Wednesday, October 31, 2001

First, a follow-up to the item I posted the other day about the "economic stimulus plan" that the House just passed. I'll share with you part of an email that was forwarded to me:

> In this time of national crisis, amid calls for sacrifice, we're deeply
> troubled by the choices of the Republican party's right-wing leadership.
> Here's their idea of an economic stimulus package*:
> $1.4 billion for IBM
> $833 million for General Motors
> $671 million for General Electric
> $572 million for Chevron Texaco
> $254 million for Enron
> This is war profiteering, and it's just plain wrong. Yet the House has
> just approved it, on a virtual party line vote, ending the recent spirit
> of cooperation in Congress. Speak up with us before the Senate acts:

Second, here's your Halloween scary treat:

> BOSTON (New Scientist, Oct. 24) -- Tests of a controversial weapon that is
> designed to heat people's skin with a microwave beam have shown that it can
> disperse crowds. But critics are not convinced the system is safe.
> Last week, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in New Mexico
> finished testing the system on human volunteers. The Air Force now wants to
> use this Active Denial Technology (ADT), which it says is non-lethal, for
> peacekeeping or riot control at "relatively long range" -- possibly from
> low-flying aircraft.

When I first read about this I thought it must be a hoax. A microwave beam, pointed from a helicopter, that could make a crowd disperse (and, possibly, expose them to all the myriad dangers of radiation exposure)? I figured it couldn't possibly be true - the trick, not the treat - until I found verification on the Air Force's own web site.

- Read the official version here -

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