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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Is this where Americans will FINALLY draw the line?
Posted by Jill | 5:23 AM
Or will they simply shrug and say "The government knows what it needs to do to keep us safe" and go along with this? Via Newshoggers comes news of the beginnings of a truly horrific proposal by the so-called Department of Homeland Security to move one more step towards a police state:

A senior government official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has expressed great interest in a so-called safety bracelet that would serve as a stun device, similar to that of a police Taser®. According to this promotional video found at the Lamperd Less Lethal website, the bracelet would be worn by all airline passengers.

This bracelet would:

• take the place of an airline boarding pass

• contain personal information about the traveler

• be able to monitor the whereabouts of each passenger and his/her luggage

• shock the wearer on command, completely immobilizing him/her for several minutes
The Electronic ID Bracelet, as it’s referred to as, would be worn by every traveler “until they disembark the flight at their destination.”  Yes, you read that correctly. Every airline passenger would be tracked by a government-funded GPS, containing personal, private and confidential information, and that it would shock the customer worse than an electronic dog collar if he/she got out of line?

Clearly the Electronic ID Bracelet is an euphuism for the EMD Safety Bracelet, or at least it has a nefarious hidden ability, thus the term ID Bracelet is ambiguous at best. EMD stands for Electro-Musclar Disruption. Again, according to the promotional video the bracelet can completely immobilize the wearer for several minutes.

So is the government really that interested in this bracelet? Yes!

According to a letter from DHS official, Paul S. Ruwaldt of the Science and Technology Directorate, office of Research and Development, to the inventor whom he had previously met with, he wrote, “To make it clear, we [the federal government] are interested in…the immobilizing security bracelet, and look forward to receiving a written proposal.” The letterhead, in case you were wondering, came from the DHS office at the William J. Hughes Technical Center at the Atlantic City International Airport, or the Federal Aviation Administration headquarters.

Americans have looked the other way for nearly seven years as their government has spied on them without cause, held a few of them without charges and without trial, and moved us steadily closer to a dictatorship. Not even the black helicopter/militia crowd that was so quick to scream "Fascism!" every time Bill Clinton dared to breathe has uttered a peep. The 101st Fighting Keyboarders who think themselves so patriotic have supported such moves in the name of "safety."

Will this be the straw that breaks the camel's back? I wonder. This is the Bush-friendly Washington Times, and even the commenters on this story are horrified.

Here's the promotional video from the sickos who make this device, complete with photos of Scary Brown Men™:

The interesting twist in all this is that in the coming years, air travel will be accessible to ever-fewer Americans as fuel prices skyrocket. The airline industry is reeling, and it's only going to get worse. Will business travelers put up with this? Or will the rise in the number of corporate jets whose occupants will presumably be exempt from this requirement create a situation in which only those ordinary people who still have to fly to visit Mom and Dad in Boca on the holidays are still flying scheduled airlines and are therefore the only one being assumed to be terrorists by their government?

I don't know about you, but if air travel has become SO dangerous that this kind of thing is necessary, then it's become too dangerous to fly. Period.

Meanwhile, and on an only slightly less horrific note, it seems the Bush Administration wants data on the race, ethnicity, political and/or religious beliefs, and/or sexual oreintation in order as a condition for granting citizens of the European Union to enter the country without a visa. You don't even have to be a terrorist or fit a terrorist profile anymore; you need only have pigmentation that is unseemly, be from a country our government doesn't like, be outspoken politically, worship in a way that offends the Bush Administration, or have a sexual orientation that it is feared may cause Administration officials to have difficulty remaining in the closet.

Those who support our relentless march towards fascism will say that this will only be used to target the Scary Brown Men™ who "want to kill us." But if that's the case, why does the government need to know travelers' sexual orientation? That's where the "keeping us safe" argument falls apart.

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Blogger Fran said...
I am speechless and nauseous.

We are so fucked.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
This falls into the There's No Excuse category.

I recently lost interest in the airline industry's struggle to survive. Yes, this is DHS, but if the industry literally treats people like cattle, let the cow chips fall where they may. Nobody wants to get on a plane? Good.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
No, now way, fuck no. I noticed the video comes out of Canada, where they taser people in Vancouver for not paying the fare for Skytrain.

If this was implemented, it would definitely end my flying forever. And now I fly one to times a month.

Blogger missy said...
And we're going to trust them to take the bracelet off each of us at the end of the flight? Why would they do that when it's just as easy to say "now you need it to go into a government building." "Now you need it to enroll in college." "Now you need it as your tollbooth EZPass."

Pretty soon it will be no different than getting your driver's license. Come to think of it, pretty soon it will probably be your driver's license.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I agree with tata. Have you read "The Cattle" by Greg Sarwa? Check it out. It's prescient.

This video was made before 2003, so DHS in cooperation with the surviving airlines is probably aready making those devices. If we submit to this we're morons.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
This is truly apalling news. Why isn't the Christian Right up in arms over this? It smacks of the "Mark of the Beast" in more ways than one. I guess the "End Times Mentality" only goes so far.

Blogger golden said...
The video mentions the date 2003, and the letter has no date on it. Where's the first page of the letter?

Blogger Michelley said...
I was really hoping this was a hoax...but it seems to be horrifyingly authentic. Have you been to the R&D co's website? Everything about them, from their Orwellian name "Lampert Less Lethal" to their proto facist insignia reeks of absurdist satire and yet, they represent reality. As someone up above said...we are so fucked.

Blogger dguzman said...
Holy shit.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
We think the same way on this particular issue and with the passage of the FISA Bill by the U.S. Senate, we're very worried about the preservation of freedom and equality.

Liberty Bell

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Unfortunately, our organization is being targeted by the NSA so any comment we write is unfortunately changed, our address should say: