Game of Thrones is Filth

Wednesday, July 12, AD 2017



I have to agree with Mathew Walther on this:


My goodness. I’ve just spent an hour watching to see if a guy who raped a teenage girl at bow-and-arrow point is going to be eaten alive by the animals he has spent the last few seasons subjecting to forms of cruelty that make Michael Vick look like a PETA ambassador or beaten to death in the freezing cold by his victim’s half-brother. Thank goodness the guy who set his terminally ill daughter on fire in a pyromantic oblation to a heathen god at the behest of a witch who never seems to wear any clothes is not around to prevent justice from being carried out here — the woman whose size makes her the frequent butt of bestiality-related jokes killed him just in time! Lucky that she has a wealthy and well-connected benefactor in a one-armed knight whose hobbies from childhood on have included killing people and sleeping with his queen sister — including in a church right next to the corpse of one of their unacknowledged sons — to whom we were first introduced when he pushed the little brother of the above-mentioned rape victim out of a window to conceal his incest from her drunken prostitute-addicted domestic-abuser husband! Almighty God has made me in His own image and endowed me with faculties of reason and sense perception and given me free will so that I can tune in next week to see whether the unidextrous dueling champ’s royal sister sets her daughter-in-law and the rest of her extended family on fire or just a bunch of priests. Hallelujah!

Go here to read the rest.  It is a shame too, because among the porn and violence laden dog’s vomit there are such gems as this:


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23 Responses to Game of Thrones is Filth

  • I guess this is simply more evidence that a civilization based on Judeo-Christian values is worth preserving. Maybe President Trump was on to something in his Warsaw speech?

  • I forget where I saw it, but somewhere I saw it written that Martin avoided serving during Vietnam, and went on to write a Dungeons and Dragons fantasy laden with porn, gratuitous violence and general filth. Tolkien survived the hell-pit of the Somme and penned an epic story of soaring beauty and depth. Something like that. Perhaps there is something to why the works are so different. I don’t think it’s the objectionable material in a work as much as why it’s there. And what balances it out.

  • Martin got CO status during Vietnam and did alternative civilian service in Cook County in Illinois. It is impossible to overestimate the impact of World War I on Tolkien. In 1918 he noted simply that almost all of his friends had been killed in the War. Tolkien saw the world at its absolute worst in the War but could see beyond the blood and carnage. For Martin there is little but blood and carnage, laden with sex.

  • Another reason I don’t pay for so-called premium cable TV.

    From the little contact I have had with this genre of garbage, it seems to be adolescent prurience spewed by pencil-necked nerds that never even got themselves into a fist fight or a tackle football game, much less a shooting war.

    Tolkein and the “Lost Generation” were grounded in patriotism, religion and tradition. Today, the snow-flake, venal generation is grounded in less than BS.

  • Heck, I rejected it at the books…from running into plot details on TV Tropes.

    ….Every single one had a pattern of author influence to make it more depressing.

    To heck with that; at least Lovecraft didn’t try to keep the thing going for long.

  • I heard someone defend it as more realistic for historic times and civil wars. Heck you might be able to find examples now in some of the god-forsaken places in the world.

    I don’t know for sure. While I may agree that maybe things in the past weren’t as well-behaved as LotR depicted (humans can be outright bastards), even my cynicism wonders that man can really be bad as GRRM shows. If we were, there’s a question of how our species survived at all to this point, it seems like we should have all been dead by now.

    To throw even more red meat onto the board, I present this interesting video essay.

  • What’s the difference between the sadism of Game of Thrones and the sadism of the Roman Coliseum? I cannot bear watching any of it.

  • *snickers* I had the misfortune to be in the area of a couple of historians when someone did that… it didn’t go over well.

    Short version?

    The individual events frequently have some sort of inspiration, but then they go further than even historic accusations, and there are no consequences. The “invite everyone to a feast and then kill them” thing?
    That would get the person doing it wiped out, because they’d just PROVEN they cannot be trusted, ever, in the most mild of things. You could never let them in your house, if their armies moved it would be an attack….

  • Foxfier: Sounds interesting. By all means post the long version sometime as I’d like to know more.

  • Unfortunately, I’m not good at catching things on the fly. 🙁
    I could probably find real life versions of pretty much everything but the dragons– and even then, you could probably substitute in vicious animals of a generic sort for a similarity– but the main take-away was that yeah, stuff like that happened, but not all right on top of each other and it had consequences.

    Game of Thrones is history-type outrages with modern type consequences.

  • If I was a betting man I’d say the dragons are probably representing new technological developments which give a group an edge in conflicts. (i.e. chariots)

  • Hm… I’m not expressing it very well….

    In modern times, breaking “the rules” will get you punished by the authorities. There just isn’t much social pressure– there are actual lawsuits around things like “yes, I went to jail six times for stealing from the till, but don’t you dare discriminate against hiring me as a cashier.”

    More accurate historically would mean that breaking the rules put you outside their protection.
    Because everybody had to actively enforce them, to have a hope of getting the protection.

  • Foxfier, The “invite everyone to a feast and then kill them” thing? Look up the Black Dinner in Scottish histor, inspired Martin..

  • 😥 it is the worse thing to ever be on tv……so violent….im amazed we are here if they were our forefathers….fore mothers etc

  • Yes, foxfier, read about the consequences to the 10 year old principal at the Black Dinner, including another savage murder and establishing his family as unchallenged Kings of Scotland, and later England too, for 200 years.
    You might have to revise your ideas about modern and ancient consequences.

  • The Black Dinner is most likely a myth:

    Scottish “history”, the further back one goes, is a tangle of fact and embroidery by balladeers and clan mendacity.

  • Yes a lot of filth and violence and sex. However as a woman the sex scenes to me are porno but I flip over them (we have the DVDs). It seems to me that the earth was like this in pre Christian times. Germany,France and England not to mention Rome sacrificed live children and babies to gods. Barbarians pillaged villages and raped the women. You only have to read about sone I’d the earlier saints( who by they way we’re martyred by the countrymen in horrible ways) much like the characters in this series. As late as the 16th century priests were drawn and quartered in Nerry Old Engkand. The Aztechs murdered babies, and may gave still fine this if not for Our Lady if Guadalupe. This is not my favorite series, but the acting is superb and there are “gotcha” moments. So yes, I will still watch this as its not an occasion if sin for me compared to some of the risqué movies out today with no plot but plenty of violence and sex. History shouldn’t be looked at with rose tinted glasses. Attila the Hun could very well have been one of these characters as well as Nero ( the boy king resembled him in sadistic behavior and cruelty). By the way I’m 73 years old and know the cruelty if men in the last war via concentration camps and gassing. Some things never change.

