I'm already tired of winning.
Whippersnappers and their newfangled acronyms. Get off my lawn! TANJ damnit. Just remember TANSTAAFL!
Does anybody read Heinlein anymore? If not, that's a real shame.
He's still in print, so somebody must.
All of this comment thread was sailing over my head until I googled Heinlein."There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch."HAHAHAHAHA! The internet is a wonderful thing.But what's TANJ?
That's actually Larry Niven. Stands for "There Ain't No Justice".
Loved the Heinlein juveniles best, his later stuff wasn't really to my taste.From a Heinlein speech at the Naval Academy, 1973.Today, in the United States, it is popular among self-styled 'intellectuals' to sneer at patriotism. They seem to think that it is axiomatic that any civilized man is a pacifist, and they treat the military profession with contempt. 'Warmongers' - 'Imperialists' - 'Hired killers in uniform' - you have all heard such sneers and you will hear them again. One of their favorite quotations is: 'Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.' What they never mention is that the man who made that sneering remark was a fat, gluttonous slob who was pursued all his life by a pathological fear of death.I propose to prove that that baboon on watch is morally superior to that fat poltroon who made that wisecrack. Patriotism is the most practical of all human characteristics. But in the present decadent atmosphere patriots are often too shy to talk about it - as if it were something shameful or an irrational weakness. But patriotism is NOT sentimental nonsense. Nor is it something dreamed up by demagogues. Patriotism is as necessary a part of man's evolutionary equipment as are his eyes, as useful to the race as eyes are to the individual. A man who is NOT patriotic is an evolutionary dead end. This is not sentiment but the hardest of logic.
Love that quote!Victor Davis Hanson once said, and forgive me, I don't remember if this was HIS quote or he was quoting someone from history: "When men become so civilized that they can no longer tolerate the horrors of war, they will be conquered by uncivilized men who can."There will always be barbarians at the gate. If we lose the stomach for the fight, we will be handed our heads.
If you noticed Starship Troopers in my book list, that's a Heinlein. Don't be fooled by the movie, you'd have trouble finding a movie more different from the book.
I have never been a reader of science fiction or fantasy, for that matter. I did read Dune and liked it, but that's about it. So Heinlein went over my head.But he sounds like a decent chap.
"If we lose the stomach for the fight, we will be handed our heads."Since Islam has become our main enemy (whether people believe it or not) that quote has become quite literal. You couldn't get a enemy more barbaric than Islam either for that matter.It was 9/11 that woke me up to what Islam is. I delved deeply enough into the Koran to satisfy mydelf that it is one very evil religion, with nothing about that is good. It is the dead opposite of Judeo-Christian values. It's a death-loving cult that holds power through terror, especially in their own lands.
Yes, Morris. It is. I traveled to Turkey, India and Egypt as a young woman and saw the people there. Coming from a truly multi-cultural country like America, which despite the liberals' condemnations and apologies, is a very tolerant place, I was shaken by the sly, malevolence I felt every where I went. Smiles, yes, but devious glances. Gave me the creeps. I started looking into Islam back then, in the 80's. I could find NOTHING about it that made it "a great religion". It came across as a completely sick and evil political ideology bent on totalitarian control of the world. I've never understood how anyone could argue anything different.
I guess I derailed this comment thread. Sorry about that.
Never apologize. The thread moves where it will. This is a conversation between like-minded people. This is the BEST kind of comment thread.
Okay then. I stubbornly refuse to apologize for apologizing.
That's the spirit.
"When men become so civilized that they can no longer tolerate the horrors of war, they will be conquered by uncivilized men who can."Victory belongs to the violent. When we won WW2, it wasn't because of our "soft power" or democratic ideals. It was because we rained death on our enemies without mercy. We firebombed Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, and many others out of existence. We developed the atomic bomb, and WE USED IT. The two relatively obscure cities we targeted for nuking were chosen specifically for intimidation value: they were among the few places we had not already shredded with conventional bombs. We wanted to provide our enemies -- and all potential future enemies -- the most compelling possible before/after photos.It's awful, but it's infinitely preferable to losing.
Buttercup, you're right: Islam is totalitarian in the old sense of the word. That is, it seeks to regulate all conduct within a society, not just man's relationship to God. That's why it's so threatening. I agree with Jeff, on the whole, I'd rather win.
Some years ago I was at Disneyland, standing in line for the roller coaster over in the new park, and to the left of me were two Japanese tourists-to the right, German. I was struck by the surreal moment. We were all at Disneyland celebrating the sheer joy of just having fun. A generation ago, we were killing each other. And I couldn't help thinking of the fact that the Israels and the Arabs are STILL killing each other -- with no peace in sight. What was the difference? How did we make peace and they could not?The difference, I believe, was that in WWII we fought to bring them to their knees. Period. We were looking -- and got -- unconditional surrender. And we did not have an international community sitting in judgment of our actions. We fought as a nation and we answered to no one. And we won.Israel has lived its entire existence under the scrutiny of an international community that has sought, more than anything else, to reduce the conflict to moral equivalency. And you can NOT win if you are equal in principle to your enemy. You can only fight off an attack. You remain embroiled for all time in a deadly tit-for-tat that can never end -- until the Arabs gain enough power to finish it. But the Israels have never been "allowed" to actually finish it. This is what diplomacy does. It brings both sides to the table as if both have equal grievances. Only the bad guys win in that equation. Israel needs to bomb the rock. That would be so fucking awesome.