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Comment Re:This actually isn't half bad (Score 1) 139

I'm watching it with great interest, but I was less impressed. The games they were playing were all older games, and I kept thinking how much better it would have been with a keyboard and mouse.

But if games are designed with the new controllers in mind, it could be quite good.

However, I'm kind of opposed to game controllers on principle. If I was a teenager, I might not have this issue, but I can't see owning a device just for controlling games, when I can have such fine control with a mouse and keyboard (which is already on my desk). I have no such compunction about buying a $250 video card that is only really necessary for the games I play, but I never said I was consistent.

I don't like consoles. Don't like console games or what consoles have done to gaming. Don't like third-person cover-based shooters. Feels like I'm in a firefight with a marionette with strings with too much slack.

Plus, I don't play games in the living room. Having said all that, I like the looks of the Steam Box, and the fact that it's something anybody can build and runs Linux. I like that Valve is releasing the CAD files for the box so you can even build one that looks like the one Valve is going to sell. It shows their commitment is to gaming instead of trying to be some kind of all-in-one social shopping device that will report back to HQ with details about me.

I like the idea of a company trying to do what it does instead of making everything a hook into something else, like Sony, Microsoft and to a lesser extent, Nintendo. The ultimate end game of that strategy is iOS, which is in my eyes an abomination.

Comment Re:Well (Score 1) 192

but we've gotten it to the point where if you live in a country with a functional society and fire codes and things, you can buy good buildings, aircraft that don't crash, and other nice things.

That's just silly. Everybody knows that safe buildings, aircraft and "other nice things" are all a product of magic free market fairy dust. Because the economic elite only want what's best for us.

But not for Bhopal. Or Love Canal. Or the Gulf of Mexico. Or West, Texas. Or Fukushima. No free market fairy dust for them.

Comment Re:6 hours? (Score 1) 377

I'm not saying it's useless, but I am curious if there's some fundamental limitation that's caused this. If you want base load power, you'd probably want more like 12 hours of storage and it seems strange they wouldn't go for that, since they're half way there. If you're only going for intermittent power, this system is more expensive to build and operate than a photovoltaic system would be, but it makes sense if you add energy storage to the picture.

If you can provide renewable energy for 6 hours of every night powered by nothing more than the sun that's hitting the earth anyway, I'd say that puts you way ahead of the game. And it means that much less fossil fuel and all the external costs that brings.

Comment Re:mmmyeah..... (Score 1) 23

Now I could imagine Sam Brownback making a Republican bid for the White House a couple elections away, but I don't see anyone associated with Obama getting much of anywhere.

Admit it: you didn't see Obama getting much of anywhere in 2012, did you?

One number to keep in mind: 500,000. That's how many more votes Democratic congressional candidates got than Republican candidates in 2012. The fact that Republicans held the House shows that gerrymandering is working. But the thing with gerrymandering is it brings rapidly diminishing expectations because those rascally minorities keep moving around, and you can only go to that gerrymandering well so many times. This is why you see states sending Democratic senators (and liberal ones at that) to Washington while sending Tea Party congressmen at the same time. Because gerrymandering doesn't work for senators. This is why the GOP and ALEC are trying to repeal the 17th Amendment. But the graph of that effect is on a very steep downward trajectory according to analysts (you know, the ones that Republicans believed were all wrong in 2012).

Don't count on Kansas or Senator Brownback. His act from the 2000s has not aged well. And the children of immigrants have grown up and are voting. And like the children of immigrants (like myself) dating back to the very early 20th century, they are born Democrats. They love labor unions and collective bargaining. They put high value on community over individual gain. I believe there will be a labor movement renaissance and that does not bode well for Republicans.

Comment Re:Improvement starts with honesty. (Score 1) 6

That would imply understanding that the "debt" is nothing but a rationalization to expand austerity. The numbers are pure fantasy.

The best part of this story is that the economist who claims the $222 trillion debt is best knows for creating and selling a product called "Maximize My Social Security ", which is designed to help people get a maximum payout from Social Security.

