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Elliott - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 7:17pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S1: First Season Recap

Well, here are my totals for DS9's first season. For the record, I consider stars to equate thusly :

**** = exceptional (You have to watch this)
***.5 = excellent (Truly enjoyable to watch)
*** = good (A solid instalment)
**.5 = okay (Problems, but worth watching)
** = watchable (You won't want your hour back, but it's nothing good)
*.5 = poor (You will be annoyed)
* = terrible (Don't watch this)
.5 = horrendous (Don't watch this unless you do so ironically)
0 = worthless (Don't watch this unless someone pays you)

Rank Title Stars Score Difference from Jammer
1. Duet **** (3.83) [=]
2. The Nagus ***.5 (3.72) [+.5]
3. Dax ***.5 (3.39) [=]
4. Progress *** (3.0) [=]
5. Captive Pursuit *** (2.89) [=]
6. Vortex *** (2.755) [-.5]
7. The Forsaken **.5 (2.72) [=]
8. (tie) Past Prologue **.5 (2.525) [-.5]
8. (tie) In the Hands of the Prophets **.5 (2.525) [-1]
9. A Man Alone **.5 (2.365) [+.5]
10. Emissary ** (2.03) [-1.5]
11. Battle Lines ** (2.195) [-1]
12. Dramatis Personæ ** (1.855) [-.5]
13. The Storyteller *.5 (1.66) [-1.5]
14. The Passenger *.5 (1.62) [-1]
15. Babel *.5 (1.525) [-1]
16. Q-less * (1.025) [-1.5]
17. If Wishes Were Horses * (.78) [-1]
18. Move Along Home .5 (.685) [-2]

Average **.5 2.268 [-12]

So, overall, it was an okay season. “Dax” and “The Nagus” were two totally different standout episodes, one classic Trek, the other freshly DS9, while “Duet” will prove to be one of the best episodes in the entire franchise, in spite of its being a bottle show to make up for expensive episodes like “Emissary” and “The Storyteller.” With the exception of the Bajoran faith episodes which are rife with poorly-thought-out apologist crap (“Emissary,” “Battle Lines,” The Storyteller,” “In the Hands of the Prophets”), Jammer and I seem to concur on the good episodes. The real disparity is in the middling and poor episodes. Jammer was willing to grant generous “okay” scores to really terrible episodes like “Q-less” and “Move Along Home,” bolstering up the overall impression of the season. It was undoubtedly better than TNG's or Enterprise's first seasons, but not better than Voyager's, and certainly not better than TOS's, which remains the best first season of any Trek.

Trends :

I noticed that many of the episodes, especially in the first half of the season, dropped off in quality in the last act, with rushed or contrived resolutions and really poor, upsetting characterisations (like Sisko's cowardly turn in “Captive Pursuit”). One of DS9's strength as a series, its secondary cast, is only embryonic at this point (2 appearances of Dukat, 1 of Garak, 2 of Neela, who's gone after this, and a fair few of Nog), so that will help in following seasons.

The bookeneding episodes seem to want to suggest the thematic direction for the series: politics and spirituality as they pertain to Bajor. That's all well and good, but the spiritual side of the equation is incredibly weak. It does both believers and non-believers a disservice to write such pandering wishy-washy dialogue concerning so serious a topic. The political issues fair better, but I have serious doubts about the Bajorans' ability to recover from the Occupation.

Characters (in order from best to worst):

O'Brien : In Colm Meaney's skilful hands, this character has really shone brightly this season, stepping out from his TNG supporting-rôle into a rounded character in his own right. Smart, family-oriented, loyal, brave, cunning and with a bit of an impatient streak, he's always a pleasure to have on screen.

Odo : Again, Auberjonois is a tremendous actor and his classic sci-fi character begins to fill out nicely; there's some good mystery about his origins in “Vortex” and a competent display of his skills and underlying motivations throughout the season as a keen investigator and sometimes overly diligent crime-fighter.

Quark : As your not-the-average-Ferengi, he's proved to be quite charming and noble in his own way. Several comedic bits from Shimmerman work wonders, and I submit “The Nagus” as being amongst the most under-appreciated episodes of the series. One of Trek's best comedies.

Jake : Although there's little to say about him at this point, his interactions with Ben have proved mostly quite good and I thought his friendship with Nog proved rather touching in “The Nagus.”

Kira : Two episodes saved her from being the worst character in the bunch, “Progress” and of course “Duet” which both added chasms of depth to a previously shallow and irritating character as well as showcased the better sides of Visitor's skill (which was dubious in the beginning). Unfortunately, what we see in the finale makes it seem like this change won't stick.

Bashir : There's not a lot to say about him and he's kind of a blank slate. He's smart and eager and young and horny. Not much else to add, I'm afraid. His only starring rôle, “The Passenger” did little to ingratiate the character to us.

Sisko : This blustering idiot gets a few decent moments here and there, but over all, I find the character to be a self-serving, temperamental, cowardly ass who has no business running such a strategically important post. Brooks acting is less aggravating in this season than it will prove to be later on, but it's still not what I'd call “good.” A disappointing face to the series.

Dax : In theory, she's the most “Trek” character, but aside from “Dax,” where she barely speaks and “Duet” where she acts like she should for, like the only time, she's this weird, under-acted, self-centred brat with 300 years of memories which are hardly utilised outside of Kurzon's memories of Sisko.
Elliott - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 6:34pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S1: In the Hands of the Prophets

Teaser : ***, 5%

Keiko feigns the jealous wife bit, delivering a cute little scene with Miles (point for innuendo “be careful whom you share your Jum-Ja with”). She goes on to teach her class (about the same size as we saw it last in “The Nagus.” She's teaching them about the wormhole and its socio-political importance.

A Bajoran nun enters her room unannounced to “observe” and proceeds to interrupt her, insisting she use Bajoran mystical labels for the wormhole and the aliens who built it (“Celestial Temple” and “Prophets”). I wrote back in “Battle Lines” and “Progress” about how the Bajorans' faith is understandable given their history during the Occupation. One can appreciate the comfort it offers to a brutalised people. Understanding this however, does not excuse it. Just as we saw in “Duet,” understanding the Bajoran need for vengeance and hatred is also not an excuse for that behaviour. And here to remind us why is Louis Fletcher, AKA Vedek Bitchwhore.

Showing amazing restraint, Keiko acknowledges the Bajoran faith without negating it or embarrassing the Vedek. Bitchwhore continues to press and actually uses a Bajoran child as a kind of debate shield, holding his arm in that patronising, precious, holier-than-thou way while grinning through her teeth. Maintaining commendable composure (although, I think some anger is more than warranted, Mrs O'Brien), she suggests discussing the matter outside of the classroom. Ignoring her, Bitchwhore flat out asks her if she's accept the Prophets into her heart as her personal Lords and Saviours. Uck. Like all fundamentalists, Bitchwhore resorts to accusing Keiko of “blasphemy” and vows to shut down her school.

Although the substance of this scene is not sitting well, dramatically, this is well-focused and introduces a recurring villain with a credible charisma.

Act 1 : *, 17%

O'Brien and Neela demonstrate some cross-cultural comradeship and O'Brien notes that he's missing a tool, which is unusual for the usually meticulous tinkerer.

Meanwhile, Keiko meets with Sisko, who describes Bitchwhore's attitude as “inevitable.” Really? I don't recall you giving such a warning in “A Man Alone,” commander. He then goes on to lament the lack of “common ground” necessary to admit Bajor into the Federation. Huh? Common ground? We have always seen alien worlds eager and anxious to join the Federation (except for those that don't want to of course). The Federation has never attempted to realign or re-message itself in order to appeal to reluctant potential members. If the Bajorans don't want to give up their religious beliefs and allow their culture to evolve (one would think this would take a hell of a lot longer than the few months since you got here, Sisko), then they can remain independent.

Kira enters the conversation to undo the goodwill she built up in “Progress” and “Duet,” telling Keiko in that condescending know-it-all tone that betrays a singular close-mindedness that her curriculum should be “revised.” The director or someone has decided to stage this scene with Keiko showing hostility and anger while Kira keeps her calm and composure, thus artificially propping up Kira's more-or-less unjustifiable position as somehow reasonable, while making Keiko look hysterical just for adhering to the principle that a school is not the place to prosthelytise children into believing in magic. Kira suggests segregating the school (“a lot of Bajoran and Federation interests are separate”). Thanks, John Howard Ferguson.

And cue the strawman :
KEIKO : “I'm not teaching any philosophy!...”
KIRA : “Some would say teaching pure science without a spiritual context IS a philosophy, Mrs O'Brien.” [read with dripping condescension].

“Philosophy” is not the issue here; “agenda” is. Keiko's philosophy is to present ideas without a social or political bias, which in not way conflicts with Bajoran spirituality (if it did, then how could Neela work for O'Brien?). What Bitchwhore and Kira are suggesting is that science (and other disciplines) be taught with an *agenda* that promotes faith in the Prophets rather than leaving spiritual matters open for other contexts. If the writers had been honest, they would have put words to that effect in someone's mouth (Keiko, Sisko?), but no, we get more one-sided, pro-credulity, anti-Roddenberry bullshit in its stead.

Sisko has a chat with Bitchwhore in the Bajoran temple (we know it's a temple because there are candles and incense, duh). Let's flash back to “Who Watches the Watchers” and Picard's attitude towards being deified by the Mentakans, as Sisko has been deified by the Bajorans. In that episode, Picard was certainly horrified at the prospect of being a god, and expressed outrage in the company of his crew and the palaeontologist, but to the Mentakans themselves he was kind, but firm in his insistence that they not worship him. He did everything in his power to change that perception of himself including risk his own life. Compare that to Sisko's tepid “I wish you wouldn't call me that.” Grow a pair, Commander!

Opaka once commented to Bitchwhore, “One should never look into the eyes of one's own gods.” Okay, why not? What is the theological justification for this? From an in-Universe perspective, the “gods” have no trouble mucking around with people and covering Sisko in their cream of mushroom soup, or shipping Dax off in an hourglass. I'll tell you where this bullshit comes from; in real religions, this is a deflectionary tactic commonly used to explain the disparity between the apparently conversational and physically present deities in holy books and the absence of such presence in contemporary life. Oh, no it isn't that the people who wrote these books imagined these things or made them up, it's that *you* want to see them too badly! How dare you want things! Go say a prayer! And no masturbating!

Bitchwhore is nothing if unsympathetic, but her desire to see her own flipping gods should not be considered evidence to poor character. On the contrary, one should wish to see evidence for the things one believes in.

Wait a minute, Bitchwhore just said she had never seen nor spoken to the prophets, yet she claims that they “spoke to her through the Orbs” about her mission to disrupt Keiko's school. This isn't even a philosophical question of faith, but which the fuck is it? Have you spoken to them or not?

To me, Bitchwhore is portrayed rather complexly—her political ambition and dormant ruthlessness is apparent, but her skeptical and inquisitive mind are GOOD things. But the episode takes the side of baseless credulity, and thus she's “a bad guy.” She claims not to take responsibility for anything tragic which “might” happen to Keiko's school, because, you know, God did it.

Act 2 : ***, 17%

Meanwhile, O'Brien and Neela are on the hunt for his missing tool which is apparently some sort of skeleton key to every critical system on the station. Geez. Dax reports that an ensign is missing, while O'Brien and Neela discover an errant titanium signature which turns out to be O'Brien's missing tool and some “cooked” organic material. Uh-oh.

So, the O'Briens take a stroll for some Jum-ja sticks discussing the poor ensign's “accident” and the Bajoran merchant reveals that patented Bajoran idiocy last seen in “The Storyteller,” refusing to sell to the blasphemer or her husband. Odo gets the best line to the assbagging “Seek the prophets” the merchant calls out after them saying, “Seek them yourself.”

Bitchwhore has called forth a mob in front of her school, where she pulls a Mommy Dearest pointing to Keiko's holding to her convictions as unreasonable anti-faith stubbornness.

Keiko, in turn, becomes my hero in the line “I'm a teacher. My responsibility is to expose my students to knowledge, not hide it from them.” You go, girl. And like lemmings, ALL the Bajoran parents and their children leave the school en masse. Good riddance, I say.

Act 3 : **, 17%

The Ensign's odd accident points to evidence that something is amiss, and O'Brien suggests his death may not have been an accident at all. Jake arrives in Ops, for I think the first time. Keiko, ever my hero, taught the remaining students about Galileo and humanity's own troubled past in wriggling its way out from under the thumb of religion. With a beautiful simplicity, Jake notes the similarity between that case and the current drama between Keiko and Bitchwhore (if not for the massive bias the episode has against skeptical disbelief, I would point out that it's a bit presumptuous for Keiko to martyr herself this way). Jake points out that the whole thing is “dumb.”

SISKO : “No it's not. You've got to realise something, Jake. For over 50 years, the one thing that allowed the Bajorans to survive the Cardassian Occupation was their faith. The prophets were their only source of hope and courage.”

