Daily Archives: January 27, 2008

The elite plan for our future: Tracker chips everywhere and in everything for total control

 

Carlyle Group Subsidiary Named “MATRICS” is Brimming with NSA and CIA Operatives and pushing a Swastika-Shaped Tracker Chip. When you look closer at the website, you will notice they talk about using RFID for Homeland Security and it’s clear that they’re selling the RFID as part of Big Brother’s infrastructure. – From Infowars

AP | Jan 26, 2008

By TODD LEWAN

Here’s a vision of the not-so-distant future:

_Microchips with antennas will be embedded in virtually everything you buy, wear, drive and read, allowing retailers and law enforcement to track consumer items — and, by extension, consumers — wherever they go, from a distance.

_A seamless, global network of electronic “sniffers” will scan radio tags in myriad public settings, identifying people and their tastes instantly so that customized ads, “live spam,” may be beamed at them.

_In “Smart Homes,” sensors built into walls, floors and appliances will inventory possessions, record eating habits, monitor medicine cabinets — all the while, silently reporting data to marketers eager for a peek into the occupants’ private lives.

Science fiction?

In truth, much of the radio frequency identification technology that enables objects and people to be tagged and tracked wirelessly already exists — and new and potentially intrusive uses of it are being patented, perfected and deployed.

Some of the world’s largest corporations are vested in the success of RFID technology, which couples highly miniaturized computers with radio antennas to broadcast information about sales and buyers to company databases.

Already, microchips are turning up in some computer printers, car keys and tires, on shampoo bottles and department store clothing tags. They’re also in library books and “contactless” payment cards (such as American Express’ “Blue” and ExxonMobil’s “Speedpass.”)

Companies say the RFID tags improve supply-chain efficiency, cut theft, and guarantee that brand-name products are authentic, not counterfeit. At a store, RFID doorways could scan your purchases automatically as you leave, eliminating tedious checkouts.

At home, convenience is a selling point: RFID-enabled refrigerators could warn about expired milk, generate weekly shopping lists, even send signals to your interactive TV, so that you see “personalized” commercials for foods you have a history of buying. Sniffers in your microwave might read a chip-equipped TV dinner and cook it without instruction.

“We’ve seen so many different uses of the technology,” says Dan Mullen, president of AIM Global, a national association of data collection businesses, including RFID, “and we’re probably still just scratching the surface in terms of places RFID can be used.”

The problem, critics say, is that microchipped products might very well do a whole lot more.

With tags in so many objects, relaying information to databases that can be linked to credit and bank cards, almost no aspect of life may soon be safe from the prying eyes of corporations and governments, says Mark Rasch, former head of the computer-crime unit of the U.S. Justice Department.

By placing sniffers in strategic areas, companies can invisibly “rifle through people’s pockets, purses, suitcases, briefcases, luggage — and possibly their kitchens and bedrooms — anytime of the day or night,” says Rasch, now managing director of technology at FTI Consulting Inc., a Baltimore-based company.

In an RFID world, “You’ve got the possibility of unauthorized people learning stuff about who you are, what you’ve bought, how and where you’ve bought it … It’s like saying, ‘Well, who wants to look through my medicine cabinet?'”

He imagines a time when anyone from police to identity thieves to stalkers might scan locked car trunks, garages or home offices from a distance. “Think of it as a high-tech form of Dumpster diving,” says Rasch, who’s also concerned about data gathered by “spy” appliances in the home.

“It’s going to be used in unintended ways by third parties — not just the government, but private investigators, marketers, lawyers building a case against you …”

Presently, the radio tag most commercialized in America is the so-called “passive” emitter, meaning it has no internal power supply. Only when a reader powers these tags with a squirt of electrons do they broadcast their signal, indiscriminately, within a range of a few inches to 20 feet.

Not as common, but increasing in use, are “active” tags, which have internal batteries and can transmit signals, continuously, as far as low-orbiting satellites. Active tags pay tolls as motorists to zip through tollgates; they also track wildlife, such as sea lions.

Retailers and manufacturers want to use passive tags to replace the bar code, for tracking inventory. These radio tags transmit Electronic Product Codes, number strings that allow trillons of objects to be uniquely identified. Some transmit specifics about the item, such as price, though not the name of the buyer.

However, “once a tagged item is associated with a particular individual, personally identifiable information can be obtained and then aggregated to develop a profile,” the U.S. Government Accountability Office concluded in a 2005 report on RFID.

Federal agencies and law enforcement already buy information about individuals from commercial data brokers, companies that compile computer dossiers on millions of individuals from public records, credit applications and many other sources, then offer summaries for sale. These brokers, unlike credit bureaus, aren’t subject to provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970, which gives consumers the right to correct errors and block access to their personal records.

That, and the ever-increasing volume of data collected on consumers, is worrisome, says Mike Hrabik, chief technology officer at Solutionary, a computer-security firm in Bethesda, Md. “Are companies using that information incorrectly, and are they giving it out inappropriately? I’m sure that’s happening. Should we be concerned? Yes.”

Even some industry proponents recognize risks. Elliott Maxwell, a research fellow at Pennsylvania State University who serves as a policy adviser to EPCglobal, the industry’s standard-setting group, says data broadcast by microchips can easily be intercepted, and misused, by high-tech thieves.

As RFID goes mainstream and the range of readers increases, it will be “difficult to know who is gathering what data, who has access to it, what is being done with it, and who should be held responsible for it,” Maxwell wrote in RFID Journal, an industry publication.

The recent growth of the RFID industry has been staggering: From 1955 to 2005, cumulative sales of radio tags totaled 2.4 billion; last year alone, 2.24 billion tags were sold worldwide, and analysts project that by 2017 cumulative sales will top 1 trillion — generating more than $25 billion in annual revenues for the industry.

Heady forecasts like these energize chip proponents, who insist that RFID will result in enormous savings for businesses. Each year, retailers lose $57 billion from administrative failures, supplier fraud and employee theft, according to a recent survey of 820 retailers by Checkpoint Systems, an RFID manufacturer that specializes in store security devices.

Privacy concerns, some RFID supporters say, are overblown. One, Mark Roberti, editor of RFID Journal, says the notion that businesses would conspire to create high-resolution portraits of people is “simply silly.”

Corporations know Americans are sensitive about their privacy, he says, and are careful not to alienate consumers by violating it. Besides, “All companies keep their customer data close to the vest … There’s absolutely no value in sharing it. Zero.”

Industry officials, too, insist that addressing privacy concerns is paramount. As American Express spokeswoman Judy Tenzer says, “Security and privacy are a top priority for American Express in everything we do.”

But industry documents suggest a different line of thinking, privacy experts say.

A 2005 patent application by American Express itself describes how RFID-embedded objects carried by shoppers could emit “identification signals” when queried by electronic “consumer trackers.” The system could identify people, record their movements, and send them video ads that might offer “incentives” or “even the emission of a scent.”

RFID readers could be placed in public venues, including “a common area of a school, shopping center, bus station or other place of public accommodation,” according to the application, which is still pending — and which is not alone.

In 2006, IBM received patent approval for an invention it called, “Identification and tracking of persons using RFID-tagged items.” One stated purpose: To collect information about people that could be “used to monitor the movement of the person through the store or other areas.”

Once somebody enters a store, a sniffer “scans all identifiable RFID tags carried on the person,” and correlates the tag information with sales records to determine the individual’s “exact identity.” A device known as a “person tracking unit” then assigns a tracking number to the shopper “to monitor the movement of the person through the store or other areas.”

But as the patent makes clear, IBM’s invention could work in other public places, “such as shopping malls, airports, train stations, bus stations, elevators, trains, airplanes, restrooms, sports arenas, libraries, theaters, museums, etc.” (RFID could even help “follow a particular crime suspect through public areas.”)

Another patent, obtained in 2003 by NCR Corp., details how camouflaged sensors and cameras would record customers’ wanderings through a store, film their facial expressions at displays, and time — to the second — how long shoppers hold and study items.

Why? Such monitoring “allows one to draw valuable inferences about the behavior of large numbers of shoppers,” the patent states.

Then there’s a 2001 patent application by Procter & Gamble, “Systems and methods for tracking consumers in a store environment.” This one lays out an idea to use heat sensors to track and record “where a consumer is looking, i.e., which way she is facing, whether she is bending over or crouching down to look at a lower shelf.”

