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Posts posted by machievelli

  1. Location, Location, Location


    Roger Ramjet, newly minted Officer in the Republic is sent on a mission beginning on Tatooine...


    A lot of stories I have read over the years could pretty much be summed up by that one sentence. All well and good. However as I learned back in the mid 80s trying to sell a short story in my own Gryphonrider series (Which later became a chapter of Gryphonrider II) editors who are buying stories look for lazy authors that can't think of a proper starting point.


    Not to buy, but to throw aside.


    You see, if the start is a generic stereotype, the story probably is almost as bad. While generic means 'the same as the others', it also means the author isn't willing to work, they would rather just take a scene they remember, drop it in, and put their character in the scene in the place of the hero of the original. I have lost count of the times the villain has both hands cut off by the hero, or slices off an attacker's arm. Back when the third movie of the original SW series came out, I heard several fans in the line say pretty much 'All right, who's arm (or hand) gets cut off this time?'.


    With all of the locations from the movies, TV series and books, why do we keep coming back to just four or five? Worse yet, the places don't grow beyond where we first see them. Yavin IV is still some rock with ancient temples in a jungle. Korriban is still where the Sith hang out, and both Dantooine and Tatooine are the worst.


    Face it, a planet is not going to just stay the same after several thousand years, or for that matter several hundred years. Look at our own planet, or for that matter the US itself. We went from a place with a stone age society when it was discovered in 1492, to a nation of 300 plus million who came from all over the world. Not bad in less that 600 years. Yet 4,000 years after we see Dantooine in KOTOR, it is still the same wasteland it was when we first saw it in ANH. In fact the only difference between the two views is that there is a second city, Mos Eisley instead of just Achorhead. Dantooine, which is a pastoral farming planet only mentioned in ANH, was exactly the same in KOTOR 1 and 2, and was still one when the New Republic relocated refugees there in the EU.


    The universe is not a static stage. It is a dynamic force that is constantly changing. So why, with several hundred planets mentioned in the wookiepedia, do we always see those two, Korriban, Yavin IV, and Coruscant? It's like writing a sweeping epic of American History where the only place names are from Texas, New York State and California. For a simple question, why is it that with three inhabited moons and planets in the Yavin system, no one ever goes anywhere but IV?


    It's because the authors are lazy. No other real reason I can see.


    So do this for me; Look in the Wookiepedia, find a planet. Better yet, copy the page into a document file, mark the planets I mentioned with the note not to use, and when you start your new story, find one not on that list.


    Better yet, assume that galaxy is like our own, with a hundred million stars, and probably as many planetary system. Make one up! That's what writers do!


    It will make my reviews a little less caustic.


    Oh, BTW, if you want to find my list of overused planets, I haven't created one, as yet. But as the Headsman in the Mikado sings, 'I have a little list'...

  2. From what I noticed, you're looking for reasons to find flaws now, especially after I debunked your last attempt.



    The shuttle was flying all around Vader's Star Destroyer. .


    Shem, Shem, Shem, you aren't arguing logically. Either Vader and the Emperor can detect other force users, or they cannot. The shuttle in question was not as you said, flying 'around' the Super Star Destroyer. They were flying a direct non threatening course toward Endor. I know quite a lot about how a blockade is set up, and how a picket is organized. There is no way a shuttle can 'fly around' a warship on such duty without drawing fire. You have to steer a direct course, act as inoffensive as possible, obey all instructions. Anything else means you are dead.



    What was he suppose to sense? Think about that one for a moment. As far as Vader was concerned at that moment he didn't know he had any children. So if you take that in consideration, what else is there to say? Maybe this would satisfy you:


    Hypothetical Vader: "You're strong in the Force. You could be my child, but my wife died and assumed that my baby died as well, but being near you makes me believe that it was all a lie. But still, you are apart of the Rebel Alliance and a Traitor so I'm going take you back to the Death Star so we can sort this out."

    Is that better for you? .


    Shem, think. Vader and the Emperor started their takeover by slaughtering the Jedi down to the youngling. They murdered children to assure their rule. Do you think for a minute that Vader 18-20 years later would ignore that this woman he sees is a potential Jedi? He should be either suborning her to serve the Emperor, or having her killed out of hand. He would not care a whit that she might be his daughter. He should be destroying or tormenting her into the same mold the instant he detected her.



    Maybe you just answered your own concern. And if I recall correctly, they mention in the ESB novel that it took a long time for Han and Leia to get to Cloud City and that Luke was on Dagobah way longer than it appeared in the movie.


    As for that, think of it this way;


    Distance from Earth to Alpha Centauri, 4.3 light years. Time to travel there in normal space at 80% light speed; Six years. Assuming the Star Wars Role Playing Game with speeds higher than Einstein's light speed limit, about three.


