Monday, January 29, 2007

Maine Rejects Real ID; Other States Preparing to Follow Suit--Good News! (For a Change)

Maine Becomes First State to Reject Participation in Real ID

On January 25, Maine became the first state to reject participation in the Real ID national identity card scheme, despite a supposed threat that the state’s Driver’s Licenses would no longer be recognized by the federal government for a variety of purposes including boarding an airplane and entering federal courthouses. Acivity in other states suggests that Maine's action will be just the first in a cascade of state refusals. (For other states where action is pending, see Status of Anti-Real ID Legislation in the States)

The resolution passed unanimously in the State Senate (34-0), and nearly unanimously in the State House of Representatives (137-4).

Ever since Real ID was rammed through Congress over 18 Months ago, the big question has been whether any states would take the leap and opt out of Real ID. Now a state has done that, and it may well throw the whole scheme into crisis.

Maine resolution against Real ID.
National ACLU press release on Maine's action
Associated Press, "Maine Lawmakers Take Stand Against Real ID Act" Online >
Los Angeles Times, "Maine Lawmakers reject national identification," Online>
Reuters, "Maine revolts against digital U.S. ID card," Online >
Declan McCullagh, "Maine rejects Real ID," CNET Online >
UPI, "Maine Lawmakers reject Real ID," Online >

Real ID an Expensive Headache for Vermont

Lawmakers are dismayed by the cost to the state, and a bill in the legislature calls on Congress to fund the program and adopt changes advocated by the National Conference of State Legislatures and National Governors Association.

"Lawmakers Question Cost and Purpose of Federal ID Program," Boston Globe, January 19, 2007. Online >

"A Cynical Law," Rutland Herald Editorial, January 20, 2007. Online >

More information on the Vermont resolution available here.

The NCSL/NGA/AAMVA Report available here.

Washington Introduces Bill Defying Real ID Act

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen and others, prohibits the state from implementing Real ID unless it is funded by the federal government and includes privacy protections.

Read the bill text here (PDF).
Check status here.

Bill to Refuse Participation in Real ID Introduced in Montana Senate

The bill, introduced by Sen. Brady Wiseman, calls Real ID "inimical to the security and well-being of the people of Montana."

More information available here.

Sens. Akaka and Sununu Introduce Real ID Fix Bill

Read Sen. Akaka's floor statement here: PDF >
Bill text; PDF >
ACLU press release Online>
"NGA and NCSL Applaud Congressional Recognition of Real ID Shortcomings," Online >

Are You a Citizen? Prove It.

When Colorado state Sen. Andy McElhany (R) championed adoption of the strictest identification requirements in the country, his aim was to keep illegal immigrants off state welfare rolls. He didn’t anticipate making it harder for his 15-year-old daughter to get a learner’s permit., January 8, 2007. Online >

Nation's Governors "Universal" in Opposition to Real ID

"Will Real ID Cause Chaos at the DMV? Governors Revolt Over New Rules in Driver's Licenses," US News & World Report, December 10, 2006. Online >

DHS Regulations Said to be Approaching; Delays Have Made Deadline Impossible

The Department of Homeland Security continues to struggle with the complexity of implementing Real ID.
"Real ID Comes With Privacy Pitfalls," Federal Computers Weekly, October 23, 2006. Online >

"New Real ID Pointer System May Be Modeled After Trucker Database," Washington Technology, October 23, 2006. Online >

"Real ID Draft Regs Due by Year's End," Federal Computers Weekly, October 20, 2006. Online >

"Pointer System Could Speed Real ID Info Sharing," Federal Computers Weekly, October 20, 2006. Online >

Real ID: Where Rubber Meets the Road in Privacy Debate

Part four in MSNBC's five-part "Privacy Lost" series examines the Real ID Act, which eviscerates "any hope we may have of keeping government, industry and criminals out of our personal business."
Mike Stuckey, "Where Rubber Meets the Road in Privacy Debate," MSNBC, October 20, 2006. Online >
Threats to privacy discussed at ACLU Membership Conference in Washington DC.
"Your Papers Please! Fighting the Total Surveillance Society," Reason Online, October 19, 2006. Online >

Wall St. Journal Slams Real ID

"State agencies put the total cost of standardizing drivers' licenses at upwards of $11 billion; Congress has so far appropriated all of $40 million. Again, this is from a Republican Congress that made its first legislation upon taking power in 1995 a bill against imposing 'unfunded mandates.' It included a pledge not to impose any burden on the states that wasn't fully financed from Washington. Now comes Real ID, transforming state departments of motor vehicles back into everyone's worst nightmare. Some accomplishment."
--"Real Bad ID," The Wall Street Journal Editorial, October 10, 2006. PDF >

ID Requirements Keeping Deserving Kids Off Medicaid

A report in The Washington Post shows that identity verification requirements similar to those in Real ID are preventing thousands of low-income children from obtaining health insurance. Rules requiring proof of citizenship and birth certificate verification are cited as "the single greatest factor" for why eligiible children are being denied Medicaid coverage.
"Rules Deter Poor Children From Enrolling in Medicaid," Washington Post, October 8, 2006. Online >

Nation's Governors, State Legislators, DMVs Jointly Call For Major Revisions to Real ID, Issue Partial Cost Estimate Of Over $11 Billion

The National Governors' Association (NGA), the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) issued partial cost estimates for Real ID. Even omitting the costs of many major elements of the Act that could not be estimated, the groups found that Real ID would cost at least $11 billion. (State-by-state estimates were not made available.)

NGA, NCSL & AAMVA's National Impact Analysis Report, Sept. 21, 2006: Online >

ACLU press release on report: Online >

"ID Program Will Cost States $11 Billion, Report Says," Washington Post, September 22, 2006. Online >

"New driver's license system short-sighted," Daily News, Longview, WA, September 23, 2006. Online >

"Deep Six Real ID," Opinion, Baltimore Sun, September 27, 2006. PDF >

Lawmakers Demand Funding for Real ID Requirements

At the annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislators, lawmakers from across the country said the Federal Government either needs to come up with a way to pay for Real ID, or repeal it.
Associated Press, August 15, 2006. Online >

Real ID Problems Continue to Roil Alabama

State administrators, governors, and others have been warning about the disruption and chaos that actual implementation of Real ID will likely bring. This is not mere speculation, however - one attempt to begin initiating early compliance with the law has already created a "perfect storm" of confusion and disruption.

