Archive for March, 2011

03/31/2011

We should be loathe to encourage the ICC, lest they get too big for their britches

by wfgodbold

Why suggest something that’s merely stupid, when instead you can suggest something stupid in multiple ways all at the same time? Economy of stupidity, that’s the key; and Dianne Feinstein is the keymaster.

It’s so obvious! All we have to do is go in and arrest Qaddafi, and then this whole Libyan mess will be done with!

That’s one angle on the stupidity of Feinstein’s statement.

The more serious angle, though, is that if we recognize the ICC’s authority here, that’s one step closer to, say, having arrest warrants issued against our own president (should the tranzis feel the situation warrants it).

It’s bad enough that our military has been “volunteered by others” for participation in the ongoing kinetic military action in Northern Africa; but we’re rapidly approaching the pale, and if what SecState Clinton said regarding the War Powers act is true, the administration could find itself in an uncomfortable position.

The White House would forge ahead with military action in Libya even if Congress passed a resolution constraining the mission, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a classified briefing to House members Wednesday afternoon.

I’m pretty sure that’s not how it’s supposed to work.

03/31/2011

Holy Orders: Be Just or Be Dead

by wfgodbold

Guilty Gear XX is a 2D sprite-based arcade fighting game heavily inspired by rock and heavy metal music.

I’m not normally one for fighters; I enjoy seeing the cool moves, but I was never into them enough to memorize move lists or learn how to play beyond button mashing. That said, I can appreciate sprites and rock as much as any right-thinking person.

I played the original PS2 port, and haven’t really gone back to the series since, though the music is pretty sweet.

Especially Ky Kiske’s theme.

03/31/2011

Thirty years have gone by, and still they cavort in the blood…

by wfgodbold

James Brady met with President Obama on the 30th anniversary of Hinckley’s failed attempt at assassinating President Reagan.

“I wouldn’t be here in this damn wheelchair if we had commonsense legislation,” Brady said Wednesday at a Capitol Hill news conference, joined by his wife, Sarah, and lawmakers in calling for gun control legislation. The Bradys head the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

The Bradys were joined on Capitol Hill by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., who have introduced bills to ban the kinds of large-capacity assault clips used in the January attack in Tucson, Ariz., that killed six and wounded 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who’s recuperating from a bullet to the brain.

Common sense legislation? Why, common sense is one of Weer’d Beard‘s favorite things!

Like, say, outlawing large-capacity assault clips?

Well, Hinckley used a .22 caliber six-shot revolver.

Like the Brady Bill?

Well, Hinckley lied on his forms when he bought the revolver he used on Reagan; that was a felony then, and it is a felony now. Wikipedia doesn’t say that Hinckley had ever been adjudicated mentally incompetent, so he wouldn’t have been disqualified by that condition; from what I can tell, he wouldn’t have been disqualified by any of the seven provisions of the Brady Bill.

Then surely like the ’94 Assault Weapons Ban? It’s expired now, but renewing would definitely be common sense, right?

Well, “It was also noted that should it be renewed, the ban’s effects on gun violence would likely be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement due to assault weapons rarely being used in gun crimes even before the ban.

For that matter, the Columbine massacre occurred right in the middle of the ban’s lifetime, and yet the ban did nothing; “The two perpetrators committed numerous felony violations of state and federal law, including the National Firearms Act and the Gun Control Act of 1968, even before the massacre began.”

Look, I understand that James Brady is pissed about getting shot, and that he and his wife still hate Hinckley for the havoc he wrought upon their lives.

That doesn’t change the fact that what Hinckley was doing was already illegal.

Hinckely committed a felony when he bought his revolver, just like Loughner committed a felony when he lied on his Form 4473 and bought his pistol. They then committed more felonies when they attempted murder/committed murder. Harris and Klebold committed several felonies before even getting started on their rampage.

If someone is dead set on murder, mayhem, or misanthropism, passing a law isn’t going to stop them; even without guns, men have been ever creative in their methods for killing each other.

Banning guns won’t stop the violence; it didn’t work in Japan or China, and it won’t work here.

03/30/2011

Ideal

by wfgodbold

Ikaruga.

The hardest, shootingest, unforgivingest game of its kind released in the US for years (now available on Xbox Live!).

The spiritual sequel to Treasure‘s smash hit Radiant Silvergun (which can be yours for the low, low price of ~$175 (at least until May, when it is scheduled for release on Xbox Live Arcade)), Ikaruga is a vertical-scrolling shoot’em up (like Galaga, only 20 years newer) of the bullet-hell/curtain-fire (弾幕, danmaku) variety.

You pilot a lone ship against hordes of enemies that will cover the screen with bullets. The enemies and bullets are all either white or black; your ship can switch from white to black (and back), and if you are hit by a bullet of the opposite color, you die.

Your bullets change color depending on whether you’ve spun your ship to the white side or the black side; when white, you shoot white bullets, absorb white bullets, and do extra damage to black enemies. When black, you shoot black bullets, absorb black bullets, and do extra damage to white enemies. Absorbing bullets fills your power meter; you can expend it to fire an enemy-seeking laser across the screen (the more bullets you absorb, the better the laser is).

That’s the whole game. There aren’t any power ups. All that stands between you and death is your ability to twitch your way through a hail of multicolored bullets and defeat the armada massed against you.

