Wednesday, September 27, 2006

LATEST NEWS FROM DAVID BRIN

(Here's a rough draft of my semi-annual circular that I'll be mailing out next week. Figured I might as well test it online here. Let me know (in comments) if anything needs tweaking or if I left anything out. Oh, and note especially item#1!)

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1) MY NEW NEW HISTORY CHANNEL SHOW!

In North America: tune in for the premiere of -- The ArchiTechs!

PREMIERE: Wednesday, October 11 11:00 PM

REPEATS: October 12 at 3 AM & October 14 at 11:00 AM

Here is what the History Channel says about this bold new show:

"Five geniuses are challenged: innovate fire rescue and evacuation tools for skyscraper disasters... and do it in 48 hours! Watch a small team of designers and visionaries form a high-tech think tank, racing the clock to shape bold, over-the-horizon designs for the future. With unprecedented cooperation from New York's regional fire departments, show#1 culminates in a dramatic presentation to Former FDNY Commissioner Thomas Von Essen, one of the heroes of 9/11.... "

Whew! If ratings are good, this exciting series will send our dynamic (and handsome) team tackling more rapid "innovation makeover" challenges, ranging from spaceflight to eco-power to creating "the next humvee." (We went zooming around the desert, interviewing Special Forces, dissecting hummers, then created a wholly new design, all at behest of a four-star general.)

Help spread the word about this breakthrough in entertaining and smart/informative television!

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2) LATEST NONFICTION!

Do you like provocative arguments about popular culture? Then have I got a treat for you. Star Wars on Trial : Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Debate the Most Popular Science Fiction Films of All Time (Smart Pop series) by David Brin (Prosecutor) and MW Stover (Defense) along with two dozen wonderfully articulate authors, "testifying" for either side. Does the series spread doom-pessimism about democracy? Has it been a let-down since "The Empire Strikes Back"? Does it even make any sense? Pick up a copy and be prepared for a wild, extravagant "trial" - brash fun!


Also, see OTHER NONFICTION DELIGHTS! Essays and stories published exclusively at www.Amazon.Com/Shorts (Now on my website.)

   
     About a coming “technological singularity”

     About "human adaptability" vs cynicism

     Panic was the LAST trait that Americans exhibited on 9/11

     Predictive hits of my novel EARTH

...and see a ton of other interesting topics at: http://www.davidbrin.com

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3) LATEST FICTION!


I helped launch a major new online venture in science fiction publishing, UNIVERSE Magazine, founded by the late, great Jim Baen. This is the best thing to happen to SF publishing in years! A small subscription gives you many times your money's worth in top stories, by top authors.

Drop by for my new serial-comedy... THE ANCIENT ONES! It is - quite immodestly -- the funniest thing you've read in years! (After a few more chapters, I'll send it in to be a book.)

STILL HOT: My big graphic novel - The Life Eaters - was a finalist for the big prize in France, where they really know and love this art form. Have a look!

And yes, it's been a while since the last major "Brin novel." Hey, life's busy. For example, I just got a 126 claim patent on completely new ways that people can interact online. Maybe you'll be using these innovations in just a year or two!

Still, I am eager to return "home" to novels... and just wait till you see the next big one! It will be worth the wait.

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4) OTHER MATTERS

Anyone having trouble accessing http://www.davidbrin.com can try http://www.davidbrin.NET

Does your group need an inexpensive speaker about "the future"? See Speculative Speakers on the About SF site.

 For classier (but pricier) speeches with that visionary flair… take a look at my list of speaking engagements!

Keep eyes open for news about a "Year of SF and the Future in Asia" - with events in both Japan and China!

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Okay, enough!

Here's hoping that we all finally get over the Y2K trauma and start remembering our real job in this civilization... to make the 21st Century a time of boldness, of science and adventure, of honesty and problem-solving, of tolerance, pragmatism and innovation!

We are the descendants and heirs of explorers.

With best wishes, for a confident and ambitious Third Millennium.

David Brin


PS. Interested in joining a vivid online discussion group? Drop by: http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/. Meanwhile do keep an eye open at http://www.davidbrin.com/ for news and (always) quirky-but-interesting views of the future!

49 comments:

Nicholas Christian Walter said...

David,

Bloody hell, that's what I call an update! I'll mark my calendar and look forward to some excellent evening reading!

Cheers,
Nicholas

Nicholas Christian Walter said...

As an aside, during or shortly after the 2004 election cycle I discovered www.buyblue.org, which lists companies by their political donations to the major parties (and, of course, encouraging buying from "Democratic" companies). I was dismayed, after being an Amazon customer for ages, to learn they were predominantly "Republican." So I resolved to only shop there if they had something I could not otherwise get my hands on. Voting with my dollar, an all that.

However, I can report that as of the 2006 cycle, their donations thus far have been 50/50. Takes alot of the sting out of it, I must say.

bryan @ shotgunfreude said...

?!?!

I am a patent attorney, and I can't remember the last time I saw a patent with 126 claims!!! I assume (and hope) it was filed before the fee per extra claim was jacked through the roof.

n8o said...

About Amazon Shorts:
• Amazon Shorts are available exclusively at Amazon.com; you will not find them anywhere else.

Except for: http://www.kurzweilai.net/articles/art0656.html?printable=1
and
http://wise-nano.org/w/Brin_CTF_Essay
Where it's posted under the GNU Free Documentation License.

David Brin said...

Wow Nick, you are the 1st poster to use the "my picture" mode in comments. You sure look fierce.

I assure you that if we see Diebold steal the next election, I will be pushing www.buyblue.org like mad. Because at that point I will see no point in doing anything else but accepting that Ft. Sumter has been fired upon again. Not blue-vs-red but grey.

Bryan, drop in at http://www.holocenechat.com

Many of the claims overlap, of course. Was filed maybe THREE years ago (things are SLOW at the USPTO...

...as they are in venture capital. I mean geez. What does it take? Like, man, I now OWN "conversation" online. You think I'm joking? Whole bunches of the subtle mental techniques that we all take for granted in real life conversation have never (through some kind of mass-blind-spot) ever made it onscreen, so I grabbed em...

...with the intent mostly of using IP to DRAW ATTENTION to the blind spot! And yet, even so, it's damned impossible to find anybody who is able to perceive or get it. Like hypercard in 1986. When scads of smatries said: "It's cute, but why would anybody want to click on a highlighted part of a page and make another page appear?" duh.

Enough - back to topic. Is anybody gonna tune in on 10/11? Help spread the word? Other comments?

Stefan Jones said...

I'll spread the word, but starting next week.

There's a psychological barrier to scheduling to watch something that airs "next month."

"Tomorrow" is too close. "Next week" is about right.

monkyboy said...

I'll tune in.

Your IMDB page:

http://tinyurl.com/n4far

Lou Grant's son in charge of it?

Looks like a real sausage fest, though...couldn't find any female geniuses?

Side note...HBO's "Rome" is a huge disappointment...sigh.

Why does so much crap get funded? I thought HBO at least had high standards...

bryan @ shotgunfreude said...

Well, you wasted no time in announcing the patent here and on holocenechat.com - the Patent Office just mailed the notification of issue today! Or technically yesterday now.

There happens to be another David Brin in California with 9 patents and 13 currently pending published patent applications, all for surgical devices. I started to think, wow! He does that too?!

Stefan Jones said...

I found about my patent (6,892,391) through junk mail.

It was an official-looking offer for plaques and frameable certificates. The glossy brochure showed an old geezer showing his plaque to some kids, presumably grandchildren. ("That's right kiddies! Whenever a piglet is laser-castrated he'll have your grandfather to thank for it.")

"Patent Awards" of Warsaw, IN was able to track me down, but the Patent Office wasn't! If you look at the on-line record for the patent you'll see my old address in Belmont, CA.

Gilmoure said...

Sounds like a cool show. Am spreading the word.

Stefan Jones said...

I want a uterus and ovaries implanted so I can have Keith Olbermann's babies:

You are the wind beneath my wings.

Jeeez.

David Brin said...

Stefan I laughed out loud.

I wonder why folks's photos only appear in comment-posting mode, not in comment-reading mode.

Are any of you guys out there fans of the great old 1960s movie A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS, starring Paul Schofield? I highly recommend it, both as a fine piece of cinema and as a morality tale relevant to our times.

Of course Sir (saint) Thomas More is a Catholic martyr who stood up to Henry the VIII over issues that most of us would find antedeluvian and unenlightened. But the META of his brave stand -- his dedication to law and rights before king -- these are admirable even outside their historical context.

I am wondering why some lines from that film aren't cited nowadays, especially in light of the current debate over the United States "redefining the Geneva Convention." There was a passage in the film, I believe, in which More quizzes a young law student (and religious zealot) as to whether he would tear down all the laws in order to chase down the devil.

To which the boy shaouts yeas. all the laws, if that's what it took.

What follows is a stunning reply and I invite one of you to transcribe this scene for us here. I think getting it out there could do a lot of good.

Bryan, I never met or heard of that David Brin... or won't admit it. I DO want to set up a small design shop. I think I have weekly ideas that'd result in high numbers of useful products. Silly old society wants me just to write sci fi buks.

Let me know if you run across any VCs who know an opportunity from their own kiesters....

Tony Fisk said...

Kate Sightings:

- 'Panic was the LAST trait that Americans exhibited on 9/11'
Not a criticism. Just a comment that I think this meme is propagating in the wild nicely.

Check the general response (90%!) to 'United 93' at Rotten Tomatoes (or this Age review which remarks: "Thrown into relief here - and all the more powerful for its understatement - is the triumph of collective human action over systemic failure."

People are grokking it.

- Predictive hits of my novel EARTH
- *not* an Amazon short, but the wiki! (Should I organise a PayPal account;-)
46 predictions and counting: about a third of the way through the commentary. I've been having a breather, but have just been touching up the entry on Airships

- Finally, while the general tone clearly assumes the reader is not a regular reader of this blog, or your site, the end remark does assume that the reader knows what you're talking about when you refer to getting over the Y2K blues and getting on with the business of civilisation!

----

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

There's 'More' here

(Couldn't resist:-)

Tony Fisk said...

I read Olbermann, and hear the deep, measured tones of Munro loud and clear!

Good night, and good luck!

Rob Perkins said...

I dunno why the pictures only appear in posting mode, but I suspect the problem of slow loading of the posting mode page I was having months ago is related to someone's picture loading slowly.

On Olbermann: It sure would have been nice to hear a variant of those words come out of the mouth of someone who has not been relentlessly redlined against Dubya since they day Ms. Harris certified his 500 vote win in Florida.

Why? Well, frankly, because noone is listening to him who isn't already convinced that Bush Has to Go.

Sure he's ticked off, and probably justifiably so; it's not cricket to spin a predecessor's work. Also, Olbermann allowed for the fact that the blame for 9/11 stretches back three or four administrations, and then completely ignored that allowance in his closing rant.

That and he filled it with cheap shots, and dressed them up with the "indignant professional journalist", criticising the question and furthering a meme which I don't agree is true: Fox News might be filled with rightist editors, but Chris Wallace is not one of them, and the question he asked, if really on the minds of millions of people (and here's a hint: it is) deserved asking, if only to very skillfully swat it aside, something which Clinton almost did!

And Wallace asked it with the same approach as his Dad Mike did when confronting the Ayatollah. Frankly, comparing the two, Khomeni came off more even-keeled, and what does that say about Clinton?

Yipe.

So, blah blah blah, rant rant rant. Show the world you're no different than Bill O'Reilly (the *populist*, not the Republican!) in execution style, if not in faction allegiance. Be a hothead on MSNBC if you want, but noone who *needs* convincing is watching anyway. Noone who needs convincing is looking at the blogs where his rant is posted.

And twice as many who *do* are watching Fox News.

That, and a dissonant thought: Olbermann accuses Mr. Bush of practically masterminding the whole smear campaign, an accusation that comes from the same man who has, in the past, accused the President of being so vacant-minded that he can't or won't even control the excesses of a runaway Congress, let alone whatever else is further away from him (the economy, failing alliances, whatever!)

I submit that if either one of those things is true, the other is certainly *not*. And I'd plead for a bit less heat, and a lot more light, from someone who claims to be much better at journalism than Chris Wallace.

What a useless waste of time. Hope y'all feel better, tho.

Nate said...

You know, I was going to post something here, but fuck it. The Democratic party couldn't even bother to fillibuster or even bring up meaningful opposition to the President's bill letting him hold people without trial or evidence, and torture them. That's what our country's become. And the Democrats were too scared of the specter of Karl Rove calling them traitors to fight this betrayal of what America used to be.

Game's over, guys. We lost. Grand Experiment's over, the Enlightenment's been lost to fear and freed. The America I thought I knew is dead. And the Democrats, that "last, best hope" of modernism, couldn't even fight this, and more than 0 of them voted for it. All because they're scared of Karl and Bush and because they're trying to look "tough" and "moderate". Fuck the Grand Old Party of Torture and Fuck the Democrats who rolled over and gave it to them. This is who we are now. I don't know exactly what it is, but it's not America.

