Recently my home and property were targeted for aerial chemical spraying. I do not mean what many people call chemtrails. I mean the use of aircraft specially equipped to apply chemical aerosols to my home and property in order to kill things, and to do so without my consent. The aerial spaying was a violation of my liberty. We are talking about my body, my health, my family, my pets, my garden, my plants and my property. The state and county rather than protecting my rights, as it the purpose of government, acted to violate them. No government organization has a higher claim to my body and my property then I do, yet they acted as if they did. I would be upset if they had they decided to hire folks to ride flying unicorns and drop cotton candy on me simply for the violation of my liberty. There were no unicorns and what was sprayed was not cotton candy.

Not only did I not consent to the spraying but I found out about it with scarcely enough time to cover my organic garden plants, bring my in animals and shut down the A/C. Had I left the plants uncovered they would have been saturated with pesticides. Had I left the animals out they would likely have been injured or killed from the exposure. Had I left the A/C on, the unit would have drawn the chemicals into our home.

Here is a picture of one of the areas that I covered with plastic. I wrapped the sites each evening prior to the aerial spraying, and un-wrapped them the next morning.

Organic liberty garden wrapped in plastic
Even the aerial spray process strikes me as strange. I am sure that the following quotes from the Aerial-Application-FAQ2 were intended to make me feel good but it just makes me more suspicious.

These are very quiet, low noise aircraft by comparison to a commercial jet. As a result, they will fly virtually undetectable.

Why on earth would they feel it is important that the aircraft be undetectable? The document also has this comment:

Pilots for these craft fly with military spec night vision goggles.

I am sure that comment was intended to comfort me that the pilots will not crash into my home or each other, but it also seems a bit spooky. The same document mentions:

… planes will fly approximately 300 ft above the ground at 170 mph.

I am not a pilot but my understanding is that my airspace extends 500 feet from the tallest structure on my property. These aircraft do not have my permission to invade my airspace and 300 from the ground is clearly inside that range. I am not a lawyer, but I would not be surprised to find that because an “emergency” was declared these folks can do whatever they want. I am sure they were immune from prosecution if they had crashed into my property killing me, my family and my animals.

The aerial spraying was performed allegedly to reduce the mosquito population in response to an unusually high incidence of West Nile Virus. Jude Mary Horn of Denton county provided the legal lube to permit aerial spraying, against the will of the home-owners, by declaring a “West Nile Virus Health Emergency”3. According to the statistics4 there was an increase in West Nile Virus fatalities across the state in 2012, but the statistics also show there have been cases every year for several years. Clearly the pest management plan failed and continues to fail. Why not address the problem before it gets so bad that county and state leaders feel they need to declare an emergency? Did they simply want to see how people would react to having chemicals dumped on them?

If the chemicals sprayed were as described by Clarke, the company hired to perform both the surveillance of the mosquitoes and the pesticide application, then a pesticide mixture called Duet was used. Duet contains three primary components5 6. (Since there are three perhaps they should consider changing the name to trio?)

flask of chemicals7

The three components are:

Identified as being toxic to zooplankton, fish and insects including honeybees, and may be an endocrine disruptor in humans. So in addition to killing the mosquitoes, this kills other animal life that are not West Nile Virus disease vectors.
This one is identified as being highly toxic to fish and insects including honeybees. Again the toxin kills other organisms that are not West Nile Virus disease vectors.
Piperonyl butoxide10 11
This by its self seems to be only mildly toxic to the aquatic and insect life. It is used as a synergist, that is to say it is included because it prevents organisms from breaking down toxins such as Pralethrin and Phenothrin thus making the pesticide concoction more potent. It seems it may cause delayed mental development in children and perhaps other problems.12

Who knows what the full effects of the chemical combination are on humans13? In any case, the effects seem rather dire for fish and beneficial insects including honeybees.

We have established that legal measures were taken to force the spraying. We have also established that the chemicals are harmful. One must expect then, that the results of the risk-benefit analysis must have weighed heavily toward the benefit side… Sadly, no.

The aerial application of these chemicals for the identified West Nile Virus vector, Culex tarsalis and Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes, targets only the adult mosquitoes. I find the reported results of a 60% reduction to be highly suspect for three reasons.

