Let's start a space crusade

Today's look at why we need to stop doing things with a Bible

Hope your Tuesday’s remarkable so far.

Who am I kidding?

I do not give a shit about your Tuesday.

I’m sorry, it’s been a bit of a morning.

I hope you like what I did today: trying out a series of riffs off an article versus getting too wordy.

I am indifferent, leaning toward disappointed.

This may get better eventually.


Because it’s 2020 and we still believe in God, now there’s a space Bible or at least a Bible dedicated to the swearing-in of Space Force personnel.

“May this Bible guard and guide all those who purpose that the final frontier be a place where God will triumph over evil, where love will triumph over hate, and where life will triumph over death.”

I know our money says "one nation under God," but maybe it's okay to update that since when that first came about at a time when our founding fathers were also doing things like selling other people as property.

Still not sure why we have to consecrate every damn thing we do like it's a fucking Crusade, which is probably close to the answer because in space no one can hear you colonize.

Although that's probably the answer, that in space, no one can hear you colonize.

And of course Mikey’s pissed about this, and by that I mean Mikey Weinstein, president and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, who said the ceremony displayed overtones of "Christian privilege" within the Defense Department.

"The MRFF condemns, in as full-throated a manner as is humanly possible, the shocking and repulsive display of only the most vile, exclusivist, fundamentalist Christian supremacy, dominance, triumphalism and exceptionalism which occurred at yesterday's 'blessing' at the Washington National Cathedral. Such blatantly scurrilous activity violates a slew of critical DoD directives, instructions and regulations.”

Not sure what Christian privilege is, but guess I'll add it to the rest of the privilege pile I've got coming to me as a cis white male in his 40s.


If you got here from the web, that’s cool. I like the internet, too. Also cool? Email newsletters. Of which this is one. Get your look at war from the cheap seats in your inbox every week.


US commanders surprised to Iranians used real missiles instead of the Nerf variety they were briefed Tehran planned to use in last week’s attack on US bases in Iraq. "These were designed and organized to inflict as many casualties as possible," according to Lt. Col. Tim Garland, commander of Task Force Jazeera.

Tim, they’re missiles. Of course, they were, and they sucked at it. And also gave everyone a heads up they were coming. So let’s de-wad our collective panties, stop wringing our hands about Iran, and figure out when we can pack the fuck up and get out of Iraq like Baghdad asked us to do.

And also, less of this:

Feel like if that tweet’s going to do any actual good, we’re in worse trouble than we thought. Because there isn’t a single Iranian general alive who’s asking himself, “But what would Donald do?

The president of South Korea’s tired of waiting for the US and Pyongyang to unfuck their nuclear deal, so he’s hoping that if he gets some UN sanctions lifted against the DPRK, that might help things along.

"If exceptions from U.N. sanctions are necessary for South-North cooperation, I think we can make efforts for that," Moon said. "I think there is a heightened need for South and North Korea to dial up their cooperation a little bit and promote North Korean-U.S. talks, rather than just looking at North Korea-U.S. talks."

Sounds like somebody’s been bingeing Suits.

In Afghanistan, the only thing more reliable than death is Taliban ingenuity, and I was today years old when I learned that the Boys from Balochistan have been setting up their own customs houses. Because the increased targeting of their drug labs starting in 2018 was making it harder for them to fund the insurgency, now they’re charging customs tariffs. Good thing we used those F-22s to bomb the opium processing out of existence though, right?

The Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) deployment went so well that now they’re going to send another one to the Pacific region. Because a Pacific pivot in the face of a near peer threat is what the world needs right now. Although this quote from Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Wren of the 1st SFAB about how well it went in the graveyard of reasonable intervention seems problematic.

"Just us being there gave them confidence.”

Enough confidence for Afghan forces to kill two SFAB personnel in insider attacks, so yeah, confident. The SFAB seems like a reasonable idea, and now that we’re all worried about China again? Could be a good thing.

Because the 9/11 Memorial is just a big ol’ vision board if you’re a Saudi national wanting to kill Americans, the Pensacola shooter visited there before getting his mass shooting on. And the best news of all? Handgun and ammunition and extended magazine used in said shooting?

Totes legal in Florida, according to the deputy director of the FBI.

"It was purchased under a hunting license exception. This exception allows non-immigrant visa holders who otherwise are not permitted to buy firearms or ammunition to purchase them if they have a valid state-issued hunting license permit or other required documentation."

Next time you’re involved in a mass shooting? Ask to see his paperwork, I guess. Won’t stop him, but might make you feel better knowing you were murdered legally.

Today's "most Australian thing ever" brought to you by the Royal Australian Navy, which just delivered 800 gallons of beer to a town in the middle of the worst wildfires in Australia’s history.

“We were running low of supplies and a pub can’t run without beer, can it? Every Australian needs a beer.” — pub owner Lou Battel

The US Army’s taking us one step closer to Skynet after awarding contracts for robotic combat vehicles. Which is also how the military's going to solve that pesky recruiting problem: just have robots do all the work. Until the robots decide they've had just about enough, thank you very much.

Not only is rust a multi-billion dollar problem for the Navy, it has its own conference, called “MegaRust”, where “hundreds of professionals who want to see the latest corrosion-fighting techniques and tech. Live demonstrations of sandblasters are a highlight. People still talk about the year an exhibitor showed off a laser.”

I guess “RustCon” felt too on the nose.

In related news, my new all-tuba Megadeth cover band starts touring this spring.

Starting in Cleveland.

See, because rust belt…never mind.

The Air Force is worried that its basic trainees aren’t learning good so they’re turning to tablets and online instruction to help with that. Which has run into some problems.

Lamelin said the new platform has encountered a few glitches, including Wi-Fi connectivity issues and ensuring trainees keep the tablets charged and don’t break them. Two of the program’s computers had to be replaced after being dropped, he said. Only one flight was issued impact-resistant cases, while the other has bare tablets.

Only two?

Infantry units would have destroyed half, lost the other half, and “found” another platoon’s tablets by now.

Dear Air Force: you wouldn’t give an unprotected tablet to your toddler.

Continuing in the Air Force innovation vein we learn that the USAF is now trialing “no-fail practice PT tests.” Thought that’s just what they called their PT tests?

In all seriousness, though, this isn’t a terrible idea. In the Army we called them “diagnostic PT tests,” and they’re a good idea for the majority of your soldiers and airmen who aren’t going to be PT studs on their own.

Like all tests, anything you can do as leaders to take the anxiety down a notch? That’s a good thing. And if they do pass the “practice” test it counts. So that’s cool.

Remember when the dumbest thing a CSM would do was put speed bumps on the FOB or make sure the lawns got mowed more often? Retired Army Command Sgt. Maj. John W. Troxell wants all the other CSMs to hold his beer.

As the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Troxell treated his subordinates as his personal shoppers, among other things.

"These unofficial duties included the subordinates going to CVS for him, driving after hours during TDY [temporary duty] to unofficial events, dining with them, and provided unnecessary support to him and his wife.”

Which sounds like CSM being a dick.

Then you read the rest of the investigation as reported by Task and Purpose. And what it sounds like was the man had staff that supported him because they understood that running the errands on his behalf freed up his time to fulfill his duties.

This is a tricky one, because there’s always the issue of abuse of power at those levels.

And there’s also a time when a team pulls together for other members of the team.

The fact that Gen. Dunford reinstated him? Says something about how absurd this was.

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