Tag Archives: lobby

Global Police Chief’s Association, with Big-Time Congressional Pull, Lobbies against Anti-Big Brother Legislation

Kaye Beach

September 1, 2011

The International Association of Chiefs of Police  is getting called on the carpet for their support of tech tyranny.   Retired homicide detective, Steve Spingola, very aptly refers to  “a global organization that views the American Constitution as an obstructionist document.”

Read on. . .

WALES, WI, September 1, 2012 — Retired Milwaukee Police Department Detective Steve Spingola has taken the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)to task for lobbying against Congressional Bill H.R. 2168, also known as the “Geolocational Privacy and Surveillance Act.”

In his “Spingola Files” blog, the retired homicide detective encourages the public to contact their federal representatives to voice support for the bill, which would prohibit private entities and government agents from ascertaining the location of cellular devices — via GPS or ‘Stingray’ technology — absent a search warrant signed by a magistrate or judge.

http://www.badgerwordsmith.com/spingolafiles/2012/09/01/police-chiefs-association-lobbys-against-anti-big-brother-legislation/

Spingola refers to the ICAP as “a global organization that views the American Constitution as an obstructionist document.”

“While technology is advancing at light speed,” wrote Spingola, “the laws required to regulate intrusive electronic surveillance are moving through the halls of congress and state legislatures at a snail’s pace.”

“It is time for the American public to step-up to the plate,” Spingola said. “The alternative is the post-9/11 security-industrial complex and their K Street lobbyists creating an electronic iron curtain.”

On the Web:

http://www.wuwm.com/programs/lake_effect/lake_effect_segment.php?segmentid=9105

http://www.badgerwordsmith.com/spingolafiles/2012/08/22/update-more-info-on-cell-phone-tracking-police-authors/

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Wayne Pettigrew: It depends on what you mean by ‘lobbyist’

Kaye Beach

April 15, 2012

Wayne Pettigrew, District 2 candidate for Congress,  has maintained that he did not lobby in Oklahoma for InsureNet, that he only helped the company owner as a good citizen and a friend never receiving any payment for his efforts on behalf of InsureNet.

Truth or Truthiness?

I guess in Mr. Pettigrew’s mind, it depends on what you mean by “lobbyist”

He was not registered in Oklahoma as one but by any commonly accepted definition for what constitutes lobbying or being a lobbyist, Wayne Pettigrew was one for InsureNet.  He was registered in Nevada as a lobbyist and by Oklahoma’s definition for lobbyist, his work seems to fit the bill.

This article (linked below) published today in the Claremore Daily Progress reveals that;

1. Wayne Pettigrew was, in fact, a lobbyist for InsureNet.

2. Wayne Pettigrew had an agreement with InsureNet that stipulated that he would be paid a percentage upon securing a contract with a state to use InsureNet’s insurance verification system. (He estimated he would have received payment of  300, 000 dollars from InsureNet had he been successful in getting a contract with a state)

3.  Pettigrew received no compensation because he did not secure any contracts with any states for the company.

4. According to Wayne Pettigrew himself,  it is illegal to lobby on a percentage basis in the state of Oklahoma.

5.  Wayne Pettigrew appears to be more “truthy” than truthful.

Here is the story by Salesha Wilken for the Claremore Daily Progress;

Lobbyist or not? Wayne Pettigrew’s InsureNet connection under scrutiny

2012 Citizen Involvement in the Legislative Process OK-SAFE, Inc. Training Dates

Jan, 26, 2012

OK-SAFE announces;

Citizen Involvement in the Legislative Process

 

OK-SAFE, Inc. Training Dates

In anticipation of the upcoming February 6th start of the 2012 Legislative Session in Oklahoma, OK-SAFE will be conducting its’ annual Citizen Involvement in the Legislative Process training.

These training classes are working sessions, so please be prepared to bring a laptop/notebook pc and notepaper.  Handouts will be provided.

These training classes are free and open to the public. However, we do ask for a small donation to offset the associated expenses. Light refreshments will be served.

The 2012 OK Legislative Session

The Oklahoma Legislative session begins on the Monday, February 6, 2012 and runs through the last Friday of May.  This year plans to every bit as contentious as last year’s, since more people are aware of the bad legislation being passed in this state and the state will be attempting to establish some sort of an insurance exchange.

For instance, last year’s  HB 2130, dealing with the health insurance exchanges, is still a live round. This highly controversial bill passed the OK House by a narrow margin on March 17th, 2011.  Due to backlash the bill was not heard in the Senate; however, since it passed the House and simply was not heard yet in the Senate, it is still an active bill. (OK Legislative Sessions span 2 years. i.e. 2011-12.)

Diligence will be needed by all those with concerns about the “Obama Care” health insurance exchanges – there will be several attempts by this legislature to establish one.

Training/Working Session Dates and Locations

 

Tulsa -

Date: Saturday, January 21, 2012

Time: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Location: HQ building, 1008-B N. Hickory Ave., Broken Arrow, OK

Note: Co-sponsored by Tulsa 912 Project

 

Oklahoma City -

Date: Saturday, January 28, 2012

Time: 1 pm to 5 pm

Location: The Village Library, 10307 N. Pennsylvania Ave., north Oklahoma City, OK

 

Norman, OK -

Date: Saturday, February 18, 2012

Time: 9:30 am to 1:00 pm

Location: First Assembly of God Church in Norman, 2500 E. Lindsey, Norman, OK

Note: Host is Norman Tea Party.

 

Agenda:

1st Hour -

  • Introductory – The basics of citizen involvement in the legislative process.  1) Overview of the Legislative Process in OK; 2) Identifying your legislator, 3) Entering contact information in cell phones and contact list; 4) How to write an email to a legislator; 5) Making the OK Legislature/OSCN your home pages.

2nd Hour -

  • Intermediate – Builds on Hour 1. 1) The OK legislative process, i.e. interim studies, bills introduced, bill committee assignments; 2) The committee process, and when to advocate for a bill; 3) Creating group email lists for both House and Senate Committee members, 4) Understanding the role of Speaker, Pro-Temp, Floor leader, and Whips.

3rd Hour -

  • Advanced -Builds on Hours 1 & 2. 1) Understanding political doublespeak, i.e. smaller, smarter government; economic development; knowledge-based economy; 2) How to read a bill with understanding and find the titles of law; 3) Understanding Health Care Reform and the OHIET Trust: 4) Federal grants and who benefits from the passage of legislation.

Read More

State Automated Enforcement Laws

Kaye Beach

Aug 13, 2011

The IIHS rates the states on their automated enforcement laws.

Oklahoma get a “poor” rating.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the beholder in this case is the IIHS or Insurance Institute For Highway Safety. . .

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety CAUTION! The IIHS is an insurance industry public relations and lobbying organization that publishes politically motivated faux studies to support, and promote, its collective self–interest, not the people or the general welfare of the public. Read More

Photo Radar Scam info

Automated enforcement laws

August 2011

Automated enforcement refers to the use of cameras to enforce traffic safety laws. Although many states have laws explicitly authorizing automated enforcement, not all states where cameras are in use have such laws, nor are they always necessary.

A common type of automated enforcement program is for red light violations. The use of cameras to enforce speed limits is less common, but increasing. The technology is also used to catch drivers who fail to pay a toll, drive past a stopped school bus, or disobey a railroad crossing signal. In states that have automated enforcement laws, some authorize enforcement statewide, while others permit use only in specified communities.

A few jurisdictions treat automated enforcement citations just like parking tickets in that the registered owner is liable. Similarly, just as parking tickets do not result in points or are not recorded on a driver’s record, many jurisdictions do not assess points or make a record of automated enforcement citations.

The following table summarizes automated enforcement laws in each state and the District of Columbia. The table also includes ratings of red light camera laws. The Institute rates red light camera laws because research has shown that these programs save lives. The ratings criteria take into account both the breadth of the law and the operation of cameras in the state.

See the Table here

Oklahoma Activist Gets the Hammer

Kaye Beach

June 3, 2011

As reported first by the Red Dirt Reporter, Andrew Griffin, The Sooner Tea Party’s HQ was burglarized last weekend.

Sooner Tea Party offices ransacked, records stolen

http://www.reddirtreport.com/Story.aspx/18661

Here is the Red Dirt Report follow up;

Rumored “threats” against Gerhart, Sooner Tea Party may be linked to burglary

OKLAHOMA CITY – Several days after discovering the headquarters of the Sooner Tea Party was burglarized over the Memorial Day weekend, organization leader Al Gerhart told Red Dirt Report late Thursday that he suspects it to be politically motivated.

And from NewsOK.com

Sooner Tea Party headquarters burglarized

. . . the burglars took a lot of Sooner Tea Party records, but passed over expensive tools and equipment in the west Oklahoma City carpentry shop where he kept the records. An air-conditioner and a laptop computer Gerhart used for his business were the most expensive items Gerhart mentioned as being taken.

Gerhart said he found his 2009 and 2010 tax records stacked by the door, but the burglars apparently forgot to load them

Read more

It isn’t only Gerhart who suspects that this is politically motivated.  I would venture so far as to say that it is obviously politically motivated and that is something that should concern every citizen of this state.

As I was informed recently by one irate legislator who had no qualms about venting fury at Al Gerhart by proxy-We all look the same to them

On May 19, 2011, I wrote,

Rep. Don Armes, upset over calls to his office made by the Sooner Tea Party’s Al Gerhart unleashed his fury on the two women in the House Lobby in front of a large number of astonished onlookers consisting of Capitol staff, lobbyists and visitors.  The tirade lasted for several minutes and despite protests from the pair of signature gatherers that they have no control over the actions of other activists, Armes continued with his finger in the face tirade against Gerhart saying “You all look the same to me!”

The insult to Oklahoma voters committed by Rep.  Armes yesterday is by no means the only contentious event that Oklahoma taxpayers have been treated to this session and . . . it certainly won’t be the last.

So what we are seeing, as noted in Rule #6 of AxXiom’s Ten Rules for Activists to Live By, the highest nail gets the hammer. 

Without a shadow of a doubt, that nail is Al Gerhart. 