Granted, commander, but that doesn't change the fact the Bitchwhore's tirade against Keiko is fucking stupid. Well, actually, her motivations are laid bare later on and aren't so much stupid as manipulative, but what allows her manipulation to work is Bajoran stupidity, isn't it?

Sisko tries to cover his apologist ass by pointing out the the Prophets can see the future. First of all, writers, a prophet does not predict the future, that's an oracle. A prophet proclaims what is happening right now and how it fits a divine plan. Second of all, if that's all it takes to be considered a god, you'd better starting nailing statues of John de Lancie to wooden crosses right now.

“It may not be what you believe, but that doesn't make it wrong.” So, are we claiming that Galileo's issue was that he had a different belief from the church authorities? That it was a matter of interpretation that the earth revolves around the sun? Great lesson, there!

“If you start to act that way, you'll be just like Vedek Winn, only from the other side.” That is the other deflectionary tactic that is often employed; all ideas are equally valid, therefore defending one or promoting one or deriding others is automatically wrong. Don't stop to think, folks, just drink the feel-good Koolaid. Kumbayah....

Sisko travels to Bajor (which looks surprisingly pristine for having been occupied so recently) to meet with a Vedek from a rival, less right-wing order of Wormholism, or whatever the Bajoran faith is called. We are introduced to Barail, who is supposed to allegorise the understanding, progressive spiritual leader. As someone who has several priests as close friends, let me be the first to say, that they certainly do exist. They are in fact the only tolerable form of religious people I have encountered, those who have enough *actual* faith in their beliefs not to feel pressed to force others to think as they do. In spite of this, they have to build Barail up as the most clichéd anti-Winn possible—all he wants is to plant flowers! He has absolutely *no* ambition and thus is the perfect candidate for Kai to challenge Bitchwhore. Luckily, they do rectify this sugary nonsense by revealing his political ambition preventing him from befriending Sisko. He does get this very honest line, however, “Oh, we're all very good at conjuring up enough fear to justify whatever we want to do.”

Bajoran idiocy is further demonstrated when Sisko returns to the station to find many of those officers absent from their posts, feigning illness. As much crap as I give Sisko, I have to empathise with him here; after all the Federation has done to help Bajor, including discovering their damned temple, rebuilding their world, protecting their borders and all while offering friendship and community, the first troublemaker to show up and start banging her bible has nearly all the Bajorans on DS9 cowering away from Sisko and his team.

And, it turns out Ensign hotpocket was killed by a phaser before being deposited in the conduit where O'Brien and Neela found him. Shocker.

Act 4 : ***.5, 17%

Odo reveals that Ensign hotpocket was murdered in a runabout the night before he was discovered in the conduit (Notice Kira has regressed to her ornery self-righteous self, interrupting Bashir and jumping to conclusions). In said runabout, O'Brien and Neela have a nice little scene which makes me wish they had been given a little more screentime. She's wonderfully disarming and sweet, while alluding to Starfleet-Bajoran tensions that have never been shown up to this point (psst, that's an historical revision, or retcon if you prefer).

Odo questions Quark about hotpocket's murder to little avail, and O'Brien shows up to offer some additional evidence; a piece of technology which points to a possible motivation to the killer's plan. In a thrilling moment, Keiko's school blows up right in the middle of the day, and poor O'Brien desperately screams for his wife. Luckily, she's fine, but imagine the impact of the tragedy if they had actually killed her. It's a visceral scene and quite powerful.

Act 5 : ***, 17%

Bitchwhore shows up at the site of the school and Sisko accuses her of motivating the terrorism against the school and she in turn accuses Sisko of conspiring to destroy the Bajoran people.

WINN : “You and your Federation live in Universe of darkness, and you would drag us in there with you.”

Oh, yeah. So much darkness, where we don't want for food or shelter, where we pursue careers that better ourselves and, oh yeah, are the reason you and your people aren't toiling away in mines or being raped by Cardassians!

Sisko's actual response is more diplomatic and is followed by Bitchwhore giving Neela a covert signal. Uh-oh.

Barail arrives unexpectedly in light of the explosion. He's obviously seen a political opportunity in befriending Sisko in light of the terrorism. Neela goes to Bitchwhore noting that O'Brien's and Odo's discovery will prevent her escape after she does whatever it is she's been asked to do. Bitchwhore responds that her 72 virgins will be waiting for her.

Meanwhile, O'Brien and Dax discover an anomalous programme which they begin to decode and Barail steps onto the promenade to adoring, um, fans, I guess. As the Smart People work to discover the secret, Barail pulls his own diplomatic overture, offering to resolve the differences between Bitchwhore and the Federations. O'Brien is winded when he discovers that Neela is the culprit. He warns Sisko who, in a bit of hammy slow-motion (complete with “Nooooooo!!!!”), throws himself over Neela, preventing her from assassinating Barail.

Kira and Sisko have a reasonable scene where they reconcile somewhat “I don't think you're the devil.” Gee, thanks, Major.

Episode as Functionary : **.5, 10%

The really shoddy strawman nonsense in the first few acts gives way to an action-mystery plot and a decent appraisal of the Bajoran-Federation alliance at this point. The O'Briens save a lot of face for this episode, offering smart dialogue and some strong characterisations. Sisko is all over the map, spouting stupid new-age crap on the one hand and smart political speech on the other. Kira is regressed about half a season. Bitchwhore proves to be a fun villain, but the episode completely drops its faith arguments in lieu of the action stuff. It's a mixed bag, for sure, but an okay end to the season.

Final Score : **.5
Datalore - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 6:06pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S7: Lower Decks

One of my favorite episodes of ANY Trek ever.

I loved the concept of seeing things through the Junior Officers eyes, so simple, yet never been done before. This give a real "life" to the Trek universe, that there is so much happening on a Starship we don't see.

How cool would it be to see (or even hear mentioned) one of the Characters again someday? Can you imagine a line of dialogue like "Captain Worf, Captain Navelle of the Archangel is hailing us" A man can dream.

SkepticalMI - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 5:59pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S7: Homeward

Worf's brother is ok, but other than that this was a painful episode. I had the same thought that Kevin had a year ago. After Picard gave his little speech, I would have loved it if Q appeared and reminded Picard about that whole "superior morality" thing from True Q. This is about the most disgusted I have been with Picard's actions since season 1.

If the Prime Directive exists because you don't want to harm a society's development, then so be it. Whether or not I agree with that idea, at least it's a consistent philosophy. But I'm pretty sure planetary extinction rates as a greater harm than any meddling might do. So to stand there and say it's honorable to sit back and watch a intelligent species undergo extinction is just bizarre. So if a society doesn't have exactly enough technology, it's not worth saving? We've seen Picard et al do everything they can to save more technologically advanced species, so why are they more special than this primitive one?

