Snow cone machines for homeland security

A federal- and state-designated homeland security agency in Michigan recently purchased 13 snow cone machines at a total cost of $11,700. A spokesperson for the agency explains why the purchase was essential:
"It is used to attract people so they can be educated and prepared for homeland security," Dey said from his office in Muskegon. "More importantly, they (homeland security officials) felt in a medical emergency the machine was capable of making ice packs which could be used for medical purposes."

A double punch at the war on terror!

Bruce Scneier: Snow Cone Machines for Homeland Security


  1. When Osama sets off his evil ‘Sprain Bomb’ in Muskegon, we’ll be ready for it!

    And everyone’s laughing at how head-up-ass North Korea is…

  2. Of course, the TSA recruits wouldn’t be allowed to bring their sno cones through TSA security anyway, because they are a dangerous gel.

    Also, I just did a search for Sno Cone Machines on Google Product Search.  They generally cost about $30. What did the TSA do? Buy their Sno Cone machines from Apple?

    1. I assume $30 is for non-commercial units.

      This doesn’t actually seem that outrageous to me.  I don’t know what kind of education sessions Homeland Security runs but if they are going to spend resource setting up a booth somewhere, you might as well ensure good attendance with free snow cones.

  3. [Salim Abu Aziz reveals a nuclear weapon]

    Salim: Do you know what this is?

    Harry: I know what this is…

    [Salim smiles]

    Salim: This is an espresso machine.

    [Salim frowns]

    Harry: No, no wait. It’s a snow cone maker.

    [Salim approaches Harry]

    Harry: Is it a water heater?

  4. The model shown in this picture sells new for about 600 bucks, and the most expensive machine available is about 1100$. These guys spent 900 per machine, good to see they are buying quality snow cone machines with money that could have been better spent on, well, almost anything.

  5. And this is why michigan is bankrupt amd rusting. <.< seriously sick of living here, first they dissolve our police department and then waste their budget on snowcones. ._.

    1. You laugh but think of the potential weapon frothed, boiling milk would make if all of the agents’ firearms failed and a terrorist required neutralizing before he set off explosives.

      Bet you didn’t think of it from that angle did ya, smart-ass?

  6. That explanation reminds me distinctly of a book report written by a student who never opened the book.

    More telling than the shitty explanation is the fact that they didn’t even try very hard to write one, and knew that not trying at all would still not result in any consequences.

    1. If there was a department of fellatio and hand jobs and they blew a large wad(ha!) of cash on ice cream makers I would be equally unhappy. Point being, every government agency should be responsible for maintaining a responsible budget that maximizes their ability to fulfill the purpose of said agency and failure to do so should result in disciplinary action for those in charge.

  7. That is an Artist’s Statement grade bullshit explanation, but I don’t actually have any problem with a government agency blowing 11 grand on snow cone machines.  It’s so penny ante; they could have framed it as “improving morale” and probably no one would have looked twice.  It’s the obvious falsehood of “we bought it because it doubles as a first aid device” that grabs attention

  8. Well — when passengers come through the line with a substance in their possession they CLAIM is Sno-Kone syrup, how else is the TSA supposed to verify it’s the real deal?  It’s the only way to make sure.

    1. Dont forget if we had snow favour liquid in squirt bottles we could even make flavoured snow-cones, if we had snow favour liquid in squirt bottles.

      Make mine lemon. 

      I’ve always derived a perverse pleasure from actually eating yellow snow. :-)

  9. im a little confused about why anyone is upset about this.  It seems like you all get so upset over them torturing and killing people to protect the nation.  but you’re all just as upset when they take the opposite approach and use public outreach in the name of protecting the nation.   and complaining about their claim that the machines can be used to make ice packs. would you rather they claim it could be used to torture people, say possibly give terrorists unbearable brain freezes.  Delicious though they may be im sure i would crack under two days straight of brain freeze torture.  then there is the complaint about the expense.  what do you expect? of course they need to buy commercial snow cone machines.  This is an agency for homeland security.  They’re not throwing a princess themed birthday party for your daughter.  A thirty dollar snow cone machine is a joke when your dealing hot thirsty crowds waiting for some icy flavored refreshment.

    1. im a little confused about why anyone is upset about this.

      We don’t want to pay for it.

      but you’re all just as upset when they take the opposite approach and use public outreach in the name of protecting the nation.

      How, precisely, does sno-kone-based outreach protect the nation?

      A thirty dollar snow cone machine

      How did you get from $11,700 to $30 dollars?

      1. you don’t have to worry about paying for it. It’s already been payed for. It’s not like they put those things on lay away man. Not only that but a good quality snow cone machine will practically pay for itself in a matter of months if you price your product correctly.
        as for the intricacies of snow cone based outreach i can’t really explain. it is a process only the homeland security agencies truly understand. But look at something like the SNO-FLURRY 3100 SHAVE ICE MACHINE it can put out 18 delicious (or dangerous) cones a minute. that is an entire 8 pound bag of ice. the psychological impact of such a machine on a crowd of people is unimaginable, so long as the homeland security agencies use it for good not evil.
        in reference to the sentence about 30 dollars.
        i choose not to reveal my sources.

  10. And also pallets of 30 billion in cash have gone missing and unaccounted for in our privatized wars in the middle east. This seems adorable compared to that.

  11. Bah, just find out who the seller was. I bet it’s the dumb ass brother in law or a poker buddy of someone in DHS.

  12. The city of Newark, NJ bought garbage trucks with its Federal Homeland Security money.  City officials explained that they could be used to haul bodies in the event of a disaster.

  13. ‘Hello little child…would you like a snow cone treat’? 

    Enticing them with sweets and cute little puppies can’t be too far off either.

    We used to have posters here in the UK that warned children away from perverts offering sweets and cute pets…

  14. First, I feel so much more secure now.

    Second: $900 for a snow cone machine?  Looks like they didn’t even know how to shop for them.  The place I work sells our most expensive unit for $689, and the one in the photo goes for $629.  Both prices can be found easily online.  Even with our most expensive shipping options it wouldn’t be close to $900. Is it too much to ask Homeland security to check pricing online? That should be a cross-departmental rule for all government agencies.

  15. Why stop at Sno-Kone machines? A fleet of brand-new popcorn poppers could teach li’l TSA agents the fundamentals of explosives theory. A balloon inflator rig (Marked up only 4900 %) a primer on the transportation and mass deployment of potentially lethal gasses. What is an inflatable bouncy castle, if NOT a portable device for the instruction of zero-gravity hand-to-hand combat, so that we’ll be ready when the terrorists develop portable anti-gravity hand-to-hand combat attack technology, as they surely must be doing?

  16. The problem is, all those penny ante’s add up. And the result is we’ve spent ourselves into oblivion.

  17. When planning a boondoggle, I find it best to prepare one’s story ahead of time.  Otherwise, one ends up with this kind of nonsense.

  18. Something to consider is they are handed piles of cash with loose guidelines, and if they manage to not spend all of it they will get less the next time money is passed out.

    This is a constant problem with Government programs, if you do not spend every penny you get less the next time.  So they find ways to spend the money with the thinnest excuses.  There is no benefit to being frugal or saying we apperciate the money but really have nothing to spend it on.

  19. I don’t have a problem with the reason. I have a problem with the price. They sell for about $500 each, not $900. I thought the idea of bulk purchasing was to SAVE money, not spend more? Why is it the opposite for  government? 

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