français, et qui parlo italiano. Pas bien. Non parlo bene. Posso ordinare una bistecca alla fiorentina in un ristorante. Basta.
  3. fifteen years of a cooking blog that, at times, waxes nostalgic or turns quite political.
  4. lots of old emails and a couple of old voicemail messages from my parents, who are gone now.
  5. current bill pay spreadsheet
  6. lots of photos, mainly of the dog and flowers, a few of my husband in a hospital bed awakening from several surgeries, so I could show his mother he made it!
  7. miscellaneous work files, letters and stories
  8. audio and kindle books, some for fun, some work or political, and the complete works of Jane Austen
  9. crossword puzzles, which I do, along with language study to keep my brain functioning as I age

I do not have any classified documents or plans to overthrow anything, especially the government. My legal name is my legal name, changed only through marriage with. documentation thereof. Open book. I am Spartacus.

What’s on your laptop? Tell the Congressional Oversight and Insurrection Committees. I’m sure they’re dying to know what voters are concerned about. Cheers! Dee



I Can Not Say

Anything. Any more. Not only does our healthcare system have access to and keeps our work, banking, health and other data and shares it with the federal government, everyone seems to do so.

What kind of world is this? One of our health care providers sent us a “privacy” notice that says we have no privacy anywhere we go.

Oh, we did watch a movie on Netflix the other day. I hope you can find out what it was. No, I don’t remember but it was sad, Taking Chance. All of this is invasion of privacy.

No-one cares or fights it. We all should care that the rug is being pulled from beneath our feet. The wool should come off our eyes and we should realize that this is not our government, by the people, for the people any more. Dee

ps I got hits from Brazil and Saudi Arabia today, so don’t think no-one reads this blog. The other day it was Swaziland and Spain, USA, Canada and Vietnam. If I disappear someone, at least my dog who will miss her breakfast, will know.

Silver and Gold

You’re thinking of Burl Ives’ silken voice in a holiday story that featured him as a snowman and Rudolph, the one with the red nose, as the star. I loved his talent and voice and saw him in his underwear. I was 19. He was being prepped by his wife and daughter for a performance and commanded me to come in, as I’d arrived to pick him up for said performance. I turned bright red and said no sir, I’ll wait for you out here, and I did.

I was taught to walk with a dictionary on my head, music, dance, even opera in our very small town. I took to prim and proper and well-educated well then when I was in my 30’s just took a small riff on it.

We were taught that no-one wears silver and gold together. I bought matching 18K gold wedding bands. Years ago to help my arthritis my husband bought me a silver and gold “golf bracelet.” We bought 18K gold earrings that I’ve worn for over ten years, day and night and  another golf bracelet for my right wrist for arthritis.

All of my jewelry and heirloom pewter, wood-lined cigarette box given by my great aunt was stolen, along with all her sapphire jewelry.

I don’t wear necklaces any more but have two new additions to my daily regimen. A sterling silver Claddagh ring I’ve always wanted for my birthday (heart turned inward, sorry gents), and a Turkish eye bracelet recently arrived from Islamabad from Dad.

Silver and gold, together. A tiny rebellion when one remembers having to lend a white glove to my sister for Mass to carry so it looked like we both had a pair, or wearing a tissue on our heads when we didn’t have hats.

Of course I took it a few steps further. I went to lunch and to the movies by myself, have had an interesting career, and like to spend my days in a tee, jeans and crocs. No more heels or dresses.

I try to protect our and others’ personal privacy and keep us and our neighbors from harm, and buck authority as needed. After years of being a tongue-tied kid afraid of her own shadow I emerged (a late bloomer) to speak my mind from time to time. My mother wished I hadn’t. Dad said GO!

Certain traits bring people together and often nurturers like me gravitate, luckily, to geniuses like my husband. Over many years we’ve dealt with challenges and find we actually have a few things in common: we believe in whatever issues we believe in; we solve problems; we create constructive change; and we love each other and our families and friends. And readers, of course. Dee

Privacy and FOIA, Vol. II

I’m up early because the dog got off the bed for a couple of hours then wanted back up. Just call me Otis, the elevator inventor. I lift our hip-less wonder at least twice a night now. It’s OK, she’s ten, a joy, and deserves that attention.

While struggling through my thoughts years ago balancing freedom of information and open meetings, vs. personal privacy, I did come to my own ethos on  the matter.

It depends upon circumstance. Right now I’m dealing with a standing water issue that will last for six months until the snow starts again, then it will freeze. It is on a trail right below that is lovely except I won’t walk on it alone with the dog because of last summer’s daytime sexual assaults. It used to be a railroad track and had drainage which Texans call bar ditches, to drain off water from rain and snow from the tracks.

Last year I called the County Parks and was told that these former drainage ditches were protected by the federal government by the MMPA, the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The only active breeding program there is mosquitoes. No porpoises or manatees or blue whales live in that 4″ of fetid, garbage infested water.

So I called the CDC, EPA, my local Congressman and others. So far, no help. I looked up our county and they’re having coffees in different neighborhoods to place their finger on the pulse of real people (or get re-elected). Guess what?

The county has not had great attendance at these coffee events. Why, you ask. When one asks for information every website is non-functional. Talk about freedom of information and open meetings laws. Now they’ve got free coffee and don’t have to talk to constituents. Guess who pays for the free coffee? We, the taxpayers.

