Category: Curmudgeon Corner

I Can’t Stand Gene Roddenberry

I Can’t Stand Gene Roddenberry

Sorry to all you Star Trek fans out there. I may be the only science fiction fan in the universe that really hates his guts. He stands in the annals of history with Karl Marx as one of the most vile perpetrators of socialism and communism this planet has ever known. I call him the used philosophy salesman…. and he was good at that job, one of the best.

Today is the anniversary of his birth and I have been constantly reminded of this all morning. Tributes everywhere I look to the man who turned the brains of a generation of science fiction fans to utter mush. If only he had passed on ten years earlier. We would never have had to put up with the inane techno-babble ramblings and neo-communist preaching of the Next Generation.

Twenty-one years after this man’s death and every single time communism is brought up I am forced to listen to some fool say, “But it works on Star Trek.” Well, to every idiot that has ever said that let me tell you… “Reversing the polarity of the trans-warp conduits.” That works on Star Trek just as well. The day that warp core conduits exist and how to reverse them is something actually useful to know, then we can talk about communism “working” on Star Trek.

Communism is as much a part of the techno-babble as the rest of Star Trek “speak”. Trek is a show about technology that is based on nonsense and philosophical nonsense that has proven unworkable every time it is tried. Worse than that, it is nonsense that has helped dumb down millions of people who should be the leaders in technology. I know what you are going to say….”look at all this technology based off of things on Star Trek“. Great and you know what made that technology possible. Capitalism pure and simple capitalism. None of those gadgets would have made it to the real world if someone wasn’t willing to buy them or pay money to bring those inventions to life. That very capitalism which runs counter to the entire utopian dream of Star Trek made those a reality.

I could write volumes on how Star Trek is actually a dis-utopia and the fact that Star Fleet is really a despotic government ruling over a vast empire of subjects who are virtual slaves of the state. The fans would not believe me. No matter how much I explain. All I ask is watch the show for yourself. Look at the clothing of characters that are federation citizens and not in Star Fleet. Look at the technology on Picard’s brother’s farm. Notice how there is no independent media and all communications are controlled by Star Fleet. Notice that all human’s are under the jurisdiction of Star Fleet, even when they live outside of it’s borders and break Star Fleet laws outside those borders. Watch Voyager and find out about how there are black markets on Earth. I don’t know why these little Easter eggs are in the show, but they are there, and they give a glimpse behind the curtain. Open your mind and look deeper into the rabbit hole and discover the dream Roddenberry really had for the future. I don’t like that future one little bit.

I had almost forgotten about this site. It goes into depth about the economic realities of the Federation-

The Economics of Star Trek

Does the Rational Conservative Movement Exist?

This website is devoted to science fiction and fantasy. It is also a lifestyle site for people interested in those topics and it serves these things in a conservative, libertarian, and objectivist framework. Objectivists and libertarians have well defined movements with leaders, forums, and even national conventions. In the case of the libertarians there is even a political party that caters to their particular political beliefs. Conservative is a much broader category encompassing a more diverse group. Depending on who you ask in that group some will say the conservatives/Republicans that enjoy science fiction and hold rational philosophical views are not conservatives at all. Those who will tell you this are more often than not the group I have labelled the “irrational conservatives”. 99 times out of a 100 they are the social/religious crowd. That group purports to be guided politically by faith in their religion, often taking their vote and going home if they are not placated in some way. They are the opposite of the Dwarves C.S. Lewis describe in The Last Battle.

“They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their minds, yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out.”
C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

I love C.S. Lewis as a writer, but he was wrong here. Belief blinds intellect, not the other way around. What a wonderful world Lewis lived in where faith trumped reason. Alas it is not the world we live in and no amount of belief, wishful thinking, or magical incantations will make it so. Of course, while many but not all on the religious right fall into this trap, a large majority (I would even suggest that most) on the left are stuck fast by wishful thinking as well. It is a trap of self righteousness where your belief trumps reality and any who stray from your path must be corrected or destroyed. I fear both of these groups, but I only align myself with one and not because I agree with them on matters of faith.

There is a very personal reason I can never be a liberal. Most liberals believe that they will be on the top of the heap when their kind take over. They will be the party official sitting in luxury taken away from the fat cats and entrepreneurs. They will command the vast unwashed masses to work in the cogs of the socialist state machine. You may not believe they think this way, but I have heard them when they think they are alone with their own kind. As an archaeologist surrounded by liberals I have had many chances to keep my mouth shut and listen. Most people would be aghast at the things I have heard. I also know that even if I toed the party line to the hilt I will never be invited to be an elite. So I cherish my neighbor’s freedom as much as my own in hopes that my small endeavors will prevent the liberal “utopia”.

