30 December 2005

Starship Troopers

I seem to have a different copy from everyone else who has reviewed it. I just don't see the Fascism.

I do not see: A system of government characterized by rigid one-party dictatorship, forcible suppression of the opposition (unions, other, especially leftists, parties, minority groups, etc.), the retention of private ownership of the means of production under centralized governmental control, beligerent nationalism and racism, glorification of war, etc...

In the book I have, there is no mention of what form the government takes beyond that one must do a term of government service to vote. There might be coalition controlled parlamentary politics, we don't know! It's not mentioned in the text.

Juan's father speaks of free speech. Not very suppressed. Juan's family had never had a voter, yet they were wealthy. Rico shared his Roll's copter with Carl. They had an olympic sized swimming pool. Emilio is doing amazingly well for someone who is not part of the ruling party. Remember, "retention of private ownership of the means of production under centralized governmental control" that means the state runs it. Emilio would not have joined as a Private under a real Facsist government, a business owner is a party member. And since he had never done his term, he was not a party member. Yet he owned a business, delayed putting it on a war footing well into the war and then abandoned it to join the Army. None of that spells central control. He states that he joined because of his son. Not that he was forced to join because he was removed. Old Man Morales was not appointed by the Government, but selected by Emilio. Emilio was also free to move stocks around for Juan's benefit before he resigned.

Not much racism going on here either. The Rico's are Philippinos. Hard to imagine the Philippines becoming THE major world power. But even this is shot down. Xim is not a Philippine name, nor are scores of others mentioned. If there is racism, it is more xenophobia.

The feel of the society that comes across to me is more like America than Mussolini's Italy or Hitler's Germany or even Stalin's USSR. It seems like it's still a represenative democracy, with steep voting requirements. The book even mentions that our voting rights are truncated too. Gotta be 18 to vote, can't be a felon, etc.

There is even an explanation of how it got started too, but so many reviewers seem to miss it. A group of former troops happened across a group of people getting ready to punish another vet. After being left to rot by the peace treaty and basically forced to walk home, they decided that civilians would not be allowed to have a say in punishing him. They would take care of their own, and did what the people were going to do anyway. The decision was elitist, but they created a fairly egalitarian society with it later.

Seen On A Tee Shirt

G_ F_CK Y_ _RS_LF! Would you like to buy a vowel?

22 December 2005

Finally

It's A Real World (After All) by Duck Logic
(parody of "It's A Small World (After All)"\


"C'mon."
"Hey, ouch!"
"Let's do it!"
"Mmmmmm" "Okay!"

It's a world of acne, a world of germs.
It's your brand new dog coming down with worms.
It's the notes being played
By a cockroach parade,
It's the real world after all.

It's a world of ulcers, a world of cysts.
It's the hole in the road that you never miss.
It's the cheap underwear
Creeping up to your hair,
It's the real world after all.

It's the real world after all,
It's the real world after all,
It's the real world after all,
It's the real world after all.

It's a world of hunger, a world of sin.
It's a million products to keep you thin.
It's machinery exhaust
Causing air to be lost.
It's the real world after all.

It's a world of stark mediocrity,
It's a world of mindless activity.
It's the little white lie
Inside Mom's apple pie,
It's the real world after all.

It's the real world after all,
Cold hard steel world after all,
Slimy eel world after all,
Well, it's the real world after all.

It's a world that's black and a world that's blue,
And you must duck logic to get you through.
It's the sudden attack
Of a knife in your back,
It's the real world after all.

It's a world of hate,
It's a world of pain,
It's all of your dreams flushing down the drain,
There's no one who cares and it's time you're aware,
It's the real world after all.

It's the real world after all,
Spinning wheel world after all,
Cold hard steel world after all,
Well, it's the real world after all.

"Yeah!"
"That was great!"
"That was really a lot of fun!"
"I can't breathe."
"I've got blisters on my fingers."

20 December 2005

It's A Thinking Day At McThag's

I do not understand why unions aren't considered illegal cartels. If I wanted to become a subway train driver, I could not do so without first joining the union, whether I wanted to pay the union dues or not. What's the difference between that and being forced to pay protection money to the mafia? In either case, the mob or the union "protects" me (or my job), whether I want the protection or not.

Similarly, if a group of merchants got together to decide that they're going to sell gasoline at $10 a gallon, it would be considered illegal collusion, and the merchants would be prosecuted. So why can individuals band together to fix prices for labor? They are in effect merchants of their work, and they're colluding, via the union, to subvert the free market and set artificially high prices for what they are selling. And they are now effectively extorting the entire City of New York in order to ensure the perpetuation of their monopoly on the transit labor market.

From here: http://brain-terminal.com/posts/2005/12/20/strike-shuts-down-nyc-subways-buses

I Do So Like Kipling In The Evenings

The Gods of the Copybook Headings
Rudyard Kipling, 1919

As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race,
I Make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market-Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market-Place.
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings.
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Heading said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew,
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four --
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

* * * * *

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man --
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began --
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire --
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Quote Of The Random Interval

One of the reasons I support the present war is that killing 50K of the jihadis now may keep them from mounting the city-killing attack that will really enrage the U.S.. Because if that happens, millions on millions of Arabs will die and my country will be transformed by its rage into something I won’t like.

-Eric Raymond.

14 December 2005

Rohan's Meme

TEN YEARS AGO I WAS:
I was working at a decent job making enough money to pay my bills and buy a pretty nice used car. I also got to game every weekend with close friends.

FIVE YEARS AGO I WAS:
I was working at a decent job making enough money to pay my bills just barely and my car was reposessed. The close friends are in another state. I also got married.

ONE YEAR AGO I WAS:
Trapped here, unemployed, taking care of the retarded kid that I love, but am crushed under the realization that this is really as good as he will ever be.

YESTERDAY I:
Trapped here, unemployed, taking care of the retarded kid that I love, but am crushed under the realization that this is really as good as he will ever be.

FIVE SNACKS I ENJOY:
Pringles
Chips and Salsa
Beer
Vodka
Scotch

FIVE THINGS I WOULD DO WITH 100 MILLION DOLLARS:
Buy a house in the middle of nowhere with a huge garage.
Buy a classic muscle car.
Buy a WW2 Warbird, like a P-47D-27
Buy a gun collection.
Give 2 million to a charity.

TWO FAVORITE TV SHOWS:
Battlestar Galactica
Farscape

FIVE BAD HABITS:
Negative thinking
Drinking too much
Cursing
Yelling
Giving advice to people who really don't want it

FIVE BIGGEST JOYS:
Gaming
Hot Rodding
Flight Sims
Beer
Friends actually following my advice and succeeding

13 December 2005

The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe

Outstanding! Very well done and entertaining.

All of the tear jerking scenes are still intact and you cry anyway, "NO! Don't shoot Ol' Yeller this time, Arliss!"

I am SO geeked out by the gryphons. They are just the coolest.

The special effects are totally awesome.

Tilda Swinton did an excellent job, as usual. She's one of my favorite actresses.

And I didn't even know that Liam Neeson was Aslan. And I couldn't place his voice until I read the credits.

One thing that really stands out though. No blood. There was a battle, and not a single bit of blood, guts or gore. Proof that an anatomy lesson is not required to have an effective battle sequence.

Just For You RavenclawEric



https://www.stagarms.com/left-handed-rifles/

Finally a mouse-slayer that won't force you to eat brass!

06 December 2005

SNAP!



You Passed the US Citizenship Test



Congratulations - you got 10 out of 10 correct!