Saturday, August 20, 2005

So, just to make it official and stuff, some of you may have noticed a young lady named Natalia making some comments on my blog. I've added a link to her blog, I Moved Your Cheese, Moron, under blogs obviously. Go over and read her stuff. I have found her writing to be very amusing and well worth the effort. Well, it's not really that much effort. It's not like she's writing in Esperanto or anything.

Anyway, what I'm saying is much respect, nuff respect and big up yaself, and all that.

So, speaking of Battlestar Galactica, and the new series, my biggest gripe (non-geeks may turn away from the blog at this point) is that in what political system is it okay for the military to essentially overthrow the civilian government when that government does something that the military disagrees with? No one is throwing out the C-word when it comes to Adama, i.e. 'coup'. And in my eyes, a military coup that overthrows a civilian government is an act of treason. Seriously, every time I hear Adama or Tigh whine about being betrayed or something, I can't help but kind of think "bullshit." The scene tonight with the press and Adama would have been a perfect place to see something like this. Coup! Adama committed a MILITARY COUP! Argh. I understand why he did it, but sheesh.

Anyway, geek rant mode off.

Oh yeah, and the whole Sack and Stick thing was kind of an in-joke between myself and my friends. Mike and I were the ones who came up with the idea. The original idea was pretty much the same, except applied randomly across the society, with the theory being that a more polite society would result from the constant threat of random beatdowns. Of course, I suppose a crazy, trigger happy society could result just as well. In essence, Sack and Stick is a joke/social thought experiment. Not to be taken seriously. Obviously. Unless you're a slackjawed troglodyte.

One final geek comment. Aquaman's a badass.

13 Comments:

Blogger Michael "VendorX" Heaney said...

I take sack and stick VERY seriously.

Okay, about the Adama thing. Firstly, the civilian government is a sham. Always has been. It only existed at Adama's discretion in the first place. Secondly, the leaders of that government abused their power, broke the law and interfered in serious government affairs, putting the whole of the species at risk.

And thirdly, THAT'S when a military overthrows a 'civilian' government and nobody says anything. The species is all but wiped out. The actions and decisions of a small group of military leaders under Adama are really the only reason any humans are still left. Guess who calls the shots? The ones with all...ALL of the power derived of force? The ones who are responsible for you being alive? The ones who are the only thing keeping you alive? You betcha. They call the shots and you shut up and do your part.

Seriously, I mentioned this before. A population under as serious and immediate a threat of extinction as that one is wouldn't even have civilian and military aspects anymore. It would be purely military, like the fugging Fremen or something.

3:46 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Nope. Gonna have to totally disagree on this one. It's not an accurate picture of human nature. I mean, you've definitely captured things from the military perspective, but the vast majority of people in the fleet are not military, and that matters.

Second, Roslin didn't abuse her power or break the law. She's the FRAKKIN PRESIDENT! By their own laws (which seem to be very similar to our own in the US) she calls the shots, legally, no matter what Adama or any other twobit military dictator thinks they are entitled to. There is a clear chain of command, and the President is clearly at the top. The moment that Adama said 'Nope. These are military matters and I will not take your orders, Madame President,' he in effect committed treason, or at the very least mutiny and sedition. Also, Roslin didn't interfere in a government affair, she 'interfered' in a military affair, which by right she should have had every right to do, as President.

The fact that the military personnel saved the fleet doesn't entitle them to some military dictatorship. That's their frakkin job.

Here's a rough analogy. It's WWIII, the President and Vice-President and a whole bunch of people are dead, and the Agriculture President has taken the office of the Presidency. According to the constitution, the President is Commander In Chief. Any military commander that disobeys an order from the President, even in that extreme situation, should be removed. That simple.

In my opinion, the moment Adama decided he knew the best course of action and decided to essentially placate and humor the President, was the moment that he should have been removed from his command.

But of course, it's and emergency situation, Roslin wouldn't have done that, and if that happened we really wouldn't have had much of a series.

And it's exactly under such dire stresses that societies revert back to their most deeply held beliefs, whether that's military superiority on the part of the military subculture, or the right of the rightful leaders to lead in the part of the idealistic politicos, such as Roslin, etc.

My prediction? Roslin dies on Kobol, and Baltar makes some deviously genius play for power as the rightful President and basically says "Frak you Adama! I'm the frakkin President you hoser!"

Then they all die and it turns out they're actually on Riverworld.

Gonna go make a mint julip.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

I meant the Agriculture Secretary. Oops.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Michael "VendorX" Heaney said...

Alright, I'll go with the 'chain of command' argument, but seriously, listen to your analogy.

"Here's a rough analogy. It's WWIII, the President and Vice-President and a whole bunch of people are dead, and the Agriculture President has taken the office of the Presidency. According to the constitution, the President is Commander In Chief. Any military commander that disobeys an order from the President, even in that extreme situation, should be removed. That simple.
"

Now, Pete, if that much of your population were dead, and that much of the government destroyed, then in my book, your way of life is over. That constitution is now a bit of curious history. That argricultural secretary is just another citizen. Seriously, you are in the midst of an extinction level crisis event. In that crisis event, one person with military power has saved you from the threat, which is overtly military. One person with minor political experience, so far down the chain of a quite literally defunct political system that it's laughable, on the other hand, has blindly 'inherited' power. What part of rational thought would cause you to follow the former and not the latter.

