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Comment Re:Tables are turning (Score 3, Insightful) 284

And what would you call this proposed bill in Wyoming? It's an unapologetic subsidy to the coal industyr, because clearly the Wyoming government believes that the Wyoming coal industry will not be able to compete with renewables. Now maybe the justification boils down to "we get more taxes from coal than wind", but whatever that justification is, the intention is clear, Wyoming coal is seen as being at a competitive disadvantage, and therefore it will be subsidized by making renewable energy sources more expensive.

Comment Re:Jumped the shark a long while ago (Score 1) 158

And maybe TOS was best because its three leads were archetypes; you had the brave and adventurous Horatio Hornblower figure in Kirk, you have the cold intellectual in the form of Spock, and you have the emotional and moralistic McCoy. Though the casting was never quite that intentional, it's pretty clear that by the first few first season scripts were being produced that Roddenberry and his writers understood the good fortune they had in the chemistry between Shatner, Nimoy and Kelley, and fleshed out those three characters to a point that by the mid-way point of the first season, we basically have the Holy Trinity in place. Thus, when you have the penultimate scene in The City On The Edge Of Forever, where McCoy is restrained from saving Edith Keeler, you have those three archetypal characters in one of the entire franchise's most dramatic moments.

And that really is the magic of TOS; some damned good stories matched up with actors with incredibly good chemistry (which is something you can't manufacture, but was just damned good luck on Roddenberry's part), and the rest just flows. Even awful episodes are redeemed by the fact that Kirk, Spock and McCoy are in it.

You can see through the other Star Trek series where the writers and producers tried desperately to reproduce that chemistry, but even when they came closest in the final seasons of TNG, it still felt somewhat stilted, as if the actors and writers were trying to show us what good friends they all were, without ever really convincing us emotionally that these people were more than just comrades. I suppose the friendship between Geordi and Data came closest, but even that felt one-dimensional as opposed to what seemed like genuine love and friendship between the three TOS leads.

And the brilliance of the TOS characters extends even past the three leads. The second tier characters; Scotty, Uruha, Sulu and Chekhov all were well enough written and portrayed (more the latter than the former considering how few lines these actors generally got) that you could feel some emotional attachment to them. Scotty, in particular, is one of my favorite characters out of the whole ST universe. A bit cranky, but brilliant and incredibly competent, he's sort of the archetypal engineer, to the point where I've read that a lot of people were inspired into technical fields because of Jimmy Doohan's portrayal.

Comment Re:Sounds like wrong approach... (Score 1) 158

Enterprise could have been incredible, and there were brief glimpses here and there, and particularly in the fourth season, when it became clear that it wasn't going to be renewed. If Enterprise had been about the founding of the Federation, if it had paid more attention to the cold war between the Andorians and the Vulcans, if it had spent some time on the human supremacist movement on Earth, instead of squandering so much screen time on that idiotic "Temporal Cold War" crap in the first three seasons, and in particular on the idiotic Xindi arc which made the third season into a pointless aside, then it would have been possibly the best Trek of them all.

I like to imagine an alternate Enterprise, where the first season is for the most part what was shown, minus any Temporal Cold War episodes. The second season could have been more about the Andorian and Vulcan conflict, plus run of the mill exploration episodes. Season 3 could have seen the founding of the Federation and then season 4 would have been the Romulan War, then I think you would have had a killer series. But I don't think Braga and Coto ever knew what to do with it, and just tried to turn it into another Voyager.

Comment Re:Speculative Trading (Score 3, Informative) 162

Investing is always a gamble. You're giving a company capital and hoping that that company makes sufficient money that they can either pay you dividends, or that the value of your shares go up enough that you can sell them to make a profit. A share is a piece of property, to be used either as a means of collecting dividends, or to be sold.

Comment Re:"The highest bidder"? (Score 5, Insightful) 283

We have similar easements and accesses in my neck of the woods. One of the most contentious where I live is public access to lakes (I gather this is also an issue in Hawaii with access to beaches). Basically the law says that landowners are certainly allowed to own land up to the beach, but they cannot own the beach or any stretch of the water. There are some slight variances on this principle for self-contained bodies of water, like artificial lakes, but in general, you can own land adjacent to a lake or stream, but you don't own the lake or stream, or the immediate vicinity around it. Further, there are public access points to the beach, which often do cross peoples' property, but by law the property owners cannot impede peoples' access to the lake, nor can they attempt to block the access points. Further, if they build warfs or boat launches, well, they're doing so on public land, so while they may be free to locate those structures there, they can't prevent other people from using them.

Every year property owners around various lakes in the area try to block access trails, make absurd threats against people enjoying what constitute public lands, and generally be fucking assholes. That they bought this land knowing full well that they are not lawfully empower to prevent access is irrelevant. They're big crybabies who want to assert defacto ownership over land and water that explicitly does not belong to them, and never will.

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