Saturday, February 05, 2005

The State of the Union is Hypocracy and Ignorance

At first, my intention was to go through the President's recent State of the Union address point by point, but the speech was so long that I am sure you wouldn't want to read all of that. What I will do, instead, is show his major points and provide my opinions. They're not all opposing, as you may think. Links will be provided when applicable and the information is readily available.

These are quotes directly from Bush in his State of the Union address.

Maybe this wasn't exactly what he meant... or maybe it was.
Bush: "...We've been placed in office by the votes of the people we serve."
Do you not, Mr. Bush, also serve those Americans who did not vote for you?


We're so much better than everyone else.
Bush: "The United States has no right, no desire, and no intention to impose our form of government on anyone else. That is one of the main differences between us and our enemies."
Later that night...
Bush: "And we've declared our own intention: America will stand with the allies of freedom to support democratic movements in the Middle East and beyond."
Bush: "The government of Saudi Arabia can demonstrate its leadership in the region by expanding the role of its people in determining their future. And the great and proud nation of Egypt, which showed the way toward peace in the Middle East, can now show the way toward democracy in the Middle East."
On Secretary of State Rice...
Bush: "She will discuss with them how we and our friends can help the Palestinian people end terror and build the institutions of a peaceful, independent, democratic state. To promote this democracy, I will ask Congress for... The goal of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace, is within reach -- and America will help them achieve that goal."
Oh, and in his Inaugural Address...
Bush: "It is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture."
So, as you see, "The United States has no right, no desire, and no intention to impose our form of government on anyone else." Okay. Sure. Why did we invade Iraq again? Was it weapons of mass destruction? Oh, no, they never existed. Oh that's right, he changed his mind after we invaded them, and now the reason is to liberate them and impose democracy on the people.

Bush: "America's prosperity requires restraining the spending appetite of the federal government."
Bush: "Taxpayer dollars must be spent wisely, or not at all.
That is one point, sir, I definitely agree with you on. Now, one question: how much did this war in Iraq cost, the one we had "no right" to fight? Oh, just $152.6 billion, plus another $50 billion for each additional year we stay, that's all. Thanks for exercising restraint.
Bush: "I will send you a budget that...stays on track to cut the deficit in half by 2009."
(Applause.)
Applause? Okay, I will agree that it is good to cut the deficit in half by the end of his term. Kudos on that. However, when Bush took office, there was a projected 10-year surplus of $5.6 trillion and a fiscal surplus of about $127 billion. Bush admitted to the surplus in this 2000 campaign ad, so don't let him weasel his way out of it now. Bush passed $1.6 trillion tax cut after $1.6 trillion dollar tax cut. Four of them. That's $5.6 trillion in surplus - $6.4 trillion in tax cuts = DEFICIT! It is simple mathematics. He says he created tax relief for all Americans who pay tax. Maybe, but the average tax cut for Americans was $470, while the average tax cut for Americans making more than $1 million per year was $112,925. Some more simple math shows that the millionaires received more than 10% in tax cuts. The average for low-income Americans was only $304. That means, to get the same 10%, these people were only making $3040 per year. Highly unlikely. Let us assume that most low-income Americans make $30,000 per year. I know it's generous, but this is just for argument's sake. That would mean that they only received a 1% tax break. However, the government managed to take the largest surplus in the history of this country and turn it into the largest deficit in American history. "Tax dollars must be spent wisely, or not at all." I couldn't agree more.

Bush: "And we'll make it easier for Americans to afford a college education, by increasing the size of Pell Grants."
Okay, now this is really, really screwed up. Just two days before Christmas in 2004 (yes, less than two months ago), Bush's administration and the Department of Education LOWERED the amount of money students will get from Pell Grants. Isn't it convenient now that he wants to raise it? I just hope he does and gives those 80,000 students their grants back, even if it was just a ploy to look better in the public eye.

Bush: "Justice is distorted, and our economy is held back by irresponsible class-actions and frivolous asbestos claims -- and I urge Congress to pass legal reforms this year."
Ha ha ha ha! This wouldn't have anything to do with Halliburton's recent ongoing asbestos and silica lawsuits, would it? I mean, frivolous? They settled for $2.775 billion. I would venture to say the claims had some merit.

Bush: "To make our economy stronger and more productive, we must make health care more affordable, and give families greater access to good coverage and more control over their health decisions."
I really agreed with Bush on this point. He says he wants to put community health centers everywhere to give affordable health care to low income Americans. That's a great idea. Stolen from the Kerry campaign, but great nonetheless. Good job on that one, Mr. President.

Bush: "To keep our economy growing, we also need reliable supplies of affordable, environmentally responsible energy. Nearly four years ago, I submitted a comprehensive energy strategy that encourages conservation, alternative sources, a modernized electricity grid, and more production here at home -- including safe, clean nuclear energy. (Applause.) My Clear Skies legislation will cut power plant pollution and improve the health of our citizens."
Actually, the Clean Skies legislation reduces regulatory controls. That doesn't sound like Clean Skies to me.

Bush: "I've appointed a bipartisan panel to examine the tax code from top to bottom. ...you and I will work together to give this nation a tax code that is pro-growth, easy to understand, and fair to all."
This would be a great idea, in theory. But Bush, his father, and Regan never seemed to fix the economy with tax reform or tax cuts. Reaganomics hasn't really worked. I would like to see Bush keep his hands clean of this and leave it to Congress.

Bush: "Social Security was a great moral success of the 20th century... The system, however, on its current path, is headed toward bankruptcy."
Oh, and what happened to that $2 trillion you promised to give to Social Security during the 2000 campaign?

I am kind of torn on Bush's plan for Social Security reform. On one hand I think that young people in general are not going to have the appropriate mindsets to pick a good retirement investment account. On the other hand, I think this is our money and the government should never have been forcing us to send it to them anyway. If he really wants to promote "choice", he should give everyone back anything they have contributed to the program and shut it down. If you are already on benefits, you should continue to receive them. Anyone who is not on benefits yet should just get the money they have contributed. Apart from that, the disabled should receive benefits - but why does that have to be given by Social Security? Combine it with the welfare programs and have the states dole out the money as they see fit.

Okay, here's where I got really angry.
Bush: "Our second great responsibility to our children and grandchildren is to honor and to pass along the values that sustain a free society. So many of my generation, after a long journey, have come home to family and faith, and are determined to bring up responsible, moral children. Government is not the source of these values, but government should never undermine them. Because marriage is a sacred institution and the foundation of society, it should not be re-defined by activist judges. For the good of families, children, and society, I support a constitutional amendment to protect the institution of marriage."
What the fuck is this guy talking about?

First off, do you see the implication that allowing gays to marry will destroy the free society? Does he really expect us to believe that the gays will become tyrants and take away your freedoms? They are fighting for theirs, you moron. The values that "sustain a free society" are the inalienable rights set forth in the Declaration of Independence, which states that "all men are created equal" and they have the right to the "pursuit of happiness".

Yes, a lot, in fact most, people are religious. Not all are, though, Mr. President, and you need to stop imposing that on other people. You're in a position of authority in a country with freedom of religion. Act like it.

True, I agree wholeheartedly that government is not the source of morals and values. And, no, government should never undermine the values and morals of Christian people; but government should also not undermine the values and morals of Muslims or people of any other faith. Government should also not undermine the values and morals of people with no faith. Finally, government should not undermine the right of people to not even have morals or values. If this is truly a free society, and "government is not the source of these values", then while "government should not undermine these values" it should also not impose them on others.

In fact, who is to say what constitutes morals and values? I value things in a completely different way than the next person. I find absolutely no value in things most Americans hold dear to their hearts and I value highly things most Americans couldn't care less about. That is my right. It is not government's right to tell me what to think or what to teach my children. It is not government's right to tell me how to be happy. It is not government's right to stop me from being happy in whatever way I wish, as long as I am not infringing on the rights of others to be happy.

Here's where the question comes - is it the right of straight (homophobic is a more accurate term for this scenario) people to not see gay or lesbian people together? The answer is simple and I will demonstrate by asking another question. Is it the right of me, sexual orientation aside, to not see straight people together? If these people believe they have the right to not be exposed to gay and lesbian couples, then they need to stay the fuck inside. I never wanted to see Michael Jackson kiss Lisa Marie Pressley, but I happened to turn the television to that particular channel at that particular time. I don't propose a Constitutional amendment to ban them from kissing. I don't want to see my fat, ugly neighbor outside shirtless with daisy dukes cutting his lawn, but I just don't look. I don't propose a Constitutional amendment banning him from going outside. In fact, nobody since Prohibition has been stupid enough to propose to amend a historical document, which protects (supposedly) the freedoms of the people who live in the land it governs, with a statement taking away the rights of citizens! Again, nobody has been that stupid for decades.

Now, don't get me wrong. I one hundred percent believe that marriage, by that terminology, is a religious institution. In that light, I suppose it should be up to the church, and not the government, to decide who gets to marry and who does not. [On a side note, the government currently allows people of no religion, who do wrong by the law of the Bible, to marry but refuses to allow gays and lesbians, who do wrong in the eyes of bigots and other ignorant bastards who cannot keep their minds on their own affairs, to marry. Imagine that.]

However, the fact that "marriage" is a religious institution does not mean that the government has the right to stop these people from being together. It does not have the authority to take away their rights as citizens, and it does not have the right to treat them differently from straight couples. These people deserve to be able to have children, by adoption or other methods, and they deserve other benefits straight couples get - such as "married" tax status (though the terminology should be changed to "legally-wed couple" or something to keep from interfering with the religious terminology) or being able to make medical decisions for one another. They deserve all of the privileges that wed straight couples receive. Do you think they want to see you together? Actually, they care less than you do. They are not afraid of what straight people will do to their society.

Well, folks, I have news for you. Soldiers in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome used to screw each other. Humanity is still around, the population is still increasing (because straight people are screwing like jackrabbits), and Jesus hasn't come from Heaven to remove / Allah hasn't smote these people. It's just not going to happen. These ultra-right, conservative, "family" men and women need to realize that the word "family" no longer means a mother, father, sister, and brother. It, in fact, hasn't for a long, long time. I suppose single mothers shouldn't have their kids because it doesn't fit into God's definition of a family, right? I just don't think these people realize how hypocritical they are.

At least the gay couples are staying together (well, until you force them apart - you sick bastards). You are teaching your kids bad morals by getting divorces and having bastard children. It was God who said that getting a divorce is adultery against your spouse. You are adulterers. You commit sins which are listed in the ten commandments. I never read a list of ten commandments that included "don't have sex with someone of the same gender". Nope, it's just not there.

And another thing: "marriage is...the foundation of society"???? What? Marriage has nothing to do with society. It has everything to do with the relations between two people. Society is the relations of all people. Bigomy was made illegal a long time ago, so I have no clue what the hell he's talking about. I mean, I am absolutely certain that cavemen did not get married in church. They couldn't talk, how the hell could they say, "I do"? This guy is a complete moron trying to press his religious ideals as American ideals and attempting to create a Constitutional amendment in direct opposition to the "inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".

Where the hell is Dick cheney on this one? His daughter is gay (oh no! It's a good thing I'm not running for president. Everyone would hate me because I mentioned someone's daughter and the fact that she is very openly gay). No, he won't speak. He has said before that he thinks it is an issue for the states to decide, and therefore it can be discerned that he disagrees with a federal Constitutional amendment on the topic, but he is simply a "yes" man. That is why Bush didn't rehire all the people from his last cabinet, and that is the only reason Ms. Rice and Mr. Rumsfeld are still here. They will say "yes". Well, Mr. President, you better get rid of me, too, because I stand up and shout "no" at the top of my lungs.

Okay, this is really long and I'm really angry right now, so that is my final topic for today.
I will write a (hopefully) good article on the economic sanctions being placed on Syria due to the Congress' passing of the Syrian Accountability Act - and why they are wrong / hypocritical in nearly every argument they make.

Check back. Until then, take care.

Friday, February 04, 2005

United Iraqi Alliance Ahead - Was My Prediction Correct?

Well, it seems as though my previous post on the Iraqi elections may have been correct.

CNN and MSNBC both are reporting that the United Iraqi Alliance, backed by the top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has picked up more than two-thirds of the votes counted so far.

This is by no means finalized, as the vote counting will not likely be finished for another week, but it serves as an indication that, as I stated, the Shi'a are the majority and this election is handing the power to them.

It will be interesting to see how this hand-over of power plays out - whether the Sunnis are allowed to participate in the drafting of the new Iraqi constitution, or if they actually fight to become the independent nation they wish to be.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

RFIDs - Big Brother At It Again

Boy, do I have a lot of information to give you today.
Let me first start with an explanation of what an RFID chip is, and what it does. RFID is an acronym for "radio frequency identification". This is a very small (about half the size of a grain of sand) chip which is embedded in labels or directly into items for scanning. These chips come in many different varieties.

Frequencies and Reading Ranges:
125KHz - 148KHz
Tags in this frequency range are made of a hard copper coil and eeprom chip. These lower frequency chips are readable up to a few feet away.
13.56MHz
These tags are lower in cost and more can be scanned simultaneously. A coil need not be made of hard copper at this frequency, and the chip can be scanned up to a few feet away.
915MHz
These coils also needn't be made of hard copper and the coils are much less difficult to manufacture. Thousands of these tags can be individually identified at the same time and can be scanned at up to 10 feet with a single reader, and up to 20 feet if scanned between two readers.

These RFID tags are not powered, but are activated only when a reader passes energy to them. Once they are activated, they relay serial numbers or other stored information back to the reader. There are also newer tags in production called "active tags". These tags contain a battery, giving them greater signal strength and much larger reading radii. They can be custom-manufactured as per need and are readable up to a mile away. The batteries typically last about five years.

Symbol Technologies, a leader in RFID systems, states, [Note: The original page was removed from Symbol Technology's website hours after posting this article. I have changed the link to Google's cached version of the page so you can still read the original text.] "Wal*Mart, Tesco, Metro, Albertsons, Target, and the United States Department of Defense have all publicly begun to require that their suppliers use the technology." Walmart admits it, and Tesco is purchasing RFD readers and antennae from ADT.

Let us look at a hypothetical scenario (which soon will no longer be hypothetical). You have a Visa Card or Mastercard which contains an RFID chip. You pick up some Gillette razors from the shelf and are photographed there, and again as you reach the register. Now you place your razors on the conveyor belt at the automatic checkout [See "Promising Use" Number 24] and you use your credit card, or your RFID-equipped keyring to pay for your merchandise. Fast checkout, no question. So everything is fine and dandy, right?

Wrong. You see, some sort of database will need to be kept which will contain what items you have purchased and what credit card you have purchased them with. Now, the retail store you purchased these items at will not be the only entity to view the database. All companies, from manufacturer to distributor to retail will have access to the database in real-time. This creates all sorts of security concerns. The first of which was addressed in a Johns Hopkins study. Using low-grade technology, these keyrings can be "hacked" from a distance to crack their encryption and discern what information they report back to readers. This information can then be used to make purchases without having the customer's keyring in the hacker's hands. Texas Instruments claims that "More than 40 million TIRIS RFID tags are currently in use." Computer systems are becoming more secure, but with all of this information being brodcast in real-time throughout a product's supply-chain, there is much potential for theiving of customer's information.

Texas Instruments says in its overview of the TIRIS RFID system,
"The TIRIS RFID system for automatic consumer recognition consists of keyring tags, vehicle tags and RF reader electronics. This system is custom-designed for the outdoor drive through environment...Each tag contains a unique and secure ID code that is programmed in at manufacture. In the application, each customer is individually registered to a tag so that he can be uniquely identified. The tags communicate with the RF reader unit. After a tag enters the read zone... the system begins an authentication process... It also perfoms a lookup in the customer database to find the credit card type and number"

That's right. You are almost instantly uniquely identified and your credit card information is retrieved.

The privacy invasion does not stop at photographing you in retail stores, either. casinos are now purchasing RFID technology to compliment their facial-recognition software. ["The facial-recognition program can capture a face, convert it into mathematical data, and then compare it to images of cheaters captured on camera in other casinos...the database will cough up a wealth of investigative data...height, weight, aliases and known associates."] State Turnpikes are using RFID technology to assess tolls on you as you drive through the booths.

So, you see, databases will be keeping track of where you are, what products you are purchasing, and what credit cards you are using to do so. With storage space becoming a concern as these enormous databases are created, you will likely see them being combined, probably at company headquarters. Retail outlets and grocery stores will probably begin adding RFIDs into their savings cards and combine this with the other database. Your name, address, phone number, social security number, place of employment, and many other bits of personal information will begin to be stored in a central location and will be available to anyone with access to the database. Identity theft, here we come.

