Scared ya, didn't I?
With the federal government lagging behind on its plans to implement the use of electronic passports, identification cards and driver's licenses, biometric vendors are targeting a new market: schools.
But the use of biometric technology in schools, such as a system being used by Stayton Middle School's cafeteria, has some parents and privacy advocates condemning the move as outright Orwellian.
"This is biometric data collecting," said Jann Carson, the associate director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Portland. "It's the 'Big Brother' theory. The last thing we should do is teach parents and their young children to be casual about turning over personal data, like a fingerprint, just for the sake of speeding up a lunch line."
What can one human being actually do for another? He can give from his own funds and his own time whatever he can spare. But he cannot bestow faculties which nature has denied; nor give away his own subsistence without becoming dependent himself. If he earns what he gives away, he must earn it first. Surely he has a right to domestic life if he can support a wife and children. He must therefore reserve enough for himself and his family to continue production. No one person, though his income be ten million dollars a year, can take care of every case of need in the world.
But supposing he has no means of his own, and still imagines that he can make "helping others" at once his primary purpose and the normal way of life, which is the central doctrine of the humanitarian creed, how is he to go about it? Lists have been published of the neediest cases, certified by secular charitable foundations which pay their own officers handsomely. The needy have been investigated, but not relieved. Out of donations received, the officials pay themselves first. This is embarrassing even to the rhinoceros hide of the professional philanthropist. But how is the confession to be evaded? If the philanthropist could command the means of the producer, instead of asking for a portion, he could claim credit for production, being in a position to give orders to the producer. Then he can blame the producer for not carrying out orders to produce more.
If the primary objective of the philanthropist, his justification for living, is to help others, his ultimate good requires that others shall be in want. His happiness is the obverse of their misery. If he wishes to help "humanity," the whole of humanity must be in need. The humanitarian wishes to be a prime mover in the lives of others. He cannot admit either the divine or the natural order, by which men have the power to help themselves. The humanitarian puts himself in the place of God.
Labels: libertarion thought
Contraband cigarettes, and any vehicle in which they are transported, are subject to seizure, Farr said.
“If Revenue agents believe that an individual is transporting more than two cartons of cigarettes into Tennessee, the vehicle carrying the cigarettes will be stopped and searched,” Farr said. “If more than two cartons are found, the cigarettes will be seized and agents have the discretion to make arrests and seize the vehicle.”So, would a gift of cigarettes from Virginia to a friend in Tenn. put him in jail....
Yet when the local primary school wrote to her saying they were about to fingerprint her son Alexander, eight, and daughter Jessica, only six, she was furious. The 29-year-old housewife from Balby in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, saw it as a dangerous step towards a Big Brother society. She didn't want her children fingerprinted and she marched off to Waverley School, five minutes from the family's home, to protest to the headmistress.
It has more than a fifth of the world's CCTV cameras. (Speed and crime cameras, anyone?)
One day all our NHS records may be on a national computer accessible by thousands of health workers. (This is being suggested in the US.)
Ministers have suggested that every British subject should have their DNA placed on a national database. (This has been suggested, also)
And already, the State has the DNA records of nearly a million children, some as young as five.
Now the Government is actively encouraging cash-strapped schools - short of teachers, sports facilities and even books - to spend £20,000 or more on fingerprinting systems.
In the short time since the practice began unannounced in 2001, nearly 6,000 pupils have had their 'dabs' taken throughout the country.
Every week another 20 schools join the list.
But those schools that have introduced the practice say there is nothing to worry about.
The data, unique to every pupil, will never be stolen or spied on, they argue.
This is simply a safe, easy and fun way for the children to take home library books or buy lunch at the school canteen. It does away with pieces of paper and dinner vouchers.
It saves time.
Unsmilingly, she continued: "If they were poor and they were sleeping on my sidewalk, they would be arrested for loitering, but because they have 'Impeach Bush' across their chest, it's the First Amendment."
I thought San Francisco was all about the poor homeless....She sounds like a heartless Republican.....
Though opposed to the war herself, Pelosi has for months been a target of an antiwar movement that believes she hasn't done enough. Cindy Sheehan has announced a symbolic challenge to Pelosi in California's 8th Congressional District. And the speaker is seething.
"We have to make responsible decisions in the Congress that are not driven by the dissatisfaction of anybody who wants the war to end tomorrow," Pelosi told the gathering at the Sofitel, arranged by the Christian Science Monitor. Though crediting activists for their "passion," Pelosi called it "a waste of time" for them to target Democrats. "They are advocates," she said. "We are leaders."Hahaha, stop it! In other words, "Who do they think they are, protesting me? Bush is the enemy. They are supposed to work for me. Don't they know their place? Don't they know that Congress has no intention of bringing the troops home? We can't be held responsible! Bush is supposed to do that so that he looks bad. Not us. We have careers in politics. What are they doing, taking us at our word?"
I am trying as hard as I can to not scream “We TOLD you people!” but it refuses to stay under wraps. So… We told you so. In fact, we told you on 22 June 2006–over a year and a half ago–that the Haditha incident was nothing more than al-Qaeda setting up our Marines, and the media/politicans were falling for it. Now a new report shows that we were right all along. Our Marines aren’t “cold-blooded killers,” they’re heroes who did the best they could in the middle of trying to keep themselves alive while fighting a war that our own country won’t let them win.
But don't believe us. Read the PDF report.
Here's a brief excerpt:
The report - apparently overlooked by a Washington press corps awash in leaked Bargewell documents and secret Naval Criminal Investigative Service reports - shows that Marine Corps intelligence operatives were advised of the scheme to demonize the Marines by an informant named Muhannad Hassan Hamadi. The informant was snared by 3/1 Marines on December 11 2005 and decided to ooperate.
The attack was carried out by multiple cells of local Wahabi extremists and well-paid local gunmen from Al Asa’ib al-Iraq [the Clans of the People of Iraq] that were led by Al Qaeda foreign fighters, the summary claims. Their case was bolstered by Marine signal intercepts revealing that the al Qaeda fighters planned to videotape the attacks and exploit the resulting carnage for propaganda purposes…
As the Jawa Report says, “Help in spreading the propaganda from Democrats, notably Jack Murtha, and a compliant mainstream press was a bonus for the terrorists.”
How dumb do YOU feel, Murtha?
Labels: illegal immigration
Ramadan began on September 13 and continues through October 12. When it began, I took note of this:
Al-Qaeda threatens Ramadan offensiveI never count al Qaeda out, and I had little doubt that they'd make good on this promise. They still might, but I am beginning to think that reports of al Qaeda's rapid demise in Iraq might be true. I cannot tell if I am just letting my hopes get in the way of my objectivity, but a preliminary analysis suggests that civilian deaths from suicide bombings in Iraq plummeted in September:
US military commanders say increased security patrols in Iraq this year, backed by a "surge'' of US forces, has helped curb violence in Baghdad and regions around the city.
But the head of an al-Qaeda-led network in Iraq said in an audiotape posted on the internet today that the group will launch a new phase of attacks to mark the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of the self-styled Islamic State in Iraq, said the campaign will last until mid-October.
Labels: Jo Ann Davis
Labels: democrat congress
June 23, 2004
WASHINGTON - The Internet, which fills our inboxes with spam and scams every day and keeps our delete keys shiny, occasionally delivers a real keeper, such as the words below, which were written by a graduate of West Point, Class of 2003, who’s now at war in Iraq.
We tracked down the author, who gave us permission to quote from his letter so long as we didn’t reveal his name.
Old soldiers in the Civil War coined a phrase for green troops who survived their first taste of battle: “He has seen the elephant.” This Army lieutenant sums up the combat experience better than many a grizzled veteran:
“Well, I’m here in Iraq, and I’ve seen it, and done it. I’ve seen everything you’ve ever seen in a war movie. I’ve seen cowardice; I’ve seen heroism; I’ve seen fear; and I’ve seen relief. I’ve seen blood and brains all over the back of a vehicle, and I’ve seen men bleed to death surrounded by their comrades. I’ve seen people throw up when it’s all over, and I’ve seen the same shell-shocked look in 35-year-old experienced sergeants as in 19-year-old privates.
“I’ve heard the screams - ‘Medic! Medic!’ I’ve hauled dead civilians out of cars, and I’ve looked down at my hands and seen them covered in blood after putting some poor Iraqi civilian in the wrong place at the wrong time into a helicopter. I’ve seen kids with gunshot wounds, and I’ve seen kids who’ve tried to kill me.
“I’ve seen men tell lies to save lives: ‘What happened to Sergeant A.?’ The reply: ‘C’mon man, he’s all right - he’s wondering if you’ll be OK - he said y’all will have a beer together when you get to Germany.’ SFC A. was lying 15 feet away on the other side of the bunker with two medics over him desperately trying to get either a pulse or a breath. The man who asked after SFC A. was himself bleeding from two gut wounds and rasping as he tried to talk with a collapsed lung. One of them made it; one did not.
“I’ve run for cover as fast as I’ve ever run - I’ll hear the bass percussion thump of mortar rounds and rockets exploding as long as I live. I’ve heard the shrapnel as it shredded through the trailers my men live in and over my head. I’ve stood, gasping for breath, as I helped drag into a bunker a man so pale and badly bloodied I didn’t even recognize him as a soldier I’ve known for months. I’ve run across open ground to find my soldiers and make sure I had everyone.
“I’ve raided houses, and shot off locks, and broken in windows. I’ve grabbed prisoners, and guarded them. I’ve looked into the faces of men who would have killed me if I’d driven past their IED (improvised explosive device) an hour later. I’ve looked at men who’ve killed two people I knew, and saw fear.
“I’ve seen that, sadly, that men who try to kill other men aren’t monsters, and most of them aren’t even brave - they aren’t defiant to the last - they’re ordinary people. Men are men, and that’s it. I’ve prayed for a man to make a move toward the wire, so I could flip my weapon off safe and put two rounds in his chest - if I could beat my platoon sergeant’s shotgun to the punch. I’ve been wanted dead, and I’ve wanted to kill.
“I’ve sworn at the radio when I heard one of my classmate’s platoon sergeants call over the radio: ‘Contact! Contact! IED, small arms, mortars! One KIA, three WIA!’ Then a burst of staccato gunfire and a frantic cry: ‘Red 1, where are you? Where are you?’ as we raced to the scene…knowing full well we were too late for at least one of our comrades.
“I’ve seen a man without the back of his head and still done what I’ve been trained to do - ‘medic!’ I’ve cleaned up blood and brains so my soldiers wouldn’t see it - taken pictures to document the scene, like I’m in some sort of bizarre cop show on TV.
“I’ve heard gunfire and hit the ground, heard it and closed my Humvee door, and heard it and just looked and figured it was too far off to worry about. I’ve seen men stacked up outside a house, ready to enter - some as scared as they could be, and some as calm as if they were picking up lunch from McDonald’s. I’ve laughed at dead men, and watched a sergeant on the ground, laughing so hard he was crying, because my boots were stuck in a muddy field, all the while an Iraqi corpse was not five feet from him.
“I’ve heard men worry about civilians, and I’ve heard men shrug and sum up their viewpoint in two words - ‘F— ‘em.’ I’ve seen people shoot when they shouldn’t have, and I’ve seen my soldiers take an extra second or two, think about it, and spare somebody’s life.
“I’ve bought drinks from Iraqis while new units watched in wonder from their trucks, pointing weapons in every direction, including the Iraqis my men were buying a Pepsi from. I’ve patrolled roads for eight hours at a time that combat support units spend days preparing to travel 10 miles on. I’ve laughed as other units sit terrified in traffic, fingers nervously on triggers, while my soldiers and I deftly whip around, drive on the wrong side of the road, and wave to Iraqis as we pass. I can recognize a Sadiqqi (Arabic for friend) from a Haji (Arabic word for someone who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca, but our word for a bad guy); I know who to point my weapons at, and who to let pass.
“I’ve come in from my third 18-hour patrol in as many days with a full beard and stared at a major in a pressed uniform who hasn’t left the wire since we’ve been here, daring him to tell me to shave. He looked at me, looked at the dust and sweat and dirt on my uniform, and went back to typing at his computer.
“I’ve stood with my men in the mess hall, surrounded by people whose idea of a bad day in Iraq is a six-hour shift manning a radio, and watched them give us a wide berth as we swagger in, dirty, smelly, tired, but sure in our knowledge that we pull the triggers, and we do what the Army does, and they, with their clean uniforms and weapons that have never fired, support us.
“I’ve given a kid water and Gatorade and made a friend for life. I’ve let them look through my sunglasses - no one wears them in this country but us - and watched them pretend to be an American soldier - a swaggering invincible machine, secure behind his sunglasses, only because the Iraqis can’t see the fear in his eyes.
“I’ve said it a thousand times - ‘God, I hate this country.’ I’ve heard it a million times more - ‘This place sucks.’ In quieter moments, I’ve heard more profound things: ‘Sir, this is a thousand times worse than I ever thought it would be.’ Or, ‘My wife and Sgt. B’s wife were good friends - I hope she’s taking it well.’
“They say they’re scared, and say they won’t do this or that, but when it comes time to do it they can’t let their buddies down, can’t let their friends go outside the wire without them, because they know it isn’t right for the team to go into the ballgame at any less than 100 percent.“That’s combat, I guess, and there’s no way you can be ready for it. It just is what it is, and everybody’s experience is different. Just thought you might want to know what it’s really like.”
Labels: democrat congress
“Be optimistic and you will find the good things.”
This is the notion of a prominent sheik in the city of Karmah, Iraq, who is working with Marines from 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 6, to create a peaceful today and a thriving tomorrow for a city that’s weighted down by conflict.
During July, 2nd Bn., 7th Marines, RCT-6, completed their tour and relinquished control over the battle space in and around the city where they had fought to dispose of the enemy seeded in the area.
“We’re falling in on the tail end of that so that we can bring the population to the next level and help get the economy moving again,” said Memphis, Tenn., native Capt. Quintin D. Jones, the commanding officer of Company L. “We are transitioning away from the kinetic fight and trying to help the local governance.”
While his Marines continue counterinsurgency operations, Jones is trying to kick start the city’s economy again hoping to tie it all back into larger levels of government.
Labels: moral decline
Last Wednesday, while flying from Phoenix to the Alamo City on U.S. Airways Flight 207, a San Antonio man, Gil Anderson, witnessed something memorable.
Shortly before takeoff, he overheard a flight attendant tell a young uniformed soldier sitting in front of him:
"A lady in first-class wants to switch seats with you."
The soldier accepted the offer and walked up to the first-class section.
"When the lady came back to our area, I had a tear in my eye," Anderson said when he phoned this column soon after his plane landed. "I gave her a little round of applause.
"Then, by golly, everybody in that area started applauding," he said in a voice tinged with emotion. "It was a very moving moment."
Acknowledging the applause of Anderson and the other passengers, the first-class lady said simply:
"I did it because he deserves it."