Friday, March 26, 2010

FLASHBACK: Rep. Jane Harman's Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 (H.R. 1955) Referred to Senate Committee

Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 (H.R.1955)

As I continue my analysis and discussion of my representative Jane Harman, I flashback to Rep. Jane Harman's previous term beginning in 2007 and ending in 2008 when she introduced H.R. 1955 to passage. H.R. 1955 is also known as The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. I read the bill and while it does not have any impose any penalty in the case of homegrown terrorism, the bill establishes various Homeland Security protocols for dealing with the matter in the near future.

The bill has been read twice by the Senate and is currently referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Lately, the government and media are certainly hyping up the domestic and homegrown terrorists as being the country's biggest threats. The bad guys are no longer allegedly in Afghanistan's caves. Instead, the media tells us the the violence may come from that guy in the next door office cubicle who's a loner, protests the government at rallies on the weekends and doesn't take the vaccines. This guy is a potentially bigger threat to America than Al-Qaeda - especially under this H.R. 1955, because he's a potential homegrown terrorist.

Violent radicalization? An extremist belief system? Facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious or social change? What the h*ll do those terms mean? This bill's language appears to be quite specific, but it is actually quite vague and ambiguous. Anyone protesting anything related to the government could be considered a homegrown terrorist. If some type of domestic false flag happens in the next few weeks that can be pinned on the truth movement and infowarriors, you can bet that this bill will be passed with the quickness of the PATRIOT Act's passage.

Here's a summary of the bill:

October 23, 2007 -- Passed House amended.

Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 - Amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to add a new section concerning the prevention of violent radicalization (an extremist belief system for facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change) and homegrown terrorism (violence by a group or individual within the United States to coerce the U.S. government, the civilian population, or a segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives).

Establishes within the legislative branch the National Commission on the Prevention of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism to: (1) examine and report on facts and causes of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States; and (2) build upon, bring together, and avoid unnecessary duplication of related work done by other entities toward such goal. Requires: (1) interim reports and a final report from the Commission to the President and Congress on its findings and recommendations; (2) the public availability of such reports; and (3) Commission termination 30 days after its final report.

Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish or designate a university-based Center of Excellence for the Study of Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism in the United States to assist federal, state, local, and tribal homeland security officials, through training, education, and research, in preventing violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism in the United States. Requires the Secretary to: (1) conduct a survey of methodologies implemented by foreign nations to prevent violent radicalization and homegrown terrorism; and (2) report to Congress on lessons learned from survey results.

Prohibits Department of Homeland Security (DHS) efforts to prevent ideologically based violence and homegrown terrorism from violating the constitutional and civil rights or civil liberties of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. Directs the: (1) Secretary to ensure that activities and operations are in compliance with DHS's commitment to racial neutrality; and (2) DHS Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Officer to develop and implement an auditing system to ensure that compliance does not violate the constitutional and civil rights or civil liberties of any racial, ethnic, or religious group, and to include audit results in its annual report to Congress.

Rep. John Conyers Cites Imaginary "Good & Welfare" Constitutional Clause in Defense of Health Care Reform

Representative Conyers, you have a long distinguished record of public service, but when you cannot properly cite the Constitution as the Congressional Judiciary Committee Chairman, then it is time for you to retire. As an attorney, I am offended.

Sir, there is no F'n "good and welfare" clause in the Constitution. If I had written such bull-shenanigans on a law school exam, I would have failed. Maybe Rep. Conyers means the general welfare clause, but even the general welfare clause does not grant Congress the rights it has now claimed under H.R. 3590. However, James Madison felt the "general welfare" clause was limited and Madison was the primary author of Constitution. Check the below quote from him:

"If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands;

they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish
and pay them out of their public treasury;

they may take into their own hands the education of children,
establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union;

they may assume the provision of the poor;

they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads;

in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation
down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress.... Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America."

FLASHBACK: 45 Communist Goals for the Takeover of the United States of America (1963)

If I am ever at a library depository, I will confirm whether these 45 stated communist goals for the takeover of the United States of America were actually read into the Congressional record. However, even if these goals are not a part of the official record, this list is still quite informative. Unfortunately in 2010, I would argue that many of these goals have already been accomplished.

As for the picture above, I cannot source it for appropriate credit, so if anyone knows the original source, please let me know.


