Wow! October 11, 2012

The American Revolution was fought over stuff like taxes on tea and quartering of troops in your house. Now we are such a nation of cattle that our Rulers can seriously propose invasive stuff like this and large portions of the population bow and scrape and thank Big Brother for keeping them safe:

In 2008, the Washington Times reported on how DHS official Paul S. Ruwaldt of the Science and Technology Directorate, office of Research and Development, wrote to Lamperd Less Lethal, Inc. indicating that the Department of Homeland Security was ready to purchase devices from the company that would be used to deliver incapacitating shocks to airline passengers, all of whom would be mandated to wear the taser bracelet once they checked in for their flight.

The so-called “safety bracelet,” also known as the Electronic ID Bracelet, was designed to replace a boarding pass and be capable of tracking the passenger through the airport by means of GPS technology. The device would also contain details about the passenger and their flight plans.

The primary function of the device was to allow airport officials and flight crews to deliver an incapacitating electric shock to travelers by means of Electro-Muscular Disruption (EMD), completely immobilizing the individual for minutes. The bracelet would be worn by all travelers until they disembarked at their location. The patent for the device admits that all passengers could be incapacitated if the devices are activated.

“Upon activation of the electric shock device, through receipt of an activating signal from the selectively operable remote control means, the passenger wearing that particular bracelet receives the disabling electrical shock from the electric shock device. Accordingly, the passenger becomes incapacitated for a few seconds or perhaps a few minutes, during which time the passenger can be fully subdued and handcuffed, if necessary. Depending on the type of transmission medium used to send the activating signal, other passengers may also become temporarily incapacitated, which is undesirable and unfortunate, but may be unavoidable,” reads the patent for the device.

In his letter to Lamperd Less Lethal, Inc., DHS official Ruwaldt also noted how the bracelet could be used as a “method of interrogation,” in other words a torture device. He also raised the prospect of using the device against protesters to allow the temporary “restraint of large numbers of individuals in open area environments by a small number of agents or Law Enforcement Officers.”

The letter stated that the DHS was “interested in…. the immobilizing security bracelet” and that it was “conceivable to envision a use to improve air security, on passenger planes.” Other letters made it clear that the DOD, the CDC, Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture Forestry service, as well as unnamed law enforcement agencies were also keen on acquiring the device.

Following a wave of negative publicity, the DHS pulled the plug on its interest in the torture bracelet, and Lamperd Less Lethal, Inc. set about removing the letters from Ruwaldt it had previously proudly displayed on its website.

However, given that the TSA is already doling out punishments for people who do not display the proper level of obedience, by either preventing them from flying, stealing their cash, or simply punching them in the balls, how far away are we from the hideous idea of the taser bracelet being resurrected? Especially given the heights of absurdity the TSA has already scaled by introducing its ludicrous “all stop” policy and its testing of drinks purchased inside the secure area of the airport?

The fact that the torture bracelet was ever seriously considered at all should send chills down the spine of every American who values their dignity, especially given the endless train of TSA abuse stories that pour in on a weekly basis.

Imagine a TSA goon not only having the power to squeeze your junk if you so much as look at them the wrong way, but also having the capability to deliver an electric shock to anyone who speaks out of turn. It’s a nightmare scenario, and another clear indication that the TSA is an odious insult to the very notion of America as a free country and needs to be defunded and ultimately abolished.

Check out the video.  It’s not a breathless expose from a paranoid tinfoil hat site.  It’s a happy talk infomercial from the manufacturers of the Human Cattle Prod Bracelet, assuring us of the wonders of being able to herd innocent people around the stockyard more efficiently and tase them should some tinhorn mall cop with an attitude decide to assert his power over the mob.

Skip the first three minutes of ginning up fear to soften the ground for this latest apologia for despotism and start at the three minute mark. It’s good that (for now) public outcry was sufficient that our Ruling Class had to back down (for now). But that our Ruling Class even considered this is evidence of how far we have fallen in our supposed War on Terror. I fear this much more than I fear some guys in a cave in Afghanistan. Our Ruling Class hates us for our freedom. A state that begins by assuming everybody is a terrorist and which regards everyone as cattle at the airport will, soon and very soon, say, “Why limit it to the airport? Can’t terrorists commit terrorist acts everywhere? Let’s force the cattle to wear taser bracelets all the time.” Any state that treats citizens like cattle is a state that is an enemy of the citizen and regards the citizen as its enemy. If we put up with it, we deserve our chains.

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin

"I can't watch the video because youtube must have taken it down. However according to ..."

Covington, MAGA, the Simpsons, and the ..."
"Only if you're white. If you're an 12-year-old black male, you're a full-grown man and ..."

Covington, MAGA, the Simpsons, and the ..."
"If you like building walls to keep desperate and vunarable migrants out of our country, ..."

Covington, MAGA, the Simpsons, and the ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Jacob

    This is why I am not, in principle, opposed to angry mobs.

  • jcb

    I’m also not opposed to angry mobs for autocorrect systems that think they know my name better than I do.

  • Blog Goliard

    There’s something profoundly dehumanizing in the water right now. We see it evidenced in so many ways…since I work in education, I’m usually focused the bureaucratization of the classroom and attempted standardization of brains and souls, the modern maximum-security school, and the insanity of zero-tolerance, all of which deny the humanity, agency, personality, and diversity of individual students, teachers, and administrators.

    We are all to be just bots, programmed by the system to carry out its will. These bracelets would help the project immensely, especially if they could be tuned to automatically detect thoughtcrime. Look for them to be distributed in your local public high school any day now.

  • victor

    And here I thought that “Angel” (Season 2) was just science fiction: “Shut up, cow! Trensiduf of the Gathwok Clan was right. You talk too much.” ZAP.

    • victor

      …aaand I just finished watching the video. I’m pretty sure that that is what informercials in Hell are like. Is it just me, or was that video made in Canada?

      I especially like how in the cartoon only the terrorist crumples to the floor — like an Air Marshall would have time to figure out his specific bracelet ID number (if that’s even possible) and wouldn’t opt instead to hit the “shock ’em all!” button. Not that the mental image of a planeful of passengers twitching around like the mannequins in Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit” video isn’t funny on some level, but I’m pretty sure it’s a violation of my civil liberties.

      • Chris M

        aaaand victor wins the internet.

      • Mark Shea

        The narrator, at least, was made in Canada. Yeah, the sunny upbeat celebration of the Police State was worthy of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. Hilarious and deeply creepy all at once.

      • Rosemarie


        Yeah, that’s what I’m wondering. How do you shock the “right” person without shocking others? If you’ve got more than 100 people on an airplane, or thousands in a terminal, how do you single out one of them for a shock?

        • You don’t.

          Let me say it again to get the right word count. You don’t.

        • Ted Seeber

          A computer chip in the bracelet responds only to the ID of that bracelet. Same way your garage door opener doesn’t open the neighbor’s garage door when you hit the button.

          • SouthCoast

            It’s been known to happen. Also, what’s to prevent your friendly neighborhood psychotic from cobbling up a device in his basement to allow him to zap people? (One of the same objections I have to those who would like the cops to be able to remotely disable vehicles and/or cell phones. Most bad guys are stupid. But not all.)

        • Ted Seeber

          2nd reply- ever been to a modern tourist restaurant that is exceedingly busy, like Outback’s? They give you a pager that vibrates when your table is ready. Same tech, just replace vibrator with taser…..

          • And in the middle of a hijacking, they’lll surely take the time to identify who the terrorist is and dial in his unique identifier…

            • Rosemarie


              Yeah, if some guy is sitting on a plane trying to ignite his underwear bomb, you’re going to have enough time to look up his ID before zapping him? Wouldn’t it be faster and more efficient to, oh, I don’t know, let the other passengers take him down? You know, way would-be terrorists have been repeatedly foiled since 9/11? (BTW, has the TSA *ever* prevented a terrorist attack yet?)

              Nah, they’d probably just end up zapping everyone on board to stop the one bad guy. They’re already treating every passenger like a terrorist.

              • keddaw

                “BTW, has the TSA *ever* prevented a terrorist attack yet?”

                What in the world makes you think that is their purpose?

                As our liberty is chipped away at, piece by piece, the sheeple still believe there is a non-malevolent motive. How quaint.

      • Or hackers that would possibly set off a bunch of these for the lulz.

        On the bright side, the issuance of these would probably end commercial flight as we know it since I doubt enough people would bother with flying then.

        (also, I should know it, but remind me the episode title you were quoting)

        • ivan_the_mad

          Maybe, but I doubt it. Convenience trumps principle far too often in America.

          • But the point is that these things would probably make air flying too inconvenient.

            Maybe now we could all break out those “keep your laws off my body” signs and have fun with the protests. 😉

  • I’m in favor of this, actually—for TSA Agents to wear. The control for it should be given to each individual who is about to be given an “enhanced” pat-down.