    Now; assuming reactor mass needed to A: Exceed light speed and B: maintain it from Earth to Alpha Centauri, you are suggesting the entire mass of the ship to reach that target!

  3. That's what I thought as well...but after doing a little bit of research, it appears that Bail's wife, Breha, died on Alderaan when it was destroyed. Leia would've known who was who at that point.


    That is what I meant about the 'bible' mentioned above, better known as 'storyline continuity'. We have her (in ROTJ) saying she remembered her, but she died when Leia was a child, then turning around in ROTS and having her die in childbirth, which precludes having ever seen her.


    I am on the fourth book in my 'Faerie Series' (Have been for too long as well) and I started a 'bible' of my own for it just to avoid such a problem. Seems GL never bothered, as he wrote all six.


    She may have been a child when her mother died, but it wasn't the force that let her know those feelings. This indicated that Leia actually knew her mother more than Luke did. She says her mother died when she was very young. Probably toddler age. Sure, it's not like she says her mom took her to the Naboo Zoo, or Gungan Disneyland, but she didn't say she never met her mom.


    As someone who dealt with an orphanage when I was 12 (Not orphaned, my mother stashed us there fighting a nasty divorce with a child abusing stepfather) I know that when people adopt, they rarely tell their 'kids' that they are until much later. More likely this was Bail's wife she remembers.


    And Gungan Disneyland? I'm picturing a bunch of humans wearing suits like the modern one with someone playing Jar Jar and Boss Nazz with that horrendous accent!

  5. Oh no . . . I think I'm about to do something I thought I'd never do - defend a part of the prequel trilogy. This coming from a person that prides himself for never buying any of the prequel trilogy on DVD. (I got them on gifts but still . . . I didn't buy them!)

    The single point I'll defend against:



    Without using screenshots, I'm pretty sure we can all remember the Emperor mentioning how he has "foreseen" things in the Original Trilogy. Who's to say that the Palpatine didn't foresee the duel would go badly between Obi-Wan and Vader and then take appropriate measures by leaving hours before? Let's be honest: expecting Lucas to play it out in chronological order and establishing that might have be overestimating his abilities. Why didn't get there in time before Vader got crisped? Well, as we saw in ROTJ - his foresight wasn't exactly perfect. ;)


    I am going by visual chronology, and dialogue, because you see Palpatine talking to his subordinate telling him to ready the ship to leave immediately, yet the fight with Obi Wan had just ended with Anakin's legs being amputated.


    If you wish to argue prescience, GL should have had Palpatine send Anakin off, then show a scene having Palpatine seeming worried, and ordering his ship readied before fighting Yoda, then have him leave directly after the fight for Mustafar. That would be prescient. Having him on Coruscant giving the order at the instant Anakin was wounded does not.


    I can't remember the movie, but there is an old war movie where you have a group of commandos planting charges, and one of them is talking to himself, and places one in the wrong place after forgetting to set the timer. As they are pulling out under fire, the charges go off, and the project they are trying to destroy is still there. They keep retreating, and an enemy soldier following them gets shot. He does that 'spin in place gun blazing' type of move they like sometimes. One of the bullets hits the orphan charge, it blows up and now the project is destroyed.



    I always thought it was pretty well established that Lucas was a big fan of Joseph Campbell, an American mythologist and lecturer. I'll quote Wikipedia for this next part but I'm sure someone can find a video where Lucas talks about Campbell in the PBS series had of talks between Bill Moyers and Campbell. (I'd do it myself but I'm unsure how much time I have before my computer crashes again.)




    Lucas' mining of old myths for Star Wars obviously was intentional.


    And here's a video clip talking about this. . .


    (This BBCode requires its accompanying plugin to work properly.)


    As for where he got his ideas, every author builds on what he reads and loves. In the afternote of the book At All Costs by David Weber, he mentions David and the Phoenix, then lists the authors that were his idols in that regard.


    I was not denigrating George for using something recognizable, I am saying that when you create your story, you are using the foundation others created in a lot of cases, before you were even born. It was a sad shake of the head for people who look and say, 'but that's just this story again with different stars' as if every author has to use brand new material, and you have the right to penalize them every time you recognize the scene or situation.


    The only time I have wanted to do that was when the producers of Jumanji followed it with Zathura, which was the same story just moved into space. A pity, I liked Jumanji.


    That's what I mean by 'generic'.


    If you read my Critic's column, I commented that the 'bad guy kills your friend and you seek revenge' is a generic idea for a story. I used Beverly Hill's Cop as an example because the choice of Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley was brilliant. They took someone not known for serious roles, cast him in one that was serious, and he made it wonderful.


