Tag Archives: policy

Edmond high schools to start drug testing in January

saliva drug test

Kaye Beach

Dec. 5, 2012

 

 

Reported by KOCO News

Edmond high schools to start drug testing in January

Dec. 4, 2012

EDMOND, Okla. —

Three of the largest metro high schools in Oklahoma will start drug testing students, authorities confirmed.

The policy at Edmond North, Edmond Santa Fe and Edmond Memorial high schools starts on Jan. 7, said district spokeswoman Susan Parks-Schlepp.

Though some parents expressed privacy concerns, most seemed happy with the new policy. School leaders told KOCO Eyewitness News 5 that drugs are a problem in the district and that drug testing is one way to combat it.

. . .According to a letter sent home to parents, the monthly testing will begin after winter break. It will involve a random sample of students and will be administered as a saliva test to detect the use of alcohol, non-prescribed medications or illegal drugs.

 

Drug abuse among our children is an obvious concern but is random, suspicion-less drug testing of students the right way to deal with this issue?  What does this practice teach them?  Is it worth it?

It occurs to me that there are a couple of lessons that this might teach kids that do not seem especially desirable.

Don’t do something because you might get caught.  The end result is the same as if a teenager refrained from drug use because it was the right thing to do but the lessons of self control and discipline has been stolen from the individual.  The motivation is external depriving kids of the opportunity or satisfaction of  learning and growing.  What will they do when they can get away with it?  Will they learn to rely on external controls rather than self control?

You are assumed guilty until proven otherwise.  Great preparation for the real, adult world that they will be entering since the same skewed concept is being utilized on the population at large. .  Don’t expect these kids that are increasingly RFID tagged and tracked, biometrically scanned, searched, sniffed and subjected to random police drug searches, to resist or even recognize government over reach as adults.  Presumption of innocence in the cornerstone of our system of justice.  Even though children don’t have exactly the same level of rights and responsibilities that adults have, isn’t the presumption of innocence one of those fundamental concepts that should generally apply across the board?  We all say want a free country but this is the way to ensure that we will have a compliant country.

This drug testing program applies to any extra curricular activities.  I guess if a student wants to smoke pot or dabble with other drugs, they won’t have a chance to be distracted or diverted away from that by a more wholesome activity.

Here is the actual Edmond Schools Drug Testing Policy

As I said, drug use by kids is a real concern and it is our job to keep them safe till they are of age and we can always justify just about anything on a case by case basis but when you look at the totality of all of the practices justified for safety or efficiency in our schools, well, that looks pretty scary too.

 

The IACP Denies Large Donation from Taser Intl. Associated Foundation Buys Influence

Kaye Beach

Oct 24, 2012

USA Today published this story, ‘Police group receives donation from Taser stun-gun maker’ on Oct 22, 2012.  It is  about the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) accepting a 300,000 donation from the foundation associated with Taser International which raises serious concerns since this organization has great influence over police department policy nation wide.

The IACP is an international, non governmental organization. Some of the activities of the IACP include submitting legislation, lobbying and testifying before Congress, doing research and policy development, setting professional standards and providing accreditation for US police departments.  The IACP promotes and writes guidelines for police technology,  trains and educates law enforcement as well as managing and administering numerous programs for the federal government.

Of course the IACP denies that the money curries any favor with them but consider what a notorious anti-gun foundation bought for their cause with the IACP in 2007.  (below)

Police group receives donation from Taser stun-gun maker

by Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY

Published: 10/22/2012 12:19am

WASHINGTON — The nation’s largest association of police chiefs, which has advised thousands of its members on the appropriate use of stun guns, accepted a $300,000 donation from the foundation associated with Taser International, the biggest supplier of stun guns to law enforcement.

The contribution to the International Association of Chiefs of Police Foundation (IACP), the organization’s philanthropic arm, represents the latest in a series of controversial relationships Taser has established with police, the primary source of the Arizona-based company’s lucrative business.

. . .IACP and Taser officials said they found nothing wrong with the gift. . .But law enforcement and criminal justice analysts said the donation raises questions about the IACP’s ability to engage in future reviews involving the technology and whether the contribution represented a de-facto endorsement.

Read more

In 2007, another Foundation  supplied the IACP with hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The IACP, with support from the Joyce Foundation, a notorious anti-gun organization, held a national firearm violence summit in Chicago, “to address the issue fully and create a viable national strategy” for gun control.

Press release http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=1470&issue_id=42008

The Joyce Foundation got what they paid for as their anti-gun philosophy has been enshrined in IACP policy which informs many police departments across the nation.  (See the 2007 IACP Great Lakes Summit on Reducing Gun Violence.  Link)

“The Joyce Foundation has pumped tens of millions of dollars into the coffers of gun ban groups over the years. The Violence Policy Center (VPC), an unashamed promoter of a total ban on handguns, collected more than $1 million of Joyce money just in 2005 and 2006. In 2000, the Joyce Foundation paid a VPC advisor and former Handgun Control, Inc. board member to edit a “Second Amendment Symposium” issue of the Chicago-Kent Law Review. That slim volume contains nearly half the anti-individual rights articles ever published on the Second Amendment.

The IACP newsletter proudly notes that the Joyce Foundation has “made more than $30 million in grants to groups seeking public health solutions that offer the promise of reducing gun deaths and injuries in America.”

This year, the Joyce Foundation invested heavily in IACP. They paid IACP over $500,000 to host “The Great Lakes States Summit on Gun Violence,” and then to issue the report from the conference. That comes out to nearly $11,000 per page, but the Joyce Foundation got what it paid for. . .”

Chris W. Cox, Follow the Money, Nov. 15, 2007  wwwnraila.org

The IACP hasn’t been resting on its laurels since 2007 either.  In 2011 the organization, in conjunction with the Joyce Foundation,  produced this guidebook;  Reducing Gun Violence in Our Communities Leadership Guide for Law Enforcement on Effective strategies and Programs

http://www.theiacp.org/Portals/0/pdfs/GunViolenceReductionGuide2011.pdf

The IACP also provides this eye popping checklist of goals and tasks to help law enforcement agencies measure their progress in the IACP’s recommended gun control efforts.

http://www.theiacp.org/Portals/0/pdfs/GVR_page-2_TAS-Planning-Guide.pdf

There has been a great paradigm shift in our nation since 9-11 that spans all agencies of government.  This shift affects every aspect of our lives and has practically decimated the Constitution and Bill of Rights.  US citizens, regardless of their political persuasion, are united in astonishment as they witness the slash and burn abrogation of one cherished right after another.

