Star Wars is nearly ready for rollout


Look at these Evil tools that the USA has built.

No wonder there is no other life detectable in the universe. Once a civilisation is smart enough to work with radio waves, it's only 100 years until they destroy themselves.


I forgot to post some stuff

I forgot to post some stuff from the article. Look at this:

The ADS would provide a nonlethal form of crowd control, using millimeter waves (a cousin of microwaves) to cause an intense--but noninjurious--burning sensation meant to encourage people to flee.

"Safe" they say. Right. They can stand in front of it and let me zap them in the eyes with it then.

This is what the reasearch director says after they pointed it at his ass:

I was kind of reluctant to go back and do that again because I still had the memory of what it felt like

Look at this beauty :)

Airborne Laser, a jumbo jet packed with gear designed to shoot down enemy missiles half a world away, at the speed of light. The ABL also packs a megawatt-class punch--it's not exactly your garden-variety laser pointer.

These weapons might be pointed at targets other than missiles perchance?

Tools Aren't Evil

>>meant to encourage people to flee

Sounds great. Much better than water cannons and rubber bullets. More power! Hope the R&D goes well.

You know the rest

I for one welcome our new American overlords......

Rock on!

Don't touch us, cause we're electric. And if you touch us, you'll get shocKED!

Just you wait

until this guy finishes the Uranium PU-36 Space Modulator...

yeah yeah

Lasers on me, Mr. Bush!
Amrican should really think of making the world a better place without weapons.
I realize that making war is luring as makes the economy grow, but 200 years have been enough for this strategy.
Think of sth clever, mr. shorty!

Cool Beans

Did you catch they already used Zeus lasers clearing minefields and THEL knocking down missiles, mortars and artillery shells?

What's next, some fancy laser that knocks down all the bullets flying your way in the battlefield?

A war zone could end up looking like a disco dance floor with all those lasers, get your guns boys and don't forget the Donna Summers CDs!

Call me a war monger

As a Canadian I'm happy to see the U.S. armed to the teeth and ready to roll. In the past 50 years, that's the only reason our second language here is French instead of Russian.

A special shout out to all the Americans paying their tax dollars to the military to keep Canada protected :).

disturbingly casual references to crowd control

The ADS would provide a nonlethal form of crowd control, using millimeter waves (a cousin of microwaves) to cause an intense--but noninjurious--burning sensation meant to encourage people to flee.

An article on miltary weaponry talking about crowd control. When will these asshats get it? If you need to improve your weapons for controlling crowds, you have a bigger problem than a lack of effective weapons.

Am with John on this one.

Am with John on this one. that is, in a word, fucked.

If even the loyal media isn't helping you screw over your citizens enough then maybe just maybe you need to think of another policy beyond ignorant escalation.

If I got hit by a crowd control beam I know that when I came to my senses I would fuck things up bad.

The only upside to the horrific weapons are that they may allow the military to allot less billets and have less people get killed and/or otherwise waste large chunks of their life / soul / humanity by being in the military.

Who's problem

It's the citizens that's got the problem. Uhm, perhaps that wasn't the right word... the voters? ... Uhm, the civilians? ... Uhm, the crowds? ... those that are not higher up in the command line?

That guy might have used the word "embassies" but that was exlusively because it has a nice, positive, do-no-evil feel to it. It's for driving away (or directing) large numbers of voters in the streets, that's what it is.

Just a cattle prod, really, but a multi-livestock one.


>>If you need to improve your weapons for controlling crowds, you have a bigger problem than a lack of effective weapons.

Better weapons are needed for crowd control. Better non-lethal weapons are always a plus. As for 'asshats', I iusually see them overturning cars, setting fires and throwing rocks because their favorite team lost a sporting event. Blunt-force trauma to the head would be my choice for the 'asshats', but if an intense--but noninjurious--burning sensation is more effective, how could that be worse?

>>I still had the memory of what it felt like

Would he have preferred a nightstick and a metal shield to the head? That 'memory' might linger longer.

Yeah but DG those asshats

Yeah but DG those asshats you talk about are the business of the police, not the military

My friend told me yesterday

My friend told me yesterday (coincidentally) that he read recently that some touring cruise liners carry microwave devices as an anti-terrorist precaution.

These devices basically melt the target on the spot by firing high power microwaves into his body at the resonant frequency of the human body.

It won't be long before we have a device that can melt the planet :)

I'm not sure of the use for such a weapon, but no doubt some ass in the Pentagon will approve the budget anyway.

I just think it is shitty

I just think it is shitty that our goal is to fight symptoms of problems instead of solving the root problems...and generally, for the most part, I think the end goal is usually nothing more than bilking society out of its wealth and helping to consolidate wealth.

Wasnt this the weapon used

in the movie "Eraser"?

The players just have to know their roles

Seems natural to me that the Pentagon would create weapons - quite a small dev cost on the mobile anti-missile system, way cheaper than Reagan's original dream - and it works, beautifully.

As for the crowd control technology, the police could dream of getting it of course, but can you see the military giving it up without Congress in the middle, and can you see the headlines if it were used domestically? Would stir debate for sure.

Aaron, some of us ARE working on the root problems - this being Sunday I was down at the Shambhala Buddhist Meditation Center this morning, working on creating enlightened society - even some soldiers are buddhist y'know, now there's an elegant battle discipline for ya...

you gotta see the glass half full...


Cures the problems of wherever they land.

No homeless, jobless, no war, no strife, no censorship no nothing.

Nukes cure whatever ills ya.

Nukes cure whatever ills ya.

other than the need to create demand to build more nukes to drive up share prices

What ever happened to

What ever happened to bows-and-arrows? The world has gone insane.

bow and arrow was once cowardly...

compared with, say sword to sword - just another class of remote projectile

but look at the beauty of the airborne laser - not really a system to protect america, but a mobile system that can remove missiles from any battlefield anywhere (iran firing at israel, north firing at south, etc)

finally, the antidote to the bow and arrow class of weapon :)

Police end up with a lot of

Police end up with a lot of military-style weapons. Selling newly developed weapons to civil authorities helps defray the cost of R&D. Not sure that the Active Denial System will end up with civil law enforcement, but the ADS has a brother that seems destined for cop shops.


nukes have very little practical use, as the response to a nuke is likely to be a whole lot of nukes. So nobody dares to use them, as there is no known defence. However with a defence system, such as the one that can remove missiles mid-air -- if it works on at least some percentage of targets -- the world suddently looks differently. It will mean that the "perceived risk" for decisionmakers is lowered, but the real risk to all of us reading here is, well, increased.

In a way I can see the benefit of having non-lethal weapons, and especially harmless ones. But, I do see a risk that the more "harmless" the weapons are perceived to be by the operators the less restraint they will have in using them, meaning larger possibilities for innocent bystanders to be hit. But strictly speaking that's very theoretic, although it's no more advanced than "Psychology 101". And, a "directed energy field" sounds a bit more controllable than a water jet or a gas cloud after all.

Added II:
Still, there's something rotten if we ("we", in the broadest possible sense, as "a civilized society") need such "crowd control" weapons at all. Seen from any angle, a "crowd" is nothing but a bunch of people, and if they make trouble, it's because it's a bunch of very dissatisfied people.

We probably can't make their particular sports team win every time, but we sure as hell should be able to offer them better living conditions so they don't have to be so bloody worked up all the time about their lousy life that just a tiny spark will lead them to explode. And of course there are a very small number of people in real need of psychiatric care or likewise among them, but they should just get that care in stead... It would probably even be cheaper in the long run.

wish it was that easy

but we sure as hell should be able to offer them better living conditions so they don't have to be so bloody worked up all the time about their lousy life that just a tiny spark will lead them to explode

Some would say that's what the US is doing in Iraq. Others disagree. It's debatable if 'we' should be doing anything about someone else's life, or whether doing so is just meddling and causes more problems.

>Some would say that's what

>Some would say that's what the US is doing in Iraq

like Haliburton

just baiting you. was a good chat tonight :)

TW is more interesting now

but is it really "less noise" lol.

As for the reference to asshats, I wish it were possible not to get too broad here. Non-lethal weapons are great -- they allow the police to "shoot" the crazy knife wielding guy and still get him back onto his meds later. A noble cause and solution - certainly better than hitting him with 15 rounds from a glock (I used to work in the ER of one of the most dangerous cities in America... training grounds for army surgeons looking for experience patching gunshot wounds).

I specifically noted the reference to crowd control in a military technology popular press article. It was a casual cross-reference, which serves to normalize the public perception of the use of military force against civilians ("crowds"). Maybe it was deliberate, but maybe the writer has already suffered de-sensitization and writes it that way - casual acceptance. Problems all around.

I agree with Aaron that the gut emotional response of a citizenry if protesters were subjected to such evil weapons as described (even if the crowd was turning over cars and burning storefronts) might be quite different than what has been witnessed thus far in the world.

As for unruly sports fans, I agree that is a local police matter and I also note the root causes are usually not the sporting event or the disregard of other's property. I don't often see reports of post-win or loss riots in the wealthier suburbs or areas of high employment. I have no knowledge of hooligan futbol fans - they may require separate study.

I find the tone of this

I find the tone of this conversation odd in places. The Pentagon is investing money in new ways not to kill people, and are being slammed for it. Surely it's not that bad a thing?

Regardless of what people might think of any particular administration in the US (or elsewhere for that matter), while peaceful protest is just dandy, riots do break out, and not always for political protest (football riots etc). No society can afford to permit large scale rioting, so something has to be done about it.

At some point, the police get overwhelmed, and Army units get called in to do civil crowd control. Would you all really prefer to see those scared kids holding HV assualt rifles? We tried that in Northern Ireland. Turns out it's not a great idea, surprisingly

>> They can stand in front of it and let me zap them in the eyes with it then.

Wouldn't be great, but from what I read, it should be perfectly safe. OK, yes, sufficiently long exposure would run a risk of doing damage, but you could drown someone with a water cannon, and there are deaths on record from rubber bullets. Adding more, less lethal options to the crowd control arsenal is hardly evil.

Now, as to the uses to which they will actually be put, I cannot speak. Any weapon is merely a tool, incapable of moral judgement. An evil government can misuse even the most mild of crowd control methods to suppress legitimate political protest

>> These weapons might be pointed at targets other than missiles perchance?

I find that highly unlikely. They may possibly have anti-tank applications, maybe point attack (bunker busting), but not much beyond that, at least not for a few decades.

Basically, there are far cheaper ways of doing most jobs on the battlefield. Lasers fill a high end defensive niche, but not really anything else yet.

right on TT + JA

For a (tall) troll that post had very low troll/substance ratio *lol*

I object strongly to the use of the word "tool" about a weapon, though. A weapon is a tool only in the hands of the person using it for a purpose. That goes for SlyOldDog using it in the OP too.

I'll also back up John Andrews that it's nice sometimes to discuss such issues that are very far from SEO, especially without starting a flame war.

I see two main issues:

1) civilian vs military: I'm sure that it's in some UN declaration or other that armed forces should be used only against armed forces. But of course not all countries recognize such declarations. Personally I could think of many other uses for the personnel and even some of the hardware, but none of those involve crowd control. (I know just about any western military trains that anyway, even using police uniforms - even Danish mil does)

2) "if it's free I'll take the lot" - meaning that the more "safe" a weapon will be the more likely it is that it will be used, perhaps excessively.

Examples here could be passive "weapons" or "tools" in TT terminology, eg. surveillance: Nobody is injured by that, everybody can do as they please.

(here the border line between tool/weapon is blurred, as I'm not sure you could even call it a weapon although it's clearly part of the military "toolbox", but it's the same with a mil truck I guess)

Why Do People Riot?

Many reasons for civil disturbances, and civil disturbances are necessary for a democracy. Civil disturbances aren't likely to draw local police to the scene anyway. It should be, and typically is, the barbaric crowds that end up facing tear gas and rubber bullets. It's also quite rare to see mob violence in which all the attendees to a protest become participants in that violence.

Which is another reason non-lethal weapons are preferred. The soccer mom that brought her kids to a 'Save The Whales" demonstration shouldn't be subjected to rubber bullets because a few zealots want violence.

And some seem to be suggesting that economic hardship is the main cause for civil unrest and violent protest. Just isn't so. Ethnic differences, objections to political organizations, religious animosity, differences in political or world views, social injustices, (real or imagined) and on and on.

Then there are the instigators, groups like the Ruckus Society, (they're out of Berkeley, bit doubtful on the economic hardship bit) that allegedly try to escalate peaceful demonstrations into violent confrontations. Gasoline-soaked rags tied to chains would seem to indicate willful violence.

Thankfully, most demonstrations are non-violent. But it is nice to know that weapons are being developed that can disperse angry and violent crowds without fatal injury to participants or innocents.

>> I object strongly to the

>> I object strongly to the use of the word "tool" about a weapon, though. A weapon is a tool only in the hands of the person using it for a purpose.

Hmmm, I think we actually agree claus, but semantics get in the way....

The point I was trying to make is that guns (or any other weapon) aren't inherently dangerous, people are. You could load a gun with dumdum ammo and put it on a shelf pointing at your head, and barring some extremely unlikely external forces acting upon it (big electrical discharge, bizarre mechanical failure, spontaneous combustion of the bullet etc) you'd be perfectly safe. Give that same gun to a person, even one who likes you, and suddenly you're a much worse insurance risk...

Similarly, a hammer is a perfectly legitimate and useful tool. Unless you choose to beat someones brains out with it. Note that it is YOU that has to make that choice, not the hammer. Weapons are tools. Blame those who control them.

Weapons are tools. Blame

Weapons are tools. Blame those who control them.

But the world is full of thick tool users so knowing that an intelligence and physciatric test is rarely given as a prerequisite to purchasing a tool (whether it be a hammer of ICBM) I say ban all tools.... especially those that help my competitors in the SERPs :D

lasers eh?

so can we defend ourselves with small mirrors? ;)

small mirrors

Or tin hats...

small mirrors

With imperfections like the types used in disco lasers would melt under the load of such a high energy weapon.

Think upscale optics, scientific/military grade.

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