Using handheld devices, 7-11 employees will now be able to track RFIDs as they walk around the store and have the information transmitted over wireless WiFi connections to their central computers. But there is no way to seperate the items sitting on the shelves from the items being carried around in your hands. And what is to stop people from obtaining these devices and walking outside the stores with them, tracking you and your RFID-ridden products you have on your person?

This is all an attempt to surveil you - and to create a cashless society. Visa blatantly admits to trying to create a cashless society in their recent Visa USA Annual Report 2004 ["Visa has become 'Today's Money,' driving the rapidly accelerating revolution toward a cashless society."]

The European Central bank plans on embedding RFID chips in Euro currency. Here is an article on a test performed which may show that RFIDs are already in US and European currency.

Katherine Albrecht, of the Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering (CASPIAN) activist group was recently contacted via e-mail from the Grocery Manufacturers of America. This e-mail asked Ms. Albrecht for her biography information. Katherine replied, wondering why the GMA wanted this information and received this e-mail, which was apparently intented to be an internal message. The message reads, 'I don't know what to tell this woman! "Well, actually we're trying to see if you have a juicy past that we could use against you.'" Now, why would the GMA need "juicy" information about her past to "use against" her? That is, unless they are trying to hide something and need ammunition...

I have some more interesting information on RFID technologies. Have you ever heard of The Carlyle Group? If you have seen "Fahrenheit 9/11" you will remember them. "The Carlyle Group is one of the world’s largest private equity firms, with more than $18.9 billion under management....Carlyle invests in buyouts, real estate, leveraged finance and venture in Asia, Europe and North America, focusing on aerospace & defense, automotive & transportation, consumer & retail, energy & power, healthcare, industrial, technology & business services, and telecommunications & media." [Carlyle's website] George W. Bush was appointed to the board of a Carlyle-owned company, CaterAir. [Kenneth N. Gilpin, “Little-Known Carlyle Scores Big,” The New York Times, March 26, 1991. - I cannot, unfortunately, place a link to this article as the NY Times requires you to pay for a copy of this article.] George H.W. Bush (GWB's father) joined the Carlyle Group in the mid 90s. “Under the leadership of ex-officials like Baker and former Defense Secretary Frank C. Carlucci, Carlyle developed a specialty in buying defense companies and doubling or quadrupling their value. The ex-president not only became an investor in Carlyle, but a member of the company's Asia Advisory Board and a rainmaker who drummed up investors. Twelve rich Saudi families, including the Bin Ladens, were among them. In 2002, the Washington Post reported, ‘Saudis close to Prince Sultan, the Saudi defense minister ... were encouraged to put money into Carlyle as a favor to the elder Bush.’" [Kevin Phillips, “The Barreling Bushes; Four Generations of the Dynasty Have Chased Profits Through Cozy Ties with Mideast Leaders, Spinning Webs of Conflicts of Interest,” Los Angeles Times, January 11, 2004. - again, an article you must pay for] What does this have to do with anything? Well, Carlyle Group was part of a group of investors who put $20 million into Matrics, Inc. Matrics was a company developing RFID technology. Matrics was then acquired by Symbol Technologies. Do you wonder what one of these RFID chips from Symbol Technologies looks like? Hmm.. Interestingly similar to the swastika, the SYMBOL adopted by the National Socialist German Workers Party (also known as the Nazi Party.

I will not presume to state unequivocally that all companies using or planning to use RFID/EPC (electronic product code) technologies are trying to place you under surveillance. I am simply showing you that the ability to do so is there, and therefore it WILL happen. The Department of Defense has already ordered these technologies. Along with this very incomplete list of entities:
7-11
WalMart
Tesco
Metro
Albertsons
Target
Procter & Gamble
Gillette
Duracell
[Interestingly, P&G is purchasing Gillette/Duracell]

Metro
Boeing
Airbus
Royal Mail
[David Burder, Chief Information Officer, said, "We plan to use RFID initially to measure flows and process failures in the mail stream. It could eventually be extended to individual item tracking"]

FedEx (full-scale implementation in 2-3 years)
UPS (full-scale implementation in 2-3 years)
DHL (full-scale implementation in 2-3 years)

Additionally, Nokia models 3220 and 5140 mobile phones, and the NFC (near field communications) shell phone will be incorporating RFID technology.

