Mountain Views News Saturday, October 2, 2010
10 OPINION Mountain Views News Saturday, October 2, 2010 My Turn HAIL Hamilton Ways We Are Being Tracked, Traced, and Databased The war on terror is a worldwide endeavor that has spurred massive investment into the global surveillance industry - which now seems to be waging a war on “liberty and privacy.” Here are just some ways the matrix of data is being collected: GPS -- Global positioning chips are now appearing in everything from U.S. passports, cell phones, to cars. More common uses include tracking employees and for all forms of private investigation. Apple recently announced they are collecting the precision location of iPhone users via GPS for public viewing in addition to spying on users in other ways. Internet -- Internet browsers are recording your every move forming detailed cookies on your activities. The NSA has been exposed as having cookies on their site that don’t expire until 2035. Major search engines know where you surfed last summer, and online purchases are databased, supposedly for advertising and customer service uses. IP addresses are collected and even made public. Controversial websites can be flagged internally by government sites, as well as re- routing all traffic to block sites the government wants to censor. It has now been fully admitted that social networks provide NO privacy to users, while technologies for real-time social network monitoring are already being used. The Cybersecurity Act attempts to legalize the collection and exploitation of your personal information. Apple’s iPhone also has browsing data recorded and stored. Radio frequency identification -- Forget your credit cards which are meticulously tracked, or the membership cards for things so insignificant as movie rentals which require your SSN. Everyone has Costco, CVS, grocery-chain cards, and a wallet or purse full of many more. RFID “proximity cards” take tracking to a new level in uses ranging from loyalty cards, student ID, physical access, and computer network access. Latest developments include an RFID powder developed by Hitachi, for which the multitude of uses are endless -- perhaps including tracking hard currency so we can’t even keep cash undetected. Traffic cameras -- License plate recognition has been used to remotely automate duties of the traffic police in the United States, but have been proven to have dual use in England such as to mark activists under the Terrorism Act. Perhaps the most common use will be to raise money and shore up budget deficits via traffic violations, but uses may descend to such “Big Brother” tactics as monitors telling pedestrians not to litter as talking cameras already do in the UK. Computer cameras and microphones -- The fact that laptops -- contributed by taxpayers -- spied on public school children (at home) is outrageous. Years ago Google began officially to use computer “audio fingerprinting” for advertising uses. They have admitted to working with the NSA, the premier surveillance network in the world. Private communications companies already have been exposed routing communications to the NSA. Now, keyword tools -- typed and spoken -- link to the global security matrix. Public sound surveillance -- This technology has come a long way from only being able to detect gunshots in public areas, to now listening in to whispers for dangerous “keywords.” This technology has been launched in Europe to “monitor conversations” to detect “verbal aggression” in public places. Sound Intelligence is the manufacturer of technology to analyze speech, and their website touts how it can easily be integrated into other systems. Biometrics -- The most popular biometric authentication scheme employed for the last few years has been Iris Recognition. The main applications are entry control, ATMs and Government programs. Recently, network companies and governments have utilized biometric authentication including fingerprint analysis, iris recognition, voice recognition, or combinations of these for use in National identification cards. DNA -- Blood from babies has been taken for all people under the age of 38. In England, DNA was sent to secret databases from routine heel prick tests. Several reports have revealed covert Pentagon databases of DNA for “terrorists” and now DNA from all American citizens is databased. Digital DNA is now being used as well to combat hackers. Microchips -- Microsoft’s HealthVault and VeriMed partnership is to create RFID implantable microchips. Microchips for tracking our precious pets is becoming commonplace and serves to condition us to accept putting them in our children in the future. The FDA has already approved this technology for humans and is marketing it as a medical miracle, again for our safety. Facial recognition -- Anonymity in public is over. Admittedly used at Obama’s campaign events, sporting events, and most recently at the G8/G20 protests in Canada, this technology is also harvesting data from Facebook images and surely will be tied into the street “traffic” cameras. Predictive behavior technology -- It is not enough to have logged and charted where we have been; the surveillance state wants to know where we are going through psychological profiling. Things seem to have advanced to a point