Tag Archives | Weapons

Nuclear Weapons On A Street Near You

Mother Jones on how nuclear weapons quietly pass through major U.S. cities:

At a cost of $250 million a year, nearly 600 couriers employed by this secretive agency within the US Department of Energy use some of the nation’s busiest roads.

Yet hiding nukes in plain sight, and rolling them through major metropolises like Atlanta, Denver, and LA, raises a slew of security and environmental concerns, from theft to terrorist attack to radioactive spills. Moreover, in recent years the OST’s nuke truckers have had a spotty track record—including spills, problems with drinking on the job, weapons violations, and even criminal activity.

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Nuclear Testing Continues at the Bay Area’s Lawrence Livermore Lab

Via Media Roots: If you think nuclear testing is now only done on computers, think again. Abby and Robbie Martin grew up in Pleasanton, CA, a city located ten miles from the Lawrence Livermore Lab (LLL), a secret nuclear weapons production facility. They initially set out to explore the psychological impacts of taking nuclear testing into virtual space. But as their investigation unfolded, they found that the LLL—in conjunction with Site 300—has built an impressive greenwashing PR campaign cloaking a dark reality.
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Media Roots Radio: Nuclear Weapons & Fear, Iran War Drum Propaganda, Party Loyalists

Via Media Roots: Abby and Robbie Martin discuss nuclear weapons: living in a perpetual Cold War mentality, MAD, stockpiling, labs and mismanagement, how nuclear fear and control underpin US imperialism; the manufactured GOP debate on contraception as a distraction from real issues; Obama's drone warfare and domestic drone surveillance; the complacency of party loyalists and their approval of Obama's continuation of Bush policies; Iran war propaganda: the political establishment and corporate press trumping up the war drum to instill fear and justify pre-emptive warfare against Iran and Syria.
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The Sniper’s Nest At Super Bowl XLVI

I suppose this makes sense, so why is it so morbid and shocking? Perhaps because every aspect of the Super Bowl is supposed to symbolize some element of the broader culture? Deadspin stumbled upon some photos of the armed-and-ready-to-shoot man who watches while you watch the big game:

According to Business Insider, the photos were taken by a ranking member of the Indianpolis SWAT team, and obtained by Alamo Four Star, maker of the tripod.

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The Self-Guided Bullet

Presumably the marketing pitch will be that you literally can't miss. From KRQE:
Engineers at Sandia National Laboratories have invented a bullet that guides itself to the target. Sandia has wide expertise at miniature technology, and the bullet works like a tiny guided missile. The patented design doesn't shoot straight. Instead of a spiral rotation, the bullet twists and turns to guide itself towards a laser directed point. It can make up to thirty corrections per second while in the air...
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Obama Administration Selling Arms to Bahrain

Via Common Dreams:

As the Arab Spring unfolded last year, protesters in the streets saw something startling about the tools of repression being used on them. The Humvees, tanks, helicopters were from the US government; the canisters of chemical agents used to attack them said, “Made in the USA.”

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Bahrain, home to the US Fifth Fleet and close ally of Saudi Arabia, brutally suppressed the uprising among their citizens. More than 40 pro-democracy protesters were killed and thousands more were arrested and tortured. While speaking out loudly on Libya’s brutality, the Obama administration remained largely silent on Bahrain.

Last fall the Obama administration announced plans to sell Bahrain $53 million worth of military weapons including bunker buster missiles, armored vehicles and wire-guided missiles. The Pentagon said at the time the sale “will improve Bahrain’s capability to meet current and future armored threats. Bahrain will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense.”

Congressional opposition to the sale forced Obama to delay the weapons transfer.

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Sneaking Into A Russian Military Rocket Factory

rocketWhen you walk by a topnotch military rocket factory and notice that there are no guards on duty, it’s an opportunity for fun. A set of unbelievable photos, via Gizmodo:

Her name is Lana Sator and she snuck into one of NPO Energomash factories outside of Moscow. Her photos are amazing, like sets straight out of Star Wars or Alien. Now the Russian government is harassing her.

It was easy to get in. She just went there, jumped over the fence and got right into the heart of the complex through a series of tunnels and pipes, which was very surprising. After all, this is an active industrial installation that belongs to one of the top manufacturers of liquid-fuel rockets in the world.

And yet, she found nobody. No guards, no security. Nothing. Just a few CCTV cameras here and there in rooms packed with huge machinery.

While some of these zones look decrepit and abandoned, the factory is active.

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Turn Deceased Loved Ones’ Ashes Into Bullets

The smokeAlabama-based company Holy Smoke will do just this, loading cremated remains into live shotgun rounds — allowing for numerous possibilities of sweetly perfect, Tarantino-esque posthumous vengeance:

My friend smiled and said “You know I’ve thought about this for some time and I want to be cremated. Then I want my ashes put into some turkey load shotgun shells and have someone that knows how to turkey hunt use the shotgun shells with my ashes to shoot a turkey. That way I will rest in peace knowing that the last thing that one turkey will see is me, screaming at him at about 900 feet per second.”

I realized that my friend was describing almost exactly how I wanted my ashes to be spread. How perfect to have my family and friends honor me by using shotgun shells with a little bit of my ash in each one. Whether my shells get shot at sporting clays or live birds or put on the shelf, even in death I could be ecologically sound and useful.

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Making Everyday Objects Deadly: The Art of the Shiv

ShivI've also heard them called shanks, the word itself, "shiv" or "shank," intuitively sounds like their intended use, further relayed with these photos from this article by William Drenttel in Design Observer:
A shiv is a weapon crafted from the limited resources of a prisoner's closed world. Crudely constructed from such things as spoons, shoelaces and upholstery tacks, shivs lie somewhere between the graceful and the grotesque. They're primitive, too — like outsider art, but produced deep on the inside. The individual parts that make up a shiv tend to be everyday objects, innocent things furtively reconstituted as lethal weapons. Each design choice is essential, but what's particularly notable is that shivs, at their core, are not so much evocations of minimalism as they are symbols of survivalism. A shiv is all about masked utility: it's an innocuous object with improbably toxic intent (whether used to attack others or to protect oneself...)
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Pentagon’s Lightning Gun Sold On eBay

Photo: Cody Oliver, USMC

Photo: Cody Oliver, USMC

The Burning Man may be incinerated faster than usual this year … Noah Schachtman reports for Wired:

There was a time, not all that long ago, when the Pentagon sank tens of millions of dollars into remote-controlled lightning guns that it hoped would fry insurgent bombs before they killed any more troops. Now, disassembled parts from the one-time wonder-weapons are being sold on eBay. At least one buyer snatched up the gear, hoping to use it in his latest art project for Burning Man.

All of which would make for a funny little story, if that buyer didn’t discover that the multimillion dollar “Joint Improvised Explosive Device Neutralizers,” or JINs, were kluged together from third-rate commercial electronics, and controlled by open Wi-Fi signals. In other words, the Pentagon didn’t just overpay for a flawed weapon. On the off-chance the JIN ever worked, the insurgents could control it, too.

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