Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Finally (Sotomayor connection). As to Star Trek, thought increases negatives. For instance, early on we are shown Kirk cheating a test in place to teach dealing with a "no win" scenario, which fans will recognize from elsewhere. This includes the fear that brings. But, the film never has him in a command role dealing with that. Spock in this respect comes off as a more complex character. Cf. Star Trek II.
Monday, June 29, 2009
And Also: Some have criticized Star Trek in various respects, including the special effects. I complained about the loss of life. The changes of factual details set forth by the original series is open to personal taste, though the speed Kirk becomes a captain is harder to defend. On the show, he became captain of the Enterprise after years of service. The movie has a sort of "role playing" game quality. The movie is best not scrutinized too deeply.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Overall, Star Trek -- even though it is not loyal to the show's timeline -- was pretty enjoyable. I particularly liked young Bones. It had problems, but two basic things hurt: the basic lack of women (Uhura excepted), and the number of deaths (destruction of TWO heavily populated planets) used to further what ultimately is supposed to be a fun blockbuster. On some level, this simply shouldn't be acceptable. The actresses playing Kirk and Spock's (rather good) moms very well might be missed if you don't look closely.
And Also: Alex and Me is a charming account (an earlier book was more scientific minded; this one in effect a biography of sorts) about a scientist's language work with a parrot named Alex. The work demonstrated both bird intelligence and personality, adding to the realization that non-human animals well deserve to be deemed "persons." YouTube provides a chance for you to see Alex in action. Meanwhile, the "Blueprint for Accountability" series fuses "live theater and journalism" in a power way.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
And Also: Good discussion on why "trusting women" includes trusting them to make some bad choices. Farrah and Michael dies ... the celebrity deaths are starting to get closer to my age cohort.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
And Also: My own governor resigned after sending out for a hooker. The hooker was not really the problem -- the recklessness, especially by a sanctimonious asshole who sold himself as more ethical than others did him in. Republicans these days have the hypocritical thing going; the SC governor took it one step forward, being reckless with his office. This is why we should care -- the adultery is just gravy for those who love that stuff.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Already without their starting shortstop, first baseman, setup man and two starters, the Mets must now try to stay in contention without Beltran, their All-Star center fielder.
The craziness continues as my June hiatus does as well.
And Also: I continue my June hiatus from watching Mets games; flicking the channels and seeing the team down yet again (extended rain delay -- we are getting more days of rain than your general rain forest -- meant it was on later than I thought) underlines the point. But, the Phillies are actually doing worse, so the Mets' lousy record did not stop them from gaining a game ... still two back. Just adequate to give hope, i.e., same old, same old.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
And Also: Dahlia Lithwick at Slate talked about the Letterman controversy and I responded as you can see at the base of the article. My post received LOADS of hits and replies, mostly off base. The discussion overall raised one of my truisms -- certain things are so stupid that you miss many aspects of it. For instance, her tell tale wink and how a pro-life pro-family politician had her own daughter right under her get pregnant factored in.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
And Also: A few days ago, Movable Feasts was referenced; it focuses on how food traveled over the centuries. For instance, a chapter discussed how olive oil was shipped in Roman times. One further comment emphasizing complexity of solutions: it suggested that given the quantities carried in ships and planes, in some cases, items shipped long distances can arguably be better for the environment than shipping small quantities of local foods short distances.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The latest is that one of the turncoats went back to the Dems, leaving a 31-31 tie. The Republicans are opposing a sane power sharing proposal (my own state senator involved in the deliberations). Overall, though the motives of the two turncoats are dubious (especially the lead one), some good just might come of all of this. Time will tell. BTW, why should this guy still control how his work is adapted decades later, especially when clearly new material results?
Some, including Rachel Maddow (Monday), are upset at the Obama Administration's brief in support of DOMA in federal court. As they should: Obama had no obligation to defend it, especially since it is blatantly unconstitutional. At the very least, not as far as they did; for instance, some standing avoidance path, maybe, if weak. The full faith prong -- less ideal; the federal marriage rights stuff and red meat incest language? Uh no. Pissing people off here ... again.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
And Also: I am reading a very good short analysis (about 100 pages without notes) in defense of a developing understanding of general constitutional principles that points in a progressive direction. Keeping Faith With the Constitution can be downloaded for free though I had it printed out and bound at Staples for a reasonable price. [Update: General stuff at beginning better than somewhat summary examples toward the end, but overall, good reading. A "democratic test of time" approach becomes major theme.]