The system could space sensors 8 feet apart, in ceilings, floors, shelving and displays, so they could capture signals transmitted every 1.5 seconds by microchipped shopping carts.

The documents “raise the hair on the back of your neck,” says Liz McIntyre, co-author of “Spychips,” a book that is critical of the industry. “The industry has long promised it would never use this technology to track people. But these patent records clearly suggest otherwise.”

Corporations take issue with that, saying that patent filings shouldn’t be used to predict a company’s actions.

“We file thousands of patents every year, which are designed to protect concepts or ideas,” Paul Fox, a spokesman for Procter & Gamble, says. “The reality is that many of those ideas and concepts never see the light of day.”

And what of his company’s 2001 patent application? “I’m not aware of any plans to use that,” Fox says.

Sandy Hughes, P&G’s global privacy executive, adds that Procter & Gamble has no intention of using any technologies — RFID or otherwise — to track individuals. The idea of the 2001 filing, she says, is to monitor how groups of people react to store displays, “not individual consumers.”

NCR and American Express echoed those statements. IBM declined to comment for this story.

“Not every element in a patent filing is necessarily something we would pursue….,” says Tenzer, the American Express spokeswoman. “Under no circumstances would we use this technology without a customer’s permission.”

McIntyre has her doubts.

In the marketing world of today, she says, “data on individual consumers is gold, and the only thing preventing these companies from abusing technologies like RFID to get at that gold is public scrutiny.”

RFID dates to World War II, when Britain put transponders in Allied aircraft to help radar crews distinguish them from German fighters. In the 1970s, the U.S. government tagged trucks entering and leaving secure facilities such as the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and a decade later, they were used to track livestock and railroad cars.

In 2003, the U.S. Department of Defense and Wal-Mart gave RFID a mammoth push, mandating that suppliers radio tag all crates and cartons. To that point, the cost of tags had simply been too high to make tagging pallets — let alone individual items — viable. In 1999, passive tags cost nearly $2 apiece.

Since then, rising demand and production of microchips — along with technological advances — have driven tag prices down to a range of 7 to 15 cents. At that price, the technology is “well-suited at a case and pallet level,” says Mullen, of the industry group AIM Global.

John Simley, a spokesman for Wal-Mart, says tracking products in real-time helps ensure product freshness and lowers the chances that items will be out of stock. By reducing loss and waste in the supply chain, RFID “allows us to keep our prices that much lower.”

Katherine Albrecht, founder of CASPIAN, an anti-RFID group, says, “Nobody cares about radio tags on crates and pallets. But if we don’t keep RFID off of individual consumer items, our stores will one day turn into retail ‘zoos’ where the customer is always on exhibit.”

So, how long will it be before you find an RFID tag in your underwear? The industry isn’t saying, but some analysts speculate that within a decade tag costs may dip below a penny, the threshold at which nearly everything could be chipped.

To businesses slammed by counterfeiters — pharmaceuticals, for one — that’s not a bad thing. Sales of fake drugs cost drug makers an estimated $46 billion a year. In 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended that RFID be incorporated throughout the supply chain as a way of making sure consumers get authentic drugs.

In the United States, Pfizer has already begun chipping all 30- and 100-count bottles of Viagra, one of the most counterfeited drugs.

Chips could be embedded in other controlled or potentially dangerous items such as firearms and explosives, to make them easier to track. This was mentioned in IBM’s patent documents.

Still, the idea that tiny radio chips might be in their socks and shoes doesn’t sit well with Americans. At least, that’s what Fleishman-Hillard Inc., a public-relations firm in St. Louis, found in 2001 when it surveyed 317 consumers for the industry.

Seventy-eight percent of those queried reacted negatively to RFID when privacy was raised. “More than half claimed to be extremely or very concerned,” the report said, noting that the term “Big Brother” was “used in 15 separate cases to describe the technology.”

It also found that people bridled at the idea of having “Smart Tags” in their homes. One surveyed person remarked: “Where money is to be made the privacy of the individual will be compromised.”

In 2002, Fleishman-Hillard produced another report for the industry that counseled RFID makers to “convey (the) inevitability of technology,” and to develop a plan to “neutralize the opposition,” by adopting friendlier names for radio tags such as “Bar Code II” and “Green Tag.”