  1. The company hired to perform the aerial spraying, was the same company that provided the pesticides, executed the surveillance, and analyzed the results. The results of the sampling and analysis could have far too much impact on this one company’s business for me to believe they could remain impartial.
  2. There was not proper use of control (non-spray) areas. Results should have been compared to the changes shown in control areas. Without such a comparison there is no way to know if changes in the target mosquito population were due to the aerial spraying or perhaps due to natural variations in the population.
  3. The population surveillance was far too short to take into account the mosquito life-cycle and natural variations in adult population. By sampling only right before aerial spraying and right after, one may get data only for mosquitoes that were adults during that time. There is no way to understand how the population of the target mosquitoes changed as new mosquitoes became adults especially in the absence of the mosquito predators killed by the aerial applications. Recall that the pesticides used, are known to harm fish, many of which eat mosquitoes, such as mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis) found throughout Texas15, as well as insects that eat mosquitoes16. It is important to note that surveillance was performed only for mosquitoes and not for other organisms that would be killed by the pesticide mixture. Perhaps, in the longer term, the spraying actually causes a increase in the target mosquitoes. In any case we can not know from this poor sampling.

According to the county health department report17, chemicals were dumped on my home and property for a meager 60% reduction in the target population for two days, September 2nd and September 3rd, with no examination of the collateral damage. They violated my liberties and usurped my decisions all for a pathetic 60% reduction? I can not imagine anybody would examine the issues and conclude that the aerial spraying was effective, safe or ethical. What was the real reason the this spraying was done?

What can we do?

We can do three things to prevent future harm.

  • The first is to educate our selves and our neighbors. There is a great site called It does a fine job of exposing why this type of chemical assault should be stopped.
  • We can encourage a more effective and less harmful pest control plan.
  • Finally, we can take action to stop future spraying by working with local community leaders and petition local government. The following is a good example for North Texas. Please consider signing this petition to help support these efforts, even if you do not live in North Texas.

Please comment with your thoughts, links to other petitions, and other actions so we may all work together to fight for the our health and the health of our planet!

  1. Image used by Growing Liberty LLC with artist permission. Contact us here for more information. 
  2. Aerial-Application-FAQ.pdf Available at: [Accessed September 26, 2012].


  3. Denton County declares West Nile health emergency | Dallas - Fort Worth Available at: [Accessed September 26, 2012].


  4. West Nile Virus Activity, by County and Year Available at: [Accessed October 11, 2012].


  5. duet-msds.pdf Available at: [Accessed September 26, 2012].


  6. 22759Duet12pp.pdf Available at: [Accessed September 26, 2012].


  7. stock.xchng - science (stock photo by hberends) Available at: [Accessed October 10, 2012].
  8. Phenothrin - toxicity, ecological toxicity and regulatory information Available at: [Accessed September 26, 2012].
  9. Prallethrin - toxicity, ecological toxicity and regulatory information Available at: [Accessed September 26, 2012].
  10. Piperonyl butoxide - toxicity, ecological toxicity and regulatory information Available at: [Accessed September 26, 2012].
  11. Piperonyl butoxide - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Available at: [Accessed September 27, 2012].
  12. Common insecticide used in homes associated with delayed mental development of young children Available at: [Accessed September 26, 2012].
  13. Topical Pyrethrin Toxicity Leading to Acute-Onset Stuttering… : American Journal of Therapeutics Available at: [Accessed September 28, 2012].


  14. stock.xchng - Bee2 (stock photo by rkpix) Available at: [Accessed October 2, 2012].
  15. western mosquitofish Gambusia affinis Available at: [Accessed October 2, 2012].
  16. Laboratory studies on the predatory potential of dragon-fly nymphs on mosquito larvae. - Abstract - UK PubMed Central Available at:;jsessionid=HYOhzG6BavQ9BTfnaikn.0 [Accessed October 11, 2012].
  17. Report-Results-from-Aerial-Spraying-in-Denton-County.pdf Available at: [Accessed October 2, 2012].



