Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

To: His Excellency Gérard Araud, Ambassador of France to the United States Re: Burkini ban

To: His Excellency Gérard Araud, Ambassador of France to the United States
Re: Burkini ban

Dear Sir and to whom it may concern:

I am writing to express my concern with the so-called ‘burkini ban’ imposed by several French municipalities and recently upheld by your court system.

These laws violate human rights, are illogical, and stupid.

How can burkini’s be a public health issue but not wetsuits?

Where is the security issue in wearing a burkini? Is France in danger of being overrun by women in burkinis?

We have seen in the (UK) Guardian how a woman with her daughter at the beach was accosted by four armed officers, compelled to take off her top, which was not a burka nor a burkini, and fined while her daughter cried and onlookers shouted “Go Home” at her.

cf French police make woman remove clothing on Nice beach following burkini ban

How can you possibly allow such a law to exist or to be implemented?

What will be done to punish the officers who so abused this innocent woman?

I am a friend of France but I cannot in good conscience buy French products, watch French movies, eat French food or drink French wine while this ridiculousness, and the crude bigotry and intolerance which underlie it, go on.

Why is France standing against personal liberty?

Why is France standing for the subjugation, intimidation, and state-sponsored racist harassment of harmless unarmed women by armed men?

Please take this opportunity to keep me informed of how these policies will be reversed and outlawed, how the women so harassed will be compensated, and of those responsible to making such laws as well as anyone who has enforced them, how they are punished and sanctioned.

Thank you for your attention and for your prompt reply.

Henry Edward Hardy
Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy

24 August, 2016 Posted by | Ambassador, ban, beach, burkini, France, Gérard Araud, liberty, politics, racist, scanlyze, stupid | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Islamic State hacks Niantic; Pokeclypse ensues

Islamic State hacks Niantic; Pokeclypse ensues.

Tens of thousands of people have died following an ongoing series of cyber-attacks on the makers of Pokemon Go, Niantic.

Mass casualties have been reported at bridges, dams, and waterfalls, with ongoing rescue operations in progress throughout the world. Hundreds of thousands are reported missing, with many lost in underground cavern systems such as Carlsbad Caverns, Mammoth Cave, and Lechuguilla Cave.

Humans have been seen jumping with the lemmings in western Canada, trying to navigate Niagara Falls with their iphones, and drowning in the English Channel.

Massive rescue efforts are still underway, notably to free the thousands still trapped in the La Brea Tar Pits.

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Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy

5 August, 2016 Posted by | satire, scanlyze | , , , , | Leave a comment

The US Strategy of Limited War is Stupid

Why is the US pursuing a policy of limited war and covert operations around the world in Libya, Syria, Chad, Mali, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Honduras, Sudan, Philippines and so on?

THIS IS A LOSING STRATEGY.

Ye gods we know that from Viet Nam.

We know that from the USSR in Afghanistan.

We know that from Central America.

And you can read it in the chapter that was added to Capt B H Liddell Hart’s classic book, Strategy: The Indirect Approach for the second edition which came out in, I think, 1947. Wars under in the nuclear age will be fought by proxy, with deniable guerilla groups acting semi-autonomously, but puppeted by the great powers through covert action. This is to avoid massive retaliation. Liddell Hart clearly points out that these guerilla movements will have a huge advantage in both efficiency and freedom of use compared to conventional forces.

But the United States, with its massive fleet, its 10 aircraft carriers, its air superiority doctrine, its armored divisions, is prepared to refight World War II. The lack of sufficient good old fashioned light infantry like the 10th Infantry leads to the overuse of special forces for tasks which should belong to the regular army. At the same time, the regular forces, except air power to a limited degree, are pretty useless against guerilla groups or hybrid guerilla groups like IS. So the special forces get to fight them too, undercover, without normal rules of engagement and fire support. This has led to a huge expansion of the very expensive and specialized special forces.

The US spends more on its military than the next ten military powers combined and yet IS, with maybe the equivalent of three divisions of light infantry, mostly low paid conscript ‘volunteers,’ can flummox the US in the Middle East, destabilize Europe, and fuel Brexit and Trumpism. That’s partly because it is always hard to fight religiously-fueled warriors with a martyrdom cult.