He has made it a mission to get under the skin of legislators.  I encountered more than one irritated lawmaker when I was trying to collect signatures for the discharge petition at the end of session.  I asked one if Gerhart had done anything illegal. Had he lied or slandered them?  If so, there are legal remedies for that otherwise they are just being aggravated and this, I think, must rather go with the territory.

We should thank Mr. Gerhart for one thing, that by comparison, he makes the rest of us seem like very short nails.

There are activists and advocates for every issue under the sun.  I am personally most familiar with advocates for limited, constitutional government.  Under that heading we have activists that advocate for legal adherence to all ten of the Ten Amendments to the Bill of Rights. Most commonly this includes (but is not limited to) the First, Second, Fourth and Tenth Amendments, but also advocates for specific issues of peace, privacy, parental rights, freedom of information and transparency, free enterprise, sovereignty, property rights and more.

What do you really care about?  Is there any issue that you feel strongly enough about to;

  • Make a phone call or write an email?
  • Make a personal visit to a legislator?
  • Join a political interest group?
  • Hold a meeting?

Is there any issue that you feel is important enough to create or circulate a petition for?  How about leafleting or participating in a non violent demonstration or rally? 

If you can’t think of any issue that you feel passionate enough about that you would willing to do at least one of those things for, then stop reading here.

Comments on Facebook don’t count.

I am talking about political activism also known as civic duty. 

Whatever political circles you move in, left or right or anywhere in between, whatever your pet issue is, you are going to choose the type of activity that suits your sensibilities.  I will be honest.  My preferred method of advocacy is doing research to gather the facts that support my position and then using persuasion to get others to see it my way.  I don’t like pressure tactics.  I don’t like them used on me and I don’t like to use them on others.  It’s not my way.  Having said that, I really believe with all of my heart that our government has no legal or moral right to surveil, track, or monitor me or anyone else without probable cause.  I think that in our government doing so we are harmed legally and spiritually and furthermore I truly believe that if such practices are permitted it will be the end of everything that is beautiful about living in this country.  I believe than doing anything less than what I am capable of to stop this I bear responsibility for leaving an ugly and un-free America to my child and every other child that is born or will be in this country.  I admit, in this, I am zealous.

I am zealous enough that when research and persuasion has failed me I have resorted to the next level of activism including organizing meetings, mass calls and emails, demonstrations, petitions and the like.  I also reserve my right to participate in non-violent civil disobedience and would accept the responsibility for doing so.

What are you willing to do to protect your natural and legal rights?

Next question.

Could any of the activities you may envision possibly annoy, aggravate or confound any of your legislators? 

If so, there is not a shred of difference between you and me and Al Gerhart for that matter.

The highest nail….right now that nail is Gerhart.  He’s getting the hammer.

You all look the same to them.

Who’s next?

How The Radiation Lobby Puts Air Travelers At Risk

Kaye Beach

May 25, 2011

Published May 24, 2011 From Ivestors.com

How The Radiation Lobby Puts Air Travelers At Risk

Homeland Security:Why would TSA expose low-risk passengers to radiation instead of just profiling high-risk passengers? Muslim pressure groups? No, another lobby’s behind this outrage.

Led by a revolving door of ex-Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration officials, this Beltway lobby holds far more sway over such security decisions.

We’d been under the impression that the TSA chose to subject passengers to radiation-emitting body scanners at all airports (by 2014) largely because it’s politically incorrect to profile young Arab Muslim men.

But the manufacturer who landed the federal contract has a powerful lobbyist in Washington: former DHS chief Michael Chertoff. He and his partners at the Chertoff Group have been all over the airwaves touting this technology while badmouthing profiling.

Read More

That isn’t all Chertoff is lobbying for.

In 2008 the biometrics industry was elated with the work of then DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff.

Federal identity programs boost biometrics market

By Chris Strohm, National Journal 07/03/2008

In announcing major new regulations in January that set national standards for driver’s licenses under the 2005 Real ID Act, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff declared, “This is a great teaching moment on the challenges of really reconfiguring a society.”

Chertoff’s announcement was music to the ears of private companies and lobbyists who see major national security benefits, as well as the potential for big bucks, in helping agencies verify individuals’ identity. http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20080703_8678.php?oref=search

L-1 Identity Solutions is the largest biometric company in the US and dominates the state driver’s license business.  L1 also produces all passport cards

The biometrics giant, L1, also provides ID documents for the Department of Defense and has contracts with nearly every intelligence agency within our government

In 2010 L1 announced the sale of its biometric and document divisions to a French corporation, Safran which is owned in part by the French government.

Former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff is representing Safran.

Safran Group Enters Definitive Agreement to Acquire L-1 Identity Solutions

On September 20, 2010, the Safran Group announced a definitive agreement with L-1 Identity Solutions to purchase L-1’s Biometric, Secure Credentialing and Enrollment Services for $1.09 billion in cash on hand. Once the transaction is complete, Safran intends to incorporate these L-1 divisions as part of the Safran Group’s existing security business, Morpho, and solidify Safran’s presence as an industry leader for biometrics and identity management solutions. The transaction is expected to close during 2011, subject to regulatory approvals.

During this transaction, The Chertoff Group served as strategic advisors to Safran. The Chertoff Group members of the advisory team included: Michael Chertoff, Co-founder and Managing Principal at The Chertoff Group; Chad Sweet, Co-founder and Managing Principal at The Chertoff Group; and J. Bennet Waters PhD., Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer at The Chertoff Group. http://chertoffgroup.com/cgroup/media/press-releases/

Lawmakers express concerns about the contract with Safran

In letters to FBI director Robert Mueller, the lawmakers expressed uneasiness about granting a contract involving national security to Safran SA, partly owned by the French government. “Allowing a foreign government to provide services regarding sensitive information to our law enforcement and intelligence communities could potentially pose a grave counterintelligence threat to the U.S. government,” wrote Representative John Kline (R-Minnesota), a member of the House Intelligence Committee. “I urge the FBI to assess whether any domestic companies are capable of this work and weigh carefully the risks versus the benefits of granting a foreign government access to this sensitive data,” he wrote.

http://homelandsecuritynewswire.com/republican-oppose-safrans-fbi-contract

Read more about the sale of L1 to Safran and Michael Chertoff  “The Revolving Door That Never Stops Turning” 

Fed Funds-Bad Medicine for Oklahoma

Kaye Beach

April 6, 2011

I have read hundreds of pages of documents regarding Oklahoma’s health information systems.  I have studied the various exchanges, our state policies, looked at the grants offered and accepted, read meeting minutes, white papers, power points and more.  I still am no expert on the Insurance business but I do know enough to say that we are being gamed.

The bottom line is that Oklahoma will be part of the universal health care system by virtue of the decisions made, federal funding accepted and the programs implemented by our elected officials unless there is an abrupt about face and fast!

Health policy expert, Michael F. Cannon, in this recent interview on America In The Balance gives a very clear explanation of where Oklahoma stands regarding the federal health reform law and how our implementation of the health insurance exchanges is a really a very bad idea.  http://www.truthinfocus.org/radio/america_in_the_balance.html

Also, for a collection of source documents, flyers and articles detailing how Oklahoma Republican leaders who campaigned against “Obamacare” are in reality working to implement it, go to http://www.ok-safe.com/

One more item, There is going to be a rally at the Capitol today-Wednesday April 6th 2011  11:00 AM        No Obama and/or O’Fallin Care

More info here

 

A few days ago after reading and reading I did something I rarely do.  I was so angry with what I was discovering from all of my reading that I let fly with a pure diatribe, a rant, just for the sake of venting my spleen.  Everything I wrote was pure assertion and I provided no evidence to back up any one of them.  I don’t usually do this for a reason.  Personally, I like to be given the facts so that I can make up my own mind about things and I try to provide for others material that I would find worthy of reading myself.  The only reason I indulged is because I was certain that I could back up everything I said.  I can and now I will.

As you are probably aware, Health care reform in the United States in 2010 was enacted nationally by two bills: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which became law on March 23, 2010 and was shortly thereafter amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872) (which became law on March 30). (source Wikipedia)

In 2009 the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) often referred to as simply the “stimulus bill” passed.

If you are like me, you may remember that the ARRA was subject to plenty of controversy but I don’t remember hearing much about the HITECH [Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health] portion of the bill.  The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act came before the health care reform bills that passed in 2010, so the provisions in the HITECH portion likely just seemed like just more government pork.   I have been surprised to find out how just much money was allotted to the states for the express purpose of the creation of the health information infrastructure that would soon be needed in order to implement the controversial government takeover of our medical care that was soon to become law.

“Our state is also taking an aggressive approach, with federal grant funding, to improve both quality and efficiency through use of electronic health records.”

Source-Oklahoma Health Care Authority State Fiscal Year 2010 Annual Report

They weren’t kidding.

Four Key HITECH Sections

•          SEC. 3012. HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IMPLEMENTATION ASSISTANCE

•          SEC. 3013. STATE GRANTS TO PROMOTE HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

•          SEC. 3014. COMPETITIVE GRANTS TO STATES AND INDIAN TRIBES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF LOAN PROGRAMS TO FACILITATE THE WIDESPREAD ADOPTION OF CERTIFIED EHR TECHNOLOGY

•          SEC. 4201. MEDICAID PROVIDER HIT ADOPTION AND OPERATION PAYMENTS; IMPLEMENTATION FUNDING

If the United States is to have a Nationalized Health Care program it must first have a national health care information infrastructure.  The federal government has already built their portion and now it’s time for the states to get plugged in.

What is the NHIN?

