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About RogerW

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  • Birthday 12/18/1966

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  1. Happy Birthday to RogerW

    Thanks for the birthday wishes Betsy, Brain, and PhilO. My day job has kept me from new writing (or even visiting the FORUM as much as I would like). I am working with an Editor to slowly clean book for final publishing.
  2. Start

    Styg50, I thought the prose was wonderfully clean, vivid and easy to read. The descriptions and dialog flowed without being contrived. Very well done. I see being on the boat fixing a busted motor. Here are my few Simon Cowell comments: 1. Names for the HE and SHE characters would have helped me connect better. 2. Some visual description of the characters early on would help me visualize them with the same vividness as the surroundings. 3. An early hint of the crux of the story would have helped know why I should continue reading. (aside form the great prose). Just one little sentence would do it. 4. Finally, what was the fundamental question or moral issue faced by the characters. The boat was broken, they worked hard and fixed it, end of story. Of couse, as Brian points out, that may push you towards a longer story. Thanks for shoeboxing this here, I hope you have more stories to post.
  3. Congratulations Paul and Michelle!
  4. Why I’d be a Muslim

    Brian, I'm not sure I got this one, but I laughed out loud just the same! 'The Muffin and the Muslim,' I can see whole series of illustrated children stories.
  5. Introduction

    Welcome Ryan.
  6. MP3 players!

    I spent years looking for the right mp3 player. Now I have an ipod Touch, and I love it. I use it for much more than MP3s. In addition to checking out THE FORUM, its great for pictures and you tube. I do not own much music, which kept m3 from buying an MP3 for a long time, but I have enjoyed a number of Podcasts... and its just cool. (My only complaint is that it came in a box with John Lennon on the cover.) Good Luck.
  7. Greetings!

    Welcome Peter. I have been here for about two months, and I have enjoyed it a lot. Do any particular discussion topics peek your interest? Roger
  8. Introduction

    My view of India may be somewhat rosy. I have experienced it through the eyes of other IIT graduates who wanted me to know the very best of what India had to offer. Still, I run a team of about 15 developers in Puna, and I find their bright hope for the future inspiring. They lack the cynicism common in the US. I recognize the accomplishment of being a student at IIT. I understand that admittance to IIT is only achieved by the very best of the best of the best. It is like MIT, only harder to gain admittance. The IIT grads I have met have accomplished great things. Sadly, too many Americans agree with your country men. While they are content to enjoy the benefits of industrialization, they still proclaim the virtues of worm-eaten hovels; particularly as it pertains to the environment.
  9. The Aristotle Reaction Chronicles

    Part III of The Aristotle Reaction is posted on a new thread available for member’s only. If you are logged in, you can access it here: The Aristotle Reaction Chronicles (Part III). If you are not a member, and you have tracked this far in the story, you can either join, or send an email to, and I will make sure you are able to finish the story. Thanks Betsy for setting up the new forum that enables authors to post to THE FORUM without having the works permanently archived in the public domain. Roger
  10. Introduction

    Welcome Miheer, I have had the good fortune to visit Mumbai on several occasions. I have found India to be experiencing a renaissance. There is great energy and optimism for the future. It is this optimism in the people I have met that excites me. They have a genuine interest in ideas that is uncommon in America outside of forums like this. Real change happens when the values of the people change, this occurs long before changes to government bureaucracy. I see the seeds of great things in India. I’m looking forward to your perspective. Roger
  11. The Aristotle Reaction Chronicles

    Episode 24 will be delayed while I sort out the best way to proceed with posting the story. Thanks in large part to the great feedback I have received on the Forum, I now have some hopes that the story could be published for a wider audience. Given this goal, it would be best if the entire story was not publicly available in one place. I'll sort this out and resume posting an a day or two. Thanks again to all who have been tracking along to this point. Roger
  12. Agreed. A clean environment is the benefit of Capitalism's wealth. What a wonderful thing it is to have a life so prosperous that one's biggest concern is that the sky is not as blue as it could be, or that the grass is not as green as one would hope. The Environmentalist should give thanks, but they won't so I'll do it for them; Thanks Capitalism!
  13. The Aristotle Reaction Chronicles

