Sunday, July 28, 2013

Military Science Fiction -- Get Some, Oo-Rah!

One of the sub-genres of science fiction and one that has influenced my writing greatly is military science fiction. Generally, military science fiction tells a story in which the principal characters are members of a futuristic military organization and an armed conflict is underway, often in space or on a planet other than Earth, although it can take place on Earth as well. Wikipedia says, "[military science fiction portrays] A detailed description of the conflict, the tactics used for it, and the role of a military service and the individual members of that service forms the basis for a typical work of military science fiction. The stories often use features of actual past or current Earth conflicts, with countries being replaced by planets or galaxies of similar characteristics, battleships replaced by space battleships and certain events changed so that the author can extrapolate what might have occurred." What Wikipedia says is pretty much baloney.

However, "traditional" military science fiction (whatever that is, according to me) extols military values of bravery, sacrifice, sense of duty, and camaraderie. The action is usually described from the point of view of a soldier. Typically, the technology is more advanced than that of the present and is described in detail. In some stories, however, technology is fairly static, and weapons that would be familiar to present-day soldiers are used, but other aspects of society have changed. For example, women may be accepted as equal partners for combat roles. In many military sci-fi stories, technological advances are basic to plot development, but battles are often won more by cleverness or bravery than by technology.

Tom Cruise puts on H. G. Wells
One of the earliest military sci-fi works is, of course, H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds brought vividly to life in an updated 2005 cinema version starring Tom Cruise and one of my all-time favorite sci-fi movies. I file this one under the "Invasion" sub-genre as well as military science fiction.

Future Foreign Legion
Among books, however, I really like the Legion of the Damned series by William C Dietz. Dietz is the author of more than twenty science fiction novels. He grew up in the Seattle area, spent time with the Navy and Marine Corps as a medic, graduated from the University of Washington, lived in Africa for half a year, and has traveled extensively.

In a nutshell, the Legion of the Damned series is about the Foreign Legion in the space-traveling future. The cool thing about it is that many of the soldiers are cyborgs consisting of brains and neural connections in military machines of war. Very far out but somehow Dietz manages to maintain the legendary Legion esprit de corps and code of honor. The series includes the following books:

1. Legion of the Damned (1993)
2. The Final Battle (1995)
3. By Blood Alone (1999)
4. By Force of Arms (2000)
5. For More Than Glory (2003)
6. For Those Who Fell (2004)
7. When All Seems Lost (2007)
8. When Duty Calls (2008)
9. A Fighting Chance (2011)

When the Alien movie series was hot, I came across three books written by Steve Perry that expanded the entire series. Who is Steve Perry? That's what I said at the time.

According to an online bio, Steve Perry was born and raised in the deep south and has lived in Louisiana, California, Washington and Oregon. He is married, has two grown children, two grandsons, two German Shepherd Dogs, and a cat. I also have a cat but I live in Texas. Anyhoo...

The three extensions to the Alien movie series are great fun if you're a fan of the series and should probably be read in order:

1. Earth Hive (1992)
2. Nightmare Asylum (1993)
3. The Female War (1993) (with Stephani Perry (S D Perry))

Perry has also written the following three books in the Aliens Vs Predator movie series:

1. Prey (1994) (with S D Perry)
2. Hunters Planet (1994) (with David Bischoff)
3. Aliens Vs Predator Omnibus (omnibus) (1995) (with David Bischoff and Stephani Perry (S D Perry))

I can't talk about military science fiction without mentioning Starship Troopers by the King of sci-fi himself, Robert Heinlein. Starship Troopers is a classic novel and one of Heinlein's bestsellers. It is the story of a recruit of the future who goes through the toughest boot camp in the universe — and into battle with the Terran Mobile Infantry against a frightening alien enemy.

Sometime during 1958 and 1959, Heinlein ceased work on Stranger in a Strange Land and wrote Starship Troopers. It was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in October and November of 1959 as a serial entitled Starship Soldier. Although originally written as a juvenile novel for New York publishing house Scribner, it was rejected, prompting Heinlein to cease writing juvenile fiction for Scribners, to end his association with them completely, and begin writing books with more adult themes. The novel was eventually published as teenage fiction by G. P. Putnam's Sons.

According to Heinlein, his desire to write Starship Troopers was sparked by the publication of a newspaper advertisement placed by the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy on April 5, 1958 calling for a unilateral suspension of nuclear weapon testing by the United States. In response, Robert and Virginia Heinlein created the small "Patrick Henry League" in an attempt to create support for the U.S. nuclear testing program. During the unsuccessful campaign, Heinlein found himself under attack both from within and outside the science fiction community for his views. Starship Troopers may therefore be viewed as Heinlein both clarifying and defending his military and political views of the time.

The movie of the same name (1997) is quite different from the book; however, I don’t think having seen the movie detracts from the book — probably because the book is much more cerebral than the movie.

One aspect of the book is the notion of a world where government is controlled by individuals who are selected via a grueling process of elimination. This idea fits well with those of us who believe that only those who eschew or disdain leadership roles are exactly the kind of people we want as leaders.

Heinlein solves this problem by creating a society that only allows the military (or ex-military) to vote. Only volunteers are allowed and they are held to incredibly high standards where the slightest mistake or error in judgment can be punished by flogging or death.

