Must watch#clubparadaPosted by Club Parada on Friday, September 25, 2015
Star Trek Continues (STC), while not the first to offer independent Star Trek programming, has certainly become the new Gold Standard for any independent, fan created and dare I say it - even CBS/Paramount sanctioned endeavor. For those who have read my past reviews for Slice of SciFi and on SciFi Obsession of the vignettes and past four full-length episodes produced by the cast and crew of STC already know that I believe this show to be the finest representation of what creator Gene Roddenberry had in mind for his original saga which first aired those many years ago.
That being said, even the original 1960's series of Star Trek had a few below average episodes over the course of its three season run ("Spock's Brain" anyone?). Fortunately for the next couple of generations those shabby episodes were few and far between, however STC has in its first four escaped that quandary. It was with this idea in mind that I approached this latest STC episode titled, "Divided We Stand" with some reservations. Vig Mignogna and crew have hit the ball out of the park so expertly with a great deal of love and respect for the show that after seeing this title and the official poster release for it I grew to be concerned that this may be the production's first lemon in a fine array of vintage autos.
Boy oh boy was I mistaken and greatly relieved once I actually viewed "Divided We Stand." As my past reviews have shown I truly do love the direction STC is going with the continuing five-year mission of the original series and with each of those past episodes it only got better with each actor becoming more and more comfortable in the skin of those iconic characters. With "Divided We Stand" all the principals and even the periphery characters really do seem to have found that groove. Mignogna and Chuck Huber are so much Kirk and McCoy at this point that I can honestly say I have totally accepted them as those original Roddenberry creations. Todd Haberkorn came into his own Spock in the third episode ("Fairest of the All") and by this fifth one is so relaxed as Spock it's as if he has played him for the last fifty years. Chris Doohan, from day one, has embodied the spirit and heart of his real father (James Doohan) as the veritable chief engineer Mr. Scott. Each of the actors tasked with the monumental burden of wearing the clock of all these icons that have affected the worldwide culture of our time have done so expertly and it's apparent they do it with a great amount of affection and respect for the originals. In fact, as I watched Wyatt Lenhart, the young actor portraying Ensign Chekov, I found myself talking to my TV screen saying, "Hey, you guys are in the fourth year of your five year mission - isn't it time to promote Pavel to Lieutenant?"
"Divided We Stand" puts both Captain Kirk and Doctor McCoy in the precarious position of having their consciousness transferred in time to Earth era circa 1862 and in the middle of one of the bloodiest battles of the U.S. Civil War, the Battle of Antietam. What makes matters even worse is Kirk and McCoy find themselves on opposite sides of this landmark battle. How they got there is somewhat of a mystery but it occurred when both were on the bridge investigating a strange viral-like lifeform that had hitched a ride on the old Friendship 3 probe they had beamed aboard the Enterprise several months earlier. The nanite lifeforms downloaded themselves from the probe into the Enterprise computer without the knowledge of Spock or Scotty and have been slowly and unobtrusively infecting the entire system, that is, until it began reviewing the history logs when it was discovered by the crew. As Spock and Scott seek to find a way to remove the contamination both Kirk and Bones are somehow mentally transported to the past on Earth while their bodies remain unconscious in sickbay and suffering from whatever is inflicted on them during that barbaric time in America's past.
The episode stays true to the format established by Roddenberry by addressing the reasons for the war, the divide in the country that brought the new nation to this brink of destruction and the ever constant theme echoed throughout the franchise's history "When even one person is enslaved then all people have lost their freedom."
Like the original show did in the 1960's by addressing contemporary issues with science fiction stories, so too Mignogna, his cast and crew, continue to do so today. This episode, while set in the field of battle outside Sharpsburg, Maryland in 1862, addresses the racial tensions that still divide America today. It also reminds us that while, for the most part, freedom is available to all in the U.S., it certainly isn't the case around the globe and since Star Trek is now a global (dare I say galactic) phenomena the issues of slavery, freedom and standing on principles that free the individual's ability to find compromise while at the same time living up to those benevolent ideals is strongly reflected in "Divided We Stand." Gene Roddenberry must be smiling ear to ear from his Great Bird of the Galaxy perch at what Star Trek Continues has and remains doing with his beloved creation.
I give Star Trek Continues "Divided We Stand" * * * * * out of 5 Stars.
Before getting into some of what Goodman related a little about him is important to relate. Kirk picked him to put in writing the gist of his life because he, like Kirk, was no second-rate scribe. David A. Goodman is a well known author and screenwriter who has been responsible for such landmark television series such as "The Golden Girls," "Futurama," "Star Trek: Enterprise," and most notably one of the main producers and writers for the animated hit series created by Seth MAcFarlane, "Family Guy." Goodman has also written several tomes including "Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years."
