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The Incredible Shrinking Book Market and Its Implications for Freedom of Information

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I was just watching a discussion between independent book publishers on C-SPAN 2 Book TV this morning, which was originally recorded March 20th, 2008. First of all, I feel the need to point out that these “independent” book publishers may be thinking of themselves in rather anachronistic terms as “independents” in relation to the larger publishing houses of New York, where the meeting took place (in Brooklyn) and have not considered that truly “independent” book publishing, these days, is being done by the authors, themselves. So, what this handful of “independents” really are is small press book publishers.

That distinction aside, the main thing that struck me about this discussion was the mention of the March 20th, 2008 extinction of Borders Books stores and its implications for the future of the book industry, as well as for the range of choice of readers.

There was some speculation as to whether or not Borders would then be absorbed by Barnes & Noble, the largest book seller chain in the world and, it would seem that’s probably going to be the case. One of the speakers said that, at one time, New York City used to have over 300 book stores and that now it has only 30. I thought about this for a moment and realized that, here is a city of 8 million or so people, also, the city with the largest number of book publishers in the world, and yet, it only has about 30 book stores, whereas, I live in Oklahoma City, which claims a metro area population of around one million and yet, I know of at least 15 book stores just within the northwest quadrant of Oklahoma City and, I’m certain there are many I’ve overlooked. This includes the chain stores as well as the independent “mom & pop” stores, what few still exist. This is quite a contrast to New York, which is billed as the literary capital of the world, while Oklahoma City is popularly denigrated as a backward “small town” full of illiterate hicks.

Aside from these contrasts between my city and New York, the broader discussion also mentioned that there has been an amazing contraction and consolidation of the book publishing industry and I believe this is due, in no small part, to the advent of the internet, which is supplanting both books and magazines, as well as television, among most Americans. I know that, personally, I now get most of my news from the internet instead of television and most of my reading is done online instead of in books and magazines. This appears to be the way things are headed and, with so many people waking up to the mainstream mass media’s domination by corporatist interests, this is no surprise.

The globalist trend toward consolidation has affected not only manufacturing and retailing, but has, also, affected mass communications. Despite the fact there are now more television channels than ever before in the history of the medium, it remains the case that the medium, itself, has been dominated and controlled by the global elite from its very birth as an instrument of propaganda and mind control. Thus, the popular illusion that the choice of information outlets on television has expanded greatly is a myth. While the number of channels may have increased, they are all saying the same thing and disseminating the same propaganda, as usual.

So, too, is the book publishing industry, and one needn’t look any farther than their nearest Barnes & Noble store to see this. The next time you find yourself there, take a good look at the titles in the “Current Affairs” section and you will see that most of the books there are either touting the neoconservative or the neoliberal worldview – in other words, the same thing, thinly (and falsely) disguised as opposing viewpoints, though they are not. Aside from a few (very few) books by David Ray Griffin and maybe one or two others, you will find little there that says 9/11 was an inside job and, aside from these, you will find absolutely nothing that exposes the New World Order for what it is or raises any questions about PNAC and the true neocon agenda to create a global police state. For that kind of reading material in a “brick and mortar” book store, you’ll have to find a truly independent “mom & pop” store, such as Austin, Texas’ Brave New Books, or one of the John Birch Society’s American Opinion bookstores, like the one we have here. Other than this, your only outlet for finding the truth in print media is to be found online.

Copyright Your DNA

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The Genetic Nondiscrimination Act of 2003 (S. 1053) was passed unanimously by the senate supposedly prohibiting discrimination in employment or job promotion on the basis of genetic information and/or family history.  Exempted was the right of employers test for work associated hazards.  In addition it prohibits insurance companies from using genetic information or family history in determining who it will insure or what rates an individual or family will pay for coverage.

 

The fact that insurance companies were specifically identified as potential abusers of genetic information is clearly a statement that, attempts to abuse the information or to gain access to it was already being done. 

 

The newborn DNA databases in all 50 states is used in medical and research applications and experiments and can and usually do, include links to medical records of the entire family history of the tested individual. Blood and tissue specimens can be preserved for infinity and re-tested multiple times.  Even though parents or individuals can request destruction of the samples, you have no guarantee that the samples were destroyed, and regardless, the information that was gleaned from the samples remains on record…..meaning you have in essence destroyed nothing. 

 

Data mining, now done routinely on multiple levels by our state and federal governments, is providing information that has been gathered by ChoicePoint of Georgia, along with other companies who make a business out of gathering and selling your personal information to the FBI, and any other intelligence or government agency.  In the specific case of the FBI, there are still a few restrictions in place that disallow information gathering on US Citizens without probable cause.  With companies such as ChoicePoint, ethical or moral questions never apply to the more than one billion dollars they have been paid by the federal government to data mine your personal information. 

 

ChoicePoint has made clear its intent to construct a data base on every individual in the US and to include everything from genetic information, medical records, credit history, family history, spending habits, voting records, and every other type of information it can find on you and to compile it into billions of files that are for sale to insurance companies, researchers and experimenters, and to the government.  Companies such as ChoicePoint provide the end-run around the law by compiling and then selling as a commodity, information to agencies like the FBI, or huge insurance companies who might otherwise be prevented from having or gathering the information.

