Flame on!

Dan-Dan the Ninja Man

aka Daniel Rodgers
aka "Visionrazor"
aka "Raoul Duke Jr."
Flame on!

Written: 2001.12.02
Last revised: 2004.05.28

Daniel Rodgers goes under the alias of "Visionrazor", as well as "Raoul Duke, Jr." and probably several others as well. His nickname of "Dan-Dan the Ninja Man" comes from a source described at the bottom of this page. He's one of those little Trekkie fanboys who obviously has a rather inflated opinion of his own intelligence. He had been sporadically sending mail over a period of about a year. They were the sort of infantile Trekkie fanboy nonsense that I get every day, and which I don't worry about because it's of such low calibre that he would be easily crushed the moment he showed his face on the newsgroups. However, he started getting on my nerves when he started trying to goad me into responding with lines such as the following:

"Dear God, are you seriously THAT stupid?"

"I hope your "fans" aren't as stupid or gullible as you seem to hope they are. I understand now why you never posted on your site anything I've sent you. Your allies would mock you."

"far be it from me to suggest that you're concealing the fact that there's someone out there as pursuasive as you are."

There's a point when a man gets tired of being insulted in this manner. So when he decided to send me his usual criticisms of my latest article (my Strategic Evaluation pages, which were written in the style of a Federation military intelligence report), I decided it was time to add another victim to the Hate Mail page. Unlike most of my flamers, this guy quite literally asked for it.


November 29, 2001:

Regarding your "Extragalactic Empire" bit... congratulations. You've utterly failed to present even the slightest portrayal of a tactical assessment. On the other hand, you might have a brilliant future as a contortionist -- your ability to blow sunshine up your own ass is simply astonishing.

Yadda yadda yadda. Got anything substantive to say?

Why don't you take another shot at your tactical assessment, and this time do it from the point of view of someone who is NOT an Imperial recruiter?

What makes you think I did it from the POV of an Imperial recruiter?

Every military force has weaknesses. Any weakness can be exploited by those clever enough and driven enough to find it. I challenge you to make an honest attempt to find a weakness that Starfleet could exploit to defeat an Imperial assault.

What makes you think there is one? If I pitted Wesley Crusher against Chewbacca in unarmed combat and found no weaknesses for Wesley to exploit, would you scream that I wasn't looking hard enough? It's a mismatch. Your inability to see that is not my problem.


November 30, 2001:

Nice try, Mike, but your claim that "it's a mismatch" is nothing but an excuse, either for bias or laziness...

Funny how you don't even bother trying to disprove it, then. All you've got is personal attacks and useless tautologies like "superior force doesn't necessarily guarantee victory".

For every Alamo, there's a Culloden. Superior forces and technology don't necessarily guarantee victory.

That depends on the size of the gulf, doesn't it? A thousand to one numerical advantage and a thousand to one propulsion advantage are a lot bigger than the kinds of mismatches we've seen in historical campaigns on Earth.

By the way, if the Alpha Quadrant powers are so pitifully overmatched, WHAT would the Empire gain by a war with them that would make an invasion worth the expenditure in time and resources? Maybe your fanfic should have started with the Empire falling to an epidemic of debilitating wastefulness?

Obviously, you didn't bother reading my strategy page before dismissing it. If you had, then you would realize that they need to start a war with somebody, in order to justify deprivations at home. Standard operating procedure for totalitarian dictatorships.

So they've got more stuff... More stuff to be stolen, sabotagd, retroengineered, boobytrapped...

By that token, the inferior combatant should always win.

[Editor's note: I've never before seen someone who tries to make it seem as if superior numbers are actually a weakness. How is the Federation supposed to sabotage, retro-engineer, and booby-trap Imperial warships? Hail them in the midst of an attack and say "please stop shooting at us or hyperjumping from system to system, and please lower your shields so that we can quietly insert operatives onto your ships", and then follow this request up with "please start crewing your fighters with your best scientists and engineers, because we can't learn much from captured pilots and technicians"?]

Nice touch mentioning S31 [Editor's note: in case you've never watched DS9, Section 31 is a Federation black-hat spy organization], but apparently you don't really grasp what they DO.

I suppose you're about to explain that they specialize in seizing control of alien technology which is millenia ahead of their own, and then reverse-engineering it in a matter of days so that they can mass-produce their own versions? Or perhaps you've got some other way in which they can serve as your deus ex machina.


December 1, 2001:

As a matter of fact, Mike, there IS something S31 does rather well. They identify and analyse threats to the Federation, isolate the weaknesses of those threats and proceed to exploit those weaknesses in rather nasty and insidious ways.

You're getting funnier all the time. Section 31 is supposed to do that, but you are essentially claiming that they are bound to successfully infiltrate any enemy and then ferret out heretofore unknown weaknesses (so huge that they can offset the Empire's enormous strategic advantage) simply because it is their mission to do so!

This is the kind of logic that led to the construction of the Maginot Line. The fact that an agency is supposed to do something does not mean it is bound to succeed! The FBI and CIA were supposed to prevent terrorist attacks. Does that mean that a massive terrorist attack on the United States was therefore impossible, and that September 11 didn't happen? Give your head a shake.

For example, capturing and infecting a single member of a radically alien species with the full capability and intent to commit genocide.

Hardly a stupendous task when that person (Odo) happens to be an employee of one of your own space stations. Is this really the best you can do? Wow, they can infect one of their own staff members with a virus! Gee, that's so much more impressive than an opponent with millions of star systems, superweapons up the wazoo, hundreds of millions of times the Federation's industrial output, and enough speed and range to deploy in overwhelming force anywhere in Federation territory with no warning.

