About this Blog

The Loose Nukes is an attempt (by people who should probably be under 24 hour supervised psychiatric care) to bring attention to somewhat serious issues like nuclear weapons, militarism and other seemingly random, unrelated issues through vain attempts at social satire and other futile gestures of total contempt for a fading empire that continues to employ nuclear weapons, the ultimate instruments of an erectile dysfunctional national security state, as instruments of foreign policy. OK, you probably get the idea by now. We are obsessed by run-on sentences, peace and justice, having fun, and don't know when to quit. At any rate, we don't think nuclear weapons are a very good idea, and are most definitely unhealthy for living things. We also think the folks running this Empire should just get over it.

And now the NOT SO FINE PRINT: Read further at your own risk... and remember, DON'T PANIC; this is all SATIRE at its worst (or best, depending on one's mental state)! And some of the stuff in here is even true!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Office of Homeland Security Cancels Christmas

Ellis Island -   Three wise men were arrested today attempting to illegally enter the United States.
The Iraqi nationals were carrying massive amounts of flammable substances known as "frankincense" and "myrrh." While not explosives themselves, experts revealed that these two substances could be used as a fuse to detonate a larger bomb. The three alleged terrorists were also carrying gold, presumably to finance the rest of their mission.

Also implicated in the plot were two Palestinians named Joseph and Mary. An anonymous source close to the family overheard Mary bragging that her son would "bring down the mighty from their thrones and lift up the lowly." In what appears to be a call to anarchy, the couple claims their son will someday "help prisoners escape captivity."

"These people match our terrorist profile perfectly," an official source reported.

All of the suspects claimed they heard angels singing of a new era of hope for the afflicted and poor. As one Wall Street official put it, "These one-world wackos are talking about overturning the entire economic and political hierarchy that holds the civilized world together. I don't care what some angel sang; God wants the status quo - by definition."  

A somber White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced that it might be prudent to cancel (or at least postpone) Christmas until others in the plot are rounded up. "I assure you that this measure is temporary. The president loves Christmas as much as anyone. People can still shop and give expensive gifts, but we're asking them not to think about world peace until after we have rid the world of all the evil people. For Americans to sing, 'Peace on earth, good will to all,' is just the wrong message to send to our enemies at this time."

The strongest opponents of the Christmas ban were the representatives of retail stores, movie chains and makers of porcelain Christmas figurines. "This is a tempest in a teapot," fumed one unnamed business owner. "No one thinks of the political meaning of Christmas any more. Christmas isn't about a savior who will bring hope to the outcasts of the world; it's about nativity scenes and beautiful lights. History has shown that mature people are perfectly capable of singing hymns about world peace while still supporting whatever war our leaders deem necessary. People long ago stopped tying religion to the real events in the world."

There has been no word on where the suspects are being kept, or when their trial might be held. Authorities are asking citizens who see other foreigners resembling nativity scene figures to contact the Office of Homeland Security.

###

Editor's Note: Many thanks to the Rev. Jim Rigby for this wildly creative piece written for a previous Christmas (and of course we tell the Christmas Story year after year after year...).  Jim is pastor of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Austin, TX, and a longtime activist in movements concerned with gender, racial, and economic justice. 

Click here for Jim's article in CommonDreams.org one year ago that provides the context for the literary piece used in this blog post.

You can read some of Jim's other writings at the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-rigby 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This Christmas: Your Adventure, Your Way!!!

Hey Moms and Dads!!!  Are you frantically looking for last minute gifts to stuff those stockings (with care)???  Well, look no further.

Here's a gift that's sure to please (everyone but the recipients of the Hellfire missiles on the real thing). This teeny weeny Predator Drone will fit nicely in any of today's Ultra stretch Super sized Christmas Stockings.

Get yours today; they're disappearing off store shelves fast!!! 
Your child (or children; heck, get one for everybody) will squeal with joy at the site of this small scale model killing machine. Yes - It's "Your Adventure, Your Way." Just as the U.S. gets its way just about everywhere in the world (and where it doesn't it institutes "regime change") your child can have his or her (girls can pilot drones too) way. One can never be too young to learn the important lessons of Empire.
 
After all; that's what Christmas is all about - that cool story about Herod (and the empire over which he ruled), who saw the baby Jesus as a threat and wanted to murder him.  And along the way he murdered his father-in-law, several of his ten wives and two of his sons.  And if that wasn't enough, after being outwitted by those three wise men Herod ordered the slaughter of all boys two years old and younger in Bethlehem and its environs.  Phew!!!  Is this a story of unbridled ambition, fear, hatred and more???  What a reality show this would have been!
 
Herod ignored the laws of God to suit himself and chose the favor of Rome over his own people (I know; this is sounding really familiar).  But hey - he was a skilled politician who knew how to get things done (to keep Rome at the top of the heap).  Wow, does this story sound familiar???
 
Oh yeah, please excuse the impromptu history lesson.  The point is that kids are never too young to be indoctrinated learn.  As for the warning on the package that the Predator Drone is suitable for "ages 3+", I'll leave that decision up to you parents.
 
Peace on Earth (at least our little part of it).
 
###
 
Editor's Note: But really folks, isn't it time to ditch the drones???  Are there not alternatives to violence and killing (in the name of National Security, Homeland Security, War on Terror)???  Is there not another way, and didn't the very person who is central to the Christmas story show us that way???  Isn't nonviolence the only way for those who claim to be Christians???
 
Drones are but one (major) manifestation of the violence that is becoming so deeply rooted in our society.  We must begin to plant seeds of nonviolence and nurture them to build a nonviolent society (and world).  Now is the time to begin, and drones are a concrete issue that we must address.
 
Please look up Drones Watch, a national coalition campaign to monitor and regulate drone use.  There you can learn more about drones and take action for positive change.  It's all about the world in which we want to live - one at genuine peace with justice, or one of perpetual war.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's Christmas At Ground Zero

Ahhhh the Holidays... Last night I enjoyed a wonderful Holiday music fest with good friends. Lots of Holiday cheer and a great selection of songs and carols; we even had a singalong.

Yet something was missing... What was it??? Of course!!! It was my all time favorite song of the nuclear Holiday season - Christmas At Ground Zero, written and performed by one of the great composers of our (nuclear) age, "Weird Al" Yankovic.

It's a song that conjures up images of glowing reindeer and walks in radioactive snow. This music video version, to the best of my very limited understanding, is the totally official Yankovic-produced version of this great song that is destined to become your family's favorite Holiday tune.

Move over Winter Wonderland - "it's time to duck and cover with your yuletide lover underneath the mistletoe..."


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Santa Claus: "Peace on Earth -- Or Else."

It's never too early to think about the Holiday Season (especially the Holiday Protest Season); just ask every retailer bombarding people's televisions with commercial messages bleeding red and green, and just teeming with tinsel.

Well, Santa Claus has finally gotten into the act.  Mr. Claus recently took time off from the last minute toy production madness up at the North Pole to speak out for nuclear disarmament.

Claus travelled, accompanied by a gaggle of his merry elves AND an eight foot-long replica of a thermonuclear armed missile (looking strikingly similar to the Minuteman III - just don't look too closely - recently test launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base), to New York.  Claus's sleigh broke down at Poughkeepsie, NY, and in the spirit of the season, someone loaned Claus a three wheeled bicycle.

