Freedom Flies
July 12, 2008 10:35 AM   Subscribe

The Department of Homeland Security has expressed interest [PDFs] in forcing all commercial airline passengers to wear a taser bracelet that can be used to incapacitate anyone on an airline. This video, from the company that will produce the bracelets, explains how the bracelet would be put on the passenger at the point that they clear security, and would not be removed until they leave secure areas. It would take the place of boarding passes, carry personal and biometric information about the passengers, track and monitor every passenger via GPS and shock the wearer on command, immobilizing him or her for several minutes. DHS official, Paul S. Ruwaldt of the Science and Technology Directorate, office of Research and Development is also excited about the possiblility of using it as an interrogation tool at airports. Ah freedom, who knew it smelled like burning flesh?
posted by dejah420 (146 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
This will go nowhere.
posted by stbalbach at 10:38 AM on July 12, 2008


The terrorists continue to win.
posted by bardic at 10:39 AM on July 12, 2008 [19 favorites]


jesus, if they put these things on FOXNEWS and CNBC hosts and panelists and link them to the viewership via the internet , they could make a fucking fortune.
posted by yort at 10:41 AM on July 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


don't chek me in, bro
posted by matteo at 10:41 AM on July 12, 2008 [15 favorites]


You're already pretty much treated like a criminal when you get on a plane - might as well make it official.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:42 AM on July 12, 2008 [4 favorites]


Why limit their use to airline passengers? These pikers are thinking small.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:42 AM on July 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hell, why limit it to people on a plane or at the airport? Wouldn't it make sense to clamp one of these on every citizen, so they can be incapacitated at any time? Think of the crimes it would stop. Think of the lives it would save! What possible argument could anyone have against it? After all, if you haven't done anything wrong you have nothing to fear.


We're doomed.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:47 AM on July 12, 2008 [19 favorites]


Curse you, The Card Cheat.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:48 AM on July 12, 2008


Fuckers should be assassinated.

NOT AN ASSASSIN
posted by odinsdream at 10:48 AM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


the possiblility of using it as an interrogation tool at airports

I believe the "interrogation station" he mentions in the letter may mean electronic interrogation, that is: radio A sends signal to transponder B, which then returns modified signal to receiver C to show that transponder B is legit. If transponder B leaves the area or enters a restricted area, the prisoner wearing it gets a shock.

Sort of a human bark collar, I guess.

I only say this because I doubt that TSA is really going to use electric shocks to actually interrogate passengers. At least not yet, anyway.
posted by Avenger at 10:49 AM on July 12, 2008


I have not read any of the links yet, but I assume you (dejah420) are exaggerating something or your sources are bad. As nutty as the administration is, I cannot imagine the administration being interested in something like this.
posted by jayder at 10:50 AM on July 12, 2008


April Fools!
posted by stavrogin at 10:50 AM on July 12, 2008


"We will begin pre-tasing momentarily at the gate. All passengers available for pre-tasing, please come to gate 2 now."

I'm sure the airlines, already beset by declining ridership and crazy fuel prices think that this is a great idea to help them attract more passengers.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:52 AM on July 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Jayder, I wish I was making it up, or exaggerating. I do. I really, really do.
posted by dejah420 at 10:53 AM on July 12, 2008


> Curse you, The Card Cheat.

Hey, don't curse me, dude. You had five full minutes to click preview.

*just glad he's on the good end of the jinx stick for once*
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:56 AM on July 12, 2008


Looking at the company website, I first thought "hoax" (their motto is "Keeping the Situation Under Control"?) but a Google search suggests they are legit.

That's seriously fucked up.
posted by jayder at 10:56 AM on July 12, 2008


And of course no terrorist would ever place non-conductive material where the electrodes go and disguise it with realistic artificial skin. What a ridiculous concept. At best it would help control passengers who become rowdy after one two many drinks but do nothing to stop preplanned attacks. Security theater on a grand scale.

And if they ever did this, anyone who could possibly afford it would start taking charter flights, so there goes a huge chunk of the first class passengers. The airlines won't stand for it. They know full well that the danger from hijackings is too small to justify such a scheme.

But, hey, at least people would start taking trains more often...
posted by jedicus at 10:58 AM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have not read any of the links yet, but I assume you (dejah420) are exaggerating something or your sources are bad. As nutty as the administration is, I cannot imagine the administration being interested in something like this.

Basically, for those who don't want to read: It's a letter (presumably) from a DHS official expressing interest in some radio-controlled shock collars for use primarily in detaining illegal immigrants. Airports are briefly mentioned, specifically to "improve air security, [sic] on passenger planes."

Basically, he's interested in a program that would allow a handful of agents to control 100's of illegal aliens. Just strap some shock collars on 'em, put down a radio transmitter and anybody who runs outside the radius get's zapped.

Its funny, because that scenario is arguably more realistic and controversial than putting them on airline passengers. It would essentially create unmanned electronic detention camps.
posted by Avenger at 10:59 AM on July 12, 2008 [6 favorites]


Taser bracelet? Pshaw. Explosive choke-collar, now that's more like it! And it could be wirelessly linked to a polygraph device so that if you even THINK about violating airport security it blows your head clean off! And plays the national anthem! That'll teach us!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:00 AM on July 12, 2008 [15 favorites]


"Carelessness with the equipment cannot be tolerated! Your agonizer, please!"
posted by mwhybark at 11:00 AM on July 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


I've lost the ability to distinguish reality from satire. I don't know if this is reality's fault, or mine.
posted by 0xFCAF at 11:01 AM on July 12, 2008 [9 favorites]


You know what's hilarious? If they actually ever did this, we all wouldn't do a fucking thing about it. Seriously, what are a few hundred million Americans a year going to do, not fly? Because we give Amtrak, what, 1/60 of what we give airlines?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:02 AM on July 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Relax.
This was a Star trek episode.
posted by Dizzy at 11:03 AM on July 12, 2008


Wait a minute, a 519 area code? Holy crap...this company is based in my home town!

Now it all makes sense.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:03 AM on July 12, 2008


From their company website at http://www.lamperdlesslethal.com/:

To clear up some misconceptions: The bracelets remain inactive until a hijacking situation has been identified. At such time a designated crew member will activate the bracelets making them capable of delivering the punitive measure - but only to those that need to be restrained. We believe that all passengers will welcome deliverance from a hijacking, as will the families, carriers, insurance providers etc. The F-16 on the wingtip is not to reassure the passengers during a hijacking but rather to shoot them down. Besides activation using the grid screen, the steward / stewardess will have a laser activator that can activate any bracelet as needed by simply pointing the laser at the bracelet - that laser dot only needs to be within 10 inches of the bracelet to activate it.
posted by Slothrup at 11:03 AM on July 12, 2008


This just keeps getting better and better. From the website:

"We wish to clear up any misconceptions regarding the EMD Safety Bracelet for Airline Security.

First, Lamperd is not the inventor, we are just the contractor to research and develop this product if the funding becomes available. Secondly, the correspondance in those letters is between the inventor and the agency - Lamperd was not involved.

The bracelets remain inactive until a hijacking situation has been identified. At such time a designated crew member will activate the bracelets making them capable of delivering the punitive measure - but only to those that need to be restrained. We believe that all passengers will welcome deliverance from a hijacking, as will the families, carriers, insurance providers etc. The F-16 on the wingtip is not to reassure the passengers during a hijacking but rather to shoot them down. Besides activation using the grid screen, the steward / stewardess will have a laser activator that can activate any bracelet as needed by simply pointing the laser at the bracelet - that laser dot only needs to be within 10 inches of the bracelet to activate it."

posted by The Card Cheat at 11:07 AM on July 12, 2008


I think this was the plot to a Rutger Hauer movie.

Can I be frank with you? You couldn't turn me on if I had a switch.
posted by rabbitsnake at 11:07 AM on July 12, 2008


Damn, now I got jinxed. Karma's a bitch.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:08 AM on July 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Come on, now, you guys know you secretly love it every time America takes another step closer to becoming your favorite dystopic science fiction novel.
posted by The Straightener at 11:09 AM on July 12, 2008 [37 favorites]


I wonder if they make cute brightly colored ones, with frogs and elephants, for the kids to wear.

I don't know if this particular use will take off -- I'm inclined to doubt it -- but the fact that this system has been invented means that it'll be used. Just a matter of time and place.
posted by Countess Elena at 11:09 AM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


JetGulag.
posted by hangashore at 11:12 AM on July 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Besides activation using the grid screen, the steward / stewardess will have a laser activator that can activate any bracelet as needed by simply pointing the laser at the bracelet - that laser dot only needs to be within 10 inches of the bracelet to activate it.

The first thing a hijacker will do is block access to the grid screen, either with his body or by covering it with something such as expanding foam.

The second thing a hijacker will do is waylay a flight attendant, steal their activator, and then use it to stop any passengers that attempt to get in their way. Of course, the hijacker would cover his or her own sensor with opaque material.
posted by jedicus at 11:12 AM on July 12, 2008 [4 favorites]


We believe that all passengers will welcome deliverance from a hijacking, as will the families, carriers, insurance providers etc.

Yeah, anything to put an end to this daily hijacking of commercial airliners.

Sometimes, at night? When I'm trying to get to sleep? I can't stop thinking about how all this hijacking must be worrying my insurance providers, and I just toss and turn and it's dawn before I know it.
posted by cortex at 11:13 AM on July 12, 2008 [19 favorites]


I miss the days when I could dismiss some half-baked 'security' measure as being so beyond the pale that it had no chance of becoming reality.

Thanks, OP, for making a valiant effort at bringing them back.

Let me try here...how did that go...umm...

This won't fly?
posted by Bokononist at 11:14 AM on July 12, 2008


Check it out: it's the cop Segway (00:19 into the video)!

Once I see one of these things involved in an honest-to-god police chase, I'll be able to die a happy man. Bonus points if the criminal is on a regular Segway.
posted by you just lost the game at 11:14 AM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the deeper you dig into this website the more you understand how totally fucking insane the people running it must be.

In fact, it's kind of awesome.
posted by The Straightener at 11:17 AM on July 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Now, now...look on the bright side....you are 85 years old and you are in the spacious lavatory on the 727. You are locked inside and suddenly....you sense you are having a heart attack....you yell out....you can't open the door....and from out of now where you get a cardio shock....okay a hell of a shock and your heart regains rhythm.....now...aren't we thankful for Homeland Security!!!!
posted by malter51 at 11:17 AM on July 12, 2008


There haven't been any hijacking attempts in the last five years, which just proves the hijackers are saving up all of their hijackiness for one enormous attack. As they continue to not try to hijack plans, we must step up our security measures accordingly!
posted by aubilenon at 11:18 AM on July 12, 2008 [5 favorites]


I want to applaud this company for their completely classy use of 9/11 footage in their promotional video. Great job guys!
posted by burnmp3s at 11:19 AM on July 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


It's not the ED-209, but it's a start!
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:21 AM on July 12, 2008




Actually, why is this any better than just giving the air marshals regular tazers? Other than being more expensive.
posted by aubilenon at 11:24 AM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love how seven and a half years of George W. Bush have turned us into a nation of complete and total pussies, scared enough of our own shadows that someone can seriously get away with proposing that we wear electrified dog collars.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:24 AM on July 12, 2008 [18 favorites]


Monitoring people on an airplane by using GPS is also retarded.
posted by aubilenon at 11:27 AM on July 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Now, now...look on the bright side....you are 85 years old and you are in the spacious lavatory on the 727. You are locked inside and suddenly....you sense you are having a heart attack....you yell out....you can't open the door....and from out of now where you get a cardio shock....okay a hell of a shock and your heart regains rhythm.....now...aren't we thankful for Homeland Security!!!!

Actually most airplanes carry These now. And actually, a friend of mine's father had a heart 'thing' (It wasn't a normal heart attack, rather the signals that control the heart rate got out of whack) and his heart was restarted by hotel staff who happened to have one.

It turns out, the condition he had was something like 97% fatal if untreated for more then a few minutes. He would have almost certainly died if that thing hadn't been there.
posted by delmoi at 11:28 AM on July 12, 2008


no terrorist would ever place non-conductive material where the electrodes go and disguise it

jedicus, you're just the kind of dedicated malcontent this tool protects us from. You will be assimilated.
posted by netbros at 11:31 AM on July 12, 2008


Oh my God.

This might be my favourite MeFi post of all time.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:31 AM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeeah. The terrorists have won.

