14 July 2019
Status of the Podcast
We aren't dead, yet. It's a broken record around here: We've got plans for more podcasts, but with the lives of the cast & crew it's proven to be constantly difficult to form any consistency. Nearly all of us have families and full-time jobs that can be quite unforgiving. Many of us are still (at least tangentially) involved with the US Government and she is a harsh and demanding mistress. To say any of us is a "40hr employee" is a bald-faced lie. I could go on with the excuses and reasons we haven't recorded a regular episode in a while, but instead I will tease and torment you with what *should* be happening.
After Action Reports (AARs) will continue (again). I should be recording a stack of them today on Star Trek the Next Generation today and queuing them up for release on Wednesdays to return to that drumbeat. Getting a cluster done on a weekend ensures we at least have that pushed out on any semblance of a drumbeat. Doc Oats and I churned through all seven seasons, while I was laid up injured.
Our next FOB Theater is planned to cover Enemy Mine. An often forgotten MilSF gem, that many TV shows have replicated. Doc Oats has never seen it. We may try and drag Beli in, if we can pull him away from a work thing that has kept him out of town and holed up for weeks.
We've typed up show notes (and even a few graphics) for the following topics and we'll cover as we can:
· Tactical FTL – how can FTL be implemented tactically. We'll discuss warp, slipstream, hyperspace, wormholes and all manner of FTL and how it's been used tactically in media
· PR&PG Kids II – There's no show notes, cause good luck getting kids to stick to it, but they're coming in for their summer visit, so we fully expect to revisit one of our most popular episodes.
· SpaceForce – Discussion on what it is, what it isn't, and what the hell Ted Cruz was talking about with his Space Pirates.
· ALIEN 40th Anniversary – Our special about all things ALIEN (and ALIENS) as this year marks the 40th Anniversary of the first blockbuster space horror film and the franchise that followed.
Area 51 Boogaloo
When a Meme gets out of hand. A joke of a Facebook Event has spawned concern, jokes, endless memes and mass chaos. It's hard to tell if anyone is taking it seriously (the DoD, Groom Lake Security, and the Joint USAF/Army security component are) or if everyone is just along for the ride. As of 14 July more than 900k goofballs have said they are going and 1.7M are interested in the 20 September "event". The meme war/shitposting seems to transcend any single group with side-splitting results.
Many of you may be confused by the terms being tossed about:
Booglaloo – Party, often associated with pro-gun groups that obsess over memes (aka PEW MEMES)
Kyles – An internet stereotypes associated with truck driving, energy drink downing nut jobs.
Naruto Running – a ridiculous style of "running fast" with one's arms flapping behind them, popularized by the anime Naruto
Clapping Alien Cheeks – Somehow an offshoot of this event has become a gag about gaining alien sex partners… perhaps related to these "incels" (involuntary celibates) we hear tell about.
Karens – Apparently this meme of bitchy women with a selected attitude and haircut who shall ruin the day of any manager, has been added to the growing legion
I think too many folks have been getting stoned with the legalization of pot in most states and fantasizing about reenacting 2011's Paul.
Regardless, posting your assault plans to tactical media, while hilarious is poor form. I don't expect more than a handful of idiots to show up (maybe a few more idiots showing up to see what idiots actually show up) as most of the internet isn't *that* dumb or if they are, they tend to be too broke to travel. PR&PG strongly urges our listeners to sit back and laugh, but anyone meeting at the assigned time/place of the Boogaloo will promptly be rounded up by USGov Security Forces and detained or shot if armed and aggressive.
Area 51 has long been a hotbed of alien conspiracy theories, but even if aliens were ever kept there, they've long since been relocated to Area 52. Meanwhile, Area 51 aka Groom Lake is a super sensitive top secret (as best as any base can be these days) aerospace research facility. The SR71 and all of our stealth fighters were developed there. Researchers, engineers, and all other staff are flown in, there are no roads leading up. The area around Area 51 is restricted for miles as is the airspace. I can assure you that *any* military base would react in force to a large civilian "raid", even something as benign as Camp Pendleton. Area 51 defense won't have issue strafing actual threats with miniguns fired from UH-1s or rockets from Cobras and Apaches. If 500,000 morons showed up, there is enough raw land between the base and where folks could prep to lay down hell and fire enough to keep anyone at bay.
Yes, they can stop you all. And for the few dozen of you dumb enough to try, the felony on your record won't help.
HeartWired & BMS
For those of you who've been around lately, you've heard us plug a set of webcomics by Leanne & Rod Hanna. Many of you have likely seen their Blue Milk Special (BMS) art circulate the webs, though you may not have realized it. For the better part of a decade they have poked a bit of fun and a lot of love in the direction of Star Wars.
Plenty of teenagers would kill for a chance to leave Earth behind and journey to Mars. But for Cal, that situation is pretty much reversed. One of only seven people ever born on the Red Planet, Cal dreams of returning to the homeland of his parents where, despite its many flaws, he can be free to live life his way. But Cal’s plan of getting back to Earth may have to be put on hold, as an unknown presence threatens the very existence of the boy, his family and everyone who now calls Mars their home.
While the introduction of the series spent time character and worldbuilding (as all stories must), things are about to go hot as the action picks up. How do I know? Well, I had the privilege of being a consultant for the next episode. No spoilers, I promise, but action is forthcoming and it lines up with our style of storytelling.
Shoot. Move. Communicate.
It's not as tasty as War Pig (queue Ozzy), but it certainly has a bigger budget. The DoD is working with industry to develop an AI to better understand the scope of the battlefield, and probably itching for a Disney lawsuit with their new Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) program. You may recall all the hubbub about Microsoft Employees bellyaching about working for the DoD last year. I'm guessing they didn't realize that the DoD (and by extension the US Government) is the single largest Microsoft customer and that every tactical operation has been composed by PowerPoint rangers over the last 20 years. (Death by PowerPoint is a lethal force).
This War Cloud would crunch mountains of tactical data on a series of classified servers and present analysis for leaders to aid in their decision making. No plans are in place to tie any actual kinetic weapons systems to JEDI and all actual decisions would still be made by flesh and blood officers and senior Staff NCOs. There may be some tangential efforts to relate lessons learned to Cyber Warfare, but nothing life-stealing will be done automated. We're still safe from Skynet for now.
Some argue the system is Hawkish and although it isn't true, pure AI, it will leverage advanced machine learning and mesh-sensors. If you think the Chinese and Russians aren't pursing similar efforts, wake up. And at the end, JEDI will more likely than not: prevent accidental death of civilians, ensure better direction of forces, ultimately reduce loss of life, war spending, and keep people safe instead of making the US "more war bad!"
Star Wars IX: the Rise of Skywalker
We've tucked this in at the end, so if you want to avoid possible spoilers for the next Star Wars movie, it's time for us to part ways.
Are you still here? Ok, so we've found out very little official from LucasFilm other than this is the wrap up to a 9 movie arc and Emperor Palpatine has some level of return in the film. It's rumored to be long, with JJ saying that there's 4hrs of continuous useable footage. Not sure what that translates into the final cut or if we'd ever see a director's mega cut, but it's there and by all the actor's accounts: emotional.
How is Palps coming back? We don't know but we can speculate. With the SDCC19 exclusive toy now announced as a Sith Trooper we can possibly extract that it's a bigger "return" than expected, since Kylo and Snoke were never declared as "Sith". Has the Sith Lord returned in the flesh? Has he possessed a new body like in the old Dark Horse series Dark Empire? There is new canon evidence that the Sith, while they can't be free-roaming force ghosts like light-side users, can be tied to physical objects like a tomb or in the case of Lord Momen, a mask. Perhaps the rumored Matt Smith role is a young Emperor clone. Perhaps Lord Plagueus survived after all and has been working with Palps to cheat death all along. Snoke was often guessed to be Plagueus because in Ep VII the Plagueus theme was playing in Snoke's hologram scene and music is always a key indicator. Maybe the reason the First Order sprung so quick was that Palps planned ahead and created it from an Imperial Remnant in uncharted space as plan C after Operation Cinder. He just stayed in the background and left Snoke to "lead".
On that note; is Rey really a clone or genetically manipulated life form. My theory is that she might in fact be an extension of Project Skywalker, which was the Plageus/Sidious experiment to create life with midichilorians. Is Rey just an extension of that? Was she grown partially from DNA taken from Luke's hand? It would explain her power levels. Perhaps she was part of an experiment, rescued as a child, handed off to "filthy junk traders", and left or lost on Jakku. This would explain the whole "Rise of Skywalker" title if the entire Skywalker lineage is an offshoot of this Sith project. Rey would then be a "Skywalker" without being the offspring of Luke or Leia.
Next comes the WTF over the Knights of Ren and where Kylo picked up the title "Ren". With the resurrection of the Knights of the Old Republic storyline supposedly for the next few films, I'm returning to an old theory that Ren is a mutation of Revan. Ben Skywalker and his acolytes may have come across a 4000-year-old damaged data file describing Re__n (aka Revan) and his split from the Jedi order. It may have resonated with them enough to create the Knights of Ren and split from Luke's new order. But NOW we get to the question of "Why don't the Knights have lightsabers?". Actually, this may even be tied to "Why are Rey and the gang headed to the wreckage of the second Death Star?" It's possible that Luke and Ben were the only students at the Academy WITH lightsabers due to the rarity of a key component: Khyber Crystals. In canon sources, it's been made quite clear that the Empire made great effort to destroy or harvest every source of Khyber for the Death Stars or to keep them away from rouge Jedi. There might not be any more left that anyone can find. So… 1. We know why the Knights are armed with melee weapons and 2. A possible strong reason for Rey to head off and salvage some Khyber from the wreckage of the second Death Star.
Just my wild theories