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Old August 5 2011, 06:06 PM   #31
RandyS
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Re: The Federation Must Die.

cwl wrote: View Post
RandyS wrote: View Post
cwl wrote: View Post
They are a bit like the USA or the United Nations. think they are superior to everyone else but are deeply flawed in many ways.
Watch that. I'll be the first to admit that the USA is, as you say, deeply flawed in many ways, and I'll never be a flag waver, but it's my home.

Besides, once I'm "elected", heh, president, things will change for the better.
I think American people are great but the politicians... not so much. foreign invasions and all that. it's the ruling elite of most contries that are the problem.
Ah, common ground. Good.
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Old August 5 2011, 06:25 PM   #32
Anwar
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Re: The Federation Must Die.

sonak wrote: View Post
Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
Lanny77 wrote: View Post
Correction, we say that happen once in "Pen Pals".
And in the episode with Worf's adopted brother.

In fact, Starfleet's even gone out of it's way to help prevent disasters, like in "Paradise Syndrome".
That was the TOS Prime Drective.

OK, maybe I shouldn't have said "plenty," but that's at least two, and it's a monstrous enough policy. We can also assume it happens more frequently, but how many episodes of "the crew stands by and does nothing while millions die in natural disasters" could Trek and the audience have taken?

I was also lumping "dear doctor" in with this, but that's not quite fair since that was Archer acting on his own before a PD or the UFP. Though I'm sure Picard would've made some b.s. speech applauding Archer's decision had he been there.
In "Homeward" it would have taken thousands of starships working around the clock to evacuate that planet, thousands of starships pulled away from their other equally important duties that are now unfulfilled.

They would then have to find a new world for them to inhabit, make sure that the world is uninhabited and nothing in the ecosystem will kill them. A huge support team would have to be left there for years to make sure that they all adapt to this and somehow get through with their culture intact (likely impossible). The Feds now have a new pet vassal state that once was a thriving independent culture. Bravo.

Also, in a larger geopolitical sense saving this one world like thay would set a new precedent in that it's what Starfleet MUST do in all such situations from now on and there must be a Task Force to deal with it.

In order to create this new task force personnel and ships must be pulled away from other duties like, say, DEFENSE and put to work, thus ultimately weakening the Federation in an obvious way that their enemies would clearly notice and capitalize on.

Congratulations, you have turned the Federation into a Galactic Nanny State, created various dependent Vassals who can't survive on their own, and given signs to your enemies that you've weakened yourselves and your economy leaving your territory or contest regions ripe for the picking.

Well done.
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Old August 5 2011, 06:44 PM   #33
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Re: The Federation Must Die.

By the time of TNG, the Federation spans 8000ly has over 150 members, it's population could be in the region of hundreds of billions if not close to a trillon. Now witha population that vast there are going to be some people who have certain flaws, just as today. But by and large like today they seem to be in the minority.

As for the issues regarding the PD, they are damned if they do and damned if they don't. Some people would argue today that the Western Nations(esp: the USA) should keep it's nose out of there affairs).

As for the Maquis, the inferrence from TNG when planets swapped and the population choose not to be relocated, was so long as they didn't bother the Cardassians they would be left alone. The fact that the Cardassians choose to ignore that or certain colonists start causing trouble is a different issue. At the end of they CHOOSED to live under Cardassian rule. Now you can argue forced relocation etc.., but at the end of the day the Federation has to do wghat is considered best for it's entire population. So the new borders and the DMZ that came about with the Cardassian treaty, if it hadn't been signed it could have led to another war, costing who knows how many lives all so a few colonists could stay where they were. It comes down to numbers at the end of the day.

So what if the Federation hopes that one day the Cardassians/Klingons/Romulans etc.. will join one day. Thats a dream of a better tomorrow where we live in peace withut threat of war. They aren't forcing them to join, they didn't say join us before you can have the replicators.
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Old August 5 2011, 06:52 PM   #34
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Re: The Federation Must Die.

Sci wrote: View Post
It's probably fair to say that I'm oversimplifying things a bit, even if the gist of my argument is not wrong.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
While I agree with the essence of Sci's post here (yes, I know--shocking...)
It happens every now and then.

--that no society is perfect, and that what the Federation has done right makes it frankly infinitely preferable to the stated alternatives...

Still, there's certainly a challenge to be made here:



I'm not frankly convinced that this is the case, that the Federation trully has shed bigotry or prejudice. We've seen it in many forms in the Federation and Starfleet--not just in "rogue" villains, but even in our heroes.