    • +1

      And some more required words

      +1. I really mean it.

  • I told you not to click that link! I warned ya, didn’t I? I am not responsible for your nightmares!!! Mine are going to be bad enough…

  • Maybe what the Revolution was fought for, and why nobody seems to care today, is worth looking at a little more closely.

    • Paying a tiny tax and helping out in the support of the troops that kept you safe from us?

      • It was more than that. That’s my point. I sometimes wonder if the fact that we only see it as that says more about our time, than it says about theirs, and could be why so many today are letting things like this go and not taking to the streets.

        • Ok, yes. Some of the wealthy elite also didn’t like it that wealthy elites who stayed home got to make laws governing them. Most of your yeoman farmers did not engage in rabble-rousing and revolution.

          If they wanted a say in their laws so bad, there was a solution besides revolution. As we say in Dixie, “Delta’s ready when you are!”

          • And I am quite familiar with your revolution. I don’t suffer from the impression that it ended in 1789, for example. I understand that it continued, as an actual shooting war, from 1776 until 1814, with the defeat of Menawa. New Orleans doesn’t count, as the British had finally abandoned her loyal subjects with Menawa’s defeat.

            I had family on both sides of the Tallapoosa that day. The ones who survived victorious lived to regret their actions.

            • 1784, I meant. The Treaty of Paris was a mere stopgap for the Great Father.

          • I was talking about the various philosophies and ideals that were floating around at that time, mixed with the growing colonial identities that the colonists had, and the fact that today, I think people don’t have time for such thinking and reflecting. I think people today have the idea that if it doesn’t affect me, it’s none of my business, and that’s about as far as many go.

            Oh, proud American here , proud of the Founding Fathers, too, so I’ve spent quite a while studying the period as well. It was a go-to period in my undergraduate days, though I eventually moved toward focusing on Medieval studies in my graduate years (one of the reasons I eventually became Catholic – long story there).

            • Just like France and Russia. I really didn’t anticipate you’d go in that direction, but we’re in complete agreement about the causes.

              Just not whether it’s a thing to be proud of, or emulate. The Church teaches, as best I can understand, that it isn’t. All those lives lost, crops and farm animals destroyed, property ruined.

              For ideas.

              • So I guess that explains today. Nobody’s really willing to fight things like this less all those lives be lost, crops, animals, property destroyed…

                Enjoy your nightmares, at least no fighting will be going on, right?

                (my view? “I aim to misbehave.” -Malcolm Reynolds)

                • You sure make nice difficult. But you’re response is laughable.

                  The debate sucked, so my guests left after dinner and I am left with the scents of perfume and juice boxes from 5 black women and 9 kids of various heritages…

                  That smell is worth killing and dying for. Shinbone Ridge and Dirtseller Mountain? Ditto. Livestock and property are worth dying to protect.

                  Ideas about self-governance and representative democracy and classic liberalism and such? He11 No!!!

                  That you confuse ME for a pacifist leads me to suspect your values are misplaced. It is to be expected. You’re a product of your culture.

                  • As I recall, you are the resident grammarian, so I apologise for using the contraction “you’re” when I meant the possessive pronoun “your”.

                  • BTW, I’ve seen the elephant. How ’bout you?

                  • Pacifist? No. Fool that can’t distinguish between cause and effect? Yeah. Or a fool that can’t see that there is a correlation between self-goverance, original liberalism, etc and the stuff worth fighting for? Yes.

                    Civilizations have a lot of trouble doing anything half-assed. (not unlike how hard it is to get a charging mob to suddenly stop or turn 90 degrees) The civilization that fights for ideas is the one that’s ready and able to fight for what’s important. The civilization that fights for nothing, will not find it easy to fight when important things are on the line.

                    Also, your pacifism is rather pointless without your neighbors (Ecclesiastes 4:12). But then, why should they fight for your smells or property when it’s not theirs at stake? Without ideas, everyone fights alone. Without the belief that “what you lose today I might lose tomorrow” and “a man’s home is his castle” or “fighting for your freedom ensures my own” then your fighting is doomed to failure and the stuff worth fighting for is lost. Only ideas unite you with your neighbor and give you both a fighting chance.

                    So like I said, we now live in a place where so many don’t find ideas worth fighting for, after all, it’s not like that bracelet above is really going to take away anything “really” important, right? The world is more to your liking, enjoy your nightmares.

