The Truth About Hydroxychloroquine

If you are looking for evidence to suggest that this drug helps with COVID-19 treatment, you’d be hard pressed to find it. You can draw your own conclusions from the following…

From the BBC…

The death rates of the treated groups were: hydroxychloroquine 18%; chloroquine 16.4%; control group 9%. Those treated with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine in combination with antibiotics had an even higher death rate.

via BBC

From MySanAntonio…

The dangerous side effects of the drugs are much better known. Most seriously, the drugs can trigger arrhythmia, which can lead to a fatal heart attack in patients with cardiovascular disease or who are taking certain drugs, including anti-depression medications. Doctors recommend screening with an electrocardiogram to prevent the drug from being given to the 1% of patients at the greatest risk of a cardiac event. The drugs also can cause vision loss called retinopathy with long-term use, and chloroquine has been associated with psychosis.

via MSA

From The Journal of the American Medical Association…

Findings  In this phase IIb randomized clinical trial of 81 patients with COVID-19, an unplanned interim analysis recommended by an independent data safety and monitoring board found that a higher dosage of chloroquine diphosphate for 10 days was associated with more toxic effects and lethality, particularly affecting QTc interval prolongation. The limited sample size did not allow the study to show any benefit overall regarding treatment efficacy.

Meaning  The preliminary findings from the CloroCovid-19 trial suggest that higher dosage of chloroquine should not be recommended for the treatment of severe COVID-19, especially among patients also receiving azithromycin and oseltamivir, because of safety concerns regarding QTc interval prolongation and increased lethality.

via JAMA

And last but not least, from the New England Journal of Medicine…

Of 1446 consecutive patients, 70 patients were intubated, died, or discharged within 24 hours after presentation and were excluded from the analysis. Of the remaining 1376 patients, during a median follow-up of 22.5 days, 811 (58.9%) received hydroxychloroquine (600 mg twice on day 1, then 400 mg daily for a median of 5 days); 45.8% of the patients were treated within 24 hours after presentation to the emergency department, and 85.9% within 48 hours. Hydroxychloroquine-treated patients were more severely ill at baseline than those who did not receive hydroxychloroquine (median ratio of partial pressure of arterial oxygen to the fraction of inspired oxygen, 223 vs. 360). Overall, 346 patients (25.1%) had a primary end-point event (180 patients were intubated, of whom 66 subsequently died, and 166 died without intubation). In the main analysis, there was no significant association between hydroxychloroquine use and intubation or death (hazard ratio, 1.04, 95% confidence interval, 0.82 to 1.32). Results were similar in multiple sensitivity analyses.

via NEJM

Birthdays and What They Actually Mean

I’m writing this post because a lot of people (Google) seem to have an issue with understanding what birthdays actually are.

Their own definition is…

A birthday is the anniversary of the birth of a person or an institution. Birthdays are celebrated in numerous cultures, often with gifts, cards, a party, or a rite of passage.

Two words are missing. Living and Existing. A “living” person and an “existing” institution.

Birthdays are a celebration of life. If you have 5 birthdays than that means that you have been alive for at least five years.

If you die at the age of five then you will never be able to have a 6th birthday. You know…because you are DEAD.

Google loves to put up a birthday celebration honoring a particular figure in history. The problem is that they are usually dead.

It is impossible for any of these people to have birthdays past their death date.

For example, Princess Diana is not 56 years old. She only ever made it to 36.

 

Statement of the Week

The story that I found this little nugget of wisdom in is most certainly tragic. A mother killed herself and probably her son. The story seemed a bit unclear about that.

It’s not clear how the child’s mother got a gun into the hospital. Banner Health has a policy — which is posted at entrances — against carrying firearms and weapons into its facilities, Lozano said.

This makes it sound like either the poor mother didn’t know how to read or that signs will solve everything. Just post a sign and people will do exactly what it says.

Or, in this case…not.

Common Sense: Adobe Flash

If you are still using Adobe Flash for critical pieces of your website, I’d say that logic dictates that you change to HTML 5 or something that most all devices can play.

For example, I just visited WGAL 8 here in Lancaster. They have slideshows that require Adobe Flash to play them. Guess what? I’m using an iPad tablet. I don’t have Flash and will never have it on this tablet.

I’m not alone. Apple has just announced that it sold 3 million iPads in 3 days. That is on top of all of the other iPads that are already out in the wild. Let’s face facts. Its the dominate tablet. Chances are…it will be the dominate tablet for a long time to come.

That means that most people are choosing iPads which means that most people who use tablets can’t view your Flash content.

What do I do in those cases when I come across a site that requires Flash?

I go somewhere else.

I’m pretty sure that we’ve come to the point in this relationship where using Adobe Flash for critical parts of your website means a loss of traffic for you.

I’m not exclusing myself either. I currently have an MP3 player that uses Flash to function on one of my sites. However, I am quickly moving to an HTML 5 alternative.

Someday we’ll look back on this Adobe Flash nonsense and… [fill in the blank]…

The Iranian Hikers

Es Iran hikers 073011 620x350

Perhaps you are following the desperate story of the innocent hikers that got too close to the Iranian border and then got arrested? (via CBS)

You know.

Because they were just hiking and happened to get too close to the Iranian border completely by accident.

Could happen to anyone. I’m sure.

Bullshit.

Hikers my ass.

I love hiking and I can tell you that the first place that pops into my mind for some great hiking does NOT happen to be anywhere NEAR Iran.

If you were “hiking” too close to Iran it was probably because you actually were spying because no sane person in their right mind would hike that close to the Iranian border. It’s amazing these idiots are still alive.

If I am from the United States, why would I spend all of that money for air fare to go that close to Iran to hike? The answer is that I wouldn’t.

So here we are listening to the American media and shedding a tear for these poor American boys who made just one little mistake. Those Iranian bastards had the nerve to capture “hikers” and prosecute them as spies?

Who are the unreasonable people here? I don’t like Iran at all. I’m not defending Iran here and that is not my intention but what I am defending is simple common sense.

We can’t admit that the kids are spies.

Logic can’t defend the “innocent hikers” meme.

We are left with the scenario that our boys are innocent hikers and the Iranians are bastards for arresting them and the real crime here is that neither statement is true.

A.D.H.D. and Bringing Up Baby

Warning: This post is just a vain attempt of venting on my part. I personally am sick and tired of this “pussy” culture I find myself living in. I may just call the string of these writings “The Pussy Chronicles” because there are just so many examples of how “pussified” our society has become that I could be adding to this series many times daily. My qualification for using the term “pussy” is my military background. That means that if I say you are a pussy you indeed are a pussy. Now, on with my rant…

A.D.H.D. (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is not a medical condition.

It is an environmental condition.

Your child isn’t suffering from A.D.H.D. you just feed them too much sugar. Now they are bouncing off of the walls and you don’t quite know why? You want to blame this on a non-existent disease designed and conceived to prevent Pediatric professionals from being sued because you are an extremely bad parent. A.D.H.D. is also a big business now. People make money from telling you that your child has it. You or your insurance company pay the doctor who diagnoses it and the pharmaceutical companies make money from the medication that the doctor you just saw will prescribe to treat the symptoms of it.

A.D.H.D. can’t be “cured” because it’s not a real disease. The medication they prescribe for this is a legal version of what the sixties crowd used to call “downers.”

People who medicate their children because they believe they have A.D.H.D. need to take a good hard look at themselves. Those folks created the problem and should probably sterilize themselves immediately.

I remember thinking as a kid that those folks who beat their kids or at least gave them a smack on the ass every now and then were bad parents. They were not. Before it was called A.D.H.D. it was called a “failure to pay attention.” A smack on the ass, a ruler across the fingers, or perhaps a strong comment designed to embarrass you in front of your classmates was enough to “cure” this affliction.

It is about controlling your child’s environment. When I was a kid we played outside. We played outside everyday and for as long as we could get away with (which was typically about dinner time). We ate candy throughout the day as well. That was the extent of it. Yes, we took in a fair amount of sugar but we were also burning it off by running around and playing outside. Being sent to your room was considered serious punishment and something that we as kids seriously tried to avoid.

Today, kids sit in front of their computers for fun. Being sent to their room is welcomed. Why? All of their stuff is there. Television, computer and internet, game consoles, and cell phones (in a lot of cases smartphones) are also a part of the modern child’s environs. They watch enormous amounts of television and they eat very badly because parents just don’t seem to give a shit about that sort of thing anymore. They are driven to the bus stop or even back and forth to school. Those kids aren’t even being given the opportunity to get exercise by moving themselves around. Of course, the parents will say that it’s a safety issue, they are worried about predators, or they just can’t stand the thought of their child standing out in the rain waiting for the bus. Instead of teaching kids about what they should do in a worse case scenario, modern parents think it’s much easier to just shuttle their children around. This is a short term solution for the parents that causes long term damages to the kid.

