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May 30th
Home Sections Revotelution How Microchips Can Eliminate Corruption and Solve Crimes in the Philippines
How Microchips Can Eliminate Corruption and Solve Crimes in the Philippines PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 05 February 2008 05:39

Microchips in Sensors and Close-circuit TVs in Businesses, Transport Vehicles and Public Venues Can Also Prevent Crimes and Bring Criminals to Justice

People are asking how an Overseas Filipino (OF)-led political party can guarantee the elimination of corruption in the Philippines. The answer is very simple: Embed microchips in all the employees of the Philippine government – from the President down to the lowly “barangay tanod.” Then embed the same microchips in all contractors, suppliers and providers of the Philippine government. All government properties – from the staplers to motorcars and aircraft -- will also have microchips, aside from equipping all vehicles and planes with GPS equipment and/or sensors.

The immediate members of the top officials’ families, including those of the esteemed members of Philippine Congress, the judiciary and Cabinet members, will also have to have the microchips embedded in them. For instance, the visit of the First Spouse to a bank to open an account can then easily be monitored. The microchips will only be removed if their relatives who are government officials resign, retire or are fired from the job. The same microchip-removal rule would apply to all government employees.

Then sensors will be built (and also embedded) in government offices, military camps, motor pools, public parks and sports complexes, etceteras, etc. This way, "ghost employees" will be eliminated, as the sensors will prove their absence from work.

All bars, night clubs, sauna baths, motels, hotels, beach resorts, golf courses, casinos, cockpits, restaurants and other public places will have foolproof electronic “sniffers” that will scan the microchips embedded in government personnel and their suppliers, providers, contractors, etc., and the sensors in government-owned property. How can then government contractors meet with government bigwigs in a golf course or worse, in night clubs or even in restaurants without being detected by sensors? Even golf carts would carry sensors.

Thus, it will be easy to detect if a government official visits the Red-Light district or patronize bars. The wife of a ranking government official may be able to trace his whereabouts by merely logging on the GPS system of the government-issued service car. The husband may not use a taxicab, as all taxis will carry also sensors.

Now Big Brother (AKA the Office of the President and by extension, the Sandiganbayan, the Department of Justice and the military-police top brass) will be able to monitor if government employees, especially law-enforcement officers (LEOs) go to prohibited places like bars, night clubs, etceteras, etc. All government vehicles can be monitored and checked whether they are parked in motels, etc., etc., especially since all their keys will be modified to operate like the ExxonMobil's "Speedpass." Government-employed drivers will not even be able to buy at privately-run gasoline stations (or fuel depots) additional gas (to use for unauthorized trips) without being flagged by sensors.

The sale of government-owned “tagged” rifles and other military equipment by unscrupulous LEOs to the communist and/or Muslim rebels can also be monitored easily.

All tables at the Bureau of Customs, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Bureau of Immigration and all government offices will have sensors embedded in them – so that the placement of cash in their drawers could be monitored. The Philippine paper currency (at least the five-hundred-peso and thousand-peso bills) can be made not only to carry watermarks but also microchips to be able to be detected by sensors. Imagine a table at the Bureau of Customs emitting a beeping signal for all the employees and public to know if a drawer in it is opened and cash placed therein.

Aside from detecting if government employees and officials are leading immoral, if not corrupt, lives, the use of microchips will facilitate the recovery of bodies in case of accidents, calamities or tragedies (both nature-caused or man-made). Or even in rescuing government officials, especially LEOs, who may be kidnapped by lawless elements. The army combat boots can carry embedded chips or even sensors and making them microchipped will prevent their sale in the black market.

Civil-rights advocates will not protest against this plan of microchipping (sic) Philippine-government officials and employees, as the privacy rights of the ordinary citizens and civilians are respected. Remember that under this plan, only the government personnel are subjected to mandatory embedding of chips.

However, jealous wives (or husbands) may opt to persuade their respective spouse to emulate the government bigwigs and carry too the embedded microchips. If many private individuals will request the same service, the Philippine government can cut down the per-capita expense of embedding the microchips.

This proposal is not based on science fiction. It can easily be done. Funding for the microchipping (sic) proposal will not be a problem. The savings the public coffers will have once corruption is drastically reduced, if not eliminated, can pay for the costs in the first year alone.

