January 25, 2005

Science Fiction

Viewing By Category : Science Fiction / Main

February 15, 2005

Jedi Ethics

The first thing I recall about the Jedi Dark vs Light, was when Luke Skywalker was facing off with Palpatine. Palpatine was trying to "convert" Luke to the Daaark Side. As far as I knew back then, the Dark Side was one about pure unbridled Power. Power to abuse others, power to blow up planets, power to choke people that you don't like. Basically, bullies. The Light Side, as I saw it back then, was basically Yoda cracking wise. Funny, personable, strict even.

It was a great morality lesson to anyone that was young or impressionable. Because it impresses us with a greater and more dramatic depiction of Good vs Evil, Right vs Wrong, and such and such. It was gripping, the Star Wars Episodes. Very gripping, and unlike current day features, it grips without carping and telling craphoods. Carping and craphoods are like the Matrix. The sheer imagination of the Matrix speaks for itself, the truth of it in how we can apply it to present day circumstances... leaves something to be desired. A fun watch, but Truth? Ethics? I think not. When an Agent takes someone's body as hostage, and you blow them away all the time, is an example of an "ideal". It is not gritty in the sense of the realism of Black Hawk Down, nor in the sense of Rules of Engagement handed down to Marines in Fallujah.

This was where Star Wars was best remembered for, in my memories.

After playing Knights of the Old Republic, having already played the X-Wing and Tie Fighter series and the Jedi Knight/Dark Forces series, I understood the Force, the Dark Side, and the Light Side far more. Not in terms of movie like action sequences like "What did Yoda do to counter that Dark Jedi lightning", though I did understand that, but the basic philosophy of dark vs light.

I remember Jedi Academy (Jedi Knight III) where Katarn says to the player character, that force powers are not evil or good themselves, but depend solely in how they are used. Therefore I thought, that meant while you may see Force Choke, Force Lightning, and Force uh Lightning used by Dark Jedi only, it is not restricted to those whom are evil. A great gameplay justification to use the cool powers of Force Lightning and Force Choke on some stormtroopers, yet there were some inconsistencies. Like, what do they mean when they say a place has the "feel" of the Dark Side? If the Force is simply the energy that binds all living things, and Force Powers can be used for Good or Evil, why would a place have the designation of being Evil? Is the Force sentient? If the Force is sentient, then how can it be just a tool? If someone fell to the Dark Side, does their free choice taint the Force or is the Force tainting their free will?

Those were the questions reverberating inside my head, and I could find no answers as it was just a game, one in which you played the role of a Jedi, saw some cool effects, and got to slaughter things with a lightsaber and force powers. What use there to philosophy and Truth? Hinderances, are of little use.

And yet, "Jedi" was a mysterious term and idea that I eventually realized had myzmerized me. Myzmerized me like many other fans of Star Wars, but unlike many others, I am an individual interested in the truth of the matter. The deeper meaning, the importance of the thing behind the surface. Star Wars: The Knights of the Old Republic gave me the knowledge and the experience, to finally answer some of those questions. Even though by answering some questions, it raised many more. But then, what do you expect of a universe with the Force and cryptic Jedis?

Let us start at the beginning, or rather the prequel. In Episode 1, we saw Anakin taken in as a Jedi. Now like most people, I probably believed that it was like any other academy or boarding school. You go away for awhile, then return like the prodigal son, only... more like the son of God. In Episode 2, we see Anakin as a Padawan and arguing with his master. I then learned that Anakin was separated from his mother... apparently for the duration which apparenty was until he graduated from Padawan. It was like he got disowned and now the Jedi Order were his parents... sorta like the military except in the military they recognize that discipline is made better by making people recognize that now they owe a higher loyalty than loyalty to family. The Jedi Order, apparently came up with a more eloquent monkish solution. Just separate them from their parents altogether... permanently. Don't even allow the children to grow up with those parents, instead take them when they are young. Better to "teach" the Force, they say. Also better to ingrain the Jedi Order of pacifism, non-aggression, and basically Buddhist/Tibetan Monk philosophy.

Block off all emotions.

No money.

Do not have relationships with other Jedi.

Do not place importance in your family.

Do not meet aggression with aggression.

Do not use the Force to attack someone, unless in self-defense.

Basically, you get the jest. What is more, these Monks are in charge of a GALACTIC order that is supposed to protect the Republic from internal and external instabilities. Wow, Tibetan monks with beliefs wired for a closed in, freerider universe, in charge of policing political and military power. What a nice combination, wonder who thought that up? The First of the Jedi perhaps?

