Saturday, January 14, 2012

Obama's New Scheme to Control the Internet and Spy on Americans

The Obama administration has been quietly plotting new controls on the Internet, including an ill-advised scheme to issue everyone a single Internet ID.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced that the government is drafting a plan called the "National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace" to centralize efforts to create a "trusted" identity eco-system.

Locke said that one of the goals of the program is to reduce or eliminate the need for people to memorize multiple passwords.

The plan will rely on private identity providers, rather than government to issue ids and run the system.

There are several problems with the Obama's Administration plan:

First, having one id is not a good idea. Why is identity theft becoming such a big problem? Because all of your financial information is tied to one government issued id called a Social Security number. Once a criminal gets a hold of that, they can unlock you entire financial life. Having multiple ids enables you to segment your life and reduce the overall damage that can be done if one of the ids is compromised.

Second, there are already multiple identity providers on the internet whose ids can be used across web sites. They include Microsoft Live, Google, Yahoo, and Facebook.

Third, There are already open standards for authentication (OpenID) and authorization (OAuth) that are widely used by these identity providers and various web sites.

Forth, since the government is sponsoring the system, they will undoubtedly mandate that the companies running the system provide access so that the government can spy on our activities.

As usual, the government is claiming that there is a problem when no real problem exists, for the sole purpose of gaining power and control over yet another aspect of our lives. As always, the end result will be the exact opposite of the government's stated goal -- internet privacy will be completely destroyed.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Rick Santorum is no Conservative Savior

Rick Santorum's virtual tie in Iowa has propelled him into the national spotlight overnight.

Just three weeks ago, Santorum was polling in the low to middle single digits in Iowa. Many people questioned why he was even in the race. I thought that he was probably running for Vice President -- someone who could give Mitt Romney credibility with social conservatives.

Now that Santorum has emerged as the latest front-runner among the GOP Presidential contenders, it's time to take a close look at who Rick Santorum really is.

Santorum was born in 1958 in West Virginia. His parents were government employees who worked at a VA Hospital in neighboring Pennsylvania. After graduating from college with a Law Degree, Santorum went to work for the government as a legislative aide to a Pennsylvania State Senator. He later served on a Pennsylvania government transportation committee.

Santorum was elected to the House of Representatives in 1990. In 1994 he was elected to the Senate as part of the Gingrich revolution. In 1996, Santorum served as Chairman of the Republican Party Task Force on Welfare Reform and he helped steer that important piece of legislation through the Senate.

However, during the Bush the administration, Santorum helped lead the GOP away from their principles, by concocting all kinds of government spending programs designed to create new government dependent constituencies that would be loyal to the GOP.

Rick Santorum voted for the first new federal entitlement program since LBJ (Medicare Part D), the largest federal intrusion into the classroom in history (the failed No Child Left Behind), the largest pork barrel infrastructure bill in history (including the infamous "bridge to nowhere"), thousands of earmarks, Bush's two ill-conceived wars in the Middle East, and much more. Santorum and his buddies turned a balance budget into huge deficits and set the stage for the Democrats to regain control of the Congress and White House.

Rick Santorum is the poster boy for everything that was wrong with the GOP during the Bush administration. As a result, he got booted out of office in 2006 along with the rest of the GOP Congress. He lost to a conservative Democrat by a whopping 59% to 41%.

During the 1980s, Ronald Reagan vetoed a transportation bill from a Democrat Congress because it contained 150 earmarks. During the Bush Administration, Santorum helped to Sheppard a transportation bill through a GOP Congress that contained over 1,000 earmarks (including the "bridge to nowhere"). Bush signed it. This alone should tell us all how much so-called "conservatives" like Santorum have veered off of the course set for us by Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.

Santorum also endorsed liberal GOP Senator Arlen Specter over his conservative challenger Pat Toomey in 2004. Specter won the primary and the election. Thanks to Rick Santorum, Arlen Specter was around to cast the 60th and deciding vote for Obamacare in the Senate.

I've watched every GOP debate during this election cycle. One thing that really strikes me is that of all of the current GOP Presidential candidates, Rick Santorum seems to have learned the least from Bush's misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan. Like Bush, Santorum seems to believe that the U.S. government can force a western civilization on a country like Afghanistan, where no reasonable civilization has ever existed before.

Earlier this week Rush Limbaugh was bellyaching about people questioning Santorum's conservative credentials. Limbaugh stated that "conservatives" actually do believe in big government -- just not the same kind of big government that liberals believe in. Oh really???

So sure, if our new definition of a "conservative" is someone who wants to conserve the growth of government over the last 80 years and the corrupt cronyism that it spawned, then Santorum is indeed a "conservative".

However, if our definition of a "conservative" is someone who wants to conserve the Constitution, limited government, the free market, and our individual liberty, then Santorum isn't even close to fitting the bill.

I hope and pray that the good people of New Hampshire take a hard look at Rick Santorum in the context of their state motto -- "Live Free or Die" -- and render their verdict accordingly.