Starship Troopers is also action-packed and a bit scary when it comes to the alien bug-monsters.

Speaking of alien bug-monsters, there is also another one of my personal favorites in military sci-fi that is written by a fellow Texan -- Armor, by John Steakley.

John William Steakley, Jr. (July 26, 1951 – November 27, 2010), was born in Cleburne, Texas, and lived most of his life in Texas, aside from brief spells in South America and Hollywood in his youth. Steakley's father owned a Chevrolet dealership in Dallas from 1962 until he sold it in 1999. Steakley attended St. Mark's School and graduated from Colorado Academy, a boarding school in Denver. He then went on to study at Westminster College in Missouri, and at Southern Methodist University, where he received his BA in English.

In 1988, Steakley married photographer Lori Jones; they held their wedding reception in the showroom of a local Subaru dealership. He was an avid golfer and in the mid-1990s carried a single-digit handicap. Steakley was best known for his science fiction writing, publishing two major novels, Armor (1984) and Vampire$ (1990); the latter was the basis for John Carpenter's Vampires movie. Steakley also published four short science fiction and fantasy stories.

Armor is Steakley's masterpiece -- a military sci-fi classic about a future soldier involved in another off-planet "bug war" (gee, wonder where Steakley got that idea?).

Felix, the main character of Armor, is an Earth soldier, encased in special body armor designed to withstand Earth's most implacable enemy -- a bio-engineered, insectoid alien horde. But Felix is also equipped with internal mechanisms that enable him, and his fellow soldiers, to survive battle situations that would otherwise destroy a normal (read civilian) man's mind.

Select Steakley quotes:

"Mythology is about Good vs Evil, is it not? We can pretend runes and astrology and reading tea leaves...But to whom do we pray when we are terrified? Carl Sagan's essays?" - John Steakley, online

"He's the best of us. The best of our best, the best that each of us will ever build or ever love. So pray for this Guardian of our growth and choose him well, for if he be not truly blest, then our designs are surely frivolous and our future but a tragic waste of hope. Bless our best and adore for he doth bear our measure to the Cosmos." - John Steakley, Armor, p. 62

"Bullies don't want to fight you. They don't want to fight at all. They simply want to beat you up." - Armor, re-used in Vampire$.

"He manages to survive, not through an inherent craving for life, but through a stubborn refusal of death." - Armor

"You are
What you do
When it counts"

- Armor

Edit: My own attempt at military sci-fi, Song of the Elowai, is also an invasion novel. I came close to making the big time with Song but was dropped when the production people decided to go with another story. I won't say what 1996 movie was made from it but it made the Fresh Prince of Bel Air a megastar. Cheap plug here: Song of the Elowai is only available in ebook form. Go here to order your copy. Do it now.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

1 Person Ceramic Infrared Home Sauna

The Perfect Heat ceramic one person sauna is compact but offers all of the advantages of a larger home sauna.

The Buena Vista ceramic sauna has a smooth sanded, natural finish of solid hemlock wood. It also features a large glass full view door and top to bottom windows for blending in with home decor and creating a spa-like personal getaway.

Dual easy-touch interior and exterior LED control panels offer temperature control from inside or out, and roof and floor vents allow fresh air circulation if desired.

Perfect Heat Saunas comes equipped with a magazine rack, back rest and radio with CD player and AUX mp3 plug-in for the ultimate in comfort! Get comfy with a favorite book while you bask in rejuvenating Total Spectrum infrared heat!

Listed at $794.95. And yes, they also have 2, 3, and 4 person saunas.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Create Your Own Conspiracy Theory

Go here to create your own customized conspiracy theory.
C'mon, don't be shy. It's fun.

Curse of the Ninth

Anton Bruckner died after writing his ninth symphony. So did Beethoven, Schubert, and Dvořák. In the 19th century, a superstition arose that a quick death awaited anyone who wrote nine symphonies.

Arnold Schoenberg wrote: “It seems that the ninth is a limit. He who wants to go beyond it must pass away. It seems as if something might be imparted to us in the Tenth which we ought not yet to know, for which we are not ready. Those who have written a Ninth stood too close to the hereafter.”

Mahler figured he could escape the curse with a decoy: When he finished his ninth, he retitled it “The Song of the Earth” and wrote a second “ninth” symphony. When nothing happened, he told his wife “the danger is past,” started a new work — and died.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

You've probably heard the reference to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse before, right? If you didn't know, the reference is from the Bible, from the Book of Revelation, to be exact. What follows is an explanation of what the Four Horsemen are.

The four horsemen of the Apocalypse are described in Revelation chapter 6, verses 1-8. The four horsemen are symbolic descriptions of different events which will take place in the end times. The first horseman of the Apocalypse is mentioned in Revelation 6:2: “I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.” This first horseman likely refers to the Antichrist, who will be given authority and will conquer all who oppose him. The antichrist is the false imitator of the true Christ, who will also return on a white horse (Revelation 19:11-16).

The second horseman of the Apocalypse appears in Revelation 6:4, “Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.” The second horseman refers to terrible warfare that will break out in the end times. The third horseman is described in Revelation 6:5-6, “...and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, ‘A quart of wheat for a day's wages, and three quarts of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!’” The third horseman of the Apocalypse refers to a great famine that will take place, likely as a result of the wars from the second horseman.

