Who has, or has read, 'TPB' ?

Yes, I have read it.
I'm reading it.
well...I have it!
Haven't read it.
Aardvark on January 25, 2007, 01:50:29 pm
Heck yeah, I read it as a paperback with the ape on the cover pounding a gavel, IIRC. Read it several times and still have it in a box somewhere. I wonder if David Brin didn't rip off (or re-use) the intelligent chimps and dolphins from TPB for his 1987 book/series, "The Uplift War."

I loved "The Probability Broach." It struck a chord with me. Ayn Rand would have loved the spirit of it, too. The graphic novel does it justice, although I don't remember Win being so funny! La Porte would be a great place to live. The only I had with it was its achilles heel in the face of a determined enemy. I won't say anything specific because it would be a spoiler for the novel. Also, although the novel doesn't cover it, the philosophy, while superb for individual protection, is almost useless against an enemy that doesn't quite threaten you face to face as a part of a strategy of biding its time until it is too powerful to resist. The one indisputable role of government, I always thought, is to ensure a proper defense for its citizens. An army or air force just sitting around is terribly unprofitable, and a huge waste of resources -- until it's needed.

Scott on February 01, 2007, 11:48:10 pm
In the first place, a foreign power would have to be completely out of its mind to attack the Confederacy. Not only is nearly every resident armed, quite a few of them keep artillery. In our universe, during the early years of World War II, the Japanese generals discussed the idea of invading the United States. That idea was shut down when one of them pointed out that in America "there is a gun behind every blade of grass."

And even though it isn't pointed out in TPB, the Confederacy does have a volunteer militia, as described in _The American Zone_, which in modern times functions mostly as an emergency response agency to either natural or man-made disasters. But it could also respond to an invasion.

In a free country, people don't wait around for the government to take care of them. They take responsibility and do it themselves. And as we learned in Vietnam and are (hopefully) learning again in Iraq, a poorly-equipped but determined resistance can keep a well-equipped invader tied up in knots.

Rocketman on February 02, 2007, 03:59:36 am
Well said Scott.  I also seem to remember an incident that happened about that same time but refered to Switzerland.  A Nazi General having conquered most of western Europe looked over and saw a small country
with huge gold reserves.  He asked of the Swiss ambassador "What would you do if Germany attacked your little country with twice as many men as your entire army has?"  The Swiss ambassador looked at him coldly and replied something like "My men would shoot twice and then go home."  No general of any army should ever underestimate the power of a group of determined citizens who are armed and determined and protecting their homeland.

Frank B. on February 02, 2007, 08:21:46 am
You should also consider that plenty of countries with large standing armies have fallen to other armies.  That is to say, having a large standing army is no guarantee of defending yourself against another large standing army.  When armies fight, superior resource and numbers will often win the day.  But when an army fights a distributed and determined militia, they are often far less effective.  I'm not speaking in absolutes here, of course.  But if you start examining this question in an historical context, you should see what I mean.

Rocketman on February 02, 2007, 09:05:33 am
Right Frank and a good point.  If I remember correctly when the Russian army decided to attack Finland early in the second world war that tiny army for a long time kicked some Russian butt until they were overwhelmed by sheer numbers.  I don't remember what the win/ loss ratio was but it cost the Communists huge numbers of
men and equipment.  A pyrhhic victory indeed.

Frank B. on February 02, 2007, 11:12:14 am
Right Frank and a good point.  If I remember correctly when the Russian army decided to attack Finland early in the second world war that tiny army for a long time kicked some Russian butt until they were overwhelmed by sheer numbers.  I don't remember what the win/ loss ratio was but it cost the Communists huge numbers of
men and equipment.  A pyrhhic victory indeed.

There was the infamous Sassin vs Arab battle where 130,000 Sassin lost to 4,000 arabs.  Of course, that was effectively army against army, thus serving as an example of when even overwhelming odds can be overcome (overwhelming odds in your favor are not a guarentee of success).

But also consider the american revolution.  Gates and Washington did poorly against the british when they went army against army.  It was the pesky militia that sabbotaged british supply lines, which kept the brits from winning the war quickly.  But it was done over many campaigns, and cost a lot.

The nice thing about no central command and control for a nation is that even when your "army" loses, there's nobody who can surrender the nation and tell the citizens to obey the new boss.

Not to say that a large and determined force can't overcome even a distributed society, but it is very expensive (e.g. hard).  For instance, Rome was able to conquer Gaul and Germania.  But, like what the US Army did to the American Indians, the Romans made use of tribal infighting as much as military mite to conquer and subjugate.  But it still took many campaigns and a lot of money to do.