[Editor's note: in case you're not familiar with the Section 31's attempt at genocide, the Founders spend a lot of their time in "The Great Link", a giant biologically connected collective. This makes them uniquely susceptible to biological attacks, because a virus that infiltrates the Great Link will rapidly infect the entire species. Naturally, our Trekkie fanboy friend assumes that since one of their enemies was so susceptible, this will work against all enemies in future]

Imagine what would be possible with an EMH and a hypo full of T Cells. What might be learned? Apparently, Force ability is predicated upon a certain "T cell count" which Federation species don't have anyway, so kill the T cells and rob the Empire of at least one advantage.

Now you resort to inventing imaginary genetic studies of Federation and Imperial humans, in which one key gene is conveniently nonexistent in one of two otherwise identical species, so that you can safely develop bioweapons with no danger whatsoever. Do you always resort to such desperate fantasies?

And how do you plan to infect the Empire with this magical bioweapon that is completely harmless to Federation humans? When a fleet of warships shows up in orbit and starts bombarding key strategic targets, do you plan to mail them letters laced with spores? Do you think you can infect such a vast organization so quickly that you can stop them before they steamroll over a piece of territory so small (from their perspective) that it wouldn't even measure up to organized crime syndicates in their own territory?

Time for the standard Deluded Trek-Boy Reality Check™: are you aware that all of the normal measures taken to prevent the spread of conventional disease apply to bioweapons as well? Bioweapons aren't magic, you know (you are subscribing to the same simplistic reasoning that leads to terrorist bioweapon scares being blown all out of proportion by the media). Against an enemy in starships whose shock troops wear sealed armour with full NBC protection, it's completely useless. Opportunities for deployment of bioweapons would only appear after the Empire has already taken control of Federation territory. I made this point in the Strategic Evaluation already, but it obviously zoomed right over the top of your head.

Here's another idea: Stormtroopers vs. Emergency Security Holograms.

Which we've seen mass-produced and deployed for the defense of all Federation starships in ... what episode? Oh yeah, that would be the episode that plays in your head while you're masturbatung to your fantasies about the Star Trek that you would write if you were in charge of the franchise. In the regular televised episodes, there is precisely one hologram that can roam the ship freely, he is based on a piece of technology brought back from the future which they could not duplicate, and his combat abilities are pathetic.

By the way, this would have no impact whatsoever on the vast strategic disparities which were the point of my Strategic Evaluation article. Look up "red herring" sometime.

Or how about the several dozen "Level 98+" species that just can't help popping up around humans now and then? Sure, the Federation can't count on their help... but given the frequency of their appearances 'round these parts, an Imperial strategist counting on them NOT to interfere (nobody's saying INTERVENE, mind you) would have to be cataclysmically retarded.

Praying for a divine deus ex machina, eh? Funny how I made a note of your obvious longing for a deus ex machina in my last message, and you promptly provided one in your reply, as if to prove me right.

Given the frequency of the appearances of these high-order species around the Federation and the fact that they never come rushing to the aid of the Federation (even when the Federation's woes are their own fault, ie- the Q), I would say that it is you who must provide some shred of evidence that any of these guys give a damn what happens to the Federation. The closest they've ever come is the wormhole prophets in "Sacrifice of Angels", and that was only because the Dominion fleet was using their home as a launching point for an invasion; not the sort of thing that anyone would take kindly to.

[Editor's note: I suppose someone will bring up the Organians, who ordered both the Klingon Empire and the Federation to work out a peace treaty. However, not only did they refuse to take sides, but they never demonstrated any power away from their homeworld. They did nothing whatsoever to prevent Klingon/Federation hostilities when they did occur in subsequent decades, including the massive war in the alternate timeline of "Yesterday's Enterprise"]

WhY? Maybe the Q own timeshares in Florida, maybe Kevin Uxbridge gets better car insurance here, maybe the Organians just can't get enough B.K. Broilers, who knows? But whatever it is, a lot of seriously powerful species reside in our cosmic neighborhood, and at least one of those highly influential individuals would probably take delight in annihilating the entire Imperial fleet with a spaceborne Gordita Supreme as nothing more than a favor for his "Aunt Kathy".

Yup, just like they came rushing to aid the Federation against the Borg, or the way they came rushing to aid the Federation against the Dominion ... oh, wait. That never happened, did it? The Federation doesn't have a prayer, and you're only proving the point by hanging your hopes on the notion that they're the Damsel in Distress, and a knight in shining armour will come to answer their prayers.

Besides, what makes you think that if any of these guys decided to get involved, they wouldn't take the Empire's side instead of the Federation's side? Have they demonstrated some kind of loyalty to the Federation model of government? Have they demonstrated some kind of ideological affinity for the Federation's communistic, militaristic model of society? An Imperial victory over the Federation would be a mere change of government. Why is anyone going to shed tears over the fall of an ostensibly democratic regime which has all the earmarks of a military junta, and which (as you acknowledged yourself) attempted to commit genocide against another intelligent species, and which once callously hung its own people (the Maquis) out to dry for the sake of political expediency? The Imperials are no angels either, but that only underscores the fact that any high-powered species observing the conflict would not give a damn who won.

And Mike, spare me the tired excuse that it can't happen just because it hasn't happened before.

Spare me the brain-damaged reasoning that things without either precedent or logical foundation will "probably" happen just because they would save your ass. You are falling into the trap of assuming that if it's unfalsifiable, it must therefore be true. By your logic, since I cannot absolutely disprove Osama Bin Laden's claim that Allah will crush his enemies, it is "cataclysmically retarded" for anyone to go after him!

Hmm, further musing: the TR16 -- a particularly impressive Federation projectile weapon which incorporated transporter technology and allowed its user to terminate personnel through walls, decks...

Oooh, they have a good sniper rifle. And as every student of history knows, wars are won and lost on the basis of who has the better sniper rifle, not on the basis of something as inconsequential as overwhelming numerical, technological, and logistical superiority.