The fourth horseman is mentioned in Revelation 6:8, “I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.” The fourth horseman of the Apocalypse is symbolic of death and devastation. It seems to be a combination of the previous horsemen. The fourth horseman of the Apocalypse will bring further warfare and terrible famines along with awful plagues and diseases. What is most amazing, or perhaps terrifying, is that the four horsemen of the Apocalypse are just “precursors” of even worse judgments that come later in the tribulation (Revelation chapters 8–9 and 16).

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Why I was fired.

Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance occurs when one tries to hold two conflicting thoughts in mind at the same time. That is, when one historically believes in something accepted as unwavering truth and is confronted with evidence that the previously believed "unwavering truth" is not necessarily valid. At that point, what generally happens is that the individual falls back to what he believes is the established, historical truth. This is a psychologically easier position for an individual to adopt because it requires no change in thinking or belief system. The inconvenient truth that caused the cognitive dissonance will most often be shoved aside as an anomaly or as a misperception.

Cognitive dissonance increases with:

  • The importance of the subject to us.
  • How strongly the dissonant thoughts conflict.
  • Our inability to rationalize and explain away the conflict.
Dissonance is often strong when we believe something about ourselves and then do something against that belief. If I believe I am good but do something bad, then the discomfort I feel as a result is cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance is a very powerful motivator which will often lead us to change one or other of the conflicting belief or action. The discomfort often feels like a tension between the two opposing thoughts. To release the tension there are a number of actions we can take:

  • Change our thinking or our behavior.
  • We can justify our behavior by changing the conflicting cognition.
  • We can justify our behavior by adding new cognitions.
  • We can ignore the new, conflicting data -- especially if the old is constantly reinforced. This also works in the opposite paradigm: if the new data is constantly reinforced, we are more likely to adopt the new "truth."
Dissonance is most powerful when it is about our self-image. Feelings of foolishness, immorality and so on (including internal projections during decision-making) are dissonance in action.

If an action has been completed and cannot be undone, then the after-the-fact dissonance compels us to change our beliefs. If beliefs are moved, then the dissonance appears during decision-making, forcing us to take actions we would not have taken before.

For instance, in combat, the taking of life becomes easier with repetition. The same can be said of other situations where violence is applied. With repetition, the actions become easier for the individual to accomplish.

Cognitive dissonance appears in virtually all evaluations and decisions and is the central mechanism by which we experience new differences in the world. When we see other people behave differently to our images of them, when we hold any conflicting thoughts, we experience dissonance.

Dissonance increases with the importance and impact of the decision, along with the difficulty of reversing it.

Self-Perception Theory gives an alternative view

Festinger first developed this theory in the 1950s to explain how members of a cult who were persuaded by their leader, a certain Mrs Keech, that the earth was going to be destroyed on 21st December and that they alone were going to be rescued by aliens, actually increased their commitment to the cult when this did not happen (Festinger himself had infiltrated the cult, and would have been very surprised to meet little green men). The dissonance of the thought of being so stupid was so great that instead they revised their beliefs to meet with obvious facts: that the aliens had, through their concern for the cult, saved the world instead.

In a more mundane experiment, Festinger and Carlsmith got students to lie about a boring task. Those who were paid $1 for the task felt uncomfortable lying. Those who were not paid felt little or no discomfort in lying.

Cognitive dissonance is central to many forms of persuasion to change beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors. The tension can be injected suddenly or allowed to build up over time. People can be moved in many small jumps or one large one.

"The Fox and the Grapes"

A classic illustration of cognitive dissonance is expressed in the fable "The Fox and the Grapes" by Aesop (ca. 620–564 BC). In the story, a fox sees some high-hanging grapes and wishes to eat them. When the fox is unable to think of a way to reach them, he decides that the grapes are probably not worth eating, with the justification the grapes probably are not ripe or that they are sour (hence the common phrase "sour grapes"). This example follows a pattern: one desires something, finds it unattainable, and reduces one's dissonance by criticizing it. Jon Elster calls this pattern "adaptive preference formation".

Belief disconfirmation paradigm

Of course, there are people who know what they are doing is wrong and don't care. Even a simple case that is often brought up by the defenders of the theory of cognitive dissonance — the case of the smoker who continues his habit of smoking even though he knows smoking is unhealthy — doesn't measure up. What is so cognitively uncomfortable about knowing that smoking is unhealthy and doing it anyway?

When people know what they are doing is wrong, they may have such contempt for the rest of us that it doesn't make them the slightest bit uncomfortable conning us. What evidence is there that people who do bad things or believe what they should know is false are concerned about their self-image? Do mafia hit men have to deal with cognitive dissonance so they can sleep at night? I'd like to see the empirical study on that one.

If cognitive dissonance were a problem, it would show up at the level of methods used to evaluate beliefs. Yet, many people seem to have no discomfort using science, logic, and reason to establish one set of beliefs, while using desire, feelings, faith, or the emotional attachment to a charismatic leader to establish another set of beliefs.

On the other hand, who am I to disagree with more than a half-century of scholarship in the social sciences that has firmly established the concept of cognitive dissonance? As the authors of the Wikipedia article on the topic write: "It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology." I don't deny that the concept has been influential. Nor do I deny that it has been extensively studied. What I see, however, when I look at the kinds of studies used to support the validity of the concept is a lot of confirmation bias and something akin to the psi assumption in parapsychology. The general form of the studies in support of cognitive dissonance goes like this: we predict that x will happen if we do y; if x happens when we do y it is because of cognitive dissonance; x happened when we did y, so cognitive dissonance is confirmed. What I don't see is any attempt to formulate a test of the hypothesis that could falsify the claim that cognitive dissonance causes anything. Researchers even go so far as to claim evidence for cognitive dissonance by finding activity (using an fMRI) in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and anterior insula during a test that postulated that cognitive dissonance was occurring when those parts of the brain showed activity. This reasoning seems circular at best. It begs the question. Of the innumerable possible explanations for seeing what was seen in the fMRIs, why should we assume they indicated cognitive dissonance?

Finally, as we learn more about the fundamental tendency of human behavior to be irrational much of the time, is there really a need for a theory like cognitive dissonance to explain why human beings are influenced to do or believe the things they do?

More and more often, it seems individual decisions are really based on greed and what is good for the individual rather than any clear-cut, systematic, or logical understanding.

Comments, arguments? Who among the greedy and self-righteous shall cast the first stone? Or perhaps there are those who would agree? I would be most happy to hear of my readers' examples of cognitive dissonance within their own lives.

Click for larger image. Download for computer desktop wallpaper.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

NASA Admits Alcubierre Drive Initiative: Faster Than The Speed Of Light

NASA is currently working on the first practical field test toward the possibility of faster than light travel.

Traveling faster than light has always been attributed to science fiction, but that all changed when Harold White and his team at NASA started to work on and tweak the Alcubierre Drive. Special relativity may hold true, but to travel faster or at the speed of light we might not need a craft that can travel at that speed. The solution might be to place a craft within a space that is moving faster than the speed of light! Therefore the craft itself does not have to travel at the speed of light from it’s own type of propulsion system.

It’s easier to think about if you think in terms of a flat escalator in an airport. The escalator moves faster than you are walking! In this case, the space encompassing the ship would be moving faster than the ship could fly, keeping all the matter of the ship intact. Therefore, we can move faster than light, in a massless cloud of space-time.

What is the Alcubierre Drive? It’s actually based on Einsteins field equations, it suggests that a spacecraft could achieve faster-than-light travel. Rather than exceed the speed of light alone in a craft, a spacecraft would leap long distances by contracting space in front of it and expanding space behind it. This would result in faster than light travel. Physicist Miguel Alcubierre was the first that we know to identify this possibility. He described it as remaining still on a flat piece of space-time inside a warp bubble that was made to move at “superluminal” (faster than light) velocity. We must not forget that space-time can be warped and distorted, it can be moved. But what about moving sections of space-time that’s created by expanding space-time behind the ship, and by contracting space-time in front of the ship?

This type of concept was also recently illustrated by Mathematician James Hill and Barry Cox at the University of Adelaide. They published a paper in the journal proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

It was once believed that Einsteins theory of special relativity means that faster than light travel is just not possible. This is a misconception, special relativity simply states that the distance you travel depends on how fast you move, for how long you’re moving for. So if you are driving at 70 mph you will have covered 70 miles in one hour. The confusing part is that, no matter how fast you are moving you will always see the speed of light as being the same. It’s similar to sound, if you close your eyes and imagine that the only sense you have is hearing, you will identify things by how they sound. So if a car is driving at a rapid speed and honks its horn, we know that the horn is always tooting the same tone, it’s just the car’s motion that made it appear to change.

Special relativity also showed us that the atoms and molecules that make up matter are connected by electromagnetic fields, the same stuff light is made up of. The object that would break the light speed barrier is made up of the same stuff as the barrier itself. How can an object travel faster than that which links it’s atoms? This was the barrier.

The only problem with our modern day science is that creating distortions in space-time require energy densities that are not yet possible for humans, or so they say. NASA scientists are currently working on tweaking Alcubierre’s model.

Faster-than-light travel, also known as hyper space or “warp” drive from what the masses know for sure is currently at the level of speculation. Although there is already a lot of evidence that shows it is possible and has already been accomplished, mainstream science is still catching up. We are at the point right now where faster-than-light travel is still theoretical, but possible.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

CBS Under The Dome Update

This CBS TV series made from the Stephen King book, Under The Dome, is a bit of a stinker compared to the book. The characters are not what I imagined them to be and there are changes to the story injecting political correctness, such as a lesbian couple I'm pretty sure wasn't in the book. Big Jim so far is not portrayed as the consummate ass he was in the book. His son, Junior, is not the homocidal maniac he was in the book. The methamphetamine drug business is played down in the TV series too. The miniseries is, well, it's television -- watered-down, made for the masses, politically correct, packaged entertainment. What a disappointment.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Powers That Be

from Radio KAOS

The powers that be
They like a tough game
No rules
Some you win, some you lose
Competition's good for you
They're dying to be free
They're the powers that be
They like a bomb proof cadillac
Air conditioned, gold taps,
Back seat gun rack, platinum hub caps
They pick horses for courses
They're the market forces
Nice car Jack
They like order, make-up, lime light power
Game shows, rodeos, star wars, TV
They're the powers that be
If you see them come,
You better run - run
You better run on home