41 mag on March 15, 2007, 03:56:26 am
i've carried a 41 mag since the late sixties. the broach stories are the first time i saw any mention of what is admittadly an odd-ball caliber in a fictional setting..                                                                                                                                                                                         The thing of it is Neil gets it right. He doesn't have his characters fumbling with a non-existant safety catch on a revolver (or as in a recent "detective" novel I read having the crime traced by the two shells ejected from a revolver (no it wasn't a dardick) and if he were to use a Webly-Fosbury it would be described as working the way they actually worked. the hardest problem with Neils work is that the only bookstore in town does not carry and will not order his books . I have to resort to the internet or look for them when I travel .

Rocketman on March 15, 2007, 02:04:36 pm
I have no idea of just how large (or small) your town is, but if they won't stock pro-liberty and probably pro-gun magizines or books, I think I would start by organizing a boycott of the store with everyone that feels the same way that you do and make sure the local newspaper, radio and TV station knows about it.  If it's a chain
store then I would also send a letter to the CEO along with the signatures of as many people as possible stating that as long as the person who makes the decision not to stock this material works there that your going to find another bookstore and do your business with them.
     About 20 years or so ago one of the local supermarkets in my town stopped carrying "Guns and Ammo" and some other pro-gun magazines due to a couple of "concerned mothers" who came in just one time and said that didn't want their children to even see a gun on the cover of a gun magazine.  After a quick boycott of the store along with a letter to the CEO that policy was changed immediately and the individual who decided to ban the magazines was terminated.  Anything that noticably impacts a companies bottom line gets fixed immediately in about 98% of the cases.

41 mag on March 18, 2007, 07:18:39 am
it is a corporate bookstore ,walden books, this becomes quite obvious when you consider the fact that the clerks are ,at best, semi-lliterate. You are dealing with a Wally World (Wal Mart) situationif we don't have it we can't get it and you don't need it.
         But in all fairness they have all the Stephan King, Romance, crappy westerns ,new age crystal repowering L ron Hubbard  that you can possibly imagine . Airsick bags not included.
          Like many things this sick corporate business model is slowly sucking our souls into homogenized hell. Damnit don't get me started on this I like to deal with real people that are happy and proud of what they do not the mindless clones that are the only surety for an income these days.

Rocketman on March 18, 2007, 05:18:22 pm
I know the feeling of having to deal with idiots.  Mama Liberty in her blog recently detailed such a situation and asked the question "Are people getting more stupid in this country or is it just me?"  A person who she works with replied something like in part "It's not you."  "People are getting stupider."
Anytime that people spend more time paying attention to what Paris Hilton is doing, or who gets kicked off of
American Idol, or what the final score of their favorite football, basketball, baseball or soccer team instead of paying attention to what this country is turning into pushes this countries IQ combined score down just a little bit more and more every day.  A few months ago I saw an ad on TV for a movie called "Idioticracy".  An average guy gets put into suspended animation for a couple hundred years and finds the average citizen in the future is a total idiot.  It's listed as a comedy but I think of it as a documentary.   :P

KiloSeven on March 18, 2007, 08:10:42 pm
Question ought to be, "How many copies have you given to friends?"
Cold dead fingers for my 1st edition, even though I appreciate the better prose of the unexpurgiated.
"We're not living in a simulation. We're living in a collaborative SF novel... and now, of course, it's Philip K. Dick's turn.  In a back room somewhere, Vernor Vinge and George Orwell are currently arguing about who gets to take over in 2025." (Ross Smith)   K7AAY PDX OR USA TERRA

Rocketman on March 18, 2007, 09:52:08 pm
If your refering to the movie, I haven't seen it yet.  I'm not much of a movie person.  I just usually wait until it comes to TV, although 2 weeks ago I did break down and saw "Ghost Rider".  I thought it was okay.  Good in special effects but a little weak in the plotline.  As far as promoting liberty, I was active in the LP for 13 years, including a year and a half as the County Chair of Allen County Indiana, which has the second largest city in Indiana and was speechwriter for VP candidate Jo Jorgensen in 1996.  I paid my dues for all the good it did.  >:(  Since then I've just pretty much given up.

41 mag on March 20, 2007, 09:26:14 pm
consider Cyril Kornbluths short story "the Marching Morons" and on that i will rest my case.Stupidity seems almost to be a virtue anymore. It is also somewhat enforced my the multinational corporations.

Scott on April 10, 2007, 08:17:08 pm
Any bookstore worth going to will special order a book on customer request, if it's in print.  I shop at Barnes & Noble and if they don't have what I'm looking for they will enthusiastically offer to special-order for me.

WaldenBooks and B.Dalton, incidentally, are both in financial trouble. I suspect piss-poor customer service is part of their problem.

wdg3rd on April 10, 2007, 09:49:34 pm
WaldenBooks and B.Dalton, incidentally, are both in financial trouble. I suspect piss-poor customer service is part of their problem.

The word "both" is redundant.  That's one company unless things changed in the last few years while I wasn't paying attention.  (This is not unlikely, I missed when Pepsico shed KFC and Taco Bell, for instance).
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot