URLs du Jour

2012-04-16

  • Socialism Icon The sharp-eyed Jen Rubin blogs on yet another "unintended consequence" of Obamacare: when low- to middle-income employees "opt out" of employer-based coverage to get tax-credit-subsidized insurance: Their employers get socked with penalties, and (arguably worse) things are set up so that their spouse and dependent kids could very well lose coverage. As Jen puts it: Obamacare manages to be "anti-market, anti-employer, anti-family" all in one.

    I put "unintended consequence" in scare quotes, because I'm guessing that Obamacare's labyrinth of regulation, penalty, subsidy, and mandate is fully intended to fail, in order to usher in full single-payer socialism. Call me overly cynical, but…

  • In case your blood pressure is dangerously low, a guaranteed boost is Matt Welch's list of "5 New Ways the IRS Is Screwing America". Matt suspects that worse is yet to come:
    The fever dream of central planners everywhere is that the only obstacle to a perfectly balanced budget is insufficient citizen compliance. As we ready our annual humiliation, it's worth remembering that Uncle Sam's desperation for cash, which has already encroached too far on our freedoms, may have only just begun.
    Which reminds me…

  • The Granite State Patriots Liberty PAC is sponsoring a "Save-Our-Republic Tea Party" right down the road from Pun Salad Manor: Guppy Park, Dover New Hampsire, Saturday, April 21. For more information: http://gsplpac.com/. Barring complications, I'll be there. If you attend, and notice someone that looks like the goof over there on the right (no, your right), please say hi.

  • And an apolitical note: If you don't subscribe to Wired, you can still read a very good article from the latest issue here. It's the story of James Erwin, who got caught up by someone else's query on Reddit:
    “Could I destroy the entire Roman Empire during the reign of Augustus if I traveled back in time with a modern U.S. Marine infantry battalion or MEU [Marine Expeditionary Unit]?”
    Erwin's response took on a life of its own, and the result is what sounds like it could be a very sweet movie: Rome Sweet Rome.


Last Modified 2017-12-02 2:08 PM EST

The Captains

[3.5 stars] The Captains (2011) on IMDb [Amazon Link]

I've been a mild Star Trek fan for—hm, I think I might need a calculator for this—well, a long time. So this documentary was a must-get for me. Plus, Netflix said I would like it, and they were right. The premise is simple and works surprisingly well: William Shatner interviews the five other actors playing Captains from the other Trek series: Sir Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard in Next Generation); Avery Brooks (Benjamin Sisko in Deep Space Nine); Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway in Voyager); and Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer in Enterprise). And, last but not least, Chris Pine, Captain Kirk in the latest movie.

Shatner is kind of a well-known goof and egomaniac, but manages to engage each of his interviewees meaningfully. Sir Patrick comes across as the competent professional actor he is. And Scott Bakula comes across as the most regular guy, someone you could actually envision having a beer with. Kate Mulgrew probably has a Shatner-sized ego. And Chris Pine is an agreeable and likeable kid.

But Avery Brooks is, well, out there. He's a Rutgers prof, a musician, and answers Shatner's questions in kind of a jazz riff, accompanying himself on piano. And he coaxes Shatner into responding in kind. This is simultaneously fascinating and cringe-inducing.

Interesting bit of trivia: Shatner discusses the impact of being a TV-series star with all the Captains except Brooks. The record is poor: Shatner, divorced; Stewart, divorced; Mulgrew, divorced before the series, but her kids resented her absence; Bakula, divorced. The exception is Brooks, who's been married since 1976 (long before DS9) with three kids.

What that means, I don't know. Fortunately, Chris Pine is so far unmarried. Just as well.

There are also scenes from a Star Trek convention, with Shatner graciously and amusingly interacts with the attendees. (One attractive costuned young lady identifies herself as a "tribble slayer"—I didn't even know that was a thing.) Brief glimpses of Grace Lee Whitney, Jeri Ryan, and Sally Kellerman; brief interviews with series/movies co-stars Jonathan Frakes, Christopher Plummer, Rene Auberjonois, Connor Trinneer, Nana Visitor, and Robert Picardo.

Really quite a bit of fun, although I can't claim to have been enlightened by all the actor navel-gazing.


Last Modified 2012-09-24 4:30 AM EST