Monday, February 21, 2011

Special Comment- Right-Wing Loons

A lot of my peers in Liberal thought are pretty upset about the lurch to the right we've seen now that new governments have been sworn in at the State and Federal level following the 2010 elections. The House has voted to repeal Health care reform and to defund Planned Parenthood. In Wisconsin, the new Republican Governor is trying to bust the Public-workers unions and Governor Kasich here in Ohio is about to try the same thing. Also many states, including Ohio, have made extreme moves to majorly restrict abortion rights.

In the U.S. House, the new Republican majority is completely disconnected with political realities. It is a waste of time to repeal Health Care reform or try to get that ridiculous budget through with the Senate still in Democratic control and the veto pen of President Obama waiting. They are spending their time passing things that will never get out of the Senate and do absolutely nothing to improve the major issues going on in the United States right now. It is extreme partisanship when the unemployment rate is the highest it has been in decades. It is doing symbolic things while the economy struggles to recover.

The vote to cut funding to Planned Parenthood is perhaps the dumbest thing the anti-choice movement could do to reduce the number of Abortion. The only way to actually reduce the number of abortions is through preventive care, education and birth control. That's what family planning does. Soon, the Republican house will force through more bills to restrict abortion rights. Those bills will quickly die in the Senate.

Abortion as an issue is settled law. It is a legal, constitutionally protected procedure. The right-wing is trying to force it back to court where their new laws will be easily overturned and their cases will in all likelihood be rejected by the Supreme Court. The Republican movement to restrict Abortion is wasting time that could be spent on issues that must be addressed. The Republicans were not put back into power about social issues. It was about the economy and fiscal policy.

The United States is heading for a government shut down. The Republican House is unwittingly following the failed playbook of 1994. The teabaggers in the House may just kill any budget that would be agreeable to the Senate and President.

Governor Walker in Wisconsin is making a poorly disguised attempt to bust the Unions of public employees. Made all the more obvious by his not including in his new measure the Unions that supported him in his election-bid. Even though the Trooper's Union has come out and announced their regret of their endorsement. Walker is trying to attack something that is very important to Democratic political success. In Ohio and Indiana the governor's are going to try the same thing and are about to meet with backlash like we're seeing in Wisconsin. These Governor's won't win in this fight and will suffer for it in the future..

The fact that these right-wing loons are in power is disconcerting to me, but I really think they are doing their best to make sure their stint in power will only be two years. The extreme-right is quite noisy right now. They even have their own TV network. The majority of people don't want an extreme conservative country. The Republican's are running the country as if they are trying to win in their primaries, but will get slaughtered in the General.

The results of the 2010 election were as extreme as they get. The Republican's are making sure that in 2012 we'll see a large correction.

Thanks for reading and please comment.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Gaming Tuesday- My Valentine's in a Video Game

It's not really Tuesday, but shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Not really. My real Valentine was HowtoLiz. However if I had a gaming Valentine it would be Ashley Graham. I seem to be in the minority of gamers who don't find her annoying, I just think she's attractive. I don't mind that she looks underage, the game is pretty insistent that she is 18. Plus, she's the President's daughter, which means instant influence.

Guys, we need to talk. There is a release date for the new Mortal Kombat game and no one told me. I couldn't be more excited about it. I've already told you guys that at least once or twice before. The fatalities are going to be so cool with these consoles.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 dropped yesterday. I'm not really a big fan of fighting games, so you may be confused as to my excitement about Mortal Kombat. I wonder who buys Marvel v. Capcom over Mortal Kombat this year. I definitely have my alligances to a lot of Capcom characters, but I don't particularly enjoy using them in a 2D fighting game. Mortal Kombat on the other hand will be very gory and and have an actual story. Both of those are pluses in my category.

Today, I beat the Black Ops campaign on Veteran difficulty. Despite what I may have said to the contrary, It isn't as ridiculously awful as the World at War campaign. There are some annoying parts and the entire mission on the rooftops is horribly difficult, but otherwise doable. I mean you still have to be a masochist to play through a Call of Duty campaign on Veteran, but you might not get off as much on this one as World at War or CoD 4.

Here's an awesome trailer for a game I think will be awesome

Here's an awesome trailer for a game I think will be notsome

Thanks for reading and please comment.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Manna Is a Hell Of a Drug

What has happened in Egypt in the past 48 hours is truly an amazing victory for those liberty-seekers there. Peaceful revolution is awesome and nothing makes me happier than seeing happy revolutionaries and a disgraced dictator forced to flee. The primary driving force of the change was the demonstrators, but I think we need to realize what really drove Mubarak from power. It was a Military Coup that happened on Thursday and Friday in Egypt. Mubarak was defiant, but the military leadership wouldn't relent and he was forced to leave office.

Revolutions do have a sketchy track record. For every good one there are loads that didn't end up going so well. Just remember that the American Revolution was unique in many ways, but perhaps the most notable is how well it went. If George Washington had wanted to become King or military dictator he could have. He wasn't selfish though and the brilliance of the founders created a long lasting republic. You just have to look at the closest relative to the American Revolution, The French Revolution to see a Revolution that went way wrong.

With revolutions often come power vacuums. The French power vacuum initially got filled by Democrats* who believed so deeply in Democracy that they became repressive of those that were critical of the Democratic government in the Reign of Terror. Then by one of History's least loathed** horrible men, Napoleon Bonaparte.

Egypt is not suffering from a power vacuum right now. The military is in control and is doing the job well in the temporary function. It is obviously not desirable to have the military in control permanently . There will have to be a transition at some point to a democratically elected civilian government at some point. Here in the U.S. we take smooth transitions of power for granted, but this could be the power vacuum in Egypt.

Is the new government viewed legitimately? Does the government become repressive in the name of liberty***? What if the military doesn't give up power?

Revolutions are such messy business. There is so much that can make them go wrong. I still give the people of Egypt a good chance of making this work well. The revolution was peaceful. The military is intact, friendly to the protesters, and doesn't seem to want a dictatorship. The last guy doesn't really have any one left loyal to him. Those are all good things that will help this work more smoothly.

I think Liberty is one of the most brilliant concepts around. It is freedom, but it doesn't mean you can do whatever you want. I have liberty, but I can't go to the movie theater naked****. The other people at the movie theater have the right to not see me naked by their own liberty. Liberty is freedom to do as you choose so long as you don't infringe on another person's right to do as they choose. I just think that is brilliant.

Thanks for reading and please comment.

*Democrats in that they believe in Democracy not the modern political party in the United States.
**Seriously, Napoleon doesn't get the hate he deserves to get. He was a brilliant General, but a horrible ruler.
***That is so ironic, but it does happen. Regimes become authoritarian without meaning to sometimes.
****No matter how much I want to.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Gaming Tuesday

There isn't much going on in the world of gaming this week. Personally, I've been playing loads of Black Ops especially with it being Double XP last weekend. So that's what I'm going to write about. So here's some ramblings about Black Ops:

There certainly are some very aggravating things about Black Ops. However, like every other Call of Duty game the most aggravating parts of the game are not caused by game Mechanics, but by the community. Still, I find problems with this game harder to forgive for some reason. I think it's because of how close this game is to being perfect. Second Chance and RC-XD cars are so much more frustrating, because of how well the game is done other wise.

I spent quite a lot of time playing solo this weekend. Going into objective games, it was really tough. I ran into so many 6-man parties that would just absolute beat down my team. I don't remember it ever being so hard before to go in solo. I was definitely getting annoyed. More annoying than that is when the game starts going down hill people start bailing, so you're losing and end up short handed.

Also the host quitting out to the Dashboard is getting really fucking annoying. I know there's nothing that can be done about that, but it's annoying when you're about to win a Free-For-All and suddenly the game starts super lagging and then the screen goes black.

Black Ops feels like the most balanced of the CoD games. For some reason, that makes the game a bit dull at times. When it goes well though, this game is amazing. When it doesn't it gets frustrating really fast.

Disengage rambling

I think you guys should check out this fantastic site called Fat, Ugly or Slutty. It's about the trials of female gamers and the ridiculous messages they receive. That's sounds serious, but the site is really hilarious.

Thanks for reading and please comment.


Monday, February 7, 2011


Those of you who are astute viewers of my blog will have already noticed that there is a link to my Tumblr at the top of the page. I didn't really want publicize getting it here too much initially for various* reasons. However, the time has come to share with you all my Tumblr page:

It's fun. Lots of reblogs of silly pictures. Also, I do make my own short little posts. It's a good place for me put down any thoughts I want to share, but think are too short or insignificant to share here.

*Edit 12/23/2011- I deleted most of the original post, because it was getting a lot of views from searches about a certain person and her sexual orientation and I'm not cool with that.*

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Truth Resists Simplicity

On this blog, I generally speak in absolutes. It's not that I know I'm right. I certainly do not. I just don't think starting every sentence with, "I think" or "I believe" would allow my posts to be readable. That would make things more cumbersome than they already are.

"We are almost always wrong, maybe not all the way wrong, but at least a little bit. Even the simplest questions have vast complexities built into them, and understanding that we never fully understand things leads to a much healthier and more effective relationship with the world." -Hank Green

There is no way to know what caused what or how something now will effect the future. Knowing that, here's my tirade.

Capitalism doesn't work. I liken it to a Phoenix. A wonderful mythical bird who has all these wonderful properties. However there is one major flaw. The damn thing will suffer from spontaneous combustion. A baby bird will rise from the ashes; but the damage was done in the fire, because in this analogy the combustion ate the world economy. The economy will eventually recover and become an adult phoenix with all those wonderful characteristics of the mythical creature and then it will catch on fire again.

As much as I don't like to say it, Socialism doesn't work either. It doesn't have the mythical properties that capitalism does. In principal, it should work and not have the problems that come along with the expedited growth in Capitalism. However Socialism has the same root cause of problems as Capitalism. That is human greed. Proper Socialism requires those in power to remain selfless. That may happen initially, but eventually selfishness wins out. Classes are created and there is no social motility. The lower class becomes hopeless and the upper class becomes lazy and subsidized and the economy comes to a screeching halt.

The point is, if there is one, is that human greed is bad for the economy.

Karl Marx didn't think Communism would work in the mid-nineteenth century. He knew for communism to work well technology needed to be better. We still have not reached that place where the technology will allow for Communism to work. We're getting there and I think Marx would marvel at Smart Phones and what they have helped to cause in Egypt. Still until we reach a level of technology where the necessary desires of a modern world can be met with ease, Communism doesn't work. It quickly becomes Authoritarian rule like the Soviet Union.

Marx also thought we'd be living under Global Communism now. He couldn't believe that workers would continue to remain, so sub servant to their bosses. There would be no way the Working Class would continue to live in the class structure that treats them so poorly. However Marx seems to underestimate the worker's willingness to put up with shit. The class structure really isn't that much better today than it was back then. Labor conditions are much better, but it still remains that poor people work for rich people.

There was no great uprising in the West however. The Bourgeoisie got wise to the unrest of the Working Classes and threw them a bone. Better labor conditions. Only one revolution happened and that was in Russia where an out of touch King was thrown out, because people were hungry and he'd never thrown out the bone. Otherwise the Capitalists of the west had managed to make it so the owner of the factory was still making an abhorrent amount of money compared anyone working in the factory and make the workers contented.

This post was not supposed to go in that direction. I didn't mean for it too. I just wanted to give an example of an opinion of mine to better show my point. However it kind of turned into a bit of a manifesto. I'll stop that here. Hopefully you all aren't scared away by what I actually think.

Anyway I wanted to address a comment I got on one of my posts. Since I get so few comments you'll figure out which one. However, it's not really about the comment itself. It's about how it was presented. I was reminded that it is a 'free world.' That is a statement I agree completely with, but it wasn't appropriate for what I was saying. For one, I wasn't forbidding anyone from using a particular website. If you want to use it that's fine by me. I was just my opinion.

More importantly, the use of 'free country' or 'free world' or 'you're infringing on my freedom of speech' when you disagree with them on something. That has happened to me more than once. I don't mean to sound conceited, but I know how to argue well. I'm well informed and believe deeply in my convictions, but am not so blind as to not see the other side's view. So if you're debating something with someone please don't accuse them of taking your freedoms just because they manage to form an analytical argument against your views.

Thanks for reading and please comment.


P.S. This is probably the most disjointed blog I've ever posted. Partly because parts of it were written at different times. Mostly because I went all preachy in the middle.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Gaming Tuesday- O Crap It's Thursday

The New Call of Duty: Black Ops map pack dropped today. I'll be more in-depth later in the post, but here are my opinions of the maps in just a few words.

Berlin Wall- Too big, too chokepointy

Discovery- Just too big

Kowloon- Too busy

Stadium- A small map that plays like a big map.

Yea, I'm not a big fan of these maps. To be fair it sucks having to learn new maps on Call of Duty. For me, map knowledge is very important for me to be able to do well*. It also seems the new maps have brought out all the campers and douchebags.

Berlin Wall and Discovery are both huge maps. Generally I'm not a big fan of huge maps. These new maps aren't breaking my stereotypes. Big maps usually have one of two problems. One of those problems is everyone being too spread out. Therefore you just can't find any action. An example of a map like that would be Fuel. Discovery has that same problem. I was in a TDM on that map that had a final score of 4100-3100. That is ridiculously low scores.

The other problem is all the fighting on a huge map gets confined to one area or a choke point. Much like Wasteland. Berlin Wall has this problem especially in objective games. The B-flag in Domination is a blood-bath. The map I find myself comparing Berlin Wall to is Estate, which is my least favorite map on any Call of Duty game. Berlin Wall suffers from similar problems. to Estate. The map is huge, but the fighting largely occurs in one area. Objective based game modes are dominated by control of choke points and TDM and Free-for-All is boring, because the map is so large.

Despite the problems with Berlin Wall it is not my least favorite of the new Maps. That distinction goes to Kowloon. Small maps and I usually get along very well. Kowloon just has too much shit in it. It basically takes all the stuff you'd put in a large urban map and crams it into a small map. The results is way too many camping areas. Too many corners to camp in. Too many rooftops to camp on. It's just too busy of a map.

Then there's Stadium. This is probably my favorite of the maps, which doesn't mean I particularly like it. It is a small map. It just plays a lot of the time like a large one. The sight-lines are pretty large. There are balconies and rooftops to camp on. Still, I think this is the best Call of Duty map in the map pack.

I really feel like Treyarch went more for gimmicks that substance with this map pack. Zip-lines and Auto-turrets are cool, but I'd much prefer better maps. I don't care if the snowbridge collapses when I shoot it with a rocket of if I get to see the aurora borealis, but I'd like a map that isn't such a bore to play.

At least the zombie map is cool

I didn't really succeed in my last challenge. The best I was able to do was 77 points. Truthfully I didn't end up trying very hard. I only played a few games. I got NFS and NBA Jam shortly after issuing myself the challenge, so I couldn't be bothered with NCAA 11. So that is $5.75 for the This Star Won't Go Out Foundation.

Thanks for reading and please comment.

*Well by my standards.