I was also tasked with privacy. I didn’t fight back when the government wouldn’t allow me access to police reports of a car that swerved into mine, legally parked on the street, and sheared the left front tire from the axle. Hit and run. I paid the entire cost of my car to have it repaired because I couldn’t afford another car as I was working to protect FOIA/Open Meetings and privacy.

When I speak of privacy, it was primarily so that banks, cable tv (new at the time), insurance, health care and others were not blankly sending out records on their customers. Much has been done in health care with HIPAA since then.

I do have a beef, though, with the NSA recording this and all of my phone calls and mail for “national security.” The so-called patriot act eviscerates our Constitution for a lot of our money and no gain for US citizens. I also believe CIA and FBI have blurred lines when it comes to spying on us.

While my government career is now behind me those were heady days. I worked hard and there was actually a disco in the neighborhood, but I preferred the quiet piano bar/restaurant. There I met a lot of lobbyists and learned how to ask an old elected official who was trying to pick me up, “so how’s Mindy doing in art school?” That brought him back to his bearings and thinking about his wife and daughter and kept me safe.

I’ll get the mosquito issue taken care of, and I took care of the politicians, while quite naive at the time. There were lobbyist receptions nearly every night when they were in session, and as we worked long hours and made little money we had to eat and it was best if free. Talk to me about consumer affairs vs insurance in free food sometime. Dee

Dogs and Privacy


Well, Mr. Stingl had his say.

Right out of college I was awarded a political job with much burden in terms of substantial weight because what legislation I wrote would help or harm 34 million people, plus endless hours and weekends and trying to find free food anywhere we could because we made no money. Add that we were also covering for the attorneys that were supposed to assist us but were only there 1-2 days per week so I had to do his work as well.

After my first assistant job that lasted six months I moved to the library which got me familiar with Federal law. All of this was pre-computer so I sent clippings to each Legislative Associate. I got to learn the law and they got to know me. After the summer I was tasked with the largest one-person committee and did everything by hand. I was on good terms with the elevator operator (“bella ragazza”) Tony and knew when I smelled Aramis at 7 a.m. that my big-time Judiciary Committee lawyer (not the weeny one) was in so I could call early. Judiciary and Ways and Means had to weigh in if there was a criminal or monetary penalty in legislation and it wouldn’t pass unless they gave an OK.

Ironically, I was the jack of all trades and master of some. I was tasked with the Freedom of Information Act. Think JFK’s assassination and when those files may become available). Also the Sunshine Laws which make public meetings open to the public.

I was also charged with privacy. Open records and privacy. Years ago, as a young associate, it did not even occur to me that I was walking a tightrope between availability of public records and personal rights of privacy. One thing is no Catholic could vote for a privacy act without embracing the Supreme Court’s right to abortion.

I think this is going to be a two-part series. Ready for it? I wrote to the reporter who says that police redacting of names that are released to the press and public has hit critical mass because it gives no one information. This is because they fear lawsuits for defamation of character et al. Now they’ve started redacting dog names. If it’s an automatic computer program I may understand the redaction of the name Dexter or Chloe.

Two scenarios were given:

One, a blank couple has a dog named Chloe who has been wrongly accused of mauling a toddler, was housed in our city’s court case dog pound filled with dog fighters and was eviscerated immediately after being placed in custody but of course no-one knows that. Everyone who read the paper thought she was guilty but it was another dog in the neighborhood that is still on the loose.

Then there’s Zeb, a sweet Golden Retriever who was in the car when it got in an accident and his folks perished. Zeb survived and went to relatives.

Balancing privacy with freedom of information, I would print the names of Chloe’s parents hoping neighbors would know to steer clear. If Zebulon’s owners are gone and he’s safe, that’s fair game.

I know that the Supreme Court is going to have to rule on this forever, reporters hate it, and police departments are just covering to avoid lawsuits. In the end, I will go for openness and transparency in government. Who is paying your legal bills? We are. Redacting every name is ridiculous just to avoid a lawsuit. I’d rather you pave our streets so my car won’t fall down a sinkhole. Non-cheery, more to come about my struggles between FOIA and privacy. Dee


Do You Believe?

Would you like to wear an RFID bracelet that will let you into your Disney hotel room, the park(s) and track your every move?

Hello, privacy police. I don’t need to see a princess, it’s not my birthday and I’d rather be a pirate and like to pay cash and have you leave us alone. You already have our ID and have scanned us for weapons.

Now it’s time to scan for additional marketing opportunities. OK, I’m showing my age as the only time I went to Disney World was when families had to check the A-E rides. The E-rides were Pirates of the Caribbean and the brand new Space Mountain. It was a 90-minute wait for Space Mountain so we passed.

We have now negotiated FastPass at Disney Land and enjoy time there. We can’t tell you my husband’s system but we enjoy both parks and especially the night-time parade and fireworks. OK, we buy passes to both parks and go between them as time limits permit. Over the limit is OK, before, you have to wait on a Fast Pass.

My husband is a software engineer and I’m a privacy pioneer. How could we get bracelets that allow us to enter our hotel room, get into the park, go on a ride, buy a yogurt breakfast, juice or lunch without being tracked every moment?

My privacy bill was named 1984. In 1984. I believe Disney is going too far even though I still love Space Mountain, in California, an easier area to walk from realm to realm.

Cheers, Dee