There is no sector of our society left untouched by the new paradigm and each has its own specialists attending to the transformation in their particular realm.  In the realm of policing, it is the IACP who is in charge of nurturing and tending this transformation.

Fox 25 Covers Consumer Concerns About Driver’s License Scanning

Kaye Beach

September 8, 2012

Back in April I looked into the practice of retail stores scanning driver’s licenses as a condition for returns that was really making some customers angry.

Best Buy’s Worst Policy-Swiping ID’s and Destiny Management

The practice is becoming more and more prevalent.

Swiping of driver’s licenses is being required for buying gas (in case you try to leave without paying), for entry to public schools (in case you might be child predator and if you are misidentified as a sex offender, which happens often enough, well, stinks for you!), for buying cold medicine, for entry to bars and casinos, San Francisco wants ID swipes for most public events, Harlem wants tenants to swipe to gain entry to their homes,  and now, the TSA is swiping  airline passengers’ ID’s .

Turning our driver’s license into an all purpose access and identity card is contributing to the creation of a 24/7 digital footprint that can be recalled on each of us.  While it may be more convenient and efficient for corporations and the government, it makes us less secure.

Last night Fox 25 News took a look into the practice.  I talk about a sticker trick you can use to protect yourself from ‘sudden scanning shock’ and Fox 25 News Legal Analyst, David Slane gives his opinion on the matter and says that the the ‘sticker trick’ does not run afoul of any state laws. (I have to credit Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst for the ACLU as the source of inspiration for the sticker trick-Creative solution!)

Once again, Fox 25 stands apart from the pack for their willingness to investigate and cover news that we care about.  Thank you Kisha Henry and Fox 25!

Tonight at nine, Fox 25′s Kisha Henry introduces us to a woman who currently is in legal battle with the Department of Public Safety over her right to privacy associated with her state driver’s license. We’ll also hear what stores are legally allowed to do with that information, and what you can do to prevent them from having it.

Read more and watch the video here

How to delete your Google Browsing History before new policy

Kaye Beach
Feb. 26, 2012
Don’t put this off!  Follow the link to the rest of this article and then follow the instructions.  It is easy and will only take about 2 minutes of your time.
With just a week to go before Google changes to its new privacy policy that allows it to gather, store and use personal information, users have a last chance to delete their Google Browsing History, along with any damning information therein.
Tech News Daily reports that once Google’s new unified privacy policy takes effect all data already collected about you, including search queries, sites visited, age, gender and location will be gathered and assigned to your online identity represented by your Gmail and YouTube accounts. After the policy takes effect you are not allowed to opt out without abandoning Google altogether. But now before the policy takes effect, you have the option of deleting your Google Web History by modifying your settings so that Google is unable to associate data collected about you with your Gmail or YouTube accounts.

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/320137#ixzz1nXPZw1Ml

DHS Hires General Dyanamics to Track Criticism and Dissent Online

Kaye Beach

Jan. 19, 2012

From an EPIC (the Electronic Privacy Information Center) Alert issued on Jan. 18, 2012;

EPIC: FOIA Docs Reveal DHS Monitoring of Online Political Dissent

As the result of EPIC v. DHS, a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, EPIC has obtained nearly 300 pages of documents detailing a Department of Homeland Security social media surveillance program. The documents include contracts and statements of work with General Dynamics for 24/7/365 media and social network monitoring and periodic reports to DHS. As part of this contract, General Dynamics was tasked with monitoring media and social networking sites and providing immediate, daily, and weekly summaries to Homeland Security.

The FOIA documents reveal that Homeland Security is tracking criticism and dissent, stating that the contractor should monitor and summarize media stories that “reflect adversely” on DHS or the US government.  (Emphasis mine) DHS also says that the agency is attempting to “capture public reaction to major government proposals.”

No one is surprised. The information gathered here will be combined with all of the other data points on us that the government has access to in order to flesh out the threat assessment being performed, on some level, of all of us.

If you are saying nasty or unflattering things about government agencies or their policies, DHS wants to know so that they will be able to offer effective pressure or counter-propaganda to ideas that they find at odds with their aims.

EPIC continues;

The agency instructs the contractor to generate “reports on DHS, Components, and other Federal Agencies:  positive and negative reports on FEMA, CIA, CBP, ICE, etc. as well as organizations outside the DHS.”

One tracking report held up by the DHS as a example of what a report should include – “Residents Voice Opposition Over Possible Plan to Bring Guantanamo Detainees to Local Prison-Standish, MI” – summarizes dissent on blogs and social networking cites, quoting commenters on popular social networking sites and news media comment boards.

Jan 13, 2012, the New York Times Reports;

Ginger McCall, director of the group’s [EPIC] Open Government Program, said it was appropriate for the department to use the Internet to search for emerging threats to public safety. But, she said, monitoring what people are saying about government policies went too far and could chill free speech.

“The Department of Homeland Security’s monitoring of political dissent has no legal basis and is contrary to core First Amendment principles,” she said.

Read more

From a Reuters exclusive ‘Homeland Security watches Twitter, social media’ Jan 11, 2012;

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s command center routinely monitors dozens of popular websites, including Facebook, Twitter, Hulu, WikiLeaks and news and gossip sites including the Huffington Post and Drudge Report, according to a government document.

. . .News and gossip sites on the monitoring list include popular destinations such as the Drudge Report, Huffington Post and “NY Times Lede Blog”, as well as more focused techie fare such as the Wired blogs “Threat Level” and “Danger Room.” Numerous blogs related to terrorism and security are also on the list.

Some of the sites on the list are potentially controversial. WikiLeaks is listed for monitoring, even though officials in some other government agencies were warned against using their official computers to access WikiLeaks material because much of it is still legally classified under U.S. government rules.

Another blog on the list, Cryptome, also periodically posts leaked documents and was one of the first websites to post information related to the Homeland Security monitoring program.

