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Academy Award® Nominated: Star Trek

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, BuellBoy, Ogenec and TheLCster


On the day of James Kirk’s birth, his father dies on his ship in a last stand against a mysterious alien vessel. He was looking for Ambassador Spock, who is a child on Vulcan at that time, disdained by his neighbors for his half-human nature. Twenty years later, Kirk has grown into a young troublemaker inspired by Capt. Christopher Pike to fulfill his potential in Starfleet even as he annoys his instructors like young Lt. Spock. Suddenly, there is an emergency at Vulcan and the newly commissioned USS Enterprise is crewed with promising cadets like Nyota Uhura, Hikaru Sulu, Pavel Chekov and even Kirk himself thanks to Leonard McCoy’s medical trickery. Together, this crew will have an adventure in the final frontier where the old legend is altered forever even as the new version of it is just beginning.

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Credits

Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J.J. Abrams
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J.J. Abrams
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Damon Lindelof
Co-Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Witz
Associate Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Baronoff
Executive Producers . Jeffrey Chernov, Alex Kurtzman, Bryan Burk, and Roberto Orci

The cast includes: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Leonard Nimoy, Eric Bana, Bruce Greenwood, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Ben cross, Winona Ryder, Chris Hemsworkth, Jennifer Morrison, and Rachel Nichols

44D’s Reviews

TheLCster
As an aspiring nerd (no not geek, nerd, yes…there is a difference) I have been trying to break into the world of Star Trek in the traditional sense…watching it episode by episode, series by series. I take sci-fi very seriously! lol This new movie although entertaining feels like a ‘watered-down for the masses’ version of a topic that I know people spend their lifetime’s trying to perfect. Although I don’t speak Klingon, I respect the franchise and was disappointed at the simplistic (often trading true character growth and dynamic for witty one-liners) nature of some of the characters. I am glad, however, that at least a new generation of viewers will be introduced to the characters. Hopefully those who enjoyed the movie will research the series in the proper manner.

Ogenec
“No one does geek-pop chic better than J.J. Abrams. I never watched Alias (dunno why), but I am hooked — hooked! — on Lost and Fringe. Unlike many TV auteurs, J.J.’s vision adapts quite well to the big screen too: see, for example, MI:III, the best movie of the trilogy.

So I was really excited when I heard that J.J. would be doing the reboot of Star Trek. I knew it’d be edgy, yet fun. I knew it would mix in enough of the mythology for the hardcore Trekkies, but also introduce some fresh elements. And I knew there would be a very good mix of bombastic action sequences and intelligent dialogue. I knew all of that. And yet, I was completely blown away by the movie. The dialogue was even better than I’d hoped. The interplay between the characters (like Bones and Kirk, or Scotty and Kirk, and most importantly Kirk and Spock themselves) was just phenomenal. The action was totally kick-ass. In fact, I’m about to unleash my id by watching it again tonight with the subwoofers set to “Stun.” But, above all else, two things really endear this movie to me as a total keeper. The first is the subversion of the operating premise of the Kirk-Spock relationship, where Kirk is the impulsive one, and Spock is all logic and rationality. In the movie, Kirk proves himself to be quite the thinking man, and Spock gets very emotional. Man, I ate it up. You will too, on the off-chance that you haven’t seen this excellent movie yet.

The second is the casting of Chris Pine as Kirk. Sometimes you hear the casting choices and you go “Hell Naw!!! What were they thinking?!?!?” Most times, your concerns are well-founded. Think George Clooney as Batman — ’nuff said. But sometimes, you’re just totally wrong, and you have to admit it. So I admit it — Chris Pine is such an inspired choice for Kirk that he seems borne for the role, just as much as Daniel Craig is, to me, now the definitive James Bond. All I knew of Chris Pine was his role as a homicidal maniac in Smoking Aces. Fantastic role, and he’s obviously quite the actor. But I couldn’t see how THAT guy could pull off a Captain Kirk. Well, I’m extremely happy J.J. Abrams doesn’t listen to me. And, by the way, Eric Bana also is fantastic as Spock’s Romulan nemesis. In short, fantastic movie. Can’t wait for the sequel.”