Santa and his elves on the way to the United Nations
Claus had a specific destination in mind - the United Nations.  Claus brought a definitive seasonal message to the world's leaders - "Peace on Earth -- Or Else." 

Santa was not allowed inside the UN headquarters, so he shouted his message to all who would listen on the streets of New York.  He and his elves kicked off the Holiday Season with a new rendition of Jingle Bells:
Jingle bells, we're going to Hell
Burning all the way
Oh what fun,
it is to die,
In a fiery nuclear way
Hey!
Bystanders were simultaneously thrilled and terrified by the quirky holiday jingle, and were amazed when Claus told them how much of their tax dollars their own government is wasting on nuclear weapons at the expense of human needs.  "That [spending on weapons of mass annihilation] is so scrooge-like," said Santa.
"It is so easy to get distracted by the materialism of the season, while nuclear annihilation is just a press of a button away.  It's important to put nuclear disarmament on the front burner and turn the heat up.  I feel like the original message of Christmas has been lost thanks to the geniuses on Madison Avenue (right here in New York).  It's time to reclaim that original message of peace, and I'm the jolly old fellow who can do it."
Santa and his elves continued on from the UN building through the city before returning to the North Pole.  They handed out little green toy soldiers to passersby as a reminder of the tragic human consequences of war.
When asked by a reporter if he wasn't just upsetting people's holidays before they've even begun, Santa replied, "Is there ever a convenient time???  Each of us has a responsibility to stand up for what is right and speak out.  Sometimes that goes against the societal norm.  But that should not stop us.  It's a moral responsibility.  I know it's hard for most people to see Santa calling for peace and nuclear disarmament.  But hey, I care deeply about humanity, and especially all those children to whom I'm responsible.  If I don't say something, one day there may be no children for me to deliver presents to.  Now that would be a real tragedy."

Following on those comments Santa said that thanks to his new high speed internet connection at the Pole he can now sign petitions and send emails to decision makers around the world with a click of his "mouse."  "I just signed one [petition] from the folks at Nuclear Age Peace Foundation calling on the United States to take all its land-based thermonuclear armed missiles off high alert status (Is that crazy of what???) and start dismantling them.  I mean... just what good is something that is only designed to incinerate millions of innocent people???"  One of the elves chimed in, "That's just plain crazy!!!" 
A reporter then asked if President Obama was on Santa's famous "naughty or nice" list.  The jolly old guy laughed and said he could neither confirm nor deny the existence of such a list.  He then grimaced and said, "Well, it's safe to say that if such a list existed, the CEO's of all those weapons manufacturers would definitely be on the 'NAUGHTY' list.  It's kind of a no-brainer.  I have a new office staffed by elves who do nothing but track and list all the profiteers around the world who are benefiting from warmaking.  Tragically, that list has been growing by leaps and bounds."

"As for Obama..." and Santa paused for a moment, "redemption is always on the table."
And then Santa was off and pedalling.  As he wheeled across the Brooklyn Bridge with his elves running behind him, one could hear the distant (yet strong) call for

"Peace on Earth.  Good Will to All People."

###

Editor's Notes: 

Thanks to the Huffington Post for the story that got the creative juices flowing on this one. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/13/santa-claus-united-nations-joey-skaggs-nuclear-protest_n_2124695.html#slide=1754034

In the true spirit of the season, let us all work (on every level) for PEACE.  Sign petitions; send emails, letters and/or faxes to decision makers; engage others - family, friends, co-workers, people you meet on the street - in the struggle for a peaceful world for all.  What better gift can we give???


Thursday, November 8, 2012

US Backs Treaty to Arm the World

Hours after U.S. President Barack Obama was re-elected, the United States backed a U.N. committee's call on Wednesday to renew debate over a draft international treaty to regulate the $85.3 billion global conventional arms trade.

U.N. delegates and gun control activists have complained that talks collapsed in July largely because Obama feared attacks from Republican rival Mitt Romney if his administration was seen as supporting the pact, a charge Washington denies.

An unnamed adminstration spokesperson was quick to point out that "Romney stands to gain [financially] from any treaty that we sign on global arms sales.  Before signing such a treaty, we will ensure that our nation's defense industry is protected from financial harm.  After all, we gobble up a healthy 78% of that global arms pie.  We're talking $66.3 billion in 2011.  That's huge!  And, we're not giving up any of it."


"Does the price include flight training?"
The month-long talks at U.N. headquarters broke off after the United States - along with Russia and other major arms producers - said it had problems with the draft treaty and asked for more time.  In the U.S. a steady stream of Lobbyists for major arms producers have been seen pouring into the Pentagon for secret meetings on the issue.An official at the U.S. mission said Washington's objectives have not changed.

"We seek a treaty that contributes to international security by fighting illicit arms trafficking and proliferation, protects the sovereign right of states like our own to conduct legitimate arms trade, and meets the concerns that we have been articulating throughout," the official said.

"We will  accept neither any treaty that infringes on the constitutional rights of our citizens to bear arms, nor one that infringes on the rights of corporations to sell arms," he said. 

U.S. officials have acknowledged privately that the treaty under discussion would have no effect on domestic gun sales and ownership because it would apply only to exports. 

U.S. weapons producers are watching Treaty negotiations closely.   

A weapons industry insider, who asked not to be named, said that no treaty would ever by signed by the U.S. that would limit the ability of major U.S. arms producers to sell whatever they want, whenever they want, and to whomever they want.  "They [arms producers] have a sweet deal with the Pentagon.  The U.S. provides foreign aid to any number of countries, and they turn around and sink that money into U.S.-made arms.  Is this economic stimulus or what?"

The main reason the arms trade talks are taking place at all is that the United States - the world's biggest arms trader accounting for more than 40 percent of global conventional arms transfers - reversed U.S. policy on the issue after Obama was first elected and decided in 2009 to support a treaty.

In related news, the election seems to have created a run on gun stocks.  A number of stocks, including firearms manufacturers Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger popped Wednesday. Shares of hunting goods retailers Cabela's and Big 5 Sporting Goods were also higher. Nothing like a little right-wing paranoia to help (isolated sectors of) the stock market.

###

Thanks to Reuters for the original article that gave the impetus for this "doctored" news article.  http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/07/us-arms-treaty-un-idUSBRE8A627J20121107 

The idea of U.S. weapons systems manufacturers and arms dealers giving up one cent of their hard earned money would make their lobbyists all collapse in shock.  We arm the world (to the tune of $66.3 billion in 2011) and that is music to companies like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrup Grumman, General Dynamics and Raytheon.  Ka-Ching!!!

"Arms deliveries to developing countries last year were the highest since 2004, totalling $28 billion, or around 60% of global sales. America and Russia, the world’s leading arms suppliers, accounted for around two-thirds of deliveries to the developing world. America’s exports in particular are helped by a long-standing client base, which orders upgrades, spare parts and support services every year. Arms deals were buoyed last year by unusually high demand from Saudi Arabia." (Source: The Economist)

Friday, October 26, 2012

2013 Weapon Systems Handbook Available Now

The United States Army is excited to announce the release of the 2013 edition of its annual Weapon Systems Handbook, which is overflowing with updated information on dozens of weapon systems available for purchase by foreign countries.  