Congressional Record--Appendix, pp. A34-A35
January 10, 1963



Thursday, January 10, 1963

Mr. HERLONG. Mr. Speaker, Mrs. Patricia Nordman of De Land, Fla., is an ardent and articulate opponent of communism, and until recently published the De Land Courier, which she dedicated to the purpose of alerting the public to the dangers of communism in America. At Mrs. Nordman's request, I include in the RECORD, under unanimous consent, the following "Current Communist Goals," which she identifies as an excerpt from "The Naked Communist," by Cleon Skousen:


1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.

2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.

3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.

4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.

5. Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites.

6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination.

7. Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N.

8. Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev's promise in 1955 to settle the German question by free elections under supervision of the U.N.

9. Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the United States has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.

10. Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N.

11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.)

12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.

13. Do away with all loyalty oaths.

14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.

15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.

16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.

17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers' associations. Put the party line in textbooks.

18. Gain control of all student newspapers.

19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.

20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.

21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.

22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to "eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms."

23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. "Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art."

24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them "censorship" and a violation of free speech and free press.

25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.

26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as "normal, natural, healthy."

27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a "religious crutch."

28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of "separation of church and state."

29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.

30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the "common man."

31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the "big picture." Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.

32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture--education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.

33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.

34. Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

35. Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.

36. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.

37. Infiltrate and gain control of big business.

38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat].

39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.

40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.

41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.

42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use ["]united force["] to solve economic, political or social problems.

43. Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government.

44. Internationalize the Panama Canal.

45. Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction [over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction] over nations and individuals alike.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Washington DC Metro to Blow Up Rail Cars & Buses in Anti-Terrorism Drills To Increase Fear

This is an FYI to anyone living in Washington DC that there are two anti-terrorism drills on the immediate horizon this weekend and early next week. Therefore, please be on guard for any potential false flags, because the false flag operations usually occur in connection with emergency training drills.

The first drill this weekend will take place at 1 a.m. Sunday (March 28, 2010) when the agency simulates an explosure explosion on a rail car in the tunnel between Foggy Bottom and Rosslyn stations. According to a press release, "emergency personnel will be responding to the incident to find a scene representative of hundreds of injured passengers and multiple fatalities."

Metro said the system will remain open during the exercise. After 11 p.m., Blue Line trains will share one track between Foggy Bottom and Arlington, and Orange Line trains will share one track between Foggy Bottom and Court House. Riders using the Rosslyn Station should expect to see "numerous police, fire and emergency response vehicles, first responders and volunteer 'victims,'" Metro said.

A second drill will take place at 10 a.m. March 29 in the parking lot at RFK Stadium. The exercise will simulate an explosion on a bus, "discovery of a second explosive on a bus in a garage," and reports of other explosives on other buses. Metro said activity will take place between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Participating agencies include: police, fire and emergency medical services departments from Arlington County, Alexandria, the District, Fairfax County, Prince George's County, Montgomery County, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the American Red Cross.

The exercises are being paid for through a $1.2 million Homeland Security grant.

Source: The Washington Post

Federal Health Authorities Recommend Suspending Rotarix Rotavirus Vaccine Due to Porcine Circovirus Type 1 Contamination

Here's a new one in the world of vaccine toxicity. Usually a discussion regarding vaccine toxicity is about thimerosal or squalene adjuvants. However in this case, this Rotarix vaccine is reportedly contaminated with a pig virus called porcine circovirus Type 1.

Federal health authorities recommended Monday that doctors suspend using Rotarix, one of two vaccines licensed in the United States against rotavirus, saying the vaccine is contaminated with material from a pig virus.

Health authorities say that there is no danger from this pig virus, but I'm not so convinced.

"There is no evidence at this time that this material poses a safety risk," Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg told reporters in a conference call.

If there is no danger, then why are the federal authorities recommending that Rotarix use be suspended?

For further information on porcine circovirus Type 1, go to Infection studies on human cell lines with porcine circovirus type 1 and porcine circovirus type 2.

Source: CNN ; National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine

British Officials Cut Down Six Thousand Trees To Discourage Strangers Having Sex & Dogging in Woods

If people like Al Gore are allegedly concerned about the environment and trees, then one of these environmental people should condemn the actions of these British officials who chopped down 6,000 tress to stop people from having sex. I wonder how much oxygen those 6,000 trees used to put out into the atmosphere for people to breathe.

But Sergeant Mark Wilson, from the neighborhood policing team, told the Lancashire Telegraph that cutting the trees would help reduce incidents of "dogging," which is British slang for strangers having sex in a semi-public place while others look on.

Wilson said: “It’s an on-going problem and very worrying for members of the public.


FLASHBACK: China Reportedly Develops "Kill Weapon" That Can Destroy U.S. Aircraft Carriers Over 1,200 Miles Away

This report from the U.S. Naval Institute is from about a year ago.


Report: Chinese Develop Special "Kill Weapon" to Destroy U.S. Aircraft Carriers

Advanced missile poses substantial new threat for U.S. Navy

U. S. Naval Institute
March 31, 2009

With tensions already rising due to the Chinese navy becoming more aggressive in asserting its territorial claims in the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy seems to have yet another reason to be deeply concerned.

After years of conjecture, details have begun to emerge of a "kill weapon" developed by the Chinese to target and destroy U.S. aircraft carriers.

First posted on a Chinese blog viewed as credible by military analysts and then translated by the naval affairs blog Information Dissemination, a recent report provides a description of an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) that can strike carriers and other U.S. vessels at a range of 2000km.

The range of the modified Dong Feng 21 missile is significant in that it covers the areas that are likely hot zones for future confrontations between U.S. and Chinese surface forces.

The size of the missile enables it to carry a warhead big enough to inflict significant damage on a large vessel, providing the Chinese the capability of destroying a U.S. supercarrier in one strike.

Because the missile employs a complex guidance system, low radar signature and a maneuverability that makes its flight path unpredictable, the odds that it can evade tracking systems to reach its target are increased. It is estimated that the missile can travel at mach 10 and reach its maximum range of 2000km in less than 12 minutes.

Supporting the missile is a network of satellites, radar and unmanned aerial vehicles that can locate U.S. ships and then guide the weapon, enabling it to hit moving targets.

ASBM is said to be a modified DF-21

The ASBM is said to be a modified DF-21

While the ASBM has been a topic of discussion within national defense circles for quite some time, the fact that information is now coming from Chinese sources indicates that the weapon system is operational. The Chinese rarely mention weapons projects unless they are well beyond the test stages.

If operational as is believed, the system marks the first time a ballistic missile has been successfully developed to attack vessels at sea. Ships currently have no defense against a ballistic missile attack.

Along with the Chinese naval build-up, U.S. Navy officials appear to view the development of the anti-ship ballistic missile as a tangible threat.

After spending the last decade placing an emphasis on building a fleet that could operate in shallow waters near coastlines, the U.S. Navy seems to have quickly changed its strategy over the past several months to focus on improving the capabilities of its deep sea fleet and developing anti-ballistic defenses.

As analyst Raymond Pritchett notes in a post on the U.S. Naval Institute blog:

"The Navy's reaction is telling, because it essentially equals a radical change in direction based on information that has created a panic inside the bubble. For a major military service to panic due to a new weapon system, clearly a mission kill weapon system, either suggests the threat is legitimate or the leadership of the Navy is legitimately unqualified. There really aren't many gray spaces in evaluating the reaction by the Navy…the data tends to support the legitimacy of the threat."

In recent years, China has been expanding its navy to presumably better exert itself in disputed maritime regions. A recent show of strength in early March led to a confrontation with an unarmed U.S. ship in international waters.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

FLASHBACK: Rep. Jane Harman: Why I'm Voting For Health Care Reform (H.R. 3590)

Here is what Representative Jane Harman said about why she voted for health care reform. This was originally posted in the March 19, 2010 edition of The Daily Breeze.

Please note that I was against the health care reform legislation, so Harman's decision to vote for it may prevent me from voting for her in the upcoming election(s).


Why I'm voting for health care reform

By Jane Harman

Posted: 03/20/2010 08:13:26 PM PDT

Later today, I will make the most historic vote in my eight terms in the House.

Thousands of constituents have contacted me. The Capitol grounds are a public square, full of early spring flowers, placards and noisy expressions of views on the biggest health care revision in 70 years. My favorite new friend is an activist in yellow shorts and a pointy blue hat who calls me "Babycakes."

The legislative process has been gritty and endless. The result could have been much better. The bill should have been shorter, simpler and included a robust public option to compete with insurance companies and keep costs down. The language on abortion coverage is convoluted and unnecessary. Current law already forbids using federal funds.

But, on balance, what matters is the bill's real effect on real people in the South Bay.

If you have health insurance - and 63 percent of 36th District residents do - you can keep the same policy, insurer and doctor that you have now. But this bill will improve your current policy by prohibiting lifetime and annual limits on coverage; by making it illegal for your insurer to drop you if you get ill; and by reducing your out-of-pocket costs for preventive care. It also will enable states to roll back the stunning and arbitrary rate hikes like the 39 percent increase Anthem Blue Cross recently announced in California.

The bill cuts the number of uninsured district residents in half by extending coverage to 67,000 people. It will provide tax cuts to 130,000 local middle-income families and more than 15,000 small businesses to make buying private insurance affordable. Many will be covered for the first time in their lives.

