Vaughn Killian had risen to the top of the candidate class for Black Saber by the end of the first novel in the series. Now he’s ready to graduate…but the Brass isn’t happy with him.
Even in an elite unit like this, there’s an emphasis on by-the-book procedures. Killian is more of a field soldier–hands-on, seat of the pants. While that’s the kind of guy you want in combat, maybe he takes it a bit too far. And it turns out his instinctive warrior ways have backfired on him: because of his disregard for regulations, he’s being held back as cadre to train other candidates while his classmates get deployed. This is the last thing he wanted.
Nonetheless, he’s about to see action anyway. It seems the Carthenogans have somehow discovered the location of Black Saber’s secret training facility, and have dispatched a force of barbaric neandergrunts to capture some personnel and wipe out the rest.
With this second book, the storyline becomes increasingly complex. Murphy bounces around an ensemble cast to weave espionage, political intrigue, combat, and personal drama into the narrative. By book’s end, it’s still a mystery how some of these plot threads will tie together…and where all they will take us before they do. However it all weaves together in the third novel (???), it’s shaping up to be something huge.
It’s probably impossible for any author to write something I can’t nitpick in some way (myself included). But my biggest complaint here has to do with storytelling technique. Specifically: the cliffhanger ending. I think some plot elements could have been tied up a little better…there could have been a bit stronger sense of resolution…and likely we’d still want to read the next book. As is, it kind of feels like a much longer novel that was cut in half.
You may have read military sci-fi with similar elements before (Ender’s Game is one that comes to mind), but chances are you haven’t read a series with as much going on as this one.
With NFL millionaires flaunting their hatred of America, and contempt for at least half of their fan base, now looks like a good time to plug one of the best comedy jock flicks ever made.
“Every athlete dreams of a second chance,” proclaims Coach Jimmy McGinty (Gene Hackman) in voiceover toward the end. Second chances is what this movie is about, at it’s core. All the jokes, action, and Sports Movie Formula might distract you from that central theme; but those frills are not what resonates with the masculine soul while watching it.
Inspired by the NFL players’ strike in the late 1980s (before Joe Gibbs’ Washington Redskins went on to destroy the Denver Broncos in the Superbowl), the story begins with crybaby millionaire star quarterback Eddie Martel throwing a game in order to avoid getting tackled. The end of the game marks the beginning of the players’ strike.
The owner of the “Washington Sentinels,” hungry for a playoff berth despite the strike, woos “controversial” (old-fashioned) coach McGinty into putting together a roster of replacement players to finish the season.
Turns out, McGinty has been tracking some former players with great potential who, for various reasons, never made it in the pros. “If nothing else,” McGinty says, “they should be fun to watch.”
And they are.
Unfortunately, there are only so many plots available for a sports movie. It is a credit to the director that there are enough twists in The Replacements to make it stand out despite the formula.
The movie does have flaws. The romantic subplot, for instance, comes off as tacked-on and superficial. I suspect the scenes that might have fleshed it out wound up on the cutting room floor. It probably should have been left out altogether, so that other scenes didn’t have to be pared down for the sake of running time (Shane Falco’s first pass in the first practice was obviously two scenes cut together). But the compromises that weaken the film are not why the critics hate it.
There’s none of the obligatory LGB-pandering anywhere in the film (except, perhaps, in a tres risque pantomime by the strippers-turned-cheerleaders on the sidelines at one game). The screenwriters didn’t contrive some way to put a female on the team–even as a kicker. Comraderie and male-bonding are celebrated throughout, and men act like men. When a female reporter invades the locker room, she gets little cooperation from the players and is ultimately convinced to give up and leave the “male space” intact. The bulk of the entire movie is an unapologetic celebration of masculinity guaranteeing that it could never get made today.
In fact, it’s amazing it got made 17 years ago, because the culture was deeply pozzed by then, already. Instead of watching the anti-American NFL bite the hands that feed them on Sunday, check this flick out.
In this third novel in the Homeland series, there’s a turning point in Civil War II. Some Americans saw the writing on the wall, and bugged out just before “The Second Founding.” They organized while in hiding, and are now coming out to tangle with the forces of the new regime.
The state governments have been dissolved, and what was once the continental USA has been divided into 10 regions under the totalitarian government of President Tophet. But in Tennessee, there are enough surviving patriots (even in the legislature) that resistance to the takeover is made official. Tennessee will not lay down without a fight.