If tomorrow we discovered that the Sun is dying, and we blasted a message into space begging any aliens to help us, would we be ok if an alien race looked at it and ignored it? Or if you think that we're technologically advanced enough to merit help under the Prime Directive, what if it happened 100 years ago?

What if instead of the crystalline entity being destroyed, it had made contact with Picard, and declared that from now on it would only eat planets with primitive societies on them. Would Picard have happily let it go to produce dozens of genocides just because the Prime Directive said so?

But besides the ethical issue, there are a lot of things to swallow here. So we are to believe Nikolai can hack into the computers and use the transporters without anyone noticing? So we are to believe that no one will notice his son doesn't look like the rest of the aliens? So this village of what looks like 20 people is enough to produce a stable gene pool? (I would have assumed Nikolai would want the aliens saved permanently). So after telling us the importance of maintaining these history scrolls for generations, they just up and give it to Worf? So none of the aliens feel the transporter beam?

And the subplot of the kid leaving the holodeck was just boring. We've seen similar things before, in Who Watches, First Contact, Pen Pals, and so forth. Did we need to see another person frightened of all the amazing technology? I found it hard to feel his suicide as a tragedy (wait, he was just randomly carrying a suicide pill with him?) when I didn't care about it in the first place.

And I guess that's the key takeaway here. Perhaps I'd be more forgiving of the episode if I cared for its central idea, or if I cared about the characters, but I didn't. The aliens were bland, the main characters were weak, and the idea frustrating. So good riddance to the whole thing.
SkepticalMI - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 5:57pm (USA Central)
Re: TNG S7: The Pegasus

People are saying that the Treaty is one-sided, that the Federation gave up too much, etc. But how do you know? We don't know the full treaty, nor do we know what caused it to come into place (at least from my understanding). All we know is that it has limitations on what the Federation can do, but no information on what limitations are on Romulus.

I read an interesting theory that I like due to its simplicity: the treaty was signed in response to the Genesis project. After discovering that the Federation had, in the name of scientific progress, created a weapon of mass destruction, one can understand why Romulans would be nervous. Mutually assured destruction worked between the US and the USSR because both sides had nukes ready to go at all times, and neither side could ensure that they could prevent a retaliatory attack. But if the Federation had cloaked Genesis devices hidden throughout the Romulan empire? They could wipe them out in 5 minutes. Even better, instead of leaving a huge chunk of the galaxy barren, the destroyed planets would be ripe for colonization. With relative parity between the Romulan and Federation fleet, the Federation could prevent the remains of the Romulan fleet from launching suicide missions on Earth and Vulcan and the like.

How would the Klingons, Cardassians (depending on if the Fed knew of them yet), Tholians, etc react to the Genesis device? Would they try to build their own? Or another planet-busting device? Perhaps that is what the treaty is about. The Federation, as the only group with such a devastating weapon, would be prohibited from building a cloaking device to prevent it from being used on Romulus. Likewise, Romulans and Klingons and the like would be prohibited from creating their own planet destroyers (presumably there is sufficient technology to stop conventional weapons from destroying a planet). And thus, the peace is maintained.

Or maybe its something else. Whatever it is, it's hard to judge the treaty when we know nothing about it.

As for the episode itself, its probably the best of Season 7 outside AGT. Normally I don't like the sudden event from a character's past that we never heard about but that is a huge event in their life, since it tends to be rather contrived. But it makes sense in this case. Of course Riker would never talk about it and would try to forget about it. And it does seem to have changed his way of thinking, of being willing to defy orders if he believes himself to be right. Perhaps even his initial rush to command was due in part to this sort of thing, so that he doesn't have to worry as much about being stuck in a similar situation. And maybe that is partially why he slowed down on the Enterprise, as he recognized that he wouldn't have to make such a decision with someone like Picard. Maybe that's why he became comfortable.

But whatever the case, the interplay between Picard, Riker, and Pressman was a lot of fun to watch. Pressman had enough charisma that you can imagine a young Riker being completely taken by him. Picard being forced out of the inner circle was great, and seeing him fume was fun to watch. And Riker being torn between his loyalty to Picard and being forced to follow the orders of his admiral, not to mention wrestling with his conscience. Even if the sickbay scene was too unsubtle, it did show Riker being angry and feeling helpless, which I imagine is exactly right.

The dressing down Picard gave Riker in his room was absolutely chilling. It wasn't entirely fair for Picard, but I think he knew what effect it would have on Riker. That Picard suspected something was up way back when is natural, that Picard suspected Riker would put the Enterprise in danger was a bit too much to expect. However, by pretending to suspect that, he may have pushed Riker into the position of finally coming clean about what happened. That dressing down had to have been devastating to Riker. I'm surprised he didn't tell Picard off right there, but he was probably to shocked to say anything. Either way, it was a great scene.

And seeing Riker go along with everything until the last moment was good to see as well. Like he said, he had the luxury of time. He probably suspected he was ending his career one way or the other, and thus was naturally putting this off as long as possible. Unfortunately for him, the cloak was still there.

Meanwhile, the Romulan side plot was pretty fun. About the only disappointment was that it wasn't Tomalak in the warbird. So while the actor was fairly low-key in his presentation, the lines themselves were done. It was nice to see the blatant lying (that was such a big part of The Enemy) resurfacing once again. Even though it wasn't the focus of the story, the chessgame between Picard and the Romulans was good to see.
Datalore - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 5:55pm (USA Central)
Re: Star Trek: Generations

Of all the things I remember about this movie, I recall that it is pretty fun right up to (and including) the destruction of Enterprise D. After that, it is plain boring.

Yanks - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 5:38pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

Jammer: “Well, if there's one thing Weyoun and the Dominion haven't learned, it's that their attitude of absolute totalitarian control over such "Dominion puppets" isn't as easy in the Alpha Quadrant as it may have been in the Gamma Quadrant.”

It’s only not “as easy in the Alpha Quadrant” because their gamma quadrant “help” can’t help. The AQ would have been crushed if 2500 dominion ships as associated troops flooded through the wormhole. It wasn’t their plan; it ended up being a lack of resources.

Jammer: “There's a well-conceived but not well-executed gallows humor scene where Our Resistance Fighters laugh at the prospect of their suicide mission not even having the capability to get off the ground, let alone end in a blaze of glory.”

I thought Garak’s line here was outstanding! “Isn't it obvious? Here we are, ready to storm the castle, willing to sacrifice our lives in a noble effort to slay the Dominion beast in its lair and we can't even get inside the gate.” Then Kira seeing the irony… losing it… then all the others joining in. Only Garak could have delivered that line successfully.

The space battle was visually pretty good, but kind of unsatisfying I thought. One of the best parts was:

“EZRI: They've switched sides.
NOG: Yes!”

Star Trek reuses everything so reusing battle footage is no surprise.

Not sure why the writers thought they had to kill off Damar. His turn for the better I thought was a great character bit in DS9. Maybe they thought that he was stupid enough to follow Dukat, maybe he isn’t the right guy to start a new Cardassia.

Martok, Sisko, Ross toast. Not sure how to read this one. Martok wants to drink to the victory over the Dominion and the end of the war, not to all the Cardassian’s under their feet. I felt this was kind of…. Well pretty poor taste and the writers forcing something down our throats. You know, this whole war thing wasn’t very “trek”, so we have to give something to those fans…

Once they get into the DOM HQ, Garak’s description of Cardassia to Bashir and his people was amazing. “I’m going to miss our lunches together” beckons back to early DS9 as did “Please, Doctor. Spare me your insufferable Federation optimism”. Nice touch there I thought.

Then Sisko and Worf foresee what’s going to happen if the Founder doesn’t order the Dominion forces to cease and desist. They send Odo down to “talk with her”. Odo cures her and she makes the only decision she can to save her race, she surrenders and agrees to trial. Fitting I thought. (section 31 did win the war it seems) I thought the Founder signing the treaty and Ross reading from MacArthur’s historic speech on the Missouri.

The Dukat and Winn “thing”. I was OK with Winn turning the table on Dukat and poisoning him. But it was also fitting that the Paghwraiths chose Dukat over Winn. Poor Winn, no one wants her. Remember the prophets chose Kira over her earlier.

I liked them all meeting in Vic’s and I liked the toast, but then Sisko tells Kassidy he understands and has to go. Then everything just goes to hell in a hand basket. Sisko arrives in the Caves, Dukat is possessed by the Paghwraiths, he does some verbal jousting with Sisko, he kills Winn, then Sisko just pushes him over the cliff, the book and Dukat burn and Sisko is saved by the prophets.

I think that is just a steaming pile of crap. I was fine with Sisko interacting and being influenced by the wormhole aliens throughout the show for the most part, but because Ira Steven “I wear my sunglasses at night” Behr wants to make Sisko a “GOD” we get this shit.

How about this. Everything happens the way it did until the battle between Dukat and Sisko. How about the wormhole aliens “inhabit” Sisko and we get the “final battle” that got cut short in ‘The Reckoning’? Now the players are Sisko & Dukat we get some great eyeball lightning stuff and Sisko/prophets win, Dukat/PW’s loose. Sisko stands up, gazes over a burnt dead Dukat corpse, picks up the book and tosses it into the flames. Poof, the book is engulfed in flames and once the book (Kosst Amojan) is gone, so are all the flames. Bajor enters the “Golden Age”. CAPTAIN Sisko returns to DS9 and his family. The “Emissary” is no longer needed. KIA’s and Vedeks are no longer needed, so Bajor gets past itself and enters the Federation. Sisko’s mission is complete.

Make’s sense to me, much better that the turd we got.

While the montages were moving. The Worf one was blood boiling. No Jadzia? Are they CRAZY?!?!? I know all the “excuses” and I don’t buy one of them. She left a year prior to this, I can’t think of one reason this trivial shit couldn’t have been worked out. This smells to me like “she chose to leave so…”

Odo going back was the right thing. Kira let him go once before, so I have no problem with her supporting him here. When he popped on the tux for her I choked up. While I’m not a huge fan of their romantic relationship I always thought their “moments” were real.

It’s soooooooooo bad that Jake couldn’t say goodbye or anything to his father. What were they thinking?

The Bashir/Obrien snippets were good, but missing Bashir/Jadzia clips was a detriment.

Jake/Nog moments were moving to me. Remembering Jake as that little kid was touching.

I thought this was a unique closer as we see heroes like O’Brien and Worf moving on to do other things. (who is going to fix DS9? Rom is the Negus now… lol)

Kira was the logical one to take over the station. One wonders of the Federation will last there.

Sisko living with the wormhole aliens…. Well, you already know what I think about that tripe.

The series ending with Jake and Kira in the window looking out brought a tear to my eye. The series I enjoyed so much was coming to an end and Jake is wondering if he’ll ever see his father again. Very moving.

I can’t give this more than 3 stars. They killed it with the Sisko/Dukat thing. They could have done so much better. I’ll blab more in the S7 summary.

Jammer, I have really enjoyed reading all your reviews. This is the first series I have read each one of them. I think you are incredibly talented and to not have you reviewing something here is a shame and a loss for us all.
WCrusher - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 5:33pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558

This is where ST really started to tank...
The same pro-military, anti-trek issues dogging this ep as did on much of ENT.
Nog has been completely brainwashed by military dogma. And everyone is ok with it? (Except Quark to some extension)
Did he have his mind completely wiped by some wicked starfleet computer system? He doesn't even act like a ferengi anymore at all, more the opposite. The character is so changed now the ferengi makeup has become an annoyance. Parrallel to the real world as of now, Starfleet has made Nog the perfect suicidebomber/kamikazepilot/nazi soldier. But hey, in the new Trek, military brainwashing is fine!

1 star

Yanks - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 4:38pm (USA Central)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2

Nice to see I'm not alone Kahryl.
NCC-1701-Z - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 4:36pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S2: Future Tense

In which the Enterprise crew encounters their very own TARDIS.

Fun episode. Not groundbreaking, but a worthwhile use of an hour.
Yanks - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 4:28pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Dogs of War


IMO government unions should be illegal. The Teachers unions strikes at the expense of the taxpayers and the children they are paid by the taxpayers to teach. They weald WAY to much political power. Look at that last TU strike in Chicago... eeesh. They "HAD" to have more, even though they already were being paid more that the people in the community. It was sad.

I actually have no problem with unions that do their job. PRotect their people, ensure working conditions are safe and fairly paid.

My youngest is now being homeschooled because of the inept public school system. I like charter schools. Why on earth should a child be forced to attend a bad school. There is no reason on earth. That's saying that I'm paying taxes so my children have to get a substandard education. If the public school system was doing all that great, charter schools would have never surfaced. No we have to deal with "Common Core" as well. They are digging themselves a hole, it just gets deeper and deeper.
Elliott - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 3:38pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S1: Duet

...O woe is me
To have seen what I have seen, see what I see.