I have far too many things going against me to be invited to their party

Liberals by nature are creatures of social hierarchy. They believe that there are workers and masters and that some people belong on the top while others must be relegated to  the ditch diggers of the world. They rarely will tell you this, but it is an ingrained belief. All of them think they should be the master and the rest of society their slaves. They are all smarter, and braver, and more worthy than the rest of us. If the entitlement state is not a symptom of this kind of thinking, nothing is. Even though they all want to be on top they do order themselves into a hierarchy among those in the “know”.  You climb the ladder of that hierarchy by being a member of certain demographics. If you do not fit their vision of an elite or you are outside of the demographic you are not one of them. No matter how smart you are, or how hard you work. I don’t fit that vision. I am not particularly handsome (looks get you everywhere with liberals). While I am intelligent and hard working, I am a hillbilly intellectual. I come from the mountains of Appalachia. Being a hillbilly is a death sentence when it comes to the left. The hillbilly is the most despised class on the Earth to these people. I have seen it first hand when I lived in New York for two years. You could not say the things about other types of people that were said  to my face. If I had not been physically intimidating I really believe I would have been in a fist fight every few days. As it was I was constantly in confrontations with people who felt perfectly happy calling me “Boy” and asking me how many slaves I owned, or if my parents wore shoes. The people who found this acceptable were other archaeologists, supposedly intelligent people. They were so confident in their smug liberal beliefs that they did not realize what bigots they really are. I ended up threatening one with a shovel after a particularly heinous series of insults. It was all I was able to take and I was the one in the wrong. Of course I am not suited to be part of the liberal elite, I am a violent stupid hillbilly.

No conservative had ever treated me the way liberals have treated me. No Christian had belittled me in front of my co-workers. That is why I choose to align myself with the right. That is why I work to create a world that gives the most people the most freedom of choice and the most freedom of action. I fear the alternative. I have seen where that path leads.

I give myself a variety of political monikers. These often change depending on what crowd I am talking to. With other science fiction fans I am a “Heinlein Conservative”, when I am with other political wonks I describe myself as a “Rational Conservative”. Which brings me to the meat of this article. Does the Rational Conservative movement that I so long to be a part of actually exist? While I have never been accosted to my face by the members of the religious right I have seen what they think of the rational conservative. It isn’t pretty, and they are sure we are all RINOs. Is there a place for me in the Republican party?

I think I have found that place working to move the party away from irrationality and towards a rational coherent philosophy of economic and individual freedom. If that means that the religious right are no longer part of my vision of freedom then I will work to move the party away from them. I may not always be correct but I will not support a group that has an irrational need to peek into the bedrooms of free people and make laws based on a religious text. I know there are many like us. If we work together we can take the party down the road that leads to the stars and away from the road that leads to theocracy. The religious right is welcome to come along as long as they realize the Republican party is a big tent party and that our issues are economic and individual freedom not the slavish adherence to a 2000 year old book. The future of the Republican party is Atheist, and Hindu, Jew, and Christian working together to give our children freedom to make their own choices.

I am not an Objectivist and I really have some major disagreements with the Libertarian party. I am a Republican and a Conservative. I believe in the military. I am anti-abortion on humanist principles. I think the borders need to be closed and we must protect our traditional freedoms and culture. I want to legalize drugs only because of the cost to individual freedom of the war on drugs.

If you are wondering where the rational conservative movement is and where you can find other Rational Conservative Republicans here are two places on the net to meet them.

Darwin Central

The Conservative Atheist

Both of these sites put me in mind of another quote from C.S. Lewis’ novel The Last Battle…

“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!”

Government Getting You Down….Leave?

Government Getting You Down….Leave?

When a place gets crowded enough to require ID’s, social collapse is not far away. It is time to go elsewhere. The best thing about space travel is that it made it possible to go elsewhere. Robert A. Heinlein

Everyday I get up and drive to job I don’t like very much to make money. Now why do we do this? Is it because of the hope one day I will be wealthy when I retire? No it’s because we are not free, not truly free. I  grew up hearing the saying “The Land of the Free” and I used to believe it, I really did. But there is no way in the United States of America to be completely free. Let’s say you are single and you wake up one day and sell off all of your stuff except what can fit in your pack… including your house (can’t have the house because of property tax).  You put your pack in your car, but wait there is  property tax on your car, so sell it as well. I guess now you’re free…right? No, now you have to file a tax return every year on the money you make at that job. Quit the job and you are free? No, not even then. There are still hundred of rules and regulations on what you can and can’t do with yourself. You really don’t even legally own your own body.  So how do you become free besides just becoming an outlaw? I guess that is what you would technically be to the government if you refuse to follow the rules. I just wanted to write something and its been bugging me all day. I can’t just pack up my family and head into the wilderness and make a life for myself free and clear the way my ancestors did. If I have said something wrong here please feel free to post. Maybe one day I can stake a claim on the great red planet of Mars.

Editors note….We really need a new frontier some of us were born to live free and wild. It’s an American thing.

The Paleo-Diet: Nature’s Most Manly Way to Lose Weight and be Healthy

I have been on The Paleo-diet for 5 weeks. I have dropped 23 lbs in that time. I feel better than I have in 20 years. I have more energy and less joint and muscle pain. I have tried other diets none have worked this well. Adkins dropped the weight faster but I never felt full. The key to the diet is simple. Eat meat( a mix of fish, red meat, pork, and chicken…. eat the fat off that steak), green veggies, and drink water. Staying away from bread, all grain products, potatoes, and don’t fry your foods.
The article linked below from Scientific American is the opinion of biologist  Rob Dunn. He believes that we have the paleo-diet all wrong and that the paleo-diet is not the diet that kept ancient humans trim and fit. While the Dunn is correct in the assertion that proto-humans were often vegetarians, he discounts or at least belittles the fact that those ancestors that survived to become human were meat eaters. He conveniently neglects to mention the evidence that early human ancestors began eating carrion and that this increase in protein allowed us to develop larger brains and differentiated us from our ape cousins leading eventually to modern man.

 

 

Let me address point by point why this article is incorrect from the point of view of an archaeologist (me)

 

1. Dunn’s first point is that paleolithic man often starved to death. This is patently not true. Starvation is not often associated with hunters and gatherers. In fact the few tribes that anthropologists studied while they were still hunters and gatherers, such as the Kalahari Bushmen, were often chubby. These people live in one of the most hostile desert environments on earth and can hunt and gather enough food so that they only work about three hours a day. Mass starvation never becomes a problem until people moved into farming. While paleo people did starve on occasion, it was rare. The article treats starvation as a part of the paleo-diet which is absurd. This statement alone negates the entire argument of the article. Many modern scientists use contemporary hunting and gathering tribes to try and determine the diet and activity of early man. They neglect to consider that these modern tribes live on land that the technologically more advanced agriculturalists do not want or can not use. This forces them to consist on a diet of what little vegetable and meat they can scavenge including insects. The typical hunter and gatherer twenty thousand years ago had his pick of hunting grounds. They occupied the best land with the most game and very little competition. They were able to carry on massive hunts with huge amounts of meat taken in each hunt.

 

2. Every dig I have ever been on that has been associated with native cultures that predate farming are also associated with massive number of animals bones….cooked bones.

 

3. Cooked meat is an artificial way to make meat soft like it would be if rotten. This is the reason we digest cooked meat so well because it is like the carrion we evolved to eat.

 

4. The article suggest we look further back into evolutionary history to find out what our distant ancestors ate. That is rubbish. Chickens are evolved from small dinosaurs like raptors but I don’t see people feeding them live rats. We have evolved and changed since we were in the trees. It is better to see what homo sapiens ate at the time of the emergence of the species rather than distant ancestors to get a sense of the natural human diet.

 

5. Dunn suggests that we have a digestive system which is uniquely suited to breaking down plant matter. Wow, we have a digestive system that is good for digesting plants. What a revelation. We are omnivores we also eat plants and lots of them, that is part of the paleo-diet as well.

 

6. Dunn says in the article that if we evolved to eat meat that, “Our bodies would have to have simultaneously have evolved to be less able to deal with more ordinary primate diets.” He goes on to say that there is no evidence we have evolved away from the traditional primate diet  and this is one of the main reasons he thinks we have not evolved to eat meat. Let me draw his attention to a little organ we call the appendix. It doesn’t work anymore because we have evolved away from eating tree bark.

7. Dunn asks someone to show him the evidence we evolved to eat meat? The fact that we have been killing or scavenging animals for meat for the past 3 million years. That our finger tips and tongue have evolved so that they can handle hot cooked foods (meat)  without getting burned as easily as other parts of our bodies. The fact we have meat digesting bacteria in our stomach that have evolved with us.The list goes on an on. We have hundreds of evolutionary traits that allow us to eat meat, where do I begin? In fact if we are so suited to eat nuts which Dunn champions over and over in the article why did Homo Sapiens develop a smaller weaker jaw. Our current jaw structure is unlike other primates in that we would break our teeth trying to break nuts.The evolution of the jaw is the direct result of humans cooking and eating soft meat and vegetables.

8. Dunn seems to believe we have evolved or adapted more since we became agriculturalists than we did for the millions of years we were hunters and gatherers. I guess that is why each and every time a hunting and gathering tribe has been introduced to an agricultural lifestyle the rate of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity sky rockets.

This is another one of those pro-vegetarian people that can’t get it through their head that the vegetarian diet is not healthy for humans. For all humans other than those of pure African descent we carry within us 3-4% Neanderthal DNA. Neanderthals were carnivores almost exclusively. We have evolved beyond the pure vegetarian diet of our distant ancestors. We as humans could not survive on a strictly vegetarian diet in the wild. The fact we can’t survive on a pure vegetarian diet without supplementing protein from non-traditional vegetable sources (provided by farming) is proof enough that this article is worthless. He asks for proof that humans evolved to eat meat… Try to survive without meat protein in the wild.

J. Baird