"The Autobiography of James T. Kirk" is a wonderful addition to the stories of the fabled captain who sat in that center seat aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise for longer than any other leader in Starfleet history. His storied career is well known, feared and respected by millions across the expanse of this galaxy and this autobiography doesn't attempt to retell that narrative. However, what it does do is fill in many of the gaps left untold from the perspective of the man himself, James Tiberius Kirk.
While everyone who has followed his life for the last five or six decades knows the big picture of his life ... some of the details of his cadet days and early postings, as well as his time as Enterprise captain in its first five year mission after refit post the Captain Pike years; what hasn't been told was how Kirk himself actually felt and thought about those periods of his life. What it actually meant for him to lose the friendship of such a long and trusted ally like Ben Finney, or the depths of the guilt and agony he endured over the loss of his mentor Captain Garrovick, the deaths of Edith Keeler and his son David, as well as the emotional hole left in his heart during those early years in Riverside, Iowa when he was being raised on that Iowa farm by his father while his mother was off on Tarsus IV doing her scientific thing. All these, and so many other events helped to form and mold him, the renowned captain-admiral-captain, into the person we have all come to think we knew and certainly loved and admired.
"The Autobiography of James T. Kirk" gives the reader just enough of a peek into the life of this man. His heroism, flaws, faults, strengths, and yes, his weaknesses. With Goodman's editing of the material the reader is left with a more realistic and well rounded picture of the human called Kirk who literally helped shape the galaxy of the 23rd Century.
Those not familiar with the story of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and the famous crew of the Enterprise under their tutelage may not follow the story as well as those who do so I recommend watching the episodes of the original series and the first six films in the Star Trek franchise. Once done this book will remain as an important companion piece to what has already been presented about the life and times of Captain James T. Kirk (2233-2371).
I give "The Autobiography of James T. Kirk" * * * 1/2 stars out of 5.
Since the Obama administration announced its Iran deal in July, I have spent significant time studying it and discussing it with national security experts. Many of them share my deep concerns about how much the United States is conceding to Iran and how few accountability measures are included in the agreement. I am opposed to this deal and believe Congress must reject it and allow U.S. negotiators to go back to the table.
Lifting economic sanctions on Iran would allow global financial resources to flow into a country still included on our list of state sponsors of terrorism. Iran already funnels significant resources to terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas. The billions of dollars in sanctions relief for Iran in this deal would likely come back to the U.S. and our allies not in the form of commerce but with the threat of weapons, which this influx of investment will empower Iran to procure.
Not only does this deal lift the long-held sanctions which have limited Iran's economic growth, but it also lifts arms embargos. The conventional weapons embargo ends in five years under this agreement, and the ballistic missile ban is lifted in eight years. We should be mindful of our closest ally in the region, Israel, whose leaders continue to gravely warn us of the dangers of trusting the Iranian regime and providing easier access to weaponry in the next decade.
Ambassador Susan Rice and Secretary John Kerry have now acknowledged side deals between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but the full details are unknown. Recently, the Associated Press reported one of the side deals will allow Iran to use its own inspectors to investigate its Parchin nuclear site. The main agreement already gives Iran the ability to hold off IAEA inspectors for three weeks after an inspection request has been made, but trusting Iran to inspect its own nuclear sites is a new level of recklessness.
President Obama has stated our options are either accepting this deal or going to war, but this rhetoric is irresponsible. Economic sanctions have served as one of the most effective, peaceful methods of suppressing the Iranian regime, but this deal ends those sanctions permanently. When our national security is on the line, reaching no deal is better than advancing a bad deal.
Stopping the Iran deal by voting on the congressional resolution of disapproval, of which I am a cosponsor, will be a top priority on our legislative agenda in September. We must block this bad deal and pursue a stronger agreement which enforces greater accountability measures on Iran and prioritizes the safety of our country and our allies.
About the Author:
Smith, a co-sponsor of the Balanced Budget Amendment and a supporter of a Congressional earmark moratorium, has earned a reputation as a solid conservative through his votes to protect the rights of gun owners, efforts to limit the scope of government, and his strong pro-life voting record.
I believe that America has been a counterbalance that has cancelled out a lot of tyranny, evil and conquest and, admittedly, we have made a lot of mistakes, but on balance we have exerted a certain Pax Americana in the international affairs of mankind.
It took a lot of old fashioned guts for the Continental Congress to stand up to the world's mightiest military and tell them that we demanded our independence, even at the peril of going up against a far superior force on land and sea with a ragtag army of untrained citizens, many who had to supply their own firearms.
