Political Power Couple Talks Election During ASIS Keynote

James Carville and Mary Matalin, political pundits and former campaign strategists for presidents Clinton and Bush, set the tone for the second day of the 2008 ASIS tradeshow in their fascinating keynote address Tuesday morning.

The married couple, who hold polar opposite political beliefs, agreed on one thing: the 2008 presidential election will be one for the history books. And, as Carville pointed out, we still have seven weeks of uncertainty -- and entertainment -- left before Election Day.

“The one thing we know, for better or for worse, is the story is going to go on,” he said. “You are living in a moment of stunning history.”

When asked what she thinks the deciding factor in the election will be, Matalin said it may be some future event that we can’t predict. Whether this is a faux pas by one of the candidates or something bigger, we don’t know. But one nearby attendee at the speech commented that Matalin may have been talking about a possible terrorist attack. I hadn’t thought of that myself, but it’s certainly possible -- especially at such a volatile time, considering both the election and America’s economic uncertainty.

If a terrorist attack is on the horizon, the security world has to be ready. GE Security is one of the companies here at ASIS that’s doing what it can to mitigate the threat of terrorism. In fact, Dean Seavers, president and CEO of GE Security, announced Tuesday that the company’s recently introduced StreetLab Mobile device will soon be capable of identifying biological as well as chemical substances.

The street-savvy StreetLab Mobile is a portable, user-friendly, handheld device that reliably IDs substances in liquid, powder and solid forms. Using Raman spectroscopy for data capture and analysis, StreetLab Mobile consumes little or no substance sample and makes it easy for the operator to understand and share results. The handheld unit uses extended-range wireless technology.

Jerry Rose, vice president of product development at GE Security, said the solution will be especially useful for first responders, hazmat teams and law enforcement officials who often face dangerous situations -- sometimes as a result of terrorist activity or threats.

With biological detection, StreetLab Mobile can identify nearly 1,000 potentially dangerous chemical substances as well biological agents, including Anthrax and E. coli. In addition, the device can identify toxic industrial substances such as formaldehyde and liquid and solid explosives, as well as the chemical components of common explosives. It can also identify substances such as Cresol and Benzene, exposure to which can have serious health consequences.

About the Author

Megan Weadock is a communications specialist at Monitronics.

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