  • Why is major league baseball inviting fans to participate in this? I had no idea what Game of Thrones even was.

  • We are what we watch, what we read, what we see, what we hear. Those who thrive on watching violent porn need to admit to the darkness within themselves. What I have noticed is that those who are following the Lord, would never watch this filth and those who don’t, well, they gravitate to things the enemy brings them to. Something to think about.

  • *sigh* Wish that I was getting dang emails for new comments….

    Yes, I *HAVE* heard various stories that hinge on violating hospitality where a host kills a guest or guests. It’s a pretty standard way to establish a group as really evil. That is, in fact, one of the things I was thinking of for being able to find similar events in history.

    Even if it were not a legend, that doesn’t answer the actual argument I made.

  • Deblette, I agree with your statement. We are what we watch, read, listen to . . . Kind of scary to think of how many people are “Game of Thrones” on the inside.

Nothing to Get Scared About. Really. Maybe.

Sunday, October 30, AD 2016

And scattered about it, some in their overturned war-machines, some in the now rigid handling-machines, and a dozen of them stark and silent and laid in a row, were the Martians–dead!–slain by the putrefactive and disease bacteria against which their systems were unprepared; slain as the red weed was being slain; slain, after all man’s devices had failed, by the humblest things that God, in his wisdom, has put upon this earth.

 H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds


Remember, no panicking.  All will be well.  Nothing to worry about:


Amateur astronomers are puzzling over a seemingly anomalous cloud that has shown up on images of Mars taken over the past few days. Is it really a cloud, or a trick of the eye? Does it really extend 150 miles up from the surface, as some of the observers suggest? And what churned up all that stuff, anyway? The amateurs and the pros will be trying to resolve those questions before the phenomenon fades away.

“It’s not completely unexpected,” Jonathon Hill, a member of the team at the Mars Space Flight Facility at Arizona State University, told me today. “But it’s bigger than we would expect, and it’s definitely something that our atmosphere guys want to take a look at.”

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4 Responses to Nothing to Get Scared About. Really. Maybe.

Star Trek 50 Years On

Thursday, September 8, AD 2016


Time to refresh my chief geek of the blog credentials.

To observe the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, my favorite scene from all of Trek:  Commander Michael Eddington’s rejection of the Federation in the Deep Space Nine episode “For the Cause”.  It is remarkable that an entertainment phenomenon arising from something as ephemeral as a short-lived television show is still with us half a century later.  Partially this is due to the endless running of the original Trek series in syndication in the seventies that greatly expanded Star Trek from a small cult to a large enough audience to flourish.  If viewed with a cold eye Star Trek is a fairly routine space opera with often bad writing, cheap production values, concepts that strained credulity, (an alien race modeling itself on the human Roman Empire?), bad acting, (William Shatner take a bow), worse science and a ridiculous philosophy that seems to be an amalgam of socialism, militarism and sixties goofiness.

All true to an extent, but there is so much more to Trek than that.  It has provided an optimistic view of the future that flies in the face of the fashionable gloom that has engulfed the West.  Star Trek has served to inspire kids to embark on careers in real science, and sparked the imagination of many more children.  Along with the daffiness of Trek fandom, it has been the basis of the beginning of many friendships and has provided hundreds of hours of harmless, and occasionally edifying, entertainment.  I do not regret the time that I have spent on Trek over the years, and I trust that I will not see the end of this romance of the future.  Man always needs optimism and hope, and even a form of entertainment can sometimes appeal to the better angels of our nature.  May Star Trek and its offspring, you knew I was going to end with this, Live long and prosper!

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9 Responses to Star Trek 50 Years On

4 Responses to Resquiescat in Pace : Jerry Doyle

  • Babylon 5 was on just 20 years ago, and a number of the cast have left this world.

  • It’s a little too depressing seeing how much of JMS’s b5 universe has come to pass.

    Speaking of other cast members, the last I heard Jerry Doyle was on his radio show on a Good Friday, speaking of how good a man GWB was. Richard Biggs, who played Stephen Franklin on B5, died suddenly very young in 2004,and GWB (during his presidency) went out of his way to write the family and comfort them.

    A new Age is dawning for us, maybe, but which?

  • I avidly watched every B5 episode. One of the best space operas ever. Rest in peace, Jerry Boyle.

  • I’d never seen the show until one evening satellite had a marathon of B5 and I was hooked. Back in civiliztion I’d always looked forward to the Jerry Doyle radio show. He seemed a complex man who was often insightful on many subjects, and always entertaining. Having moved to a rural area our radio reception is almost nil. Wish I had known about his
    Rest in peace.

One Response to Trek For the Weekend

Paramount Drops Lawsuit Against Axanar

Saturday, May 21, AD 2016



Paramount finally admitted that the lawsuit against the makers of Prelude to Axanar for copyright infringement was idiotic and is in the process of dropping it.


At last night’s Star Trek fan event, the latest trailer for Star Trek Beyond wasn’t the only newsworthy event: J.J. Abrams, announced that Paramount Pictures’ lawsuit against Axanar Productions was “going away.”

Speaking at the fan event, Abrams noted that Star Trek Beyond’s director, Justin Lin, was outraged at the legal situation that had arisen: “Justin was sort of outraged by this as a longtime fan. We started talking about it and realized this wasn’t an appropriate way to deal with the fans. The fans of Star Trek are part of this world.”

Lin had a direct role in helping to end the lawsuit: “[Justin] went to the studio and pushed them stop this lawsuit, and now, within the next few weeks, it will be announced that this is going away, and that fans would be able to continue working on their project.”

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One Response to Paramount Drops Lawsuit Against Axanar

  • If we had any kind of sensible copyright laws Star Trek would be in the public domain by now but Congress is in the entertainment industry’s pocket.

Civilization VI Optimism

Tuesday, May 17, AD 2016



As faithful readers of this blog know, I like to play historically based computer strategy games.  One of my favorite series has been the Civilization games by Sid Meier.  The first one reached my house on Christmas Eve 1991, the first Christmas of my twin sons, and my bride and I quickly became entranced by it.   In between playing with our infants and introducing them to the joys of Christmas, we took turns charting the courses of society through 6,000 years of history.  For a young married couple fascinated by history, it was the ideal Christmas present.