Teaser : ****, 5%

A brief minute of sororal joy is allowed to shine modestly as Dax and Kira exchange stories of youthful troublemaking. In this moment, Kira's childhood bears no mention of the Occupation or of dying, starving relatives or of resistance fighting. No, in this moment Kira simply recalls being a child, naïvety intact. A Kobheerian vessel arrives at DS9 while Kira is on watch. The vessel is carrying a passenger who suffers from a disease called Kalla-Nohra. Kira knows instantly that, as usual, tragedy has caught up to her as the sufferers of this disease were victims of a mining accident at a labour camp, Gallitep. Kira prepares to meet the infirmed Bajoran survivor and hero she knows to be on that vessel. Dax has the man transported to Bashir for treatment.

Kira arrives in the Infirmary to discover, to her horror, that the ill man is a Cardassian, prompting her to call for immediate security. As teasers go, this is just about perfect; mystery, brevity, character focus, theme and mood are perfectly balanced, while the episode's antagonist (for lack of a better term at this point) says not a word.

Act 1 : ****, 17%

Kira accuses Bashir's patient of being a war criminal, at which point he tries to run (“to get away from this Bajoran fanatic—look at the hate in her eyes.”), but Odo catches him and has him locked up on Kira's word.

On the verge of tears, Kira claims that this man (identified as Marritza) is to be treated as a war criminal despite his name not appearing on any official lists. What's clear is that Kira's contempt for this man stems directly from her past. No isolated fond memories from childhood can erase the image of strewn Bajoran bodies subjected to disgusting mistreatment at Gallitep. I don't think we've actually heard the word “rape” on Trek since Tasha talked about her childhood. There's a devastating urgency in Visitor's performance that is so many levels above what she has given us this season, it's hard to believe this is the same woman who kept beating her fists and gnashing her teeth in over-the-top histrionics. This is a vulnerable anger that perfectly suits her character and shows off tremendous acting skill. Perhaps it's the director. As a Cardassian with the disease, Marritza's guilt is a foregone conclusion for her.

Sisko goes to speak with Marritza in his cell. Marritza claims his disease is not Kalla-Nohra, but one similar to it. Notice how Yulin continuously avoids making eye contact with Sisko, continuously looking down at his feet, smiling feebly. It's a kind of self-conscious guilt—not overly broadcast, but severely externalised. It's a mesmerising feat. While he goes on, a drunk Bajoran man wakes up in his cell and starts complaining about sharing his prison with a Cardassian—any Cardassian. How much of Kira's outrage is this same kind of justified prejudice? After all, we can't blame any Bajoran for hating a Cardassian because of his race, given their history, but we still know that it isn't fair. Racism is racism, and to assume a Cardassian's character based on the political actions of his government or the personal actions of his comrades leaves little room for individuality or growth, or healing. What I love is that this is all subtextual—showcased in glances, read *between*the dialogue and resonating in the silences in the scenes.

Bashir is able to determine that Marritza is lying about his disease and that there is no doubt he was at Gallitep and that he has Kalla-Nohra. Sisko is contacted by a Bajoran official who initially thanks him for his “service to Bajor” in apprehending Marritza, and quickly devolves into self-righteous anger, demanding Marrtiza's head on a platter. I can't help but feel sorry for these people in a whole new way. After recovering their freedom from under the Occupation, they've been left scarred with a venomous need for revenge and deep-rooted hatred. Notice that the act is occupied by a single over-arching theme, introduced by Marritza's line that I quoted: hatred. This unifying factor creates a palpable sense of narrative drive without pushing the plot on us.

Act 2 : ***.5, 17%

Sisko, for once, tries to do his fucking job and looks for a way to mediate between Federation and Bajoran interests. He assigns Odo to investigate Marritza's guilt rather than allow Kira to access him. Kira admits to lacking objectivity, which would seem to justify Sisko's original position, but Kira appeals to his proclamation of friendship, and he caves, letting Kira head the investigation. I have to hope that Sisko believes that this task is necessary as a cathartic part of the Bajorans' healing process. After all, they already have mixed feelings about Federation aid; it might do them good to take hold of their past themselves if they're going to eventually move on. However, I think it would have worked better in this case to follow through with some of the ideas from “Dramatis Personæ” and have Kira circumvent Sisko's wishes in order to interrogate Marritza, rather than doing so with Sisko's blessing.

Kira enters the holding area to confront Marritza. He projects an air of casual disinterest without being cartoonish. There's still aversion to eye-contact which betrays some deeper feeling lurking underneath his practised exterior. Marritza accuses Kira of having a “passion” for persecuting Cardassians. How could he know that? It's a beautifully hidden clue in the mystery plot, hidden because there's such a heavy air of racial tension, we can almost dismiss his comment as applying to Kira on grounds that she is Bajoran.

She interrogates him, but is frustrated by his nimbleness in speech “In that case, I'll try to make my lies more opaque.” He tells her he was a filing clerk at Gallitep, claiming she'll be disappointed in that truth, because it lacks the grandeur of a more vicious prize, someone who could really satiate that Bajoran need for vengeance, or was it catharsis? Marritza plays up his persona with a little sarcasm that even manages to break Kira's shell for a moment.

It was easy if painful to accept Kira's (and the Bajorans') accounting of Gallitep as a site of unparalleled brutality and cruelty on the part of the Occupiers, but Marritza quite credibly points out their bias. Bajorans killed each other for food or sex, after all. The conditions may have been created by the Cardassians, but the Bajorans were hardly blameless when they turned on each other. He even claims that the brutality itself was purposefully propagated by Gul Darheel (Marritza's boss). This is the complicated part of history we don't like to confront. It's easier to just encamp the players into “good” and “evil,” but it doesn't really work that way. We get the sense that Marritza is toying with Kira, baiting her into admitting that she's after him out of a sense of victimhood—which is precisely the effect the Cardassians were after, he says. There's something like pride woven in to his persona, pride that they succeeded in so fundamentally altering the Bajoran psyche, even after the Occupation ended. We end the act with him giving a terrifying smile.

Act 3 : ****, 17%

Hey, it's Dukat! Sisko has contacted him looking for background information to corroborate Marritza's identity. The theme of racial hatred has expanded and evolved to tackle political implications; Dukat implies that Bajoran prejudice has extended to their Federation allies when he asks Sisko if his suspicion about Marritza's truthfulness is fueled by Marritza's race. It's a deftly-written conversation replete with innuendo, subtle sparring and political overtones. Marc Alaimo is, of course, wonderfully duplicitous in his delivery. Brooks is rather flat, but it works well enough.

We get a callback to the teaser as Dax chats with Kira about her feelings of vengeance. She confirms Marritza's accusations that Kira is disappointed in his lack of infamy or easily-pinned guilt. She wants a less complex set of circumstances in which clear-cut solutions would salve her pain. The ambiguity itself is almost as painful as those horrific memories. As an aside, this is exactly the Dax we have needed most of this season, the one justified by the episode “Dax” and her history as a 300-year old being who has seen dozens of wars and lived whole lifetimes, enough to cut through the fog of the guilt-vengeance complex.

We are introduced to O'Brien's Bajoran assistant, Neela (I checked on Memory Alpha, and, as I suspected, Anara from “The Forsaken” was meant to be the recurring character seen here). The command crew analyses a photo of Gallitep which shows Marritza to be a different man than the one sitting in their cell. According the photo's caption, the man they have is Gul Darhe'el, “the butcher of Gallitep.” Looks like Kira got what she wanted after all.

She confronts Darhe'el again. Darhe'el's persona becomes relaxed and he stops looking at his feet, making eye-contact and casually discussing his butchery. The theme of victimhood returns; as mentioned in “Ensign Ro,” the Bajorans were once a peaceful people. The Occupation did far worse than kill innocent Bajorans in labour camps, it blackened their souls with feelings of vengeance and hatred.

In a fascinating turn, Darhe'el becomes urgent when Kira starts to walk out. He *wants* to talk to her. Does the butcher's masochism continue? Does he get off on seeing Kira struggle with her damage just as he enjoyed executing “Bajoran scum”? In his zeal, Darhe'el “lets slip” the nature of Gallitep's order and efficiency at its height, a testament to Marrtiza's efficacy as a file clerk and Darhe'el's leadership. Another clue is planted in the mystery as he confirms he knows more about Kira than he should—the name of her resistance cell, the “Shakaar.” Again, her anger and pain understandably blinds her to this clue.

Act 4 : ***.5, 17%

Odo, ever the sharp investigator, picks up on the clue in his conversation with Kira, noting that Darhe'el knowledge of her is too intimate to be explained by his position.

She returns to his cell to confront him again. This man perfectly embodies everything we love to hate in history's evil men—he delights in his own cruelty, he regrets only those missed opportunities to display even more evil towards his victims.

Gallitep survivors arrive at the station, allowing Quark to make a little joke “do they like to gamble?”. It was a risky move to insert a joke near the climax of this tragedy, and I'm honestly on the fence about it. The pacing has been really excellent, giving us time to breath and absorb the dialogue and mystery, so I don't think this little interlude was necessary.

Odo pursues two avenues of investigation, one with Bashir and one with Dukat. Dukat alleges that Darhe'el is dead and memorialised on Cardassia. Odo latches onto Dukat's political paranoia in order to gain access to the Cardassian military files.

Meanwhile, “Darhe'el” and Kira continue their conversation. He continues playing up the love-to-be-hated angle, festering Kira's own wounds. Is he crazy? Or could this actually be sarcasm? Odo interrupts to inform her that the man “wanted to be caught.”

I take a small exception to the editing of these scenes. It was a bit jarring to have the Kira-Darhe'el conversation interrupted by the Dukat-Odo conversation.

Act 5 : ****, 17%

While there remains some ambiguity about the man's identity, the evidence would require a rather massive and intricate conspiracy in order for him to actually be Darhe'el. Kira again finds herself wishing that the man were guilty. Bashir delivers the final blow, finding evidence that Marritza underwent plastic surgery in order to pass for Darhe'el.

Kira returns to Marritza and confronts him with the conflicting evidence as to his alleged identity. In a subtle touch, he breaks eye-contact again, denying Kira's claims. He makes one last grand standing before slowly being broken down in a truly penetrating admittance of guilt, not of being the Butcher, but of being a the cowardly clerk who couldn't stop him. Cue the tears, folks. Kira releases him from his cell and he cowers in the corner, finally revealing his intent—he wants Cardassia to admit its guilt. He repeats, in a wholly new context, Kira's sentiment from earlier, that his death and punishment are necessary. And it a beautiful reversal, Kira denies this, claiming that she won't help kill another good person.

The expected dénouement is brutally circumvented when the drunk Bajoran from earlier stabs Marritza in the back, fully rounding out the bitter tragedy of this man and the Cardassian-Bajoran history. Kira's reversal is complete—it's not enough that he was Cardassian, he didn't deserve to die.

Episode as Functionary : ****, 10%

Yulin manages to create a devastating character who changes profoundly from act to act: mysterious traveller to cynical clerk to bombastic butcher to guilt-ridden victim to tragic martyr. Visitor also puts in one of the best performances of the entire series, capturing a huge range of nuance and internal conflict. McCarthy also delivers a good score, underscoring the tragedy quite well.

Marritza's (as Darhe'el) line from early in the episode (“...they returned, covered in blood, but they were clean!!”) is the lode stone to the whole episode. It was clear during that speech, that Darhe'el attitude about the murder of Bajorans possibly being a noble act, a redemptive act, was totally hollow. How much more so when the drunk Bajoran stains his hands with Marritza's own blood. Still, in the tragedy, a glimmer of hope shines through; Marritza may not have managed to heal Cardassia by his sacrifice, but at least one Bajoran woman has embraced her journey to redemption.

For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of despris’d love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin?

Final Score : ****
Dave in NC - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 1:57pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

"I can write one-word sentences, too."

Sassy! :)
Elliott - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 1:42pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

As I've long suspected, it is precisely that ostensible smugness that people object to in not only this episode, but every Trek episode dealing with evolved sensibilities. People just don't like to be told they aren't good enough. 9 times out of 10, when one person accuses another of smugness, it's a confession that the former suffers from an inferiority complex. What's to say there aren't a hundred other planets with suffering populations or millions on the verge of death? Are we to fault Phlox and Archer for not actively seeking them out and "saving" them all?

"They're ALLOWING these poor inferior life forms to die, for the GOOD of their world."

There is no guarantee that those people will die, and they never claimed it was for the "good" of anyone, simply that the decision was not theirs to make.

I can write one-word sentences, too.

Self-righteous. Narrow. Simplistic.
Kahryl - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 1:28pm (USA Central)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

"The episode is NOT saying that an entire species ought to die, it's saying that one human captain and one Denobulan doctor don't have the right to make that determination for an entire species."

Actually, it is saying that. They could have - and should have - taken this issue to Starfleet or the Vulcan Council of Ethics or whatever, but no. The two of them decided, nope, we'll just let all the millions of you die.

If the Cardassians had withheld vital medicine and technology because of their parinoia and competitiveness, that would be a brutal, but understandable decision. It would at least be honestly selfish.

But the SMUGNESS of Phlox and Archer is what makes this so reprehensible, no, evil. They're ALLOWING these poor inferior life forms to die, for the GOOD of their world. And oh, Enterprise will just have to bear the PAIN that comes with adherance to such a noble, noble code. They're doing them a favor that they can't understand yet, but one day, they'll be wise enough to.

Dispicable. Pathetic. Evil.
HolographicAndrew - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 1:22pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S4: The Raven

I just found this one utterly boring. Here they were developing Seven's backstory way too early as others have said. Seven is upstaged by her own outfit, which was cool as a younger viewer, now I find it kind of insulting.
Kahryl - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 1:06pm (USA Central)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2

Wow. What a horrible disappointment.

Bad writing is one thing. "Let's all give up technology" is bad writing, makes me cringe or chuckle, but you know what? At least BSG didn't waste my time hitting me over the head for hours and hours in previous episodes with:

"Ohhhh there is a prophecy and so sayeth it: they are going to make a transcendent decision about techology, aren't you curious what it is? Aren't you really really really curious aren't you just BURNING to know? Here we're going to have Roslin, Athena, Six writhe around with nightmares about it and wring their hands with confusion about WHAT this decision shall be for episode after episode."

That's what they did with the opera house. Over and over again. And wow, the transcendent meaning of it is.. Baltar and Six take a little girl to CIC and use her as a bargaining chip. That is no more profound than ANYTHING ELSE Our Heroes did in the series, and the precognitive visions Our Heroes had about it could not possibly have helped them. Apparently God likes to send us spam mail.

BSG didn't just sell me a crappy toaster. I had to listen them babble on for hours how GREAT the toaster is going to be. Just give me the fraking toaster! Let me take it home and have it succeed or fail on its own merits, Jesus!

I'm okay with loose ends. Real Life has loose ends. They never learned why it took 33 minutes for the Cylons to follow them in the first episode. And you know why it's okay that they didn't learn that? BECAUSE THEY DID NOT SPEND EVERY EPISODE AGONIZING ABOUT IT AND HAVING VISIONS THAT IT WOULD BE ONE DAY REVEALED AND HAVE PROFOUND CONSEQUENCES.

I am okay with writers having a plan and bragging about it. I am okay with writers not having a plan and winging it. But to PRETEND you have a plan amounts to fraud.
Robert - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 1:02pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Behind the Lines

@DLPB - The Dominion wants good press, so to speak. If they could actually win Bajor over (and remember, Bajor is not a Federation planet) it'd be seriously good press for them not being evil conquerors.
DLPB - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 12:58pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Favor the Bold

At least Tasha was using a phaser most times... Kira does multiple, unbalanced, weak punches, as the writers paralyse her opponents to the spot. It looks so ridiculous too. She also speaks like some mafia type gangster as she is delivering her lines.

Robert - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 12:55pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Dogs of War

@Yanks - "Unions were once needed but over time have become just a political arm"

I do agree we will reach a point where unions are not needed. As of today I tend to find them to be more benevolent than the people they are fighting against, but with worse press.

I won't specifically mention which unions I support (I do not belong to one however), but I will say that every contract brings worse things for the union members and that without the union I'd expect it to be even worse.

I will say that all attempts to break unions (at least government ones) have resulted in worse service from said governments. As a parent I will point to the travesty that are charter schools (yes, I know many parents swear by them, but considering they rig their scores, lower their class sizes and cherry pick their students at the expense of the rest of the populace claiming they are a success is a lot like championing an operation that'll save your foot at the cost of your leg).

As to non-government unions... I can't speak to that, but unions are far from an outdated political arm. We can complain about how much political power unions have after the last lobbyist loses their job :)
Yanks - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 12:17pm (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Dogs of War


No, his one sentence post about arguing with lefties.

Spencer's post was a right/left attack. Look up who voted for what before "claiming" victory.

You can go ahead and say "if" and suport socialist/communist governments. Go live there. Don't come crawling to me when they fail.

I want freedom and capitolism (yes, with rules). Funny you left out my comment on the banks. The TRUE route of all evil in the world. Iceland is the most current and accurate example of what removing regulation from the banking industry allows. Unions were once needed but over time have become just a political arm.

The ONLY reason Earth doesn't require money in Trek is becuase of technology. I've always believed that Gene's "vision" would not have been possible (accept in a dream) with out replicators.
Peremensoe - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 12:00pm (USA Central)
Re: VOY S1: Phage

Trent, if it is the Trolley Problem, it would have to be the "Fat Villain" variant, in which the choice is between innocent victims versus those responsible for (and here profiting from) endangering them.

DLPB, I don't see what "liberal" has to do with it. Liberalism typically advocates for the victimized, which isn't what Janeway or this episode do.
DLPB - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 11:54am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S6: Behind the Lines

My problem with this episode, and with all of this arc is that the Cardassians, Chaneglings, Vorta and otherwise would not allow Kira to remain free on the station. Or Rom. Or Jake. They would all be arrested. Kira would likely be executed, and Jake would be used as a hostage.

The writers just decide to throw out logic.
Elliott - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 11:45am (USA Central)
Re: DS9 S7: The Dogs of War

@Yanks :

"Dan, thank you for that wonderful account of history."

Excuse me, you mean those like 2 sentences he wrote?

"Spencer, you post is so categorically factually incorrect I just am not going to take the time to go through it.

Socialism fails every time."

What are you talking about? Has Norway's economy failed? How about Iceland or the Netherlands? Any system can work--China's economy is working, isn't it? The question is what quality of life a system creates for its people. Capitalism can work fine provided the State creates barriers and safeguards against monopolisation and abuse (like unions), and Communism works fine provided there are state-mandated market incentives.

The Federation economy is different because it is post-scarcity. When you can replicate anything you need or want, transport to the other side of a planet on a whim, and terraform planets to support human colonisation, there is no economic incentive to work, and therefore no need for money.
Elliott - Tue, Aug 26, 2014, 11:14am (USA Central)
Re: VOY S2: Second Season Recap


I don't disagree, but it was simply too early in the show for her to do this; by the time we got to Scorpion, there would be no ground left to cover in bending (or breaking) her ethical stance. It would be similar to ITPM (although many don't agree with me, here), in that Sisko's profession of moral compromise fell flat because we had already seen his ethics plummet in the six years leading up to it.
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