Tony Fisk said...

Hope you do feel better, Rob.

Now take a deep breath. Get all those indignation fumes out of the system.

Olbermann accuses Mr. Bush of practically masterminding the whole smear campaign

Actually, Olbermann comments:
But, Mr. Bush, if you are now trying to convince us by proxy that it’s all about the distractions of 1998 and 1999, then you will have to face a startling fact that your minions may have hidden from you.

The distractions of 1998 and 1999, Mr. Bush, were carefully manufactured, and lovingly executed, not by Bill Clinton, but by the same people who got you elected President.


Yes, he's putting the Chief at the forefront of these comments (and, yes, the commentary would have been more punchy if he'd avoided the snipes about seed selling).

However, that *is* where the buck is supposed to stop. Moreover, the text of the narrative clearly suggests that others are involved (eg Disney Corp.) who may be operating independently.

Noone who needs convincing is looking at the blogs where his rant is posted.

There are several blogs grumping about Olbermann. Their tone is generally shrill, but they're watching. (Meant to post a few refutations to one of the less rabid, but I can't find the link now! Oh well...)

That 'Clinton did nothing (about Bin Laden) in eight years' seems to be a standard mantra.
Olbermann (who, I note, has been sneered at in some quarters for never producing the facts) points out in that he 'bombed bin Laden’s camps in Afghanistan and Sudan on Aug. 20, of that year(1998)?'. The same year that Lewinsky was being pursued so vigorously.

So:
- left hand: Olbermann verifies that Clinton *did* try to do something about Bin Laden.
- right hand: Olbermann points out he was indeed distracted by the Lewinsky scandal
- gripping hand: Olbermann points out that 'The distractions of 1998 and 1999... were carefully manufactured, and lovingly executed, not by Bill Clinton, but by the same people who got [Bush] elected President.'

monkyboy said...

Buck up, Nate.

Anything done by Congress can be undone by Congress.

Nate said...

Monkyboy, do you really think the Democrats who couldn't stand up to Karl Rove now, when they were passing the "make us an evil country" bill are really going to stand up to Karl Rove six months from now to undo it? Or two years from now, assuming the "maverick" McCain who caved on torture doesn't get elected President? Somehow, I doubt it.

And the worst part is, I was talking about this with a friend I thought I knew IRL, and he was giving me bullshit answers like "Fuck yeah, kill a hundred innocents to get the one terrorist who was gonna drop a dirty nuke on the capitol," and I was just "Dude, WHAT?" and none of the things I mentioned could get through to him, even the innocent people we've tortured and gotten nothing useful from, because "I don't trust my government to always be the good guys but I DO trust the government to keep my ass safe". But. It's not. How many other, seemingly-reasonable people are walking around thinking and saying things like that? Maybe the America I thought I knew was already dead, and Congress just made it official.

And how many of those people are going to change their minds after a couple years? Especially with the Democrats not fighting this. That's the thing I understand the least. Why aren't the Democrats fighting this and painting the GOP as the party of torturing innocent people?

Nicholas Christian Walter said...

I think my picture only looks "fierce" because it's so small in this display.

Nicholas Christian Walter said...

nate: "Why aren't the Democrats fighting this and painting the GOP as the party of torturing innocent people?"

Because to get too shrill this far before the election a) gives the GOP too much time for counter-attack b) will alienate the soccer moms.

The country is so polarized at the moment, and Dems, although not exactly front-and-center condemning, are still poised to retake at least oe House in Congress.

The final two weeks before the election will be the time for the Democrats to take to the airwaves and pillory the prez and the elephant he rode in on.

Nate said...

Pillory him for what? A bill the Democrats couldn't even bother to fight? A bill that a number of Democrats voted for? That's not gonna fly.

Doesn't anybody on the Democratic leadership have the slightest clue what they're doing?

David Brin said...

Nate, ponder the quote from A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS (above).

All of you ponder it. I cannot think of a better parallel to this shortsighted horror of undermining the Geneva Convention, when we might very well need it, desperately, one day.

Rob Perkins said...

Nate, I think good work is still possible, and it would still be moral to do that work, even in the face of inevitable failure.

Tony, I didn't post in hot anger. I posted in cold frustration. Blogs might be refuting Olbermann on the Right, but the people who need convincing are not reading Olbermann, they're reading the refuting blogs. The entire milieu is disappointing, because while we might be teaching all our kids to think and identify fallacy, through their college educations, we're also showing them in no uncertain terms that they don't really have to *use* what they learn. Not when sophisticated rants from the likes of Olbermann, or O'Reilly, or Limbaugh, or Franken, will suffice for the day.

