Friday, July 29, 2011

Pasta Origins #9- New Nominating Process

The Last one of these posts. I hope someone out there enjoyed these. Just in time too, because now this crap won't eat up any BEDA posts. *mutters curse words to himself*

I promised more about the nominating process earlier and here is that post. This was near the end of the messy Hillary/Obama primary season that proved how horribly convoluted/not representational the nominating process is, especially in the Democratic Party.

There sure are a lot of spelling errors in this one. Again, no edits, because of ethics, not laziness xD


Original Post Date: May 31, 2008

New Nominating Process

Current mood:rockin

This primary season for the Democrats this year has clearly shown that the DNC needs to change it's nominating process. It has become clear that the process as it was created allows the elected officials and party insiders to override the elected delegates. Which is fine as long as the process is over in Feb. as it usually is, but makes the party look 'elitist' in the contest that has dragged on this year and can only be decided by the Super Delegates. So here's my proposal for a new nominating process for 2012 and beyond.

1)No More Super Delegates- Get rid of the unpledged delegates and make it so who wins the elected delegates gets the nomination. I don't have any problems with apportioning process that is currently used so I would want to keep it. I believe it allows the voters will in states be better represented than the winner take all model. In the Democratic Party it is essential for it to go with the people and not have a nominee choosn in a back room as will be an eventuality if the current Super Delegate system isn't gotten rid of.

2)Rotate the Calendar- I believe that Iowa and New Hampshire shouldn't be guaranteed first in the nation status any longer. Those states are certainly not reflective of the party at all. These two states as Carl Levin put it today think they have a god given right to the first in the nation spots and I believe it's time for the party to stand up to them and remove them from those guaranteed spots. I think that the general model created this year of 4 contests in January and no other before the first Tuesday in February is a good one. My proposal is that the four states choosen in January should choosen randomly with two conditions to assure that regional fairness and assure first in the nation status will be allowed to all states. First once a state is choosen no state bordering that state shall be choosen for the first for contests that year which should allow for at least somewhat regional equality. Second the states choosen for the first 4 primary spots will have their names removed for the next 3 election cycles, so for instance a state choosen in 2012 wouldn't be eligable again until 2028.

3)Timing Rules- I believe the DNC should strength it's timing rules so that what happened this year in Florida and Michigan will not happen again. The DNC charter should be amended so any state that is in non compliance will be penalized 100% of it's delegates. It should be made clear that it is the state party's resposibility to make sure they are in compliance with DNC timing rules. If there state is not compliance has until 1 week after all contests are over to propose a new contest that the DNC will provide upto 1 million dollars for a new contest providing that it follows DNC regulations and state party opposed the contest being moved into non compliance publicly. That will allow for states where Democrats hands are tied by the Republicans to still have a way to have there delegates elected.

I believe that these changes will prevent another process like the one currently going on. I hope it'll remove the smoke filled room from our party once and for all.

I think Obama will be at 2118 Tuesday night once Montana closes. I think Obama will get 20 or so Super Delegates tommorow, Monday and in the day Tuesday so that he'll be able to claim the nomination and the networks will call it. thats just a bit of a side note.

Thanks for reading and for a final time

-Past Michael

Monday, July 25, 2011

Deathly Hallows Part Two

I imposed a delay on myself of discussing any specifics from the Deathly Hallows Part Two on the internet. I wanted to wait until after the second weekend. That should be enough time for anyone desperate to avoid movie specific spoilers to have seen it. So:

Spoiler Alert

I'm going to end up sounding like I'm just raging on the movie. I actually did enjoy it. I was choked up from the trio's arrival at the Hog's Head Inn until Harry went into the Forest. I think splitting the final book into two parts was a really good move. It really helped it translate from the book better and some of the others films would have definitely benefited from getting the same treatment.