"Wait to get driver license is expected, but this long? Server failure causes computers to crash statewide," Decatur Daily News, July 30, 2006. Online >

"Long Lines for Licenses," Decatur Daily News, July 23, 2006. Online >

"New Driver Licenses Come With Delays," The Auburn Plainsman, March 9, 2006. Online >

"New License System Slows Drivers Nationwide," The Birmingham News, February 23, 2006. Online >

"Real ID: Really Aggravating?" Decatur Daily News, February 10, 2006. Online >

"Concerns About Real ID," Decatur Daily News, February 10, 2006. Online >

"Alabama's Use of Real ID Brings Delays for License Applicants," [Northwest Alabama] Times Daily, February 10, 2006. Online >
Associated Press, "Alabama puts brakes on license notification," Decatur Daily News, October 7, 2005; Online >
Read more about the Alabama mess here.

Breach of Veterans' Data Reveals Vulnerability of ID Information

Real ID would make this problem far worse by creating a "one-stop shop" for identity thieves.
"Technology and Easy Credit Give Identity Thieves an Edge," New York Times, May 30, 2006.

"ID Theft Made Easy," USA Today Editorial, May 24, 2006.

"Analysts: 'Real ID' Act Could Help ID Thieves," E-week, May 6, 2005.

Real ID Narrowly Dodges a Bullet in New Hampshire

New Hampshire Bill on Quitting Real ID Shows Act's Troubles

The State Senate narrowly defeated a measure that would have rejected the Real ID act. Passage would have seriously disrupted the unified national identity card system that proponents are hoping to create. Nevertheless, while Real ID continues to cling to life, having dodged a bullet in the Granite State, the act is still troubled and will remain so despite having survived its latest crisis.

Read the full statement of ACLU Technology and Liberty Project Director Barry Steinhardt here.

Sen. John E. Sununu, "Real ID: Unnecessary, Unfunded, and Unlikely to Make You Safer," Manchester Union Leader, May 17, 2006.

"A Missed Chance: Real ID Deserved Rejection," Union Leader Editorial, May 15, 2006.

"Mandate for ID Hits Resistance Among States," New York Times, May 6, 2006.

"Real ID Battle Takes on New Face in the Senate," Union Leader, May 5, 2006.

"ID Law Stirs Passionate Protest in N.H.," Washington Post, May 1, 2006.

"Senate Panel Unanimous Against Real ID," Union Leader, April 27, 2006.

"Real ID Protest is Right Stand to Take," Concord Monitor Editorial, April 26, 2006.

"Gov. Lynch Says He Will Sign Bill Opposing Real ID," Associated Press, April 26, 2006.

"Real ID Dealt Another Defeat in Legislature," Union Leader, April 26, 2006.

"N.H. Leads Revolt Against Real ID," Associated Press, April 25, 2006.

"This small state cannot be coerced or bribed into abandoning the principles embodied in its state motto," said Neal Kurk, one of the bill's Repbulican sponsors. He urged lawmakers to fire "a shot that will be heard around the nation." Online >

New Hampshire House bill prohibiting the state from participating in Real ID
New Hampshire Senate resolution opposing Real ID and calling for its repeal.

National Conference of State Legislatures Head Says Real ID Comes at "Too High a Price"

NCSL Executive Director William T. Pound writes, "...Federal legislators and rule makers are negating state driver's license security efforts, imposing difficult-to-comply-with mandates and limiting their flexibility to address new concerns as they arise. In other words, decades of state experience is being substituted for a 'command and control regime' from a level of government that has no driver's license regulatory experience."

"Real ID; Real Questions,", February 24, 2006. Online >
The NCSL's February "Recess Alert" on Real ID: Online >

Computer Problems Already Causing Long Waits For Drivers

The Birmingham News is reporting that driver's license applicants in Alabama and other states are already being subject to long waits and repeat visits due to cross-database checks of the kind that are mandated by Real ID. One official told the newspaper:

"I can tell you people are spending a full day here. . . We are getting a backlash from parents who have to stay here with a 16-year-old applying for his license. It blows a whole day, and the vast majority of people have taken a day off work."
"New License System Slows Drivers Nationwide," The Birmingham News, February 23, 2006. Online >

Security Experts Say Real ID Won't Stop Terrorism

At the RSA Conference in San Jose, CA, the consensus among security experts was that Real ID would be ineffective as a tool against terrorism, and would be huge waste of money and resources.

Security Focus
, February 17, 2006. Online >

Real ID Act Faces Real Challenges

"Opposition is building against the Real ID Act requirement that, among other things, forces states to standardize driver licenses. Many at the state level fear that the under-funded, aggressive mandate will be overly burdensome and difficult to meet. At least one coalition of privacy-concerned groups fear the new rules, in development now, could force states to include RFID chips on their driver licenses."

More from SecureID News, January 31, 2006. Online >

DMVs Nationwide Say Real ID Will Be a Real Nightmare to Implement

Newly uncovered documents reveal that state officials believe that federal legislation called the Real ID Act will require extensive changes to existing practices at motor vehicles departments, will be extremely difficult to implement by the Act's deadline, and will carry heavy expenses.

The survey, which was unveiled by the Associated Press, was conducted by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, apparently to take a sounding of the states' challenges and readiness for tackling compliance with the federal Real ID mandate. The states' responses reveal widespread concern about various provisions of the Act, and a general skepticism that implementation will even be possible by the 2008 federal deadline.

AP Story (January 12, 2006); Online >
Learn more about the AAMVA survey here.
Find your state's response to the AAMVA survey here.

Virginia Task Force Calls on Congress to Revise Real ID

A task force assembled by Virginia Governor Mark Warner to study the impact of implementing Real ID in the state warned that it would "have significant financial impact on the Commonwealth," and that every ID applicant "will have to wait in line much longer at the DMV, and provide significantly more paperwork." The task force also warned about dangers to privacy, and urged Congress to revise Real ID.
Virginia Real ID Task Force report (December 29, 2005)

New York City Council Resolution Denounces Real ID

The NYC Coucil has passed a resolution denouncing Real ID for imposing "onerous burdens on states to develop new technology for data collection and document verification, while providing no financial support," and asking New York State to opt out of the program.
Daniella Gerson, "Council to State: Opt Out of Law Barring Illegal Immigrants from Driver's Licenses." New York Sun; December 23, 2005; Online >

Republican Mike Huckabee, Chairman of the National Governors Association, Opposes Real ID

"The federal government doesn't have the guts to put out a national ID card, and they are trying to make 50 states come up with this program. Congress is now asking the states to make every driver's license a national ID card, or passport. It's absurd. The cost to the states will be staggering."
Deborah Solomon, "Questions for Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee," New York TImes Magazine, August 7, 2005; Online >

Governors Project Skyrocketting Costs at Annual Meeting

At the National Governors Association annual meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, governors blasted the federal government for passing off the costs of the Real ID Act to the states. Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico called the law "a shortsighted, ill-conceived initiative,’’ and promised that the governors would challenge it in court.
Associated Press, "Driver's License Costs will Skyrocket, Governors Warn," Des Moines Register, June 18, 2005; Online >
See the NGA press release on Real ID here.

Washington State Estimates High Costs for Implementing Real ID

The State Department of Licensing put the initial costs for implementing Real ID at $50 million a year, and also indicated that fees for obtaining licenses would have to be raised. Department of Licensing Press Release (May 17, 2005); Online >

Click here for updates on Washington State.

States Blast Real ID Act

States are threatening to challenge in court and even disobey new orders from Congress to start issuing more uniform driver's licenses and verify the citizenship or legal status of people getting them.
Suzanne Gamboa, "Senator Slams New Driver's License Rules," Associated Press and SFGate, May 10, 2005; Online >


Monday, January 22, 2007

Brilliant New Guide to the Emerging North American Union

A writer I was previously unfamiliar with, Debra K. Niwa, has compiled a tremendous guide to the emerging North American Union. Her package has five parts: a reproduction of H.C.R. 487, an extensive timeline going back to 1921 (the year the Council on Foreign Relations was founded), a reproduction of the Declaration of the Presidents of America of 1967, a reading list in addition to an extensive list of endnotes for the timeline, and a membership list of the 110th Congress, now in session.

This is a definitive contribution to the growing literature on the slow submerging of the U.S. (and what little remains of Constitutional controls on government) into a North American Union. Niwa presents compelling evidence not just that we are seeing the early stages of a North American superstate--called by its proponents a North American Community--but that this process has been going on all-but-unnoticed (and certainly not reported by the mainstream media, obviously) for most of the past century.

Niwa shows how numerous agreements, the first one in 1934, began the integration process in North America, even as a very similar process was being talked about in Europe and would come to fruition as the European Union. The Declaration of the Presidents of America, issued in 1967, began the move toward a Latin American Common Market, intended to come to fruition in the 1980s. "Free trade" became the watchword as we saw the founding of the Trilateral Commission in the early 1970s and the beginning of a period of bilateral trade agreements between all three nations leading up to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which went into effect on January 1, 1994.

Since NAFTA the process has accelerated — eventuating in the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) created in March 2005. Strictly speaking, even these are just components of the larger process of bringing about "global governance" through, e.g., the transnational World Trade Organization, developed out of the vastly upgraded General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1994-95. Trade accords worldwide are leading to the development of regional entities all around the globe, the European Union being the most developed.

Today, in North America, we see task forces and working groups that bypass elected officials in order to "harmonize" laws and regulations across national borders, the selling of infrastructure to transnational corporations or other extremely wealthy private investors, and finally preparation for the use of (Kelo-revised) eminent domain to seize private property as part of the removal process of barriers to "free trade." These plans include the Trans-Texas Corridor, the first leg of what has been called the envisioned NAFTA Superhighway System that would connect Canada and Mexico through the U.S., with a major trade port in Kansas City, thus creating a transnational "free trade" corridor.

We are also seeing increasing grassroots opposition from people and organizations who recognize that the primary (and in some cases the only) beneficiaries of economic and political integration will be the elites who developed and are directing the process, and the transnational corporations that have grown up around them. Motivating this opposition is the realization that regional integration and the flow of power into international organizations (corporations and transnational bureaucracies) are eroding Constitutional controls on government. This includes such mainstays of a free society as individual private property rights.

Many people now recognize that our elites have trapped us in a "race to the bottom" as America's middle class pinwheels over the economic cliff to third-world status, while at the same time "public education" continues its focus on vocational training for the low-wage global workforce desired by the elites. A two-tiered society — a world oligarchy of elites ruling over poorly educated and economically strapped masses — is the long-term goal.

Recently the opposition has focused on efforts to expose this process before a public almost certain to reject it, as France and the Netherlands have attempted to reject the EU Constitution. Is it possible to alert a sufficiently large critical mass of Americans to this process?

This study by Debra Niwa, clearly written, and with statements granting full permission to reproduce and disseminate, is the sort of thing we need. Opponents of North American regional integration must marshal support for H.C.R. 487, introduced on September 28, 2006 by Virgil Goode (R-Va.) and cosponsored by Ron Paul (R-Tx), Tom Tancredo (R-Co.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.).

We should urge our elected representatives to support this measure through additional cosponsorship, reminding them that they were elected to serve the American people, not the global elite. We must instruct them in particular to halt the erosion of Constitutionally-limited government through regional integration written in the language of "free trade," which has become a Trojan horse for world government--the emerging New World Order.

Read Niwa's document here.

You may also consult reams of supporting documentation here.

You may get involved opposing what will be completing the destruction of the United States of America, sovereign nation and Constitutional republic, starting here.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


This evening while eating my supper I watched this again. It affects me deeply each time I see it. Aaron Russo really has put together an incredible package. In just 1 hr and 49 mins (approx) he shows how Americans went from being independent citizens who had property rights and could do pretty much as they pleased so long as they didn't harm anybody else--first to a nation of employees and then to where we are today, employees on the verge of being branded like cattle. (The major turning point was 1913, the year of the creation of the IRS and the Federal Reserve, which allowed private bankers essentially to take control over the financial life of the country and of the economic system as a whole, which accordingly shifted from capitalism to corporatism, defined as a state of affairs in which powerful corporations work closely with expanding government to create and impose policy.)

There is now a law on the books--the Real ID Act of 2005 (Division B of Public Law 109-13)--that will require us to obtain a de facto national identification card in order to drive legally, open a bank account, board a plane, or enter a federal building. Their use will accelerate until it becomes impossible to work legally in the United States of America without one. The Real ID is being sold to Americans--to the extent it is talked about at all--as a tool in the war on terror, when it is manifestly clear that it will do nothing to stop any terrorists but plenty to enable the government to track our every move. You see, it is becoming increasingly likely that the Real ID will come with a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip, a tiny computerized device smaller than a grain of rice. Russo observes--having interviewed Katherine Albrecht (coauthor of the book SPYCHIPS)--how the Real ID is a large step toward implanting these devices in human beings.

They are already being implanted in farm animals. It is called the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). Farmers, of course, are dead set against this! It is costing them a fortune, and the logistics of compliance with this intrusive system is proving to be an absolute nightmare!

Below is an article that was emailed to me today on how RFID could move from animals to human beings, from a "mainstream" (not a "conspiracy") publication: BusinessWeek.

It's all about power for the politicians, profit for the transnational corporations, and control over people for both. The edifice of control around every single U.S. citizen has been slow and gradual--almost unnoticeable until it becomes too late. Do you realize that the Social Security number, for all practical purposes a national ID number now, was never intended to be a permanent fixture when it was introduced during the Great Depression.

Do you want to be controlled?

I'm not sure about RFID, but there is now a MySpace group devoted to fighting "Real ID": No To Real ID Act. If you agree, follow the link and join the group. We need to begin now to build a nationwide network to impress upon our state legislatures and DMV agencies the liberty-destroying aspects of where Real ID is taking us, not to mention the fact that having your drivers license turned into a Real ID card will likely cost you around $100!!

I have written to my state DMV (have yet to receive a response).

By the way, if you think this is a joke--or the product of "conspiracy kooks"--just remember: YOU WERE WARNED!

Having said all that, here is the article (original here).

Animal Tags for People?
Two cousin companies bet the fast-expanding market for animal RFID chips will extend to humans before long

by David E. Gumpert

Under the federally supported National Animal Identification System (NAIS), digital tags are expected to be affixed to the U.S.'s 40 million farm animals to enable regulators to track and respond quickly to disease, bioterrorism, and other calamities. Opponents have many fears about this plan, among them that it could be the forerunner of a similar system for humans. The theory, circulated in blogs, goes like this: You test it on the animals first, demonstrating the viability of the radio frequency identification devices (RFIDs) to monitor each and every animal's movements and health history from birth to death, and then move on to people.

Well, all you conspiracy buffs, let me introduce you to Kevin McGrath and Scott Silverman.

McGrath heads a small, growing company that makes RFID chips for animals…and people.

Silverman heads a second company that sells the rice-size people chips, which are the only ones with Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approval, for implantation in an individual's right biceps. They carry an identity marker that would be linked to medical records. His goal is to create "the first RFID company for people."

Human-Chip Company Plans IPO

While the NAIS remains voluntary on a federal level, and there is no formal people identification system as yet, both executives are moving aggressively to position their companies for the day when chips in animals and people are the norm rather than the exception. Mary Zanoni, a lawyer and critic of NAIS who has written extensively about the system, says that "the microchipping of livestock and pet animals is intended to make tagging more acceptable in helping these companies market their devices for people."

McGrath's company, Digital Angel (DOC), does nearly $60 million in annual sales and has sold several million chips for attachment to livestock, mostly in the U.S. and Canada.

Silverman's company, VeriChip Corp., is preparing for widespread marketing of its people chips with an initial public offering that it expects to complete within the next 60 days. It has begun building what he refers to as "the infrastructure" by signing up more than 400 hospitals to adopt system scanners and databases and about 1,200 physicians to make chips available to patients likeliest to benefit from them, such as diabetics.

While McGrath and Silverman aren't related, their companies are. Digital Angel and VeriChip have the same majority owner. Applied Digital Solutions (ADSX), the parent of seven smaller companies, owns 55% of Digital Angel and all of VeriChip.

Larger Farms Join the RFID Program

Digital Angel has a big head start in marketing, thanks in part to the Agriculture Dept.-sponsored NAIS program, which, while it is billed as voluntary, is expected by various opponents of NAIS, including Zanoni as well as blogs such as, to be imposed on farmers by growing numbers of states. Michigan begins requiring RFID tags for cattle on Mar. 1 in the first such effort (see, 12/19/06, "Farmers Say No to Animal Tags").

Farmers running midsize and large operations are signing up for NAIS in growing numbers. The USDA says 343,186 farms have registered, which translates into millions of animals, driven by what McGrath says are significant economic incentives.

One is inventory control. He points to a pig farm as an example. The farmer can use RFID tags "to monitor the amount fed to the sows, the medications they receive, when they get pregnant, the length of pregnancies, the number born to each sow, and the number of days to weaning."

As another example, he cites a farm with about 5,000 pigs that had an outbreak of disease, where some of the pigs got fever and several died. By being able to spot health problems earlier via scanning of RFID chips compared to "managing by clipboard," says McGrath, the cost of the disease in lost animals and treatment was about $75,000, vs. an expected $250,000 without chips.

McGrath acknowledges that Digital Angel's chips are more appropriate for factory farms than for smaller farms focused on selling locally. "If you're a farmer who sells to a neighbor, who cares" about RFID chips? "But if you are a farmer who sells to Japan, the Japanese say they want you to categorically state [the animal] is this age and has not had these diseases. If you cannot show this, the Japanese won't buy it." For those farmers who can pass the test, $25-per-head premiums await, he says.

People Tags Are More Profitable

McGrath, for now, is content to focus Digital Angel on the factory farm market, having seen sales of the animal chip rise from 200,000 in 2003 to about 3 million last year. "We believe we will continue to grow at that rate," he says. In addition, Digital Angel continues selling tags to track lost pets and to monitor fish like salmon for environmental purposes.

Silverman is taking a similar tack with VeriChip by expanding existing markets—the two primary ones are tags for the bracelets and anklets worn by newborn babies and their parents to prevent kidnappings, and those for elderly nursing home patients with Alzheimer's disease to recover "wanderers." Its 2005 revenues were $24 million.