When you hear the term "unfunded liability" you need to head for the hills. That term can be used to describe everything that the government might possibly pay for the next century. All future expenditures are "unfunded liabilities" unless you've got a big piggy bank which will fund the government eternally for the future. "Unfunded liability" is one term that is used most dishonestly by the American Right. It can be used to claim the US has "debt" of infinite amounts. Of course, it's not "debt" at all. It's just another one of the key "rules for radicals" terms used by the current crop of right-wingers. I'm surprised he limited himself to $222 trillion. I've heard Mark Levin use $90 trillion and Glenn Beck use (I'm not kidding) half a quadrillion.

Unfunded liability is any future expenditure that you don't already have the money in the bank to cover.

I think something might be going on with Smitty. He was pretty honest in discussion previously, but seems to be mailing it in lately, grasping at sources that in the past he'd have been embarrassed to cite. I hope (and I mean this) he's OK. I know a few other rightwing types that have become sort of broken, spiritually, since the last election. They were whipped into an impossible-to-sustain frenzy and then had to watch Black Caesar stroll to victory. Took the heart right out of them. Barack Obama is like a prion to them.

Comment I had something similar happen (Score 1, Troll) 249

Passenger Lands Plane After Pilot Collapses and Dies At the Controls

I had a similar experience back in 2000. My dad died during the second quarter of Super Bowl XXXIV. I had the Rams, giving 6 points, and my dad had the remote control in his hand. I had no other choice, but to wrest the remote from his stiffening fingers and take over in the Lazy-Boy. Let me tell you, the half-time show, narrated by actor Edward James Olmos, with it's Walt Disney World's millennium celebration theme, lost a lot of its luster for me, sitting in the lap of my recently deceased father (he was too heavy to move from the chair). It featured a full symphony orchestra; a multi-generational, 80-person choir; and singers Phil Collins, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias, and Toni Braxton. However, the fact that my dad had voided his bowels as he went to be with Jesus did somewhat lessen my enjoyment of the festivities, not to mention the large pot of turkey chili that was sitting on the coffee table.

But, six points is six points, so I bravely continued despite my discomfort and the smell, and cheered on the Rams, who overcame the 15 yard penalty committed by defensive back 'Dre Bly in the 4th quarter, and went on to dispatch the Titans by 7 points, covering my point spread and putting a cool $1900 in my pocket. And of course, I took a tenner right off the top to buy a floral arrangement at the Wal-Mart in memory of my dad (though later that night I brought said floral arrangment to the gentleman's club to give to a certain dancer, who was my dad's favorite and who would later become my wife).

Let me tell you, it was a harrowing experience. Just before Rams linebacker Mike Jones tackled Titans wide receiver Kevin Dyson at the one-yard line in the final play of the game, I thought I might have a similar experience of the lower-GI tract as my sainted father, since I had bet a grand but only had about thirty dollars to my name. Touch and go for a bit, let me tell you. But the good Lord was with me on this particular Sunday, or maybe it was my dad, watching the second half on the big screen in heaven, who put a word in with the Big Guy.

When it was all over, it seemed like a lot to clean up, so I just turned the gas oven on and closed the window. I heard the sound of the explosion as I was getting on I-80 on my way to my bookie's house to collect. Let me tell you, it was one memorable day.

Comment Re:disappointed, Smitty. (Score 1) 17

So wait a minute, where is the story that there were veterans who were unable to visit the Memorial because of the shutdown.

Don't be slippery, Smitty, just point us to the story where there were any veterans who went to DC and then didn't get to see their memorial because of Obama, or the Park Service or anything else.

You made a statement about the veterans "dropping dead" and I'm sorry, but it's not the case. The very first group of veterans who came to the memorial after the shutdown found barricades, moved them aside and saw the memorial. No arrests were made because the Park Service (the ones you call "Nazis") said they were "first amendment assemblies". A group of tea party congress people ran over to get their picture taken "storming the barricades" (after the fact, by the way) and since then no Honor Flight veterans have found the least impediment to their visits.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that you and your comrades on the Right are just flat out lying, trying to wave the bloody shirt. Again.

So you still have a chance here, Smitty. Come up with a single credible story about a veteran who did not get to see his monument.

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