I have mixed feelings about the Gringotts break-in. I thought the events that got them back into the vaults were well done. It was annoying that Griphook was made to betray them much earlier in the film and more so that Goblin views on ownership were never explained in the movie so one could understand his motivations. That said, the scene as a whole was pretty cool, so it makes up for that annoyance. As an aside, did anyone else think Bellatrix looked better when it was a polyjuiced(?) Hermione? I think there are some notions about inner beauty in the series and this could be an example or I could be insane.

I wasn't too upset at the changes made to "The Sacking of Severus Snape." Of course, I prefer the books, but I think the movie added the action that movie producers want, but I think the gist of that series of events remained. I also like the preparations for the battle particularly McGonagall's lines. I thought the visuals of the Death Eaters attacking the protections was excellent.

The battle was exciting as one might expect. I'm not too terribly disappointed about the lack of Fred's death though. I didn't really want to have to watch him die. Also, without the Percy storyline it would have been hard to fit in. The thing I feared most about this movie was that they would put in death scenes for Tonks and Lupin and I was thankful they didn't. It was hard enough just seeing their bodies for a second.

I believe that the most sacred part of the series is Chapters 33 and 34 "The Prince's Tale" and "The Forest Again." I thought those were beautifully done in the movie with one major exception. They did cut a lot from the memories with Lily, but I understand that. It is a movie and going too in-depth there can bog it down. It is clear enough that we get the true motivations of Snape. However, this also contained the part I hated most about the movie.

Snape holding the dead Lily just pisses me off. It wasn't the thing I was most upset about right after seeing the film, but it definitely is now. That's just not how it went down. I'm not sure if Snape could've even gotten into the Potter's home that night, but that's a minor detail. Hagrid got Harry. Sirius arrived shortly afterward and gave Hagrid his motorcycle. That's how that night went down after the attack. For one thing Snape would've had to have shown up and totally ignored the baby. Second, if Snape had actually been there when Sirius showed up, they would've dueled and one of them would have killed the other.

The Forest was my favorite scene in the movie. It was as close as I came to full-on crying even though I know that Harry isn't actually about to go die. It's hard to really quantify, but it is just a really powerful part of the story.

The final duel was probably the most disappointing part of the movie. I wasn't really angry with it. I get that if you're going to release a movie is 3D you're going to make the climax as climatic as possible with lots of movement and shit, but what was done really took away from it. My friend Kathy made an excellent point about it. She said it made Harry look cowardly. In the book Harry chases Voldemort into the great hall, but in the films he ran from him. Harry is too much of a Gyrffindor for that to be a fair representation of him.

It did annoy me that the final duel didn't take place in the great hall with everyone to witness and Harry protecting them with a shield charm. It also denied us hearing the great lecture Harry gave Voldemort before they exchanged spells. I also think the film really failed to make it clear that Harry didn't actually kill Voldemort, but it was Voldemort's own spell rebounding.

I wasn't in love with the way they handled the ending in the film, but I didn't despise it either. I would have preferred if they had returned to the Headmaster's office and talked to the Portrait of Dumbledore. However, the film still had close to the same point in the ending as book did.

Here's the Epilogue in a nut-shell: Old Ron= fat, Old Harry= James, Old Hermione= Young Hermione in different clothes.

Now for some random notes:

Lavender Brown's death scene: I'm not sure if they just wanted to kill her since she was so annoying. However, in the books she is rescued from Fenrir by Trelawney dropping a crystal ball on his head. It's not clear if she had been badly injured of if she survived the rest of the battle. Her book status is: Fate Unknown. It just seems odd that she would warrant a death scene in the battle.

Neville and Luna: This was the thing that I was initially most upset with from the film. I still don't like it all. Just I keep seeing all these damn Snape/Lily gifs on Tumblr. Ugh. I just never saw in the movies or the books any inclination of a Luna/Neville romance.

No More Spoilers

This was the first film I've seen in 3D. I didn't get a headache, which was nice. I supposed it added to the experience. There was an annoying bit though. There was this kid behind us with light up shoes. For a while he was kicking his legs up into the air and the lights reflected in our glasses. Never have I wanted to yell at a child so badly. Fortunately he stopped when the action picked up with the battle.