And they're all rich white American men, imagine that.
posted by cmyk at 11:32 AM on July 12, 2008 [10 favorites]


Instead of a bracelet it should be a necklace. And instead of tasing, it should explode.
posted by DU at 11:38 AM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, I see, this is both creepy and stupid.

The bracelets remain inactive until a hijacking situation has been identified. At such time a designated crew member will activate the bracelets making them capable of delivering the punitive measure - but only to those that need to be restrained.


So without the ability to instantly zap someone posing a threat, all this requires is the four or five terrorists who snuck onto the plane to kill the flight attendants at the same time to prevent them from activating the system. What's going to prevent someone from just cutting this thing off themselves? The real impediment to highjacking will continue to be that after Sept. 11, passengers will not allow a plane to be highjacked. Cockpits are now difficult to access, but that's not the real thing keeping us safe; it's our collective unwillingness to trust that highjackers just want to land the plane and make demands of the authorities. That's what made the era of suicide highjacking last exactly one hour and fifty-two minutes: from the time that Flight 11 was highjacked at 8:14 am on September 11, to 10:06 am, when Flight 93 was crashed into a field in Pennsylvania to prevent the passengers from regaining control of the plane.

There will never again be a suicide highjacking of a large commercial airliner in the United States. So the only thing this system could possibly be useful for is subduing disorderly passengers. Some people might honestly be willing to accept this sort of extreme intrusion on personal liberty and autonomy in the name of preventing another September 11. Anyone would be willing to accept this to prevent air rage incidents rightly deserves to be called a fascist.
posted by Dasein at 11:40 AM on July 12, 2008 [11 favorites]


How into movies like Robocop and Total Recall were these dudes as kids?

They were so into them they were like, "I'm going to build that place and make everyone live in it."
posted by The Straightener at 11:40 AM on July 12, 2008 [4 favorites]


"...it also can be hung for baton training."

For that all-important "whaling on someone with batons while they're hog tied and hanging from the ceiling" training?
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:46 AM on July 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


The Card Cheat: It's the last picture where they're about to use it for baton training.
posted by aubilenon at 11:49 AM on July 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Yeah, the deeper you dig into this website the more you understand how totally fucking insane the people running it must be.

In fact, it's kind of awesome.


What I love is companies run by insane people who are so secure in their sanity that they actually answer objections from their critics, thus proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are insane.

When I first looked at the website, I was thinking, "Come on, this is a bad parody of a scary private security contractor, what a chump Dejah420 is for falling for this," and I eagerly went to Google to find the proof that it is a hoax, and I was relishing in advance my status as hero of the thread for showing what the silly parody that hoodwinked Dejah420.

But then on Google I could only find evidence that it's a real company.

Come on, now, you guys know you secretly love it every time America takes another step closer to becoming your favorite dystopic science fiction novel.
posted by The Straightener at 11:09 AM on July 12 [2 favorites -] Favorite added! [!]


I sincerely think this is the funniest comment I have ever read on Metafilter.
posted by jayder at 11:50 AM on July 12, 2008


These idiots already know they're going to be the first against the wall when the revolution comes... they're just trying to ensure the rest of us can't shoot straight.
posted by Kikkoman at 11:51 AM on July 12, 2008


And they're all rich white American men, imagine that.

Err, Canadian-American. Lamperd Less Lethal is a Canadian company.

At first blush I thought that this might be fake -- some sort of tie-in to a summer movie. But, in Googling it appears that Lamperd Less Lethal and its CEO (Barry Lamperd) are real.
posted by ericb at 11:53 AM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Come to think of it...grammatically speaking, is it even possible for something to be "less lethal"? It's either lethal or it isn't.
posted by you just lost the game at 11:54 AM on July 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


If the life of just one child can be saved...

If it's not right for airlines at this time, I'm sure there's a detention camp somewhere where the U.S. wouldn't mind electronically shackling prisoners, and, what the hell, randomly administering shocks to soften the prisoners up.

That could happen and never get beyond the point of serious debate (if that), once people know it's not them or their kid whose gonna wear one.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:00 PM on July 12, 2008


These guys are sick.

I will drive cross country (or hike) before I put on one of these bracelets. How much you want to bet the advanced Registered Travelers wont have to wear one of these. Which will be fine as long as no one is dedicated to their political movement for any long period of time to be able to fool such scrutiny. I mean, terrorists are really easy to pickup on those screenings right?

Also, if these are signal activated, and they fail safe (as in they don't start shocking someone when they stop receiving a pulse signal) what is to keep someone from putting on a rf shielded glove just before attempted to hijack the plane? Yes, it may trigger a warning "someone's bracelet has gone offline" but guess what, its too late, because you've already lost the ability to incapacitate them.

Checking out the website, the guys are hired thugs implementing new toys to let them beat up people. The "extracting prisoner from a cell" shows how their solution is still to just mount a gun on rc car with a camera and fire it a someone. Real ingenuity there guys.

And the electronic prisons reminds me of the nano particles spinning in the bloodstream from Diamond Age. An EM field kept the thousands of mini gyroscopes spinning at faster than the speed of sound together as they were in your blood stream. Walk outside of the redzone, and they would separate and generate a micro sonic boom as they passed through your cell walls. Prison gangs used it as a way to execute people they didn't like, just pick up the person and throw them over the demarcation point.
posted by mrzarquon at 12:01 PM on July 12, 2008


Whenever people talk about the joys of travel, etc., etc. I weigh it against shit like this and decide there is more than enough for me to see and do within the radius I can comfortably ride or drive from my house.

I'm with BP, and I've said it before, we may be the most timid people in the world, and the right-wing is the most timid group within our nation. Sad.
posted by maxwelton at 12:01 PM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


From the video at about 2:54:

"...reinforced doors should be installed on all planes by 2003..." I listened to it twice.

So they've been trying to sell this stuff for a long time.

Also, the PDF references a meeting on July 18, 2006, so um, maybe Paul S. Ruwalt from Homeland Security was giving these guys the brush off when he said he'd see if it was in their budget. Maybe the GAO put an ixnay on it or some higher up was cognizant of the fact that Corporate America would be screaming to holy hell if their employees had to go through this crap to fly on business trips. It's all about the bottom line, folks, not our safety.

I've worked for companies that came up with a lot of whacky R&D ideas and they ended up gathering dust in a file cabinet. Let's hope this is one of them.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 12:03 PM on July 12, 2008



I doubt we are very far from the time when a series of chips will be inserted in day old babies. Don't recall the sci-fi novel that espoused it. ........................ The America I am turning over to my younger mefite friends is not something I am proud of.
posted by notreally at 12:05 PM on July 12, 2008


I have two questions:

1. Why is this letter (which I assume should be regarded as confidential correspondence from a potential client) posted on their website?

2. How did dejah420 find it? It doesn't appear to be accessible via the website's navigation options.
posted by davebush at 12:09 PM on July 12, 2008


I love the smell of lawsuits in the morning.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:11 PM on July 12, 2008


Y'know what makes me sad? This isn't going to change in the foreseeable future. Now, I'm an Obama man (yeah, I know, FISA and all, but still . . . ), but do you think a Democratic administration is going to do anything about reining in the DHS, TSA, or, for that matter, any of the really stupid Bush-era acronyms (PATRIOT Act, NCLB, etc.)? (Yeah, I know he said he'd "review" the constitutionally questionable legislation, but I'm still feeling pretty pessimistic.
posted by John of Michigan at 12:18 PM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


The first thing a hijacker will do is block access to the grid screen, either with his body or by covering it with something such as expanding foam.

No, the first thing a hijacker will do is fire a rocket at a plane from a field outside of the airport or develop an interest in trains, buses or most likely, bridges.

Yet oddly enough, none of that has happened since 9-11. Perhaps the terrorist threat is inflated, you think? Tons of people regularly cross into America illegally, you don't think a reasonably prepared group of terrorists could cross over via the Mexican/US border?

Finally, it's nice that you guys think these bracelets are horrible and would never work, you'd never wear them etc, etc. That's not the point. Your go-through-a-metal-detector, wear-an-id-badge, public-school-uniform-wearing, cameras-in-the-classroom and school-bus-and-traffic-lights and public-places children will. Hell, make'em in different colors and your kids will love it.
posted by nomadicink at 12:18 PM on July 12, 2008 [7 favorites]


Why don't they just fit explosive collars like Running Man...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:28 PM on July 12, 2008


Your go-through-a-metal-detector, wear-an-id-badge, public-school-uniform-wearing, cameras-in-the-classroom and school-bus-and-traffic-lights and public-places children will. Hell, make'em in different colors and your kids will love it.

I want one that says Cheetos on it. And you can tase me, bro, because I didn't come here to make friends.
posted by pracowity at 12:32 PM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


nomadicink- i agree, they are inflating the threat because it makes them money.

All that the increased security at the airports has provided is a bigger target: the 400 people in the security lines waiting to be screened. You can cram a lot of C4 and shrapnel into a carryon (especially since you weren't ever planning to get TO the screener, it could be oversized) and just set it off in line.

That would totally fuck with people. How are you going to prescreen a security checkpoint? each checkpoint is a bottleneck and hence a target.
posted by mrzarquon at 12:34 PM on July 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


each checkpoint is a bottleneck

We've got a dog collar for that, too.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:40 PM on July 12, 2008


I love the smell of lawsuits in the morning.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:11 PM on July 12


All security contractors and personnel must be granted immunity from lawsuits, much like telcos and drug companies. We cannot allow ambulance chasing lawyers and activist judges to threaten the stability of these corporations, and by extension, our homeland security.
posted by eatyourlunch at 12:47 PM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know what's hilarious? If they actually ever did this, we all wouldn't do a fucking thing about it. Seriously, what are a few hundred million Americans a year going to do, not fly? Because we give Amtrak, what, 1/60 of what we give airlines?

Heh. I was just thinking the same thing the other day when retelling the story to a coworker about how I nearly got arrested flying out of Seattle last year when my mascara fell out of the Mandated Baggie in my carry-on (in response to getting pulled aside and hectored for failing to Follow the Rules of Safety, I unwisely snarked, "are you actually suggesting that something potentially lethal could be neutralized by a couple micrometers of plastic? Precisely how stupid do you think we all are?"). Staggering amounts of inconvenience and surveillance -- most of it useless on its face, mind -- has been grafted on to flying in this country in the past seven years in the name of "safety," and I'm convinced that possibly the major reason we all put up with it is because there's not a meaningful alternative to flying -- the U.S. is so geographically massive and the rail infrastructure is so utterly inadequate and the era of cheap gas is over.

I mean, seriously, how else is anyone going to get between the two largest cities in this country without flying? In plenty of places in Europe, you can get between a country's two major cities by driving or taking the train in the same day. In the U.S., it's a four-drive between New York and L.A. No wonder the elderly woman behind me in line at Sea-Tac last year gently took me by the arm and murmured, "you're 100% right, dear, but it's just not worth it to make a fuss."
posted by scody at 12:49 PM on July 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


We cannot allow ambulance chasing lawyers and activist judges to threaten the stability of these corporations, and by extension, our homeland security.

It's a good thing that President-elect Obama will never let this happen.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:50 PM on July 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Uh... "DHS/TSA does NOT support the asserted use and has not pursued the development of such technology." That and it sounds really out in left field, so I'm gonna have to put down the torch and pitchfork on this one.
posted by crapmatic at 12:50 PM on July 12, 2008


guh. four-day drive.
posted by scody at 12:51 PM on July 12, 2008


Watt electriflying turns of events for patrons of the aviation and antiterrorism industries, Deajh420! The security ampitheatre reduces the space between cast and audience yet again...
posted by davemee at 1:02 PM on July 12, 2008


This FPP is really, really making me miss America.

*sniff*

I have something in my eye.
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:16 PM on July 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Come on, now, you guys know you secretly love it every time America takes another step closer to becoming your favorite dystopic science fiction novel.

BUSTED. OK, I was allowed to say one last thing before surrendering for execution of sentence: banishment to the Land of Human Rights.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 1:18 PM on July 12, 2008


If they put "LIVESTRONG" on the taser bracelets, half the passengers will pay for them themselves!
posted by Legomancer at 1:29 PM on July 12, 2008 [5 favorites]


I sometimes wonder if DHS officials and high ranking GOP members have lots of short positions on american air carriers.

The good side of Insane Airport Paranoia is that it makes you re-evaluate how necessary that NY-LA flight is. I think that, especially in business, we've had an era where of course it made sense to travel for slight causes. I've been put on a plane to go talk to a customer who was nervous, and to take care of minor tasks which a decent video-link would have allowed me to solve in 30 minutes.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 1:31 PM on July 12, 2008


Thanks for the link, crapmatic. I'll avert my gaze for the moment, but I wouldn't put this in the realm of impossibility.
posted by cashman at 1:40 PM on July 12, 2008


There will never again be a suicide highjacking of a large commercial airliner in the United States.

This bears repeating. And repeating. Until the crying bedwetters in the public at large and in government stop with this security theater. There is no reason for the product under discussion; there will never again be a successful suicide hijacking of an airliner in the United States because the instant a couple guys stand up and announce they are taking over the airplane they will be gang tackled and beaten to a pulp. If they have weapons they may seriously injure a few people in the process, but they will never be allowed to take over the airplane again.

The tactic of hijacking an airplane and deliberately crashing it worked for a grand total of less than 2 hours, from 8:14am on Sept. 11, 2001 when American Airlines Flight 11 was hijacked until 10:03am on Sept. 11, 2001 when hijackers crashed United Airlines Flight 93 into the ground to prevent passengers from retaking the aircraft by breaching the cockpit door, apparently by battering it with one of those heavy serving carts.

Hijacking an airplane requires the cooperation of passengers. Prior to September 11th, people were told that they had the best chance of escaping injury or death through cooperation with hijackers. On September 11th it became clear this was a bunch of bullshit and always had been, and the only appropriate response is to attack the hijackers immediately. Without cooperation, the hijackers can't take over the airplane. So the only reason for something like this taser bracelet device is to line the pockets of a security contractor and to subdue annoying and unruly drunken passengers.
posted by Justinian at 1:47 PM on July 12, 2008 [17 favorites]


Jayder, I wish I was making it up, or exaggerating. I do. I really, really do.

As explained in crapmatic's link, this was a company pitching this idea to the DHS, and the alleged expression of interest by the DHS was related to transporting prisoners, not regular passengers. So yes, the DHS is still full of incompetent boobs, and Metafilter is still full of alarmist douchebags who use bullshit information to incite many more douchebags as they stand around with pitchforks and torches, begging to be outraged somehow.

My only question is -- why spread hysterical bullshit for free when you could have a profitable career in the mass media doing the same thing?
posted by Krrrlson at 2:11 PM on July 12, 2008 [3 favorites]




I posted a link to the Washington Times article on this topic to my own weblog. I received a comment from a John Verrico, who claims to be the DHS Science &Technology Directorate spokesman saying this is not at all true, that the "hypothetical use of the bracelet would have been for transporting already apprehended prisoners and detainees at prisons and border patrol facilities, and DHS was looking to see if there were potential air travel applications for apprehended suspects."

The email address and IP looked right and I checked on the DHS site and there is indeed a spokesman named John Verrico so there's reason to believe that this comment is legit.
posted by tommasz at 2:22 PM on July 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Can't we just fly naked? Easier all around, saves time packing.
[recalls the physiques of those around him on last coach flight, considers flying first class]
posted by bartleby at 2:24 PM on July 12, 2008


how else is anyone going to get between the two largest cities in this country without flying?

You can't (quickly). But vote by taking foreign airlines where possible on US routes, and by flying, for example, from Toronto instead of Buffalo, or Vancouver instead of Seattle. And just don't fly at all if you don't need to.

US airlines are already struggling. If just enough people take alternate routes, the US airlines die or the US airline business reforms.
posted by pracowity at 2:28 PM on July 12, 2008


Metafilter probably has the dubious honor of being the most widely-read left-wing crackpot conspiracy blog.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 2:30 PM on July 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Y'know, something tells me that if the TSA/DHS wanted a crowd-control system installed on planes they'd go for something less-publicized and less.. well.. obvious, than a fucking bracelet you'd be "required" to wear on a flight. Maybe something like a compact version of the microwave pain-emitter, something like the Robocop electric seat thing, or hell if you wanna go all sci-fi a row-by-row electric/microwave/spray/jailbar/expanding foam/beanbag/rubber bullets/whatever.
posted by pyrex at 2:42 PM on July 12, 2008


Your Flight, Three Years From Now.
By Chris Sullivan

"As you drive past the security checkpoint that marks the three-mile perimeter around your local airport, and where you've just had your personal identification card scanned and cataloged, your hubcaps are grabbed by the hydraulic clamps that lead you onto the Auto-Check conveyor belt. For the next half-mile, your car, its occupants, and all of their assorted baggage and belongings are X-rayed, scanned, and probed using state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment that can detect trace amounts of explosives, weapons, inappropriate electrical current, and malice[...]"
posted by The White Hat at 2:44 PM on July 12, 2008


Metafilter probably has the dubious honor of being the most widely-read left-wing crackpot conspiracy blog.

Well, y'know, I don't think that we're the ones who are misinterpreting the links, Chuckles.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 2:46 PM on July 12, 2008 [5 favorites]


There haven't been any hijackings in almost seven years. Why not just carry on with the measures currently in place?

This is not quite the argument I would use had they not lifted the ban on knitting on planes.
posted by orange swan at 2:50 PM on July 12, 2008


Metafilter probably has the dubious honor of being the most widely-read left-wing crackpot conspiracy blog.

Thank God there are level-headed right-thinking conservatives like you around to set us straight, MPDSEA. Here's a medal for your heroic service. Keep up the good work. The fate of a nation rests on your shoulders.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:50 PM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, y'know, I don't think that we're the ones who are misinterpreting the links, Chuckles.

And that makes it OK?
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 2:50 PM on July 12, 2008


And that makes it OK?

No, it doesn't. Perhaps you should pay more attention to their content.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 2:52 PM on July 12, 2008


Hold on a sec, Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America (I love that animation!), are you implying that wearing a mandatory electric-shock bracelet whenever you board a flight would be a good thing? I'd love to hear your reasoning behind this.
posted by pyrex at 3:00 PM on July 12, 2008


Hold on a sec, Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America (I love that animation!), are you implying that wearing a mandatory electric-shock bracelet whenever you board a flight would be a good thing?

Nobody thinks that mandatory electric-shock bracelets for ordinary airline passengers are a good idea.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 3:03 PM on July 12, 2008


Well, in fairness, the people who propose to manufacture and sell the bracelets probably think they're a good idea, but who cares.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 3:09 PM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


...hijackiness...

*snort*
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 3:09 PM on July 12, 2008


Well good, I thought you'd lost all common sense there for a while. In relation to your initial answer, however, I'm still curious as to why you think that outrage from us (OMG lefties!) equals "left-wing crackpot conspiracy"? As people who like to travel, does responding "holy shit is this a loony idea" equal left-wing conspiracy nonsense?
posted by pyrex at 3:18 PM on July 12, 2008


The thing is, you could sue about this, but the government would just use the state secrets privilege to get the suit thrown out. How do you think they keep people from putting an end to the TSA's illegal actions? (Not that they're all or even mostly illegal. Just the particularly egregious ones.)
posted by oaf at 3:21 PM on July 12, 2008


Oooh, damn alarmists, so it will only be used on "detainees at prisons and border patrol facilities", not me? Well, no worries then, right?
posted by dnial at 3:23 PM on July 12, 2008


Why not just knock everybody out for the duration of the flight? You can cut half your flight attendants and your entire beverage budget, and instead of squirming my unusually long legs around for five hours I arrive at my destination refreshed and ready to party. Win-win!
posted by aaronetc at 3:26 PM on July 12, 2008


Metafilter probably has the dubious honor of being the most widely-read left-wing crackpot conspiracy blog.

When you go back to LGF, please take your fellow nutball loonies with you.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:27 PM on July 12, 2008


Yet oddly enough, none of that has happened since 9-11. Perhaps the terrorist threat is inflated, you think?

Haven't we been told that terrorists hate our freedom and want us to stop being American? Why would they attack us now when we're doing what they want?

As Napoleon said, never interrupt your enemy when he's making a mistake.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:33 PM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why not just knock everybody out for the duration of the flight? You can cut half your flight attendants and your entire beverage budget, and instead of squirming my unusually long legs around for five hours I arrive at my destination refreshed and ready to party. Win-win!

Kind of like Russian Opera, no?
posted by bardic at 3:39 PM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


When you go back to LGF, please take your fellow nutball loonies with you.

Now is a good time for you to link your 9/11 truther ravings again. I'm surprised you are wasting your talents here when you could be the star contributor at Timecube.
posted by Krrrlson at 4:04 PM on July 12, 2008


In relation to your initial answer, however, I'm still curious as to why you think that outrage from us (OMG lefties!) equals "left-wing crackpot conspiracy"?

Perhaps because you keep raging long after the story has been debunked?
posted by Krrrlson at 4:06 PM on July 12, 2008


With millions of these bracelets floating around it would be absurdly easy to get one and hack it. I’m picturing a skinny boy-genius in a Marilyn Manson T-shirt with heavy glasses, buck teeth and a receding chin hunched over a transmitter in his mom’s attic....
posted by Huplescat at 4:08 PM on July 12, 2008


crapmatic said: Uh... "DHS/TSA does NOT support the asserted use and has not pursued the development of such technology." That and it sounds really out in left field, so I'm gonna have to put down the torch and pitchfork on this one.


To be fair, it was DHS official, Paul S. Ruwaldt of the Science and Technology Directorate, office of Research and Development...which is located in the FAA building, who said in his letter: " In addition, it is conceivable to envision a use to improve air security on passenger planes."

Mr. Ruwaldt is a real DHS official, with a real FAA email address: paul.ruwaldt @ dhs.gov or paul.s.ruwaldt @ tc.faa.gov, according the Federal Register. There has been no denial from his office, or from the FAA that the letter is real.

John Verrico has been a government spin doctor for years, just FYI, so I'm not sure that his "oh, this is just nonsense...we would NEVER do anything like this", should be taken with anything but a grain of salt. His official title is Spokesman for DHS, and he/his staff have been all over the web trying to put this fire out, but without providing any data that suggests that the letter written by Mr. Ruwaldt was in any way erroneous.

For the record, I hadn't seen the Washington Times blog, as I tend to dismiss things coming out of WT. Also, that blog didn't have links to the PDFs, which have Ruwaldt's signature on them.

What I did see were the PDFs and the video which I linked, which give lie to Mr. Verrico's assertion that the DHS had not/was not considering using these bracelets as crowd control and potential airline security tools.

So...on one hand, we have signed documents from the DHS, and on the other hand we have a spin doctor working overtime to throw dirt on the fire without actually denying that the fire should be there.
posted by dejah420 at 4:08 PM on July 12, 2008 [4 favorites]


Now is a good time for you to link your 9/11 truther ravings again. I'm surprised you are wasting your talents here when you could be the star contributor at Timecube.

Please climb back under your rock at LGF, troll.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:11 PM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


So...on one hand, we have signed documents from the DHS, and on the other hand we have a spin doctor working overtime to throw dirt on the fire without actually denying that the fire should be there.

That you have the nerve to call someone else a "spin doctor" is simply flabbergasting.

I see no reason to think that the video is connected to the DHS. Nonetheless, you don't seem to have any trouble interpreting statements in the video as DHS policy.

The letter appears to be real, but it quite simply doesn't support the conclusion that DHS has an interest in "forcing all commercial airline passengers to wear a taser bracelet." It doesn't say that, or anything like that. What's more, there's no reason to think Mr. Ruwaldt is even in a position to express such an interest on the part of DHS.

You have zero credibility at this point.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 4:18 PM on July 12, 2008


Metafilter probably has the dubious honor of being the most widely-read left-wing crackpot conspiracy blog.

And obviously you can't live without it.
posted by octobersurprise at 4:19 PM on July 12, 2008


I'm still curious as to why you think that outrage from us (OMG lefties!) equals "left-wing crackpot conspiracy"? As people who like to travel, does responding "holy shit is this a loony idea" equal left-wing conspiracy nonsense?

The outrage is completely disproportionate to the credibility of the report.

You know, I heard that George W. Bush himself suggested amputating a toe from every air traveler, in order to increase security. Wouldn't that be horrific? Aren't you outraged?
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 4:21 PM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


The outrage is completely disproportionate to the credibility of the report.

