I was watching the news this afternoon, where it was revealed that OnStar Corporation continues to gather data from any vehicle in which it has been installed, even though the vehicle’s owner has discontinued their subscription to the service.
OnStar provides subscription-based communications, in-vehicle security, hands free calling, turn-by-turn navigation, and remote diagnostics systems throughout the United States, Canada and China. A similar service is known as ChevyStar in Latin American markets. The service currently has more than five million customers. OnStar Corporation is a subsidiary of General Motors, which is owned 27% by the U.S. government and 12% by the Canadian government.
Apparently, even though your subscription may expire, or you discontinue the service, you must Opt-Out of any data collection as a separate action. As OnStar is partially owned by two governments (see above), this looks like a Big Brother scenario waiting to happen.
My advice? If you value your privacy, don’t just Opt-Out of OnStar’s data collection if/when you discontinue service. Take your car to the nearest dealer, and have the OnStar system completely disconnected from any power source and its antenna.
Just my 2¢.]]>
I have been a California resident since 1955, am a product of the California public school system and was stationed here during my stint in the military in the 70s. I have owned a small business here since 1998… a business that is currently struggling for its very survival. I am on the Board of Directors of a fledgling alternative energy company, currently headquartered in New Mexico, that is considering relocating to California. I am also in the process of starting a new business… a business that doesn’t have to be located in California, but can be.
My questions to the 3 of you are:
I have watched our public school system fall from tops in the nation to one of the worst. My children were “educated” in it, and they didn’t receive near the education I received when I was a student here. My wife and I taught them more than the schools did. All the school systems in this state care about now is attendance, because attendance means money.
Our state budgetary situation is as bad (or worse) than the Federal Government’s. Our state taxes (i.e., income, real property, personal property, sales, etc.) are among the highest in the nation. We have a state legislature that doesn’t seem to give a damn about fiscal responsibility, and it gets worse every day. The Labor Unions currently run this State, not the People or Government. We were hoping Governor Schwarzenegger could turn things around, but he wasn’t able to get anything past the Legislature. Why will you be any different?
Please answer my questions, and tell me how you, as Governor, can fix the problems we face as Californians. Don’t ask me to go to your web site and read whatever documents you have prepared. I have already done that. What I am looking for is a direct, public response to my questions. A response you have carefully thought out and prepared. I don’t want a response from a staffer. The staffer won’t reside in the Governor’s mansion. I am curious so see if you will take the time to read this and personally respond.
You may be thinking that I am some right-wing nut. I assure you, I am not. I am John Q. Public. I am the entrepeneur that keeps this country (and this state) going, and I would like to know if it’s worth it to stay here.
To my readers (and there are more than those you see posting here): I have emailed a duplicate of this post to the campaigns of these 3 candidates. I don’t hold much hope of a response… but stranger things have happened.]]>
A friend sent this to me, and asked me to post it while he’s down in Florida. Byron, nicely said.
During the Watergate hearings John Dean remarked, “There is a cancer upon the Presidency”. Today, the current cancer is the President, his hand picked advisers, and a vast majority of the House and Senate. Selected heads of various Governmental agencies, thousands of nameless, faceless bureaucrats who earn more than two times the average American citizen’s annual salary, their handmaidens in private sector business and financiers who have been looking out for number one, have consciously omitted the American public.
For more than three decades the economy and basis of our Republic has been carefully and methodically disassembled, brick and mortar business and a single job at a time. Cronyism, corruption, malfeasance and ineptitude are the root cause of why we find ourselves where we are today. Also bordering on criminal is how we find public education and its progressive “dumbing down” of the last few generations.
A large sector of our population was told they deserved to own their own houses, even if they had no financial basis for ownership. Pandering for votes, Politicians forced financial institutions to jam sub-prime rate loans down the throats of an uneducated public. Unfortunately, as in all fairy tales, the Piper wants to be paid. The housing debacle forced upon our economy will take years to rectify itself. Thank you, House Financial Services Committee.
The economy can not be totally rebuilt by creating non-production or non-manufacturing based jobs. Expanding the government labor force is the worst way to ‘help’ the unemployment situation. There is however, a white knight to the rescue who will take the risk to rebuild the economy!
Will we ever again be at the production levels of thirty or forty years ago? No, we will not – that ship sailed eastward long ago while their ships sail westward with goods we should be producing here in the United States.
The people who have the fortitude to press on, even under the threat of additional governmental intervention, regulation and taxes, will be the small business entrepreneur… who sees an opportunity and a market to be addressed. American’s are a tough breed, we don’t give up easily in spite of the political atmosphere from DC and most state capitals. As Dr. King said many times, “We shall overcome”.
The entrepreneur will see methods and ways to work within or around the ‘system’ to generate personal wealth and security (unfortunately a foreign concept to the President and his advisers), and create additional jobs for those willing to work. They will exploit new ways of selling, develop new skills capitalizing on the Internet and create direct or multilevel marketing business models for success in this the new world order.
The next time you see an individual at the city /county clerks office filing for a business license, honor this person… this is the new American White Knight. The real hero is the family next door who are willing to step out and take a chance on the American dream so many in high places are destroying.
Last but certainly not least please honor those who serve in the military. Without their dedication, service and sacrifice we would not have the opportunities afforded us as free men and women.
Signed, A Vietnam era Veteran 1961-1965]]>