We've seen hostility towards Spock because he looks like a Romulan; we've seen Solok taunt Sisko--and are informed as to his mindset that Vulcans are inherently superior to humans.
Fair enough. But I don't think that either bit of speciesism there is indicative of the attitudes of the majority of Federates. There's only one person who distrusts Spock for looking Romulan; he's defended by numerous other Humans. Solok may think Vulcans are superior to Humans, but his crew seems to have no problem socializing in a friendly manner (well, as friendly as one gets as a Vulcan) with the DS9 crew after the baseball game, and make no effort to defend him when he behaves like a fool afterwards.

...I agree, but I think it's more complicated than that. After all, for all that Sisko has some prejudice towards the Ferengi, Quark himself was over simplifying things -- he claims that Ferengi have no slavery, but I do not think that it's reasonable to call the oppression of Ferengi women, nor the exploitation of lower-class Ferengi workers, anything other than slavery by another name.

And for all that Sisko has some prejudices against the Ferengi (at least as of Season Two of DS9), that doesn't stop him from sponsoring the application to Starfleet Academy of the very first Ferengi in Starfleet.

Even if there are occasional instances of personal speciesism, it seems pretty clear that the Federation's institutions do not engage in institutional speciesism. There's no reason to think that a Ferengi immigrant to Earth would be mistreated by officials, or that you'd have any trouble catching a cab in New York City if you're green, or that you'd be paid a lesser, unfair wage for being a Andorian chan.
Perhaps not. However, my concern is that, frankly--one would think that such speciesism would be actively discouraged in a society valuing diversity.

This is what I mean by "deep denial". The Federation assumes that, since speciesism is not "institutional", it therefore is not a problem within the Federation.

I believe Nog himself noted in "Homefront" that it was very difficult for him to find acceptance among the other cadets--due to his being a Ferengi.

And we see in Sisko's insistence that it is not dumb a counter-weight to Jake's attitudes. And we see in Kirk's professed faith in a monotheistic God in "Who Mourns for Adonis?" what sounds like Christianity.
Interestingly enough--Kirk's line said "We find the one quite adequate." While I admit it was a relief, considering Roddenberry's...misgivings...still, to this day, I'm not entirely sure exactly what he was trying to say to Apollo.

We see Christianity confirmed in Kassidy Yates noting that her mother would prefer to see her daughter married by a minister. It's never been confirmed beyond any doubt, but I'd bet you dollars for doughnuts that McCoy's a Protestant.
Well...while books aren't canon--and the Crucible trilogy is out of synch with the normal TrekLit continuity--still, in the McCoy Crucible book, he notes to the girl he comes to marry (in the alternate timeline where he saves Edith Keeler), "Don't you know I don't believe in a heaven?"

Still, your point about some instances of Christianty being seen/mentioned is fair enough.

And while it's been a while since I've seen those old DS9 episodes, the sense I got from Keiko, Jadzia, and Bashir was not so much a condescension towards religion as towards the idea that the Wormhole Aliens should be identified with the Bajoran Prophets. They're probably of the mindset that a clearly-identifiable alien lifeform should not be identified as any given religion's god or gods -- their reaction to the Wormhole Aliens being identified as the Prophets would probably be identical to a hypothetical scenario in which a Christian identifies Q with the God of Abraham. And in particular, with Keiko, I seem to remember that it was not so much that she objected to belief in the Prophets as to objects to censor her teaching of the scientific theories about how the Bajoran Wormhole functioned -- theories that were in no way incompatible with the idea of the Prophets' divinity.
Fair enough. But what of Picard's remarks in "Who Watches The Watchers?"

Meanwhile, there is no evidence whatsoever that the Federation has any form of religious domination or discrimination. There's no evidence that it forces Atheist Federates to support having "In God We Trust" on Federation Credits, or that there are Federation Days of Prayer. There's no evidence that Federation Councillors hold hearings of the Federation Security Council on the threat of Prophetic law against the Federation Constitution from Bajoran immigrants. There's no reason to think that there's widespread social pressure to belong to any religious organization, no reason to think that anyone's religious beliefs are used to justify denying equal access to civil marriage, no reason to think people are beaten up for professing their belief in God or for being Christian, no indication that there's any inhibition whatsoever on freedom of, or from, religion.
Institutionally, no. But again--though the law does not discriminate, the mindset still exists. Again, the Federation assumes that since there is not institutional bigotry that there is no bigotry, period.