Audiegrl
“Loved it. J.J. Abrams did a outstanding job of re-energizing the Star Trek franchise. With 21st century special effects, he really updated, the normally slow-moving action viewers were used to. Spock and Lt. Uhura hooking up? Brilliant…we get to see what made Spock who he is, and his ongoing struggle to determine if he was more human or vulcan. It was also good to learn why Doctor McCoy aka Bones, earned his nickname, saying…“My wife took everything in the divorce, all she left me was my bones.” Abrams successfully introduced the series to a new generation of Trekkies, somewhere out there, Gene Roddenberry is smiling 🙂

Did You Know?

Randy Pausch, a Carnegie-Mellon Computer Science professor (and “Star Trek” fan) who gained widespread fame as the author of a “Last Lecture” in which he discussed living the life of his dreams in the face of terminal pancreatic cancer, was invited by J.J. Abrams to appear as an extra in this film (he is the Kelvin officer who says “Captain, we have visual“). Pausch wrote in his blog about the experience, “I got a custom-made Star Trek uniform and my own station on the bridge, where I had lots of buttons and controls. I even got a LINE!!!!” Pausch died on July 25, 2008; his paycheck of $217.06 from working on the film was donated to charity.

While most Trekkies will have known this detail for decades, this is the first time that Uhura has been given a first name on screen: Nyota. Gene Roddenberry never came up with a first name for her, so many thought this meant she did not have one, although in literature, Uhura is often referred to as Nyota by her comrades, and she is also referred to as Nyota Uhura in the DC Comics publication “Who’s Who in Star Trek“. There are several nods to this history in the movie: first, when Kirk first meets (and hits on) Uhura in a bar and tells her, “if you don’t tell me your name, I’m gonna have to make one up,” and then when she refuses to tell Kirk her first name throughout the film.

Majel Barrett, the wife of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry, has a role in this film as the voice of the Enterprise computer. She completed her voice-over work two weeks before her death on December 18, 2008.

The Korean-American actor John Cho was initially uncertain about being cast as the Japanese-American officer Hikaru Sulu, but George Takei, who played Sulu in “Star Trek” (1966), encouraged him to take the role as Sulu was a character who represented all of Asia.

Four Nominations

Best Visual Effects
Best Sound Mixing
Best Sound Editing
Best Makeup

Back to 44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars®Back to 44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars®

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Haitian Ambassador Raymond Joseph Responds To Pat Robertson

Posted by: Audiegrl

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A Brief History Lesson on Haiti and the Louisiana Purchase

On October 1, 1800, Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of France, concluded the Treaty of San Ildefonso with Spain, which returned Louisiana to French ownership in exchange for a Spanish kingdom in Italy.

Napoleon’s ambitions in Louisiana involved the creation of a new empire centered on the Caribbean sugar trade. By terms of the Treaty of Ameins of 1800, Great Britain returned ownership of the islands of Martinique and Guadaloupe to the French. Napoleon looked upon Louisiana as a depot for these sugar islands, and as a buffer to U.S. settlement. In October of 1801 he sent a large military force to retake the important island of Santo Domingo, lost in a slave revolt in the 1790s.

Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States, was disturbed by Napoleon’s plans to re-establish French colonies in America. With the possession of New Orleans, Napoleon could close the Mississippi to U.S. commerce at any time. Jefferson authorized Robert R. Livingston, U.S. Minister to France, to negotiate for the purchase for up to $2 million of the City of New Orleans, portions of the east bank of the Mississippi, and free navigation of the river for U.S. commerce.

An official transfer of Louisiana to French ownership had not yet taken place, and Napoleon’s deal with the Spanish was a poorly kept secret on the frontier. On October 18, 1802, however, a strange thing happened. Juan Ventura Moralis, Acting Intendant of Louisiana, made public the intention of Spain to revoke the right of deposit at New Orleans for all cargo from the United States. The closure of this vital port to the United States caused anger and consternation, and commerce in the west was virtually blockaded. Historians believe that the revocation of the right of deposit was prompted by abuses of the Americans, particularly smuggling, and not by French intrigues as was believed at the time. President Jefferson ignored public pressure for war with France, and appointed James Monroe special envoy to Napoleon, to assist in obtaining New Orleans for the United States. Jefferson boosted the authorized expenditure of funds to $10 million.

Meanwhile, Napoleon’s plans in the Caribbean were being frustrated by Toussaint L’Ouverture, his army of former slaves, and yellow fever. During ten months of fierce fighting on Santo Domingo, France lost over 40,000 soldiers. Without Santo Domingo Napoleon’s colonial ambitions for a French empire were foiled in North America. Louisiana would be useless as a granary without sugar islanders to feed. Napoleon also considered the temper of the United States, where sentiment was growing against France and stronger ties with Great Britain were being considered. Spain’s refusal to sell Florida was the last straw, and Napoleon turned his attention once more to Europe; the sale of the now-useless Louisiana would supply needed funds to wage war there. Napoleon directed his ministers, Talleyrand and Barbe-Marbois, to offer the entire Louisiana territory to the United States – and quickly.

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If you’d like to see what the country looked like before the Louisiana Purchase, please click on the map below to enlarge.

Click on the map to enlarge

Check out A Tribute to Haitian Soldiers for Heroism in the American Revolution 1797

UPDATE: Haitians react to televangelist Pat Robertson’s ‘devil pact’ remarks

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Help for Haiti~Learn What You Can Do

Complete Haiti Relief Coverage Main PageHaiti Relief Coverage Main Page

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US Envoy Jon Huntsman Criticizes Coverage of Obama China Visit

Posted by Audiegrl

AP/Christopher Bodeen—Washington’s ambassador to Beijing hit out Friday at negative U.S. media coverage of President Barack Obama’s visit to China, saying it failed to take into account important progress on many issues.

Although producing no breakthroughs on key issues, Obama’s first state visit to the Asian giant that ended Wednesday was heralded by both sides as a success.

The trip was the top news story in China, drawing strong interest from the Chinese public who, surveys suggest, are largely positive in their view of the American president.

However, much of the U.S. media coverage was strongly negative, accusing Obama of failing to gain concessions on key issues such as Iran’s nuclear program and climate change, as well as being weak on human rights.

Ambassador Jon Huntsman said the reports missed the fact that the visit had yielded important progress on cooperation in areas such as clean energy, military-to-military exchanges and stopping the spread of nuclear weapons.

I attended all those meetings that President Obama had with Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao,” Huntsman said, referring to the Chinese president and premier.

I’ve got to say some of the reporting I saw afterward was off the mark. I saw sweeping comments about things that apparently weren’t talked about, when they were discussed in great detail in the meetings,” he said.

Huntsman made the comments during a question-and-answer session with Chinese and American students attending an international relations program at elite Peking University.

He said criticism about limited Chinese exposure for Obama’s remarks at a town hall-style meeting with students in Shanghai failed to consider the ubiquity of the Internet and blogging in China, where 350 million people use the Web.

Go check some time and see how messages bounce around from Web site to Web site and blogger to blogger for a very long period of time and you’ll get a sense of what the communication revolution is all about,” Huntsman said.

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Bring Them Home, Mr. President by Eugene Robinson

Op-Ed by Eugene Robinson

Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist, Eugene Robinson

Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist, Eugene Robinson

Eugene Robinson—The most dreadful burden of the presidency — the power to send men and women to die for their country — seems to weigh heavily on Barack Obama these days. He went to Dover Air Force Base to salute the coffins of fallen troops. He gave a moving speech at the memorial service for victims of last week’s killings at Fort Hood. On Veterans Day, after the traditional wreath-laying at Arlington National Cemetery, he took an unscheduled walk among the rows of marble headstones in Section 60, where the dead from our two ongoing wars are buried.

