Tag Archives: Heinlein

The Ungodly Godly

In the batter’s circle: Nehemiah Scudder

February 23rd 2012

 In 2004 the renowned British political documentarian Adam Curtis did a three-part series entitled “The Power of Nightmares.” In it, he pointed out that the group known as the neo-cons greatly resembled their counterparts amongst the radicalized population of the Middle East, al Qaida in particular. Both sides are deeply mistrustful of individual freedom and liberties, and are intent on using authoritarian methods of containing such. Both sides used fear, if in different ways. Islamic radicals used terrorism, whereas neo-cons used fear-mongering. Each side found in the other a useful bogeyman.

The neo-cons lost power and influence in America (and the power and influence of al Qaida in the Middle East had always been vastly overstated), and withdrew from mainstream political discourse as the military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan bogged down and eventually failed.

But another group stepped in to replace the neo-cons in American right-wing political circles, and I tend to think of them as the ‘anti-Soviets.’ They saw their role in America as being similar to the role of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union: a sort of shadow government without accountability, and with vast influence in the workings of the actual government. They were the “financial sector.”

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Utopian Dystopia

The best of all possible worlds will still have mosquitoes

© Bryan Zepp Jamieson
July 23rd 2011

If you’re like me, and you did a lot of reading as a kid and through your teenage years, then you know the situation: there’s an absolutely unforgettable story you read that left you gasping with laughter, or wonder, or made you look at the world in an entirely different way.
Only one day, you think it might be fun to look that story up and re-read it, and it hits you: you can’t remember the title or the author.  If you’re lucky, it’s a fairly well known story, and you can remember the central character’s name, or there’s some other specific item that comes to mind, and you can Google it.  Once a friend of mine and I were discussing Mount Shasta and science fiction, and I mentioned that Heinlein once wrote a story about the locale.  Couldn’t remember the title to save my life, but a Google search turned it up: Lost Legacy, 1943.
Usually you’re just plain out of luck, and it becomes one of your personal life’s mysteries, along with the name of the girl you kissed in sixth grade, or the name of the TV show with the sarcastic duck and the lumberjack.

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