I think it pays more than lip service. I think diversity has honestly replaced homogeneity as a virtue in the Federation value system. Now, that doesn't mean the Federation or its individual citizens always live up to it. But when you look at the sheer amount of cultural diversity inherent to the Federation from its very inception -- Humans vs. Vulcans vs. Andorians vs. Tellarites -- I don't think it's reasonable to say that diversity has not always been a Federation virtue and a Federation trait.
Again, if the Federation truly valued diversity, would it not make a constant effort to educate its populace on the values and importance of such?

Again, my concern is simply that the Federation as a society prefers to tell itself that everything is fine--because it doesn't want to have to do the hard work required for such education.

In the end, the problems of a society come from the culture. Institutional problems are merely a symptom--not the disease.

No. Imperialism is when you're out to dominate others, usually through violent conquest.

What the Federation is guilty of is a certain level of cultural imperialism. It honestly believes that its egalitarian, liberal democratic system is superior to any other system, and wants to persuade others to join it.
Yes...which was my point about imperialism. Apologies for not putting "cultural" in front of the term....

But that is the key difference: The Federation wants to persuade other cultures to join it. It does not want to coerce them. And if another culture says no, the Federation will accept that.
And I'm not against that. I'm simply pointing out the contradiction in putting "diversity" on such a high pedestal--and then saying that one's own way is superior.

In other words...for all the talk about promotion of "diversity", it is decidedly intolerant about value systems that disagree with its own.
Well, yes and no.

You'll notice I did not list "tolerance" among the Federation's virtues. That's intentional. Frankly, I view the idea that "tolerance" is a virtue as being at best a misnomer. It's a meaningless statement. Everyone is tolerant of something. Saying that you're tolerant doesn't mean a damn thing.

It is meaningful to say that of which one is tolerant. So, you'll notice that I listed numerous areas of difference in which the Federation is largely tolerant; it's tolerant of differences in cultural identification, it's tolerant in differences of sexuality (it would have to be, since Andorians marry in groups of four), it's tolerant in differences of species. It allows its member worlds to include ritual fights to the death -- consensual homicide! It is tolerant of differences of religion -- there is no evidence whatsoever that the Federation sought to inhibit or suppress the influence of the Bajoran Church as a prerequisite for Federation Membership. Etc.

But, no, by the same token, it's not tolerant of everything. It's fair to say, for instance, that the Federation is intolerant of the way Ferengi society oppressed Ferengi women. Federation society is based in part on the idea that men and women (and other sexes, presumably) are equal, and as such, they have no particular obligation to be tolerant of that kind of sexism.
Hence, my often noting that Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations is highly illogical, highly self-defeating, and altogether impossible to impliment. It's frankly astonishing that the Vulcans, of all people, would promote such a concept.

In some areas, I tend to agree that that intolerance goes too far. We see Federates being quite dismissive of Klingon pain rituals in Season Two of TNG, for instance, utterly dismissing the idea that personal struggle and sacrifice, symbolically engaged in, can yield personal insight or wisdom. But, by the same token, this is a function of the strong Federation value that people should not be tortured -- something that should, I would argue, not be tolerated.

And for all that the Federation and its citizenry can sometimes be dismissive of or condescending to aspects of foreign cultures with which they disagree -- there's no evidence the Federation ever tried to coerce those cultures into changing. So far as I know, the Federation never issued a trade embargo against the Ferengi Alliance for its treatment of women, for instance.
Here's my problem: where do you cross the line from mere intolerance into bigotry? Somehow, I doubt the Federation has ever really bothered to try and answer that question.

But, all those questions aside--the point is...the Federation is, as Ezri Dax would put it, "A society that is in deep denial about itself."
I really don't think the Federation is in deep denial about itself. If anything, I think the Federation and its citizenry have exhibited a continual capacity for self-reflection on their flaws, both individual and institutional, that is quite envious. We see Federation citizens engaging in self-reflection about the virtue of Federation values, the Federation's ability to live up to those values, and their own individual capacity to live up to those values, all the time. Sisko goes from being called on his prejudices against Ferengi to sponsoring Nog for a position as a Starfleet officer. Kirk goes from saying the UFP should let the Klingons die to being willing to sacrifice his life, career, and ship to preserve the peace treaty and defend the Klingon Chancellor. Picard goes from unthinking vengeance against the Borg to being willing to sacrifice himself and his ship to make sure that his crew and the timeline are saved. Etc.