Also on the list are JihadWatch and Informed Comment, blogs that cover issues related to Islam through sharp political prisms, which have sometimes led critics to accuse the sites of political bias

Read more

Sources from EPIC;

EPIC:  Freedom of Information Act Request to DHS (April 12, 2011)

http://epic.org/redirect/011812-epicvdhs-social-foia.html

EPIC:  FOIA Documents Received from DHS (Jan. 12, 2012)

http://epic.org/redirect/011812-epicvdhs-social-foia-docs.html

NY Times:  ‘Federal Security Program Monitored Public Opinion’

(Jan. 13, 2012)

ComputerWorld: ‘DHS Media Monitoring Could Chill Public Dissent, EPIC 

Warns’ (Jan. 16, 2012)

EPIC: EPIC v. DHS (Media Monitoring)

http://epic.org/foia/epic-v-dhs-media-monitoring/

Is Urban Planning “Creeping Socialism”?

Kaye Beach

May 21, 2011

The following paper deals mostly with urban and suburban physical planning and exposes some of the most glaring aspects of the flawed logic of smart growth.

It is one of the most coherent articles on the topic that I have found and I highly recommend it to anyone who is trying to understand things like how in the world increasing density in a city is supposed to reduce congestion and pollution.

And if you ask the planners,  they tell you things like this;

Myth: SmartCode increases traffic congestion.
Truth: SmartCode uses narrower (but straighter) streets and on-street parking to slow traffic. While you might think this would increase congestion, just about everything you need on a daily basis would be in/near your neighborhood, so why drive to, say, the grocery store when you can walk or bike safely to it? Having neighborhood schools and reliable public transit to employment centers could eliminate the need to drive on a daily basis altogether

Link

Now this is how I used to handle my kids when they would ask questions that I would  rather not answer. Redirection and suggestion are powerful tactics when you are dealing with children.  I don’t know how long that is going to  hold with taxpaying adults but let me venture a guess.  About as long as it takes for the nonsense to come to their neighborhood.

Trying to understand “smart growth” has made me about as frustrated as trying to understand how spending money keeps you from going bankrupt

or how the tax system is voluntary but not really.

I guess that’s why we need to leave all of this complicated stuff to the experts.

Is Urban Planning “Creeping Socialism”?

by Randall O’Toole

Socialism is commonly defined as government ownership of the means of pro
duction. With the exception of a number of services that are viewed as natural
monopolies, such as sewer and water supplies, socialism in the form of government ownership has never achieved prominence in the United States. Instead, governments here have relied on regulation as a way of obtaining the same goals that socialists claim to seek: efficiency, equality, and control of externalities. If this approach is socialism, then urban planning has represented creeping socialism since around 1920. But it has recently accelerated and is now running rather than creeping.
Moreover, it has such a head start that lovers of freedom may not be able to halt it, much less turn it around.

Read More

The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create It: Policy, Prognosticating and Propaganda

Kaye Beach

Nov 3, 2010

Policy, Prognosticating and Propaganda

I’d rather we take each one separately but the (world) order of the day seems to be Convergence.

After stumbling upon the Vision Working Group Report and Scenarios with its hair raising depictions of autonomous tranquilizer dart shooting drones and missions to medicate the world’s population with neuro-behavioral genetic vaccines, I began to look a little deeper into the concepts that are providing the foundation for new policy that has transforming our national security system as the ultimate end goal.

“Transformation has many elements. Perhaps one of the most important is that it involves creating or anticipating the future. Either you create your future or you become the victim of the future that someone else creates for you.” – Arthur K. Cebrowski.  The father of network-centric warfare.”

The picture that begins to emerge from studying the Project on National Security Reform’s policy proposal entitled Forging a New Shield and its associated papers, especially their Vision Working Group Report, makes me think I might understand where Cebrowski is coming from.

The directors of these projects are working on creating the future and I am afraid that we will be the victims of it.

Headlines indicate that the seemingly sci-fi scenarios in the Vision Working Group’s report are reflecting current trends.



So what is this all about?

-National Security, Transforming Government (policy and structure), science, funding, education, ethics, new technologies, ideology and many other attending topics too numerous to list.

But my overriding concern is focused the effects this policy and this manner of developing policy may have on our already degraded constitution, individual rights and the sovereignty of our nation.

Specifically I am looking at 3 main documents (a collection of related documents will be provided at the end of this report)

Forging a New Shield

An 800 page policy paper

Produced by the Project for National Security Reform (or PNSR) which was issued in 2008 and presented to Congress and both President Bush and then President elect Obama

“A focused, centralized national security authority is the entity needed”

**update on “Forging a New Shield” policy efforts**

In 2009, a follow-on report — Turning Ideas into Action — was published that proposes next steps and provides the implementation tools that will be required to make national security reform a reality.

PNSR is now partnering with key stakeholders to transform the system through initiatives such as proof-of-principle pilot projects and the development of the National Security Reform Roadmap and Scorecard.

And here is a recent publication assessing progress of policy changes in national security;

Project for National Security Reform and National Security Strategy Side by Side Analysis published on Aug. 26 2010

The Vision Working Group Report and Scenarios , which was released in July 2010.  This paper is a companion to the policy paper, Forging a New Shield.  The Vision Working Groups’ job was to test the policy by imagining future scenarios that might arise and then theorize as to how the new policy would hold up.

The third document is from 2002;

Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance,a report resulting from a conference held in Dec 2001, which I will cover at length a little further down.  The concepts laid out in this document seem to form the basis for the other two more recent, policy oriented documents.

_______________________________________________

In the policy paper, Forging a New Shield, the PNSR (Project for National Security Reform, established and funded by Congress “to undertake one of the most comprehensive studies of the U.S. national security system in the nation’s history”)

The PNSR proposes a complete rewrite of the National Security Act of 1947.

The premise for the revamping is that we are entering a time period that is fraught with unique challenges and we  “must strengthen other important elements of national power both institutionally and financially, and create the capability to integrate and apply all of the elements of national power” in order to meet these new challenges.

The National Security Act of 1947

The National Security Act of 1947 reorganized the leadership of the military following World War II, formalizing a Department of Defense (DOD) with a Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) that reports directly to the Commander-in-Chief. According to the website of the U.S. Secretary of State:

The Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 Pub.L. 99-433 reworked the command structure of the United States military. It increased the powers of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff implementing some of the suggestions from The Packard Commission commissioned by President Ronald Reagan in 1985.

It made the most sweeping changes to the United States Department of Defense since the department was established in the National Security Act of 1947.
source wikipedi

“All truly new ideas destroy what they replace.”

The Vision Working Group Report and Scenarios is a write up of that groups efforts “to stress test the solution sets proposed in Forging a New Shield

This document gives a glimpse into what these experts believe the 21st Century holds for the world by way of challenges.  It was the Vision Working Group Report that first caught my attention and a quick scan of the contents of the report reveals why it did.

The Vision Working Group Report covers nine scenarios that are ‘gamed’ pre and post policy reform (meaning the policy reforms suggested by the PNSR in Forging a New Shield)

Near the beginning of the Vision Working Group’s report readers are reminded that;

“All truly new ideas destroy what they replace.”

and

. . . The process of scanning the horizon for the next great news must be continuous, and never bound to conceptions of “permanent” truth.”

This statement might be viewed as simply encouraging the keeping of an open mind but when I have encountered phrases like “scanning the horizon”  in government documents of late, it is meant in an active, dynamic sense

I wonder what  “permanent truths”  we need to be unbound from.  Does  the evolution of human bodies and societies requires that our sense of morality and ethics too, must evolve?

Here are the scenarios;

2020

Scenario 1: Red Death -“we meet a country struggling to get back on its feet after a major biological attack and witness a debate about the future role of the U.S. Gov­ernment both at home and abroad.”   Page 37 pre reform scenario.  Post reform Red Death scenario is on page 79.

Scenario 2: People’s War- Deals withglobal asymmetric warfare against a nuclear-armed great power” pg 42 and pg 81

Scenario 3: A Grand Strategy-Explores the “utility of an integrated grand strategy development capability for smoothing the transition from one presidential administration to another.” Pg 45 and pg 82

2040

Scenario 4: A New Economy- In this not so far out scenario “the United States faced its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The crisis was a perfect storm of the unintended conse­quences of new technologies, policies, court decisions, and popular expectations.” Pg 50 and pg 87

Scenario 5: Pax Robotica-Looks at the “the intersec­tion of unmanned robotic warfare and on-the-ground diplomacy”, page 54 and pg 89

Scenario 6: Who Holds the High Ground- Examines the prospect of “major com­petitive changes in the Earth-Moon system from the perspective of a traditional interagency space work­ing group.” Pg 58 and pg 92

And then there is my very favorite scenario of all;

Scenario 7: A Brave New World-“we examined a plan to apply prov­en neuroscience, psychiatric, and medical techniques to the control of pathological behaviors in a world of readily accessible weapons of mass destruction.”  In the world envisioned by this group, National Security encompasses everything and any hint of rebellious spirit must be quashed for our own safety, of course.  This takes us straight down the eugenics path.  Eugenics simply means good genes and in the near future, us having “good genes” (and therefore a good attitude) is a national and global imperative reliant on the US with the blessings of the UN and the WHO, to stamp out by mass treatment of neuro vaccines delivered from above by aerosol spraying, al la chemtrails.  Page 62 and pg 95

2060

Scenario 8: A Warm Reception- Focuses “on the chal­lenge of developing international consensus for action on the issue of global climate and the possibility of un­intended adverse consequences.”  Page  and pg 100

Scenario 9: It’s a Small World – Explores “the implica­tions of a very different future, wherein small, mo­lecular scale machines (nanotechnology robots or “nanobots”) had become ubiquitous.”  Yes.  Grey (and blue) goo included!

The concepts explored in the Vision Working Group Report begged for some context and provided the impetuous for me to do some digging which brought me to the concept of NBIC Convergence.

NBIC-nano-bio-info-cognitive science, an idea that began to gain a lot of traction with some people in the late 90’s.

It bears repeating that NBIC technologies are seen as the tools of transformation.  Power tools to be precise.

Development of NBIC tools for investigation and transformational engineering at four levels: nano/microscopic, individual, group, and society” (emphasis mine)” Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance

The idea of converging technologies predicts the entry into a new phase in science and technology that is supposed to result from the integration of biotechnology , information technology, cognitive science and information technology.

From what I gather,  the idea is that we have entered “The Age of Transition”, as Newt Gingrich explains in this document, a report devised from a conference held in Dec. 2001-Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance

In 1994 Newt said that he had a goal of “reshaping the entire nation through the news media”

In “Vision for the Converging Technologies” Newt Gingrich proposes to reinvent government for the “Age of Transition” and says that ““If you bring that [nanotech]together with the biological revolution, the next 20 years of computation, and what we should be learning about human cognition, the capability can be quite stunning. For example,there’s no reason to believe we can’t ultimately design a new American way of learning and a new American way of thinking about things”

Hey Newt!  You keep your darn nano off of my neuro!

Oh and by the way,  your Toffler is showing….


The Converging Technologies Report, which was published in book form in 2002, explains the premise of the “Convergence” conference;

“It is essential to prepare key organizations and societal activities for the changes made possible by converging technologies. Activities that accelerate convergence to improve human performance must be enhanced, including focused research and development, increased technological synergy from the nanoscale, developing of interfaces among sciences and technologies, and a holistic approach to monitor the resultant societal evolution.” (My emphasis)

The common thread that runs through all three documents is the distinctly Transhumanist vision of our future created by NBIC Convergence.

TRANSHUMANISM

Transhumanists engage in interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and evaluating possibilities for overcoming biological limitations. They draw on futurology and various fields of ethics such as bioethics, infoethics, nanoethics, neuroethics, roboethics, and technoethics mainly but not exclusively from a philosophically utilitarian, socially progressive, politically and economically liberal perspective

source wikipedi

Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance

NANOTECHNOLOGY, BIOTECHNOLOGY, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCE

2001

The NBIC motto:

If the Cognitive Scientists can think it
The Nano people can build it
The Bio people can implement it, and
The IT people can monitor and control it.

Confident aren’t they?

Rand looked at NBIC Convergence in 2001;

The Global Technology Revolution: Bio/Nano/Materials Trends and Their Synergies with Information Technology by 2015

“The results could be astonishing. Effects may include significant improvements in human quality of life and life span… continued globalization, reshuffling of wealth, cultural amalgamation or invasion with potential for increased tension and conflict, shifts in power from nation states to non-governmental organizations and individuals… and the possibility of human eugenics and cloning.”

The Convergence of NBIC is presented as imminent, if not already reality which puzzled me.  I didn’t know we were so far advanced.  This also disturbed me because the technologies discussed have enormous implications ethically.  The attitude of the presenters though, is not one of caution; actually it is quite the opposite.

“Nanotechnology, biotechnology, electronics and brain research are converging into a new field of science vital to the nation’s security and economic clout.”

Or so say influential research agenda-setters like the National Science Foundation, along with a loose-knit group of government, academic and industry researchers who are trying to accelerate the convergence process.

NYT Feb 2003

This attitude is even more frightening when you consider that this convergence is believed to be the onset of a wild technological ride that will (by most counts) or may lead to something that we don’t know the human race will survive, “The Singularity”

This subject is touched upon in the Vision Working Group Report;

A SPECIAL NOTE ON THE POSSIBILITY OF A TECHNOLOGICAL SINGULARITY BY 2060

The authors of this set of scenarios have inten­tionally omitted any scenarios driven by what has been dubbed a “technological singularity” or, more grandiosely, “The Singularity.” Several technologists estimate a singularity occurring within the period covered by these scenarios. Although there are many definitions, in general, a technological singularity is said to occur when intentional, intelligent machines take over their own development, and due to their superior memories and processing abilities, quickly advance to states beyond human comprehension. It is hypothesized that such superintelligent entities will reshape the world as they see fit, with or without hu­man input.

The decision to omit a singularity scenario was based on practicality, rather than a determination that such a scenario is implausible.

PNSR Vision Working Group Report

In a paper entitled Designing The Future NBIC Technologies and Human Performance Enhancement

James Canton Ph.D. writes;

“NBIC convergence represents entirely new challenges for scientists, policy makers and business leaders who will have, for the first time, vast new power tools to shape future markets, societies and lifestyles.” (Emphasis mine)

, Designing The Future: NBIC Technologies and Human Performance Enhancement

If NBIC convergence represents “power tools” or “transforming tools” by which the powerful can change the world, I can see why they might be so enthusiastic but the fact that National Security policy is being drawn from these concepts is startling to me.  That is exactly what is happening.

“Human Performance Enhancement” as the overarching goal of NBIC Convergence is repeated frequently throughout the 2002 “Convergence Report”   I suppose readers are to take it on faith that this is a noble and worthy goal.

What do they mean by Human Performance Enhancement (HPE)?  James Canton (who is credited with inventing the whole idea of NBIC convergence) defines HPE like this;

“Human Performance Enhancement, (HPE) refers to the augmentation of human skills, attributes or competencies through the use of technology, medicine or therapy designed to replace or increase performance capability. Examples of HPE run the gamut from restoring sight or hearing to manipulating genetic material with the goal of promoting or preventing a condition. Other examples include augmenting normal capabilities such as intelligence, perception or mobility.”

What is eugenics.  Very simply eugenics means “good genes”

Eugenics is the “applied science or the biosocial movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population,” usually referring to human populations. According to Wikipedia

What is “Human Performance Enhancement”?

Human Performance Enhancement entails;

“manipulating genetic material with the goal of promoting or preventing a condition.”

HPE looks for all the world to be the re-branding of eugenics.

The biotechnology spoken of in all of these documents invariably raise the specter of eugenics which is openly acknowledged by even the proponents of the technology.

James Canton, who according to the Lifeboat Foundation is “a renowned global futurist, social scientist, keynote presenter, author, and visionary business advisor. He has advised three White House Administrations, the National Science Foundation, and MIT’s” says:

“I think we will stop short of eugenics. . .”

Comforting.

Eerily Canton writes;

“No doubt there will be countries and cultures that view HPE (human performance enhancement) as a weapon for overt or covert social manipulation. There will be autocratic nations that view the enhancement of their population’s intelligence, mobility or other cognitive and physical capabilities as desirable.  Of course there will be abusers of HPE. Planned social evolution based on HPE will be a not-too-distant-future scenario that democratic societies will have to navigate. But at the same time, individual choice will prevail if global social order and democratic values is a desired goal. (Emphasis mine)  FISTERA Report

Read that passage carefully.  In it Canton sums up the crux of the issue or at least the crux of the issue as far as I’m concerned.

He makes the assumption that the US is immune to the temptations to manipulate their populations unlike some of those less noble governments out there.  That is a dangerous assumption and one that history reveals is patently untrue!

Some fans of the Transhumanism openly embrace and defend eugenics.  At least this is honest.

See Future Generations at www.eugenics.net

It is difficult for a non scientist like me to separate the hype from reality but there are some elements at play that give even a layman like me a hint as to what this is all about.

Here is one;

While not included in the summary or the main recommendations, the report includes a paper on a proposal for a new science or discipline called memetics (Strong & Bainbridge 2002). This is related to the “human cognomen project”, starting from the assessment that the most valuable resource in the upcoming information society will be culture.

From the FISTERA REPORT 2005

Thankfully, the Convergence Technologies report has been amply mulled over by others with the credentials to make more sense of it than I can.

One of the best critiques of the Converging Technologies Report and the concept of NBIC Convergence is a man by the name of Joachim Schummer.  He goes to the heart of it.  Is this “convergence” of these technologies really an issue or just hype?

He wrote a scathing dissertation about the NBIC Convergence idea entitled;

From Nano-Convergence to NBIC-Convergence:

Schummer asserts that;

“the concept of convergence of technologies is a teleological concept that does not describe or predict any recent past, present, or future development. Instead it always expresses or attributes political goals of how future technology should be developed.”

And that;

The concept was already fully developed as a flexible rhetorical tool by US science administrators to create nanotechnology (as nano-convergence), before it was broadened to invent the convergence of nano-, bio-,info-, and cogno-research (NBIC-convergence).

His scholarly assessment jibes heartily with my very unscientific gut instinct that much of NBIC Convergence is bluster and hooey.

There are many fans and critics of NBIC tech and the promise and perils they portend for the future.  Most seem to concentrate on the theoretical rather than the actual.  The spiritual and ethical implications get lots of space of course and not surprisingly, many futurists run with visions of utopia.  Plenty of critics with a more pessimistic view predict disaster.

If I were to take all of this at face value, frankly it would make me sick.  I am doubtful that this grand convergence is all that it is cracked up to be but the fact that we seem to have people in positions to effect policy and funds that treat this concept as gospel and seem intent on forcing it to life with very little attention given to how to navigate it in a way that respects the rights of everyone is what has really got my attention.

As noted by Schummer;

“Although the NBIC-report was no official report and although no official report has ever been commissioned by the NNI on the NBIC issues, it eventually found its way into the official science policy agenda of the US.  Supplement to the President’s FY 2007 Budget for the NNI, where all agencies have to explain their activities, the NSF states:”

Special emphasis will be placed on research in the following areas:

  • • Merging science and engineering at the nanoscale: the convergence of nanotechnology with information technology, modern biology, and social sciences will stimulate discoveries and innovation in almost all areas of the economy.” (NSTC/NSET 2006, 5)

In case you don’t know, NNI is, The National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI).  The program was established in fiscal year 2001 to coordinate Federal nanotechnology research and development.

“The NNI provides a vision of the long-term opportunities and benefits of nanotechnology.”

More about the NNI

Schummer wrote his paper in 2008.  In it he makes note that the idea of NBIC Convergence was being integrated into policy.  Since then the NBIC Convergence meme has steadily wormed its way further and further into US policy.

Please Don’t miss my point.  I don’t have the resources to dissertate about the myriad of ethical considerations about the technology.  The policy that is being founded on the presumption of NBIC convergence and that is obviously infused with an ideological agenda is what I am speaking to.  I simply want my government to adhere to the principles that respect our right to self determination and freedom.

The PNSR’s Forging a New Shield and their Vision Working Group Report are evidence of the concept of NBIC Convergence at play at the highest level but it is evident as well in this recent NNI budget supplement

NNI Supplement to the President’s 2011 Budget As indicated in this document, the total investment by NNI member agencies for 2011 is nearly $1.8 billion for nanotechnology R&D. Among other subjects, the document highlights Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives to accelerate nanotechnology development in support of the President’s priorities and innovation strategy. NNI member agencies identified areas for these initiatives ripe for significant advances through close and targeted program-level interagency collaboration.

http://www.nano.gov/NNI_2011_budget_supplement.pdf

Schummer also notices the Transhumanist ideological bent that pervades the work on NBIC Convergence;

“Roco found further support for his move from nano-convergence to NBIC convergence in a techno-religious movement called transhumanism. Again that is no coincidence, because his co-editor and NSF fellow Bainbridge is an influential leader of the transhumanist movement.

Transhumanists strive for salvation from world-immanent suffering in a transcendent, so-called post-human, state through step-wise technological transformations. One step is the removal of diseases and aging and the perfection of the human body through some wondrous nanotechnology and genetic engineering.”
Schummer points out that for all the noble talk of curing diseases and expanding longevity, one of the main drivers of Human Performance Enhancement is the military’s desire for a Super Soldier.

“It is no coincidence that this image of the ideal human being almost exactly matches the capacities expected from the perfect soldier in combat. Indeed, many of the enhancement examples are explicitly taken from the military area, like armors that support physical strength and robotic war fighter systems. Moreover, a whole section of the NBIC-report is devoted to “National Security”, with representatives from all major military agencies.

The military seems to be the driving force behind the move from nano-convergence to NBICconvergence.  That might be economically justified by the fact that the Department of Defense has had the largest share of the NNI budget thus far. However, binding the community of natural, engineering, and social scientists in an allegedly humanistic vein to a human ideal that is modeled after the perfect warfighter, as Roco did, is a severe intrusion of military values into civic society.”

Race to the Bottom: Information Superiority and the Human Soldier in the NBIC Era

The above presentation addresses the desire for a robo-soldier and gives some attention to managing the discourse surrounding the debate on NBIC in order to improve the chances of public acceptanceBack to Loco Roco-

Mihail Roco is the co-editor of the NBIC Convergence Report which was commissioned by the U.S. National Science Foundation and Department of Commerce.  He is the founding chair of the National Science and Technology Council’s subcommittee on Nanoscale Science, Engineering and Technology (NSET), and is the Senior Advisor for Nanotechnology at the National Science Foundation  http://www.nsf.gov/eng/staff/mroco.jsp

Mihail Roco’s slogan is;

“The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create It”

This nifty slogan reinforces my feeling that there is a whole lot of selling going on here.

Since the science of all of this is beyond my expertise to assess, I have spent a little time looking at something I am more qualified to assess, the people.

Looking at who are key players in pushing the idea of NBIC convergence says a lot.

The results of that research are forthcoming….

 

 

 

Here is my cache of documents pertaining to NBIC Convergence and the PNSR

 

“Choice Architechture”

County joins others in state with isolation and quarantine policy

Nov. 29, 2009

Oklahoma’s Law is much the same after changes made or added in 2008-see below.

AxXiom


News From 91.3 KUWS

Douglas County joins others in state with isolation and quarantine policy

Story posted Friday at 11:38 a.m. 11/27/2009

Wisconsin counties have a little-known policy that allows forced isolation or quarantine of people using armed law enforcement and deputized civilians. Mike Simonson reports from Superior. This is to help health officials in a worst-case scenario to contain outbreaks.

Wisconsin statute requires each county to have an isolation and quarantine procedure. The order originated with the Centers for Disease Control from anthrax threats in 2001. But the policy is broader. It includes isolating people infected or even suspected of being infected with a contagious disease such as tuberculosis or in a flu pandemic. Douglas County Health Officer Deb Clasen says every county health officer in the state can now order that guards be put on infectious people.

http://www.businessnorth.com/kuws.asp?RID=3172

____________________________________________________

Oklahoma

State Quarantine and Isolation Statutes Updated April 2009

Oklahoma

Okla. Stat. tit. 63 §§ 1-502, 504

Authority. The State Board of Health shall have authority to adopt such rules and regulations, not inconsistent with law, as it deems necessary to aid in the prevention and control of communicable disease.

