Human Rights Violators should NOT be rewarded with Money or Prestige!

This picture was sent to me earlier this year by a friend that is a Buddhist monk.  We are both of the faith typically called “Tibetan”  Buddhism.  As such, we’re pretty much automatically labelled enemies of the Chinese People.  I wanted to share this picture with you because of several things going on right now concerning His Holiness the Dali Lama, the candidates for President, and the upcoming Beijing Olympics.

This picture demonstrates the real force being the so-called rioting monks and the violence last April in Tibet.  It was posed so China could justify the disappearance of over 10,000 Buddhist monks and nuns. You are seeing this correctly.  It is a group of Chinese soldiers holding monk garb.  This was taken by a friend of ours right after some of the riots. I think you can figure out the rest for yourself.

I decided to re-open this issue  since I was also speaking to my Lama today. A lama is a spiritual teacher along the lines of a Rabbi in Judaism.  His wife, Ang Dawa,  is an activist for the Sherpa peoples.  They both are from Nepal but were born in a section where the line between Nepal and China is more relevant to countries than native peoples.  The Sherpas are indigenous people living in the Himalaya Mountains and you all probably know them best for their incredible mountaineering skills.  Ang Dawa has just been elected to the new Nepali parliament and has been an activist/journalist for the UN for many years for Human and Women’s Rights.  She just wrote an article in the local newspaper stating that there are basic human rights and they include being able to practice religion as you see fit, including becoming monks and nuns. It was a very generic article on human rights and mentioned no countries by name.  However, there are over 10,000 tibetan buddhist monks and nun–many of which are Sherpa–unaccounted for after the april/may so-called uprisings. This includes some of the senior most and most respected rinpoches.  They have simply disappeared.

While I am not surprised the President George W. Bush has decided to attend the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics, I had held out some hope.  This week there have been several headlines out there concerning both the Olympics and the struggles of the Tibetan people to maintain their cultural identity and practice their religion. There have also been some activities on the parts of presidential candidates.  I argue, both activities are essential windows into their approaches to Human Rights.

The first was this picture of John McCain and his Holiness the Dali Lama.  The New York Times in its story stated this:

“But other Republicans — the so-called foreign policy pragmatists, many of whom have come to view the Iraq war as a mistake — say the administration’s policy shifts highlight the more confrontational nature of Mr. McCain’s foreign policy, particularly in his approach toward Russia and his embrace on Friday of the Dalai Lama, whom the Chinese regard as the fomenter of a rebellion in Tibet. They say the meeting will only antagonize China before the Summer Olympics, and at a moment when the United States is seeking its cooperation on economic issues and negotiations with North Korea.”

source:   http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/26/us/26policy.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

At the same time, we see this move from the Obama Campaign.

As reported by Advertising Age, it appears that the Obama campaign is going to be a major TV sponsor of the Beijing Olympics.

“It’s official. Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign will be among the TV sponsors of NBC Universal’s Olympics coverage. In the first significant network-TV buy of any presidential candidate in at least 16 years, the Obama campaign has taken a $5 million package of Olympics spots that includes network TV as well as cable ads. According to NBC’s political file, the campaign had initially requested information about 500,000, $2 million and $4 million package of Olympics spots. The network also offered the candidate a $10 million package.”

So, let me ask you a question.  Aren’t the progressives supposed to be the ones concerned with Human Rights and standing up for them regardless of the economic consequences?  Is it way too cynical of me to see this move by the Obama campaign as finding a way to profit and gain votes from an event that highlights a country that mistreats its peoples?  This is Communist China folks!  Monks and Nuns disappear there.  Google and MIcrosoft have had to build limits into their software to suppress free speech in this country.

Oh, btw, after the Chinese government protested the publication of Ang Dawa’s statement of basic human rights, there were threats issued to the publisher of that paper in Nepal.  The paper has been been barred from further publication.

Is this the type of thing the Obama campaign should be sponsoring with campaign dollars?