I think I liked Deathly Hallows Part One better the second part, but I think both are the best films of the franchise.

Let me know your thoughts about the movie in the comments.

Thanks for reading and please comment


Friday, July 22, 2011

Pasta Origins #8- SotU Rebuttall 2008

The final State of the Union Rebuttal to follow the second. I didn't really post to often in 2007. At that point in 2008, the primaries had started and Bush was becoming a forgotten man. I will say that I think this is probably the best thing I ever put on Myspace.


Original Post Date: January 29, 2008

SotU Rebuttal 2008

Current mood:forgotten

Mr. President, in the 7 horrible years since you've taken office this country has changed dramtically for the worse. Before you're first year was out America suffered a major Terrorist attack on it's own soil. In the days and months following the events of September 11th, this nation saw unprecedented unity and the leaders of both parties put partisianship aside and looked to the President for the leadership to move this united America foward. Instead, Mr. President you have moved America backward. Offering nothing but fear and lies, you took the country into a pointless war. Using fear and lies again, you began and continue to deconstruct the protections of the Constitution.

Our economy and the global economy aswell are headed for a severe down turn. The sub-prime mortgage crisis has become almost the equivalent to buying on margin during the 20's. This crisis has created a major ripple effect through out the economy that will have long lasting effect. Also the devaluing of the dollar which is leading to a large growth of inflation is of serious concern. Americans are being hurt by this, because simply their dollar can't go very far anymore. The Bush Administration has been the most laize faire since the 20's. I believe that the failure to regulate corrupt industry has had serious consquence which is being seen on the global economic stage today.

The stimulis package that the President and leaders in congress have agreed upon is by no means horrible. It at least offers somehting that might have some temporary relief. Ultimately, though, there will need to be some permanent changes. While this package will definitly help Wall Street, I doubt the affect on Main Street will be similar. The solution will come in regulation of the home lending industry and the ending of the policy of trickle down economics. No longer should the wealthy be given the benifits if hopes that the increased wealth will be spread throught the population. However it works in theory, in reality it is a horrible econominc policy creating the severe gap between rich and poor we see now. For the housing crisis, we should first immediatly have an moratorium on foreclosures for 90-180 days and should create a pool of money that responsible home owners can use, so that they won't be forced into foreclosure because it's their only option out. There is no easy way out of the problems our economy is facing now. We must work to find the solution to prevent the problems that've caused it and help those who have been adversely affected by it.

On Trade, I believe that the concept of this Administration of giving free trade to anyone who wants it is wrong. It hurts the American worker and empowers greedy corportions to take advantage of it. I believe trade should not be based on who has the cheapest labors or the most product. It should be based on human rights and quality of product. We've seen the effect of poor quality products coming from China, a country which also has a horrible human rights record. Increasing trade deficiets are also another production of this policy, which I believe has failed the American worker.

It is shameful in this the wealthiest country on this planet there are 47 million people without health insurance. Leaving it in the hands of Insurance companies and drug companies will only make it less affordable and more difficult for anyone who isn't very well off to get health care. The only solution to end the greed of insurance companies and pharmacutical companies is a government funded single payer health care program. This won't take the decision out of the hands of patients and their doctors as you insist President Bush. It'll make so everyone in this country can have access to doctor so they can make the decisions for their health, not just those who can afford it.

No Child Left Behind, has not imporved American education as the President insists. It has hindered teachers to only teaching the standardized tests. It has made so that struggling schools are made worse and not better. The policy No Child Left Behind has failed. It is underfunded, but ultimately it is just horrible policy. We need to make it so we teach children what they need to know not just some test so they can move on to the next grade. We need to pay our teachers better. Also the voucher plan you announced tonight will continue to hurt struggling schools. It'll make so those who do have the ability to go to private school can while those who can't are stuck in a crumbling building that has no funding for a good ciriculum.

The future is dependent upon finding energy solutions that do not involve fossil fuels. We must develop alternative methods that are safe and friendly to the enviroment. Federal funding for people researching all alternative methods of energy should increase greatly. Also emission standards for cars should increase to at least 50mpg by the end of the next decade and at least 80mpg by 2030. It should be our goal that we be able to name our price to OPEC, so we are no longer dependent upon unstable regions.

