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- Fri, May 29, 2015, 12:58pm (USA Central)
Who Watches the Watchers
John Logan is correct that Francis is no more progressive in policy than his predecessor on social issues. To be fair, if he himself wished to change or amend the Canon, I think the next big news story would be about how he was poisoned in his sleep.
What Francis has effectively done is to refocus the institution's energies and re-prioritise its agenda. That way, Catholics who stay in the Church out of faith but feel at odds with many of its teachings have a righteous cause to feel good about (social justice). What is often ignored is that (as this episode eludes to), those same people are perfectly capable of actively promoting social justice AND disjoining themselves from an institution whose social values are borderline mediæval by excommunicating.
Regarding abortion debates, I require a simple mandate from pro-lifers : Demonstrate that your fervent stance on the issue is genuine respect for human life by protesting with equal vigour every war, execution, preventable disease death, starving child (food stamps anyone?), and gun legalisation. Then I am willing to engage your position thoughtfully. Until then, I'm afraid it's all a lot of talk which disguising the real motivator which is sex-shaming and gender control.
- Fri, May 29, 2015, 12:42pm (USA Central)
Far Beyond the Stars
Yanks, come on buddy, i know we butt heads a lot but you're better than this.
First of all, marriage does not at this time hold a single definition and has changed in meaning countless times in history. The most traditional and typical definition of marriage would be a man selling his underage daughter to another man so the other man can make babies. Those babies would be either "people" [men] who could go on buying and selling their sisters [not people]. The traditional definitions of marriage hinged on the inequality between the sexes. As soon as marriage became about the union of two people on equal terms, the gender divide became meaningless.
Justice Roberts himself (no liberal thinker he) has framed the argument for marriage equality in terms of gender discrimination, which it is. If our society deems discrimination based on gender as immoral and/or unconstitutional, then prohibiting people from marrying whom they choose based on their gender is equally immoral and/or unconstitutional. It's that simple.
- Fri, May 29, 2015, 12:38pm (USA Central)
Far Beyond the Stars
Ah, yes. The classic "intolerance of intolerance is intolerance" argument. Always my favorite circular tail-chaser.
- Fri, May 29, 2015, 10:48am (USA Central)
Far Beyond the Stars
I don't have anything against gay people although there will undoubtedly be many that label me as a result of this post. Ours is a free country, people have the right to choose.
Interesting, I didn't think "IDIC" had anything to do with redefining marriage.
It's also puzzling that "IDIC" doesn't apply to a group that obviously doesn't agree with an institution that doesn't include them. They demand that institution redefine itself to include a behavior which they don't condone, or agree with, all in an effort to force inclusion in that organization and acceptance by it's members. Why doesn't "IDIC" apply to them? Why should they be allowed to impose their choices on others? Why aren't they more inclusive and respect others' views/values?
Can't have that when tax breaks are involved now can we.
To say this "quest for equality" from the LBGT community is anywhere on par with the civil rights movement for people of color is laughable and wishful thinking. All people under our constitution have the same rights. Jim Crow laws were unconstitutional and stupid as they intruded on individual rights. Marriage is not and never will be a right.
But that's OK, Obamacare was not a tax either.
What I don't like is "IDIC" getting thrown around every time someone with a cause has a gripe. "The combination of a number of things to make existence worthwhile" doesn't mean no rules or guidelines or that every organization must include everyone all the time. It' means one is at peace with themselves and understands that their place in the universe is significant. "We've each learned to be delighted with what we are" Kirk said. He didn't say "We've learned to make others love us".
- Fri, May 29, 2015, 8:59am (USA Central)
The Way of the Warrior
Bashir: "They broke seven of your transverse ribs and fractured your clavicle!"
Garak: "Ah, but I got off several cutting remarks which no doubt did serious damage to their egos ... Thanks to your ministrations, I am almost completely healed. But the damage I did to them will last a lifetime."
In an episode chock full of awesome dialogue, that was probably my favorite line. Why didn't they just make Garak a main character?!
- Fri, May 29, 2015, 8:44am (USA Central)
Funny, folks blame bad writing when a sci-fi show introduces a concept they hadn't heard of before doesn't seem scientifically sound. Or more accurately they don't like because the show it's on isn't the "prequel" they envisioned?
Pretty laughable really, when those same folks have accepted Warp drive, replicators, transporters and sub-space communications as gospel for 50 years.
The acting in this episode was outstanding, especially Linda's. Much better than the TNG actors' performances in "Genesis".
The only beef I really have with this episode is it really doesn't fit with the season 3 Xindi arc, but that's to be expected. Every episode couldn't be about the Xindi.
- Thu, May 28, 2015, 11:55pm (USA Central)
The Vengeance Factor
I first became a fan of Star Trek when TNG had just started its final season. That means I missed the first six seasons of it and the first season of DS9 when they originally aired. I also missed the last 2 and a half seasons of DS9 and the last four seasons of VOY (but that's another story). I only got to see the vast bulk of TNG on re-runs and had to wait until Trek was released on DVD to see the rest of DS9 and VOY, not to mention ENT. The point I'm getting at here is that it took me a LONG, LONG time to see every episode, especially of TNG. And "The Vengeance Factor" may very well have been the last one I managed to get ahold of.
Having gone back and re-watched it again now, I have to say that I can understand why the re-runs would often skip this one. "The Vengeance Factor" is DULL, DULL, DULL! Jammer absolutely nails it with - "There are too many characters and not enough investment in any of them. There is no clear line of drama, making it very difficult to become involved in the story."
First we have a story about an attack on a Federation outpost. We almost immediately then shift into a story about reintegration of cultural malcontents (a reintegration that Picard seems to force on them in many ways - that leaves a bad taste in my mouth) (also, the way the Enterprise crew and the Acamarians show open contempt for Gatherer society and cultural norms doesn't really speak well for integration, does it?). That then gets diverted into a romance plot for Riker. After that we're jack-knifed into plodding negotiation scenes that go nowhere. Finally the episode decides to actually have its title have a semblance of relevance and focus on Yuta's blood feud. Good lord, the only episode thus far that comes close to this level of warp-speed plot shifting was "Up the Long Ladder." Thankfully "The Vengeance Factor" isn't that bad. Still, couldn't they have just picked a plot and developed it instead of giving us all these half-hearted ones?
There is also the fact that I just don't care about the Acamarians and the Gatherers and that only increases the dullness. If this episode dealt with an established alien species (Andorians or Tellerites come to my mind) it would have been much more interesting. As it is, we've never seen these people before and we'll never see them again, so what's the point?
- Thu, May 28, 2015, 10:38pm (USA Central)
Nebula Nox said: Wow... aren't the actors embarrassed?
I'm sure they all had a good laugh; pity there weren't outtakes.
- Thu, May 28, 2015, 10:05pm (USA Central)
The Nth Degree
Settle down, children.
- Thu, May 28, 2015, 8:49pm (USA Central)
I watched all of Trek with my Mother, two episodes a week (in order) for years, and her favorite character was Data (and later, Quark). She got a big kick out of how Data acted while playing craps, and I must say I did as well. Nice memory.
I always felt bad for the astronaut (but hey, they had room service! Maybe the food was good. :) ).
I have wondered about the aliens, who read the book (?) and made a world for him, but never talked to him about it? They could understand English apparently (read the book), but it never occurred to them to find a way to see if he was okay? They started their (sort of) version of a holodeck, and never came back to see how he was doing, to the point of him being dead for uncounted years with the thing still running? After caring enough to make a 'world' for him? Nah...
Still, if I had to watch a one star episode out of all the Trek's, this would be the one.
Have a great day! :)
- Thu, May 28, 2015, 6:11pm (USA Central)
A very fun, well executed time caper. The New Outer Limits had a very similar episode (Virtual Future) that aired a few months later. That's a lot of fun too!
- Thu, May 28, 2015, 1:50pm (USA Central)
So, after a really good offering with "The Enemy," they follow it up with this turd.
What precisely did Ral do that so unethical? He was hired by the Chrysalians to represent their interests and.... he represented their interests. What's the problem here? Oh, he uses his empathic abilities to gain an edge. So what?! Like he says to Troi, negotiation is all about gaining an edge. Oh, he conspired with the Ferengi to manipulate the negotiations. Again, so what?! I'll grant that that really toes the line, but I don't think he crosses any ethical boundaries. After all, the Federation and Ferengi are antagonistic and that's what the Barzans are worried about. He just put on a little demonstration for them. I know an episode is bad when it goes out of its way to paint someone as the villain only for me to end up agreeing with him over the "heroes."
If they really wanted to make Ral look bad, maybe they should have focused on the fact that comes off as a creepy-ass stalker in his early scenes with Troi. But, no, we'll ignore that. Speaking of which, what is Troi's reaction to his creepiness? To jump right into bed with him. Way to damage her character in the process of ignoring your own bad writing there guys!
But you know what is really the saddest thing about this episode? The fact that the Ferengi - THE FERENGI - in only their fourth appearance on Trek are the most enjoyable part. That's not to say that the Ferengi are used well (because they still suck with their unfunny "comedy" and wild gestures), but at least they're not as bad as the dreck around them.
The only thing this episode has going for it is the wonderful bit of world-building it presents in the whole Alpha-Beta-Gamma-Delta Quadrant division of the galaxy.
Worst episode of the season thus far!
- Thu, May 28, 2015, 11:19am (USA Central)
Who Watches the Watchers
"Well the issue if that the left sees third trimester abortions on demand, as a grey area."
I think that's more of an extreme position on the left than the opposite is on the right (and I'm not aware of the born baby law you speak of). A lot on the right try to ban post 20 weeks (or sooner) when the reality is that a lot of horrible conditions don't come out until post 20 weeks. Many people don't get an amnio until after their nuchal translucency test (at 11-14 weeks) comes back with worrisome results and then you need to schedule, obtain and wait for the results of the amnio. The majority of post 20 week abortions are people who really wanted their babies... not people who didn't.
Third trimester begins at 28 weeks and the baby (if a healthy normal baby) actually has a pretty good shot of surviving outside the body with medical intervention at that point. I hope the number of pols that consider a no exceptions third trimester abortion to be a gray area are smaller than the number of pols that are slowly starting to pull away from rape/incest exceptions at the very least.
- Thu, May 28, 2015, 11:00am (USA Central)
Face of the Enemy
^^ I'd add Levar Burton to that list, too ^^
I think his portrayal of Geordi is always a highlight for any episode. Especially when Data's involved.
- Thu, May 28, 2015, 10:58am (USA Central)
Who Watches the Watchers
Robert@ Thank you, apology accepted, but please don`t negatively compare Pope Benedict XVI to Pope Francis. Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the rights of immigrans, condemned Consumerism, spoke of ways to fight for poverty, and he strongly supported fighting Aids by ending poverty, and teaching faithfullness. Pope Francis also condemns the use of birth control, and gay marriage and adoption, and is strongly against abortion. He opposed gay marriage and the free distribution of birth control in Argentina, and urged all bishops there to excomunicate prochoice politicians. He equated abortion with murder countless times, and excomunicated an expriest who supported gay marriage.
THANK YOU. We should just have public and religious schools.
Well the issue if that the left sees third trimester abortions on demand, as a grey area, with Obama opposing a law protecting born babies, from being murdered after being born. It is sort of like Franco, the alternative were the Communists.
- Thu, May 28, 2015, 7:58am (USA Central)
Just because you don't care about the inflections doesn't mean that they weren't completely off, bro.
PS. Thing 2 I've taken away from the comments sections - there's always somebody, usually Elliot, who will go A BLOO BLOO BLOO DS9 BIAS
- Thu, May 28, 2015, 7:50am (USA Central)
One thing I can take away from reading all these comments sections is that Michael had serious issues.
- Thu, May 28, 2015, 7:42am (USA Central)
Is There In Truth No Beauty?
I did think it was a mistake leaving Kirk in the transporter room at the end. I had presumed that Spock put on the visor for transport because it became possible during the transporter 'effect' to see through the box Kollos was in. And they were so careful to have all humans leave the room in the beginning.
But Kirk stands right there, facing the transporter pad, even as Spock dons the visor for safety. And there is no hint of Kirk going mad. Strange.
- Thu, May 28, 2015, 7:15am (USA Central)
Chain of Command, Part II
I always assume things like that are universal translator oddities/localizations and that the Cardassian is not speaking English. The English word is unearthed. I doubt that astronauts would say they unmarsed something on Mars.
- Thu, May 28, 2015, 7:05am (USA Central)
Who Watches the Watchers
I wish the things you've said about Catholics were true about the Catholics here. I would like to apologize to judging you harshly as a member of the religious right. While it sounds like we disagree on many things the Catholic religious right in the Netherlands sounds much less harmful than what we have here.
And for the record I like the new pope MUCH MUCH better than the last one. So I do feel like some things are heading the right direction.
"True I don`t have anything against teaching birth control, I just think religious schools shouldn`t have to teach it as it violates religious freedom."