We disagree with our appointed leaders, Pete. You and I, personally, both know that holding power legally does equal right to hold power or best qualified to hold power. Ask yourself, if, suddenly, aliens invaded earth. most of the executive and congressional branches are whiped out, Rice and Powell get into a fight. Turns out that Powell has this special device that has a good chance of being able to kill the aliens, but Rice has decided that this device has some religious significance, and that she can bring about the second coming of Jesus with it if she can just get it to Jerusalem, so she essentially manipulates the handler of the device into abandoning his mission, disobeying a direct order and putting all humanity at risk for a religious whim. Are you telling me that if, at that point, Powell said, "alright, for the duration of this threat to humanity crisis, I am placing Rice under arrest and the military will be in charge of keeping us alive," you'd balk? Coz I sure as hell wouldn't.

Also, as for your "the minute he" argument, let me just tell you this. Adama has a people on the brink of extinction, suffering the psychological effects of that. He comes up with a plan (a lie) to keep them driven. It works. Then 'the president' comes in and THREATENS exposure of it unless she gets her way. It's funny to me that you think he should have lost all power for placating her, I think she gave up her rights to it the minute she threatened SOCIETY to get her way. Likewise, she made a promise that she wouldn't break his trust, but the minute she decided her religious whims were more important than Adama's sound military strategies, she breaks that promise and exposes his lie. She's a horrible, dishonest person. She literally threatened society to get her way and then broke the fundamental promise she made. And the deal was, "I don't expose your lie, we get a civilian government." She breaks the promise, Adama has every right to take the civilian government away.

I mean, look how they've been using that civilian government. To elect psychotic terrorists into power, to tie up fleet resources in lunatic squabbles. Name one thing the civilian government has accomplished that a purely military entity couldn't have.

I, personally, think that it's only a matter of time before the Aliens from 'V' show up, and then its humans vs androids vs lizards!

1:29 PM  
Blogger Kara said...

Wow, now that little exchange is GEEKY. ;)

3:38 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

"Name one thing the civilian government has accomplished that a purely military entity couldn't have."

Well, come this week, the question changes from couldn't to DIDN'T. They're going to find the Tomb of Athena, and going to find the way to Earth. Which turns Adama's lie into the truth.

Look, yeah, give Adama props for keeping people alive. But he hasn't really been DOING anything. No real goal. Their only goal has been a lie.

Adama failed because he had a lack of imagination and a lack of faith. He couldn't see beyond his own vaunted military strategies.

And my main qualm isn't really about what I would feel. My main qualm is about how the 'free press' that apparently still exists in the largely civilian fleet isn't reacting realistically to the military's actions. There would be resentment. There would be accusations of both a coup and of treason. There would be investigations and a firestorm of public debate about Adama's fitness for command, at the least, if not calls for a trial.

There's a lot we don't know here, but if the President of the Colonies is in fact also the Commander In Chief of the Colonies, like in the U.S., by definition any order she gives is not subversive of the military. If her military commanders disagree with her decisions, then tough cookies. She's the frakkin President, whether the military decides to stop calling her the President or not.

Roslin is going to be right, Adama is going to end up with egg on his face, Lee is going to end up saying "I told you so DAD." Helo and the Chief are going to end up in some wierd love triangle, kinda sorta, with a ghost, cause I don't think Sharon Mark II is going to end up making it off of Kobol.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Also, when you weigh the location of Earth against one Cylon fighter, I think the location of Earth is more strategically important. Unless of course you don't believe that Earth exists because of a lack of imagination and a lack of faith.

The humans main problem, strategically, is that they aren't united. The Cylons are completely united, with the possible exception of Sharon Mark II.

This is why all the humans will die, except for two, in the end, Apollo and Starbuck. They'll find Earth, the colonists from long ago will long be dead, they'll defeat the Cylons, and Apollo and Starbuck will end up being Adam and Eve. And all this stuff is taking place a long time ago.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Michael "VendorX" Heaney said...

Pete....

Lack of faith? Alright, I have now, in two days, seen you insist that people shouldn't be able to freak reality, even so much as by moving a book, and that a military leader was wrong for placing reason over religious zealotry.

You've actually turned entirely conservative. I don't know if someone's been dumping mercury into Fayetteville's water supply or what, but clearly a crisis is going on. I'm on my way, buddy!

9:02 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Feh.

Nah, I've just decided to embrace my inner crank. Channel Oscar the Grouch, as it were.

11:49 PM  
Blogger Natalia said...

Awww Peter...thank you so much :) Glad you enjoy :)

-N

11:13 AM  
Blogger Inilweyr said...

Wow. Here's my $.02. I'll try to be brief.

I think that you're both forgetting that Roslin and Adama had a deal. They made that deal on the original miniseries and it defines their relationship. Adama would let her civilian government function primarily to help keep the fleet together and give the survivors a sense of unity. In return Roslyn had to support him and keep his secret that he didn't really know the location of earth. They both acknowledged that there would be a clear division between the matters of the civilian government and the military chain of command and that they would respect each others boundaries.

That's when the coup, if it can be called that, might have occurred. I say might since we don't really know how the military reported to the civilian government. It may very well have been that the President of the Colonies was a much weaker head of a confederation than what exists in our democratic federal system. In such a setting some degree of military autonomy might have been necessary to survive the original Cylon war.

I find it really ironic that now Roslyn thinks she can lead the survivors to earth while Adama chalks that belief up as religious BS.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Natalia said...

I am vewwy vewwy flattered Peter... from a fellow geek :)

-N

12:28 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Aw shucks ma'am.

12:39 AM  

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