Entitlement spending is a problem that does need solution. I laid my plan out last year to help solvency issues(the rest of the paragraph is what I said last year.) The cost of entitlemenst is growing out of control and will only get worse all the damn Baby Boomer start to retire. Social Security needs to be made solvent and believe this can be done by doing this: Raising the Cap on Payroll taxes to $150,000 and then create a Doughnut hole and make them apply again at $300,000. Second raise the Social Security payroll tax to 6.5%. That would actually make Social Security Solvent unlike Private Accounts. Medicare is the more problamatic of the two programs. It is likely to run out of money in 2018. It believe to continue this program Medicare Pay roll taxes should be doubled to 4.9%. With this better Medical Care can be provided to the Senior Citizens. I do believe in Single payer government funded, which if implemented would make Medicare unnecessary.

Iraq is still a mess no matter how "successful" the surge actually was. Putting things in relative terms does make it look much better. The truth our military is the best fighting force in the world if you put 20,000 more of them in any place to quell violence, the violence will be quelled. The problem is that once they're gone the violence will likely return due to the fact that even in the relative peace there is no political progress. The solution in Iraq stopped being Military long ago, it is all about the Iraqis coming up with their own solution. We need to set the date now for withdraw, so the Iraqi government will know they won't have the American to lean on much longer and will come up with solutions. I believe withdraw should begin now and be done with by the end of the year. We should give no more brave young lives to this cause.

Mr. President Iran isn't developing nuclear weapons. Get over it, you're not going to get another. You're talk tonight about Iran sounded alot like the yellow cake comment in the '03 speech. The NIE said they aren't developing nuclear weapons, but you continue to ignore it.

Just as I said last year, Bush's talk about the atrosities in Sudan and Burma sickens me. If he's so god damned concerned why doesn't he fucking do something about. There genocide in Sudan, American forces shouldn't be used in a hopeless cause in Iraq, but should be used to protect refugees in Sudan and Chad. Mr. President you've claim to fight genocide, poverty and disease with checkst that are never cashed. Just a small percentage of the defense budget would be all it'd take to make this world a much better place for all people. Of course you'd never give that up Mr. President. You're to see people starve and die of treatable disease as long as you get you're bombs and guns.

Mr. President the State of Our Union is much weaker than when you started with your failed policies. We are waiting to be rid of you Mr. Bush. At least you don't matter any more. Good Night and Good Luck.

Thanks for reading

-Past Michael

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Happily Ever After

I'm not really going to talk about the Deathly Hallow Part 2. It's not that I'm feeling uncertain about it. I enjoyed the movie. I'm just not going to discuss it in any detail anywhere for a while. I just really don't want to spoil it for people. I don't want those who read the books to be spoiled of the changes or additions that the film made. However will contain book spoilers that may actually appear in the film. So if you haven't read the books:

Spoiler Alert

I know that there is a lot of different opinions on the Epiloge to the Deathly Hallows, 19 Years Later. I'm alright with it. It is terribly mushy, but I feel it does serve its purpose. It shows that everyone was ok, life moved on and The Battle of Hogwarts was actually the end of the Second Wizarding War. Of course, it also about showing everyone ended up with their romantic partner.

It however is terribly vague. If you're going to show me the future, I'd like to know more. Like, what do they do now? Their futures are now better known through various interviews of Rowling. I'm not upset by those futures.

However, in my own mind I have created a life after the Battle of Hogwarts for the Trio. I'm not going to get into the business of changing relationships though. I used to be pretty favorable to Harry/Hermione shipping, but I've come to feel very different about the nature of their relationship. My favorite ship at the moment is Harry/Luna, but I'm not going to get into that. We're going to stick with the (book) cannon relationships.

Harry: I'd like to think Harry became a Seeker in Professional Quidditch. It seems to me that he was a very talented player and flying was the thing that he was best at. Maybe he could lead England to the Quidditch World Cup. After Quidditch, Harry would become an Auror. After his stint as an Auror, Harry would become Defense Against the Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts and eventually become Headmaster.

Hermione: I think Hermione ends up a very high ranking official in the Ministry. She would work for reforms in the Ministry to improve treatment of Magical Creatures. Eventually, as the brightest witch of her age, she would become the Minister of Magic and her agenda would make the Wizarding World more just to all people and creatures.

Ron: I think after the Second Wizarding War, the Ministry would become a friendlier place for the Weasley family. And, well, that's where I picture Ron. I think he'll have the opportunities for advancement that Mr. Weasley was denied. Maybe he'd end up in middle management or possibly even upper management.

I'm sure they'd all end up very well off though. I'd imagine the demand for books and such from them would be immense in the Wizarding World.

What would the future of the Harry Potter universe look like if you were in control of it?

Thanks for reading and please comment.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Pasta Origins #7- SotU Rebuttal 2007

The second of three State of the Union rebuttals. I think they get harsher each time.


Original Post Date: January 24, 2007

SotU Rebutall 2007

Current mood:dorky

Mr. President, Since you failed to say what the State of the Union is I'll do it for you. Our Union is anxious for a new direction, new leadership, and a better tomorrow. Failed policies of this administration are no longer going to be accepted. Using fear and scare tactics is no longer working and is seeking a new hopeful tomorrow without fear.

Our economy is very aestically pleasing. If you don't look beyond Wall Street the economy is as strong as it's every been. But if you look at Main Street the economy does not appear nearly as strong. American Jobs are being lost due to outsourcing and the Middle Class is slowing disappearing. The Wealthiest Americans are getting richer with record profits for businesses, but everyone else is getting poorer. American worker are more productive thatn they've ever been, but are at lower wages. Working class people are working more for less money. This gulf between Rich and Poor must be shrunk and policies of tax cuts for the rich will not do it.

Cutting and eventually elimanating the Federal Deficit should be a priority for this nation. However Mr. President it cannot be achieved while counting an occupation of Iraq and massive tax cuts for the wealthy. Even if you have cut the deficit in half, 200 billion is nothing to brag about. Ending Earmarks is only a drop in the ocean compared to the ballooning defense budget and Entitlements.

Social Security and Medicare are two of the biggest potential problems facing this nation. The cost of entitlemenst is growing out of control and will only get worse all the damn Baby Boomer start to retire. Social Security needs to be made solvent and believe this can be done by doing this: Raising the Cap on Payroll taxes to $150,000 and then create a Doughnut hole and make them apply again at $300,000. Second raise the Social Security payroll tax to 6.5%. That would actually make Social Security Solvent unlike Private Accounts. Medicare is the more problamatic of the two programs. It is likely to run out of money in 2018. It believe to continue this program Medicare Pay roll taxes should be doubled to 4.9%. With this better Medical Care can be provided to the Senior Citizens. Of Course I think there should be nationalized health care, which would eliminate the need for Medicare.

The No Child Left Behind Act is severly flawed, but it's what we've got. It needs seriously reformed. It must be properly funded and stop punishing failing schools and lift them, so all of America's Schools can be strong. In this country there are far too many people who do not have any Health Insurance. I must commend President Bush for the two initiatives he proposed on this. Providing tax breaks for those who don't have health insurance to allow them to get it is a good idea. Also helping States who have adressed this problem by themselves by providing grants will help fight the Health Care crisis in this country.

Mr. President on Energy policy, You nearly sounded like a Democrat. Ending America's Dependence on Foreign oil will take innovation and conservation, which is exactly what you Proposed. Acknowledging Global Warming or "Global Climate Change", which is as well proven as gravity and evolution, is significant and a step in the right direction. Raising Emmission standards and reducing oil usage will help the enviroment, economy and national security.

