Friday, July 23, 2004

Now you know. And knowing is half the battle:

As Electric Commentary shows, we can learn invaluable lessons about national security by the gaffs that have been made by cartoon heroes and superheroes. Along the way EC’s Paul Noonan offers a very plausible theory that COBRA (GI Joe’s nemesis) are of Canadian origin.

I always thought it highly probable that Cobra was Canadian in origin. They seemed to have ready access to the American border (according to GI Joe, attacks on American soil not only occurred; they were routine). They all seemed to be Anglo-Saxon (with the exception of Cobra Commander, who always wore a mask, and his second in command Destro, who may or may not have been a robot. His head was made of metal, and if it was a mask, then he had a really small head. I seem to recall that he was stronger than normal people as well). Another high ranking Cobra official, the Baroness, spoke in an ethnically ambiguous accent, which I assumed must be French, lending support to my Canada hypothesis (though it just as easily could have been German, or Russian, or just copying Natasha from Bullwinkle).

They also give an example of private sector contractor fraud/defense industry incompetence that rivals those $500 toilet seats we are used to hear about:

The reason for our lack of initiative against Cobra can probably be found in their incompetence. In the history of aggressive Cobra military operations, no member of GI Joe was ever shot. Several planes and tanks were destroyed, but in an amazing feet of engineering and foresightedness, every troop managed to parachute to safety or leap away from their doomed vehicle at the last moment. Cobra was also in a constant state of disarray, as Destro continually plotted to overthrow the vain Cobra Commander.

Cobra's incompetence was matched, if not exceeded, by our own special forces', who were slightly more adept at destroying opposing vehicles but equally inept at taking opposing life. No member of Cobra was ever slain and their parachutes were as efficient as their American counterparts'.

Perhaps the two sides were using the same weaponry. All GI Joe artillery fired what appeared to be blue "lasers" and all Cobra artillery fired what appeared to be red "lasers." It is my belief that these lasers were actually incapable of causing damage, and that some government contractor had hoodwinked the government in a despicable act of war profiteering.

Finally a fascinating point on how zoning laws may affect crime fighting:

After all, lone supervillains, for instance, the Joker, can simply hole up in an abandoned warehouse in downtown Gotham (Note: Gotham City could have rid itself of crime entirely if only they enacted stricter zoning ordinances).

There's more, read the whole thing!

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