As KOTOR said it, it is the Jedi Code.

I recall a lesson about virtue from Den Beste. Virtue is the act of not falling for temptation when it is full in the face. Virtue is not someone who has gone his entire life avoiding falling to temptation, simply because temptation has never been offered to him. Den Beste used the example of the faithful husband/wife. If a wife knew that she could get away with adultery, but never found a man she wanted other than her husband, then that wife cannot be truely said to be virtuous in being faithful to her marriage. On the other hand, if a wife knew she couldn't get away with adultery, and found someone she was attracted to and wanted to committ adultery with, but didn't actually go through with it because of the fear of being caught. Then of course, she cannot also be called virtuous in resisting temptation. Someone can only be virtuous in this case, if they are attracted to someone, they get the chance to committ adultery, and they know they won't be caught but without doing any adultery.

Therefore someone who has lived a life of temptation and resisted it, has a higher chance of resisting GREATER TEMPTATIONS in the future. Whereas someone who has lived his life sheltered and separate from the real world, would have a far less likely chance of resisting if the temptation was great at first.

And that is what the Dark Side is. The temptation for power, knowledge, and influence. It is not a coincidence that it is the young jedis who turn to the Dark Side, and it is also not a coincidence that the original Sith Lords were also turned to the Dark Side when they were young.

The Jedi Philosophy talks much about subliminating emotion and resisting the Dark Side, they speak about anger and other emotions being the path to the Dark Side, but they do not understand the Force as much as they believe they do.

Revan was a Dark Jedi character in KOTOR, Revan was a Consular who sought out knowledge of ancient mysteries. His intelligence and capabilities with the Force were great, and when he used them to aid the Republic against the Mandalorian invaders, he won a stunning military victory with a raggedy assed Republic Fleet. The Jedi Council, however, wanted to wait things out much as the UN might have. Except the Jedi Council's decision was not because of greed or bureacratic red tape, but a central philosophy that they were exhalted among humans and therefore were capable of seeing others other people could not. And therefore while other people could stumble blindly into the dark by meeting aggression with "more aggression" as they say it (cycle of violence reference), the Jedi believed themselves powerful enough to delve deeply into the heart of the matter, speak a magical word, and everything would be solved. The Jedi accuses the Sith of being arrogant, but it is the philosophy of the Jedi Order concerning their Force powers and "wisdom" that is the true arrogance.

Revan fell into the Dark Side on his journey to fight the Mandalorians. He fell because of his thirst for knowledge, which lead to the thirst for power. He did not have any family members to tell him "you too are mortal". All he had, was his teachings as a Jedi Padawan from when he was a child to what he was today. Cut off from human emotions and human experiences, Revan believed himself immune to the Human Condition. The Jedi taught him that the Human Condition didn't apply to the special exhalted ones that can use the Force, but instead of thinking as the Jedi wanted him to think, Revan took that philosophical conclusion and went somewhere else with it. Instead of believing in the power of Will and Force, to suppress and isolate human emotions and fallibilities like "love, loyalty, righteous anger, hate, fear", Revan believed those things could benefit and help you to do good.

Revan's path was paved with Good Intentions, as it was with all the truely powerful Dark Jedi of the Sith. They believed that there was benefit to loving one's family and fighting by them, he believed it was right to be angry at injustices done and to hate evil and fear those whom are more powerful. Like Anakin Skywalker, the truely great Jedi pierced through the cloud of indoctrination that was the Jedi Order. Yet... their fate was still sealed, because there was NOTHING there once the cloud was broken. Without that indoctrination, any Jedi would be open to "any" temptation or philosophy or emotions. Therefore, Anakin Skywalker felt righteous anger and embraced it, but he also threw away all the good things like compassion, mercy, and protection of the innocent and weak. In some ways, he had to throw them away, because if he didn't, he couldn't have given Justice to the Tuskan Raiders who caused the death of his mother. Revan once having violated the Jedi Council's order not to help the Republic stop the Mandalorian invasion, felt less and less restrictions to doing things and learning knowledge that the Jedi Council thought dangerous and forbidden.

It is a story of the complex tapestry of human will, human emotions, and human fate. Much can be done if we choose it, but we cannot succede in doing so without the experiences that life gives us. We cannot kill and kill and kill to defend the weak and to avenge the slaughtered, without a family to anchor us, without loved ones to MAKE us want to be what they loved instead of a murderer. The people who loves you, the people who are important to you, they are the ones that are your prosthetic conscience when all else has faded away into nothingness. And the Jedi Order did a bang up job of removing the fail safes that humanity puts onto itself, as a protection against the Dark Side.

Naruto the anime series shown on Japanese TV has many of these elements, only Naruto did it right while the Jedi fucked things up. I also recall Terry Goodkind's Stone of Tears, wherein the SIsters of Light operated much as the Jedi of the Light side did.

Revan was a great and powerful Jedi, and so was Anakin Skywalker. But, because of the stupidity of the Jedi elite and their facilitation of Evil through ignoring and shutting out human emotions nd tendencies, the Jedi Order is the root cause of all Evil. It is not a coincidence that when the Jedi Order disbanded during Palpatine's Reign, that you don't see DARK JEDI everywhere in the New Hope.

Dark Jedi don't train more Dark Jedi, just as Dictators don't train more Dictators to go out and take over other countries. They are stable, if stagnant, focusing only on their power, rather than the legacy they leave behind for others. It is only Light Jedi that convinces poor stupid fools that they can do Good if they follow their teachings, much as the pacifists believe while aiding and abetting the true killers.

And that is why Revan didn't want to destroy the Jedi Order so much as he wanted to conquer it and the Republic. Because Revan knew what the Jedi Order was. And many other Sith Lords probably knew in their subconscious that destroying the Jedi Order was the only salvation they could offer to future generations.

It is a sad, sad tale. But one in which I have percieved, and one in which George Lucas has forgotten. His movies would be beyond Matrix quality, if he highlighted the problems of the Jedi Order in Episode 1 or 2. Instead, he focuses on the lightsaber combat which is over before you know it, and the deep space battles where you don't have to think about anything unlike Battlestar Galactica which treats the viewers a bit more intelligently.

The stun effect of the Star Destroyers in the opening sequences of the New Hope, cannot be surpassed by outdated "Victory" class Star Destroyers 20 years past. I would have been interested to see the Eclipse Star Destroyer that Luke destroyed with the Force, but Episode 1 Star Destroyers? Ha, good luck in trying to impress people with those that have seen the real deal, even with better CGI.

It was only the CONCEPT that stunned, never the exact images. The concept of something that huge, is what was stunning. That concept is now known. George Lucas has forgotten this.

And I think he has good reason to. If he didn't, he would immediately see the Truth of World Events, an unpleasant truth indeed. He might even understand why his Hollywood fake liberalism was wrong. But so long as he ignores the fundamental human truths of his Star Wars legacy, he is able to ignore that which fuels and drives the best of us.

The Star Wars original trilogy was great because "GEORGE LUCAS: When STAR WARS came out, I said it didnt turn out the way I wantedits 25 percent of what I wanted it to be."

It is not the suppression of hate, rage, fear, and love, but the compression and manipulation of those emotions that shape us for the good. Rage is not to be suppressed, it is to be controlled and harnessed. Fight fire with fire; the brush fire is contrasted with the controlled burning that the firefighters use.

That, is all I have to say about the "Jedi Code". What poppycock.

February 9, 2005

Knights of the Old Republic II


It is Good vs Evil. Here are some non-fictional -or ah, fictional- things that are relevant.

Without a doubt the story from Iraq is a compelling one. And a fundamental example of good vs evil. Those who'd offer excuses or moral equivalency lectures in response to insurgents beheading Iraqis or disemboweling aid workers, mortaring homes or striking at schools with car bombs have clearly chosen sides. Don't blame us if we kill you, you have only yourselves to blame, cries an "insurgent" - and around the world certain heads nod.

Still others might recall this quote from a recent movie: "A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down, but it is not this day. This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you *stand, Men of the West!"

Aragorn, of course, from The Return of the King. There have been numerous superficial comparisons made between current events and the Lord of the Rings, and the appearance of the movie at this point in history was certainly fortuitous. Successful films reflect the times, and though no one knew at the time these films were being made exactly what the world situation would be upon their release they've meshed amazingly well. Gandalf's response to Frodo's lament that "I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened." seemed extraordinarily fit for 2001: "So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work, Frodo, than the will of evil.

Or the next year, as the US prepared to go into Iraq, Grima dismissed Gandalf as a warmonger in the court of Theoden. Later, Theoden: I will not risk open war. Aragorn: Open war is upon you whether you would risk it or not. Later still: Aragorn: You have some skill with a blade. Eowyn: The women of this country learned long ago, those without swords can still die upon them.