    Tito, Yep, that is it. Oleksandr built the simulator after reading the book. Someday I hope to have a version you can play. It is very cool! The project originated from the thread below. brainstorming
  14. The Aristotle Reaction Chronicles

    The Aristotle Reaction Chronicles, Episode 24. Henry, I wish I had some good news, but it appears that professor Milford and his ilk have won the day. With no one willing or able to speak out for the Objective corner, the world will slowly sink into the mystic and subjective corners, and the light of western civilization will fade into the bleak eternal night of a new dark age. Chapter 64. Jake stepped out of his room and immediately sensed something was different. The normally busy halls were empty. Outside he saw only two armed soldiers quietly patrolling the dorms. The sounds of commotion emanated from the university square and drew him in that direction. He rounded the administration building and saw the largest campus rally he had ever seen, thousands of students gathered around a platform in the middle of the square. News cameras were stationed for the best vantage of the platform. Edward's banner, "Keep America Free - Support our Troops" was strategically placed for maximum exposure. Several impressive military vehicles with the initials B.A.T. were also positioned in line of the cameras. Alongside Students for A Green Tomorrow, other groups were present with signs supporting their causes. End Hate. End AR. Intolerance is Terrorism. AR is Terrorism. A group of parents stood with a sign reading, "Stop Terrorizing our Children!" Most students were merely spectators, listening to the speakers, and taking in the spectacle. They had seen the news reports and came to be a part of history. Speakers from many groups were energizing the crowd from the podium. As Jake approached, a woman in a tie-dyed shirt was speaking. "…And I am so proud of you for coming out to support the troops who are bravely defending us against the threat of terrorism at home. It takes real courage to look terrorism in the eye and say, 'We will not be intimidated! We will not back down! We will win the war on terror, and we are starting right here at home!'" Thunderous applause roared. An older man in a red beret got up to take the stand. "I am Jim Tuttle, representing the Workers United for Peace, free speech permit number 53. I am proud to represent the 53rd group to post our Readers Rights statement and obtain a free speech permit. Nothing is more important because each day millions of American workers are subject to the terrorism of Big business. They go to bed with the terrifying reality that they could lose their job. They live in constant fear that their families and futures rely on the discretion of a few fat-cat executives. Please join us in supporting a new resolution in congress that will further expand the definition of terrorism to include the outsourcing of US jobs overseas." Again, a thunderous round of applause exploded. A woman with very short blond hair stepped up to the microphone. "The Students for Gender Studies, free speech permit number 23,232, are here to draw your attention to the issue of Gender Terrorism. Around the world women face the quiet terrorism of gender discrimination. Be it the honor killings in the Middle East or the unequal pay in the corporate world, women everywhere face the terror of a male dominated world. We ask you all to join our fight against gender terrorism." This speech brought shouts of support from the women in the audience and a polite clap from confused males. Next a man with a long black pony tail stood before the crowd. "My name is Kawacatoose and I speak for the Association of Native Americans, permit number 5349. We of the Native American community are glad to see America finally bring attention to the issue of domestic terrorism. No group, race or culture has suffered more terrorism than the tribes of the American Indians. We support these efforts to end the kind of hate propagated by these AR Terrorists. Their game fosters discrimination and hatred for the American Indian. It is time to end the culture of intolerance that this game has rekindled in America." More applause ensued. Jake was startled when the next person to take the podium was Vinod. "My Name is Vinod Patel of Poona, India. I am very honored for the privilege to study in your country as I have long admired your freedom. Today is a very sad day for me. I am witness to the end of free speech in your country. What you have labeled as 'intellectual terrorism' is nothing more than free speech. To present your ideas, in any form, is free speech. To register with the government for permission to speak is not! The AR game is not Terrorism, it is free speech. People are not forced to play." A student from the back of the crowd with a laptop computer called out "Hey, what is your free speech permit number? I can't find you on the registry." Vinod did not acknowledge the man, but continued on with his point. "You have equated the concept of 'terrorism,' with political correctness, and you have made it a crime to express any idea with which another might disagree." There was a general murmuring in the crowd, as people looked around uncomfortably. On stage a cell phone rang, and Jake spotted Edward answering and then disappearing behind