"What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote
in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes
his own self-interest as he sees it... which for the majority translates as 'Bread and Circuses'."
- Robert A. Heinlein

In Roman times, free Bread and Circuses entertained the masses. I hope you find your time
here both entertaining and informative.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Sorry Cindy, I'm Not Convinced


Cindy Sheehan Arrested in Protest Outside White House.

I'm sorry Cindy, but if you're looking for provocative ways to protest an unjust war, you'll have to think very hard before you can come up with something new. Getting arrested for sitting on a sidewalk will not make you a martyr. Unless you can find a way to top this:


you'll just be imitating the great protests of the 1960s. Better luck next time. Perhaps the anti-war advocates are waiting for the price of gas to go down before they try self-immolation.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Kipling

"[Kipling] sees clearly that men can only be highly civilized while other men, inevitably less civilised, are there to guard and feed them." - George Orwell

The Complete Collection of Rudyard Kipling's Poems

You must read The Betrothed, The Virginity, Gunga Din, The Grave of the Hundred Head, If, and just for fun, The Female of the Species.

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
- The Young British Soldier -

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Go Tell The Spartans, Stranger Passing By, That Here, Obedient To Their Laws, We Lie

I don't usually write book reviews, as they often help comprise the banality that is typical of most web logs, however this book is so unique and enjoyable that I will make an exception.

For the student of ancient or of military histories, this book is especially recommended. Gates of Fire, by Steven Pressfield, is the self-described Epic Novel of the battle of Thermopylae, where Leonidas and several thousand Greeks held off the two million man Persian invasion, and in doing so, guaranteed themselves a place in immortality. The book has the realistic feel of works like Black Hawk Down, as it includes details of Spartan life and military training. It definately breathes life into historical accounts of the battle, allowing the reader to come much closer in spirit to the Lakedaimonians (Spartans).

One word of caution: This is a book which takes a realistic look at the brutality of ancient warfare. As such, don't expect the characters to speak for polite company whilst hacking each other apart. As do many of the "rough men stand ready to do violence on [our] behalf" as George Orwell supposedly said, these rough men of Greece speak rudely when appropriate. Add to that the brutal violence of Greek warfare, and this is a book not for all audiences. But for someone who wants to get closer to the Battle for the Hot Gates, I can think of no better text.

Monday, September 19, 2005

I will execute great vengeance on them with wrathful rebukes. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I lay my vengeance upon them!

Seeing as I haven't posted much recently, I went digging through old writings and came up with this. The news it is based on is old, but the underlying theme is timeless. The original news stories can be found here:

AIDs Scare Shuts Down Porn Films
Porn Again

"O Daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed..."

"While surfing the usual news sites one day earlier last week, CNN, Drudge, Ananova, etc, I noticed an intriguing article. I began following the story as it developed, and felt compelled to respond.

"See, apparently there has been an outbreak on HIV/Aids in the adult film industry in California. So far two porn actors have tested positive, and about 75% of the industry has shut itself down in a voluntary quarantine, ceasing production until further testing can be completed.

"Now the first reaction of many Christians probably ran something like this.

"'Well, it’s about time. The Almighty is punishing them for their wicked commerce. Isn’t it great that He’s found a way to shutdown porn when all our political efforts have failed. Besides, we all know that God invented AIDs to punish immorality...'

"In fact, an article on crosswalk.com showcased the situation, quoting a group called Morality in Media saying that such an outbreak was inevitable. The article went on to catalogue the fight conservative Christians have been waging against the adult film industry.

"Upon considering such things, I’m sure evangelical Christians were immediately filled with a sense of satisfaction, a sense of victory, of self-righteous “I-told-you-so”s. An almost psalmist sense of glee at the destruction of the evildoer.

"And we’d be dead wrong.

"Upon further reflection, I realized just how un-Christian those thoughts were. Here we have two people, who have just received a death sentence, and are (presumably) facing the fear of death without knowing the saving grace of Christ. Christ sees no distinction between sinners, Saul the Pharisee is no cleaner than Lara Roxx, porn star.

"Instead, we should take this opportunity to pray for those who are affected by this terrible event. Pray that God would use this to call them from their sinful lifestyles and bring them to Him. Remember that God’s grace covers a multitude of sins, and that there is none righteous, not even one. They are just as (un)deserving of Christ’s grace, and yet just as infinitely loved by the Father. If I’m wrong, then let him without sin throw the first stone."