But the big attraction for both companies, and the reason for the upcoming VeriChip public offering, is the lure of implanting the chips into people. McGrath points out that while the RFID chips attached to animals sell for about $1.50 each, and will likely decline to under $1 within a few years because of competitive pressures, the chips for people sell for $25, based on special design to allow implanting. "To the extent they [VeriChip] would need 1 million [chips], it would be huge for us," McGrath says.

For now, VeriChip has only "a couple hundred patients" who have had the RFID chips surgically implanted in their arms. The company is focusing its attention on building databases of patient medical information to attract hospitals to adopt the company's chips. The chips are being targeted at an estimated 45 million "high-risk patients"—diabetics and heart patients, for example, who could be brought into hospitals unconscious or semiconscious and thus not be able to identify themselves.

Business May Compel Chip Wearing

Of course, no discussion of these cousin companies would be complete without addressing the privacy concerns many people have about being tagged. Both McGrath and Silverman say their companies protect privacy by limiting data stored on the chips for both farm animals and people to identification numbers only, which are extracted via special scanners and then matched to records in databases.

McGrath also says he appreciates the concerns many small farmers have about the potential infringement on their privacy that NAIS represents. "You're dealing with people who are intensely independent," he says. "They don't like people looking over their shoulders."

Silverman says: "We are leaders in the RFID industry in facing privacy issues head on." The chip for people "should always be a voluntary product, with opt-in and opt-out capability."

As comforting as such statements appear, it's important to remember that adoption of the RFID chips doesn't necessarily need to be legislated to become nearly universal. If enough hospitals and insurance companies begin requiring them, or treating patients wearing them more expeditiously than nonusers, or providing discounts for usage of the chips, they well could become the norm. Then, not wearing a chip might be akin to not having a bank ATM card or, increasingly in Eastern states with toll roads and turnpikes, not having a transponder to pay tolls in your car (see, 10/9/06, "Radio-Shipment Tracking: A Revolution Delayed").

Animal Farms Put Us on Notice

It's also important to keep in mind that the real prize for VeriChip is in assembling the databases of patient health information. The more patients in the database, the more leverage it has in the health-care marketplace. In that sense, it's in competition with retailers like Walgreens (WAG) that are collecting data via their walk-in clinics (see, 7/17/06, "Drugstore Clinics Are Bursting with Health").

The most important opinion may be rendered by the financial marketplace, and so far, investors haven't fallen over themselves for either company. Digital Angel's stock over the past two years has declined from about $7.50 a share to the current $2.60. VeriChip's IPO has been put off several times by "market conditions," says Silverman, since it first filed in December of last year. Since then, it has filed five amended offering statements, the most recent on Jan. 9.

It may be a while before we all begin wearing medical information chips in our arms, but the farm animals are telling us it's closer than we may have imagined.

David Gumpert provides updates on this issue at his blog,

Gumpert covers business/health issues for's SmallBiz channel and also writes the weekly What Entrepreneurs Need to Know column. He is the author or co-author of seven books on small business and entrepreneurship. His Web site is and his blog is

Monday, January 15, 2007

It Happened Quite Suddenly ...

We are blogging a couple of times a week, which may have to be adequate with all that is going down just now (a friend going through a nasty divorce, another very dear friend very sick with a kidney infection and a lymphoma). This was in my email when I returned home yesterday evening. Judging from the given date & time, it had been kicking around for a while before it got to me. I don't know the identity of the author, but this is a scary possibility of what could happen if we don't disempower the international banking cartel & get our economic house in order! (Watching this documentary will do for a start.)

It Happened Quite Suddenly…
Posted by: ""
Sat Jan 13, 2007 11:35 pm (PST)

This essay presents a very haunting outlook on how our economy could collapse in just two months. It is unpleasant to consider the essay as a very plausible scenario, especially when considered in context with the still ongoing civil and economic chaos resulting from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

It Happened Quite Suddenly…

…Really, more suddenly than most people thought that it could. Even some of the doomsayers were caught by surprise. Who would have thought that America could go from super-power to third world status, in just two short months?

Some blamed the Chinese. Others blamed OPEC. Still others knew that it had been building for a long time and that all it would take is one or two major currency crisis’ to make things go from bad to terrible.

In late 2006, the US sent an economic A-team to China. Their stated purpose was to cut a deal with China on trade and currency issues. But the real purpose was to go with hat in hand to their creditor and ask for an extension on their credit line. Unfortunately, China had already made up its mind that there would be no further credit increases and in fact, the US needed to make good on its repayment promises, …namely Treasury Bonds. Of course, the A-team offered to buy the bonds back and even offered a premium to sweeten the deal. However, China demanded to be paid for the face value of the bonds in gold. The US Treasury no longer had any gold. Fort Knox had lain empty for many years, as the Treasury had sold off gold to keep the price down and make it look like monetary inflation wasn’t as bad as it really was. If the US began trying to buy gold to pay the Chinese off, the additional money they would have to create would flood the market making things worse and the demand on gold would make the price skyrocket, thus exposing the Dollar fraud.

China had the upper hand and they knew it. If they couldn’t get a private deal for gold from the US, they would have to make deals for machinery, oil, gold and other metals with other countries. They would have preferred that those be in private also, since once exposed, they would create a run on Dollars. But such things are hard to keep secret in the world market. Markets and currencies talk. They are the best forms of communication that ever existed, especially on matters of an economic nature.

Even though China had over a Trillion Dollars in their reserves, they also knew that they had a tiger by the tail. And even though the tiger probably couldn’t devour them, they new it could do some major damage if they let go without wearing it down a little. They needed to ditch their Dollar reserves, but they needed to do it in such a way that it didn’t promote a Dollar panic. Such a panic would cost them in the later stages of their divestment, and that needed to be avoided, if possible. At the same time, they realized that they needed to start the divestment as quickly as possible. If they waited until another nervous holder of Dollars started to dump them, they would be hurt even worse. They couldn’t take that chance. Better to be the one to start the panic than end up on the other end with worthless paper. They knew they couldn’t get their trillion dollars out the reserves, but they figured that if they were careful they might be able to retrieve 70 cents on the dollar.