In spite of the chillingly accurate applicability, it's not the superficial and obvious comparisons that make the real connection to modern events; it's the underlying theme of the books that rings true. For Tolkien's story was much larger, much grander than the trilogy, after all. That tale was of but one battle in an ongoing war, and references to the larger theme gave the books a depth that most imitators lack. Tolkein had fleshed out that larger history before he began his sequel to The Hobbit, it was in fact his true life's work. And that grand story was of the eternal struggle between good and evil, and that's why the books sell today and why the movies have an appeal to a worldwide audience unmatched by anything else. Tolkein tapped into something fundamental that dwells within us all, the conflict of the positive and the negative, of darkness and light, good and evil that struggles in each soul, as it does in the world at large. And that is why the words of the characters have a resonance with us today.

I harbor no illusions about what we're doing, and I certainly don't imagine myself as a warrior at the gates of Mordor. But tomorrow is yet another skirmish in the real world war, the one I've personally been involved in for 20 years now. I'll predict a victory for the good guys.

After all, there are other forces at work, Frodo, than what you read in the papers.

From Mudville

February 3, 2005

Voyager's Unforgetable Episode

This was a rather dramatic episode.

What I'm going to write about is the ending. Or rather, the epilogue so to speak. It is where Neelix comforts Chakotay about failing to convince his love to remain with him, contrasted with the way Kellin remained with Chakotay.

The episode's gripping, in a heart felt way. But it was Neelix's explanation that was totally irrational. He described love as some kind of fate, some kind of random variable that just simply pops up. It's like some other writer simply added some fluff fluff lines at the end, compared to the more heartfelt and genuine material in the rest of the episode.

Chakotay loved Kellin partially for her loyalty. The fact that she came back solely for him, the fact that she betrayed her society for her love of him. And in the end, Kellin remains loyal to what she knows and remembers, she simply does not remember any higher loyalty. So in an ironic sense, Chakotay lost Kellin because of who she was, not simply the fact that he couldn't convince her to stay and try and remember what they had.

Neenix, however, speaks like love is not a summation of people's integral values, but some hippy like grove thing. Either you're in the groove, or you're not... that's retarded.

Another thing, the fracking criminal who erased someone's memory and their free will, was just let go by Voyager. Obviously the leftist philosophy in the center of voyager cares nothing for a person's dying last wish, nor do they really care for individual liberty. As much as Janeway touts humanity and individualism, they are more of a social heirarchy than any true individualist society. It reminds me of the Modern Left, where they do not care so much for the poor and humanity, as they care to decide what is best for the poor and humanity. Rather than letting people choose of their own free will what to do in life, they make schools do what they tell them to do in affirmative action, they tell the public through judges what they should or should not accept as socially acceptable, they tell the new generation that they are too stupid and ignorant to be given their own money back to supplement social security, and of course they also want to dictate to the military what they should be doing against their wish to stay until the job is done. Individual liberty is a stumbling block to a progressive agenda, because a progressive agenda can not progress if the people dislike it.

Multiculturalists who don't give a pock about individual human rights, all they care about is obeying the laws of other cultures.

Jeez, that must be the enlightened Dutch scheiss. Hopefully we can become as enlightened as Star Trek has become.

January 27, 2005

Voyager's Retarded Defenses

I've been watching season 4 of Voyager, specifically the Hirogen mini-plot, composed of about 5 episodes. 2 of them two parters. It was the two part episodes, the Killing Game P1 and P2, that got me thinking.

If Voyager can put holo-emitters on a lot of decks, with a little tinkering, then what in God's name are they freaking waiting for?

Every so often you get an episode where Voyager gets taken over, and you have security detachments WALKING to the enemy. Even though they have site to site transportation abilities, even though they have a holo doctor that is immune to normal weapons fire, even though they have technology that can make ENERGY into MATTER, and complex matter at that, they STILL act like a merchant ship. There are no freaking internal defense turrents, no autoturrents, no mine fields, no automatic nerve/anesthetic gas tanks in strategic zones to stop boarders.

When boarders come slicing in, Voyager is a god damn sheep. And even though this was designed as an exploration ship, they have had 4 years to adapt and change the way their systems worked for the most efficient, and they haven't done so. They are willing, the writers, to offer token changes like the Borg Shields in the Borg Alliance plot line, but then they get RID of it.

And I'm here thinking, what are these people Smoking?

