Given the popularity of the television horror genre focused on ‘tween fascination with the Twilight book series on vampires and the latest resurgence of zombie or bionically-based characters, could we be more surprised that the general premises of a privacy-invading body-snatching frenzy is now taking place on U.S. streets and in U.S. cities near you?
I noticed a recent trend in job-seeker’s parameters extending to the latest in governmental spying on your bodily makeup — the quest to uncover the secrets of the unique DNA markers and characteristics that make up your own, individual person.
Why would someone be interested in the genetic material which makes up your own personal DNA? Because it would help to uncover the ways to penetrate your cells; to upload genetic material non-native to your body to cause disease and viruses to gain a foothold and to proliferate in your body; or to download your genetic material for further study to see how it would react to certain procedures, drugs, etc.
There are several studies underway to collect the DNA of people across the United States. Some of these studies are innocuous, meaning that they are innocent in the reasons for which they state the requested DNA is needed. Others are not so innocent. Personally, in my opinion, I do not see why a person’s DNA would be necessary to study the effects of tobacco, as in the study seeking job applicants which appears below, or to better understand people in retirement, which appears in another job posting, below.
Both these studies are seeking DNA from people residing in West Palm Beach, an area in which many people of Jewish ancestry reside. I find it rather strange that one of the studies is being conducted by the University of Michigan on the people residing in West Palm Beach.
The first study seeks field interviewers for a period of collection from March through December of 2014, a ten-month period which could include nights and weekends, to collect biomarkers of people residing in West Palm Beach via dried blood spot collection, in addition to collecting answers to interviewer questions, for a Health and Retirement Study (HRS) conducted by the University of Michigan!
The second study is also (suspiciously, in my opinion) focused on the residents of West Palm Beach, in which a company called Westat is hiring field interviewers for the National Study of Health-Related Behaviors (NSHB) to learn what effects tobacco use has had. This also could include nights and weekend collection in which buccal cells from the cheek are collected, urine samples are given, and blood samples are taken by a phlebotomist.
Update: I did a Google search on Westat after posting this article and came up with the following information provided, essentially, by Wikipedia: Westat provides research services to local, state and federal U.S. governmental agencies, foundations and business. They also provide expertise in computer systems technology, biomedical science, health information technology, and clinical trials!!! Westat is employee-owned.
The other evening, approximately December 19th (2013) or so, while I was listening to The Savage Nation radio show, talk show host Greg Knapp was filling in for Michael Savage and was discussing the recent actions of police to “lend their safety/security assistance” to pull vehicles over for “voluntary” collection of the driver occupants’ DNA. This is alleged to be happening in several cities selected for participation. While I didn’t catch what the alleged gist of this “round-up” was about, it was somehow somewhat stated that the police involvement was only extraneously involved. What was noted was the intimidation factor probably experienced by the driver to comply with the request and not realizing at first that the decision to do so was of their own volition. Myself, I would be intimidated if a number of police pulled me over to swab my cheeks. I wouldn’t want to do so, but I would probably be crying and not understanding what was going on and would wind up maybe getting shot for not being able to understand or comply with what they wanted, being sometimes hard of hearing/understanding.
I think these methods of DNA collection are more insidious and nefarious than they would appear to be. In my opinion, your personal body characteristics and makeup belong uniquely to you and should not be violated. Many people do not realize that surrendering this information to third parties subjects them to possible attack in the future. Be aware!
Update: On February 10, 2017, a date in the United States corresponding to the Jewish holiday known as “Tu B’Shvat”, I received in my mailbox a postcard, Publication 5270-B (12-2016) Catalog 69333M Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service, directing me to locations of nearby Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites (the postcard does not list the cost to the taxpayer of this printed matter). On the front of the postcard in the upper right-hand corner is a box listing a permit number G – (and the number), which reads: Presorted First-Class mail postage and fees paid IRS. Does this mean they don’t get the postcard rate? That’s really not my concern; but, legitimacy is. In the left-hand corner, reserved for the return address of the sender, it portrays an IRS treasury-looking logo of an eagle with scales of justice and lists: Internal Revenue Service; c/o (“in care of”…) Westat; 1600 Research Blvd. (and an RW number after that); Rockville, MD and a zip-plus-four, with Return Service Requested. Okay, so they got my location now. And, now we know one of the agencies this company works with/for etc. My concern is: the “DNA”; the “retirement study”; “Research Road”; my having written to Obama about the Jews and Israel and feelings about his misguided policies (and his last-minute “f-u’s” to Jews and Israel by the US abstaining from vetoing an anti-Israel UN resolution as he proceeded to hand over the reigns of the Presidency on the verge of the lame duck interim). Did I call it with my own feelings, or what?