I am often asked “where do you get your news?”1

TV News: Nadia Meslem
While that is a simple question, it is difficult to answer without sounding like a jackass. I do not have a short list of news sources. The best answer would be “I don’t need news.” I do not need to be told what current events are important to me and the conclusions to draw. What I need is a way to obtain reliable information about current events that I determine to be important. The difference is in who is driving. When one gets news from a broadcast source they become a spectator, when they seek information they become a decision maker. Making decisions is necessary to gain liberty in one’s life. One decision I have made is that time is too precious to waste on information that is important to somebody else, but not to me. Another is to continue developing healthy skepticism and critical thinking skills.

Broadcast news media are transparently biased by a need to be entertaining, to sell advertising or underwriting, to protect the interests of their ownership, and to deliver propaganda. The assertion that news is more news-r-tainment and news-r-tisements than news is so obvious that I will not waste your time on providing a lot of background. This is especially true for television news. One may gather simple evidence by measuring the time devoted to explaining each news item, and compare that to the time used for advertising, teasers for up-coming news items, marketing the news outlet, etc. Some programs will examine fewer news items and do so in greater detail, but even those do not provide enough unbiased information to permit the consumer to draw their own conclusions. I not do believe that enough time is devoted to each story to do more than briefly describe an event and what conclusions one should draw. Look at the what passes for news. A chef explaining the exciting new menu available at a taco franchise is not news, it is advertising packaged as news. All news media has a purpose. The purpose commercial broadcast news it to make money. Advertising funded news is tainted not simply by the presence of a story, and bias of a story but also by omission. How often do you encounter a news piece critical of big pharma that is simultaneously running advertising for a pharmaceutical company? A handful of companies own the broadcast TV and radio stations. Do not expect to encounter stories critical of the parent companies either.

In addition to the news being diluted by entertainment, compromised by its underwriters, and biased by the owner’s agenda, it is also a common and effective conduit for propaganda. Some bias is transparent, such as a so called liberal or conservative bias. This transparency is likely one reason that people ask where I get my news. In a way they may be asking “what news bias do you prefer?” Propaganda works fine with any bias, one simply needs to select which propaganda is a good fit for a given conduit.

Lets suppose that a news story runs claiming that American students demonstrate poor math and science knowledge when compared with their foreign counterparts. A liberal bias might emphasize a reduction in education system funding, thus implying that a reasonable fix would be to increase funding. A conservative bias might emphasize a lack of alternative education system choices, such as charter schools, thus implying that a proper fix would be to provide charter school choices. In both cases the solution requires some kind of government intervention to fix the problem. Propaganda might be in play to convince the public that government is needed to resolve the alleged discrepancy, that people require a system in order to be educated, and that education is the responsibility of the government in the first place.

President Woodrow Wilson (public domain photo) In April of 1917, President Woodrow Wilson created the Committee on Public Information3 and appointed George Creel as its chairman.

This propaganda committee was fascinatingly successful in turning American public opinion from peace to war. This is particularly interesting after Woodrow Wilson’s Peace without Victory speech4 in January of that same year. The archives of the Committee on Public Information, which can be obtained here are likely uninteresting when compared to George Creel’s own words. It is important to note that Walter Lippmann and Edward Bernays played important advisory roles.

Walter Lippmann was an interesting man. Given his writing, one can gather that he devoted much thought to journalism, media, liberty and the workings of government. Sadly, he saw the public as an ignorant herd without the capacity and perhaps the interest necessary to govern themselves. In modern times the people comfortable in this so-called herd are often refered to as sheeple.

Lippmann felt that the herd must be governed by a specialized class. The members of the specialized class, which I will call elites, would have the active role of governing and the herd would be safely kept in a spectator role. I see it as a play where the elite are the actors and the herd are the audience members. The elite have a script and a plan for how the production will play out. The audience is encouraged to applaud or boo at particular times but are discouraged from joining the actors on stage. The applause in my analogy represents the voting process, and the boos represent letters written to congress or other leaders. They make one feel involved without effecting real change.

Edward_Bernays.jpg Edward Bernays wrote two books about controlling public opinion, that changed the world. The first book Crystallizing Public Opinion5 in 1923 and then Propaganda6 in 1928.

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society.” - Edward Bernays

Propaganda, as I understand Bernays description, is a process of delivering ideas that appeal to the sometimes irrational desires of people in order that they may be manipulated into believing something. Media is and was one of many conduits for delivering propaganda. In future articles I expect to address some of the others, as well as explain some of the techniques used. Some of those available to broadcast media are truly remarkable. The following photo is of the Bellamy Salute used in some form in the United States between 1892 and 1942 while performing the Pledge of Allegiance.7 What emotions and messages do you think this ceremony promoted?