I remember my father telling me to stop doing something. He only ever gave me one chance to actually stop. It was usually a better situation if I stopped rather than having him do it for me. It also usually ended painfully for me when he made me stop. What I see these days in the grocery store is some out of control kid with a parent standing there trying to “reason” with them. “Oh, Jeffrey please stop doing that. Now, I’m going to count to ten…” The worst thing the kid has to put up with is listening to his parent drone on and on.

Parents these days want to be their children’s friend. You can’t. Sure, when you kids have grown into adulthood you can be “friends” with them. Just imagine what kind of Army we’d have if all of the drill instructors wanted make nice and be friends with the recruits. The same goes for child rearing. Growing up in a home with “rules” is a boot camp of sorts for life. The tougher the boot camp the more likely it will be that your child will succeed. Incidentally, this also includes a regiment of exercise. Our children are fat and overweight because we’re making them that way.

See? It’s not really a disease unless you consider the parents to be the disease.

I do.

Random Thoughts

This morning (first post of 2011 huh?) I got to thinking about what was wrong with Caprica.

Why did the Sy-Fy Channel cancel it?

Of course, they’ll site viewer numbers and say that people weren’t watching it. I think that would be partially accurate. People didn’t watch it because they didn’t know when it would be on. One of the common problems of networks in general is that they advertise the hell out of everything on their networks which means you have to be watching their networks to see when certain shows will be on.

At least, that’s how it used to work.

Now, I don’t watch any of your network nonsense. In fact, I didn’t watch a single episode of Caprica on Sy Fy. I downloaded the shows from iTunes. I never had any intention of watching Sy Fy to see the show nor did I ever do so. That makes me wonder if Sy Fy ever included those folks when they factor in the numbers?

What about Hulu or TV.com?

(Update: I just stumbled upon this great article about people leaving their cable and television providers in favor of internet based solutions.) The whole story link is here.

The proliferation of viewing devices — including a new generation of TV sets that connect to the Internet — could boost the chances that viewers will do what cable and satellite companies fear most: cancel their $70-a-month subscriptions in favor of cheaper Web options.

People want to watch your shows just like they always have except now they want it delivered their way and not yours.

They are not going to watch your channel but they do want to watch your shows and that is what you need to monetize.

As I said in a couple of paragraphs above, we never knew when the show was going to be on. That is bad. It’s the same rule for podcasts. People stop listening when you stop delivering your show on some kind of schedule. Caprica was horrible in this regard. Do you remember when TV seasons were about 24 episodes long and were fairly dependable? I miss those days.

I could write a big long post about this. Maybe I will.

An Apparent Misconception

Check this out.

People who watch funny videos on the internet at work aren’t necessarily wasting time. They may be taking advantage of the latest psychological science — putting themselves in a good mood so they can think more creatively.

That’s a great discovery except for one small factor…

…the “getting fired for screwing around at work” thing.

Other than that…solid.

This Week’s BS Award Goes To…

This Lifehacker Article that claims that idling your car is bad.

For those readers in chillier climates it’s a common to see people trudging out to their cars to warm them up early in the morning. It turns out all that idling isn’t just ineffective but a waste of money too.

The common belief is that you have to start a car ahead of time in cold weather or else the engine won’t be warm enough and you could damage it. It turns out that engines only require around a half minute of idle time to warm up; excessive idling decreases the life of your engine and unnecessarily kludges things up.

If you really want a good laugh at the expense of the author read the comments below the article. For example…

It’s not just your engine that needs a warm up. You want the fluids circulating freely through the automatic transmission and through the power steering system before driving off. They don’t need to be at operating temperature, but a couple of minutes to let the fluids flow and move about can save wear and tear.

The article is easily defeated by simple common sense.

Yes. The article was written with an obvious “green” bias.

Is Condescension Ever Funny?

Check out this excerpt from Paul Carr at TechCrunch

Rule One: The next time one of you asks the rhetorical question “why is this news?” I swear to God I will come round to your basement, gather up all of your Wil Wheaton action figures and melt them down into a giant plastic phallus. If you’ve ever seen the Miriam Karlin scene in A Clockwork Orange, you know what happens next. Save us both a trip and next time you find yourself asking “why is this news?”, instead ask yourself “why do I still live with my parents?”. It’s news because people better than you said so.

Fortunately for me, I am smart enough to decide what’s news and what’s not.

Some dipshit at TechCrunch sure as hell isn’t.

Lifestyle Changes

Tip#3,512

You should never make a lifestyle change based on an idea, a theory, or a principle that doesn’t pass through a common sense filter or doesn’t seem logical.