Saturday, June 13, 2009
And Also: After a new low yesterday, I think it would be useful if I took a break from watching the local NL team. Watching games so they could blow it late, hearing about the latest on the disabled list, or hearing excited calls [references to the skills of the other side] by the announcers of said team as the team falls apart yet again (must be hard to keep from boredom -- ho hum, they messed up ... again) is harmful to my health. Embarrassment.
Friday, June 12, 2009
And Also: These stories of lone nuts killing people are important, especially when the person murdered are one of a few providing an essential service. Still, let's have some perspective, and cover other broader issues (like health care) that leads to the end of lives of many many more.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
And Also: While the NY Senate continues to look like a circus, some serious electoral business is going on in Iran. Limited discretion they might have, but this is more proof that Iran's complex public life warrants a lot more respect than some give. The new Pelham movie looks like an overdone re-tread, but this answers my old question of why the 6 train is going to South Ferry in the original.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
And Also: An alleged girlfriend batterer and another asshole (now de facto second in command behind Gov. Patterson, there being no lieutenant governor given the Spitzer mess) has decided to throw the NY Senate to the Republicans, making the Lieberman sideshow of a few years back look like high school civics in comparison. And, some think Blue Dogs are a problem ...
Ross Douthat starts off well, appearing to realize that Dr. Tiller was not just some sort of monster, but dealt with desperate cases. As noted here and elsewhere, he then goes off the rails. This includes such fiction as "[u]nder current law, if you want to restrict abortion, post-viability procedures are the only kind you’re allowed to even regulate" and his final analysis of how things will change if "abortion were returned to the democratic process."
Monday, June 08, 2009
And Also: The season premiere of Army Wives was a pretty strong episode, with the subplot involving CJ's daughter the strongest, while Denise is truly going through the ringer too. The hospital administrator who dismissed her was a bit of a self-righteous asshole, btw, given that loads of spouses (on both sides of the equation) cheat for understandable reasons. Some on the judicial contribution case handed down today and what goes into judging.
Saturday, June 06, 2009
I honor the upcoming 44th anniversary of Griswold here and this old blog post on Douglas' private Griswold is a favorite of mine too. Some interesting stuff after Sotomayor's questionnaire was released. As noted in the comments here, I don't find her involvement in a women's professional club controversial. And, today is the sixth-fifth anniversary of D-Day.
Friday, June 05, 2009
And Also: A conservative leading panel in the 7th Circuit followed the 2nd (Sotomayor involved, not writing) and did not incorporate the 2nd Amendment. It was a bit of a slipshod effort, the opinion selectively citing FN23 of Heller for the point the question was left open (fair point). It did not cite the bit about the "Fourteenth Amendment inquiry required" to determine if incorporation is warranted. And, the inquiry performed was rather perfunctory.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
And Also: A useful introduction to the debate over Judge Sotomayor's judicial philosophy as a whole, labeled here as legal realism. Meghan McCain: "I'm just sick of men in the media treating me like I'm a Playboy bunny. I am young, and I'm blonde, and that means I shouldn't have an opinion?" As noted here, if you keep some perspective, sure. Celebrities are listened to more; news at 11!
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
In miscellaneous news, the House passed a bill recognizing the Lumbee Indians (around fifty thousand in North Carolina), which could amount to hundreds of millions of federal funds for housing, education and health benefits for them along with six much smaller Virginia tribes. The tribe has had a checkered history and the recognition is controversial, both because their lineage is debated and they are not really reservation Indians. Top state leaders support it this time, so it might have a better shot in the Senate now.
"Muslim convert pleads not guilty in killing of soldier." Comparisons were made with Dr. Tiller's murder. As the comments note, there are various differences, even if the prosecutor noted conversion to Islam for him was apparently a major influence. Putting aside what a true "Muslim" might be (what is a true "Catholic?"), do we equally see references of other religious in similar contexts? In headlines? Note different facts from Tiller, thus the "terrorism" charges. More.