Summary:  Can the Doctor even with the help of the Ghost foil this years Christmas invasion?

Plot: 25 years ago the Doctor accidentally gives a young kid superpowers. decades later while investigating Harmony Sholes a mysterious hero known as the Ghost saves him Nardole and a reporter Lucy Fletcher saves them.  Will the doctor be able to not only unravel the mystery of the stealth invasion by Harmony Sholes and solve the personal problems of the now grown up Grant behind the cape?
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Writing: Moffat writes a spectacular semi sequel to the Husbands of River song bring back Nardole and throwing in elements of super hero movies in the past.  He is best when he embraces the fun side of Doctor who and with this one he is really at his best.  The inclusion of Nardole as a companion, one who after River Song finds the Doctor almost anti-climatic is a stroke of genius.  The story is less about the invasion than about the relationships and that’s good but the fact that it watches like an old Douglas Adams episode is even better..

Acting: Matt Lucas’ Nardole is an excellent companion for the Doctor adding comedy & the advantages of someone not overawed by it all.  (His disease gives him an alien vibe which also works to his advantage)  Both Justin Chapwin as the Ghost and Charity Wakefield as Lucy do well.  The villains played Adetomiwa Edun & Aleksandar Jovanovic are adequate but it’s Chapwin’s mix of Michael Keaton and Chris Reeve that does the trick.  Also a shout out to young Logan Hoffman and Daniel Lorente as kid and teen Grant

Memorable Moments:  But Lois Lane doesn’t , Sign of a pro, Naked Hell, I’m live, I ruled I love buttons , Ruled firmly but wisely, How come our side never gets plans like that?

Doctor Who Flashbacks: The 24 years , NYC time issues his fault, the open head villains

Oddities:  I understand how River Song knew how to fly the Tardis but how did Nardole know it?  Furthermore if those heads open up does that mean those brains open up too since that’s the spot where they reside?  If there was a question of the Ghost being real why is he on TV pushing smoke detectors?  Since the bad guys kept the brains of those they took over it’s logical that they can be re transplanted.  Why is the Doctor not doing this?

Pet Peeves:  If only Davros knew that all he needed to get the Doctor to talk was an annoying squeak toy
Given the angle of his fall how did the Doctor catch the ledge?


Great Quote(s)

Young Grant: What are you doing?
The Doctor:  [swing back and forth upside down in front of his 60th floor window] I was setting a trap.
Young Grant: A trap?
The Doctor: On your roof.
Young Grant: What happened?
The Doctor: I tried it out.
Young Grant:  How?
The Doctor: Accidentally.


The Doctor: Why did they call him Spider-Man? Don’t they like him?
Young Grant: He was bitten by a radioactive spider, and guess what happened?
The Doctor: Radiation poisoning, I should think.
Young Grant: No, he got special powers.
The Doctor: What, vomiting, hair loss and death? Fat lot of use


The Doctor: [To Lucy who is eavesdropping on the bad guys inside the Harmony Sholes building who just noticed him behind her] It’s okay. I’m an intruder too. Yeah, I brought snacks. Mark of a pro. Keep listening.


The Doctor: (handing Jennifer over) You’re her nanny?
Grant: Yeah, her nanny. You got a problem with that?
The Doctor: No, no, it’s just, well, okay, so you are a superhero and a nanny?
Grant: Well, you’ve got to make a buck somehow. I mean, you don’t get paid for saving people.
Nardole: Oh, you don’t have to tell us. Here you go, nice and warm. And tasty: Ooo, elephant.
Grant: It’s fine. It’s a long-range baby-monitor. I can get back to this apartment quicker than most people can get to their kids’ bedrooms.
The Doctor: Grant, Grant, this is insane. Look, I’m me, the Doctor, and even I think this is insane.


The Doctor: You’re not looking at anyone. Are you shy now? Is that floor really interesting?
Teen Grant: I’m not shy. I just can’t stop it.
The Doctor: Can’t stop what?
Teen Grant: The X-Ray Vision
The Doctor: Oh.
Teen Grant:  I’m in hell. Naked hell. I just can’t look at people.
The Doctor: It’s the gemstone, responding to…puberty.


Nardole: Oh, Tokyo branch.
The Doctor: Yep.
Nardole:  A bit empty, isn’t it?
The Doctor: Yes, I created a distraction. I flooded downstairs with Pokémon.


Nardole: What’s plan B?
The Doctor: I have no idea, but it’s going to be a very big relief when I think of it.
Nardole: You are completely out of your mind!
The Doctor: How is that news to anyone?
Nardole: I know you miss her, but couldn’t you just write a poem?


