Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer controversy

Racist jackasses going apeshit over a black stormtrooper.

While the EU was jettisoned for the purposes of the new movies storyline, it’s not like they can’t take a few elements from it that work, and expanding the recruiting pool of stormtroopers to normal humans is certainly one I’d see them taking.

The Battle of Endor was a crushing defeat. Thousands, at least, of the Empires most elite troops *gone*, with relatively minimal losses to the Rebellion. The scale of the victory would have given many more worlds hope, and pushed them to join the Rebel Alliance. The surviving Moffs would have had a serious problem- it’s unlikely they’d have ordered enough extra clones to serve as a hedge against a disaster on this scale. A little more than expected replacement as a “just in case” reserve, but this many more? Not likely, especially while devoting the resources to build a new Death Star that is much larger than the old one.

The Empire would need tens of thousands of new troops RIGHT NOW to replace their losses and deal with an expanded rebellion. There’s just no way that waiting for clones to mature would ever work- they’d have to take normal humans. It’s the only chance they possibly have to win the war, and likely the only chance they’d have of preserving enough strength to negotiate a peace that lets them still exist.  Hell, just managing internal issues on worlds that don’t defect would require many more troops in the wake of the death of Emperor Palpatine and the redemption/death of Darth Vader.

Given this… why wouldn’t they grab a black guy? The Empire was speciesist, but racist within humanity, there isn’t much evidence. Even if they are racist within humanity, they need bodies and grabbing a black guy to throw into the front lines as cannon fodder sounds like the exact thing racist assholes would do when they need bodies for the army.

Also- we don’t actually know that this guy is a stormtrooper.  He’s wearing the armor, but so did Han and Luke.  This could be a controversy over something that actually isn’t true.  Part of me wants the racists angry by this being an actual stormtrooper, part of me wants them to feel stupid when it isn’t.  Not sure which I want more.

John A Lejeune’s Birthday Message to the United States Marine Corps

On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of the Continental Congress. Since that date many thousand men have borne the name Marine. In memory of them it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the birthday of our Corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history.

The record of our Corps is one which will bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world’s history. During 90 of the 167 years of its existence the Marine Corps has been in action against the Nation’s foes. From the battle of Trenton to the Argonne, Marines have won foremost honors in war, and in the long eras of tranquility at home generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres, and in every corner of the seven seas, that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.

In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our Corps Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term “Marine” has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.

This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the corps. With it we also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our Corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our Nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as “Soldiers of the Sea” since the founding of the Corps.

John Lejeune
Lieutenant General
U.S. Marine Corps

The Five Defends Chris Rock’s 9/11 Jokes: We’re Not the ‘Comedy Police’ | Mediaite

The Five Defends Chris Rock’s 9/11 Jokes: We’re Not the ‘Comedy Police’ | Mediaite.

I’m OK with the way Chris Rock handled this.  His jokes expressed some empathy with the victims, laid bare his own fears, and criticized the trend of commercializing holidays.  I don’t think any topic should be automatically off limits to comedy no matter the context, though some, like terrorist attacks, certainly need to be handled carefully or you’re going to be ridiculously offensive.  I think he handled it well.

I can’t blame people who take a more negative view, though.

The Fox people I think were a bit too lenient, as if comedic intent automatically voids offensiveness.  It doesn’t.  I’ll give a comic a little more leeway- comedy, to be at its best, often has to push against boundaries.  But that doesn’t absolve a comic, it just gives them a little more of a chance to clarify/apologize/otherwise make things right when they step over the line than, say, a journalist might get.

The ISIS comments, though, do point to them maybe having a more nuanced view.  They didn’t get into it much, and i haven’t seen that segment, so I don’t have much thoughts on that.

The Golden Throne imprisons, not sustains, the Emperor of Man

According to the official story, the Emperor of Man in Warhammer 40k was mortally wounded when facing off against Warmaster Horus, and was placed in the Golden Throne to keep him, and the human race, alive. I think there is reason to doubt that story.

What really happened?

Now, a curious fact is that the Ultramarines were largely spared the devastation that faced the other loyalist Legions. They were deployed too far away to marshall much of a response to Horus’ rebellion. Why? Officially, they were just kicking that much ass and moving that fast on the crusade. But, perhaps, someone knew they’d be a problem and ensured their orders took them far, far away. The remaining legions were able to beat back the Chaos armies. Barely, but still, they won. If the Ultramarines were able to join the fight in significant numbers, the Chaos rebellion would likely have never even gotten close to Earth.