This taser-bracelet garbage is a perfect fit for the modus operandi of the assholes who are running things in this neck of the woods, and is credible on that account.
posted by Huplescat at 4:40 PM on July 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Do you imagine that you're a brave warrior for truth battling the left-wing hordes, Steve? Or are you content to be a garden-variety shit-stirrer? The former is delusional, but not without a kind of crazy dignity; the latter, given your effort, would be just pathetic.
posted by octobersurprise at 4:45 PM on July 12, 2008


This taser-bracelet garbage is a perfect fit for the modus operandi of the assholes who are running things in this neck of the woods, and is credible on that account.

Why don't you just admit that you believe it because it perfectly fits your ideology?
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 4:48 PM on July 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Steve, I didn't say the video was DHS policy and you know it. You're just bloviating at this point.
posted by dejah420 at 4:50 PM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


aubilenon writes "Actually, why is this any better than just giving the air marshals regular tazers? Other than being more expensive."

Because you can give control to, I'm guessing, much cheaper to employ flight staff who you have to have on board anyways.

Dasein writes "What's going to prevent someone from just cutting this thing off themselves?"

Shouldn't be hard to prevent that, a hardened steel cable for example is pretty tough to cut through even without improvised tools. Anti-tamper circuitry could also discharge the taser to discourage tampering.

notreally writes "Don't recall the sci-fi novel that espoused it."

It's a common theme. Logan's Run had the implant at birth thing and of course Demolition Man features human lo-jack.

mrzarquon writes "That would totally fuck with people. How are you going to prescreen a security checkpoint? each checkpoint is a bottleneck and hence a target."

I'm sort of amazed this vector hasn't been exploited yet. How do the Isrealis hand this kind of thing (or for that matter how was it handled in areas at risk from IRA bombings)?
posted by Mitheral at 4:51 PM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think this is a bargaining tool - something thrown out to the public that's not really intended to be implemented but rather to be negotiated away while making the current situation seem less oppressive by comparison. Not that they wouldn't go with it if the outrage wasn't too strong....
posted by tenmuses at 4:53 PM on July 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Steve, I didn't say the video was DHS policy and you know it. You're just bloviating at this point.

Then how did you come to the conclusion that the video was evidence that Mr. Verrico's statements weren't true?
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 4:54 PM on July 12, 2008


You know, I heard that George W. Bush himself suggested amputating a toe from every air traveler, in order to increase security. Wouldn't that be horrific? Aren't you outraged?

Hey, after crushing a child's testicles, amputating a toe is like foreplay.
posted by ryoshu at 5:04 PM on July 12, 2008


Steve, now you're just making stuff up. I didn't say the video was proof. I said the signed documents, from someone higher on the food chain than the spokesperson, proved that the FAA/HDS had indeed considered using it on passenger planes.

The video is obviously marketing collateral, used to "sell" the idea of the bracelets to the FAA. The FAA saw the video during the "pitch", and sent a letter to the company saying that using it on passenger planes was a possibility. Obviously, the HDS/FAA liked the video enough to send a letter asking how long it would take to put it into manufacturing and how much money they needed.
posted by dejah420 at 5:08 PM on July 12, 2008


Steve, now you're just making stuff up.

Why do people argue with trolls like Steve and Krrrlson? It's so pointless.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:11 PM on July 12, 2008


Blaze, my momma always said that arguing with people like that was like wrestling a pig...you just get dirty and the pig enjoys it. Thanks for reminding me.
posted by dejah420 at 5:18 PM on July 12, 2008


my momma always said that arguing with people like that was like wrestling a pig...you just get dirty and the pig enjoys it.

She's right. It's much better to let the pig wallow and grunt away until the time is ripe for a proper pig roast. Mmm, back bacon....
posted by orange swan at 5:31 PM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


mrzarquon, I really hope you weren't planning on doing any flying in the next few decades, after your little brainstorm upthread.

You are so going on the no-fly list.
posted by jayder at 5:34 PM on July 12, 2008


I said the signed documents, from someone higher on the food chain than the spokesperson, proved that the FAA/HDS had indeed considered using it on passenger planes.

What you actually said at the outset was that DHS had expressed interest in "forcing all commercial airline passengers to wear a taser bracelet that can be used to incapacitate anyone on an airline."

You then stated that, "[the PDFs and the video] give lie to Mr. Verrico's assertion that the DHS had not/was not considering using these bracelets as crowd control and potential airline security tools."

Now, if you read Mr. Verrico's statements, he clearly doesn't deny that DHS was looking into using the bracelets as potential airline security tools. In fact, he said "DHS was looking to see if there were potential air travel applications..."

Nonetheless, you concluded that the PDFs and video showed that Mr. Verrico's statements were false. Mr. Ruwaldt's letter certainly doesn't say anything incompatible with Mr. Verrico's statements--both agree that DHS was looking into airline security applications.

Now, the video certainly implies that all passengers would be required to wear the bracelets, and Mr. Verrico's states that DHS was not planning on doing this. If the video were a statement of DHS's intent, it would certainly "give lie" to Mr. Verrico's statements and support your assertion in the FPP.

Your problem, though, is that there's no reason to think the video is a statement of the DHS's intent. When pressed on this point, you got defensive, and made up a further story about how the video prompted the letter--even though it's not at all clear that the video predates the letter, or that DHS saw the video before sending the letter, or that the video prompted the letter.

Specifically, you said: "The video is obviously marketing collateral, used to "sell" the idea of the bracelets to the FAA. The FAA saw the video during the "pitch", and sent a letter to the company saying that using it on passenger planes was a possibility. Obviously, the HDS/FAA liked the video enough to send a letter asking how long it would take to put it into manufacturing and how much money they needed."

I don't see any reason to think this is true. Instead, you were trying to establish that the video was the context in which the letter was written, and thereby attribute the ideas in the video to DHS. You needed to do this, because the letter and subsequent statement by the DHS are compatible, but neither supports your statement in the FPP. The video does support the idea of forcing airline passengers to wear the bracelets, but there's no evidence that DHS agreed with this aspect of the video.

As things stand, your statement in the FPP appears to be a fabrication, and you should just admit that.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 5:38 PM on July 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


With millions of these bracelets floating around it would be absurdly easy to get one and hack it. I’m picturing a skinny boy-genius in a Marilyn Manson T-shirt with heavy glasses, buck teeth and a receding chin hunched over a transmitter in his mom’s attic....
posted by Huplescat at 5:57 PM on July 12, 2008


Isn't there a huge risk that the system could be hacked? That is, couldn't a hijacker build (or acquire) a device capable of activating and triggering the bracelets and then use it as a weapon against the passengers?
posted by Clay201 at 6:18 PM on July 12, 2008


Once I see one of these things involved in an honest-to-god police chase, I'll be able to die a happy man.