Once again, you use the red herring. The sniper rifle is cool, but it does not overturn the huge strategic imbalance described in my StratEval page. It is strictly an assassination weapon, not a useful combat weapon. In the presence of shields or jammers it would be useless. Against stormtroopers, its subsonic rounds would be useless.

Or from a captured escape pod that just passed through an ISD's shields?

You seriously think that a sniper could use this to hit somebody inside a moving escape pod, from a moving platform (a Federation starship) at starship combat ranges? I should forward this to Rob Wilson; he'll piss himself laughing.

Not only is this tactic entirely unrealistic, but it's also mind-bogglingly stupid. If you are the sort of person who kills people in escape pods, then why bother with picking up this ridiculous sniper rifle, lowering your shields and shutting down all your ECM so that you can transport your subsonic round through, and then trying to get a bead on him when you could simply blow up the whole escape pod with your ship's weapons?

[Editor's note: I didn't read this part all that carefully, and I initially thought he was talking about killing men in enemy escape pods. However, upon closer inspection it would appear that he was talking about capturing Imperial escape pods, putting Federation snipers in them, launching them out into space in the heat of battle, and then trying to use them as mobile assassination platforms to kill enemy officers during naval combat! Amazing, isn't it? This guy is trying to think up a tactic that serves no purpose other than concoct an application for that sniper rifle, no matter how far-fetched, stupid, ineffective, and dangerous it might be]

And stop quoting Torme lyrics at the end of your messages, it's nauseating [Editor's note: my E-mail sig is "Be Seeing You ...", followed by my name and homepage address].

You think I based my sig on a Torme lyric? Heretic! You deserve a sound thrashing with the Iron Fist! You've never even seen "The Prisoner", have you? I suppose I shouldn't be surprised; after all, no one in "The Prisoner" ever talks about "subspace phase variances" or "shield harmonics". Without all of those comfort code-words, I can only imagine that your Trekkified ears shrivel up against the sides of your head and you run shrieking from the room.


December 1, 2001 (2nd message):

[Editor's note: this message and a third message were sent in rapid-fire on the same day as the first one, before I had a chance to read any of them. When somebody starts expanding a thread into multiple messages, each of which will inevitably spiral off into separate tangents, I usually take that as a bad sign. It means he intends to escalate this into an even bigger waste of time than it already is, so I should cut him off soon]

Since you were too complacent in your viewpoint to name the Empire's weaknesses, I'll do it for you: ithey are Greed and Complacency. These are the same weaknesses that every mismatched force has ever successfully exploted to defeat "superior" opposition.

Yes, that's more than enough to overcome a thousand to one numerical and speed advantage as well as a million to one industrial advantage (dripping with sarcasm).

And if the purpose of this little invasion is simply war for war's sake, doesn*t the Federation strike you as an incredibly stupid choice?

Of course not. They're far away, they're easy prey, the Empire can make up whatever propaganda they like about them, and they're just the start of an open-ended campaign against the Federation's neighbours, which the Empire can drag on for as long as they want to. They're perfect.

Kind of like a 300 pound pro wrestler challenging a Buddhist monk to a cage match...

A Buddhist monk who's attempted to commit genocide in the past? I haven't met too many such monks.

Of course, Buddhist monks have been historically known to neutralize attackers in ways that would have made Torquemada queasy. (There's an interesting correlation between Section 31 and the Yamabushi and Shinobi no mono of Japan's Sengoku through Edo periods.)

Obviously, you still fail to grasp the sheer size of the disparity. Try to imagine your Buddhist monks trying to stop an enemy with a thousand to one numerical advantage and modern weaponry, and you'll start to get the picture.

The Republic was relatively peaceful for 25,000 years. The Empire played badass for a few decages, got its ass kicked

When the Empire "plays badass", as you put it, it conquered millions of star systems. And when the Empire "got its ass kicked", as you put it, the vast majority of its military power was still intact and it was still in control of the galaxy. The lack of a clear line of succession meant a vast civil war, the size and scope of which would beggar any Federation military planner's imagination. One can only describe this as an ass-kicking at the hands of outside forces if one is under the influence of mind-altering drugs.

spent a few more decades bitching and now its going to make a comeback by taking on a group of species whose entire histories in most cases were spent perfecting warfare on themselves, each other and anyone else within reach?

"Perfecting warfare"? ROTFLMAO!!! The Romulans think they can conquer an entire planet with just 2000 soldiers. The Klingons run screaming into battle with knives and handguns for weapons. The Federation thinks "combined arms tactics" is small-arms and fists. In naval combat, they use tactics reminiscent of Admiral Nelson, with "battle lines" and "flanking maneuvers". Their dedicated air support (aka "hoppers") are so feeble that instead of providing covering fire for men on the ground, the men on the ground have to provide covering fire for them!

I love this; you're trying to make it seem as if a civilization which has been spacefaring for tens of thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands) of years and living in an almost constant state of total war for decades (real war, not this pissant Star Trek-style war where the bad guys never hurt any civilians but their own) has an experience deficit when compared to the Federation! How long ago did you and reality part ways?

Let me see if I understand this. So here comes the Empire, the fat, self-satisfied bully with all their toys and cannon-fodder, casualty-list filler friends to take on some of the toughest kids in a particularly nasty neighborhood.

Now you're trying to pretend that the mamby-pamby Federation and its little playmates are "tough" compared to an Empire which blows up planets for fun, which doesn't give a shit about killing civilians, and which has hundreds of millions of times their industrial capacity?

You've gone through virtually every desperate ploy in existence, haven't you? Red herrings, prayers for a deus ex machina, and now, your utterly incomprehensible belief that the Empire, coming off decades of unremitting, unimaginably destructive warfare in which whole planets were either blown up or reduced to steaming moonscapes, is unprepared for the tiny but "tough" Federation. It must take great concentration for you to maintain your near-total isolation from logic and observation.

