Spoilers TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack Review Thread

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Sho, Sep 17, 2013.

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Rate The Crimson Shadow.

  1. Outstanding

    77 vote(s)
    67.5%
  2. Above Average

    29 vote(s)
    25.4%
  3. Average

    6 vote(s)
    5.3%
  4. Below Average

    2 vote(s)
    1.8%
  5. Poor

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. flandry84

    flandry84 Captain Captain

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Sorry once more for being late to the discussion.
    Just to add my praise for yet another great book from Una Mc Cormack.Excellent characterisations,great dashes of intrigue and a splendid plot(as usual).
    I was delighted to see the return of Rennan Konya.

    And reading through this thread has my mind spinning with possibilities,theories and counter-theories....all good then.

    Btw,to the poster who insisted that the USA doesn't monitor their allies...I'm sure all that fuss about the NSA tapping the phones and e-mails of practically everyone in the world was pure fabrication.Grow up.
     
  2. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Everyone spies on everyone. If you're not, it's because you're too poor. I don't see what the fuss is about.
     
  3. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    The fuss is that it is illegal (still, as the legal censure raising its head suggests) and immoral! That the NSA/GCHQ tapped the phones of 35 world leaders, who are friendly powers! That they record and filter through your online information, your texts and your privacy - you a citizen who should be protected from governmental invasion. Picture it like this - imagine this was the 60s, and you were/are gay. Imagine you are Muslim, and you get checked for using words like 'Allah' in your messaging. Imagine you are some other group percieved as a threat, as dissident, or perverse. All this data collected could be turned and misused so easily. And in a culture of rendition and abuses of people's human rights or dignities such misuse is only so many steps away from happening. This is a pervversion of what state protection should be in a democratic society, suspicion from the top, not protection. It is the potentiality of a police state, it is what McCormack presented as so chilling in her recent Cardassian books. And that the NSA, MI5 and GCHQ don't think they should be punished for having done this. It's maddening. They have the power, and it is amazing and shocking and threatening to have seen it revealed thus. And more so, there has been no testament as to the good all this spying has done. Of course our intelligence agencies have done good work, they have saved life and helped preserve societal fabric - but we, the public they serve (in the US and the UK), should be shown that they don't also push too far and compromise they role as protector. that they aren't Big Brother, the KGB or a fictional horror like the Order...
     
  4. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Maybe I should specify that I was only referring to spying upon allies, not upon the citizenry. Big Brother is bad if he's reading my mail. Big Brother is okay by me if he's reading the neighbor's mail.
     
  5. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Ah, ok, although I don't know if we should condone it. I can't think how the spying upon of Merkel has done good for US interests? Of course, I'm sure it has, but not in a moral manner.
     
  6. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Morality is highly subjective. In this instance, I think it would be immoral for my government not to spy upon other governments in order to obtain any and every advantage it can.
     
  7. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    You seem to suffer for a lack of empathy for your fellow man in other countries. We're all in the same boat ultimately. I for one don't want my government to mistreat the citizens of other countries any more than I want them to mistreat me (and therefore have no more sympathy for the BND's illegal spying activities than the NSA's). I can't come up with any good reason for why they shouldn't deserve the same respect and rights just because they happen to live (and that possibly not even by choice, i.e. it's more "happen to have been born") somewhere else on the same ball of rock.

    As for the ruckus over the NSA wiretapping our chancellor over here, what's primarily sad about that whole affair is how much more of a reaction it's getting out of our government than the news of the NSA (or the BND) spying on German citizens. One of our major satire publications ran with "Merkel upset over being treated like an ordinary German citizen" ...
     
  8. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    You seem to be assuming an awful lot about my character. I can empathize with the foreigners who've been tapped. I wouldn't like it to happen to me.

    That doesn't mean I object to it happening to foreigners. The primary interest of the US government, for which I pay taxes, is to serve its citizens. In this respect, spying on foreigners helps to advance that goal.

    Like everyone else on this planet, my priorities are family first, friends second, community third, country fourth, the rest of the world last. Is that fair? No. But life ain't fair. That's why they make big boy pants.
     
  9. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    The fuss is that you're not supposed to get caught doing it.
     
  10. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Well, okay. Obviously the fuss is about that. But the righteous indignation? Puh-leeeez.
     
  11. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    And the U.S. would do the same thing if they found out the Germans were bugging the Oval Office.

    Listen, this is just the price the U.S. will have to pay for getting its hand caught in the cookie jar. Everyone tries to spy on everyone else... and everyone has to pay the price of others' righteous indignation if they get caught. That's just how it is. We'd do the same thing in their shoes.
     
  12. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I get the official line. You've got to smack the back of the hand that you caught in the cookie jar. It's expected. That's how the game is played. I just do not see how anyone can be naive enough to actually believe this doesn't or shouldn't happen.
     
  13. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Doesn't matter. We bugged their chancellor. The leader of the entire German nation, and even she can't keep her stuff safe from our ears. That sort of thing undermines their sense of safety, their sense that they have power over themselves and their national security. It scares the hell out of them even if it shouldn't.

    By the same token, I don't think anyone would be surprised if it turned out that, say, the French were trying to spy on President Obama. But it would freak our government the hell out if it turned out they were trying and succeeding.
     
  14. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    That's not a given, and (as seen above when one of your fellow citizens spoke up) certainly more contentious than you make it out to be. If you define "serving its citizens" as implementing the will of the people, it only advances that goal if the majority of Americans want it to do these things - which may or may not be true, I'm not sure (certainly there's a diverse range of opinions in the country, however, and while certainly not required to place a vote, the quality and informed-ness of those opinions of course varies). If you define it as "bringing about an improvement in quality of life", it depends on the metrics you apply and in any case remains to be seen in the long-term (and it's hard to avoid moral arguments entering the picture at that point anyway).

    As for your priority list of concerns, my personal policy is to remind myself to think in terms of individuals instead of tribes/groups/genders/what-have-you, so I care more about what someone says or does than binning them into community or country. There's both Americans and Germans I agree and disagree with; in areas of the world that afford the freedom to do so there's a wide enough range of opinions that commonality and lack thereof can be found everywhere. (I work with people of anywhere from a dozen to two dozen different nationalities - many of which now live in a different country from the one they were born in, including some migrated American citizens - in my job every day, which might explain how I arrived at that conclusion.)
     
  15. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    I'm afraid that's not really true. Of course I can't speak for all Germans, but I don't get the impression that anyone is surprised over here. Of course the US intelligence agencies are trying to spy on us, that's what everyone expects them to do. The reaction is more that (a) people are pissed with the government that they're apparently easy to be spied on and (b) want the government to take a stand toward the US in response. And for the somewhat more clued-in (c) disappointment that the government seemingly cares more about Merkel being spied on than German citizens being spied on at a broad scale (by both the NSA and the BND), when that deserves so much more attention.
     
  16. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    So, to sum this all up: there's no consensus on morality, and we shan't pretend otherwise.
     
  17. Sho

    Sho Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    Pretty much. My hope rests with enough people ultimately being convinced of what I think the right things are, and that's how it works with a self-organizing political process, I guess.
     
  18. Jarvisimo

    Jarvisimo Captain Captain

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    And I think interesting to this discussion is how conflicted everyone's reactions are, for example to Snowden himself, or to the difference between spying on one's people and oneself. Greenwald, the journalist most in the thick of this, writes an interesting editorial on this in today's Guardian (UK).

    But to return to the book, which of course treats upon the dangers of excess in a controling or invasive state, this feels very suitable as a topic of discussion.

    [Edit: it must be said, that one of my favourite shows is the Stand Alone Complex series of Ghost in the Shell, which does condone this kind of covert and omniscient spying agency....]
     
  19. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    The article is more of the same, really. It's no more interesting than the first dozen or so journalists who cried "woe is me" at these "revelations" that everybody spies.

    As for the government trying to hush up the whole thing... That's what it does. It's not really spying if you do it out in the open. "Excuse me Chancellor Merkel, could you hang up the phone while we install this bug? Thank you, ma'am." Once you have an advantage, you classify it so that it's harder to lose that advantage. It's the NSA director's job (as well as other directors) to make sure their classified information remains a secret. It's his job to ask for those who break those laws to be prosecuted for them. Now, whether or not this results in censorship is up to the courts, who should also do their job. But calling out the NSA director for doing his is stupid.

    None of this is at all surprising. Who, exactly, was naive enough to think this didn't happen? Who is naive enough to believe it won't continue to happen for as long as humanity survives? Knowledge is power.
     
  20. flandry84

    flandry84 Captain Captain

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    Re: TF: The Crimson Shadow by Una McCormack - Review Thread (Spoilers!

    And remember that because certain words and phrases have been used in this thread it has almost certainly been pored over by some spook or another.

    Still happy?:cool: