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Space Force: 2020 Is The Real-Life 'Star Trek' Sequel No One Needs

Culture

You gotta hand it to the Trump administration. It has apparently ruined America so far ahead of schedule, it's taking its diabolical plans beyond the "surly bonds of earth" to the furthest reaches of space. Aging Ken doll Mike Pence detailed plans for a proposed "sixth branch" of the military Thursday before a crowd of people who'd been told they were seeing a Journey concert. (Allegedly! The vice president himself isn't a big draw.) Because Donald Trump is an overgrown, emotionally damaged child, he has dubbed this new franchise opportunity in the military-industrial complex the "Space Force." This "Space Force" (I will continue to refer to it in skeptical quotes until I see some evidence of rudimentary starship construction) will protect "national security in outer space."

The Pentagon even released a 15-page report on "Space Force," which to us says the general directive at DoD was "Make it too long for the president to read, but not long enough that you actually have to spend time on it." Also, Mike Pence said "Space Force" is coming in 2020, so don't hold your breath:

"As President Trump has said, in his words, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space — we must have American dominance in space. And so we will," Pence said. "Space is, in his words, a war-fighting domain just like land and air and sea."

Pence didn't really need to clarify that these were Trump's own words since they are so clearly batshit.

John F. Kennedy said, "We choose to go to the Moon in this decade ... not because [it is] easy, but because [it is] hard." Donald J. Trump declares, "Space is. .. a war-fighting domain." He's like the worst "non-Worf or B'Elanna" Klingon stereotype.


If you're a 40-something geek like me, you spent your teen years watching "Star Trek: The Next Generation" on Saturday nights with your mother, who'd spent her teen years watching "Star Trek: Original Gangsta." The whole point of space travel in the "Trek" universe was exploration. It was presented as the means of unifying not just the people of Earth but also like-minded people and not-quite people across the galaxy.

Something a good friend and I both appreciate about "Trek" is how its characters have such well-rounded interests beyond "war fighting" and "dominance." Captain Picard is into archaeology. Commander Riker enjoys jazz and poker. Perhaps in TNG's most prescient storyline, Geordi LaForge fooled around with a computer program. (In retrospect, maybe they could've let the brother have jazz and a real-live woman or man.) Donald Trump has no interests. All that defines him are his avarice and petty urges to dominate. Does anyone believe Trump wants to "seek out new life and new civilizations"? The only thing he can really tolerate is the white population of the United States, and that is shrinking. Space is vast and somewhat empty, like most of the states he won in 2016, but it's not Montana. Trump likely nodded along on Wednesday to Laura Ingraham's white anxiety panic attack. He's not going to roll out the White House red carpet for some antenna-having, three-legged aliens.

Trump represents an America that retreats inward, not one that strives to become part of something greater than itself. We've already alienated most of our existing allies, with whom in a better future we'd seek to explore the stars together. Instead, under this teeny-weendy, orange-polka-dot-bikini-brained president, space is just another arena for warfare.

The Space Force would not be created from scratch, but rather begin by re-organizing existing space programs and personnel. It would initially be led by a civilian who would report directly to the Secretary of Defense, Pence said.

According to the report, the new effort would include the Space Development Agency, which will focus on development; the Space Operations Force, which will include "space warfighters"; Services and Support, which will be comprised of leadership support; and the Space Command, which will be led by a four-star general.

The report added that it would create a legislative proposal for Congress for the 2020 budget cycle to merge each of those units to create the Space Force as a sixth branch.

No sensible nation would ever trust a Trump-supported push into space. It's bad enough he has access to nuclear codes. They'd need to match his aggression Death Star for Death Star. This isn't the start of a new chapter but a rewriting of the same blood-soaked ones from the past.

[Pence] added, "History proves that peace only comes through strength, and in the realm of outer space, the United States Space Force will be that strength in the years ahead."

Trump is so excited:

Oh, is he already testing out theme songs for the Saturday morning cartoon tie-in?

Also he enlisted his "super elite" supporters in a fundraising email from the Trump campaign -- which is probably against the law -- to help finalize marketing designs for "Space Force":

Trump would rather build up the mailing list for his re-election campaign than involve the whole country, even the liberals with their damn Vulcan logic, for what he calls "President Trump's Space Force." (Can someone please tell him that this won't actually be his own "Space Force"?) I'd talk about how awful the proposed logos are but White House staffers obviously had to draft their 9-year-old children to draw space pictures for the president, and those kids obviously worked very hard and it's not kind to make fun of children.

The point is, I don't think we're joining the Federation any time soon. But long live "Space Force," I guess!

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work.

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Republicans are devouring each other's carcasses, and we are here for it! Especially when one of those Republicans is King Kris of the Kansas Votefucker Klan ... errr, Clan! It's been a week since Kansans cast their votes in the gubernatorial primary, and the GOP looks to be rolling up its sleeves for a slugfest.

As we type, Kobach leads by 298 votes out of more than 314,000 cast -- a whopping 0.00095 percent, if you round up! The Kansas GOP begged Donald Trump to stay out of the race and leave the field clear for sitting governor Jeff Colyer, who took over when Sam Brownback wandered off to bring Jesus to the Hottentots on behalf of the US government. Safe bet that Colyer would be gearing up for the general election now if President Twitterthumbs hadn't flapped his yap. So thanks for that, Donny!

No, really, THANKS!

Remember the hanging chad debacle in Florida? Now picture it in a landlocked state with more cows than people. It's like fantasy island for Devin Nunes, ALLEGEDLY.

Oh, but we are to kid!

After first insisting he wasn't going to recuse from the counting, Secretary of State Kris Kobach (one and the same!) wrote Colyer a fabulously bitchy letter agreeing to hand off the tabulation to his deputy, Eric Rucker. Colyer had made the shocking suggestion that Kobach delegate responsibility to the Kansas attorney general, rather than his own political appointee, and Kobach was stretched out on the settee with a fit of the vapors at the gross impropriety of it all!

I will not breach the public trust and arbitrarily assign my responsibilities to another office that is not granted such authority by the laws of Kansas.

After several anguished paragraphs, Kobach closed by remonstrating that Colyer was betraying his office by destroying the faith of Kansans in the sacred integrity of their electoral process.

As governor of Kansas, your unrestrained rhetoric has the potential to undermine the public's confidence in the election process. May I suggest that you trust the people of Kansas have made the right decision at the polls and that our election officials will properly determine the result as they do in every election.

Said the guy whose entire adult life has been dedicated to whipping up panic about millions of imaginary illegal alien voters.

So now these two princes can kick the crap out of each other WITH VOTES, specifically, provisional ballots cast by unaffiliated voters under the supervision of poorly trained poll workers. Kansas holds closed primaries, meaning only registered Republicans can vote to select the GOP candidate, BUT an unaffiliated voter can cast a vote by checking a box identifying as a Democrat or a Republican at the polling place. This was news to some poll workers, who mistakenly directed over one thousand unaffiliated voters to use provisional ballots without checking the box indicating party preference. Whoops!

So, will those provisional ballots be counted based on voter intent? Or tossed based on strict interpretation of the statute? And does Kansas law mandate tossing mail-in ballots that arrive without a postmark on Wednesday, since there's no forensic proof that they were mailed before midnight on Tuesday? And how disgusted will the Kansas electorate be when one of these assholes emerges from the melée holding the other one's scalp? And how many millions of dollars are going to be spent on litigating the Republican primary while this nice lady Laura Kelly, the Democratic minority whip of the Kansas Senate, is out campaigning for November?

Even before this debacle, Kobach looked significantly weaker against Kelly than Colyer, with self-funded Libertarian Jeff Orman threatening to throw a wrench in the works. The Wichita Eagle reports on a Remington Research Poll conducted in July:

In a Kelly-Orman-Kobach race, the poll puts Kelly and Kobach effectively in a dead heat — 36 percent for Kelly and 35 percent for Kobach, with Kelly's lead within the margin of error. Orman has 12 percent.

Colyer leads in a three-way race with Kelly and Orman, according to the poll. In that scenario, Colyer receives 38 percent of the vote, while Kelly gets 28 percent and Orman receives 10 percent.

Which is ONE POLL, in a deeply red state, but ... Kobach is a crap candidate who's likely to emerge from this fight with two black eyes and a pissed off base. If there's anyone who can blow this election, it's Kris Kobach.

Keep fighting, Kris! You can do it! (And now we need a shower.)

And YOU need an OPEN THREAD!

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[Kobach letter / Wichita Eagle / Mother Jones / Kansas City Star]

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While most people spent this weekend telling Nazi punks to fuck off, a couple 11-year-olds were in Las Vegas hacking into voting machines. Why? BECAUSE IT'S FUN!

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