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Journal Journal: Tahirih Justice Center

I've been researching a law called IMBRA. I've been in a committed relationship for about 10 years, so the law doesn't effect me personally. However, everything I've read about the law makes my blood boil, it's essentially something like a poll tax for immigrant wives of U. S. citizens. Now, my personal opinion is that ranting about this in my blog isn't going to change the law, and worse laws (yes, as bad as this one is there are worse ones) hang around on the books forever. So, this isn't about political advocacy. However, part of my research provided an amusing example of Wikipedia being used for political purposes:

So, I thought I'd include that here.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Sony

Sony made this distinction, to a large extent, not so much through original design or perspective or technology as through psychology. Their message: videogames are childish, uncool garbage. What we have to offer, it's barely even videogames. It's more like movies, or some other kind of entertainment. They reinforced the premise by generally refusing "old fashioned" 2D games on their systems, unless explicitly labeled as a retro package; through putting a heavy emphasis on "mature"-themed games, and by funneling Sony's limitless funds into years of blanket advertising - rarely showing actual game footage if CG was available, emphasizing the cinematic and familiar. The implication was, the less videogames in any sense resembled what you and I think of as videogames, the better. -- What's Wrong With Console Design? []

Well, this is something that goes along with another quote I read recently:

Are you still dicking around with lovingly detailed 2D sprites? Enormous Gouraud shaded triangles are the wave of the future! Glazed, emotionless eyes! Hair that's been hacked out of stone! Giant 3D booger men in diapers are what today's gamers want, and we'll give you the tools to craft those horrendously ugly damn creatures. Someone perfect time travel already so we can just bomb 1994. -- Worst Video Game Ads comments []

This is why I get irritated whenever anyone says Nintendo censors (oh they do, and in very irritating ways) and Sony doesn't. Sony loves to censor, and they have from the beginning, but they are good at projecting an image, I'll give them that. You suck, Sony!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Hmm...

So I saw the following comment today (in a gaming article, of all places):

Re:books vs. video games

It could be a Troll or it could be sincere, but the important thing is that it means that this individual is not worth arguing with about anything. For the rest of this entry I'll assume he's sincere.

He has no ideas that are worthwhile. There is no there, there. People will argue with him though, because he doesn't make overtly racist statements like this all the time. So he'll say something, and people will assume he's decent but ignorant or something. Well, no, he's a Nazi. He actually is one. You know, like Hitler. The question is, when you get into an argument with an actual Nazi, does Godwin's law apply? In other words, does the other person lose the argument immediately for being a Nazi? I think that they should be treated as nothing for the purposes of the argument. However, on certain issues (like immigration) it is valuable to note which side they are on, because that will be the Nazi side of the argument.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: So, Slashdot reports on a stupid, mean prank...

So, Slashdot reports on a stupid, mean prank, and I suppose, that being superior Slashdot sort of people we're all supposed to get a kick out of it. I didn't get a kick out of it, I saw it for what it was, and I commented on it here: -1 Flamebait:

(Score:-1, Flamebait)
by sesshomaru (173381) on Friday May 05, @09:02PM (#15274654)
( | Last Journal: Thursday March 02, @01:11PM) This is about the stupidist thing I've ever heard of. Essentially, a bunch of trust fund babies deciding to hassle the working class. I'm reminded of Bertie Wooster stealing policemens' hats. "Well, they like it, just like foxes like to be hunted." It's not coincidental that Wodehouse was popular in Soviet Russia.
...each carried a huge funnel, and I realized with horror that I had seen this awful thing before...

I ended up doing a few more comments later, Re:Manager called 911 and Re:It's funny indeed. The first comment was just to point out that in retail, you constantly have to deal with being insulted and scammed. I pointed out the details of a few scams, one I had read about and three that had happened to me. The second comment was just a Well Done to an Anonymous Coward who had made a comment similar to my previous comment but had done a better job of pointing out why this was a stupid, mean prank.

So, what am I to make of this? Well, this goes along with the hostility to the Star Wars kid for not being able to "laugh at himself." Penn & Tellar made a great point about the line, "It's fun to laugh at yourself, " in their book Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends, as they put it, "that was just a lie." The reason why it was a motto on Candid Camera was to get people to pretend they weren't humiliated for our amusement, and act like they thought the joke was funny too. Think of all the money this motto saved the Candid Camera people on dental work and facial reconstructive surgery. (But it's what I'd expect from masters of social engineering).

One of the things I realized from this article is that I'm no longer dealing with my peers, mostly, on Slashdot. No, I'm dealing with children, people who are younger than even my girlfriend, who were 6 years old when Street Fighter II came out. It's an odd sensation to realize that there are people, who have reached "official American adulthood" (but who still act like children thanks to all those years of forced infantilization that our school systems provide) who were babies when Street Fighter II came out. It gives me the shudders. I'm wondering if, just maybe, the kids are not alright.

Hopefully this isn't a representative sample of 20 somethings. (Well, my girlfriend is a 20 something herself, and she's alright. I often "rap" with her to find out what's going on in the younder generation.)

Real Time Strategy (Games)

Journal Journal: Steel Legion Mod

The Steel Legion modification for the original dawn of war adds another unit of the Imperial Guard, this one heavily based around armor (tanks). For information on the Steel Legion of Armageddon, go here. For information on the actual mod, go here.

