Showing posts from September, 2019

Talking About 'Star Wars' Lore: Was Coruscant intended to appear in the original trilogy of Star Wars?

Was Coruscant intended to appear in the original trilogy of Star Wars? No. According to various sources, including Laurent Bouzerau’s The Star Wars Trilogy: The Annotated Screenplays, and the director’s audio commentary on the DVD and Blu-ray releases of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, depicting a city planet such as Coruscant on screen at the time (1977–1983) was beyond the ability of Industrial Light and Magic to pull off. It would have required extensive (and expensive) miniature work to create even a portion of the ecumenopolis which, at the time of Return of the Jedi, was tentatively named Had Abbedon. In an early draft of Return of the Jedi, George Lucas tried to come up with a way to show the Imperial capital, but none of the techniques needed to pull it off (matte paintings and miniatures) would have rendered a city planet in a photorealistic way, which is what Star Wars fans were accustomed to by the early 1980s. (This, by the way, was the draft in which the Empire was said…

Refuting Devin Nunes' Silliness: No, the DNC Was NOT Conspiring with Ukraine

Why would the Democratic National Committee conspire with the Ukrainians in order to obtain nude photos of President Trump, as Representative Nunes claimed on 9/26/2019?
There’s no truth to Devin Nunes’ claims that Democrats have asked the Ukrainians - indeed, any foreign power, to help them find nude photos of President Donald Trump. It’s just another sad, desperate ploy to distract attention from the President’s attempt to strong-arm the leader of Ukraine into helping the Trump campaign by giving him any “dirt” on Joe Biden and his son in advance of the 2020 Presidential election. Per NBC News: President Donald Trump and his allies, amid fallout from the whistleblower complaint alleging he abused the power of his office for political gain, have attempted to turn the tables on Democrats, accusing them of their own Ukraine scandal. Trump, who faces an impeachment inquiry, floated the claim in a news conference Wednesday, saying that Democrats "threatened" Ukrainian President V…

Talking About Impeachment: If President Trump is impeached should he be reelected in 2020?

On Quora, conservative Mark Watson asks:

If President Trump is impeached should he be reelected in 2020? And here's my response: This question is problematic, mostly because the person who posted it doesn’t seem to understand what impeachment is, but partly because the “corroborating” link he provides is to a decidedly biased (in this case, conservative) website. First, let’s deal with the term “impeachment” shall we, class? Per Definition of impeach (Entry 1 of 2) transitive verb 1to charge with a crime or misdemeanor, specifically:to charge (a public official) before a competent tribunal with misconduct in office After Andrew Johnson, the first president to be impeached, finished his chaotic and disgraceful administration, Grant was the inevitable successor.— Richard Brookhiser “Impeach” or “impeachment” does not mean “the automatic removal from office of a public official.” In the context of Presidential politics and American civics, it means the process of c…

Refuting Conservative Dogma...Still Yet Again: My Reply to ' Should Trump be impeached for speaking with the Ukrainian President?"

On Quora, conservative member Philipp Andern asks:

Liberals: Should Trump be impeached for speaking with the Ukrainian President? Why or why not? My reply: First, let me say that disingenuous questions like “Liberals: Should Trump be impeached for speaking with the Ukrainian President? Why or why not?” are annoying, dishonest, and meant to deflect from the truth. In other words, they are insincere. Second, under most circumstances, it is part of any President’s job to speak to foreign leaders. Whether it is to congratulate one - such as Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Kelensky - on winning an election or to consult with a major ally on matters of global importance, it is important that a President of the United States reaches out to his foreign counterparts. It’s part of the job and a crucial one at that. What is impeachable in the case of the conversation with Ukraine’s President Kelensky is the fact that the current occupant of the White House was leaning on another head of state to dig…

Book Review: Shoot for the Moon: The Space Race and the Extraordinary Voyage of Apollo 11

On July 20, 2019, the National Air and Space Administration (NASA), historians, and millions of space enthusiasts around the world commemorated the Jubilee of Apollo 11's landing on the Moon. To observe the 50th anniversary of astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's historic moonwalk - and the fulfillment of the late President John F. Kennedy's challenge to land a man on Earth's nearest celestial neighbor and return him to Earth before 1970, a wave of new movies (First Man), documentaries (Apollo 11) and books preceded the commemoration of the greatest adventure in human history: the Space Race and the triumph of the Apollo Program.

Shoot for the Moon: The Space Race and the Extraordinary Voyage of Apollo 11, historian James Donovan's 464-page account of the Apollo Program, its Cold War roots, and America's bid to land men on the Moon before the Soviet Union, is one of the many literary explorations of a time in which a young President reached into the futu…

Refuting Conservative Dogma (Yet Again): Will you secretly vote for Trump even though you are a life-long liberal/centrist?

On Quora, an anonymous Trump supporter asks:

Will you secretly vote for Trump even though you are a life-long liberal/centrist? My reply: No. Why should I? First of all, Donald J. Trump is perhaps the worst person elected to the Presidency in my lifetime; his personal behavior (both public and private), his actions as Chief Executive, his Administration’s policies, and his Cabinet picks have lowered the standing of the United States in the eyes of the world. I do not like the man or what he stands for, so why should I vote for him and betray my core values as an American citizen? Second, there’s no way on Earth that I will vote for any Republican candidate at the national level, considering how low the Republican Party has sunk in its bid to win a “permanent majority” in Congress and win control of the Supreme Court for the so-called “conservative movement.” When the Legislative Branch of Congress’ upper house is led by a man who is publicly unwilling to protect our election infrastruct…

Refuting Conservative Dogma: My Reply to 'Why Do Liberals Never Admit When They're Wrong?'

On Quora, a member who identifies as a middle-school student and "an outspoken conservative and Christian girl" asks:

Why do liberals never admit when they're wrong?

I replied:

Funny. I seem to remember at least several instances of liberals admitting they made mistakes and even apologize for them.

When Al Franken was a Senator from Minnesota, he was accused of improper behavior by model and entertainer Leeann Tweeden (now a conservative talk radio host) who worked in the entertainment industry when Franken was still a comedian and humor writer. The behavior did not occur when Franken was in the Senate; it allegedly happened when he and his accuser were on a USO tour in 2006. (Tweeden accused Franken of two things: improper kissing while rehearsing for a skit, and mimicking the improper touching of her breasts while posing for a photograph.) In the interest of fairness, let’s look at why Tweeden’s claim of impropriety on the part of Franken rings hollow, even though he resi…

TV Series/DVD Review: 'Star Wars Resistance: Complete Season One'

On October 7, 2018, cable television's Disney Channel aired The Recruit, the two-part premiere of Dave Filoni's Star Wars Resistance, a Lucasfilm Animation series set between Star Wars - Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and Star Wars - Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Produced by Justin Ridge, Athena Yvette Portillo, and Brandon Auman, the series chronicles the adventures of New Republic pilot Kazuda "Kaz" Xiono (voice of Christopher Sean), who is recruited by Resistance fighter ace Poe Dameron (voice of Oscar Isaac) to gather intelligence on the growing menace of the First Order.

Although Star Wars Resistance is a CGI-animated production, the style of the new series differs from Lucasfilm Animation's Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. It is inspired by Japanese anime, which is fitting, considering that quite a bit of the animation is done by Polygon Pictures, a Japanese production company based in Tokyo. (Polygon is a long-time partner of Lucasfilm, h…

Talking About Donald Trump: Bluster Isn't Strength

Would you consider Donald Trump the toughest US president by far? On the contrary. I consider Donald J. Trump to be the weakest President of the United States after James Buchanan, the Chief Executive who sat on his hands and did nothing to prevent the secession crisis of 1860 before the outbreak of the Civil War. Trump, of course, loves to talk tough. That’s been one of his personality traits since he became a public figure in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He has always been an abrasive, bombastic man who is fond of attacking other people verbally and invading their personal space to unnerve them. That’s been his shtick for as long as I remember; I remember being appalled when he called for the return of the death penalty in New York State during the media circus that sprung up during 1989’s “Central Park jogger rape” incident. To me, Trump’s bellicosity, especially now that he is in the White House, is not toughness. It’s a weakness, especially when it concerns the moral and ethic…

Coming Soon to 'A Certain Point of View': Upcoming Reviews and More....

Today is Sunday, September 22, 2019. At 10:23 AM Eastern Daylight Time, the temperature in my corner of Florida is 79℉ under mostly sunny skies. With humidity at 73%, the feels-like temperature is...79℉. Per my computer's Weather app, the forecast high is expected to be 89℉, and the nighttime low will be 69℉. It is not expected to rain today, but this being Florida, we might get a passing sprinkle later. We'll see.

Usually, by this time of the day, I'd have a blog post written and posted for you to read. Unfortunately. I stayed up much too late last night trying to watch not one but two movies by Steven Spielberg (The BFG and Bridge of Spies). And yesterday I didn't do any writing; I decided to try out a new computer game I bought recently (Strategic Command: WWII: World at War), a new game from Slitherine and Matrix Games that allows players to play through the entire conflict, beginning on September 1, 1939, and ending on September 2, 1945 as either the Allies or th…

Talking About 'Star Wars' Fanmunism

Is Disney destroying Star Wars over George Lucas royalties? Whatever gave you that idea? Look. As a Star Wars fan who has seen every Star Wars film (including the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie from 2008) in theaters, there is nothing more mind-bogglingly annoying than other fans who come up with silly theories such as The Walt Disney Company is destroying Star Wars so George Lucas can’t earn royalties. First of all, just because a vocal and persistent minority of the fandom has obsessively jumped on the Disney ruined Star Wars bandwagon for any of reasons does not mean that theories such as this one are valid, much less based on reality. The Internet is crawling with toxic fans who hate the Sequel Trilogy - especially The Last Jedi - for a plethora of cinematic sins, real or (mostly) imagined, including: J.J. Abrams ignored the Expanded UniverseToo many SJW tropes and minority charactersRian Johnson is a twit who ruined Luke SkywalkerLeia Organa = Mary Poppins in The Last …

Talking About Today's Military: When did the USA stop using non-combatant medics on the front line?

When did the USA stop using non-combatant medics on the front line?
While it is true that in most of the 20th Century conflicts the United State fought in medics were not armed or participated in actual fighting, the nature of the enemy and how military medical personnel are treated by the enemy have changed. In World War II, for instance, most of the belligerents were signatories of The Hague Convention, which laid out the rules governing the treatment of combatants and non-combatants during times of war. Even Nazi Germany adhered to those rules in most cases, with the notable exception of how the Third Reich treated Jews and Soviet prisoners of war. (The Soviet Union and Japan were not signatories, so their record on how they treated prisoners was not exactly laudable. One of the many rules of war that most of the warring nations observed was that medical personnel did not carry weapons and had to wear distinguishing brassards or helmet insignia that bore the Red Cross or the Red Cr…