Case in point:

Which do you think is healthier, butter or margarine? Butter is made out of natural ingredients and margarine is not.

Which do you think is healthier, Sweet and Low or sugar?

There is a synergy between human beings and their environment. We co-exist and nourish each other. Life is ongoing and always moving. When our bodies die, we provide nutrients to the plants and animals around us.

With that being said, does it really make sense to put anything in your body that doesn’t come from nature?

I believe that diabetes is a common problem because we eliminated a natural element from our diet at some point. It’s the law of intended consequences. We make a change to one area and end up inadvertently effecting something else.

If you combine what I’ve just said with “so-called” medical advances that are loosely based on proper scientific procedures and methods then you can easy see how much trouble we’re in.

The human life span isn’t growing. It’s receding. It’s getting smaller.

The more unnatural crap we put in our bodies the closer to the end we’ll be.

Ok, I’m done ranting now.

What started this? The guy in the office next to mine is into making smoothies. Healthy smoothies or so he tells me. He puts mix into it that looks like concrete and it made me wonder how healthy the whole thing could actually be.

Remember folks, all of this health crap is relatively new. It has not really been time tested. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years!” Ah, NO you haven’t.

Stealing Stale Bread

images.jpegThis story comes from Reuters.

A woman who worked at a super market in Germany took bread home that was supposed to be discarded. Is she guilty of a crime?

The 44-year-old cashier had been asked to dispose of the bread in a bio-waste container in March this year, but it was later found in her bag when she was searched by supermarket security personnel on leaving work later that day.

The woman, who was not named, argued that she had intended to put the bread in the bio-waste container, but her employer believed she meant to take it home and eat it.

The Leipzig labor court ruled on Monday that even if the employee did intend to eat the bread, it did not constitute grounds for dismissal, especially given her 27-year employment record with the company and the fact that the bread no longer had any monetary worth for the employer.

The answer is yes. She is guilty of a crime. She took something that did not belong to her. Whether or not it is worth $0.00 or $2,000.00 the fact remains that the property did not belong to her and she took it.

The law really is or rather, should be that simple.

Stealing is a very simple concept. I own a CD. I bought it at Wal-Mart. I have a receipt for it and the CD clearly belongs to me. You come along and take it from me. That is stealing. You don’t own it. It didn’t belong to you.

The bread was the sole property of her employer and she willfully took it.

For reasons unknown to me, German courts seem to think that they can just add a condition to the definition of theft. Well, it wasn’t really very expensive so it’s ok if the woman took it.

And that my friends, is why the world is going to hell in a hand basket.

What’s In A Name?

My “talking point” of the day. Why the conservatives do so poorly in new media compared to the left?

Conservatives have to name everything “Right.”

On the left…

They know how to name things.

Huffington Post. Daily Koz. Etc. Can you tell what their politics are by the name? No. Not everyone may be as net savvy as you are.

At this point in time, it’s actually annoying to see “liberal” or “conservative” in a name.

If your podcast, website, or conference didn’t have the word “right” in it, you may have actually tricked someone from the opposite side into discovering it and taking part instead of seeing the word “right” and running the other way.

Statistically speaking; leaving your politics out of your name is one of the easiest ways of attracting a new following.

Just sayin.

Cycling Safety

I very rarely even talk about this on my website but after seeing an article in my local paper this morning about the increasing number of motorcycle accidents perhaps, its time to say a few words.

To the riders: Don’t be stupid.

From LancasterOnline

Ten motorcyclists have died in crashes in about a four-week period in Lancaster County.

A watch repair technician died when his cycle ran off the road on a sunny morning near a Manheim Township neighborhood. Two 20-year-old buddies died when their motorcycle hit a tree that was downed during a summer storm one night in Martic Township.
And five friends, including two married couples, died in a crash after they collided with a van during a Sunday afternoon ride down Route 72.

So far this year, 14 motorcyclists have died in crashes.

Cycle_Chart.jpg

Later on in the article (I suggest you read the whole thing) they ask a veteran rider about the things he does to keep safe on the road. It struck me that this man has the same philosophy that I do when it comes to intersections and driver behavior.

“If I come to an intersection and there’s a car sitting there, I assume he’s going to pull out in front of me, and I start slowing down and planning evasive action,” he said.

Why does he do that?

“Ninety percent of the time, they do pull out in front of you,” said Richard, who said his 128-member chapter distributes yard signs that say, “Look twice, save a life.”