Sisters of mercy better join your brothers
Put a stop to the soap opera right now
They say the toothless get ruthless
You better run on home

You better run - run
You better run on home

The powers that be
They like treats, tricks, carrots and sticks
They like fear and loathing, they like sheep's clothing
And blacked-out vans

Blacked-out vans, contingency plans
They like death or glory, they love a good story
They love a good story

Sisters of mercy better join with your brothers
Put a stop to the soap opera state
They say the toothless get ruthless
Run home before its too late
You better run - run
You better run on home

Billy: Goodnight, Jim.
Jim: Goodnight, Billy.

Paraquat Kelly: Bull heads, three red snapper, one pink snapper and your Pacific coastal trench hose-monster fish.
Cynthia Fox: Ohhh! At Sky David's juke joint of joy reports, forty under the console giggle stick ling cod, twenty-three purple perches four sledgehammerhead sharks, and what a surprise, eighty-four crabs, and no red snappers.
Paraquat Kelly: Hey, and that'll do for the triumphant return of the fish report with a beat.

Jim: We think of it as mainstreet, but to the rest of the country it's Sunset Strip. You're listening to KAOS in Los Angeles.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

TommyBoy Re-Surfaces!

Florida Circuit Judge Debra Nelson (Lft.) -- Chris Farley (Rt.)


A futuristic tale of interplanetary drug-running and the story of two men. One, a has-been trying to work his way back to sobriety, and the other, a man who would be king... as well as immortal. Available in ebook form only at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Sony and other fine ebook retailers.

Smolif by Thomas C. Stone.

"Smolif is Conrad's Heart of Darkness on steroids. Stone's engaging mind has come up with another fascinating story."

-- Stellar Book Reviews

Friday, July 12, 2013

Do Robots Have Souls?

I think not. At least, in this stage of development. Interesting point made in the video that the US is most interested in military applications. Shades of Terminator and Skynet.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Feminization of America

Yo! Adrienne!
This article may disturb some of my readers. That is not my intent. My intent, rather, is to educate and illuminate in order to contribute to a better functioning society. Whether you agree with the contents of this article or not, you probably would agree that our society, America and elsewhere, appears to be headed into chaos that will not, indeed cannot, bring peace.

For those of you who would destroy society in order to seek a utopian vision, you must realize that your vision of the future cannot be obtained without the deaths and subjugation of millions, even billions of people. I would add that the price for the realization of a utopian vision is too high.

Consider then, why we are being overrun with illegal immigrants, why America is hated by Muslim fundamentalists, why are we losing wars with much smaller and weaker adversaries and why is American culture at war with itself? Here is your answer: It's because of the feminization of American men. Politicians, Feminists, Hollywood, and the media have changed the ideal American man from a strong moral male to a weak and submissive female personality. Men are consistently portrayed as ignorant brutish bullies, while the 'educated' and 'enlightened' male is shown as someone who is sensitive and nurturing, even openly homosexual.

A 'mature' adult nowadays is seen as someone who is comfortable talking about their inner conflicts, someone who values personal relationships above goals and morality, someone who isn't afraid to cry. In other words: a mature adult is defined as a woman. The feminization process manifests itself in a number of ways. Consider child discipline. Seventy years ago, doctors agreed that the best way to discipline your child was through punishment.

Spare the rod, spoil the child?
Today, however, spanking is considered child abuse. Instead, parents are told to talk with their children to convince them of the error of their ways. Furthermore, we are told that spanking sends all the wrong messages and the consequences result in soaring drug use, crime, and welfare dependency.

Do you believe that? Or, do you believe the consequences of outlawing corporal punishment result in the same social ills?

This process of feminization manifests whenever you turn on the TV or watch a movie. Throughout the mid-twentieth century, leading men were, as a rule, infallible: think of John Wayne or Ward Cleaver. Unfortunately, the father figure has metamorphosed from the all-knowing, all-wise Ward Cleaver of Leave it to Beaver to the consistent stupidity of Homer Simpson. Commercially successful movies now often feature women who are portrayed as physically aggressive and morally superior, who dominate or at least upstage men. In today's cinema, most of the leading women are strong, and most of the leading men are pretty boys.

A transformation is also under way in the political arena. The feminine outlook has become the mainstream outlook. Keeping women voters happy seems to be the unspoken highest priority for politicians these days -- and for good reason -- America is now controlled by a thoroughly feminized electorate.

Barack Obama is submissive to the female influence because that is his true base, not blacks or other minorities, or immigrants. So, what's causing the shift in our culture?

At the risk of alienating my agnostic friends, I would remind all my readers that Isaiah warned that one of the marks of a nation under divine judgment is when "women rule over them." (Isa. 3:12) Today, women are the heads of businesses, the heads of churches, and the heads of their homes. In politics, the women's vote is usually the one that turns the election. Women serve on military ships and in military operations. They dictate their children's upbringing (which explains why most grow up undisciplined and spoiled) and often have the final word on virtually all family decisions. According to our most cherished religious traditions, such a phenomenon is the sign of a nation in trouble.

In all fairness, men have abandoned their responsibilities, and our nation is suffering because of it. In the black community, the majority of children are raised without a father. The white community is not far behind. Furthermore, in homes where fathers still exist, they are largely detached and provide no real influence. Mom is in charge, and everybody in the household knows it. Despite what some may tell you, it was not always this way.

Dude looks like a lady.
There was a time when men taught their sons the qualities of manhood. Boys grew up learning how to defend themselves and how to control themselves through self-discipline. Young men were taught the importance of physical fitness and such archaic notions as honor and integrity. Today, America's boys only know how to play girls' games. They're terrified over having a bloody nose or getting a bruise. "Soccer Moms" have replaced disciplinarian dads.

There was a time when a man's primary interest was not in guzzling a six-pack of beer and sitting in front of the television while ignoring everyone else in the house. There was a time when men took their families to church and taught their children the fundamental values of honesty and integrity. It's hard to believe now, but there was a time in America when men took pride in being the spiritual heads of their households. They actually knew how to balance a checkbook and how to read the Bible. They were the sort of men women loved and children respected.

However, the feminization of America is so complete, so thorough, that these old-fashioned, masculine men aren't really desired by the majority of females anymore. We often hear that men are afraid of strong women, but the truth is, our modern women are afraid of strong men.

As women continue to usurp positions of power and influence, as our culture exponentially coddles and panders to the female gender, as "equal rights" come to mean a kick in the balls, our society has learned to deify women and demonize men. The message is clear: women are good, men are bad. And what men need, the females trumpet, is to be more like women -- to be thoroughly feminized. This is especially true in the dating/mating arena.

Poor Raymond.
Ever watch Everybody Loves Raymond where the henpecked husband endures his wife's bitchiness, lack of sexual desire and anti-male barbs as she castigates every aspect of his behavior? When he wants to take time off to play golf, he's "not taking care of his family"; when he wants to zone out in front of the television, he is accused of never talking to or sharing his feelings; and when he wants sex, she says he is mauling her. Every aspect of Ray's masculine nature is demeaned and belittled. He is portrayed as inferior to his wife, as she is lionized as being superior. If he tries to stand up for himself, she berates him mercilessly, usually by threatening to withhold sex. This is classified as comedic entertainment in modern America.

American men are being systematically turned into a nation of Raymonds. The standard held up to us by the media is uniformly female. Case in point: the rise of the "metrosexual," the straight man so feminized that, like a woman, he is obsessed with his appearance, daubs on makeup and opts for cosmetic surgery. Today, men are supposed to have "relationship skills," and are expected to adopt female traits, in other words, to be more passive. Men are expected to communicate like girlfriends and not act like testosterone-charged lovers. However, when there's physical work to be done or bills to be paid, that's when she wants her man to rise to the occasion. Real men eat quiche, or so they like to say. Real men do this and real men do that, so say those who would change the behavior of a real man into a milquetoast.

The result is a generation of guys totally bewildered, confused and disoriented. Much of the blame can be placed at the feet of the feminist movement, but it couldn't have worked without the complicity of the government. The government, in its quest for total equality, has identified that the scourge of maleism is due to the Christian concept of a paternalistic society. Therefore, Christianity itself is under attack and, to a certain degree, has already been transformed into a shadow of its previous self.

Replace it with... what? Statism? Matriarchy?
The truth is, human nature follows a natural order. Religion does not define that order; rather, it recognizes it.

Leveling the sexes into an absurd notion of equality is akin to fitting square pegs into round holes. Damage will ensue. For instance, in public school classrooms across America, in every category and every demographic group, boys are falling behind. Women outnumber men in college, while young boys are diagnosed by the millions with new diseases (like ADHD) that didn’t exist a generation ago. To make their behavior more acceptable, they are compelled to take hazardous psycho-stimulant drugs like Ritalin.

Future rapist, drug user, and husbands.
Boys are over 50 percent more likely to repeat elementary school grades than girls, a third more likely to drop out of high school and twice as likely to have a learning disability. Suicide rates among teen boys is far higher than that of girls.

“What we have done,” explains Thomas Mortenson, senior scholar at the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education, “is we have a K-12 school system that seems to work relatively well for girls and does not work for a very large share of boys.”

2 out of 3 divorces initiated by women.
Home life is more insecure than ever. It’s well known that roughly half of America’s marriages end in divorce, but not nearly as well known that two out of three of those divorces are initiated by the wives. Moreover, America’s family court system is scandalously biased in favor of the mother in child custody disputes. Fathers get custody of children in uncontested cases only 10 percent of the time and 15 percent of the time in contested cases. Meanwhile, mothers get sole custody 66 percent of the time in uncontested cases and 75 percent of the time in contested cases.

“Where you have minor children, there’s really no such thing as no-fault divorce for fathers,” says Detroit attorney Philip Holman, vice president of the National Congress for Fathers and Children. “On the practical level, fathers realize that divorce means they lose their kids.”

Unfortunately, this loss of a fathers’ influence is directly responsible – even more than poverty – for the modern national scourges of gang life, crime, drug addiction, alienation and broken homes. You don't have to be a sociologist to figure it out.