where a truly scientific Orwellian world is at hand. It is estimated that computers know to a 93% accuracy where you will be, before you make your first move. Nanotech is slated to play a big role in going even further as scientists are increasing the use of nanoparticles to directly influence behavior and decision making. Mountain Views News Publisher/ Editor Susan Henderson City Editor Dean Lee Sales Patricia Colonello 626-355-2737 626-818-2698 Art Director Allison Kirkham Production Assistant Richard Garcia Photography Jacqueline Truong Lina Johnson Contributors Teresa Baxter Pat Birdsall Bob Eklund Howard Hays Paul Carpenter Stuart Tolchin Kim Clymer-Kelley Christopher Nyerges Peter Dills Hail Hamilton Rich Johnson Chris Bertrand Mary Carney La Quetta Shamblee Glenn Lambdin Greg Wellborn Ralph McKnight Trish Collins Pat Ostrye Editorial Cartoonist Ann Cleaves Webmaster John Aveny STUART Tolchin..........On LIFE BEING IN A REALITY SHOW WITH INSTANT REPLAY (ALMOST) Today is the sixth day of my visit to Washington D.C. and so far it has been an absolutely unique experience. For me it’s something like the difference between watching a football game on TV or actually going to the Rose Bowl and screaming for my beloved Bruins. Really we all know that you can see the plays better at the game. The camera focuses in on the action and then there’s instant replay to help you see what you missed. At the Rose Bowl, even from my alumni seats, the action may be far away on the other side of the field. Someone is always jumping up in front of me and often I can’t locate the ball and I always miss the intricate line plays. During day games the glare of the sun makes seeing anything dificult and sitting for hours in a shadeless bowl really isn’t that much fun ...and I’m leaving out the stairs and the endless lines and the unalterable truth that there is no nearby refrigerator. So what’s so great about actually going to the game and why do I keep going, losing season after season. Well, it’s the reality, the giant reality of the whole thing. It’s fighting the traffic to get there and worrying about losing my ticket and not being able to find my car after the game. It’s waiting in line and all at once seeing the whole glorious spectacle. It’s seeing 50,000 people seated; watching footbals flying, balls kicked higher than can be believed ,then the field empties and there is quiet and anticipation everywhere and then there is the moment of return. Beautiful young men and women racing around the field holding flags and doing flips and throwing each other into the air and then the players coming on to the field. Huge ,young, powerful, nervous yet cocky. Our warriors reading themselves for the fight accompanied by cheers and music and sometimes jets flying in precision overhead. Sounds great doesn’t it and the game hasn’t even started yet. Well, so far that’s what being in Washington D.C. is like except that I feel like I’m not watching the game I’m actually in it. I think it’s not unlike being on the sidelines at the Rose Bowl. No I’m not really playing in the game but I imagine i can see the players sweat, hear and probably feel the bone-crushing collisions. I imagine talking to the players and feeling their fatigue and sometimes noticing them waving to their proud parents in the stands. Thats what being in Washington D.C. is like I’m not just looking at history. It’s history merging with the present and I’m in it. It’s being up at the Lincoln Monument at midnight. climbing the stairs and smellling the once familar but still not forgotten odor of burning marijuana and hearing the running steps and then seeing the stranely uniformed cops chasing someone around behind the monument. It’sdiscovering a mistake in the carved reproduction of Lincoln’s second inagural speech which contains the famous words ‘with malice toward none and charity for all”. I disovered the word FUTURE is actuallly carved as EUTURE. I tell a security guard about the mistake and she laughs as we watch an arrest and explains that the mistake had been discovered - but after it’s carved what can you do? I see a teacher type person dragging about 6 pre-teens up the stairs and toward the statue and telling the kids that Lincoln’s open right hand resting on his knee and his clenched left hand are sign language for the initials “A” and “L” that the statue was designed by the founder of the famous Gauladet school for the deaf. She walks to the back of the statue and tells them that the head of Robert E. Lee is sprouting from the back of Lincoln’s head and is looking out at his property behind the memorial which is now Arlington National Cemetery. The kids aren’t really paying attention and can’t see Lee’s head which may not really be there. One of the friends I am with, a 325 pound 6 foot 3 inch man also scoffs, and the diminutive teacher physcially grabs him and pulls him to look at the statue from her point of view. This is what Washington D.C. is like. You don’t just look at it, it pulls you right in. Some of it has to do with the weather. Now it’s cold and raining, a couple of days ago it was burning hot and probably soon will be again. Some of it has to do with the subway, it’s not like L.A. where you sit in the car stuck in traffic. Instead it’s up and down