Liberty and Accessibility

Monday, July 02, 2007

[FL4RonPaul] Frightening Development in Military-Industrial Complex (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2007 02:43:03 -0400
From: Frank Gonzalez <>
To: Frank Gonzalez <>
Subject: [FL4RonPaul] Frightening Development in Military-Industrial Complex

BlankDwight Eisenhower, a Republican, warned Americans very clearly some 50
years ago about the rise of the military-industrial complex.

Below you see the consequence of ignoring this warning. Add it to the
growing list of horrors: tasers, taser clouds, microwave "ray" guns, mace,

Remember, the ONLY TRUE IDENTITY of the government is the horrible face of
force and murder. The government can accomplish NOTHING without the threat
of force. Remember that people who enable it are nothing more than
mercenaries who will sell out their own country for a paycheck.

This is not liberty. To the extent that we ignore these threats we are
sowing the seeds of our own destruction.

Choose liberty or you will automatically be choosing tyranny. There is NO

The ONLY Presidential candidate who I joined to defend these principles is
Ron Paul.

Frank J. Gonzalez
A Ron Paul Democrat for US House (FL-21) in 2008
2006 results here:
Updates & commentary:

"I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as
necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American
people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting
an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus
building a wall of separation between church and state."

--founder of the Democratic Party, 3rd President of the United States,
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)


Technology News Send to a Friend Printable View
Taser, IRobot Team Up to Arm Robots
By MARK JEWELL (AP Business Writer)
>From Associated Press
July 01, 2007 7:52 PM EDT
BOSTON - RoboCops and robot soldiers got a little closer to reality Thursday
as a maker of floor-cleaning automatons teamed up with a stun-gun
manufacturer to arm track-wheeled 'bots for the police and the Pentagon.

By adding Tasers to robots it already makes for the military, iRobot Corp.
says it hopes to give soldiers and law enforcement a defensive, non-lethal

But some observers fear such developments could ultimately lead to robots
capable of deciding on their own when to shoot and kill.

"It's one more step in that direction," said John Pike, director of, an Alexandria, Va.-based military research organization.

"It is not the first step in that direction, but I think at some point
toward the end of the next decade, you're going to start seeing RoboCops, or
a Terminator," Pike said, referring to a pair of 1980s robot-themed sci-fi
films. "We may see autonomous robots capable of inflicting lethal force."

Jim Rymarcsuk, vice president for business development at Burlington,
Mass.-based iRobot, said notions of armed robots acting on their own are far
beyond what the company envisions for the partnership announced Thursday
with Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Taser International Inc.

"Right now, we have no plans to take any robot with a lethal-weapon approach
to the market," Rymarcsuk said. "For this system, and all systems we have
looked at, there is a human in the loop making the decisions. This in no way
is giving the robot the capability to use force on its own."

Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed. The companies said
they have developed a model that will be demonstrated at a conference Taser
is holding in Chicago on July 9-10. The model pairs iRobot's existing
PackBot Explorer with the Taser X26 in what iRobot calls "the first robot of
its kind with an on-board, integrated Taser payload."

There's no word when the system will be offered for sale, or for how much.

The system isn't entirely unprecedented. Foster-Miller Inc., a Waltham,
Mass.-based rival of iRobot, already offers a version of its track-wheeled
Talon robot that can be fitted with a Taser with laser-dot aiming

The Taser, used by thousands of law enforcement agencies, is an electric
stun gun designed to help officers subdue violent suspects without
nightsticks or guns.

However, some critics contend the weapon can be deadly, particularly on
suspects who use drugs or suffer from heart problems. Taser International
and police counter that no weapon is risk-free, and that Tasers actually
save lives by helping officers avoid more dangerous weapons.

For iRobot, its Taser-equipped system will be the first robot capable of
using force to disable a person, rather than a bomb. The 17-year-old company
is best known for its mobile robots for the consumer market, including the
disc-shaped, carpet cleaning Roomba.

But home robots account for only 60 percent of the company's revenue. The
rest comes from government and industrial customers, including the military
and police.

Versions of iRobot's PackBot have disarmed roadside bombs and searched caves
and buildings in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some scout dangerous areas before
soldiers or emergency responders go in.

With the Taser venture, iRobot "is testing a new market, and they've found a
cheap way to do it," said Alex Hamilton, an analyst with The Benchmark Co.
"The PackBot works. You'll need software to make it work with the Taser, but
my guess is they will be able to achieve it."

Pike at envisions police SWAT teams and prison guards
using Taser-equipped robots to deal with hostage situations and unruly
inmates. He also expects they could supplement - or even replace - human
guards patrolling property.

"I could see rent-a-cop companies wanting to buy it, I can see corrections
departments wanting to buy it, because it might be seen as a cost-effective
alternative to having a human guard patrolling a perimeter," Pike said.

Pike says Taser-equipped, remote-controlled robots are still a few steps
away from becoming killing machines. If that happens, the development would
run counter to a robots-should-not-harm-humans principle that classic
science fiction author Isaac Asimov outlined in his 1950 anthology, "I,
Robot" - the namesake of iRobot the company.

"For now, as soon as you let go of the joystick, the robot just sits there,"
Pike said. "So questions of moral agency don't arise - that is to say, whose
finger is on the trigger. But a little further down the road, when these
ground vehicles do achieve greater autonomy, the may be no human finger on
the trigger."


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