Let's take their holotechnology for example. As far as I know, this technology creates, using holo-emitters that can be setup planetside or any place in the ship, matter of any configuration out of pure energy and light. Whether it is TNT, lead, gold, flesh, carbon based life forms, it can RECREATE the exact effects of normal matter. Even if it is "holographic" as they speak of it. The pistols of the WWII era function the same, according to the same physics. They can replicate food that they can consume, which are molecularly sound and stable. They can replace HIGH technology such as their tools, and I presume their weapons. Perhaps they can even replicate anti-matter, but it seems they cannot as they keep searching for deuterium. But none of that, actually matters to using the holographic technology as an offensive and defensive weapon.

All they have to do, like in the Killing Game, is set up emitters on all the important locations on the ship. The bridge, engineering, the armory, etc. Then only turn on the emitters, as they seem to take up quite a bit of anti-matter power, when there's an intruder. Auto-turrents of any design, energy, particle, or mass based can materialize and take out any intruder based upon the programing of the hologram. If they can create sentient holograms and life like characters in the holoroom, there is no reason why they can't make an AI that's worth its beans in processing weight.

Then they can also materialize hand held weapons, personal shields, physical barriers, and any other thing they require on the bridge, so long as the holo-emitters are on line and have power. So when the Borg materializes and thinks they are the shit, we turn on the autoturrents and see how fast they can adapt to a projectile that is massive and thrown with great force. Or how fast they adapt to a monomolecular blades that is sticking out from 10 different directions around them, implaing the borg drones.

Energy shields don't do crap against mass. We can forget all this "modulation" nonsense. And since humans seem weaker than cyborg drones enhanced with nano-based implants, then all the humans need is to materialize a powersuit on their bodies that use servo-muscles to rip the drones in two. The suits would be of course powered by the holo-matrix.

And the holograms themselves, they can even be made to be sentient, to operate according to an AI. We can materialize android guards with 10 times the strength and endurance of a human and have them stampede the intruders. They are also expendable, as they are energy formed into matter, and can be recycled if damaged.

Matter, energy, everything passes through those holograms at WILL, and then they stick their light based hand into your neck, and then make their hand solid and rip out your spinal cord. I think that would be a pretty good defense against boarders of any type, physiology, technology, and alien origin.

It will of course take out power from shields, weapons, and propulsion but then if you're being boarded the shields are already down, the weapons were obviously not effective enough, and it is obviously too late to run now.

With Voyager's lacking any freaking BACKUP systems at all, the weapons would probably go off line with the damage of a main power conduit, far more often than the de-centralized holo-emitters would. If the holo-emitters had their own backup generators and power supply. Which is another reason why the people who designed Voyager, a Starship, like people would design merchant ships. VOlume, functionality, and expense. Whoever designed Voyager obviously doesn't know how to make a STARSHIP, let alone a warship.

Aside from the utter inanities of Star Trek, the magical technology they have described in Star Trek have many benefits. If only their equivalent of the UN, weren't in charge of Star Fleet. David Weber's characters would absolutely ape shit and ballistic if they had to a technology that could create mass from energy and light sources, mass that can phase between matter and energy at will, according to "programs". Add in holograms that are sentient and we can produce a Navy that knows no planetary or spacial boundaries.

It would even make more sense historically and idealistically. A free scientific community can create technology that any old collective cannot or would not. As the borg have no use for entertainment like holograms, but humans do, and the holograms have resulted in a technology that is far superior in military abilities than the borg ever produced.

If they can create an emitter that emits out into space, for short or medium ranges, then all they have to do is grapple with a borg ship and then create 50 anti-matter warheads outside the borg's shields. So long as they have energy, and any Star Trek ship should with a PROPER energy infrastructure, a starship can effectively have infinite logistical support and munitions with Star Trek's replication technology.

When 50, 10 gigaton explosions concentrated in a shape charge against one spot of a borg's hull and shields, there won't be a borg "cube" left. Heck, there might not be a planet left either. If their emitters are off, all they have to do is replicate all the warheads in a cargo room, assemble them, and teleport them next to the borg's shields.

One of the problems with Star Trek is its magical technology, yes, but the main problem is that the magical technology is too innovative and new for technology conservatives and social progressives to grasp, and since they are the ones writing the episodes the influence is noticeable.

All this requires energy, but with anti-matter power resources, there is absolutely no reason for a lack of "power". To get power all they need is collide more anti-protons or whatever they use.

