Flame on! John Riehle, aka "T-1000" Flame on!

Written: 2002.01.15

[Editor's note: John Riehle reminds me of Daniel Rodgers, aka "Visionrazor". He's pretty cocky, and he seems to think that if I've never responded to his dumb-ass arguments, I must be afraid of them (don't any of these idiots realize that I get dozens of E-mails every damned day?). I received this E-mail on January 3, 2002, shortly after I demolished Gothmog]

I am T-1000 from the Comic Book Rumbles Board, and I have emailed you multiple times with evidence regarding Star Wars vs Star Trek. Each time I have, you have never provided any sort of rebuttal, which would indicate that I am right.

I have emailed you before, and I have no intention of calling you a jerk, being rude in our debates, or of waisting your time.

If you would like to debate a halfway intelligent Trekkie some time, as opposed to all these losers you keep beating to make yourself look good, let me know.

[Editor's note: Ah, so my failure to respond indicates that he is right, and not that his arguments are too stupid to bother refuting? What a pinhead. Isn't it funny how these people can always see that everybody else in my Hate Mail page is an idiot, but they can't see it in the mirror? He could see Gothmog's weakness so easily, and I have the feeling that Gothmog could see his weakness very easily, but each newcomer seems to think he's the one who will somehow take the same old, worn arguments and make them unstoppable. I checked out my inbox for old messages with his name on it, and I found the following:]

I am sorry sir, I must have mistaken you for a reasonable intellect. Common mistake when dealing with warsies apparently.

Federation ships have already displayed the ability to remodulate their weapons, something which, given the threat of Borg assimilation, is very reasonable to assume that they have perfected. The Empire has never shown the ability to remodulate their weapons, nor are they in the habit of doing so. Moreover there is no evidence to support any theory that they could if they had to, which given the theat of the Borg, they would have to. Besides, if you bother to watch that battle scene, it was stated that all those Federation ships were doing was causing damage to the outer hull of the Borg cube. It was stated in Next Generation that a Borg cube could continue to function effectivly even if seventy eight percent of it was inopperable or destroyed. Meanwhile, the Borg cube had engaged Federation ships long before reaching Earth, and that was ALL the damage that they had caused the Borg cube. A SINGLE cube. In a war where the Borg redirected all their resources towards assimilating the Empire, the Empire is dead.

More so because of the exsistence of time travel. Yes, it is unfair to give the Borg such a huge advantage, but I don't really care. The Borg faced the Federation and despite inflicting massive damage on the Federation, were unable to totally assimilate them. So, the Borg just went back in time and assimilated them in the past. They could do the exact same thing with the Empire, and there wouldn't be a single thing that the Empire could do to stop them.

[Editor's note: Pretty generic stuff, isn't it? He starts with an insult, then he goes on to add the usual "remodulation" nonsense (see the relevant Myths page), he repeats the Cult of Borg mantra that you need to destroy 78% of a Borg cube to kill it even though the STFC cube blew up with a miniscule fraction of that damage, and he uses the infamous Trekkie Time Travel Cop-out™ argument (see my Favourite Trekkie Arguments page).]


[Editor's note: I ignored him, so he bothered me again on January 6:]

I will say it again. If you are tired of the spacebabbies, and are willing to debate with an actually intelligent person, all I can say is bring it on. I once again, offically challenge you to a debate via email or a message board.

For the record, I will not go away if you continue to ignore me, in case you might foolishly believe that.

So what say you? What do you have to loose?

[Editor's note: He was starting to get on my nerves, and I was just about done ripping up IXJac, so I decided to respond. I figured I might as well humour his foolish demand for a debate, but I figured I'd play some games with him first, so I tried to get his goat by telling him that he was unworthy :)]

You can always send your criticisms to me, and I can always debate you informally. But frankly, you are not worthy of a formal debate. A formal debate implies some unusually important situation, and you're a nobody. If you had ever sent anything interesting to me, I would have remembered you. I don't.

For the record, I will not go away if you continue to ignore me, in case you might foolishly believe that.

You obviously think you're a threat to me. Everyone does, until it's too late and they end up stuffed and mounted on my trophy page.

So what say you? What do you have to loose?

Nothing. Unfortunately, since you're a nobody, I have little to gain either. I want hunting trophies, and I'd rather bag big game than a stray raccoon.


[Editor's note: He responded almost immediately.]

I guess you have a very selective memory. You like to remember all the idiots on your page who you can shoot down easily, but it would burn you to debate with an intelligent person. I have emailed you multiple times with critisims about the conclusions made on your webpage. Each time you try to defend your arguments, I rebuttle, and you don't bother to respond. I can see where you would try to forget something like that.

[Editor's note: I like this part. He assumes that since I have no idea who he is, he can make up lies about past correspondence. However, a search through my mailbox reveals that I've never sent anything back to him until now]

[Quoted] "You obviously think you're a threat to me. Everyone does, until it's too late and they end up stuffed and mounted on my trophy page."

Ha! If you are so confident, then why do you try to pretend that I am not worthy of your time. Just because you beat a bunch of idiots and post them on your wall of shame, does not mean that you are some kind of debate God on the internet.

I am from the Comic Book Resources, and while I am sure that means nothing to you, it does mean that I have experiance in debate. I have thoroughly researched the matter of Star Trek vs Star Wars, and I have formally challenged you on three occasions now, I believe.

[Quoted] "I want hunting trophies, and I'd rather bag big game than a stray raccoon."

Obviously, you are more interested in animals that look good on your wall than animals that you had to work hard to catch.

[Editor's note: Time to reel this fish in:]

You obviously have a rather inflated ego. Send me your list of criticisms, then.

Ha! If you are so confident, then why do you try to pretend that I am not worthy of your time. Just because you beat a bunch of idiots and post them on your wall of shame, does not mean that you are some kind of debate God on the internet.

I never claimed to be a God. I just chose the right position, and that makes it very easy to defend. The people who chose the other position are fools, and that's not my problem.

I am from the Comic Book Resources, and while I am sure that means nothing to you, it does mean that I have experiance in debate. I have thoroughly researched the matter of Star Trek vs Star Wars, and I have formally challenged you on three occasions now, I believe.

Fine. Send me your arguments, since they were so powerful that I didn't even remember them from before.

Obviously, you are more interested in animals that look good on your wall than animals that you had to work hard to catch."

Again you work hard to pat yourself on the back for something you have yet to accomplish. Send me your arguments, then. I might as well add another trophy to my wall.


[Editor's note: at this point, he disappeared for nearly a week; probably the same "computer problems" that held up Gothmog's debate entry].

January 11, 2002:

I realize I have taken a long time, but due to some recent circumstances, I have been unable to check my email in the last few days.

Also, I do apologize for some of my earlier conduct. Though it is true that I was eager to challenge you, that does not excuse some of my behavior, and I apologize if you think that I was unnecessarily rude or crass.

It was more than rude and crass. It was arrogant and stupid of you to assume that if I didn't make time in my busy schedule for you, then I must fear you. Do you think I have no life outside this fucking website? I am really tired of fanboys like you accusing me of cowardice every time I don't snap to attention for your silly criticisms. Do you think I'm supposed to be a slave to every fanboy on the Internet? I only answer E-mail when I goddamned well feel like it, understand?

Finally, I do not intend to turn this into a flame war. I have been in debates before and as soon as they turn into flame wars, they become a waist of time.

I wasn't interested in a flame war (indeed, I took no particular note of you at all), but up until now, it looked like you were spoiling for one. Is your newfound attitude due to a genuine realization that your earlier behaviour was churlish and unacceptable, or are you afraid that I will lambast you mercilessly in public if you don't back off on the rhetoric?

[Editor's note: isn't it funny how cocky these people are, until they realize that they've finally got my attention?]

Now, first off, I do not think that Q will arrive to save the day. Heck, he will probably be the first one to sit down and grab some popcorn to watch the show. Hmm, popcorn. *searches house for popcorn. Finds none* Darn. Anyway, back to my formal arguments.

Excellent. I was hoping we wouldn't have to rehash this moronic Trekkie argument.

Ok, now for my conclusions. An effort made by the Empire to expand in the Star Trek galaxy would fail. First off, your website assumes that the Federation would be unable to rally allies to form a united front against the Empire.

That is not an assumption; it is a conclusion based on precedent.

I disagree. First off, the Klingon Empire is currently under the leadership of Chancellor Martok, a Klingon who is close friends with Admiral Ross and Worf, a former Federation officer. As a Klingon who owes his life to the Federation, or at least to certain Federation officers, it would be quite dishonorable for him to simply allow the Klingon empire to turn their back on the Federation in a time of warfare.

It is also quite dishonourable to attack a field hospital, wait with cloaked ships to pick off rescuers answering distress calls, launch surprise attacks despite a peace treaty, or attack allied ships and space stations. Yet in "Nor the Battle to the Strong" and "Way of the Warrior", we have seen that the Klingons are perfectly willing to do all of these things. You make the mistake of confusing their rhetoric with reality. They claim to be honourable, but as Worf grudgingly admitted in "Way of the Warrior", they consider anything honourable if it results in victory.

Look at how easily the Klingons were turned against the Federation before the Dominion War started! Like Martok, Gowron owed his position and his life to the Federation (see the events of "Redemption"), yet he was easily convinced to launch a surprise attack against the Cardassians, and even to attack Federation ships and space stations in force! And in the alternate reality of "Yesterday's Enterprise", one tiny difference (the Enterprise-C disappearing) was enough to plunge the Klingon Empire and the Federation into a full-blown war!