                    (grammarian? nope, not me. I only complained about the ‘I’ that one time because it made the post nigh unreadable)

                    • As I said, I’m not a pacifist. If you’re ever near Atlanta, would you prefer a demonstration? That said…

                      You listed, not one single idea, but beliefs held by people and those beliefs were once based on a shared existence. Castle doctrine, for example, is a reality which has emerged over a millenium of Anglo-Saxons* living and governing themselves corporately.

                      My neighbors recognise the value of family (those smells), home (those mountains), and property (our livestock and crops and buildings.) You, as I said earlier, cannot help it that you don’t come from a real Nation, but instead a group of people, some of which were united by revolutionary ideas hardly different from those of France or Russia, later joined mostly by people trying to earn more money. You don’t have the ties neccessary to trust and depend on one another to fight for the things worth fighting for and so you have to gin up ideas to keep things going. And fight you do. As I recently observed, in a 232yr history, the US has enjoyed precisely 23 calendar years of peace (almost none of this fighting occurred within its own borders.) That is an impressive record of warmongering belligerence, and it is to be expected from the revolutionary spirit you share with France and Russia.

                      I note you have stuck with the most common beliefs of Anglo-Saxon peoples to emerge from their reality, rather than delving into the more esoteric ideas which motivated your revolting leadership. I am sure Dave G can educate you regarding this, even if he and I disagree completely.

                      Further, those tasers, so long as they are limited to airline passengers, don’t really represent anything important, no. If they start requiring them to travel the public roads (and they probably will) then it becomes worth fighting and dying for. Because travel overland is a neccessity, hurtling thru the air like a flibberty-gibbet isn’t. We don’t need violence right this minute, we can all just stop flying. I haven’t flown since before the backscatters and enhanced patdowns because I see what they do is a violence against human dignity. How often do you fly? And note bene, human dignity isn’t an idea, it is an aspect of the reality of the Imagio Dei.

                      And you couldn’t know this, Deo Gratias, because Mark is a mensch and removed it for me, but there was a fourth post, where I gave far too much detail of the real, physical, subversive activities (which carry stiff penalties now that there’s a kill list), I am already engaged in, with some of those neighbors you say are only interested in ideas, to fight the surveillance state we live under, both against the “Sauron on the telephone phones” and in developing means for combatting those “Sauron in the sky”, if you get my drift. Plus, as I said in my third, I am familiar with battle and shots fired in anger, in service to YOUR country. I’ve been very very nearly dead if not for the quick reaction of my friends when people shot at us for executing our duties. Some of us are already fighting, based in reality. Most of this country, enamored of ideas, aren’t going to lift a finger

                      So let’s get away from ideas, if thats not too frightening for you, and you tell me, what do you do besides type?

                      *Anglo-Saxons are a nation of people originally inhabiting the majority of the southern half of the island of Britain. A man may emigrate and become an Englishman, but it will be generations before his family becomes part of the nation of Anglo-Saxons, if at all. I hate having to talk to people like they are retarded, but I can’t expect you to know what a nation really is, having none yourself for comparison. I am Chickamauga. You are what, from a continent?

                    • In anticipation, I will point out that Castle doctrine wasn’t violated by quartering. The people here had requested, nay, demanded, protection from the nations making war on them along your borders. Your king, our Great Father across the Sea, sent you troops and expected you to do your duty and your part by housing and feeding the troops you requested.

                      With those troops, you were barely able to repel Tsiyu Gansini’s assaults. Without them, well, you probably wouldn’t be here, especially if you are descended from Arthur and not Alexander, because my family and the rest of we Tsalagi would have driven you into the sea.

                    • And you remember our Lord’s words about calling your brother a fool? That’s the stiffest penalty, man. For the good of your own soul, i would beg you, don’t do that again to other people.

                    • Sorry, I must correct myself also. Before Tsiyu Gansini was Aga’Nstata, the Warrior of Chota, center of the Universe. It was under Aga’Nstata that we fought you before you began to be revolting.

                    • Wasn’t me. Not only is my family history Scottish (so no love for the English) but the first of the family line wasn’t even hear until… man almost after the civil war.

                      And let’s not get into records of warmongering because no one is going to come out clean in that (unless they “cheat” by virtue of the earliest records of everybody’s fighting is gone). Unless you care to name others who have beaten our 10% record?

                      I note you have stuck with the most common beliefs of Anglo-Saxon peoples to emerge from their reality, rather than delving into the more esoteric ideas which motivated your revolting leadership. I am sure Dave G can educate you regarding this, even if he and I disagree completely.