And for the approximately 13,500 residents with pre-existing conditions, this legislation will ensure that you cannot be denied coverage - as my 27-year-old son was last summer.

Skyrocketing health care expenses caused 1,100 local bankruptcies in 2008. This bill caps out-of-pocket expenses at about $1,000 per month for families who purchase insurance or who are insured by small businesses. These reforms ensure that no family will have to face financial ruin because of medical bills.

This bill also closes the notorious "doughnut hole" on Medicare prescription drugs. The 2003 Medicare Modernization Act - which I vigorously opposed - capped the amount that the government would pay for drugs until catastrophic federal coverage kicked in. That gap in payments has forced nearly 10,000 local Medicare patients to choose between needed medications or food or shelter. The bill closes the "doughnut hole" completely in 2020, offers a $250 rebate this year and huge discounts on brand-name drugs thereafter.

Kids will be allowed to stay on their parents' coverage until they are 26 - a real boon to 49,000 young adults who otherwise would have a hard time affording insurance.

Four local community health care centers will receive an additional $5.2 million to provide services to the poor and medically underserved. Local hospitals that struggle to cover costs because of the large number of people without insurance they treat will get $12 million in relief annually.

As a Blue Dog Democrat, I'm pleased that the legislation is fully paid for by cuts to bloated federal payments to Medicare Advantage - that will save $400 billion - and a less than 1 percent tax on wealthy wage earners. That will raise $500 billion. In addition, it will reduce federal expenditures by $130billion in the first 10 years and $1.2 trillion in the second decade, making it the largest deficit-reduction measure ever.

Failing to act now on health care reform won't preserve the status quo, it will make things worse. Premiums will climb, as will the number of uninsured, threatening our fragile economic recovery.

When I enter the House chamber for the vote, I will think of the many times presidents and Congresses failed to do what we will likely achieve today. The list includes Presidents Harry Truman, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.

When I cast my yes vote I will also think of my friend Sen. Edward Kennedy, who didn't live to see his signature issues become law.

This one's for you, Ted.

Rep. Jane Harman, D-El Segundo, represents the 36th Congressional District.

India to Issue 1.2 Billion Biometric Identification Cards to All Its Citizens

Are biometric ID cards coming to America like these biometric ID cards are coming to India?

The operation will be run by the Unique Identification Authority, a new government department created specifically for the task of assigning every living Indian an exclusive number and gathering and electronically storing their personal details.

Source: The London Telegraph

Are Implantable RFID Microchips in Obama's Health Care Bill (H.R. 3590)?

Class II Special Controls Guidance Document: Implantable Radiofrequency Transponder System for Patient Iden...

***(Update - April 3, 2012) - Please see my note in the comments below. The proposed health bill embedded here is an older version of the House health care bill (HR 3200). Obamacare (HR 3590) DOES NOT contain the microchip provision that was in the older version.


As I read page 1014 of H.R. 3590, it certainly seems like this health care reform bill includes a provision that discusses the potential for RFID implantable microchips. You can read the bill at this link. This provision speaks on the analysis of postmarket safety and outcomes data on various medical devices, including Class II devices.

The FDA has established standards for an implantable radiofrequency transponder systems (a/k/a RFID chips) that are Class II compliant (see above embedded document or on the FDA page). However, these RFID chips will have patient identification and health information. While the bill does not require mandatory RFID microchip implantation, it does establish an initial framework where the scope could be expanded with future legislation and regulation. For further information on one type of chip like this, see Microchip Implant Links All Medical Records, Credit History and Social Security Identification Numbers.


H.R. 3590 amends Section 519 of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C .360i). Here is the applicable language from H.R. 3590 (page 1,014):

(g)(1)The Secretary shall establish a national medical device registry (in this subsection referred to as the ‘registry’) to facilitate analysis of postmarket safety and outcomes data on each device that—
(A) is or has been used in or on a patient; and
(B) is—
(i) a class III device; or
(ii) a class II device that is implantable, life-supporting, or life-sustaining.

(2) In developing the registry, the Secretary shall, in consultation with the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, determine the best methods for—

(A) including in the registry, in a manner consistent with subsection (f), appropriate information to identify each device described in paragraph (1) by type, model, and serial number or other unique identifier;

(B) validating methods for analyzing patient safety and outcomes data from multiple sources and for linking such data with the information included in the registry as described in subparagraph (A), including, to the extent feasible, use of—
(i) data provided to the Secretary under other provisions of this chapter; and
(ii) information from public and private sources identified under paragraph (3);

(C) integrating the activities described in this subsection with—
(i) activities under paragraph (3) of section 505(k) (relating to active postmarket risk identification);
(ii) activities under paragraph (4) of section 505(k) (relating to advanced analysis of drug safety data); and
(iii) other postmarket device surveillance activities of the Secretary authorized by this chapter; and...

3(B) In this paragraph, the term ‘data’ refers to information respecting a device described in paragraph (1), including claims data, patient survey data, standardized analytic files that allow for the pooling and analysis of data from disparate data environments, electronic health records, and any other data deemed appropriate by the Secretary.

Houston, Texas Police to Begin Training Officers to Staff City Checkpoints

Sarge, an Anonymous Police Officer
March 23, 2010

The Houston Police Department is poised to do what no other civilian police department in the United States has yet to publicly do. On the desk of the Chief of Police is the authorization to begin training officers to staff checkpoints at key infrastructure points throughout the city.

Although the talk about creating such a group has been discussed among supervisors of the Special Response Group for years, only in the last few months have those talks become reality. This idea received support of the former Chief of Police Harold Hurtt, but wasn’t signed before he retired on December 30, 2009 due to it being under review by departmental lawyers. Now under the just-named Chief of Police Charles McClelland, it stands ready to be signed and implemented almost immediately.

The Special Response Group, which was created in 1992 to deal with protestors at the Republican National Convention is the main crowd control unit in the Houston Police Department. They receive 40 hours of training annually in riot control and mass arrest scenarios. This group has a sub-group called the Hard Team, which receive an additional 32 hours of more intense training per year. This training includes pain compliance techniques, dispersal of chemical agents, rubber bullets, crowd control grenades, as well as many other less-lethal munitions. Now, the Hard Team is poised to get another sub-group called the Checkpoint Team.

This Checkpoint Team will be armed with Assault Rifle Carbines with shoot to kill orders and tasked with manning sensitive areas such as airports, chemical refineries, and any other critical infrastructure locations. By the very nature of their training it is but only a small step for them to be tasked to man check points throughout the city, turning it into a defacto internment camp.

Houston, being one of the largest cities in the nation in both population and square-mileage, will be hard to lock-down without adequate manpower. That is why the Checkpoint Team will have an initial staffing of 300. If more are needed, those highly trained will be able to act as Checkpoint Leaders or a “train-the-trainer” situation.

According to a primary source federal money is being sought to offset the cost of creating and running of the Checkpoint Team, but the federal funding has not yet been approved. It seems the team will be created with or without the federal dollars.

This will be the first civilian police agency in the nation to begin this type of training, so it should be seen as the “beta-test” for expansion to other police agencies nation-wide (as is very common in the law enforcement field).

Rice University and South Korea to Collaborate on Printable Nano-Based RFID Tags That Could Replace Bar Codes



CONTACT: Mike Williams
PHONE: 713-348-6728

Nano-based RFID tag, you're it
Rice, Korean collaboration produces printable tag that could replace bar codes

Long lines at store checkouts could be history if a new technology created in part at Rice University comes to pass.

Rice researchers, in collaboration with a team led by Gyou-jin Cho at Sunchon National University in Korea, have come up with an inexpensive, printable transmitter that can be invisibly embedded in packaging. It would allow a customer to walk a cart full of groceries or other goods past a scanner on the way to the car; the scanner would read all items in the cart at once, total them up and charge the customer's account while adjusting the store's inventory.

More advanced versions could collect all the information about the contents of a store in an instant, letting a retailer know where every package is at any time.


RFID tags printed through a new roll-to-roll process could replace bar codes and make checking out of a store a snap.

The technology reported in the March issue of the journal IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices is based on a carbon-nanotube-infused ink for ink-jet printers first developed in the Rice lab of James Tour, the T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry as well as a professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and of computer science. The ink is used to make thin-film transistors, a key element in radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags that can be printed on paper or plastic.

"We are going to a society where RFID is a key player," said Cho, a professor of printed electronics engineering at Sunchon, who expects the technology to mature in five years. Cho and his team are developing the electronics as well as the roll-to-roll printing process that, he said, will bring the cost of printing the tags down to a penny apiece and make them ubiquitous.

RFID tags are almost everywhere already. The tiny electronic transmitters are used to identify and track products and farm animals. They're in passports, library books and devices that let drivers pass through tollbooths without digging for change.

The technology behind RFID goes back to the 1940s, when Léon Theremin, inventor of the self-named electronic music instrument heard in so many '50s science fiction and horror movies, came up with a spy tool for the Soviet Union that drew power from and retransmitted radio waves.