the podium. Vinod continued to address the anxious crowd. "I have played this AR game to the highest levels. I can attest that it does not undermine American values. It shows the tremendous life-improving consequences of true freedom and it shows the disastrous life condemning results of ending freedom, as you are doing here today." Behind Vinod there was a sudden commotion as two uniformed police officers and Edward appeared from behind. Vinod turned, as the officers said something that could not be heard, but Vinod's reply was clear. "No, I will not step down, not until I have finished speaking." The officers reacted swiftly, one pushed Vinod's head forward against the podium while the other twisted his arms behind his back. Over the microphone you heard the muffled voices of the officers, "You are under arrest for public speaking without a proper permit. You have not made a declaration of intent and ideological affiliation. You are violating the listener's rights of every member of this audience." Vinod realizing he could still speak into the microphone started to address the crowd, "Is this really what you want, an end to free speech in Ameri…" The microphone was suddenly cut off. The officers finished cuffing Vinod and carried him away through the stunned crowd. Students stood looking at each other, not sure what to do next. Jake pushed his way through the crowd and intercepted the police men carrying Vinod as he refused to walk or cooperate in any way. The look on his face startled Jake. It was his usual broad grin. "What can I do?" shouted Jake as he neared. "Don't worry about me, I'll be fine. These police have helped make my point much better than any speech." Vinod's last words trailed off as he was carried away through the murmuring crowd. Edward, seeing the confusion in the audience, jumped forward to the microphone, to fill the silence. "Don't be fooled ladies and gentlemen. That man had the same opportunity as everyone else to declare his ideology. Clearly he has something to hide. Let's hear a big round of applause for the brave men in blue who have just protected all of our listener's rights." There was a smattering of applause, but most onlookers were unsettled by the event. Jake was horrified at applause offered for the forcible restraint of free speech. He felt compelled to take action, to do something to voice his objection, but he was paralyzed with indecision. He knew that he should get to the microphone and add his voice to Vinod's, but his legs refused to move. The chance had finally come for him to make a persuasive argument at a time when it really mattered but his mind was blank, paralyzed by the thought that he too might be arrested. I should not sacrifice myself. He thought, trying to justify his lack of action. I must be rational, and look out for my own self interest, that was the lesson he'd taken to heart these past weeks. Seconds turned to minutes and Jake stood frozen while his self esteem melted. He had followed the moral code that Vinod had encouraged, yet had not followed himself. The result for Jake was self loathing rather than happiness. He'd been practical and preserved himself, yet he felt miserable. Slowly the crowd began to thin, but still Jake stood enveloped in self doubt. "I've been a fool," he thought, 'and everyone else has paid the price.' He remained free and unharmed, but his new ethic of self interest had brought only self loathing. His quest for answers was mired in confusion. In the back of his mind he heard Milford's voice, 'The point, young man, is to spare idealistic dreamers from wasting their time looking for definitive answers where there are none to be found.' Milford was right. Suddenly he felt the desire to be far away from the university and the madness of the rally. With no destination in mind, he started to walk. He needed to move, to be doing something, anything other than just standing there regretting his inactions. Vinod's words hours earlier kept running through his mind "Someday you may regret that when action was needed, you did nothing." That someday had already come. Chapter 65. Tori stepped into Marcus's large office. A small couch and sitting area caught her eye and drew it back to a large desk. Behind the desk was a massive stylized painting of the Greek god Apollo riding his golden chariot across a brilliant sky towing the blazing sun. The furnishings, like the chariot, were rounded, aerodynamic and flowing in the distinctive art deco style common to the building. She settled into the soft couch, to wait for the Director. In this quiet moment her thoughts turned to her family and the pain their lack of support caused her. She had not contacted them, and despite her feelings, she thought it cruel not to let them know she was safe. She vowed to call. She thought of Jake, and wanted to call and share her incredible discovery, but knew it was impossible. The secrets of the Stewards were a heavy burden and they would not allow her to confide in Jake or another soul outside the Order. She quietly steeled her emotions to this fate, knowing that her decision to stay would extract a heavy price in years ahead. She could not allow herself to have deeper feelings for Jake. It would be a mistake for her and unfair to him; they could have no future together. With a strange sense of déjà vu and