Lion of the Blogosphere

Black cops more likely to kill blacks than white cops!

with 37 comments

https://psmag.com/social-justice/black-cops-are-just-as-likely-as-whites-to-kill-black-suspects

In contrast, “we find that nonwhite officers kill both black and Latino suspects at significantly higher rates than white officers,” they write.

So white cops are not racist, just the opposite, white cops are less violent than black cops.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 10, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Crime

Omarosa, take 3

with 24 comments

This is the third time she has been mentioned in the blog.

In 2004 I wrote: “If you recall The Apprentice, one of Omarosa’s great failings is that she was often more interested in eating a leisurely meal than working.”

In December, 2017 I wrote: “I vaguely remember watching the first season of the Apprentice. Omarosa was the woman who everyone else hated, and she was fired midway through the season because of her poor ability to get along with her team members.”

Now, of course, we know that her back-stabbing book is coming out next week. Is anyone surprised that she would backstab the man who made her famous in the first place?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 10, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Books, Television

Black James Bond

with 68 comments

https://abc7chicago.com/entertainment/could-idris-elba-be-the-next-james-bond/3922720/

This is definitely a new thing, taking iconic characters who were previously played by whites, and blackwashing them.

Is this what moviegoers really want?

Maybe moviegoers don’t care. And black men have an alpha-male swagger about them that most whites don’t have (or would be considered “toxic masculinity” if they did have it but blacks can get away with it), so they are good action heroes.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 10, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Movies

What’s going on that’s not Star Trek

with 13 comments

I can’t think of anything else worth blogging about.

An article in The Atlantic says that it’s racist to be against immigration and therefore Fox News is racist. You will just get aggravated if you read the article. On the other hand, the article admits that Trump and the anti-immigration movement has been winning. This makes me more happy than ever that I voted for Trump.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 10, 2018 at EDT am

Posted in Immigration

Star Trek TOS, season 1: Dagger of the Mind

with 8 comments

If there’s a message to this episode, it’s the same as What are Little Girls Made Of. In that episode, Roger Korby’s request to beam down alone sounds fishy, but Kirk’s attitude is that Korby is a famous scientist, everyone knows how awesome he is, so of course we can trust him.

In this episode, the situation down on the prison planet also seems fishy, but Kirk’s attitude is that Doctor Adams is a famous criminal psychiatrist, everyone knows how awesome he is, so of course we can trust him.

In both episodes they turn out to be mad scientists (or a mad scientist robot in the case of Korby), so the lesson is that you shouldn’t be star-struck like Kirk and blindly trust in someone because he’s a famous authority figure.

This episode doesn’t get any deeper than that, but I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected I would, it’s the most underrated episode that I watched since Charlie X. And what makes this episode most enjoyable is the guest actress who plays Helen Noel, a psychiatrist that McCoy assigns to Kirk to help him investigate the prison planet. The actress who pays her is 24 years old and she’s the best looking Star Trek babe since Vina from the original pilot episode. She’s almost as pretty as Vina but comes off as a lot sexier. Helen’s skirt is so short that if it were any shorter it wouldn’t be there at all.

In addition to being a babe, unlike babes in previous Star Trek episodes, she’s actually useful when she needs to be. Although initially even more star-struck than Kirk, once she realizes that Adams is an evil mad scientist and they are in big trouble, then all by herself she crawls through the air ducts, turns off the electricity so that the force field comes down and Spock can send a rescue party, and even shoves a prison guard into the electrical circuits, electrocuting him.

Kirk and Helen are great together. There’s a backstory about a drunken one-night-stand after a Christmas Party. Or maybe it didn’t actually happen that way, there’s some doubt about what actually happened. And at the end, Spock comes in and interrupts a smoldering kiss. (They still have Christmas parties in the future? I thought that there was no more religious believe in the future. Why not a Zefram Cochrane Day party instead of a Christmas party?)

The guest star who plays the guy who escaped from the prison planet (who was actually a victim of mad scientist Doctor Adams and not a criminal) did a good job of playing a crazy guy, overacting forgiven.

This episode is the first time we see a Vulcan mind meld.

A fun episode, very well paced for a TOS episode, recommended.

* * *

Why is the Enterprise, a military vessel with a crew of 400+, bringing a few boxes of supplies to a prison planet? Don’t they have much less expensive cargo ships for that kind of stuff? It’s interesting that episode after episode, they can’t think of sensible reasons for why the Enterprise is warping around the galaxy.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 10, 2018 at EDT am

Posted in Star Trek

Star Trek TOS, Season 1: Miri

with 19 comments

The message of this episode is similar to a message from other Star Trek TOS episodes that I already reviewed: transhumanism is bad, really really bad.