Sergeant Cole has found the organized resistance–in this instance led by LTC Lee, his old battalion C.O. But concern over his family leads him to undertake his own mission to find them even as the flames of civil war spark to life across the country.
There is significant character development in this book–not just of Cole, either. Eduardo Garcia has quite the interesting character arc, which culminates here.
Author Mathis has masterfully woven a tale of one possible future history of the USA in the Homeland trilogy, which doesn’t bog down in technical details at all, or read like an advertisement for gold, survival supplies, or anything else. What this third novel does deliver is hope. The collapse of the USA as we know it may be inevitable, but it’s comforting to imagine there will be enough people with the wisdom, courage, and competence to mount an effective resistance.
I recommend you read the entire series. And speaking of that: the three novels have been combined into one omnibus edition now.
…Into an internecine squabble amongst the “Alt-Right.”
I’m way behind on everything. There are several overdue reviews I need to post, articles I need to write, books I need to read…not to mention all of my own projects on the backburner. But this development is significant enough that I’m gonna report on it now instead of trying to catch up.
Myself and others have been pointing out for years that we are in a cold civil war, with those who would destroy America (and their legions of useful idiots) on one side, and patriots, members of the Dissident Right, and the “Alternative Right” on the other. This cold war has not turned hot yet because, frankly, we are still too comfortable–even though the diseased system is in obvious decline.
But just when the voting base that put Trump in the White House should be unified, and reminding him of why we sent him there, we are rapidly becoming consumed with infighting instead.
First of all, the most obnoxious of the white tribalists in the “Alt-Right” finally became so annoying with their vain Racial Purity Diatribes and their Jewish Boogeyman Tropes, that even Vox Day grew irritated with them. For the last few years, Day and his followers have been preaching against ideology-based right-wing politics in favor of identity politics (in other words: “throw out that thar lame-ass Constitution and all them thar losers whut cling to it, ’cause all we need is muh white heritage ‘n’ muh Western Civiluzayshun”).
So far as that went, it was a promising development. National Socialists are not right-wing and never have been, and behold, Vox admitted as much.
The Neo-Nazis and other white supremacist groups are composed of angry white nerds who couldn’t find an outlet for their frustrations in gaming, skateboarding, or vampire cosplay, who are not exactly intellectual giants (those who aren’t actually leftist moles role-playing, that is). So when Vox Day called BS on them, they summoned what cognitive acumen they could pool to strike back.
They called him names.
Here’s where the positive development nosedives into Sewerville, because it was on Gab that they desperately slung their poo at him.
Unlike nearly all social media, Gab is a place where free speech is actually welcomed and encouraged. Specifically, it is an alternative to Twitter. I don’t have much time for any social media, but have enjoyed my Gab experience to date. I try not to follow back idiots, trolls, leftists (forgive the redundancy) or Alt-Retard Stormfront blowhards. So I read news links frequently, post occasionally, live and let live. Identity politics still aggravate me, and I don’t get along with those who blame the Jews for every problem under the sun, up to and including the condition of their parents’ basements. But they are free to spout their sophomoric rhetoric on Gab, just as the leftards spew their sophomoric America-hate and anti-male, anti-white rhetoric on Twatter, Faceborg, and everywhere else, blaming “racist” America for every problem under the sun, up to and including the condition of their parents’ basements. I don’t have to read their posts, and they don’t have to read mine.
Vox Day has been called names before. Just since I’ve become aware of him, I’ve seen a lot of that–and I’m certain that’s just a drop in the bucket. But for whatever reason, he decided that the accusation of pedophilia by some of these moronic cowards required legal countermeasures. He wanted the names of his accusers. Despite Vox Day being an ally and supporter, Gab did not cooperate. They not only refused to moderate the threads in question, but at some point decided to take/make the whole affair personal, as well.
Now Vox Day (AKA Theodore Beale) comes from money, and like many individuals raised with wealth, he can be a pompous ass at times. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he was arrogant with the Gab staff when making his demands. But it seems Gab responded in the worst possible way, insulting him, belittling his complaints, etc.
Day may or may not live up to his own estimation of his evil genius, but he does have a network. That network is comprised of competent men from many professions who can (and have) get stuff done for him. Some of those professionals are lawyers.
Both Day and Gab founder Andrew Torba are adamant that the law is on their side. Both can’t be right. But pride can cause even the most intelligent men to underestimate their opponents, overestimate themselves, and act a fool. I’m not an expert in the law, so I don’t know who is right, here. Neither can I predict who will prevail in the pending legal battle. What I can say is, the only people who will benefit from this internecine warfare are the enemies of both Torba and Day.
Meanwhile, Gab has chosen this time to take on the Goolag monopoly. Vox Day is doing the Google lawyers’ work for them by gathering and posting evidence of Gab’s moderation (or lack thereof), while Torba seems to believe it’s a contest to prove he is more of an alpha male than Day is.
The comment threads at Vox Popoli are populated by a few folks so savvy and perceptive I wish there were “like” buttons; some obvious and pathetic leftist trolls; and a whole lot of folks who are little more than denizens of a cult of personality. You would think the Gabbers who naturally support Torba in this conflict would be more inclined toward independent thought, on average.
You would be disappointed.
In junior high and high school, arguments were almost never won by using facts or logic, but by coming up with insults against your adversary to cause the inevitable crowd of onlookers to ooh, ahh, laugh or jeer. I’m sad to observe that little has changed since then. Gabbers are taking this opportunity to trash talk and launch ad hominem attacks against Day, as if ridiculing everything they think they know about him proves that he will lose this battle. Of course the “Dread Ilk” and VFM (Vox’s “Vile, Faceless minions”) are also trash-talking as if the matter will be decided by bluster alone…but that’s to be expected from them.
And while this was going on, two much-needed debates took place: Vox Day against, in turn, Greg Johnson and someone claiming to be Andrew Anglin, arguing whether or not the National Socialists belong in the “Alt-Right,” or anywhere on the right at all.
They don’t, which is easily proven.
The cultural svengalis have spent 70+ years brainwashing people on every side that the Nazis, Fascists, and other collectivist movements (sometimes even including Stalin’s USSR!) were/are from the right, so this is a worthwhile debate. And Vox Day is a sharp enough speaker to punch holes through the typical assumptions, even when he refuses to use some of the relevant arguments in the arsenal of info at his disposal.
Neither Johnson nor Anglin had much in the way of an argument, it turns out, though Johnson’s slick rhetoric likely had some goose-stepping halfwits mesmerized for a while. Anglin’s “argument” consisted mainly of asking Day questions and immediately interrupting before he could answer; to declare his ignorance as to the purpose of the debate; to blame “hook-nosed Jews” for all the evil in world history; to whine about personal attacks; and to make personal attacks of his own (for which there was no retaliation). To his credit, Vox Day tried to stay on topic. For whatever reason, I don’t think he was as effective as he could have been, but even by presenting only minimal evidence, he won easily.
However, when both Anglin and Day were finished, the host was absent, so they continued talking. Having abandoned the subject of the debate, Anglin proceeded to ask Day questions about the legal conflict with Gab. Anglin brought up the point that Day had, in the past, advised his followers to answer defamatory rhetoric in kind (his “punch back twice as hard” philosophy, which I believe is a good one in today’s political climate). In fact, Day had once advised them to call someone a pedophile in certain circumstances. In between the ceaseless interruptions, Day attempted to admit that he now understood that to be wrong, and bad advice. But in any event, just before the host reappeared to close the show, Day said, “I may be a hypocrite. You can accuse me of hypocrisy, but that doesn’t change anything.”
I haven’t attempted to comment on these forums for quite a while, but one person made the observation that I would have made: that of everything said during the entire recording, that last statement by Vox Day would be the only remark the Alt-Retards would repeat or remember. That one statement would comprise their entire summary, and it would replace the debate itself in their narrative.
Sure enough: I witnessed that exact prophecy fulfilled in the days following. With all the reasoning quotient of a Common-Core-educated 6th Grader, the trash-talking armchair pundits have conclusively proved that the Stealth-Left (#FakeRight) LARPing socialists are a legitimate part of the right-wing, because Vox Day admitted to hypocrisy regarding a separate issue.
Several Gabbers who support Andrew Torba and Gab (an admirable motivation, separate from the means) have dogpiled on, assuming not only that the statement caused Anglin to win the debate (which concluded before the statement was made), but that Vox Day’s “loss” of the debate somehow guarantees that Torba will prevail in the impending legal conflict.
It was thanks to Vox Day that I learned about the Aristotlian concept of rhetoric, and the fallacy of using dialectic when debating with those for whom emotion trumps reason. This helped me understand my frustrating history of futile arguments with halfwits, midwits and dimwits. I also peruse his blog regularly. That is not to say I agree with him on everything, or even most things. But I do have a fairly good grasp on his personality. He would undoubtedly deny that his strategy has backfired on him, but it’s hard to deny that some of his own tactics are being used against him.
As for Torba, I’d love to see him win against Goolag, and Twatter. And I’d like to see more social media rise up to challenge the ones controlled by the SJW hive mind. This squabble between allies is unfortunate at best, and I wish the parties involved would just drop it. But judging by the egos engaged, that’s just not going to happen. It’s becoming one more obstacle to ever winning the culture back.
This movie is “based on a true story.” The way it played out certainly seems plausible–probably even likely–but I don’t know much about the history of MacDonalds, so I can’t vouch for its accuracy. Whatever connection to reality it has, what I find remarkable is a metaphorical aspect that is shocking, in a Hollywood movie.
Ray Kroc is a traveling salesman in the 1954 Midwest who discovers an incredible success story in the food service industry. (Keep in mind that there was no such thing as “fast food” prior to the events depicted in this movie.) He discovers a truly revolutionary food-serving system at a little restaurant run by two brothers in southern California.
After being kicked around by the Great Depression and other hard knocks, the MacDonald Brothers harnessed their ingenuity, discipline, and shrewd business savvy to develop a business model that is successful beyond the scope of any similar venture. Through hard work, they fine-tune their system to nigh-perfection. They’re making good money; their customers love them, and they’re content with what they have.
Ray Kroc sees dollar signs and tells the brothers they need to franchise. But the brothers have already tried that–and found that restaurant managers deviated from the business model while letting the quality fall. But, as Kroc has been taught, persistence can elevate a talentless hack into a a tycoon and he badgers them relentlessly. Against their better judgment, the MacDonald brothers make a franchise deal with him. But they take precautions and insist that he signs off on a legal contract that ensures he uphold their standards, and that the lion’s share of the profits are retained by the franchises.
It’s a struggle from the beginning, and Kroc begins taking credit for their ideas and system. In fact, he doesn’t come up with a single idea of his own, but merely hijacks the ideas of others, twisting them to his own purposes. The brothers’ chief concern is their customers, and the quality of their product. Ray Croc’s primary concern is his own success, as he defines it. He willingly sacrifices anything to pursue it. He opens restaurants all over the country, and finally connects with a shady character who teaches him how to screw over his partners.
Long story short: he cheats them out of everything, and eventually they even lose their own personal restaurant (where they developed the system that revolutionized the food service industry). Incredibly, they agreed to a “handshake deal” on their cut of future profits, which, predictably, they never received a penny of. The standout dialog of the film is when Kroc admits that the law is completely on their side, due to the contract, but that he’ll win anyway because he can hire better lawyers and they can’t sustain the court battle it would take to retain their rights.
I couldn’t help but notice the similarity in modus opperandi between Ray Kroc, Bill Gates, and the devil himself.
There was another chord this movie struck which I couldn’t help noticing. More than once in the film, MacDonalds is equated with America itself. The parallels are hard to ignore.
The founders of the American republic designed a system which led to the greatest levels of both liberty, and prosperity, in recorded history.
Against the better judgment of our forebears, enemies of our republic were allowed to infiltrate, and invited into positions of power.
Those domestic enemies gradually attained a monopoly on the amazing wealth generated by our free market economy, and of course put that wealth to use toward the destruction of the very system that gave them the opportunity to accumulate that wealth.
Simultaneously, they took over government at all levels: the banks; academia; the press; the entertainment industry; the tech industry; giant corporations…and turned them all into weapons against the revolutionary system of government they benefited from–against our liberty; against our prosperity; against our culture; and even against institutions that predated the republic–like the family itself. Rarely did they contribute anything worthwhile to their respective industries, but nonetheless profited from the innovation and hard work of those who did.
What the usurpers have done, are doing, and intend to do, is illegal. The law of our land is against them, but they don’t care about that; and they believe we are too ignorant and/or apathetic to ever challenge them on it. Besides, they now have all the money, control over the police and the courts, and legions of useful idiots spread throughout the population who will defend their machinations fanatically.
