Thursday, May 16, 2019

Because Klingons Don’t Take Prisoners

I’m sorry Beto O’Rourke lost his bid to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) last year, but you have to admit that having the guy who thought “Green Eggs and Ham” was a life-lesson about shutting down the government is at least entertaining to have in office.

His latest campaign is to brace us against attacks from “space pirates.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said this week that it was important to fund President Trump‘s proposed “Space Force” in order to prevent possible space pirates.

“Since the ancient Greeks first put to sea, nations have recognized the necessity of naval forces and maintaining a superior capability to protect waterborne travel and commerce from bad actors,” Cruz, the chairman of the subcommittee on aviation and space, said at a hearing Tuesday.

“Pirates threaten the open seas, and the same is possible in space. In this same way, I believe we too must now recognize the necessity of a Space Force to defend the nation and to protect space commerce and civil space exploration,” Cruz said.

The Trump administration’s current plan to create Space Force would cost more than $2 billion to get off the ground, according to a report from the Congressional Budget Office.

The report found that a Space Force military branch would need 5,400 to 7,800 in new personnel for overhead and management, adding more than $1 billion to the Pentagon’s annual costs.

Trump proposed creating Space Force within the Air Force, similar to how the Marine Corps operates with the Navy. The Pentagon, however, has said Space Force should exist as its own branch of the military, arguing its necessity is inevitable as China and Russia sharpen their focus on space.

A defense spending bill would give $15 million to study the implementation of Space Force but would not go towards creating it as a branch of the military.

Only Congress can create a new military branch, but Trump has signed off on the set-up of the U.S. Space Command. Lawmakers have demonstrated skepticism over the administration’s Space Force plans, questioning the specifics of the Trump proposal and the need for a new service at all.

Now I know Sen. Ted is worried about the Chinese or other earthbound rivals coming up with ways to disable our satellites and take out our military surveillance techniques (not to mention steal from Direct TV).  But when he came out railing about “space pirates,” I and a lot of other people were going for arming against the Klingons who once forged an alliance with the Romulans to defeat Starfleet and take over the United Federation of Planets.

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