    Every scene in that movie would have played out all right with someone like Stallone Pacino or De Niro and if you go back enough have been. But with Murphy, some scenes that would have been played serious became outrageously funny against the stark background.

  6. Oh, and Vader built C3-PO and somehow Obi-Wan didn't recognize him or R2D2? I saw my old car on the road the other day and recognized that, and it never came to my rescue.


    What happened in the scene where Obi Wan 'fails to recognize' R2 and C3PO is simple. He knew C3PO had been wiped, and he was asked if the droid was his, so he said (honestly in this case) That he didn't remember owning a droid. He didn't except for the one that managed his star fighter during the war.


    @ tot: Exactly... and that's why I'm not presenting it foolishly as an example of an improvement that could be made to TPM or as an argument as to why TPM may suck or anything like that. I only see it as an alternate take that I find interesting to think about and not something I can use in any sort of debate ;) .


    I also wonder how the galaxy would have turned out if Anakin hadn't turned to the dark side and instead saved Mace Windu and caused the death of Palpatine (I can't see him outright killing him on purpose in any scenario that follows along the lines of the events of RotS)... Padme may not have died, Luke and Leia may have grown up with their parents, Anakin would've been expelled from the Jedi order and possibly exiled due to the whole business with Palpatine. If we're going to go into an era where the sequel trilogy completely destroys the current Expanded Universe in such a way that multiple universes need to exist to reconcile the differences the sequel trilogy will bring, I think I would like to see an alternate timeline in which Anakin Skywalker never becomes Darth Vader.


    But hey, that's just me thinking out loud :p


    We as the audience hate spoilers, but they happen when the author (Or director) hasn't kept abreast of what happened in what was already portrayed


    A perfect example is the TV version of Star Trek. In the first season, you see a cloaking device for the first time, and Spock is as shocked as everyone else. But then you get to the second season of Star Trek Enterprise, where the ship is trapped due to a mine that will explode if they try to warp out, and a Romulan Warship decloaks a century too early.


    I had written two scripts hoping to sell them to TNG, and in one I was told I had violated the 'bible' of the show. Back when Soap Operas were first created, the shows started keeping listings of characters and scenarios to avoid bringing back characters that were dead, relationships that had failed, that kind of thing. Most series that lasted more than two years these days also keep one. So the last scene above violated that canon, but was used anyway.


    My favorite scene from a movie that explains this is the movie Soapdish where the main writer complains because they are bringing back a character, and she complains 'The man was decapitated!'.

  7. I was more worried about the resource center. In fact what I would like to do is take my original Expert's sticky, and except for the first ones (Everyone saying 'hi, this is what I do') and convert it into standard separate posts. Of course I think I will have to find new ways to redirect because in my reviews, I sometimes refer to them instead of merely recreating the wheel every time someone call a deck a floor. :)

  8. I am pretty much done with the site development... all I have left is to finalise the menu bar drop downs and to clean up the html/css and it's pretty much ready to launch... which means I'm going to start to with the official process of staff recruitment so we can get jknet up and running by the end of the year.


    All right, where do I fit in? And are you going to link to the old reviews, or move them all?

  9. Eh, midichlorians never really bothered me that much to be honest... but there's one thing about the prequels that always kinda bugged me;


    The whole concept of the Clone Wars.


    That's right, in Episode IV we're introduced to the myth itself by Obi-Wan - and as he talked about it and actually named it 'the Clone Wars', I naturally assumed it would be a war set between the Jedi and some terrible Clone force. I dunno why but it just made sense to me years before I saw the PT... definitely did not expect a bunch of useless droids that get cut down like butter. The reason why it irks me is because I always thought of the Republic as being this sci-fi version of ancient Rome pretty much, so it would make sense for it to have its own galactic army spanning multiple systems with respective generals for each planet or something. Made up from a myriad of different alien species which would also juxtapose the system set by Palpatine with only human Stormtrooper recruits.


    1. Why would an intergalactic Republic have the need for an external bred army of Clones which take years to mature?


    2. Why would the Jedi and the senate representatives etc. suddenly be a-okay with said Clone army? they just went: "oh well I guess we'll just roll with it then even if we don't even know who the hell this Sifo-Dyas dude is and why someone authorized for this whole operation at all".


    Just my two cents.


    I was 24 and saw SW in the theater when it was first released. I have to agree with you on all points.


    Knowing how the US government is, I could see them dithering even over who had them created long before they deployed them, But you fail to notice that the 'Clone Army' is an army by our modern definition, but it is too small to be used for anything but shock troops.