And in a 2003 report, Helen Duce, the industry’s trade group director in Europe, wrote that “the lack of clear benefits to consumers could present a problem in the ‘real world,'” particularly if privacy issues were stirred by “negative press coverage.”

(Though the reports were marked “Confidential,” they were later found archived on an industry trade group’s Web site.)

The Duce report’s recommendations: Tell consumers that RFID is regulated, that RFID is just a new and improved bar code, and that retailers will announce when an item is radio tagged, and deactivate the tags at check-out upon a customer’s request.

Actually, in the United States, RFID is not federally regulated. And while bar codes identify product categories, radio tags carry unique serial numbers that — when purchased with a credit card, frequent shopper card or contactless card — can be linked to specific shoppers.

And, unlike bar codes, RFID tags can be read through almost anything except metal and water, without the holder’s knowledge.

EPCglobal, the industry’s standard-setting body, has issued public policy guidelines that call for retailers to put a thumbnail-sized logo — “EPC,” for Electronic Product Code — on all radio tagged packaging. The group also suggests that merchants notify shoppers that RFID tags can be removed, discarded or disabled.

Critics say the guidelines are voluntary, vague and don’t penalize violators. They want federal and state oversight — something the industry has vigorously opposed — particularly after two RFID manufacturers, Checkpoint Systems and Sensormatic, announced last year that they are marketing tags designed to be embedded in such items as shoes.

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, says, “I don’t think there’s any basis … for consumers to have to think that their clothing is tracking them.”

Advertisements

Children for sale: UK’s new slave trade

 

This man says he makes up to £6,000 a week selling babies and children abroad

Telegraph | Jan 27, 2008

By David Harrison

Hundreds of young children are being sold and “trafficked” to Britain from Africa to be exploited as modern-day slaves, it can be revealed.

The illicit trade in children – sold by their parents, some while still babies, to criminal gangs and people traffickers – has been uncovered by a Sunday Telegraph investigation.

An undercover reporter was offered several children for sale by their parents in Nigeria: two boys aged three and five for £5,000, or £2,500 for one, and a 10-month-old baby for £2,000. Teenage girls – including some still pregnant – were willing to sell their babies for less than £1,000.

One international trafficker, tracked down in Lagos, claimed to be buying up to 500 children a year.

Impoverished African parents are being lured by the traffickers’ promises of “a better life” for their children, thousands of miles away in cities including London, Birmingham and Manchester.

But, once brought to Britain, the children are used as a fraudulent means to obtain illicit housing and other welfare benefits, totalling tens of thousands of pounds each a year.

From the age of seven, rather than being sent to school, they are exploited as domestic slaves, forced to work for up to 18 hours a day, cleaning, cooking and looking after other younger children, or put to work in restaurants and shops.

Some of the children are also subjected to physical and sexual abuse, while others even find themselves accused of being witches and become victims of exorcism rites in “traditional” African churches in Britain.

Campaigners called last night for the Government and the police to take “urgent action” to end this “21st century child slavery”.

“These children are being abused under our noses in our own country,” said Chris Beddoe, the director of End Child Prostitution and Trafficking, a British-based coalition of international charities.

“It is totally unacceptable. We need urgent action to identify these children as they enter the UK, find those who are being abused and offer proper protection to those who escape or are freed from their abusers.”

Vernon Coaker, the Home Office minister responsible for the prevention of trafficking, described child traffickers as “evil” and said anybody who could buy and sell babies was “sick”.

But David Davis, the Conservative shadow home secretary, said: “The Government has utterly failed to take decisive action to tackle human trafficking.

“A Conservative government would take a range of practical measures – developed in detail over the last two years – to curb all aspects of this evil trade, which threatens Britain and the most vulnerable in our society.”

A recent survey by the Government’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre claimed that 330 children, including 14 aged under 12, many of them from Africa, had been trafficked to Britain over the past year.

The police and campaigners believe, however, that this is just the “tip of the iceberg” and that the true figure is likely to be in the thousands.

The Sunday Telegraph can reveal how the trade starts more than three thousand miles away in Africa where babies are sold to predatory traffickers, able to persuade desperately poor and often illiterate parents to hand over their children. The children are then sold, at high profit, as “home helps” to African families in Britain and in other European and North American cities.

The traffickers use a network of corrupt officials and co-traffickers to obtain passports and visas, often giving the children new names.

Many of the young victims are flown directly from Lagos in Nigeria to London’s airports. Others are taken, via other west African states such as Ghana and Benin, to “transit” cities, including Paris.

A growing number of the African slave children arrives in Britain unaccompanied, as asylum-seekers, or with “private foster parents”.

Debbie Ariyo, the executive director of the London-based charity Africans Unite Against Child Abuse, said: “This trade is a disgrace. These children are not going to loving homes.

“They are being cynically used by adults as slave labour and to defraud the state and then when they get older and have served their purpose and no longer attract entitled to benefits they are thrown out on to the streets with no papers even to prove who they are. These are damaged, traumatised children and we have to end this misery.”

Campaigners said that many of the slave children – psychologically and often physically damaged at 18 – were thrown out of the houses of their “owners”.

They are left to fend for themselves, usually with no papers or documents to prove who they are. With nowhere to turn, many fall into crime and the sex trade. Those that come to the attention of the authorities when they commit a crime or go to social services for help are usually brusquely deported as illegal immigrants.

The Government will unveil new measures next month aimed at giving more protection to victims of child trafficking.

Mr Coaker said: “We have tightened our visa requirements and our ports of entry and we are gathering intelligence to help us stop this horrific trade.”

A senior Scotland Yard officer said: “The traffickers and the people who buy the children and use them as domestic slaves have no regard for their wellbeing and we are determined to catch those involved in this vile business.

“But this is a hidden crime, going on largely in Britain’s African communities and we would urge people in those communities to contact us if they suspect that any child in their area is being abused. We need their co-operation. They must not turn a blind eye.”

Godwin Morka, the executive director of Lagos’s anti-trafficking unit, Nathip, admitted that child trafficking was “rampant” in many Nigerian states. “We know these children are not going to happy homes and we are doing what we can on limited resources.”

Wireless contact lenses transmit computer images and data directly into the eyes

High-tech Terminator vision may be possible with the bionic lens

Telegraph | Jan 27, 2008

Contact lenses with Terminator vision

By Richard Gray, Science Correspondent

An electronic contact lens has been developed that will enable maps and videos to be beamed before the wearer’s eyes.

The bionic lens has microscopic circuits fixed to a flexible plastic. The scientists who created the device say the lenses could eventually provide computer-aided vision similar to that of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s robotic character in the Terminator films.

Drivers and pilots would have essential information – their speed and direction, for example – superimposed in front of their eyes, in a massive advance on the kind of “wearable displays” now available, which are spectacles that have images displayed on the lenses.

A prototype of the lens has been built, with light-emitting diodes – LEDs – embedded in it to flash up information. Its built-in antenna will use wireless technology, similar to that used in the home, to beam information to the lens, allowing wearers to surf the internet without taking their eyes off the world around them.

Babak Parviz, the electrical engineer behind the project at the University of Washington, said: “We have demonstrated some of the key technologies required to make a sophisticated functional contact lens. We hope to hook up a wireless link… for updating images and reporting the state of the lens.”

Microscopic electrical circuits link up the LEDs and the antenna harvests energy from radio waves to power the lens. Holes which are each 1,000 times thinner than a human hair are etched on to the lens.
advertisement

Electronic components are attached by floating them across the lens surface, where capillary forces suck each one into the right-sized hole. The eye relies on only a small amount of light entering the pupil at a time, so wearers will still be able to see through the lens, while the circuitry is built around the edge.

Mr Parviz plans more sophisticated components to show detailed pictures, and it is possible to include a zoom function. The lenses have been tried on animals but there will be tough safety tests before the technology is developed for people.

Dr Chris Baber, a reader in interactive technology at Birmingham University, said: “The key is how they fit on to a person and ensuring they provide the right information at the right time.”

. . .

Related

Contact Lenses to Display Mobile Phone Caller ID

Hidden surveillance camera microphones to be outlawed

Telegraph | Jan 26, 2008

By Patrick Hennessy, Political Editor

Hidden microphones mounted on CCTV cameras which can eavesdrop on private conversations in the street are set to be outlawed, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose.

Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, believes that the cameras are a serious breach of civil liberties.

Britain has 4.5million CCTV cameras which capture the average person around 300 times a day.