The history of the use propaganda in media and elsewhere to alter public opinion in the United States is well documented by experts such as Noam Chomsky. Media Control8 by Noam Chomsky is a great introduction.

Joseph_Goebbels.jpgLater, Joseph Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda in the National Socialist German Worker’s Party (Nazi party), followed the astounding success of Edward Bernays and his books. Goebbels adopted methods that were proven successful and that included the work of Bernays. Goebbels did many terrible things to effect his control over the population and the consequences are infamous.

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” - Joseph Goebbels

It is difficult to conceptualize the consequences of lies propagated by Goebbels.

So let’s get back to the question… If I were to chart news, I would describe it with a line chart with how active my thinking brain must be on the Y-axis, and how targeted the news is to me personally on the X-axis.

Chart with smile at highest active and lowest target

I would expect the place where I would be lest susceptible to manipulation would be the top left, that is my brain must be the most active, and the messages are the least targeted. When I say targeted I mean how well is the news crafted to meet my expected desires. To get an idea what I am talking about, watch broadcast television news at the time that is most convenient for you and pay special attention to the advertisements shown during the program. Compare these advertisements to those shown during Saturday morning children’s programming. How well has the market research targeted you during the news program? I would venture to guess that the advertisements shown during the news program were better targeted to you than those shown during the children’s programming. Now if the advertising is targeted to you, don’t you think the same market research is used to target the rest of the program? Knowing the market is important for identifying what desires to play on for both the advertising and the program its self. Finding a source that provides only the facts9 is unrealistic, but I would expect something like the Congressional Record, court transcripts or CSPAN would be closer than your typical broadcast news program.

I find that the Internet is wonderful for finding information from both dubious and more reliable sources. Many sources are available, and I can control how I go about finding information. I hear people say things all the time like “Oh the Internet, you can’t trust what you see/read on the Internet.” That is so true, and it is just as true for the other sources of information, such as broadcast television news. You must always use your head. Not all news is what it seems on the surface. Sometimes tricks are used to improve the experience. Here is an example where audio was faked or enhanced in order to improve the viewing experience. I have to laugh when I see a story on broadcast television news where the studio commentator talks with a foreign correspondent with faked footage. The give-aways are things like the following, and the more of these the more obviously fake.

  • The studio commentator makes a point to identify credentials for the foreign correspondent, but the correspondent and the credentials can not be corroborated.
  • The “story” contains words like “un-confirmed reports” or the video has not been validated. Hey this is broadcast news, you folks have both a reputation and a budget. Why on earth would you air un-confirmed anything?
  • The audio does not fit the situation. A conversation from the studio with somebody that is in the field, i.e. not in the studio with the commentator, will always have latency (a delay). If the latency is absent then the audio has been faked, dramatically altered, or the foreign correspondent is also in the studio, perhaps in front of a green-screen. Another audio give-away is background noise that does not suffer the same imperfections as the foreign correspondent. Example: The foreign correspondent’s voice and static cuts in an and out, but background noise of gunfire or crowd noise continues uninterrupted.

There are many of these that I expect to examine in future articles. There is a good podcast called the No Agenda Show10, created by John C. Dvorak (of PC Magazine and Dow Jones Marketwatch fame) and Adam Curry (an outspoken media man of MTV VJ fame) found here. These guys have a great time taking apart the media and presenting it in a fun way. They provide their own interesting conclusions. One need not agree with their conclusions to enjoy the show.

The BPC is a group the claims to exist to expose propaganda of the BBC. They might, but they likely also have their own agenda too.

One might expect that the way to get quality information is to always focus on the most reliable sources. This is not true. Biased sources are useful because they can make the agenda of the source visible, especially when the same story is compared across multiple sources. No source be it dubious or reliable can be taken at face value. One must always examine content for inaccuracies, omissions, fallacies and other flaws. Finding the fallacies and flaws can become really entertaining. Critical thinking skills allow you to think smarter not harder. I plan to address critical thinking skill more in future articles. The following is a video showing some advertisements and news footage that points out logical fallacies in play.

