19 Jul 2014

The Barbarian’s Book Review: John Scalzi’s “Old Man’s War” Trilogy

Contrary to other oldtimers’ popular belief, there are good new science fiction writers out there.  I like Asimov, Clarke, Herbert, Anderson, LeGuin, Niven, and Philip K. Dick as much as the next old fart, but if you look and give some of them a chance, you will find them. I

16 Jul 2014

Thank You For Your Service: At Last, A Truthful Response

Bear with me. I have to give a little background to set the stage. Besides, I can’t resist telling a story. I’m taking a staycation. I’ve earned vacation time, and can’t afford to go far, so I’m exploring sites in the local area. Since I’m in northeast Ohio, that means

11 Jun 2014

The American Empire is Crumbling Like Sugar in a Fire

Eleven years ago, President George W. Bush stood on the deck of an American aircraft carrier under a banner that proclaimed “Mission Accomplished” while the corporate media replayed a statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled, in a staged event, over and over. Remember that? Fast forward to yesterday: A force

03 Jun 2014

Barbarian’s Book(s) Review: David Weber’s Honorverse Series

Back in 1992, David Weber started a series of highly popular books about a female Horatio Hornblower-like character named Honor Harrington in On Basilisk Station. In the first eleven books, which came out roughly yearly, the emphasis is on highly technical military science fiction. Honor is an officer in the Royal Manticoran Navy of

15 May 2014

9/11/2001…Get OVER It, Already! Now, It’s Just Bad Propaganda.

The 9/11 Museum is now complete and open to the public. The 9/11 Memorial stands proud and much ballyhooed. Whoop. Dee. (Old English verb deleted) Doo! I’m sick to death of 9/11.  I remember it. I saw the second plane hit the second World Trade Center tower on September 11,

17 Apr 2014

Secession in Ukraine Accelerates: Ukrainian Army Units Refuse Orders from Kiev

In spite of all of the bluster from the neo-Fascist regime in Kiev, the Obama Administration in Washington, and, to a lesser extent, several Western European governments, it seems that some ordinary Ukrainians themselves, and probably ethnic Ukrainians at that,  just really, REALLY,  don’t want a war with Russia. Or,

13 Apr 2014

Ukraine Teeters on the Brink of Civil War and Invasion, or Not

Ethnic Russians began seizing government buildings and police headquarters in several cities in eastern Ukraine weeks ago.  Just in the last day, shots have been fired and there have been a few deaths reported. BBC speculates on whether Russia is orchestrating the protests, While this morning on ABC’s This Week, Obama’s Ambassador to the

28 Mar 2014

Thursday: Pope Meets Obama. Friday: Pope Goes to Confession. Coincidence?

This past Thursday, Pope Francis I met with President Obama in the Vatican. The very next day, for the first time in history, the Pope went to confession in public. Coincidence? Hmmm… I can’t prove it, but I, who believe firmly that coincidence is more common than dirt, doubt it. So,

22 Mar 2014

Women: The Kinder, Gentler Face of Fascism

For the last several months, maybe longer, I’ve noticed a trend in corporate advertising and political framing. Women are taking the stage front and center. Here in northeastern Ohio, you can hardly turn on the TV without seeing a Giant Eagle commercial featuring its CEO, Laura Shapira Karet, in the

06 Mar 2014

The Tragedy of Ukraine, Stuck in the Middle Again

Ukraine. A country most Americans probably couldn’t even find on a globe a few weeks ago, and probably still can’t, has taken center-stage in the corporate media lately. I’m presuming FDL readers are at least somewhat familiar with the current situation, so I’m not going to go into too many