Sen. Manchin Reportedly Gets Agreement To Stop Big Brother

As part of President Biden’s economic spending bill, he proposed that every financial institution would have to report every transaction for any account of $600 or more. Obviously, this is a massive invasion of privacy (and likely a violation of the Constitution, as an unreasonable search and seizure). The government should not be in people’s bank accounts. Even if they are trying to catch tax evaders, to go down to $600 balance or a $600 transaction, that would include almost every person in the country.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), in an interview at the Economic Club, said that he had personally spoken to President Biden about the issue and invasion of privacy that would be and said that the President told him it would be taken out of any final bill. Hopefully, that is the case. Thank you Sen. Manchin.

Spying On Your Bank Account Part Of Biden’s $3.5 Trillion Economic Plan

In testimony before Congress, the Commissioner of the IRS said that he wants banks to be required to report every transaction, deposit or withdrawal, for any bank account having $600 or more. Senate Democrats say they are making progress on getting the votes to ensure this is included as part of any spending plan.

Once we get past the immediate absurdity of the thought, logic brings us to the same conclusion. Once banks spend the money to report every single transaction of these accounts, hundreds of millions of them each with who knows how many deposits and withdrawals each year, the IRS has to hire people to go through those hundreds of millions of reports on accounts. The cost would be large, even aside from the blatant invasion of privacy for no practical financial reason.

The IRS says that the measure is to make sure people are paying taxes. But let’s get real-if we are trying to increase federal revenue to pay for the largest spending plan in history by tracking every move of someone with $600 in the bank then we are really in bad shape. No, this is not about catching tax cheats, it’s about control.

Facebook In Trouble (Again) And Could Be Fined Heavily        

A suit has been filed in Illinois against Facebook-owned Instagram for illegally collecting, storing and distributing biometric data from users. The class action lawsuit alleges that Instagram was taking facial recognition data from users without their knowledge or permission and using it illegally, including selling it.

Facebook’s leadership has repeatedly been called to testify before Congress for its breaches of privacy data. As recently as July, Facebook was fined $650 million for illegal use of facial recognition user data.

Illinois law calls for fines of up to $5000 per incident of using private data illegally. With Instagram’s roughly 100 million users, that could mean fines of up to $500 billion.

Facebook has repeatedly ignored laws dealing with keep user information private. Even when fined, the fines are small compared to the money that the social media giant is making so there is no need for them to change their illegal behavior. It’s just a cost of doing business.

That needs to change. Fines need to be large enough to change behavior and Mark Zuckerburg and his leadership team need to be held responsible for their decisions to deliberately ignore the law and our expense.

Updates and Quick Takes

The passing of an American icon, Russia gets a hard slap on the hand, the latest update on sanctuary cities and states, kids can now legally be kids and other news of note that you will want to read to keep informed:

Passing Of An American Hero

Yesterday Linda Brown, the central figure in the historic Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court case that ended separate but equal, passed away.

To the family of Ms. Brown, may your personal memories sustain you and may the knowledge that Linda Brown fought injustice and forever changed our country in a positive way be a remembrance of a life that made a difference to millions of people.

Thank you Ms. Brown and may you rest in peace.  We are better for you living your life as you did.

A Coordinated Response To Russia

In an unusually widespread, coordinated response to Russian actions, at least 20 countries have expelled Russian diplomats in response to the March 4 poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury, England (A British law enforcement officer was also affected).

British Prime Minister Theresa May announced that an investigation into the incident had revealed Russian involvement, which was actually very similar to another incident involving a former Russian living in the UK a number of years ago.  The UK then expelled a number of Russian diplomats who, the Prime Minister said were using diplomatic passports to spy.  In support of the British and as a reaction to the Russian attempt to commit murder on another country’s soil, the United States expelled 60 Russian diplomats which was more than any in history.  Expulsion announcements on the same day included almost all members of NATO and the European Union, along with a number of other countries. Continue reading “Updates and Quick Takes”

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