Thursday, June 23, 2005

Who's Harlan?

Lonnie e-mailed to say I was like "Ask Harlan." Thanks, I think. I don't know who Harlan is.

Tammie wrote a long e-mail and I won't quote from it because she said it was private and it is. It's about all the tricks and promises that recruiters played on her brother. But she did say to make sure people know that they play mind games.

I want to get the word out on two stories from Democracy Now!

Pentagon Launches Massive Database To Help Recruiting Efforts
The Pentagon has begun working with a private company to create a massive database of high school and college students to help identify students as young as 16 to target for military recruiting. This according to the Washington Post. The database includes an array of personal information including birth dates, Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses, grade point averages, ethnicity and what subjects the students are studying. The Pentagon has hired the Massachusetts-based company BeNow to run the database apparently in an effort to circumvent laws that restrict the government's right to collect or hold citizen information. The database will include data given over by schools under the No Child Left Behind Act as well as information collected from commercial data brokers. According to the Washington Post, the system also gives the Pentagon the right -- without notifying the students -- to share the data for numerous uses outside the military, including with law enforcement, state tax authorities and Congress. A Pentagon spokesperson defended the database saying, "This program is important because it helps bolster the effectiveness of all the services' recruiting and retention efforts." The new database is being created at a time when the Armed Forces is struggling to meet its recruiting goals. The Army has missed its monthly recruiting goals every month so far this year. But Chris Jay Hoofnagle of EPIC -- the Electronic Privacy Information Center --criticized the system as a "audacious plan to target-market kids, as young as 16, for military solicitation." EPIC described the database as a "unprecedented foray of the government into direct marketing techniques previously only performed by the private sector." The privacy watchdog group also criticized the program because it does not allow students to opt-out of being in the massive database although they can opt-out of being solicited for recruitment.
Rep. Maloney Criticizes Social Security For Releasing Personal Info
Meanwhile in other privacy news, New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has called for hearings over the recent disclosure that the Social Security Administration decided to share personal information about thousands of people with law enforcement after the Sept. 11 attacks.

And C.I. wrote about the last thing when the New York Timid covered it. C.I. used that old Eagles song "Lyin' Eyes" and changed it to "Pryin' Eyes." I like it when they go musical at The Common Ills. Scratch that. I need to generate a catch phrase here. Mikey Likes It when C.I. goes musical.

Did you catch Democracy Now! today? If so tell me now was I the only one who thought Lindsay Lohan came off like an airhead?

AMY GOODMAN: While supporters of the San Bushmen picketed across the street, luminaries like actress Lindsay Lohan were feted by the diamond giant.
LINDSAY LOHAN: Marilyn Monroe is my favorite, and she supported diamonds forever. So I'm supporting them, like her.

Rebecca caught the show and blogged on it but didn't mention that. If she wasn't still sick, I'd call her and ask what she thought but I'll just toss it out there.

I got an e-mail from Gaylene who says she's a lot older and doesn't get the whole Hillary Duff and Lindsay Lohan thing. Gaylene wondered who I liked better?

Hillary Duff can't sing and really should stop trying. She's kind of joke. Lindsay Loham can act.
I don't plan to see Herbie but Lindsay comes off more real. I don't know any college kids that think much of Hillary Duff. My kid sister used to until she started high school last year. Then the pix of Duff came down off the wall. Duff's like the Olson twins rolled into one and really something for young girls or what the media calls "tweeners." She's also being slammed on campus for her new movie with Heather Locklear where the commercial shows a guy who's gay making some comment and Heather laughs but Duff looks offended. People are saying she comes off like a bigot in the commercial.

J.B. e-mailed to ask if I knew anyone that had their mind changed by the Downing Street Memo? Good question, J.B. and yeah, I do know people. They're the ones who didn't want to go to war and didn't want to come out against it. I call 'em the lazy middle. I'm only taking one class right now, it's summer, get off my back, and there are five students who've felt like shrugging all last year but now all the sudden they're really mad and angry.

They're starting to hear about it in the media now, on TV and stuff, but they first heard about it online at news sources. I e-mailed two of them C.I.'s thing last week and they're starting to follow it. I think the fact that enlistment is down so bad and all has people my age, even the lazy middle, starting to think about this.

Five people may not seem like a lot but I think it is because I'm not like on the phone saying, "Hello, I am Mike and I'm calling you tonight to find out your views" and all. I'm going by what I see. I see five people and I think that's great because my family and friends were against the war already. I think that's part of why Bully Boy's poll numbers have dropped.

Keith e-mailed to ask if I liked the e-mails and I do because I'm not sure what I should be doing here. I'm like a clumsy virgin! So the e-mails let me figure out what to talk about.