But the US knows how to fight a guerilla war. 50 US advisers trained Ho Chi Minh’s forces in guerilla warfare during WWII, for crying out loud.

This idiotic strategy is being driven by the politics of deniable operations that don’t have political consequences unless they have a Eugene Hasenfus-type incident, and that eternal war is hugely profitable.

Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy

31 July, 2016 Posted by | guerilla, Iraq, Liddel Hart, military, politics, scanlyze, strategy, stupid, USA, war | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why I support Bernie Sanders for President

Bernie Sanders is a good man, brave, kind, compassionate, courageous, insightful, thoughtful, and honest. He is a friend to all living things. Bernie Sanders is the kind of candidate who comes along only once in a lifetime. We shall not see his like again. Vote your hopes and not your fears. Vote SANDERS FOR PRESIDENT!

If you want to understand why there are so many die-hard Bernie supporters such as myself, I offer this. It isn’t because we hate Hillary Clinton. It isn’t because we are all democratic socialists. It isn’t because we all hate all of the rich.

We support this good man because he is kind, he is compassionate, he is a real person who has always had the same message, who doesn’t bend and blow with the breezes of popularity or the outcomes of focus groups.

We support Bernie Sanders because he is the last, best hope of leading us by the angels of our better nature, to making the aspirational America with ‘freedom and justice for all’ real, to restoring the character and standing of America to where the people of the world will thank us for our brother and sisterhood, and not hide their children in fear and curse us whenever they hear a plane overhead.

Bernie’s America is our America is the America of “This Land is Your Land.” Our America is the America of “America the Beautiful.” Our America is the America of “We Shall Overcome.” Ours is the America of “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Our America is the America of Abraham Lincoln and Sojourner Truth and Emma Goldman and Paul Robeson. Our America is the America of Joe Hill and Eugene V Debs and Norman Thomas. Our America is the America of Michael Harrington and Kwame Ture. Our America is the America of Malcolm X and Upton Sinclair. Our America is the America of Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt. Our America is the America of Smedley Butler and Abbie Hoffman.

Join us!

Deeply Moving Message from Bernie Sanders

Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy

6 June, 2016 Posted by | America, America the Beautiful, Bernie Sanders, civil rights, election, freedom, Hillary Clinton, scanlyze | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ahsoka Tano is space Gandalf

These are some of my thoughts after seeing the two part Season 2 finale of Star Wars Rebels, “Twilight of the Apprentice.”

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

This isn’t a review, it is my thoughts as I might share them with a friend who is already conversant with Star Wars lore as far as the 6 movies plus The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. As well as being familiar with Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

If this is all Greek to you, you can catch up at wookiepedia, but more satisfying will be to watch The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels first. See you next month in that case.

Let me just lay out the character correspondences I see between the principals in LotR and Rebels.

Ezra = Frodo
Zeb = Samwise
Chopper = Pippin
possibly that other new droid = Merry (if the comically sociopathic Chopper doesn’t kick him off the ship from a great height like he did the last new droid)
Kanan Jarus = Aragorn
Ahsoka Tano = Gandalf
Rex = Boromir?
Hera = ???
Sabine = ???
Maul = Gollum
Vader = The Balrog
Emperor Palpatine = Sauron
The Inquisitors = Orcs, the cave troll
The Sith Holocron “containing all the knowledge of the Sith” and great destructive power = The One Ring

Star Wars intentionally follows the heroes journey particularly as described by Joseph Campbell with the Jedi characters Yoda and Luke. Each has a “descent into the Underword” experience during which they come near the brink of death and arise as it were from the grave, now infused with great spiritual power and innoculated against fear of death which is one of the great temptations of the Dark Side. So too, at Moria, Gandalf falls, to later be reborn as Gandalf the White.

So if you want to trace the narrative of the Fellowship of the Ring at Moria vrs the three (former) Jedi from Rebels, it would be as follows.

Yoda/Elrond sends the company on a quest which will lead them into darkess in order to evade the snares of the enemy.