This week Mr Thomas will launch a new code of practice and declare that no organisation should be able to monitor or store private conversations, claiming that such activities are “highly intrusive”.

Whitehall sources said last night that he has the strong backing of ministers. The ruling is also likely to be hailed by civil liberties campaigners.

A spokesman for Mr Thomas said that the use of cameras to record voices would be allowed only in “extremely special circumstances” such as the detection of crime.

Earlier this month, a court heard how a microphone mounted on a CCTV device recorded the groans of father-of-three Mark Witherall, 47, as he was beaten and left to die by raiders after catching them at his house in Whitstable, Kent.

In another case, a microphone on a CCTV camera picked up the screams of a woman and her child who were attacked and abused last year by a would-be arsonist at their home in Lancashire.

Some councils, including Westminster in London, began testing the new cameras last year and more are reported to be keen on using them in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympics. Many are fitted with microphones which can “bug” conversations up to 100 yards away.

Mr Thomas’s ruling will also affect employers who seek to eavesdrop on private conversations between staff. David Blunkett, the former home secretary, attacked CCTV microphones last year, saying: “I don’t want microphones recording me.”

The concession from ministers comes as they face a Commons rebellion on a separate civil liberties issue over plans to increase from 28 to 42 the number of days police can hold terror suspects without charge.

Some Labour MPs are expected to back opposition parties in voting against the increase, which was unveiled in the Counter Terrorism Bill last week.

David Davis, the shadow home secretary, has vowed to fight it but in what some MPs see as a step towards a compromise, he offered to help ministers with “technical problems” on the operation of the Civil Contingencies Act, under which suspects could be held for 30 extra days in a state of emergency.

Sundance documentary film shows the US spending its way toward disaster

AFP | Jan 23, 2008

PARK CITY, Utah (AFP) — With the US national debt topping nine trillion dollars, and climbing, filmmaker Patrick Creadon warns of a looming US fiscal crisis in his “I.O.U.S.A.”

The documentary film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this week, exploring the implications of America’s ballooning federal debt on the republic and its citizens, if left unchecked.

SUNDANCE ’08 – Meet the Filmmaker: Patrick Creadon

US Comptroller General David Walker “has crunched the numbers and they don’t add up,” Creadon said in an interview with AFP.

“We’re not going to have a heart attack in the next few years, but we’ve been diagnosed with a fiscal cancer and if we don’t treat it, we’re going to die,” he said.

“What lies ahead will be worse than any recession, and strains in the American economy will have ripple effects worldwide,” he added.

The filmmaker previously had fun with crossword puzzles in his 2006 hit “Wordplay.”

His latest documentary film is based on the New York Times best-selling book “Empire of Debt” by William Bonner and Addison Wiggin. Speeches by Walker regarding America’s “federal, savings, trade and leadership deficits” also provide a framework.

In the film, Creadon follows Walker as he travels across the nation urging people to reign in Washington’s wild spending or boost taxes, weaving in archival footage, economic data and candid interviews with investment guru Warren Buffett and former US Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill.

The aim is to try to demystify complex economic principles and government fiscal policy-making ahead of the 2008 US election, with terms “economic slowdown” or “recession” on the lips of many analysts of late.

“This isn’t ‘an election issue.’ It’s all issues rolled up into one. It’s a global issue. The Iraq war, arts funding, Medicare, taxes, they’re all line items in the government’s budget,” said Creadon.

“One of the by-products of America being so wealthy for so long is that we’ve become fiscally illiterate.”

“There’s a sense of dread about financial matters now, and that’s made worse by the fact that people don’t like to talk about it because they don’t understand it. Hopefully, this (film) will help them understand it,” he said.

Of course, “this is America, and we don’t do anything until it’s a crisis,” he added.

Creadon also noted that US voters have traditionally rewarded politicians “who are not financially responsible” and punished politicians who up taxes or slash spending to try to balance the US federal budget.

“People don’t want to vote for the guy who tells them the party’s over. But the party is over,” he said.

“It’s a tough message to sell.” But, he added, “I’m very hopeful that people are going to hear this story and they’re going to change their ways.”

“At the end of the day, if you don’t pay for the services your government provides, your kids will. And that’s really selfish, and we’ve had a long run at being selfish.”

“We want our children to have a better life than we did, but that’s not going to happen for the first time in America’s history if we continue the way we’re going.”