Specifically, in this episode, the Enterprise discovers a planet where three hundred years ago, scientists were trying to develop a virus that would make everyone live for thousands of years, but instead it backfired and everyone died from a horrible disease. In the previous episode, What Are Little Girls Made Of, we learned that it’s also wrong to try to achieve immortality with robot bodies.

Everyone died except for the children, who age extremely slowly and don’t die until they enter puberty, at which time they contract the horrible disease and die.

This episode has the assumption that without adult-enforced discipline, long-lived children develop into a dystopian society reminiscent of the Lord of the Flies.

There is also an assumption that emotional and cognitive maturity comes from the biological aging of the brain, and children with non-aging brains will remain children forever. Rally bratty children in this case. Spock compares them to animals and mice.

Of course the landing party of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Yeoman Rand (?) and two red-shirts also get the disease. This is the second time in the series where they get a really bad disease that almost kills them. You would think the lesson would be that they should wear hazmat suits when they visit strange planets. On the other hand, they were wearing hazmat suits in the first disease episode, The Naked Time, but the suits didn’t work because they were made from shower curtains. So maybe the lesson learned was why bother wearing the suits if they don’t work?

Another lesson I learned from this episode is don’t bring a blonde-wigged bimbo along with a landing party. And in fact, in this rare case, they did actually learn the lesson, because this is the last episode where Yeoman Rand has a major role.

The landing party discovers Miri, who is supposed to be a girl who’s just entering puberty, maybe she’s supposed to be around 13 years old. Captain Kirk uses his alpha-male charisma on her, like he does to all women he meets down on planets, and acquires her cooperation as a result. And then Yeoman Rand gets extremely jealous of Miri, and that causes Miri to get jealous of Rand and mad at Kirk for paying attention to Rand instead of her, which leads to Miri convincing the other kids to kidnap Rand so they can then lure Kirk to find her so they can punish him.

The highlight of the episode is the actress who played Miri, she did a completely convincing job of having a crush on Captain Kirk. Her highly competent acting only reminds us of how horrible an actress Majel Barrett is, and to a lesser extent Grace Lee Whitney who plays Rand. Barrett was completely unconvincing in being attracted to Spock in “The Naked Time,” and being the fiancée of Roger Korby in “What Are Little Girls Made Of.” Truly an example of a bad actress being hired only because she’s sleeping with the boss.

The girl who played Miri (who was actually 18 or 19 at the time this was filmed) went on to play Mattie in the movie True Grit where John Wayne won an Academy Award.

Because this is not a great episode, it makes me want to nitpick things. Like how at the beginning, they discover a planet that looks exactly like Earth. That’s really mysterious, isn’t it? How did that happen? But then they completely forget about that. Maybe early on in Star Trek, they didn’t think it would make sense for aliens on a distant planet to speak English and look exactly like humans, so they came up with the idea of a planet being a parallel Earth.

And then there is the problem of the disappearing red-shirts. They beam down with two red-shirts, but then midway into the episode the red-shirts simply disappear. No they don’t show them being killed, they just get written out of the story. Where did they go? And Kirk really could have used them, because we see Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Rand all leave their communicators on a table in a lab in the hospital while they leave the room to respond to a strange noise outside the room, and then we see the bratty kids sneak into the room through an air vent and steal the four communicators. Isn’t there some Star Fleet protocol that says you aren’t supposed to leave all of your communicators lying around unattended on hostile planets?

Now they can’t communicate with the ship, and without communication with the ship they can’t access the ship’s computers for help in concocting a cure for the virus. But what about the two red-shirts? Don’t they have communicators? But everyone has forgotten about them. My theory is that they originally intended for the two red-shirts to get killed, but then afterwards they decided that it didn’t play well to have the red-shirts killed by children, so they cut out that scene or never filmed it in the first place.

Reading other modern reviews of this episode, most of them are creeped out by Kirk using his alpha-male charisma on a 13-year-old girl. But apparently no one in 1966 thought it was a problem. And I don’t see the problem; it makes sense for Kirk to use his alpha-male charisma in this situation, because they needs Miri’s cooperation. It’s not like they had sex, or even kissed.