In Other News … There’s an Environmental Disaster in My Back Yard

While the East Coast-centric press is following the very junior senator’s campaign to look presidential and world leaderly, there’s a major oil spill in my back yard.  I live about three blocks from the Mississippi river in New Orleans and for the last three days, my home and my neighborhood have smelled like diesel.  My nose is burning and I have a headache.   About 9,000 barrels or 400,000 gallons of nasty, unrefined, sludgy oil spilled in the river that is the life blood of America’s trade–we’re loosing about $275 million in trade every day that it’s closed.  That’s not a good thing for an economy teetering on recession.

There are a variety of issues going on with this huge spill and the coverage by the national media has been pathetic.  The West Bank area of New Orleans along with two downriver parishes are in a state of water emergency.  Their water purification facilities have had to close access to the water coming from the Mississippi and they’re about to run out of potable water.  These two parishes were some of the hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina and the small towns scattered around the parishes are still experiencing problems even three years after the devastating storm.  Just when these folks thought they were winding down their stormy relationship with FEMA, they’re now depending on the agency again.  This time for drinking water and the oil washing up on their levees and coastlines.

Here we go again.

http://www.incidentnews.gov/incident/7861

There was an article in today’s NY Times on the devastating spill.  We have yet to see the full environmental impact, but I think it’s safe to say, if you like to give baths to birds and swamp critters, we’re going to need you down here shortly as this putrid puddle is making its way down river to the environmentally sensitive wetlands and swamps.  These same areas protect New Orleans from any hurricanes this year.  The swamp grasses slow down hurricanes as they move on shore.

July 25, 2008

Oil Spill on Nearly 100 Miles of Mississippi River By ADAM NOSSITER

NEW ORLEANS — A sheen of oil coated the Mississippi River for nearly 100 miles from the center of this city to the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday following the worst oil spill here in nearly a decade. The fuel-laden barge that collided with a heavy tanker on Wednesday was still leaking.

The thick industrial fuel pouring from the barge could be smelled for miles in city neighborhoods up and down the river, even as hundreds of cleanup workers struggled to contain the hundreds of thousands of gallons. Some environmentalists worried about reports of fish and bird kills in sensitive marsh areas downstream, though officials said they had so far heard of only a handful of oil-covered birds. Booms to protect areas richest in wildlife, at the river’s mouth, were being deployed, officials said.

The Mississippi remained closed to all boat traffic, stranding about 65 vessels. The effect on the area’s economy was thought to be significant, with this city’s port estimating a loss of at least $100,000 a day and probably more as the river remained closed, and petrochemical facilities dependent on it for shipping were threatened with a bottleneck, the Coast Guard said. Some suburbs stopped drawing drinking water from the river.

“We’ve had a number of large spills in the New Orleans area, but this is a heavy, nasty product, problematic in the cleanup,” said Lt. Cmdr. Cheri Ben-Iesau of the Coast Guard, adding that it is of the sort normally used to fire up boilers at power plants.

“It’s a significant spill, if for nothing else because of its impact on the water supply,” Commander Ben-Iesau said. “We’ve got a lot of commerce dependent on this water supply, so we’re scrambling to get it cleaned up.”

On Thursday afternoon, the picturesque walk along the Mississippi at the French Quarter, normally full of tourists and pedestrians, was nearly deserted as a pungent chemical stench wafted up from the oil- covered water. A few skimmer boats, deployed to suck up the oil, constituted the only traffic on the nearly half-mile-wide river; a plastic boom to contain the fuel hugged the rocky shoreline, and the seagulls had disappeared.

“It’s going to take a good couple of weeks to get it all off,” said Petty Officer Jesse Kavanaugh of the Coast Guard, surveying the oily muck. Officials were unable to predict how long the river might remain closed, however. “We’re hoping days, not weeks,” Commander Ben- Iesau said.