Over the past quarter century we have purchased each new version of it.  I was struck by the optimism of the announcement trailer.  It is a historical optimism I share and it is splendidly set forth in Daniel Webster’s closing argument to the jury of the damned in The Devil and Daniel Webster by Stephen Vincent Benet:

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3 Responses to Civilization VI Optimism

  • I’ve only ever played Civ IV, but I’ve played it a lot.

    The thing I wanted to see was for them to replace the difficulty settings with the option of playing different leaders. Instead of playing Washington at Noble or Emperor or whatever, why not be able to play Washington, Hayes, and Buchanan? Instead of choosing between three successful leaders of Russia, why not include a couple of the real dogs?

    I thought that would make the big games more fun, if you were given the option of playing against random-quality opponents. Imagine how different it would be looking across the Channel at James II or Victoria.

  • And back to the point of your post: I’ve never before seen a video game ad that made my tears well up.

Star Wars v. Star Trek

Wednesday, May 4, AD 2016


Amazing how surreal the real world is now in comparison to fiction.  Time to take a break from an increasingly insane world and take a  look at two of my favorite fictional locales:  Star Trek and Star Wars.


In comparing the two franchises, I would give the prize to Star Trek for consistent quality, with the exception of Star Trek the Next Generation (PC In Space.)  However, Star Trek never reached the heights attained in the first trilogy of Star Wars, or the depths plumbed in the second trilogy.   Give your opinion in the comboxes.


Bonus debate:  Most annoying Star Trek and Star Wars characters.  Hint:

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21 Responses to Star Wars v. Star Trek

  • If Star Trek is one of your first television memories, nothing is going to overcome that. You can watch them today and see them through the current cultural lens and your own life experience. Most of the movies are decent enough to very good, and that includes the new JJ Abrams films. The Bear doesn’t like Next Gen, either, but his kids love it, and all the weird spinoffs, That’s what Star Trek is to them. They haven’t even watched the original series. So I think it depends on what era you come from. There’s a good documentary called “Chaos on the Bridge” (I think Netflix might stream it.) It shows just what a weird mess Next Gen was with an increasingly strange Gene Roddenberry and his henchman sneaking around and re-writing scripts. Hosted by none other than James Tiberius Kirk. (Kirk’s parents must not have been history buffs to name little Jimmy after one of the wickedest Roman Emperors.) Star Wars also captured everyone’s imaginations, then lost the magic… the Bear is not convinced (again) JJ Abrams has really recaptured it although the last one wasn’t bad as far pushing all the right nostalgia buttons.

  • And if rumors of a gay character are true… there ought to be a criminal penalty for destroying people’s best memories. LWOP at the very least.

  • Trek.
    There’s more drek, but there’s more everything, and I think its high points are better and more common.
    They’re both awesome on the toys/props front– I’ve got a picture of my daughters in Jedi robes with lightsabers, and all of my kids “sword fight” stealing generously from the Jedi. (even the 9 month old gets the idea of “hit stick on brother’s stick, laugh”)
    Bit turning point: Trek is the one with the most workable philosophy points, even if some of them are only workable backwards. (“Their system has to be an invisible-to-the-Fleet group of religious people, probably in the traiders group Mudd and Worf’s brother was from”)
    For Star Wars, even my fan husband will flatly argue the rational existence of “gray” force users– neither chaotic evil nor lawful orderly.
    Star Wars wins on most annoying character– the prequel attempt at Baby Darth Vader.

  • I’ve heard it argued that Episode 1 was the most disappointing movie of all time, if you consider the level of anticipation going into it. I’ve see it once, a bit of Ep 2, and none of Ep 3 or the new one. I’d have to say the Ewoks are the most annoying characters, with the Emperor second.

    Most annoying Star Trek characters? Except for the original series, there wasn’t a single character of note in any of them. There were actors who played people with different ranks and assignments, but no characters I can remember.

  • Come now Pinky! Elim Garak and Quark were two very well defined characters from Deep Space Nine:

  • Actually, I was thinking of that clip when I wrote my earlier comment. Star Trek’s Federation characters are like root beer: bland, unpleasant, a taste that you can get used to but if you go for a while without it you won’t miss it.

  • Most annoying Star Wars Characters? Everyone in the last movie.

  • Except for the Borg, who I think are the best sci fi bad guys ever, TNG was as bland as underdone white toast. The Borg could kick the Empire’s ass.

    So would Kirk. “Force! I don’t need no stinking Force!” Spock would rig a matter- antimatter bomb and Kirk would put it on the Emperor’s dinner table at 6PM sharp….after getting it on with some hot alien lady….but I digress.

    As an undercard…..Spock versus Darth Vader….the Dark Side versus logic…the winner would be the one who clubs the loser over the head with a folding chair…..

    Wander over Yonder is better sci fi than TNG. Endless diagnostics, blather, Whoopi Goldberg?

    It’s a hockey night in Pittsburgh. Later.

  • In comparing the two franchises, I would give the prize to Star Trek for consistent quality, with the exception of Star Trek the Next Generation (PC In Space.) However, Star Trek never reached the heights attained in the first trilogy of Star Wars, or the depths plumbed in the second trilogy. Give your opinion in the comboxes.

    Well now I could take the Catholicism but not this kind of heresy!

    You’re really telling me that nothing on DS9 was the equal of Empire Strikes Back??? The show with Garak and Quark and Miles O’Brien (the man with the most stable family in science fiction)??

    And true TNG’s early season (especially S1) is very nearly as bad as the prequels but “the Inner Light”, “Tapestry”, “Best of Both Worlds”, “Yesterday’s Enterprise”, “Darmok”, “the Offspring”??

    Season 3 onward of TNG is just good TV.

    The less said about Enterprise the better.

    As for most annoying character, say what you will about Jar Jar, at least nothing he did ever led to the death of a teammate OR put the ship at risk. So that makes Neelix the bigger danger annoyance.

    Also, since there’s a bunch of Catholics here and we’re on the subject, I’m sure we can all do a part to preserve this bit of ancient Internet history, the Grudge Match of which there are several Wars vs Trek matches listed.

  • I enjoy watching Garak and Bashir (and listening to them), but O’Brien is quite seriously a role model.
    He’s genuinely good, honest– most brutally towards himself– to a fault, and the only thing that matches his devotion to his friends is his devotion to his duty.
    Plus, he was quietly, earnestly, honestly joyful. That’s pretty impressive for he-whom-the-script-writers-enjoy-literally-torturing.

  • “You’re really telling me”

    The Star Trek franchise consisted of a series of television shows of varying quality and movies of the same stripe. I rarely was not entertained by them, except for Old-Bald-English-Guy-Pretends-to-be-French Trek. However, except for Star Trek II, Wrath of Khan, none of them packed the same entertainment punch as the first trilogy of Star Wars. Likewise, none of them, except for the Shatner directed Star Trek V, were as abysmal as the second Star Wars trilogy.

    In regard to Enterprise, my bride and I are rewatching it currently. The main problem with that series was the temporal war plot line which never worked. Shows which simply dealt with the early exploration of space by Earth and the events leading to the formation of the Federation are fine. Some of the episodes are true gems:

  • “but O’Brien is quite seriously a role model.”

    Also one of the very few enlisted men in the Star Trek universe, which always seemed to consist of lots of chiefs and very few indians.

  • Yes, when it comes to depth, script writing, character development, acting and transcending themes ….. nothing beats Star Trek. Each of the series has something of value. Next Gen did have the fabulous Data. Heck, even Star Trek Continues has merit.

  • Actually, you can’t directly compare the two. “Star Trek” is science-fiction and “Star Wars” is fantasy, a difference not understood by many. That having been said, the most annoying characters from each franchise obviously are Wesley Crusher and Jar-Jar Binks.

  • Oh, “Enterprise”…what you might have been.

    On balance, worthwhile, especially for the nods to TOS and some fantastic writing.

    Some, alas.

    I think the Temporal War plot was a mistake mostly for the reason that they didn’t commit to it. If you are going to have a metaplot device, you have to stick with it, a la Straczynski in Babylon 5.

    All in all, though–pretty good. Definitely better than Voyager (which quickly abandoned the interesting possibilities of a mixed Federation/Maquis crew).

  • Dale Price brings up a point. Babylon 5 was awesome. There were no theatrical movies but the story arc was well thought out and put together.

    None of it is as much fun as playoff hockey, but that’s my opinion and it ain’t my blog.

  • Playoff hockey is always fun when your team is winning.

    I watched Babylon 5 at the time of its airing. Extraordinary. I rewatched it a few years ago. Terrible acting, hamfisted morals, and of course the wreck that was Season 5 (although you can see things falling apart in Season 4).

  • Babylon 5 was brilliant. My favorite scene:

  • The problem with Enterprise was that they had no plan for the temporal cold war which was why it fell apart.

    Also, Don there is an important factor you have overlooked: the parody factor.
    Wars had Spaceballs.
    Trek had Galaxyquest.

    Much as I love both, clearly Trek wins here no matter what the history books say.

  • Ah, Nate, but you do not reckon with Hardware Wars!

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Quark

Thursday, April 14, AD 2016


 “Don’t push the pinkskins to the thin ice.”

Andorian maxim

Let me tell you something about Hew-mons, Nephew. They’re a wonderful, friendly people, as long as their bellies are full and their holosuites are working. But take away their creature comforts, deprive them of food, sleep, sonic showers, put their lives in jeopardy over an extended period of time and those same friendly, intelligent, wonderful people… will become as nasty and as violent as the most bloodthirsty Klingon. You don’t believe me? Look at those faces. Look in their eyes.


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10 Responses to Quotes Suitable for Framing: Quark

  • I never really got into DS9. What episode is that?
    Alas, I think Quark was not quite accurate. It takes less than that to turn humans into worse than Klingons. One need only look at the decidedly well fed “home grown terrorists” in the States, Belgium, France, etc. Heck, the Middle East has been a mess since the beginning of time.
    A little bit boredom and idle hands are all Satan needs to have a grand time.

  • Siege of ar-558.

    In many ways Deep Space Nine was the best of the Trek series. It presented a more realistic, if we can use that term in regard to science fiction, look at the Federation as a polity, rather than the completely improbable utopia hatched from the brain of Gene Roddenberry.

    Quark was making a general comment about our species and not looking at the worst examples.

  • Give us a good reason, and we’re scary. 😀

  • Trivia: The title for “siege of ar-558” was derived from the production number.

    DS9 is one of the best, there’s a lot of reasons why SF Debris constantly praises it and as he pointed out in one video, it’s because – especially compared to the other series (save maybe the original), DS9 was the one that most often, if presented with a choice between taking a chance and playing it safe, it would take the risk.

    It was also the series that most liked to tackle a really thorny moral dilemma, and not provide an answer. Just… “this is what is” and let the viewer struggle through their own conclusions.

    “I can live with it.”

    And of course there was Garak, hands down my most fave Trek character of all time. On one of my first computers I replaced most of my windows sounds with quotes from him.

  • “And of course there was Garak, hands down my most fave Trek character of all time. On one of my first computers I replaced most of my windows sounds with quotes from him.”

  • Let me tell you something about liberals, nephew . . . Scratch one and you’ll discover a fascist.

  • I do remember Quark and Garak having some good lines. My son really liked DSP and would always pull me over to the computer to listen to this or that thing. I may have to go back and watch it.

  • The quote about pink skins came from the Vulcan Ambassador citing an Andorian aphorism in the Battle of Axanar.

  • Still a favorite– they really did do some tough choices type storylines, and it was like someone on the show had some faint familiarity with traditional philosophy while doing it. (Reading about basic moral reasoning in the Church ruined a lot of the old trek shows– the questions are old! Worn down, and they never did it in a way that made it really tough.)

    The less said about DS9’s theology, the better, but and there were a decent number of idiot ball plots, but wow.

Mary Sue Stole the Death Star Plans

Saturday, April 9, AD 2016

The trailer for Star Wars:  Rogue One, due out this Christmas, which tells how the Rebels stole the plans for the original Death Star.  The first of the Star Wars Anthology spin off films, and chronologically just before A New Hope, the first Star Wars film.  At the end of the trailer there  is  the beginning of an unintentionally hilarious  interview with a completely non-reactive Mark Hamill.

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11 Responses to Mary Sue Stole the Death Star Plans

  • BTW…..”Marks gonna tell us what’s happening.” Is that after his thorazine therapy?

    I’m sure the world is waiting with baited breath for Mark to digress.

  • Mark Hamill was just thinking about brunch. Given what we now know it is obvious he should have been cast as a hobbit.

  • TomD.

    Oh. Well, that makes perfect sense. Lunch.

    The hobbit series?

    Luke was the son of one Vader, and forever that cast a spell over his entire career.
    Would of been best that he never knew who his father was.
    That shadow followed him forever.
    Poor guy.