Let's not mistake me for a friend of Bush's, or even in agreement with the Republicans who compromised with him.

One side of me says exactly what the rest of you are saying, that a kinder interpretation of Geneva, not a looser one, should prevail.

Another wonders whether American soldiers would get Geneva Convention treatment at all. I'm told they didn't get it in Vietnam. And they certainly didn't get it in Somalia. And our enemies today are more like the ones in Somalia, than the ones in Germany or Italy, or even Japan.

...which would make the argument against "torture" on the grounds of preserving the Convention for American soldiers completely moot, with the remaining reason being to protect our own humanity against the darkness. (A good enough reason all by itself.)

And I wonder whether or not the Congressional prohibition against such activities would simply drive the bad stuff back underground, onto proxies or into black operations. More secrets.

Maybe the Democratic Party can't filibuster. Maybe they're politically savvy, letting the remainder of Bush's term damn him and all the Republicans for a good 20 years or more. Who knows. Maybe they're saving it all up for some bombshell surprise of their own, in order to take power completely in 2008.

I don't know. I don't think Olbermann knows. I defer to the President and his ministers by law, and oppose them through my congresscritters by law. And pray that whatever happens, we get at least one more flowering of peace for my children to enjoy before Chavez invades Brazil and Panama on some pretense.

monkyboy said...

Nate,

We won't get rid of the neocons until people get sick of them. Give them enough rope...

On the plus side, I think we know what the "October Surprise" will be now...a show trial, live from Gitmo!

Nate said...

Rob, the argument about our soldiers being in more danger is true, but not the most relevant. The only argument it should take is "It's torture. Torture's wrong. We're the fucking United States of America. We don't torture people."

But that seems to not work on a lot of people. So how about how torture and "disappearing" people confirm our enemies' worst propaganda about us? How about how it alienates the rest of the world, especially the Muslim world where we need all the friends we can get, if we're going to win the "War on Terror". How about how it puts our soldiers in more danger by making more people who are willing to try and kill us. How it shuts down our sources of information because people hate and fear us, so they don't want to talk to us. How it gives us false or useless information, since people will say anything to make torture stop. Or how it affects the people who do the actual torture. Or how it affects the country by making torture and disappearing people the legal what we do, instead of the rogue actions of a crazed Administration.

There's so MANY reasons this is all a bad idea, I can't even begin to see what makes it seem like a good idea, other than abject fear, and the promise that by hurting other people you won't need to be afraid. Except it doesn't do anything to get rid of the reasons people are afraid. Or address the fact most of the fear's unreasonable. It just makes everything worse, and gives up one of the most important bits of what used to make us who we were.

And I'm not counting any kind of surprise from the Democrats. Every time I've hoped they'd do something clever, they've done the opposite.

And Dr. Brin, I know. That's one of the quotes that's come up many many times lately. But not in any way that's helped make things better, because the people who need to hear it and understand it never see it and probably wouldn't get it.

Francis said...

David: The quote from A Man For All Seasons that I think of whenever looking at American Politics isn't that one (great tho it is), but "... but for Wales?"

Tony Fisk said...

Rob: Most of the blogs I checked have links and transcripts, so people can access the original. But I can see that many won't bother following them, and just accept the common site wisdom (where the mantra s of 'Olbermann gives no facts' and 'Clinton did noting for eight years' are in strong evidence . Maybe I should try adding my above comment somewhere to see the reaction for myself. (I'd better remove the motie references though: it may appear alien enough as it is!)

MB: My vote for October surprises is either coup rumours or some sledging of a big lie, a sample of which we've just been seeing recently with Path to 9/11'. Feel free to add your suggestion to the list, though!

Hmm! The passage of that bill is profoundly disappointing. Something equally smelly was shoved through the Oz parliament last year.

I note three things, however:

1. It does not come into effect until next year.

2. It may still be challenged in the federal court.

3. The truism is that oppositions don't win elections; governments lose them.

With that in mind, I can only hope the dems are playing a canny game of chess, showing a spirit of pragmatic compromise now, before those elections.

But you know your politicians better than I.

Francis: It was Roper who accepted 'Wales' as payment for testifying against his old mentor. Perhaps it is another irascible character you should look to for inspiration?