After the A-team’s uninspiring trip, the President went to China to beg, in person. This only made the Chinese smile. They knew they would not be budged and it amused them, the antics that their American counterparts were willing to go. They viewed the circumstances as very big embarrassment, and it was. The US had lost face.

Soon after the president returned, trade sanctions were proposed and passed in Congress. 30% tariffs were to be levied on all Chinese imports. Apparently, the Congress hadn’t been paying much attention and didn’t realize that most of the products sold in American stores were made in China. The President made one last call to the Chinese in a last minute attempt to get some additional credit, but the Chinese refused to budge. So, the president signed the tariff bill into law.

The immediate effect was that prices in stores went up some 30-40%. That same week, China began quietly buying as much material and commodities as it could, use their Dollar reserves. At first, this was barely a blip on the radar. Oh, the dollar index began to fall, to be sure, but that had been forecast anyway. The treasury department had been going back and forth on a “strong Dollar” vs. “weak Dollar” policy for several years. No one really knew what they had in mind, but anyone who could add and subtract realized that wildly expanding money supply could only mean inflation and a weak Dollar, so no one got real excited that first week.

By the second week, politics were getting very interesting in the United States. People who were on fixed incomes, and especially people who were on Social Security and government pensions, were suddenly finding it hard to make ends meet. They had used up half on their monthly income in one week. They could read the writing’ on the wall and started calling their congressional representatives. At the same time, Congress was in the process of raising taxes to try to offset the loss of bond sales. This then hit those who worked. Suddenly, at the same time that things were getting more expensive in the stores, they had, on average, 20% less money to begin with. It was being taken through the additional taxes. They also called their congressional representatives.

So the legislators were getting calls from two very vocal groups, one telling them to raise benefits and the other telling them to cut taxes. With the loss of bond sales they knew they couldn’t do both, so they did what they had always done…they stalled.

It was about the third week that many more oil producers started requiring purchasers to use any currency other than Dollars. Venezuela had already done so, as had Iran and the UAE. As soon as they realized what China was up to, they also began to divest themselves of the Dollar. Soon the Dollar index was falling like a rock. The Euro and Yuan were gaining rapidly, as they were still easier to trade than gold and had a lot less debt attached to them. But because they were fiat currencies as well, many were also trading gold. This made gold “shoot for the moon”. It quickly reached its real value to the Dollar of $3000/oz and continued to climb. Silver, being the poor man’s gold also started climbing at an accelerated rate. It grew even faster than gold, for as the demand climbed it became apparent that there was a lot less silver in the world than was previous thought…. far less. Silver quickly attained $100/oz, then $200, then and $300 in a matter of days.

The result on the COMEX was complete collapse. Several major trading firms had been manipulating the price of gold and silver for years. Suddenly their short contracts had to be delivered in metals that were very expensive. It wiped out the market place and several large corporations with it. As the COMEX collapsed, the Stock market came under fire. Usually these markets traded off of one another. But with the collapse of the COMEX and the Bond markets, the Stock market started to look like a suckers bet. So, investors started to flee in droves.

All the while, the market programs on CNBC, Bloomberg and CNN Financial, continued to tout it all as a correction that would quickly be over with little harm to anyone. The trouble was, no one was watching anymore. Most had ditched their cable and satellite when the bills became difficult to pay. As the prices went up in the stores, businesses had to give their employees a raise in order to keep them on. This led them to an increase in the price of the domestic products that they sold. So, prices all around were going up at an alarming rate. Crime exploded, especially in the cities. But people weren’t stealing TVs or cars; they were stealing food, gas, silver jewelry and flatware, gold (where they could find it) and currency. Banks were getting robbed two and three times a week as people became desperate to find currency with which to buy food and gas.

Police were over-worked, like everyone else, over-taxed and suddenly underpaid. At the same time, they were coming under fire for trying to enforce traffic laws, drug laws, and gun laws. It never occurred to them that these laws were foolish to begin with, that they violated the very essence of the Constitution and freedom that was supposed to be the “Spirit of America”. But suddenly, if an officer tried to stop a speeder, he was likely to be fired on by an angry citizen who saw no useful purpose to his being pulled over for a regulatory infraction that harmed no one. People were packing firearms. Some concealed, but most not. After a few officers were killed trying to take arms away from the citizens, they decided to let that go too. Soon, they stopped responding to all regulatory functions and simply responded to actual crimes…you know…the ones that had actual victims.

It was along about the fifth week that power disruptions began to appear. Many of the power companies still employed union workers, and like everybody else in America, they were finding it hard to make ends meet. But they weren’t calling their congressional representatives, they were calling their union leaders and complaining about unfair wage practices and that the union leaders were failing in their representation responsibilities. Initially the unions went to the employers and tried to work out a deal. But, the companies were already in a bind as the price of everything was going up faster than they could get rate increases from the state regulatory boards. They were already operating in the red and the banks weren’t being very helpful.

So the unions began work slowdowns, and sabotage of the systems. The North American electric grid had been in dismal shape for years anyway, and the tampering and work slow downs quickly brought it to its knees. Rolling blackouts became the norm. Some areas never saw commercial power again. The power companies were taken over by the government, and the military was sent in to the major cities to restore the distribution system. In order to conserve power, distribution to residential areas was cut off. The people there were told to relocate to camps that were set up in all of the major cities to provide better efficiency in distribution of food and services and to conserve electrical power. About half of the population went to these camps only to find out that they were then stuck there. His or her vehicles were confiscated, but it really didn’t matter, no one could afford gas anymore. They were given work assignments under the guise of “helping America get back on her feet”. But most of these jobs consisted of maintaining the camps and assisting the military in working on the power grid and the telephone system. Some worked on water systems, others in shipping areas of the remaining businesses, which had also been taken over by the government or had to operate under heavy supervision. Pirating and stealing were rampant.

