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SlackerInc
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 6:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Correct, that is, about the maximum time a president can possibly serve (and only if they started as vice president, taking over from a president who dies, resigns, or is incapacitated). I *don't* believe he is correct that Harris is plotting to use the 25th Amendment. I think she intends to do it the standard way, running in the Democratic primaries in 2024 (assuming Biden announces he won't seek reelection, which I think is likely).
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SlackerInc
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 6:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Dave is correct.
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SlackerInc
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 3:34am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Hang on, my bad: Sara Lynn Michener did actually have two criticisms of the season! (I had not finished the podcast when I posted.)

She thinks Kira should have talked about her pronouns earlier; and she is very disappointed that they did not include a scene of “Saru admitting that Michael is the better leader” (verbatim quote!) followed by Michael reassuring him not to worry, he tried his best. (eyeroll, gag)
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SlackerInc
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 12:12am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Has anyone listened to the season 3 review on Wired's Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast? I was disappointed that the kinds of criticisms we have levelled at the show were generally not represented among any of the four panelists. Maybe I should say three panelists, because one of them, Sara Lynn Michener, is an uber-woke fangirl who has never been able to see the slightest flaw in anything the show does. Which is not just wrongheaded but boring, unless maybe you set up a drinking game to chug every time she answers "I loved it" when asked about any specific character or plot point (just watch out for alcohol poisoning, lol).

But the host, David Barr Kirtley, is a talented science fiction writer who has been willing in the past to excoriate SF that doesn't ring true for him (the recent Star Wars movies for example). He has a few criticisms, but they are mostly muted and complaining about things I don't think any of us minded (like Detmer's brutal haiku at the dinner table).

@Nick: "Season 3 really crashed and burned at the end IMO. The writing got worse and more lazy as the season went on. By the finale it felt like they didn't even care anymore."

The finale was terrible, but the penultimate episode was IMO easily the best of the series. It was retrospectively tarnished by the conclusion being so botched, but as a weekly episode of TV it was shockingly great. And although it didn't get as rapturous a reception from others here, if you go back and look at the comments there was a lot of "that was surprisingly not that bad".
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SlackerInc
Wed, Jan 13, 2021, 11:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

I have said I'm out after this season finale (unless I see a bunch of good Jammer star ratings by the time next season ends), but I actually don't know if this season was really any worse than the others. It was very disappointing as a whole, but it also contained the two or three best individual episodes of the series. (shrug)

@Patrick: The Orville went back into production over a month ago: https://trekmovie.com/2020/12/04/the-orville-restarts-production-on-season-3/

As for the link you posted, here's a quote from it: "The Orville and 15 other shows like This Is Us, Black-ish, and Last Man Standing will remain on holiday hiatus instead of their previous production start dates of Monday, January 11th. The current plan is for these shows to be back in production the following week of January 18th, so the delay isn't much longer than planned."

A week's delay, after they already filmed some episodes in December, does not line up with your repeated claim that they "haven’t started production".
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SlackerInc
Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 9:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Jammer, great review, and I especially want to vigorously cosign this part:

"I don't usually nitpick the technical details, but this scene cries out for attention because it's so ridiculous. Based on the looks of this, 80 percent of Discovery must be a hollow, uncrewed space in order to make room for these elevator canyons (which perhaps double as the ship's indoor football arena). It takes you right out of the show, because you're aware of the writers and VFX wizards going out of their way to jettison any sense of plausibility in order to give us some Kewl Graphx."

This OTOH was a depressing thought:

"My wife liked this episode, and thought it did all the necessary things, which made me think that maybe this show is better for newer Trek audience members versus the fuddy-duddies in the audience like me who bring all their baggage and feel a need to compare it to the glory days."

@Nick: "I can't comment on the TOS points, I'm ashamed to admit I haven't watched most of those episodes. But the points seem pretty accurate for all the other series. I would personally but VOY ahead of ENT but they are similar in points which I think is fair. As a high level gauge it makes sense with TNG and DS9 in the top tier, VOY and ENT in the second tier, and DIS significantly below."