While riding your bike, you are the captain of the ship and the one in control. Accidents are caused by assumptions. Not only do assumptions make “an ass out of you and me” but they can also get you killed. Never assume that the driver is just going to sit there while you cross an intersection. It’s a better bet that he won’t.

My rule of thumb is to make the car go first if it comes down to either of us waiting. I MAKE them go whether they blow their horn or wave me on; I simply can’t trust them.

Any how, good information none the less.

Idiots In Motion

Let me get this straight.

We have managed to run up a massive deficit because of our inability to manage the tax money we get at the federal level. We spend way more money than we take in.

In any other small business model (or corporation for that matter) this formula wouldn’t work. This formula also doesn’t work for your average family budget either. You simply can not sustain an existence based on spending more money than you actually have.

We’ve held a federal level deficit for many many years.

Spending other people’s money is just too damn appealing I suppose because logic and common sense dictate that this behavior be corrected in order to allow growth and stability.

The “transition” tax is supposed to help combat the rapidly growing deficit but I’m afraid it’s akin to trying to fix a stab wound by making more stab wounds.

As I’ve said on Twitter and Facebook, what planet am I on?

Really.

iPhone 4 and a Rant

*** iPhone 4 ***

Why does the new iPhone have various reception issues regarding the cellular antenna?

You can thank the Federal Government for meddling in business along with design and development once again.

via MacWorld

First, iPhone 4, like almost every other modern cell phone, puts the cellular antennas at the bottom, where they are most likely to be covered by your hand. The reason is that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has strict limits on the amount of energy that can be absorbed by the human body from a handheld device, Webb says in his first post last week. The energy limit is called the Specific Absorption Rate or SAR. So the phone designers move the antennas as far away from the head as possible—to the bottom of the phone.

Because of this SAR restriction that seems to be an entirely arbitrary number (let’s face it, the numbers will change tomorrow) the designers of the iPhone 4 as well as others are faced with serious fundamental functionality issues when it comes to cell phones in general.

Engineering will come up with a solution. I’m sure of that.

From a “stay the hell out of my life” position with respect to the FCC driving design of a cell phone, I think this is a great example of government over reaching into our lives.

Of course, there will be those few who argue about the safety concerns involving having a cell phone too close to your head and possibly (never proven) causing cancer but the real question becomes “do you want the government to make those decisions for you?”

If a cell phone is proven to cause cancer, I’m pretty sure people will stop using them.

*** The Rant (in no particular order) ***

Neither any individual nor the government (body politic) as a whole is smart enough to tell me how to live my life. In fact, quite the opposite is true. This generation of politicians is so corrupt that the fact that they can no longer read (e.g. the constitution) pales in comparison.

If true representative government worked as it should in a Republic such as ours, this post would be entirely unnecessary.

Unfortunately, most of the people of this great land who elected a socialist as President and now feel the pains of buyers remorse can rejoice in the fact that despite all of the technology and the internet and all of our advances they remain the “diet Pepsi” of American society since our inception. Perhaps, the stupidest generation of adults the world has ever produced. Just one calorie, hardly even capable of turning on the television without the remote control. I have watched my daughter spend over 15 minutes searching for a remote instead of just going over to the television and using the “ON” switch. I rest my case.

We need laws to spell out the painfully obvious and at the moment this started to happen the forefathers collectively turned in their graves yet again.

I believe that America is the greatest country on the face of the Earth even in it’s presently unrecognizable form.

Will we ever make the necessary changes to fix our broken society? We have become too fat and too lazy so probably not.

If you really like air conditioning instead of letting your body naturally control your weight than you may actually live longer if the fact that you are living like a piece of steak in the refrigerator doesn’t bother you.

I can hear it now, “I’m a political blogger and I’m making a difference.” Actually, no you are not. At the very best, you are preaching to the folks who believe exactly as you do. At worst, you are getting web traffic because you wrote a post that contained either the words “boob” or “nude” in it. Preaching to the same side doesn’t advance anything. The real mission is conversation, discussion, and eventually conversion to your side and way of thinking.

I posted a quote from Bill Clinton a few weeks ago…

The problem with ideology is, if you’ve got an ideology you’ve already got your mind made up. You know all the answers and that makes evidence irrelevant and arguments a waste of time.

The bloggers that make a real effort to reach across the political divides and engage their counterparts are the real winners of political blogging.

If you are conservative and consider Fox News to be conservative and you watch Fox News all day, how could your opinion be considered in any way a fair one. The same applies to those who watch CNN all day long as well. I have a friend who watches CNN all day long and the funny thing is…if I want his opinion on any given political issue all I have to do is turn on CNN. It’s as predicable as my 10:00 alarm clock.

