Fake Ball-Busting Bongs, and Other Signs The World Is Ending This Week

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Howdy, America. You’ve got a new commander-in-chief! And the world hasn’t even ended yet. There are some pretty encouraging signs: The Army finally has a new service pistol that beats the hell out of an M9. New female infantry Marines seem to be embracing the suck just fine so far. Of course, there’s a lot of potential for more suck. Apocalyptic suck, even. Which is why Task & Purpose offers you this at-a-glance Friday roundup of the good, the bad, and the deeply fucked up in recent military and diplomatic news… plus a few pop-culture signs of Armageddon.


  • The offensive to take Mosul back from ISIS "has been some of the hardest door-to-door fighting the world has seen in many years,” Major Gen. Joseph Martin, the head of ground forces in Iraq, tweeted Wednesday. No doubt: 1,600 Iraqi security forces have died in the fight since October. But it’s paying off. Coalition forces control the eastern half of the city and have set up a “kill zone” on the Tigris River to keep ISIS at bay while the friendlies prepare to advance west.

  • The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved the hands closer to midnight on its 70-year-old Doomsday Clock, saying Thursday that humanity’s risk of “global catastrophe” had risen to its highest level since the 1980s, thanks in part to “disturbing comments about the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons made by Trump, as well as the expressed disbelief in the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change.” On the bright side, the world didn’t end in the 1980s, so your mileage may vary.

  • After two U.S. officials suggested the White House wouldn’t allow China to occupy some disputed islands in the South China Sea, the Chinese hit back, telling America to mind its own business. A communist government-run newspaper suggested China should expand its nuclear arsenal in response. In a completely unrelated development that has no connection to conflicts in the Pacific between China and the English-speaking world, a senior Northrop Grumman executive said Tuesday he expected the F-35 contractor would double its business in Australia in the next three years. Buy! Buy! Buy!

  • The new president tweeted Tuesday that he might “send in the Feds” to clean up Chicago’s crime problem; signed an executive order Wednesday to block federal funding to “sanctuary cities,” like Los Angeles; New York; and Portland, Maine, that don’t deport undocumented immigrants; and announced plans Wednesday for an investigation into “voter fraud,” which Press Secretary Sean Spicer said could focus on “a lot of states where we didn’t compete in,” calling out California and New York. Depending how you process your facts, this is either the start of a glorious federal purge of liberal corruption, or an authoritarian recipe for civil war. Flip a coin?

The Coast Guard is officially shit outta luck for a paycheck thanks to the government shutdown, which means that zero coasties have been paid to create some of the amazing memes being shared as a way to vent their frustration.

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Vice President Mike Pence repeated President Donald Trump's claim that "ISIS has been defeated" in Syria on Wednesday just hours after several U.S. service members were killed by an ISIS suicide bomber in Manbij, Syria.

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Soldiers, family and community gathered in Morehead City to render honors and witness the transfer and memorial of U.S. Army Sgt James Slape Nov. 9-11, 2018. Slape will hold a temporary resting place in Morehead City before ultimately moving to Arlington Cemetery. Slape supported Operations Resolute Support and Freedom Sentinel in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt Leticia Samuels, North Carolina National Guard)

An ISIS suicide bomber killed four Americans in Manbij, Syria, on Wednesday.

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Comedian Steve Carell will be starring in an upcoming Netflix show about the new Space Force that's being described as a "workplace comedy."

Yeah, that's right. The Office, but in freaking space.

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