Government Spending

Oddly, the Contract Went to KBR

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The Pentagon spent $46,790 of your money—about the median household income in the U.S.—to commission a painted portrait of Donald Rumsfeld.

NEXT: Steam Engine Time Delay

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  1. ‘$46,790 of your money’

    Typical Democrat propaganda. It’s not my money, it’s my grandkids’ money, and I’m shedding no tears for those brats – they hid my dentures in a vase, and it took hours for me to find them.

    You liberals need to get off Rumsfeld’s back – he’s one of the unsung heroes of America who worked night and day to liberate the Arabs from tyranny. He would have done it, too, if you liberals hadn’t stabbed our glorious war effort in the back with your incessant carping criticism.

    Wah wah wah expense wah wah wah dead soldiers wah wah wah ethnic cleansing of Iraqi neighborhoods wah wah wah. Please, let’s look at the big picture here. We got to drop bombs on foreign dirtbags and we came *this close* to capturing Saddam’s WMDs before he smuggled them over the border to Canada, oops I mean Syria.

    Forget what I said about Canada, that’s not until Phase Four. But I *will* point out that there’s a great deal of pro-American feeling in Canada, and they would be happy to be liberated from their socialist overlords. We could finance the war with Canadian maple syrup reserves, it would be a cakewalk, and the troops would be home by Christmas.

    If only the Obama administration has the courage to Assert American Leadership.

  2. How refreshing! A new post for the weekend. Is this to be the open thread?

    So, what is the big deal of KBR getting a contract for a portrait of DR?

  3. So, what is the big deal of KBR getting a contract for a portrait of DR?

    My thing is, why is the Federal Government commissioning fucking portraits…of anyone?

  4. That is the better question. If these Secretaries and such want their pictures hanging all about then they could supply their own.

  5. but was the portrait any good, because, you know, military art is to art as military music is to music.

  6. I don’t know yet, but will try to go by and check it out when I get back to work on Wed.

    Something else stupid this year. I have to take the day off on Tuesday because this inaguration is so ‘special’.

  7. Of course the portrait expense is idiotic but it isn’t anything more than business as usual.

    I’m sure there is an entire wall filled with portraits of Rumsfeld’s predecessors as well.

    The practice should be condemned but not just because it’s a portrait of Rumsfeld.

  8. The other question is where do you draw (heh) the line? Do you allow portraits of the presidents? Governors too? (ever see Moonbeam’s portrait in Sacramento?) Or nobody’s at all?

    The thing is, every regular American is perfectly fine with tax paid portraits of political office holders……….

  9. Phew. Only three more days and we can say goodbye to all this wasteful spending.

  10. I’m not very “regular” then. That’s fine with me.

  11. Phew. Only three more days and we can say goodbye to all this wasteful spending.

    Like chartering a private train?

  12. Wow, almost $50,000. That’s $0.0001667 for every man, woman, and child in the US.

    It’s fun to grouse about silly pork projects like this, but the truly dangerous spending isn’t this stuff.

  13. I’m sure there is an entire wall filled with portraits of Rumsfeld’s predecessors as well.

    A whole coridore, both sides. Forgot exactly where in the building but have seen it before.

  14. Like chartering a private train?

    Yes! We can!

    Remember, he He is not President yet, so He has no control of this crazy Bush spending.

  15. Hanging mere photographs of our Secretaries of Defense in the Pentagon would imbolden the enemy. No cost is too great to defend the homeland.

  16. Most of the offices have photographs of prior Directors/etc. The former Army Directors of Training is pretty interesting with so many of them having gone so much farther.

  17. Ah yes, but you see that was part of the economic stimulus to create jobs for artists. How dare you complain that the Pentagon created a job for an artist!

  18. A culture Czar would assure that it was fine art…

    Something along the lines of this portrait:
    http://www.artquotes.net/masters/bacon/bacon_study1953.jpg

  19. That’s $0.0001667 for every man, woman, and child in the US.

    Or it’s the entire lifetime taxation of one guy whose family’s life would have been drastically better if not for the government’s stealing tens of thousands of dollars from him to make old-timey bureaucrat porn.

    Whichever.

  20. ’tis time for my pornograph to go back to its intended purpose. Bye reason, for now!

  21. the Federal Government commissioning fucking portraits

  22. Secretary Scroot peered through his eyeglasses at the naked, quivering figure of the American economy.

    “Stimulate me,” whispered the economy, “I need to be stimulated *so much*”

    “I’ll stimulate you, all right,” said the lascivious Scroot. “You aren’t the only one whose pump needs priming.”

    “I can give you four million jobs,” purred the economy. “And I bet you can guess what kind of jobs I’m talking about.”

    Scroot pressed the intercom button with his left hand while, with his trembling, arthritic right hand he unbuttoned his jacket and pants.

    “Cancel my opponents,” Scroot gasped into the intercom. “If the President calls tell him I’m working on the economy.”

  23. Couldn’t they have just waited a few years and hung his mug shot?

  24. I’d meant to say “cancel my appointments,” but cancel my opponents works, too, if we’re talking about bureaucrats.

  25. Or it’s the entire lifetime taxation of one guy whose family’s life would have been drastically better if not for the government’s stealing tens of thousands of dollars from him to make old-timey bureaucrat porn.

    If my life-time taxation is only $50,000, then the federal government is a better deal than I thought.

  26. If you read down through the main page at the linked Wired post, you’ll find another good one. Northrop commisioned those butchers at Orange County Choppers to do a B2 commemorative motorcycle junkpile. What a hideous piece of crap (a redundant description of the Orange County’s work, I know).

    It looks like something you could get with three Fruit Loops boxtops. Only not as nice.

    Your Tax Dollars at Work.

  27. What’d be really cool is if the CIA commissioned pricey portraits of its top spies and then, for reasons of national security, locked them away in a hermetically sealed bunker where no one could ever see them.