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), in partnership with the nation's top weapons manufacturers, is ready to supply nations anywhere (and everywhere) in the world with the newest and most advanced weapons systems available.

"The systems listed in this book are not isolated, individual products. Rather, they are part of an integrated Army system of weapons designed to equip the Army of the future to successfully face any challenges," according to the Handbook introduction.  That means a developing nation can completely equip its armed forces in complete confidence that its armed forces can meet any challenge presented by an adversary or simply due to the demands of U.S. foreign policy.

A prime example of the products now available for immediate purchase is the RQ-11B Raven Small Unmanned Aircraft System, which is marketed to Denmark, Estonia, Lebanon, and Uganda.

An adequate supply of ammunition is always a concern in purchasing a new weapons system. U.S. weapons contractors, thanks to the partnership with DOD and the generous support of U.S. taxpayers, have plenty of ammunition on hand.  The U.S. sells an endless supply of artillery ammunition both to Israel and to Lebanon.

In an effort to assist nations in acquiring these new and expensive weapons systems the U.S. Government is prepared to provide generous foreign aid packages (to qualifying countries) to allow even the smallest country's army to hit the ground running.

DOD is also prepared to send U.S. Army "advisers" to any country purchasing these highly advanced weapons systems to train armed forces personnel and help fully integrate these weapons systems into the nation's defense. 

To complement the Army's highly trained advisers are a host of private contractors, which can provide additional assistance, employing former military and intelligence personnel who can help take a country's armed forces to the next level.

Countries can rest assured that all weapons systems in the new 2013 catalog are tested under the most rigorous "real-world" conditions, and have helped the U.S. to have the most effective army in the world.  As the catalog's introduction states:

"After 10 years of combat, today's Army is significantly more capable than the Army of 2001. As we draw down from Iraq and Afghanistan, we must remain flexible, adaptable, and agile enough to respond and meet the needs of the combatant commanders."

"Our objective is to equip and maintain an Army with the latest most advanced weaponry to win and return home quickly."

The 2013 edition Weapon Systems Handbook provides just that - "the latest and most advanced weaponry" anywhere. 

The 2013 edition Weapons Systems Handbook is available in both print edition as well as a version for eReaders.

###

Loose Nukes Editor's Note:  For anyone who might have even the most remote thought that this is a real news release, forget it!!!  That being said, the 2013 Weapon Systems Handbook is for real.  The U.S. does, indeed, arm the world thanks to a deeply entrenched Military-Industrial Complex that has grown into a monstrous creature that has the entire world in its tentacled grasp.  We should have listened to Ike (President Dwight D. Eisenhower).  Click here to watch Eisenhower's farewell address in which he warned of (and coined the term) the Military-Industrial Complex.

As Fortune Magazine described, "...in backdoor dealings with other nations, American officials act as de facto pitchmen for U.S.-made weapons." 

"Military industries have almost tripled their share of the U.S. economy in just a decade." (David Sirota, America's export economy: arming and fattening the world)

"In 2011 overseas weapons sales by the United States totaled $66.3 billion, or more than three-quarters of the global arms market"  (Johnny Barber, We Are at War, in Common Dreams)
      
Thanks to Stephen Aftergood's Secrecy Blog at the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy for the blog post that brought this to our attention, and from which much of the material in this post was plagiarized.  Source URL: http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/2012/10/army_weapons.html

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Put a drone on your Holiday wish list!!!

Hey Kids,

Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa... They're right around the corner, and it's never too early to start your Holiday wish list. 

You probably know - as does every weapons contractor - that there is a huge future in drones, and I just bet you would love to pilot a drone some day.  Maybe right here in the United States, or in one of the dozens of other countries acquiring drone technology.  Just think; sitting back in the comfort of your air conditioned trailer flying a drone thousands of miles away, looking for a wedding party some terrorists to whack.

Well, it's never too early to get started.  And now, if you've been good all year long, you can have your very own drone.  The folks at Brookstone have the newest thing in consumer drone technology, ready to ship right to your front door.

The Parrot® AR.Drone® 2.0 App-Controlled Quadricopter comes with everything you need to do what the real drone pilots do - fly all over your neighborhood, spy on your neighbors, and maybe even unleash an occasional Nerf Hellfire missile (optional accessory) on an unsuspecting victim.

Having a blast with Quadricopter mounted with optional machine gun firing
depleted uranium armor-piercing incendiary rounds, (adult supervision required)
 Just think what you could do to the neighbor's annual potluck???
Just think of the thrill of hovering over the neighbor's pool party and unleashing a barrage of paintball containing missiles (optional accessory).  On-board cameras let you see in real time the anguish on your victims faces as they scramble for safety in a futile effort to escape the hail of paint balls.

But here’s the best part–while in flight, the copter's all-new front camera captures video and stills in sharp 720p HD that you can stream live or record to share with friends on YouTube®, the AR.Drone community or other sites with just a tap. 

The future of drones, now even easier to fly.
  • Fly your AR.Drone 2.0 with the free downloadable app for your iOS or Android Device
  • Perform advanced stunts ordinary drones can't
  • Fly up to 165 feet from your Wi-Fi device
  • See what the pilot sees with new front facing camera
  • Capture 720p HD videos and stills to stream live or record and share online
  • Enjoy controlled, level flying with automatic stabilization system
  • AR.FreeFlight 2.0 app lets you save flight data (altitude, speed, duration, and place) to share online
  • Play augmented reality games that turn the world around you into a video game
  • Terrorize your neighbors with optional weapon systems
  • Fly indoors or out–included hull protectors guard rotors around tight corners
  • Made of carbon fiber and impact resistant plastic so parts can be changed for easy repair

And the really, really best part is that the Parrot® AR.Drone® 2.0 App-Controlled Quadricopter can be yours for only $299.99, and shipping is absolutely free.  And did I mention??? The Quadricopter comes in three sick color schemes - orange/blue, orange/green and orange/yellow.

Be the first one on your block to own one of these bad boys.  In fact, you had better be the first.  Pretty soon everyone is going to own one, and then all hell is going to break loose.  But hey, you can worry about that later (just like our government).  For now, have fun and spread some terror around the neighborhood.  It's all in good fun!

Click here to order your Parrot® AR.Drone® 2.0 App-Controlled Quadricopter today.  Gift wrap is available at a small additional charge.  And don't forget to remember extra batteries!!!

Note: Due to U.S. Department of Homeland Security requirements, Broodstone is unable to ship AR.Drone 2.0 to addresses outside of the United States. For ages 14 and up. WARNING: Choking hazard due to small parts. Adult supervision required for certain optional weapon systems.   Exposure to Depleted Uranium may cause leukemogenic, genetic, reproductive, neurological, developmental and carcinogenic effects.

Batteries and missiles NOT included!

###

OK, so how could we pass this one up???  The same people developing these things for the military (and just about everyone else as well) are obviously going to capitalize on the mass consumer market.  So just when is a drone not a drone???  It's kind of like the old days when kids (mostly boys back in my day) played with toy guns, and enlisted later on to pick up the real thing.  Soon kids will be playing with their "toy" drones in preparation for the real (and lethal) thing.  The real Brookstone URL: http://www.brookstone.com/parrot-ar-drone-2-quadricopter?bkiid=body_zone  Of course, there is not need to worry about the high cost at Brookstone.  Wait long enough and they will be available at Wal-Mart: "Save money.  Live Better." 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hey kids... Droney's Back!!!

