Showing posts from July, 2019

Humor: The Coffee Drinker's Creed

The Coffee Drinker's Creed
(A Riff on the U.S. Marine Corps' Rifleman's Creed)
This is my coffee mug. There are many like it, but this one is mine. 
My coffee mug is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.

My coffee mug, without me, is useless. Without my coffee mug, I am useless. I must drink my coffee completely. I must take in its warm goodness to defeat my fatigue that is trying to cloud my mind.
I must drink my coffee before my coffee is cold. I will.
My coffee mug and I know that what counts in this morning is not the lure of sleep, the grogginess in our mind nor the bed that calls to us. We know that it is the caffeine that counts. We will drink.
My coffee mug is human, even as I am, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn my coffee as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its beans, its caffeine, its aroma, and its taste.
I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage as I will ever guard my legs, my a…

Talking About 'Star Trek': Is the term "Trekkie" ever used in any of the Star Trek movies or TV series?

On Quora, member Nathan William asks: Is the term "Trekkie" ever used in any of the Star Trek movies or TV series? My reply: No. The term “Trekkie” (or “Trekker”) only refers to fans of the Star Trek franchise. Incidentally, there were two in-universe references to the franchise title; both occurred in iterations of Star Trek: The Next Generation In the episode All Good Things…, the god-like entity known as Q and Captain Jean-Luc Picard have the following exchange: Picard: We are what we are, and we're doing the best we can. It is not for you to set the standards by which we should be judged! Q: Oh, but it is, and we have. Time may be eternal, Captain, but our patience is not. It's time to put an end to your trek through the stars, make room for other more worthy species. And in 1996’s Star Trek: First Contact: Cmdr. William Riker: It is one of the pivotal moments in human history, Doctor. You get to make first contact with an alien race! And after you do... everything be…

Talking About Donald Trump: Do you agree that the longer Trump is in office he becomes less Presidential?

On Quora, member Kathy Houk asks:

Do you agree that the longer Trump is in office he becomes less Presidential?

My reply is:

No. I do not agree that Trump is becoming less Presidential with the passage of time. Why? Because he never was Presidential, to begin with. Donald John Trump was not, as his supporters and detractors so often remind us, a conventional Presidential candidate who could be diplomatic, thoughtful, or genuinely interested in “making America great” for everyone. He was not a “career politician” who had mastered the ways of Washington DC or wanted to curry favor with the media or those voters who weren’t going to vote for him. In other words, he was determined to be Donald Trump, tough-talking real estate mogul, television personality, and proud spokesperson for the Birther conspiracy theorists. If you look at the highlights of Trump’s 2016 Presidential campaign, you’ll see that he was not interested in smoothing over his “tough guy from Queens” persona to appeal to all…

Q&As About Star Wars: Does the New Star Wars Trilogy Diminish the Events of the Original Trilogy?

On Quora, member Al Hartley asks:

Does the fact that the Empire is still basically around in the new Star Wars trilogy diminish the events of the original trilogy? As Luke Skywalker says in Star Wars - Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, “Every single word you just said is wrong.” First off, the Galactic Empire is not “basically around” 30-some odd years after the destruction of the Death Star II and the downfall of Emperor Palpatine and his evil regime. The main antagonist of the heroes in the Sequel Trilogy is not the old Empire. As the title crawl of Star Wars - Episode VIII: The Force Awakens states: Luke Skywalker has vanished. In his absence, the sinister FIRST ORDER has risen from the ashes of the Empire and will not rest until Skywalker, the last Jedi, has been destroyed. The villains - Kylo Ren, Supreme Leader Snoke, Armitage Hux, Captain Phasma, et. al. are not Imperials. They are, in essence, neo-Imperials, fanatical adherents of Palpatine’s New Order who fled to the Unknown Regions af…

Regarding Impeachment: If President Donald Trump were impeached and Mike Pence became president, how long would his term be? Would it be for 4 years or would there still be a 2020 election?

If President Donald Trump were impeached and Mike Pence became president, how long would his term be? Would it be for 4 years or would there still be a 2020 election?

First, let’s clear up certain misconceptions that are laid bare by the wording of the question. Impeachment does not mean “automatic removal of a Federal official by Congressional fiat.” It is a trial under specific conditions that have to be metImpeachment only results in removing a President or other official if, as implied by the term “trial,” if he or (eventually, she) is found guilty by the Senate It’s now late July 2019, and the 2020 election cycle is currently underway. As in, there is a group of aspiring Democratic Presidential candidates already jockeying for prominence and a decent shot of winning the nomination of their party next summer. So, even with rumors of possible impeachment, the campaign is already on.
Now, you have to understand that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is not enthusiastic about impeachi…

Responding to the Cult-45: My Reply to 'Now that the Mueller report has been finally investigating, do you think the Democrats are a bunch of clowns?'

On Quora, Trump supporter Larry "Two Accounts" Walden asks this incredibly rude question about the Mueller Report and the Democratic Party:

Now that the Mueller report has been finally investigating, do you think the Democrats are a bunch of clowns?

Here's my reply:

This question, in all frankness, is rife with far too many issues that make it hard for anyone to understand, much less answer it in a mature, rational way. The first half, Now that the Mueller report has been finally investigating, makes no sense whatsoever. The two-volume Mueller Report is not a sentient, self-aware entity that can conduct an investigation on its own; therefore, it can’t investigate anything or anyone. I’m guessing that what the Trump supporter who wrote this pseudo-question really meant to say is, Now that the Mueller investigation has come to a close, do you think the Democrats are a bunch of clowns? Which, of course, brings me to the crux of the matter. Obviously, there are two likely audi…

Replying to Silly Questions About U.S. Politics: Is Robert Mueller Really Pro-Trump?

On Quora, Mike Demsky asks:
Is Robert Mueller Really Pro-Trump?
Former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III is a retired Marine Corps officer, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, a lawyer, and one of the most serious and professional law enforcement officials in the history of the United States. When he was asked to act as Special Counsel in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election, Mr. Mueller did so without a political axe to grind. He is a conservative. A registered Republican. Decent. Forthright. A man who upholds the motto of the agency he led for 12 years under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama: Fidelity. Bravery. Integrity. I do not believe he went into the investigation thinking, “I don’t like Donald Trump. I will do everything in my power to slime him even though he is as innocent as a newborn baby.” Instead, Mueller and his team looked at all the evidence in an effort to find out how and why Russia had interfered in the 2016 election. …

Talking About U.S. Politics: Why was Nixon impeachable but somehow Trump isn't?

Why was Nixon impeachable but somehow Trump isn't? The times, they have a-changed since the 1970s.

There are various reasons as to why Richard M. Nixon was easier to consider impeachable in the 1970s and Donald J. Trump seems to be “untouchable.” The biggest factor is, of course, the differences in the political environment in which both Administrations existed. Nixon was elected in 1968 and took the Presidential oath of office on January 20, 1969, and was re-elected in November of 1972 and managed to stay in office until he resigned on August 9, 1974. Trump was elected in November 2016 in a vastly different electoral and cultural environment. Nixon’s Presidency took place at a time when the Internet was not quite a thing; a proto-Internet existed in 1969, but it was essentially limited to the federal government and academia. The Vietnam War and its divisiveness were sowing the seeds of social discord that made Trumpism possible. The war - which America was losing and many of the …

Living History: What was the first big historical event (such as when the Berlin Wall came down) that you can remember and how old were you?

What was the first big historical event (such as when the Berlin Wall came down) that you can remember and how old were you? Because I was born eight months before JFK’s assassination and was a baby at the time, I have no memory of that. My mom and an older half-sister, of course, were of “the age of reason” on November 22, 1963, so they had vivid memories of that tragic event.
I have vague memories of the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, as well as a dim awareness of the unrest all over the world due to the Vietnam War and social upheaval in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America. The first big historical event I recall with clarity (albeit enhanced by my watching documentaries and dramatizations on the topic) was Apollo 8’s flight to the Moon in December of 1968. The biggest historical event I recall as a kid, though, was the Moon landing 50 years ago. I was six and living in Colombia at the time, but like most of the world, the media there gave the Apol…

Exploring Conservative Dogma: A Reply to 'Why does the Left hate Trump and Christians love him?'

On Quora, Trump supporter Dan Lauffer asks: Why does the Left hate Trump and Christians love him? I hate insincere, loaded questions, especially those written by Trump-supporting individuals who are also self-described Christians, but I’ll try to explain this anyway. First of all, it’s not just “the left” that dislikes Donald John Trump. There are many millions of people - not just in the United States, but also around the world - who find Trump distasteful in every way possible. And it's not just liberals that don't like Trump; quite a few conservatives, among them columnist George F. Will, have left the Republican Party due to its embrace of "Don the Con."  From his aggressive “I’m from Queens, New York” mien, his constant bragging, his dishonesty, his pandering to his “base,” his total disregard for diplomacy, his hateful attitudes toward minorities, and his admiration for authoritarian leaders such as Vladimir Putin, Kim Jung Un, Jair Bolsonaro, and Rodrigo Dutert…

Miniseries Review: 'John Adams'

John Adams (2008)

Written by: Kirk Ellis & Michelle Ashford

Based on: John Adams, by David McCullough

Directed by: Tom Hooper

Starring: Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, Stephen Dillane, David Morse, Danny Huston, Sarah Polley, Tom Wilkinson, Rufus Sewell, Justin Theroux, Guy Henry

On June 16, 2009, HBO Home Entertainment released the DVD and Blu-ray Disc (BD) home media editions of its Emmy-winning miniseries John Adams. Produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman (Band of Brothers), this HBO Films/Playtone production is an adaptation of historian David McCullough's Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of one of America's most influential yet least understood Founding Fathers and the second President of the United States.

Written by Kirk Ellis (Sons of Liberty, Into the West) and Michelle Ashford (Masters of Sex, The Pacific) and directed by Tom Hooper (The King's Speech, Elizabeth I), John Adams originally aired on HBO between March 16 and April 20, 2008, and covers the 56-year perio…