 

The attempts to track us and use the information about our genetic history don’t stop here.  The US military now has made it mandatory that military personnel be DNA tested.  The reason given is that it will make battlefield identification easier.  And it would.  But that isn’t why they are doing it and it doesn’t explain why DNA data is being stored for 75 years and subjected to massive testing and experimentation. 

 

As of December 2002, the Repository, now known as the

“Armed Forces Repository of Specimen Samples for the Identification

of Remains,

”6. contained the DNA of approximately3.2 million service members.

7 According to a recent DOD directive, the “provision of specimen samples by military members shall be mandatory.”

8. The direction to a soldier, sailor, airman,or marine to contribute a DNA sample is a lawful order which, if disobeyed, subjects the service member to prosecution

under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

9. If convicted at court-martial for the offense of violating a lawful general order, the service member carries the lifelong stigma of a federal felony conviction, and faces a maximum punishment of a dishonorable discharge, confinement for two years, total forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and reduction to the lowest enlisted grade.”

http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/Military_Law/pdf/07-08-2003.pdf

 

The actual intent of using and storing DNA is to identify genetic tendencies or traits that can be used to deny medical benefits, even when a condition is clearly a result of the actions or duties the individual is engaged in.  Even when a medical malady is clearly the result of activity related to assignment, an identified genetic predisposition can disqualify the veteran from obtaining treatment from the V.A. 

 

This DNA databank is also used routinely for experimentation for bio-weaponry, germ testing (weapons grade) among other agendas.  Donald Rumsfeld re-wrote the guidelines for germ and biological testing in 2002.  The new guidelines waive any right by the individual to informed consent for testing or experimentation with chemicals or drugs. This is does not mean the military, only  Special provisions were written in that specifically cite women and minorities as being subject to testing without informed consent and the public at large.  With these new rules, a department head in DoD, or HSD can now simply claim “national security” and basically give themselves permission to do whatever maniacal testing they choose……and you have no right whatsoever to know that they did it or, if you find out that you were secretly experimented on, to any redress against these agencies or their agents.   

 

Military personnel can request that their DNA samples be destroyed once service is completed, but here again, the individual has no way of knowing if it actually was and this request, just as with newborn DNA requests for destroying the samples, does not destroy the information gathered and stored.  It simply destroys the original blood and tissue samples….so they say.

 

Merging DNA Databases

 

In addition to the newborn DNA databanks, the FBI databanks and the Military databanks is the Criminal databank.  CODIS is a national DNA databank of convicted felons, including sex offenders.  We can all see the potential for the benefits of positive identification of predators, murderers, rapists etc., but here again something that should have been a very beneficial tool has been taken over by far more evil agendas. 

 

The Military DNA database is now merged with CODIS……that’s even if you have requested your samples be destroyed after ending your service……(this should highlight my earlier statement that the information is stored whether the samples are destroyed or not.)  CODIS, is then merged with INTERPOL.  This is the transnational criminal DNA databank and now your information has gone global.  Any government or any of its agents participating in INTERPOL is authorized to rummage through your DNA and related compiled personal files for no other reason than because it wanted to.  And, they may also use the genetic information loaded in INTERPOL to construct even more invasive testing and genetic modification programs.

 

Copyright your DNA

 

With states now claiming ownership of DNA of newborns, the military now claiming they own that database and the international efforts to catalogue every person possible, we aren’t far from the claiming of ownership of every individual.  To claim that you now own DNA of anyone other than yourself is to imply that the ownership entitles you to use as you see fit, that which you own.  It could be why human beings are now referred to as, “human capital” in such odious things as the Security & Prosperity Partnership”.  Maybe the intent all along has been to devise a means by which we become a commodity to be traded and sold on the global markets. 

 

Our DNA is the most singular identifier we have.  We are so unique that unless we are identical multiples, no one has the exact same DNA we have.  Even in the case of identical multiples, there are minute differences that can be detected.  Because this identifier is so unique to us, no one other than ourselves should have unfettered access to it, or to claim that they now own it nor should it ever be made into a salable commodity and treated as a tradable good that can be sold for profit.

 

Surveillance of large sectors of populations anywhere is now facilitated by facial imprinting, iris scans, face recognition, biometrics of all kinds, ID cards, the signal from your cell phone, the GPS on your car and video camera’s that are stashed everywhere.  The push to get us all to use cash debit cards rather than cash itself, is nothing more than an attempt to time/date stamp us to track and identify us, where we were and what we were doing.  Add genetic tracking and you have effectively devised the means by which the government decides who gets to benefit in many areas, and who will be culled out.  

 

Who is it that these governments are so afraid of that all of this effort is put into watching us, tracking us, spying on us, and now cataloguing us like cattle?  I can only conclude that it is the general population that scares the government the most.  I believe that most of us have dispensed with the “terrorist” threat and most people are aware that when the term “national security” is used, it has less to do with making sure the country is safe and most likely is just another assault on our lives and liberty.

 

The noose is tightening.

 

 

© Marti Oakley

2008

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