Hmm. I'm surprised your fanfic didn't include any diseases, or temporal phenomena, or any of the other things that Ships tend to encounter here. Naturally not. If they did, they'd be dead or their invasion doomed to failure at best.

The staggering incompetence of the Federation's other enemies has no bearing whatsoever on the vast strategic superiority of the Empire. How many times can you try to squeeze away from the fact that this is an enormous mismatch with these little red herrings of yours?

In all probability, the Federation wouldn't HAVE to defeat the Empire, because Federation territory ALONE would leave them in ruins.

Another item which has obviously escaped your gnat-like attention span: the Empire, unlike the Federation, is not going to waste its time wandering off looking for trouble in search of interesting "gaseous anomalies", nor would they give a damn about worthless tiny colonies, except possibly as a useful diversion tactic. All of these weird, oddball things that threaten Federation ships would never even be discovered by the Empire, which would fly right by without even noticing them, en route to the Federation's throat.

Shit, I know the first thing I'd do as a Starfleet officer if those Star Destroyers showed up -- I'd send them to the Uxbridges' house for tea.

Would that invitation be sent before or after you're vapourized by their superior numbers and firepower?


December 1, 2001 (3rd message):

[Editor's note: yes, he sent a third message on the same day, presumably in the hope of victory through dilution.]

S31 as a "deus ex machina"... Are you so pitifully stupid that Section 31's backstory got by you? Did you get Sloan and Q confused? Feeling insulted? Good. Referring to a legitimate tactical consideration as a deus ex machina is insulting as well. Before you get pissy about having your intelligence insulted, you should weigh more carefully whose intelligence you decide to insult.

Obviously, you think your intelligence has been insulted, which would imply that you actually have some. Since I have seen no evidence of intelligence behind any of your arguments, I can only imagine that this is simply your bloated ego talking. A "legitimate tactical consideration" would involve something like weapons, or speed, etc.

The existence of a covert organization with no existing spy network in the enemy's territory and no societal intermingling through which to recruit foreign agents is no "tactical consideration"; it is a useless red herring. Your belief that this organization would rapidly come up with some kind of magical "silver bullet" to erase the Empire's enormous strategic advantage before it steamrolls through Federation territory fits the definition of "deus ex machina" in every respect.


December 2, 2001:

And how many times can you smoothly confuse "tactics" and "technology"? Gotta say, you're pretty handy with the old Strawman.

Your penchant for deluding yourself into the belief that you're making headway is as strong as ever. A spy network has nothing whatsoever to do with combat tactics or technology. It is a strategic consideration, and one which would have no effect in this particular scenario.

[Editor's note: he obviously thinks that while Section 31 is a "legitimate tactical consideration", I was confusing tactics with technology when I mentioned speed and weapons. I can't believe there are people who don't understand such things, but in case any of you share his ignorance, I will spell it out: spy networks are good for figuring out where and when to attack, and in what strength, ie- strategy. Speed and weapons, on the other hand, are the sort of things which dictate what kind of tactics you can use in combat. Modern tactics have completely changed from medieval tactics because of amazing developments in speed and offensive weaponry, so they are obviously tactical considerations]

And regarding the idea of the Emergency SEcurity Hologram: you're right, we never saw one of those in an episode. But we DID see an Emergency Command Hologram with an extensive tactical database. It follows, based on OBSERVED EVIDENCE, that Emergency Holograms exist for multiple departmental functions.

A command hologram is nothing more than a user interface. Your leap of faith from a fancy user interface to squads of holographic marines fighting off enemy soldiers is typical for you, but it bears no resemblance to any kind of logic.

Moreover, you are still trying to contradict huge strategic imbalances with penny-ante parlour tricks. Boarding actions would be of no importance. What makes you think that everyone follows Star Trek's lead, with its predilection for Nelsonian-era (or even more archaic) naval combat tactics? The Americans conquered the Japanese in World War Two in a series of huge naval battles in which boarding actions were of zero consequence.

I'm also impressed with the way you completely ignored the tactic of assaulting strategic targets aboard a threat vessel using TR16 rifles from a captured escape pod. How would the snipers identify the command center? Greatest concentration of uniformed personnel and computers.

"Completely ignored" this tactic? ROTFLMAO!! I didn't ignore it; I hadn't considered it because it's so mind-bogglingly stupid that no one in his right mind would even think of it! In the heat of battle, how do you intend to sneak this escape pod through the enemy vessel's shields? With a blanket of ECM, how do you think this sniper's rifle is supposed to pick anything up? From a moving platform at a range of a kilometre or more, how do you expect a sniper to hit anything or anyone? With dense armour and bulkheads in the way (keeping in mind that heavy metals disrupt both sensors and transporters), what makes you think it would work at all?

For that matter, why not eject an escape pod or shuttle with an antimatter explosive, set it to approach a threat and take its own critical systems offline; once captured and taken inside the threat's shields, it would reinitialize the sensors and transporter, identify the highest-output energy source within range and transport the explosive into that object.

Again you assume that everyone else is as stupid as your Federation. Trojan Horse tactics? Don't make me laugh; Imperials don't capture escape pods and carry them into sensitive areas of the ship; they just blow them up. Didn't you watch ANH?

You insist on pushing the idea that the Federation's only asset is technology. Idiotic. If technology and numbers alone won wars, the United States would still be British colonies.

When did I say that the Federation's only asset was technology? Obviously, you're confusing your position with mine. My position is simple: the Federation has no useful strengths in this scenario at all; they have no chance of overcoming their enormous strategic inferiority.

[Editor's note: he actually tries to compare this to the American Revolution; were the Americans outnumbered a thousand to one, by enemies whose mode of transportation was a thousand times faster than theirs? If they had been, would they still have won?]

And if you think that Intel organizations are not a tactical consideration, I can only surmise that your wife is the one forced to actually type your responses based on her interpretation of your own autistic grunts and squeaks, because no one so horrifically stupid could conceivably operate a computer for themsElves...