Heck, they can spew a bunch of anti-protons using their PHASERS for technology's sake.

Hit a ship without their shields with THAT, and [

Death solves all problems - no man, no problem. Joseph Stalin
] problem solved.

January 17, 2005


I was watching Season 4 of Voyager, and I got across episode number 4 or 5, which was titled "Nemesis".

Now, I was never a big Voyager fan, and I probably missed out on the entire Seven of Nine fantasy reality that seemingly popped in Trekie circles, and yet I still remember liking the exploration values. This was when I was still a bleeding heart liberal, however. I had not yet been asked the question every bleeding heart liberal will be asked sometime in their lifetime, the unlucky ones never get asked. And that question is, "Are you willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish the goals and the values you so cherish as a liberal?"

I eventually answered that as, yes, since I finally got access to sources of information that wasn't biased towards Hollywood perspectives. Like the oh so pervasive perspective that if something has discipline, order, and military culture, then that is fascist, evil, and shortsightedly dumb. I have come to see the military, as not an extension of force or brutality, but as the consequence of reality. A good military only comes about if their core values of esprit de corp, camaderie, duty, sacrifice, and honor are valid and everlasting. True, in a sense, they must be true. Or as true as human minds and hands can make it.

So that was the leading indictator, to me at all times, whether someone had a bleeding heart liberal bias, or a bleeding heart liberal bias after answering the Question. Those who answered the question as No, and then decieved themselves by remembering the answer as yes, or those who were [never] asked that question, will always depict the military, any military, as Evil basically. Those who do recognize that one cannot achieve the Good, human rights, liberty, and etc without force, without power, without an adherence to reality and causality. People like Roosevelt, Truman, and JFK all understood that fact. They understood that the military, force in metaphorical terms, is a valid means to achieve ends. The first and only President, of anyone in the world, to ever drop a nuke in wartime on civilian targets was not a radical, he was not a Bleeding Heart Liberal, he was not a isolationist, he was not a fascist, he was not a communist, he was not a socialist, he was not a monarchist, he was definitely not an aristocrat... he was a Democrat. A liberal, in the sense that Ronald Reagan said he is a liberal before he exited the Democrat party.

Truman understood that some means precluded certain ends. Which means of course, if you want someone's loyalty, true loyalty, you are not going to torture them, kidnap their children, and rape the person's spouse. You can obtain obedience, subservience, fear. But not respect, not loyalty, not willing sacrifice. The sacrifice any soldier would make should he have had to decide between his own life and the life os his buddies. And some will even sacrifice for their nation, by ramming reinforced cockpit doors in order to save their own lives, and those of people in the capital building. Some cynics will say that they were simply afraid for their lives, and acted out of self-preservation. Yet, they are the ones who decieve themselves in believing that a person who knows that in usual hijacking situations up till now, passengers are not supposed to fight as that will endanger more people. Passengers are supposed to be docile, like little sheep, and wait for big government to save them. If they had fear, fearwould have made them sit down and shut up. But instead, these people, these Americans, used their brains, they used the means at their disposal to gather information. And when that information became more and more clear, they realized that they had to do think. They Realized the reality that they were in, and they chose to do something about it. Many of the hijacked flights had deaths and injuries, because as the European say, "those dumb American cowboys, that's what they get for trying to be a hero, instead of letting people more qualified to handle the hijackers". One flight did not have injuries, and that flight was one of the first to fly into the towers.

I can believe that someone might react out of fear and attack a hijacker out of preservation. I do not believe for a second that the people who succeded in nullifying Flight 93's hijackers, did not think about what they were doing, the consequences of it, and the alternative options available. They voted, they voted about a subject where fear would have made most people object.. at least in the movies they would have. They unified, they became one purpose, one will. The Democrats believe unity is the crushing of dissent and alternative opinions, i.e. Zell Miller. Real people, understand that unity is the unity of purpose, of will, and of determination. Self-preservation, is the very anti-thesis of "unity".

So, the point of course is that a nation who produces such people who act in such ways, and does it in such a way that benefits the nation, is a nation that benefits from benefiting her citizens. And her citizens therefore benefit, by heling out their nation. That is the means, to a certain end. Which is why many bleeding heart liberals want a bigger government. They do not want what is best for the citizens, they want what is best for the government. But desire for the best in government, may only come from the means of desiring the best for the citizens as well. And in the end, that means the desire to help the citizens defend themselves, instead of relying on anything or anyone else. That, is what it means to have a means that precludes certain ends.