The 61-foot barge that has been leaking heavy fuel oil for nearly two days could be seen underneath the mammoth Crescent City Connection bridge. It was carrying 419,000 gallons of the heavy fuel it had just picked up from an oil distributor when it collided with a 600-foot tanker ship around 1:30 a.m., just off this city’s Uptown neighborhoods. The tanker did not leak.

Coast Guard officials said the tugboat operator pushing the barge, from the local DRD Towing Company, was improperly licensed, possessing only the equivalent of an apprentice certificate. They said the incident was being closely investigated, though no blame had yet been assigned.

Oil continued to leak from the barge Thursday afternoon, and the Coast Guard was deploying a diver to check the flow.

Mayor C. Ray Nagin told residents of the city’s neighborhoods on the east bank of the Mississippi that they could safely drink the tap water, though he was more cautious about water in the one neighborhood on the west bank, Algiers. Meanwhile, water intake facilities in the neighboring parishes of St. Bernard and Plaquemines remained closed. There were no respiratory risks, officials said, despite the sometimes heavy odor.

As the oil slick moved downstream, officials remained concerned about the impact on the Delta National Wildlife Refuge, at the mouth of the Mississippi, and they were scrambling to place booms around it. Tens of thousands of feet of the plastic booms had already been put in place Thursday. If the oil flows through the main pass, or outlet, and on into the Gulf of Mexico, the effect will be limited; but if it seeps into the secondary passes, there is a more serious risk to the environment, they said.

“I’m very concerned, but I don’t think it’s a calamity of the proportions of Exxon Valdez,” said Robert A. Thomas, director of the Center for Environmental Communication at Loyola University. “Here, you’re talking about an enormous amount of oil, but it’s in a river that averages about 450,000 thousand cubic feet per second of flow,”  he said.

“It’s going to flush this stuff out,” Mr. Thomas said.

Officials were generally guarded about the possible effects on fish, plants and wildlife in these rivers of grass and marshlands, but some in the state’s environmental community were not.

“When it goes down to the area where there are no longer levees, it gets into the swamp,” said Wilma Subra of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network. “It’s going to contaminate the marsh.”

Ms. Subra said she had heard reports of dead fish and birds, and of people vomiting, but officials and the local Sierra Club could not confirm these reports.

source:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/25/us/25spill.html

Is it just me or is this a HUGE story that deserves front page coverage?  Shouldn’t it be the lead story in TV News?  We’re not talking chump change or small problem here.


Next up in Germany: Obamapalooza

Yesterday, a Rasmussen Poll demonstrated that the majority of American’s are not buying the Obama Magical Mystery Tour.

“While Barack Obama has touted his travel to the Middle East and Europe this week as a “fact-finding” trip, 63% of Americans do not believe it makes the Democratic candidate any more qualified to be president.”

source:  http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/63_say_trip_does_not_make_obama_more_fit_to_be_president

I’ve been looking around in the foreign press for coverage of Obamapalooza.

This is from Germany’s Der Speigal

Initially Obama wanted to hold his speech at the Brandenburg Gate, but the proposal drew widespread criticism in Germany. Given its charged history, Chancellor Merkel said, through a spokesperson, she thought the choice had been “odd.” And even today, criticism continues about the hubris of holding a speech on such a grand scale when he hasn’t even been elected president yet.

“If a person who hasn’t even been nominated as the official candidate is allowed to hold an address like an elected president, then one has to ask the question: What’s going to happen if a truly elected president (like Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan demands the same?” Peter Ramsauer, the head of Bavaria’s Christian Social Union party, told the Schwäbische Zeitung newspaper. “Are we allowing Germany’s great sights to become stages for the American election?” He said he would have expected “better instincts on the part of Obama’s campaign managers.

Source:  http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,567804,00.html

There is also some discussion about Obama’s assertion that the European Allies are not doing enough in Afghanistan and the War Against Terror.  There’s some pretty good indications that while Germans like Obama, Merkel and the government of Germany aren’t that impressed.

A similar message appeared yesterday in An Open Letter To Barack Obama from the Israel National News.