Nardole: Her name was River Song. They were together for a while and they were very happy. And then she died, a long time ago, in a library.
Grant: Are you sure he’s going to be all right?
Nardole: Hmm. He’s the Doctor. He’s very brave and he’s very silly and I think, for a time, he’s going to be very sad. But I promise, in the end, he’ll be all right. I’ll make sure of it. Bye!


Final Verdict: 5 stars My type of story.  Could have fit right into the Tom Baker era

Ranking of Season: 1st of 1

Being the only episode of the year make it easy but if it had been in last season I would have ranked it 2nd or 3rd at the absolute worst.

Top 10 Ranking in the Capaldi Era: 4th Some might object to me ranking it so high but it has everything possible to appeal to me, A Tom Baker type script, comedy, no gratuitous killing of characters that we like, a clear hero and villain and a comic book motif.   In short this is Doctor Who not only as it once was but as it should be. This is a children’s show that adults can enjoy instead of a children show pushing adult themes, more please.

1st The Husbands of River Song
2nd. Last Christmas
3rd. The Caretaker
4th. The Return of Doctor Mysterio
5th. The Girl who Died
6th. The Witch’s Familiar
7th. Hell Bent
8th. Mummy on the Orient Express
9th. Face the Raven
10th. Into the Dalek

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Louisiana’s Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) are in a political tug-of-war centering on the rising crime rate in Louisiana’s most popular tourist destination.  In 2016, shootings in New Orleans increased by almost 25%, and homicides rose by 7%.  AG Landry blames Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s poor leadership for the uptick in crime while Landrieu contends Landry has no authority over him or law enforcement in New Orleans.

AG Landry has taken to Twitter in recent days with the hashtag #MakeNewOrleansSafeAgain in an effort to draw attention to his efforts to reduce crime in the city and his own violent crimes task force which operates outside of the NOLA police department. Landry points out that “Chicago has about 20 murders per 100,000 people. New Orleans is experiencing twice that many at 40 murders per 100,000 people.”

Landry insists that Landrieu is in part to blame in the increase in crime due to his agreement to enter into a five-year consent decree with Eric Holder’s Justice Department in 2012. This agreement is projected to cost NOLA over $55 million over the course of its duration.  The consent decree came about on the heels of violence in Ferguson and other cities after federal investigation of police departments reportedly engaging in civil rights violations; cities across the nation such as Albuquerque, Cleveland, and Seattle have all entered into consent decrees with varying degrees of success.

Generally, the police departments often feel hindered by the decree:

The head of the Police Association of New Orleans agrees that the consent decree is at least partly to blame for a rise in crime in a department that remains roughly 350 officers short of the state goal of 1,600.

“Because of the oversight, officers are reluctant to initiate contact,” said PANO President Michael Glasser. “…The consent decree requires a lot of oversight and redundancy, and while that probably creates a better work product, it’s labor intensive and time consuming, and we lack labor. What used to take an hour or two now takes two or three or four.”

AG Landry refers to the consent decree as the “Hug a Thug Program” and believes that officers need more help, thus his task force, and he’s probably going to push for more money from the state legislature to expand the program:

To do so he’s going to need funding, obviously, so it’s a good bet where this is going is a push at the legislature this spring to get more money for the Violent Crime Task Force to increase its presence in New Orleans and push past NOPD to make a difference.

If the legislature goes along with Landry, then John #Fail Edwards will have to sign off on it which will be particularly interesting as he is often at political odds with both Landry and Landrieu.

Some see Landry’s intervention as a power grab:

But there’s some question – at least by NOPD Chief Harrison – as to whether Landry’s office should be investigating crimes in New Orleans. Harrison sent a letter to Landry Wednesday asserting that “we are aware of no authority that permits you, your employees, or law enforcement agents under your direction to engage in active law enforcement within New Orleans or in general.”

Under the city’s Home Rule Charter, the mayor of New Orleans is the chief law enforcement authority for Orleans Parish, according to Harrison. Landry is the chief law enforcement officer for the state.

Landry insists he has no political agenda here, saying that public safety and tourism dollars are at stake:

This is not about politics; my effort is about protecting Louisiana lives and our economy tied to tourism in New Orleans. While my office works to stop crime all over Louisiana, the spike in crime within our state’s largest city is alarming. That is why I announced this initiative and why we are taking action.”