To want to live, one must kill. To want to save someone, one must kill. The willingness to kill and the physical act of doing it, is metaphorically the same if not causally the same. Therefore Truman understood that if he wanted to save people, his own and Japan's, he must kill, and on a grand scale.

That determination, that will, that acceptance of reality, where has it gone in today's Democratic party? To the Republicans of course. JFK said it best, do not ask what your country may do for you, but what you can do for your country. JFK understood intuitively or intrinsically that the power is always in the people's hands, the people though must exercise it. And given that our society is mostly designed to have the government exercise the power given to it by the people, the people need experience and training so as to never forget that 1) the power is theirs and 2) how or when to use it.

Therefore JFK understood that the people cannot let the government do everything for them, or else why allow the people power if they will not use it? A power vacuum will always be filled. --------- The first few seconds as I watched the Voyager episode, Nemesis, I witnessed a dark forest like area where a bunch of people with automatic assault rifles were sneaking through, at night. The first thought that came to my mind was, "Oh boy, here we go, the militaristic jarheads and their brutality is going to here soon". Since I knew intuitively that the writers for Voyager was never going to portray military people, especially Special Forces lookalikes in the dead of night, to be the Good Guys. No fucking way in hell and damnation, would they do that. It is inconcievable, in fact. Which is why when the introduction ended at Chekotah, Voyager's XO, being captured by these military dudes that I wasn't particularly surprised.

However, things didn't progress like I expected them to. As the episode first portrayed Chekotah as trying to get back to his crew, which was in orbit, but he was now stranded here on this planet because he was shot down. By the "Nemesis" he is told, by his captors. The first divergence from the big bad military wolf perspective, came when the CO of the squad/platoon sized group grilled the guy who ordered Chekotah bound and restrained. He said, quite intelligently, that he doesn't look like the Nemesis, his clothes aren't those of the Nemesis, therefore he is not the Nemesis. In a sort of poetic singsong, which though strange, eventually became quite charming. So this divergence, is the portrayal of the leader of a military type group, with severe discipline, as quite smart and intelligent. Maybe not compassionate, but certainly not the paranoid thug you usually think of.

Of course, the whole "Nemesis" business gives the viewer a hint that these guys are just fighting a war where no side is better or worse. As they portray the Nemesis as animals, scary, and utterly devoid of compassion. Chekotah is skeptical of course, which mirrors the expected reaction out of the audience, me.

Along the way, a green recruit is introduced to Chekotah, as someone who has never faced combat or nullified a Nemesis. This plot plays along in a rather interesting fashion. As Chekotah demanded to see his shuttle, and so the leader asked for a volunteer to escort Chekotah. The green recruit was asked, but was hesitant because of fear and doubt. Then a veteran volunteered, which in the end, died to protect Chekotah. The green recruit then tells Chekotah, as he was teaching him how to shoot slug throwers, about how he was responsible because of his doubt and his cowardice. Chekotah tells him however, that fear is natural, and when asked about whether he killed even while being afraid, Chekotah said yes. The green recruit concluded, on screen, that it was not him who "drilled" (shooting lessons) Chekotah, but that was it Chekotah who drilled him in how to overcome his fear and bring on the "rages". Anyone would be proud of that moment, and quite pleased. Bonding results, the men of the platoon seems more human, instead of thug like. This is probably the second indication that the troops aren't evil.

Then comes some action scenes and Chekotah gets wounded and separated. He comes across a village, of old men, women, and children who were not fit enough for war and is greeted as a hero. Reminds me of when our troops are greeted when they came back. Before, all you heard were tales about how the Nemesis staked the dead facing the sky so as they never enter the peace of the afterlife, how they bomb villages, take people prisoner as forced labor, their women, sisters, and land. All that was abstract before, hearsay, but now you see for yourself the plight of a small village, and how grateful they are for the people protecting them. Truly grateful, none of that fake Democratic bleeding heart compassion over troops without "armor".

As they tend to his wounds and give him food, he comes to know their stories and desires. Eventually he leaves in the morning, only to hear planes overhead, heading towards the village. He returns only to find them rounding up the survivors, and before he could shoot anyone of them, he is captured from behind.

After that, we get to see the "Nemesis" up close and personal, and boy are they ugly bastards. Brutal to prisoners too, "Geneva Convention" would probably be a joke to them. THey were rounding up the old men and the sickly to the "extermination" camps since they were too weak to work, so why feed them? Reminescent of Nazi Germany, for sure.

