Friday, June 20, 2008
"Gay bomb"? You're kidding, right?
"One thing leads to another" - the Fixx
I was cruising my favorite blog (yes, it's BoingBoing.net) today, and saw a link to the 2008 Emergency Response Guide, the book (and software) that decodes all those hazardous materials numbers you see on various trucks on the road. I spend a fair bit of time on the highways, and I've always been a bit curious about the numbers, placards and symbols, so I went to get a copy. Browsing through it, I ran across a jillion things I never wanted to think might be rolling down the freeway right in front of me. One that puzzled me was #2810, Lewisite. I'd never heard of this, so I googled it. Bad move, now I'm probably on some Homeland Security moron's watchlist, because it is a chemical warfare agent (obsolete, but still nasty). But in reading about that, and other chemical agents, I ran across a reference to "gay bomb". Say what? Those are two words I never saw together. I was already under surveillance anyway, so I clicked.
It was as I suspected, sorta. The U.S. Air Force actually speculated on producing a bomb containing a chemical that turned the enemy irresistably gay, making them too busy doing each other to do much fighting. (Could this be another argument for a mixed-gender military?) There was a problem though, no such chemical existed. I don't see whether money was earmarked for research to find one. And if it was produced, it's interesting to speculate on the consequences. Who would handle the ordinance? What if there was a leak at home base, or on the aircraft carrier (keep your Navy jokes to yourself, please)? How long would it take for someone to steal a bit and play pranks with it? Or, to claim someone else had used it on them, as a legal defense?
Other interesting items were discussed, such as a bomb that gives the enemy bad breath and body odor (demoralizes them, and makes them easy to sniff out). Or, hiding beehives in the combat area, then spraying the enemy with bee pheremones.
This is where your tax money goes, folks. But to help pay for it, we're scheduled for a 27% cut in spending for alternative energy research next year. Or at least so says a very detailed chart called "Death and Taxes" of US incomes and outgoes that you can see here, I have yet to find a confirming source for this (but if I do, I'm gonna raise hell on OpenCongress.org and urge you to do the same).