The story about the elephant's tail hair appeared in the Health & Science section of the "Seattle Post Intelligencer", but it might as well have appeared in the "Fascist Daily News". A foot-long piece of hair and a GPS tracking device helped inform "scientists" of the lifestyle of the elephant known as Lewis.
Lewis had gourmet taste: Whenever the dry season browned grass in his Kenyan sanctuary, he'd abandon the other elephants and race 25 miles to the mountains - to raid farmers' corn fields under cover of night. A foot-long hair plucked from his tail, and GPS technology, tell the tale.
Scientists claim the need to track an elephant's whereabouts and dietary intake is necessary to determine how much land they need and how much food they need to consume, especially as civilization encroaches on their habitat. From the article:
Hair is "like a tape recorder," Cerling said, harboring for long periods traces of dietary chemicals.
He gathered hair from the tails of 35 elephants in Kenya's Samburu National Reserve to analyze for long-lasting forms, called "stable isotopes," of carbon and nitrogen that would appear when an elephant ate mostly grass, trees or some other plant. He matched that testing to Save the Elephants' tracking, using Global Positioning System technology, of elephant movements.
On the surface this is all very scientific and noble. But how soon before cops take the role of scientists and citizens the role of elephants? Don't answer that. I think the elephants are merely guinea pigs, so to speak. I think this program is a front, and the real targets are Americans like you and me (or the two Brits and Israelis that sometimes frequent this blog).
Imagine, you're out on the town, minding your business, when suddenly you feel a small, sharp pain on your scalp. A police officer brushes past, "Excuse me, ma'am." You think nothing of it. Next thing you know, your hair follicle is being analyzed in a lab in Langley. Now the government knows you got hammered at The Gauntlet during a work-sanctioned holiday dinner party gone awray, and there's traces of random uncontrolled substances. A quick look at a GPS log report shows the government where those uncontrolled substances might have been purchased, and WHAMMO! An innocent drug dealer is put in jail, and you're about to be out ten thousand dollars in attorney fees to pay someone for a legally-plausible explanation as to why you were at the Silverlake dog park at 3:32 in the morning without a dog...and a couple ounces of heroin.
Chilling, isn't it? Unless we write our game wardens telling them to stop this program, we're next. The NSA is already monitoring our phone calls. Do we want to let them track our drug deals as well?
Not in my America.