And add to the merits of this proposal the social benefits that accrue when government employees will be forced to dump their mistresses. This proposal can prevent the birth of illegitimate children or the use of abortion on part of the mistresses. Prostitution will be also curtailed, as very few government employees will risk being detected by the sensors.

Please read the excerpts from the following Associated Press article, as written by Todd Lewan, to realize that the “Microchip Age of Sensors and Sniffers” has begun. In fact, it has been going on in the United States, Canada and Western Europe for many years now.

In fact to date in the U.S.A., Europe, other developed countries in Asia, South America, Australia and New Zealand and developing countries, microchips in sensors and close-circuit TVs in businesses, transport vehicles and public venues also prevent crimes and bring criminals to justice.

If the Filipino people will not go for these suggested steps in reducing or totally eliminating corruption, then the criminals crooks in the government and in the private sector will have the last laugh. Ha, ha, ha, ha . . .

* * * * * 

By TODD LEWAN (AP National Writer)
From Associated Press
January 26, 2008 12:16 PM EST

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 trillions 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."
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Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.

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Last Updated on Friday, 19 April 2013 19:10
Comments (2)
1 Thursday, 19 March 2009 11:57
I was told BY THE NYPD THAT THEY HAD BEEN MICROCHIPPED!...".FOR OUR OWN GOOD". When I tried to verify this with ONE POLICE PLAZA, I was told, "only dogs are chipped", an obvious lie. Given that the human organism can be manipulated through the chip we have a potential S.S.force (over and above that their superiors are encouraging tasering.......) And as for IBM saying that chips could be embedded in firearms to make them easier to track....let's not forget who IBM is...they are Nazis. They were instrumental in developing the 'punchcard technology' for processing innocents during W.W.2. NOW THEY ARE COMING FOR YOU.
2 Thursday, 10 December 2009 11:39

A well-known priest from the Detroit area has penned a powerful, gutsy, and in some cases daring new book that spells out various "spiritual dangers" of our times.

Microchips. Government monitoring. The New Age. Influences on our young. A possible future persecution.

And attacks by spirits in our own households.

These are some of the issues tackled by Father Joseph M. Esper, who obtained his bishop's "rescript" -- ecclesiastic approval -- for publication of Spiritual Dangers of the 21st Century.

It is an unusual approval in that the book raises issues long thought to be in the "fringe" category and parts of the book rely on controversial private revelations.

"The year 2010 will be a milestone in human history," writes Father Esper. "By that point in time, there will be one billion transistors per every person on earth, each costing only one ten-millionth of a cent.

"The unimaginably massive use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips, most of them networked together (in automobiles, roadways, appliances, cell phones, drivers' licenses, credit cards, SMART cards, pipelines, doorways of public buildings and private homes, items of clothing, pharmaceuticals, livestock and pets, and -- sooner or later -- human beings) will allow an unprecedented degree of ongoing and virtually inescapable surveillance.

"In addition, high-speed cameras are now used at red lights, railroad crossings, pedestrian crosswalks, shopping malls and convenience stores, and in too many other locations to mention, with many of them available for the use of facial-recognition technology.

"It's becoming extremely difficult for people to hide themselves or keep a low profile. Today the average American is listed in at least a dozen government databases, which contain his or her tax, financial, medical, police, educational, and military records. These can easily be used to assemble accurate profiles, including -- by means of banking and personal checking records -- that person's religious and political preferences."

We will have two articles on the book. In this installment, let's take a glance at what else the priest -- who has written for prominent journals such as the Homiletic and Pastoral Review -- has to say about the possibility of future government control that threatens Catholics and other Christians.

"The FBI is creating a national database of the DNA samples of millions of U.S. citizens, and -- combined with the above-mentioned technological surveillance grid -- the last remaining shreds of privacy will disappear for much of the world's population," frets Father Esper. "Religious believers could easily become victims of hostile government action."

It is a well-written book. It is also full of fact. Is some of it debatable? Much is. Does Father Esper go too far? Time will tell.

For certain, he makes a number of excellent points.

When government agencies charged with fighting crime also have the power to define a crime -- "and America is rapidly heading toward this frightening state of affairs," he suggests -- there can be big trouble -- "big-brother" trouble.

More than two thousand new laws are enacted each year in the country, he points out -- with obscure clauses and sub-clauses -- and no one can be sure which may be used against Christians. Already, points out the author, a report issued by Homeland Security has included "right-wing extremists" and "groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as abortion," as potential agents of civil unrest -- and thus worth watching.