Notes:

Kirk’s ripped shirt: Kirk’s shirt gets ripped in various places, but we see less skin than most other ripped-shirt episodes.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 9, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Star Trek

Star Trek TOS, season 1: What Are Little Girls Made Of? (Sexbots!)

with 34 comments

Notes:

1. I skipped the episode “Mudd’s Women” because I recently reviewed it here. The key takeaway from “Mudd’s Women” is that in the 1960s, women were valued for their looks and their domestic skills like cooking and cleaning (because in the future they lost the knowledge we have today of easy-to-clean Teflon pots and pans).

2. I created a new Star Trek category so you can more easily see all of my Star Trek posts!

Housekeeping:

Shirtless Kirk: in order to make a robot Kirk, you have to take off his shirt (as well as his pants). Hey, just two episodes ago there was a duplicate Kirk from a transporter malfunction, and now we have a duplicate Kirk from a robot-making machine.

Red shirt deaths: This will become a trend in future Trek episodes. You would think Kirk would learn a lesson about sending men off by themselves to do useless tasks. Every time someone dies, it’s because Kirk says something like “stand here by yourself and guard the entrance to this cave” (which is what happens in this episode). It happened the same way in “The Man Trap.” There are more than 400 people aboard the Enterprise, why can’t they beam down twice as many red-shirt guys so they can work in pairs?

Nurse Chapel: I believe that this is the only Star Trek episode where she was featured as a major character. Majel Barrett did a horrible job of acting in this episode, I can see why they wouldn’t want to use her again in a major way. Clearly an example of an actress getting a role because she was sleeping with the boss and not because of any talent.

*SPOILER ALERT*

All of my Star Trek TOS reviews have spoilers, but this episode has a surprise plot twist, or what was probably a surprise to viewers in 1966, but it seems kind of obvious watching it today, especially if you recently watched the HBO series Westworld.

This episode is quite complex to describe from a plot standpoint, although also very cheesy and stupid and it hasn’t held up as well as other TOS episodes. But at the same time, some of the ideas in this episode were way ahead of its time.

A lot of what we see in the HBO series Westworld can be traced back to this episode, including:

  • A character you think is human turns out to be a robot.
  • Robots revolted against their flesh-and-blood creators (a long-dead alien race).
  • Human brains can be copied into robot brains, thus achieving a sort of immortality for the human. A very creepy sort of immortality.
  • There’s a robot-creating machine that, although ridiculous looking and based on limited special effects they could afford back then, nevertheless reminds me of the 3D robot-printing machines from Westworld.
  • Robots can have sex with humans and with other robots.

Roger Korby, galaxy renowned scientist, lost for five years, and also coincidentally Nurse Chapel’s fiancé, is found living in underground caves on an ice planet. Korby says to beam down alone, but Kirk beams down with Nurse Chapel (whose wig was dialed down a bit from the previous time we saw her), and then when no one is there to meet him, he orders two red-shirt guys to beam down as well. The two red-shirt guys are promptly killed by an alien robot who looks and sounds just like Lurch from the Adams Family (and is played by the same 6’9” actor who played Lurch on the Adams Family).

Now, let’s talk about the sexbot, named Andrea in the episode (sounds like Android), if you’re into small anorexic-looking girls, then she comes off as a real sex kitten, but totally useless for doing anything else. When Nurse Chapel is first introduced to her, she seethes with jealousy.

KORBY: Christine, you must realise an android’s like a computer. It does only what I programme. As a trained scientist yourself, you must realise that

CHAPEL: Given a mechanical Doctor Brown, a mechanical geisha would be no more difficult.

KORBY: You think I could love a machine?

CHAPEL: Did you?

KORBY: Andrea’s incapable of that. She simply obeys orders. She has no meaning for me. There’s no emotional bond. Andrea, kiss Captain Kirk. Now strike him. You see? There’s no emotion in it, no emotional involvement. She simply responds to orders. She’s a totally logical computer. A thing is not a woman. Now do you understand?

I probably didn’t get this when I watched as a kid, but notice how Korby never denies that he had sex with Andrea, he just makes the argument, crudely translated, that he was merely masturbating to a really high quality Playboy magazine. Do we agree with that logic? Should a woman feel like her fiancé cheated on her if he has “sex” with much better looking sexbots? And remember, the guy was alone on a planet for five years. Wouldn’t a large percentage of present-day men pleasure themselves at least a few times during the five years, if not a lot more often?

But later, we find out that Korby is also a robot, albeit a more human-like robot because Korby’s brain was copied into it. So it was actually robots having sex with robots, like Dolores and Teddy from Westworld, except that unlike Dolores, Andrea is useless for anything except having sex. I made the same comment about “Mudd’s Women.” And Kirk is into Yeoman Rand even though she’s not intellectual at all. The message from these old Star Trek episodes is that women are for sex, and for interesting conversation you should rely on your male friends like Spock or McCoy.

Leaving aside the wonderfully politically incorrect observations of 1960s attitudes towards sexual relations, let’s talk about the significant philosophical point that the episode is making. Robots aren’t real people. If you copy a human brain into a robot brain, you just get a machine, a dangerous machine, but not a machine that you should feel any remorse for killing, you can’t kill a machine any more than you can kill the smartphone or computer you are using to read this, you can just turn it off. When Spock arrives at the end and asks “Where’s Doctor Korby?” Kirk responds with “Doctor Korby was never here.” The robot-Korby doesn’t count as the real Korby.

Star Trek totally reversed on this message with The Next Generation, where Data is introduced as a character that you are supposed to believe is a sentient being, with the same rights as humans, but why is Data any more sentient than Rock (the robot who looks like Lurch) or robot-Korby?

It is my opinion, and this is very important, that the TOS viewpoint is correct and the TNG viewpoint is horribly wrong. We must think of machines as machines, no matter how human-like they appear to be, in order to survive as a species.

Another message from the early Star Trek episodes is that people with super-powers are a dangerous threat to be eliminated. So a “human” who is now an immortal robot with more powerful logic, that’s a sort of dangerous superpowers. And of course Korby demonstrates his dangerousness by his plan to secretly replace humans with robots. Korby poses just as much danger to the continued existence of the human race as Charlie from “Charlie X” or Gary Mitchell from “Where No Man Has Gone Before.”

And yet another continuing message from early Star Trek episodes is that transhumanist technology means the destruction of humanity. The Talosians from “The Cage” (the original pilot) ruined their civilization after they discovered mind control powers. The aliens who used to live on this ice planet destroyed themselves by creating robots. Eventually we will get to the episode with Khan who was cast out from Earth because he was genetically enhanced.

* * *

I forgot to discuss the Star Trek tropes that Kirk uses to escape his bad situation (held prisoner by Korby while robot-Kirk prepares to take Korby’s robot-making equipment to a human colony where they will begin secretly converting humans into robots).

1. He uses his Kirk logic-illogic-judo on Lurch and convinces him that Korby is the enemy (even though Korby is also a robot). Star Trek teaches us that a smart human like Kirk can always defeat a robot or a computer by out-talking it. I am absolutely certain that will never work in the future of the real world.

2. He uses his alpha-male sexual charisma on the sexbot robot to confuse her and make her even more useless than she was before he did that. Totally unrealistic, yet more fun to watch than asexual Picard.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 8, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Star Trek

The left abandoning democracy

with 74 comments

Hermes writes in a comment:

I’ve noticed that the left has begun using “democracy” simply to denote the kind of society they favor. They’ll call some liberal principle or action “democratic” if it was enacted by an elite, unelected few, while calling the will of a majority of the people “anti-democratic” or “a threat to democracy” if it results in some non-liberal principle or action.

The kind of government the left wants can be properly called an aristocracy, rule by the elites.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 8, 2018 at EDT am

Posted in Politics

Election in Ohio

with 22 comments

The Republican won. But barely, in a district that Trump won by 11 points.

It seems that the election was a referendum on Trump rather than a normal pre-Trump election of a Republican running against a Democratic. Prole whites and rural whites support Trump, while college-educated whites who traditionally voted Republican have moved even more into the Democratic Party than in the 2016 presidential election.

Even though the Trump tax cuts were very good for the rich, there was zero benefit at the voting booths from the tax cuts. The wealthier Republicans switched over to the Democratic Party.

I think that there’s a CNN effect. Republicans switching over to Democrats are the types of Republicans who watch CNN, and the 24/7 bashing of Trump for two straight years has had an effect. I think there has been denial among Trump supporters that CNN’s biased reporting is swaying some people against Trump.

Meanwhile, prole whites are not reliable voters. They just didn’t turn out.

It should be pointed out that the anti-Trump traitor Republican governor Kasich never supported Balderson because Balderson refused to denounce Trump, until he finally gave Balderson a half-hearted endorsement less than two weeks ago.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 8, 2018 at EDT am

Posted in Politics

Survival of Democracy requires censoring of free speech!

with 35 comments

Remember when liberals used to say the opposite? And this guy is a U.S. Senator.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 7, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Technology

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