Archive for October, 2006

October 27, 2006: 6:00 pm: UMC

President Chong stepped toward the elevator door and turned quickly before his aides and guards could enter.

“You’ll take the next car.”

The guards obeyeed his command but Lawrence his chief aide protested.

“Mr. President, you must….”

“I must go alone.  It is a powerful symbol.  What we’ve done so far to help has only bought us their ear I must underline it to make the lesson last.”

At that the door closed and he began the descent from Platform 86 down to Earth.

As he watched the wisps of atmosphere form around him and felt the natural gravity move in, Chong thought about what led them to this point. The United Moon Colonies, the UMC, had rebelled from Terran control about a decade before he was born.  They had laboured not only for existence but respect ever since.

When the colonial powers abandoned their “police action” on Luna, they also abandoned everything but the merest pretenses of assistance and even trade.  If the Moon Colonies wanted to go it alone they could. And they did.

Only when the recent threat from the recidivists reared its ugly head was the UMC taken back, not only as a friend, but as an ally. Without UMC technology, manufacturing, and plain old firepower, the alliance would have fallen from within three years ago.

As it was, the UMC had turned the tide of the war and now stood in a position of power over the old countries of the UN. Hence his need to emphasise that point by a solitary ride down to Versailles, France, where the final peace settlement was being dictated.

The doors opened and a UN delegation stood waiting.  They appeared rather startled.

“President Chong, where is the rest of your party?” inquired the European Diplomat sent to fetch him.  A small slight, that it was merely a diplomat.  Small, but a slight nonetheless.

“Coming along in the next car.  They had business to attend and I did not wish to keep you waiting,” said Chong.

“Very well,” said the Diplomat, more shocked than displeased but still trying to appear blaise. “I will escort you to the great room. The remainder of my party will await..uh… the remainder of yours.  Right this way.”

The grandeur and symbolism of Versailles was no lost on Chong as they walked through its ancient halls. He was certain it was chosen to impress, not only on the vanquished recidivists, but also himself, that the old world was unassailable. He had something in mind that would outweigh the symbolism of the structure and in fact quite possibly benefit from it. The arrival alone was only the beginning of his plan. He meant for the UMC to never again want.  For a woman to never again have to starve herself to feed her children.  For the UMC to take its rightful place int he community of nations, not only as a member, but as a leader.

The UMC did things differently, better, than the world below. It was time to make both worlds a better place.

October 22, 2006: 7:20 pm: Boiling Point

Part 9 of Boiling Point, a novel, read on MP3.You can purchase a print copy of Boiling Point at

October 18, 2006: 10:29 am: Politics

The President of the United States today signed into law the Military Commissions Act  which changes the way “enemy combatants” are tried for crimes. It narrows the interpretation of the Geneva convention, but more importantly allows someone deemed an enemy combatant by a military committee, to be tried without habeus corpus and without letting the defendant know exactly what the charges are.

I’ll grant you that justice is tricky in war, but that is never an excuse for curbing liberty.  This is not the one law the eliminates our freedom as some on the left would like you to belive.  Nor is it a deep necessity to winning the war as the right would have it.  It’s not that simple. However, it is a step in the wrong direction. Let’s not worry so much about present actors on the stage.  This law allows someone in the future to define what he or she thinks is an enemy combatant, arrest and hold a trial without presenting the evidence to the accused, and convict without a jury. This is how freedom dies. We rationalize ‘necessary evils’ oin the face of fears and we slowly erode our own liberties.

The conspiracy theorists do us a disservice.  This isn’t a grand plan of the right wing to put forth a dictatorship. Saying so only overheats the debate. We are doing it to ourselves. we would like to blame the government, or the terrorists, or someone else, but we are responsible here.  It takes great courage to hold your values in the face of danger.  The United States is at the risk of faltering at this very moment.  And it makes me sad.

October 10, 2006: 4:36 pm: history

It’s not an exact match, and certainly not scientific, but you can see some historic cycles by looking at things that chracterise certain decades.

1820s – War/Recovery (If anything recovery from 1814 but tenuous)
1830s – Promise (Railroad construction booms)
1840s – Turmoil (Mexican-American War)
1850s – Depression (1850s depression, Bleeding Kansas)
1860s – War/Recovery (Civil War, Transcontinental railroad, death of Lincoln)
1870s – Promise (Telephone, light bulb, phonograph, reconstruction)
1880s – Turmoil (electricity, cars, new imperialism)
1890s – Depression (Panic of 1893, depression)
1900s – War/Recovery (End of Phillipine-American war)
1910s – Promise (Relativity, X-rays, radio, Hollywood, World War I)
1920s – Turmoil (Flappers, Roaring 20s)
1930s – Depression (Great Depression)
1940s – War/Recovery (WWII)
1950s – Promise (TV)
1960s – Turmoil (Vietname, hippies)
1970s – Depression (Stagflation)
1980s – War/Recovery (Cold war)
1990s – Promise (Peace, tech boom, Internet)
2000s – Turmoil (World Trade Center, Iraq, Afghanistan, terrorism)
2010s – Depression
2020s – War/Recovery