Open Thread: “George Takei Is Out for Justice”

Great little quick read, from the NYTimes:

You’re very busy for someone your age. You’ve written three books; you have a web series; and your musical, “Allegiance,” based on your family’s time in an internment camp during World War II, will debut on Broadway in November.

As a matter of fact, I just came back from the posting of the marquee at the Long­acre Theater. I just wish my father could have been there. Takei is his surname, and the play is about an event that affected him so profoundly. He came back to Los Angeles from the camp with nothing — literally penniless — and was living on Skid Row.

In a recent TED Talk, you explained that you’re no longer angry with America over your internment. In fact, you’re an outspoken patriot. How were you able to be so forgiving?

Well, my father was, too. When I was a teenager, I had many long after-dinner conversations with him, and he explained American democracy to me. He said, “Democracy can be as great as the people can be, but it’s also as fallible as people are.”...

Apart from reminders that we do make progress, what’s on the agenda for the evening?

58 replies
  1. 1
    Schlemazel says:

    I wonder if I’ll be around when the Muslims forgive us for acting like assholes to them.

    I worked for a Neisi whose family also lost everything after Pearl Harbor. I asked him how he could not be angry but he said the same America that took 1500 acres of peach and apricot orchards from his family gave him an education and the chance to rise above it. I do not think I could be so forgiving.

  2. 2
    A Ghost To Most says:

    That’s a fine quote, from apparently a fine American. Goodonya, George.

  3. 3
    srv says:

    The Donald keeps hitting it out of the ballpark:

    Real-estate mogul Donald Trump did not appreciate some of the media reactions to his newly minted presidential campaign.

    Trump also blasted two conservative pundits who have been critical of him. After Fox played a clip in which Charles Krauthammer said Trump’s 2016 candidacy “diminishes the stature” of his more serious Republican opponents, Trump tore into both Krauthammer and a second commentator, George Will.

    “They’re losers,” Trump said. “They’re just losers. They sit there; they haven’t done anything. Think about it: I’ve built a $9 billion net worth. I’ve employed tens of thousands of people. I do a television show; it becomes one of the biggest shows on all of television. NBC renewed it again; they’re begging for me to do it. I write a book called ‘The Art of the Deal’; it’s the No. 1-selling business book of all time. And I’ve got a jerk named Krauthammer or George Will saying, ‘Oh gee, he doesn’t deserve to be in the race,'” he said.

    Get this guy and ActBlue, stat.

  4. 4
    shortstop says:

    George is just an amazingly gracious and generous person at all times.

  5. 5
    shortstop says:


    They sit there

    I despise Krauthammer, but that was a super-stupid thing to say about a paraplegic.

    Still, it was a refreshing change from The Donald calling everyone who criticizes him “overrated.” This, by the way, was not overrated. It kept me highly entertained for six-plus minutes.

  6. 6
    shell says:

    @srv: As Betty said ‘Nine Biiiiillloooyan dollars!’

    So we should tremble and vote for him because his financial dick is supposedly bigger than everybody else.

  7. 7
    NotMax says:

    Open thread recording heads-up, as there are fans of the genre here:

    Friday, 6 a.m. (Eastern) on TCM – Cornered. Unrepentant Nazis. Exotic locales. Cynical one-liners. Murky plot. About as noir as film gets.

  8. 8
    Mike J says:


    the same America that took 1500 acres of peach and apricot orchards from his family gave him an education

    The Republicans will do what they can to stop that.

  9. 9
  10. 10
    Pogonip says:

    Working on the book with the zinger opening sentence. The project started as a joke but turned into a real project. If it gets finished I’ll send George Takei, good citizen and all-round good guy, a copy. And maybe he’ll want to be in the movie!

  11. 11
    Archon says:


    Good point on Trumps phrasing but can someone tell me the last thing Krauthammer was right about?

    Seriously, sports analysts are held more to account for their predictions gone awry than political commentators like George Will and Krauthammer.

  12. 12
    Gimlet says:

    General Electric Co. Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt threatened to move U.S. jobs overseas if Congress doesn’t reauthorize the Export-Import Bank’s charter, which expires at the end of June.

    GE, one of the top three public company exporters in the U.S., has much to lose if the Ex-Im bank disappears: its overseas customers received more than $973 million in credit assistance from the bank last year, according to an Ex-Im annual report.

    About 1,800 jobs at GE, its suppliers and local businesses in 12 states are at risk without the bank’s financing, according to Jessica Taylor, a spokeswoman for GE’s transportation division.

    Backing the trade measure “is a chance for Congress to show their concern for small business is more than just talk,” he said. “If you’re on the side of small and medium-sized businesses, you should be voting for free trade.”

  13. 13
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    M. Q is going to take a new LinkedIn profile picture for me, since I’m actively job hunting and the current photo is, let’s just say, dated. The shoot should happen shortly as he’s due back from the office any day half hour now.

    Then I need to atone for laughing (out loud even) at the “Bruce Jenner’s Cat” photo someone saw on Facebook and posted at a forum I frequent. I know it was wrong.

  14. 14
    Pogonip says:

    P. S. I look at once a week or so for the latest on upcoming geek movies. Those science-fiction folks are STILL squabbling about that darn award. And the verbage George R.R. Martin has spent on it would have filled half that book his fans have been patiently awaiting lo these many years.

    To avoid further award nonsense, I suggest that instead you read Hugo Award: The Pogonipping, coming soon to a retailer near you.

  15. 15
    Pogonip says:

    @Pogonip: Er, verbiage. Sorry.

  16. 16


    I do not think I could be so forgiving.

    You never know until you’re the one doing it. I understand the ability to forgive as something you do for yourself so you can move into the future rather than being consumed by the past. In another way, it’s a lot easier to forgive if you are able to recover from what happened to you. It’s easier to let bygones be bygones when the present is good to you than it is when you’re still suffering from past wrongs.

  17. 17

    @Pogonip: no way man i’m getting the hugo ;)

  18. 18
    Pogonip says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): I’ve already had that sent to me twice today!

  19. 19
    Brachiator says:

    I was a fairly big Star Trek fan, and Mr Sulu was one of my favorite characters. And yet I did not know that much about the actual actors. I was watching an interview about George Takei and when he mentioned his age and growing up in California, I realized that his family had likely been sent to the camps. And yet with all he went through, and also the issues he had to deal with as a gay man, he has such a generous and understanding spirit. Live long and prosper, Mr Takei.

  20. 20

    I once saw Takei say that he wanted to play Willy Loman in an all-Asian production of “Death of a Salesman.” Doesn’t commenter and playwright gwangung have the pull to make that happen? ;-)

  21. 21
    Gimlet says:

    OAK PARK, Ill. — MILLIONS of Americans lack crucial legal services. Yet enormous numbers of lawyers are unemployed. Why can’t the supply of lawyers match the demand?

    In Nebraska, 20 out of 93 counties have fewer than four lawyers. Eleven counties have no lawyers at all. The Montana Legal Services Association, a nonprofit group that is partly federally funded, reports having only 13 case-handling lawyers for the entire state. Throughout the country, millions of low-income people have no access to free or affordable lawyers, even for life-altering civil matters like child-custody disputes or home foreclosures, where legal representation really matters.

    This “justice gap” is vast. According to the World Justice Project’s latest Rule of Law Index, which gathers primary data on people’s practical experience of the law in 102 countries, the United States ranks 65th for the accessibility and affordability of its civil justice. We’re tied with Botswana, Pakistan and Uzbekistan, not far behind Moldova and Nigeria.

  22. 22
    fuckwit says:

    @shell: In fact, he is nothing more than a set of massive, shambling genitals.

  23. 23

    @Gimlet: Possibly because a highly-educated lawyer doesn’t want to live in any of those places.

  24. 24
    Brachiator says:

    A little tidbit from Forbes on global wealth.

    The total number of millionaire households around the world reached a record 17.4 million in 2014, up 13.7% from 15.3 million the year before. Meanwhile, the ultra high net worth set is expected to grow at an equally impressive rate over the next five years. According to the Boston Consulting Group, wealth for the richest global families worth more than $100 million is projected to cross the $18 trillion mark by 2019.

    Currently, private wealth held by families with a fortune of more than $100 million total a combined $10 trillion, or roughly 6% of global wealth. …

    The report, published Monday, says there are more than 5,000 U.S. households worth $100 million or more. China follows with more than 1,000 ultra rich households….

    In addition, the research shows that the top 1% of households in 2014 made up 42% of total private global wealth.

  25. 25
    Pogonip says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Are you writing a book? (Balloon Juice III: The Majoring! Soon to be a major motion picture starring George Takei.)

    The really crazy thing about the award war is, according to what little research I did, that particular award translates, at best, into a very modest increase in sales. So they’re mainly battling over a cute rocket figurine and bragging rights.

  26. 26
    Gimlet says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    That’s why we need to shred the social safety net, so they get out of their parents basement and go work.

  27. 27
    Gimlet says:

    A US appeals court on Wednesday reinstated a claim against former attorney general John Ashcroft and other justice department officials, stemming from the abuse of Arab and Muslim men and others detained for months in New York and New Jersey after the September 11 attacks.

    The unusual decision cleared the way for once-anonymous plaintiffs to advance charges that the top officials in the justice department had violated their constitutional guarantees of equal protection under the law. The suit seeks class-action status for all detainees similarly abused.

    A lower court had found that Ashcroft and his co-defendants, former FBI director Robert Mueller and former INS commissioner James Ziglar, had not been sufficiently linked to the abuse of detainees to support the plaintiffs’ claims.

    In its reversal of that decision, the US court of appeals for the second circuit asserted that the justice department officials had put policies into place that were conducive to the abuse, that they knew the abuse was happening and that they knew the detainees weren’t terrorism suspects.

  28. 28
    WaterGirl says:

    @Gimlet: How about if we give them their $973 million in credit assistance on an EBT card, and tell them they can’t take out more than $25 a day.

  29. 29
    Pogonip says:

    Since I mentioned George R. R. Martin, I would like to give a plug to his short story “Sandkings,” one of the best biter-bit stories ever. And it’s actually finished. It’s in numerous anthologies. Enjoy!

  30. 30
    Pogonip says:

    @WaterGirl: I like it!

    Goodnight, all!

  31. 31
    trollhattan says:

    Am I to understand that if you shoot your wife in the head while she’s taking a bath and you’re a deputy sheriff, they’ll only charge you with involuntary manslaughter, so long as it’s South Carolina?

    “Uh, hello, I kinda shot the wife in the head while she was in the tub. Yeah, of course I had my rifle in the bathroom, where else is it going to shower? Duh!”

  32. 32
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    Willie Lo Mein.

    Sorry. I couldn’t stop myself. I tried.

  33. 33
    WaterGirl says:

    @Gimlet: That is truly excellent news!

  34. 34
    Gimlet says:


    Don’t forget all the other restrictions for taking government money.

    I think Republicans are screwing with Immelt for being publicly associated with Obama and serving as his “Jobs Czar”.

  35. 35
    WaterGirl says:


    Don’t forget all the other restrictions for taking government money.

    How ’bout some drug testing?

    I think Republicans are screwing with Immelt for being publicly associated with Obama and serving as his “Jobs Czar”.

    Country first LAST.

  36. 36
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    Last year I attended a film festival of academy award nominated animated shorts. I loved “The Missing Scarf” and noticed the narrator sounded familiar.

    It was George Takei. Here’s a link; it’s a lovely short cartoon, and George does a beautiful job:

  37. 37
    Gimlet says:

    17 Hours!!!1!!

    Goldman Sachs restricts intern workday to 17 hours in wake of burnout death

    Wall Street’s shift to caring capitalism comes in the wake of the death of a 21-year-old Bank of America Merrill Lynch intern who had regularly pulled all-nighters in a desperate bid to impress his bosses.

    Erhardt was found dead in the shower at his London accommodation after working 72 hours straight. An inquest found he died of an epileptic seizure that could have been a triggered by his long working hours.

  38. 38
    gwangung says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): Uncle George has himself a nice big Broadway stage to play with, not to mention a Tony award winner to play with. And his Tony award winner is better looking than mine

  39. 39
    Gimlet says:


    Investigators found several guns inside the house, including an M4 carbine rifle in the bathroom.

    They also found a spent shell casing and a broken wedding band on the bathroom floor.

    An arrest warrant show that Blakley, whose booking photo shows abrasions on his forehead, “unlawfully without malice killed his wife” with “reckless disregard by shooting her with an (M4) rifle.”

  40. 40
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    Republican plaintiff says Obama is a bad man for allowing Republicans to call it “Obamacare”

    David M. King is pig-biting mad that Obama refers to the Affordable Care Act as “Obamacare,” even though it was a term designed by his fellow Republicans to humiliate the President. King is one of the plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case that will determine the constitutionality of the act.

    From The New York Times:

    Millions of people receive federal subsidies in the form of tax credits to help them pay premiums, and without such assistance, many would not be able to afford insurance.

    Mr. King, a gruff but friendly man who likes to guard his privacy, expressed a generalized sense of grievance over the health care law and the way the administration had carried it out.

    The name often used for the program, Obamacare, is enough to upset anyone, Mr. King said, and suggests that the president is “a narcissist.” (The term was actually coined by opponents of the law, though Mr. Obama has sometimes used it.)

  41. 41
    piratedan says:

    @Gimlet: guessing they’re unpaid too

  42. 42


    I know, I was just poking at you. :-) Do you know of anyone has done an all-Asian “Salesman”? It would seem like a no-brainer, like doing “12 Angry Women.”

  43. 43
    WaterGirl says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: I like to think that Barack Obama has read this news and is smiling.

  44. 44
    PurpleGirl says:

    When I was vising L.A. in 1976, my friend and I went to Little Tokyo day parade. (George Takei was the grand marshal that year.) I remember my friend told me that the local community was very incensed with their Japanese cousins who were buying up property and causing the costs of every thing to to go up. They were mad because they were finally able to buy back land and buildings they had lost in the 1940s and now their cousins — who had caused the war — were hurting them again. And paying cash too, something they couldn’t do.

  45. 45
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @WaterGirl: “Mr. King, a gruff but friendly man who likes to guard his privacy, expressed a generalized sense of grievance over the health care law and the way the administration had carried it out.”

    I really think they just don’t like the man.

  46. 46
    Gimlet says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    Mr. King, a gruff but friendly man who likes to guard his privacy, expressed a generalized sense of grievance over the health care law and the way the administration had carried it out.

    Thin-skinned enough to sue the government and be upset over the use of “Obamacare”, but a “gruff, friendly man”.

  47. 47
    JPL says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: Mr. King a nice man who has health care through the V.A and does not have standing is saying, I got mine so fuck you,

  48. 48

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Possibly because a highly-educated lawyer doesn’t want to live in any of those places.

    Neither does much of anyone else. Nebraska has more than 10 counties with populations under 1000 people, and well over half have populations under 10,000. It’s a good bet that many of those counties lack enough legal business to keep even one lawyer in business. Montana is similar, if a bit less extreme on the small side, if only because it has fewer counties total. Those sparsely populated areas have trouble getting adequate professional services in all areas, not just the law.

  49. 49
    WaterGirl says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: I really think you’re right!

  50. 50
    WaterGirl says:

    @JPL: That’s it in a nutshell. Nicely done!

  51. 51
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Also federal funding for various legal clinics or associations to help low- and middle-income people has been cut repeatedly through the years. (Very similar to Section 8 housing funds which are almost nil at this point.) And, not to forget, even if someone wanted to work with low-income people, they have very high debts from law school to pay and can’t afford to do public service work.

  52. 52
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Steeplejack (phone): Bah humbug, but LoMein is Chinese food not Japanese.

  53. 53
    Steeplejack (phone) says:


    I don’t put enough thought into my bad jokes.

  54. 54
    trollhattan says:

    To be fair, it did say “all-Asian” not “all-Japanese” and was an awful(ly good) pun.

  55. 55
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Pogonip: No, now they’re squabbling over the award saboteurs’ efforts to get someone at one of the big publishing houses fired.

    That effort is spearheaded by Theodore Beale. Yes, the former WorldNetDaily pundit, son of WorldNetDaily board member Robert Beale. You can imagine the insanity that’s been flung.

    The topic of the awards themselves has largely died down aside from reviews of the stuff forced onto the ballot and the authors of said stuff showing up to argue with their bad reviews. GRRM is being trolled by one of the Sads.

  56. 56
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Steeplejack (phone):

    Okay, I give in.

  57. 57
    Paul in KY says:

    Mr. Takei knew more about the Democratic system than just about any Republican. Very sorry any of our citizens were interned.

  58. 58
    Paul in KY says:

    @WaterGirl: I’m sure of it!

Comments are closed.