Sometimes the value of biased sources are not in the lies, but rather in the whys. What is there to be gained by the lie and who will benefit? Understanding the agenda of a source and seeing how it is used to color a story gives great insight into the why of events, and helps one see how these events fit together. It can even help one predict what the events one may expect in the future. My approach would be to find something that is important to me and seek the current information from a variety of sources. The following is an example.

One news source may report that a company has chosen to move all of its cash reserves into executive retirement funds. A different news source may report that the same company expects to file bankruptcy soon and by moving the cash reserves into executive retirement funds the funds would be protected from creditors in the event of a bankruptcy. Finally one may learn from a third source that the company executives were fighting a long battle with a labor union and by filing bankruptcy, all union contracts could be voided. One may be able to validate that all the facts listed above are accurate according to the company’s annual reports but one would likely never do so without first encountering each of the pieces of the puzzle from the difference sources.

So to net it out I “get my news from many sources and take an active role in researching information important to me.” The Internet is a valuable research tool. CSPAN is one way to get good information from the Internet. The CSPAN video archives contain synchronized transcripts and can be searched by keywords. The matching videos are then queued to the place in the video where the keywords match. It is a beautiful piece of technology. Here is a friendly video to explain how this works in more detail. As an example, you might search for senate cybersecurity bill and encounter the following video.

I believe that large corporate media companies and the Government have a strong desire to continue to tightly control the message. They continue to manipulate the people through propaganda and other means but find this more difficult on the Internet where information is more free from their corruption. There has been and will continue to be a push by these entities to establish an Internet governance mechanism to eliminate unadulterated information, expand surveillance and silence political dissent.

Most recently we have seen:

United States Senate Bill House Bill S.3261, Stop Online Piracy Act
United States Senate Bill S.968, PROTECT IP Act
U.S. Senate Bill S.2029, Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act and Enforcement of Digital Trade
U.S. Senate Bill S. 2111, Cyber Crime Protection Security Act
U.S. Senate Bill S. 2151, SECURE IT and H.R. 4263, SECURE IT Act of 2012
Cyber Security Act of 2012
H.R. 2096, Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2012
H.R. 3523, Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act

There are many more, sometimes multiple variations of the same bill. One could spend hours simply following links on Don’t be fooled into thinking that these steps are designed to fight piracy, cyber-crime, terrorism, identity theft or to protect the children. It is not the stated intentions that are important, but rather the results. These bills would get nowhere if they were named things like “Critical Thinking Smackdown: CTS”, or “Silencing Political Dissent on the Internet: SPDI”, or “Psychological Operations for the American Homeland: POAH.” Don’t take my word for it, check out the results of bills that become law, then compare that to the intentions identified in congress.

I hope we will all take a more active role in getting to the truth of our current events. Please take time to fight censorship of the Internet.

I am making an effort to take an active role in finding information. I am also continuing to expand my critical thinking skills. The Internet is a great tool for finding information, but its freedom is under attack. It is going to take efforts by all of us to protect it. I hope you will join me in these efforts.

  1. You can guess why I chose the tiltle, right? 
  2. Photo credit for TV news graphic (Aug 2012): Nadia Meslem 
  3. President Woodrow Wilson created the Committee On Public Information 
  4. The text of the Peace without Victory speech can be found here, and thoughtful analysis here
  5. Crystallizing Public OpinionUsing this affiliate link will help support our efforts to serve you. 
  6. PropagandaUsing this affiliate link will help support our efforts to serve you. or the text online here 
  7. Why would the people of the United States need to make a pledge of allegiance to the government that serves them? Should it not be the other way around? Perhaps if elected officials gave a pledge each morning to the people they work for, they would be more inclined to keep the promises they made during their election campaign. 
  8. Media Control 2nd EditionUsing this affiliate link will help support our efforts to serve you. 
  9. I am reminded of Dragnet 
  10. Parents should be advised that most shows contain language that might be inappropriate for children. 

Growing a garden is very rewarding and can help you gain personal liberty. This idea is explored in more detail in a prior article called liberty-garden. It is wonderful to experience fruits and vegetables ripened on the plant, picked moments before they are needed. It is also useful to have food available when needed and not when harvested. One great way to preserve some of our harvest is by jamming!

