SciFi Friday: Effects of the Strike; Star Trek XI; and Payden Panettiere Poses For Vanity Fair and Has Arrest Warrant Issued

The strike continues to take its toll. The Bionic Woman, already in danger of cancellation due to low ratings, didn’t have enough completed scripts to continue filming until December 12 as planned and shut down on November 9. If things weren’t bad enough for the show, it has also been slammed by the original Bionic Woman, Lindsay Wagner, who called it too violent. They are also unable to film Battlestar Galactica as planned, making the chances of not being able to see the full final season in 2008 even greater. While the Star Trek movie is filming, the strike has is having an impact as described by film writer John August:

Neither J.J. nor Damon are writers on the movie. But they are writers, and WGA members. During a WGA strike, you’re not allowed to write on movies or television shows, period. So they can’t change a word of the script, nor can anyone else. The script they had at 11:59 p.m. November 5th is the script they have to shoot.

To a screenwriter, that might seem kind of awesome. For once, the director can’t change things. But when its your own movie, it’s maddening. J.J. was describing a scene he was shooting the day before. Midway through it, he got a great idea for a new line. Which he couldn’t write. Couldn’t shoot. Couldn’t be in his movie.

Damon described it like having one of your superpowers taken away.

Three are further rumors as to both changes in the design of the Enterprise and the plot of the movie. Current rumors are that the story centers around Romulans going back in time to try to kill James Kirk, with Spock going back in time to prevent this. The movie is also believed to be using aspects of two of the most popular episodes from both the original show and Star Trek: The Next Generation. The Guardian of Forever is used to go back in time, with Harlan Ellison reportedly angry about the use of his idea from The City on the Edge of Forever. Until the time line is corrected the result will be a change in the Federation reminiscent of the changes seen in Yesterday’s Enterprise.

Heroes finally had the episode they should have started the season with which showed what happened after they saved the world at the end of the first season. It still might be necessary to save the cheerleader. An arrest warrant has been issued for Hayden Panettiere for her protests against whale hunting.

“We must unite as a world to solve our increasing international environmental crises. We can no longer hide behinid out-dated, senseless cultural traditions and lazy, bad habits that are resulting in the annihilation of our planet’s resources and the extinction of our species.”

She added that there is a possibility that she could face jail over the incident “but I doubt it… I guess they could come here and get us, but probably not.”

“[But] I was very excited that people were interested in what we did. In [Hollywood], you tend to only get publicity for not wearing underwear or going to rehab.”

Hayden also has an incredible set of photos in Vanity Fair.



Kerry Takes One Million Dollar Challenge From T. Boone Pickens on Swift Boat Lies

There’s been increased mention of the Swift Boat Liars recently, especially with the report that Kerry has gathered further information to debunk their claims. The evidence against them was already overwhelming, making me wonder how much better Kerry’s current evidence is.

In the past the Swift Boat Liars and the Republicans who spread their lies acted with regard to the truth. Not only do they ignore all the evidence disputing the claims, but many continued to claim that Kerry hadn’t released his records even when they were posted on the internet for all to see. It also didn’t shut them up when the media reviewed the actual records and verified that they were no different from what was posted on line. AP now reports that Kerry is going on the offensive, taking up one of the backers of the Swift Boat Liars on their offer to pay $1 million to anyone who can dispute one of their claims. Kerry’s full letter on this offer has also been posted:

At an anniversary dinner event for the American Spectator magazine last week, Texas oil magnate and longtime funder of right-wing causes T. Boone Pickens opted to repeat a false claim in the form of a fresh challenge to re-brand old lies as the alleged truth.

Today Senator Kerry is taking him up on that challenge, and calling him out on his false claim.