By the sixth week, most of the interstates were empty. The gas stations had long since run out of customers. They could still get fuel, but few could afford it. Gasoline was running around $35/gal. Before the crash, they had used gas prices to entice customers into their store. They rarely made more than 2-3% on the fuel sales; their real money was made in the food and drinks they sold. But they couldn’t get supplies anymore. Many of the distributors had gone out of business, unable to afford the rising costs of their workers and fuel. Some distributors had been taken over by the government, but these serviced the camps and elite who lived in the big cities. Highway robbery was common if one were to venture down a lonely highway without a military escort. Farmers would come in and trade crops and fresh meat for fuel. This kept the stores in business, but it was slow and they had to be wary of thieves coming in to steal their goods. Everybody took their safety seriously, so everyone in the rural areas carried firearms. They knew that they were the only ones who could be responsible for their safety. It really was that way all along, but they had let the government convince them that it could protect them from all crime. Some chuckled at that thought, but most just smacked their head at their past foolishness. The folks in the camps weren’t so lucky. They were disarmed upon entering the camps. So, they became victims of the various camp gangs that ran the underground economies.

By the seventh week, government offices were all closed. The Dollar had completely collapsed and wasn’t accepted for payment on anything. Dollar bills of all denominations blew down the semi-empty streets of the cities. Many government workers were thrown into the camps or out on the street. The government could only pay them in goods that it stole from businesses and farms that it had taken over. Some people revolted directly. This mainly happened in small towns and counties where leaders had refused to believe that their authoritarian reign was over. Judges and lawyers who had cheated citizens in court were commonly seen hanging from trees and lamp posts, their houses burned to the ground. A few sheriffs and deputies went that way too. Tax collectors had long been dispatched or had gone into hiding.

By the eighth week, the government ran the cities and the country folk ran themselves. There were too much ground and not enough soldiers to police the whole country. The government was able to use its forces more efficiently in the higher density areas of the cities, and for the most part that is where they stayed. Even though convoys were escorted by the military, they often came under fire and were pirated. Trade sometimes occurred between the country folk and the city folk, but it was illegal from the government’s position, even if a few of the city leaders and elite were some of the major players. So, the government turned a blind eye. It had no choice.

In two months, the United States had gone from being the biggest consumer market in the world, to a country that had nothing to trade and no currency with which to trade. Prices worldwide had exploded, as foreign central bankers divested themselves of Dollars and had to buy much more expensive currency to replace it. This required them to do what all central banks do…. print more money, which continued their own vicious cycle towards worthlessness.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Some Good News (For a Change)--Ron Paul

From MarketWatch:

Rep. Ron Paul files for Republican presidential bid: AP
By Katherine Hunt
Last Update: 6:39 PM ET Jan 11, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Rep. Ron Paul has filed papers in Texas to create a presidential exploratory committee that will allow him to raise money, the Associated Press reported late Thursday. The nine-term congressman from southeast Texas was the Libertarian nominee for president in 1988 and received more than 400,000 votes, the AP reported. This time he plans to run as a Republican.

Monday, January 08, 2007

North American Union--"Wacko Conspiracy Theory" or Ongoing Process?

Plenty of North American Union material this past week--or, if you prefer, North American Community.

The first item that came to my attention was a new one by Jerome Corsi, "Michael Medved Loses His Cool Over North American Union". Boy, did he ever! You can read Medved's screed here assuming you're inclined to one of the silliest and most hysterical rants I've seen in a long time. This thing says more about Medved than it does about any North American Union scheme. I can't say I know a whole lot about Medved, although following up I learned he's a film critic of sorts. He should have stuck with what he knows. From Medved: "This paranoid and groundless frenzy has been fomented and promoted by a shameless collection of lunatics and losers; crooks, cranks, demagogues and opportunists,... [T]here’s no reason at all to believe in the ludicrous, childish, ill-informed, manipulative, brain dead fantasies about a North American Union...." He's just getting warmed up. Check this out: "... bastards and creeps and jug-heads and drunks and reprobates (yes, they are all of the above)..."

Don't you just love good namecalling? With this piece, Medved has blown his credibility--although he's probably well enough connected to weather whatever rational rebuttals come his way and keep on keepin' on. (We nobodies out here in the boonies could never get away with a hysterical tirade like that! We'd never be published again--anywhere!)

The amusing thing is, I doubt I would have even seen Medved's screed had Corsi not linked to it in rebutting it. Corsi's piece is useful in offering us a very nice summation of the entire case that a process is going on mostly "behind the scenes," a process that will lead eventually to a North American superstate. By behind the scenes I only mean that this process is not reported on the 6 pm news or on other mainstream media outlets. Doubtless the American people would reject it if it were brought to their attention.

Just as the process leading to the European Union would have been rejected by Europeans had that process been brought to their attention. Corsi references the book The Great Deception: Can the European Union Survive? by Christopher Booker and Richard North. I decided I have to have this, so I ordered one off the site that very online session.

Jean Monnet was the leading brain behind the European Union. He was opposed to national sovereignty in principle. And it is clear from his own recently released writings that Monnet was interested in having the process of European integration sail under the radar screen until it was irreversible.

The North American Union argument holds that the same thing is occurring here--has been since this country passed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The different parts of the puzzle fall into place when we lay them side by side: the case made for a North American currency, the Amero, the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North American, Building a North American Community (published by the Council on Foreign Relations), the Trans-Texas Corridor, The North American Forum on Integration, and much else--including the more recent revelation that at Arizona State University there is now a program for training students to think of themselves as "North Americanists" (funded by the taxpayers). Viewed in isolation, of course, none of these might be particularly significant--but taken together, all of them occurring at once?

The story got more interesting as last week progressed--and I delayed this entry on purpose waiting to see how things would play out. (Did not want to delay longer than today, though, lest we fall into the bad habits of the last couple of months.) Another Human Events writer, John Hawkins, placed Corsi at #3 on his list of "20 Most Annoying People on the Right". Hawkins, too, was unable to avoid attacking ad hominem, as opposed to arguing on the facts. Corsi replied here. Hawkins reply indicates that he still can't distinguish sound reasoning from invective. In the first sentence he calls Corsi a "conspiracy theorist," when Corsi has gone to great lengths--as have most of us--to explain why the North American Community process is not a conspiracy. There is simply too much going on where anyone with a computer, online access, and the motivation to find out what is going on, can do so. Of course it is not on the 6 pm news, and of course neither Bush nor Robert Pastor nor anyone else is going to come right out and tell everyone that they are hatching a scheme that will end the United States of America as we know her. They would have to be out of their minds to do that.