  • Mark Hamill stopped acting because he was in a car wreck.
    He took up voice acting, and has had a more active career than his co-stars because of it– every decent fan-poll of your favorite Joker, he wins. (Defined as one where they either have him listed, or add him halfway through because of complaints.)
    Here’s Luke AND Joker!
    The “non-reactive” interview is his idea of a joke; he’s also made a lot of jokes about how he doesn’t have any lines in the first New star wars movie– he just stares intently.

    He has done some other things; here’s a much more animated (ha!) interview where he talks about another role he was in, and then about his massive Batman career.

  • I’m shocked at you, Donald– you’re going to put your Chief Geek creds at risk if you don’t keep up on things like “Mark Hamill is a total geek.” 😀

  • Thanks Foxfier.
    Shoe being removed from large mouth…
    the jokes on me.

  • Well he certainly had me fooled. I expected the interviewer to eventually inquire if he was still among the living!

  • Bah, didn’t mean to stomp on you, Philip! I thought that he’d stopped entirely, too– my husband is a HUGE Batman fan, though, and the Joker is his favorite villain.
    I really respect the guy for the same reason I’m a Robert Downey Jr. (check out his facebook page– he runs it himself) fan– they both seem to genuinely love their fans, and unabashedly interact with their fandoms.
    They seem to take a real joy it it– and Hamill, at least, is a major geek himself. Showed up at a ComiCon dressed as a Stormtrooper at least one time, just so he could actually just visit it.
    Pretty sure Chris Evans (Captain America) is a quiet sort of geek, and Chris Pratt (Star Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy) is totally unabashed in his enthusiasm for pretty much everything.
    Given how much I despise the ironic, love-is-a-weakness, hipster invasion of something joyful like fandom, these guys have earned a nice chunk of me spazzing out to talk about how cool they are.

  • No harm – no foul Foxfier.
    I’m happy to hear that Mark has a great sense of humor. God bless him.

  • oh so not Mark Shea?…I had very little sleep last night. Mark Hamill has found his niche as a successful Broadway, voice, and film actor. He’s sequential art series creator and author. Also a family man. Read though he played Mozart on Broadway, the Amadeus film lead went to Tom Hulce.

Twas a Dark and Stormy Cthulhu

Saturday, October 31, AD 2015

Something for a Halloween weekend. Hey there Cthulhu.  A minor vice of mine is a love for old pulp science fiction and fantasy.  One of the authors I treasure is H.P. Lovecraft, best known for his cycle of horror science fiction\fantasy stories centering around the Old Ones, evil supernatural entities that lurk in dark dimensions, waiting to unleash unspeakable horror on unsuspecting humanity.  The best known of these demonic creatures is Cthulhu.  I have always found these stories gut-bustingly funny due to the fact that Lovecraft, in these stories, has to be the worst writer of fiction, at least fiction that does not contain phrases like “Love’s Savage Unending Fury”, “The Davinci Code”, “Based On A True Story”, and “Stephen King”, since Bulwer-Lytton shuffled off to the world beyond.  Some things are so spectactularly bad that I find myself liking them due to how hair-raisingly inept they are.

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13 Responses to Twas a Dark and Stormy Cthulhu

  • Derleth? Derleth can’t hold a foetid tallow taper to Lovecraft. Derleth’s work always sounds like an imitation of HPL, his writing some how neater, tidier, lighter. Lovecraft’s work is thick, dark, dripping like the beings it described. His writing oozes over you, every sentence another heavy step, every phrase rumbled up through catarrh-wracked lungs, every paragraph bespeckled in fungus. So what that there’s no characterization, that character growth is measured in leaden paces toward the mad-house, that plotting is a thing he tried and cast aside. To read Lovecraft is to spend time in a world where it’s always an overcast day in early autumn, where healthy growth is a concept never seen in man, beast or plant, and where the only reason you have kept your sanity till now is that They haven’t taken notice of you. Good stuff! 😉

  • Don, have you ever seen the two movies made by the HPLS of “Call” and “Whisperer In The Darkness”? Both should be available though Netflix, and here

  • I wouldn’t say that Lovecraft is a bad writer, only that he wrote one story over and over. Some writers are all about dialogue, or characters; some write for the perfect kiss or the moment that the hero says “I love you”. Lovecraft writes for the moment when the lead character’s sanity is crushed by the unutterable. Everything else in his stories is in service to that moment. I think he does a great job of it most of the time, but after a while it loses all its impact, because you should never be able to expect the incomprehensible.

    He’s also the most racist writer I’ve ever read. I know, these days it’s stylish to accuse dead white male writers of racism, but wow, he was racist. Everything good and wholesome is embodied by New England whites, and evil creeps forward from places occupied by minorities with unappealing faces (usually sailors). You start to realize that the realm of humanity is whiteness, and the scary unfathomable is any other culture.

  • “character growth is measured in leaden paces toward the mad-house”


  • “A writer who is a poor writer is a waste of time to read, right?”

    Not necessarily. It depends on how one defines “poor writing”. If it means “not High Literary Art worthy of the Nobel Prize for Literature and not likely to be included in future English Lit classes,” then about 99.99% of the fiction currently in print fits that description — including numerous books that we have probably enjoyed reading and maybe even learned something from.

    If it means “written in such an obtuse or muddled fashion that it becomes more of a burden than a pleasure to read,” then it is IMO a waste of time — and there are a number of works hailed as “classics” and even taught in English Lit classes (e.g. James Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake”) that fit this description. And actually, even this type of bad writing can serve a useful purpose if it inspires one to say “Heck, I could do better than that” and start cultivating one’s own literary talent.

  • Lovecraft was the first of many authors in this vein for me. When I got my Kindle, I began downloading a bunch of authors of early “weird” and “horror,” such as:

    1. Algernon Blackwood
    2. Arthur Machen
    3. M.R. James
    4. Robert Hugh Benson
    5. Bram Stoker
    6. H.R. Haggard
    7. William Hope Hodgson
    8. Clark Ashton Smith

  • “but wow, he was racist”

    Pretty much. For most of his life Lovecraft adopted the pose of an upper crust Tory who thought this country went to Hell in 1776. Then FDR was elected and he flip-flopped to become a socialist which I guess fitted in at least with his life long atheism.

    “As for the Republicans—–how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostalgic huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers who shut their eyes to history and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles and attitudes based on the bygone agricultural-handicraft world, and revel in (consciously or unconsciously) mendacious assumptions (such as the notion that real liberty is synonymous with the single detail of unrestricted economic license or that a rational planning of resource-distribution would contravene some vague and mystical ‘American heritage’…) utterly contrary to fact and without the slightest foundation in human experience? Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead.”

