Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Space superiority is not our birthright, but it is our destiny


An Independent article by Johann Hari (behind a pay barrier so no link) finds America’s current policy towards Uzbekistan to have been set out in the report of Dick Cheney’s Secret Energy Task Force: “make energy security a priority of our trade and foreign policy.” So as long as they don’t boil dissidents in oil — our oil — they can get on with it.

From a NYT article on Bush admin plans to militarize space:
The Air Force believes “we must establish and maintain space superiority,” Gen. Lance Lord, who leads the Air Force Space Command, told Congress recently. “Simply put, it’s the American way of fighting.” ... “Space superiority is not our birthright, but it is our destiny.”
Really, I’d be making fun of those quotes now if only I could get over there being a General Lance Lord (shorter version: General Lord) in charge of an Air Force Space Command. Alliterative and phallic at the same time, what were his parents thinking, and in charge of rockets, oh it has to be a bad joke from a 1940s radio serial.

I found a picture of him, too large a file to clutter up this page with, but Lance Lord is actually a middle-aged bald guy with glasses and a more than passing resemblance to Jesse Helms. (Update: I have received an email informing me that that Air Force picture is misattributed, although whoever is pictured looks a lot like the real Lance Lord. Hope the Air Force keeps better track of its rockets than it does of its generals.)

And one of these space weapons programs is called Rods from God. And one involves bouncing lasers off giant mirrors hanging from satellites, or really high-up blimps. This is like every James Bond movie ever made.

OK, now they’re talking about a former Under Secretary of the Air Force Peter Teets. Pete Teets. Another middle-aged bald guy with glasses and a more than passing resemblance to every other middle-aged bald guy with glasses.

OK, I want everyone to stand up (extra points if you climb up on your desk) and intone in your deepest old-timey radio-announcer voice, “Space superiority is not our birthright, but it is our destiny!”

Now do it as William Shatner.

Now Elmer Fudd...

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