The numbers don’t lie. Crime has indeed spiked in New Orleans and the city ended 2016 with 176 murders. As 2017 opens and the Crescent City anxiously awaits the decision from the Fifth Circuit on the Confederate monuments issue, due any day now, tensions in the city are certain to rise and it’s not difficult to see why Landry’s task force might be a potential benefit to a city that clearly needs a little backup.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

Technology is completely transforming education in more ways than one. Without looking back at the progress that has been made in the last couple of years, it can be difficult to understand the speed at which education has changed during the last decade. And if the past is of any indication, technology will continue to have a huge impact on how education will be dispensed in the future. In this article, we’re going to explore three ways new technologies are completely revolutionizing the world of education.

Online Educational Programs of Equal Quality as Brick and Mortar Institutions

While online diploma mills showed up almost as soon as online education was becoming serious, most online educational programs by major institutions are of equal quality as their brick and mortar counterparts.

Online education no longer consists of watching videos and filling out a survey, then receiving your “credentials” after the final payment clears. Instead, improvements in technology allow the teacher to present the material actively or passively by showing pre-recorded lessons.

In the case of online MBAs,  MBA online coursework includes projects that your designated teacher will review. Whether they are market analysis or business case studies depends on the class, but at the end of the day, the same level of work is required of online MBA students as regular ones.

Online Education Eliminates the Need for the Training Department

Does your company have offices in California? Do you have someone in that facility up to date on sexual harassment rules and qualified to give the state mandated training for all managers in that facility? Unless you have a large office in that state, you probably don’t have someone with the expertise to teach that state mandated training. Then there are requirements like diversity training for federal contractors and suppliers who work with federal contractors. Online education is increasingly eliminating the need for keeping Human Resources personnel up to date on all of these rules and regulations, or paying an exorbitant amount to an outside trainer to teach the classes.

Instead, there are a number of companies that offer these classes online. To help reinforce the lessons and prove that the student paid attention, quizzes will be peppered throughout the online material.

Your Company Needs Fewer People to Train Your Customers and Clients

Another way technology is transforming education is by reducing the time and effort required to train customers and clients. For instance, your company can create training videos on how to use or maintain particular products and then post them online. The benefit of this includes fewer calls to technical support from people failing to follow the instructions correctly. And you have fewer sales people asked to train customers instead of focusing on what they should be doing, selling. This makes you whole sales and customer service team that much more efficient.

Online education is reducing the need for trainers to travel to various worksites in the same city or around the world to train customers, clients and employees. Online education allows companies to tap into lower cost knowledge systems and online educational programs like online MBA courses bring advanced degrees within reach of far more employees at a lower cost and greater schedule flexibility, without sacrificing quality.

Some thoughts running through my head.

The weakness of the Democrat party doesn’t surprise me but their willingness to advertise their weakness does by things like this 

Democrats are warning Republicans not to repeal Obamacare. ”They will rue the day” they move in that direction,Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) has stated ominously

Nothing says: I have no power and can’t stop you. Like ominous warnings, but what can we expect from a party with visuals like this?

In fairness to Democrats they don’t have Kelly Anne Conway who continues to prove her exceptional value shooting down leftist memes every single day:

Of course a woman who has fought the left and media for pro-life causes is going to know how to handle falsehoods thrown around like a baseball

Of course it’s not only going against Kelly Anne Conway that doesn’t end well:

Retailers enjoyed their best Christmas in more than a decade following the election of President Trump, and the return of enthusiasm and hope. Sales were up 4.1% to 4.9% over last year, CNBC reported.

Except at Macy’s, where sales were down 2.1% It will close 100 stores, and dump 10,000 workers.

If you really want to understand what went wrong, Macy’s stock peaked at $72.31 two weeks after dropping Donald Trump.

Today in the middle of a stock market boom their stock and a Christmas Season that went so well for others:

Macy’s shares recently changed hands at $32.60, down $3.24, or 9 percent.

If Macy’s wants to be a niche market than Trump voters will be happy to let them become one.

Speaking of Niche markets this one via GOP USA caught my eye.

 

Chicago’s Honey Butter Fried Chicken is among a couple of dozen restaurants across the country to sign onto a new “sanctuary restaurant” movement meant to offer safe workplaces for immigrants, Muslims and other communities they feel are under threat in the current political climate.

The movement is a joint project of ROC United, a national group that advocates for higher wages for restaurant workers, and Presente.org, whose mission is to “advance Latinx power” (Latinx is a gender-neutral alternative to Latino and Latina).

According to a news release Wednesday, sanctuary restaurants do not allow harassment of individuals based on immigrant or refugee status or race, religion, gender or sexual orientation; participate in peer networks to exchange ideas for protecting targeted workers; and agree to place prominent signs that state “SANCTUARY RESTAURANTS: A Place At the Table for Everyone” at their establishments.

 

Two things hit me, the idea that all a group has to do is feel threatened to make their list but if I was in charge of the IRS this would be an open invitation to investigate an employer and levy a large fine for disobeying federal law.