Here is a picture of our first real grape harvest of the year.


We had smaller harvests, that could easily be consumed in one day, but this harvest is large enough that it would expire before it could be eaten by us and our neighbors1 unless we preserved some for later. The grape harvest shown above was perfect for one batch of grape jam. I used a variation on the recipe show here. The grapes were Flame grapes, a remarkably productive Vitis vinifera cultivar. Flame grapes are pipless (seedless). Jamming with them is simpler and much more fun without the pip related hassles. Without pips, it is simpler to control the cooking of the jam so it retains the greatest natural flavor.

I like things that reusable and robust. When making jam I use Luminarc jam jars. They are far simpler to use, do not need constant replacement parts and are more durable than other jam jars. I can not find them locally, but Amazon has them here. The following is a picture of three of the seven jars of jam made this batch.


While it is a true pleasure to eat these grapes now as jam as well as from the table, it will be especially nice this winter when the summer garden is only a memory. I also enjoy sharing the jam with friends and neighbors. I hope there is never a time when I must survive a winter eating summer jam, but if that time comes the experience and skill will be especially valuable.

Please share your jamming stories and recipes by commenting on this article here, or by using the contact us link.

  1. The neighbors politely accept a few things here and there. 

Here is genuine feedback from a first-timer's experience through the time that we were involved in both the Senate District and the State Convention this year.

Let me first start by saying that this year we represented “the local business owner” as citizens of Texas, USA! We have consistently voted Republican, but we have never participated this intimately in politics ever in our lives! It was fantastic to see our vote affecting the State level results, and we helped elect several people (whom we have met and know), that will represent our view on the National stage from our State, and even from our home town!! Wehoooooooo! That is really a thrilling experience. That is what I wanted my wife and I to be a part of this year! Now, who’s gonna say I didn’t do my part!? I hope you understand (which I know you do) that this is a real boots on the ground testimony of how our group as a whole came together and successfully became representatives within a hierarchical establishment system, and truly legitimized our cause. Now I can say that there is something better than getting the “I voted” sticker to wear around. I went into this thing with no faith in the electoral process, and came out the other side, having a lot more to say about it, for the positive1. I am still struggling in my political faith! But, now I know what to expect for the next time that I get involved. Let me tell you, there will be a next time!

OK, all of that said, I knew some of the participants in the room who were more established within the ranks. That comes from having been a business owner in Texas for seven years, and having been a tax-paying citizen who actively votes, for 17 years. (Though, I have never participated beyond the voting booth until this year!) I have good relations with the other participants, so that might influence what I’m going to say next. We felt welcome, and we had some great interactions with everyone. There was not one negative interaction that we experienced, in or out of the convention setting. In fact, I think those we interacted with were friendly, very personable, and impressed upon me their willingness to include the younger, less experienced participants, such as us. Because of their willingness to engage with us in the process, we will continue to work alongside specific people in the next election, to struggle for our cause, and continue to change the platform to be more appropriately reflective of a desire to preserve the future of our personal liberty, locally, and then nationally.

I’m sorry for my lack of experience, but I have to transcribe my best description into a hypothetical of what I believe Ron Paul would respectfully say, when he is asked if he will endorse Mitt Romney.

I will consider working together with those established participants, because that’s what I strive to do daily, in every facet of my life, and this will be no different. Furthermore, I am quite familiar with this normal struggle, as a business owner, and a husband. In fact, it was an assumption of mine that while this was everyone’s desire at the State Convention, “working together” was not to trump the power of my vote ! With all due respect, I’m afraid that this attitude appears to imply that I haven’t considered “working together” to get to the State Convention, or even to write this letter. So, I hope this is a clear indication to the reader, whomever it is that should have interest in my response, that I have quite thoroughly considered working together, just as successfully as I have duly accomplished my goals of speaking my voice, influencing the platform, voting my delegate choices, and walking away proudly flashing my distinguished delegate badge at every person I walked by on the street that day! I found this question initially unsettling, but after writing this letter, I realize that this is a great start to the very interaction that I seek, which is in getting the readers attention to such a degree that I have to reply with this tone. I don’t think I’ll be able to support any ideology that I can’t agree with, or more importantly, one that cannot reflect The Constitution of the United States.