I think the farthest I ever got on one credit was the fourth chapter (there are five chapters, total). By the time I got that far, I’d listened to the following track more times than I’d care to admit.

Stage 1: Ideal.

03/30/2011

We need a new word. Deficit doesn’t really cover the magnitude the Fed. Gov. is dealing with.

by wfgodbold

Don Surber illustrates the cuts the GOP and the Dems are haggling over in the graph I’ve reproduced below.

I don’t really know what to say. We have to cut spending. We could jack taxes up, and it wouldn’t make much of an impact on how much revenue the government brings in; the only real solution is cutting spending.

And not a token amount like what the parties in Washington are quibbling over; we need deep cuts, and they’re going to have to come from entitlements. Last year, entitlements were more than 50% of all government spending, and as boomers retire, it’s only going to get worse.

03/30/2011

One year!

by wfgodbold

Since I started blogging.

In that time, I’ve had 3071 visitors (some of whom have even been real live people!), and written 315 posts.

Thanks to everyone who’s stopped by!

I’m still not entirely sure what I’m doing, but I see no reason why that should stop me now!

03/29/2011

Sucker Punch: The Review (with more spoilers than a Rice Rocket Convention)

by wfgodbold

I’m not joking; If you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t keep reading, and don’t hit the jump.

It’s not just a review; it’s a discussion of the plot and WTF happened.

03/29/2011

Battle 1 (バトル1)

by wfgodbold

Initially titled Final Fantasy II for its American release, Final Fantasy IV has become one of the most loved games in the franchise due it its strong story and compelling characters (I never thought I would write those words with a straight face). Seventeen years after the original release, Square debuted Final Fantasy IV: The After Years as downloadable Wii Ware (which were collected and included with the PSP release).

I never finished the game; the only copy I have is the GBA port, and it was not as well done as it could have been. I’ve heard that the DS remake (with updated graphics!) is excellent, though, so maybe I’ll give it another chance.

Final Fantasy IV’s battle theme has made it all the way to the big screen: Scott Pilgrim boasts of having learned the bass line in one of the movie’s great scenes.

03/29/2011

What does a lame public service announcement need? Transforming mecha, of course!

by wfgodbold

To fill the empty airtime when advertisers pulled their ads after the recent quake and tsunami, Ad Council Japan increased the number of PSA style ads they aired, including the one below on the importance of greetings. It’s a bit toothache-inducing, but bear with me.

Each of the greetings/polite phrases used in the commercial has an associated animal that the children befriend. A translation follows:

Hello dog: konnichi wa -> konnichi wan (wan is how dogs bark in Japanese)

Thank you rabbit: arigatou -> arigato usagi

Good evening alligator: konban wa -> konban wani

Goodbye lion: sayonara -> sayona raion

With the magic words, fun friends will …

Good morning eel: ohayou -> ohayo unagi

Let’s eat (more literally, “we gratefully receieve”) mouse: itadakimasu -> itadaki mausu

The more polite you are, the more friends you make!

Fear not; there is a method to my madness, friends.

One creative guy remade these videos, taking them from annoying to completely awesome.

First, he created Great Thank You Rabbit:

And then he followed up with Great Thank You Rabbit’s reliable comrade, King Goodbye Lion!

Given all the other animals in the ads, he could keep this going for some time. My only complaint is that the music isn’t quite hot-blooded enough for super robots.

03/28/2011

You can have my car when you pry it from my cold, dead hands!

by wfgodbold

This is insane. Read, and be awestruck by the EU’s grand goals for society!

“I suggest that he goes and finds himself a space in the local mental asylum,” said Hugh Bladon, a spokesman for the BDA.

“If he wants to bring everywhere to a grinding halt and to plunge us into a new dark age, he is on the right track. We have to keep things moving. The man is off his rocker.”

Speaking of a new dark age, I hope everyone enjoyed Earth Hour (I turned on most of my lights, ran the dryer, and played video games as part of my celebration of Human Achievement Hour). The whole idea of sitting around in the dark for an hour to “raise awareness” just harkens back to Steven Den Beste‘s comments on teleology:

To a teleologist, the way you stop war is to put a sticker on your car that says “Imagine world peace”. If enough people just want it enough, it’ll happen. Indeed, anything is possible if you just want it enough. You can power modern industrial civilization exclusively using “green” energy, for instance. If it isn’t happening, it’s the fault of all the people who refuse to get on board to help with the wanting.

“Earth Hour” is just teleologically trying to end “climate change;” if enough people turn off their lights, then everything will fix itself! (Though once everyone has switched to those super-efficient CFL bulbs, turning off lights for an hour won’t do hardly anything. Maybe they’ll extend Earth Hour to a whole week.)

It seems to me (paranoid powers activate!) that a ban on cars merely furthers the ultimate EU goal of a return to a populace dependent on the government for absolutely everything. If you get your checks from the man (and the cuts in those checks are what caused the so-called anarchists to riot), and you get your health care from the man, and you can only travel to where the man approves (by methods the man approves), then are you really free?

This wouldn’t fly in the United States (I hope, anyway); freedom of movement is one of the privileges and immunities of citizens, and the main method of moving about freely is via car. Trains, buses, and planes are good at moving lots of people efficiently from one place to another, but they don’t go everywhere.

If you want to be master of your destiny, you pretty much have to have a car; especially in the US, where everything is spread all over creation.

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