growing impatience, she stood to explore the room. Wooden shelves lined the walls with old books and artifacts. One item in particular caught her eye, a two foot tall statue of a girl dancing. It was a frozen moment of joy and motion. The artist captured every subtle curve in white marble, giving life to a single instant of pure pleasure. She was startled, when a voice behind her said, "Do you like it?" "It is exquisite." "Yes, it is special," said Marcus in a tone that implied its great personal value. "It really belongs in the vault, but I like it here, close to me." Tori considered probing deeper, but chose a different question, "How did you become a Steward?" "They found me much like we found you," he said. "I was a biologist pushing the boundaries of human knowledge and applying it to improving lives. But the population was not ready. I was denounced as a criminal and my creation declared an abomination. It was then that the Stewards retrieved me. When I completed my training I realized that, despite all man's progress, he has not risen far enough from the dark ages to embrace my discoveries. I then set aside the physical sciences and took up the cause of moving mankind to the objective corner in the hopes that a future scientist could revive my work for the benefit of a culture that would embrace it." Tori was confused. She too had been renounced, and she too was ready to fight, but Marcus was retreating. She asked, "Why are you shutting down the game. There are thousands of players eager to learn more. You're making progress, why stop now?" Marcus's faced turned from kindly mentor to stern leader. "Tori, if we continue we will be discovered and shut down before we are prepared. Even if the game allows us to recruit the students, it would take years to teach the ideas needed to reverse the momentum of America's decaying culture. I know you have learned a lot and you feel empowered, but it is more complicated than you realize. We need to re-group. It is the game's very success that has caused this problem." "Is the game's only purpose to recruit players?" "Yes, the game allows us to find those sympathetic to our view. We have used similar methods for years. We undertake scholastic projects that allow us to find the very brightest. In the past we scanned thousands of essays looking for those with potential. We didn't reveal our true purpose until we were sure the student has the strength and independence to join us, we are looking for leaders not followers. The process takes years." "You did not spend years to recruit me," pressed Tori. Marcus paused, then said, "I made an exception with you; time did not permit the normal course. Was I wrong to select you?" "No, I am willing to join the fight," said Tori firmly, "but if you end the game, there will be nothing to join." "Tori, I understand your disappointment. We all had great expectations." "I can't understand why you won't stand and fight now. Who cares if your organization is discovered? What harm could it do? You have incredible resources here. Why keep them hidden?" "We only have these incredible resources because we have kept them hidden. Had they been found, they would have been burned or destroyed. Our secret ways have kept these ideas alive in the face of a hostile culture." "What good are the resources locked in your basement? Let your ideas out, let people see your documents and study the map. It would help so many people understand things better. I only wish I had seen it when I studied philosophy, it would have spared me a lot of grief." Marcus stood fully upright; Tori could see him struggle to retain his composure. "The map cannot be released to the public. Some would understand it, but others, like your professor Milford, would twist the meaning, water down the message, and use it to serve their ends, not ours." "But if Aristotle's ideas are so beneficial, why wouldn't everyone, including the professors, accept them, once they understand them? Why wouldn't everyone want to improve their lives? " "As a history major you should understand that those with a vested interest in the status quo don't want change. Some men have always sought a short cut to success by seeking the power to rule other men. Such a man wants others to obey his commands, not agree with his ideas. They want the power to control others; the power to be above the constraints of reality. Do you know the best way to gain power over others?" "Threaten them," replied Tori. "No, fear and force are the second choice even for the most ardent dictator. Think of the Map and history, the answer is there." Tori visualized the triangular map, seeing each corner and recalling the attributes that followed from the axioms. "Well, I guess it would be much simpler if men voluntarily agreed to follow you. Like what I was trying in my thesis. That would result from the Mystic corner." "Exactly!" he exclaimed while marveling at how quickly Tori merged the game lessons with the map concepts. Marcus continued, "There is a simple four part formula for tyranny that has been administered by every high priest, dictator and petty bureaucrat. First frighten men into believing the world is cruel, random, and uncertain. Second claim blind faith is the path to peace and truth; faith in God, or society, or government, it does not matter, so long as men reject their own reason and judgment. Next convince men that their highest moral virtue is sacrifice; sacrifice for heaven, or neighbors, or nature, or anything but their own gain. Finally institutionalize this sacrifice in the form of a government with the power to extract it from anyone unwilling to give it. "Men are easily ruled when they accept that the world is unknowable and they are helpless. First they sacrifice their judgment, then their happiness, and finally the lives of all who disagree. From Communist purging to Nazi death camps; from the Catholic Inquisitions to the Islamic Jihad, this same insidious poison, in its many forms has been the root cause. "Aristotle's philosophy is the antidote. It shows men a world governed by natural laws that is consistent and knowable. It shows that life is an end in itself and man should pursue his own happiness, guided by his own rational judgment. It shows that honesty, integrity, pride, and independence are the essential virtues of a successful life. Finally it shows that men wishing to live such a life need to enact a system of government with the sole purpose of protecting each man's right to his life and property. "Aristotle is a threat to those men who seek power over others. Freedom, reason, pride, independence, and the law of identity are all threats. To them, the dark ages are preferable to the enlightenment. They longingly seek the power of dictatorship, the power to rule others, and would drive their countries into ruin to have it. "We cannot reveal ourselves openly until we have the strength to ensure our ideas are taught as they were intended. In a way that will stand up to the countless attacks they will endure from the political and academic elite." "But this is America," implored Tori, "Surely, you are not going to be hunted down and killed just because you have an idea 'they' don't like." "It is true that death or physical persecution is not a great threat in America, but there are other ways to squelch an intellectual movement." "Like what?" She insisted. "You of all people should know. Look at how your thesis and reputation were attacked because you came too close to the truth." Dumbstruck, she opened her mouth to respond, but the words did not come. Marcus was right. The entire course of events was not an innocent misunderstanding, but a deliberate attack by her professors to discredit her and her thesis. She was livid and her skin crawled with a desire to lash out at the perpetrators. She clenched her fists and took a deep breath trying to hold her composure, but at last she erupted in the only way she could. "If that is the worst they have, let them bring it on. I would rather have them drag my name through the mud a thousand times than to let them get away with it. Let's show the map and fight them in the open." "I admire your courage, Tori. You were wronged, and it is proper that you should seek justice. But without a clear plan for success it would be futile. You are not alone in thinking that we should reveal ourselves and the map. It is an issue we have debated in every generation. In fact we once did reveal ourselves. It is an important lesson, which you should learn." "What happened?" asked Tori. "Alexander Alvertius created the map in the eleventh century. He decided it would finally tip the balance and allow us to break the grip of fear, superstition and faith that held the population fixed to the church. We were over two hundred strong, and began to openly teach our ideas to all who would listen. Our goal was to start 'the Aristotle reaction;' the effect that Aristotle's ideas would have on mankind if enough people were to embrace them. The ideas would reach a tipping point within the population and then spill onto the mainstream. The result would be an unprecedented standard of living as economic freedom spread and men created ever expanding technology to improve their lives." "Indeed our teaching had some impact on the youth, but we underestimated the time it would take to bring change, and we did not consider the response of the church." "The map was a direct threat to church authority and equally to the kings and feudal lords who claimed their thrones by divine right. They all had a vested interest in seeing that all knowledge of Aristotle, identity, and the map were wiped from the earth. Our movement that entirely dispensed with God was a far greater threat than any schism in church theology." "The churches response was swift and harsh. They infiltrated our simple schools and branded our teachers and students as heretics. Most were killed when they refused to recant their beliefs. Many were martyred, in horrible deaths inflicted by the church. Their suffering rivals any endured by the Church's Saints." "Alvertius himself endured horrendous torture as the inquisitors insisted he denounce the very thing he had created. When he would not recant and declare allegiance to God he was sentenced to burn, not in a raging fire of swift death but on a slow burning bed of hot coals. He lived three agonizing days, and just before he died, he shouted out a call for the Stewards to avenge his death. He swore that the map would be revealed to bring an end to the church." "The few Stewards that survived set out to preserve what remained of the library and keep it safe from the church. From that moment we began to rebuild, planning for the day when we would reveal ourselves again. Alexander's last words became a battle cry. 'The Aristotle reaction will not die with me. The map will prevail.'" Tori had been listening in silence but suddenly looked up. "I have heard of the Aristotle Reaction," she said, with a faint recollection. "That is not possible," confirmed Marcus calmly, "that saying is known only to the Stewards." "I am certain I heard it a few weeks ago as part of a campus rumor. Something like that was shouted by a man just before he fell to his death from the Golden Gate Bridge. I was told he said, 'The Aristotle reaction will not die with me. The Map will prevail. You are cursed, but your progeny may be spared from your evasion.'" Marcus was dumbfounded. The last part of this quote was exactly as Alvertius had stated. "Who told you this?" he asked sharply. "I heard it from a student who claimed he witnessed it. During the Trade Summit last June an extremist fanatic supposedly attacked the demonstrators, and they killed him in self defense. They figured the police would not believe them, so rather than report it; they decided to throw the body off the bridge. But just as they were heaving him over, he regained consciousness, and before he fell, he shouted those words. Nobody knew exactly what it meant, but those involved came to believe they were cursed." Tori watched Marcus suddenly take a deep breath and close his eyes tightly. After a moment they reopened, sad, misty, and familiar. Suddenly Tori connected the words 'Aristotle,' and the 'Map.' The complete picture emerged. "He was The Maker, wasn't he?" She asked. "Yes," said Marcus quietly, "he was my son." Tori was shocked but had to ask, "His final plea was a call to reveal the philosophy map, wasn't it?" "He and I had a heated argument on the subject just before he left a few days before the summit. He insisted it was the only way to make a sustained impact. He believed the game in conjunction with the map would be enough to start the reaction. I disagreed. He left the room and never returned. I could only assume our argument had caused him to leave me and the Stewards. I never imagined that he was murdered." Marcus put his hands in his pockets and stared at the floor, collecting his thoughts. Tori sensed the she was imposing on his private grief and she turned to leave. "Wait," said Marcus fighting to remain composed. "It is a risk we all take. He was fighting for a better world; it was something he was willing to die for." Marcus placed his hand firmly on Tori's shoulder, "Tori, I must apologize for putting you in this predicament. I had no idea it would come to this. I am going to ask of you something I have no right to. I must request that when you leave us, you do not mention a word of what you have seen or heard. Our lives and the future of our ideas depend on it." "You're sending me away?" ask Tori anxiously. "Yes," confirmed Marcus, "But I promise, when the time is right we will find you and start again." "But your son's dying request was that the map be released. How can you ignore that? He is the one most responsible for giving you a fighting chance to have an influence. You cannot simply let that chance slip now." "I have no choice, I have pledged to be a Steward of the Identity Axiom and it is my duty to protect our twenty-four centuries of accumulated knowledge, so it can be shared with future generations." "What about this generation - your son's generation? Your knowledge is not doing the world any good sitting in your basement. Your son gave his life fighting for a better world. If this game has taught me anything, it's that we must encourage the ideas we value. The game still gives you some influence, you cannot lose it." Marcus strained to maintain his poise against a mounting internal conflict. Tori was using his own son to argue for the very things he reviewed in his own mind a thousand times. Was he giving up too easily? Would they be better off letting their existence be known and fighting for their ideas in public. Thousands of years of tradition warned him to keep the map secret and to wait for a better time. His son, however, whose efforts gave them their last hope, said otherwise. "It's too late" said Marcus, now arguing more against himself than Tori. "We don't have the resources to release the map. It would take hundreds of trained teachers and an audience willing to learn. Now there are just six of us." "Why don't you just expose the Map in the game? Let the players learn it as a means to advance. Players eagerly soak up useful information. They have emptied the library of history and philosophy books in the hope of finding some clues. They pay for lessons from the best players. You may not have an audience willing to study philosophy, but legions of players, like me, are eager to learn how to advance in your game." "The game was not intended for training." said Marcus, "It is a recruiting tool. But even if we wanted to take that approach it is impossible. My son was the only person with the technical skills to make changes; no one else knows the code. " "But Todd and Elizabeth understand the game. They can do it!" "They can support the network and database, but they are not programmers." "Why don't you find new programmers to expose the map? Many others could do this." "Out of the question," said Marcus hastily. "But I know people who could help," pleaded Tori. "No, we have already broken every tradition by allowing you here, and it threatens our future." "Your tradition and history are a bigger liability than an asset. You are so focused on preserving your past that you are missing the future. You are too timid in your moves to have any success." Tori's words struck Marcus like a thunder clap; he had heard them before, his son had argued for this time and again. In that moment Marcus realized that his son, Alex, was not coming back, and Tori needed to know the full truth. Marcus searched for the words to tell her the most difficult thing he had ever had to say. Tori watched an internal struggle play out on Marcus's face. Suddenly she felt horribly embarrassed to be pressing so hard on a man who just learned of his son's death. She could imagine nothing worse. "I am sorry," she said, "I had no right. I guess I don't understand. I should leave." Marcus looked at her, like a father to a daughter. "Tori, I have something to tell you, something I should have said sooner, but I just could not be sure the time was right …" Marcus's words were abruptly interrupted by a knock at the door. Elizabeth burst into the room. "Come quick, there is breaking news that you must see now." Chapter 66. Tori and Marcus rushed down the hall following Elizabeth. She turned and entered a sophisticated media room were the small staff was fixated on a wall of TV monitors, each tuned to a different news program. The center screen flashed the headline, "A Blow to Intellectual Terrorists." Allen turned up the volume. In a surprise move, the President signed two new bills extending America's arsenal in the war on terror. The first bill protects Americans from the threat of intellectual terrorism by creating the Bureau of Free Speech charged with protecting listeners by issuing free speech permits to registered individuals and organizations who wish to exercise their first amendment rights. The second bill gives the Bureau of Anti-Terrorism new powers to fight intellectual terrorist. The law expands the definition of terrorism to include over thirty new acts and gives the bureau authority to investigate and seize the property of suspects without warrant. The bill will further expedite prosecution of terrorists by classifying them as 'illegal combatants' to be tried in a military tribunal. Before signing the bills into law, the President said, "Terrorism has made our world fearful and uncertain for our children, but the public has shown their willingness to sacrifice for our safety. Their faith in our government's ability to protect the common good will lead to a better, safer America, and these laws will assure we capture and prosecute all terrorists who seek to undermine our values." Senator Jim Taylor of Nebraska was quoted as saying, "The two bureaus, one of free speech and one of anti-terrorism, will work hand in hand to keep America safe. The first protects our right to not be deceived and the second prosecutes the violators. Together these new laws bring unprecedented security to our country." Democrats and Republicans in both houses applauded the bill as a non-partisan step to ensure a safer America. Around the country political and faith based organizations scrambled to register their ideologies with the new Bureau of Free Speech. However, not all support this new law. A newly formed advocacy group called 'Citizens for American Freedom' claimed the law is unconstitutional and vowed to fight it all the way to the Supreme Court. In response to this claim Bruce McPherson, Deputy Director of the B.A.T said "the advocacy group had every right to express their views so long as they are consistent with their registered ideology, and in compliance with the new disclosure laws." The director went on to say that, 'opposing the law was un-patriotic, and only benefited terrorists.' He questioned the motives of the groups behind Citizens for American Freedom and he promised to investigate any 'irregularities.'" In a show of support for the laws, a rally was held at the California University at the center of the intellectual terrorism crises. Many newly registered organizations exercised their free speech permits to declare support for the new laws and the Bureau of Anti-Terrorism." Tori was surprised to see the familiar university square on the screen with thousands of students gathered around a podium. "The rally ended abruptly when an independent and un-registered speaker attempted to violate the listener's rights of the crowd. He was quickly apprehended and admitted ties to a suspected intellectual terrorist organization." The screen showed the speaker being carried away, and Tori recognized him at once. At that moment, she made the connection between an Indian student rumored to have the highest scores on campus and Jake's friend, the one who said 'philosophy was more practical than computer programming.' The commentator continued speaking before a still image of the handcuffed speaker being forcibly carried away by the police. Marcus turned off the TV and looked up at his colleagues, "Free speech has ended. This changes everything." End of PART II
  15. This is supposed to be a joke, but I wish America could be so proud of its industrialization, almost. LOL!