Saturday, August 30, 2014

Step Back Part Four

Saturday September 20, 1969

At a rare Saturday morning meeting of the Soviet Politburo a film was shown.  It was a 16 millimeter film produced by the U.S. Government of an interview with Mission Commander Evelyn Boatman.  The intended audience were the heads of allied governments along with diplomatic and miliary leaders with top secret clearance.

The KGB had stolen a copy.

For this showing the live accurate and translation of the Standard English dialog was provided by two field grade KGB officers reading from a prepared script.

The officer reading for Boatman was in fact the second man selected for the task.  The first had visibly flinched upon reading through the script for the first time and ultimately would refuse the assignment.

“There is simply no way around it, the fact is that Soviet Communism is based on a purely false concept of human life and is thus doomed to failure.”

The members of the Politburo sat silently as the historic image of the red banner of the Soviet Union being lowered from the Kremlin for the last time was projected on the screen.

Boatman had spoken again.

“Although the Soviet state had been quietly dismantled in the original timeline we cannot be certain of that this will occur in the current timeline.”

When the film ended and the lights came up the Minister for Agriculture spoke.

“How could this child be in command of the Star People?”

Star People was the term adopted by the Soviets for the crew of the starship Eagle. 

Yuri Andropov, the Chairman of the KGB, responded.

“Comrade Minister, The Star People claim to be able to medically reproduce a fully functional mind in a new body.  As a result Boatman himself claims to over two centuries old.”

The Minister for Industry spoke up.

“Don’t they know that Communism is the greatest and final form of social organization?  How could they not know this?  How could they be so blind?”

Andropov answered.

“The Star People are claiming that they have a capitalist society under a minimum state.  And they are also claiming that their political doctrine is based on the works of Ayn Rand.”

The minister’s eyes widened and he shouted out his response.

“Rosenbaum--that lying cunt?  She knows nothing!”

The Industry Minister had used Rand’s given surname.  Andropov again replied.

“Boatman and several other Star People have met with Rand and her inner circle in New York.  And they are now actively promoting her philosophy of Objectivism within the United States.”

“Why do they bother with her?”  Said the Industry Minister.  “That cunt was discredited when the affair with her head disciple was exposed!”

It was at this time that Leonid Brezhnev, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, spoke up.

“Comrades, let us stick to main topic, what can we do about this potential future?”

Most of the members silently sat up and nodded.  Brezhnev then spoke again.

“Mikhail Gorbachev, step forward.”

Gorbachev had been brought directly from his apartment in Moscow with only a brief amount of time to dress himself.  As a result his appearance before the Politburo was shoddy and unshaven.  He then was seated to the side of the room as the film was shown to the committee.

As a result he now saw himself as a dead man standing.

Brezhnev spoke.

“So Gorbachev, what do you have to say for yourself?”

As he saw himself as effectively dead there was no point in attempting to deceive anyone.  He answered honestly.

“What can I say comrades?”

The Minister for Agriculture spoke in return.

“What can you say?  What can you say?  What kind of policies are Openness and Restructuring?”

Gorbachev looked directly at the Agriculture Minister before replying.

“Comrade minister, you speak of events that have not happened, nor as a result of the appearance of the Star People will they ever happen.”

“Explain.”  Said Brezhnev.

“The appearance of the Star People has already altered the chain of events.  What they have told the Americans about the future has altered how they will act in the future.  And changes in how the Americans act will result in changes in how the Soviet Union will respond.  The future described by Boatman is already dead.”

“Nonsense.”  The Minister of Industry replied.  “Boatman and his people are lying!”

The Minister of Science spoke up.

“I must strongly disagree.  The Star People have brought back data on astronomy that they have shared with the Americans, who in turn have shared it with astronomers worldwide including ours.  This includes data on the dead star designated Niven Sixty-Nine.  Several of our radio telescopes have now confirmed the existence of the dead star.”

Everyone in the room stared at the minister.  Brezhnev spoke up.

“What does that mean?”

“In the late Twenty Second century this object will pass through the inner solar system and will radically alter the orbits of the planets, including the Earth.”

Another minister spoke up up.

“Will it hit anything?”

“That’s unknown.”

Andropov then spoke.

“According to the little information we have the intended mission of the Eagle was to assess the damage done by the object and to rescue any survivors found in the Solar System.  The Eagle was originally constructed as a ship that traveled below the speed of light.  When a faster than light drive was developed it was installed in the ship and successfully flown on two missions to nearby stars before the mission to Earth was attempted.  Their passage backwards in time was not expected.”

Another minister spoke up.

“So what do we do now?”

No one had an answer.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Step Back, Part Three

It was Friday afternoon in Washington.

At his desk John Edgar Hoover was immersed in thought.  The people from the future had brought back disturbing information about how far his agency would descend into the darkness before the Federal Government would be overthrown in the event known as The Reformation.  Of particular interest was the incident recorded in their history as the Waco Massacre.  Although another agency initiated the incident it would be the bureau that would carry out what uptime historians called the greatest act of mass murder in American history.

So how can it be stopped?

The answer to the question may lie with a man identified by the Uptimers as a future occupant of the office of president, William Jefferson Clinton.  His name as well has wife’s was on the list of those person who would bring about the collapse of the republic and provoke The Reformation.  The question of what to do with these people had been discussed with Hoover and President Nixon by Commander Boatman.

“One could carry out a dirty war, essentially a discrete campaign of assassination, but it would ultimately be revealed to public view and thus bring about a negative political blowback.”

“It would be wrong.”  Nixon replied.

“No Mister President,”  said Boatman, “it would not be wrong, to terminate a Red or even a mere traitor is a necessary homicide.  But by the present cultural standards it would be impractical.  This is something that will have to changed in the long run.”

Hoover had then asked a question.

“So what would you suggest that we do with these people?”

Boatman had nodded before he replied.

“Something that could be described as a clean war is in order. Place these people under surveillance and arrest them when they do something that can prosecuted as a crime.  You should do this to destroy their future political credibility.”

Hoover sat back in his chair and thought.  In the historic context the original ATF operation against the Branch Davidian residence was unnecessary.  As a licensed firearms dealer was living on site a pair of ATF agents in a government issue sedan could have visited the residence for an inspection.  And if actually taking David Koresh into custody was necessary he could have been placed under arrest while on his morning exercise run. 

No, the ATF action, originally dubbed Operation Showtime, was an irrational publicity stunt that had clearly gone wrong.  The ATF agents were the actual criminals in this situation and should at the very least been taken into custody.

The initial action was bad, the response of the Bureau was worse.

In the history taught to the Uptimers the Waco Massacre was described as a act of Soviet style state terror intended to punish the Branch Davidians for the act of self defense and to intimidate otherwise patriotic citizens into submission to the Clinton Regime.  In response the people who carried out The Reformation would make a clear effort to locate and execute the surviving members of the so-called Hostage Rescue Team of the Bureau.

It was possible that the historical view of the Uptimers was distorted.  But by how much? 

Clinton had clearly demonstrated that he was unfit to be president.  So how could he be blocked from entering the office?

He was identified in the historic record as a sexual predator.  And had been fellated at least once in the Oval Office.  Those men, including the President, who had been cleared to read the full history brought back by the Uptimers had been shocked to have read this.

It appeared that like Teddy Kennedy, Clinton was willing to sexually use women who worked for him.  Could this personal fault could be used to stop him?

It was at this that point Director Hoover decided to place Bill Clinton under long term surveillance by the Bureau.

In downtown Minneapolis a chartered cross country bus pulled up to the entrance of the Auditorium and Convention Center.  The door opened and the first to step out was a tall middle aged man, the Reverend William Grant.

From across the street he could see a squad of armed paratroopers looking on in curiosity.  President Nixon had deployed the alert brigade of the 101th Airborne Division to Minneapolis to keep order in the wake of the massacre of a significant fraction of the municipal police force. 

“Praise The Lord,” he said, “we are here.”

As with many people his curiosity had been piqued with the announcement of the discovery of an inbound starship seen in the southern constellation of Centaurus.  He was slightly amused at the Soviet announcement that they had made radio contact with the alien communist expedition.  He was not at all surprised that the Soviets had lied when actual radio contact with the incoming vessel had been made.

What was shocking was that the starship was flown by humans who had accidentally come from the future.  What he found appalling was that every member of the ship’s company was an atheist and that not one of them would ever speak with him.

They had absolutely denied The Lord Jesus Christ. 

But what truly appalled him was that the people from the starship Eagle had been led by a child.  He had watched at the office of his evangelical ministry the lived televison coverage of the initial meeting of the starmen and President Nixon at Edwards Air Force Base.  The landing craft had been roughly the size of an old DC-3 and vertically landed in a horizontal configuration.  The first of the star travelers to step out from the craft was a teenage boy in a shipboard jumpsuit. 

President Nixon was speechless.  He would later say that he didn’t expect to meet with such an obviously young man.

Apparently the boy had expected this.

“Mister President,”  he said, “we have a medical procedure that recreates the effect of reincarnation.  I’m presently on my sixth incarnation, sir.”

Certainly this was lie.  This absolutely had to be a lie.

The more Reverend Grant had learned of the people who claimed to be from the future the more he was convinced that all they spoke were lies. 

They were clearly the creation and instruments of Satan.

There was no possible other explanation for their presence.

What was worse was that his 14 year old daughter Judith was in the office and watching the live broadcast.  She appeared to have been enthralled by the boy who walked as a man.

“Child!”  Reverend Grant had shouted.  “That is a servant of the devil!  Leave this room!  Now!”

He had done everything he could to protect his children from the presently depraved culture of America.  And it had appeared to him that this was not enough.

But now that he was in Minneapolis he would meet with the families of the police officers murdered by the servants of Satan.  And he could hold a massive worship service here at the Minneapolis Auditorium.

He would do everything he could to stop these tools of Satan.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Second Episode

September 19, 1969

Evelyn Boatman slowly awakened.

He was laying in a hospital bed under full terrestrial gravity.  He could feel an oxygen tube in place on his nose.  When he opened his eyes he saw a familiar figure standing beside the bed.  A woman in scrubs and a white lab coat and holding a clipboard.  The ship’s surgeon and his adopted daughter Alice.

“Hi Dad.”  She said.

“What happened?”  He replied.  “Where am I?”

“We’re at our ground base.  You seriously stirred up a nest of shrieks dirtside.”

The current ground base for the Eagle mission was at the U.S. Government’s Secret Area 51 in New Mexico.