They have stripped our republic of its remarkable wealth (assigning it to themselves and their proxies) and replaced it with staggering debt that can never be repaid even if taxes were raised to 100% for the next century. Replacing our real money with fiat currency was basically a handshake deal in which the only financial backing to the “US Dollar” (Federal Reserve Note) they left in place was the confidence in the dollar from the consumer.
Just as Ray Croc used some bizarre reasoning that included churches and flags to convince the MacDonald brothers to franchise “for their country,” our domestic enemies have repeatedly appealed to patriotism and Christian morals (both of which they despise) to convince US Citizens to fight and/or support foreign wars that don’t serve the interests of the American people at all. (Quite the opposite, usually.) Furthermore…”The Patriot Act.” ‘Nuff said.
Just as Ray Croc attained ownership of the real property the MacDonalds Empire was built upon, our enemies have seized the natural resources and “public lands” of the USA for themselves, and use our tax $$ to fund alphabet-soup pseudo-armies quartered among us to deny citizens access to our “public lands” by force of arms.
Our enemies intend to leave us completely destitute and dependent on them for sustenance after they have gobbled up every last iota of wealth for themselves, and provided for their own survival of the catastrophe they are developing.
No typical film director in Homowood, Commiefornia, would ever intentionally encode a message like this into a movie, as it works against The Narrative they push onto us with every other cinematic effort. Perhaps this is another instance of a Dunning-Kruger victim outsmarting himself.
There is no “alt-left.” There is just the same old left wing we’ve had for over a century. There is no need for an alternative left because Marxists/cultural Marxists, Democrats, “liberals,” progressives, feminists, etc., don’t target those on their own side with friendly fire.
(Unlike the right wing, where RINOs, NeoCons and others supposedly on our side habitually backstab those who won’t compromise away our principles, and where leftist moles masquerade as right-wingers.)
Here’s a refresher:
And then, here’s a representation of the non-revisionist model:
One point he can’t resist making is that there is a threat to our electoral system and it has nothing to do with Russia, Russia, Russia. It’s from the crooks pushing the Russia narrative, the Democrats.
In other words: not the Russians, but the Communists.
Just like the polls showing Hillary leading by 12 points, the claims that she won the popular vote were suspect from the start.
Why on Earth was the British Expeditionary Force allowed to escape in 1940?
That is the question everyone with a modicum of military savvy has to ask when examining the story of Dunkirk. (Well at least after coming down from your outrage due to underrepresentation in the film of Pygmy hermaphrodites, transgender unicorns, and Badass Warrior Womyn in front-line combat formations.) One positive side effect of the recent movie I’ve noticed is that some folks are indeed asking that question.
The Wermacht steamrolled over Poland and France despite the disparity of numbers, displaying a functional combined arms doctrine the world had never seen before… and yet allowed Britain’s army a second chance to fight them (when they inevitably returned with a more powerful ally), despite being poised to cut them off from the sea and destroy their ability to fight.
Not every fan of history knows the reason Dunkirk was allowed to succeed. Historians usually explain it away with one dubious claim or another. When I found out the truth, I just had to shake my head. And yet…it made sense.
A British historian spent the post war period interviewing the German high command, and its field marshals. The book he wrote clears up this and many other curiosities about WWII in the European Theater. I highly recommend it.
An added bonus is the reactions you’ll receive just toting the paperback around. On the cover is an image of a Nazi-era German flag, which happens to have a swastika on it. Rabid SJW thought police will be triggered, while public-educated FaceBorg junkies will often just run away. It’s Wolfenstein 3D all over again–but without intrusion into your gaming fun!
The sequel to Mission Veritas is finally out. I haven’t yet had a chance to start this dystopian military sci-fi novel (my categorization–not necessarily the author’s), but will post a review once I’ve consumed it. Meanwhile, here’s the skinny:
The good news is he’s completed the elite Black Saber training and is ready to deploy. The bad news is he’s being held back from assignment due to a technicality. When disaster strikes, he helps plan a counterattack, only to wind up adrift in space, stranded half a galaxy away from Earth, where his skills are needed most.
The people of Earth are still under the Carthenogens’ utopian delusion. The Global Alliance does their bidding, carving up city after city in a grand relocation plan, but most relocated people never arrive. Instead, they’re disappearing somewhere by the interstellar boatload. But the media mentions none of that. The population is kept in the dark, and the only ones who can stop them are all but vanquished. How can one isolated fighter help his fellow citizens from the cold vacuum of space?
Red-Blooded American Men Examine Pop-Culture and the World