On Iraq Mr. President, Your new plan is doomed to failure. Putting 20,000 more American troops into the middle of a Civil War will result is nothing changing and provide nothing but more American targets. Also the War in Iraq does nothing to improve the American security situation and actually provides a massive recruiting tool and motivation to attack America for Islamic Extremeists. Iraq has hindered America's ability elsewhere in the world diplomatically. With Iran and North Korea it is all carrot and no stick allowing them to continue there nuclear programs without fear of reprisal as long as they don't take it to far.

America needs to begin withdraw from Iraq immediatly and be done with it by Christmas. A 14 century old fued will not be ended no matter how long or how hard America tries. Getting nowhere fast is not a policy, but a way to get more of America's bravest killed. We need to remove are troops from Iraq and allow are military to be free if needed else where in the world. Also Mr. President you made no mention of Diplomacy in Iraq. Why? The only sucessful conclusion to Iraq will come diplomatically not at the barell of an M-16. It require us to work with the Sects in Iraq and other countries in the region to help stabilize Iraq.

Mr. President, How Dare you talk about the atrosities in Sudan and Burma? You have done nothing to end these your whole presidency won't do anything besides talk. Do not invoke these peoples suffering for your own gain. How about taking troops out of Iraq and protecting the refugee camps in Sudan and Chad. How about using America's might to improve the situation in Burma instead of just talking about it. On HIV/AIDS President Bush has made many promises year after year in this speech and will continue to not come through on them. He's constantly writing check and never cashing them. Just taking 1% of the Defense budget could help treat millions of people suffering in Africa from AIDS and help educate many millions more about the disease.

Thank You. Good Night.

Thanks for reading

-Past Michael

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gaming Tuesday- Handing in My Fanboy Card

I've recently told you guys that I'm probably the biggest fanboy of the NCAA Football series. Well, I think that may be over after many years. This year's edition seems to be sorely lacking following what was, in my opinion, the best Football game ever made in last year's edition. Despite improvements in non-gameplay features, gameplay has not been improved and in fact has been made considerably worse.

The problems are remarkably similar to those that Madden 11 had. If those weren't bad enough, the improvements that were touted by EA prior to release as 'advancements' in gameplay have made it nearly unplayable. There is the same lack of crispness that Madden 11 had. Receivers will often ignore the ball when it is thrown to them(often it bounces off their helmets.) The ridiculous amount of dropped passes is another problem area that this game shares with Madden 11.

Collision based tackling was supposed to be the big improvement to this game. They bragged about ending the 'suction' into tackles. This sounded really nice however, this has quickly turned into a major flaw. The fact is that one cannot be all that precise with a console controller. In first person shooters this is helped by aim assists to add precision that a player simply cannot have with a controller. In the same way, a player needs help making a tackle in a football game on console.

They also made improvements to Zone Coverage and really coverage in generally. Again this sounds really good just as an idea, but in practice it has hurt the game. It is virtually impossible to pass the ball on harder difficulties. It is amazing how often you drop back and cannot find anyone of your receivers open. It crosses than line between challenging and not fun. I don't play NCAA because I'm a masochist, so this makes the game nearly unplayable.

Not surprisingly there are the same problems that this series has had for years and years. The penalties are just ridiculous. They still have failed to take Clipping out of the game. I have watched a ridiculous amount of Football and I've seen clipping call 1 fucking time. There's no need for it in the game. It should've been replaced with the often called Illegal Block in the Back. Also, Pass Interference seems to be lacking. I'm sure it's in there somewhere, but it needs to be call more often. Of course, there are still the super-athletic, teleporting, 5-foot vertical leap having, amazing hands, linebackers. There even harder to bare this year, because passing is already so difficult.

I was frustrated enough with it by that I popped FIFA 11 back in this evening. I may only bother to play the Online Dynasty I agreed to be in. So far I've found that NCAA Football 12 just isn't fun. And what's the bloody point if it isn't fun? I definitely wish I hadn't paid the full price for this game. I really wish there's something that I'm missing that will make this game better.

Thanks for reading and please comment.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Pasta Origins #6- This Is How We Need To Get It Done

The sixth in the series. This is series is going to end up being longer than I had anticipated.


Original Post Date: September 25, 2006

This Is How We Need To Get It Done

Current mood:relaxed

Former President Bill Clinton lashed out at Fox News(or NAMBLA) reporter Chris Wallace during an Interview when basically asked why didn't you stop 9/11. Clinton responded with the following points(I'm gonaa paraphrase here):

-I tried, Bush didn't try and didn't have bin Laden as a priority

-All the right wingers who criticize me now for being to soft on Terror, were accusing me of being to obscessed with Bin Laden and wagging the dog(just trying to distract from the impeachment)

-I came closer to killing Bin Laden than anyone else before or after 9/11.

-Fox News is Right Wing and wouldn't have and interviewer ask someone in the Bush Administration the same question.

I'm so glad Clinton actually stood up to this and defended himself. I wish more Democrats would say no, we're not weak on Terror, we will defend this country better than the Republicans claim they do. We need to stand up as a party and say they fucked up big time before 9/11. They focused on Iraq for 9 months while the final stages of the 9/11 plot we're being completed. Bush gets handed a document that say, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside US" and doesn't do shit about it. They've fucked up big time since 9/11 in not focusing on Afganistan and leaving most of the fighting to Afgan Rebels and letting Bin Laden go at Tora Bora. They didn't finish the job in Afganistan before going to Iraq which had no connection to 9/11 or any Terrorist organization. Afganistan ended up being like whacking a hornets nest and just spread the Al-Qadia Terrorists all across the globe making the entire world less safe including the US. Iraq also ended up becoming a great recruiting tool for Islamic Extremists and a place where Americans could be easily killed. Terrorist attacks since 9/11 have grown almost exponentionally worldwide thanks to Bush's terrorism policy.

US Democrats need to quit running from the Terrorism issue and beat the republicans at their own game.

Thanks for reading

-Past Michael

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's Not the End. Rabble, Rabble, Rabble.

Today, I've been really indifferent whereas everyone else seems to to be super emotional*. They're acting as though it's the end of Harry Potter. It's not. Not even a little bit. The final part to the final movie isn't going to change this thing that has been created.

There are going to be kids right now who are just getting old enough to be able to read the books. Kids and Adults will be reading the books and seeing the movies for a very long time. In the future those who are just getting into the series will have the feelings about the series we all have. It's not about it being recent. It's about it being awesome.

There are so, so many fandoms that exist when the movie, book, TV show, videogame, etc that they center around hasn't been 'new' in a very long time. There is almost no way that Harry Potter will be any different.

My only fear is that if everyone starts believing the fandom is over than it actually will end up being that way. I believe that there will be cons, Wizard Rock shows, movie showings and rereads for a very long time to come.


I've already told you guys about how I don't particularly enjoy watching any movies. In someways I'm better about the Harry Potter series. Already knowing the story and believing it helps me. However, that also means I'm just generally irritated by the films. I don't mind the cutting so much, but the changing of parts of the story just annoys me a lot. I know I should have a more open mind about the movies and not be such an annoying book purist, but I can't help it:

*watching a scene in a Harry Potter movie*

"That's not how it went down," says Michael to no one in particular.

I have very little affinity for the Harry Potter films cast. I really don't particularly associate them with the characters they play (with a few exceptions,) so seeing them all together for possibly the final time at the premier didn't really upset me at all.

(Can someone suggest a tumblr that is just chapter art and quotes from the books?)

I just really feel that allowing the final film to be the cap to Harry Potter is a disservice. I mean some of the fandom itself is built on bashing the movies. The end shouldn't be dictated by Warner Brothers. We should try to keep it going forever.

Thanks for reading and please comment.

*I have a feeling that this is going to be a trend for the next few weeks.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Spoiler Alert: For those of you who only watch the films and haven't read the series, this post will give mention to probably the biggest spoiler in the Deathly Hallows part 2. I shouldn't really have sympathy for you though.


I originally intended to do this post for BEDA, but never got around to finishing it. Now that I've come back to it, I just deleted everything and started over. Also, I know I've been a bad blogger lately.


