Thursday, October 02, 2014

This Is Disgusting

A three year old girl in a wheelchair is abused by TSA screeners and the stuffed toy lamb is confiscated.

 What is wrong with these people?

The answer is that they are following orders of their political masters without any thought at all. And the political masters will not identify and attack the source of the problem, which is Islam. Until we are absolutely ready and willing to identify and treat the false creed of Islam as being fundamentally toxic to human life then no solution to the problem of war and terror is possible.

Step Back - Part 20

It was a quiet Saturday morning at the Nevada Base as Harry Barnes fired up his personal laptop computer. It had been issued one by the Uptimers for his own use from the stockpile they brought along for the mission to the Solar System.

At first he checked the base network for news. Seeing that the Soviets had decided not to launch a first strike on the United States, and that the first of the prisoners of war rescued from North Vietnam were returning to their families here in the mainland, he brought up the word processor program. For the first draft of the paper he decided to use Times New Roman instead of the Courier New font.

To understand the actions of the Uptimers requires knowledge of the nature and purpose of Government. In both cases, the action against the police in Minneapolis and the execution of William Grant in Dallas, the individuals from Uptime were responding to the failure of the local police agencies. Although the Uptimers had agreed to follow the laws of the United States in both cases the local agencies that upheld those laws were clearly not functioning.

In both cases the Uptimers had found themselves in a practical state of anarchy.

In Minneapolis the failure began when the patrol officers were not informed of the visit of Mission Commander Evelyn Boatman to several high technology firms in the Twin Cities area and of his specific physical condition. This was inexcusable as the Saint Paul Police Department had informed their patrol officers of the visit without any difficulty. The second point of failure was the overtly hostile and unprofessional attitude taken with respect to Commander Boatman and his escort from NASA which was followed by a physical assault.

Under the circumstances Commander Boatman had no choice but to use deadly force to protect himself.

The third point of failure was during the mission by the Uptimers to retrieve Commander Boatman from the city. The Federal Authorities had ordered the Minneapolis Police to stand down as the Commander and his NASA escort boarded the lander sent to retrieve them. But a police marksman had taken it upon himself to shoot Commander Boatman in the back with a scoped rifle. With their commander down the squad of Rangers proceeded to clear the area of the landing zone of apparent hostiles.

The summary execution of the televangelist William Grant in the city of Dallas was again a response to the failure of the function of local government.

Judith Grant, the daughter of the televangelist, was brought into the Emergency Room of Parkland Hospital with severe injuries inflicted by her father in a beating. When the doctor who treated her requested the arrest of the assailant the policeman present refused because of Grant's local political connections. When the doctor informed the policeman that Judith could die of her injuries the officer responded by saying that an innocent man would be found and prosecuted for the crime.

The circumstances of the incident were far more disgusting. Judith had been beaten to a pulp for possessing a paperback copy of Atlas Shrugged. And what the policeman actually told Doctor Goldman in the ER was disgusting beyond belief.

Doctor Barnes continued to write.

The ER Physician had called upon the Uptimers for assistance and the Chief Medical Officer, Doctor Alice Boatman had arrived at Parkland Hospital by lander and upon consulting with the ER Physician the decision was made to transfer Judith to the starship Eagle for further treatment. It was at this time that the televangelist William Grant had entered the ER and physically blocked the transfer of the patient.

The Dallas police officers present refused to remove the physically and now verbally abusive father from the path of the Uptimers, it was at this point that Doctor Boatman used her personal weapon to perform a Saigon Special on William Grant.

As the Objectivist representative to the Uptimers Doctor Barnes had been made aware of the Doctor Boatman's personal background and the appalling circumstances of her early life. That she had grown up to be a fully rational woman was nothing short of amazing. That she had calmly treated her encounter with the televangelist as a clinical problem, such as the removal of a cancerous tumor, was in some respects frightening.

Harry then sat back and thought. The next part of the article would place the actions of the Uptimers in context.

The future colonists of Alpha Centauri properly hold that the use of retaliatory force must be placed under objective control and thus delegated to government in a rational society. But in both cases the local government had failed to carry out this function. As a result of this failure the Uptimers hold that the authority and responsibility to act with force reverts back to the individual. As an example they cite the actions of General Loan during the Tet Offensive in Vietnam.

The situation on this day in Saigon was pure chaos. No one on the ground could have been sure that there would be a functioning government on the next day. Into this situation a Viet Cong terrorist had been captured after he murdered the family of a National Police officer. General Loan as the commander of the National Police had no idea if the terrorist could ever be prosecuted and punished for his actions. So in the absence of a clearly functional authority he personally carried out the judgment and execution of the murderer.

It was no secret on the base that the Uptimers view General Loan as a hero.

At this point Doctor Barnes sent the document to the printer.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Step Back - Part 19

In the surface base at Area 51 Benny Netanyahu had discovered netsurfing. In this case it was only the surface base network that he accessed from a workstation but the output was very illuminating.

The uptimers bad brought back a number of text and video files on the topic of the destruction of Jerusalem. This time he would click on the link labeled “Sonya Newman From Jerusalem.”

The widescreen image from a television network called Fox News appeared on the workstation screen. It was the local midnight and Sonya Newman was reporting live from Jerusalem.

Miss Newman’s hair was a little more frizzed than usual and she clearly appeared to be afraid of something on the air. But she was trying to do her job.

Benny would later read that after the Final Election the management at Fox News would give her a choice of assignments outside of the United States. In part this was to allow her to get away from escalating level of violence being carried out by followers of former President Null against those who were perceived to be opponents of his continued and now illegal occupancy of the White House.

Miss Newman had no idea what was going on apart from the local civil defense sirens sounding off. She had said that she and her camera crew were about to go down to a shelter when someone off camera shouted something. The camera shifted off of Sunny to something in the sky.

The view from the Fox News camera in Jerusalem showed three of the reentry vehicles dropping down on the city.

Miss Newman tried to describe what she saw. It was almost a play by play account as the locally based anti-missile battery tried to intercept the incoming warheads.

The first two warheads were killed on live television. The interceptor missiles failed to hit the third warhead.

Sonya Newman of Fox News made one final comment.

“One of the them got through.”

The was a very brief flash of light from the last warhead before the loss of the video signal from Jerusalem.

Benjamin Netanyahu sat back and thought about what he had seen.

In the Forbidden City of Peking General Tsien, the current head of the State Security Service, was admitted into the office of the Great Helmsman.

“Comrade Chairman,” he said, “I’m here to report on the operation to terminate the anti-communist author Ayn Rand.”

“And how is it going?” Asked Chairman Mao.

“It isn’t, Comrade Chairman.”

Mao blinked. To report such a failure was a very rare event, which was quickly followed by the order to execute the man who failed.

“Why not?” Said Mao.

“The man I assigned the task to has committed suicide with his service pistol, and he did leave a note.”

Mao shook his head and then spoke again.


“Comrade Chairman, he said that the task was impossible.”

Mao raised his voice in reply.

“No task is impossible! And there is no excuse for failure! You will assign another man to the task! And the task will be completed!”

“Of course, Comrade Chairman.” Said General Tsien.

He had read the suicide note and came to agree with every point. If they could not find a way to perform the task in a deniable fashion there would be a blowback. Although the American government would be outraged they would likely refrain from performing a retaliatory action. But the Star People would retaliate for the termination of Rand. And they would very likely do so by removing the city of Peking from the face of the Earth with a thermonuclear weapon.

Upon return to his own office General Tsien made a decision. He would assign the most incompetent and politically foolish man in the relevant bureau to the task. Yes, the man assigned to the task would fail, and as a result General Tsien would keep his head.

In Dallas a late meeting was held at the headquarters of the William Grant Ministries. In the absence of her husband Katherine Grant, the widow of the Reverend William Grant chaired the meeting. She listened as a man from Nevada spoke to the group.

“We’ve found as a result of discussions with some of our parishioners that the Chief Medical Officer, Doctor Alice Boatman, is a lesbian.”

Mrs. Grant had heard the term before. But someone at the table hadn’t.

“A what?”

“A female homosexual.” The man from Nevada replied.

“A Sodomite,” said Katherine Grant, “a sinner beyond ordinary sin. And now those sinners have my daughter to do whatever they wish with her.”

She looked at each man and woman at the table in turn.

“And they must pay the ultimate penalty for their sins!”

At the end it was decided that Mrs. Grant would personally speak to President Nixon on the matter. And he would be made to understand the full consequences of his continued cooperation with the Uptimers.

In Pahrump, Nevada, outside of the Uptime base at Area 51, British Agent John Cross had finished his long cross country drive and checked into a motel for the night. He was clearly tried from the drive and had no time for extracurricular nonsense.

In Carson City, Nevada the two Soviet intelligence officers had encountered and clearly recognized the other as Soviet Officers. As a result they had a short discussion. Each had come to Carson City because it was the center of the state government and the equivalent Federal operations. And in discovering that each was also an effective card player they hatched a scheme to raise some extracurricular funds. They would use part of their operational funds as a stake in the locally held poker tournaments. Working as team they would move from venue to venue, never winning more than three hands at each location.

The GRU officer watched as his KGB counterpart cleaned out another table full of suckers. It was clear that as in warfare losses at poker, especially at Texas Hold ‘Em were inevitable. The trick as in warfare was to limit the effect of the losses.

The French intelligence officer was cooling his heels in the Las Vegas drunk tank. Drinking, even wine, did not mix with driving in this state.

Barbarians, he thought.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Step Back - Part 18

The Eagle was under spin as Judith Grant was being wheeled by a medical assistant into the main shipboard mess. On this morning she would eat a solid breakfast for the first time since she was brought on board.

She was wheeled up to the head table and to a position to the left of the head of the table. Doctor Boatman sat down on the opposite side of her. The chair at the head of the table remained empty.

Alice looked at the empty chair for a moment and spoke.

“He’s usually early for breakfast.” She said.

“Who is?” Asked Judith.

“Dad.” She replied.

At that moment Evelyn Boatman came to the table . In his hands were a fully loaded plate, a cup of coffee and the eating utensils.

Alice spoke up.

“Dad, you don’t have to go through the line like everyone else!”

“Of curse I do,” he replied, “As the mission commander I have to set a good example.”

“It’s not that!” Said Alice. “It’s not that at all! You’re still recovering from that gunshot wound and you still need to take it easy.”

“Yes, Doctor Boatman.” He said.

Judith quietly stared at the two. Her mind saw a that the doctor was obviously older but she spoke to a boy her age as if he were her father.

“I don’t understand.” She said.

Evelyn replied.

“Miss Grant, you are still recovering from that fall you took while leaving your father’s house. Try to remember farther back. What was reported about my apparent youthful state?”

Then she remembered and replied.

“That you’ve underwent a treatment that recreates your mind in a newly grown body.”

“Yes.” He said. “And you were in a very bad condition when you were brought aboard, Doctor Boatman was actually prepping to do the procedure on you.”

“Yes.” Said Doctor Boatman.

“You were?” Said Judith.

“Yes,” Doctor Boatman replied, “The recording of the memories we could have done right away, but it would take about two standard years to grow a new body. And the new body would be at the equivalent age of twelve standard years.”

“And then comes the fun part.” Said Evelyn.

“The fun part?” Said Judith.

“Waking up.” He replied. “It takes time for the conscious mind to learn how to speak again and use the new body. So much so that some people have opted to not do the procedure for a second time.”

“Unfortunately yes.” Said Alice.

She then looked down on her father’s plate. It was covered with scrambled eggs with cheese sauce, four sausage links, and hash brown potatoes.

“Dad. How many times have I told you to back off on the fats? There’s at least four eggs on that plate!”

“I’m a growing boy.” He replied with a smile.

Judith got the joke and keeled over in laughter.

If there was actually such a thing as midnight oil they would be burning large quantities of it at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. In one of the assembly halls two Soviet bureaucrats who were administrators at the cosmodrome were watching as the nuclear payload was being attached to the Proton launcher.

“I still think we should send a properly manned Soyuz Capsule for a contact mission.” Said the senior administrator.

“The Proton is not a man rated launcher.” Said the second.

“Neither was the R-7 when we sent up Gagarin.”

The second administrator looked at the first

“So who would you send up?” He said.

“Leonov as the mission commander, and there would be no shortage of volunteers for the second seat.”

The second administrator nodded.

“So write up your suggestion.” He said.

“I did.” The senior replied. “There’s been no reply, yet.”

The second administrator thought he had better connections within the party apparatus, and it was at this time he decided to write his own paper on the subject.

At the base in Nevada a delegation from Israel, including the Netanyahu Brothers, were watching a documentary. Onscreen a middle aged civilian man with an obvious military bearing, the Presidential Chief of Staff Allen Keller, was being escorted to a grey painted advanced helicopter on the flight deck of a supercarrier. The number 75 painted in white was clearly visible on the island of the ship.

“What ship was this?” Yoni asked.

An uptime NCO, a navy chief, answered.

“The U.S.S. Harry S. Truman, sir.”

Yoni nodded.

Once the helicopter lifted off Keller spoke to the pilot over the intercom.

“Lieutenant?” He practically shouted over the noise of the main rotor. “How far east can we go?”

“Did you want to see Jerusalem, sir?” The pilot replied.

“Yes!” Keller shouted.

“Me too!” The pilot shouted back.

Yoni had another question.

“What type of helicopter was that?”

“A Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk, sir.”

The Seahawk flew over the beachhead set up by the Marines as one of the evacuation points for the survivors. The pilot had chosen to fly low as he approached the hills to avoid hostile MANPAD missile fire.

And then they saw it.

In the final hours of the Six-Day War in 1967 the Chief Rabbi of the IDF had desperately searched for some army engineers and some explosives. He wanted to remove the abomination, the Al Aqsa mosque, that the Arabs had built on the Temple Mount.

Forty five years and a few months later, the wish was finally granted.

The abomination was gone. The Temple Mount was for all practical purposes cleared of all but the smallest pieces of stone. Of the city of Jerusalem all that remained was ashes and rubble. There were no living things, human, plant or animal, to be seen.

“I think we've seen enough, Lieutenant.” Keller shouted.

“Aye, aye, sir!” The pilot replied.

The Seahawk turned back toward the beachhead.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Step Back -- Part 17

“Final burn completed.”

Lieutenant Cook, the commander of this mission, looked about the command deck of the subordinate craft. Even with the return to free fall everyone and everything was working smoothly. This was especially true with the Downtime American volunteers who made up part of the crew for the mission.

“Very good.” He said.

The Falcon, along with her sisters Harrier, Kite, Owl and Osprey, were the largest subordinate craft carried aboard the Eagle on the mission to Sol. As with th Eagle they had been fitted with the FTL Drive. And as with the Eagle the FTL Drive had been disconnected from the control and energy systems of the vessels. For this mission the drive had actually been dismantled and placed in storage to improve the mass fraction of the craft.

The image on the primary screen of the command deck was split with a virtually straight line between a field pf stars and a the night side upper atmosphere of the planet Jupiter. The flashes of lightning that could be seen from this orbit would put the electrical output of a Terrestrial hurricane to shame.

But their mission wasn’t to play tourist, the Falcon was here for fuel.

Although the Eagle was designed and constructed to use a quantum singularity as the primary power source, the auxiliary generators, as well as the primary powerplants of the auxiliary craft and surface installations were fusion reactors.

Fusion reactors used Deuterium and Helium-3 for fuel. While Deuterium could be found on Earth the sources for any reasonable quantity of Helium-3 were the large gas giants. In the history of the primary timeline Jupiter and Saturn were robotically mined for Helium-3. For the mission to Sol the necessary mining machines were duplicated and brought along to support the mission.

Lieutenant Cook switched on the intercom and spoke to the crew of the Falcon.

“This is the commander, we have arrived, let’s get to work.”

Back on Earth in her Arlington office Lieutenant Commander Keller was having another meeting with Colonel Short.

“Walt,” she said,” you asked why we have a fundamental contempt for the constabulary. There is an answer but you may not like it.”

Walter Short thought for a moment before responding.

“So?” He said. “If we are not willing to face an unpleasant truth we may as well be dead.”

Keller smiled. What Short just said to her was a verbatim statement straight from the historic record.

She replied.

“There is a long history of abuses that led up to The Reformation--I’ve included several works on the subject on this memory chip that you can read on your laptop...”

She handed him a memory chip encased in bright blue plastic.

“...but the major incident that touched off The Reformation was the Oakland Massacre. After the president elect was assassinated at the orders of President Null, he issued an additional command for the civilian police forces to use deadly force on any demonstrations in opposition to his continued rule.”

“That’s a war crime!” Said Colonel Short.

“Yes.” Keller replied. “It was.”

Keller entered a command into the her desktop workstation. The large video screen on a wall lit up with an image of the Oakland Police in action. The Oakland cops wore dark blue uniforms with body armor and carried military grade carbines.

Colonel Short spoke up.

“Those aren’t cops!” He said.

“Not by the current standards.” Commander Keller replied. “Up to the time of the Last Election both parties had pursued a policy of police militarization.”


“It was deemed expedient in the pursuit of other policies.”

Short shook his head in apparent disgust.

On the screen civilians were peacefully gathered. Some of them carried signs that simply said: “Resign!” Other demonstrators carried signs with something that Colonel Short recognized as the European road sign symbol forbidding an action over the number zero.

“No Zero?” He said.

“Yes.” Keller replied. “At that time President Null was also called The Big Zero.”

“Ouch.” Short replied.

The video then showed a man with a flak vest civilian attire leaning over to speak to the lead policeman. The Police Captain then spoke through a megaphone to command the demonstrators to disperse.

One of the demonstrators shouted back.

“We The People are the sovereign authority, we give the orders to you!”

The civilian in the flak vest appeared to be clearly outraged and apparently issued another order to the Police Captain.

The Police Captain then shouted orders to his men.

“Take aim and fire!”

Apparently the camera operator was hit in the initial volley. Then another person picked up the camera and ran away with it.

“And this was broadcast?” Said Colonel Short.

“Yes, on the Internet.” Commander Keller replied.

Short had read about the construction of the Internet. It was originally intended to be a system for military communication during a nuclear war based on the fiber optic lines and multiple dispersed nodes. The transfer of the Internet to civilian use and the further commercial expansion of it effectively ended the days of a centralized and controllable mass media.

Colonel Short whistled.

“And this led to the radical reforms of the police?”

“Yes.” Keller replied. “After The Reformation the civilian constabulary was demilitarized and largely disarmed. The doctrines originally put forth by Sir Robert Peel were adopted and policemen were recruited exclusively from veterans of the Federal Service.”

“And it worked? Even with serious criminals?”

“Well what you call serious criminals were put to death. That’s another reform, sir.”

And all Colonel Short could do at that point was nod.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Step Back, Part 16

In the Nevada desert Harry Barnes was watching the sunset with a new companion.

Barnes had just earned his Doctorate in Philosophy when Ayn Rand asked him to go to Nevada to represent the Objectivists at the Uptimer’s base. As the job prospects for philosophers who actually treated reality as being real were appallingly slim at best he took the job.

And it was here in the cluster of the temporary structures that served as offices and housing that he met someone.

Jane March was the Deputy Engineer for the FTL Drive System installed aboard the Eagle. She had flown with the Eagle on her two successful missions to Proxima Centauri and Barnard’s Star. There was no expectation of a problem on the mission to Sol.

When it was discovered that the FTL drive had deposited the Eagle in what was clearly the past she personally performed the diagnostic examination of the system. When no fault could be found in the FTL Drive she called for the complete disconnection of the system from the energy and control systems of the ship.

With the FTL Drive effectively converted into an inert mass within the hull of the Eagle the Deputy Engineer clearly needed a new assignment. As someone had to take charge of the construction of the surface base in the Nevada desert Lieutenant Jane March was the clear and natural choice.

On the ground there was a celebration of the success of the last operation. The Rangers and the few fortunate young women and other civilians who were allowed into the base were holding a dance. Harry would be attending the event as Jane’s guest.

Both were formally dressed, Harry in a white suit with a bow tie and Jane in her Dress Blues, as they stepped into the newly constructed hangar that served as the venue for the event.

There wasn’t a band playing for the event. But there was an improvised sound system that played music that would not be recorded yet on this timeline. The current musical number was appropriate for a slow dance. Jane recognized the artist as Sade and the lyrics were in the form of a question.

Is it a crime, Is it a crime?
That I still love you?
And I want you to love me too?

Lieutenant March looked around and found the commander of the Rangers.

“There he is.” She said to Harry. “Let’s go over there.”


To any downtime observer Nathan Benson had the appearance of the captain of a high school football team in his dress uniform. But once one was in range of his voice it was clear that this was an old man in a young body. The cluster of people that surrounded him included a Colonel from the Marine Corps. As the couple came within earshot they could hear the marine ask a question.

“Normally an infantry unit embarked on a ship are designated Marines, why did your people go with the term Ranger?”

“Well sir, The Rangers are the regular component of the armed forces in our system. And our first deployment was to suppress the natives on the planet Eden.”

The Colonel’s wife spoke up.


“Yes ma'am,” said Benson, “the planet orbiting Alpha Centauri A. The first ship to arrive was the Mayflower. They set down their colony on the secondary continent because the main land mass was overrun by some very large and nasty carnivores.”

“What were they like?” She asked.

“Well the main one was called Fuherersaurus by us, it could eat a Tyrannosaurus Rex for lunch. Unfortunately the second continent had stone age natives, Reptantis Sapiens Eden, who saw omnivores like us as something to eat.”

“How could they do that?” The Colonel asked.

“Ideology sir,” Benson replied, “we discovered it during a download.”

“A download?” The Marine asked.

“Yes sir, it’s a procedure where full cybernetic contact is made with the subject’s neural network, and the contents of the brain are recorded and processed for information.”

“I don’t understand.” Said the Marine Colonel.

“I don’t blame you.” Lieutenant March cut into the discussion. “The process of downloading originally developed as part of our recorporation technology and was adapted as an alternative to vocal interrogation.”

“Anyway,” Benson spoke up, “the last starship from Earth was about to arrive at Eden and the entire Ranger Battalion, minus the cadre, was deployed to the planet for this. As it turned out the natives were about to attack our base on Eden in roughly division strength. And it was decided to grab a leader for download.”

Lieutenant March already knew the story but remained silent.

Benson continued to speak.

“Anyway on Eden I came to the attention of the Old Man, Number Four at the time, and he reassigned me as his aide.”

The Marine made a clearly sour face on hearing this.

“I don’t blame you sir,” said Benson, “this was my first combat deployment and I suddenly got assigned to a rear echelon spot. But the thing is that the Old Man likes to lead from the front, so I got to go with him on a snatch and grab mission for one of the native leaders. Once we had his back at the base we had a conversation before the download process was begun.”

“How could you speak to them?” Another woman asked.

“Well ma’am, we used a translation program on the base’s mainframe computer.”

“I don’t understand.” She said.

Lieutenant March cut in to answer.

“Our computers are very powerful. For example the portable laptop computer that we are using to rum the music sound system here has many times the memory and computing power of every locally made system on the planet Earth.”

Benson spoke up again.

“So anyway, we have the native leader strapped to the table and the techs aren’t quite ready yet so we asked some questions.”

"Such as?” Said Harry.

“Well, such questions as, why if they have molars do they not eat plants.”

“So why not?” Harry asked.

“It was a religious doctrine. The next thing the Old Man does is to take a pliers from his toolkit and pull out one of the molars and shows it to the native, in his face.”

“I take it that the native didn’t take it well?” Said the Marine.

“No sir, he didn’t.”

“So what happened to the natives?” Harry asked.

Benson replied.

“We torched the main group from orbit, just like we just did with North Vietnam.”

“But there’s another group.” Said Jane March.

“Oh yes,” Benson replied, “another group broke off from the main body, built some dugout canoes and crossed the strait between the two continents and set up their own villages with farmland.”

“They’ve gone back to being omnivores?” Harry asked.

“Yes,” said Benson, “and as they’re evolving we decided to leave them alone.”

It was on Thursday morning in the basement of the French Embassy in Tel Aviv Lieutenant Joseph Beaujeu of the French Navy--presently covered as an attache and working as an intelligence officer--read the take from the latest dead drop from a source he had picked up.

The message was trouble--very deep trouble.

One of his sources within the Government of Israel was present for a secret briefing. The content of the briefing was about the future of the State of Israel. That in December of 2012 the French Navy would launch a nuclear strike on Israel. As a result one faction of Americans, who were in the midst of an internal civil war, would move to protect and evacuate the survivors of the nuclear strike on Israel. This was shocking but what fully floored Lieutenant Beaujeu was that this faction of Americans also controlled the nuclear weapons and would carry out the retaliation for the destruction of Israel. France would be pounded with chemical and nuclear weapons into effectively nothing and as a result would have no further independent existence as a nation.

The Lieutenant proceeded to write his report for transfer in the diplomatic pouch to Paris.

There was nothing else he could do.

A Movie

On Tuesday afternoon I saw the third part of the screen adaptation of Atlas Shrugged.  In fact I was not aware that it had been released until I read about it on Dr. Ray's blog.  I went to see it in part because I didn't want to be mentally kicking myself for not doing so.  And because my African-American neighbor in the building I'm stuck in was--as is his utterly mindless habit--blasting his stereo again.

What can I say?

Part Three is a series of scenes from the novel that are linked together with narration.  Given their budget there wasn't an alternative apart from not making the film.  Of course given their budget the producers had to break the rule of show-don't-tell.  Depicting the collapse of the Taggart Bridge simply wasn't possible on their collection of thin dimes.  And--of course-due to the budget the narrative had to be truncated.

And again there was no continuity in the casting, apart from the fellow who played the role of Jeff Allen in Part Two, and his cap.  But for the most part the characterization was to a degree effective.  I must admit that virtually every second that a villain was onscreen I wanted to do a Saigon Special on each and every one of them.

For those readers who don't know what a Saigon Special is:

Okay, I'm not always a nice guy.

In my opinion a proper cinematic adaptation of Atlas Shrugged would require a multiple year television series.  Such as the with the re-imaged version of Battlestar Galactica.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

Some Thoughts

Um, living next to those cheeseheads in Wisconsin I would be worried too.

Oh, and something from an old project.

Pay no attention to the penguin.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Step Back, Part 15

On that morning President Nixon was actually looking forward to this particular meeting in the Oval Office.

“Congressman Bush it is good to see you.”  He said to his guest.

“Thank you, sir.”  Congressman George Herbert Walker Bush of Texas replied.

The men walked over the sofas and sat down,

“So what did you want to speak to me about, sir.”  Said Bush.

“As a result of information brought back from the future, Vice President Agnew will not be running for reelection.  I want you to run for the office of Vice President in his place.”

Bush was shocked to hear this, but he quickly recovered.

“I would be honored, sir.”  He replied.

The two men continued their discussion about the future in more detail.

In the Uptime Liaison Office in Arlington, Virginia Lieutenant Commander Keller had two meetings scheduled.  The first was an interview for a leadership position with the security unit at the Uptime Base in Nevada.

Walter E. Short had a resume that was impressive even by Uptime standards.  He was a third-generation West Point graduate and had risen through the ranks of the army and had been on track for a top post within the Pentagon.  But on his first tour of Vietnam he was sent by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to compile a report on the failings of the current military policies.  His clearly critical report was unexpected and was immediately restricted for the joint chiefs and President Johnson only.

Short had repeatedly applied to join the Special Forces and the request was consistently denied, his subsequent request for retirement from the army at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel was granted.

The history of his counterpart on the original timeline was far more impressive.  Short had become a well read author in the fields of politics and military history.  His works would in turn influence the prime movers of the events that would eventually become known as The Reformation.

What he would become on this timeline was now another question.

The intercom buzzed, it was the local civilian receptionist out front.

“Commander, Colonel Short is here.”

“I’ll be right out.”

Keller stepped over to the closet and checked her appearance in the full length mirror mounted inside the door.  With her surface duty dress uniform clearly in order she stepped out to the reception area.

She found Colonel Short standing before the reception desk.  Although he was in a grey civilian business suit his military bearing was obvious as was his regulation haircut.  Even in his early forties he still had the appearance of a film star.  The man could clearly could pass for a fit and healthy version of Marlon Brando.

Keller spoke first.

“Colonel Short, thank you for coming.”

“Thank you, Ma’am.”  He replied.

It was a very pleasant meeting where Colonel Short agreed to take charge of the locally raised security force at the surface base.

The next meeting was with Mr. Gordon Graham, the Nixon Administration’s liaison with the Uptimers in Washington.  She did not expect it to be a pleasant one.

Keller did not stand up when Graham entered her office.

“Take a seat.”  She said.

With Graham seated she spoke again.

“Mr. Graham, do you understand why you are here today?”


“It’s because of your failure to perform your job.”

“I don’t understand?”  He replied.  “I have performed my duties perfectly!”

“Really?”  Keller replied.  “Let’s examine one issue in particular.  We are raising a group of locals to perform security duties for our surface base in Nevada.  We intended to arm them with current technology weapons and we asked you to order specific weapons from a specific manufacturer on our behalf.  You have clearly failed to do so.”

Graham’s virtual feathers were virtually ruffled.

“You don’t need that foreign junk!  I ordered perfectly good Americans guns for you instead!”

Great Vacuum, she thought, what a moron.

“Mr. Graham,” she replied, “The M14 rifle was adopted because the United States Army Ordinance Corps has a long standing case of Not-Invented-Here Syndrome.  The M60 machine gun is such a worthless piece of junk that it will eventually be replaced by the FN-MAG machine gun under the designation of M240.  And the M3 Grease Gun is simply an obsolete piece of junk.  We have cancelled the order you placed and I had to place a direct order for the correct ordinance with Fabrique Nationale de Herstal in Belgium.”

The locally raised security force under Colonel Short will be issued FN-FAL rifles, FN-MAG general purpose machine guns, and licenced UZI machine pistols made by FN Herstal.

“You can’t do that!”  Graham proclaimed.

“I had to.”  Commander Keller replied.  “And you’re also fired.”

Graham shouted.

“You can’t do that!  I work for the United States Government!”

No, thought Commander Keller, I suppose I couldn’t fire him.

She replied.

“What I can do is to perform a ballistic lobotomy on you should you step foot in this office again.  Do you understand Mr. Graham?”

Gordon Graham abruptly stood up.

“You haven’t heard the last of this!”

He then stormed out of the office.

It was still afternoon in London when the guest arrived at the Prime Minister’s residence. 

“Mr. Clarke, thank you for coming.”  Said the Prime Minister.

“Thank you, sir.”  Arthur C. Clarke replied.

“Mr. Clarke, you’ve met with these people aboard their ship, why won’t they speak to Her Majesty’s Government here in London?”

“Because in their view you’re not a government.”  Said Clarke.  “They see the Labour Party and socialists in general as savages.”

Prime Minister Harold Wilson was stunned to hear this.

“How can that be?”  He asked.  “Socialism is clearly the most progressive form of social organization.”

“I asked the same question of their Mission Commander, Mr. Boatman.” Clarke replied.  “In their view Socialism is simply stone age savagery heavily disguised with a heavy coat of make up.  He also stated that there was absolutely no point in communicating to any sitting Socialist state as they are in complete denial with all respects to reality.”

What Clarke didn’t repeat to the PM was that they generally held the current Terran Socialists to be a lower form of life than the stone age natives of the Planet Eden.

“Would they ever speak to anyone here in United Kingdom?”

“They may speak with a Dry Tory such as Mrs. Thatcher, but they have nothing but absolute contempt for the Wets.”

This was not what the PM wanted to hear.

In Dallas a group was gathered in prayer before the ER entrance of Parkland Hospital.  The widow of the Reverend William Grant led the group in prayer for her late husband. 

Larry Travis and his film crew were observing the proceedings.  He quickly noticed that not one prayer was said for Judith, the daughter taken by the Uptimers to their ship.