    Assuming say only ten percent of the galaxies known worlds have populations equal to our own, you have a lot more troops on every one of those planets. I didn't add the entire possible military force of our own planet but if you want to do the match http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_military_and_paramilitary_personnel.


    If you look at the total of all forces, five of the nations of our own planet can equip and maintain armies that make the entire originally deployed clone troops a drop in the bucket.

  10. As the local critic, I hate to say it, Lynk, but even before I was asked to do it, I always critiqued books I read and movies I saw. One of my favorite producer/directors right now is Josh Whelan because he allows something I truly enjoy; being surprised.


    As the original poster commented, people denigrate the stories because of how old the ideas are, but there has not been a seriously brand new idea for fiction in centuries. You will notice I use the term Generic a lot, and that is because a lot of authors just 'go with the flow' of how they are usually done. Making the Mandalorians wannabe Nazi Einzatztruppen, making every Sith wannabe some sociopath who was just waiting to go to the darkside and start torturing people, that kind of thing.


    I feel that if I can tell what's going to happen in the next scene, the writer has not really failed, but has fallen off that pedestal a good writer has. GL was in a way a storyteller of the old school, wanting to tell his story even if people didn't like it. I had heard (back before they started numbering them) that he had shown the original producer a full twelve episode story arc, and that man had chosen ANH because it was the most saleable at the time. Sort of like publishing the Acts of The Apostles first instead of the Gospels.


    My pet peeves are simple, and linked to what I do know, and my tendency to shoot down ideas that are not close to realistic; midi-chlorians doesn't enter into that because it merely give us a way to quantify the effects, like the system used in a laboratory to determine which medium is better for growth of bacterium or mold. This type of testing is also used to discover what will kill them most efficiently, or what conditions to change to make it less invasive.


    Those peeves are;


    Speed of travel. In ANH you have at least several hours from Tatooine to Alderaan, long enough for Kenobi to at least start training Luke. Yet in ROTS you have Anakin injured on Mustafar, have the Emperor know it, and get there before Anakin is cooked to death. Since you have to go from the location, to a ship, fly it out of the atmosphere, hyper out, hyper in, land, then locate him, you're talking hours, not the few minutes it was on screen. The same is true in TESB where you have the Millenium Falcon in the Hoth system, but without hyperdrive, making it to the Bespin system. As I commented about a week ago, that is like taking off in an F6F Hellcat in the South China Sea, and flying it to San Francisco without refueling.


    Second; Military reactions. In AOTC you have Padme fall out of the ship. The clone troopers arrive, intending to take her to safety. She countermands that, and orders them to go with her. This is due, when you think about it, to the programming they received in training, because there is no logical reason for it beyond that. However, look at this instead:


    You are in a truck convoy in Iraq, you see a helicopter crash, and go to assist. In it you find someone, let's say Sara Palin. Your first reaction would be, get the Senator to Safety. She refuses, then orders you to go with her on her own unexplained mission. You snap to attention, and do what she tells you.


    What is wrong with this picture? The woman maybe a government official, but she is nowhere near your chain of command. An American Senator can no more give a legal order in a combat situation than one of us civvies. Let's just say that I was not surprised when Order 66 was passed.


    Anakin to Vader: While he had done things that would be Dark, why did Anakin immediately follow a Caedite Eos order from Palpatine? It would be like a modern General in our army accepting 'kill them all, and let God sort it out'. The order was illegal yet obeyed within less than an hour.


    That is what ticked me off about the prequels.

  11. So really you can't afford insurance, you don't want help. I respect that....


    However, if you cant afford insurance how the hell could you afford the medical cost if you were to get in a accident or a sudden illness?


    By telling the creditor I will pay as I can. I think of it as cardio for the soul, since they have to deal with the high blood pressure. Trying to garnish my wages would merely mean I have to go to court to prove exactly how little I make, and how much I have in free cash, which is a pittance. If the judge agreed with them, I would end up on the streets, since my income leaves perhaps fifteen dollars remaining at the end of a month, and it would drop by over 250 dollars when I do, so they are in even worse straits.

  12. There have been no attempts to fix the bill...they have all been to get rid of the law. 40 or so tries, to 0 to fix.


    While you not having health insurance are not paying for the uninsured under the old system. Those of us that have health insurance are already paying a higher burden of our income out in the form of health insurance premiums and medical cost to cover the uninsured. Change it from premium to taxes, really does not change the out of pocket expense to me. Spreading the cost to a higher number could reduce my part. Which is what the health care reform attempts to do and was/is needed. People that can't afford insurance are not the problem, those that can afford insurance, but would rather buy boats and other toys is the problem. The still get ill, they still get injured and they still have babies.


    No, it means I have to pay out of my own pocket. Even if I can't afford it


    As for 'fixing' it, in California when they passed the law requiring all drivers to have insurance, the rates for those who already had it jumped by between 100 and 200%. The later law to set a rate cap is as far as I know, still tied up in court. After all Insurance companies have the money to spend on political campaigns...

  13. Things would be worse if there were no form of political parties.


    If we didn't there would be a greater chances of internal wars in the US- since you would end up with powerful people rising up and representing their own interest of their region. Since these people are not part of a larger group then they would see no interest in listening to another powerful person of another region. This would lead to almost tribal wars if this was done say back in the 1800s. The result would be- the US would be broken apart into a collection of smaller countries and the federal government and the USA would be only known in history books.


    This was one of the issues with the Civil War- Federal vs State rights/power.

    Lincoln knew that if the south/confederates were allowed to leave the union then what stops for any other section of America to group up a few states and break away too.


    Political parties do serve a purpose since they can work as a group in their numbers to get things done but in turn when a part of them get out of line then they can help bring them back,...which isn't happening now since the Republican party has lost control of the tea party- which is now running the show. Some of this comes from the internal ideas and beliefs which are false but are reinforced since it helps increase their turn out by throwing out the read meat the the base. The problem is that the base Republican party might say some of this red meat but they really don't believe it to the level of the word = truth. But some more radical republicans are manipulating the base and becoming the red meat themselves. And anyone in the party questions them = to be called a rhino and not a true Republican. These people don't understand the dangerous power they are welding - they think it will lead to book deals and money/power but they are making these people into true believes which means when the truth is given and a deal per say in the debt/shutdown is made, they will not accept it while the Republican main party does.


    But back to the original point- not having political parties wouldn't help..


    First, the Union could have found another way to deal with the South than forcing them into a war. As you yourself mentioned, State rights Vs Federal rights had been argued all the way back to Patrick Henry, because the South knew then (When the Article of Confederation were still in force) that the Northeast, with the bulk of the citizens, would always be able to control the Congress without major safeguards against it.


    These days, with over 100 electoral votes in two states (California with 51, New York with 52) both heavily Democrat, the candidate gets halfway to the presidency by carrying those two liberal states alone.


    We don't have a balance, we have a dog fight and neither cares a lick about the people they are supposed to represent. They care about who wins.


    They're losing their coverage because of government intervention into health care.


    LOL, when has either party done that? Not in my lifetime, which is why the country's in the toilet.


    I can say that too; and I'm a hell of a lot older.


    You must understand that companies - the large one especially- are looking for ways to stop covering their employes. The Corporate america cares about profit, they don't care about the worker.


    The healthcare plan will have it's problems and will be tweaked over the next few years.


    What could happen - that companies will not have the burden of providing healthcare insurance since everyone will have it through their own plans - and since everyone is going out there for insurance- the plans and competition will help drive the prices down.


    If we don't do anything within a law then the cost from people uninsured going to the hospital will do more damage then this healthcare law.




    I agree, the parties in the most part have always worked in their self interest but what we are seeing right now that there are people who are not playing by the rules- they are willing to destroy this country by defaulting and shutting it down for a law that has been up held by the supreme court. I shake my head - there are no adults in politics and the media/reports are failing us - they stop seeking out the truth but instead they became timid with politics and don't grill the people who run our country plus they don't speak out ...etc..etc..


    Then remember what Warren Buffet said when asked about this. Fire the lot of them, from Obama on down. But what he didn't say, and should have, is we need a third party to keep the others in line. The Reform party, that was started by Ross Perot, and killed by Pat Robertson, could have done it. As Perot himself said, 'I'm a businessman, and you don't stay in business if you don't make your budget balance'


    Very true...


    And if the Republican had a brain cell between them all. They would be doing everything now to amend the health care law and fix the problems, but instead their only solution is the typical throw it out and go back to the status quo.


    The problem with 'amending' it is that it is harder to remove a law than it is to stop it from being passed. As others said, it passed with no Republican votes at all, and that wasn't because it was a Democratic president who fathered it, it was because it was badly written, and every attempt to clean it up before the voting was stopped in committee.


    If the government is trying to take control of healthcare as some here have suggested, it means taxes leap. When England went to Socialized health care, the taxes went from about 25% to almost 55%.


    Remember that the Volstead Act (Prohibition) caused not only the rise of organized crime, it also took 15 years to repeal. For those of you still at home; could your parents afford to double their tax burden for that long?


    Oh, and BTW, I have no health insurance, as I work part time. I also don't make enough money to pay for insurance. Then again, I am in that limbo where I make too much, and live alone, so I don't get Medicaid. What about me? Obamacare didn't address that, now did it?

  14. The problem with the lame-stream media, as I said, is it is linked to proponents of the present political parties. If you support whoever happens to be in charge, you come down on their side, and if you don't you lambaste them. Look at OEF when Fox was supporting the Shrub on every Jot and tittle, even reporting that chemical weapons had been found when the weapons in question were some traces from old BM21 rocket warheads, and the opponents didn't bother to mention that Hans Blix had reported that over 200,000 liters of precursors was missing, saying 'oh Arabs are inherently honest, so when Saddam said they were destroyed, they were'.


    I don't know if you've ever read it or seen the movie, but find Helter Skelter in either version, and look at the Defense Lawyer for the Manson Family. He did everything he could to find Manson innocent, including trying to have one of the other men admit that he had been the one who convinced the others to commit the crimes. At one point, Manson flashed a news paper where the headline reads 'Manson Guilty, Nixon Declares'.


    That caused several days of questioning the jurors, trying to get one or more to admit that the headline might have changed their minds; all to get the Jury removed, meaning the trial would have to be started again. He did the same when Manson leaped up and charged at the judge. When the judge leaped to his feet ready to use his gavel on Manson's head, the lawyer tried to get the judge to recuse himself, which would have had the same effect.


    I was reminded later of it when I watched an episode of an old sitcom named Chico and the Man when the 'Man' is on a jury, and he recognizes the defendant, whom he had known for years. He begins a one man campaign to change the jury's mind, and since all of the evidence had not yet been put forward, he is dragged off to see the judge. He does the same with her, and finally she judge calls the defendant into her chambers, where she admits that Ed (The Man) had convinced her, and she had to recuse herself and start the trial over.


    At this point the defendant is stunned. He'd been fighting the case for almost a decade and is innocent of all charges, and he now finally has his day in court, but Ed screwed it up.

  15. Finally, someone else knows history! Yes, while slavery may have been one of the main motivations for the South's secession, it was not the cause of the war. What the war was fought over was the south's other, and perhaps bigger, motivation: too much centralized power in Washington.


    Let's not forget that Abraham Lincoln never had any intention to free any slaves until it became an advantageous political platform to adopt. In fact, Abraham Lincoln was not all he was cracked up to be at all. I maintain he was one of our worst presidents, and I've spoken about it at length on my Facebook page.


    I didn't see it, but Vampire Hunter is probably closer to the truth than that other piece of film propaganda, Lincoln.


    Finally, some recognition! I have studied mainly military history for almost 50 years, and to understand why a nation goes to war, you have to understand what drove them to it.


    Anyone who has read the preamble of the Constitution knows the line 'but when a long train of abuses, and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evincing by design to reduce them to absolute despotism, it is their right, and it is their duty, to throw off such government, and provide new guards for their future security'


    You thinking some less educated minds will believe all that crap, even though it's only a movie with false alternative historical ideas? Or does it irritate you that they made Lincoln look like some kind of 1800's gothic superhero?



    Just honest questions. Not really interested in a debate, just want to know why the movie bothers you so much.


    As Minmartin said, it was poorly written, badly acted, and as a writer who has tried to sell in Hollywood longer than most of you have been alive, it is an insult.


    Of course it sucked, it was about vampires :)


    It was a fictional movie, it in no way represented itself as a documentary or factional. I have no more problem with it than I do any Star Wars, both are completely fictional. Only problem with "Abraham Lincoln; Vampire Hunter" was it was a terrible writing, terrible direction, terrible acting and terrible concept.



    Well, I'm not really sure how splintered guerilla warfare and 2 failed invasions of the North constitute as fighting well...it really just makes them very...very stubborn. Yes, Lee fully earned the nickname "Wily Gray Fox" and certainly defeated several incompetent Federal generals time and again (alongside the likes of legends like the late Jackson, JEB Stuart, early-war Ewell, pre-Gettysburg Picket, the adopted Texan, John Bell Hood, and the founder of the Klan himself, Forrest), but in all honesty, those were pointless victories. For all the 'glory' and 'honor' of their southern culture these generals fought to defend, they were truly on the wrong side of progress. When it came to appearances, their military victories looked fantastic, but in reality, did little to curb the actual beast that was attacking them. The Federal forces, on the other hand? They understood how to cure the South of a need for war. I mean, for goodness sake, the Civil War was the birth of modern warfare, where Sherman burned and pillaged everything from Tennessee to Georgia, where Grant's numbers forced the Confederate line at Vicksburg to stretch itself so thin they could only place 1 man for every 6 meters in the trenches...the arrogance inherent in Southern strategy was the only thing that prevented a total capitulation. Furthermore, the blame is not on either the North or the South for the beginning of the war, rather, it is both. I mean, conflict between the two had always existed, going as far back as pre-revolution (It even decided the positioning of the US capital). The War for Southern Independence was really just...well, the Yellowstone Fire of 1988. You build up enough tinder without allowing the natural change to take place and a single spark sends everything straight to hell.


    Look at the fact that almost every factory making weapons, from pistols to cannon, were located in the North. If most of the citizens that went to fight for the south had not brought their own rifles, they would have been sending men in Russian or Chinese human wave attacks. There is no way the less than 1% who owned slaves could convince the rest to fight.


    I knew someone would bring this up. The entire argument is 'only after the war did they state their grievances', which is crap. As Raphael Semmes pointed out in his book of the voyages of the Sumter and the Alabama, Southern Americans back to Patrick Henry knew that a Federal government would automatically favor the more populous North. I defy anyone to show me the passage that states this is an inviolate contract between the Federal government and the states.


    As George Pickett in the Movie Gettysburg pointed out, the original Articles of Confederation (The predecessor to the Constitution) was more of a gentleman's club, or an alliance of neighboring nations. It wasn't until the time of Daniel Webster and Supreme Court justice Joseph Story, that suddenly the government decided you were a member until you died.


    The North forced that war because they didn't have a de jure leg to stand on. Afterward, they treated the South just like any conqueror would, demanding reparations and punitive back taxes to cripple the southern economy. Without the slaves the South would have to take all those under-employed whites and put them to work choppin' cotton for their Union Massas.

  16. This is only the second movie I have lambasted, but give me a break! The entire use of slavery in the South just because Vampires run the South? Give me an effing Break!


    The War Between the States (What most of you remember from American History as the Civil War) was fought not over slavery, it was because the Northern merchants that dealt with finished cloth did not want to have competitors in the south who would also be making it. They wanted a subservient South delivering the cotton necessary to their business. When the South first tried to buy such machinery, the North blocked it's importation. At the same time they attacked the South on two fronts; first by banning further importation of slaves (A hot button Liberal issue) and then placing punitive tariffs for any sale of cotton to any port not in the North.


    The North did everything to start that war but fire the first shot! Blockading Southern Ports, landing troops to seize cotton on the docks, what people anywherehad faced such acts by their own government without revolting?


    The only problem for us was that the South fought too well. It took four years to force them to accept Federal Authority.

  17. The problem is as I pointed out, the attempt can turn around on us. Nurnberg, if you know anything about the history of military law, was the first time where a war crime trial was not held by the military that had been shamed; and it was an illegal act. Under civil law, it is defined as Ex Post Facto (After the fact). The Kellogg-Briand pact which was the basis of it had never been ratified by the League of Nations, and since the League could not even sanction a member nation as we do under the UN, using a treaty that had not been ratified is like telling a seated president he must obey the War Powers Act.


    In fact, when I researched the idea of pointing out why modern war crimes trials would be bad, I found out that only one trial in the last 150 years was legal (A whatever prize to who can tell me which one that was), the rest violated the laws of the nations they were held in or by.


    Yet the 'trial' of Americans captured in Korea and Vietnam followed the same rule we used in Germany and later the Far East; 'We say you're guilty, deal with it'. If you've ever asked anyone what was the statement most used during Nurnberg was, most would say 'I was obeying orders; a BS reply, since of all the nations represented on both sides of the case, only the Germans had the Prussian Ethic before 1944. That ethic states that obedience to an illegal oirder is in and of itself illegal.


    The actual main statement? 'We are not on trial, you are'.

  18. I agree it's ridiculous to call the bombs WMD's. I did a double-take the first time I heard that's what they were labeling them as.


    I was bothered most because they're doing it to avoid a 'life without parole' verdict, nothing more.

  19. I was disturbed by the Justice Depertment spokesman claiming that the bombs used in Boston (Made with fireworks powder) should be labeled weapons of mass destruction. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/alleged-bombers-aunt-tamerlan-tsarnaev-was-religious-but-not-radical/2013/04/22/ca8f3214-ab5c-11e2-a198-99893f10d6dd_story.html


    I know I complain constantly, but this is something that must be addressed. Since the first time the term was used (1937 after bombing of Guernica Spain) it has changed until the modern definition is nuclear, chemical or biological. Not what is defined as a low (Compared to modern high) explosive device.


    In other words, something that has a more far reaching affect than a simple iron bomb.


    As much as it might sound like arrogance, the world tends to use our terms when they do something that we abhor. It wasn't until after Nurnberg that other nations (North Korea and Vietnam spring to mind) decided they had the right to try 'war criminals' for their crimes. Since in the two cases I mentioned, this was used as propaganda rather than factual legal meanings, it makes you wonder why we don't just shut the hell up.