  • “Don, have you ever seen the two movies made by the HPLS of “Call” and “Whisperer In The Darkness”? Both should be available though Netflix, and here”

    Not yet.

  • “When I got my Kindle, I began downloading a bunch of authors of early “weird” and “horror,” such as:”

    It’s an interesting genre Jonathan, chock full of striking personalities. Their lives are often as interesting as their writings.

  • “Heck, I could do better than that”

    Which is precisely how James Fenimore Cooper got into writing after his wife challenged him to make good on his claim that he could write a better novel than the one they had been reading.

  • I actually wrote an artcle (see blog search function) about how the immediate and maddening terror of Cthulhu was a superior reaction to the deity than the careless service and banal hymns we give to the Holy Trinity. At least that’s how I remember it.

  • We also had many memorable role playing games of Call of Cthulhu. Elder Sign may be the best Cthulhu games: not too hard, or long, but lots of meaningful choices and flavor. It’s even available as an iPad game. Good group game in the boxed version. Fantasy Flight, I think.

  • He wasn’t much of a writer, but he was GREAT at painting with words. I read the bit that you quoted and I can see it. (I don’t like horror, but I can see it, and it inspires the desired reaction.)

Ghosts of the Library

Saturday, October 31, AD 2015


One of my favorite stops at the Abraham Lincoln Museum in Springfield.


The Thirty-third Infantry Illinois Volunteers was organized at Camp Butler, Illinois, in the month of September, 1861, by Colonel Chas. E. Hovey, and mustered into the United States service by Captain T. G. Pitcher, U. S. A.

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4 Responses to Preach it, Mr. Hope!

  • Democrats seem to come in four varieties nowadays: those for whom it is an identity affiliation, but not one which gets their juices flowing because they do not really follow public affairs; those who have a fundamentally sentimental or silly attachment to one or another nostrum or posture and who make a habit of not thinking anything through, those who constitute something of a contempt group (if not hate group) whose entire advocacy is a set of postures and status games; a few wonks like Mark Kleiman; and a few reasonably pleasant old men like Mark Shields. Most of the crew attempting to make a name for themselves as commentators are type 3.

  • I always thought that Democrats were people who felt that anything that got their panties should be national policy .

  • I intend to share that video with all my Democrat acquaintances (as a matter of policy I have no Democrat friends – one doesn’t befriend baby murderers and sodomy sanctifiers).

  • “Democrats seem to come in four varieties nowadays: those for whom it is an identity affiliation, but not one which gets their juices flowing because they do not really follow public affairs; those who have a fundamentally sentimental or silly attachment to one or another nostrum or posture and who make a habit of not thinking anything through, those who constitute something of a contempt group (if not hate group) whose entire advocacy is a set of postures and status games; a few wonks like Mark Kleiman; and a few reasonably pleasant old men like Mark Shields. Most of the crew attempting to make a name for themselves as commentators are type 3.”

    Where do those who think they are entitled to the money made by the sweat of other citizen’s brows fit in?

Star Trek Politics

Saturday, September 5, AD 2015


Time to renew my creds as Chief Geek of this blog.  I have come across one of the best essays I have ever read about Star TrekThe Politics of Star Trek by Timothy Sandefur, which appears in the Claremont Review of Books:


Star Trek VI opens with a shocking betrayal: without informing his captain, Spock has volunteered the crew for a peace mission to the Klingons. Kirk rightly calls this “arrogant presumption,” yet the Vulcan is never expected to apologize. On the contrary, the film summarily silences Kirk’s objections. At a banquet aboard the Enterprise, he is asked whether he would be willing to surrender his career in exchange for an end to hostilities, and Spock swiftly intervenes. “I believe the captain feels that Starfleet’s mission has always been one of peace,” he says. Kirk tries to disagree, but is again interrupted. Later, he decides that “Spock was right.” His original skepticism toward the peace mission was only prejudice: “I was used to hating Klingons.”


This represented an almost complete inversion of Star Trek’s original liberalism, and indeed of any rational scale of moral principles at all. At no point in the show’s history had Kirk or his colleagues treated the Klingons unjustly, whereas audiences for decades have watched the Klingons torment and subjugate the galaxy’s peaceful races. In “Errand of Mercy,” they attempt genocide to enslave the Organians. In “The Trouble with Tribbles,” they try to poison a planet’s entire food supply. The dungeon in which Kirk is imprisoned in this film is on a par with Stalin’s jails. Yet never does the Klingon leader, Gorkon, or any of his people, acknowledge—let alone apologize for—such injustices. Quite the contrary; his daughter tells a galactic conference, “We are a proud race. We are here because we want to go on being proud.” Within the context of the original Star Trek, such pride is morally insane.

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10 Responses to Star Trek Politics

  • I really enjoyed the linked article. I grew up enjoying Star Trek TOS. I couldn’t help but wonder why the author didn’t mention the Episode “Omega Glory” which dealt with lost ideas and traditions that adhere to them even though no one understands them.

  • To Paul: Thanks for the trip down memory lane! I think I should have wrote my question more clearly. I was referring to the original author of the linked article from

  • The author’s evidence against TNG is not very strong. In “Redemption”, Picard does cite the Prime Directive in not interfering in the Klingon Civil War (which was the official Federation position BTW), but in “Redemption II”, Picard proposes, organizes, and leads a blockade against the Romulans to prevent them from helping the Duras sisters. As to the Baku, what exactly is wrong with their way of life? So they renounce technology and don’t explore the universe. How exactly would that (hypothetically) bother Kirk? They want to live simply and be left alone. Comparing them to the slaves from “The Apple” isn’t accurate because they’re free and chose their way of life.

    The view the author gives about Star Trek VI is interesting and one that I honestly never considered even though it makes a lot of sense. I also can’t see TV series Kirk letting the Klingons off the hook morally so easily, especially after experiencing how they treat prisoners first-hand.

  • I was generally annoyed by TNG. There was a bunch of pontificating, endless talk and countless “diagnostics”. I see parallels between TNG and the Catholic Church since the 1960s. They are both soft in the face of evil.

    One thing I have learned in my nearly 52 years. Evil exists in the world. There have been evil kings and queens, evil dictators and evil ideologies (Communism, National Socialism and Islam). No amount of nice changes that. The Church fully understood this until the Second Vatican Council.

