Tag Archives: Pentagon

The Pentagon Prepares for a Zombie Apocalypse… And Other News

zombie apocalypse

Zombie apocalypse? Don’t worry, the Pentagon’s got it covered.

The U.S. federal government actually has a contingency plan in the unlikely event zombies invade the earth and the military has to destroy them to “preserve the sanctity of human life.” The Defense Department — with a 2014 budget of more than $500 billion—maintains a secret disaster preparation document called “CONOP 8888,” which provides a handy how-to defense against the walking dead. “This plan fulfills fictional contingency planning guidance tasking for U.S. Strategic Command to develop a comprehensive [plan] to undertake military operations to preserve ‘non-zombie’ humans from the threats posed by a zombie horde,” the summary says. And for those who think the zombie document is a joke, it contains a disclaimer reading: “this plan was not actually designed as a joke.” CNBC

Berlusconi MafiaIn not surprising news, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has officially been linked to the mafia. Despite denying rumors of mob ties for years, Berlusconi couldn’t escape the Italian stereotype. The former leader’s ties to Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian Mafia, were exposed during a former senator’s trial. Apparently the billionaire tycoon and bunga bunga party organizer worked with the Sicilian Mafia, via his conduit and former senator Marcello Dell’Utri for 18 years, from 1974 to 1992. The judges said the deal between the mafia and Berlusconi, mediated by Dell’Utri, was formed in 1974 and “was implemented voluntarily and knowingly”. Berlusconi will not be tried for his links to the mob, however, because the statute of limitations for mafia-related offences kicks in after 20 years. But just to be a dick, Berlusconi lashed out at the judges, calling them “biased”. Independent

Pope Baptize AliensPope Francis says he would baptize aliens if they came to the Vatican looking for some holy water. Francis said Catholicism was a church of “open doors”, asking “who are we to close doors” to anyone – even Martians. “If, for example, tomorrow an expedition of Martians came to us here and one said ‘I want to be baptized!’, what would happen?” the Pope asked, clarifying that he was actually talking about aliens. “Martians, right? Green, with long noses and big ears, like in children’s drawings.” Now, I’m not sure that alien race advanced enough to create intergalactic space travel technology would be willing to come to Earth and live within the confines of the Catholic church, but it’s a nice gesture. Independent 

Marital Rape IndiaIn India, forced marital sex is not rape, it’s just marital sex. A Delhi court has ruled that sex between a husband and wife, “even if forcible, is not rape.” As long as the wife is over 15 years-old that is… there has to be some kind of restriction!  The judge’s decision, which upheld section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, was the end result of a Delhi woman’s complaint last October. The woman filed a complaint against a man she accused of drugging her, abducting her and taking her to Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, to register their marriage. And then he raped her – but it’s okay because they were married. New York Times

Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius reacts as he reaches for a bucket in the dock during his trial for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, at the North Gauteng High Court in PretoriaThe judge in the trial of South African Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has ordered that he should undergo a 30-day mental evaluation. He probably should have had those mental health tests before he shot and killed his girlfriend/toilet intruder, but whatever. Prosecution lawyer Gerrie Nel pushed for the evaluation after a forensic psychiatrist said that the double amputee was suffering from generalized anxiety disorder. The psychiatric prescription raises the possibility that the accused was suffering a mental illness when he shot Reeva Steenkamp. To sum up, the trial will now face a very lengthy delay. BBC News

Leave a Comment

Pentagon Lifts Ban on Women in Combat

Women in Combat

On Thursday the Pentagon lifted a long-time ban on women serving in front line combat zones, two years after it scrapped the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, signed an order at a Pentagon news conference rescinding the rule that prevented women from serving in direct combat roles.

Removing the ban on women is considered to be a huge step towards gender equality, but it’s actually just stating publicly what has already been happening over the past decade. Although women were previously barred from infantry, armoured and special operations units, the realities of the past decade of war have blurred the lines of distinction.

Whether people want to acknowledge it or not, women have played a major role in conflict zones over the years, even while their theoretical fitness to serve was being debated back home. At the moment women make up about 14% of the military’s 1.4 million active members and more than 280,000 of them have done tours of duty in Iraq, Afghanistan and other overseas bases. Of those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, 152 have been killed, including 84 in hostile action, and nearly 1,000 have been wounded. It seems lifting the ban is more about giving women the correct job titles.

The move could, however, open some 237,000 potential job titles to women and expand opportunities for career advancement, provided they pass the gender-neutral performance standards.

As Panetta puts it:

“Let me be clear. We are not talking about reducing the qualifications for the job. If they can meet the qualifications for the job, then they should have the right to serve regardless of creed or color or gender or sexual orientation.”

While Obama has expressed strong support for the new policy, as have many civilian and military leaders from the different services, there have been some mixed reactions. Retired General Jerry Boykin is one such case. For him the issue comes down to personal hygiene:

“As a man who has been there, […] I certainly don’t want to be in that environment with a female because it’s degrading and humiliating enough to do your personal hygiene and the other normal functions among your teammates.”

Hmm. If the Taliban were shooting at me, I doubt I’d be worried about my personal hygiene.

Anyways…. Boykins all over can continue fighting about whether or not this ban on women in combat should be lifted, but the fact is women have been and will continue to fight on the front lines. Instead of ignoring this or telling them they’re not allowed, perhaps they should thank them?

Via: Reuters

Leave a Comment