Source:  http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/8126

Barack Hussein, why don’t you just go home? Your visit to Israel this week is not because you’re looking out for the wellbeing of Israel and the Jewish people. You’re coming to Israel looking for the Jewish vote; your goal is to
speak with the Jewish American voters through the press coverage of this tour to the holy land. You want them to think that you took the time off from your busy campaign to further peace in the Middle East. Your hope is that enough stupid Jews will misread the message and take it as an act of support for Israel.

Don’t use us or our land as a photo-op to transmit a twisted call for support to Jewish-American voters. You don’t fool us. We know who you and your friends are.

This is from the UK publication the Economist:

Source: http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11750395

Foreigners would be wise to temper their Obamamania, if only to limit future disappointment

There are reasons for them to be more cautious. Marvellous orator and skilled electoral tactician though he may be, Mr Obama has not repealed the basic laws of politics. Most obviously, he may not win. Rasmussen, a pollster, rattled the Obama machine this week by showing the two candidates tied, and most other analysts agree that the bounce he enjoyed after seeing off Hillary Clinton has been small and short-lived. Mr Obama still definitely has the edge, but opinion at home diverges sharply from that in most of the rest of the world

Second, President Obama would not be answerable to the world that so adores him. A president is elected by America’s more ambivalent people, and is accountable only to them. And his powers are mightily constrained by Congress, which is even more immediately accountable to its electorate.

Finally, there are some disquieting signs of a tendency on Mr Obama’s part to tailor his message to whichever audience he is talking to. All politicians do this of course. But Mr Obama’s two-steps have become Astaire-like. For instance, in his primary battle with Mrs Clinton, Mr Obama laid out a timetable for a virtually complete withdrawal from Iraq within 16 months of taking office, specifying a rate of one to two brigades a month. Since starting to campaign in the general election, he has fudged this clear line: he committed to withdrawal again this week (see article), but he has also been careful to give himself wriggle-room on its pace. Similarly, he once talked of negotiating with the Iranian leadership without preconditions: now he talks of the need for “preparations”.

Both these alterations make sense, but many Europeans won’t like them. Other bits of pandering could be more costly.

It seems many Brits don’t trust the junior Senator and his ability to change message based on the target audience.

More telling is that other polls show that Obama is not getting a bounce from this trip AND he still has a huge portion of the democratic party that has yet to join his cause.   So far, the only fawning over Obama by a foreign leader has been that of the Jordanian Monarch.  Other leaders remain cautious and rightly so.  Most do not like being used as political props by the Obama propaganda Machine.

Something that has not come out in the U.S. media is this Saudi Cartoon showing both Obama and McCain in the pocket of Israel.   The ADL has condemned this as anti-Semitic and rightly so.  It seems there is some skepticism in all parts of the world.

Source:  http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1005113.html

This cartoon was published in the Saudi newspapers Al-Watan and Arabnews last month.


Yes We DID!!!

Lookat this!!!  This is Hillary’s financing report!  Notice the Cash on Hand and the Debt!  You know what that means, don’t you!!!!!   Also, notice the best part … that would be the 89% coming from individual donors.

After raising $229.4 million through the end of May, Clinton lost the delegate race to Barack Obama and ended her bid after the final Democratic primary contests in early June. She started 2007 as the candidate to beat in the money race, but Obama surpassed her early in 2008. Clinton left the race with $22.5 million in debt, at least $11.4 million of which came from her own pocket.

 

Cash on Hand: $26,046,667

Debts: $25,201,723

Date of last report: Jul 29 2008 12:00AM

Source of Funds How to read this chart

legend Individual contributions $207,054,929 89%
legend PAC contributions $1,276,379 1%
legend Candidate self-financing $13,175,000 6%
legend Federal Funds $0 0%
  Other $11,501,357 5%

How complete are this candidate’s campaign finance reports? How to read this chart

legend Full Disclosure $128,922,913 (90.3%)
legend Incomplete $0  
legend No Disclosure $13,875,901 (9.7%)
NOTE: All the numbers on this page are for the 2008 election cycle and based on Federal Election Commission data released electronically on Monday, June 30, 2008. 