Look out kids (only if you live in a foreign country... for now that is)!  Droney's back, and with a vengeance!!! 

Yes - That fearless cartoonist Tom Tomorrow has done it once again (as he does soooooo well), humanizing those misunderstood mass murdering (soon to be autonomous, and coming to a developing nation far from you) euphemistically termed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). 

And you know; Tom's got something there.  It's not the drones we should be angry at. They aren't "unmanned" at all.  They really ARE "manned" (or womanned, as the case may be) by a couple of human beings in a trailer, thousands of miles from their "target", backed up by dozens or more fellow human beings. 

 
Yes it requires upwards of a hundred or more highly trained specialists to make sure they've got the right wedding target before unleashing HELLfire missiles on anyone with dark skin, a beard, turban and an AK-47 (nearly every male in Afghanistan). 
 
And don't forget the President (of the United States) who gets to decide (every Tuesday) all the really special victims targets.
 
But what is really special is when drones go back for a second helping (after the first shot) to take out anyone who comes to the aid of those blasted to kingdom come by the initial missile attack.
 
But hey kids, I'm getting off track.  We should really let those cute, little, innocent, freedom-protecting drones speak for themselves.  Don't take my word for it.  Click here to hear more from Droney.

And remember - Drones are YOUR friends!

Bye Kids!!!

###

Link to Cartoon: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/01/1137164/-The-return-of-Droney

Saturday, September 29, 2012

OMG! The Hendersons have the BOMB!!!

Here's something from that Pacific Northwest cartoon genius, Gary Larson, who just happened to draw a few dynamite cartoons about things of a nuclear nature.  This one needs no additional words to convey its message.  Isn't that the brilliance of a great cartoon???

Saturday, September 22, 2012

UN Security Council Vows No Nuclear Attack on Mongolia

On Monday, the five permanent members (P5) of the UN Security Council reaffirmed their promise not to attack Mongolia with nuclear weapons.

Mongolia was relieved to hear the news.

In an official statement the Mongolian Prime Minister, Norovyn Altankhuyag, said, "This is an auspicious day.  Today, Mongolians can temporarily stop digging bomb shelters and get back to useful, life-sustaining work.  We are grateful to the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council for recognizing and agreeing to respect Mongolia's nuclear-weapon-free status."

In separate remarks the Prime Minister said that he is very concerned about the Unites States' increasing military presence in the Asia-Pacific region and what this could mean for the security of Asian nations.  He stated that his concern stems from the increasing tensions between the U.S. and China, as well as Russia, and the continued deployment of nuclear weapons by all three nations.  "Being squeezed between China and Russia, we may need to re-start digging those bomb shelters one day soon."

Representatives at the UN Security Council vote [not to nuke Mongolia] in New York
(Lucas Jackson/Courtesy Reuters).

Subsequent to the vote in the Security Council it was learned that the U.S. Representative to the Security Council was initially reluctant to vote for reaffirmation, but after finally reading a copy of The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons became convinced it was the appropriate course of action.

The Mongolian Prime Minister was overheard in a conversation with the Permanent Representative of Mongolia to the United Nations saying "Only idiots would spend all that money on nuclear weapons."  When asked about whom the Prime Minister was speaking, an aide confirmed that he was referring to the United States.  The aide added that "the U.S. has spent hundreds or perhaps thousands of times our nation's GNP, not to mention our defense budget, building up its nuclear weapons infrastructure and refurbishing its nuclear weapons in recent years. That's alot of Yaks."

According to the latest Military Balance, Mongolia has a defense budget of $38 million and an active-duty military comprising 8,900 army, 800 air force, and 800 construction troops. As the CIA notes, “There is no navy... and a snowball's chance in hell of even thinking about developing nuclear weapons."

On Tuesday, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council are scheduled to meet againg, this time to reaffirm their promise not to attack Lichtenstein with nuclear weapons.

###

Original source article URLs:
1) http://blogs.cfr.org/zenko/2012/09/19/un-security-council-vows-no-nuclear-attack-on-mongolia/
2) http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/09/197873.htm

Monday, August 20, 2012

Government hires peace activists to test nuclear security

A group of peace activists has received a rare contract with the U.S. government to test security at nuclear installations around the country.

The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced that it has entered into a contract with a newly established security firm for testing the security of the nation's nuclear weapons infrastructure.

The group, calling itself Isaiah's Investigators (II), was recently established by a consortium of Plowshares activists from around the country.  No articles of incorporation were found in the public records.

Operatives from II will make unannounced incursions into any of the eight facilities, including three national laboratories, that make up the nation's nuclear security enterprise.  Findings based on their incursions will be used to improve security at each facility, ensuring the safety and security of the nation's nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons materials.

When asked about the seemingly odd nature of such a company engaging in this line of work, company spokesperson William "Bix" Bichsel, a Jesuit priest, spoke from II's headquarters at the Tacoma Catholic Worker in Washington State.  "Well, it's really not such a stretch.  You see... we've got more experience doing this sort of thing than anyone in the government.  Our staff has decades of collective experience in this line of work.  And we do it well.  I think our record speaks for itself."

Bichsel, at 84 years old, is not the only octogenarian on II's staff, while the youngest member is 57.  When asked whether there was any concern about the age of the workforce at II, an NNSA spokesperson, who asked not to be named, said that the NNSA does not discriminate in any way based on age, sex or race.  "I've read dozens of reports of these people's activities, and they are darned good at what they do.  There is no question about their ability to get the job done.  They run circles around any government agency charged with this kind of task."

(from left) II founders Crane, Greenwald, Montgomery, Kelly & Bichsel
Susan Crane, who coordinates Human Resources for II, was asked about hiring practices at the company.  " We don't hire per se, although we're very selective in our screening process.  We thoroughly review each applicant's history.  We look for people with multiple felonies; a high recidivism rate is a plus.  And, of course we look at the specific type of actions in which they have been involved.  We like to think of II as more of a community than a company."

When pressed for examples, Crane described the histories of a number of current employees.   She, herself, has a long history of Plowshares actions.  Her most recent action, along with Bichsel, Lynne Greenwald, Steve Kelly and Anne Montgomery, was an incursion into the Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific at the Bangor Trident Base in 2009.  Crane, Kelly and Greenwald are all in their 60s.  Montgomery, an ex officio member of the staff in her 80s (and a Catholic nun), is also qualified in aquatic operations.  Years ago, at the age of 62, Montgomery climbed up onto a Trident ballistic missile submarine at Groton, Connecticut.

Three new members recently joined the staff at II.  Megan Rice (82), also a nun, Michael Walli (63) and Greg Boertje-Obed (57) engaged in a daring pre-dawn incursion deep into the Oak Ridge Y-12 Nuclear facility on July 28, 2012.  All three reached the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility (HEUMF), one of the most high security facilities in the nation .  They were able to spray paint messages on the walls and tie crime scene tape to the facility before being detected.