The words that Robert Bolt gave Sir Thomas More resonate at both a political and ecological level. But *sigh* look what happened to More in the end. And look at the changing role of the narrator: that everyman observer who progresses from being More's manservant through to his gaoler, and finally his executioner!

And yet, there is a sense of pragmatic survivability to the character. He keeps his head down and endures his various roles while More sticks to his inconvenient principles and is ultimately disposed of. Furthermore, unlike Roper, he carries More's principles away with him (as the audience does at the end), and never compromises More directly. ('I can feel me deafness coming on' the Gaoler says in aside as he is offered an 'alarming' sum by Cromwell for any juicy things he might overhear.)

Pink Floyd's 'On The Turning Away' also seems an appropriate anthem tonight.

On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden
And the words they say
Which we wont understand
Dont accept that whats happening
Is just a case of others suffering
Or youll find that youre joining in
The turning away

Its a sin that somehow
Light is changing to shadow
And casting its shroud
Over all we have known
Unaware how the ranks have grown
Driven on by a heart of stone
We could find that were all alone
In the dream of the proud


(But buck up... methinks the last two verses aren't so despairing)

On the wings of the night
As the daytime is stirring
Where the speechless unite
In a silent accord
Using words you will find are strange
And mesmerized as they light the flame
Feel the new wind of change
On the wings of the night

No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside
Just a world that we all must share
Its not enough just to stand and stare
Is it only a dream that therell be
No more turning away?


A dream? We'll see if America can wake up next month.

Francis said...

Tony,

I don't look to Roper for inspiration. "But for Wales" is simply my take on the whole fiasco from everyone with any power at all, from the dogs that aren't barking (the press, most of the Democratic party, most honest conservatives), those who think that Bush is helping them (Conservative Christians, Oil People, others) and various other groups. It's not me I'm casting as Roper, it's a massive proportion of America.

bryan @ shotgunfreude said...

David Brin said...

Bryan, I never met or heard of that David Brin... or won't admit it.

Here are the nine issued patents so far for David S. Brin of Santa Rosa, California, for surgical devices assigned to Medtronic.

David Brin said...

Tony, thanks for the very long and very inspiring post!

Bryan, thanks for the news that my patent has shipped! Will be nice to have in hand. As for the other david brin, wow. Guys like that are the people who do the hard, grinding work of real innovation, pushing us forward step by step. Much more genuine "modernism" than my flashy leaps, which (if truth be told), are easily as artistic/romantic as they are scientific.

Question! are any of you getting RSS feeds off this blog? I thought I had it set for that. Been getting some complaints.

As for the democrats... grrr...
Many of you have seen my effort to come up with a DETAILED MANIFESTO FOR THEM:

http://www.davidbrin.com/contract.html


If they were to attack with ANY of these points, I think they'd gain huge ground.

Above all, will no one point out that we are LESS READY FOR A SURPRISE HIT than we were in 9/11/01?

Yes, yes, we can recriminate over why we WEREN'T prpared then. But that's all he-said/she-said. What the right simply cannot refute or even dispute is the fact that WE ARE LESS READY TO TAKE ON A 9/11 SURPRISE HIT NOW, THAN WE WERE THEN.

Clinton left Bush a military that had just competently cleaned up the Balkans and was demonstrably ready to take on BOTH the Taliban and Saddam. That is proved by the very events that the neocons are most proud of!

What kind of military is Bush leaving us now? Depleted and harried reserves, worn-down equipment, a tormented and low-morale officer corps, gigantic budget deficits and ground counter-insurgency committments that have half of our Army mired-down, unavailable for any other emergency duty.

Spread this meme! Go fetch that quotation from the GOP National Convention, criticising military "over-committment."

Challenge all your conservative folks and every conservative blog to dare to compare the Army that Clinton left Bush tgo the Army that Bush is leaving us today.

A today when some urgent horror may come down upon us out of the blue - as happened on 9/11 and Katrina too - while our leader-politicians stare, like deer in the headlights, then order tht professionals (once again) to step up and save their asses.

Conservatives used to save for a rainy day. That WAS conservatism. Both militarily and financially, these politicians aren't conservatives. I don't know what they are. But they have hijacked a great american political party, and all of our government branches, and most of our news media... and clearly they have just one agenda left.

To hijack our lives.

Rob Perkins said...

I'm getting the main postings fed in an RSS without trouble, and have been doing it that way for all the time I've been participating here.

Stefan Jones said...

This guy can get stuffed as far as I'm concerned:

Gingrich Urges Overriding Supreme Court

'September 29,2006 | WASHINGTON -- Supreme Court decisions that are "so clearly at variance with the national will" should be overridden by the other branches of government, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says.'


"National will?"

Excuse me?

How the hell do you define that? Whatever the Talk Radio ranters and grandstanding pols are shrieking about?

NO WAY, you wonkish dipwap! Your disgraceful excuse for a party has sactified torture and discarded the Great Writ this week.

What's next?

David Brin said...

Let's give Newt benefit of the doubt. Maybe he is refering to the national will to utterly despise everything that court-supported electoral cheating has done to America, recently.

No?

Alas.

On another matter. I simply cannot see how to tell a guy how to get RSS feed off of my present blogger format. Will one of you mavens write a little advice para? Or tell me how to make it more visible?

Hawker Hurricane said...

What scares me most about this new torture law is some of the other things in it...

Anyone who supports terrorists can be declared a enemy combatant.
There is no definition of 'support terrorist'.
Anyone who is a enemy combatant can be arrested without a warrant, held without anyone being notified that he is being held, and there is no habeaus corpus protection for him...
The law allows Americans to become "UnPersons" on the word of the President.
Don't believe that he'd do it? Well, maybe he wouldn't. But do you trust the next President with this power? How about the Vice President? Speaker of the House? Donald Rumsfeld? Anyone who might suddenly have the power of the President thrust upon him by disaster? I don't trust ME with this power (I have a little list... they'll never be missed...), much less Bill Clinton, and much much less anyone in the current leadership.

David Brin said...

Hawker, you are pointing to the Ultimate Stupidity. When partisans in a struggle neglect to consider "what if my worst enemies take advantage of this?"

The imbecility of monstrous partisans to say "how would I have reacted if Bill Clinton had grabbed a TENTH of this power?"

gurggle.

Tony Fisk said...

RSS feeds are straightforward with Firefox. Just click on the orange doohickey that appears in the right hand of the url address at the top.

The bookmarked url I have for this feed is:
http://www.davidbrin.blogspot.com/atom.xml

Francis, sorry if I tarred you with the same brush as Will Roper. It was just my clumsy way of a lead-in.

I actually think More was a little off target in his speech. The laws were not what protected him from the Devil, for the threat we are discussing now are laws. Bad ones.

No, what protected him was not the trees, but the forest: the spirit, the rule of law.

Habeus Corpus is a part of that spirit: the right of a man to ask 'why am I here?'.

A law without the spirit is a decree.

They rammed the anti-terrorist bill through in Australia: guillotined debate in the senate, scheduled the passage for Cup day when people's attention was elsewhere and, just in case anyone wavered, fabricated a 'clear and present danger' case out of some standard ongoing police work (which didn't need or even want it, and which was actually compromised as a result!).

And now, they can arrest people for sedition and hold them incognito. Only the spouse need be informed. Anyone who does know is subject to the same treatment if they let others know.

(Ooh! Maybe I should stop commenting here?)

Well, maybe I should. I'm getting a little warmed up and, after all, it hasn't had any real effect on day to day living, yet.

Still, this is how democracy dies: not, as Padme despairingly put it, to the thunderous sound of applause; but to the quiet scribble of the pen that signs decrees.

monkyboy said...

So today we learn that the Republican leadership in the House allowed a known pedophile to continue to use his seat to solicit underage pages for over a year.

Maybe the "ends justify the means" people will finally have had enough...

matthew jones said...

A little more on what monkeyboy has said above,

"Foley was part of the Republican leadership, holding the post of deputy whip. He also chaired the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus and was a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee." www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/09/29/congressman.e.mails/index.html

The proprensity for the predator to choose offical positions like this (Missing and Exploited Childeren) just boggle the mind. I do not believe that this chairmanship had anything to do with the relevations about Rep. Foley, but it is certainly creepy.

Here is a link to the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) homepage.
www.citizensforethics.org/
CREW is the group that wrote the letter to the House Ethics committee asking for an investigation.

Note the connection to Rep. Alexander (R-La) in the House Resolution.

Rob Perkins said...

More troubling is that people waited until after the Florida Primary was over before ratting him out.

David Brin said...

Rob, yes, obviously his attackers have been learning 21st Century battle rules. So? Rove taught well and I wish the people fighting back were BETTER at such tactics.