As he decides whether to escalate the war in Afghanistan, Obama should keep these images in mind. Geopolitical calculation has human consequences. Sending more troops will mean more coffins arriving at Dover, more funerals at Arlington, more stress and hardship for military families. It would be wrong to demand such sacrifice in the absence of military goals that are clear, achievable and worthwhile.

And what goals in Afghanistan remotely satisfy those criteria?

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the U.S. ambassador to Kabul, Karl Eikenberry, recently sent two classified cables to officials in Washington expressing what the newspaper described as “deep concerns” about sending more troops now.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, chosen by Obama to lead U.S. forces in Afghanistan, has asked for perhaps 40,000 additional troops to carry out a counterinsurgency campaign. Armchair Napoleons in Washington, comfortably ensconced in their book-lined offices, insist that Obama must “listen to the generals.” But Eikenberry was a four-star general until Obama named him ambassador earlier this year. He commanded U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2006-07. He needs to be heard as well.

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Gay rights advocates march on DC, divided on Obama– + Obama Gives Human Rights Campaign Keynote

Posted by Audiegrl

WASHINGTON – Thousands of gay and lesbian activists converge for a march from the White House to the Capitol, demanding that President Barack Obama keep his promises to push for civil rights protections from the federal government.

Rainbow flags and homemade signs dotted the crowds as people chanted “Hey, Obama, let mama marry mama” and “We’re out, we’re proud, we won’t back down.” Many children were also among the protesters.

A long journey-  1979

A long journey- 1979

Some participants in the National Equality March woke up energized by Obama’s blunt pledge to end the ban on gays serving openly in the military during a speech to the nation’s largest gay rights group Saturday night. The president also said he would work to ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and to give same-sex couples the same civil rights as straight couples.

“I’m here with you in that fight,” Obama said. He acknowledged some had grown impatient that he wasn’t pushing for changes faster but urged advocates to continue pressing him and Congress to act.

Obama’s political energies have been focused on two wars, the economic crisis and health care reform, though he pledged “unwavering” commitment even as he wrestled with those problems.

March organizer Cleve Jones, creator of the AIDS Memorial Quilt and a protege of gay rights pioneer Harvey Milk, said he had initially discouraged a rally earlier in the year. But he and others began to worry Obama was backing away from his campaign promises.
“Since we’ve seen that so many times before, I didn’t want it to happen again,” he said. “We’re not settling. There’s no such thing as a fraction of equality.”

Full Story:

For details on today’s march click here:

“Obama Says He Will End ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell'” (source)


President Barack Obama pledged to end the ban on Gays serving openly in the military in a speech Saturday, but acknowledged to a cheering crowd that the policy changes he promised on the campaign trail are not coming as quickly as they expected.

Click here for a full transcript of his remarks.

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gayrights365Gay.com/—The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, announced today that President Barack Obama will deliver the keynote address at the 13th Annual National Dinner on Saturday, October 10th, in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy will also present the first-ever Edward M. Kennedy National Leadership Award to Judy and Dennis Shepard. The award is named in honor of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), a champion in the fight for LGBT equality.

gayweddingsmallWe are honored to share this night with President Obama, who has called upon our nation to embrace LGBT people as brothers and sisters,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “It is fitting that he will speak to our community on the night that we pay tribute to his friend and mentor Senator Edward Kennedy, who knew that as president, Barack Obama would take on the unfinished business of this nation – equal rights for the LGBT community, and for every person who believes in liberty and justice for all.”

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Nominee David Huebner

Nominee David Huebner

Obama Nominates Openly Gay Ambassador

Washington Blade—President Obama is preparing to nominate his first openly gay ambassador, according to a knowledgeable source.

David Huebner, who serves as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s general counsel, will be nominated to become the administration’s ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. A formal announcement was expected Wednesday evening.

Huebner, who currently works at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, specializes in handling international arbitration and mediation cases. Formerly a resident of California, Huebner is now based in Shanghai.

Long active in non-profit and community organizations, Huebner has chaired the California Law Revision Commission and served as president of the Los Angeles Quality & Productivity Commission. He’s also guest lectured on international topics at several schools domestically and abroad.

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