Tactics: "The military science that deals with securing objectives set by strategy, especially the technique of deploying and directing troops, ships, and aircraft in effective maneuvers against an enemy" (from dictionary.com).

It has now become quite obvious that you make no distinction between tactics and strategies. Your ignorance of the English language is matched only by your astounding ignorance of science and military history. Intel networks are strategic, not tactical. And strategic considerations are where the Empire is most clearly dominant.

Which also explains your affinity for the Crapple MacInstein -- The Computer For The Least Of Us.

Are you honestly so stupid as to believe that there are only two alternatives: Mac and Wintel? My contempt for Microsoft does not necessarily mean that I use a Mac. Let me amend my previous statement: your ignorance of the English language is matched only by your astounding ignorance of science, military history, and computers.

[Editor's note: For the record, I am a Linux user, as he would already know if he had been smart enough to look at the "Generator" meta-tags on any of my recent articles. However, I can't help but wonder: what's the basis of his contempt for the Mac? I don't own one but they're nice enough computers, with a user-friendly interface that Microsoft has been trying to copy for more than ten years. It would seem that regardless of whether he's talking about computers or sci-fi series, he has a penchant for mindlessly denigrating everything that he doesn't personally use, regardless of whether he has any valid reason to do so]

Regarding a weapon against Force-sensitives: FEDERATION HUMANS ARE NOT FORCE USERS. So HOW would a weapon that strips Force abilities harm people that don't have the affected abilities in the first place?

Because there is no "T-cell gene" to target [Editor's note: or "T-cell count", or whatever the hell he was talking about]. Since you are obviously too stupid to recognize anything until it's spelled out for you in excruciating detail, there is no convenient human gene which can be isolated and deemed responsible for Force attunement. Didn't you even notice that not all Jedi are human? Anakin's mother had no Force skills, did she?

[Editor's note: notice how I explained the obvious limitations of bioweapon deployment in my previous message, and he totally ignores that point in favour of his preconceived assumption that a bioweapon is inherently unstoppable and propagates at infinite speed. Worse yet, this particular bioweapon would only work against the tiny percentage of the populace that is Force-sensitive, and my strategic discussion doesn't rely upon the advantage of Force users anyway. I mentioned them in passing, but I did not list their ability to forecast the future as yet another strategic advantage for the Empire, even though it would be.

In any case, I dispute the common notion that Force skills are genetic. If Force sensitivity were a particular gene which is so rare that it is completely absent from most humans, the notion of dozens of different species from different worlds all sharing this gene would fly in the face of everything we know about evolutionary biology. Moreover, the Jedi do not seem to marry or have children, and there is certainly no organized program of selective breeding (a la the Psi Corps from B5), yet there has been a steady supply of Jedi for tens of thousands of years. Personally, I suspect that either the Force "selects" people through some unknown criteria, as it apparently did most spectacularly in the case of Anakin Skywalker and his offspring, or Force sensitivity is present in everyone, with some merely having more than others (much like the situation with intelligence or strength). The latter makes more sense to me; if the Force is generated by "every living being", it stands to reason that every living being must have some latent sensitivity to it]

Do they put something SPECIAL in your medication, Mike? The few Federation humans to display similar phenomena actually far SURPASSED the observed abilities of Jedi or Sith.

Yet again, you demonstrate that your mental skills are too feeble to grasp even the simplest ideas intended for children in movie theatres. Very few humans display such abilities because the Federation does not encourage them to learn those abilities! Anakin was the only one who ever showed his abilities without training, and even then, he had none of the advanced skills; merely what appeared to be remarkably fast reflexes. Did Luke Skywalker display any Force capabilities until he was taught how to use them? Open your eyes. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that Federation humans are any different from Imperial humans.

[Editor's note: I'm not sure what he's talking about when he says that the few Federation humans with telekinetic or telepathic abilities far surpassed the abilities of Jedi or Sith. Is he talking about Wesley? No one should be proud of Wesley. Is he talking about the young woman who turned out to be a Q? She was never human]

You claim to be a scientist? Great. Write a page about Science.

I'm an engineer, not a scientist. But since you don't differentiate between tactics and strategies, why bother differentiating between engineers and scientists?

But as a military strategist, you'd make a gat used car salesman. I suggest you read The Art of War. Again, if you have already, and this time with eyes AND MIND open.

Since all of your attempts to contradict the Empire's huge strategic advantages have involved penny-ante tricks, I can only imagine that your unfounded confidence about your superior strategic knowledge comes from excessive study of the Wesley Snipes movie "The Art of War" rather than Sun Tzu's book. Try not to get them confused in the future.


December 2, 2001 (2nd message):

You keep touting the Empire's numerical superiority as if they're just going to bring every ship they've got through that wormhole of yours.

Why would they have to do that? One out of every fifty ships would be more than enough to overwhelm the Federation and its little Romulan/Klingon playmates. Moreover, their sheer industrial strength means that they can build new ships at a rate that the Federation could hardly imagine.

Section 31 has something that does make them a serious tactical concern; intelligence networks in the target territory.

Which are utterly worthless until the target territory is already in Imperial hands, ie- the Federation has lost. You have already demonstrated your near-total ignorance of tactics and strategies; now you demonstrate total ignorance of intelligence gathering as well. You need intelligence data from the enemy's territory, not your own! I can't believe you need this spelled out for you! Why do you think the CIA failed to anticipate the September 11 attack?

They are also capable of distributing misinformation through official channels for the benefit of intrusive parties.

Oooohhh. They can distribute misinformation through official channels. Gee, I've never heard of anybody doing that before! Wow, I'm really scared now ...

How credible is the idea that a major military campaign would be undertaken on the weight of intel gathered from nonmilitary personnel of an entirely different nation? You gave the Ferengi FAR too much credit for honesty and espionage skill.

No, you are gravely misrepresenting my position (not surprising, since your ignorance of all things military obviously extends to intelligence gathering). They would get nothing from the Ferengi but simple maps, which is all they need (and don't tell me the Ferengi don't know where Earth is, or where Vulcan is). In a war against a totally unfamiliar enemy, the only military intel is gathered through scouting operations, not spy networks. Spy networks take a lot of time to build, and a lot of opportunities for societal intermingling.

Do you think you just wave some magic wand and generate a spy network? It doesn't work that way. Look at the situation in Afghanistan right now; the Americans have no spy network built up in the Taliban organization, and unlike you, they're smart enough to know that you can't just build something like that overnight. So what do they do? They try to make contact with others who are closer to the situation, and who might have spy networks of their own. And since that won't be enough, what next? Scouting. That's what their Special Forces personnel are doing right now; spotting targets for enemy planes, relaying information back to HQ, and linking up with the proxy armies that they're using to attack the Taliban on the ground. That's how you gather intel when you don't have an existing spy network in place.

Scouting operations are facilitated by two things: speed and stealth. Imperial ships may not specialize in stealth, but they have enormous speed, and that will be more than enough for them to gather the intel data they need. Unlike the feeble enemies your Federation normally fights, the Empire doesn't need to waste its time looking for silly things like shield frequencies or transponder codes, or worrying about where your fleets are. All they need to know is which star systems are inhabited (not hard to determine, since they're the ones from which transmissions can be detected), and which ones are the most important (again, not hard to determine since they will have more communications traffic, and large orbital installations will be visible from many millions of kilometres away).

Can you say "probe droid"?


December 2, 2001 (3rd message):

[Quoted] "(The Empire) conquered millions of star systems."

Bullshit. Those systems were already part of a Republic that underwent a rather unfortunate change of management.

That's like saying that the Nazis never conquered France because they didn't have to engage in combat. The best military victory is invariably that which requires the least combat (that's one of those little tidbits from "The Art of War" which you obviously skipped over, despite your laughable claims of superior knowledge).

Obviously, your grasp of the "before and after" change is just as weak as your grasp of military tactics and stragies. The Republic had little control over its star systems; it was nominally the centre of government, but it was the weak centre of a very decentralized government, in which territorial organizations were far too powerful and the federal government far too weak. The Empire welded this mess into a completely centralized organization in which the federal government's authority was absolute, and stormtroopers were omnipresent even in remote backwater places like Tatooine. That was the conquest. Didn't you notice? Or were you too busy wondering why they weren't talking about "shield harmonics" and "subspace phase variances"?


December 2, 2001 (4th message):

[Editor's note: he starts a fourth thread now, on a completely unrelated subject: my Trekkie Combat Tactics page. To be specific, he goes after my third scenario, in which a Federation assault team must recapture a remote outpost which has been seized by Imperial forces. Please read the scenario beforehand, and then read this rebuttal, otherwise you won't know what he's trying to criticize]

Realistic Version 2
The Mantred arrives in orbit and hails the Imperial commander. The Imperial commander responds, threatening to destroy the Mantred unless they leave immediately The captain of the Mantred attempts to negotiate the release of the colony while his Science and Tactical officers map fire patterns and insertion approaches using the most recent recorded topography and technical schematics of the colony's layout and its threat assessment profile.

"Fire patterns" using what? The Mantred is a cargo ship, remember? The scenario was designed so that neither side would have capship support, which is a huge bonus to the Federation side since the Empire has superior numbers and vastly superior speed, so the likelihood of the Federation being able to deploy a capship to a remote outpost is insignificant while the Empire could do it easily.

Allowing the Imperial commander to feel smug reassurance that they prefer talk over action, the Mantred launches all shuttles. The shuttles are each loaded with one high-yield torpedo warhead. Simultaneous with the first shuttle's launch, the Mantred itself initiates comm jamming and turns full phaser fire on the open areas of the colony, and torpedo bombardment on outlying areas, knowing that if the enemy have taken hostages, those hostages will have been secured and detained so soon after initial occupation.

That's the most idiotic thing I've ever heard. They would kill most of the civilians if they did this. Do you presume that the civilians are all in bunkers? After the Nazis took Paris, did they round up all the civilians and put them in bomb shelters? Yet again you proudly demonstrate your ignorance of history. When cities have been conquered throughout history, how many times have the victors rounded up all the inhabitants and put them safely into bunkers so that their enemies could safely bomb the city without fear of collateral damage? Zero.

What kind of drugs are you on? The civilians would still be living in their homes, unarmed and presumably somewhat unhappy, and in your idiotic scenario, soon to be dead at the hands of their own would-be rescuers.

[Editor's note: first rule of Trekkie fan-boy military strategy: blow up whatever it is that you're trying to capture]

The torpedo strikes result in the detonation of hundreds of concealed mines and the tragic loss of dozens of posters. The Type X shuttles, standard issue on Starfleet ships since the Dominion war, approach the colony at maximum atmospheric speed, initiating a strafing campaign against scrambling enemy ground forces.

All of which are conveniently sitting out in the open where they can be picked up by the naked eye in the presence of all this jamming, eh? Even though the captain of the USS Mantred has been sitting in orbit talking to the Imperial commander for some time, so they obvously know they're coming? You figure the Imperials are so incredibly overconfident that they would take no precautions whatsoever even when a hostile is sitting right on top of them? Obviously, you cannot differentiate between your Trekkie-masturbatory fantasy and a realistic scenario.

By the way, you have demonstrated yet again that you are completely ignorant of all things military. No one performs ground strike missions at maximum speed. You'll overfly the target too quickly to draw a bead on anything. That's why specialized ground-attack aircraft are slow, and it's also why fighter planes slow down to hit ground targets.

Sporadic ground to air missiles are encountered; two shuttles are damaged by the energy not dampened by their shields. The damaged shuttlecraft are guided into targets of opportunity. The remaining shuttles fly directly into the line of anti aircraft fire, adding the effect of their navigational deflectors to their defense while eliminating AAA.

What kind of idiot flies directly into the line of AA fire? I see I've run into yet another Trekkie who bases his tactics on the hope that your vehicles are so superior that they can ignore realistic tactics in favour of standing up like an moron and deliberately taking punishment, just to show off how big their balls are.

[Editor's note: In one of the scenes of my fanfic, the Empire waited longer than they had to before unleashing their full firepower, in order to demonstrate their strength. If I followed Danny-boy's mentality, they would have not only waited, but they would have also stopped maneuvering so that the Feds would be able to hit them more easily, and this would have somehow given them an advantage! And did you notice that he also included kamikaze attacks in his scenario? Two damaged shuttles being "guided into targets of opportunity"? What loyal followers this guy would need]

TIE Fighters engage the shuttles, which immediately transport their explosives directly into the flight paths of the tightest groups.

Idiotic technobabble tactic. If they had such accurate foreknowledge of TIE fighter flight paths (you seem to assume they're flying in straight lines), they could simply shoot at them with phasers or photon torpedoes with proximity fuses. These "tactics" of yours bear no resemblance whatsoever to anything an intelligent pilot would do. Gee, why shoot at the enemy when you can use a roundabout method that accomplishes the same thing, but requires extra steps, including the incredibly stupid act of briefly lowering your shields in the heat of combat in order to use your transporters? Gee, what a genius you must think you are.

The remaining TIEs are lured into a deadly game of chicken. The shuttles combine evasion and harrassment tactics to cause the unshielded TIEs to collide with terrain, each other and the shuttles' navigational deflection fields, mopping up survivors with phaser fire.

I'll bet you were really jerking off fast and hard when you wrote that.

[Editor's note: this "tactic" of his would work really well if the TIE fighters weren't doing anything to mess it up, such as, oh, for example, shooting at them. Obviously, he thinks the TIE fighters are trying to capture these shuttles in the midst of an incredible dense asteroid field, rather than trying to destroy them in aerial combat over a normal planet. In his mind, this scenario is exactly like the Millenium Falcon chase scene in TESB, the air over the colony will be just as dangerous as the brutal Hoth asteroid field (maybe this is a special planet with an asteroid-filled atmosphere), and his pilots are all just as good as Han Solo]

The Imperial commander orders the immediate execution of the colonists and attempts to request reinforcements; however, he finds that his communications are jammed

Yeah, he wouldn't ask for reinforcements until all of this had already happened. Sure. Why ask for it as soon as the Fed ship is detected on its approach to the colony, when you can wait until the shit already hits the fan?

and it is reported that the colonists attacked and overran the ground troops who survived the Mantred's orbital assault.

ROTFLMAO!!! You think a bunch of unarmed mamby-pamby Federation colonists would overrun heavily armed ground troops?

Unable to call for help or even surrender, the garrison commander attempts to flee, but is captured and savagely beaten by angry colonists before being detained as a prisoner of war by the Mantred.

LOSSES: MINIMAL

You must be very proud of yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back with your one free hand.


Editor's note: He hasn't responded yet, but I'm sure he will. He's already expanded this little time-waster into four separate sub-threads, and he will undoubtedly attempt to dilute it into even more irrelevant tangents (notice how he tries to drag the thread farther away from my point about strategic balance with every message). However, I feel that we've already seen more than enough to figure out what kind of fanboy we're dealing with, so I see no good reason to drag this on any further. People like him wander onto newsgroups and get their asses kicked all the time, and I wouldn't have bothered responding to him at all if it weren't for his obnoxious goading.

In the end, his feeble skills were no match for the power of the dark side :)


Update

I recently received an E-mail from someone who claimed to know Daniel Rodgers when he was growing up. I cannot vouch for the truthfulness of his testimony, so I suppose you will just have to take this person's word for it. Nevertheless, it's funny as hell:

Name: Choya Davis
Comments: Daniel Rodgers aka "Dan-Dan the Ninja-Man"

I know Daniel Rodgers! So when I was in high school in a little town in Idaho just outside of Boise called Emmett I knew this eccentric character by the name of Daniel Rodgers. At first it didn't even occur to me that the person in your hate-mail file could be the same guy. It isn't an uncommon name after all. After reading the Hate-Mail Exchange I am certain beyond any reasonable doubt that your Daniel Rodgers is in fact none other than Dan Dan the Ninja Man. How do I know? For one I recognize several unmistakably distinctive "lexical fingerprints", AND only Dan-Dan the Ninja-Man says stuff in that particular way about those specific things. I also remember him saying some of that exact same stuff to me when we were in high school together.

I thought you might be interested to know what kind of person Dan is. This guy goes waaay beyond any stereotypical image of trekkies best exemplified by Comic-Book Guy on the Simpsons. Dan is not only a socially retarded dork, but he's high in the ranking for the the MOST socially inept and pathetic person I have ever known. More importantly he's sick, twisted, cruel, a liar, and has a propensity for torturing small animals.

Here's the story...

So I met him when I was 14 or 15 back in '91 or 92. We were both sophomores in high school. When I met Dan I was new in school and didn't know anyone. Being a bit of a socially inept dork myself, I needed someone to hang out with even if it was a dirty and unwashed little scrawny guy guy with the thickest coke-bottle glasses of all time who was (get ready for this) WEARING A NINJA UNIFORM! This is a habit he maintained for years and might still be doing for all I know.

Why was he wearing a ninja uniform? He thought it was cool. Who wears a fucking NINJA UNIFORM to high school? Dan does that's who. I think he did that because his real life was so shitty and full of such self-loathing he chose to escape into his imagination. But he also thought it was legitimately cool and in his twisted mind probably thought it would somehow help get him a girlfriend. To be fair he only wore the mask when it was cold outside. And when he was stalking young girls, but I'll get to that later.