The Watcher in the Water/Initial fight with Inquisitor 8th Brother

Ezra becomes separated from the group and meets a denizen of the darkness who has been trapped there a long time. Ezra and Maul parallels Bilbo and Gollum in The Hobbit here.

Fight with the inquisitors/Chamber of Mazarbul. The Seventh Sister/cave troll and the other Inquisitors/orcs are soundly defeated. Ezra/Frodo is saved from being skewered.

Now comes the big bad, Darth Vader/The Balrog. Everyone is scared. Only Ahsoka/Gandalf can stand unafraid and alone.

There’s also another direct callback to the Lord of the Rings here with Ahsoka/Eowyn defying the spirit of evil with I am no Jedi/I am no man.

You shall not pass! Protecting Ezra/Frodo.

Ahsoka force pushes Ezra out of the fight at the last moment/Gandalf: Fly you fools!

The company flees, disconsolate at losing their most moral, most powerful member and leader.

Meanwhile, Ahsoka/Gandalf and Vader/The Balrog fight. Long fight. Vader is severely injured/The Balrog is destroyed.

There is a last vision of Ahsoka descending deeper into the Sith Temple/Gandalf:

‘Long I fell, and he fell with me. His fire was about me. I was burned. Then we plunged into deep water and all was dark. Cold it was as the tide of death: almost it froze my heart. […] Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things…’
“‘Ice fell like rain. I threw down my enemy, and he fell from the high place and broke the mountain-side where he smote it in his ruin. Then darkness took me, and I strayed out of thought and time, and I wandered far on roads that I will not tell.
“‘Naked I was sent back – for a brief time, until my task is done. And naked I lay upon the mountain-top. […] I was alone, forgotten, without escape upon the hard horn of the world. There I lay staring upward, while the stars wheeled over, and each day was as long as a life-age of the earth. Faint to my ears came the gathered rumour of all lands: the springing and the dying, the song and the weeping, and the slow everlasting groan of overburdened stone.’ ”

So Ahsoka will return, of course. But not unchanged, and not until things look very bleak indeed for the company.

Of course Disney can throw a monkey wrench into all this. Indeed it seems they have insisted that Ahsoka be written out of the story at this point. Ahsoka is so not a Disney princess. She isn’t girly, she wears practical, not sexy armor, she doesn’t need rescuing, and she isn’t going to get married and live happily ever after. Despite that she is the character that the youngest generation of Star Wars fans have come to know and love above all others for the past ten years, Disney seem to instead want to go the Abrams route. For more on that see my article, Force Awakens is a snide parody of Star Wars.

However, the force is strong with Ahsoka and her legions of fans, so I think it more likely than not that we will see her in the live action movies at some point.

There are a number of callbacks to the Old Republic in Twilight of the Apprentice, notably the Sith temple on Malachor and the female who made the great Sith Holocron, who would then be Jedi Master Arren Kae/Darth Traya/Kreia.

As far as in-universe, what does Ahsoka do next?

I would suggest that she gains knowledge of future events enough to know that not only will all of the known Jedi either fall or turn to the Dark Side, but that Luke’s New Jedi Order will fail and fall to the Dark Side and be destroyed as well.

What would she do in such a circumstance?

I suggest Ahsoka will get as many force sensitive kids as she can and head to Tython to begin a new order, which will be effectively a Grey Jedi order dedicated to the living force, like the predecessors of the Jedi, the Je’daii Order and the Dai Bendu.

By going back to the original homeworld of the Jedi, Tython, Ahsoka would be following in the footsteps of another female Jedi Master from the Old Republic era, Satele Shan. Shan went to Tython after the Sith defeated the Republic and sacked the Jedi temple on Corescant during the Great Galactic War.

This will take her off the stage indefinitely but not put her out of play if things get really bleak and suddenly the space cavalry needs to ride to the rescue as it were. Maybe literally if she can commune with the Purgill space whales like Esra. Or the Duinuogwin space dragons mentioned in early histories of the Old Republic.

Well those are my thoughts thus far. What do you think?

Copyright © 2016 Henry Edward Hardy

5 April, 2016 Posted by | Ahsoka Tano, Gandalf, Jedi, scanlyze, scaylyze, Star Wars, Tython | , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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