RFID itself came into being in the 1970s and has been widely adopted by the Department of Defense and industry to track shipping containers as they make their way around the world, among many other uses.

But RFID tags to date are largely silicon-based. Paper or plastic tags printed as part of a package would cut costs dramatically. Cho expects his roll-to-roll technique, which uses a gravure process rather than ink-jet printers, to replace the bar codes now festooned on just about everything you can buy.

Cho, Tour and their teams reported in the journal a three-step process to print one-bit tags, including the antenna, electrodes and dielectric layers, on plastic foil. Cho's lab is working on 16-bit tags that would hold a more practical amount of information and be printable on paper as well.

Cho came across Tour's inks while spending a sabbatical at Rice in 2005. "Professor Tour first recommended we use single-walled carbon nanotubes for printing thin-film transistors," Cho said.

Tour's lab continues to support the project in an advisory role and occasionally hosts Cho's students. Tour said Rice owns half of the patent, still pending, upon which all of the technology is based. "Gyou-jin has carried the brunt of this, and it's his sole project," Tour said. "We are advisers and we still send him the raw materials" -- the single-walled carbon nanotubes produced at Rice.

Printable RFIDs are practical because they're passive. The tags power up when hit by radio waves at the right frequency and return the information they contain. "If there's no power source, there's no lifetime limit. When they receive the RF signal, they emit," Tour said.

There are several hurdles to commercialization. First, the device must be reduced to the size of a bar code, about a third the size of the one reported in the paper, Tour said. Second, its range must increase.

"Right now, the emitter has to be pretty close to the tags, but it's getting farther all the time," he said. "The practical distance to have it ring up all the items in your shopping cart is a meter. But the ultimate would be to signal and get immediate response back from every item in your store – what's on the shelves, their dates, everything.

"At 300 meters, you're set – you have real-time information on every item in a warehouse. If something falls behind a shelf, you know about it. If a product is about to expire, you know to move it to the front – or to the bargain bin."

Tour allayed concerns about the fate of nanotubes in packaging. “The amount of nanotubes in an RFID tag is probably less than a picogram. That means you can produce one trillion of them from a gram of nanotubes – a miniscule amount. Our HiPco reactor produces a gram of nanotubes an hour, and that would be enough to handle every item in every Walmart.

"In fact, more nanotubes occur naturally in the environment, so it's not even fair to say the risk is minimal. It's infinitesimal."

Co-authors of the paper include Rice graduate student Ashley Leonard; Minhun Jung, Jinsoo Noh and Gwangyong Lee of Sunchon National University; and Jaeyoung Kim, Namsoo Lim, Chaemin Lim, Junseok Kim, Kyunghwan Jung and Hwiwon Kang of the Printed Electronics Research Center, Paru Corp., Sunchon, Korea.

Read the paper at:

Did Rep. Bart Stupak Receive $726,409 Pork "Bribe" in Exchange for His Health Care Reform Vote?

Check the March 19, 2010 date on this press release. Was Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Michigan) given $726,409 for his District in exchange for his vote on H.R. 3590? While it may be innocuous, the timing and the vote certainly have the appearance of impropriety.

For Immediate Release
March 19, 2010

Contact: Michelle Begnoche
(202) 225-4735



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WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) announced three airports in northern Michigan have received grants totaling $726,409 for airport maintenance and improvements. The funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration.

“This federal funding will help these airports better provide critical services to communities in northern Michigan,” Stupak said. “I am pleased the FAA has made this investment in our local airports and the individuals and businesses they serve.”

Alpena County Regional Airport received a grant of $85,500 to acquire friction measuring equipment, specifically a decelermeter and tow vehicle, to replace equipment that has worn out.

Delta County Airport in Escanaba received a grant of $179,209 to install a 10 foot perimeter fence to enhance security and prevent wildlife from entering the airport.

The Chippewa County International Airport near Sault Ste. Marie received a grant of $461,700 to install lighted signs on Runway 16/34 and make repairs to the pavement to meet marking requirements and maintain structural integrity.

This funding is provided to the FAA through the regular federal appropriations process and is awarded through competitive grants.

# # #

London Airport Security Officer Leers at Woman's Naked Body Scanner Image (Says "I Love Those Gigantic T**s")

This story is presented to anyone who believes that the airport body scanner images will not be abused by the workers. Well, the abuse has already started, as police recently had to question a man after he ogled a girl colleague "naked" in a new anti-terror body scanner.