Newest members of II, Walli, Rice and Obed
Bichsel described the company operations as "very egalitarian."  Company operative Steve Kelly, whose whereabouts are currently unknown, spoke by cell phone describing the decision making process.  "We all sit together, talk, and listen to each other.  It's a very respectful and organic process in which we each enter into a deep process of discernment, and sooner or later we come to a consensus.  Then the planning begins.  I think our previous actions speak well to our capabilities."

Kelly's extraordinary discipline is renowned.  Also a Jesuit, he once spent nearly 15 months mastering the art of solitary confinement.  Kelly also conducts regular yoga sessions to help the staff stay centered and be physically prepared for the rigors of incursions into high security facilities that can take hours and involve cutting fences and long cross-country treks.

Company strategist Rice was asked if there are plans to expand operations internationally.  "Well, that's an intriguing question.  There are some wonderful, talented Plowshares activists in other parts of the world.  It would be a great opportunity to work with our brothers and sisters in so many other parts of the world, such as England, Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia... oh, just imagine the possibilities."

Asked about the company's long-term prospects, Greenwald said, "Oh, rest assured that we're serious about our work.  With current U.S. nuclear weapons policies and the continuing buildup of the nation's nuclear weapons infrastructure, we aren't going away anytime soon.  We're in this for the long haul. You might say this is our retirement plan."

When asked if the Navy and Air Force plan to contract with II to test security at military nuclear weapons installations a Pentagon spokesperson, who asked not to be named would only say that "I can neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons at any U.S. military installation."

When asked what benefits are included in II's employment package, Bichsel smiled and said "...well, you might say the benefits come after our work here is done.  We're certainly not in it for the money."
###

OKAY!!!  You've hopefully figured this one out by now, if not after reading the first paragraph.  That being said, these people really are pros, and they put their hearts and souls into the good work of turning swords into plowshares in the best tradition of the Plowshares movement.  And they really have put the security of the nations nuclear weapons facilities to the test, even though that was not their purpose.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Parachute Plowshares fails to deploy

Wannabe Plowshares skydivers were blown off course and landed on a  remote section of a U.S. ballistic missile submarine installation in Georgia, the Florida Times-Union reported on Tuesday.

The two parachutists were aiming to land on a Trident ballistic missile submarine after jumping out of plane operated by a nearby skydiving company. They ended up landing instead on a baseball diamond at the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay while Boomer Intramural Baseball Championship was in progress.

The skydivers were detained by Navy authorities while their identities were ascertained.

"They said one was a naturalized citizen and one was not a U.S. citizen and (didn't have) a passport," according to a conversation with Navy officials.

The Navy let the individuals go after their identities were confirmed and it was determined that they were not genuine Plowshares activists.


The two individuals involved did not carry any of the items normally attributed to Plowshares activists. A sack of equipment they had accidentally left on the aircraft was recovered by Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) personnel.

Inside the sack was a ball peen hammer, two vials of what was later determined to be red food coloring, and a banner reading "Go Bulldogs!"  The Bulldogs are the athletic teams of the University of Georgia.

An unnamed local peace activist said of the botched Plowshares action that Plowshares activists always use claw hammers - not ball peen hammers - as a symbol of hammering "swords into plowshares."  The also carry their own blood, symbolic of their willingness to shed their blood so that others may live.  As for the banner, the activists shrugged and said, "Go figure.  I'm a Quakers fan myself."

Kings Bay is the East Coast home port for U.S. submarines that carry nuclear-tipped Trident missiles.

"They definitely don't want people landing on their military installation. They were very stern with us," said the pilot of the aircraft, who was also detained and questioned by Naval Criminal Investigative Service staff.

However, the service was sympathetic to the fact that an "act of God" drove the parachutists off course, she said (Terry Dickson, Florida Times-Union, Aug. 14).

As "acts of God" go, authentic Plowshares actions are definitely "Godly acts," according to longtime Plowshares activist Sr. Anne Montgomery who once climbed aboard the USS Pennsylvania, a Trident submarine (at the age of 62).  "When Plowshares activists make up their hearts and minds about an action, the spirit certainly guides them to their destination," said Montgomery.  "This is our work... to hasten the disarming of these horrific weapons, and to heed the prophet Isaiah's admonition to turn swords into plowshares.  Plowshares activists are focused and centered on a greater good. That being said, the Navy, and especially Federal prosecutors, have never been sympathetic to our Godly Plowshares actions."

Since the incursion by the errant skydivers, officials at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay have re-evaluated security measures at the base.  They plan to deploy unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) equipped with air to air missiles as a protective measure and have declared a no-fly-zone within five nautical miles of the base.

###

Endnote: Thanks to Global Security Newswire for the article butchered to make this fake article: Skydivers Accidentally Touch Down on U.S. Ballistic Missile Submarine Site, August 14, 2012, http://www.nti.rsvp1.com/gsn/article/two-skydivers-accidentally-touch-down-ballistic-missile-submarine-site/?mgh=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nti.org&mgf=1  Yes, skydivers really did "accidentally" land at the Kings Bay sub base. You separate the fact from fiction.  And most of all, apologies to sr. Anne Montgomery for implicating her (albeit falsely) in this post.  She did not provide the quotes attributed to her.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Raytheon launches Teeny Weeny Tactical Munition (TWTM)

Raytheon’s new teeny weeny tactical munition (TWTM), which the U.S. group claims is the first purpose-built weapon for really small tactical unmanned air systems (UAS), could be in active service within a few months.

J.R. Smith, business development manager of Raytheon Missile Systems, said that this summer the company expects to conduct a live warhead demonstration. “It's going to be really fun!  We’re just tweaking the software and running some environmental tests,” he explained.

The TWTM is 22 inches long, 3.6 inches in diameter and weighs 13.5 pounds, and could be used on a UAS with a payload as low as 50 to 60 pounds. According to Smith, it also has value for use on larger UAS that would be more operationally flexible if they carried a larger number of weapons. For instance, the Predator would be able to carry 12 TWTMs, compared with just two of the larger Hellfire missiles. “This would have helped [in the NATO campaign] over Libya.  We could have killed a whole lot more people far more efficiently with the TWTM versus larger munitions,” he commented.

Raytheon's TWTM on a test run
Smith explained that there are both practical and philosophical reasons for "going small" as he put it.  "We have some amazing project managers.  One of them, who is passionate about E.F. Shumacker's economic concept (articulated in his book Small is Beautiful) took the idea of 'sensible scale' to the next level.  His out-of-the box thinking helped create a product that will reap huge financial rewards for Raytheon."

When asked about the name of the newly developed small tactical munition, Smith said "Well, you know engineers.  They were just having a little fun. In fact, in the initial test of the TWTM they fired it at a rival product group's drone mock-up.  You should have seen them scramble when they saw that thing coming.  What a great sense of humor!"

The day of the Pentagon's announcement to initially procure 10,000 of the TWTMs sent Raytheon's stock to a new high of 56.80.

###

Editor's Note: Thanks to AIN Online for material taken from the following article, http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/2012-07-08/raytheons-purpose-built-uas-bomb-ready-live-tests for this fake news piece.  Raytheon really is building a new missile called the Small Tactical Munition (STM). 

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Gift of Votes

With little fanfareWalmart has issued the newest in its line of special occasion prepaid gift cards.

The "Thanks for your vote" gift cards can be purchased in denominations from $10 to $1000, and feature a smiling Mitt Romney backed by a red, white and blue background.

WalMart shoppers who attempted to purchase the gift cards either in-store or online were informed that the cards are backordered until November.

A WalMart representative said "an entity that wishes to remain anonymous has purchased the first run of the cards" numbering in the millions.

Meanwhile, in Mexico thousands of people rushed to stores on Tuesday to redeem prepaid gift cards they said were given them by the party that won Mexico’s presidency, inflaming accusations that the election was marred by massive vote-buying.

Long lines at the Nogales WalMart the day after the election.

At least a few cardholders were angry, complaining they didn’t get as much as promised. Some of those lined up at the Nogales WalMart store to use their gift cards said they got them for supporting the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, whose candidate Enrique Pena Nieto won Sunday’s election. Some wore red T-shirts and baseball caps with Pena Nieto’s name printed in white.

In the U.S., a spokesperson for the Romney campaign declined comment on the disposition of the millions of gift cards still unaccounted for.  He did say, however, that in a hypothetical case where they might give gift cards to "loyal voters", people would get what they were promised.  "This is America after all," he said.

###

Sources for material used in this fake article:
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/throngs-mexico-hit-stores-gift-cards-election-winning-pri-article-1.1107545#ixzz1zracf100

Friday, June 29, 2012

Hawaiian sovereignty activists' message intercepted

A next-generation U.S. Standard Missile 3 interceptor on Tuesday successfully intercepted an intercontinental ballistic missile over the Pacific Ocean , the Missile Defense Agency announced on Wednesday.

The SM-3 Block 1B was fired from the USS Lake Erie after the ship's AN/SPY-1 radar identified and monitored a "separating ballistic missile target," which was launched from the the Hawaiian island of Kauai, the Defense Department agency said in a press release.

The guided missile cruiser maintained watch on the target and transmitted flight path directions to the SM-3 Block 1B. The interceptor positioned itself as directed by the ship and fired a hit-to-kill warhead at the missile. The kinetic warhead through the force of impact eliminated the threat.

It was quickly determined that the ICBM had been fired from an abandoned sugar plantation by members of the Hawaiian sovereignty movement, also known as ke ea Hawai‘i.  A preliminary investigation indicated that members of the group, which includes a number of retired aerospace engineers, had worked in secret over much of the past decade at the old Kekaha Sugar Company mill building the missile and launch apparatus.

The Kekaha Sugar Company mill, from where the  harmless ICBM was launched. 

A spokesperson for ke ea Hawai'i said that "We have never seen even a hint of redress from the United States for the 1893 overthrow of Queen Liliʻuokalani, and for the prolonged military occupation that began with the 1898 annexation. As far as we're concerned, both the overthrow and annexation were, and continue to be, illegal."

Immediately after destroying the missile, the Erie steamed to the site where it found thousands of pieces of paper floating on the surface.  They all had the same message printed on them.  The message in Hawaiian, said " Honi ko'u 'elemu haoles!"  The message was sent to the National Virtual Translation Center, which was unable to translate the message.  A native Hawaiian sailor was finally located on board the Erie.  Barely keeping a straight face he translated the words as "Kiss my tushy outsider."

The following day the Director of National Intelligence issued a new directive that is intended to improve foreign language skills throughout the U.S. intelligence community.

Further investigation determined that missile designers had programmed the missile to self destruct over a major city on the West coast of the U.S. mainland, dispersing the harmless paper messages in a wide arc over the city.

Red-faced officials at the Pentagon were not amused, and would make no official comment.  A Pentagon staffer, who asked not to be named, said that there is no plan for a retaliatory strike since Kauai is part of the United States.

Observers from all around Kauai have reported constant drone overflights since the June 27th missile launch and interception, particularly in the area surrounding the Kekaha Sugar Company mill.  Thousands took to the streets in protest of the drone flights, with a major protest rally at Honolulu's Iolani Palace.

Thousands of Hawaiian sovereignty supporters chanting
"Honi ko'u 'elemu  haoles" outside the Iolani Palace on June 28th

The Missile Defense Agency said that it's system is ultimately to be deployed as part of a developing U.S.-NATO missile shield in Europe. "Today’s intercept is a critical accomplishment for the second phase of the president’s Phased Adaptive Approach consisting of the SM-3 Block 1B interceptor that will be employed in an Aegis Ashore system in Romania in 2015."

Of 28 intercept trials to date of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense technology, 23 have been successful. The Aegis antimissile program is intended to eliminate short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The program is operated jointly by the U.S. Navy and the Missile Defense Agency.

When asked what the Pentagon is doing to protect against long range ballistic missiles, a department spokesperson said, "We'll have to get back to you on that."

###

Editor's Notes:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

B-2 Bombers need The Midas Touch

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Air Force has ordered dozens of spare tailpipe components for its stealthy B-2 bomber fleet following the discovery of corroded engine exhaust systems, according to service officials.

“The B-2 is approaching 25 years of service life and the tailpipes are beginning to show signs of wear,” said Michele Tasista, a spokeswoman for the Air Force Global Strike Command, based at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.  Tasista quipped that the (original) exhaust system on her 1970 Toyota Corolla (with 300,000 miles) has outperformed the system on the Northrop Grumman-built B-2 "by a country mile." 

"The B-2 tailpipe assembly is failing at a faster-than-expected rate and … that may be the most challenging aspect of keeping [the aircraft] in the inventory,” said a former bomber program official (and employee of Northrop Grumman) who asked not to be named in discussing the sensitive subject. “[We’ve been] afraid that the tailpipe assembly would force you to retire the B-2 earlier -- or you’d get a bill to be paid that would be potentially unacceptable.”  

Air Force officials say they have found an affordable fix: A combination of new spare parts, preventive techniques and repair procedures.

The service has ordered 56 tailpipe spares from Northrop Grumman in an "affordable" $76.6 million (roughly $1.4 million per tailpipe) fixed-price contract awarded last year, using fiscal 2011 funds, according to Sue Murphy -- a spokeswoman for Air Force Materiel Command in Dayton, Ohio -- and other program officials.

The new parts will be available to replace “aged metallic components that are showing typical ‘wear and tear’ as a result of operating in a hot environment,” as the pipes convey engine exhaust to the outside air, according to Gary Roehrig, who directs B-2 product support for defense contractor Northrop Grumman. Each bomber has four tailpipes, one for each engine.

Rusting exhaust systems at Whitemen Air Force Base
These particular components are not repairable and are being replaced to keep the low-observable aircraft functioning, Roehrig said in a written response to questions.  He said his company will provide first delivery of the new spares in two years.  The procurement is to be completed by 2019, the Northrop Grumman official said.

Midas, better known for its famous"Customer First"commitment, attempted to bid on the B-2 tailpipe replacement assemblies, but according to a company spokesperson was thwarted every step of the way.  "They just kept saying we didn't understand how the bidding process works."

Midas called Northrop Grumman "just another opportunistic bottom feeder.  $1.4 million a pop for a tailpipe?  Who's fleecing whom here?  Exhaust systems aren't exactly rocket science.  I bet they used some cheap materials to maximize their greedy bottom line."

We've been building high performance exhaust systems for over 50 years.  We could have delivered those tailpipes for just $99.99 each, completed delivery (and installation) in a matter of weeks, and would have included our famous Lifetime Guarantee*."

When asked why Midas was not considered, and the fix-priced contract instead awarded to Northrop Grumman with absolutely no competition, Tasista replied that "We do not comment on sensitive procurement issues such as this one.  That being said, our partnership with Northrop Grumman and its suppliers will ensure the B-2 remains one of the most survivable weapons systems in the world."

The B-2 was first fielded in 1994 and can carry both nuclear and conventional munitions.  A B-2 pilot who asked not to be named for fear of losing the opportunity for a job at Northrop Grumman after retiring from the Air Force said that he wouldn't trust Northrop Grumman to replace the tailpipe on his aging Volkswagen Rabbit. "They'd charge me an arm and a leg, and I would have no guarantee it would last more than maybe a thousand miles, and that's if I was lucky."

Service and company officials distinguished the internal B-2 tailpipe cracks caused by “wear and tear” over time from allegedly unrelated design-related fissures that have plagued a separate, external component of the aircraft, the “aft deck,” for several years.

Northrop Grumman last year won another gargantuan $109 million contract to manufacture a redesigned aft deck, the company announced in November.  According to a company spokesperson, "the newly redesigned structure reflects Northrop Grumman's thorough thermal and structural analysis of the aft deck its adjoining structures and the operating environment [that should have been conducted in the first place]."

"Implementing a redesigned aft deck is an important part of guaranteeing the long-term viability of the B-2," said Dave Mazur, Northrop Grumman's vice president of Long Range Strike and B-2 program manager. "We are committed to assisting the Air Force in developing and implementing proactive solutions that are in the best interest of Northrop Grumman's bottom line the B-2 fleet."

* Lifetime Guarantee valid for as long as you own your car aircraft

###

Editor's Note: Thanks to Global Security Newswire for the article that was butchered to create this piece: http://www.nti.rsvp1.com/gsn/article/b-2-bomber-tailpipe-cracks-compel-new-spare-parts-production/?mgh=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nti.org&mgf=1, and this Northrop Grumman news release: http://investor.northropgrumman.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=112386&p=RssLanding&cat=news&id=1628402


Friday, June 22, 2012

National Do Not Kill Registry launched

News Release

June 21, 2012  - For Immediate Release

Contact:   Emma Haltsworth, Director of Public Relations
                  National Agency for Ethical Drone-Human Interactions
                  donotkillregistry@gmail.com

Washington, DC - The National Agency for Ethical Drone-Human Interactions (NEDHI) announced the formation of a Do Not Kill Registry, its first public program.

The National Agency for Ethical Drone-Human Interactions (N.E.D.H.I.) was founded in September of 2001 to monitor and regulate the use of drones both domestically and internationally.

While the use of drones is intentionally not bound by international treaties or constitutional limits, NEDHI simultaneously understand the urgent need to develop and enforce new ethical frameworks as drone use becomes more commonplace as a tool of U.S. foreign policy.

Through an active collaboration between N.E.D.H.I., the brave pilots and operators of the U.S. drone program, and the American public, NEDHI believes that it can find the political and moral solutions needed to both protect the security of the United States while also satisfying the concerns of the broader global community.

The Do Not Kill Registry, the agency's first public program, forges an innovative path towards new solutions that will help give people around the world the peace of mind urgently needed during these times of escalating drone conflict.

While what the future holds for the U.S. drone program remains uncertain, U.S. citizens can rest safely knowing that NEDHI will continue to diligently review and monitor the national drone kill list in order to ensure proper cautionary measures are taken while also continuing to take advantage of the military effectiveness of targeted drone strikes on militants around the world.

NEDHI Director of Public Relations Emma Haltsworth
on a recent field visit to Afghanistan. 
United States citizens can apply to add their names to the Do Not Kill Registry, thereby avoiding accidental casualties in NEDHI's mission to make the world a safe place for Democracy and Free Enterprise.

When asked by a reporter at today's news conference whether the Do Not Kill Registry would have some of the nagging problems of the National Do Not Call Registry, Haltsworth retorted, "This is about alot more than robo calls.  We're pushing for nothing less than 100 percent here."

Another reporter asked whether some people might mistakenly sign up on the National Do Not Call Registry thinking they are signing up for the Do Not Kill Registry Haltsworth paused for a moment and said, "We'll have to get back to you on that one."

You can read more about the agency and NEDHI's mission by clicking here.

For further information on the drone program and new Do Not Kill Registry citizens can contact NEDHI directly by e-mailing donotkillregistry@gmail.com.

DISCLAIMER: Adding your name to the 'Do Not Kill' Registry does not guarantee that you will not be the target of a drone strike but only that an additional review process will be undertaken before you are labeled an enemy militant and added to the national kill list.

###

Note:  Thanks to the creative genius of the people at Occupy Wall Street for creating this wonderful parody on yet another dark chapter in the latter days of a dying empire.  This "news release" was fashioned out of the following URLs created by Occupy Wall Street: http://occupywallst.org/article/add-yourself-national-do-not-kill/ and http://www.donotkill.net/about.php.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The NSA values your privacy! Really!!!

The surveillance experts at the National Security Agency won’t tell two powerful United States Senators how many Americans have had their communications picked up by the agency as part of its sweeping new counter terrorism powers. The reason: it would violate your privacy to say so.

That claim comes in a short letter sent Monday to civil libertarian Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall. The two members of the Senate’s intelligence oversight committee asked the NSA a simple question last month: under the broad powers granted in 2008′s expansion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, how many persons inside the United States have been spied upon by the NSA?

Well, DUH!!!

Obviously the senator's staffers have been asleep at the wheel.  Had they been reading Wired magazine they would have been able to tell the senators everything they need to know about how the NSA is building a MASSIVE spy center large enough to store every word phoned, texted, emailed, tweeted or otherwise communicated over the airwaves or phone/cable lines for the next millennium.

Don't ya miss the days when they did things the old fashioned way???
Of course, the geniuses at the NSA (despite all their fancy algorithms to capture certain words and phrases that might remotely indicate a sinister, terrorist plot) will, at some point, throw up their hands and ask, "Why the Hell did we waste a few trillion dollars for all this worthless information."

That being said, we can all rest a little easier knowing that they won't be violating our privacy while sucking all our phone calls, emails, tweets and picture messages into the Bluffdale Black Hole.  I'm going to sleep much better tonight.

A $2 Billion Black Hole. But don't worry, we're not violating your privacy!
The Utah Data Center will cost $2 Billion (or more) to build, an estimated $40 Million annually just for electricity and, I would venture, hundreds of millions in salaries, maintenance, various and sundry other costs.  At least they won't be spending much at the office supply store (no paper)!

And for your information senators, you can be pretty damn sure that everyone inside and probably a pretty good number of folks outside the United States have been spied upon by the NSA.  In fact, this post should get picked up just as soon as I click "Publish."  So NSA; stick that in your $2 Billion data center.

###

Note: Paragraphs in italics are from Wired.com, The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say), March 15, 2012

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Shell Arctic Rig Fails in Rehearsal

This just in from the YES MEN, who just this past week engaged in a covert operation in Seattle.  Go YES MEN!!!