No need to be ashamed: I myself as of a year or two ago had probably not watched more than a half dozen TNG episodes (just in the past few months I have increased that number to three or four times as many, but I still have not seen the vast majority of the series). But I would definitely recommend watching it! Still my favorite Trek series.

Don't forget BTW that those points only compare the third season of each series, and TOS is known for having taken a dip (not sure if it's that much though).

@TJ: "So ‘the burn’ was caused by an orphaned kid on a dilithium-rich planet who sees his dead mother and screams?"

When you put it that way, it sounds kind of dumb!

Does anyone think they had this explanation figured out when they introduced the Burn? I don't. They had to come up with something and they apparently couldn't think of anything good.

@Booming: "At least on imdb season 3 is by far the weakest with an average of 6.6"

Which is actually even more damning than it appears. Typically ratings go up on a series, at least for a while, as viewers who don't like it drop out and stop rating episodes. This can sometimes change after many seasons as longtime, diehard fans become disappointed by a drop in quality; but S3 is a bit early for that.

For me, this season had two or three of the best episodes of the series (and they were later in the season than many people like Jammer are saying). But it also had some awful ones and a very disappointing throughline (like the other seasons, but possibly worse).

@Bob: "Lorca: 'If things are going so great with one kid in a cellar just imagine how awesome things would get with TEN kids a cellar.'"

LOL, well observed.

I agree BTW with @MidshipmanNorris that it's pretty hard to see any parallels between this season and the LeGuin story.

@RedD: "I have a potty mouth in real life so I'm not averse to swearing in general but I don't expect to hear people effing and blinding on Star Trek."

Personally, this is not one of my issues with the show. It brought us one of the best moments, when the admiral talks about how the food is made from shit.

@Peter G: "Fringe turned out to be no different, at first a hardcore X-Files type show, actually migrating itself more toward straight-out sci-fi, and finally settling on being more like Narnia and idolizing its female lead and making her the center of the world (ring a bell?)."

I'd agree except that the shark-jump for me was when it (spoiler alert) made the fates of two universes dependent on which version of his girlfriend the main *male* lead lurved the most. Blech.

Good analysis of the three-pronged fatal flaws of Discovery though.

@John Harmon: "It feels like we all keep saying this every season. Like, maybe next season will be better and more developed. But it never happens. At some point it’s our own fault."

Yeah, it's supposed to be "Fool me twice, shame on me." I've been fooled three times now, and I'm determined not to make it a fourth (like someone else said, if I see a whole season of mostly 3+ star reviews from Jammer, I will go back and check it out). I feel the same about Westworld BTW, although I still think the first season of that show was pretty good.

BTW, with all the criticism I should give credit where it is due. I was ready to say it's impossible to hold your breath for ten minutes. But a little Googling taught me that it is not! Fair enough, TIL something.
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SlackerInc
Sun, Jan 10, 2021, 1:53am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Jammer, glad to learn you didn't actually churn out reviews over a weekend! I had assumed when I read that, that you had maybe done a paragraph on each episode, going from memory and not actually rewatching.

Acknowledging that you have cautioned about the inadvisability of comparing ratings across different series, but also acknowledging that you have invited the comparison by using the same rating scale across series, here's what I came up with using my formula and comparing the third seasons of each Trek series that has gone that far.

(NB: I failed to reckon with the existence of 0.5 star episodes. I will subtract 2.5 points for those, to be consistent with the methodology.)

1. TNG (25 points)

2. DS9 (22 points)

3. ENT (16 points)

4. VOY (12 points)

5. DSC (2 points)

6. TOS (-2 points, ouch)
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SlackerInc
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 11:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Gunslinger: "Poor analogy. Country Crock isn’t permitted to call it’s margarine butter"

But the company that makes vegan "Just Mayo" was sued by Unilever because it's not actually mayonnaise (given that it doesn't have eggs in it), and Unilever ultimately lost. I still think they should have won: if it's not mayonnaise, you shouldn't be able to call it "mayo".