“The National Health Information Network (NHIN) is an ambitious modernization plan proposed by the U.S. government. The idea is to move as an entire nation from paper medical files to electronic medical files that are shared. Specifically, the government goal is to digitize patients’ health records and medical files and create a national network to place the information in. The network, called the NHIN, would be a sophisticated network that hospitals, insurers, doctors, and others could potentially access. Such a network brings patient privacy, security, and confidentiality issues into sharp relief.” link

Take a look at the NHIN timeline

Sharing

The billions of dollars in planned federal incentive payments over the next five years are meant to spur the adoption of electronic patient records. But the investment will pay off only if the data is shared (Emphasis mine)

Read more Feb. 2011 U.S. Tries Open-Source Model for Health Data Systems


“The Affordable Care Act requires state-based American Health Benefit Exchanges to be established and working by 2014.  Exchanges are, for most states, new entities that will function as a marketplace for buyers of health insurance. . .” read more

The health information infrastructure is essential in the development of a federally managed universal health care system.  For the federal government to control our health care it has to have access to the data pertaining to finances, information to determine our eligibility for and our actual health care data.

The federal government actually prefers that the states do the work of developing these subsystems for them and D.C. is happy to feed our tax dollars back to us to pay for the work.

An electronic health record (EHR) is essential for collecting and sharing this information rapidly and widely.  The ARRA made sure to provide plenty of incentives for the state as well as hospitals and individual doctors to ensure that EHR would be in place. Electronic Health Records store their information in databases and use national standards to enable health information to be shared between various agencies across the nation.  The federal government needs the states to collect the information and share it in order for them to implement “Obamacare”

Carrots and Sticks

“In order to get hospitals, doctors and other health care providers to comply with the creation of EHRs for “each person in the United States by 2014,” the stimulus law provided for federal bonus payments to be made to providers who generate records complying with the federal standards by 2014 Health care providers that do not use EHRs that meet the federal standards by 2014 will have their Medicare and Medicaid payments progressively diminished as a penalty for failure to comply.” link

The EHR’s serve to collect data-The information technology infrastructure, just like our highway infrastructure, lets that data travel.   Unfortunately, this new superhighway is built like a perpetual toll road.

The $54 million dollar “early innovator grant” is about the infrastructure.

Everyone is talking about the $54 million “early innovator” grant that Gov. Fallin accepted for just this purpose-to build the health information infrastructure according to federal specifications.

(Read the grant application here)

Cooperative Agreements to Support Innovative Exchange Information Technology Systems
On Oct. 29, 2010, the Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight made a Funding Opportunity Announcement that it will provide competitive incentives for states to develop the information technology infrastructure needed to operate Health Insurance Exchanges.

The actual amount that Oklahoma has accepted to build this infrastructure for the pending federal takeover of health care is actually much, much more than $54 million.

According to the OKLAHOMA REVISED HEALTH INFORMATION EXCHANGE OPERATIONAL PLAN – MARCH 2011

“ARRA appropriated more than $45 billion to assist in electronically transforming the health care system.”

And

“The total ARRA funds awarded to Oklahoma are approximately $3.2 billion”

The Tulsa World in this article, Health exchange plan paid by federal grant still alive stated that “The application [for the "early adopter" grant] does not contain a straightforward commitment to Obama’s health-care agenda.”

I disagree.

On page 8 of the application it is acknowledged that the “The Cooperative Agreement to Support Innovative Exchange Information Technology Systems presented by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). . . ”

If money is being paid to the state on the authority of the Affordable Care Act, for the purposes of creating something required by that act then how is that not a committment?

The Tulsa World writer also noted that the application is a half-inch thick and dense with jargon.” He is right on the money there!  It has been some chore to try and untangle this gobbledygook and none of it is very straightforward. The writer, Wayne Greene, does bring out some important information in his article and it is definitely worth reading. Health exchange plan paid by federal grant still alive

The “early innovator” grant, formally referred to as ‘The Cooperative Agreement to Support Innovative Exchange Information Technology Systems’ states;

“The Cooperative Agreement to Support Innovative Exchange Information Technology Systems presented by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides Oklahoma the opportunity to explore more widespread system access and market based changes.”

Sure.  We can explore all we want to as long as we stay within the confines of the federal government’s fences.  From what I am reading, these fences will be getting progressively closer over the next few years.

The purpose of this grant as stated by the Dept. of Health and Human Services;

Purpose – The overall purpose of this program is to facilitate and expand the secure electronic movement and use of health information among organizations according to nationally recognized standards.

Here is the funding opportunity notice released by The US Dept. of Health and Human Services on Sept 29, 2010.  On page 5 under “Authority” it states;

“Section 1311 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148) authorizes the funding for this opportunity”

The application filed by our state also says that;

“The development of the Cooperative Agreement in Oklahoma will be referred to as the “Oklahoma Health Infrastructure and Exchange Project (OHIEP)”.

In my recent blog rave,An Open Challenge to Oklahoma Elected Officials HOW DO YOU DARE!” I said;

“You have painted good legislators into a corner and tied their hands making it next to impossible for them to protect the rights of their constituents.”

Unfortunately the policies adopted by the state of Oklahoma have tainted just about every aspect of our health information infrastructure in such a way as to guarantee that any of our health information that utilizes computer technology such as electronic health records, will be assimilated by the federal government to further the unconstitutional Health Care Reform laws passed in March of 2010.

Data systems that are all connected by the dictates of the federal government, using standards set by the federal government and that collect and submit information required by the federal government are effectively one huge system.  The federal government is the boss and the states are the local administrators for the boss. That boss is dead set on universal health care and we are participating in spite of the fact that the legality of such a program is being challenged and has yet to be decided.

Our entire state health care information infrastructure both the existing and future aspects of it, are neatly threaded into the new universal care system due to our state’s acceptance of BILLIONS in federal funds and the requirements that go along with those funds.

Senate Bill 1373 in 2010 created the Oklahoma Health Information Exchange Trust (OHIET).

“The purpose of OHIET is to ensure complete coverage of the state by health information exchanges (HIEs) and the secure and appropriate transmission of electronic health data both intra and interstate.” (Emphasis mine)

“Stakeholders of OHIET greatly value this opportunity to both expand Oklahoma’s existing and future HIT/HIE initiatives as well as help offset the provider costs of implementing the electronic information systems required to support Electronic Health Records (EHRs).” link

What this means is that all of Oklahoma’s existing and future health information technology and exchanges have been or will be altered to suit the wishes of federal government. They are making the rules here which likely mean that they will also win the game. And this is what I meant when I stated “You have made it so that any information technology related to health care in this state cannot be extricated from a national system limiting the people of Oklahoma from utilizing technology free from federal control that could improve their lives and health.

Oklahoma “Obamacare” Bill Tracking

In 2011 several bills in Oklahoma have been identified as “Obamacare” supporting or enabling bills.  The National Conference of State Legislators is one of the most authoritative sources there is for state legislation and they have a developed a Federal Health Reform: State Legislative Tracking Database

The intro to the database reads;

“Welcome to the State Legislative Tracking Database on bills filed in response to the Affordable Care Act!”

For those who have read enough the national and state documents describing the health exchanges and how the system will work and that are also weary of having to tediously explain and show how these bills (which unfortunately don’t have the word “ObamaCare” spelled out in flashing lights on every page) this database should provide some relief. All bills related to the health care reform acts are listed including bills that are in opposition to the federal health care reform bills.

Have a look: Federal Health Reform: State Legislative Tracking Database

Recently the updated federal Health IT Strategic Plan was released.  It is 80 pages long and the public may make comments about it until April 22, 2011.

Here is a link to the report and the following news item about the release of the updated plan;

“A draft of a Federal Health IT Strategic Plan for 2011-2015 provides a roadmap that the next national coordinator for health IT may use in spearheading many efforts, including protecting the privacy of healthcare information. But much of the content is a rehash of projects that were mandated in the HITECH Act, enacted in 2009 as part of the economic stimulus package.” Read more

In 2009, Mary Fallin, along all of Oklahoma’s US Representatives, signed a “Resolution on Preserving States’ Rights Regarding Federal Health Insurance Exchanges and a Public Plan , which deems the public plan anti-competitive and invokes the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in calling the national health insurance exchange a “federal takeover” of the states’ role in regulating health insurance.” Read the petition

The letter introducing the Resolution begins;

Dear Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi:

We are writing to reiterate our concern with recent federal health reform efforts—particularly, the Medicare-modeled “public plan” and a national health insurance exchange—which we believe would trample states’ rights and lead Americans down the road to single-payer health care.

There is just one acceptable response to such an attempted “federal takeover”.  Governor Fallin and Oklahoma lawmakers should take the advice of former First Lady Nancy Reagan and JUST SAY NO!

Save the Dates! OK-SAFE Training Sessions – OKC and Tulsa

OK-SAFE Training Sessions – OKC and Tulsa

The Oklahoma Legislative Session begins on Monday, February 7, 2011,  runs for 16 weeks, and ends on May 27, 2011.

Building on last year’s citizen training, OK-SAFE will be conducting 2 training sessions entitled Citizen Involvement in the Legislative Process.These meetings are subject-specific, and graduated by level of ability and interest.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own computers, note-taking material, and refreshments as these are working meetings.

OKC

  • Date: Saturday, January 15, 2011
  • Time: 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Location: The Village Library, 10307 N. Penn Ave., The Village, OK (North Oklahoma City).

TULSA

  • Date: Saturday, January 22, 2011
  • Time: 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
  • Location: The HQ Building, 1008-B N. Hickory Ave., Broken Arrow, OK.

Preliminary Agenda is detailed below.

 

1st Hour –

  • Introductory – The Basics. 1) Overview of the OK Legislative Process; 2) Identifying your legislator; 3) Contact information and lists; 4) Writing emails; 5) Making the OK Legislature and OSCN websites your home pages.

2nd Hour –

  • Intermediate -Building on Hour 1. 1) The legislative process, including interim studies, bills introduced, bill committee assignments; 2) The committee process; when to advocate for a bill; 3) Creating group email lists for House and Senate; 4) Understanding the role of Speaker/ Pro-Temp, Floor Leader, and Whips.

3rd Hour –

  • Advanced - Taking off the Rose-Colored Glasses. 1) Understanding political doublespeak, i.e, smaller, smarter government, small business, advanced, quality job, knowledge-based economy; 2) How to read a bill with understanding; which OK titles of law to examine; 3) The Quality Jobs Program Act; PrimeWIN; OSU-UML, the ‘contract verifier’ for OK; 4) Tax incentives; who is benefiting from the passage of legislation.