Of course given the left’s decision to use law and regulations as a club against their enemies I’ve never understood their willingness to set the precedent concerning openly ignoring them.

In a recent post I argued that the whole Hillary for Mayor business is all about the Clinton foundation lack of dollars but there is one other thing in play that I didn’t mention.

There are plenty of FOB who were expecting to cash in on a Hillary Clinton presidency, while smaller in scale at least some of those folks can still cash in if Clinton ends up Mayor of NY.

And of course if Hillary becomes Mayor of NYC there is no reason why Chelsea can’t follow her, sure she has no skills or talent but she also has none of the baggage of her mother and father so if you are a person who makes a living off of Clinton Inc, that’s a viable long term plan.

Locally I was very pleased to see this story:

The Planned Parenthood office on Main Street closed last month after operating in the space for six years.

The office, at 208 Main St., opened in 2010, and was routinely the subject of protests held by religious groups outside the office.

Yup praying to stop the murder of children, that’s what we do.

In a press release, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts President and CEO Jennifer Childs-Roshak said the state’s chapter decided to close the Somerville and Milford centers due to a “strategic decision” rather than a budgetary one.

I suspect once the federal dollars are turned off under a Trump administration we’ll see a lot more of this. Yet another bit of proof that the Lord works in mysterious ways.

Every time I see a story like this I wonder why the state of Israel doesn’t just wipe the Palestinians off the map:

It’s not as if they have the Christian command to turn the other cheek.

Incidentally there is an interested pair of stories that have gotten little attention, this:

Arab media is buzzing about a visit to Bahrain by a delegation of 28 religious American Jewish businessmen.

The visit was to explore opportunities from a free trade agreement between the US and Bahrain.

The delegation also is visiting Dubai, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.

A Bahraini businessman said that the delegation’s visit was an opportunity to introduce them to a tolerant kingdom, adding that “the visit opened the way for economic and trade opportunities.”

Solomon Eisenberg, a member of the Jewish delegation, said that there was a need for direct dialogue, away from governments and media, between people of different faiths and origins

The visit included the Jews and Muslims singing and dancing together (which did not sit well with some Arabs on Twitter.)

followed by this from Bahrain’s house of representatives:

The Council reiterated Bahrain’s position of rejecting all forms of normalization, communications and establishing relationships with the rapist Israeli entity, and that any move and act opposed to Bahraini law, and the principles of the Bahraini people.he Council reiterated Bahrain’s position of rejecting all forms of normalization, communications and establishing relationships with the rapist Israeli entity, and that any move and act opposed to Bahraini law, and the principles of the Bahraini people.

Remind we why we treat these fools like anything other than Barbarians?

Some Sports on the radio this week there was a big fuss about some writer in Philly both calling Curt Schilling a “scumbag” and leaving him off the HOF ballot.  I have three thoughts on this.

First of all part of the discussion was that Wins as a stat was meaningless next to ERA, and others.  I totally disagree, we are long past the time when Connie Mack declared that the best result for him is a team that starts strong but finishes 4th since such a team  will draw enough to make a profit and you don’t have to give a guy a raise for something he didn’t do.  The whole reason why a player is signed by a team is for them to win, both games and championships.  Schilling’s greatness comes from the fact that he delivered and has the three rings to prove it.

Second If Curt Schilling was all in for Hillary vs a GOP stalwart the sports writers of America who these days are a bunch of MSNBC wannabees likely would carry him into the Hall of Fame on their shoulders.

Finally when it comes to the Hall of Fame I think there should be a two tiered system where only the greatest of the great make the highest level, or to put it another way, to my mind if you hear a players name and don’t immediately thing HOF, or have to think even for a moment if a player belongs in the HOF he doesn’t.

In Entertainment Newsbusters is as a rule an invaluable watch on the MSM and culture but I think this story was a bit much.

Christianity is once again the butt of the joke on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory – this time mocking prayer and Noah’s ark.Christianity is once again the butt of the joke on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory – this time mocking prayer and Noah’s ark.

I’m sorry but I’m a very conservative Christians and I didn’t find the jokes offensive in the least nor do I suspect did most Christians who watched it.  I understand the broken windows theory but let’s focus on the real thing rather than this penny ante stuff.

Finally let me sing the praises of the only original episode of Doctor Who not produced by Big Finish this year, the Christmas Special The Return of Doctor Mysterio.  Watching that show brought me back to the old days of Tom Baker when the show was meant for kids.  No big social agenda, no massive angst, just the Doctor foiling the monsters with a bit of laughter and fun on the side.

More please