Saturday, January 07, 2006

Proof of Alternate Dimensions

Senator Ted Kennedy seems an unlikely source of proof that alternate dimensions -- worlds very much like ours where events happened slightly differently, like the South winning the Civil War or someone else winning a presidential election -- exist. And yet, in a press roundtable this week, he did:
Briefly, Kennedy rewrote the outcome of the 1964 election. "This nominee was influenced by the Goldwater presidency," he said. "The Goldwater battles of those times were the battles against the civil rights laws." Only then did Kennedy acknowledge that "Judge Alito at that time was 14 years old."
Had this been Bush, it would be proof of his idiocy ala Reagan. But from Ted, well it's just proof that his brain is still sloshing around in booze.
I've Been Podcasted!

Jungle Kitty is a Star Trek fanfiction writer who used to be very active on the alt.startrek.creative newsgroup back when I was also active there. I stopped writing fanfic, though she did not. She's now teamed up with a friend (Lene Taylor) to do a podcast about their Number One Obsession: Captain James T. Kirk, and the actor who plays him, William Shatner. The podcast is called Look At His Butt!

I've been listening for a while now, not because I'm a Kirk fan -- I preferred writing TNG and Voyager stories -- but because they are so damn funny. I'm only mentioning it here because in the latest podcast they briefly talk about me and a story I did called Star Trek: Clambake! It comes up after the mid-show break, around the 26 minute mark. Go and download the podcast and give it a listen. (It takes about an hour at dialup speeds; much less for broadband.) They have the rare ability to make it seem like you're a part of their conversation, not that they're talking to you.

While you're at the Trekiverse archive reading Clambake!, go to the Search tool and enter my last name (Hollihan) to see more of the 3 dozen or so of my stories archived there. I'm really proud of them. I fell away from writing fanfic, which I regret, but during the decline I started to construct and write my own ST series, Star Trek: USS Goddard (or maybe Star Trek: Discovery Corps; I keep wavering) which I think had a lot of potential. I want to go back to it someday and take it up. (The website is incomplete and missing a lot of stuff, so don't sweat broken links or missing graphics.)

Anyway, yes you read right, I'm in a podcast called "Look At His Butt!" Laugh amongst yourselves. Thanks to the ladies at LAHB for the too-kind words.

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Iranian Problem

It's not making much news in America it seems, but Iran's coming acquisition of nuclear weapons is prompting some gloomy predictions of what comes next.

Part of the "no news" has been a recent trip by high level American administration officials to Turkey, widely assumed to be securing permissions for flyovers and staging if action in Iran becomes necessary. Until Sharon's stroke, it was assumed that Israel would be taking action against Iran as they did in the 80's against Iraq, with US blessing.

The article and discussion linked seem to think the appropriate model is Europe in 1918, but I think it's more like Germany in the mid-30's. Iran's leader is open, defiant and unapologetic in his desire to see Israel erased from the world and the Jews exterminated. The American media may demurely look away, hoping he's not really serious, but the evidence is that he is. We can nervously pretend he's not a wolf, but given a chance he, like Hitler, will go for our jugulars.

We in the West tend to forget that Iran is the modern day successor state to the ancient Persian civilisation, which has controlled most of the Middle East throughout history. I don't think Iran has territorial ambitions, but I do believe they have economic ones.

Read the discussion. It tends to the spectacular and apocalyptic, but there's a lot of meat to chew on. This year looks to be The Year of Tenterhooks.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Read This Essay

Yeah, I know, gone on walkabout, not back soon, blah, blah, blah. But I read this Mark Steyn essay and demand that you read it too. It talks about multiculturalism, demographics, liberal democracy, Islam, government largesse and the future. The outlook is very, very worrying.

He touches on topics and projections that I've sometimes talked about here. How American military might made the European social safety net possible, to everyone's detriment. The death of "Europe" within a century. The displacement of Western liberal democracy as the central guiding force of history. How demographics are driving that future more than academic theory.

The only thing missing in Steyn's essay is an examination of secularism vs religiousity. European, Anglosphere and Asian birthrates are plummeting in those nations most driven by secularism, where the influence of religion is waning or waned. Look to South America or Southeastern and Pacific Asia, where religion is still strong in daily life, and you see more marriage and larger families. They do not face the demographic doom we do.

In fact, America's birthrate is just above the replacement rate only because of our laissez fair immigration policy. Look at population growth solely by Americans and you see that we, too, are below the replacement rate. It's only the massive influx of Hispanics, and secondarily the high birthrate of African-American women, that kept us above that line. Factor that out, and we're in Europe's boat as well.

It's a stunningly powerful essay. Read it and think on it.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Nap Time

I'm going back on hiatus again. Don't know how long.

I'm just not following the news any more. I haven't picked up a paper in at least a month; haven't been to their website but maybe a handful of times in the same period. Not watching television news, except sporadically. (And I'm still not watching WMC/5 at all. They still have that abominable hypocrite Susan Adler Thorpe as a commentator.)

I make the regular blog reading rounds, but a lot of the "second tier" stuff I used to keep up with has fallen away. Lots going on, I'm sure, but so what?

I'm just not informed, nor do I particularly feel the need to be. The world goes on just fine no matter what I think or say. The political leadership are secure in their positions; the voting populace appears to be just fine with 'em. It's all cozy and financially rewarding. The road to hell is well paved and we're riding in a cushy vehicle with wraparound seating, a CD/DVD player, cruise control and noise-cancelling technology.

I've tried to at least keep a hand in, but the quality and type of posts over the past month or two have obviously been crap. Traffic has drooped by half.

Depression, burnout, lassitude, laziness, apathy, hopelessness, seasonal affective disorder. Call it that and more. It's hard to care.

So I'm off to bank the fires and hope for rekindling. It'll probably happen; don't fear. I'm just not sure when. I wouldn't check by here too often, as I plan to walk away for awhile.

Take care and I'll see ya when I return.