  • A bad strain of utopianism entered the Church with Vatican II, that, and a strong desire to solve the problems of the world through secular authorities, especially the United Nations. After the experience of the Church with Caesar over the past 21 centuries one would think that the Church was immune from such delusions, but such has not been the case, at least since 1965.

  • Aaron-
    Episode summary here:

    They’re toxic, and selfish, and respond poorly to those who resist their beliefs.
    Oh, and the whole “hijack the ship” thing, which is a sadly predictable outgrowth of the other information.

  • Foxfier–

    I think you misunderstand me — I was talking about the Baku from “Insurrection”, not the episode “The Way to Eden”. I agree with you about that episode. I also agree with the general thesis of the article: namely that “Star Trek” closely tracks with liberalism throughout the late 20th century. I was not impressed by the examples the author used. Instead, he could have mentioned the remarkable fact that a counselor is a bridge officer on board the Enterprise-D, yet there are zero chaplains (or any presence of religion). There’s a lot of talk about feelings and such. Also, It’s a bizarre move to have families and children aboard, considering all the dangers that come with exploration and the fact that you might have to go eyeball to eyeball with the Romulans or the Cardassians. Bringing up these two thematic points would have made his case a lot better, showing the triumph of the therapeutic and a more utopian idea of the galaxy.

  • Aaron-
    I’m really confused, now– I can’t see mention of anybody objecting to the Ba’ku wanting to not use technology, it’s just a standard higher-ranking-guys-want-to-take-the-planet theme, so I found the only Kirk that was close…..
    I tend to blur stories if they didn’t REALLY impress me, so I go look it up….
    Given some of the stuff we do see, I like the fan theory that religion is officially suppressed.

  • Good night ! I too grew up watching and enjoying the original series — seen the episodes many times each. I never attended a convention though. I had no idea there was such serious discussion about this stuff. From the sounds of it, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is at least one PhD dissertation on “The Politics of Star Trek,” and perhaps some other topics as well. Way back I attended the Univ. of Dallas (the Catholic school, not the UT system UT-Dallas — they are often confused, even here locally in DFW). My politics professor for the one required Politics 101 class I took was Prof. Marini associated with Claremont. We just read stuff like The Federalist (papers) and Plato. We missed out on Star Trek a’ la Claremont. Kind of a bummer, now that I know their Review takes this stuff seriously. He was holding out on us ! ; )

The Man in the High Castle

Monday, August 17, AD 2015

Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:

Ecclesiastes 12:5


The late Philip K. Dick, paranoid, left-leaning, mentally ill and drug abuser, was nevertheless a science fiction writer of pure genius.  His book The Man in the High Castle (1962) introduced me as a boy to the genre of alternate history, with his unforgettable evocation of a United States divided by the victorious Axis powers of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.  One of the main plot devices in the book is a novel The Grasshopper Lies Heavy which posits an alternate reality in which the Allies won World War II.  Like most of Dick’s work, the book suggests that the dividing line between alternate realities can be very thin.

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17 Responses to The Man in the High Castle

  • I thought the book was beautiful, which is not a term I often use for science fiction. But, yes, a faithful adaptation would not translate well to the screen. Too much of the narrative involves the characters’ thought processes.

  • I watched the pilot a couple of months ago. Very slick. It was immediately apparent that it is “based on” instead of “faithful to” the book, which was, along with McKinlay Kantor’s seminal work of roughly the same time, the story that sent me careening into science fiction-alternate history instead of more noble pursuits of erudition. Alas.
    Nonetheless, I hope the series is produced. It will be interesting to see if the media muggles can capture the subtleties that make AH so addicting.

  • By defeating the Nazis and the Imperial Japanese, we have only delayed the rise of freedom-stifling fascism by decades – not even a century. The fascism overtaking us might be different in flavor and color – pin liberal progressivism – but it is the same ruthless, murderous fascism as had siezed Germany and Japan. Think about it: we daily murder thousands of innocent – little babies – and promote the most sterile of sexual practices to neuter our God-given liberty. We do things that would make Hitler green with envy.
    In th work place people never talk about traditional values except in hush whispers, afraid of offending someone who will report to human resources to get the “hate-speaking” person fired. Training courses about sexual diversity and open-mindedness about throughout corrporate culture. No one dares say a word aloud against Obama in the presence of another co-worker, whether at work or at an extra-curricula non-work-related activity. Indeed, one doesn’t even talk with one’s neighbors any longer lest they find one’s orthodox Christian religion or one’s conserrvative politics offensive. This is happeneing now. Almost everyone accepts gay rights and reproductive riights and the whole godless litany of sickening putrid liberalism. And soon one day (maybe a month from now, maybe a year, maybe two years) we will be given papers at work to sign affirming that we believe in this crap or face unemployment. And that is only the beginning. These people will soon jail those who won’t sign, and then evenutally torture and kill them. It happened under Plutarco Elias Calles in Mexico in the 1920s though the themes were different. It will happen here. A Republican never election may forestall it, but this is on the way. The science fiction of yesterday is the science fact of tomorrow. 🙁

  • “By defeating the Nazis and the Imperial Japanese, we have only delayed the rise of freedom-stifling fascism by decades – not even a century.”

    Baloney! I am so sick of gloom and despair, always a constant temptation on Catholic sites I have noted. The easiest way for evil to triumph is to convince good people that something evil is inevitable. I am having none of that recipe for defeat. Free men have stood up successfully to longer odds in the past than confront us today. Man up!

  • Donald, in a former company I discovered that it had an arm which engaged in embryonic stem cell research (it was a large international corporation with one branch doing nuclear, another health care, another jet engines, another natural gas, etc). I questioned this research via the normal channels. Within weeks I was called into HR and questioned about my own non-work related internet activities done on non-company resources. I was told that my views did not reflect the company’s vision. When I left that company, it accused me falsely of trying to take company information. Its lawyers pursued me to my next company and tried to convince that company to dismiss me. There was nothing to the allegation so my next company told the first one to take a hike.
    Then at a different company we received one of these on-line indoctrination training videos with the usual interactive test questions. It was on diversity and a great deal of it was devoted to LGBT rrights. The correct answers to the test questions were always in support of such perversion. I continually failed the exam because I refused to give the right answer. I left the course undone. Fortunately I was never questioned on this. I think the company did it as an experiment. But I see this happening now in corporate culture. You may say it’s doom and gloom, but soon people will be made examples of.

  • “Free men have stood up successfully to longer odds in the past than confront us today. Man up!”
    Donald McClarey: It was the concession speech by Emperor Hirohito and its mentions of “subjects” and “loyal servants of the state” in all its glamorization of servitude and object servitude and Obama’s overreach for an empire that really scares the pants off me.