Whenever a local health officer determines or suspects that a person has a communicable disease, he may impose a quarantine on the place or premises where such person usually stays, and notice thereof shall be given in accordance with the rules and regulations of the State Board of Health.

**But you need to see administrative rules to really understand how our govt. has decided it would be best handle such a  scenario.   This is not where I would expect to find such serious alterations of law which were adopted in 2008.  See below**

Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1195

Penalties. Every person who having been lawfully ordered by any health officer to be detained in quarantine and not having been discharged leaves the quarantine grounds or willfully violates any quarantine law or regulation is guilty of a misdemeanor.

http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=17104

TITLE 310. OKLAHOMA STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

310:521-7-1. Examination

The Commissioner may issue an order for the examination of any individual upon the suspicion or confirmation that said individual has a communicable disease. Such examination may include a clinical examination, a specific diagnostic test or tests, or a specific laboratory test or tests. The purpose of such examination(s) and/or test(s) is to determine the presence of the suspected infectious organism or the presence of indicators of the suspected infectious organism, and to determine the contagious state of the individual to the extent possible.
[Source: Added at 25 Ok Reg 1148, eff 5-25-08]

310:521-7-2. Treatment

The Commissioner may issue an order for the treatment of any individual suspected or confirmed to have a communicable disease. The Commissioner may also order the treatment of any individual or individuals exposed to certain infectious agents. Such treatment plans will be according to procedures developed within the Department.
[Source: Added at 25 Ok Reg 1148, eff 5-25-08]

310:521-7-3. Isolation or quarantine

(a) Isolation. The Commissioner may issue an order for the isolation of any individual or group of individuals upon determination:

(1) That such individual or individuals who are reasonably known or suspected to have a communicable disease constituting a biologic public health threat and who remain within the transmission period for said disease; and
(2) That isolation is the necessary means to control the spread of the agent and the disease constituting a biologic public health threat.

(b) Quarantine. The Commissioner may issue an order for the quarantine of any individual or group of individuals upon determination:

That such individual or individuals who are reasonably known or suspected to have been exposed to a communicable disease constituting a biologic public health threat and who remain within the incubation period for said disease; and

(2) That quarantine is the necessary means to contain the communicable disease constituting a biologic public health threat  to which an individual or individuals have been or may have been exposed.

(c) Affected area. The Commissioner may issue an order for the quarantine of a facility, complex, or campus including but not limited to an apartment complex, dormitory, health care facility, hotel, correctional facility, or the individuals therein.

[Source: Added at 25 Ok Reg 1148, eff 5-25-08]

Any person who is subject to an order of the Commissioner for isolation or quarantine and who contests such an order may request an individual proceeding or hearing. In order to uphold a quarantine order the Department must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the Respondent was, or was suspected of having been, exposed to an infectious disease constituting a biologic public health threat.

In order to uphold an isolation order the Department must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the Respondent has, or is suspected of having, an infectious disease constituting a biologic public health threat.

If requested, an individual proceeding pursuant to this subsection shall be convened as quickly as reasonably possible, which may be held telephonically or by other electronic means.  (see exceptions part c)

A Respondent may request a hearing verbally or in writing. If the request for hearing is verbal, it shall be the duty of the hearing officer to take a statement for the record of the Respondent’s reason for contesting the Commissioner’s order.

the Commissioner’s order is upheld at the conclusion of the hearing, the Respondent may appeal the administrative decision pursuant to Section 318 of Title 75 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

(b) Upon finding that there is probable cause to believe that any individual or individuals who are subject to an order of examination, treatment, isolation, or quarantine has failed to or refuse to comply with such order, the Commissioner may request an emergency order from the district court to enforce the Commissioner’s order.

If granted, the emergency order shall require the individual or individuals to be taken immediately into custody by law enforcement officials for the purpose of examination or treatment or to be detained for the duration of the order of isolation or quarantine or until the Commissioner determines that the risk of transmission of a biologic public health threat is no longer present.

(c) Subsections a or b of this section may be suspended in the event of a declaration of emergency by the Governor pursuant to Oklahoma law or upon written directive of the Commissioner of Health to employ a constitutionally-sufficient alternative process due to exigent circumstances during such emergency. Such suspension of subsections a and b shall only exist for the duration of the emergency.

[Source: Added at 25 Ok Reg 1148, eff 5-25-08]

Is there a constitutional alternative to Due Process of Law??

310:521-7-7. Health status monitoring
A representative of the Department shall monitor the health status of those under quarantine or isolation according to means dictated through procedure of the Department. Such means may include use of appropriate data collection forms, use of appropriate medical tests and or procedures, regular telephone calls, visits by local health personnel or other pre-determined providers, self-reports, reports of caregivers or healthcare providers, or by other means. If an individual or individuals under quarantine develop symptoms compatible with a disease constituting a biologic public health threat, then such individual or individuals may be further ordered into isolation.

[Source: Added at 25 Ok Reg 1148, eff 5-2-08

Oklahoma Office of Administrative Rules- OAR

www.oar.state.ok.us

Patrick Wood of The August Review on Fusion Centers

Patrick Wood, Editor of The August Review wrote The Radical Polirization of Law Enforcement shortly after the MIAC Fusion Center Report, that broad-brush demonized a wide swath of Americans that hold conservative viewpoints  was leaked.
I often ask people I meet, if they know what a Fusion Center is.  So far 100% has no concept or any knowledge of this new domestic intelligence system that now has populated each state with at least one of the centers.
I excerpted the portion of the  article that  pertains directly to the Fusion Centers for its concise description of their structure and purpose, but highly recommend everyone read the entire piece which illustrates well why so many are worried about these centers.
Describing the structure of Fusion Centers clearly is no small feat because it is impossible to really pin down who exactly in in charge of them.    The governance is  often described as “complex”  but we know that the  federal government is providing funding, training, guidelines and equipment to them as well as federal employees from DHS and the FBI.  The stated  purpose for their existence is to break down information sharing barriers between all levels of governance and even  private industry.  Originally their focus was to be on thwarting terrorist plots but due to a shortage of actual terrorists the centers expanded their scope to include criminal investigations and then “all-hazards”
Mr. Woods says;

Patriots, Christians and concerned citizens are increasingly in the cross hairs of the U.S. intelligence community, and battle lines are being quietly drawn that could soon pit our own law enforcement and military forces against us.