Until I begin to SEE an active platform that is:

  • indicative of a more fiscally conservative view point in Defense, Immigration, and Domestic Infrastructural Rebuilding and Improvement (roads, bridges, over-passes)
  • a constitutionally focused dialogue that invites serious debate on returning to a pre-Federal Reserve Bank (Gold and Silver Standard) non-fiat currency
  • proving to truly struggle and fight to preserve the health of an accountable democratic process that embraces a reduction of Governmental Power, and Increased Liberty

Until I begin to see a platform taking strides to embrace this verbiage with forward motion, I won’t feel that I am representing a genuine voice for those who have died to preserve The Constitution of the United States.
Instead, I think the perception that is “US against THEM” on both sides of this pink elephant in the room, exists simply because there is an appearance that those representing The Constitution of the United States are under reasonable suspicion of not doing so. I urge you to remain above reproach with regard to protecting The Constitution of the United States in your public service, when possible, and be blatant about it, when impossible! Please re-read my bullet points, because I suggest that they would be good first-steps to “tear down this wall”, and represent the opinions of so many people who are being

Huge Chains.jpg

chained down by forced inflation, increasing slavery, depleting resources for prosperity, and an ever-diminishing sense of empowerment to vote their conscience! If those citizens whom I’ve just described knew that this kind of self-empowering opportunity existed within the public debate, and their own voices could impact the national election, like mine just did, I believe they would stop blaming the past, and they would immediately begin to create the future. It can take effect that fast! I have just learned how to vote people into office that want this, like I do. Thank you for enabling me in this effort. Imagine, they would wake up from the dream that money grows on shovel-ready trees, and they would begin truly struggling and fighting for the front of the line to join our team of Liberty Warriors. That is who we all are, I hope.

That would cause me to want to have continued participation, and not just passively let the Obama-types have unobstructed access to the Oval Office. All in the same spirit of why I began listening to, and eventually voting for Ron Paul, because of his genuine commitment, above everything else, to The Constitution of the United States. Thank you for enabling my opportunity, and serving with me this year in celebrating freedom, by participating in our most powerful expression of freedom; Voting our Conscience.

  1. esp. How Votes Truly Count 

Identification by fingerprint is a bad idea for security, but a great idea for Security Theater and for wasting money. If your goal is to waste as much money as possible or to give an illusion of security then you might as well stop reading now.

Using biometrics such as fingerprints for identification is good for security theater because it is easy to understand, is physical, and can be dramatic. It is used often in movies and television to add drama and visual flair. It is common to watch a crime drama where investigators use special tools and expert skill to carefully lift fingerprints from a crime scene. Often the drama has a scene where the found fingerprint is matched to a print on file with a computer.

We have match! We found our perp!”

Another place where biometrics are used in dramatic fiction is where the protagonist is shown entering a super-secret, highly secure facility. Our hero presents his or her eye to a laser for a retina scan1 or hand for a hand scan. In the movie The Bourne Identity, Jason Bourne gets a full hand scan to capture his fingerprints to identify him before he is granted access to his assets in numbered bank box. That is a fun scene and shows how Bourne can access his assets without a memory for pass-phrases, etc. It is easy for us to recall these scenes from movies and television and associate biometric authentication factors with strong security. This association makes biometrics great for security theater but, of course, does not make biometrics good for actual security.


A part of a song comes to mind. The lyrics goes something like “Money Money Money Money!”. Great theater can mean great potential for making money. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has used all kinds of expensive new equipment in their security efforts. The effectiveness and safety of said equipment and procedures are actively debated. It is however, important that the TSA appear to be doing something new and different or the traveling public might start asking uncomfortable questions. It is easy to accept biometrics as useful security since it is reinforced so often in popular media fiction. The security theature used by the TSA is a whole different subject that deserves, at least, its own article. Security expert Bruce Schneier has spoken volumes on this issue. If the subject interests you, check what Bruce has written.