It took courage above and beyond for Abraham Lincoln to push the country into a Civil War that he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt would divide this nation for decades.
It took guts to give the order for American troops to storm the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, straight into the face of artillery and machine gunfire, wave after wave being cut to ribbons by German shore emplacements.
The history of this nation is written in the blood and courage of men who stood in the face of overwhelming odds, politicians, soldiers, statesmen and ordinary citizens who sought to do the right thing regardless of the cost or the consequences.
Well, ladies and gentlemen of the United States Congress, it seems that that particular pen has run out of ink. The courageous politicians that once championed this nation have been replaced, for the most part, by a breed of milksop, politically correct, scared of their own shadow, pushover, pathetic excuses for public servants who are supposed to be representing a constituency of citizens who have to live with the circumstances of their timid folly.
You don't even have the courage to face down an out of control president, even when he makes a deal with the devil. Don't you bunch of timid capons even care what kind of world you're leaving to your children and grandchildren, not to even mention the rest of us? Are you really party partisans before you're parents and grandparents or even human beings? Be honest with yourselves a minute, go into the bathroom and look in the mirror and ask the person you see this question.
You can’t hide from the truthful answer to that question forever, an answer will be required of you one day.
You have allowed Obama to tilt the Supreme Court so far to the left that they're little more than a shameful extension of the Executive Branch.
You have talked for decades about the porous southern border but have done absolutely nothing about it.
You have allowed cities in this nation to declare themselves sanctuary cities where they protect the worst of the worst criminal aliens, American citizens paying an awful price for your silence.
You watch an impossible National Debt balloon completely out of control knowing full well that a day of reckoning is coming that will seriously curtail the quality of life for coming generations.
You allow corrupt government agencies like the IRS to run over the very people you are sworn to protect and allow the entitlement society to expand exponentially while you actually entertain the idea of raising taxes on those who still work and shoulder the burden.
You compose a third of the constitutionally mandated ruling system and you shirk your duty and allow this nation to move a little closer to the edge every day.
I wish you bunch of sold-out, jaded, burned-out hacks would just go home and let some people who still have some vision and whose consciences haven't been seared past the point of reminding them when they're wrong take over and start to claw this nation back on to the path of sanity.
Your ratings are in the single digits, your morals are in the gutter, your minds are on self-preservation and somewhere along the way you traded your honor for political expediency.
You've violated your oaths, you've betrayed your country you've feathered your nests and you've sat on your hands while an imperial president has rubbed your noses in the dirt time after time.
You're no longer men, you're puppets, you're caricatures, jokes, a gaggle of fading prostitutes for sale to anybody who can do you a political favor.
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
What do you think?
Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America
About the Author:
His politics over the years, while varied, have always stood firmly rooted in the Constitutional Republic stand held by the nation's forefathers signified by the early emblem "Don't Tread On Me."
While his critics have accused him of supporting vigilantism, his true beliefs concerning the dealing with crimes against America by both Americans, those who would do the nation and its citizen's harm and illegal aliens flooding into the country has been solidly founded in the nation's founding documents.
"I am here today at IDF Northern Command, along with the Defense Minister, Chief-of-Staff, GOC Northern Command and field commanders to closely observe the IDF's readiness against these threats. I was positively impressed both by the IDF's preparedness and by the determination of its commanders and soldiers. The IDF is strong. The State of Israel is strong. We are ready for any eventuality. Those who try to attack us – we will strike at them."
PM Netanyahu visits IDF Northern Command
WATCH: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits IDF Northern Command (English captions available)Prime Minister Netanyahu: "The ruler of Iran, Khamenei, said yesterday, and I quote, 'We will take all measures to support all those who fight against Israel.' Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif said in Beirut a few days ago, at a meeting with the head of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, and I quote, 'The nuclear agreement has created an historic opportunity to stand against the Zionist entity.' What we have said all along is being seen as correct and accurate. The money that will flow to Iran in the wake of the nuclear agreement will serve it to strengthen the terrorist organizations operating against us, in its name and under its auspices, in the avowed goal to destroy Israel.I am here today at IDF Northern Command, along with the Defense Minister, Chief-of-Staff, GOC Northern Command and field commanders to closely observe the IDF's readiness against these threats. I was positively impressed both by the IDF's preparedness and by the determination of its commanders and soldiers. The IDF is strong. The State of Israel is strong. We are ready for any eventuality. Those who try to attack us – we will strike at them."Posted by The Prime Minister of Israel on Tuesday, August 18, 2015