    For those who want to ignore what I am saying, think of this:


    If the low explosive bombs set off in Boston are WMDs, then so is every bomb dropped by any man in the course of any war since the Spanish Civil War is a WMD. Every (Insert the nation you dislike) pilot who has dropped a cluster bomb used a WMD. Every one in an Artillery unit from the General who ordered the barrage down to the 'cannon cockers' deployed WMDs. For that matter, grunt carrying a Claymore is bearing a WMD.


    Bad enough? No? Remember Nick Berg? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Berg. He was 'executed' after the events at Abu Graib hit the world press. Ignore the fact that the US government had already investigated and arrested the perpetrators, demoting the Brigadier General who was in charge of the Prison. Ignore the fact that the very release of the photos (With the American faces shown) tainted the evidence badly enough that the full weight of the military legal system could not be brought to bear.


    For that matter, ignore the fact that it wasn't a cover up as the Press claimed, it was a legitimate ongoing investigation that under both military and civil law here in the US must be kept from the press because anything published is automatically tainted and cannot be used during the trial. Think instead of a little remembered rule of International law:


    If your enemy violates international law, you are allowed to ignore that specific rule. The reason the British began blowing German cities to hell during WWII was because one German bomber jettisoned it's bombs over a civilian area, and the Brits replied by carpet bombing six German cities.Every person in Occupied Europe and England who died from the later bombings can be linked to that one accident.


    Now jump to 2004. Terrorists kidnap Berg, then, in retaliation for Abu Ghraib, cut off his head with a bayonet and published the video of that action.


    Do you want some poor kid captured by terrorists judged guilty and executed because some bureaucrat can't keep his mouth shut?

  20. In some cases, though, shouldn't the safety of the public be taken into consideration? For instance, according to some news outlets, Dzhokhar claimed that after the Boston Marathon, he and his brother were going to head to Times Square in New York City, New York to detonate additional explosive devices. After that, who knows? The cops got him off the street and used the exception in the interest of Public safety to ensure that these two weren't funded by some larger terrorirst group. (Which he claims they were not; whether that is to be believed is another issue).


    My point: sometimes there are extreme circumstances. In those instances, the rights of criminals should at least be suspended in the interest of protecting the lives of the general public. I am not advocating a police state. Far from that. I am advocating the authorities getting people like Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev off the streets and preventing people they may have been associated with from following in their footsteps and finishing what they started.


    Also worth consideration: Was Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's citizenship valid? When becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States of America, one must take an oath, swearing loyalty to the United States. Detonating the bombs at the marathon with the expressed intent of maiming U.S. Citizens (and foreign nationals visiting to participate/watch) could be seen as an act of treason; it could also be argued (but proven? I am not so sure, admittedly) that when he took the oath, he didn't actually intend to live up to it.


    The oath:


    "I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."


    Whether they are a citizen or not, anyone arrested here is allowed the same rights under Miranda. I am protesting not because they used the exemption, but the DoJ used it without even bothering to get permission to do so. Do you want the police to decide whether they have the right to search your home, rather than having a judge make that determination?


    As a simpler example, the US started monitoring phone and electronic communications between people here in the US, and to places overseas where terrorists are known to flourish, looking for ties to more terrorist attacks. Everyone complained because the only ones making that determination was the CIA and NCA (I.E. President Shrub) without recourse to either a judge or DoJ. If I were a cop and I put a wiretap on your phone, everything I collected would be inadmissible without a court order allowing me to do it.


    Before you think of it, the president is not legally allowed to make that determination. It is still something a judge can decide. Even the President is supposed to follow legal procedure. I edited the last line because President Wilson used the Sedition act of 1914, and the Sedition and Espionage Act that followed to have the Post Office open mail enroute to people the government believed were complaining about how Wilson's administration was handling things.

  21. True. And as someone living in the Greater-Boston area, I want to be absolutely sure there are no other undetonated bombs like the ones these "humans" (used loosely) decided to plant at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. They had more with them; the APB that was out on them on Thursday night/ Friday morning suggested they were headed for NYC.


    They were planning more attacks. If they use the public safety exemption to get info about their immediate plans, motivations etc, I am all for that. I endorse it. Especially, as I said, as a resident of The Greater-Boston area. Afterwards, Mirandize him and bring the heavy in terms of prosecution.


    Simply put: make him pay but do it legally.


    The most hysterical comment I have heard from authorities, is someone trying to define the bombs they did place as a 'weapon of mass destruction' so they can ask for the death penalty.

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