Fact is, by any moral standard, this is vastly worse than Monica. The proper person to punish Bill was Hillary. The proper people to punish Foley are his fellow felons in a penitentiary.

Again, the "what if Clinton had done this?" test applies. There are no bigger hypocrites than redstate hypocrites.

monkyboy said...

Are you counting The New York Times and The Wahington Post as redstate hypocrites, Dr. Brin?

I think we should.

On the plus side, it was ABC that broke this story...

Rob Perkins said...

So?

You've got to be freaking kidding me.

The proper people to punish Foley are his pentitentiary peers *last year*.

The idea that someone held off on a pedophilia indictment in order to take a seat in the Congress is anathema. I do not excuse them; they're complicit in acts of child abuse if they have.

And did I compare the Monica stuff with him? That wasn't me...

Anonymous said...

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to come forward with a claim about sexual harassment? Do you know how horrifying it is to have been harassed? I actually do. I was sexually harassed by a 17-year-old girl at the school I was substitute teaching at; I was 35 years old, and it was not desired contact (the girl made several inappropriate comments and when I dismissed her outright because I was twice her age she then brought up that teacher who got pregnant from a 14-year-old student and tried putting her arm around my shoulders).

The incident gave me newfound respect for women. It has taught me (who was once warned in fact about how my looking at a girl was making her uncomfortable a decade earlier by a boss - I stopped) to be far more respectful toward women and also to understand just what it is that a woman goes through when unwanted advances are put on her.

Now multiply that sense of discomfort with the fear of what this person, in a position of power, could do to my future if I complained.

The people who initially came forward had fairly tame e-mails. They complained to the media probably so they could hopefully avoid being blacklisted by a personage of considerable power. Upon seeing this evidence and these people coming forward... more teens decided to step forward. They realized that they were not alone. They realized that it wasn't stopping with just them. They realized this man was a monster and that he was going to continue with the unwanted advances on their younger brethren.

They realized it was time to take a stand.

I do not see this as a Left-Wing-Conspiracy to destroy a powerful Conservative leader or to claim his seat. I see this as the media worked on this, confirmed e-mails, confirmed information, and made sure this was not going to go back and bite them on their asses.

The initial report would have been a minor embarrassment. It would have been a "okay, I said a few things I shouldn't have... I'll stop," and not have hurt him tremendously politically.

It just happens that there was more to the story than initially expected.

This wasn't just a news story. This turned out to be a crime, and the news media would have a lot of egg on their faces (in a time where quite a few members of the media have suffered considerable setbacks for faking stories or for not researching things thoroughly) if it came out they were concealing a crime from the authorities.

I see it as coincidence. Happy coincidence, but still coincidence.

Robert A. Howard, Tangents Reviews
http://www.tangents.us

Stefan Jones said...

It is a little sad that what might be the straw the breaks the back of Republican dominence isn't corruption, ideological purges, the waste of life and treasure in an ill-advised and incompetently run war, but an icky old creep writing dirty notes.

Well, an coverup on behalf of an icky old creep.

Hopefully, more serious matters will arise during hearings next year, when we can look forward to a whole lot of arrogant wankers facing . . . this

monkyboy said...

And to think just a couple weeks ago we were cursing ABC for their phony 9/11 mini-series...

Do we owe them an apology?

Or is this story their apology to us?

New York Times finally put this story on their front page(no pun intended):

http://tinyurl.com/zcdhj

Rob Perkins said...

Robert, I know precisely how difficult it is to come forward with an allegation of sexual abuse, because people with that sort of incident in their lives have at various points been members of my circles of friends.

I watched their lives resonate themselves nearly to bits over the sheer violation of trust such crimes create.

I am, however, willing to call it a coincidence if said journalists held off on the whistle until they had two corroborating sources, or whatever the standard is. If, however, they had those sources in hand for *five minutes* longer than that, they're complicit. If they did it in order for a Democrat to take that man's Congressional seat, they're unconscionably criminal, having failed to protect a child in need.

I'm sure the facts of the case, the actual facts, will have at least a slightly different character than what we know today. I can only hope and pray that it's not as bad as it sounds, for one simple reason: If it is, or if it's worse, then lives were damaged by crimes which utterly destroy a person's self-confidence and self-esteem and carry ripples two to three generations downline, in my opinion. No person who holds off stands guiltless, except the frightened victim.

Don Quijote said...

And how many of those people are going to change their minds after a couple years?

They will when they start seeing their children or that of their neighbors being disappeared.


Expect to see many more Jose Padilla

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