The Federation, like all societies, is very flawed. But the Federation is also very adaptable and self-reflective.
To that, Sci, I would point to your separation of institutional bigotry from individual bigotry. Namely--we see individuals engaging in self-reflection--showing the guts to admit when they're wrong. But I don't really see much evidence of the institutions themselves taking a hard look at the problems of the society.

Indeed, Sisko himself discussed the willing blindless in "The Maquis, Part I". He notes to Kira that Starfleet Command in general, and Admiral Nechayev in particular, are so used to the idea of paradise, they possess a naive kind of "sainthood", assuming that all living in "paraside" are therefore saints. But as Sisko himself concludes...the only reason everyone looks like saints is that "It's easy to be a saint in paradise."

And meanwhile -- whatever its flaws, the idea that they're so great that the Federation deserves to die is just absurd.
Again--I do not in any way endore that notion. I do think those flaws run deeper than most would care to admit--but such flaws warrant reform, not destruction.
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Old August 5 2011, 07:15 PM   #35
Temis the Vorta
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Re: The Federation Must Die.

They think their own morals are superior to everyone else's. And yet, they would stand by and watch someone commit genocide if it just so happens to be an "internal affair". How can you stand there and watch someone commit genocide and then call your morals superior to those of others?
It's spelled H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-C-Y.

But the combination of snooty moralizing, knee-jerk imperialism (why is it always the other guy's fault when Starfleet trespasses on alien turf?) and occasional shockingly ruthless behavior is what gives the Federation and Starfleet their unique charm. I wouldn't have it any other way. If the Federation and Starfleet were as perfect as they like to think they are, what a bore they would be, and who wants stories about bores?

The Federation is corrupt. It needs to be destroyed, and started over again.
Wouldn't do any good. It's very doubtful you'd end up with anything better, and likely you'd end up with worse. Corruption, two-faced-ness and hypocrisy is just how the universe works.

And, to answer the original question, yes. Show that makes you route for the bad guys are the best! That's why I love "True Blood" and "ST: DS9".
Were you really rooting for the bad guys in DS9? If there was any message to that series, it was definitely that, as flawed as the Federation might be, it was a shitload better than the truly scary people it was fighting.

Or maybe you meant that, DS9 demonstrates that stark distinctions of good-vs-evil are simple-minded. In reality, you get either get tolerable-vs-evil or evil-vs-evil (the latter being the theme of Farscape).
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Old August 5 2011, 07:21 PM   #36
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Re: The Federation Must Die.

Anwar wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post
Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post

And in the episode with Worf's adopted brother.

That was the TOS Prime Drective.

OK, maybe I shouldn't have said "plenty," but that's at least two, and it's a monstrous enough policy. We can also assume it happens more frequently, but how many episodes of "the crew stands by and does nothing while millions die in natural disasters" could Trek and the audience have taken?

I was also lumping "dear doctor" in with this, but that's not quite fair since that was Archer acting on his own before a PD or the UFP. Though I'm sure Picard would've made some b.s. speech applauding Archer's decision had he been there.
In "Homeward" it would have taken thousands of starships working around the clock to evacuate that planet, thousands of starships pulled away from their other equally important duties that are now unfulfilled.

They would then have to find a new world for them to inhabit, make sure that the world is uninhabited and nothing in the ecosystem will kill them. A huge support team would have to be left there for years to make sure that they all adapt to this and somehow get through with their culture intact (likely impossible). The Feds now have a new pet vassal state that once was a thriving independent culture. Bravo.

Also, in a larger geopolitical sense saving this one world like thay would set a new precedent in that it's what Starfleet MUST do in all such situations from now on and there must be a Task Force to deal with it.

In order to create this new task force personnel and ships must be pulled away from other duties like, say, DEFENSE and put to work, thus ultimately weakening the Federation in an obvious way that their enemies would clearly notice and capitalize on.

Congratulations, you have turned the Federation into a Galactic Nanny State, created various dependent Vassals who can't survive on their own, and given signs to your enemies that you've weakened yourselves and your economy leaving your territory or contest regions ripe for the picking.

Well done.

Nice try, but when we see the PD invoked in modern Trek, it's invoked for ideological reasons, out of a belief in non-inteference, NOT out of a fear of the logistical difficulties that interference would bring.

Besides, don't forget that cultures they help are also potential new allies, just like in the real world, when countries that get humanitarian aid from another country tend to view that country more favorably. Even from a realpolitik standpoint it makes sense.
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Old August 5 2011, 07:28 PM   #37
Temis the Vorta
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Re: The Federation Must Die.

Xerxes1979 wrote: View Post
Living in the Federation seems very pleasant on many many levels. The Federation seems to posess the best science and largest territory among space powers on this side of the galaxy. If this is the result of enlightmentment and democracy who are you to argue against it?
Living in the bosom of the Federation is almost certainly a wonderful thing. We haven't seen much of what life is like for average Fed citizens, but they have abundant resources, time to follow whatever career or hobbies they choose, and a fairly significant military force out there patrolling the boundaries and keeping threats at bay.

But those aren't the stories we see. Instead, we see the military force that makes the utopia of the Federation possible, and how their actions aren't always as perfect as maybe they should be.

The whole theme of Star Trek was encapsulated in Sisko's statement, "The Federation is a paradise, and it's easy to be a saint in paradise." What he meant is, by joining Starfleet, he's chosen not to live in paradise, and therefore can't be expected to be a saint by those ingrateful fucks wallowing around in the cushy Federation, who have no fucking clue what it takes to keep their fat, lazy, cowardly asses safe.

Okay he didn't say all that, but I'm sure he was thinking it loudly enough for a Vulcan to pick up without a mind-meld.
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Old August 5 2011, 07:31 PM   #38
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Re: The Federation Must Die.

Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
They think their own morals are superior to everyone else's. And yet, they would stand by and watch someone commit genocide if it just so happens to be an "internal affair". How can you stand there and watch someone commit genocide and then call your morals superior to those of others?
It's spelled H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-C-Y.
Actually, it's spelled H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y.

Sorry to point that out--I just had to. But that word does not follow the normal rules or patterns.
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Old August 5 2011, 07:33 PM   #39
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: The Federation Must Die.

sonak wrote: View Post
Nice try, but when we see the PD invoked in modern Trek, it's invoked for ideological reasons, out of a belief in non-inteference, NOT out of a fear of the logistical difficulties that interference would bring.
Agreed; had that been the point, I think we would've seen a whole different type of hand-wringing in that episode: we can't do enough, how can we decide who lives and who dies because of how we use our limited resources, etc. As the episode is written, it looks instead like callous indifference.
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Old August 5 2011, 07:34 PM   #40
Temis the Vorta
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Re: The Federation Must Die.

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
They think their own morals are superior to everyone else's. And yet, they would stand by and watch someone commit genocide if it just so happens to be an "internal affair". How can you stand there and watch someone commit genocide and then call your morals superior to those of others?
It's spelled H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-C-Y.
Actually, it's spelled H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-S-Y.

Sorry to point that out--I just had to. But that word does not follow the normal rules or patterns.
Well in my defense, my first stab was H-Y-P-O-C-R-A-C-Y. Serves me right to trust Google as a spell checker.
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Old August 5 2011, 07:36 PM   #41
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: The Federation Must Die.

Sometimes you can tell by trying a few spellings and seeing what comes up with more options, but generally a dictionary plus a spellchecker will get more reliable results. All Google will show you sometimes is just how many people are making the same error.
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Old August 5 2011, 07:39 PM   #42
Temis the Vorta
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Re: The Federation Must Die.

All Google will show you sometimes is just how many people are making the same error.
I predict that in the future, Google Stupidity will become the new standard for everything, and the most popular spelling of any given word at any given time will be the correct spelling for as long as it remains in ascendance. Since all communication will be conducted through electronic devices, our devices will update all communication to reflect these ever-fleeting standards.

Anyway, on to more interesting topics than my illiteracy. I take issue with the notion that the Federation is "corrupt" (a charge I see levied often.)

Corruption means that the honchos are feathering their nests, taking bribes, giving key positions to cronies and family members, etc. We haven't seen evidence of this going on, on a widespread basis or any basis. We haven't seen much on the internal workings of the Federation at all. So how is the Federation "corrupt"?
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Old August 5 2011, 07:43 PM   #43
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: The Federation Must Die.

Not all corruption involves money. It can also involve morally bankrupt decision-making.
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Old August 5 2011, 07:54 PM   #44
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Re: The Federation Must Die.

Captain Benjamin Sisko:
"We live in a galaxy that has borders, and those borders have to be guarded by space stations and ships with weapons. Who's gonna do it? You? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Bajorans and you curse the Federation. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that the occasional death of the innocent, while tragic, probably saves lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that border, you need me on that border. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to someone who rises and sleeps under the Federation blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand on guard. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to."
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Old August 5 2011, 08:01 PM   #45
cwl
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Re: The Federation Must Die.

the Klingons and Romulans team up they can split the Federation down the middle!

long live the Empire Ka-pla!
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