@Booming: "Define Star Trek: A name that belongs to a company.
Nice."

Yeah, it reminds me of Deadspin. For those not familiar, Deadspin was a site with a devoted following that had a uniquely snarky tone/POV, and a clear left wing bent. Some rich suit bought it and started sending around memos telling the staff to stop expressing their political views. So the ENTIRE staff of writers and editors quit, en masse, in the same week. The rich guy kept the URL active and kept writing content himself (or maybe hired new writers after a bit, it's not clear), although he disabled commenting which had been a hallmark of the site's culture. So technically, it's still Deadspin. But is it really? Think about if this site got bought out by a new owner who had a very different sensibility than the Jammer we know. Would it really still be "Jammer's Reviews" just because it can be found at jammersreviews.com?


@Yanks: "My Median was 2.5 so using this guidance 'If M > 2.5, award five bonus points. If M < 2.5, subtract three points.', I gave DS9 four points here."

No, my intention there is that if the median is exactly 2.5 (which I think is going to be pretty common), you don't add OR subtract anything. So I guess you could say it's zero points. So I guess DS9's S3 would be only 14 points. Sounds like you didn't like it too well! I assume Jammer has it higher. (Maybe if we're just comparing S3's, I'll give it a whirl here in a bit.)
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SlackerInc
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 3:20am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

On space.com, the reviewer pointed out that although the idea of a quarantine force field in sickbay is clever, it makes no sense that the doorway would be accessible from inside the field! D'oh.

@theBgt: "She is woman and she is black and she is a superhero.
And everyone who doesn't like the lead must be a chauvinistic racist sexist pig."

The most pernicious problem, in my view (and this played out with the Star Wars movies as well), is that there really are some "deplorable" "bad fans" who have some very ugly attitudes which quickly become apparent in the toxic language they use. This implicitly tarnishes everyone else who complains about Michael on this show, or Rose in Star Wars--when in fact there are IMO perfectly valid, non-sexist and non-racist critiques to make about those characters. But the presence of the "bad fans" makes it much easier for the writers to simply brush off ALL the criticisms as coming from that toxic, bad faith place. It's frustrating all around.

@Chrome: "Right, but that's ultimately your opinion. I'm not sure how many 2 - 1.5 star episodes of Voyager I put up with before I quit the show. Maybe if on average the show were higher quality, I would've stuck with it."

I have been slowly going through VOY with my wife and daughters, but in a curated form, only watching about half the episodes. Because of our ability to do this with content now (not just watching week to week, seeing what we get), and the ability to find lists online rating the best episodes, I think it shifts the balance to what @Matthew described, making it more important to judge a series based on the best episodes rather than its consistency. (@Bob also makes valid points about how this is trickier for a serialized show.)

Here's my proposal for evaluating seasons (with the caveat that Jammer is not only subjective but has cautioned against comparing seasons), just spitballing:

Make set H of the top five highest rated episodes.

Make set L of the lowest five rated episodes.

Find median rated episode M.

For every four star episode in set H, award five points. For every 3.5 star episode, two points.

For every zero star episode in set L, subtract three points. for every one star episode, subtract two points. For every 1.5 star episode, subtract one point.

If M > 2.5, award five bonus points. If M < 2.5, subtract three points.

This seems intuitively right to me and would probably give you a pretty good ranking of all Trek seasons if anyone wants to try it.

@Dreubarik: "She ejects the warp core unnecessarily before doing an untested spore jump, thus putting all of her crew at risk for no reason other than murdering a bunch of people on the enemy ship (sure, Emerald Chain people, but still people)."

Yeah, several people have pointed this out and it didn't jump out at me while watching but I do have trouble seeing what the purpose of that was (or, as others have pointed out, blowing up the nacelle).

@Paul G: "The writers came up with the burn for shock value, so that the federation is crippled and vulcan and earth have left the srarfeet, who is now a legend. No one knows if it exists anymore. Ten minutes later, the federation is still a great power in the galaxy, everyone rejoins, back to square one."

Yeah, this bugs me too. I really have to wonder if the people writing those early season episodes when it was a murky, distant legend really intended on it becoming this great power in the back half of the season.

Also, Paul, my recommendations for recent high quality sci fi (stuff that aired new episodes in the last year) are:

TALES FROM THE LOOP
DEVS
NEXT
UPLOAD
THE BOYS

The last two are the best if you're looking for humor.
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SlackerInc
Fri, Jan 8, 2021, 8:39am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Nick: “And the most powerful ... pesticides (but only if you target a ship's ‘intakes’“

OMG, that’s right! I just let that pass but it makes no sense. What are they taking in from the vacuum of space?

@Austin: “These shows are not worth the subscription, and nothing else one CBSAA is remotely entertaining.”

THE GOOD FIGHT is actually great.

@MossBoss: “The Discovery survived ALL the ships firing on it and escaped the bubble unscathed! “

Right? Starfleet has major problems if their entire fleet cannot take out a single thousand year old ship.

“Also, why are all the other turbolifts moving around? Who is using them?”

Another great question! I mean, I myself roll my eyes a bit if someone objects that the sickbay is actually on deck 23 rather than deck 24 or whatever. But this kind of nonsense goes 1,000,000 light years beyond that sort of nitpickery.

@water, hot take! I do feel that ENT is much better than people give it credit for. But I can’t agree with you about much else that you wrote.
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SlackerInc
Fri, Jan 8, 2021, 8:03am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

“Known for their gelato” (made of shit)

Going into this episode, I had hopes for it to be at least pretty decent after how much I loved the previous one. But then when the “previously on...” started, I was reminded that we would have to revisit the stupid plot about the Kelpien who caused the Burn, ugh. (I don’t know why that hadn’t occurred to me before.)

Unfortunately, the plot back on Discovery also got stupider. That’s true in a number of ways, and the inevitable rise of Michael to command was annoying. But what bothered me most, what might even be the most irksome thing they have ever had on this show, is that ridiculous vast space inside the turbolift, which appears even larger now. Maybe the VFX people took some basic directions and ran wild with them, without really understanding or caring about what kind of space they were working with, but ultimately the people running the show should have nipped that in the bud as soon as they saw how it was being rendered. I can suspend disbelief fairly far, but this goes way beyond that. And although I would be really annoyed by this regardless, it seems especially contemptuous of the Trek audience that has always been into schematics and such (although I personally have never bothered with any of that).

Sadly, all of this retroactively taints the episode preceding it. So in the end I had about five glorious days of actually being wowed by a DISCOVERY episode, but now I’m completely disgusted and not planning to continue with the show. I’m out on PICARD and LOWER DECKS as well, and not interested in a Section 31 show, so maybe we’ll see if the Captain Pike show is any good (the Short Treks seemed promising, so fingers crossed).
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SlackerInc
Fri, Jan 8, 2021, 2:05am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

I felt the episode did have a "spark". In fact, although my instinct is to limit my rating to 3.5 stars (which would still be the highest of any episode of the series), I can't really justify giving it less than a full four stars, because I was delighted, excited, by it all the way through. You could dismiss a glowing review like that if it came from someone who just piles on the love for this show every week, but I would rate the majority of the previous episodes below three stars, often below 2.5 stars in fact.

As of a week ago I did not believe it was possible for this show to produce a *great* episode, only the occasional good one to go with mediocre and bad outings. I was stunned last weekend to discover I was wrong.
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SlackerInc
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 11:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

@Booming: "I think the great fungus was only hurt by mirror stamets reactor. Starfleet forbid people from talking about it because ... file not found."

LOL!

"Why is Starfleet and Federation headquarter in a bubble which seems to be located in the middle of nowhere? Why not on a member planet?"

It's a reasonable question, but it could be out of a desire not to seem to favor any particular member.

What I'm confused by is how they could still have a decent number of members (even if significantly down from their peak), yet not only Earth (as you mentioned) but a courier, various traders, etc., seemed sure it had gone extinct.

Let me reiterate that even though I'm joining in on the snark about the series' continuity in general, I still think this episode kicked ass.
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SlackerInc
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 4:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

What have they discovered? I mentioned before that I could have sworn they discovered that using the spore drive caused some kind of serious environmental damage, and they therefore had to stop and in fact wipe all reference of it from the history books. But now they seem to just use it indiscriminately. Did I miss something or are they gaslighting me without even bothering to come up with a retcon?

@Moldorf: "These criteria would hardly tie a competent writer in knots, and certainly do not negatively impact storytelling in and of themselves."

People who have been reading me for any length of time, especially this year, know that I find a lot of woke/PC stuff tiresome or even borderline malevolent (particularly the implicit test we increasingly see of "not too many straight white dudes, unless they are villains"). But in this case, I have to strongly agree with Moldorf. To be resistant to the very basic criteria of the Bechdel test really is kind of regressive. It's not a high bar to clear, and the paucity of programming that does clear it is a sad commentary.

@Jammer: "Those weren't just windows. They were transparent aluminum!"

LOL!
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SlackerInc
Sun, Jan 3, 2021, 2:54am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

Holy shit, that was really good! I was not expecting an episode of this quality. Easily the best episode of the series.

The funny thing though is that for some reason I thought this was the finale, so I started really wondering how they were going to wrap it all up when there was like five minutes left. Then a couple minutes later I thought, WTH, they are going to leave the season on a cliffhanger? LOL
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SlackerInc
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 5:38am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

I'll add that I would take the first season of ENT over the first season of any other Trek series besides TOS.
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SlackerInc
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 5:36am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

@Nick: "I do wonder what could have been with ENT, as it was cancelled just as it was getting good."

This seems to be not only the conventional wisdom, but something close to a consensus, universally agreed-upon, opinion. Not quite, though, because although I agree that ENT was very good in the final season (other than the disappointing finale as others have noted), I also really liked it right from the beginning of the first season! (Apart from the awful theme song, of course--the opening credits are great with the volume muted, however.)
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SlackerInc
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 2:50am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

@Jammer, good review. Normally I can find something in your review to nitpick, but that was all just very well said.

@grey cat: "I'd have happily watched a show with normal Georgiou as captain with a toned-down Burnham in the "Spock" role. Exploring strange new worlds or stuck on a station full of brilliantly written characters."

Cosigned!

@Nick and @Burke: I never got on the bandwagon of hate for either VOY or ENT, so I appreciate your comments!
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SlackerInc
Sat, Dec 26, 2020, 4:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 2

Good!
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SlackerInc
Sat, Dec 26, 2020, 3:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

Anyone notice how Burnham just assigned the other two to go find the Kelpian while she stayed to fight the monster? Not even a nod to the actual chain of command.

@Rahul: "the positives outweigh the negatives here for me and we actually have a good episode after 4 weak-to-OK efforts"

Wow, really? I thought two of the best episodes of the series were (IIRC) among those four, while this one was not very good albeit not among the very worst.

"THAT'S how The Burn happened?! A Kelpian got emotional?! Give me a fucking break. Yes, I chuckled, but this explanation is colossally idiotic. There's no science here, and since DIS has no internal logic, it can't even be classified as fantasy. It's lunacy."

I agree. Something like this is what made me bail out of watching FRINGE.

@theBgt: Welcome! I largely agree with your post.

@Saru's ganglia: "It's one thing to hope that a show will get better because you keep noticing a good episode or two here and there and see some chunks of good writing and therefore keep watching, it's another to have already formed an opinion and passed conclusive judgment repetitively on how badly a show sucks over a long period of time."

Yeah, this is a fair point. I have found that the occasional bright spots, plus my enjoyment of chatting with people on this site, have combined to just barely keep me watching. It's frustrating though.
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SlackerInc
Sat, Dec 26, 2020, 3:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: The Sanctuary

Sometimes you just have to laugh at the evolution of "woke" language on this topic. I just heard on the NPR podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour a description of a character on a show as follows: "a nonbinary character who uses she/her pronouns". Okay...whatever that means. Sure sounds like what used to, in those long ago days of 2014, simply be called a "transwoman".
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SlackerInc
Sat, Dec 26, 2020, 12:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 2

@Booming: "Nothing is stopping Jammer from reviewing them one per week or maybe less."

That's not the point. It would be impossible to have the whole fanbase gathering to speculate on what the latest developments mean for future episodes, since people would be at all different points in the season. This is not really even debatable: if you look at the discussion on Twitter, Reddit, etc. of shows that are released all at once, it is way way less than shows with a weekly release schedule.

I honestly don't understand how people can even complain about this. If it's so important to you to binge-watch a season in a short amount of time (something I personally don't enjoy, even if it is released that way), you can wait until the season has all been released and watch it that way, without ruining it for the rest of us.
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SlackerInc
Sat, Dec 26, 2020, 12:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

Hugh figuring out and explaining the purpose of the simulation long after it should have been blindingly obvious. :eyeroll: It’s another illustration of something I often complained about in S1, that the show is often written as though it were being aimed at kids. Which would be fine, I guess, except that it is rated TV–MA. Neither fish nor fowl.

And only a child, or someone who has been on a desert island all their lives without access to TV or movies, could possibly find the whole “you cannot escape the maze/prison until you face your fears” scenario remotely fresh or interesting.

Also, someone living and developing with holographic teachers for all those years would be an oddball, but not “still a child”.
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SlackerInc
Thu, Dec 24, 2020, 11:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 2

@Paul M: "A contingent of fans had problems with the first half of the first season, complaining about the slow start and unengaging story, but that certainly wasn't my experience."

This was definitely my experience, and the reason that although I first tried it years ago, and have tried again a couple times since, I have not gotten past those first couple episodes. But hearing stuff like you mention here makes me interested in perhaps just reading Wikipedia summaries of the early episodes and skipping to where it "gets good", as I have done with a few other series.

@Booming: "This stupid weekly release thing is fairly annoying. I guess their social media guy thought that this weekly release would create positive buzz for longer."

I'm sure it does! I much prefer weekly releases for exactly this reason. Think about a site like this one. The commenting conversation would be DESTROYED by releasing seasons all at once.
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SlackerInc
Thu, Dec 24, 2020, 11:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: The Sanctuary

@sens-sors "I saw a TV show where a nice racist lady got arrested"

She wasn't nice. Quite the contrary. She was an awful bully. But that's exactly my point: I STRONGLY believe you should never be arrested for simply being "not nice", nor should you lose your job if your non-niceness was not at the workplace (on the TV show, it was at the workplace, so she definitely deserved to be fired). You should be able to think and say horrible, ugly, appalling things with no penalty other than a social one, as long as you aren't slandering anyone.

"If I'm working as a cashier and my boss finds out I'm participating in KKK rallies on my free time, do you think they would be justified in firing me?"

Definitely not justified.

"What if I'm just expressing my support for the KKK on my Facebook page? Do you think they'd be justified?"

Absolutely not.

"What if my boss was black? Would you be fighting the good fight on my behalf to spout bigotry in public and be shielded from any and all consequences?"

Yes! I would even contribute to a legal fund to help you if you sued your employer. But I would also denounce you as an awful person. Does that answer your question?

@OTDP: "Can you really say that they've made the wrong choice? Or that it is our business to forbid them from doing so?"

Yes on the first. On the second, yes for sure if they are underage. If they are adults, it's murkier but people are sometimes declared incompetent to decide their own affairs if they pursue self-harm.
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