There is nothing wrong – and a great deal right – with boys and masculinity. Even as maverick feminist Camille Paglia courageously reminds her men-hating colleagues, masculinity is “the most creative cultural force in history."

Misguided globalists, intent on advancing a radically different worldview than the one on which the US was founded, have succeeded in creating a powerful and pervasive campaign against masculinity, maleness, boys, men and Christian patriarchy. So-called social justice and issues of "equality" continue to splinter society and erode family and religious institutions. Can the world properly function without the dualistic nature of the sexes? Sure, it can, but what kind of world will it be?

"I don't believe anything is true until the government denies it."

-- Jim Marrs

Friday, July 5, 2013

Global Warming Debate Confuses Me

Record Arctic Ice Growth In 2012-2013

Arctic ice area growth since mid-September has shattered the previous record, growing 175,000 Manhattans of new ice over the last four months.

Click to enlarge.
Here is the raw data.

Here is the "expert" reply to the report.

What I do know is that the global warming contention (or climate change) is offered up by a government I no longer trust or believe. The whole mess appears to be just another globalist means to control and tax. The idea of carbon credits and carbon tax, as well as emission control, is directly related to the further reduction of individual freedom. Additionally, if you follow the debate, you'll find that eventually, the side arguing for global warming always begins name-calling as their arguments sink. Words such as "stupid," ignorant," "unscientific," are employed. We hear that "the debate is over" and even the President of the US refers to the other side as Luddites and "the flat-earth crowd." Although global warming advocates do have the supreme advantage of the MSM behind their efforts, schoolyard tactics always raise the question of validity.

One thing is for certain: it gets hot here in Texas in the summer. Every summer. It never changes. Maybe if it snowed in August, I could be convinced of climate change.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fourth of July, 2013

It's July Fourth, 2013, in the United States of America, a holiday, a day of celebration in regard to the founding of what is often referred to as an experiment in freedom and democracy. Today, Americans remember those who forged a new government based on freedom and liberty for its individual citizens. We call it a republic, a place where every man and woman has a voice in how they are governed, a voice free and unrestrained to either praise or condemn. Citizens of the US are also free to believe in whatever philosophy they put their trust in and that right is guaranteed by the original Constitution, the original law of the land that provides a framework for law and order under which all these free people can live and work without getting in one another's way.

That same Constitution describes the form and function of the government, dividing itself into a self-regulating trinity of guiding bodies. I say guiding bodies in order to avoid the word "ruling" because in America, no citizen is ruled by any other citizen or any government office. As a matter of fact, the power of government is invested, or at least, supposed to be, in the individual citizen. Every citizen has a voice that is guaranteed by the Constitution to be heard and not to be condemned for his views, no matter how absurd or seditious.

July Fourth, 1776, is the day when members of the Second Continental Congress of the United States stood together and signed their Declaration of Independence from the oppressive, monarchical rule of the British Empire. In so doing, they became traitors and rebels. Their action was essentially a declaration of war, as well as an announcement to the entire world that free men have an inherent right to rise up and shrug off shackles of slavery and oppression.

These days, it's popular to call these men "old white guys," to lambast them because they did not include wives and sisters and aunts or even those of other races. It is, of course, a specious argument by those who would denigrate ideas of freedom and liberty. Without those old white guys risking their property, their lands, and even their lives, those wives, sisters, and aunts as well as those of other races who complain they weren't included as planners, there would be no concept of individual freedom in the Americas. Those old white guys made it possible for all men and women, regardless of race or creed, to eventually define and gain their own freedom.

Men must be forever on the watch for those who would oppress. As modern Americans are slowly becoming aware, oppression comes in many forms, from many directions, yet when it is recognized we still have the ideals set forth by those original old white guys as a way to revert back to our founding principles of freedom and liberty.

This Fourth of July should be, needs to be, a celebration of those principles as well as a remembrance that we always have a fallback position when the laws and rules of the land become too onerous to bear. If things become too complicated, if those who govern us become corrupt and oppressive, we always have the original framework for freedom and liberty at our disposal. We don't have to tear everything down and start all over again. We always have our original, unfailing principles -- even if they were devised and written by "old white guys".

Happy Freedom Day, everybody!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Building 7

I was speaking with an acquaintance the other day about conspiracies. You know, like whether Oswald shot Kennedy and the Bay of Tonkin incident just prior to the Vietnam war, when I mentioned Building 7 in the 9/11 attack that brought down the World Trade Center towers. To my surprise, he didn't know what I was talking about. After I told him, he still didn't believe me, so here are some facts about the collapse of Building 7.

Building 7 before the collapse.
Building 7 was one of New York City's larger buildings. A sleek bronze-colored skyscraper with a trapezoidal footprint, it occupied an entire city block and rose over 600 feet above street level.

Built in 1985, it was formerly the headquarters of the junk-bond firm Drexel Burnham Lambert, which contributed to the Savings and Loans collapse, prompting the $500-billion taxpayer-underwritten bailout of the latter 1980s. At the time of its destruction, it exclusively housed government agencies and financial institutions. It contained offices of the IRS, Secret Service, and SEC.

Here's a list of tenants along with a brief description for each. Salomon Smith Barney (Financial Institution) -- 1,202,900 sq. ft., Ground floor and floors 1-6,13,18-46.

IRS Regional Council (Government) -- 90,430 sq. ft., floors 24 and 25.

U.S. Secret Service (Government) -- 85,343 sq. ft., floors 9 and 10.

C.I.A. (Government) square feet and number of floors unknown.

American Express Bank International (Financial Institution) -- 106,117 sq. ft., floors 7,8 and 13.

Standard Chartered Bank (Financial Institution) -- 111,398 sq. ft., floors 10,13,26 and 27.

Provident Financial Management (Financial Institution) -- 9,000 sq. ft., floors 7 and 13.

ITT Hartford Insurance Group (Insurance) -- 122,590 sq. ft., floors 19-21.

First State Management Group, Inc (Insurance) -- 4,000 sq. ft., floor 21.

Federal Home Loan Bank (Financial Institution) -- 47,490 sq. ft., floor 22.

NAIC Securities (Financial Institution) -- 22,500 sq. ft., floor 19.

Securities & Exchange Commission (Government) -- 106,117 sq. ft., floors 11,12,and 13.

Mayor's Office of Emergency Mgmt (Government) -- 45,815 sq. ft., floor 23.

This list is based on a table published by, which did not include CIA, whose tenancy was disclosed after the attack in the New York Times article.

Fire in Building 7.
One of the most interesting tenants was Mayor Giuliani's Office of Emergency Management with its emergency command center on the 23rd floor. This floor received 15 million dollars worth of renovations, including independent and secure air and water supplies, and bullet and bomb resistant windows designed to withstand 200 MPH winds. The 1993 bombing must have been part of the rationale for the command center, which overlooked the Twin Towers, a prime terrorist target.

How ironic that on the day of the attack, Guiliani and his entourage set up shop in a different headquarters, abandoning the special bunker designed precisely for such an event.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Terror by Dan Simmons

The Terror is an historical novel written by Dan Simmons and published in 2007 concerning the ill-fated polar expedition of 1845 led by Sir John Franklin, 1786–1847, Royal Navy officer. Commander Francis Crozier, Captain of the HMS Terror -- one of the expedition's two ships -- is the protagonist of the novel. The book also includes chapters written from the point of view of various crewmembers, but Crozier is the central character.

Sir John Franklin
Captain Sir John Franklin's expedition departed England in 1845. Franklin had served on three previous Arctic expeditions, the latter two as commanding officer. His fourth and last, undertaken when he was 59, was meant to traverse the last unnavigated section of the Northwest Passage. After a few early fatalities, the two ships, HMS Terror and HMS Erebus, became icebound in Victoria Strait near King William Island in the Canadian Arctic. The entire expedition complement, including Franklin and 128 men, was lost.

Pressed by Franklin's wife, the British Admiralty launched a search for the missing expedition in 1848. Prompted in part by Franklin's fame and the Admiralty's offer of a finder's reward, many subsequent expeditions joined the hunt, which at one point in 1850 involved eleven British and two American ships. Several of these ships converged off the east coast of Beechey Island, where the first relics of the expedition were found, including the graves of three crewmen. In 1854, explorer John Rae, while surveying near the Canadian Arctic coast southeast of King William Island, acquired relics of and stories about the Franklin party from the Inuit. A search led by Francis Leopold McClintock in 1859 discovered a note left on King William Island with details about the expedition's fate. Searches continued through much of the 19th century.

Francis Crozier
Francis Rawdon Moira Crozier (16 August 1796 – after 1848?) was born in Ireland at Banbridge, County Down and was a British naval officer who participated in six exploratory expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic. He was named after Francis Rawdon, the 2nd Earl of Moira, who was a friend of his father.

In 1845, he joined Sir John Franklin on the Northwest Passage expedition as captain of HMS Terror. After Franklin's death in June 1847, he took command of the expedition, and his fate and that of the other expedition members remained a mystery until a note from him and James Fitzjames, captain of Erebus, the other ship on the expedition, was discovered on King William Island in 1859 during an expedition led by Captain F. L. McClintock. Dated 25 April 1848, the note said that the ships, stuck in ice, had been abandoned. Nine officers, including John Franklin, and 15 crewmen had died, and the survivors were setting out on 26 April for Back's Fish River on the Canadian mainland. There were later, unverified Inuit reports that between 1852 and 1858 Crozier and one other expedition member were seen in the Baker Lake area, about 400 km (250 mi) to the south, where in 1948 Farley Mowat found "a very ancient cairn, not of normal Eskimo construction" inside which were shreds of a hardwood box with dovetail joints. McClintock and later searchers found relics, graves, and human remains of the Franklin crew on Beechey Island, King William Island, and the northern coast of the Canadian mainland, but none found any of the men alive.

Simmons' novel follows closely what is known about the expedition but does so with a heavy dose of fiction by introducing an unknown beast that stalks the ice-bound crews. Sir Franklin is not treated well by Simmons but Captain Crozier is raised to the status of hero and survivor. In all, it is a gut-wrenching adventure story of suffering, degradation, and survival written in a style meant to mimic nineteenth century prose. The requirements for reading The Terror are a strong stomach and fortutude as the book comes in at a hefty 769 pages.