                      Ah, so when in doubt, you not only deny that “belief” and “idea” are synonyms (in English at least {hmm… won’t let me post a link, I recommend and looking up belief and idea) but then want to spend most of a long post not addressing what was the main point of mine (that the ideas and beliefs are correlated).

                      And you remember our Lord’s words about calling your brother a fool? That’s the stiffest penalty, man. For the good of your own soul, i would beg you, don’t do that again to other people.

                      Well that’s funny, because I didn’t see you making this correction to Shea when he did the same to Obama.

                      Oh wait, I’ll need a reference. See, “stupid” is a synonym for fool (again, see In fact, I see a lot of synonyms under there, shall we go back and check your record on whether you have used any of them or not?

                      Oh yeah, you’re not using context.

                      it would be foolish (irony intended) to apply this to calling anyone — even fellow Christian or putative Christian — a “fool” or a moron or stupid today. The contextual connection here is to Ps. 14:1, which says, that the fool says that there is no God. Thus the idea would be that we are not to call other Christians deniers of God. Within the full-orbed context of this passage — Judaism — this has no bearing on our modern word “fool” (or related words) which are used to indicate that a person is showing a lack of intellectual acumen, or is acting foolishly in some other way (eg, throwing away money gambling).

  • Raul

    I might recommend a good dramatization in the form of the recent HBOFilms, ‘John Adams’. History made easy and fun to watch. If half of what they re-present was true then we truly are a nation to be pitied in these modern times.

    • The series was well produced, and who doesn’t love Paul Giamatti? But looking to HBO for accurate guidance about the complexities of Colonial or Revolutionary times (or any period in history) is like, well, looking to HBO about guidance for understanding Medieval Catholicism or who Jesus really was. I would tend to maintain a healthy skepticism across the board.

  • Chris

    Okay what if the hijacker is on the flight crew? Nice job, Brainiacs.

    • Actually these kind of devices tend to be easily defeated by actual hijackers. You just need to get something between the bracelet and your skin that insulates electrically. Just a thin layer of plastic disguised to look like skin.

      • And you defeat that by bloodletting every passenger at the sight where it is worn.

        A group that would make you wear a taser wouldn’t hesitate to cut your arm.

  • Full agreement this time. Mr. Shea. In fact, it is impossible to speak of human dignity while supporting a police system that treats us as something less than human.

    I prefer Patrick Henry’s words to Ben Franklin’s, though 🙂

  • . . . and “innocent until proven guilty” has thus been reduced to an antiquated cliche used only for rhetorical purposes by the ruling class.

    “Guilty unless in a position of power” seems to be the new rule of public policy.

  • Brian A. Cook

    Are you aware that InfoWars is run by the notorious conspiracy-theorist Alex Jones?

    • Mark Shea

      So what? Are you aware that the story links to documentation that substantiates the claims it makes? Or are you another believer in the genetic fallacy who holds that ritually impure news sources automatically render the facts they report false?

      • Brian A. Cook

        I should have added that we should take such claims with a grain of salt at most, given the man’s history of making wild claims and dubious connections.

        • Yeah, Mark, even when the claims are documented, their probably just some crackpot.

          Maybe instead of reflecting on Locke and Hume and Kant, we need a return to the Trivuum.

  • Nate,

    Ideas and words, words and Ideas. You’re gonna be so useful opposng tyranny. Later, I got worthwhIle stuff to do.

    • Ah, like fighting all those internet commentators who questioned your manhood? (which, btw, I’m sure challenging me like that is so much more Christian than me calling you foolish /sarc)

      Yep, I’m doing nothing to oppose tyranny. Nope. Nothing at all… (seriously, you were about to post your activities on a public forum where the tyrants could potentially read it? you were going to broadcast your plans to the enemy? you’re lucky Mark deleted it. even fools should know better!)

  • Nate,

    I lost the battle wIth Death less than an hour ago.
    You can have thIs one as well. Go off and kIll for whIchever treatIse on cIvIl government floats your boat.

  • Loretta

    Mark, the American Revolution was fought principally over the issue of the “Rights of Englishmen.” Perhaps we should give serious consideration to revoking the Treaty of Paris and permitting the Queen and Parliament to govern us again.

    • If you revoke the Treaty of Paris, you are conceding control of the Entire continent west of, and including, the Appalachian Mountains.

      This was one of the chief causes for American commoners, the Great Father across the Sea would not allow you, on pain of death, to encroach into our mountains, for we were his loyal subjects too. We had his blessing to kill interlopers under his rule. And from his forts in our lands, he quartered red coats to enforce his edict as well.