  • I am still wondering ” what if”…Japan and Hitler had won the war. Emperor Hirohito and Adolph Hitler would have had to face off. Another science fiction tale. Not either one had any virtues or courage or common sense. It was all about domination. A free people will not be dominated.

  • Paul Primavera you are right.
    Worse is on the way. We need to prepare. This is prophesied in Sacred Scripture.
    cf Matthew 24; Revelation 13, & 14

  • Yes I agree there will be Trouble but I also think 1) we are not helpless against it – God gave us intellects and will- not just to save ourselves
    But also 2) We are called to communion – not just in Love with God, but also in Love with His people – we are our brothers keeper. As Catholics we have a certain noblesse oblige. 3) God is not going to rapture us out of it so…

  • Don, I have to agree with Paul. Some form of totalitarianism is coming to this country. Our secular educational system is controlled by Marxists. Too many of our religious leaders, even in the Catholic Church, have embraced leftist ideologies, especially that guy in Rome. Our politicians likewise. The growing number of people on welfare won’t embrace freedom, they will embrace the state, especially those who have been on the dole for generations and those who are in the US illegally. The fact that an open Marxist like Obama was twice elected POTUS should tell you where we are heading. And don’t think the Goofy Old Party is going to save us. The top leadership of the party of Lincoln is merely Demo Light, and the candidates in the running for presidency are the biggest bunch of flakes I’ve seen, outside a box of Kellogg’s. As for Trump, at least he’s saying the right things, whither he can deliver if he gets into office is another thing.

  • A completely incorrect assessment Stephen. The welfare state is dying around the globe, and the churches that embrace it rapidly shrink to insignificance. The Republican Party that you deride is doing good work on the state level and has not been stronger nationally since the days of Calvin Coolidge. Your gloom and doom analysis couldn’t be more mistaken.

  • Donald, I hope you are right and I am wrong. But I can only tell you what I see and experience every day in korporate Amerika. Company executive go out of their way to ingratiate themselves with government mandated diversity and inclusivity of anythiing except Judeo-Christian Tradition. Those who are conservative speak in hush whispers if at all lest someone overhear. We see bakers and hotel owners who refuse to coddle the redefinition of marriage run right out of business. And few politicians and fewer Catholic clergy are willing to speak out against this. Yes, there are notable exceptions (some good priests and bishops do speak out) and yes, there are (contrary to what Steve wrote) some good GOP candidates (Trump not being one of them – a caricature of a free enterpise entrepeneur). But even my neighbors and co-workers accept the rightness of gay marriage and reproductive rights and wealth redistributionism (so long as it isn’t theirs).
    So yes, I pray your optimism is right and my pessimism is wrong. But I know what one company tried to do to me and what another’s training courses on diversity and inclusivity were like, and I work in an industry very regulated by the federal govt, so compliance with the govt agenda is just about mandatory.

  • Don, where’s the proof the GOP is so strong on the state level? All I have is your say so. Real proof please! Your fellow Republican Joe Walsh doesn’t seem to share your optimism about the Party. Since he was an elected official, I think his perspective is more realistic than yours.
    The welfare state is dying? It might be dying in some places around the globe, but this benighted country re-elected Mr. Gimme-That Obama twice.
    What Paul says about corporate America is true. When I worked at Caterpillar Inc. , we were given the same line of leftist bull on social issues. I remember particularly how they talked to us about sexual harassment . What a joke! Most of the guilty were Cat Executives, not hourly stiffs like me!
    Paul, while there may be some good candidates, how effective would they be once they be, (if that actually happens) once they got into office? The various government agencies are now staffed with leftists up to the wazoo. Because of the civil service laws, unless they can be found guilty of corruption, incompetence, or treason, it will be next to impossible to remove them. And lets not forget the lackluster GOP leadership in Congress. They might as well be Democrats for all the good they can do.
    Don, you have made the claim that the GOP is strong on a state level and a national level. Well, I’d like to see some real proof, not glittering generalities. You can either post a few articles on TAC, or give your audience a few links to offsite articles. And please, no propaganda pieces! Just analytical pieces that give us a fair assessment of the local and national GOP strengths and weaknesses.

  • The GOP controls 69 of 99 state legislatures, the most ever for the GOP:

    In addition 31 states have Republican governors:

    24 states have both Republican governors and legislatures, as opposed to 7 states for the Democrats. As recently as 1977 the Republicans completely controlled one state to 29 for the Democrats

    Joe Walsh is a buffoon who got tossed after one term in Congress.

    “The welfare state is dying? It might be dying in some places around the globe, but this benighted country re-elected Mr. Gimme-That Obama twice.”

    Yep, and handed Republicans the Congress in 2010 and increased their majority in 2014. Compare and contrast with the electoral strength of FDR. Obama is not a sign of the strength of the Welfare State. His failed administration is its last gasp.

  • The state level electoral successes of the GOP are empirically undeniable, as Donald lays out. It is also borne out in a sense by the pathetic state of the Democratic presidential field. With Hillary flailing, the names being bandied about as potential rescuers are: Joe Biden, John Kerry, and Al Gore. At this rate it wouldn’t surprise me to see Walter Mondale’s name come up. The weak state of the Democratic bench is a sign of how poorly they have done on the state level.

  • the pathetic state of the Democratic presidential field.

    Looked at dispassionately, it’s a much better bench than they’ve run in the last five elections. Martin O’Malley’s tenure as Mayor of Baltimore and Governor of Maryland incorporated a number of obtrusive failures (the crime control hype and the disaster that is the Baltimore City Jail foremost among them). I’m not sure there’s a similar rap on any of the other candidates. Webb, Sanders, and Chaffee have all held executive positions, and none of them have any dirt sticking to them. If they have a history of buffoonery, it’s more modulated than that of Joseph Biden or Howard Dean. Look to the recent past: BO, Hildebeast, John Edwards, John Kerry, the decaying Albert Gore, and the Hot Springs Lounge Lizard. Webb, Sanders, or Chaffee would be an improvement on any of them.

  • The state level electoral successes of the GOP are empirically undeniable, as Donald lays out

    Bully. However, as we speak, fully half the Senate Republican caucus voted to re-authorize the Export-Import Bank, and the Senate Majority Leader arranged for this vote in the course of lying to dissenting members of his caucus. It’s a small issue but a telling one. The are no decent arguments for maintaining the bank; it’s just candy for Boeing.