Martok, like most of the other Klingons we have seen on the show, seems to be a religious zealot. And quite frankly, you cannot seriously rely upon a religious zealot. It's amazing to me that someone could have even the most vague grasp of history (not to mention current events) and not recognize this fact.

Also, your website likes to assume that the majority of the Alpha Quadrant species would remain apathetic about the presence of a powerful enemy on their borders and that they would do nothing but sit back and watch as the Empire and the Federation fought.

That is not an assumption; that is a conclusion based upon precedent.

However, we saw shortly after the Dominion announced their intentions to conquer the Alpha Quadrant but before the actual war itself, that everyone in the Alpha Quadrant was up in arms against the Dominion.

Wrong. The Romulans signed a non-aggression treaty, and had to be tricked into declaring war on the Dominion. The Breen allied themselves with the Dominion. The Cardassians allied themselves with the Dominion. The Ferengi wanted to maintain peaceful relations. And what about all the other species, such as the Tholians? What about the Sheliak? What about the Talarians? Open your eyes, kiddo.

Out of all the major and minor groups in the Alpha Quadrant, only two declared war on the Dominion: the Klingons and the Federation. Of those, both were merely reacting to direct Dominion attacks. The Federation set up colonies in the Gamma Quadrant (obviously forgetting the lessons of "The Arena") which were destroyed by the Jem'Hadar, and the Klingons were already at war with the Cardassians when they allied themselves with the Dominion, thus forcing them into a war with the Dominion as well.

The Klingons used the attack as an excuse to annex Cardassian territories and resources to supply their own war efforts against the Dominion. The Cardassian and Romulan governments both launched attacks to try and destroy the Dominion base, and you want to assume that everyone is just going to sit back and do nothing about the Empire?

Wrong again. The Klingons tried to annex Cardassian territory because they wanted to expand once again, not because of the Dominion. They used Dominion incursions as a flimsy excuse, but they fooled no one. Everyone knew perfectly well that the Cardassians were not allied with the Dominion, and in fact, they inadvertently forced the Cardassians into the Dominion's arms. The Romulans did nothing until they were tricked into believing that the Dominion had murdered their ambassador and planned to attack them directly. Watch "Way of the Warrior" sometime.

I do not "assume" that everyone will just sit back and do nothing. I observe that when the Dominion came, everyone who wasn't directly attacked by them did precisely that, so I conclude that they will probably do it again.

Also, in the Federation report section of your website, you assume that the Dominion has suffered losses too great to be of any threat to the Empire. This assumption seems to be in error due to the fact that, from Day One, one of the greatest strengths of the Dominion has been their ability to build like made, creating ships and troops in large numbers.

Numbers which you refuse to provide. How fast can they make ships, and how long would it take for them to merely rebuild their forces to previous levels, before even thinking about attacking the Empire? Vague statements such as "large numbers" don't cut it.

Based on what we know, the maintenance of such large forces is difficult, but they are quite ideal during wartime, when replacements and reinforcements are constantly being needed. The Dominion still has the vast shipbuilding and cloning facility resources from their territory within the Gamma Quadrant, and from there, can easily rebuild their forces for an attack on the Empire.

You make statements without any numbers whatsoever. After millenia of controlling their entire empire in the Gamma Quadrant, the Dominion could only muster a few thousand ships including fighters for its assault on the Alpha Quadrant. By the Empire's standards, that's nothing.

Plus, you forget one crucial thing about Hyperdrive technology; it requires very specific navigational data in order to plot a safe course from one point to another. This means that, with no navigational data to plot a course from Federation space to Dominion territory in the Gamma Quadrant, the Empire has only one manner of reaching the Dominion, the wormhole, which we can assume the Dominion will act with quickness to protect.

Red herring. Their plan would be to annex the Federation and gain a foothold in the Milky Way galaxy, not to simultaneously attack all of it. They would seize the Federation first, and then cow its neighbours into submission one by one, branching outward from their foothold. The Empire would not waste time mapping out navigational paths to Dominion space because they're simply not a factor.

Furthermore, it wouldn't be hard to purchase maps or take them by force from captured vessels and their crew. Besides, doesn't it occur to you that even if they can't get maps, they do have technologies for mapping out unknown territory? How do you think they charted out their own galaxy? Not only can they use simple optical observations to map out much of the galaxy with conventional astronomy techniques, but they can launch thousands of probe droids to map out territories which are not so easily observed, and to refine the information they get from the initial optical survey. Optical data on our galaxy depicts information which is, at worst, a couple of hundred thousand years old, which is nothing in an astronomical context. No astronomically major changes occur over such a short time-frame. And if they lose half of the probe droids in the process, who cares? They're cheap and disposable anyway.

After all, despite the numerous Federation efforts to close the wormhole, the Founders have always found some way to stop them. We can expect the same thing here. The Eclipse Star Destroyer prepares to fire its super laser at the wormhole but the laser has been disabled. A fleet of Star Destroyers tries to close it with sheer bombardment only to find a fleet of 1200 Dominion ships positioned to stop them.

"But the laser has been disabled"? How? Is this the kind of argument I can expect from you? How can you simply make some vague statement that one of the Empire's most powerful starships will be de-clawed without even bothering to explain how?

And why would the Empire even bother attacking the wormhole anyway? The Dominion is no threat to the Empire, and they're not about to go attacking a vastly superior force when they're going to have enough trouble just rebuilding their military forces in their own quadrant.

As for the Federation themselves, your website has overlooked the development of two technological items that could easily turn the tide of the war in favor of the Federation, Transphasic Torpedoes and Ablative Armor. As we saw in the Voyager series finale, these two technologies can be integrated into the systems of a Federation starship without the resources and facilities of a Starbase. This means that if certain plans and resources are transferred to each Starship within the Federation, the Federation can rearm their entire fleet with powerful new weapons within two days at the very latest.

Heh heh ... you think that transphasic torpedoes and Voyager's Batmobile armour represent superior technology? In fact, they represent proof of the weakness of Federation technology!

What's so special about transphasic torpedoes? All we know about them is that the Borg can't adapt to them, probably because of that "transphasic" thing (after all, Borg adaptation is based on frequency and phase coherence). A few transphasic torps will make a Borg cube blow up, but we know from STFC that despite their initial belief that a cube has no critical systems, it turns out that you can destroy a cube if you can only punch through its defenses and hit something important inside. We have no information on their yield otherwise. Any armour-piecing torp that can bypass Borg defenses can probably punch deeply into the ship, given its flimsy construction (only the "tactical cubes" have external armour plating of any kind, and the cubes destroyed by Voyager in "End Game" weren't tactical cubes), and any explosion close to a critical system will destroy the entire ship.

As for Voyager's Batmobile armour (which you incorrectly referred to as "ablative armour"), it merely proved that Federation shielding is inferior in all respects to old fashioned metallic plating! Think about it: the armour gave them better protection than their shields did, stopping both Borg weapons and transporters! Is this something to crow about? Star Destroyers already have heavy armour, so Voyager's Batmobile armour merely proves that heavily armoured Star Destroyers would be tough targets for Federation weapons or transporters even if their shields were down.

Once such technologies have been installed, the Federation can deploy five or six ships to protect their worlds. Since any one ship that fires with a massive volley of transphasic torpedoes can take out a considerable number of Star Destroyers with only a few shots. As a result, they will be able to inflict heavy casualties to the enemy, while their armor protects them from significant damage. And, in the event that they should become heavily damaged, they can execute a quick warp jump to repair and retreat.

Wrong again. The ability to destroy an un-armoured vessel does not translate to the ability to destroy a heavily armoured vessel. The only thing we know about the transphasic torpedo is that it can penetrate Borg defenses, and punch through the whisper-thin structure of their cubes to hit something important inside. Big deal. You are inventing extra capabilities out of thin air, rather than limiting yourself to your observations.

And now for the one species you love to try and pretend would not stop the Empire: the Borg. I know your fanfic depicts them as causing significant casualties to the Empire, but the Borg wouldn't just cause casualties, they would beat the Empire back.

To defend this argument, there are several points that I would like to make.

1. We know that the natural transwarp hubs that the Borg have assimilated are capable of taking Borg ships anywhere in the Galaxy within a matter of minutes, thus making them much faster than Imperial Hyperdrive. We also know that while one of them was destroyed, the other five are intact. Also, since the one that was destroyed had a conduit that lead straight to Earth, and the Borg have never had the opportunity to construct a transwarp conduit on Earth's doorstep before, we can assume that the hubs are natural phenomenon that the Borg have merely found out how to exploit.

Don't be ridiculous. They were clearly artificial structures. The fact that the Borg deliberately chose to put the hubs in places where they wouldn't be easily found (such as nebulae) indicates that:

  1. They recognize that they are vulnerable to atttack.

  2. They recognize the threat that their destruction would pose to their continued operation as a cohesive organization and military power.

  3. They are not natural; if they were natural, they would not be able to decide where to put them, would they?

There is no evidence whatsoever that they were natural phenomena, and the Borg had plenty of opportunities to lay a transwarp conduit to Earth. What do you think those scout ships were doing when they ripped up Federation and Romulan outposts in "The Neutral Zone"? What about the people who were assimilated from Wolf 359? That must have been a scout ship as well, since the cube was destroyed. What about the two times that a cube came within spitting distance of Earth? Couldn't it have been laying conduit as it moved? Maybe that would explain why it approached Earth so slowly that Federation fleets could intercept it despite their slow warp drive.

It would also seem that when a Borg ship enters a transwarp conduit that does not originate from a hub, that they are creating an artificial one, which accounts for the lack of speed possessed by the natural phenomenon.

Not all conduits connect to hubs, but they still must be made. Moreover, once they're made, anyone can use one. The Enterprise-D used one in "Descent".

[Editor's note: I forgot to mention that Voyager also did it in "Endgame"]

However, due to their superior speed within their own natural conduits, and their collective conscious, which would make them aware of any attack on their territory, the Borg could instantly respond to any attack launched by the Empire.

The Borg do not "instantly respond" to anything. In fact, they move and react very slowly, probably due to inefficiencies in their giant symmetric multi-processing system (it's no secret that SMP introduces extra overhead; in the case of the Borg, perhaps they have reached some kind of scalability limit, thus explaining why they react so slowly). In "Q Who", the cube just sat there trying to decide what to do, waiting for so long that the Enterprise's crew was able to hold its own meetings, decide what to do, and then explore the Borg ship! In "Best of Both Worlds", we found out that it was six months after deciding to assimilate the Federation that a cube finally showed up, despite your wild claims. Remember? And after that, it took them years to try again. And in "Scorpion", we found out that the entire Borg collective couldn't match the analytical abilities of a single computer program running on Voyager! Where is the evidence for your preposterous claim that the Borg "instantly respond" to threats?

In fact, the only time that we ever saw the Borg react and move quickly was "Descent", when they were not part of a collective. Think about this in terms of business organizations: do businesses move more efficiently when they frequently hold a lot of meetings with a lot of participants, or less efficiently? In business, it is no secret that success comes from independent initiative at the lower levels, competition, and diversity of opinion. The Borg collective is the exact opposite of this model, with zero initiative at the lower levels, constant productivity-draining, time-wasting mega-staff meetings, and zero diversity of opinion. What makes you think this is so great?

[Editor's note: this is one of my pet peeves about the Cult of Borg; they mindlessly accept Borg propaganda about the superior efficiency of their organizational structure, even though virtually every related precedent in our experience indicates that it's a lousy model]

2. In STFC, we know that the Enterprise was holding position at the Neutral Zone when reports of the battle between the Federation fleet and the Borg ship began. We also can assume that, based on the fact that the Romulans have never tried to simply run from the Neutral Zone to Earth in a kind of attack without warning, that there is a sizeable distance between the Neutral Zone and Earth.

Either that, or the Federation has a huge network of listening posts in place to pick up intruders. The Tal'Shiar knew about this network, remember? There are points on the Neutral Zone which are far from Earth, but that doesn't mean it meanders closer to Earth at some point. The Neutral Zone is not some point in space; it is a border. There are points on the Canada-US border which are thousands of miles from Washington DC, but there are also points which are much closer.

[Editor's note: argh. I should have said "that doesn't mean it never meanders closer to Earth", but it's obvious what I meant]

Now, from the time it took from the Enterprise to reach the Neutral Zone, we can assume that the Borg ship was fighting a moving battle against Federation forces. Now, since your website maintains that it takes a considerable amount of time (days, weeks or even months) for Federation ships to travel across their territory, the most optimistic assumption is that it took several hours for the Enterprise to reach Earth from the Neutral Zone.

Not necessarily. The Enterprise-E is probably the fastest ship in the fleet, they undoubtedly put the pedal to the metal, and you don't know how far the Neutral Zone is from Earth at the particular point where they were located. In "Balance of Terror", they were so far from Earth that it took hours to send and receive a subspace message. But in STFC, they were receiving real-time audio. In other words, they were a helluva lot closer, weren't they?

So, a Borg ship survived a moving battle with a Federation fleet for several hours and suffered damage to only its outer hull, which as we saw in the first appearance of the Borg, they can repair rather easily.

Yet they weren't repairing it, were they? There was no evidence whatsoever of hull repairs going on, and we know that their shields were already down because they were taking a pounding, and ships were literally blowing chunks off the cube's surface. Moreover, Data said that they were already heavily damaged, and that their power grid was fluctuating. It was almost dead by the time the Enterprise-E showed up, and Picard merely provided the coup de grace.

3. Your website soundly suggests that the Empire might deploy some more powerful weapons such as the Death Star against the Borg. However, what your website does not take into account was the development of a Borg weapon called a Multi-Kinetic Neutronic Mine, which has an explosive yield of 5 million isotons. Yes, such a weapon is extremely dangerous to neighboring systems, however, the Borg don't care. Such a weapon would be quite ideal in destroying the Death Star, and the Borg won't loose any sleep if a few of there own systems are destroyed.

Blah blah blah technobabble. You seem to assume that every new Star Trek toy is a big-yield weapon. However, this particular toy was never demonstrated in action. Its effects were never observed. 7 of 9's claims about its capabilities were nonsensical for many reasons.

Try to think about this logically, instead of simply translating every unknown into "big yield". Until they got ahold of the nanoprobes, they never even thought of using one of these things against Species 8472, remember? And we know that an S-8472 ship can be destroyed by a relatively low-energy event such as an accidental collision with a Borg cube, with a relative velocity of perhaps 1 km/s at most. So why couldn't this superweapon be used to destroy hordes of S-8472 ships?

Think about it: this device couldn't kill S-8472 ships in battle, yet 7 of 9 expected it to affect an area several light years in diameter? Even the most monstrous blast could not possibly distribute those probes over an area so wide in less than a few years' time, and they needed them distributed much more quickly than that. Moreover, a huge blast like that would vapourize the nanoprobes! It's most likely that this "multi-kinetic neutronic mine" is a specialized device for distributing objects at warp speed without damaging them, perhaps with soliton waves. It's no superweapon.

4. Your Federation report tried to discount several cannon facts about the Borg, such as the fact that their ships can continue to function even if 78% of the ship was rendered inoperable. You make this statement without any evidence to back it up.

Wrong. Learn to read, Johnny. In the document, I specifically noted that STFC conclusively disproved that ridiculous claim. You falsely accuse me of making a statement without backing it up. Are you lying, or were you too damned lazy to read the article before attacking it?

5. When the Queen unwittingly assimilated the pathogen that destroyed Unimatrix one, it did not destroy the collective. First off, this pathogen was displayed in another Voyager episode, where it was stated that the pathogen only infects one Borg vessel at a time. It is for this reason that the sphere that was chasing Voyager back to the Alpha Quadrant was not destroyed even after the Unimatrix was destroyed.

Your estimates of your own abilities were grossly overstated, Johnny. I can't believe you think I should be worried about this calibre of debate. Does the term "hasty generalization" mean anything to you?

Your argument is analogous to saying that because a computer virus on a UNIX system can only affect one user's files at a time, it wouldn't make any difference whether it runs as root or not. By infiltrating the Queen, the virus achieved what computer hackers describe as a "root exploit", which probably gave it unfettered access to the entire Collective irrespective of normal safeguards. Do you understand that? I made that exact same point in the article you are criticizing, and it seems to have gone over your head.

The sphere that was chasing Voyager back to the Alpha Quadrant was not destroyed yet, but who's to say they wouldn't have been within the next minute or so? The virus displayed a delayed reaction, which only makes sense; you want a virus to incubate a bit before doing its damage, so that its presence will not be obvious and it will propagate faster and farther. By the time the Queen's virus kicked in, it could very well have propagated through the entire Collective. The effect would be cascade failures, starting with the Queen and then moving outwards to follow the movement of the virus itself. Didn't you notice that the Queen started exhibiting damage from the virus before anyone or anything else?

Basically, the Federation can resist Imperial forces more than the Empire can afford, the Dominion and other major species will actually rally together against the Empire, and as soon as the Borg catches wind of the Empire's plans, they are history.

Wrong, wrong, and wrong. With resources which would be a minor entry on the balance sheet of a typical private shipping corporation in Imperial space, the Federation would be steam-rolled in short order. The other Alpha Quadrant forces would do the same thing they always do when faced with a threat force which does not directly threaten them: nothing (and even if they did band together, they would still be steamrolled, but they would suffer horribly for their impertinence, and it wouldn't be the smart thing to do).

And the Borg? Alive or dead (probably the latter), they would be an annoyance but not a serious threat. Their ships cannot withstand the firepower of an ISD, their infrastructure is over-centralized and vulnerable to attack, they crawl through space like molasses unless they've already built up a conduit beforehand (and they would have to do it again after each conduit is destroyed), and their conduits are easily detectable long before anyone shows up (why do you think an entire Federation fleet was waiting at the exit when Voyager and the Borg ship finally showed up at the end of "End game"?) I actually overstated their capabilities in the fanfic because I thought it made for a better story.

However, their strategic capabilities are vastly overstated by Trekkie zealots. With a few thousand worlds and a few ships per world, they are nowhere near the monster that the Cult of Borg makes them out to be. Their defenses are completely optimized for the prevalent weapons in their territory, and as we saw in "End game", those defenses are useless against anything which isn't phase and frequency coherent. Moreover, we saw that their transporters cannot penetrate thick armour! The Empire is the worst possible enemy for the Borg to face: its strengths (brute force, vast numbers, rugged and heavily armoured warships, robust and mature technologies with all the "bugs worked out" millenia ago, extensive experience in warfare on a massive scale) play directly to the Borg's weaknesses (almost complete dependence upon adaptation to enemy technologies with built-in weaknesses such as frequency and phase coherence, mostly un-armoured ships, tactical and strategic stupidity, inferior size to tactical strength ratio when compared to Federation ships as demonstrated in STFC).

I commend you for having the cojones to tackle the subject of my site head-on, instead of dancing around it and/or nitpicking like some people. However, your arguments are seriously flawed. An objective analysis of the evidence at hand simply cannot support any conclusion other than an Imperial victory, and a cakewalk at that.


January 12, 2002:

[Editor's note: I responded the same night I received the first message, and he responded the night afterwards.]

[Quoted] "I only answer E-mail when I goddamned well feel like it, understand?"

Perfectly. There is no longer a need to be rude. I apologize for my past actions, but I do not believe that justfies future rudeness. Despite my own poor behavior, we are here, we are debating. and there is no need for flaming or getting carried away.

[Editor's note: so eager to flame before he's got my attention, so careful to call for civility afterwards ...]

[Quoted] "Is your newfound attitude due to a genuine realization that your earlier behaviour was churlish and unacceptable, or are you afraid that I will lambast you mercilessly in public if you don't back off on the rhetoric?"

No, I am certainly not afraid of that.

[Editor's note: Yeah, right ...]

[Trying to defend his claim that the Klingons are reliable allies despite "Way of the Warrior"] First off, we know that Gowron was being influenced by a Changelling operative durring this period of time. I am not saying that the Klingons are the friendliest and most loyal of allies. However, I do not expect them to sit around while an enemy who can travel at great speeds with overwhelming force is attacking one of their allies who they know to be rather peaceful.

The fact that Gowron was being influenced by a Changeling is irrelevant. He is still the same person, and bad advice or not, he made the decision to attack the Cardies and the Federation without provocation from either party, despite owing both his life and his position to the Federation. Therefore, the fact that Martok owes some tenuous debt to the Federation does not prove he would not abandon them in time of need. Indeed, Martok's debt to the Federation is much weaker than Gowron's debt.

While Picard intervened in the Klingon civil war, brought down the Duras sisters and while acting as arbiter, officially selected Gowron for the chancellorship, what did the Federation do to put Martok in control? Worf's involvement in Gowron's death? Worf is technically a Federation officer, but he was hardly acting in an official Federation capacity at the time, was he? And all the Klingons regard him as Klingon first, Federation officer second, don't they?

[Trying to defend his claim that everybody will join the Federation] Remember, while the Federation may not be on everyone's favorite list, they are not by history an aggresive species. Indeed, if they had been, they might not have suffered the losses that they did in the Dominion war. Any species that sees that the Empire took the aggresive stance against the Federation, a species who has not displayed a growing desire to conquer anyone, might express some concern over whether or not the Empire might soon conquer them next.

Then why didn't they all come after the Dominion until they were directly attacked?

[Trying to defend his claim that Martok can be relied upon despite being a religious zealot] First of all, religious zealots are actually far more reliable than most people. They will always act as dictated by their beliefs. Once you understand them then you always know what a fanatic will do.

No you don't, because a fanatic can always find a way to use those beliefs to justify whatever he fancies at the moment. Religious zealots throughout history have thrown down their weapons and died for their beliefs and/or murdered others for those same beliefs. The same beliefs that are used to justify pacifism, non-violence, and martyrdom are used to justify mass killings, torture, and war. Fanatics are not predictable, except for the fact that they are dangerous.

Secondly, you forget that Martok appointed Worf, a former Federation officer and his best friend, Federation ambassador to Kronos. Worf is not the type of character to sit idly by while the Federation is under attack, and Martok has certainly displayed a respect for Worf's opinions. It may be the cunning efforts of the Federation to enlist future sympathy from the Klingon empire towards the Federation, but however it is done, it is highly unlikely that the Klingons will sit this out.

It is possible that they will involve themselves, but it is by no means guaranteed. This was all I said in the article, and you have failed to produce an argument to the contrary.

It was even stated in "Best of Both Worlds pt 2" that the Klingon empire was commiting forces to engaging the Borg ship that was heading towards Earth. The Klingons may never have had the chance to engage the Borg ship, but they certainly took the presence of such a powerful enemy as a threat to their empire. What makes you think that they won't react the same way to the Empire?

The situations are not remotely comparable. The Borg wish to assimilate all life forms into their collective. The Empire, on the other hand, contains millions of species which are all permitted to maintain an individual existence. It is far more similar to the Dominion than the Empire [Editor's note: damned careless typing; I meant to say "than the Borg"], and nobody but those directly attacked by the Dominion acted against them.

How can you forget about the Cardassian and Romulan attack on the Founders homeworld. It was shortly after this happened that the Romualans signed the Non-Aggresion pack. However, their FIRST reaction was to attack.

Actually, that was an unofficial Tal'Shiar and the Obsidian Order operation, which both governments denied any knowledge of. Whether those denials were true or not, the fact remains that when faced with the Dominion threat, both of those governments chose not to fight them. Maybe they thought they could try to slip in a sucker punch and then deny knowledge of it afterwards, but when push came to shove, they either sat on the sidelines and got into bed with the enemy.

Even the Cardasssians were nervous about the Dominion, of course until Dukat, acting as a representative of the Cardassian government, which at the time he was not, signed a treaty with the Dominion. Even then, the offical Cardassian government had not signed a treaty with the Dominion. It is quite likely that this treaty was accepted regardlessly merely because of the battered condition of the Cardassian government as a result of the Klingon invasion.

Of course it was. However, none of this addresses the point, which is that no one declared war against the Dominion unless they were directly attacked by them in some way. I mentioned the Tholians, the Sheliak, the Breen, etc. as examples of Alpha Quadrant powers which either ignored the situation or allied themselves with the Dominion. You ignored that point completely, and (amazingly enough) tried to use the example of two collaborators as evidence of Alpha Quadrant resolve!

See my above arguments. The Cardassians and Romulans launched attacks on the Dominion and they were never even attacked by the Dominion. I would say that is pretty indicative of how they might react to an Imperial invasion.

No, that is pretty indicative of how their spy organizations might react to Imperial probing operations, IF they thought they had a chance of getting away with it. Once the Imperials were already here in force, that precedent suggests that they would either ally themselves with the Imperials or sign non-aggression treaties with them.

[Re: "Way of the Warrior"] Saw it. Taped it. Great episode BTW. And as I will repeat, the Romulans tried to destroy the Dominion homeworld before the Dominion had ever attacked them.

Wrong. The Tal'Shiar tried that. The Romulan government denied any knowledge of this, and signed a non-aggression pact with the Dominion as soon as they showed their faces in the Alpha Quadrant.

[Quoted] "Vague statements such as "large numbers" don't cut it."

We know that the Dominion was able to send large fleets of ships, troops, and supplies through the wormhole on a *weekly* basis.

(Knock knock) Hello? Is anybody there? When I said that vague statements such as "large numbers" don't cut it, what made you think that another vague statement such as "large fleets" would be an improvement? Are you even paying attention?

Also, when the female changling became ill and lost her sense of how to conduct war, she pulled her forces back to form a barrier that would block off an attack.

What's that supposed to prove? If you're losing a war of attrition, you have no choice but to pull your forces back in order to concentrate what little you have left. How does this support your bizarre claim that the Dominion can make enough ships to challenge the Empire's vast industrial output?

Sisko, based on his own experiance, believed that within five years, the Dominion shipbuilding abilities would have drastically surpassed the combined efforts of the Federation, Klingon and Romualan shipbulding abilities enough to have won the war. This means that the Dominion alone could have built enough ships to reinforce and overcome all Federation, Klingon and Romulan fleets and defenses established within five years.

Big deal. The Empire has hundreds of millions of times the industrial capacity of the Federation, the Klingons, and the Romulans combined. Throw in the Dominion, and the situation does not change.

But they combine quality with quanitity. Their ships fire a phased poloron type of beam, as I believe it was quoted, which tears through shields as if they do not exsist. The Federation was only able to counter this weapon by capturing a Dominion ship and analzying the weapon so as to disocover a way to counter its more immediate effects.

Correction: they tore through a particular vintage of Federation shields as if they don't exist. There is no reason whatsoever to form a hasty generalization about all forms of shield technology based on that. Federation shields have numerous built-in weaknesses, as demonstrated by the existence of a frequency vulnerability. There is no logical reason to assume that all types of shields must share these particular weaknesses.

Also, your tactics section of your website admits that Federation ships such as the Defiant would be quite ideal for attacking Star Destroyers, especially ones without fighter cover.

Having glanced through the rest of your arguments, I see you will use this trick repeatedly: taking my own words out of context. I don't see how you think this will succeed, since I know the context in which my own statements were originally made!

I said that their paucity of Defiant-class ships and fighters will make them even easier to defeat, and you somehow interpreted this as "the Defiant would be quite ideal" against ISDs without fighters (as if there is such a thing). Do you always mutilate peoples' words so badly?

Since the Dominion use fighters more regurlarily, their fleets will be ideal for battling Imperial forces.

No, it means that the Empire will need to deploy its vast hordes of fighters, unlike most Federation fleets in which the Empire could fight with one hand tied behind its back and still win.

It is also important to remember that the Dominion managed to install the Breen energy weapon into their ships, thus permitting them to join the fight. However, by the time that they did, the Federation had captured a copy and found a way to neutralize its effects. Still, such a weapon could give the Dominion yet another advantage.

Two words: ion cannon. And the effects of the ion cannon are not so easily overcome, since it disrupts electronic systems rather than draining energy from a specific technology the way the Breen weapon did.

I highly doubt that the Dominion can be considered a non-factor. They are a species that are determined to conquer and expand, much like the Empire. It would not be unreasonable at all for the Dominion to send Founder spies into the Empire. And once they learn of the Empire's long term goals, it is quite probable that the Dominion will intercede. After all, to put it simply, the Dominion cannot conquer the galaxy if the Empire already has.

So what? Their desire to resist the Empire does not translate into an ability to resist the Empire, especially considering their multitude of serious tactical and strategic disadvantages. As for Founder spies, big deal. Bio-sensors and Force users would ferret them out easily (the Empire has shape shifters of its own; they never became a serious threat to government hegemony). Moreover, it would take time to build up a spy network inside the Empire anyway, and they wouldn't find any weaknesses to report.

From where? What species has navigational data about all the territory from Federation space to the Dominion. I seriously doubt any species that the Empire could contact off hand would have such data.

You figure the Federation, the Ferengi, and the others don't have telescopes? You figure nobody has bothered making optical surveys, even though we're already doing that today? What's the matter with you? All they need to know is where the star systems are, and that's not exactly difficult to find out.

But it still takes time. The Dominion already have a back door into Federation space.

And everyone knows precisely where it is, thus making it a suicidal chokepoint at best, and a target for Imperial superweapons at worst.

Also, as we saw when the Klingon Empire began launching hit and run attacks on the Dominion territory in Cardassia, the Dominion is pretty good at spreading out their forces in a defensive manner. Granted, they could not place hundreds of ships at each world, but certainly large fleets within arms length of a sector.

That is why they will lose. The Empire can place hundreds of ships at any world, at any time with no warning. This is how hyperdrive gives them an insurmountable strategic advantage, irrespective of their tactical advantages. Others have seen this easily. For some reason, you have not.

The Klingons could not succeed in hit and runs, and the Empire would probably be engaging them in equal scale battles, in which smaller Dominion craft, the presence of the Breen energy weapon, and heavy capships for support would place things in favor of a costly battle against Imperial forces, regardless of whether or not the Empire wins.

No, the Empire would not be engaging them in equal scale battles. See above. They have superior numbers and superior propulsion. They don't need to engage anyone on equal terms if they don't want to.

[Defending his claim that any superweapons would be disabled] Founder sabotage. DS9 once tried to close the wormhole to prevent the initial Dominion invasion into the Alpha Quadrant, and the efforts were sabotaged to the point where the plan actually made the wormhole even more stable then it had previously been. The Dominion have clearly demonstrated that they understand the tactical importance of protecting the wormhole, and it is sound to suggest that they will act with the same urgency this time.

Too bad they won't have the time or opportunity to infiltrate the Empire with spies. And what makes you think the Empire is as stupid as the Federation? They've been fighting terrorists and saboteurs for decades, remember? Do you think they trust techs to work alone? Do you think their ships are full of these ridiculous "Jeffries tubes" where somebody can sabotage the ship and nobody can see? And how would one go about disabling the superlaser on an Eclipse-class starship anyway? We're talking about a monstrous weapon which is many kilometres in length, and around which one could probably plant small explosives in numerous places and still cause only temporary, minor damage.

Who said that therer forces in their own quadrant had suffered losses? The forces in the Alpha Quadrant may have suffered losses, but the Dominion bases within the Gamma Quadrant have been well removed from all of the fighting. As for the Dominion fleet of reinforcements that disappeared, those were spare forces that were meant to reinforce the Alpha Quadrant forces.

Ah, I see. So when the Empire (a civilization with hundreds of millions of times the industrial output of the Federation, the Klingons, the Romulans, and the Dominion combined) want to invade the Alpha Quadrant, you assume they must steal from their own forces (I noticed that further along in this message). But when the Dominion does it, you assume they build some "spare forces" just for that purpose. Nice attempt at consistency.

The Founders are a millitaristic race, and their subjects would eagerly revolt against the Dominion if they moved a *signifcant* fleet towards the other end of the galaxy. I am not saying that 2800 Dominion ships are easily disposable for the Dominion, but I am saying that they must have been the forces the Dominion could spare while still maintaining an effective home force.

Then why was Kira able to fly through Dominion space all the way to the Founders' homeworld after the war ended, without encountering a single Jem'Hadar patrol? They didn't necessarily use up their entire fleet, but they must have been depleted.

Actually, even future Janeway admitted that the Borg could adapt to transphasic torpedoes. Clearly, the Borg's adaptive abilites are quite more effective and are not limited to merely frequency and phase coherence.

Stop making things up. We never saw them adapt to transphasic torpedoes. The Queen insisted she would adapt. Admiral Janeway conceded that it might happen "eventually", but that doesn't mean she knew for a fact that it would happen. We certainly didn't see it happen; the first cube to die took two transphasic torps. The second only took one. The hub ring was destroyed easily, and when Voyager destroyed the big sphere at the end of the episode, it still took only one torp to do it.

[Defending the Batmobile armour, which proved that armour is superior to Fed shields] No, it proves that this armor is in someway superior to the shielding, which your own website admits, is capable of withstanding up to a hundred turbolaser bolts. Clearly, the armor used on Voyager and the armor that may have been developed by the Empire are not identical.

Again you take my own statements out of context. I said that if we push every conceivable assumption to the breaking point in favour of the Federation, it might arguable take as many as 100 light turbolaser shots (not heavy TL shots) to take down a Federation ship's shields. In other words, I stated it as a limit, not as the most likely or reasonable estimate.

Furthermore, no figure is immune to revision in light of new information, and new information from "Endgame" indicates that their shielding was, in fact, inferior to heavy armour all along, so I must have overestimated the effectiveness of Federation shielding against energy weapons. It may be that it is highly reflective against solar radiation, hence its long survival time near stars, but it obviously doesn't handle focused, directed energy weapons and missiles as easily (possibly due to the high frequencies of radiation emitted by such weapons). That's what I said in the last message: that "End Game" provided new evidence against the strength of Federation shields. This obviously implies that old estimates must be revised downwards. Didn't you notice?

My obervations are quite simple. A single transphasic torpedo destroyed an entire Borg ship.

Wrong. Watch the first Borg ship to take a hit. Two torps explode on or near its surface (it's hard to determine the depth of penetration because of the distance), and the ship itself explodes a split-second later. Therefore, we can see from the canon episode that the torpedo merely damages something critical within the Borg ship, thus causing it to explode from within. Your interpretation (that the torpedo destroyed the ship with sheer yield) is in direct contradiction to onscreen events.

Even *if, the armor aboard a Star Destroyer is somehow capable of surviving a blast, of which we really have no proof but can assume it will anyway, the Empire cannot simply afford to battle against federation ships whose torpedoes go right through their shields.

The ability to pass through Borg shields does not necessarily translate to the ability to pass through Imperial shields. In "Best of Both Worlds", a shuttle passed through Borg shields by simply turning off its active propulsion systems (more evidence that Borg shields rely upon nuances of enemy technology to work). This would have never worked against an Imperial vessel.

All a Federation ship would have to do is target the command bridge to create confusion aboard the ship and then quickly begin targeting weapon systems. It can be done very quickly, and before the Star Destroyer crew can switch over to the emergency battle bridge.(even in the optimistic assumption that a Star Destroyer chain of command can take over after the bridge has been destroyed, it would take at least a few minutes to race down the lengthy corridors towards the emergency bridge. That is enough time for a Federation ship to act.)

Nice fantasy. Too bad you have no evidence whatsoever that it would work. The only information we have at hand indicates that transphasic torpedo is a specialized anti-Borg device, and you have no reason to believe that it would be useful or effective against anyone else.

Moreover, you assume that an ISD is built in the same stupid manner as a Federation ship. The ship might lose helm control while they try to switch control, but its guns will still be operational, and they can be independently targeted even if the main bridge is down. Hell, they can still be used even if the entire main computer is down!

[Defending his weird belief that transwarp hubs occur naturally] Or that the neulae is merely a result of the phenomenon. Who said that the Borg decided to put the hub in the nebula to begin with? Also, if the Borg can construct them, then why have only six? Surely it is much more efficent to have multiple hubs, so that in the event that one is destroyed, others can be used with a minimuim loss of eficency.

The Borg put their hub-sustaining technology in the nebula, and when that technology was destroyed, the hub was destroyed along with it. Remember? Again, you have no evidence whatsoever that these hubs are natural phenomena.

[Defending his claim that they had no opportunities to lay conduits, so they must be natural] How so? Every time that they have reached earth, they have been engaged in battle. If that were so, then the Borg can easily lay a transwarp hub anywhere that one of their ships has been to for a few hours. With that theory, the Borg could easily assemble natural conduits leading all over the Alpha quadrant inside of a day, giving them the ability to pop in anywhere within conquered Imperial territory.

Wrong. It takes them six months to crawl along at transwarp speeds to the Alpha Quadrant, so it would take them at least six months to lay those conduits, if not more (STFC suggests much more). And they wouldn't make it that far.

If so, then you yourself admit that the Borg could easily lay transwarp hubs all over the ALpha Quadrant where the Empire plans to set up just by visiting for a few hours. Especially since the second time the Borg visited Earth, it was under heavy attack. So, according to you, the Borg can construct transwarp hubs even while under attack?

It's a possibility. They had plenty of opportunity to lay conduits in the Alpha Quadrant, because they've been crawling around it for years. But it's a remote possibility at best; if we use the time from first contact to the time they finally had a conduit up and running, we cannot reasonably conclude that they can do it in less than a decade.

Since the scout ship that destroyed the Romualn outposts in the Neutral Zone was never spotted near earth, that would assume that the Borg can construct conduits to places lightyears from where they are. So, however you look at it, the Borg can construct conduits to places that they do not even control.

Does the term "slothful induction" mean anything to you? You are completely ignoring the logical conclusion which flows from the evidence. It took years for the Borg to construct a conduit to Earth, despite having visited Earth several times during that period. The logical conclusion is that it takes a long time to construct a conduit. But you somehow found a way to leap to the opposite conclusion, which is that they can do it "inside of a day!" It is difficult to debate when your opponent ignores the logical conclusions which flow from the evidence.

[Explaining why the cubes didn't use the "naturally occurring" transwarp conduit when they attacked Earth] Possibly, but it is more likely that it wasn't racing to Earth because it didn't percieve Federation forces as a threat. After all, it had defeated a fleet of forty Federation ships without breaking a sweat, so clearly it wasn't concerned.

You are deliberately ignoring the second cube, for which this flimsy excuse does not exist. It was destroyed by Federation forces on its way to Earth, so it obviously had reason to worry. Why wasn't it moving any faster, hmm? You say the conduit was already there, because it was a natural phenomenon. Obviously, one must ask why they didn't use it. You say they were moving slowly because they had no reason to worry. Since they were destroyed, that is clearly wrong. Again, I must ask if you know what "slothful induction" means.

[Quoted] "The Enterprise-D used one in "Descent"."

Specifically, it followed it in. Also, that particullar form of transwarp does not seem available, since otherwise the Federation would certaintly have developed such a form of propulsion by now.

Wrong. The conduit was built by a Borg ship. The Enterprise-D found a way to enter the conduit with its own warp drive. It did not follow the ship inside; it had to find its own way to get inside, once it knew where it was. And your last sentence is simply meaningless. The ability to hitch a ride on a conduit does not translate into the ability to make your own.

[Explaining why the cube took so long to decide what to do in "Q Who"] Specifically, it was lying in wait regenerating. It did, shortly afterwards though, chase the Enterprise down at maximuim warp despite the remaining damage to the hull.

But not before allowing the Enterprise to conduct its own meetings and examine the interior of its ship! Only an idiot allows the enemy to collect intelligence data without a fight, and the Borg failure to react swiftly to this incursion indicates tactical and strategic stupidity on an almost unimaginable level.

[Editor's note: I should have also pointed out that it was not regenerating, and that it didn't start regenerating until it started chasing them, which means that they spent that entire time simply trying to decide upon a course of action]

Your own fanfic states quite clearly that the Borg are not rushed. They knew that the Federation forces were no longer a threat and decided to take their time, possibly to assimilate species closer in proximety to their territory.

Ah, so they took forever to show up because they felt like taking their time? Hah! Make up whatever excuses you want (even if you must take the amusingly desperate measure of using my own non-canon fanfic for evidence), but the fact remains that the Borg have never demonstrated the ability to deploy anywhere without months of travel time or years of transwarp infrastructure preparation. You can mumble about flimsy excuses for this failure all you want, but the failure remains. You cannot blithely ignore the evidence and assume that they will accomplish that which they have never accomplished before.

Attacks anyway. We certainly saw fifteen Borg ships racing towards a conflict area in Scorpion. Clearly, they do respond to tactical threats.

So? This hardly supports your claim that they respond "instantly". We don't know how long Species 8472's attacks had been going on before they responded, and frankly, even a moronic organization like the Borg will eventually figure out that it should send ships to attack enemy vessels which are destroyings its resources.

There are no time wasting mega-staff because the Borg are all linked to a hive mind. That has been esablished from day one.

[Editor's note: I would have told him this was a laughable non sequitur, but that would have gone over his head]

Wrong. The Borg do display every symptom of being a meeting-paralyzed organization with zero individual initiative. Your entire method is ass-backwards. You are starting from conclusions and working backwards to explain evidence, rather than starting from evidence and working forwards to generate logical conclusions.

Since you didn't seem to get it before, I see I must spell it out for you once more. The evidence:

  1. In every Borg episode, Borg drones react so slowly to incursions that they can't even figure out whether an enemy soldier is a threat until he actually destroys something or attacks somebody.

  2. In "Scorpion", we found out that the entire Borg collective could not match the analytical capabilities of a single piece of software running on Voyager's computer.

  3. It took years for the Borg collective to send another cube to Earth after losing the first one.

  4. In battle, a cube will never fire simultaneously at more than one target. It can engage multiple targets but despite being covered with weapons on all sides, it will only fire on one target at a time. At best, it can switch from target to target in rapid succession, but it clearly is not capable of multiple independent targeting activities.

  5. From real-life military history, we know that armies and navies are most effective when individual men and unit sub-commanders are permitted combat initiative. The older model of mindless soldiers having their every move controlled from above has been shown to be a miserable failure. The Borg use the older model.

  6. From real-life computer technology, we know that symmetric multi-processing introduces extra overhead, is unsuitable for certain types of tasks, and tends to bump into scalability limits with increasing size. The Borg "hive mind" is precisely analogous to an SMP system, it shows evidence of extreme unsuitability for certain tasks (eg- the inability of trillions of minds to equal Voyager's holo-doc), and it shows every indication that it has reached and then surpassed a scalability limit.

  7. From real-life business and economic principles, we know that diversity of opinion and action is critical to the survival of a business and the health of an economy. Unity of action and opinion is communism, and as such, regardless of what you may think of its social principles, cannot react to changing conditions quickly. The Borg collective has no diversity of opinion or action, and it reacts very slowly to changing conditions (their inability to devise new tactics against Species 8472 is proof of that).

  8. From real-life science and engineering, we know that diversity of opinion and action is also critical to scientific discovery and technological advancement. Again, the Borg collective has no diversity of opinion or action, and its scientific capabilities have been shown to be woefully inadequate. They have not shown themselves to be capable of innovation, and if it weren't for assimilation of technology from others, they would be helpless. The fact that they've been exploring space for a hundred thousand years but not really successful until the last millenium is proof of this; they probably had a chance encounter with some stray vessel a thousand years ago which happened to have nanotech information in its computer.

How can you deny all of this by simply saying that they have a "hive mind", and then making a preposterous leap in logic from that fact to your conclusion (made in defiance of all the evidence) that they react instantly to changing conditions? The fact that they have a hive mind is precisely the reason why they are useless! How are you supposed to refute that argument by simply repeating that they have a hive mind?

I never said I would want to be a part of such a society, but since they are clearly linked to the thoughts of one another, they would certainly be aware of any attacks on their space.

Of course they would be aware, but it would take forever for their mega-staff meeting to come to any conclusions about what to do. You are ignoring the conclusion which follows logically from the evidence.

[Quoted] "There are points on the Canada-US border which are thousands of miles from Washington DC, but there are also points which are much closer."

Yes, but since we know that the Romulans have had long standings of hostility with the Federation, a large Romulan task force could conceivably break through the immediate defenses, blast their way past the sensor grids, go to cloak before a Federation ship can track them, and then make a run for earth, and capture the head of the Federation within a few hours. Clearly however, this plan is impossible if the Neutral Zone is at least two days away, since that would give sufficent time for the Federation ships to rally defenses back at their base of operations.

ROTFLMAO!! It must take two days to get from any point on the Neutral Zone to Earth because otherwise, the Romulans would have invaded in massive force? Do you even try to think realistically? By your logic, America couldn't possibly have been within an hours' striking distance of Russian ICBMs during the Cold War, because the Russians were hostile and they could have wiped out Washington DC in an hour!

Since you seem to ignore geopolitics as easily as you ignore business theory, military theory, scientific method, computer science, or the conclusions which follow logically from evidence, let me spell this out for you: the Russians did not attack the United States because they feared the American reprisal, not because they couldn't do it. Similarly, the Romulans never attacked Earth not because it was technologically impossible, but because they feared Federation reprisals against their own territory and/or Klingon opportunism. If somebody has the balls to do it, they can do it easily (how do you think the Breen destroyed Federation HQ?)

If the Romulans had moved massive forces to some remote part of their own Empire in order to put them on the part of their border which was closest to the Federation, they would leave their core territory weakly defended and the sudden disappearance of a large portion of their forces would be picked up by Federation spies. The Federation, on the other hand, can easily deploy massive forces to the portion of the Neutral Zone which is closest to Earth, thus giving them a strategic advantage in this scenario; they don't have to weaken their core territory defenses in order to defend against the attack, while the Romulans have to weaken their core defenses in order to prepare for it.

[Quoted] "In "Balance of Terror", they were so far from Earth that it took hours to send and receive a subspace message. But in STFC, they were receiving real-time audio. In other words, they were a helluva lot closer, weren't they?"

Either way, you are still looking at a response time of a couple of hours.

Time for the incredible Trekkie Shape-Shifting Argument™, eh? First it was two days at the minimum, and now it's a couple of hours? Make up your mind! I've never seen someone contradict himself so quickly (most people are clever enough to space things out a little bit).

[Explaining why we couldn't see Borg repairs in STFC despite his claim that the cube was repairing itself and doing fine] That is because in "Q Who" the Enterprise view screen had to use a magnifcation of ten to the twentieth power to observe the fractures in the hull repairing themselves. Obviously, such repairs cannot be obsereved with the naked eye.

Don't be ridiculous. They had to use a high magnification because the Borg cube was far away, not because the repairs can't be seen with the naked eye! The camera was very close to the Borg cube in STFC, and no repairs were visible.

You bring up an interesting point. In the first appearance of the Borg, the Enterprise blew out three chunks of the hull, yet in STFC, we saw nothing so large. Since you claim that at that point, the Federation forces were penetrating shields, that would indicate that the Borg do indeed have an outer hull armor that is not easily penetrated.

No it wouldn't, since the cube was still taking heavy damage, and the Fed fleet easily blew out a big pit in its side by simply concentrating its fire in one point for a few seconds.

This incident demonstrated the incredible tactical stupidity of Federation officers (Jesus Christ, did they really need Picard to remind them that it's better to focus their firepower on one spot?), and it also demonstrated that A) the cube's shields were down, although we don't know how recently they'd fallen, and B) there's no armour.

The first cube was even softer, but the first cube and the second cube also looked a lot different, so it's a no-brainer that they weren't structurally identical, isn't it? The fact that the first cube was soft as a marshmallow doesn't mean that the second cube couldn't be a little tougher without still lacking armour. We've seen armoured cubes (tactical cubes), and this clearly wasn't one of them. Are you blind or something? Armour would be visible, and it wasn't! What do I have to do, draw a picture?

And since transphasic torpedoes could still tear through this armor, that would mean that transphasic torpedoes tear through armor as well as shields. Otherwise, the only other explanation is that after several hours of constant battle with a fleet of Federation ships, the Borg ship was still holding with shields, and that they could still do sufficent damage.

Nonsense. You assume that all armour is created equal; if the whisper-thin structure of a Borg cube is what you consider "armour", then a quick glance at a Star Destroyer will reveal the problem with your argument. Moreover, you should watch the first cube that dies in "End game": the transphasic torps look like they're exploding on its surface, so they obviously didn't have to penetrate that deeply in order to destroy it (they probably didn't go any deeper than the pit made in STFC, which was the result of just a few seconds of sustained bombardment with regular weapons).

[Still claiming that the STFC cube was in good fighting shape when Picard arrived] "Almost dead"? When the Enterprise had arrived, the Borg was still blowing up Federation ships left and right. Durring the few moments that they are on screen, we see the ship blow up quite a few Federation vessels, and continue to fire away. So, basically, through your own words, you admit that a Borg ship that is "almost dead" can still survive a heavy onslaught from a Federation fleet and continue to pound away at other enemy vessels.

Of course, since the Federation ships were also near-dead by this time. Why the hell do I have to keep explaining these simple concepts to you? Is this your idea of a delaying tactic or something? The E-E showed up fresh for battle and Borg shots were harmlessly deflected by its shields, remember?

[Quoted] "Try to think about this logically, instead of simply translating every unknown into "big yield"."

I didn't translate anything. Seven stated quite clearly that the weapon possessed an explosive yield of five million isotons. There really isn't much to debate about that. It was stated.

So what? She also stated that it would propel the nanoprobes over a five light year distance in short order, and even a quadrillion "isotons" wouldn't do that if isotons are a unit of explosive energy yield. Even an infinite amount of energy won't propel a single proton to superluminal speeds through sheer force, and if it was a big yield weapon, it would have simply vapourized the nanoprobes! Didn't you read my previous E-mail? Do I have to repeat myself a third time?

[Quoted] "It's most likely that this "multi-kinetic neutronic mine" is a specialized device for distributing objects at warp speed without damaging them, perhaps with soliton waves. It's no superweapon."

That is like saying that the Death Star is no superweapon even though it can destroy planets.

Invalid analogy. The Death Star demonstrated its ability to destroy a planet with one shot. This "multi-kinetic neutronic mine" never demonstrated squat, and we have no information whatsoever on its capabilities except for some dialogue which explicitly suggests that it's nothing more than a distribution system. By your logic, Federal Express is a superweapon.

Clearly the reason this weapon was never used in standard battle against S-8472 was because of its long range effects. In war, you don't use a nuke at every battle, especially if the battles are taking place on your own turf, or else you run the risk of destroying your own forces and resources as well. If the Borg shot one of these things at every battle with S-8472 that they were in, they probably would have destroyed their own territory quite effectively.

Ah, I see it's time for the infamous Trekkie Shape-Shifting Argument™ again! In your previous argument, you said the Borg would gladly use such weapons even if costs them some of their own star systems. Now, you suddenly turn around and expect them to act like a conventional military! Make up your mind, please; it's hard to argue with someone when he insists on changing his position from one minute to the next.

The fact that the Borg designed such a weapon with such explosive force clearly indicated that they have the firepower to take on the Empire. Likely, the reason we do not see this weapon in use is because the Borg are more interested in assimilating species then destroying them. However, the fact that they designed this weapon at all clearly indicates that they understand the usefulness of such a weapon as well as when to use it.

No, it indicates that they have a specialized device for distributing nanoprobes over a wide area, probably with soliton waves (albeit soliton waves that actually work properly, unlike the Federation's version). Your only evidence for high yield is 7 of 9's quote about 5 million isotons, and that won't help you. Consider the SI prefix table:

yotta

1024

zetta

1021

exa

1018

peta

1015

tera

1012

giga

109

mega

106

kilo

103

hecto

102

deca

101

iso

100

deci

10-1

centi

10-2

milli

10-3

micro

10-6

nano

10-9

pico

10-12

femto

10-15

atto

10-18

zepto

10-21

yocto

10-24



Do you see where "iso" falls in that table? It stands for 10^0, which is one! If we go by dialogue and modern units (the way Trekkies keep insisting), a 25 isoton weapon is equivalent to just 25 tons of TNT, or 0.1 TJ! You Trekkies insist on assuming that I'm being uncharitable to your side by disregarding SI unit dialogue in the canon episodes, but in fact, I am being enormously charitable to your side. If we insist on accepting Star Trek dialogue with modern units, we have no choice but to conclude that photon torpedoes are good for less than 1 TJ of energy, and that the biggest weapon in the entire Borg inventory is a 5 megaton bomb! Too bad, so sad; I guess it turns out that the Borg have less firepower than Pakistan.

[Quoted] "Wrong. Learn to read, Johnny."

You may call me T-1000 or you may call me John. I do not call you Mikey or anything else so inaccurate so you might at least have the decency to call me by my name.

And you might have the decency not to ignore my statements! I stated very clearly in both my original article and my last E-mail that STFC is the proof you're asking for. You ignored it both times, Johnny.

When? When did you prove it wrong. When have we even seen a Borg ship cease to function properly when less than 78% of it was inoperable. Your website states, and I quote "Many civilians continue to believe initial reports leaked from our first two encounters about how one would have to destroy more than 70% of a Borg cube to keep it from regenerating itself (untrue)". Where do you mention your proof? All you do is come out and state that it is untrue without bothering to back it up.

Yet again, you demonstrate your incredible capacity for ignoring words placed in front of you. STFC!! Do I have to say it a fourth time? STFC!! How about a fifth time? STFC!!! Do I have to spell this out for you? How much of the Borg cube in STFC was destroyed? 78%? 50%? 10%? Less than that, yet it still blew up, didn't it?

[Quoted] "Your estimates of your own abilities were grossly overstated, Johnny."

It is T-1000 or John, preferably John. Nobody calls me Johnny, and you certainly had better damn well believe I am not going to let you call me Johnny.

Too bad. I'm not going to let you accuse me of things I did not do, Johnny. I stated very clear, specific evidence to disprove the 78% figure, and you have twice accused me of not doing so.

Actually, when Voyager attempted to infect the collective with a pathogen that would release a certain number of susceptible drones from the collective, it was stated that such a virus would have the effect of being transmitted throughout the collective instantly. The fact that this was not so with the pathogen that Janeway used, and the fact that is has already been stated that this particular pathogen(which was introduced in a previous episode) only effects one ship or structure until it is reassimilated, and my argument is quite sound.

Yet again, the slothful induction rears its ugly head. I made a very clear argument, both in the original article and in my last E-mail, for the idea that the infection of the Queen is analogous to a root exploit, and would therefore have an entirely different effect than a normal infection. I provided real-life analogies to back it up. Your "rebuttal" consists of simply ignoring that argument, and restating your original opinion that if one infection didn't work, no infection would work.

Don't you get it? I gave a real-life example where your argument is shown to be unsound! In a real computer system, you can infect an ordinary user with a virus and it will only affect that user (eg- containment of effects), but if you infect the super-user account with that same virus, it gains global access and destroys everything! The limits of a normal infection do not necessarily apply to a super-user infection! Christ, do I have to repeat myself a third time?

[Editor's note: in case any of you share his stupidity, here's how it works: a logical argument of the form "A is true, therefore B is true" can be disproven in one of two ways: 1) show that A is not true, or 2) show that A does not necessarily lead to B. I chose to use the second method, and gave a real-life example where A is true, but B is not true. His response? Simply repeat that A is true. And he claims to be proficient at debating ... (snicker). His next paragraph betrays the same mentality; when an opponent has shown that A does not necessarily lead to B, simply restate that A is true]

[Ignoring my point about delayed virus activation] This particular virus was shown in an earlier episode where Seven of Nine began to suffer from multiple personalities. It was stated that the virus does not spread throughout the collective, but rather through all the drones of a single ship. In fact, during the last few sequences when we see the primary Unimatrix being destroyed, we see patrolling Borg ships who are not being affected either.

Yet again, you simply ignore the argument. It's hard to conduct a civilized argument when one person simply ignores the points being made by the other, Johnny. The fact that the entire collective wasn't destroyed the instant the Queen died is easily explained by the virus incubation period. You can't defeat that argument by simply restating the fact that the entire collective wasn't destroyed the instant the Queen died!

You assume that the Empire can send every ship it has got. But the fact is that the Empire is a form of government not loved by its people. It has to deploy thousands of heavy ships just to keep its local populace under control. If it were possible for the Empire to send every ship against the Star Trek galaxy, the Empire might have a much better chance, but it is doubtful. As it is, with limited resources against the full resources of an entire Quadrant, and beyond (the Borg and Dominion), the Empire cannot overcome the multiple species who would realize the threat of the Empire and ban together to stop them.

Don't be ridiculous. First and foremost, no one will ally themselves with the Borg. Secondly, the Dominion is hardly preferable to the Empire; at least the Empire doesn't arrange itself into a species caste structure (official New Republic propaganda aside, TPM demonstrated that the Emperor has no problem with non-humans), and it doesn't have to control its military with drugs. And finally, the Empire can easily produce and staff a few thousand ships on short notice, in order to build an invasion fleet without affecting their home forces at all. Look at how quickly they built and staffed DS2, in secret! Even the partially completed DS2 was equivalent to millions of ships! Again, do I really have to spell this out for you?

No, you gave Borg ships no credit, despite their proven ability to withstand hours of fighting and battling with a fleet of Federation ships.

Big deal. As long as we're going to use your ridiculous method of taking dialogue literally, this only means that they can withstand hours of fighting with a fleet of Federation ships which use weapons in the ton range (not megaton, not kiloton, but ton!).

Even if we use my far more generous policy of not taking stupid dialogue at face value, a Star Destroyer could withstand hours of Federation fleet bombardment as well. Hell, the Executor survived three Star Destroyers ramming into it at relativistic speeds!

Their transwarp does not crawl at all

Yes it does, since it takes months for them to move distances which an ISD would cover in hours.

since apparently they are capable, according to you anyway, of building conduits to areas which they are only in for an hour or so.

Again you misrepresent my statements. I merely stated that there were many ways in which they might have laid that conduit rather than resorting to your ridiculous theory that they are natural occurrences, and then I listed a few possibilities. I never said that I favoured any particular explanation over any other, nor did I say that it was likely that they could lay a conduit as easily as you suggest. In fact, the fact that it took years indicates that they might have to travel at conventional warp speeds in order to do it (which would explain why it took years for the cube to arrive in STFC, and why it was moving so slowly).

In Scorpion PT 1, we heard Janeway mention that Borg space consisted of "thousands of systems, millions of vessels." That puts them at a much higher infrastructure than you have ever admitted to.

You're obviously fond of misrepresenting my statements, so why not misrepresent canon dialogue too? Janeway said "We don't know exactly how many vessels are out there, but their space appears to be vast ... it includes thousands of solar systems, all Borg." Funny ... no mention of "millions of vessels", is there? Do you always invent dialogue out of thin air so that you can use it as rhetorical spackle, to fill in the gaping holes in your feeblearguments?

The Empire has millions of star systems. The Borg have thousands of star systems. The Empire's biggest weapon is a planet-destroying Death Star. The Borg's biggest weapon is a funky probe distribution system (or a 5 megaton bomb, if you insist on going by 7 of 9's dialogue). The Empire can travel anywhere in the galaxy in hours or days (even without maps, they can simply try out each route beforehand by sending a probe droid ahead). The Borg need to spend months or years (canon precedent indicates years) building up a conduit, which can be destroyed at a stroke, thus forcing them to start over. The Empire uses heavily armoured and heavily shielded ships. The Borg uses soft ships which rely upon active systems to block enemy weapons. Imperial officers and men are permitted combat initiative. Borg drones are mindless instruments of a grossly inefficient top-down command structure. There's a pretty clear tactical and strategic superiority here, and it's squarely in the hands of the Empire.

Oh wait, the Empire does not know how to remodulate their weapons because they have never had the need to. And yet you want to argue that the Empire has weapons that the Borg can't handle?

So? The Empire doesn't need to remodulate its weapons! Frequency remodulation is a Federation oddity, and there's no reason to believe that Imperial weapons are either phase or frequency coherent, and that "remodulation" applies at all. Nobody "remodulates" a nuclear weapon, remember? Nobody "remodulates" the bullets from a Tommy gun (which kill Borg drones easily), remember? Nobody "remodules" claws (with which Species 8472 killed piles of drones), remember?

What do you mean "all the bugs worked out"? The empire left a weak spot on the Death Star that was so vulnerable that a starfighter managed destroy it. That is a pretty big bug. If they miss something like that, the odds that their other technology is perfected seem to slim.

Obviously, your engineering knowledge is pathetic (gee, I'm shocked). One can make a stupid mistake when designing a new vehicle without the underlying technologies themselves being buggy. If Firestone designed bad tires for the Ford Explorer, does this mean that tire technology is buggy? The designer of the Death Star used ancient, reliable weapons, shield, propulsion and reactor technologies, all of which worked perfectly. The fact that he made a stupid mistake in his implementation is a red herring.

Millions of vessels capable of withstanding a prolonged conflict with Federations *fleets* as well as easily establishable transwarp conduits and the technology to develop weapons capable of yielding millions of isotons, and you want to argue for Borg inferiority?

Of course! The Borg do not have millions of vessels, otherwise they would have a thousand vessels for each of their thousands of star systems, and we saw quite clearly in "Scorpion" that they do not. They do not have "easily establishable transwarp conduits"; it took them years after first contact to establish one to Earth, despite numerous visits from both warships and scout ships (buy a clue, buddy; we know that they still didn't have one up and running by STFC, or the cube would have used it).

[Quoted] "An objective analysis of the evidence at hand simply cannot support any conclusion other than an Imperial victory, and a cakewalk at that."

Maybe not with the way you like to ignore cannon weapons and stated facts.

Pot calling the kettle black. I ignore your simple-minded interpretations of canon evidence because they make no sense, and I ignore your deliberate misrepresentations of canon evidence, but unlike you, I do not stare an event squarely in the eye and ignore the fact that it contradicts an argument.

But a hard look at the evidence suggests otherwise. Imperial vessels are vastly powerful but the superior analytical abilities, greater knowledge of the battlefield of the Federation and other Star Trek races, and the fact that the Empire could only send possibly a quarter of their full fleet at any time vastly decreases their strategic and tactical abilities.

"A quarter"? Even a hundredth of the Imperial fleet would overwhelm the Federation by virtue of its tactical and strategic advantages, and the Empire could simply build an extra fleet if they don't want to deplete their home forces. How many times can I say it? There are three rebuttals to 99% of Trekkie arguments:

  1. Death Star

  2. Death Star

  3. Death Star

The benchmark set by the Death Star for reactor output, weapon firepower, structural strength, and propulsion technology is so high that it is virtually insurmountable by any of the piddly navies you mention, and its sheer size indicates the kind of industrial output that the Empire could bring to bear. That's why Trekkies are fond of the ridiculous argument that it's millions of times more advanced than everything else the Empire has.

Also, something that you may have brought up on your website but cannot argue against [Editor's note: actually, I did argue against it, but he obviously didn't bother reading my site before claiming to have defeated it] is the ability of time travel. There is nothing to suggest that time travel is even possible in the Star Wars galaxy while it cannot be argued that the Borg at least certainly regard it as a valid tactic against any species that becomes too much of a problem.

No, it's a desperation move for individual survival, where someone tries to escape into an alternate timeline (by creating it through time travel) rather than face the music. The Borg sphere in STFC resorted to time travel because its attack failed, and rather than simply die in this timeline, they resorted to creating another one with a happy ending. Why do you think they've never tried that before or since? Why do you think they travelled all the way to Earth before making that time-jump, instead of simply doing it in their home territory and then taking a leisurely, safe flight to Earth, to arrive with a whole cube instead of a lone, damaged sphere? Why do you think that even the omnipotent Dowd couldn't bring his beloved wife back to life? You figure he's inferior to the Federation? Time travel cannot change history; it's just a cowardly attempt to jump into a different timeline where things turn out differently. That's the only way to resolve the multiple time-travel paradoxes of Star Trek, not to mention the known existence of parallel timelines.

This post has grown incredibly large, but at the end, all of this blather resolves to just X core arguments on your part:

  1. Everybody would band together against the Empire. There is no precedent whatsoever for this, and your only evidence involves two groups that collaborated with the Dominion as soon as they showed their faces in the Alpha Quadrant!

  2. Imperial technologies have all the vulnerabilities and idiosyncracies of Federation technologies. This is simply unsupported and unsupportable supposition, without any conceivable basis in logic or observation.

  3. The Empire has no defense against fighters. This one is simply laughable.

  4. The Borg Collective has millions of cubes, based on dialogue which you invented out of thin air.

  5. We should take 7 of 9's dialogue at face value even though it indicates that the Borg Collective's biggest weapon is a 5 megaton bomb.

  6. The infamous Trekkie Time Travel Cop-Out(TM), obviously borne of desperation on your part.

Oooooh, I'm so scared.


[Editor's note: after several weeks, there was still no response, so I think we can safely say that he ran away. I can't believe this guy thought he was some kind of high-calibre debater who would put me to shame. Every one of his arguments was already answered somewhere on my website! Pathetic ...]


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