I will totally agree with you here. In America we have the religious right trying to force things like this and creationism upon public schools. I agree with you, if you want your kid to learn those things instead of birth control/evolution you should send them to Catholic school. Leave the public schools alone (separation of church and state and all that).
I will also admit that it's possible many of the ills are not strictly done by "Catholics" but when the nut jobs in your country fly the banner of "Christianity" it behooves Catholics to find a way to stand apart from that banner if it doesn't represent them. All too often Catholic politicians just accept the religious right, warts and all, under their banner. It muddies the waters.
As I said though... I think my problem may be more with American Christians who are anything but Christlike. I may not agree with your views on many things, but I researched your party and, unlike the Christians here, while I can't claim to speak for him... I don't think Christ would have a problem with much of that.
- Thu, May 28, 2015, 5:04am (USA Central)
Who Watches the Watchers
Robert@ Yes I am against leaving them poor and hungry. I think Ireland did an excellent job banning nearly all abortions yet truelly caring for all children. Yes I know there was child abuse in a lot of assylums that was horrible, but generally family was valued a lot more. The church also strongly supported social services. Social care also improved a lot in South America where the economy is strangely enough growing fast.
True I don`t have anything against teaching birth control, I just think religious schools shouldn`t have to teach it as it violates religious freedom.
I live in the Netherlands, I consider myself of the tradition of the Catholic Centre Party, which is far more socialist and caring for the poor.
I am not sure if contraceptives would really solve Aids. Many goverments and charities hand them out in Africa. Many of the down sides of birth control are, they are not full proof but many people act under the assumption they are, they make it easier to have sex at a young age thinking you will face no consequences, easier to tell girls to either have sex with you, or you will dumb them, easier to commit polygamy, and so on. It makes promiscous and abusive behaviour easier. Contraceptives aren`t used nearly as much in South America, or the Philpines were Aids is rather rare. or Poland, or Ireland.
Well a lot of the thinks you mentioned sound more like Protestant fundamentalists. Catholics don`t harras people who want to hand out condoms in Africa, they simply teach the value of chastity, discouraging adultery, polygamy, spousal abuse and so on. This is how the church has Always fought evil, it banned polygamy, and forced marriages, and established the value of chastity.
Catholics are against bullying gays, they simply oppose gay marriage and adoption, and think homosexuals are called to chastity.
- Thu, May 28, 2015, 2:41am (USA Central)
The ending was a real laugh... you have a general being contacted (and pretty much ordered not to fire) by Sisko concerning a real-time threat to his ships. Can you imagine someone interfering with another country's chain of command in real-time here on Earth, let alone an alien race. If you are fried upon, you have every right to return fire with deadly force. What do Trek writers not get about that?
- Thu, May 28, 2015, 12:09am (USA Central)
The Road Less Traveled
I don't think Tyrol would shake hands with Baltar. It's a completely 1-way exchange: Galen gives Baltar legitimacy... but what does he get in return? What's Baltar have to offer? Even if he is sincere -- so what?
Kara -- yeah, the crew should have been fully briefed by Adama: "I'm putting a lunatic in charge and I expect you to follow her orders, no matter how insane. Do I have any voluteers for this mission?"
Helo was loyal to a fault -- but he should have tried harder (in private) to talk some sense into Kara. At least tried to warn her (again, in private) that she was walking over a cliff.
- Wed, May 27, 2015, 11:45pm (USA Central)
Great scene between Tyrol and Adama. Yeah, Galen wanted to be relieved before he fracked up big time. He must be thinking: "Did I forget to change (the whatever) on the Raptor, or is it just a hidden program?"
Baltar's speech sounds nice, but only if you don't think about it for more than, say, 5 seconds... after which point it's obviously absurd:
"I think I'm not perfect." Can a perfect being be fallible? Am I perfect?
Still as slimy and self-serving as ever.
I can't take his harem seriously.....
It's hard to feel any sympathy for Tory. Let's look at the current Cylons in the fleet. One's in the brig (but apparently getting better treatment than Baltar did), one is an officer in the fleet. So, self defense is a pretty poor excuse. Nit pick - I always thought Tigh would have gone straight to Adama -- he's not the sort to keep a secret like that from Adama -- and certainly not if it might put the fleet in danger.
- Wed, May 27, 2015, 11:03pm (USA Central)
Chain of Command, Part II
I don't know if this qualifies as an "error" but when Picard and Madred are taking prior to the torture, they are discussing ancient burial ground ruins on Cardassia. Madred says they were first "unearthed". Would a cardassian really use the word unearthed?
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