While this is going on, Janeway is talking to what she believes to be the legitimate government on the planet, and when she beams aboard the laisions, they aren't the people helping Chekotah.. in fact they look exactly like the Nemesis. Suspense time. Will they help Janeway locate Chekotah or are they buying time?

Chekotah tried to stop the Nemesis from taking a little girl he had grown to know, only to be knocked unconscious by the guards and staked out to die of dehydration. He is rescued by the leader of the platoon that helped him out before, and instead of going back to his ship, he decides to remain and help spring the prisoners. Quite noble.

And therefore, I was wrong that the writers were incapable of portraying military people as good people. I was quite wrong... in underestimating their talents. Because they did not just show military people as evil, they showed the very concepts that powered military as evil and misguided.

Because in the end, Chekotah realizes that he had been brainwashed by "sophisticated" techniques designed to instill loyalty in him and to get him to fight. All of those fights he had been in, the village, were all holographic simulations of some sort or another. In the end, the ambassadors from the planet, those who know exactly like those butt ugly Nemesis, comes on board to meet Chekotah. TO which he then leaves abruptly, and says "I only wish it was as easy to start hating as it was to stop". Nice eh?

So let's get this straight. Instilling loyalty and comraderie, sacrifice, honor, duty, are "propaganda techniques" right? So of course the military troops aren't evil, they're just misguided DRONES fighting for the causes of the really evil, like Bush for example.

And how about that last line about hate, eh? It was easy for Chekotah to hate someone because he saw them as unjust, brutal monsters. Yet he then says it is not easy to stop hating, once he finds out the truth that they are not monsters. So... obviously one must conclude that hate festers and if we hate Al Qaeda, then that makes us irrational... or something like that. Or perhaps they think hate isn't decidied by the choice we make, but is rather instead an entity itself that feeds and grows regardless of what we do or who we are.

So of COURRSE Al Qaeda hates us, they can't stop hating us,it is not because they haven't tried, it because they CAN'T. Right...

See, the fault isn't in Chekotah, he was taught to hate by others, indoctrinated. He can't stop. Therefore it is the fault of those who caused Chekotah to hate the Nemesis in the first place, just as it is the fault of the US that we were the ones who brought about the situation that placed the hate in the terroist's heart.

The thing is, and my conclusion, is that liberal bleeding hearts operate on one level, a level that is independent of reality. And everything they say and do, is consistent with that level of reality, but is not consistent on real reality. Because they think simply deciding hate is bad and should never be felt, somehow is going to change real reality because they feel they are right and reality is wrong.

This episode was written long before 9/11, but the ideas present in it, the "superior propaganda" techniques are quite the norm of the bleeding hearts. They use it to crush dissent, and reprogram hapless individuals who watch the kind of shows that hire such writers. A much better propaganda in my opinion, than Fahrenheit. Though I regret, I cannot compare it to Leni Riefenstahl.

I can say one more thing however, which is that this propaganda works better on bleeding heart liberals that haven't had a chance to answer the Question, in either Yes or No. Therefore having them watch this show, makes them more likely to answer no instead of Yes, we will do what it takes, even if it includes hate and force, to accomplish the objectives of liberty and human rights. Because the way the show is designed, is quite ingenious. Just like in the show, Chekotah bonds with simulated people and then is manipulated to fighting for them. The audience bonds also with the ideals of sacrifice, hating enemies that ought to be hated, and so on. And just as when Chekotah was betrayed and wouldn't fight for them anymore, the audience feels betrays and won't fight for those ideals anymore. In the end, they are simply manipulated into hating the group that represents such values, because those values are seen as fake by the audience in the end, an extension of the propaganda by our government. After feeling good about the brave green recruit, only to see him killed, and then to recognize that they had been betrayed even in that, that it was all fake. No glory, no sacrifice, no honor. Much sadness results.

It reminds me, in the final end, of how people are manipulated by the Left, who felt betrayed at finding no WMDs. The betrayal was long ago committed by Saddam, UN, France, Russia, and the peaceniks. Yet the American people always tend to blame their government, and in most cases that is healthy, but in this case emotion is manipulated into partisan objectives. And they succeded, if not in the end, at least quite well relatively.

With such reeducation in the mass media, mass entertainment, and public universities, does anyone still wonder why 49% of the vote population voted for such a "weak' candidate as Kerry? I do not certainly. It is a symptom, not the disease.


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