He nodded, then replied.

“In the Terran context it should be hornets.”

“Whatever.”  She replied.  “What was the last thing you remember?”

He thought for a moment before answering.

“We had found temporary sanctuary at the local FBI office.  The squad lander had set down in front of the Federal Building on Third Avenue and the Ranger squad was deployed in a circle.  John and I had almost made it to the lander when something hit me in the back.”

Alice nodded and replied.

“It was a thirty caliber rifle fired by a police marksman.  He apparently thought that the Federal order to not shoot you didn’t apply to him.  The Rangers responded and killed every Minneapolis cop in sight.  The dirtside press are now calling the incident the Minneapolis Massacre.”

“Morons.”  He said.

“The cops or the press?”  She replied.


Alice nodded.

He had another question.

“So how’s John?”

“He’s unharmed and back with his family in Huntsville.”  She said.  “Everyone at NASA Huntsville is seriously angry about the incident.  And apparently Werner was actually cursing in Deutsche, something about the SS not being that stupid.”

Boatman could only nod.  Doctor Von Braun’s personal history was something that not discussed.

Alice spoke again.

“So what happened to you?  Well the bullet missed the heart but the right lung did collapse and we had to reinflate it.  I want to keep you in bed until I’m certain it remains inflated.  Do you understand?”

He looked up at Alice, she had her serious doctor look on her face.

“Yes ma’am.”  He replied.

In Washington President Richard Milhous Nixon was not looking forward to the coming meeting.  The Minneapolis Massacre had become a political nightmare for the administration.  Although the Uptimers were fully cooperating with the FBI and fully presenting their case to the press the various news outlets were not presenting all of the facts.  There appeared to be a concerted effort on the press to place the full blame for the incident on the Uptimers and the federal agencies that supported them.

The meeting would be held in the cabinet room in the West Wing.  Along with the president would be the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Earle Wheeler of the United States Army, and the Director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover.  The Uptimers would be represented by executive officer of the Eagle, Lieutenant Commander Michelle Keller.  Commander Keller had brought a one of the spare laptop computers from the Eagle with her for the meeting. 

The other side would be represented by Senators Hubert Humphrey and Edward Kennedy.

An aide poked his head into the cabinet room and spoke.

“Mister President, the senators are here.”

“Send them in.”

“Yes sir.”

The three men stood up while Commander Keller remained seated.

As in the current norm the men shook hands then Senator Humphrey turned towards Commander Keller and put forth his hand with the expectation of a handshake.  The Commander only responded with a cold stare.

President Nixon had read the full history of the United States up to the historical event the Uptimers called The Reformation.  Given what he read he had expected the Uptimers to have a full hatred of the Democratic Party.  What he found truly disturbing was their cold and clinical contempt for the Democrats instead of the emotional state of hatred.

Humphrey spoke.

“Do you understand courtesy?”

Commander Keller coldly responded.

“Where we come from the proper response to the presence of a Democrat is one round in the head in the old Soviet style.”

Both senators were shocked, their eyes widened.

Commander Keller pointed to the chairs as a command motion to sit.

The temperature in the cabinet room seemed to have dropped as the senators silently sat down.

Nixon had also read of the efforts of the political successors of the Democrats to prevent the construction of the sublight starships that would carry humans from the path of the oncoming neutron star that was expected to destroy Human Civilization in the Solar System. 

As one of the Germans at Huntsville who also read the report had put it--those fools could have given Nietzsche several pointers on the philosophy of Nihilism.

Even so the clinical contempt of the Uptimers remained disturbing to the president.

President Nixon spoke.

“The subject of the discussion is the incident in Minneapolis yesterday.”

“Yes,” said Humphrey, “when will those murderers be brought to justice?”

Commander Keller calmly responded.

“Mister Humphrey, your police in Minneapolis chose to behave as predatory animals and were identified and dealt with as such.  Justice has already been properly served.”

Humphrey face turned red as he raised his voice in response.


Commander Keller said nothing in response.  Instead she opened the laptop computer and positioned it so everyone at the table could see the screen and entered the command to play the audio-video file recorded by the lapel camera worn by Evelyn Boatman.  Only after the file had completely played did she respond.

“As you can see the two officers in the initial incident failed to comply with the operational standards of a proper civil constabulary.  Under the circumstances Mission Commander Boatman had no choice but to defend himself with deadly force.”

Both Director Hoover and General Wheeler nodded in agreement.

General Wheeler spoke up.

“Your cops were also ordered to stand down.  Instead one of them shot Commander Boatman and the squad responded to that action in accordance to proper infantry doctrine.”

All of the television network news programs had shown newsreel footage of the Ranger squad, in their powered armor suits, engaging the Minneapolis Police on the ground.  But the networks had consistently not shown the rifle shot that struck Boatman.

Humphrey spoke again.

“The Minneapolis police were slaughtered like animals!  They didn’t know what they were up against!”

Director Hoover shook his head and replied.

“Senator, all the police departments in the Twin Cities area were notified of Commander Boatman’s visit to the area.  The Saint Paul police informed their officers on duty of this.  The Minneapolis police did not.  So whose fault is this?”

Humphrey was struck silent, Kennedy now spoke up.

“So when will these monsters be disarmed?”

Commander Keller replied with a level voice.

“The citizens are the sovereign authority, those who seek to disarm them are traitors to the nation and should be put to death.”

Kennedy’s face turned red and he shouted in response.


President Nixon now interjected himself.

“Commander, I believe the senator is referring to your nuclear weapons.”

The planners of the Eagle expedition had no idea if anyone was still alive in the Solar System or how they would respond to a mission from Alpha Centauri.  It was assumed that a hostile response was possible and that the expedition should be prepared for it.  The Eagle at present carried more nuclear warheads than were in the arsenals of the United Kingdom, France, China, and Israel.  Only the United States and Soviet Union outnumbered them in nuclear bombs and warheads.

“It simply won’t happen, sir.”  She replied.  “And Eagle is presently parked in geosynchronous orbit at about the longitude of Omaha, Nebraska.  Our onboard laser batteries are presently providing coverage against a possible Soviet ballistic missile attack on the United States.  If a hostile government were to come to power in the United States we would have withdraw our block against Soviet actions.”

What she left unsaid was that if a hostile president were elected it would be a very good idea to not be in Washington on Inauguration Day.

“You are the criminals!”  Kennedy shouted.

Commander Keller slightly smiled, looked straight at Kennedy,  and then she calmly spoke.

“Speaking of actual criminals, how is Mary Jo?”

Kennedy’s eyes widened.  He shouted in response.


Commander Keller’s eyes lit up as she spoke in response.

“Teddy, a proper government holds it’s elected officers to the highest reasonable standards, and the act of leaving a helpless young woman to slowly suffocate to death is something we treat as a capital crime.”

Well yes, the young woman in question was a Democrat, but a valid law must be applied to everyone without exception.

Kennedy quickly stood up and left the cabinet room.

President Nixon then spoke.

“Senator Humphrey, it appears that this meeting is over.”

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

This is related to my current literary project

On Thursday September 18, 1969, it was time for lunch.

There was a White Castle restaurant on the corner of 4th street and Central Avenue in Minneapolis. It was built at the north end of the parking lot of a strip mall and was one of the prefabricated units in while porcelain and stainless steel that were still in operation on this day. Roughly half an hour after the local noon two men stepped inside. The first was in his early sixties and wore an off the rack grey suit. The second appeared to no older than 14 years old. He wore a custom tailored navy blue suit in the Nehru pattern. The suit jacket was worn loose and unbuttoned with a round silver and glass pin at about the position of the left lapel.

In New York he had been criticized for apparent Third-world style of his choice of attire by a certain little old lady from Leningrad.

“Miss Rand,” he responded with a clearly adult tone of voice, “In spaceflight a necktie is a useless mass and it floats up into the face in free-fall conditions, and I will die before I put on a bow tie.”

The apparently young man also had a short haircut that was more comfortable than fashionable and carried himself as if he were far older.

The apparently younger man spoke to his older companion.

“Do you want anything, John?”

The older man replied with a trace of an educated German accent.

“No sir, go ahead.”

The young man stepped up to the counter and spoke.

“I’ll have four cheeseburgers with catsup and no pickle, fries and a coke please.”

“Yes sir.” The clerk replied.

In the memory of the apparently younger man it had been nearly two centuries since he came to Earth and discovered the White Castle hamburger. He had been born in the primary habitat of Ganymede and had come to Earth for his college education. After the synthetic food he grew up with even the basic slider was a joy to consume.

Even though it was theoretically impossible he and his companions had traveled backwards in time. No one on the crew and science staff aboard the Eagle had any idea how it happened. But now that Evelyn Boatman and his crew were back in 1969 they would have to live with it.

As they waited for the order to come up two Minneapolis Police officers wearing their standard uniform hats entered the restaurant. To John they reminded him of the Secret State Police of the Reich, what was commonly known in his native Germany as the Gestapo. To Boatman they brought forth memories of the stone age sentient reptilian natives of Eden, one of the two habitable planets of the Alpha Centauri system. Vermin who were nearly exterminated by the second wave of Human colonists.

Boatman consciously suppressed the urge to bring out the pistol concealed under his suit jacket.

The senior of the two cops spotted Boatman and spoke.

“Hey kid, why aren’t you in school?”

Boatman turned and calmly replied to the first cop with a clearly adult tone of voice.

“I am not a student.”

John felt it was time for him to speak up to the uniformed thugs.

“Gentlemen, we’re with NASA.”

The second cop turned towards John and growled.

“Shut up!”

The first cop didn’t understand what he saw. What he had identified as the mere teenage boy standing before him should have descended into a visible state of fear. Instead the boy had calmly assumed the position of adult authority.

And even though the boy had a military grade haircut he was still dressed in what the cop had identified as a hippy suit. That made the boy someone he could beat to a pulp without an adverse consequence.

The cop stepped forward and reached to grab the boy with his right hand. He only got off two words before there was a response.

“Listen punk...”

As the cop’s right hand touched the left side on his suit jacket Boatman brought his own right hand down on top of that of the cop. With his left hand he seized the cop’s elbow, spun right with the entire force of his body and pushed forward on the elbow. He could hear the elbow snap. Then with the right hand open he struck the cop with the palm up to the chin of the cop. Boatman could hear the neck of the cop snap.

Boatman then reached back under his jacket drew his pistol and aimed it at the head of the second cop.

The second cop didn’t recognize the weapon as a currently manufactured handgun. He sneered with full rage.

“Use a real gun, punk!”

Boatman pulled the trigger. There was no report of a gunpowder weapon. Only a crack of a projectile moving at slightly above the speed of sound combined with the impact of the projectile upon the head of the thug.

The weapon was manufactured on Zion, the second world colonized in the Alpha Centauri system. It used magnetic force to propel a bullet made of a 2 centimeter core of depleted uranium wrapped in a centimeter sheath of mild steel at slightly above the speed of sound.

The second cop dropped to the floor.

Evelyn Boatman looked up at his companion and spoke.

“Well, that was rude.”

Doctor Johannes Linden reverted to the language of his homeland.


Boatman then looked over to the manager and staff of the White Castle.

“Sorry about the mess,” he said, “I guess we’ll have to skip lunch.”

He then turned back to his companion and spoke.

“Let’s go.”

As then walked back to the rented car Boatman spoke again.

“If I recall correctly there is a Federal building on Third Avenue in downtown, there should be a FBI office there.”

When Central Avenue crossed the Mississippi River it became Third Avenue South. They should find sanctuary from the local cops at the FBI office.

As John pulled the car out of the shopping center’s parking lot Boatman reached into a coat pocket and pulled out a device. He needed to make a call.

Monday, August 25, 2014

An Old Thought

Back in November of 2008 I said this online:

Of course Barack Obama will have a problem with selfishness.

And it's not simply an issue of tax policy. Before one can say, "this is wrong, I won't do it", one has to say "I".

Conscience is the expression of the ego in the moral realm. To make a moral judgment and to act on it are basically selfish acts. It is the self that sees through its own eyes and acts on its own knowledge of right and wrong.  You could not be selfish if you cannot live with yourself.

Rational Selfishness as defined and advocated by Ayn Rand was limited to acts which benefited one's self but caused no harm or inflicted a cost on another person.

The narcissist, especially in the political realm, is not concerned with the injuries and burdens inflicted on other people. In fact, the more destructive the consequences of obedience to those who obey the narcissist, the better. Human sacrifice with beating hearts cut out and victims flayed alive, that's great. Millions worked to death in slave labor camps in Siberia, as far as the narcissist is concerned that's better.

In order for me to say, "I, Leslie Bates, do solemnly swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America..." I have to say "I". That was my ego speaking when I took the oath of enlistment.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Thought For The Day

There is no such thing as a good Marxist.

Even a dead Marxist has to be disposed of.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Islam In Action

This is Daniel.  He was 4 years old when a rocket. fired from Gaza, killed him on Friday August 22nd. He left parents, a 3 years old sister and a 6 months baby brother. Share this to show Hamas’ rockets DO hurt innocent people and children. Share the truth. May he rest in peace.

Thanks to Mark Urbin.

Friday, August 22, 2014


When I was more active with the Traveller role playing game I wrote a short story set in the official universe. Here' how I epected Hillary Clinton to be remembered in the Far Future:

Ian saw that the old bakery building at 22nd Avenue and Washington Street was boarded up again, another attempt to redevelop the property without demolishing the original single storey brick structure had failed.

Plastered all over the structure were posters showing a black and white photograph of a sixty-ish woman, with short fake blonde hair, a standard nine-millimeter service pistol was aimed at her head. The hammer of the pistol in the photograph was blurred as though it were falling on the firing pin.

Over the photograph on the poster in all capital letters was the one word, REMEMBER.

"I'm sorry sir," said the Chief as he pointed to the posters, "but I'm not fully familiar with that bit of Terran history."

"Well," Ian replied, "That's Saint Hillary, a martyr for the holy cause of Democracy. She was just a stupid old bitch who believed that being democratically elected somehow constituted an excuse for abusive and destructive behavior."

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Moron Of The Day

A journalist tweets from Ferguson, Missouri:

Those are in fact ear plugs for hearing protection.  They are sold over the counter at drug stores everywhere.



Apparently the reporter works (or perhaps I should say "works") for the Huffington Post.  In other words he's a leftie propagandist and doubleplus (look it up) moron.

Doubleplus dumbass.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Check It Out

Mark Urbin has a site titled No Moss Here. It is constantly undergoing change. Real change, not the phony baloney socialist change that The Big Zero is always emitting noise about.

If I didn't constantly click on the site I would miss things like this:

Drug addicts and alcoholics are always, ‘The world is a harsh place.’

My mother was in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. I don’t want to hear fuck about “the world as a harsh place.”

She gets up every day, smells the roses and loves life, and for a putz, 20-year-old kid to say, ‘I’m depressed, I live in Seattle.’ Fuck you, then kill yourself.

I never understand, because I always call them on their bluff.

I’m the guy who says ‘Jump!’ when there’s a guy on top of a building who says, ‘That’s it, I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to jump’.

Are you kidding? Why are you announcing it? Shut the fuck up, have some dignity and jump! You’ve got the crowd.

— GENE SIMMONS, asshole extraordinaire

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pure Evil In Action

This little girl was murdered for the sheer joy of it.

This is the kind of nihilism that was last seen committed in India by the cult of Kali.  On the Eastern Front when the SS would shoot children it was an act of pest control for them.  They didn't see their victims as being people.  The Muslim sect of ISIS knows they are committing the murder of innocent people.   And they are doing it for the pleasure of committing murder.  The members of ISIS enjoy this.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

This Morning

The sky was clear during my walk this morning.  I saw a very bright meteor with a long tail fall to Earth.  It was clearly the brightest meteor I've ever seen.

That's it for today.

Monday, August 11, 2014

So Anyway

I've passed 28,000 words on my novel project.

In conversation with my barber I learned that a local band uses two different names depending on where they play.  For club dates they go by the name Hookers And Blow.  But for church sponsored events they use the name Emerson, Lake and Lyndale, which are streets in South Minneapolis.


Sunday, August 10, 2014


Does two incarnations of a character having a conversation constitute an inner monologue?

 Did I say that I hate having to supervise anything from a distance?

We held mock space battles and boarding exercises with the Guardian as the target ship.  In each exercise companies of the Ranger battalion would take turns as boarders and defenders.

My Fourth Incarnation was a bit annoyed at my constant presence on the command deck aboard the Eagle.

“Don’t you have an office and work station on the ground?”  He once asked me with a clearly annoyed voice as we observed Bravo Company on a boarding exercise.

“Yes.”  I replied to him politely.

“You also have a wife.”

I turned to look at him silently.  He spoke again.

“Seriously, I remember what happened to our marriage in the first incarnation.”

“Our marriage?”

Number Four took a very annoyed and lecturer tone of voice in his reply.

“Evelyn Boatman Number One and the one and only Susan.”

“Oh yes, I remember.”

“She went back to Earth and it was our fault.”

And she remained on Earth until the end.

I spoke again.

“Our fault?”

Number Four looked forward and lowered his voice.

“Fine, I understand.  The Standard Language isn’t set up for multiple incarnations of a person to have a conversation, particularly concerning a private matter.  The point is that I clearly remember being overworked as our marriage to Susan failed while building the escape fleet.  I clearly remember when she left us, and I clearly remember the subsequent results.  And so should you, and I don’t want to see the whole thing happen again, even to you.”

“You aren’t married to Cheryl.”

He replied.

“And the way you are pushing yourself right now neither will you.  Seriously, you need to take a break.  Go back to Camp Heinlein, put on some music files and dance with her, she’ll love it.”

I silently stared at him.

“Oh come off it!”  He said.  “Don’t give me the silent stare treatment!”

I broke off the stare and looked about the command deck.  Everyone on deck was putting on the appearance of being strapped into their seats, hardwired to their work stations, and fully dedicated to their assignments.

Number Four spoke again.

“Look, you can call it a rehearsal for the arrival celebration, the point is that you need a break.”

“What about you?”  I said.

“I’m not supervising this entire operation, you are.”

“And you also want me off of your ship?”

“Yes.”  He replied.  “Simply trust me on this, let everyone work on their tasks and think of better ideas for them.  We’ll get it right.”

I had no idea how to respond so I took a break.  It was now clear in retrospect that I needed it.  And without knowing it the time Cheryl and I conceived our first daughter.

Saturday, August 09, 2014


The Illusion Theater in Minneapolis is putting on a stage production of 2001: A Space Odyssey.  There was one more show scheduled for Sunday night when I found out about it.

Unfortunately the online ordering system won't accept my credit card information.


Friday, August 08, 2014

Progress Report

I just passed the 26,000 word point on my novel Exodus.  As the current minimum word count for publication is 100,000 I still have a ways to go.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Another Excerpt

I took a train to New York. A group of gentlemen who called themselves the Emergency Committee asked me to meet with them.

They wanted a starship.

On looking back to meet with them may have been a mistake.

The meeting was held the afternoon of my arrival in a palatial tower off of Central Park. I was led to a meeting room on the penthouse level by a male African staff member. I set down my overnight bag as I led into the room. The Emergency Committee was made up of elderly white-haired gentlemen who were impeccably dressed for a bunch of groundhogs.

The apparent chairman of the committee spoke.

“Doctor Boatman, It is a pleasure to meet you.”

I replied.

“It’s Mister Boatman, I only have a Masters in Astronautical Engineering.”

“Well yes, but I’m sure we can arrange for a doctorate for you.”

“I’ll pass.” I replied calmly. “An honorary degree isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.”

Already these gentlemen had earned my disdain.

The Chairman had not expected that, after a pause he spoke again.

“If you could please take a seat?”

The African staff member pulled out a chair for me at the table and I sat down.

I spoke.

“So what did you gentlemen wish to talk about?”

The Chairman replied.

“We want you to build a ship for us.”

“Okay,” I said, “get in line.”

The Chairman smiled and shook his head.

“No, Mister Boatman, you don’t understand, we want you to work exclusively for us.”

I didn’t have to think about the answer.


All the members of the committee were visibly stunned.

The Chairman raised his voice a bit to speak again.

“We will reward you very well!”

“And how will I enjoy this reward?” I replied. “Even if the Earth isn’t hit by Niven Sixty-Nine it will likely be rendered uninhabitable as a result of the effects of the passage. The consequence is that any reward you could offer would be absolutely meaningless.”

The committee briefly stared at me in silence.

I broke the silence.

“Gentlemen, the ethical rules for emergencies apply here, my goal is to save the largest number of rational and productive people as possible. The Boatman Corporation will build Exodus class starships for as long as possible for ourselves and for anyone who can raise the funds. We will not exclusively serve the interests of the anointed few. Is that clear?”

The Chairman slightly nodded before his reply.

“Yes Mister Boatman, that is clear.”

I then clasped my hands and leaned forward before speaking.

“Now gentlemen, how many ships do you require or can fund?”

The Chairman replied.

“Mister Boatman, we do not believe that the published specifications for the Exodus would fit our requirements. We require a single vessel that will carry one hundred thousand live passengers to Alpha Centauri.”

I shook my head before responding.

"Gentlemen, you may as well bolt a propulsion system to a medium size Lagrange colony.”

The Lagrange colonies were orbital habitats built at gravitationally stable positions at 60 degrees ahead and behind the Moon in the same orbit.

I continued.

“Even if you could build a proper starship the life support for a live passenger takes up far more mass than a hibernation system. Which in turn requires more mass for structure, propellant and other systems. The Exodus class is a reasonable design that can be mass produced using currently available technology. Your requirement simply isn’t doable under the present circumstances.”

The Chairman replied.

“Our requirement is based on an already published design.”

“Published when and where?”

The Chairman turned to the African staff member and spoke.

“Jackson, would you bring up the image of the Ark?”

From his seat across the room the African staff member entered a command at his work station. A vertical glass panel slid up from the surface of the table before the committee. A holographic image of a fictional interstellar vessel appeared within the panel. I immediately recognized it.

And I doubled over in laughter.

The Chairman didn’t understand.

“Mister Boatman?”

It took a few moments for me to recover before replying.

“Mister Chairman, that is an image from a documentary produced before The Reformation, and the design for ship is pure nonsense. We used to show it at Cal Tech at Rocky Horror style parties.

The committee apparently didn’t understand. One of the less elderly members meekly spoke up.

“What is Rocky Horror?”

With laser-like precision I looked straight at the board member and replied.

“Sir, have you never heard of The Rocky Horror Picture Show?”

“No, should I?”

These gentlemen had now earned my contempt. But I answered the man in a clear and level tone of voice.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show was a film released in 1975 by Fox Pictures. It’s based on a stage production that was a campy nihilist parody of older horror films such as the original Frankenstein. It obtained a cult following where at midnight showings the members of the audience would shout back at the screen and would also dress up as characters from the production.”

The gentlemen of the board were apparently surprised to hear this. I summed up.

“Screenings of the picture show continue to this day at least once a year in places such as London, New York and Minneapolis.”

The Chairman spoke up.

“I don’t understand, what does this have to do with our project?”

I calmly replied.

“Gentlemen, the documentary Evacuate Earth was routinely mocked by the Astronautics Department at Cal Tech as it clearly had serious flaws. For example, there is absolutely no way that a big picture window at the bow of a sublight starship can remain unbroken. Furthermore the design of the habitat section is a complete waste of mass. And there is absolutely no way that a separate rotating habitat could be made to work with a non-rotating drive section.”

“But the Lagrange colonies have separate living and docking sections!”

“That’s because they don’t accelerate and can import more air as needed.” I replied. As is the rotating seal between the two sections isn’t perfect. There’s always a very tiny amount of leakage. And you won’t be able to resupply your air until you reach the destination.”

And as a result of this factor the Lagrange colonies will eventually be abandoned as their primary purpose has been fulfilled. As proposed by Dr. Gerard K. O’Neill back in 1974 the colonies served as manufacturing centers for solar power satellites orbiting the Earth. The facilities then served to build ships to go to the other planets. Now that we could build our own ships at Ganymede and other places in the Solar System the Lagrange colonies had fallen to the economically wayside.

I continued to speak.

“And you weren’t seriously thinking of using the Orion nuclear fission pulse drive to propel your starship?”

The Chairman was clearly taken aback.

“Why not?” He said.

“There simply isn’t enough refined fissionable material in existence to manufacture the nuclear charges to make it work, even with tritium boosting. I wrote my masters thesis on a design for an Orion drive starship and I had to limit the number of people carried to ten thousand. The journey would be made under very cramped conditions aboard the ship. And it would have to use some reactor grade plutonium as fuel for the propellant charges.”

The Chairman was clearly puzzled.

“I don’t understand, what is reactor grade plutonium?”

And some people wonder why I’m well paid for my work.

I answered in my college lecturer voice.

“Plutonium is produced in two isotopes, Plutonium-239 and Plutonium-240. The weapons grade material has a low amount of Plutonium-240, which is less stable and thus unsuitable for making weapons. Weapons grade fuel is produced by irradiating the basic uranium for as short a time as possible, roughly a year. Reactor grade material is the result of long term irradiation in normal power plant reactors and results in the generation of a higher percentage of Plutonium-240. The fuel with the highest fraction of Plutonium-240 was produced in the reactors of warships such as aircraft carriers and submarines. In this case the fuel rods were often kept in place for the entire operating life of the ship.”

Or that was the case for the last generation of nuclear fission powered ships. The earlier generation of nuclear fission powered warships had to be partially dismantled in order to refuel them.

I now had the complete attention of the committee.

“The old United States did develop an alloy of Plutonium and Uranium-238 to fuel their nuclear weapons, so that does help stretch the fuel supply a bit. And the use of tritium boosting for the charges also reduces the amount of plutonium fuel for each charge. Which in turn stretches the amount of fuel that’s usable. But you will have to bring a means to generate more tritium with you.”

