Watch what you think, asshole

Sometimes the truth is easy enough to handle. It’s been 16 years since I wrote this piece about America’s ongoing fascination with finding out just how fucking stupid it really is.

Device Can Read Impure Thoughts

by Cotton Mather
The Portland Pataphysical Outpatient Clinic 
22, 2001 04:51 PM 

NEW YORK (YU) ‑ Just when you thought it was safe to keep your mouth shut, the government is about to start reading your mind. No longer content to monitor the size of your sexual organs or how you use them in the privacy of your bedroom, U.S. military engineers have developed a new kind of radar that can detect seditious conceptualizations and obscene ideas from up to 150 feet.

Like a remote therapy session with a court appointed psychiatrist, the device currently being developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology Laboratories in Boulder, CO, can be used to spot thought-criminals in crowds.

Plans for the system come amid growing concern over rampant domestic sarcasm and cynicism, and supporters of the research say it would help police identify and capture potentially dangerous criminals before they actually have the opportunity to put their thoughts into action.

The device is jointly sponsored by the National Institute of Justice, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Department of Agriculture, with additional funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and people like you. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is a federal agency run by the Republican States of America and has spent about 2 million dollars annually for the past two decades perfecting ways to make people dumb and happy about how dumb they are.

Although the prototype is already being deployed in several American cities including San Francisco, Portland, Detroit, Phoenix, and Peoria, there are no plans to test the system.

"It penetrates defensive postures quite well," said Joseph Mangelli, who is the chief researcher on the project. "Some people — introverts, artists, and such like — are more difficult to read, but we're approaching 50% accuracy in intercepting intolerable thoughts before they become unacceptable behavior. I think most Americans will agree that's a phenomenal level of accuracy."

He said the device wouldn't substantially alter a person's brain patterns or damage genetic material, except when absolutely necessary.

Some people question the wisdom of spending millions on a system that violates constitutional protections against unreasonable searches. Anne Frank, for instance, a part‑time law professor at the Bosse de Nage School of Jurisprudence at the Milo Minderbinder College of Arts & Sciences argues that these kinds of technological advancements drive young boys to shoot up their schools.

"People have the right to think whatever they feel like without being worried that a government agent lurking nearby will send a squiddy out to drag you to a reeducation camp," Frank said in a recent interview, before disappearing suddenly into a nearby forest.

There is a case currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court that may determine the use of high‑tech snooping by your community Gestapo in the future. The case involves a Florence, OR, man whose home was searched after a federal agent used a high‑powered listening device to detect low moaning and whispers of "Oh yes, there, there, oh yes, oh yes," coming from the building.

Agents who knocked down the door found parolee Danny Pecker performing cunnilingus on a 15‑year‑old Romanian refugee who had previously claimed to speak no English. Pecker claims the use of the listening device violates his rights under the Fourth Amendment, and he wants the young girl returned for further study.

In the meantime, law enforcement officials are gearing up to monitor your thoughts on a random basis, because recent court decisions have found it discriminatory to target actual crime figures, particularly those in government.

© Copyright 2001, Faustroll, Ligi, and Associates. All Rights Reserved. The Portland Pataphysical Outpatient Clinic, Lounge and Laundromat, a leisure service of the Church of the Oven of Peace, provides imaginary solutions to your imaginary problems. Accept no substitutes. Leading the blind since 1896.

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