Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Crime (Fighting) Doesn't Pay

A now-former employee of a Whole Foods supermarket in Ann Arbor, Michigan has discovered that crime fighting does not pay. Hence his employment status. Said former employee stopped a shoplifter in the store by tackling him - and was promptly fired by management.
John Schultz said he lost his job as a fishmonger at a Whole Foods Market in Ann Arbor after he knocked a suspected shoplifter to the ground and detained him.

Schultz was fired on Monday. "Our policy is clear and listed in the employee booklet," said Kate Klotz, a Whole Foods spokeswoman. "The fact that the employee in question touched the suspect is grounds for termination."

Schultz said he was acting as a private citizen and not as a Whole Foods employee. "The fact that I worked at the store at (the time of the robbery) is coincidental," he told The Ann Arbor News.
Well, Whole Foods certainly has sent a strong message, hasn't it? Employees have been told to let thieves alone and the thieves have been told it is open season at the store. Absolutely brilliant. Let's see what Whole Foods' shrinkage figures jump to in the next few months.


America already has national ID

When Social Security was first proposed, there was a huge controversy over whether the number might become part of a national identification system. Even the most ardent advocates conceded that the Act would never have passed if it was to be part of such a system, yet here we are, three quarters of a century later, and that is exactly the case. How did it come to pass?

When I received my first SS card, it was written across it, that it was not to be used for identification purposes. My replacement card does not have that, which should tell you something. Today, the number is used for virtually everything. You are required to provide it for drivers' licenses, professional licenses, bank accounts and loans. Utilities even request it. Apartment complexes require it. Applications from those who refuse to divulge it, are rejected out of hand. Those are just the ones that immediately spring to mind. Any child claimed as an income tax deduction must have one.

My college, New York University used it, with another single number modifier, as ID. I'm sure others do. The military has long since replaced the old numbering system with it. From the first three numbers, you can tell where a person first registered with the system and, consequently, most likely, where he was born. With an SSN, a name and date of birth, and within 48 hours, an Internet snoop can probably tell you more about yourself even you remember. And he might not need the name and date of birth. Regularly, I receive e-mail ads for programs for Internet snooping. Any government bureaucrat can do the same and there is no doubt, it has already been done.

With nine digits, the current number in the SSN system, there are one billion combinations. That number is far more than has ever lived in the United States of America. There are about 6.25 billion people on this planet. Add another modifier digit to the nine and you have allowed for 10 billion people. Add a letter and you have allowed for 26 billion. Add 1 or 2 digits and a letter, you have allowed for between 260 billion and 2.6 trillion combinations, more people than have ever lived or will have lived for the next century.

There is no doubt that the Social Security Number is our national identification number and only a slight change in the system will make your health history a part of it. Medicare and Medicaid have it as part of their systems. So I don't see what the concern is other than as just another number.

The problem is that the number has become what it was never supposed to be. But when things don't work out as planned, and with government that is the way it always is, it ever retreats. It presses on. Government never considers that its fundamental assumptions might have been wrong. As soon as the number began to be floated as a national identifier, Social Security should have been repealed. This should have been built into the system. Of course, it wasn't. Just like when Barry Goldwater warned that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would result in quotas. Hubert Humphrey said that if it ever did, he would eat a copy of the bill. But that is exactly what happened and Humphrey never had that meal of paper and ink. Like Social Security, that Act should be repealed but never will be. Government doesn't work that way.


When racial profiling doesn't matter in media eyes

Media pop quiz: what does it take to get a liberal newspaper like the San Francisco Chronicle to ignore the racial implications of ethic profiling seriously violating the rights of minorities? The answer, of course, is that the victimizers must be members of another minority felt to enjoy superior status as society's victims. That is how laughably-written stories like this one get published.
Police in the East Bay are searching for at least two men who have terrorized dinner patrons and staff in a string of armed takeovers at Asian restaurants in Oakland, Berkeley and San Leandro. The robberies began in August and the most recent one was a few days ago, authorities said Friday. Eight restaurants in Oakland, one in Berkeley and one in San Leandro have been robbed, all at dinner time.
Nowhere in its story does the Chron bother mentioning the suspects are black, and that they are preying on Asian restaurateurs and predominantly-Asian customers. Discerning readers know, of course, that when no race is ascribed to a bad guy in the liberal media, the likelihood of African-American heritage is high. But in this case, the suspects continue their crime spree, and, as a patron of many of the restaurants robbed, and patron of any number of other Asian restaurants in the general area, it might be useful to have an accurate description of the known facts about their appearance. If I see them walking toward a certain restaurant, I might want to dine elsewhere while calling the police.

The local weekly Berkeley Voice newspaper (not available online) had no trouble noting that police describe the robbers as black, nor did the Berkeley Daily Planet, which wrote:
The suspects are described by police as two black men in their late teens, with dark blue or black jeans or pants and dark black or blue hoodies, wrapped around their face to conceal their identity.
This is very personal to me. The robbers fleece patrons as well as the restaurant till. I do not relish the prospect of such a confrontation, and I love Asian food. These guys are hitting my neighborhood. I am sickened that Asian restaurants are targeted. Most of these restaurateurs are very hard-working immigrant entrepreneurs. 80 hour work weeks are not uncommon among them. Patrons range from affluent folks to people who cannot afford to lose the contents of their pockets after a hard day at work and payment in cash.

I guess the San Francisco Chronicle subscribes to the notion that black people are so oppressed by whites (and Asians?) that they should not be subjected to any unfavorable publicity, at least until they start bumping off black reporters. A little honesty about race would be refreshing. Or maybe shocking, come to think of it.


Internet Censorship threat in Australia

That comes easily to a Leftist government, of course

AUSTRALIANS with internet connection could soon have their web content automatically censored. The restrictions are planned by the Federal Government to give greater protection to children from online pornography and violent websites. Under the plan, all internet service providers will have to provide a "clean" feed to households and schools, free of pornography and other "inappropriate" material. Australians who want uncensored access to the web will have to contact their internet service provider and "opt out" of the service.

Online civil libertarians yesterday warned the freedom of the internet was at stake, while internet providers were concerned the new measures could slow the internet in Australia to a crawl. They said it was a measure usually associated with oppressive regimes and was no alternative to proper parental monitoring.

But Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said everything possible had to be done to shield children from violent and pornographic online material. "We have always argued more needs to be done to protect children," he said. Senator Conroy said the clean feed, also known as mandatory ISP filtering, would prevent users from accessing prohibited content. "We will work with the industry to get the best policy," he said. "(But) Labor is committed to introducing mandatory ISP filtering." Senator Conroy said the Australian Communications and Media Authority would prepare a "blacklist" of unsuitable sites. It is unclear exactly what will be deemed inappropriate material.

The adoption of mandatory ISP filtering comes on top of the former government's offer of free internet filtering software for home computers. Chairman of internet user group Electronic Frontiers Australia, Dale Clapperton, said mandatory filtering eroded freedom and would not improve online safety for children. "China, Burma and Saudi Arabia and those type of oppressive countries are the only ones that have seriously looked at doing something like this," he said. "In Australia, which is supposedly a liberal democracy, the Government is saying that the internet is so full of this material that it must protect us from it by trying to block it."

Mr Clapperton feared that parents would be lulled into a false sense of security. "Parents should not allow their children to use the internet unsupervised," he said. "Stuff that should be blocked will inevitably get through and stuff that should not be blocked will not."

Family First senator Steve Fielding, who has campaigned for ISP filtering, said he would be watching the Government "like a hawk" on the issue. "Australian families want more (internet protection) and deserve more than they are currently getting, and this is a real test for the Rudd Government," he said. A report by the Australia Institute in 2003 showed 84 per cent of boys and 60 per cent of girls using the internet had experienced unwanted exposure to sexual material.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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