Have you seen the Chinese Segway division yet?
posted by WalterMitty at 7:17 PM on July 12, 2008


I often think MPDSEA is a bit loony, but in this case I think he's the voice of reason. This is a story of a small contractor pushing some bizarre dystopia-tech to anyone they think might listen, and not getting any real traction. Save the amazed outrage for stuff that's actually happening— there's plenty to choose from. By freaking out about stuff like this, you just add noise and raise the general level of outrage fatigue, and by doing so you're encouraging people to passively accept the lesser, but actually real, outrages the “post-9/11 security” theater forces upon them.

It's interesting that I read about these bracelets a week or so ago on some other site, but at the time the TSA/INS angle was completely absent; it was just a story about Lamperd's sociopathic products.
posted by hattifattener at 7:26 PM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Clay201, that's probably the real danger with it. It's rife with opportunity for abuse, not only from the "good guys" but also from any and every one that has access to the system that isn't a good guy.
posted by ChrisR at 8:06 PM on July 12, 2008


This seems like a good thread to mention the following email I sent to my local Better Business Bureau just last week:
Hi there -

My name is (redacted), and I am an attorney with a solo practice in Franklin, Mass.

I received a marketing call from the BBB today, and after thinking about it for a while, I decided to write.

The BBB representative went into her spiel when I said, yes, I am the owner of the business - I can't remember it verbatim, but it was about how they receive so many thousands of calls and website inquiries a year about businesses, because after all, people are so concerned about who they do business with, especially since 9-11 - and I was really just waiting for an opportunity to cut her off and decline (I really can't afford to be listed at the moment). I finally did so, and managed to get off the phone, and it was only after I hung up that I started to think -

9-11? Why are you using 9-11 as a talking point in your sales calls? Is the Better Business Bureau going to confirm to potential clients that I'm not a terrorist? (Or will they say I might BE a terrorist if I don't subscribe?!?) But seriously, how in the world could 9-11 possibly be relevant to the provision of run-of-the-mill legal services? And even if it was at one point, that was almost seven years ago!

I don't mean to rant too much, but I found the call more than a little offensive. It struck me as trying to pander to irrational fears of terrrorism to sell your service, which I had thought we were finally starting to get away from. I respect and appreciate the work the BBB does, but I wanted to let you know I was unhappy with this particular contact.

Very truly yours,
Obviously, I was very, very wrong. Terrorism is still BIG business!
posted by yhbc at 8:49 PM on July 12, 2008 [5 favorites]


I thought everyone knew lawyers and terrorists are pretty much the same thing, commish.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:02 PM on July 12, 2008


Fear has always been big business. Humans are really poor at risk assessment in the modern world, and lots of people know that, and know how to take advantage of it.

The whole 9/11 War On Terrar thing is such a load of horseshit security theatre, but we can recall 9/11 vividly, so therefore Terrarism is a threat. It's just an availability heuristic at work.
posted by illiad at 9:03 PM on July 12, 2008


THANK YOU for your interest in purchasing an AIRLINE TICKET! Your business is valuable to us, and we look forward to assisting you with your travel plans. Before commencing your application, please read the following TERMS and CONDITIONS of carriage.

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2. Successful applicants will be notified at 3 AM on the morning of their flight by our Customer Care Alsatian Team, hooded, and driven to the airport Detention Centre in our high-speed fleet of Unmarked Security Vans. CONGRATULATIONS! All customer baggage is, of course, strictly prohibited. Once you, as a SUCCESSFUL APPLICANT, reach the detention complex, you will be X-rayed, stripped, broken on the wheel, and forced to confess. When you have satisfied our dedicated cadre of skilled interrogators, you will be eligible for SELECTION. (NOTE: Anyone allergic to delousing powder should inform customer care immediately.) GOOD LUCK!

3. For your convenience, all our aircraft are fitted with the very latest in Security Technology. Once you regain consciousness, you may notice that you and your loved ones have been encased in our state-of-the-art full-body Taser BlanketsTM. Your x-ray seat not only monitors your brain waves and cortisone levels; it also administers a fully automatic cavity search every five minutes! It's the little things that set us apart from other airlines. NOTE: please do not make eye-contact with any of the Customer Service Representatives patrolling your aircraft. They are heavily armed and trained to kill.

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posted by Sonny Jim at 9:07 PM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I would like to take a formal stand that electric shock collars are not appropriate for use on Airlines.

I would also like to point out that they're not appropriate for use on prisoners, illegal immigrants or free-thinkers.

It's a shit idea, dehumanizing, and something that shouldn't be in the current public discourse.


Also, it reminds me of that marketing bit we talked about a few weeks ago.. You can have a red car, a green car or a red car with no airconditioning.

People buy the red car.

This is the inverses.

You can have a red shock collar, a green shock collar, or a red shock collar that only shocks illegal immigrants.
posted by Lord_Pall at 9:32 PM on July 12, 2008


Yet somehow no one liked my pocketless smock idea.
posted by parmanparman at 10:17 PM on July 12, 2008


RISE
posted by Salient at 4:29 AM on July 13, 2008


Actually, Mitheral, they remind me most of the collars in Octavia Butler's "Parable of the Sower" and "Parable of the Talents" - both in their execution and in their potential for abuse.
posted by ubersturm at 8:37 AM on July 13, 2008


Echo chamber.
posted by smackfu at 2:00 PM on July 13, 2008


[few comments removed - Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the issues, topics, and facts at hand—not at other members of the site.]
posted by jessamyn at 4:57 PM on July 13, 2008




orange swan, your comment about knitting reminds me of the time I was coming back from a (too-far-to-drive) knitting tradeshow in California and got busted for having lipgloss shoved into a dark, forgotten corner of my bag (while the SHARP, POINTY LOOM TOOLS went right on through)...

They should hire knitters with pointy sticks to guard planes, not bother with this nonsense.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:00 PM on July 13, 2008


Relax.
This was a Star trek episode.


500 Quatloos on Homeland Security!
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:01 AM on July 18, 2008


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