Feel free to distribute or cite this material, but please credit the Center for Responsive Politics. For permission to reprint for commercial uses, such as textbooks, contact the Center.


Who thinks they have all the answers without knowing the question or the facts?

Wouldn’t it be just wonderful to have all the answers without really knowing the questions or the facts before hand?  It appears the we now have a replacement for the Great Karnak.  Okay, for those of you, including my kids, that didn’t grow up with this hilarious Johnny Carson character, I’ve included a youtube below so you can get the drift of the rest of this post.  For those of you that remember him, I’ve included the youtube below so you can get all nice and nostalgic and hopefully, be very afraid.

So, here’s my shot at the schtick.

The answer is:  the Great Obama.

And the question in the envelope?  Who thinks they have all the answers before knowing the facts or even the question?

I just made my post dinner, wine-thirty, rounds of favorite blogs.  No Quarter is always high on my list.  I did this right after speaking to my dad who lives in Seattle and is a true-red Republican, fox-watching, member of the greatest generation kinda guy.  Maybe it was because we were just talking about my evolving attitude towards Fox News, but we were discussing Britt Hume’s coming retirement, media bias, and the election.

My dad insists that Obama has some kind of personality disorder that is causing him to think that he is already elected president.

So, this interview was posted at No Quarter.  I started synthesizing all of these discussions into a more coherent framework since this is one of the occupational hazards of being a social scientist.

Does Obama really think it’s just a matter of waiting out a few inconvenient months?  Has he become the Great Carnak or is he exhibiting some kind of personality disorder?

Here’s the interview that got me thinking that maybe my Dad wasn’t all that off base.

The Answer is:  The Great OBAMA.

And the question in the envelope?  Who thinks he’s already elected president AND knows all the answers to the questions that reporters may ask and concerns that generals may have.

Transcript . Barack Obama ABC Interview . July 21, 2008

ABC’s Terry Moran: “And then we sat down with [Barack Obama] to talk about what has become an open disagreement between military commanders here and Obama, over his plan to withdraw all U.S. combat troops from Iraq on a 16-month timetable. Did General Petraeus talk about military concerns about your timetable?”

Barack Obama: “You know, I would characterize the concerns differently. I don’t think that they’re deep concerns about the notion of a pullout per se. There are deep concerns about, from their perspective, a timetable that doesn’t take into account what they anticipate might be some sort of changing conditions. And this is what I mean when I say we play different roles. My job is to think about the national security interests as a whole, and to have to weigh and balance risks, in Afghanistan, in Iraq. Their job is just to get the job done here. And I completely understand that.”

Moran: “But the difference is real. Commanders here want withdrawals to be based on conditions on the ground. Obama emphasizes his timetable, but he insists he would remain flexible. I’m going to try to pin you down on this.”

Obama: “Here let me say this, though, Terry, because, you know, what I will refuse to do, and I think that, you know “

Moran: “How do you know what I’m going to ask?”

Obama: “Well, then if I don’t get it right, then you can ask it again.”

Moran: “All right.”

Obama: “Is to get boxed in into what I consider two false choices, which is either I have a rigid timeline of such and such a date, come hell or high water, we’ve gotten our combat troops out, and I am blind to anything that happens in the intervening six months or 16 months. Or, alternatively, I am completely deferring to whatever the commanders on the ground says, which is what George Bush says he’s doing, in which case I’m not doing my job as commander-in-chief.”

There are two things I jumped on immediately.  One is that Obama presumed to know what the Reporter was going to ask.  The second is the all-telling “I’m not doing my job as commander-in-chief.”

My first instinct, was to think, this guy really does think he’s already got the presidency in the bag.  I thought the seal was over-the-top.  I really thought the entourage to Europe and the Middle East was a bit staged.  The acceptance speech in the stadium is outrageous!  The speech by the Brandenburg gate was trying to channel the Kennedy vibe.  Michelle’s even been known to deck herself out like Jackie.  But, sheesh, I’m beginning to gather enough evidence that I really think he MUST think he has this in the bag.  He’s already president in his mind.  It’s a done deal, in his mind.  He even thinks he knows what other folks want and are going to ask now.  I think that it’s gone beyond just staging Obama to look presidential and Kennedyesque.

The Answer is: The Great Obama

And the Question in the Envelope:  Who believes his own hype beyond the point representing sanity and the safety of our country?

UPDATE:  I guess even the candidate’s advisors think he’s already president too!

At a morning background briefing, reporters parried with senior advisers on the characterization of Obama’s speech Thursday in Berlin as a campaign rally. The outdoor speech at the Victory Column could draw thousands of people, similar to the size of Obama events in the United States.

“It is not going to be a political speech,” said a senior foreign policy adviser, who spoke to reporters on background. “When the president of the United States goes and gives a speech, it is not a political speech or a political rally.

“But he is not president of the United States,” a reporter reminded the adviser.

“He is going to talk about the issues as an individual … not as a candidate, but as an individual, as a senator,” the adviser added.

SOURCE:  http://dyn.politico.com/members/forums/thread.cfm?catid=1&subcatid=2&threadid=1059249


Monday Morning to Do List!

Just a list of actions worth taking:

Please sign Planned Parenthood’s Petition to stop the Bush encroachment on birth control.  The Petition states:

Planned Parenthood is gravely concerned that the Bush administration is considering a new HHS rule that would undermine women’s access to health care and information. The rule would allow federal funding that is specifically designed to prevent unintended pregnancy and promote reproductive health to instead be used by facilities and providers that refuse to offer comprehensive birth control and reproductive health care services.

http://www.ppaction.org/campaign/spp08ppan?rk=81AR75M15s-CE

LAMusing asks us to join in the PUMA effort to insure top DNC officials know we don’t intend to fall in line with the unity pony in its efforts to shut out all serious debate at the DNC convention.

In a sign that senior Democratic officials remain deeply concerned that post-primary bitterness could imperil Barack Obama’s chances, two top Democratic officials have emailed a sharply-worded letter to major donors and other leading Dems confessing “fatigue and irritation” at those withholding full support from Obama and demanding that they get behind him “without conditions or demands.””

Aren’t you PUMAS ready to fall in line yet? Read the full letter here:
http://tinyurl.com/6z8ujy

The letter is signed by Donald Fowler, a former DNC chair and DNC member-at-large who was one of Hillary’s most prominent supporters. Alice Germond, the Secretary of the DNC, is also a signatory.

LAMusing suggests we let Alice and Donald know we live in a democracy.

You can write a response to Mr. Fowler at don@fowlercommunications.com.

You can write a response to Ms. Germond and mail it to:

Honorable Alice Germond, Secretary

Democratic National Committee
430 South Capital Street, Southeast
Washington, D. C. 20003-4024

or e-mail her at germonda@dnc.org

In your salutation, the proper form of address is “Madame Secretary” after that I’d say just let her have it!!!

If you’re more up to writing to Celebrities, you might want to write Oprah and ask why she’s scrubbed her site of politics and her big show of worship for Obama during the primary.  Is it because Obama turned out to be bad for Business?

Oprah Shuts Down Website, Scrubs All Political Discussion – Media Silent

“Barack Obama is not the only one revising their website. Oprah Winfrey seems to have gotten in on the action.

Last year, Oprah Winfrey came out and endorsed Barack Obama, calling him “The One,” an allusion to either Jesus or to Neo of The Matrix. I am not sure which.”

http://tinyurl.com/5ecadk

For more Puma GROWLS  be sure to go to the Just Say No Deal Link on the left.  Let’s make sure the DNC and the MSM see some real activity prior to the convention.  Speaking of conventions,  I can’t make the PUMA convention in Washington, DC, but if you can sign up and attend at the same site.

Let’s try to stop the Assault on Democracy while we still have time!


Does Big Brother Prefer an aisle or window seat?

Just when you thought it was safe to board that airplane again,  a new restraint saves you from that odd looking seat mate.  Will it be some one who is some what middle eastern looking?  Is it some one who utters a prayer in an indistinguishable language before take off?  Will these security measures saves you from the next terrorist or will it be those security measures identifying you as the enemy?  What about the air flight attendant who thinks you look a bit odd?  Perhaps the navigator that thinks you look a little radical for his tastes? Maybe it’s just a flight attendant that is extremely tired of that screaming toddler in the seat next to yours?  Who will get control of this button?

http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/aviation-security/2008/Jul/01/

I hate to see this article labeled aviation security because it seems a lot more Orwellian to me.  The headline actually read:

Want some torture with your peanuts?

“Just when you thought you’ve heard it all…

A senior government official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has expressed great interest in a so-called safety bracelet that would serve as a stun device, similar to that of a police Taser®. According to this promotional video found at the Lamperd Less Lethal, Inc. website, the bracelet would be worn by all airline passengers (video also shown below).

This bracelet would:

• Take the place of an airline boarding pass

• Contain personal information about the traveler

• Be able to monitor the whereabouts of each passenger and his/her luggage

• Shock the wearer on command, completely immobilizing him/her for several minutes

The Electronic ID Bracelet, as it’s referred to, would be worn by every traveler “until they disembark the flight at their destination.”  Yes, you read that correctly. Every airline passenger would be tracked by a government-funded GPS, containing personal, private and confidential information, and would shock the customer worse than an electronic dog collar if the passenger got out of line.

Clearly the Electronic ID Bracelet is a euphemism for the EMD Safety Bracelet, or at least it has a nefarious hidden ability (thus the term ID Bracelet is ambiguous at best). EMD stands for Electro-Musclar Disruption. Again, according to the promotional video, the bracelet can completely immobilize the wearer for several minutes.

So is the government really that interested in this bracelet?

Apparently so.

According to this letter from DHS official, Paul S. Ruwaldt of the Science and Technology Directorate, office of Research and Development, which was written to the inventor whom he had previously met with, Ruwaldt wrote, “To make it clear, we [the federal government] are interested in . . . the immobilizing security bracelet, and look forward to receiving a written proposal.”

The letterhead, in case you were wondering, is from a U.S. Department of Homeland Security office at the William J. Hughes Technical Center at the Atlantic City International Airport, or the Federal Aviation Administration headquarters.

In another part of the letter, Mr. Ruwaldt confirmed, “In addition, it is conceivable to envision a use to improve air security, on passenger planes.”

Would every paying airline passenger flying on a commercial airplane be mandated to wear one of these devices? I cringe at the thought. Not only could it be used as a physical restraining device, but also as a method of interrogation, according to the same aforementioned letter from Mr. Ruwaldt.

Would you let them put one of those on your wrist? Would you allow the airline employees, which would be mandated by the government, to place such a bracelet on any member of your family?

Why are tax dollars being spent on something like this?

Is this a police state or is this America?”

I’m quoting Fox News, so be very afraid.  Homeland Security thinks this is “interesting”.  These EMD bracelets seem way over the top to me. But, maybe I read 1984 too many times.  What do you think?

I don’t think it’s really yellow journalism.  That’s what really scares me. Are we tracking luggage here or giving  some sadist flight attendant a way to get a thrill or worse yet a device to punish the socially or religious unknown for first amendment protected behavior?  Perhaps this button’s use will be extended to not cleaning up after yourself in those nasty bathrooms or trying to join the mile high club!  Frankly, I could see it being used for children dragged on airplanes by parents who put them into situations that are age inappropriate.

Just exactly how far will folks allow their civil liberties to be destroyed in the hope that we can be saved from terrorism?  Or is this some one’s way of finding peace from all of those screaming children and ineffective parents that find their way onto airplanes?