These meetings are free and open to the public; we are suggesting, however, a small donation to cover cost of printed material.

 

Does Texas Have the (Bureaucratic) ‘Biometric Blues’?

Let me cut to the chase here.

Homeland Security Presidential Directive 24, signed in 2008 and revalidated in 2009 by the current administration, mandates that interoperability with respect to biometrics spans the military, civil, and criminal arenas.

http://www.biometrics.dod.mil/Newsletter/issues/2009/Sep/V5issue3.html

Using at-a-distance- biometrics like facial recognition and retinal scans will certainly put a damper on dissent…..

Its not just Texas.  There seems to be a mad dash across the US to begin to put the cameras and databases to work.

The story you read below is also one I see repeated everywhere.  We say NO!  Our elected Representatives say NO!  But the bureaucrats keep pushing until they get what they want.

You want to know where your sovereignty and liberty is going?  It is slipping right though the hands of a bunch of unelected, uncountable bureaucrats.

We are not being represented-we are being Wahooed!

Here are a few interesting stories out of the great state of Texas that might give us pause for thought.

Houston Chronicle

Homeland Security picking up tab for 250-300 surveillance cameras

Nov. 24, 2010,

The city is installing 250 to 300 cameras at downtown intersections in an effort to prevent and fight terrorism and crime, part of a security initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The cameras, which the city began installing in earnest this summer, already have helped police catch car burglars in the act, said Dennis Storemski, the city’s director of the Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security. Eventually, he said, the cameras could be used to allow dispatchers or officers approaching a crime scene to survey what’s happening from their patrol vehicles before they arrive.

Read More

2010  State Fair of Texas using Facial Recognition

https://crossmatch.com/State-Fair-Texas-using-Facial-Recognition.php

November 14, 2010

Camera monitoring sought by DPS is way too intrusive

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw recently asked state lawmakers to install license plate reader cameras on Texas roadways and to allow stationary roadblocks to stop motorists so DPS could see their driver’s licenses and proof of insurance.

McCraw wrapped these intrusive proposals in a generalized assertion of growing drug trafficking and violence during a state Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee meeting.

Read More


El Paso Feb. 3, 2010

Sheriff will identify people with a retinal scan

Going back to 2004 a battle began at the State Capitol in Texas over the collection of law abiding citizens biometrics.

Texas Biometric initiatives 2004

Should Texans have to give up “facial recognition” data and all ten fingerprints — just like they were being booked into the county jail — in order to get a driver’s license?
Chairman Frank Corte, Rep. Leo Berman, and a majority of the Texas House Defense Affairs Committee say ”Yes.” That committee’s #1 recommendation in its Interim Report (pdf) heading into the 79th Legislature is to allow the Texas Department of Public Safety to gather new “biometric data” – or new types of measurements about your physical body – as part of driver’s license applications.

The vast majority of the Texas House of Representatives opposed a similar bill by Chairman Corte last year. SB 945 passed without debate in the Senate, but died in the House after a vigorous debate over the effect it would have on civil liberties.   In a dramatic bipartisan 111-26 vote, the Texas House of Representatives rejected SB 945 in the 78th Legislature, which would have required drivers to give “biometric data” in order to get a license.


Grits says thatSB 945 “would have required drivers to give all ten fingerprints instead of just a thumbprint – just like they were being booked into the county jail. Plus, drivers would have to let DPS gather “facial recognition” data, which in theory would allow individuals to be identified from videotapes and photographs.”

Hmmm.  Seems like in 2003 the feisty Texans gave a clear cut NO in response to the question of collecting their biometrics.  Yet after a little re-grouping by the proponent of the Big Brother plan, in 2004 the proposal surfaces again.

Grits reports that the: “Interim Report. . .seems especially focused on allowing facial recognition from video, insisting that DPS needs technology that allows them to quickly match “one to many faceprints.”

and notes that;“After the embarrassingly lopsided vote on the House floor last year, I’m surprised Chairman Corte still wants a piece of this bill. There must be powerful interests pushing it behind the scenes. “

Biometric Blues

In another post on the matter, Grits tells us;

Last year, DPS and the University of Texas pushed for an amendment to make “locations, specifications and operating procedures” related to security cameras closed records. That means the public can’t know where government cameras are, whether the camera can zoom, rotate or see through clothing, who has access to it, or what the government does with video it collects.
University of Texas lobbyists pushed the amendment, which is worded precisely like an open records request from the Daily Texan that UT fought in court. UT sued Attorney General Greg Abbott unsuccessfully to keep secret the locations of surveillance cameras it uses to monitor students. Failing in court, UT turned to the Legislature, spending taxpayer and tuition money to lobby for secret surveillance.

The House passed the bill without making camera locations secret, but Sen. Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio, the Senate bill sponsor, added UT’s language and wrapped the whole thing into HB 9, the governor’s homeland security bill.

The only hat tip toward openness: The Senate voted for an amendment so that LEGISLATORS and government bureaucrats in private offices could know if THEY were being surveilled. Really, I couldn’t make this stuff up.

Mr. Grits then astutely notes;

“Given the alleged speed of biometric identification software and the proliferation of cameras at intersections and elsewhere, literally every Texan with a driver’s license could be identified and tracked everywhere we go in our daily lives, without any pretense of probable cause.

. . .Unless the Legislature revisits the question, secret surveillance cameras are the current legal reality. By collecting biometric identifiers on every driver and ID card holder – Texans suddenly will live in a place where law enforcement can monitor and track individuals virtually wherever we go in public. No longer will surveillance videos be anonymous – a database could match faces, fingerprints or even voiceprints to names, addresses or even credit reports as we go through our daily lives.”

Biometric Blues

He follows shortly with a highly recommended blog post entitled;

“Biometric Blues, Third Stanza”

Then this lament from 2005;

TXDPS thumbs nose at legislative will

Some bureaucrats just won’t take “no” for an answer.

Gee, you think those new cameras going up in Houston will use biometric tech to identify ordinary citizens?

If they can, they will. And the Texas state legislature has failed its job in protecting the liberties of Texas citizens.

The article cited at the top of my post notes that;

Privacy, he said, is not necessarily a concern because “in the public you’ve got no expectation of privacy.”

Then goes on to give the thoughts of a woefully uninformed citizen that finds “comfort” in the idea of Big Brother watching over her;

Judith Hanson said the cameras could provide comfort to women who come to the area.  “Just knowing that there is a camera just makes me feel a little bit safer,” she said.

When it comes to facial recognition, here are some points to ponder;

“Information sharing is appropriate around the world, and DHS plans to create a ‘Global Security Envelope’ of internationally shared biometric data that would permanently link individuals with biometric ID, personal information held by governments and corporations.” –Source: Robert Mocny, DHS

Popular Assertion-

There is no expectation of privacy in public when it comes to your face.

Having your face seen does not violate your right to privacy-true.  Even someone taking a snapshot of you without your permission while possibly disrespectful and rude, is not considered a violation of your privacy when you are in public. Their right to snap has just crossed paths with your public visage.

What if the “snapper” turns stalker? Following you around, taking pictures of each transaction you make, each place you visit or the friend you meet?

What if that person purposely begins to attach personal information to your snapshot like your SSN, address, birth date or any other private information?

What if they take all of this info attached to your picture and share it all far and wide or sell it?

This is the difference between seeing you in public and stalking, violating and abusing you.

Your image through facial recognition technology software is reduced to digits, numbers more personalized and unique to you than your social security number.  We all understand that our SSN is to be protected because that number is attached to all sorts of personal, biographical and sensitive information about you.  The SSN is rather like a key that can open doors to your personal data.  A purpose expressly prohibited, by the way, when the program was first started.

Being “seen” is not at all what we are talking about with facial recognition.

From Your Face is Not a Bar Code ;

Most people understand the moral difference between a single chance observation in a park and an investigator who follows you everywhere you go. The information collected in the second case is obviously more dangerous. What is more, custom and law have always recognized many kinds of privacy in public. For example, the press cannot publish pictures of most people in personally sensitive situations that have no legitimate news value. It is considered impolite to listen in on conversations in public. Pervasive face recognition clearly lies at the morally most problematic end of this spectrum. The chance of being spotted is different from the certainty of being tracked.

Industry Lobbyists Win-N.H. Lawmakers Reject Restrictions on Biometrics

N.H. Lawmakers Reject Broad Restrictions on Biometrics

March 18, 2010

Contact:
Ron Hawkins
Security Industry Association
(703) 647-8485
rhawkins@siaonline.org

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – New Hampshire lawmakers on Thursday sided overwhelmingly with the Security Industry Association (SIA) on a crucial biometrics issue.

Following an education and advocacy push by SIA, legislators rejected by a 267-39 vote HB 1409, which would have prohibited any government agency or private entity in the state from using biometrics as part of identification cards – except for employee identification cards – and from requiring a person “to disclose or provide biometric data as a condition of doing business with, engaging in any business activity or relationship with, or obtaining services from, that agency or entity.” Biometric data was defined in the bill to include everything from DNA to retinal scans to facial features to fingerprints.

“We are very pleased that New Hampshire residents will not be denied the use of this important security technology,” SIA Director of Government Relations Don Erickson said. “This bill grew out of misperceptions regarding supposed threats to privacy, but biometrics can make people safer while, at the same time, protecting their identities. We thank the lawmakers who voted against the legislation for their support.”

Erickson traveled to Concord, N.H., this week to meet with bill sponsor Rep. Neal Kurk, R-7th District, and other lawmakers before the vote. In addition, SIA in February submitted a statement to a legislative committee that reviewed the bill. That panel voted 11-6 to oppose the measure.

The Security Industry Association (www.siaonline.org) is the leading trade group for businesses in the electronic and physical security market. SIA protects and advances its members’ interests by advocating pro-industry policies and legislation on Capitol Hill and throughout the 50 states; producing cutting-edge global market research; creating open industry standards that enable integration; advancing industry professionalism through education and training; opening global market opportunities; and providing sole sponsorship of the ISC Expos, the world’s largest security trade shows and conferences.