Below is the text of a letter that Senator Kerry sent to Mr. Pickens this morning:

Mr. Pickens,

It has come to my attention through the accounts of individuals who were in attendance at the American Spectator’s Robert L. Bartley Dinner & 40th Anniversary Gala as well as through the public accounts, that you personally “staked one million dollars” that “no one” could “prove anything the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth said in 2004 was false” (RedState.Com) and offered “a million dollars to anyone who could prove wrong anything the Swiftboat Veterans charged about Kerry.” (

I welcome the opportunity to prove that you are a man of your word and that the so-called “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” lied. While I am prepared to show they lied on allegation after allegation, you have generously offered to pay one million dollars for just one thing that can be proven false. I am prepared to prove the lie beyond any reasonable doubt.

I would request that your check be made payable to the Paralyzed Veterans of America which is doing incredible work every day to meet the needs of veterans returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan. My hope is that by sending this money to such a dedicated organization – founded for veterans, by veterans — some good can come out of the ugly smears and lies of the orchestrated campaign you bankrolled in 2004 in an attempt to discredit my military record and the record of the men who served alongside me on the Swift Boats of the Mekong Delta.

I would be more than happy to travel to Dallas to meet with you in a mutually agreed upon public forum, or would invite you to join me in Massachusetts for a public dialogue and then together we could visit the Paralyzed Veterans of America in Norwood and see firsthand how we can put your money to good work for our veterans.

I look forward to setting up a visit at the earliest possible, mutually convenient time. I trust that you are a man of your word, having made a very public challenge at a major Washington dinner, and look forward to taking you up on this challenge.

John F. Kerry
United States Senator

Update: Pickens knows he can’t win on this so he is reneging on the original offer. Hat tip to TBogg for trying to remind Pickens of his own principles:

Keep success as well as failure in perspective and, most importantly, always play by the rules: Never think you have to cheat to win; there’s no need to bend your principles. As in sports, cheating to win is a hollow victory, at best. But most of all, you won’t feel good about yourself.

Update II: T. Boone Chickens And The Swift Boat Liars

Gore and Schwarzenegger Forming Candidate Forum on Climate Change

Al Gore might wind up in the candidate debates after all this year, but not as someone running for office. Gore and Arnold Schwarzenegger are working together on a bipartisan forum on climate change to held in New Hampshire in December. According to AP:

The forum, which is still in the planning stages, is being designed so presidential candidates from both parties will attend. Adam Mendelsohn, a spokesman for the governor, said the format was not completely developed, but the former vice president was handling the Democratic candidates, while Schwarzenegger would handle the Republicans.

The most interesting aspect might be to get the Republican candidates on record with regards to whether they accept the scientific consensus on climate change, just as they were asked their views on evolution at one of the GOP debates. Either they will have to break with their base or will have to publicly display how conservatives place ideology over science.

Early Impressions of The Nevada Debate

Hillary Clinton appears to be winning in the early post-debate media coverage. John Edwards continued to try to attack Hillary Clinton but the real areas of substantial disagreement are not between John Edwards and Hillary Clinton, but are between John Edwards Present and John Edwards Past.

Obama didn’t get many blows at Clinton. He did stick with opposing a mandate in his heath care plan which might not be popular in Democratic circles but which will make his health care plan more palatable to the general electorate. Obama did miss a chance at questioning Clinton’s experience based upon her previous health care plan, which was as big a mistake as her vote in favor of the Iraq war. On the other hand, Obama’s characterization of everyone making over $97,000 as the “upper class” could reduce his support among independents and professionals.

Chuck Todd wrote, “Biden, again, had a good night. He keeps doing well at these debates; we’ll see if he can use this to propel himself in Iowa. Richardson, btw, had one of his better performances, possibly his best.” Mark Ambinder wrote:

Richardson had his best performance of all the previous debates. On mental health, on veterans’ health, on energy, on trade policy – he was clear, concise, natural-sounding, in command of his answers, and persuasive. Viewers leaned that he was a governor who solved problems, who wasn’t in Congress, who has clear differences with the rest of the field on a variety of issues, and who sounded reasonable. Where has this Bill Richardson been?