Thursday, November 18, 2010

Are the Airport Scanners Safe?

Are the scanners as safe as TSA claims? My guess is probably not. The fact that they haven't been properly studied, but are being pushed so hard elicits some red flags. TSA and GE have neglected to do the tests that doctors and scientists are demanding. They have disregarded expert questions repeatedly (when these experts have zero to gain and GE has 30 million).

Scientists and doctors (in the fields of biochemistry, biophysics, cancer research, x-ray crystallography and imaging) at UC San Francisco have raised some important concerns that are summarized below.

  • There has not been a meeting of an impartial panel of experts, including medical physicists and radiation biologists, where ALL of the available relevant data is reviewed.
  • The majority of the energy dose is delivered exclusively to the skin, which is dangerously high because it is not dispersed to the entire volume of the body. This is where TSA lied--see the next point.
  • TSA and GE misled the public by only getting indirect radiation testing (which shows the diluted dispersion throughout the body) rather than quantifying the Flux (the dose being deposited to the skin). They avoided the independent safety data so they could falsely claim that "It's like being on an airplane flight for 3 minutes".
  • If determining the Flux data (which is more relevant anyway) would put the whole radiation concern to rest, why hasn't this been done? Why are they avoiding it?
  • The danger to susceptible groups (children, elderly, the immunocompromised, pregnant women, those at risk for testicular and breast cancer) has not been studied sufficiently and specific guidelines have not been released regarding their risk.
  • Any glitch in the hardware or software that stops or slows the scan may cause an intense dose of radiation to a single spot on the skin. Will the TSA agent even notice the glitch? Who oversees it being fixed and ensures it is "safe" to use again?
  • What keeps a TSA agent from raising the dose just a bit to get higher resolution on a certain area they need to see clearly? What if the higher resolution is needed at particularly sensitive anatomy? Is this justified?
TSA has not been honest with the American people. Until the proper testing is done, why should we have to subject ourselves to these risks? (The solution is not to simply get the pat down instead. Groping of sexual areas by strangers doesn't increase our safety since the the likely location to hide things would require internal manual examination by airport staff).

Monday, November 15, 2010

Death Panels, VAT Tax on Their Way, Nobel Prize-Winning Economist Says

Nobel Prize winning economist (and I'll add, Keynesian disciple) Paul Krugman is recommending "Death Panels" and a VAT tax as needed measures to balance the budget and pay for the government's Medicare/Obamacare obligations.

Anyone surprised? Have they considered getting the government out of the health care business?



http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/checker.aspx?v=hdSUSUaGnz

Via NewsBusters:

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, HOST: But what is going to happen? I mean, are you clear on where a compromise is going to be? It's got to be discussed before the end of the year, no?

KRUGMAN: No. Some years down the pike, we're going to get the real solution, which is going to be a combination of death panels and sales taxes. It's going to be that we're actually going to take Medicare under control, and we're going to have to get some additional revenue, probably from a VAT. But it's not going to happen now.

111 Obamacare Waivers Given Out by Obama Administration

Apparently the Health Care Reform Package was so great for our economy, 111 different companies and organizations (many of them associated with unions that backed Obama's election) have received waivers on the new regulations this year. Is this what Democrats meant when they said everyone needs to sacrifice a bit for the good of all?



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96Uu_tI0hTw&
There was an error in this gadget