Friday, April 5, 2002
1. JASON: IS THE DIVORCE FINAL?
Each summer for 40 years, an
elite group of scientists has gathered for six weeks to wrestle
with national security issues raised by the Defense Department
and other government agencies. Jason's influence on national
security policy in that time has been out of all proportion to
the size of the program. That can be attributed to a membership
of brilliant, academic research scientists, ranging from newly
minted PhDs to Nobel laureates, picked by other members. But
last winter, Jason's sponsor, DARPA, wanted three new members, a
Washington insider and two Silicon Valley executives. When Jason
turned up its nose, DARPA terminated its contract. From Capitol
Hill to the White House, everyone told WN the disagreement must
be resolved, but nothing has happened. If it's not settled in
the next couple of weeks the Spring planning session will slip by
and an invaluable science advisory apparatus will be lost.
2. FREE ENERGY: PERPETUAL MOTION SCAMS ARE AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH.
In 1999, I went to Columbus, Ohio for ABC News to witness Dennis
Lee demonstrate a permanent-magnet motor that was "more than 200%
efficient." Actually, he didn't really demonstrate it. He stuck
a magnet on the side of a steel file cabinet; turning to the
audience he asked, "How long do you think that magnet will stay
there?" He answered his own question, "Forever. That's infinite
energy." Don't laugh, this week, Patent 6,362,718 was issued for
a "Motionless Electromagnetic Generator" that "extracts energy
from a permanent magnet with energy-replenishing from the active
vacuum." Already in 2002 we've had the Jasker Power System
(WN 25 Jan 02),
Chukanov Quantum Energy
(WN 8 Feb 02),
(WN 15 Mar 02),
and now a permanent magnet motor.
3. DATA QUALITY ACT: THIS ONE COULD CUT BOTH WAYS.
Quality Act consists of 27 lines buried in a huge appropriations
bill. It was passed a year ago, and it doesn't take effect until
Oct 1, but it's powerful medicine. Among other things, according
to the Federal Register, agencies must create mechanisms allowing
"persons to seek and obtain correction of information" maintained
by the agency. The prime target of the law, which was written
with the help of industry lawyers, is the Environmental
Protection Agency. The law could tie up EPA regulations for
years. But other targets could also be vulnerable. The Pentagon
is required to carry out environmental impact studies on missile
defense tests for an area stretching from California and Alaska
to Hawaii. It may be possible to tie up those studies for years.
4. LIE DETECTORS: FBI EXPANDS THE USE OF POLYGRAPH TESTS.
wake of the Hanssen spy case, the FBI began testing other agents.
So far, seven flunked. But the FBI says they're not suspects.
After all, the polygraph has never uncovered a single spy.