Arcticready or #Shellfail? Shell's Climate Disaster Gets a Rehearsal

Activists claim responsibility for viral sensation, corporate makeover

NEW behind-the-scenes VIDEO HERE   

(original #shellfail video here)

Greenpeace, the Yes Lab, and members of the Occupy movement are claiming responsibility for a set of actions that have focused intense attention on Shell's Arctic drilling program.

"This experience shows that a few energized people can compete with the billions that Shell spends on advertising and lobbying," said James Turner from Greenpeace, who posed as an advertising executive at the event. "As people find out how this oil company is exploiting global warming to cause yet more global warming, thus endangering everyone, they won't allow it, no matter how many billions Shell has in its war chest."

The centerpiece of the action was a lavish party in the Space Needle, in which a model of an Arctic-bound oil rig "accidentally" spewed liquid in the face of the rig designer's "widow"—actually 84-year-old Occupy activist Dorli Rainey, well known for having been brutally pepper-sprayed in the face by Seattle Police during Occupy protests last fall.

A one-minute video of that "malfunction," shot by Occupy "infiltrator" Logan Price, quickly reached the top spot on Reddit and the #2 spot on Youtube, with a half-million views in less than 24 hours.

"We know that climate change is putting the entire planet at risk," said Rainey. "It's our duty to stop companies like Shell from using fossil fuels as a lethal weapon—even if it means being sprayed again and again in the face."

As Shell denied, with disappointing blandness, having had anything to do with the party or the "malfunction," the Yes Lab sent out a press release on Shell's behalf, threatening anyone who reposted the video and attacking also the activists' brand-new ArcticReady.com website, which includes a social media ad generator and a dangerously addictive children's video game called Angry Bergs. The fake Shell release generated additional media coverage.

Earlier this year, Shell obtained a legal injunction stopping any Greenpeace activist from coming within 1km of any Shell vessel. To thank the company, Greenpeace teamed up with the Yes Lab to plan a promotional advertising campaign for Shell's Arctic drilling efforts, which Shell prefers to keep quiet. Besides the ill-fated ceremony and the website, the campaign includes a number of other elements that will shadow Shell's summer Arctic destruction campaign.

The device which sprayed Rainey's face was a model of Shell's drill rig, the Kulluk, which is set to soon depart Seattle for the Arctic. The Kulluk was built in 1983 by Mitsui, the same company that, two decades later, built the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon. Earlier this year, Mitsui paid out $90 million to the U.S. for its role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

"What Shell is preparing to do in the Arctic is the height of obscenity," said Andy Bichlbaum of the Yes Lab. "We've got to do everything we possibly can to draw attention to this unfolding disaster, and more importantly we've got to stop it."

"The melting Arctic is becoming a defining environmental issue of our era, and this campaign is just a taste of what's to come," said Turner.

(Note: As of this writing, some major news sources are still posting information from the fake Shell press release. The Yes Lab's intention is not to allow misinformation to linger.)

Contact:
        James Turner, Greenpeace, james.turner@greenpeace.org, 415-812-1142
        The Yes Lab, info@yeslab.org

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Get Your Master of Drones Degree Today!

Are you depressed about the high cost of a college education?  Worried that your bachelors degree (or even a Masters or PhD) won't help you pay off that huge college debt until you're ready to retire (and maybe not even then)??  Worried that there won't even be jobs in your chosen profession???
Well, worry no more!!!  The folks at Unmanned Vehicle University (UVU) have got you covered.
It's "Unmanned Education" at its best.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are the wave of the future.  They are all the rage in terrorist tourist hotspots like Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen where they're killing people in droves.  And the market for UAVs (and all the jobs associated with them) is huge.  There is no end in sight for their possible uses, although picking off would-be "terrorists" (pretty much anyone with dark skin, a beard and a gun it would seem) is still Numero Uno for President Obama and his merry band of hunter-killers.

Learn the basics now . For the latest UAV developments take the online UAV FUNDAMENTALS EXECUTIVE COURSE course. This 8 week, 2 hours per week, course is taught online with a live instructor and is for anyone who wants a solid understanding of "Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle Components, UAV Communications & Data Links, UAV Sensors & Characteristics, UAV Ground Control  Systems, Civil UAV Types, Roles and Operations, Small UAVs, Civil Airspace Integration, Sense and Avoid Systems, UAV Mishaps, Causes of Failure, Improving Reliability, Human Machine Interface, UAV Alternative Propulsion (Fuel Cells and Solar), UAV Navigation, UAV Autonomous Operations, UAV Swarming, Future UAV Roles & Technologies."

In addition to the Executive Course you can work towards your Master's of Engineering
Unmanned (Air/Ground/Sea) Systems Engineering, or even a PhD Degree
Unmanned (Air/Ground/Sea) Systems Engineering.  With one of these degrees you will be soaring toward a brighter future.

The military is currently the largest user of UAVs, and growing.  There is no end to the possibilities for arming UAVs and killing people.  The Pentagon is even considering Unmanned nuclear powered and nuclear weapons-capable bombers.  Just imagine handling the joystick for one of those bad boys!!! 

Still not convinced?  Just check out some of the other applications for UAVs:

"Pipeline Inspection
Stratospheric Telecommunications Airship
High Altitude Imagery
Maritime Surveillance
Environmental Sensing
Media and Traffic Monitoring
Law Enforcement
Natural disasters
Real Estate Photography
Meteorology
Hurricane Monitoring
Cryospheric Research - Arctic and Antarctic
Bridge Inspection
Transmission Line Inspection
HAZMAT Inspection
Emergency Medical Supply
Traffic Monitoring
Aerial Surveying
Damage Assessment
Insurance Claim Appraisal
Real Estate Marketing
Concert Security
Sports Video
Runway Inspection
Virtual Tours
Landmark Inspection
Coffee Harvest Optimization
Crop Disease Management
Herd Tracking and Management
Entomology
Forestry Inspection
Fisheries Management
Species Conservation
Wildlife Inventory
Mineral Exploration
Remote Aerial Survey
Forest Fire Surveillance
Forest Fire Mapping
Volcano Monitoring
Remote Aerial Mapping
Oil Spill Tracking
Snow Pack Avalanche Monitoring
Ice Pack Monitoring
Poaching Patrol"

UVU Courses are selling out fast, so don't wait.  You don't want to miss this opportunity of a lifetime.  Start your education today so you'll be ready for the future.  And that future is UAVs!!!

"Unmanned systems and their supporters will be invading Las Vegas for AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems North America 2012! For four exciting days, the Mandalay Bay Convention Center will become the world’s largest robotics playground!"

Two happy UVU graduates at play, er... work.
Drop by the Unmanned Vehicle University Booth #5040 at the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, 6 - 9 August, Mandalay Bay Casino, Las Vegas, and receive $100 off your first course at UVU.

Check out the Website for information on faculty, classes, e-learning and more.  Better yet, drop in to the main campus in Tacoma, Washington.  Operators are standing by 24/7 to talk with you.

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Material in this post is from the Unmanned Aerial University Website: http://www.uxvuniversity.com/ 

And YES, Unmanned Aerial University IS for real!!!  And so is the photo of the young lad named Ali who (along with much of his family) was a victim of a drone strike.