Ok, I’ve done enough ranting this morning.

This stuff pisses me off.

Media Bias in Technology

Just in case you think all of your main stream news is biased, here comes an article found on Slashdot. This could be a fault in the way the article is written but on the surface your common sense filter should go off.

Here is what you read when you are on the site

“We know that the iPad is selling like hotcakes, but how satisfied are the people who buy it? Over at Technologizer, we conducted a survey of 6,000 iPad early adopters. There are a few places where they were critical — the majority, for instance, aren’t happy with Apple’s App Store approval process. Overall, however, they’re overwhelmingly upbeat.”

Now, the first red light to go off would be the one that says “Why would an iPad user give a rat’s ass about the iTunes Store Application Approval Process?”

165880-appstorecomic.jpg
(picture source: PC World)

The quick answer. They wouldn’t. The person buying an iPad is buying to use it. If they want an application, they simply go to iTunes and pick what they want and buy it. At present, Apple does NOT have a section in the iTunes store devoted to applications that they may be sitting on waiting to release or deny at some future date.

In order for the consumer to “care” about the approval process they would have to know something about it and why would they? How would they know who is developing what and in addition, what problems they may be having getting their product up on the iTunes store? “EA is coming out with this really cool game but Apple is holding up releasing it. I really don’t like the application approval process.” So, a majority of those random folks you surveyed sounded something like that?

I submit that they wouldn’t.

A majority of a survey of 6,000 users would not turn up such findings unless those 6,000 were strictly developers. Without taking a survey, I can tell you that my daughter doesn’t like the fact that it doesn’t have a USB port.

Me: So, Jennifer what don’t you like about the iPad.
Jennifer: I wish it had a USB port.
Me: So, what do you think about the application approval process?
Jennifer: Huh? Is that an app? How much is that?
Me: Nevermind.

The Times Square “Walk-Through”

The bomb discovered in Times Square yesterday is most certainly startling but I’m afraid that we’re probably not looking at something that was attempted and failed but rather a very successful test run of bigger things yet to come.

Hypothesis: Is it possible to plant a car bomb in the very heart of Times Square successfully?

Answer: Yes. It is.

This just goes to show how vulnerable we still really are. At the very least, the folks who wish us harm now know that they can get a car full of explosives into New York City without much trouble.

I have no doubt that the United States will be hit again by terrorists. It would be unrealistic to assume otherwise. Muslims see the US as the biggest obstacle to their master plan so of course, we are a target. The evil west and all of that.

I would hope that when they hit us again we have a strong leader sitting in the White House. Someone that we could all rally behind in a time of great need.

The day is coming. We cannot afford to meet the day with someone in charge who has really never been in charge of anything. His professional credentials made up by a pool of Democrats who just didn’t have anyone else who could win on their own merits. Obama is our first “manufactured” president.

He was manufactured to do many things. Leading the nation, unfortunately, is not one of them.

When the next BIG DAY comes, I hope we have someone in charge who won’t simply pee his pants and ask for a PB and J when the going gets tough.

Germany 1 – Law Enforcement 0

In a recent development in the land of beer and sausage comes a striking blow to those who would like to store your personal communications information for a period of six months. You know. Just in case law enforcement might need it for something.

via Slashdot

Germany’s highest court on Tuesday overturned a law allowing authorities to retain data on telephone calls and e-mail traffic to help fight terrorism and crime. The Federal Constitution Court ruled that major changes needed to be made to a 2008 law ordering data on calls made from mobile or fixed-line telephones and e-mail traffic to be kept for six months for possible access by law enforcement agencies.

The judges said the data storage was not secure enough and that it was not sufficiently clear what it would be used for. A record number of almost 35,000 people, including current Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, had originally brought the case to the court. The law stems from a European Union directive.

The court said all data stored to date must be deleted immediately. It said the law went far beyond the requirements of the EU directive. The storage of data could “cause a diffusely threatening feeling of being under observation that can diminish an unprejudiced perception of one’s basic rights in many areas,” said the president of the court, Hans-Jürgen Papier.

Absolutely shocked? I was.

This is the European Union after all. Peace, love, socialism, and all of that.

If you take the time to read the article you’ll see that the fight isn’t over yet. The Germans would be ok with a law that had better defined parameters when it comes to the storage, use, and access of the data.

I suppose if you whack people with a stick long enough they might just get pissed off.