I want you to imagine an alternate history in the Harry Potter universe. It is sort of forth degree ridiculous, but I hope to get it back to the point.

Let's say that on October 31st, 1981 Lily Potter took some Polyjuice Potion and went out, because being stuck in a house that's been given the Fidelius Charm would start to get annoying eventually even with Baby Harry around. That evening a transformed Lily is having a drink with Sirius when Voldemort attacks their house. James is killed and Baby Harry is killed without his Mother's protection.

In that scenario, Do you think Severus Snape would have been loyal to the Order? I think not. I believe that to the very end he wanted to be a Death Eater and their views were his own. Yes, his unrequited love for Lily made him loyal, but I don't think that's an attribute, I think it's creepy. Grown-ups are capable of accepting being rejected and move the fuck on.

I don't really understand how Snape* thought it would go well if he had somehow gotten Lily to go out with him. It's not like he could just waltz into Death Eater meetings with mudblood Girlfriend and expect everything to be peachy. It really seems strange to me his choices. He choose dark magic over Lily and that seems like a strange thing for someone who's in love with her.

This is the main reason behind my serious (not sirius) dislike of Snape. His actions were brave and loyal, but I find it hard to get over that I don't think he really want to do those things. I think being loyal to Dumbledore and being a double agent for the Order went directly against his personal beliefs. I just don't find him to be sincere, which is amazing given how much of a burden he took on.

All that fails to mention how terrible his personality. He is an arrogant prick who failed to get over childhood bullying. He takes vengeance on Harry for things his father did.
I can point to the exact point where Snape lost any chance of me liking his character (pg 299, Goblet of Fire):

"Malfoy got Hermione," Ron said. "Look!"
He forced Hermione to show Snape her teeth-- she was doing her best to hide them with her hands, though this was difficult as they had now grown down past her collar. Pansy Parkinson and the other Slytherin girls were up with silent giggles, pointing at Hermione from behind Snape's back.
Snape looked coldly at Hermione, then said, "I see no difference."
Hermione let out a whimper; her eyes filled with tears, she turned on her heel and ran, ran all the way up the corridor and out of sight...

After that there was literally no revelation about Snape that could make me like him. Being a double agent for the Order, killing Dumbledore on Dumbledore's orders, sending the patronus to lead Harry to the Sword of Gryffindor and even making certain that Harry knew that he had to die for Voldemort to die** doesn't make up for how big of a douchbag he was.

I believe in his mind he much preferred the world Voldemort was fighting for than the one Dumbledore was. He fought for Lily,which I think seems so much more noble that it actually was.

It does feel awful bashing Snape though. Even if I think he was an awful person, he did play a very large part in the good guys winning the war. He definitely deserves to be respected as a very talented and brave wizard. Respecting and liking are totally different things though and I don't like Snape at all.

What are your feelings about Snape?

Thanks for reading and please comment

*In my head there is a little Dumbledore voice that goes, "Professor Snape"
**Misleading spoiler

Friday, July 1, 2011

Pasta Origins #5- New Hampshire

A short post this week, but this is one I actually quite like. I really do wish the process to nominate Presidential candidates was done in a more fair way. There will be more on this later in the series.


Original Post Date: August 23, 2006

No One gives a Fuck About Your Little Pissant State, New Hampshire

Current mood:annoyed

New Hampshire is all pissed off because the DNC has voted to change it's primary calendar, so that New Hampshire and Iowa are not as significant and to include the party base and minorites in the nominating process. New Hampshire is invoking a 1913 state law that gives New Hampshire a ten day buffer to be the only similar contest within tens day's of its contest.

New Hampshire shouldn't hold such an important place in the nominating process. It's a little pissant, white-bred state in which nothing is done the way it is in the rest of the country. Do you honestly think your little fucking state should determine who are nominee should be? Why shouldn't other states be allowed to join in? Especially states that will better reflect the party. You want your 10 fucking day buffer fine, we'll put your primary in July where it is totally fucking meaningless.

Thanks for reading

-Past Michael