Tag Archives: politics

Japan censors: Call the sex slaves “wartime laborers” now

(Source.) If you have to lie to make people love their country then maybe its time for you to face your country’s mistakes honestly. Then you can learn from history and become more lovable. It’s difficult for a thinking person to much love their country or trust it, if their country lies to them because it is narcissistic and insecure.

(And that goes for other countries including America too.) Complaining in English is rather pointless, so I also translated this into Japanese.

The line about honest historians being smeared as “Anti-Japanese” strikes a chord with me, because I hate the mindlessness of nationalism and while playing Socrates I’ve often been smeared the same way.  I have been accused too often in my life of being “Anti-American” if God forbid I ever criticize something about America in the company of a conservative who thinks he is somehow more American. Angry about CEO compensation? You’re anti-American! Constitutional checks not being followed? Somehow you’re anti-American! Want universal healthcare? Anti-American! Continue reading Japan censors: Call the sex slaves “wartime laborers” now

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Reminder: Conservative Baby Boomers are the real snowflakes

“Everyone is so easily offended these days, back in my day we weren’t a bunch of snowflakes.” – person who comes from a generation that was offended by gay people existing.
Continue reading Reminder: Conservative Baby Boomers are the real snowflakes

Ninja aid?

The NRA worries that if we ban guns, then modern day assasins like Lee Oswald would have to train their children with throwing knives for 15 years to fight tyrants from rooftops. So the ultimate underlying question that Democrats have yet to face from Republicans will be, “What about the ninjas?” I confess, I haven’t given nearly enough serious thought to the needs of ninjas in the future, but I expect that when the time comes Bruce Wayne will establish a school and train them.

How much have attention spans shortened?

Trump ran as a self-made man and the New York times did meticulous reporting to write a novella sized article about how he inherited $400 million dollars from his father. It was a fantastic piece but it made no mark, and it didn’t last a day and a half. Cable news didn’t talk about it, and Republicans are still trumpeting that he’s a self-made man because they never read the news (and are crazy.)

Likewise the Las Vegas shooting was the largest in American history, and within 48 hours cable news stopped reporting on it. We never found out what his motives were. Now if you mention it people struggle to remember much about it.

Continue reading How much have attention spans shortened?

When Philip Pullman argued the USSR (or Marxism) was a theocracy

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2004/nov/06/usa.politics

>’There is the concept of heresy and its punishment: as it might be, Trotskyism.’

I heard Christopher Hitchens arguing as Pullman does, and it’s quite nice to see a nicely written article which might have influenced Hitchens. I honestly like the author, although I would be skeptical of his economic views if he’s actually a neoliberal, a libertarian, or completely opposed to any kind of socialism or “marxism.” What if his views there are stuck in the past with JK Rowling? (I’m surprised he says he hasn’t been following the trans debate, and I kind of wish his books had characters that touched on that.) Glancing at his twitter he seems to want more funding for education, and opposes Brexit, so he’s definitely a liberal.

Eventually subsequent generations will have wider eyes than him, and we’ll just have to learn how to write stories that are even more liberal than what he wrote.

Why I don’t support revolutionary change

>”I could go on, but what needs to happen in the U.S. is a Revolution by the people against the Establishment System to bring it down to the ground and to build a new System based upon honesty and integrity in its place.”

“A revolution to create a new system based on honesty and integrity” really is a fool’s dream. In all of that chaos how are you going to create a better society? Most of the country cannot even agree on democracy, universal liberal values, or shared power anymore.

The South specifically wants to build a racist segregated theocracy where white Christians hold the power; Silicon Valley has been conditioned by years of libertarian propaganda to want technocracy with a few giant companies who can control all the information and manipulate our psychologies; Portland can’t agree on what form of anarchy they want but they’re with Anti-fa; the middle of the country are hicks who just want to keep their church and their guns and for the federal government to leave them alone. Hardly anyone is pro-establishment or pro-government anymore, but I don’t see a good alternative. (And don’t forget that Russia and China would try to sabotage any revolution by promoting the parties and players that you don’t want to control us.) Continue reading Why I don’t support revolutionary change

How star trek evolved toward pacifism in the Vietnam war

https://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/62/franklin62art.html

A good read. It’s enlightening to see someone analyze the air dates to provide more context to some of my favorite episodes. Still, I thought “the Omega War” was pretty stupid with it’s extreme parallel evolution, and that really broke the 4th wall for me.

I wish Gene Rodenberry were still alive and writing. I’d love to hear his take on our modern problems, just as I’d love to have heard Hitchens have a field day with the Christians who wanted to massively retaliate against the Sengalese islanders who killed their missionary last week.

The “Little War” episode which focused on maintaining a balance of power was pretty inconclusive and I honestly wasn’t sure what to think of it. (I actually thought Kirk had decided at the end to leave the planet without giving them the flintlocks.)

 

It never occurred to me that “City on the Edge of Tomorrow” was supposed to be commentary on the Vietnam War, and I thought instead that it was commentary on WW2. Of them all it was my favorite episode, I loved the tragic drama, and how Kirk had to make a hard ethical choice and choose the ends over the means.

I also wasn’t aware of how much of the war wouldn’t have been familiar to Gene Roddenberry when the series began. So much of the war is obvious to me now, but back then no one knew much and there definitely wasn’t as much information or the internet. I had sort of thought the intellectuals would have knpwn netter, but it probably did take a long while for information and the truth to trickle back to America.

 

I would have liked to have seen Gene Roddenberry have a discussion with Christopher Hitchens on whether it made sense to invade Iraq, and to keep occupying it for 20 or more years. I also think “Day of the Dove”, should have been included on the list.

 

I get the impression Star Trek opposed war, and believed in self-defense and self-determination, and struggled with interventionalism. It did seem to oppose American exceptionalism as a form of arrogance like in that episode where Kirk and another Klingon commander were stopped from starting an interplanetary war by indigenous people they had thought were more primitive than them. Star trek tends to say leave the people alone until they’re ready to engage with you: That’s the idea of the Prime Directive. It’s the intuition pump Star Trek has popularized.

Still, religion based terrorism and refugees have changed the world and challenged Cold War era political doctrines. I wonder what Gene would say if he had lived through 9/11? Betrnard Russel sorta stopped being a total pacifist in the face of the Nazis, as Hitchens did in the face of “theocratic fascists” (which often meant non-secularists.) In all the Star Trek episodes that dealt with WW2, they just coincidentally intevened on the side of the allies. So much for that prime directive: clearly Gene hadn’t figured out a short algorithum with a better ethical calculus, and had to include unwritten exceptions to his rules.

Falun Gong is another cult that refuses medicine

View story at Medium.com

Link here. Back in the day I sided with them on the grounds of religious freedom, and because the CCP was harvesting their organs and ruthlessly trying to stamp them out. I didn’t have a perfectly consistent position because I always made exceptions that favoured Christianity.  Let’s just agree that both sides are bad. Continue reading Falun Gong is another cult that refuses medicine