ridicuously steep flights of stairs worried about catching the wrong train. It’s the fatigue from walking the unexpected distances between the monuments and the museums. it’s driving out to Monticello and finding myself in a passionate living argument about the worth of the complex Thomas Jefferson. It’s kidding with a well- dressed man on the Metro by asking, “Are you a powerful international diplomat?” “No, not anymore” he replies. The guy was the former Serbian Ambassador to the United States. He now works for a German pharmaceutical compay and feeling fortunate to still be alive. The next guy I talked to had been a lobbyist on the Hill for thirty years and explained to my wife and I at length the great service done by lobbyists. Right. On the walk to the Capital my wife and I passed the Capital Hill Club and its’ “FIRE PELOSI” signs. Lounging about behind their limousines, really, several pink-faced well-dressed and well fed Republicans laughing about Presidential errors. On the House floor my wife and I witnessed Congressman Henry Waxman making an impressive presentation and two hours later on the televised baseball documentary there was the same Henry Waxman, 5 years younger, making a similar kind of speech. It’s kind of aninstant eerie pre-play. Since being here in Washington my wife and I have seen a body in the street bleeding from the head and we were caught in the traffic jam as the police roped off the crime scene. We walked down a street on the way to the Metro only to learn that a few minutes later a gang shooting ocurred and all three people were killed right there. I could go on and on about my 5 days in Washington D.C.. The license plates today still say “No Taxation Without Representation.” The fight still goes on and somehow here one is a participant and not a removed observer. A final incident describes my D.C. experience. It is about 6:00 a.m. and I am writing this longhand in a just opened coffee shop. Paper is spread out in front of me along with my book “Neurodiversity” subtitled “Discoverihg the Extraordinary Gift of Brain Differences.” My waiter whose appearance is gender non- specific wanders over and looks at the book and laughs, “ I think my problem started when they couldn’t decide on a a pink or blue blanket.” That’s Washington D.C. - it’s not out there, it’s right here bringing coffee and recommending a kind of omelet. 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Letters to the editor and correspondence should be sent to: Mountain Views News 80 W. Sierra Madre Bl. #327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Phone: 626-355-2737 Fax: 626-609-3285 email: email@example.com City of Sierra Madre PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE To: Citywide From: The City of Sierra Madre Subject: PROPOSED RESIDENTIAL CANYON ZONE ORDINANCE Applicant: City of Sierra Madre Project Location: Properties within the proposed Residential Canyon Zone of the City of Sierra Madre, County of Los Angeles, State of California The City of Sierra Madre gives notice, pursuant to State of California law, that the City Council will conduct a public hearing to consider a text amendment to the City’s Zoning Code (Title 17), and corresponding Zone Change and General Plan Amendment for the proposed Residential Canyon (RC) Zone. The difficulties inherent in applying citywide R-1 Zoning standards to the Canyon area of Sierra Madre prompts the need to adopt zoning standards that allow reasonable development of properties located therein while preserving the unique character and natural environment of this area, as well as preserving the overall quality of life for its residents. The purpose of the new Ordinance is to 1) facilitate residential canyon preservation through single-family development standards; 2) maintain the environmental equilibrium unique to the residential canyon consistent with the aesthetic of its rustic and historic character; and 3) establish dwelling size, lot coverage, building massing, and floor area ratios which are consistent with the smaller homes and lots in the canyon area. Adoption of the Ordinance includes amendments to the City’s Zoning Map, Land Use Map and amendment to Title 17 (Zoning Code) of the City of Sierra Madre Municipal Code. DATE AND TIME OF HEARING PLACE OF HEARING City of Sierra Madre City of Sierra Madre City Council meeting City Council Chambers Tuesday, October 12, 2010 232 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. (Hearing begins at 6:30 p.m.) Sierra Madre, CA All interested persons may attend this meeting and the City Council will hear them with respect thereto. ENVIRONMENTAL DETERMINATION: The project qualifies for a Negative Declaration pursuant to the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). APPEAL: If in the future anyone wishes to challenge the decision of the City Council in court, one may be limited to raising the issues that were raised or presented in written correspondence delivered to the City Council at, or before, the scheduled public hearing. For further information on this subject, please contact the Development Services Department at (626) 355-7135. By Order of the City Council Danny Castro, Development Services Director Subscribe TODAY! 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