Who could have gotten them sent that far away? It had to be one of the Primarchs. Others sending them to the ass end of nowhere would have been immediately suspect and subject to a quick veto. Only the Emperor or the Primarchs could have had the authority to issue such orders.

Suspects? Rogal Dorn is suspect number 1.

My charge is that Rogal Dorn fell to chaos, and was not content to be a servant of Horus- he wanted to rule it all. He knew he could not take Horus on his own, and even if he did, the Emperor would be quick to put him down. So he arranged to send the Ultramarines away and draw Horus to Terra, forcing the Emperor to face him. He likely didn’t know or care who would win the fight, only that the winner would be severely weakened by the effort. Weak enough that Dorn could have finished them off, and with both factions demoralized with the loss of their leader, they’d be ripe for a takeover. And then, secure in his power, he’d be ready with a united force to take on the returning Ultramarines.

Who found the Emperor? Isn’t it convenient that Dorn got there just after the fight ended?

Unfortunately for Rogal Dorn, more Marines came pouring in before he could deliver the death blow. Quickly coming up with a backup plan, he arranged for the Golden Throne to prevent the Emperor from recovering, giving him time to regroup and make another play for power in due time.

Oh… which Primarch was most resistant to the breakup of his legion, and the resultant reduction in his personal power? Rogal Dorn. And when he was forced to, isn’t it perhaps curious that he sent the most fanatically loyal faction of the Imperial Fists off on a crusade as the new Black Templars, keeping the rest of his forces close at hand?

The Golden Throne is said to be malfunctioning. Perhaps that’s because the Emperor is in fact slowly recovering, and the Throne is simply not able to keep up anymore? What will he do when he can once again step off the Throne and lead his people?

Bathroom objections to transgender rights are bullshit

Thinking about the bathroom access objections to transgender rights- the idea that men would suddenly dress as women to access womens bathrooms and commit sexual assault.

One, there’s precious little evidence this happens often. I wouldn’t be shocked if it has, somewhere, but it’s clearly not remotely common.  If it was, I’d expect long lists of incidents to at least occasionally accompany said complaints.  It would be the most obvious piece of supporting evidence ever, but where is it?  No idea.

Two- If a man is such a crappy person that they would impersonate a woman for the purposes of sexual assault of actual women*… Would “You’re not allowed to use this bathroom” really stop them?  Maybe they’d spend a few more minutes on their makeup so they pass more easily, but that’s about it.  You cost them a couple bucks and five minutes of time but don’t actually protect women.  And, oh, you encourage them to work harder on passing, and I really fail to see how making rapists harder to spot could ever possibly help in stopping them**.

If the time and money you cost them is that big a deal, why don’t you, oh, I don’t know, actually prosecute rapists and send them to prison for a decent amount of time?  That actually stands a chance of helping.

Making this argument insincerely makes you a bigot.  Making it sincerely makes you a moron(and probably a bigot too).


*- “Actual women” should be read as inclusive of transwomen.
**- This does sound iffy to me on reading it back, that I’m sort of throwing transwomen under the bus with the hypothetical asshole impersonating a woman, that they should make it easy for others to identify them.  This is not my intent, my intent is to show the fractal wrongness of the bathroom argument by countering it from somewhat different angles, even some that start from a problematic spot.  I hope the surrounding context actually renders this footnote unnecessary, if not, I apologize.

I Am a Writer

This post is an assignment for English Composition I: Achieving Expertise, a writing MOOC at Coursera.

Read more of this post

Fox Panelist fails to apologize.

Fox Panelist Apologizes for Comments About Japanese Internment | Mediaite.

At most, he successfully made the point that profiling doesn’t automatically mean we lose a war.

I’m also wondering how he draws a parallel between what someone looks like, and an ideology. The example is horribly flawed, even if all he was trying to show that profiling isn’t a guaranteed war loss. Well, racism would make it work I suppose.

Not liking the apology. I’d have hoped for some explanation of how he came to select that particular example. If he’s not self aware enough to know where he went wrong, how can anyone trust that he won’t screw up like this again? To be fair, though, he did unambiguously state that the internment was wrong.


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