The film notes that 46 percent of the US federal debt is held offshore in the form of treasury bonds, and warns this could weaken America’s sovereignty if Washington and its mostly Asian bankers ever butt heads over US foreign policy.

It cites as an example the events of 1956, when the United States threatened to dump the British pound and cause it to drop in value if Britain and France did not stop bombing Egypt in their fight for control of the Suez Canal.

Washington at the time was concerned Russia would enter the fray on the side of Egypt, and the war would escalate.

It is widely viewed by historians as the year of the demise of the British Empire, the film says. At the same time, it notes that Communist China currently holds the largest chunk of US federal debt.

Of course, in the short term, China needs America to buy its goods, as much as America need China’s loans.

On other fronts, the film laments America’s trade deficit — scrap metal is the second biggest US export to China, after electronic components, following decades of hollowing out of the US manufacturing sector.

And, the film says, individual Americans have spent more than they’ve earned over the past two years, falling deeper into debt — a trend that is unsustainable over the long term.

“If you’re addicted to debt, at macro or individual level, constantly living beyond your means, you’ll wake up in a world of hurt someday,” Creadon commented.

The film ends noting that the US federal debt stood at 9.2 trillion dollars on January 19, or about 30,000 dollars per American, and it went up by 86 million dollars in the 85 minutes it took the audience to watch the film.

McCain aide touts ‘Mexico first’ policy

WorldNetDaily.com | Jan 25, 2008

By Jerome R. Corsi

The Hispanic outreach director for Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign is a dual American-Mexican citizen known for his “Mexico first” declarations to immigrants in the U.S., WND has confirmed.

Word of the appointment, made in November, spread across the Internet last night, sparking reaction from secure-border activists who charge Juan Hernandez’s position in the campaign belies the Republican candidate’s attempt to position himself as an advocate of border security.

McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers emphasized to WND that Hernandez is “a non-paid volunteer to the campaign, and he does not play a policy role.”

“Juan works with us to reach out to the Hispanic community to meet with the folks in the various states,” Rogers said.

Asked if the McCain campaign has repudiated Hernandez’s “Mexico first” declarations, Rogers did not give a direct answer.

Twice he referred WND to McCain’s immigration position on the campaign presidential website arguing for border security.

In an appearance on ABC’s Nightline in 2001, Hernandez said, referring to Mexican immigrants in the U.S., “I want the third generation, the seventh generation, I want them all to think ‘Mexico first.'”

Hernandez told the Associated Press the same year, “I never knew the border as a limitation. I’d be delighted if all of us could come and go between these two marvelous countries.”

Last August, Hernandez published a book entitled “The New American Pioneers: Why Are We Afraid of Mexican Immigrants?” in which he argued Mexican immigrants, both legal and illegal, were at the forefront of establishing a new North American market combining the U.S. with Mexico.

Mark Krikorian, director for the Center for Immigration Studies, asked last night on a National Review Online blog, “Has McCain offered Hernandez, a former high-level foreign government official who presumably swore an oath to uphold the Mexican constitution, a place on a future McCain Administration? That’s not a rhetorical question.”

Columnist Michelle Malkin posted equally critical comments this morning on her blog HotAir.com.

Noting that McCain has attempted to distance himself from the comprehensive immigration reform bill he co-sponsored with Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy, Malkin said the appointment of Hernandez “tells me that John McCain is as weak on border security now as he ever was.”

While McCain is now emphasizing border security, the policy posted on his website repeats many of the “flexible labor market” arguments advanced in the Kennedy-McCain comprehensive immigration reform bills, arguing for the necessity of a guest-worker program.

No fence

Hernandez has appeared on various cable news talk shows aggressively arguing against building any fence on the Mexican border, insisting the frontier need to remain wide open so illegal immigrants can easily cross into the U.S.

Hernandez was the first U.S.-born cabinet member to serve President Vicente Fox, operating from Los Pinos, the Mexican White House. Hernandez represented the 24 million Mexicans living abroad whom Fox then called “heroes” for representing Mexico in the foreign nations in which they lived.

In 1996, Hernandez was responsible for inviting Fox, then governor of the Mexican state of Guanajuanto, to speak at the University of Texas, Dallas, where he met George W. Bush, then governor of Texas, for the first time.