Father Esper says that new cell phones carry a global-positioning (GPS) device that could be monitored -- and that the FBI has techniques to activate a cell phone's microphone and listen in to conversations (a capability disabled only when the battery is removed). The momentum for surveillance gained tremendous force after September 11 and continues to increase.

"Credit cards, shopper loyalty or store-discount cards, and SMART cards are all capable of containing embedded microchips that allow a person's movements to be tracked by satellite," he writes in the fascinating if speculative book. "Indeed, SMART is said to stand for 'satellite monitoring and remote tracking.'

"The technology for creating and implanting such microchips already exists. U.S. passports issued over the last few years, for instance, specifically state: 'This document contains sensitive electronics.'"

Already, RFID microchips can be made smaller than a grain of sand; soon, we might add, they will be tinier yet -- in the realm of nano-technology.

And they can be implanted, points out the priest, under human skin.

This, he says, raises a warning flag that can be related to Revelation 13:16, which foresaw a "mark of the beast" on the right hands or foreheads of everyone. The hand or arm is where a chip used for scanning at the supermarket would probably be placed -- and in experiments already has been.

That's no new idea -- and neither are many of the priest's other concerns -- but Father Esper has marshaled them into an easy-to-read and detailed format that will raise eyebrows and wariness of what Future Tech may bring.

Has the government been conducting tests with electronic devices like HAARP that send out powerful electromagnetism? Might they be used to control the populace? And what are "chem-trails"? Could the government really be attempting to control the weather, or cause illnesses in order to reduce population?

Or -- again -- is this in the realm of the paranoid?

How far out do things get?

Which concerns merit serious consideration?

"Conspiracy theories -- especially those on the internet -- must always be taken with a grain of salt," acknowledges the priest, "but in this particular instance, several investigations by the mainstream media have uncovered disturbing information."

The U.S. military and National Guard units have both received training in crowd control, he points out.

And for the first time, the military is deploying an active duty army combat unit inside the U.S. to deal with emergencies -- "including potential civil unrest."

Such facts are readily verifiable in even mainstream media.

In some cases, troops have practiced entering and securing small towns or cities in the South and Midwest.

"As if all that weren't bad enough, a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) symposium given to firefighters and other emergency personnel in Kansas City admitted that in times of national emergency, Christians and home-schoolers should be considered terrorists and treated with the 'utmost suspicion and brutality,'" says Father Esper, who adds that "if such a large-scale round-up were to occur -- whether as a result of martial law, or an actual religious persecution -- where would these people be taken? According to one report, 'there [are] over eight hundred prison camps in the United States, all fully operational and ready to receive prisoners. They are all staffed and even surrounded by full-time guards, but they are empty. These camps are to be operated by FEMA should martial law be implemented."

Here we get into very controversial material. Those are hotly disputed claims -- with some pointing out that alleged "prison camps" have proven to be nothing of the sort. One can likewise take issue with some of the private revelations, especially those that have not been accepted by the Church.

But his bishop has approved this presentation and so we are carrying it.

How many of the worries are legitimate? How prepared should we be in a world that -- one must admit -- is rapidly changing?

We pray to discern -- without jumping the gun. At the same time, we recall the saying the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

This is a gripping read. If nothing else, we are being inundated, for sure, by many forms of electronic technology, which certainly can prove to be dangerous, and confusing, in many ways.

As Father Esper quotes Pope Benedict XVI as saying, "Put simply, we are no longer able to hear God -- there are too many different frequencies filling our ears."

[resources: Spiritual Dangers of the 21st Century and Michael Brown retreat, Texas]

[See: Clubbers microchipped for drinks, VeriChip's merger with credit firm raises concerns, Council of Europe secretary says push accelerates toward 'new world order', Lights cause UFO buzz, and Hoax? Experiment? What is this light?,]

[Notes: some say strange spiraling lights over Norway are the result of a botched missile test (videos seem to show smoke); others, perhaps, the result of electronic experiments; others could point to them as resembling the "tunnel" in near-death experiences; still others wonder if it is a preternatural "sign," perhaps even occult, for the definition of spiral in one dictionary: "Linked to the circle. Ancient symbol of the goddess, the womb, fertility, feminine serpent force, continual change, and the evolution of the universe."]

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