Jo Margetson, 29, reported John Laker, 25, after he took her picture with the X-ray gadget and made a lewd comment.

The pervy guard leered and told her: "I love those gigantic t**s."

She had entered the X-ray machine by mistake - and was horrified when Laker pressed a button to take a revealing photo.

Source: The Sun

Representative Jane Harman Ready to Kick Off 2010 Congressional Re-Election Campaign in Los Angeles

Representative Jane Harman is my current representative in the House, and as the election season begins, I will be following her exploits and adventures on this blog. While I did not vote for Ms. Harman in the last election cycle, I will still aggregate any interesting articles about as a way to foster a discussion about whether she has been a good representative in the last term and whether she should be retained.

This blog gets a lot of national and international readers, so hopefully these local articles about Rep. Harman will not alienate those readers.



Harman Gears Up for Re-Election Campaign

LOS ANGELES, March 23, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fresh from participating in the historic vote supporting President Obama's healthcare reform legislation, Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-36) has begun the communications and outreach phase of her re-election campaign.

As Representative Harman was working towards Congressional support of the legislation, the Democratic Party of Los Angeles showed its support with 72% of the delegates backing her re-election as the Officially Endorsed candidate of the Democratic Party.

Harman adds this endorsement to other recent endorsements by the Sierra Club, EMILY's List, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and the Human Rights Campaign.

Harman also announced that she has retained Harvey Englander, managing partner of Englander Knabe & Allen to serve as lead consultant for her re-election campaign.

"Harvey Englander and his team have a consistent record of running effective political campaigns using a combination of tried and true strategies and tactics along with new, cutting edge techniques. We look forward to running a positive campaign focusing on job creation and economic growth; strong support for the environment; a robust national defense and aerospace industrial base; protecting the rights of women and seniors; and ensuring educational opportunities for every child in the 36th Congressional District," Harman stated.

"I am excited about the upcoming campaign. I love being home in the District and meeting with voters," she concluded.

CONTACT: Englander Knabe & Allen
Harvey Englander

Monday, March 22, 2010

FLASHBACK: Nearly 50% of High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) in Grocery Products Contains Mercury

Just in case you need one (1) reason to avoid high-fructose corn syrup, here is a reason: Almost half of the grocery products with HFCS contains toxic mercury. Mercury is a deadly neurotoxin that is not safe in any amount.

Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient, according to two new U.S. studies.

Source: Washington Post

Government-Funded Princeton Research Team Finds That High-Fructose Corn Syrup Causes Considerably More Weight Gain Than Table Sugar

Please watch these silly high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) commercials (scroll down to the bottom of the link) where the powers-that-be say that there is nothing wrong with corn syrup, because it is all natural. Well, lead, arsenic and uranium are all natural too. This blog has also previously discussed corn syrup increasing one's blood pressure and mercury being found in corn syrup in grocery store products. The latest research reveals that HFCS causes considerably more weight gain than table sugar.

On a random note, Coca-Cola, will you please release a cane sugar version of your cola like you do in Mexico?

The press release about the Princeton & government research story is below:


A sweet problem: Princeton researchers find that high-fructose corn syrup prompts considerably more weight gain

Posted March 22, 2010; 10:00 a.m.

by Hilary Parker

A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.

In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States.

"Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn't true, at least under the conditions of our tests," said psychology professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction. "When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they're becoming obese -- every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don't see this; they don't all gain extra weight."

Hoebel lab

A Princeton University research team, including (from left) undergraduate Elyse Powell, psychology professor Bart Hoebel, visiting research associate Nicole Avena and graduate student Miriam Bocarsly, has demonstrated that rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup -- a sweetener found in many popular sodas -- gain significantly more weight than those with access to water sweetened with table sugar, even when they consume the same number of calories. The work may have important implications for understanding obesity trends in the United States. (Photo: Denise Applewhite) Photos for news media

In results published online March 18 by the journal Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, the researchers from the Department of Psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute reported on two experiments investigating the link between the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup and obesity.

The first study showed that male rats given water sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup in addition to a standard diet of rat chow gained much more weight than male rats that received water sweetened with table sugar, or sucrose, in conjunction with the standard diet. The concentration of sugar in the sucrose solution was the same as is found in some commercial soft drinks, while the high-fructose corn syrup solution was half as concentrated as most sodas.