A February 20 report entitled “The Modern Militia Movement” was issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) that paints mainstream patriotic Americans as dangerous threats to law enforcement and to the country. Operating under the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the MIAC is listed as a Fusion Center that was established in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice.

Here is the portion of Mr. Woods’ article that gives an overview on the centers and explains the structure of governance;
According to the National Criminal Intelligence Resource Center (NCIRC), a Fusion Center is “a collaborative effort of two or more agencies that provide resources, expertise, and/or information to the center with the goal of maximizing the ability to detect, prevent, apprehend, and respond to criminal and terrorist activity.”As of 2006, the NCIRC listed 50 Fusion Centers in various states.

Most importantly, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security are the driving forces behind Fusion Centers, having published “Fusion Center Guidelines: Developing and Sharing Information and Intelligence in a New World.” This report headlines “Fusion” as “Turning Information and Intelligence Into Actionable Knowledge.”

Fusion Centers are one of five areas of information sharing under the Information Sharing Environment (ISE) that was established by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004.

ISE membership includes the Department of Commerce, CIA, Department of Defense, Director of National Intelligence, Department of Energy, FBI, Health and Human Services, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Homeland Security, National Counter-Terrorism Center, Department of Interior, Office of Management and Budget, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Transportation and the Department of Treasury.

According to one white paper (on the ISE web site) entitled The Intelligence Fusion Process for State, Local and Tribal Law Enforcement, “The most important output of the intelligence Fusion Center is actionable intelligence. This means that the intelligence produced by the center will drive operational responses and strategic awareness of threats.” Accordingly,

“The heart of good intelligence analysis is to have a diverse array of valid and reliable raw information for analysis. The more robust the raw information, the more accurate the analytic output (i.e., intelligence) will be.”

The above mentioned MIAC report, issued by an official Fusion Center, is apparently part of this “diverse array of valid and reliable raw information.”

However, ISE’s understanding of intelligence is foolish. Any intelligence analyst knows that so-called raw information is treated as garbage until verified from multiple sources to validate accuracy, completeness and freedom from bias. Secondly, analytic output depends upon trained and experienced human reasoning and judgment, not on the “robustness” of the raw information itself.

Where do Fusion Centers get inputs?

According to their own documents, Fusion Centers are “seeded” with ideas for analysis by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. Although this is problematic in itself, attention is better directed to the left-wing nonprofit organization, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

Upon careful word and theme comparison between the MIAC report and SPLC literature, it is apparent that there is a significant link between the two. Either MIAC received training or training material from SPLC or some of its personnel had some previous exposure to it.

The SPLC aggressively offers training to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. According to the SPLC web site, “We focus on the history, background, leaders and activities of far-right extremists in the U.S.” and states that it “is internationally known for its tolerance education programs, its legal victories against white supremacists and its tracking of hate groups.”

Hate crimes are essentially acts of vilification of a victim because of his or her membership in a certain social group, such as racial, religious, sexual orientation, nationality, gender, etc. While hate crimes are wrong under any circumstance, the SPLC sees no conflict in profiling conservative whites, Christians, Constitutionalists, and patriots as being associated with, if not responsible for, hate crimes in America. This is the pot calling the kettle black.

For instance, consider the SPLC statement, “…a basic fact about all three movements: Patriots, white supremacists and anti-abortion militants are all fueled by interpretations of religion.”

Aside from the fact that this sweeping generalization is plainly not true, it is mud-slinging at its best: Patriots are lumped in with white supremacists, anti-abortionists are militants, and all are driven by an obviously irrational and fanatical application of religion.

In another SPLC article about a tragic killing in South Carolina, entitled “The Abbeville Horror“, the writer goes well beyond just the facts of the story and is careful to sprinkle in words and phrases such as:

Patriots, tax protestors, sovereign citizens, antigovernment extremists, New World Order paranoia, Disarming U.S. Citizens, hard-line Christian Right, constitutional rights, antigovernment “Patriot” literature, anti-Semitic conspiracy, “Live Free or Die,” Ruby Ridge and Waco, Second Amendment, extremist organizing, “closet extremists,” paranoid beliefs, “Give me liberty or give me death.” [quotes appear in original text]

These are the same kinds of words and themes that are seen in The Modern Militia Movement article, where distinctions between good and bad people are blurred and confused: All are guilty by association, if nothing else.

Should a private organization like SPLC be allowed to provide official training to public-entrusted law enforcement agencies? Most would say, “No.” Even if the training was free, the agency should reject influence from the public sector, and even more so if it presents biased and one-sided information that is claimed to be factual.

Conclusion

It is critical to understand that the legitimate law enforcement agencies of cities, counties and states are not adversaries of the people. They are greatly needed for protection against crime and for keeping order in our communities.

They are, however, being methodically seeded with very wrongheaded and dangerous information, the specific intent of which is to polarize law enforcement against peaceful citizens who simply care about the downfall of their country.

This writer interviewed Chuck Baldwin and asked about how he felt when he first saw his good name associated with those who would threaten bodily harm to law enforcement agencies. “Personally, I was stunned,” he said, “but my family has taken this very personally as well. This is more than disturbing.”

When asked about the possible affect of the report on the Constitution Party, of which he was the 2008 presidential candidate, he replied, “I think it will galvanize people and help them to understand the nature of the battle we are in. Freedom must be defended.”

In fact, the MIAC report has created a firestorm all over America. Tens of thousands of protests are being called, written, emailed and faxed to authorities and legislators in Missouri. It would not be surprising to see the report rescinded and an apology given.

Even so, behind-the-scene groups like the SPLC will continue unabated and undeterred in their effort to misinform and disrupt healthy community relations with worthy law enforcement agencies and personnel.

The message to every jurisdiction: Don’t let it happen!

Final thought

Locate the Fusion Center in your state and keep a close eye on the information they are releasing. Stay close to as many law enforcement personnel as you can, asking them to keep their eyes open for reports similar to the Missouri report. Petition your state legislators to ban law enforcement training by private organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Read the entire article