RFID, Inc. states, on their website that the
following companies have used their services:
USA:
Abbot Labs
Ace Hardware
Alcoa
Allen Bradley
Amana
American Bar Code
Ameripharm
Anheuser Busch
Anthem Prescription
Apple Valley Scale
Asyst Technologies
AT&T/Lucent
Atmel/Temic
Automated Tooling Systems
Avtron
BAE Automation
Boeing Corporation
Cal Poly State University
Cameron Barkley
Carlton Bates
Caterpillar
CDS/Procare
CEI Automation
Charbroil
Computers Unlimited
Copeland
Cutler Hammer
Daimler Chrysler
Detroit Diesel
DT Industries
Eastman Kodak
Eckerd Drug
Eglin AFB
EI DuPont
Eskay
Esselte
Estee Lauder
ExcelleRx
Exxon Mobil
Fairfield Engineering
FamilyMeds.com
Federal Mogul
Ford Motor Company
Frigidaire
Fuel-All
General Electric
General Motors
Georgia Tech. University
Graybar
H.E. Butt Grocery
Hewlett Packard
High Jump Software
Howmet
Inland Steel
Jervis Webb
Kaiser Permanente
Key Handling Systems
Kim Automation
Knapp Automation
Krauss-Maffei
Lemans
Los Alamos Labs
Los Angeles Times
Lowry Computer Products
Magic Chef
Maytag
McKesson
Meridian Automotive
Motorola
NASA
National Control Systems
Northwest Airlines
Nippon Steel
Osh Kosh B’Gosh
Osram Sylvania
Pacifcare
Penn State University
Praxair
Purdue University
Pilgrim’s Pride
Polaris
Proctor & Gamble
Reliance Rockwell
Rice Lake Weighing
Rite Aid
Rockwell Automation
Rx Direct
Sandia National Labs
Schick Shaving Products
SCI Sanmina
Sears
SI/Baker & SI/Handling Systems
Square D Company
Siemens
Stanley Tools
TAVA/Topro Technologies
Tel-Drug
Texas Instruments
The Denver Post
The Boston Globe
Thomson Consumer Electronics
Timkin
TJ Maxx
Toyota
Trident Automotive
TRW
U.S. Navy
Vail Resorts
Valeo Sylvania
Veteran’s Administration
Visteon
Volvo
Wabash
Walgreens
Walt Disney amusement parks
Wepco
Whirlpool
Wunderlich-Malec
Wyeth Labs
Asia:
Electronic Corporation of India
Toyoto (Japan)
Australia:
Alcoa World Alumina
BHP Billiton Iron Ore
C&K Technologies
CMA Systems
Dampier Salt
Hamersley Iron
Logitech Consultants
Pacific Automation
Port Waratah
Queens Creek
Robe River Iron Associates
Sinclair Knight Merz
ThyssenKrupp Engineering
Voest-Alpine Materials Handling
WMC Resources
Canada:
AMT Machine Tools
Aurora Bar Code
Dofasco
Kellogg’s Cereal
Kielhauer
LSZ Papertech
Port St. Charles
SJS
Stelco Steel
WBM
Central & South America:
General Electric (Mexico)
MABE Leiser (Mexico)
SCI Sanmina (Mexico)
Retex (Peru)
Thomson Electronics (Mexico)
Europe:
Efacec (Portugal)
London Heathrow Airport
MDA Systems (France)
Moncks & Crane (UK)
Pyrotec (South Africa)
SCI Sanmina (Hungary)
TRW (UK)
TRW (Germany)
Distributors:
Advent Electric (PA)
AMT Machine Tools (Toronto)
C&E Sales (IN, OH, KY)
C&K Technologies (Australia)
Danlaw Technologies (India)
Electro-Matic (OH, MI)
Elect-Trol (MN)
Emergent Technology (MO, KS)
Gibson Eng. (MA, CT)
Industrial Controls (MI)
Lowry Computers (all USA)
Mektron (NJ, NY)
Pacific Automation (Australia)
Palms On (Korea)
PRI (NY, NJ)
Pyrotec (South Africa)
Regan Inc. (SC, NC)
SJS (Toronto)
Taylor Data (SC, NC, FL)
Vision Control (WI)

There are many, many others. This should show you how important it is to keep an eye on this technology.

These are the Walmart locations participating in the North Texas pilot program for RFID technology:
The Colony
Wal-Mart Supercenter
4691 State Hwy 121
The Colony, TX 75056

Decatur
Wal-Mart Supercenter Store #421
800 S US Hwy 81/287
Decatur, TX 76234

Denton
Wal-Mart Supercenter Store #467
1515 South Loop 288
Denton, TX 76208

Hickory Creek
Wal-Mart Supercenter Store #3286
1035 Hickory Creek Blvd
Hickory Creek/Dento, TX 76210

Lewisville
Wal-Mart Supercenter Store #217
801 West Main
Lewisville, TX 75067

Wal-Mart Supercenter Store #5092
190 East FM 3040
Lewisville, TX 75067

Plano
Wal-Mart Supercenter Store #2883
8801 Ohio Drive
Plano, TX 75024

This logo represents the fact that the product carrying it contains labels with RFID technology. I cannot display it here for copyright purposes.

I suggest you join the CASPIAN group and visit BoycottGillette.com.

I think that is enough information to digest for now. Draw your own conclusions.

May you have peace and freedom.

Monday, January 31, 2005

The Sham That is the Iraqi Election

This is all a joke. The elections in Iraq are simply handing power over to the Shiite Arabs. Nation by Nation estimates that 55-65% of Iraqis are Shi'as. Only 19% are Kurdish Sunnis and 13% are Sunni Arabs. The remainder include Turkomans, Assyrians, Armenians, Yazidis, and Jews.

With the Sunni Muslims, which make up the vast majority of the Iraqi Turkoman population, boycotting the election, this new Iraqi government will soon become the enemy of these people. This will very likely result in the escalation of violence and guerilla insurgence in Iraq, and maybe even lead to a full-scale civil war between the different religious sects in the country.

It must be understood, when discussing the Middle East, that the borders we now know of are not the original borders, but were redrawn by the Brits and French at the closing of the first World War. Here is a brief summary of how the Iraqi border changes played out:

Until and during the first World War the Turkish Ottoman Empire controlled much of the area. The Allied forces encouraged the Arabs in Palestine to rebel against the Turks, ensuring victory in the war.
The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 defined areas of British and French control and influence in the Middle East.

[On a side note, just FYI: This agreement provided that the area of Palestine would be governed by an international body, made up of influence by the British, French, and Russians. The French eventually ceded control of Palestine to the British who made conflicting promises to the Palestine Jews, in a letter sent to Lord Lionel Nathan de Rothschild, and to the Palestine Arabs that they would have their own sovereign nation in Palestine. These promises were the cause of much debate in the area, leading to the Jewish-Arab conflict we see today.]


The Sykes-Picot Agreement gave Britain control over the provinces of Baghdad and Basra. Two years later, in 1918, a low-level British diplomat, Gertrude Bell, haphazardly drew a map of what were to be the new boundaries of modern-day Iraq, and also the boundaries of what was to be called Transjordan. This new Iraq was to include Basra, Baghdad, and also the then-French-controlled province of Mosul. The partitioning of the Middle East was heavily influenced by the European oil companies, the "Anglo-Iranian Oil Company" (the predecessor to British Petroleum - a.k.a. BP) and "Royal Dutch Shell". The fight for oil eventually led to a British-French agreement in which Britain obtained control over the oil-rich area of Mosul. Britain then put into action its plan for a new Iraq, while still maintaining control over the area of Kuwait, so as to regain funding lost during the war.

Now, there was a reason the Ottoman Empire had the boundaries they did. Mosul was predominantly Kurdish, while Baghdad was Sunni and Basra was made up of Shi'a Muslims. These different religious groups have never gotten along, and so remained segregated from each other under Turkish control. The Brits combined the areas into one nation, disregarding their differences, and so caused the country to have civil war after civil war, resulting in over fifty different governments between 1921 and 1958.

You see, a simple democratic election is not going to solve the conflicts of these religious groups. I do not claim to have the definitive answer, but I know this is not it. What I think needs to be done, first, is to allow the groups to again segregate and obtain control over their respective areas;
then they can establish their independent governments. This would rule out the need for civil war in the name of obtaining control over the governance of their people.

Think about it this way: It is as though the British combined New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. Now, if elections were held and it was a simple majority-rule vote, New York would obviously be in control over the area. I just do not think that the citizens of New Jersey and Rhode Island would like that very much, and I think that there would be some trouble a-brewing.

Just one man's opinion...

Until next time I remain,
jdf