Well that is the theater aspect, lets get back to biometrics. If you work as a licensed professional, that is to say, you work in some profession that is controlled by a government entity such that you are required to obtain permission, in the form of a license (see Licensure), then you may be required to provide this entity with your fingerprints. This concept of licensure smells like a scam to me, but then I admit that I do not understand it. It seems to me like its whole purpose it to make government seem important, or perhaps to control competition in profitable professions, or both. I suppose it is like getting knighted by your servants, in this case public servants, in order that you may prove that in addition to knowing how to practice medicine, or wash hair or whatever, you also know how to please the State. How grand it is to be knighted…

So why not capture biometric data for licensing? If you want to work as a licensed professional you will need to comply with whatever hair-brained requirement is asked of you. I understand that to renew a nursing license in Texas, at the time of me writing this article, one must provide a full set of fingerprints from both hands! What great security theater! Why not a retina scan and a stool sample too? Perhaps those will implemented in the future. What is especially nice is the money that can be made from getting these fingerprints. I applaud MorphoTrust for being so well connected to the State(s) and opportunistic to profit from State fingerprinting requirements. Make an appointment online, pay your money and then they will take handle the intensely difficult job of putting your hands in ink then pressing them to paper. Is a ceremony involved? I hope at least that they have a cha-ching sound every time they press your hand to paper. I wonder if these people are licensed?

Fingerprints are good for security theater, have potential for extracting money from licensed professionals, but what about their use as an authentication factor2? There are many smart folks who have devoted significant time and money to determine just how unique different biometric authentication factors are, and if you want the details you can find them proudly displayed all over the web. To simplify this lets just assume that something like your fingerprint is unique.

How do you expect that a fingerprint would be used? In the case of a professional license, do you think that perhaps the fingerprint would be digitized and stored in a database? Perhaps this print would then be compared with prints already stored in the database? This means that your very unique information is stored someplace outside of your physical control. Who has access to this information? How safe is this from unauthorized access, say from an identity thief? How long is this information stored? How do you know that your digitized fingerprint is correctly associated with your data? What do you think could happen to you if somehow your information got associated with a different set of prints? What happens to your information after it is no longer needed for authentication?

The most important problems with using biometric factors for authentication are the following.

Problem of Scope
Typically one would not want to use an authentication factor in one place that is identical to one used in another place because if the factor becomes compromised, then all places employing the factor will be compromised. An authentication factor’s use should be confined to one place so that it is targeted to the specific need. Some uses require better or different quality factors than others.
Problem of Longevity
A biometric factor such as a fingerprint should be persistent for one’s entire life. This expands the time that such a factor can be compromised beyond the typical need for the authentication. Imagine if your fingerprint was used to authenticate you for entrance to your place of employment. Most people do not stay employed with the same employer for their entire lifetime. If all employers authenticate employees using fingerprints then with each new employer, one would leave one’s fingerprint history with a prior employer for which authentication is no longer required. How well would one expect an employer to protect the biomentric data of former employees? Another example would be the fingerprint scanner on a company laptop. What happens to the stored representation of one’s fingerprint when the laptop is returned to the employer? The fingerprints may not be stored in the same place as the user’s files. Would every employer know or care to properly destroy this information on reciept of such a laptop?
Problem of Compromise
This is related to the Problem of Longevity, but deserves its own explanation. When a traditional authentication factor, such as a pass-phrase, is compromised, then one may simply take steps to invalidate the compromised factor and replace it with a fresh one. This is not feasible with a biometric factor such as fingerprint. Getting new fingers when one’s fingerprints are compromised is simply not realistic. One might think that a biometric factor like a fingerprint can not be compromised. This is incorrect. Biometric factors can and are compromised just like any other factor. Recall that to check the fingerprint pressed on a scanner, there must be a digitized and version to compare against. So to compromise a biometric factor one need not have any physical contact with an actual finger. All that would be needed would be to get a copy of digitized version then trick the scanner into reading a match. There are other ways to defeat biometrics, but that is not in the scope of this article.

Biometric identification such as use of a fingerprint scan is great for creating the illusion of security without actually providing true security. Because its use is dramatic, simple and reinforced in popular media, it is widely accepted and thus has good profit potential. What you can do to protect yourself is to avoid services that rely on biometrics for authentication. If you need a fingerprint to rent a car, perhaps you can find different transportation. Lets focus on actual security and leave the illusions to magicians.

  1. There seems to be no interest in what damage a laser would do to one’s eye for such a scan, but hey lasers look great on film. 
  2. An authentication factor is a measurable piece of information used to verify one’s identity.