  28. It would have been so awesome if they had commissioned Margaret Keane to do the portrait.

  29. Someone forgot a pretty important anniversary.

  30. Jerry,

    reason sucks

  31. I think the picture should have had Uncle Sam bent over getting it from behind from Rummy who has a bottle of gin in his hand and a smile on his face while tagging in W for his turn.

  32. Wonder if it was no-bid?

    Steve

  33. If my life-time taxation is only $50,000, then the federal government is a better deal than I thought.

    You also probably should have looked for another career 40 something years earlier, or died near your 25th birthday.

  34. Wonder if it was no-bid?

    The article linked to by wired in the WaPo says most of them were:

    The price of original portraiture ranges widely. In a sampling, The Washington Post examined summaries of 30 portrait contracts, most awarded with no competitive bidding, and found costs ranging from $7,500 to nearly $50,000. Officials say costs sometimes run higher.

  35. I am looking forward to the one of Monica Goodling wearing only the Hope Diamond.

  36. Someone forgot a pretty important anniversary.

    Unfortunately, Dave Weigel branched out, using Slate to spread his disinformation. Then, he spread more disinfo at another site; see my discussion of speaking to his Washington Independent editor.

  37. Jesus Tapdancing Christ, LoneChoad, you’re more OCD than Rain Man on crack.

    Are you a very good driver? Does dad let you drive in the driveway, but only on Mondays?

  38. You have to realize how expensive it is to make Donald Rumsfeld into someone you’d want to look at.

  39. I’m still waiting for that SpoofageSubpoena, LoneWacko.

  40. On a completely different topic, I heard that Obama isn’t a natural-born citizen, and hence is ineligible for the presidency. If so, somebody better do something soon, because he’s being inaugurated next week!

    Does anybody have further information about this threat to our great nation? A link to a blog, for instance, would be great. Thanks in advance!

  41. Marc, I’ve got your information right here in this shocking expose of the REAL Barack Obama!

  42. Thanks, BDB. I highly recommend that video to anyone concerned about this important issue.

  43. P Brooks,

    How is Northrop commissioning a motorcycle a hit on our tax dollars? Once those dollars leave the feds and go to anybody else they are no longer “tax dollars”, they are earnings.

    Unless you are talking about some deal where Northrop was the prime finding a shop to build a bike for the feds perhaps?

  44. “Long Live Neoconservatism” seems like a rather savage parody of TallDave.

  45. Kolohe | January 17, 2009, 12:34pm | #
    Phew. Only three more days and we can say goodbye to all this wasteful spending.

    Like chartering a private train?

    There was another charismatic leader who chartered a whole lot of trains….to death camps.

    1. what is your first name?

  46. WAKE UP AMERICA!

  47. In Vegas they have Neonconservativism.

  48. I see what you did there.

  49. As a portrait artist, I can’t think of a price that would make me want to do politicians, but I am rooting for any colleague who commands that kind of dough. Who or what is KBR.?

  50. Sapient,

    KBR = Kellogg Brown & Root, a former subsidiary of Halliburton.

  51. I recall what LBJ said of his official portrait:

    “Ugliest thing I ever saw”

    I guess it depends on what you have to work with.

    .. “I don’t know art but I know what I like” Hobbit

  52. Sapient,

    What DNA said, plus they are the focus of all sort of Leftoid vitrol for, basically, making money. Mostly because VP Cheney was once a VP at Halliberton and some think every nickle any body ever associated with Halliberton goes to a Cheney bank account.

  53. I wonder what sort of living one could make by taking photograps, using that Photoshop tool to turn them into oil-style paintings and then printing or transferring them onto actual canvas?

  54. Guy, I think you’re oversimplifying things a bit. Of course, every nickle anyone’s ever made through Halliburton winds up in Cheney’s bank account, but that’s only so it can be laundered and then transferred into the accounts of our reptilian overlords.

  55. This is the most anticipated coming-to-power of a charismatic leader popular with the ute since 1933.

  56. Marc: for serious, look into the actions of Philly lawyer Philip Berg

  57. BDB, Perhaps you were not aware that I discussed those kinds of ImpersonationSuits over here at my blog?

    Anyway, I will make sure that everyone knows these posts are mine by publishing my personal info with every post:

    Chris Kelly
    4470 Sunset Blvd. #377
    Hollywood, CA 90027
    323-718-2319

  58. I don’t know who Chris K is, but I doubt he deserves a lifetime of conjecture as to his part in the CosmotarianConspiracy.

  59. It worked so well for D O N D E R O that you knew LoneWhacko was going to try it eventually.

  60. OLS makes fun of people who are “elites” but he lives in Hollywood? Uh, ooookaay.

  61. Wait, wow, it is him.

    third hit on google

    Well, uh. That’s crazy. I just assumed either someone was imitating Lonewacko and setting up some poor bastard, or Lonewacko was pretending to be some poor bastard he has some beef with over some usenet post from five years ago. But, no, it actually is him. On the one hand, that is less crazy. On the other hand, more.

  62. You think anybody will actually call him? I still have trouble believing he is a real person.

  63. “I’m not very “regular” then. That’s fine with me.”

    You should try some Metamucil.

  64. Like chartering a private train?

    Don’t worry. That spending will be more than covered by the income generated by the inaugural organizing committee’s deals to give some television networks exclusive access to inaugural events (link via DCRTV).

  65. Nearly $50K for this?

  66. i’m as regular as an atomic clock!

  67. Is anyone else as bummed about Lt. Dualla as I am? Fuckin’ A, man. I didn’t see that coming.

  68. juris imprudent,

    How can Rumsfelt have his head up his ass? He’s a butthead – are you suggesting that he has his head up his head?

  69. How much money has been squandered on those canons sitting at the corner of the grounds around almost every county courthouse in the US of A?
    The scrap metal value alone must be greater than 50 thou.

    Hoomin beans (Isn’t that how Al Capp referred to them?) will never get their priorities straight.

    Come to think of it, as a guy who sold power mowers at Sears, why is there such a device as a mower?
    Nobody reading this has one, right?

  70. Warty – BSG is either going to be one of the most fucking brilliant bits of writing ever done or it is going to suck… colossally. I just don’t see any middle ground now.

  71. MM – a human mobius?

  72. Warty – BSG is either going to be one of the most fucking brilliant bits of writing ever done or it is going to suck… colossally. I just don’t see any middle ground now.

    I have had a BSD sticker on the back of the Hacker Jeep since around 1996. I was an OpenBSD guy then. It never sucked.

  73. Guy – I’d accuse you of gross dweebery but it’d come pretty lame from a sci-fi fan.

  74. Steve:

    Wonder if it was no-bid?

    At $46,790 it probably wasn’t low-bid. But $46,790 is only part of the cost. Some team of government employees ( and maybe even outside consultants ) would have had to be involved in preparing specifications or a request for proposals for the portrait and then evaluating the bids or proposals. They don’t work for free.

  75. This is a boring thread – perhaps I can fix that:

    Friday, January 16, 2009

    Why the Obama White House May Go to the Dogs
    (and the Cows, and the Deer, and the Lab Rats)

    Forget about Barack Obama’s income tax-challenged Treasury Secretary or the conflict of interest controversy at the State Department. The most outrageous Obama appointee just might be Cass Sunstein, a Harvard Law School professor who’s flying under everyone’s radar and into a job that hardly anyone has ever heard of.

    Cass Sunstein is slated to run the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. He’s going to be America’s chief “regulatory czar.” And shocking new research from the Center for Consumer Freedom shows that he’s a dedicated animal-rights zealot.

    Hold on to your sirloin.

    The anti-meat nuts at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the anti-hunting lobbyists at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) used to think that putting Dennis Kucinich in the White House would be their best hope of wielding real power in Washington . But even they didn’t see Cass Sunstein coming. Sunstein has the legal mind of Chief Justice John Roberts and the animal-rights agenda of PETA president Ingrid Newkirk.

    We’re not talking about animal welfare—the idea of making sure we don’t cause animals unnecessary suffering when we use them for food, clothing, entertainment, or lifesaving medical research. Sunstein believes in animal rights—the notion that people shouldn’t “own” or “use” animals at all, for any purpose, no matter what the stakes are for mankind.

    Cancer research? Not if lab rats are used against their will.

    Hunting? Absolutely forbidden, especially if it’s for sport.

    Leather jackets? The cows need their skin more that you do.

    Seeing-eye dogs? They’re nothing more than slaves.

    And that T-bone steak? Fuhgeddaboudit! If animals have any “rights” at all, the right to not be your dinner is at the top of the list.

    All of this makes perfect sense to Cass Sunstein, who organized the “Chicago Project on Animal Treatment Principles” at the University of Chicago. He will soon have the political authority to push for a radical overhaul of the way the federal government regulates everything Americans do with animals.

    How radical? Sunstein supports making sport hunting illegal, and completely phasing out the consumption of meat. And if that’s not nutty enough, he’s actually in favor of giving animals the legal right to sue people.

    Think we’re joking? Think again. Here’s what Sunstein wrote in his 2004 book, Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions:

    “[A]nimals should be permitted to bring suit, with human beings as their representatives … Any animals that are entitled to bring suit would be represented by (human) counsel, who would owe guardian like obligations and make decisions, subject to those obligations, on their clients’ behalf.”

    Conservative commentators have been openly fretting that Barack Obama may try to turn welfare entitlements and single-payer healthcare into a new Bill of Rights. But Cass Sunstein threatens to expand the whole concept of “rights” to include the rest of the animal kingdom.

    That fish wriggling at the end of your hook could soon be a federal offense (if the fish doesn’t file a lawsuit first). Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

    Find out more at ConsumerFreedom.com.

  76. “Someone forgot a pretty important anniversary.”

    My guess is that Reason is trying very hard to forget that. Not exactly their finest hour.

    As for Rummy’s portrait, it isn’t so much the cost as it is the idea of commissioning a tax-funded portrait of the guy who lost a trillion dollar tax-supported war. It’s bad enought that Hajis are being killed by people who claim to serve me, but they are using my money to kill people that I don’t have a problem with and then using more of my money to honor the head douchebag who did it.

  77. those butchers at Orange County Choppers

    Worse: Sandy married that guy!

  78. This is the most anticipated coming-to-power of a charismatic leader popular with the ute since 1933.

    I’d say: Since JFK

  79. Someone forgot a pretty important anniversary.

    Do tell?

  80. Is anyone else as bummed about Lt. Dualla as I am? Fuckin’ A, man. I didn’t see that coming.

    SPOILERS

    I saw it coming in the first five minutes, as soon as she played with the jacks. I also knew, as soon as they realized the transponder was colonial in origin, that it was Starbuck’s ship. This does not make me positive about the rest of the shows if I can predict what they are going to do this fast.

    Oh well, Helen was the final cylon. That at least is both weak yet not a cop out.

  81. I saw it coming in the first five minutes, as soon as she played with the jacks.

    For me it was when she was having the breakdown in the raptor.

    Though, I think the most priceless scene was when Leoben and Starbuck are poking around, and they make “the discovery”, and Leoben freaks the fuck out. (Hah hah! You were wrong! We don’t know about what yet, but ha, anyway.)

  82. thoreau | January 18, 2009, 3:30am | #
    joe wins the thread.

    joe wins all the threads. Just ask him.

  83. Open thread claim:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28709883/

    California government set to stop welfare checks due to lack of money on February 1st. God, that state must be a mess!

  84. It’s cute how joe actually thinks anyone high up in the Bush admin. is going to be prosecuted.

  85. We’re totally gonna take Chimpy McHitler to the Hauge for crimes against humanity, man!

  86. If not for those darn newsletters we would surely be celebrating the Ron Paul Presidency on Tuesday.

  87. It’s cute how joe actually thinks anyone high up in the Bush admin. is going to be prosecuted.

    Personally I think he’s wrong, and that’s *tragic*. When you can’t even prosecute *war crimes*, what does the rule of law even mean anymore?

    It could be done, but it won’t be done, except by perhaps a Pinochet-style “you really shouldn’t have taken a vacation there” sort of scenario.

  88. Oh well, Helen was the final cylon.

    Who’s Helen?

  89. Who’s Helen?

    Saul Tigh’s dead strumpet.

  90. Elemenope, it can’t be done because Obama would look shrill and partisan and it would blow his political capital. Plus, the next Republican President will investigate him after he leaves office as revenge. And then the next Democratic President will investigate that one, and so on…it’s not a precedent he wants to start.

  91. Oh. I thought her name was Ellen.

    Given the deus ex machina of her introduction to the show, it makes sense that she’d be a cylon. Still, Episiarch’s “lame” comment certainly applies, unless they come up with an intelligent way for her to effect the plot.

  92. Besides, was the Wilson Administration investigated by Harding for his violations of civil liberties in WWI? Was the Roosevelt Administration investigated for the internment of Japanese Americans?

  93. Since someone mentioned it, here’s Jerry Brown’s official portrait, hanging in the California State Capitol in Sacramento.

    For all those parents who’ve ever said “My third grader could paint something better than that”, here’s what would happen if a third grader actually *did* paint something.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Bachardy

  94. Saul Tigh’s dead strumpet.

    His dead wife who he killed–himself–for her being a stool pigeon on New Caprica.

  95. His dead wife who he killed–himself–for her being a stool pigeon on New Caprica.

    Yeah, I know. How do the descriptions conflict? 🙂

    FWIW, I hated her character thoroughly *until* New Caprica, when she finally became interesting. And then she became dead.

  96. it can’t be done because Obama would look shrill and partisan and it would blow his political capital.

    Professional courtesy, dude. Whatever minor disagreements they may have about tactics, they are on the same side. Civilians (and their pesky “rights”) are disposable; government power is forever.

  97. Since she would have had to have been resurrected on the ship above New Caprica, shouldn’t the other cylons have known who she was?

    Also, I just don’t see how her being a cylon advances or adds to the story.

  98. Obligatory Spoilsport Comment:

    I watched a few episodes of BSG when it was (re)introduced; it bored me stiff.

  99. Since she would have had to have been resurrected on the ship above New Caprica, shouldn’t the other cylons have known who she was?

    Well, the cylons don’t resurrect on basestars, so there’s that. But even still, no. The show’s been pretty clear on two things:

    1. The final five cylons work differently from the other seven. Nobody even knows if they resurrect.

    2. The other seven, prior to the end of last season, had no contact whatsoever with the final five.

  100. “Professional courtesy, dude. Whatever minor disagreements they may have about tactics, they are on the same side. Civilians (and their pesky “rights”) are disposable; government power is forever.”

    That, too.

  101. Yeah, I know. How do the descriptions conflict? 🙂

    I know you know. I was just calling you a woman-hater.

    FWIW, I hated her character thoroughly *until* New Caprica, when she finally became interesting. And then she became dead.

    Dead is interesting.

    Since she would have had to have been resurrected on the ship above New Caprica, shouldn’t the other cylons have known who she was?

    None of the final five (except her) have died. Maybe these are individual models and don’t resurrect? Or she may show up on a base ship. Well, they must resurrect because they all have 2000 year old memories. Plans within plans.

    Also, I just don’t see how her being a cylon advances or adds to the story.

    Escape hatch. Making the fifth anyone important (Starbuck, Roslyn) is hackishly obvious, and making it someone totally unimportant is anti-climatic. At least making it her gets them out of that pickle and it at least makes some sense.

  102. So what’s the deal with Starbuck? Is she a 13th Cylon, or something cooler?

  103. El – I was thinking about the resurrection ship above New Caprica, (Leoben was reborn every time Starbuck killed him.)

    I should point out that I didn’t see the episode. I’m 1/2 way through season 4 on the DVD’s, so I don’t know how she was re-introduced.

    Epi – true, but Tom Zarek would have been better – he’s in a position to influence events.

  104. Dead is interesting.

    “Define interesting.”

    -Oh God oh God we’re all going to die?

    “‘This is the captain speaking. We have a little problem with our entry sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and then…explode.’ Just get us on the ground.”

    – That part is going to happen pretty definitely.

    So what’s the deal with Starbuck? Is she a 13th Cylon, or something cooler?

    Gonna go with something cooler.

  105. So what’s the deal with Starbuck? Is she a 13th Cylon, or something cooler?

    Making her a cylon would be pretty lame, as they have hinted at the possibility too much already, which would normally indicate a distraction from something else unless the writers are awful, and we know that is not the case.

    One could guess some type of temporal disturbance/split when she went through the storm to find Earth, but BSG has so far used zero physics hacks as deus ex machina plot devices, so that would surprise me. They should really leave that to the idiots who write for Star Trek ever since TNG. Tachyon field, Geordi! Maybe that can be the solution for the 50th time again!

    Plus, as LMNOP said above, Leoben had that WTF?!? look on his face, so he knows something is fucked up.

    I’m having trouble figuring out where they are going with her, which I like because I was disappointed with how immediately I saw Dee was going to off herself and that the transponder was Starbuck’s. Keep me guessing, writers.

  106. One could guess some type of temporal disturbance/split when she went through the storm to find Earth, but BSG has so far used zero physics hacks as deus ex machina plot devices, so that would surprise me.

    Technically, they used *one* physics-magic hack, in the Miniseries, and the writers so regretted it that they said “never again!”. Which is why I concur, they aren’t going to time-travel land.

    I think “Starbuck” currently isn’t Starbuck, but some creature posing as Starbuck. After all, the Cylons’ and Humans’ religions concur on there being greater creatures in the universe, just that the Humans worship them and the Cylons revile them as demons and false gods. If the new “Starbuck” was an avatar or reincarnation of one of them (an interpretation lent some strength by the events in “Maelstrom”), that would reveal why Leoben is seemingly terrified of her.

  107. Epi – true, but Tom Zarek would have been better – he’s in a position to influence events.

    None of the final five were influencing jack shit, even after they got “turned on”. It is my belief that they may have written themselves into a corner (not themselves knowing who it was going to be), and then realizing that just about anybody would either be too ridiculous (Adama), convenient (Zarek), or anti-climatic (a nobody). This was their way out, and it was not a bad choice.

    It would seem strange for them to not have the whole plot mapped out, so it may be that she appears again and is important, and she was planned as the fifth the whole time. The only person who really knows is the showrunner.

  108. Helen as the 5th cylon is, I am guessing, a bit of a red herring. I am guessing there is an important relationship between Starbuck’s resurrection on earth (leading to her return) and the fact that Helen was on Earth with Tigh.

    I am guessing that there is a resurrection hub of some sort on earth…that works with both humans and cylons…don’t be surprised if Lt. Dualla shows back up before it is all over.

  109. If the new “Starbuck” was an avatar or reincarnation of one of them (an interpretation lent some strength by the events in “Maelstrom”), that would reveal why Leoben is seemingly terrified of her.

    This is an interesting idea, though it seems like it would be too…epic…for as gritty and earthy a show. But maybe that’s the point…kick it up to 11 and go out totally surprising people. Oh noes, she’s Xiombarg!

    I am guessing that there is a resurrection hub of some sort on earth…that works with both humans and cylons…don’t be surprised if Lt. Dualla shows back up before it is all over.

    Also interesting, but wouldn’t the hub be 2000 years old and possibly wiped out by the nuclear holocaust?

    My money is on some development where it becomes “are any of us human? At all?” That they’re all cylons, and they wiped themselves out before on Earth and then did it again 2000 years later, and it’s all a cycle…

  110. I didn’t think the Dualla suicide was lame – although the reaction to it was (both the Adama’s had lost, or had thought they lost, more important people to them in the past and kept it together – although to be fair, with the date happening just prior, Apollo’s reaction does make sense). As it is, there was one too few ‘action’ scenes for a good episode balance anyway, without the Dualla scene it would have been even worse. And I thought the entire time (even after her death) they were setting her up to be the fifth.

    Rosyln’s breakdown was the lamest thing about that episode.

    The starbuck revelation was the most interesting thing about that episode, followed by that the fleet four are all refugees from ancient skinjob earth. How they ultimately explain these two things will make or break the series.

  111. My personal theory is that the Six in Baltar’s brain, the Baltar in Baltar and Caprica-Six’s brain, the Leoben in Starbuck’s vision in “Maelstrom”, and quite possibly the priest from Roslin’s visions while jumping on the Basestar are all manifestations of the same thing.

    Check it out: they all act very differently from their “real” counterparts, they all impart information to the people that can see them that the person him- or herself *could not possibly know*, and probably the kicker, that the “Baltar” in Baltar and Caprica-Six’s head are consistent in mannerism and attitude with one another.

  112. My money is on some development where it becomes “are any of us human? At all?” That they’re all cylons, and they wiped themselves out before on Earth and then did it again 2000 years later, and it’s all a cycle…

    Well, there is the fact that they have established clear biological differences between the humans and cylons (they even identified the bones on Earth as cylon).

    But you are in the ballpark, I am sure.

    My thoughts are that humanity on Earth created cylons as a way to be immortal…you download into a cylon body when you die.

    The narrative trick will be explaining the relationship between the Earthly cylons and the others. Were the final five the “original programmers” or are there some other Earthlings that sent them out to find the other tribes to give them the gift of immortality…and the plan got screwed up.

    yadda yadda…

  113. both the Adama’s had lost, or had thought they lost, more important people to them in the past and kept it together –

    Straw that broke the camel’s back.

    Their reaction was not to her death as much as the death of Earth, it seems.

  114. My personal theory is that the Six in Baltar’s brain, the Baltar in Baltar and Caprica-Six’s brain, the Leoben in Starbuck’s vision in “Maelstrom”, and quite possibly the priest from Roslin’s visions while jumping on the Basestar are all manifestations of the same thing.

    The final episode will be Baltar exiting the holodeck. It was all a dream!

    Seriously, though, you make a good point that these “entities” have never been adequately explained, and it seems like they should be. So it is very possible they will figure prominently.

    Well, there is the fact that they have established clear biological differences between the humans and cylons (they even identified the bones on Earth as cylon).

    I was thinking more that they are all different variations of cylon, and that there are no humans–like us–left.

    My thoughts are that humanity on Earth created cylons as a way to be immortal…you download into a cylon body when you die.

    This could actually factor into my idea as it would explain why no humans are left. Maybe the nuke strike 2000 years ago was the “ok, time for everyone to get into their cylon bodies right now” event. And then they went and founded the colonies.

    So much room for complete speculation.

    Their reaction was not to her death as much as the death of Earth, it seems.

    Totally agree. Dee wasted her life; they wasted all their effort to get to Earth. All for nothing (or so they think).

  115. Here goes:

    Humanity on Kobol wipes out the planet and flees.

    13 tribes.

    12 end up together in a single solar system, the 13th ends up on Earth.

    Independently, they create cylons.

    On Earth, they create humanoid cylons as a means of immortality in addition to their “toaster” slaves.

    On earth the toaster slaves rise up and repeat the Kobol situation.

    The other 12 tribes only develop the toaster slaves. This leads to the cylon war.

    During the 40 year peace, 5 humanoid cylons leave a destroyed Earth on a mission to save humanity from the same fate that happened on Earth and Kobol. They find the 12 tribes “toasters” and establish a new cylon society…create the seven other models, realize they have a more perfect society and change their mission (based on a fatalistic view that “this has all happened before” and that cylons are meant to save humanity by replacing them…

    Or not.

  116. Problems with my story above.

    Tigh is more than 40.

    The final 5 seem to have found the 12 tribes prior to the cylong war.

    So, here goes again.

    Same as above, but the Earthly cylons find the 12 tribes and simply integrate into them, quietly.

    It is the war with the cylons that changes their world view to that stated above(it has happened before).

    Some earthly cylon (the original programmers) join the toasters and create the seven (are the prototypes for the seven). They know of the other five…

    yadda…

  117. ‘their “toaster” slaves.’

    _________________________

    “I am the toaster!”

    “No, *I* am the toaster!”

    “No, *all* of us are toasters!”

    ____________________________

    “Maybe you’re all toasters, but your asses are all toast!”

    ____________________________

    “I give up, O human; stick a fork in me, I’m done!”

    ZAP!

    “Stupid human, sticking a fork in an active toaster and electrocuting himself. Long live the Revolution!”

  118. Just because Ellen is “a” Cylon doesn’t mean she’s the fifth Cylon; she could just be what the Number Sixes look like when they get old.

  119. Oh great, now the thread has been hijacked by a bunch of modal libertarians.

  120. Quick, Jerry!! Hijack it to talk about the soft Fascism of the PC Police!

  121. Her?

    Starbuck is a girl on the new show? That’s wack man. Is the Lorne Greene character a midget?

  122. What we really need to talk about is the disentegration of our traditional Anglo-Saxon culture by multi-culti brainwashing!

  123. Same as above, but the Earthly cylons find the 12 tribes and simply integrate into them, quietly.

    There would be a humongous number of Earthly cylons because they downloaded into versions that looked like their human selves (as seen in Tigh and the Chief’s visions). There would have been no “series” cylons at that point. So if they integrated with the others, there should be a ton of unique cylons, and not 5.

    Just because Ellen is “a” Cylon doesn’t mean she’s the fifth Cylon; she could just be what the Number Sixes look like when they get old.

    That’s a stretch. I think she is the fifth. Who else could it possibly be without being either stupid, oh-so-convenient, or totally pointless?

    Starbuck is a girl on the new show? That’s wack man. Is the Lorne Greene character a midget?

    Starbuck is a girl, and played excellently by Katee Sackhoff, and Admiral Adama (Greene) is Lt. Castillo.

  124. traditional Anglo-Saxon culture

    And for irony’s sake be sure to quote Buchanan in defense of it.

  125. so “modal libertarians” is a code for a “doesn’t agree with me” type of thing?

    or is it code for “won’t ever shut up about space soap opera #512?” 🙂

  126. “Modal libertarian” is another paleo word for “cosmotarian”. I.e., we should be talking about how brown people are ruining the country and how horrible city dwellers and Jews are rather than talk about television.

  127. Are you a very good driver? Does dad let you drive in the driveway, but only on Mondays?

    He’s just counting cards…

  128. we should be talking about how brown people are ruining the country and how horrible city dwellers and Jews are…

    And fluoridation of the water supply by the socialists.

  129. “Modal libertarian” is another paleo word for “cosmotarian”.

    well that’s kind of silly. cosmotarian rolls off the tongue far better than “modal libertarian”

  130. Why do you think they started using “cosmotarian”, dhex?

    Plus with “cosmotarian” there’s the vague suggestion we’re foreigners/outsiders and don’t QUITE belong. Stalin used to call his opponents “rootless cosmopolitans”. Ironic the people who shout SOCIALIST! at everyone who disagrees with them would take up that insult!

  131. Is the show anti-male like the original Starbuck charged? He said the male characters are wimps and the female characters are the strong ones. I’ve never seen the show but I just read the wiki on it and it sure has a great deal of critical acclaim.

    I loved the old show, but I was young when it came on.

  132. I hate shows where the women are kick-assers. They confuse what it means to be a “strong” character, it doesn’t mean physically strong. Doctor Crusher was a “stronger” character than Tasha Yar imo.

  133. I remember when Lt. Castillo cut off a dude’s head with a sword on Miami Vice. A sword, I kid you not.

    That dude was bad ass

  134. Is the show anti-male like the original Starbuck charged?

    No. It’s an excellent show.

    I remember when Lt. Castillo cut off a dude’s head with a sword on Miami Vice. A sword, I kid you not.

    Wasn’t that the episode with David Rasche from Sledge Hammer! as a KGB agent who had his surfer cover down perfectly? At the end, Crockett surprises him, says “surf’s up, dude” and shoots him.

    Brilliant.

    And I just looked it up and I believe it is.

  135. Epi,

    Would I be on firm ground to state that the movie remake rocked? I know your profound hatred for remakes . . .

  136. I thought the cosmotarian thing was a rip on Postrel.

  137. Naga, I turned the remake off after 10 miinutes, but I can’t remember if it was because it was so boring or so terrible. Maybe both?

    You can’t remake that show. Not only was it fucking great, it was a very 80’s thing. it just doesn’t work now.

  138. Bah! (waves hand dismissively)

    I prefer to think you turned it off due to the fact that exposure to such Teh AWESome could potentially blind you.

    “I reject your reality and substitute my own!”

  139. “Oh great, now the thread has been hijacked by a bunch of modal libertarians.”

    Some of us call them the “pink libertarians”.

  140. There would be a humongous number of Earthly cylons because they downloaded into versions that looked like their human selves (as seen in Tigh and the Chief’s visions). There would have been no “series” cylons at that point. So if they integrated with the others, there should be a ton of unique cylons, and not 5.

    I am assuming that there were only (about) 12 survivors that made it to the colonies.

    I mean there is a whole 2000 year gap to fill in after all.

  141. “Why do you think they started using “cosmotarian”, dhex?”

    perhaps because cosmopolitans are pink drinks?

    and the reason staff only writes what they do to get invited to beltway cocktail parties.

    ergo, the reason staff are drunks.

  142. Good God, the geeks got Galactica going great gonzos.

  143. Good God, the geeks got Galactica going great gonzos.

    Better a geek than an alliterative ass.

  144. That’s a stretch. I think she is the fifth. Who else could it possibly be without being either stupid, oh-so-convenient, or totally pointless?

    Stupid, oh-so-convenient, or totally pointless pretty much describes the whole last season or so. The writers are clearly pulling plot twists out of their ass at this point. Whatever happened to the Six pregnant with Tigh’s baby? When the Cylons held human hostages to demand that the four Cylons on Galactica come over, why didn’t any of the Cylons think to add “Oh, yeah, we also want the pregnant Cylon in your brig?” (Especially considering how obsessed with babies and reproduction the Cylons are.)

  145. “that queer, cosmopolitan, rather sinister crowd found around the Marseilles docks”

  146. Whatever happened to the Six pregnant with Tigh’s baby?

    That happened right at the end of last season. Why would that plot have to be moved forward now?

    When the Cylons held human hostages to demand that the four Cylons on Galactica come over, why didn’t any of the Cylons think to add “Oh, yeah, we also want the pregnant Cylon in your brig?”

    Because, uh, *there was no way they could have known about her*.

  147. 12 end up together in a single solar system, the 13th ends up on Earth.

    I didn’t think the 12 colonies were all in the same solar system. (Plus 12 inhabitable planets in the same solar system is a physics hack worse than FTL travel).

    Plus, didn’t they say Kobol was also about 2K years removed from the the end of the last sapient settlement?

  148. Because, uh, *there was no way they could have known about her*.

    Nope. Remember a couple of seasons ago, there was that thing about how Cylons were supposedly connected to some ethereal Internet, so that what one Cylon knows, all of them know? Or at least all Cylons of the same model.

    That’s why I’m saying the writers are pulling things out of their ass; they can’t even remember the rules they themselves created for this universe of theirs.

  149. The writers are clearly pulling plot twists out of their ass at this point…

    I listened to a couple of the Ron Moore commentaries, and definitely got the impression they were never more than a few episodes ahead. It never sounded like they’d thought out the story arc for the season, let alone multiple seasons.

  150. It would seem strange for them to not have the whole plot mapped out, so it may be that she appears again and is important, and she was planned as the fifth the whole time. The only person who really knows is the showrunner.

    From what I understand, they only had most of the first two seasons mapped out. But even major plot points like cylon resurrection were only conceived a relatively short time prior to implementation. I think B5 is the one of only series that has ever done a complete mapping prior to filming, and is rather famous for doing so.

  151. That’s why I’m saying the writers are pulling things out of their ass

    I listened to a couple of the Ron Moore commentaries, and definitely got the impression they were never more than a few episodes ahead.

    Well, that would support my theory about them writing themselves into a corner regarding the fifth and coming up with Ellen (Helen?) to save their ass.

    You’d think, though, that major themes and events would be decided on ahead of time. Maybe not; freewheeling might be helping make the show great. But it could also cause it to trainwreck at the end.

  152. Kolohe | January 18, 2009, 3:56pm | #
    12 end up together in a single solar system, the 13th ends up on Earth.

    I didn’t think the 12 colonies were all in the same solar system. (Plus 12 inhabitable planets in the same solar system is a physics hack worse than FTL travel).

    I am pretty sure about the single solar system thing. In the original series is was a binary system to boot.

    Plus, didn’t they say Kobol was also about 2K years removed from the the end of the last sapient settlement?

    I seem to remember something about a 4 or 5000 year old temple that the 13th tribe left in some episode, but I ain’t THAT much of a geek to verify that with any certainty.

  153. Starbuck is a girl on the new show? That’s wack man. Is the Lorne Greene character a midget?

    I’m still waiting for a cameo by Alex Trebek.

    (Reference explained here; full themes [by the late Mort Garson] here.)

  154. an alliterative ass

    I laughed.

  155. I think B5 is the one of only series that has ever done a complete mapping prior to filming, and is rather famous for doing so.

    And even that didn’t work out. They spent most of fifth season with their pants around their ankles doing nothing important, because (irony of ironies) TNT rescued the show from cancellation after season four.

  156. That’s why I’m saying the writers are pulling things out of their ass; they can’t even remember the rules they themselves created for this universe of theirs.

    True of most sci-fi televison.

    BSG is, I would say, more attuned to their rules than most…

    Those inconsistencies present the writers with challenges in wrapping the series up. Any that a too glaring will ruin the ending, small ones will be left unexplained because they are unimportant.

    I think B5 is the one of only series that has ever done a complete mapping prior to filming, and is rather famous for doing so.

    To drop another meaningful-to-geeks-only letter number reference into the discussion, DS9 also had the broad story mapped ahead of time…not episode for episode, but…

  157. I didn’t think the 12 colonies were all in the same solar system. (Plus 12 inhabitable planets in the same solar system is a physics hack worse than FTL travel).

    Could someone please tell Joss Whedon that?

  158. Nope. Remember a couple of seasons ago, there was that thing about how Cylons were supposedly connected to some ethereal Internet, so that what one Cylon knows, all of them know? Or at least all Cylons of the same model.

    No, IIRC I remember the number eight explaining it; they had to *die* in order for the experiences to become downloaded into their model’s “database” and become shared.

    Or at least they weren’t clear on the point. Also, presumably an individual Cylon could cut him/herself off from the ShareNet. Remember how fucking shocked the eights were when they found out that Sharon disagreed with them about lobotomizing the raiders? And Gina’s experiences were not shared with the other sixes?

  159. I do believe LMNOP is correct about the state of cylon telepathy.

    There is even the fact that the “Sharon” on the rebel base ship said she actively downloaded boomers memories in order to understand her better.

  160. I’m sorry but the DS9 mention only infuriates me. I watched that show with ever growing interest and in the middle of their big war the creatures in the wormhole just pop up and save the day. That was bullshit of the highest order (duex ex machina)

  161. I think B5 is the one of only series that has ever done a complete mapping prior to filming, and is rather famous for doing so… …And even that didn’t work out.

    I was unaware of B5 having its whole story arc outlined. I have to agree that it really didn’t work out – BSG has done a better job keeping up the quality even if they’re just winging it.

  162. MNG –

    As a DS9 defender, I will agree I was not happy with the Prophets (aka Wormhole Aliens) showing up to “disappear” a massive Dominion fleet. That being said, I do not consider it quite a deus because the writing could have just made the Federation take DS9 before the minefield went offline.

    I don’t think they added it because they had painted themselves into a corner; the writers wanted to (and did do) some cool shit with the Prophets and the Pah-Wraith.

  163. Or at least they weren’t clear on the point. Also, presumably an individual Cylon could cut him/herself off from the ShareNet.

    That’s the problem: everything is unclear, because the writers don’t have a clear idea of what the hell they’re doing, and they make up new ideas without knowing or caring that it contradicts things they’ve already said.

    The only reason I’m still watching the show is that I’ve already invested so much time into it, I’m not going to drop out with only a few episodes to go. (Note to the overly semantic libertarians reading this: do NOT give me shit about sunk-cost fallacies here.)

  164. do NOT give me shit about sunk-cost fallacies here

    That’s literally the first thing I thought of doing. Ah well. 😉

  165. Never, Jennifer! I am sure that the satisfaction that you will gain from at least seeing how the writers extricate themselves from their lack of planning outweighs the time you’ll spend seeing the last of the shows.

    Anyway, when I was on vacation in TX, the people with whom I was staying introduced me to BSG. It was OK, but I wasn’t overly impressed…but it is engrossing somehow. Like Doritos – not that great but you keep eating them anyway.

  166. Anyway, I stand by saying the Prophets were not deus ex…DS9 didn’t have any intractable problems with conflicting narrative. It may have been a stupid plot point and coincidentally involved gods, but it wasn’t properly deus ex.

  167. I ain’t THAT much of a geek to verify that with any certainty.

    I am 🙂 (and it’s halftime)

    I guess they are all in the same system according to this. And it’s not only just that that being in a single star system violates what we think the principles of planetary formation. (btw whedon’s hack around this was to use extreme terraforming) . Why FTL travel if your in a single solar system? It’s like using a 767 to go from Baltimore to DC. And even if the time savings was worth it, why didn’t anyone use FTL to somewhere else? Was it like the 15th century ming dynasty where they had the technology but declined to use it? And last, if they did not often traverse ‘open space’, they seem to be awfully good at it.

    Ah the game’s starting again. The exodus from Kobol was about 2,000 years before the events of the current BSG.

  168. I misread the end of Neu Mej’s post. The temple of the five with the eye of jupiter was 4K years old.

  169. Oh I liked DS9 a great deal, up until that bullshit.

    And I think it can pass as deux ex machina which is “”an improbable contrivance in a story characterized by a sudden unexpected solution to a seemingly intractable problem.”

    They built and built this threat from the Dominion and built the alliances for the Federation, and then as the battle (the intractable problem) is about to happen poof supernatural hijinks ensue (the unexpected solution) and the bad guys are gone .

  170. They wrote themselves into the intractableness when the minefield is destroyed. Suddenly the Defiant is facing an unbeatable Dominion fleet and the Bajorian Prophets who have been watching all this shit suddenly just magically make the fleet dissappear. If you did that shit in Creative Writing class I think they would throw you out of class.

    I wanted to kick their asses for that one.

  171. yeah, but MNG, like I said, that problem is easily fixed in the writing by making the outcome slightly different: perhaps the Defiant ends up targeting the area where the Dominion is disabling the minefield or something.

    I mean, think about it: a deus is usually used to solve an “intractable” problem in the narrative of the entire story. If the writers wanted to avoid a deus, they had the entire story mapped out from the beginning.

    I think the Prophets were fucking lame, and I never liked the “Emissary” part of the story line, but I still stick by it not being a deus. The writers saw the problem you’re highlighting a mile a way and they proceeded regardless.

  172. I mean, do you think that they wrote 45 minutes of the episode and went “oh shit, we don’t have time to rewrite…fuck it, we’ll just throw the Prophets in there and call it day”?? I don’t believe that. I believe that the Prophets were intended to intervene in the war the entire time…else why have the last episode be so focused on them?

  173. It would be like in the Song of Roland if angels came down and carried Roland and his men away from harms way or struck dead the non-Christian forces

  174. Check this out! “under God” is missing from the new dollar coin. Sad, Sad, Sad.

    http://wwwconserveme.blogspot.com/

  175. It never sounded like they’d thought out the story arc for the season, let alone multiple seasons.

    Lost was supposedly planned for a five year run, yet it seems much more like they write that thing episode by episode.

  176. Ah the game’s starting again. The exodus from Kobol was about 2,000 years before the events of the current BSG.

    Kolohe | January 18, 2009, 5:03pm | #
    I misread the end of Neu Mej’s post. The temple of the five with the eye of jupiter was 4K years old.

    Those two don’t seem to line up.

    How was the eye of jupiter built showing the way to earth 2,000 years before the exodus that landed them at Earth?

    I’ll buy that the 13th tribe consisted of Cylons created by the lords of Kobol and that they destroyed themselves right after arrival, but there seems to be a timeline problem if the exodus happened 2,000 years after the building of the eye of jupiter.

  177. DS9’s ending was part of the original story arc that was laid out ahead of time. If you watch the first episode and the last episode it is clear where they are heading, imho.

    The problem the writers faced was figuring out a dilemma that required the wormhole aliens intervention, not the other way around.

  178. (Note to the overly semantic libertarians reading this: do NOT give me shit about sunk-cost fallacies here.)

    Wouldn’t pedantic be the word you’re looking for there rather than “semantic?” (snicker, snicker)

  179. MNG, that you have referenced the season 2 episode, Bushido, greatly increases my respect for you.

    Whilst I believe that you would be wrong in describing Miami Vice (2006) as a rocking movie, you would be correct in saying that it started as a great episode of Vice and was very well shot. Pity about the “love” sequence in the middle, the overly long/muddled plotting, and the lack of car chases. Was pretty damn enjoyable though, and transcended the crappy writing/character stereotypes etc.

  180. What living artist gets paid $50k for a portrait?

  181. What living artist gets paid $50k for a portrait?

    Apparently a well-connected one.

  182. The question is not IF there will be an interdiction of Obama’s Presidency by the Supreme Court, the questions are WHEN and HOW that interdiction will transpire – that is, if the USA is to continue as the Constitutional Republic that now exists.

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