To those who respond to allegations about this process with, "There's no evidence," I will from now on ask how much evidence there was that a European Union (or a euro) was out in the open and readily available in, say, the 1970s? Remember Jean Monnet, who understood the value of secrecy. The same events are happening here that happened there: "free trade" agreements leading to a gradual economic integration, and behind-the-scenes efforts at harmonization of laws, regulations and standards. Europe went on to a common customs union, a common currency, the formation of a European Parliament and finally the European Constitution, when both France and the Netherlands suddenly noticed what was going on and got cold feet.

We have NAFTA, which is just the most visible of several "free trade" agreements going back to the 1980s. We have the documents and organizations listed above, along with the same efforts at harmonization and the promotion of a large "security perimeter" around North America (via the North American Cooperative Security Act). The idea of the amero has been floated; our economic reality is that of a very troubled dollar. North American studies programs are being held on universities.

If all of these do not add up to something--in light of the history of Europe--than I have no idea what would. Tbose who wish to take the Blue Pill and continue to believe that nothing out of the ordinary is going on are, of course, going to do so no matter what any of us say. One may hope they don't wake up one day and realize that we have lost our country to a North American Parliament or, what is more likely, at least initially, to a host of overlapping, cooperative, transnational bureaucracies answering only to transnational corporations and not to the American people.

Just as a footnote, it might be worth nothing that independent-minded Canadians have looked at the evidence and come to the same conclusions as Corsi. Some of the players are different. We have the Council on Foreign Relations; Canada has the Ottawa-based Canadian Coucil of Chief Executives to represent corporatism and "free trade" there. The Canadian Action Party has released their definitive statement on the sabotage of Canada by their government.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Dialectics, Rockefellers, and Population Control

Dennis Cuddy has just completed a four-part series for that ought to be required reading, incorporated into our account of how the super-elite (the power elite, he calls them) has built our modern world. The title calls for some explaining:


It is always helpful to understand Hegelian dialectic and how it has been used. As originally formulated by the German philosopher Georg W.F. Hegel, Hegelian dialectic consisted of the triad of thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Applied to history, the Hegelian approach sees crucial events as the result of a union or fusion of opposed opposites--e.g., the Marxian bourgeois and proletariat struggling for control of an economic system, with the outcome of that fight being Socialism. As easier way of understanding how the elites have used Hegelian dialectic to push history in their desired direction is with a different triad: crisis, reaction, response. If a specific crisis can be fomented (e.g., a brutal attack somewhere, or a depression), this crisis will provoke a specific and predictable reaction (e.g., public outcry, calls for retaliation against the attack, controls over the economy to create jobs and end the depression). At this point, the power elite steps in an orchestrates the response through those it handles (visible politicians such as an FDR or a George W. Bush).


Most everybody knows who John D. Rockefeller was, and associates him with the original Standard Oil corporate colossus of the late 1800s. Most do not know that he didn't pull himself up by his own bootstraps, as industrial-revolution mythology would have it, but received money from the European House of Rothschild financial empire, who sought to control America. Most also do not know that Rockefeller along with his oldest son founded the General Education Board in 1902, its long term goal being to control public education in the U.S. (the General Education Board would eventually be joined by the Carnegie financial empire). The Rockefeller Foundation originally supported eugenics, the idea that only the "superior" should be allowed to breed. This became the unnamed parent of Planned Parenthood, which also got its start through Rockefeller influence. The most powerful Rockefeller today is, of course, David Sr., the youngest son of John D. Rockefeller II, who after years of having led the Council on Foreign Relations founded the Trilateral Commission with Zbigniew Brzezinski and Henry Kissinger. The Rockefellers have been about power from Day One. John D. Sr. once said, "Competition is a sin."

Population Control

The Rockefellers began to bankroll numerous programs and projects under the assumptiont that they, as the guiding lights of the super-elite, knew best where the world should go, and that we "peons" only exist to service the economic order they control. Thus Dennis Cuddy reports on Rockefeller support for the idea that "the Social Sciences will concern themselves with the rationalization of social control,... the control of human behavior." That was by the early 1930s. In 1937, the Rockefeller Foundation gave a huge grant to Princeton University to study the influence of radio on different groups--including a study of what could be learned about mass manipulation from the broadcast of Orson Welles' The War of the Worlds. The Rockefellers also funded the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, and began to move to the idea of actual population control--there were getting to be just too dadgum many of us "peons" to be easily controlled. Thus the Rockefeller Brothers Fund publication of The Mid-Century Challenge to U.S. Foreign Policy in 1959 where one reads, "We cannot escape, and indeed should welcome, the task which history has imposed on us. This is the task of helping to shape a new world order in all its dimensions--spiritual, economic, political, social."

In March 1969, we read of Planned Parenthood-World Population Frederick Jaffe's "Activities Relevant to the Study of Population Policy in the U.S." suggests these measures aimed at reducing the "peons'" tendency to breed like flies (these measures all serve other super-elite goals as well, of course):

(a) legalize and support abortion on demand;
(b) encourage women to work;
(c) place fertility control agents in the water supply;
(d) support the normalization and eventual mainstreaming of homosexuality;
(e) make contraception available and accessible to all.

With this as background for changing the basic unstated philosophical premises of the public consciousness and the production of the new lifestyle "choices," the changing of the economic paradigm recommended in such works as Brzezinski's Between Two Ages can be foisted on a distracted, dumbed-down public. Hence NAFTA, etc.

We've only scratched the surface here. Just remember: for the super-elite, it's all about control. Wealth is simply their most effective tool. And the more subtle the controls, the better--so that eventually, the masses will simply take all these things for granted and never realize that they are living in an artificial "Matrix" environment. None of this is going to be widely publicized, of course. It can never be allowed to become part of the mainstream. We are still encouraged to believe that America is a free society--because, after all, we can choose to shop at Wal-Mart instead of Target! Goethe once wrote that "none are more thoroughly enslaved than those who falsely believe themselves to be free." And to paraphrase George Orwell: The really well trained dog is the one who jumps through the hoops when there is no whip.

Here are the links to the four parts of the Dennis Cuddy series:

Dialectics, Rockefellers, and Population Control Part One

Dialectics, Rockefellers, and Population Control Part Two

Dialectics, Rockefellers, and Population Control Part Three

Dialectics, Rockefellers, and Population Control Part Four

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?