Daily Archives: March 28, 2008

U.S. Security Out-Sourced to Asia

High tech passport manufacturing decision made by low tech bureaucrat brains

Inebriated Press
March 28, 2008

The Washington Post reported yesterday that the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) has been outsourcing the manufacture of the country’s high-tech high-security e-passports to a manufacturer in Thailand recently victimized by Chinese espionage, and then selling them to the U.S. State Department for twice their cost.  Experts say that American bureaucrats have handed the Chinese easy access to our country while they are busy squabbling and over-billing each other.  Some people say our government is as stupid as it seems.  Others aren’t concerned.

“I once got into a shootout over illegal passport trading in Bosnia and had to take down a half dozen bad guys with an old Soviet AK-47 I had in my purse,”  said former First Lady and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, juggling truth and lies as though they were the same thing.  “Just because the Chinese have stolen most of the technology that my husband Bill didn’t give them outright when we were president, doesn’t mean that they have any interest in our passports.   If anything all we need to do his hire a few more government officials to keep an eye on things and charge their costs to other departments.  Once we do that we’ll feel better having done something, and by charging ourselves it’s almost like it’s free.”

A few people think that the United States government hiring plan of Super Equal Opportunity that requires fifty percent of all workers be morons has gone too far.   “You’re telling me that government workers I’m paying with my tax dollars have outsourced the worlds most advanced technical passport designed for our security, to a third world nation with a sieve for their defense?  That’s what you’re tell me?” asked Habious Corpus, an insomniac who worries that only faceless-bureaucrat-idiots are running the country while politicians play games and the military tries to keep us safe while mired between goofballs and nut cases.  “We have vaccination against disease and defense against the plague, but we can’t defend ourselves from idiocy.  And our own idiocy will destroy us faster than terrorists and Islamofascists.  Please say this passport thing ain’t so.”

Sadly it is so.  The United States has outsourced the manufacturing of its electronic passports to overseas companies — including one in Thailand that was victimized by Chinese espionage — raising concerns that “cost savings” are being put ahead of national security, an investigation by The Washington Times has found.  The Government Printing Office’s decision to export the work has proved lucrative, allowing the agency to book more than $100 million in recent profits by charging the State Department more money for  the passports than it actually costs to make them, according to interviews with federal officials and documents obtained by The Times.  Lawmakers said they were alarmed by The Times’ findings and plan to investigate why U.S. companies weren’t used to produce the state-of-the-art passports, one of the crown jewels of American border security.  Officials at GPO, the Homeland Security Department and the State Department played down such concerns saying that nothing goes on in the U.S. that they don’t know about.

“There are no longer any illegal aliens in the U.S. and all the people here with passports check-out as having passports, so there’s no cause for worry,” said a Homeland Security official who recently transferred in from a previous job as lettuce wrangler at Taco Bell.  “We’ve been carefully listening in on phone calls that Paris Hilton is making and are pretty sure that the country is safe from foreign powers.  And as long as we can get Britney Spears steady work on a TV sitcom we think that she’ll be stable and won’t be trafficking with Mexico.  Now as soon as I install some more computer security updates from Russia for our departments’ software, we’ll have nothing to worry about except how liberal the next U.S. president is and how much new government we can create.  You know, if everyone worked for the government we’d all have healthcare.  It’s a dream worth thinking about.”

In other news, Associated Press reported that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it is investigating a possible link between Merck’s best-selling drug Singulair and suicide.  FDA said it is reviewing a handful of reports involving mood changes, suicidal behavior and suicide in patients who have taken the popular allergy and asthma drug.  No word on whether patients have also been outsourcing their safety and security to Asian nations but it looks like a reasonable bet.

© 2008 InebriatedPress.com

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Tracking Girls for Fun and Profit

The Spy in Your Cell Phone

Inebriated Press
March 28, 2008

Science Daily reported this week that researchers bored with tracking the migration of birds have turned to girls ages 14 to 16.  Scientists say they hope to learn where teenage girls go, how they interact with their various environments and what it means to their health.  They’ve already discovered that teenage girls who spend a lot of time with boys in the back seats of cars have an increased chance of pregnancy.

“When tracked with GPS we know where the teens are and when they are there but we don’t know what they are doing,” said Sarah Wiehe, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine and a former teenager who once experienced a life free of GPS tracking but got an occasional rug burn anyway.  “When following up on out-of-wedlock pregnancies we discovered a correlation with the amount of time these girls spent in the back seats of stationary automobiles.  We still don’t know what was happening there, but something occurred that caused the girls to become impregnated.  We’re requesting more funds from the government for improved spy phones in hope that we can figure out what’s going on.”

Not everyone thinks that trading privacy for scientific data is worth it.  “If we’re okay tracking girls by their cell phones and matching health events with their traffic patterns, we’re just asking for a law that requires constant tracking of all of us under the guise that taking away our personal liberty is actually best for our health,” said Susi Que, a pool-stick thin blonde who values personal freedom above government claims of protection through control.  “My migratory pattern is my own business.”

Science Daily said in a paper to be published in the April issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, that researchers from Indiana University School of Medicine report on a pilot study which evaluated the feasibility of using global position system-enabled cell phones to track where 14- to 16-year-old girls spent their time. 

“Learning that we were able to track their movement is important because previous studies which have looked at the effect of environment on teens have focused only on home, school and surrounding areas,” said Sarah Wiehe, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine and a Regenstrief Institute affiliated scientist.  “A person’s environment in some way influences or is at least associated with their health and health outcomes and in the case of adolescents their health behaviors.”

Based on the success of the initial project, the researchers have received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to enroll 160 urban teenage girls in a study to track their movements in spring, summer, fall and winter (to account for seasonal variations).  They hope to learn much more about how teenage girls interact with their many environments in ways that impact health. 

The CIA is using the better health angle to convince Al Qaeda terrorists to participate in a similar program so they can be secretly tracked down.  “We’ve been posting the health benefits of constant monitoring by GPS cell phone-tracking on radical Muslim websites in the Middle East and offering free posters of women in hijabs to the first 5,000 Al Qaeda members who sign up,” said CIA operative Blu Moon, pretending his name was Thomas McGuire.  “We’ve started getting some enrollments but so far it’s mostly been by cross-dressing Turkish sailors.  We’re still hopeful this can work though.”

In other news, risky behavior among U.S. teens continues as does risky behavior by Al Qaeda members.  The definition of “risky” continues to be debated, as does the meaning of “personal freedom.”

(C) 2008 InebriatedPress.com

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