Late Night: Hey Air Force, Shut the Front Door!

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! Or the back, depending on how you look at it. But either way, the Air Force needs shut that door, and wear some of these while they’re at it:

Osaka-based materials company Yamamoto has developed anti-radiation underwear and swimwear that protects the body’s most sensitive parts from harmful gamma rays…Made out of carbon-embedded rubber to block radiation, the wetsuit weighs 6.6 pounds and is expected to sell for $1,073, starting in November.

But oversized, six-pound diapers might not be enough of a reminder for the Air Force officers who guard our nuclear weapons and are custodians of the keys that could launch a nuclear disaster/war/Bad Bad Thing We Don’t Like To Contemplate. Fox reports:

Four Air Force officers who were entrusted with the launch keys to nuclear-tipped missiles have been punished for leaving open blast doors intended to help prevent a terrorist or other intruder from entering their post while they were sleeping…

In the two episodes confirmed by the Air Force, the multi-ton concrete-and-steel door that seals the entrance to the underground launch control center was deliberately left open while one of two crew members inside napped.

One officer lied about a violation but later admitted to it.

Wow. Just wow. Fox says morale in the nuke silos is low, reporting:

The Associated Press has discovered a series of problems within the ICBM force, including a failed safety inspection, the temporary sidelining of launch officers deemed unfit for duty and the abrupt firing last week of the two-star general in charge.

On October 11, it was announced that:

The Air Force’s No. 2 officer for nuclear missiles was fired Friday after “a loss of trust and confidence in his leadership and judgment,” the Air Force said in a statement.

Maj. Gen. Michael Carey, deputy commander of the 20th Air Force, was relieved of command after an inspector general’s investigation into his behavior on a temporary assignment.

The allegations do not involve his responsibility for nuclear weapons, said Brig. Gen. Les Kodlick, the Air Force’s top spokesman. They also do not involve sexual misconduct.

Carey was removed two days after the Navy announced Vice Adm. Tim Giardina, the deputy commander of U.S. nuclear forces, was relieved of duty. The military had investigated allegations that Carey used counterfeit chips at an Iowa casino.

Syria: Oh Hollywood, Wherefore Art Thou?

The silence of the sheep? As we teeter on the brink of bombing Syria, there is a huge void, a vast emptiness, a vacuum. We have no hot air, no rousing speeches nor paparazzi photo ops. Celebrities are curiously absent from the “Bomb/Don’t Bomb Syria” dialogue.

Recall, if you will the anti-war rallies of the Aughts and Nineties. Who was there rallying for peace, calling for an end to war?  George Clooney, Sheryl Crow, Danny Glover, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Martin Sheen…And where are they now? (Sean Penn gets a pass from me–Haiti)

Granted most of the anti-war celebs campaigned hard for Obama and other Democrats (as did many readers of Firedoglake). But so what? If your elected officials, even the ones you supported morally and financially, are acting in a fool-hardy manner, freakin’ call them out on it. That’s what democracy is about, that’s what free speech is for. And the Syrian situation is complex (Did he or didn’t he gas his citizens? Is this a false flag? Are the rebels better than Assad? WTF are we doing and why?), but still how about: NO!

Earlier this year, ABC News speculated that celebrities’ anti-war stances in the past could have bearing on their future earnings:

[a]nti-war celebrities, including Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, have been labeled “unpatriotic,” or “un-American.”

The Dixie Chicks, for example, won several Grammys this year, but their criticism of President Bush still has radio listeners calling for stations to quit playing their music, and many stations have.

Columnist Richard Johnson of the New York Post headlined more than a dozen entertainers as “Saddam Lovers” and urged readers to boycott their work.

Worried about their own bottom line when the world could be plunged into war? How venal.

But in the Hollywood Reporter, Ed Asner and Mike Farrell offer up some other explanations:

Asner said the lack of an organized effort against war in Syria is a matter of timing. Bush took months to make the case for war in Iraq, giving the antiwar left plenty of time to prepare a response.

“It will be a done deal before Hollywood is mobilized,” Asner said. “This country will either bomb the hell out of Syria or not before Hollywood gets off its ass.”

Really? Um, actors have social media and assistants. Surely they can get this figured out.

Also, said Asner, unsuccessful efforts to prevent war in Iraq led to complacency among left-wing activists.

“We had a million people in the streets, for Christ’s sake, protesting Iraq, which was about as illegal as you could find. Did it matter? Is George Bush being tried in the high courts of justice?” asks Asner. “

Ennui? Hollywood, along with liberals and progressives, are bored by the idea of another war?

Asner adds another more disturbing explanation:

A lot of people don’t want to feel anti-black by being opposed to Obama.

Wow. Is that a real reason? That is the dumbest reason to stand silent on a war/bombing/action/strike ever. The race of the president doesn’t matter when it comes to war. Actually, and maybe I am naive here, it’s more racist to think  you can’t speak up because the president is black. Who cares what race he is? He’s doing something dangerous and bad. Call him on it.

Mike Farrell says:

This administration ought to insist that the international community charge [Assad] with a war crime and prosecute him, and in so doing Obama would be following the law instead of flaunting the law…It’s incredibly improper for the president to call for a strike. I have said it everywhere I can and I suspect a lot of others will do the same, but whether there will be an organized effort, I don’t know. We’re talking about the difference between an invasion in Iraq and a limited action in response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

And we’re talking about opposing a military action called by a Democratic president. So what? Protest!

Both Republican Representative Ted Cruz and Democrat Dennis Kucinich oppose taking action against Syria. If these two dudes on opposite ends of the political spectrum can find something to agree on–staying out of Syria– maybe Obama, Pelosi, Kerry, and McCain should pay attention.

In the meantime, according to Gallup, 51% of Americans oppose the United States taking military action against the Syrian government. Support for action in Syria is lower than for any military action, including the Balkans, since 1991.  Something politicians may want to remember, since mid-term elections are coming in 2014.


THE GOOD OLD DAYS: Obama at anti-war rally

Ender’s Game: Orson Scott Card Gets Even Crazier, More Hateful

Orson Scott Card is the homo-hatin’ author of Ender’s Game who is also a producer of and presumably profit-taker from the eponymous film due out in November from Lions Gate.  He has proven himself to be an equal opportunist disliker of non-white people and a loony-toon nutter in this May 9, 2013 essay, originally published in something called The Rhinoceros Times. Card spins a paranoid (admitted) fantasy about Obama becoming a dictator, and at one point gets all sandy-pantied about

young out-of-work urban men

who he speculates will be recruited as Obama’s jackbooted personal militia:

Obama will put a thin veneer of training and military structure on urban gangs, and send them out to channel their violence against Obama’s enemies.

Instead of doing drive-by shootings in their own neighborhoods, these young thugs will do beatings and murders of people “trying to escape” — people who all seem to be leaders and members of groups that oppose Obama.

Card cloaks his racism and paranoia in speculation

 as a science fiction writer and a student of history

(because since he, like, studied history, he knows stuff) as he proceeds to spin what he calls a

a little thought experiment

involving Obama running Michelle Obama for President (one of his earlier columns in The Rhinoceros Times claimed that the First Lady’s appearance on the Oscars was a warm up for her 2016 run, so this is a recurring fear/theme for Card) so Barack Obama can stay in power forever as a Hitler-esque dictator who will put his young urban male troops in armored vehicles as they ride the streets enforcing Obama-laws against Obama-enemies.  Part of Obama’s power plan, according to Card:

Barack Obama needs to have a source of military power that is under his direct control. Like Hitler, he needs a powerful domestic army to terrify any opposition that might arise.

Obama called for a “national police force” in 2008, though he never gave a clue about why such a thing would be necessary. We have the National Guard. We have the armed forces. The FBI. The Secret Service. And all the local and state police forces.

Actually Obama called for a

civilian national security force that is just as strong and well funded…

and Salon points out the excerpt Card quotes was used by Obama

to describe how he’d “expand AmeriCorps to 250,000 slots,” “double the size of the Peace Corps,” and “grow our foreign service.” That was five years ago, and he actually failed to do it.

Orson Scott Card is a card-carrying, tin-foil-wearing wacko whose “speculation,” while unpleasantly crazy, is his to spew as he wishes. And his loathing of gays, anger over marriage equality, funding of NOM, and urgings to overthrow the United States government over marriage equality and liberal thought will be underwritten by any profits made from the film Ender’s Game, its merchandizing, and sequels. Card has written this following not as speculation:

Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.

Skip Ender’s Game.

H/T Back2Stonewall

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Will Go

During open questions on change.gov, Obama’s incoming press secretary Robert Gibbs answered Thaddeus from Lansing, MI’s question about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, seen at 4:17 on this video.

Thaddeus asks:

Is the new administration going to get rid of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy?

Gibbs responds:

Thaddeus, You don’t hear a politician give a one-word answer much. But it’s ‘yes.’


Close