“Why?” Said another committee member.

“Because tritium has a half life of twelve and a half years. If you attempt to bring the entire supply for the journey the tritium component of the braking charges would have decayed to uselessness before you arrived at your destination. You have to generate new tritium onboard your ship in order to boost your braking charges.”

I scanned the committee again before summing up.

“Fortunately the Inertial Confinement Fusion Drive on the Daedalus and Exodus does work and is far more effective at propelling a ship.”

The committee was speechless.

“In any case,” I said, “when you gentlemen come to your senses we can work out a deal. Until then, I have ships to build.”

I stood up and went to collect my overnight bag. The African staff member appeared to be clearly frightened of something as he rushed to open the door of the room for me. On exiting the building I made a decision and summoned a taxicab.

“Grand Central Station, please.”

Instead of going to the hotel I decided to return directly to Pasadena. Upon arrival I was met at the station by Susan.

Monday, August 04, 2014


Conservative radio talk show host Jason Lewis has just quit.  He is "Going Galt."  That is he is doing what Ayn Rand recommended to all of us in her novel Atlas Shrugged.  He refuses to be used and abused by the system and quit.

Here's the site reporting the event.

A Suggestion

From Oleg Volk:

Sunday, August 03, 2014

H. Beam Piper On Savages

H. Beam Piper on neo-barbarism excerpted from his novel SPACE VIKING (Copyright 1963, by Ace Books, Inc.)

“Yes, for one thing, we don’t have the Neobarbarians,” somebody said. “And if they ever came out here, we’d blow them to Em-See-Square in nothing flat. Might be a good thing if they did, too; it would stop us squabbling among ourselves.”

Harkaman looked at him in surprise. “Just who do think the Neobarbarians are, anyhow?” he asked. “Some race of invading nomads, Atilla’s Huns in spaceships?”

“Well, isn’t that who they are?’ Gorram asked.

“Nifflheim, no! There aren’t a dozen and a half planets in the Old federation that still have hyperdrive, and they’re all civilized. ... These are homemade barbarians. Workers and peasants who revolted to seize and divide the wealth and then found they’d smashed the means of production and killed of the all the technical brains. Survivors on planets hit during the Interstellar Wars, from the Eleventh to the Thirteenth Centuries, who lost the machinery of civilization. Followers of political leader on local-dictatorship planets. Companies of mercenaries thrown out of employment and living by pillage. Religious fanatics following self-anointed prophets.”


“You’ve seen decivilized planets. How does it happen?”

“I know how it’s happened on a good many: War. Destruction of cities and industries. Survivors among ruins, too busy keeping their own bodies alive to try to keep civilization alive. Then they lose all knowledge of how to be civilized.”

“That’s catastrophic decivilization. There is also decivilization by erosion, and while it’s going on, nobody notices it. Everybody is proud of their civilization, their wealth and culture. But trade is falling off; fewer ships come in each year. So there is boastful talk about planetary self-sufficiency; who needs off-planet trade anyhow? Everybody seems to have money, but the government is always broke. Deficit spending–and always more vital social services for which the government has to spend money. The most vital one, of course, is buying votes to keep the government in power. And it gets harder for the government to get anything done.

“The soldiers are sloppier at drill, and their uniforms and weapons aren’t taken care of. The non-coms are insolent. And more and more parts of the city are dangerous at night, and then even in daytime. And it’s been years since a new building went up, and the old ones aren’t being repaired anymore.”


“Our grandchildren, if any will probably be raiding Murduk.”

“You think it’ll be like that?”

“Don’t you? You were there you saw what was happening. The barbarians are rising; they have a leader, and they’re uniting. Every society rests on a barbarian base. The people who don’t understand civilization, and wouldn’t like it if they did. The hitchikers. The people who create nothing, and who don’t appreciate what others have created for them, and who think civilization is something that just exists and that all they need to do is enjoy what they understand of it–luxuries, a high living standard, and easy work for high pay. Responsibilities? Phooey! What do they have a government for?

Trask nodded.

“And now, the hitchhikers think they know more about the car than the people who designed it, so they’re going to grab the controls. Zaspar Makann says they can, and he’s the Leader.” He poured a drink from a decanter that had been looted on Pushan; there was a planet where a republic had been overthrown in favor of a dictatorship four centuries ago, and the planetary dictatorship had fissioned into a dozen regional dictatorships, and now they were down to the peasant-village and handicraft-industry level. “I don’t understand it, though. I was reading about Hitler on the way home. I wouldn’t be surprised if Zaspar Makann had been reading about Hitler, too. He’s using all Hitler’s tricks. But Hitler come to power in a country which had been impoverished by a military defeat. Marduk hasn’t fought a war in almost two generations, and that one was a farce.”

“It wasn’t the war that put Hitler into power. It was the fact that the ruling class of his nation, the people who kept things running, were discredited. The masses, the homemade barbarians, didn’t have anybody to take their responsibilities for them. What they have on Marduk is a ruling class that has been discrediting itself. A ruling class that’s ashamed of its privileges and shirks its duties. A ruling class that has begun to believe that the masses are just as good as they are, which they manifestly are not. And a ruling class that won’t use force to maintain its position. And they have a democracy, and they are letting the enemies of democracy shelter themselves behind democratic safeguards.”