Archive for June, 2011

06/30/2011

Unions aren’t in it for their members

by wfgodbold

They’re in it for the power. And they’re in it for the politics.

From 1989 to 2009, unions donated nearly $500 million to politicians and candidates. Ninety percent of that went to Democrats.

Unions donated more money to candidates than the telecommunications, insurance, tobacco, pharmaceuticals, and real estate industries combined.

I don’t begrudge unions their right to join together to spend their money to influence the political process.

I do think that they shouldn’t pretend they’re working on behalf of their members; they’re interested in advancing political issues. If they were truly interested in helping their members, they’d try more to influence politicians regardless of their political views.

The tobacco, oil, and pharmaceuticals give 75% of their donations to Republicans; that’s lopsided, but not as lopsided as union donations.

The problem is that the unions aren’t honest, not that they’re politically active.

I might disagree with their goals, but they’re free to spend as much money politicking as they care too.

06/30/2011

Taranis

by wfgodbold

Super Stardust HD is another of the games Sony is making available as part of their Welcome Back apology program after the PlayStation Network hacking incident.

It’s a frenetic Asteroids-style shoot’em-up; the player controls a spaceship in orbit around a planet (the left stick moves the ship, and the right directs weapon fire in any direction), and the goal is to destroy all of the asteroids and attacking alien ships.

To that end, the player’s space fighter has been equipped with three basic lasers (each do extra damage vs. a particular kind of rock, but all do some damage to all rocks) and bombs; contact with asteroids or enemy ships will destroy the fighter, so the player has to dodge or destroy everything (bombs will wipe out everything in the ship’s vicinity, and make a good panic button).

It’s a good twitch game, and it’s easy to learn (but hard to master, as they say); if you’re played a video game in the last thirty years, you’ll be able to pick it up and jump right in.

06/30/2011

The solution is always more government control

by wfgodbold

Is the government smuggling guns illegally across the Mexican border to cartels?

Well, that’s only because the laws aren’t strong enough and we need more government control!

It was only a matter of time, of course, until lawmakers joined the Washington Post and the New York Times in calling for more gun control in the wake of the ATF’s disastrous Fast and Furious gun “tracking” operation.

Obama’s answer to the Fast and Furious question at yesterday’s press conference was almost Nixonian; though he did miss the chance to go full Tricky Dick and say, “I am not a gun trafficker.”

06/30/2011

More TSA incompetence in action

by wfgodbold

Though they don’t get all the blame; if you manage to fly from New York to Los Angeles without a valid boarding pass, it takes incompetence at far more than just one level.

Not only did the man in question (a Nigerian) not have a valid passport, but he was using someone else’s EXPIRED boarding pass.

Not to worry, though. This just proves that the system works.

I’m sure the TSA will assure us that all proper procedures were followed.

/sarcasm

06/29/2011

More Carnival Phantasm news

by wfgodbold

The opening animation and character introduction videos are up (they have the same music, and it’s more annoying than J-Pop usually is, so beware) (H/T ANN).

The official site has also been updated with a short Q & A with Type Moon’s Kinoko Nasu and Takeshi Takeuchi; they’re both very grateful to all the fans who have made Type Moon a success, and discuss their favorite characters (Nasu’s is Rin, and Takeuchi’s is Gilgamesh).

From the videos (and the fact that the OVAs are being based on Take Moon), Carnival Phantasm looks like it’s mainly going to be taking the Tsukihime and Fate characters and putting them in ridiculous situations; they’ll be the characters from the games, but they won’t have to deal with angst and violence.

I really enjoyed the four panel comic anthologies featuring Type Moon characters, and this looks like it’s going to be the same style of humor.

06/29/2011

The barbarians used to be *outside* the gates…

by wfgodbold

But no longer.

Greek protestors (probably more of those “anarchists“) are so against the idea of budget cuts that they’ve rioted; the unions are against what the government is doing with the power system, and so there will be blackouts.

I hope they like living without modern conveniences.

Like the saying goes, “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

The Greeks have run out.

I don’t think this new “austere” budget is actually going to accomplish anything; I think they’re going to continue their profligate spending (just like they did months ago after they passed the last “austerity” measures). They only went through the motions so that the IMF and EU would reinfuse them with cash.

06/29/2011

H.T.

by wfgodbold

To commemorate the limited release of Trigun: Badlands Rumble in US theaters, today’s selection is the opening to the Trigun TV anime.

And it is a very limited release; in most of the theaters, it’s only showing for one or two days.

In the future, humanity has spread to many worlds, including the desert world of Gunsmoke (yes, really). The show goes all space western on us from there, following the misadventures of Vash the Stampede (AKA The Humanoid Typhoon), notorious wanted man; regular people chase him for the $$60,000,000,000 bounty, insurance agents chase him so that they don’t have to pay out claims for all the havoc he wreaks, and outlaws chase him, especially after he screws up their plans.

The first half of the series is mostly off-the-wall humor and action, but then it gets serious; the action remains, but Vash has to deal with his past and the decisions he’s made throughout his long life.

06/29/2011

Just when you thought the TSA couldn’t get any more despicable…

by wfgodbold

It turns out that the backscatter scanning machines have been linked to cancer clusters in TSA workers (H/T Sebastian).

Looks like opting out of the scanning is safer for everyone!

I do find it hard to muster much sympathy for the TSA goons, though; you claim that making a 95 year-old woman remove her adult diaper is “following procedure” and you deserve what you get.

The TSA has never stopped an attack.

It has only reacted, tightening “security” in the hopes of looking like they’re doing something. After all, if people realized that the TSA doesn’t actually do anything useful, the agents would lose their cushy government jobs.

06/28/2011

If I’m never heard from again

by wfgodbold

It’s because the new patch for World of Warcraft went live today, and I’ve broken my computer in rage and frustration at Blizzard.

They’ve brought Ragnaros back, and I hardly care at all. Hopefully the Firelands raid will be better done than everything they’ve put out since Ulduar (easily the best raid dungeon in WotLK), but given their recent performance, I’m not hopeful.

If it weren’t for my internet friends, I’d’ve canceled long ago!

06/28/2011

Yamato River Dike

by wfgodbold

Capcom loves their fighting games. Project Justice is the American localization of the Dreamcast port of an arcade fighter titled Burn! Justice Academy; instead of random expert fighters (like in Street Fighter), all of the characters are students from various rival schools.

Instead of stylized fictional “realistic” fighting styles, the characters (all students/teachers/faculty of several different schools) fight with outlandish styles related to their interests; the rich heiress’s style uses her violin, the baseball player uses a bat and ball, and the school newspapergirl uses a camera.

The player creates a team of three fighters and then heads out into the wilds of interscholastic combat to discover why students are being brainwashed and forced to fight. It’s all ridiculous and hilarious, and made even better by its quality as a fighting game.

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