The second experiment -- the first long-term study of the effects of high-fructose corn syrup consumption on obesity in lab animals -- monitored weight gain, body fat and triglyceride levels in rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup over a period of six months. Compared to animals eating only rat chow, rats on a diet rich in high-fructose corn syrup showed characteristic signs of a dangerous condition known in humans as the metabolic syndrome, including abnormal weight gain, significant increases in circulating triglycerides and augmented fat deposition, especially visceral fat around the belly. Male rats in particular ballooned in size: Animals with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained 48 percent more weight than those eating a normal diet. In humans, this would be equivalent to a 200-pound man gaining 96 pounds.

"These rats aren't just getting fat; they're demonstrating characteristics of obesity, including substantial increases in abdominal fat and circulating triglycerides," said Princeton graduate student Miriam Bocarsly. "In humans, these same characteristics are known risk factors for high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, cancer and diabetes." In addition to Hoebel and Bocarsly, the research team included Princeton undergraduate Elyse Powell and visiting research associate Nicole Avena, who was affiliated with Rockefeller University during the study and is now on the faculty at the University of Florida. The Princeton researchers note that they do not know yet why high-fructose corn syrup fed to rats in their study generated more triglycerides, and more body fat that resulted in obesity.

Hoebel lab

When male rats were given water sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup in addition to a standard diet of rat chow, the animals gained much more weight than male rats that received water sweetened with table sugar, or sucrose, along with the standard diet. The concentration of sugar in the sucrose solution was the same as is found in some commercial soft drinks, while the high-fructose corn syrup solution was half as concentrated as most sodas, including the orange soft drink shown here. (Photo: Denise Applewhite)

High-fructose corn syrup and sucrose are both compounds that contain the simple sugars fructose and glucose, but there at least two clear differences between them. First, sucrose is composed of equal amounts of the two simple sugars -- it is 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose -- but the typical high-fructose corn syrup used in this study features a slightly imbalanced ratio, containing 55 percent fructose and 42 percent glucose. Larger sugar molecules called higher saccharides make up the remaining 3 percent of the sweetener. Second, as a result of the manufacturing process for high-fructose corn syrup, the fructose molecules in the sweetener are free and unbound, ready for absorption and utilization. In contrast, every fructose molecule in sucrose that comes from cane sugar or beet sugar is bound to a corresponding glucose molecule and must go through an extra metabolic step before it can be utilized.

This creates a fascinating puzzle. The rats in the Princeton study became obese by drinking high-fructose corn syrup, but not by drinking sucrose. The critical differences in appetite, metabolism and gene expression that underlie this phenomenon are yet to be discovered, but may relate to the fact that excess fructose is being metabolized to produce fat, while glucose is largely being processed for energy or stored as a carbohydrate, called glycogen, in the liver and muscles.

In the 40 years since the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup as a cost-effective sweetener in the American diet, rates of obesity in the U.S. have skyrocketed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 1970, around 15 percent of the U.S. population met the definition for obesity; today, roughly one-third of the American adults are considered obese, the CDC reported. High-fructose corn syrup is found in a wide range of foods and beverages, including fruit juice, soda, cereal, bread, yogurt, ketchup and mayonnaise. On average, Americans consume 60 pounds of the sweetener per person every year.

"Our findings lend support to the theory that the excessive consumption of high-fructose corn syrup found in many beverages may be an important factor in the obesity epidemic," Avena said.

The new research complements previous work led by Hoebel and Avena demonstrating that sucrose can be addictive, having effects on the brain similar to some drugs of abuse.

In the future, the team intends to explore how the animals respond to the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in conjunction with a high-fat diet -- the equivalent of a typical fast-food meal containing a hamburger, fries and soda -- and whether excessive high-fructose corn syrup consumption contributes to the diseases associated with obesity. Another step will be to study how fructose affects brain function in the control of appetite.

The research was supported by the U.S. Public Health Service.

U.S. Homeland Security May Send Unmanned Aerial Drones to Patrol West Texas Border

Drones have been patrolling the Southern California skies on the border and in forest fire areas. DHS wants to have drones in the skies on the Texas border now.

The federal government may soon send unmanned aircraft to scour West Texas and the state's coastal waters in an effort to boost border security, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a letter to the governor sent Friday.

Source: The Dallas Morning News

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Preflight Body Scans To Become Mandatory in United States for Air Travel Says TSA Official

If and when body scanning becomes mandatory to fly in the United States, then you can expect that the airline industry will suffer economically as many people will choose not to fly. Hopefully, the TSA will have alternative screening methods for those people who do not want to go through these radioactive scanners.

All airline passengers in the U.S. will eventually be required to undergo a full-body scan before boarding planes, just as metal detectors became a standard and accepted part of the screening process at airports decades ago, the federal transportation security chief in Chicago said Monday.

Montreal Gazette