March 5, 2006


'Long war' is breaking down into tedium (MARK STEYN, 3/05/06, Chicago Sun-Times)

I had to sign a tedious business contract the other day. They wanted my corporation number -- fair enough -- plus my Social Security number -- well, if you insist -- and also my driver's license number -- hang on, what's the deal with that?

Well, we e-mailed over a query...

You'll never convince me that's not a royal "we."

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 5, 2006 9:07 AM

A corporation number should suffice and there should be no reason to divulge one's personal social security number as well. Mark should have tested that request as well.

Good lesson to us all.

Posted by: erp at March 5, 2006 10:35 AM

Your SS# is, by definition, not private.

Posted by: oj at March 5, 2006 10:37 AM

By definition not private, but not everyone needs to know.
My shoe size isn't private but I can't see why anyone else needs to be privy to it.

Posted by: Mikey at March 5, 2006 11:38 AM

oj: WTF, over.

SSN's are very much private, beince expressly protected by the law of the land, in the form of the Federal Privacy Act.

Once again freedom is defended by freedom's advance guard, the gun-rights movement.

It happens that piggies in various states have been purporting to require SSN's as a condtion for approval of gun purchases and permits to carry.

This issue was just visited by the U.S. District Court for the E.D. of Pennsylvania, which granted summary judgement and enjoined this abusive violation of THE PRIVACY ACT.

Now a frivolous, dilatory appeal is possible, but THE PRIVACY ACT is so plain in its protection of one's privacy in his or her SSN that we should not expect the injunction to be lifted pending appeal. The case may be found at

Posted by: Lou Gots at March 5, 2006 12:02 PM

Mr. Gots has spoken.

Posted by: erp at March 5, 2006 1:01 PM

A number issued you by the federal government is not private vis a vis that government.

Posted by: oj at March 5, 2006 1:26 PM


The operative question being why would it be private? No one has any realistic expectation that it will be.

Posted by: oj at March 5, 2006 1:27 PM

post yours here, if it's not private :)

Posted by: toe at March 5, 2006 1:55 PM

Mark: "As I've argued for some years, it's absurd that the Saudis are allowed to continue with their financial and ideological subversion of everything from American think-tanks to mosques to prison chaplaincy programs" Can the govt. stop them for subverting Harvard with $10 million?

Posted by: ic at March 5, 2006 2:03 PM


Posted by: oj at March 5, 2006 2:34 PM

had the problem with a check from the bank I am retired form. I went to deposit my first pension check in the local branch of the bank. They told me I would have to wait 5 days to get access to the funds since it was an out of city check.

I went home and called the home office of the bank. I asked them that since I had to wait 5 days, did that mean that I should be afraid of whether my pension checks written on the bank's accounts would be any good or should I look for some other way to handle my pension.

Yesterday I went to the bank and deposited my pension check. I got a separate slip telling me that the funds deposited were immediately available. Amazing how a little squeaking helps.

Posted by: dick at March 5, 2006 4:13 PM

dick, Think direct deposit and if you haven't already set up all your bill paying and banking on line, do it now. Our bank pays bills free of charge whether electronically or paper. It's unbelievable. We even get bills on line, so we have hardly any snail mail either incoming or outgoing.

I had a hard convincing my accountant husband, but he's a believer now.

Posted by: erp at March 5, 2006 7:10 PM

Went to pay my mort and make a deposit at the same place.

She asked me for my DL # to make a deposit.

3x incredulously I asked you need my DL #?

She was told to always ask for it. I had said if that's required, I'm outta here and closing my account.

Fortunately, there was someone above her who explained to her only if cash back.

I asked her what happens if I'm making a deposit for a friend?

These people don't think.

Posted by: Sandy P. at March 5, 2006 7:23 PM

Sandy, One more reason to do everything online. Never deal with bank clerks again.

Posted by: erp at March 5, 2006 8:12 PM

And now for the Amex number?

Posted by: ratbert at March 5, 2006 10:48 PM

American Express is a private company, no?

Posted by: oj at March 5, 2006 11:01 PM

Nonsense, I say - it is a very public company, listed on the NYSE. So 'fess up - I've got some phone calls to make later today.

Posted by: ratbert at March 6, 2006 11:07 AM

The government owns Amex?

Posted by: oj at March 6, 2006 11:17 AM

Attentionn All: We, the People, own everything, lock, stock and barrel.

Posted by: erp at March 6, 2006 12:11 PM

You'll never convince me that's not a royal "we."

That's interesting, because my dad, from Wichita Falls, TX, uses "we" for "I" alot. In his case, I think he's aiming for "humble" rather than "royal".

Posted by: Mike at March 6, 2006 1:55 PM

That's how a monarch uses it.

Posted by: oj at March 6, 2006 2:04 PM