dept. of defense

The Pentagon wants to use science to make soldiers literally fearless.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Pentagon’s mad-scientist division, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, held a conference to pitch third-party biotechnology labs on new sciences DARPA is interested in funding. One of the big standouts? Being able to control human fear, anxiety — and so much more.

‘Rope tricks’ are seen in this image of a nuclear explosion taken less than one millisecond after detonation. During operation Tumbler-Snapper in 1952, this nuclear test device was suspended 300 feet above the Nevada desert floor, and anchored by mooring cables. As the ball of plasma expanded, the radiating energy superheated and vaporized the cables just ahead of the fireball, resulting in the ‘spike’ effects. (Dept of Defense image via The Atlantic)

Latest Thoughts on Trump

There never seems to be a ‘slow news day’ in Trumpland, and that’s undoubtedly the way he prefers it.  But today has been a real circus with the healthcare votes in the Senate, Trump’s continued pissing match with AG Sessions, and today’s bombshell:  Trump announcing he wants a complete ban on transgender people in the military.  

First, you probably all know I’m totally against such a ban, and am as disgusted as hopefully most of you are.  And the proposed ban is coming from someone who lacked the courage and conviction to serve in the military himself.  But there are many good critiques and editorials being written about that today, and will be more in the coming days and weeks.  

I see this latest Tweet storm as his recognition that he is failing as a President, and failing quite badly.  It’s really beginning to show.  He has no significant legislative achievements, other than his claim about getting a new Supreme Court justice sworn in.  Well, a President is supposed to fill Supreme Court vacancies, unless you have the absurd situation that Senate Republicans imposed last year by ignoring their constitutional responsibility to consider Barack Obama’s nominee for the SC.  (Politicians love the constitution, unless it prevents them from exercising partisan dominance).  

His healthcare repeal/replace effort is twirling in endless circles and Congressional Republicans are beginning to eat their young.  His Border Wall is stuck, and will probably never be built.  He can’t even begin anything with tax reform or infrastructure development.  And he’s embroiled in investigations.  His own people are beginning to leave or be pushed out.  He’s a desperate person.

His animosity towards Sessions is based on his mortal fear that Mueller’s investigation will actually find something to indict him and/or his family members for, and he’ll lack the ability to fire the Special Counsel.  So, ‘when life gives you lemons, get on Twitter and distract, distract, distract.’

People should push back on this proposed ban on transgenders in the military, but recognize it’s the sign of a failed Presidency that is going down the tubes very fast.  Since most of the voting public has a short attention span, I think it makes the most sense to keep relating it to NC’s bathroom bill, which nearly all agree was a disaster for Republicans.

There is a potential ‘silver lining’ to this latest Trump-dump.  Reportedly, Trump was told that certain Republicans in the House would not vote for his border wall unless the House banned the use of Defense Dept funds for transgender health issues.  Note these Republicans did not propose banning transgenders from the military.  However Trump exploded the issue into an outright ban, basically rebranding the Republicans’ message as that.  So now in interviews and town halls they either have to agree with the outright ban, or qualify what they are saying.  Which creates the vital opportunity for ‘teachable moments’ in the ongoing social recognition of transgender rights.  Now there will be more opportunities for the media and advocacy groups to highlight transgender service members who served our country with honor and conviction.  Now those who hate us need to confront the personalization of us through those brave and dedicated transgenders who serve.  I’m not sure that’s how Trump intended it to go, but it could be one beneficial outcome of this situation.

here’s your news briefing

2 US service members killed in Afghanistan
Michael Flynn Under Defense Dept. Investigation Over Foreign Payment
Rep. Cummings Accuses White House of ‘Covering Up’ Flynn Activities
Senators leave White House briefing On North Korea unsure why it took place
Trump’s ‘Massive’ Tax Plan: One Page, Many Unanswered Questions
Treasury Secretary can’t guarantee middle class won’t pay more
O’Reilly protégée Jesse Watters abruptly takes vacation after Ivanka sex joke
TSA finds 4 loaded guns in separate incidents at Tampa airport in one day
Nintendo Has Sold 2.74 Million Switch Consoles 

here’s your poop news

All mammals big or small take about 12 seconds to defecate



here’s your quote of the day

– Politico: The education of Donald Trump



here’s a tumblr

Dave Gorum

Dave creates super chill and hypnotic nature gifs.

Gull darn it.



here’s an important PSA

Bill Nye never said that.

That Viral Photo of Bill Nye Talking About Gender is Completely Fake



here’s a meme that is definitely NOT fake, though



here’s a brief moment of peace and harmony

Posted by kitchendisease.



here’s something to consider

Posted by topherchris.



[toph daily archive]

Early Morning Musings

My husband is still new to the “my wife posts fan fiction online” thing. He’s been very supportive and sweet about it. I’ve been trying to open up to him about my online life more, so he gets an idea of what I do (outside of the wife and mom thing).

So, I was telling him about the US Dept. of Defense thing last night (because I think it’s funny). In the midst of the conversation, I explained that I get a lot of hate, so I was trying to figure out who it was, which is how I discovered the DoD thing. 

He stopped me and he says “what do you mean, hate?" 

I explained that I get hate because of x, y, or z. Several times a week or more. 

He looks at me, one eyebrow quirked in that way he has (totally reminds me of Dean) and says, "you don’t take that shit seriously, do you? Because that’s just assholes living in mom’s basement trying to get a rise out of you." 

I know this. I’m aware of this. And honestly, I don’t let the anon hate get to me. Nameless, faceless cowards have no control over me. But, it really puts things in perspective when my husband, who doesn’t even know what Tumblr is, gets that. It’s a reminder that there’s a big, huge world out there, a world that is infinitely more important than Tumblr. It’s a reminder that walking away from Tumblr for an hour, a day, a week, a month, whatever, is okay. It will be here when you come back. I don’t have to “be on Tumblr” to write, I can write whether I’m on here or not (and I have). It’s a reminder, that I control what I see, what I do, and who I interact with; a reminder that it’s my Tumblr experience, not anyone else’s. So, if I want to give “long ass, wordy replies” to anons, I’m gonna do it. If I want to respond to an anon, I’m gonna do it. If I want to ignore an anon, I’m gonna do it. If I want anon on or off, it’s my choice. Mine. Not yours. Mine.

IT’S MY TUMBLR EXPERIENCE. 

FMAW
2000
Vella Lavella
Photog: T.Sgt. Douglas White
1Nov43

On the opening day of the Bougainville offensive, Marine Corsairs are readied to participate in covering missions over the beachhead. This scene was made at Barakoma Field, Vella Lavella, farthest flung airfield in the Northern Solomons. Barakoma Field was blasted out of the jungle at waters edge by Navy Sea Bees. Their job was accomplished three days ahead of schedule despite repeated bombing attacks by Japanese aerial forces.

DEFENSE DEPT. PHOTO (MARINE CORPS)
pd 65927

(Photo and caption: National Archives and Records Administration Still Pictures Unit)

3

This is where we are. The CIA can join twitter and will be warmly received. People will be excited and ‘tee hee’ and giggle about it. The US Dept of Defense will tweet “jokingly” to the CIA and people will love it.

Now oblivious white people who aren’t the target of systemic oppression and violence loving this is one thing. They’re existing in a different reality, and I don’t expect them to get it by default, or to contextualize anything outside of their existence. Black and brown people joining in on the fun however is downright bizarre. These groups of mass murderers can make a cheeky tweet or two and people will get excited about it. The DoD tweet about running in the same circles is really gross, especially when you take the time to consider what they are actually “joking” about.

Now I’m not surprised by people finding these tweets funny, but I am disappointed by some who are joining in the celebration of this macabre exhibition of humor. Especially those who claim to be about social justice. I have seen people who a mere week ago were posting about black sites and drone bases, extrajudicial killings and even the CIA’s fake vaccination campaign in Pakistan join in on the celebration of the CIA’s first tweet.

Someone who fancies themselves to be about justice posted this on facebook - “The CIA made a big splash with their first tweet. Looking forward to more from them.” Looking forward to more from the CIA? They’re talking about the CIA making a splash like a rapper dropping a mixtape to critical acclaim. This person can apparently put aside their indignation for all the injustice and crimes perpetrated by the CIA and DoD to celebrate their tweets. The fact that they are organizations made up of criminals (that’s exactly what they are) who operate above the law, kill at will and are the proxy of US global imperialism is momentarily on hold because their tweets are funny. I found that really curious. How can you be disarmed by tweets? What would have to be going through your mind to find the humor in any of this if you know even just a tiny bit of what the CIA and DoD do everyday and if you know their history? What kind of detachment mentality do people like this have? I guess everything flies out the window when you make a silly tweet or two.

Social media can neuter even the most dastardly. That’s the real danger, and I fear a populace who warmly embraces organizations like the CIA. People like them are dangerous and they frighten me. Why? Because they can see evil and laugh with it, when the proper response should be them rebuking it. This is why the CIA and DoD can operate with impunity. Sure, the CIA just leased a blacksite in Djibouti for 20 years for their secret prison where they will torture and kill black and brown people without charging them with anything. The site also operates as hub for drone strikes, but wasn’t the CIA’s first tweet hilarious? The CIA is so funny!

I guess I don’t have a sense of humor.

In Taylor’s defense a robe is clothing. You buy it at a clothing store or in the clothing section at a dept store. In Andrea’s defense if there was an emergency you would want something on underneath the robe, just in case (speaking as a parent).