This is a very well made, complete mod for the original Dawn of War as far as I know, it is not yet compatible with Winter Assault. There will be some people, mostly those who prefer original Dawn of War to Winter Assault who will like this mod better than Winter Assault.

Winter Assault may have the edge for including a new single player game, but I'd say Dawn of Steel is equal in quality to the Cadian Imperial Guard included in Winter Assault. I'll comment more later.

Real Time Strategy (Games)

Journal Journal: Imperial Guard Skirmish Tactics Part II

Well, after trying a few times using the Infantry Command as bunkers, I managed to win a game. Of course, I had to dial the difficulty level down to standard to do it. Basically, I find that low level Imperial armor is worthless against Chaos Predators, but once I've researched full scale war and get Leman Russ's on the field it's all over for the heretic Marines. They managed to field the Bloodthirster twice, but by then I had managed to build a Mars Pattern Command. Truthfully I may have been able to win with just Leman Russes, but I decided to build a Baneblade anyway.

I noticed that the tank population increases with Mechanized Command, just as the infantry population increases with Infantry Commands. Also, setting a rally point on a garrisonable building (except a listening post) seems to lead to it being auto-garrisonable.

Real Time Strategy (Games)

Journal Journal: Imperial Guard Skirmish Tactics

Recently I got the expansion to one of my favorite RTS games, Dawn of War by Relic, based on the Warhammer 40K games by Games Workshop. This expansion, called Winter Assault, contains a new army, called the Imperial Guard. The main difference between the Imperial Guard army and the other four armies is that unlike the other armies the Imperial Guard are just ordinary humans who had the misfortune to be born in the year 40,000. They aren't fanatic, genetically engineered supermen like the Space Marines (and their corrupted brethren, the Chaos Space Marines), giant fearless monsters like the Orks, or sophisticated technologically and magically superior aliens like the Eldar. No, they are just Joe Smith, "Private first class, sir!" who really doesn't relish dying horrible while facing unspeakable warp spawned terrors.

Owing to a comment I got in response to one of my comments on the review of the game DragonShard, I decided to try playing the IG in skirmish mode. Incidentally, I agree that the stupid AI tends to use rushes rather than more sophisticated strategy. However, if the IG defenses work, I should be able to laugh at rushes as the enemy breaks against my fortified lines.

So far, however, I haven't been able to use them effectively in a single player skirmish mode against Red Destiny (my computer) playing as the Chaos Space Marines (on "Hard" AI level). It's my own fault, I wasn't paying attention to the buildings that the IG use, so I did what I normally do with regular Space Marines. I chose my favorite defensive map, Dead Man's Crossing, grabbed the two strategic points near the main chokepoint, and started building listening posts and bolter turrets.

Well... my IG are quickly made sacrifices the the Chaos Gods using this strategy. However, today at work, during a break I decided to look up strategy for them on the Relic forums. The Relic forums post I read makes it clear that the main defensive building for the IG is the Infantry Command, which seem to be the equivalent of Starcraft bunkers combined with barracks. In fact, the writer of the post does not think highly of turrets.

So next chance I get, between work and studying, I'll try building more infantry commands, and less turrets. I'll post the results here.

Part 2

Dawn of Steel: Very well done Steel Legion mod for the Original Dawn of War, praise the Omnissiah


Journal Journal: The End of the Second Amendment

With the absolute, abysmal failure of the government at all levels in New Orleans the perfect test of the value of the Second Amendment has come about. People, left at the mercy of the storm, its aftermath and roving gangs of looters (at least according to the media), needed to take their survival into their own hands. That included self-defense in a situation where the government proved itself too incompetant to defend life, liberty and property.

Now, of course, it has been conclusively proven that for both major parties, the Second Amendment is a quaint holdover from the 18th century, with no force of law. "Soldiers and police confiscated guns from homeowners as they went house to house, trying to clear the shattered city of holdouts because of the danger of disease and fire."

I also have to wonder at the much vaunted slogan, "They can have my gun when they take it from my cold, dead hand." Let's make this clear, the police don't care whether the weapons are "legal" or "illegal".

P. Edwin Compass, the superintendent of police, said as little force as necessary would be used but that staying is not an option. Anyone with a weapon, even one legally registered, will have it confiscated, he said.

"No one will be able to be armed," Compass said. "Guns will be taken. Only law enforcement will be allowed to have guns." -- Holdouts leaving New Orleans (Should be, Holdouts Being Forced Out of New Orleans.)

Of course, the whole point of gun registration is so they can take your gun when you actually need it, especially when you may need it to defend yourself against the Feds:

I must have been quite a sight alone out there on the darkened New Orleans street wearing a headlamp and holding a cell phone at an odd right angle, the only way I could get it to work. I had just been placed on hold.

"I'm a journalist working for The San Francisco Chronicle," I said quickly, trying to remain calm. "I'm out here because the signal ...."

"Step out here!" he interrupted, and his tone suggested that the consequences for not stepping out into the street would be dire. I stepped out.

and further down in the article...

As I looked up, they seemed to be taking firing positions, men on either flank, two more behind cars and the man in the middle shining the light. They were a New Orleans police SWAT team, and their guns were pointed directly at me. I made the decision not to slap at the mosquito that was siphoning blood out of my arm.

"Do you have ID?" I was asked. I tried to explain that it was in the car and the keys were in the house. "Do you live here? What are you doing here?" The questions came rapid fire, under the threat of a bullet. -- On New Orleans' dark streets, patrols assume the worst Martial law and poor communication lead to tense situation for one reporter

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