Some of the WEIRD & FUCKED UP-SHIT DAN DID:

1. GHOSTS IN THE WALLS

Once in high school he was running about the halls in a lab-coat (over the ninja suit of course) with a stethescope. He'd press the stethescope up against the wall and ask passers by if they too would like to "listen to the ghosts" that he could hear in the wall with the aid of his stethescope. I think he was trying to be funny, and it was kind of funny in a dada-esque sense, but it's still weird.

2. NINJA-DUST

My junior or senior year I was taking a Wing Chun Kung Fu class. If you're into Asian martial arts, Wing Chun is a cool one! It was Bruce Lee's first style, but I was soon to learn that my Wing Chun style was no match for Dan's Ninjitsu!

I was new to martial arts and at the time and totally unaware of the "My Style Is Superior To Your Style"-bickering thing that happens in the martial arts community. Kung-Fu, karate, tae kwon do...didn't make any difference. It was all fun, cool, and all the same stuff. I invited Dan to come with me to my Kung Fu class. I knew he was REALLY into ninjas so I thought he'd like it.

So Dan and I are trying to work on the drills as assigned by the instructors. I say "trying" because instead of doing what he was told, Dan kept doing his bullshit ninja crap. (Which he learned from Ninja Magazine by the way..he never actually took a real ninjitsu class. He SAYS he did, but Dan is a BULLSHITTER) As we were practicing the drills Dan kept trying to "win" by throwing in unexpected ninja-moves. He did this so that I would see that the way of the Japanese Ninja, ie HIS WAY, was superior to my silly Chinese Kung-Fu. This is not what you're supposed to do while practicing a DRILL! A DRILL is different than sparring. This sort of behavior is considered very rude. The instuctors decided to make Dan and I engage in some light half-contact sparring. I was totally kicking his ass. This wasn't difficult and I'm certainly not bragging; my grandma could kick Dan's ass. He couldnt see too well, and, not to be dismissive of ninjitsu or anything, but his technique DID indeed suck. So I'm advancing, Dan's retreating.

Suddenly he squats to the ground, and somersaults backwards away from me, rolling a couple times. He then pops into a low crouch, and, holding an open palm in front of his mouth, BLEW IMAGINARY NINJA-DEATH DUST AT ME. He then acted as if he "won". Now, this was not any sort of competition anyway. Light sparring is still an exercise, not a competition, let alone a real fight. Dan's contension was that if we were actually fighting he'd have been carrying his MAGIC NINJA DEATH-DUST and KILLED ME WITH IT, which was unbeleivably ridiculous for about 1000 reasons, but that's Dan Dan the Ninja Man for ya.

3. SLEEP DEPRIVATION

He'd go for days without sleep. He bragged about it. Sometimes he'd crash at my house. If anyone ever got up for some reason in the middle of the night, they'd invariably find Dan sitting in the chair in the living room in the dark. Just sitting there wide awake in the dark tapping his fingers.

4. HYGEINE DEPRIVATION

He'd go for days without a shower, clean clothes, or brushing his teeth. I guess it's the Ninja Way.

5. STALKING YOUNG GIRLS

Turns out one of my Kung Fu instructors lived close to Dan and had seen him on a number of occasions clumsily prowling the neighborhood very late at night dressed in full ninja-regalia. He would hide behind hedges and stuff while looking through the windows of the homes of 15 year old girls. I'm ASTOUNDED he was never arrested. It's not like he was difficult to see.

6. TORTURING ANIMALS

I've seen him torture his own dog, (while laughing) I've caught him torturing my pets, and others have caught him torturing their pets. I'll spare you the details; but there's really no other word for what he was doing. It was really weird and more than a little disturbing.

7. LYING

Once I had a house in Boise with some roommates. I felt sorry for Dan. We were in Boise, and he was stuck in a tiny hick town in a completely empty house his mom left him. No furniture, no TV, no job, no nothin. I invited him to stay at my place for the weekend. He didn't want to go home. I convinced the roomates to let him stay until he could get a job and find his own place. THAT wasnt easy. No one wanted his filthy unwashed ass there hurting the cat. But, once again I felt sorry for him. He'd leave early and come home late then entertain us with stories of his new job. Turns out he never had a job. I'm not too sure what he was really doing, but I have a hunch. (see #5 above)

8. RUNNING UP HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS IN PHONE-SEX BILLS ON OTHER'S PHONES

Eventually the roommates and I kicked Dan out. He stank too bad, he lied about his job. A friend of mine who lived down the street felt sorry for him and let Dan stay on his couch. Now this friend was going to college full time and rented a small apartment connected to his grandmother's house. He really went out of his way to help Dan. One night this Benefactor-of-Dan came over to my place for a beer and sat down. I said "Hows it goin?"

He replied "Well, Dan just ran up $900 dollars in 1-900#'s on my grandmother's phone bill."

Now, various people that I knew had been itching for an excuse to do severe bodily harm to Dan, and this was just the excuse they needed. Apparently he didn't trust his ninja skills to meet this threat, so he left town and we never saw him again.

9. CREEPINESS

Basically Dan gave EVERY SINGLE PERSON who met him the creeps. I can't even begin to count the times I've heard people say "I really don't like that guy...he reminds of Jeffrey Dahmer or something"

10. OTHER THINGS

He's done sooo many weird, creepy and fucked up shit! The above is just the tip of the iceberg.

I havent seen him since he left town...who knows what became of him? No doubt he's out there somewhere still....stalking undrerage girs in the dead of night while he's not jacking off or torturing helpless animals. Yes, Dan...He is many things... liar, thief, pervert, sociopath, dirty scumbag, but above all...a NINJA!

How can you not love a moniker like "Dan-Dan the Ninja Man"? From now on, I am only going to refer to him by this name.


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