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Filed Under: Journal - General

Freedom of Religion

2007.04.27 02:43am
Aaron

The Onion, of all sources, brought to my attention the recently rectified exclusion of Wicca from the "official' religious symbols allowed on the tombstones of veterans. The military is always slow to move on things like this, and they have since corrected their mistake, after extensive legislation of course; but what strikes me is that the most openly religious leader that the United States has ever seen had this to say about the the religion that wasn't his:

I don't think witchcraft is a religion, I would hope the military officials would take a second look at the decision they made.
-- George W. Bush, 1999 during an interview
with `Good Morning America'

I think any commentary I could make would be unnecessary.

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Filed Under: Journal - General

The assertion in the second paragraph of the story MPs, environmentalists slam greenhouse gas targets claims that the new legislation would require "most of Canada's industries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 18 per cent in three years," while in fact the legislation calls for an 18 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas intensity, not emissions.

This important distinction is acknowledged in the CBC's own story, Industry grumbles but says it can meet emissions targets, and I believe it should be acknowledged here as well. Intensity based greenhouse gas targets versus absolute targets is one of the most argued and misunderstood nuances of the environmental debate and I believe great care should be taken to highlight the difference whenever possible.

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Filed Under: Journal - General

Tonight PBS will air the first episode of a new series called Bill Moyers Journal called Buying the War which will apparently be available online after airing tonight. This documentary will tackle the War in Iraq and seeks to hold responsible the press for its reprehensible behaviour during the run up to the war.


How did the mainstream press get it so wrong? How did the evidence disputing the existence of weapons of mass destruction and the link between Saddam Hussein to 9-11 continue to go largely unreported? "What the conservative media did was easy to fathom; they had been cheerleaders for the White House from the beginning and were simply continuing to rally the public behind the President -- no questions asked. How mainstream journalists suspended skepticism and scrutiny remains an issue of significance that the media has not satisfactorily explored," says Moyers. "How the administration marketed the war to the American people has been well covered, but critical questions remain: How and why did the press buy it, and what does it say about the role of journalists in helping the public sort out fact from propaganda?"

Bill Moyers, president of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy has been retired for the last two years but returns to PBS tonight which is causing a mini-spectacle in the right wing media already trying to discredit Moyers before the the episode even airs. For anyone curious to hear more about Moyers and the premier Democracy Now! has extensive coverage of the premier and a lengthy interview with Moyers which aired this morning.

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Filed Under: Journal - Site Maintenance

Service Outage

2007.04.22 04:23pm
Aaron

Due to gross negligence on my part the JW Games, Onyx and a few other sites have been down since the 17th. At least for one more year everything should be up and well again.

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Filed Under: Journal - General

For quite some time now the Catholic church has been investigating ways to strike limbo from the afterlife because of the understandably negative effect it has on converting people in regions of the world where infant mortality is high. This is particularly true in Africa where HIV/AIDS infection rate is tremendously high and many young children, and young adults are infected with the disease.

Unfortunately the Catholic church has stood steadfast in it's absolute refusal to accept or endorse the use of condoms which have a demonstrably positive effect on infection rates whenever used in concert with abstinence policies. Rather than reform its policies, however, with respect to responsible sexual practices the Catholic church has been desperate to reorganize the entire afterlife so parents aren't faced with the condemning their sick children to eternity in limbo. Furthermore, the church is desperate to make the change appear internally consistent within the scripture, something which is next to impossible to do.

Unsurprisingly the church refers to studies, commissions, research and other stealth pseudo-scientific constructions to give it's slow policy shift the cloak of legitimacy when ultimately what is really happening is a policy shift to increase membership. This is visible even in their own carefully chosen words:

Pope Benedict and his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, had urged further study on limbo, in part because of "the pressing pastoral needs" sparked by the increase in abortion and the growing number of children who die without being baptized, the report said.

Please consider the Catholic church's ghoulish and steadfast refusal to move into the 20th century of reproductive reality and save real, tangible lives while it is simultaneously, and cynicallyis willing to finagle changes to "perfectly true" doctrine to increase its membership the next time you are passed the collection plate.

You can learn a lot more about HIV/AIDS from the in-depth and powerful 240 minute film: The Age of AIDS on Frontline. Also, right here on Jimmy's World there are many guest submitted papers on HIV/AIDS in Bangladesh.

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Filed Under: Journal - General

Frontline put a new film, Gangs of Iraq, up on the Frontline PBS site.

Gangs of Iraq is an expansive look at the growing sectarian violence in Iraq. So far it's painful, depressing, visceral, and very graphic. Required watching for anyone with an opinion about the US occupation in Iraq... so everyone.

After the fact...

Film Back Online

2007.04.23 03:53pm
Aaron

Shortly after I posted this story the online version of the film went down, presumably for maintenance of some kind or another. The film is back up and running now.

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Filed Under: Journal - Development

Is that all? This post is amazingly overdue so I'm going to try to cover everything as quickly as I possibly can. One thing at a time, so here we go:

Jimmy's World


Jimmy's World isn't actually dead. It looks dead, and it acts dead... and if one was to measure usefulness, or recentness, or value it would seem dead. It isn't. Trust me. Jimmy's World suffers from misfire problems. I've started at least 30 articles and written several pages only to realize I have neither the time nor the inclination to do the research necessary to cover the ground I wish to cover with the credibility that I feel I need to have. That is, I run the site like kindergartner but demand the accuracy of a university thesis. This results, somewhat predictably, in nothing ever being finished and published.

I have no solution for this. I state it only for the limited value of acknowledging it. Solutions are in the works, but, well, don't hold your breath.

Religion dot jimmysworld.org

I have no idea where to find the time to work on this project, but it has the potential to piss off too many people for me to just let it go. See Jimmy's World above for where this site sits. Not dead, just in carbon freeze.

The Unfortunately Esoteric Tale of libN2L-4, n2l5

LibN2L-4 is the backbone of Onyx and is a beautiful mess of poorly thought out dependencies, inappropriately categorized functionality, needlessly verbose code and really, really cool stuff. LibN2L-4 gave birth to DynVars, the ResourceManager and countless other really awesome chunks of code that I am going to labour very hard to finally give legs to. Enter n2l5.

The revised name, n2l5, is a symbol of where libN2L is going in the near future. It will be an improved, but smaller and more streamlined version of everything LibN2L-4 meant to do. The prefix 'Lib' is extraneous, the final 'L' of the acronym stands for library. A standing sentinel of duplication which had no business being there to begin with. The dash was syntactical complexity for no perceivable reason, a sign of ideology over reason. The four represents a fourth generation, when we all know that a fifth generation is bound to be better. You see how n2l5 fixes all these horrible mistakes.

In seriousness n2l5 will seek to cut the fat of LibN2L-4 and simplify the syntax while focusing on the functionality that should be in an underlying library. Where does that culled functionality go, you ask?

orange, and Orange

Orange was a codename assigned to a new game meant to occupy the Life2130 universe circa 2060-2100 shortly after the First Solar War as a sort of SimCity in space. The game lives on in a semi-mature design phase, renamed to ... something and Orange moves forward as the engine that will drive the games to come. Orange is the glue that LibN2L-4 inappropriately sought to be.

Designed and developed to simultaneously support Onyx, Onyx: Free Trader, Life2130 and orange (the first iteration): Orange will be the environment which will connect the power of n2l with the assets of already designed games. It will combine function with design.

Life2130

Life2130 is evolving yet again. Yeah, I'm not talking about Life2130 yet.

Onyx

The current codebase was declared dead as of 1:17am March 29 2007. the new codebase was born 1:17am March 29 2007. Onyx is dead, long live Onyx.

While long have I whined about the technical inadequacies of Onyx, particularly the physical and graphical inadequacies, on paper and in implementation Onyx had always been intended to pad my resume with game development goodness. It has totally and completely failed to do so. Now I realize I don't even want a game development job, and irregardless Onyx never fit the bill since as much as I may be proud of everything it was and everything it could do it simply doesn't look formidable enough to be worth anything.

Onyx was a failure and a success. I'm proud of what I accomplished on some levels, but what I accomplished has no externally visible value to speak of. Finally recognizing and fully digesting that fact leaves me with the inescapable conclusion that I need to close the book on Onyx the implementation and decide how I want to tell Onyx the story, if I want to tell its story.

Onyx the story is a story of the years 2108 to 2148 in the Life2130 universe and not 115,762 lines of C++, 71,541 lines of definition files and 850 meg of data. Realizing and accepting that lets me tell the story and divorce myself from the learning experience.

From this moment on Onyx will be restarted in concert with other projects and it will be back better, stronger and more descriptive of the universe it occupies.

And so...

And so JwGames moves forward. To define this turning point one needs to really define Onyx as an experience. How does one define Onyx? Onyx was a painful, bloody and crushing experience. Onyx was a vessel into which was poured the ill-conceived and outdated objectives of an extinct set of childish goals. Onyx became bitterness and cynicism crystallized. Onyx was a horrific, life-adjusting mistake. Onyx was and is a war that occupied 1370+ days, nearly 15% of my life and resulted in failure.

Onyx is an opportunity, and it sure as fuck isn't over yet.

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Filed Under: Front Page

Onyx -- Not Dead Yet

2006.11.14 08:16pm
Aaron

Wow. Onyx. It's been a really, really long time since I've posted anything. Long time and long overdue.

I wasn't going to, but I've decided to get back to work on Onyx 'full time' as much as a side project can be full time. I'm in the middle of some unrelated work at the moment, but once that's under control I'll get back to doing some more bug fixes and making some new maps. The biggest thing I'd like to actually get working is the first campaign. It was disappointing to do the earlier releases without any plot at all.

I'll try to get something up before the end of the month, but to be honest that doesn't seem likely. Most likely I'll look at getting a fairly full new release out before Christmas. I'll send an email out to the old beta testers when something is ready to go, and of course I'll post here as well.

Also, thanks to those who have been supportive and patient through this news black hole.

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Filed Under: Journal - General

I've wanted to address the subject of religion in depth for a long time and finally I've gotten around to setting up a forum to do just that. This was a one night and nine beer project so there are definitely going to be problems, but the site is up. The site is up and almost completely empty.

Mostly I'm writing this announcement to test the news feeds on the JW Religion site but it's also to invite contributers to let me know if they'd like to get involved in the project. As to what contribution means you can take a look at the heavily truncated JW Religion Manifesto to get an idea.

Time to piss some people off.

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Filed Under: Front Page

MPAA Bites Off More Than It Can Chew?

2006.07.25 09:32pm
Thanatos
Notice: This article was contributed by a third party author.

Looks like the MPAA might have found someone who won't back down when faced with their extortion techniques. Not to get into the rights or wrongs of downloading movies but you have to admit that calling up college students, grandmothers and single parents and demanding $2500 or else you'll sue them is a little on the shady side. Seems that they called up one Shawn Hogan and tried to pull that trick without realizing that Mr. Hogan is the CEO of Digital Point Solutions and a millionaire. Oops. He's going to do his best to force them to go all the way with this no matter the cost.

Start with the standard watered down Wired article then step over to Zeropaid for an actual interview with my new hero Shawn Hogan.

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Onyx Beta Updates #3

2006.07.01 07:09am
Aaron

Well, the beta is out to around 30-40% of users and I'm already getting lots of great feedback. Big thanks to everyone submitting bugs. The people involved have so far been pretty much perfect. Technology, however, not so much.

Important Updates

  • I've added a Workarounds page and moved the existing information there. There's also stuff for disabling joystick axis and video information.
  • I'm going to be out of town today in Ottawa celebrating Canada Day (Happy Canada day!) Don't expect super fast turnaround from me until the middle of Sunday afternoon. I'll try to answer urgent questions from time to time.
  • I've fixed the bug tracker to not send out huge unbroken lines of text which cause all sorts of mangling in email clients. Also, anyone not interested in followup information about the bugs they file can use the "Stop Watch" link in the bug, or on the bug list page to unsubscribe from updates.
  • Testers who created accounts but didn't tell me should let me know if they want to be added to the project. I've added some people myself, but I don't recognize everyone. It doesn't matter all that much, but if you want to be listed on the project page and a couple other little things, you have to let me know.
  • Testers can also feel free to send random comments, critiques, etc. directly to me if the tracker doesn't provide an interface that makes sense for what you want to say. Also, my profile page: Aaron has my MSN and ICQ information, feel free to contact me that way.

Other Problems

I made a big deal out of not requiring people to sign up on the site to contribute, and I stand by that, but it has caused an unforeseen problem. Some people have filed bugs with questions and I've answered them, but since they're anonymous they won't get the answer. You still don't have to sign up, but you'll have to go digging through the bugs (also check fixed bugs in the limited release) to find what you'd submitted and look for my response in the notes.

Alternately, after filing a bug testers can click on the "Watch this item" link in the bug header and enter an email address on a case by case basis.

I'd manually send people an email with an answer, but anonymous really means anonymous on Jimmy's World. I have no way to find out who you are. I"ll let each tester decide what they want to do with this situation.

Again, thanks to all the testers. You're doing great work.

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Filed Under: Front Page

  • The bug submission page (http://onyx.jwgames.org/bug.html) apparently didn't work properly in IE, it seems to be fixed now.
  • People with outgoing BitTorrent ports blocked may find their connections strangled, and therefore stuck at some arbitrary percentage. I'm working on fixing it.
  • I've started an IRC channel, on irc.freenode.net called #OnyxBeta for anyone who wants to join.

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Filed Under: Journal - General

In a purely masturbatory moment I'm going to quote a story I posted some hundred days ago, This, Quite Frankly, Is Terrifying..

...at this point the arrested politicians and reporters would be big news, and there would be a big political hubub about it, but the administration has already established that enemies of the state (sorry, terrorists) can be whisked away to Guantanamo Bay for less.

[...]

It's worth repeating that now that the administration is setting up informants and the press as criminals for disclosing information it considers sensitive the ONLY step left is to further assert that those disclosures are seditious, an assertion that I'm sure the likes of O'Reilly, Hannity and Coulter have already made. They'll become the echoing resonance chamber through which public approval is solidified. The pieces are moving.

Sound familiar?

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Filed Under: Journal - General

Alright, I might as well start cross-posting these things to my site since I spend more time writing in other journals than my own. I'm a little unsure how to start formatting these responses so no promises about readability yet:

From Stop the ACLU - When You're In A Glass House... Don't Act like Jack Murtha Raging Anura posted a nice little satire comparing Jack Murtha's comments about Karl Rove's speech in New Hampshire. It is a beautiful example of deflection and slight-of-hand managing to completely ignore what is said and convert it into personal attack (see: Jabba The Hut), and distortion of previous events (see: Murtha's speech about Haditha). I'm aware that Murtha's statements about Rove's "fat backside" are about as personal as attacks can get... one thing at a time.

And the response

Wow. You managed to miss the entire substance of what he said. Impressive.

To start: `Not counting the fact that all evidence indicates that Karl Rove's office is not in New Hampshire'

Shows a nice little bit of entirely missing the fact that the speech Murtha was responding to was given in, you guessed it, New Hampshire. You might have caught that fact if you'd have read the deeply elusive allusion disclosed in THE FIRST TWO SENTENCES: `He's in New Hampshire. He's making a political speech.'

While this speaks volumes of the careful analysis you did of what he said, I'll push on.

You don't have to parse Murtha's statements that carefully to catch that he's saying that a politician with absolutely nothing to lose should offer more of a plan than `stay the course', which is open-ended and provides no road map for ending a conflict which is costing America's young their lives. As for the sitting in an air-conditioned studio, I think after 37 years of service, and being of ripe old age of 74 he's done his duty to the military already.

It also ignores the speech which inspired this response. The speech in which Rove, yet another draft dodger (though, I'll give him credit for at least finding out where in the lottery he was before getting a deferment, unlike Cheney or Bush's defacto deferment) is attacking Kerry and Murtha for being cowards who'll run at the first sign of trouble. Of course, those he's attacking actually DID serve, and actually DID see combat. This is so brazenly hypocritical it's unbearable. It also shows a common tactic: take your opponent's advantages and pretend they're somehow a disadvantage, whilst claiming your disadvantage as an advantage. A tactic I have to show disgusted respect for when it's so painfully successful in the media. It also is an attack based entirely on the idea that a politician should never, ever, ever change their minds based on the changing face of reality. A mind-numbingly stupid idea, to say the least.

Finally: `Congressman Murtha one one basic truth he may have blissfully overlooked: his star may be bronze, but silence is golden.'

You have GOT to be kidding. If a congressman in a time of war isn't supposed to be talking about the war in progress, who the heck is supposed to be? I could sure rant on, but this is already longer than it should be. I'm not a Democrat, but I'm one of those `crazy far left fringe liberals' (who are tremendously common for how crazy, far and fringe it is), and I'm willing to admit when a liberal says something inappropriate and stupid. You might consider doing the same.

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Filed Under: Journal - General

This is a mixed bag post. Off we go;

Google Earth on Linux

Google Earth is now available (native) for Linux. Let me tells yeah, it works smooth as can be. Huzza!

Ann Coulter

STOP ASKING COULTER TO EXPLAIN HER REMARKS! Geeze. The guys at FOX doing it I understand, it's an excuse to bring her on to plug her book, but for the love of god, left wing people are helping and I can't figure out why. All of your indignation, anger and disgust is doing exactly one thing, and will only ever do one thing: sell her book. This was absolutely calculated, just like: "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." It's crazy, it's stupid and it's obscene, and people just keep talking about it over and over again. It's crazy and stupid and obscene all the way to the bank. Stop it! She's only relevant as long as we make her relevant.

Three Prisoners Hang Themselves... To Attack Us!

Good God. First of all, this is a dumb thing to say. It would be a vaguely plausible assertion if not for a couple of things. First thing is that they'd been held for somewhere in the realm of 4 years without being charged, without being given a trial and having been told many times that they were never, ever getting out. No matter what. (The being told many times they were never getting out has been reported by the legal representation of other prisoners, so I'm extrapolating that one.) If that isn't a formula for despair then there isn't a formula for despair.

Second, and even more telling is that the US was going to release one of them, though he didn't know it. (Three Guantanamo Detainees Commit Suicide -- Democracy Now!. The obvious implication of this fact is that he wasn't in any way shape or form a terrorist or enemy combatant. The US is not in the habit of releasing people they have something on. That would mean that the assertion being forwarded here, the "PR Stunt" motive, would include a man that even the US government had admitted had no terrorist ties. That would leave his motive for suicide as, what, peer pressure?

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Filed Under: Journal - General

Recently the prospect of ending up on CBC Radio crossed my plate when I was referred by a friend because of my admittedly anti-social, social smoking habits. This encounter was interesting, springing up in me several urges ranging from frightened to opportunist. What if I make an ass of myself? How can I fit George Bush bashing into it? What if I cough too much? Can I plug indi-media? I sneeze a lot and Grizzly always meows when I'm on the phone... oh good Christ!

Another feeling sprout up in me, though. After I spoke with the reporter doing the story it occurred to me that I was witnessing the distortion of the news first hand.

I should explain. In Montreal a ban on smoking in restaurants is imminent. This has caused the predictably mixed responses that any such freedom limiting, benevolent parent legislation brings about. I don't want to sound overly negative, I agree with the legislation whole heartedly. Ninety percent heartedly, at least. I've never been a big fan of government legislation of behaviour, but it seems to be that the market will always benefit from selling fixes to addicted smokers, and so public health and employee health be damned. In this light I'm pleased that the government is taking action to force the ethical position upon smokers. Of course, they aren't doing it for the sake of right and wrong, the government is doing it because the smoking profitability matrix has shown that long term care of cancer patients is out-weighing the short term gains of taxation on big tobacco. Besides, it is becoming more and more clear that big tobacco will find ways around taxation whenever possible. Follow the money.

Now what am I talking about in terms of the distortions of the media? I talked with a very nice woman yesterday who asked some tentative questions about my smoking habits, my opinion of the impending ban and its impending effect on my smoking habits. She was friendly, apparently intelligent and smooth and informal with her questions. In a very subtle way she was disarming, which while in this particular case wasn't necessary, I suspect it makes her quite a good interviewer. It was the result of the pre-pre-interview which struck me. I was told that I didn't meet the criteria of the story. I didn't smoke enough, and I didn't plan to "quit because of the ban" (paraphrased). I'm not particularly bitter that I was excluded, mind you, because I was terrified of doing the interview anyway. It occurs to me that I was too neutral.

Too Neutral

What does too neutral mean? I think it means that I answered her questions with an even keel. "Do I agree with the ban?" I hate government legislation of private behaviour, I say, but I think that businesses will never 'do the right thing' left to their own devices, so it is a necessary evil. Obviously employees will greatly benefit from this, if no one else. "How much do you smoke per day?" Average? Well, I smoke none per day, but when I drink I smoke a lot, so I guess somewhere around a pack every four or five days. "Do you think the ban will compel you to stop smoking?" Well, I'll smoke less because when I'm socially drinking I won't be able to smoke as easily, so it will reduce my smoking, but it has no real effect on my decision making.

Neutral. Every answer is neutral. It seems to me to be the kind of answers that people don't fight over. Of course I'm not sure, but it seems very likely to me that the radio program in question will have extreme viewpoints which virtually yell at each-other. There is no round table of misc. laymen interacting, but the editing will likely be like every other story I've read, seen or heard and will pit the blind opinions blindly against each-other in meta-round table format.

Is this important? Not really. Is this authoritative or researched? Not in the slightest. It does feel like a micro-chasm of every debate we see or hear about, however. Most importantly, it makes me wonder how many people are neutral, and so don't fit the story.

No one goes to a rally with a sign that says "A-Ok!", I guess, and there sure isn't any coverage of anyone who does.

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Filed Under: Journal - General

Check out this baby on Media Matters, Returning to favorite slogan, Smerconish blamed Moussaoui verdict on the "sissification of America".

"A guy who the jury just two weeks ago found absolutely, if he'd been truthful, we could have stopped short that which occurred on September 11, is going to be allowed to live on my dime." -- Michael Smerconish

Unfortunately reality is quite different than this particular opinion given that people like Carie Lemack, daughter of America Airlines Flight 11 passenger Judy Larocque have said in no uncertain terms that they agree with the sentencing. In fact, all she wants is Moussaoui out of the headlines. Good job MSNBC.

My mother, Judy Larocque, was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11, and we're from Boston, and this is my first time at the Alexandria courthouse today. And I have to say I'm glad to see that this will be the last day that Mr. Moussaoui is in the headlines. He's going to be in jail for the rest of his life, which is exactly what this man deserves.

He's an al-Qaeda wannabe. And he does not deserve any credit for 9/11, because he was not part of it, and I am so glad the jury recognized that and realized that he just wanted to kill Americans, but he wasn't even skilled enough to be able to do that.

What I would like to know is why multiple Presidents were able to preserve the rights and freedoms of American citizens during the terrifying and genuine threat that was the Cold War but to defeat desperate, subjugated people without so much as a functioning standing army Americans need to shred the Constitution? Why is there the repeated pronouncement from the administration and their media clients that anyone who wants to preserve their rights or who wants to show some compassion and understanding to our enemies are somehow cowards. All the while they assure us that instinctively bombing defenseless civilians thousands of kilometers away is a brave and noble act.

That isn't how bravery works. Hitler was a coward. Gandhi was brave. The KKK were cowards. Rosa Parks was brave. The Mexican police were cowards. Digna Ochoa was brave.

Go ahead and give away the store to protect yourself from fundamentalists with no power, no running water who have been ground into the sand for the last hundred years by people just like you. I'm sure your sons and daughters will be happy to give up an arm, a leg, their sanity or their lives so you can feel a little safer in the suburbs.

You know what? You're right. You are a sissy.

"I can't buy into this logic of transcending hatred. This is the sissification of America." -- Michael Smerconish

Phyllis Rodriguez lost her son Gregory, 31 to the attacks on 9/11. Phyllis met with Aicha El Wafi in private after November 2002. That's right, Aicha El Wafi, mother of Moussaoui. These two women have all the reason in the world to hate each other, surprisingly even more than a Republican like Smerconish who presumably lost some sleep on 9/11. How do these women react, you ask? I'll let her tell you:

We were all nervous about meeting each other, but she broke the tension for everybody by opening up the conversation with an apology to us and an expression of sympathy. She said, `I don't know if my son is guilty or innocent, but I'm so sorry for your losses.' We responded to the warmth and generosity of Aicha.

Since then, I have maintained a friendship with her, and particularly in the last year since Zacarias Moussaoui pleaded guilty, we have become very close.

Want to know why you can't buy into this logic of transcending hatred, Michael? It's because Michael Smerconish is a coward. Phyllis Rodriguez is brave.

After the fact...

Oh, and by the way,

2006.05.05 01:54pm
Aaron
Bolivia, you kick ass too.

*sigh* Thank god we have Latin America to show us that Democracy can still work, assuming the US fails to stop them.

I can't believe how depressing that is.

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Filed Under: Journal - General

Since we're doing quotes today, apparently:

"I wish I wasn't [the richest man in the world]" -- Bill "Downtrodden" Gates

I could make a comment, but the ultraviolet dimwittery speaks for itself.

No, I will make a comment: Africa wouldn't mind a 9 billion dollar infusion into aids research or for medication. Then lots of lucky poor people might live and you'd get the honour of being the second richest. Then if you REALLY wanted to slum it you could give 12 billion more to impoverished nations rapidly becoming subjugated to the WTO and IMF so they can keep getting luxuries like water and food. Then you get to be really lucky and be the third richest.

And here's a crazy fucking thought, you could give a paltry 28 billion to alternative fuel research, or improving educational infrastructure, or cancer research, or into researching a KIND OF VELCRO WHICH DOESN'T MAKE A TEARING SOUND WHEN IT SEPARATES, which would STILL be more useful then sitting in your f-ing bank account. Oh, and even if you DO give that 49 billion away I can suggest other things you might do with the over a billion you STILL have left.

Christ. What a JACKASS. Let me rephrase that quote for you guys:

"I wish I didn't have to sleep so I could keep kicking poor people in the sack over and over again without taking a break for 7 hours a night." -- Bill "Downtrodden" Gates

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Filed Under: Opinion

Bill O'Reilly has been doing as Bill O'Reillly does and this time seems to have veered further out of reality than normal. On March 2nd basically threatened a caller that the police would be paying him a visit for saying something on the air that O'Reilly didn't like. This is crazy. It's crazy and it's, quite honestly, as fascist as anything I've seen in quite some time. I mean, it's one thing to yell at someone and talk over their points on your own opinion show but it's a completely different thing to imply that that the police will come lock you up for having a different opinion.

However it is well known that O'Reilly is crazy, so for once I'm here to defend him, of sorts. Actually, it's less a matter of defending him and more a matter of chiding Olbermann and even Media Matters for intentionally misrepresenting the facts to make O'Reilly look worse than he should. This is known as fighting fire with fire, and it sucks. Olbermann's commentary is clearly intended more for the comedic value than actually to report anything of detailed substance, so I'm willing to give him a partial pass, but Media Matters should know better. Specifically, I'm talking about the name of, and this section of their article: O'Reilly threatened radio show caller with "a little visit" from "Fox security" for mentioning Olbermann's name on the air

The caller began by telling O'Reilly, "I like to listen to you during the day." Continuing, the caller stated, "I think Keith Olbermann's show," at which point O'Reilly disconnected the call, proclaiming: "Mike is -- he's a gone guy. You know, we have his -- we have your phone numbers, by the way. So, if you're listening, Mike, we have your phone number, and we're going to turn it over to Fox security, and you'll be getting a little visit."

The details here are the problem, however. O'Reilly didn't disconnect the call where Media Matters, and Olbermann imply he did. Nor is he necessarily reacting to the callers statements which hit the air. As Olbermann admits in his own commentary what hit the air is whatever survived from an (up to, or possibly longer than) 7 second dump of call. Clearly O'Reilly is reacting to the contents of those 7 or more seconds, not to the utterance of Olbermann's name.

Shame Media Matters, shame. This is exactly the kind of misrepresentation that you're supposed to be illuminating, not creating. As unlikely as I find it, it is entirely possible that those 7 seconds contain threats of physical violence, or extremely obscene content which justify the response O'Reilly aired. Again, I'll say that I personally REALLY doubt that. Really, really doubt it. In any case, certainly the highroad would have been a better position for O'Reilly to take given the offending comments had been dumped, but this is O'Reillly, so what do you expect? That doesn't change the fact, however, that neither Olbermann or Media Matters (or the countless others reporting on this) have any proof as to what was actually said, and pretending that the second of audio before the dump is what O'Reilly was responding to is exactly the kind of biased reporting that O'Reilly is fantastic at.

As Colbert would say, you guys are "On Notice".

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Filed Under: Journal - General

To those who ask if Onyx is dead I ask you: Am I dead? No. Not yet. So no such luck. Onyx is still alive and twitching.

That's right. We're in the last 10% that takes 90% of the time. Boy, does it ever. The good news is that the game is actually playable, if impossible at the moment. The AI is actually working and puts up a "good" fight in that you won't live for more than a few seconds in some of the skirmish missions.

I just finished writing the spacial orientation systems so that the universe is consistent, and countless loose ends have been tied bringing the game to the brink of a first techdemo release. I've had to prune the storyline to nothing but some skirmish missions for the first release for the sake of getting something out before I die, but there will be a release to a few beta testers soon.

God help me, this game will be given away for free and cost me a mint in bandwidth, or so help me, I'll kill everyone on the planet ... a couple of times.

On that cheery note, here are three new screenshots showing off the racing minigames and a rather pointless view of orbit around one of the staging areas visited early in the game.

We're not done yet. Don't you worry; and to those poor souls that helped get it this far, I will be begging you for more game assets soon. Be afraid.

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Ezra Levant has hit the nail on the head as to why American and Canadian press in general has really dropped the ball on this whole cartoon/rioting escapade. Rather than paraphrase I'm just going to throw out some of his quotes from this CBC article.

I'm doing something completely normal. I'm publishing the centre of a controversy. That's what news magazines do.

Don't tell me the CBC respects religion. It's afraid of one religion.

We're not publishing them for their editorial merits. They're boring cartoons, they're bland. We're not running them because we share their views.

We're running them because they're the central fact that caused radical Muslims around the world to riot.
-- Ezra Levant

Absolutely right, sir. Just like he says in the article, if these were Jews burning down embassies over cartoons of the Holocaust then those cartoons should be published too. It's news. That is their job. The reason the press in North America have been censoring themselves has nothing to do with respect, it's either an attempt at PR juggling now that the spotlight has been shone on anyone republishing the cartoons, or more likely, it is a matter of fear. We're willing to bring the Middle East freedom at the points of our sons and daughters bayonets, but we're afraid of publishing cartoons that might make these faceless threats angry.

It's exactly this kind of chilling effect which makes it critical that free speech be unabridged. It's this kind of PR/fear that keeps the press from asking the President hard, hard questions about statements like "... we need common-sense judges who understand that our rights were derived from God".

Critical examination of religion, religious beliefs and the events that come out of those beliefs is absolutely crucial for a modern society which claims to keep an open and free dialog. These issues affect all of our lives, religious or not, and often it affects our lives in terribly disruptive or violent ways. If the press becomes afraid of taking long hard looks at religion then we risk losing the right to exercise our own beliefs without fear of repercussion and even worse we legitimise the kind of barbaric nonsense going on in this current round of rioting.

I previously published two of the most mentioned cartoons if you're curious. Luckily it's easy for me to do because I'm nowhere near important enough to be endangered by doing so. I really hope that this shameful response by our mainstream press doesn't repeat in the future.

After the fact...

No... Actually, Rioters Are Choosing To Put Our Troops In Danger

2006.02.14 06:20pm
Aaron

Our government's reaction to the posting of the cartoons mentioned above? Regret. Fine, that's tap-dancing and I would expect nothing different from a baby kisser, but now we have people in relative authority saying stuff like this:

"I think the fact that people choose to reprint the cartoons could put our troops in danger,"
-- Riad Saloojee, Canadian Council American-Islamic Relations

If they aren't overseas to secure these rights and we should be so afraid as to not exercise them, what's the god damned point? It's amazing how much people often miss the point. These rights we're talking about a pain in the ass to defend. They cause huge problems for everyone involved with them. People abuse freedoms, they say stupid things, they hurt feelings and they destabilize regions. Either we want free speech or we don't. I think a lot of people have to ask themselves what they really want.

Stop the fear mongering! Damn.

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This one goes out to all you retards breathing oxygen that would be best saved for me or members of my harem. We've got a lot of ground to cover given how f-ing stupid you people have been in the last month or so, so I'll just cut straight to the chase.

Our first example of retardation started in August and is culminating nicely into one of the dumbest decisions a nation has made since 2004, or maybe 2000. Iran has just banned Western music in a long line of fantastic, progressive decisions since the misfit Iranians voted in an ultraconservative president on a platform of taking away all their freedoms and crushing them under an oppressive boot. Here's a nice quote from the article that sums things up:

... Ahmadinejad has jettisoned Iran's moderation in foreign policy and pursued a purge in the government, replacing pragmatic veterans with former military commanders and inexperienced religious hard-liners.

It's always good to see another blooming military centric, soon to be nuclear power theocracy in this wonderful green world of ours. Seriously, way to vote you douche bags.

Hey there Hardcore Muslim, Merry Fucking Christmas!

The hardcore Islamic population aren't just a bunch of bad voters, either. They're also a colossal, world class kaleidescope of fucking ignorant behavour such as, oh, Acid attacks on "immodest" women in Iraq, for example. Everyone open their Koran and turn to page cock where it justifies:

"A month ago I was walking from my college to my house when I was abducted in the street by three men. They dropped acid in my face and on my legs. They cut all my hair off while hitting me in the face many times telling me it's the price for not obeying God's wish in using the veil," Hania Abdul-Jabbar, a 23-year-old university student, recounted.

Just keep looking, I'm sure it's in there in the back somewhere you fucking assclowns. Though, I want to be fair here and say that it isn't just religious regression responsible for terrible things happening in Iraq. Luckily, good old secular greed and moral corruption are hard at work too as the Iraqi people have discovered all the opportunities that freedom brings with it. Opportunities, like, oh, selling your women to other nations as prostitutes. I mean, there's nothing like kidnapping children attending a nunnery learning center and selling them into sexual slavery to round off a nice day of shooting at people randomly and throwing acid in the faces of moderates.

I'm beginning to think that the church hands these tasks out as penance like Hail Marys. My son, you've raped, pillaged and sold your neighbours daughter into a life of sexual slavery, but you're in luck, just kill 10 tourists and beat one woman who has either learned something or alternatively isn't wearing a veil and you're off to heaven and your virgins!

I can only imagine how these A-Squad brain surgeons just voted. I expect that things in Iraq will smooth out nicely now that they have their own choice of leadership. Just you wait.

Merry Jesusmas and a Happy Cockity Cock Cock to You

You know what? I used to say Merry Christmas to people, but now I absolutely refuse (unless it's to insult another even less progressive group of idiots, such as the title above). Anyone who has a problem with that please feel free to leave the room, say a prayer for me, you, baby Jesus, or basically whoever else floats your small-minded boat and proceed to stab yourself in the neck with a rusty knife till you see a tunnel of light.

Unless you've been on the moon, which may or may not exist since it was never specifically enumerated in the bible as being part of Jesusland, you've heard of the Republican/ FOX "News" and their new pet: The War on Christmas. This war is especially awesome since as far as I can tell in the media FOX is really the only army on either side of the issue. Honestly, it's like a fat kid in the corner screaming for attention while all the grown-ups are busy trying to pay attention to something important. Something like, I don't know, Bush riding roughshod over the Fourth amendment in what is very probably a genuinely illegal act. Not that I think any of you are adults.

I don't even know how to go about calling these people the mouthbreathers that they are without resorting to strings of utterly incoherent profanity (yes, worse than I already have), so instead I'll just let you listen to them and you can decide. O'Reilly: "War" on Christmas part of "secular progressive agenda" that includes "legalization of narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage" BAHHHH! When did the words secular and progressive become dirty?! PLEASE don't let them become an insult the way liberal has. Just for you mental fetuses out there, this is what liberal means:

Liberal Lib"er*al (li^b"~er*al), a. F. lib'eral, L.
1. Free by birth; hence, befitting a freeman or gentleman; ... - 1913 Webster
2. Bestowing in a large and noble way, as a freeman; generous; bounteous; open-handed; as, a liberal giver. ... - 1913 Webster
4. Not strict or rigorous; not confined or restricted to the literal sense; free; ... - 1913 Webster
5. Not narrow or contracted in mind; not selfish; enlarged in spirit; catholic. ... - 1913 Webster
7. Not bound by orthodox tenets or established forms in political or religious philosophy; independent in opinion; not conservative; friendly to great freedom in the constitution or administration of government; ... - 1913 Webster

I left out a few definitions, but rest assured none of them were "pinko, communist, bet-wetting, freedom-hating terrorist-bed-brother". Go ahead, read the definition for yourself if you can muster the brain cells to manipulate a book into its "open" position and find the page without hurting yourself and suing anyone. Fucking Americans. Oh, and for those of you who couldn't muster the energy to read the whole thing, this is a summary: better than you.

Oh, I'm not Done With You Yet

That's right, I'm not done with you, you jackasses. I'm just getting warmed up. When you're not vomiting out half-assed complaints about the Microsoft monopoly on your way to buy an Xbox or complaining about child labour while perusing the fine wares at the GAP you're busy trampling each other FUCKING UNCONSCIOUS to buy DVD players at one of the most deplorable corporate entities in the world today, Wal-Mart.

I swear, the next time I see a Wal-Mart customer complain about low wages or their lack of health care I'm going to push their fat asses over in the snow and pee a nice hot stream of steaming appreciation directly into their no-doubt perplexed and largely simian faces.

Ok. NOW I'm done with you. At least until I can unclench my teeth, and yes, my buttocks, you pervert.

After the fact...

Two Million Dollars Worth of Montherfucker, Literally.

2005.12.21 09:45pm
Aaron

Here's a little something to warm your heart and show you yet again how in our world today just being accused of something is enough to destroy a person. More specifically, Ontario mom faces $2M libel suit for website about problems in neighbourhood. Sure, there's a good chance she might win but given we have no "loser pays legal fees" in our tort law win or lose she'll be destroyed financially.

Who knows if what she is complaining has any merit at all? It's very possible all she's doing is being a busybody. The point however is that we'll never find out since the company can crush her outright. Way to go Activa, you child molesting jackasses.

Of Course It Was Too Good To Be True

2005.12.21 10:21pm
Aaron

I have to say that despite my "vitriol", as it's been put so eloquently, I've been quite impressed with the filibuster in the US Senate which has stopped cold the extension of 16 provisions of the Patriot Act. That there would be a bipartisan effort to keep these questionable provisions from getting extended makes me think for a tiny, blinking moment that the US may not be doomed.

But don't worry, there's still idiotic behaviour to make fun of. Namely the talking monkey show that is Bush. I really would have thought he'd know to keep his damned spying mouth shut at a time where he's already tap-dancing around potentially illegal surveillance, but no, he's jumping up and down and screaming like the retarded caravel attraction that he is. The worst part is that it probably partially worked since the Senate just gave the Patriot Act six more months.

You know what? I wouldn't even complain so long as someone could have attached a provision which would legally require that anyone repeating talking points like "defeat and retreat" or "the terrorists just won a victory" get kicked in the beanbag by anyone and everyone who hears them.

Hell, even if it didn't shut them up at least they'd be sterile in a few minutes.

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Filed Under: Opinion

Hal Turner's at it again bringing free, if questionably valuable, speech to the poor and comparably innocent citizens of Kingston. In slightly other news: the poor, disenfranchised, unemployed and *gasp* brownish people of France still really, really hate cars. I mean, they really hate those things.

Finally, news flash allusions in Haiku form:

Because of Darwin
You are going to hell
Unlike K. Malone

Sony sucks a lot
but Costco oddly does not
Wal-Mart still Satan

Wadda' Ya Get When You Mix White Supremacy With Sanity? It Isn't A Schicht-Kuchen, That's For Sure

I'm always happy to have a news post go by where this guy hasn't done something dangerous, scary or crazy but unfortunately it wasn't in the cards in the past couple of weeks. In fact he's gone and done something dangerous, crazy and scary. We might want to slap irresponsible on there too.

I'm regularly stricken with the sheer velocity with which Turner changes his stance on race given his penchant for oscillating between conservative isolationist and outright hating crazy-person, but little compares with the tower of waffles served up by the man in the last few weeks. Among the perpetual masturbatory and high school-ish inner politicking of the various White Supremacist groups Hal Turner has alone stepped forward to raise the torch of intolerance and lead the way to Kingston, New York. He's leaving the pitch-fork wielding to the vivacious "angrywhitewoman", Turner supporter and clearly the holder of several doctorates.

There's too much to get into here for the moment, but the Kingston Times has this background. Oh, and I'm putting in my early prediction that the Rally slated for Nov 19th at 12 noon will break down into a fully fledged riot some time around 12:15. I mean, if there are Nazi's there (only possibly in uniform) what could possibly go wrong?

Hello Religion, My Old Friend, I've Come to Blame Ignorance On You Again

Because Intelligent Design is softly creeping, Left it's seeds while Dover was sleeping, That's right, the man who brought you "...but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it." and that accepting gays might bring God's wrath in various forms of biblical unpleasantness, is now after the Godless heathens in Dover.

Pat Robertson has not too subtly alluded to the fact that should Dover's citizens be struck with, oh I don't know, "possibly a meteor", not to go praying to God for help. Wait, that's not an allusion! "I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God..." seems to be pretty darn literal. All of this forces me to wonder what Robertson's stake in this really is. After all, one of the biggest distinguishing features of Intelligent Design from Creationism is that ID doesn't require any specific deity. Hence not quite as obviously supernatural and therefore quite slightly more likely to slip under the pesky logic radar that science professors so childishly cling to. Wait, you don't mean to tell me that Intelligent Design is exactly the same thing as Creationism only in Cool Blue, do you?

Regardless, there seems to be a lot of invoking of wraith, pestilence and general nastiness going around in the press these days. It's good to see, too, I must say. Nothing like a Fair and Balanced judgement from O'Reilly to the tune of:

We're going to say, "look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.

Seriously, people, I wish I was making this stuff up. Just to restore the religious balance though, I should mention that hardcore and immoral Muslims are fucktards too, because I don't want to be unduly harsh to only the Christian idiots.

Trivia: Who is 6'9, Weighs 256 Pounds, is My Brand New Hero and Has a Name With Too Many Syllables For a Good Haiku?

If you guessed the man who sidestepped a government stonewall against doing high cost charity work and genuinely helped in the rebuilding of New Orleans then you guessed right! That's right, NBA player Karl Malone used some of his money and properties to do the right thing much to the chagrin of the gouging contractors, and boy-howdy does it ever make me smile every time I think about it.

Want to know something else crazy? It would seem that Costco is a pretty decent company run by a pretty decent guy. When the hell did that happen? We're talking about a retailer paying $17 an hour, good health plans and a CEO who says insanely sane things like "Having an individual who is making 100 or 200 or 300 times more than the average person working on the floor is wrong." about his own salary! In response boorish, elitist assho... sorry, analysts like Emme Kozloff were heard spouting such gems as "He has been too benevolent" about his policies towards his employees; and Douche Bag representative .. oh sorry, Deutsche Bank representative Bill Dreher could be heard vomiting "it's better to be an employee or a customer than a shareholder".

What I have to ask here is how our culture has become so nakedly elitist that commentary like the above can come out without so much as a raised eyebrow? Is this actually normal? I know we have mass layoffs by successful companies, record oil profits along side record oil prices and oh yeah, Halliburton is still making a metric googol of money, but do we never hit a point where the pure abrasion of it is just too much to bear? I guess if Wal-Mart (the movie), Wal-Mart (the dehumanizing discrimination) and Wal-Mart (epically corrupt) isn't enough we must have a ways to go.

How About Something Not a Company Behaving Badly? No? Ok!

Sony and DRM. They're like abusive, capricious peas in a pod. Dirty, slimy, insecure peas it would seem since their possibly illegal rootkit has recently made the press when their unwelcome DRM scheme started facilitating the spread of a trojan. Way to make a security enhancing product you misfitted retards. The good news, though, is that their retardation is at least cross platform and will hopefully be causing security holes on the soon Mac too. (Thanks for the lead on this one, pierre)

And Finally, What's Worse Than an Anti-Torture Amendment That Doesn't Pass?

That's simple! One that passes, and then is struck down by what I believe would be Bush's first use of his Veto. For the love of... WHO STRIKES DOWN AN ANTI-TORTURE LAW? I mean, it's torture! Isn't that the presidential equivalent of the drivers test question: "You see a little old lady in the street, do you? a) Stop. b) Speed up, but honk."? Obviously the US President did well on the other questions I don't remember because I clearly remember that you have to at least swerve around the old lady, or flash your lights or something.

Finally, I hate Onyx.

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For those not following the rhubarb sprout up around Jack Thompson's challenge to the game development community and the ensuing hilarity when someone took him up on his offer, here's how it goes.

In the Beginning, There Was "Hot Coffee", And it Was Good

Some time in early June, the 9th from what I can see here at gtaSanAndreas.net PatrickW, following up on a discovery made by Barton Waterduck (yeah, I'm assuming these are aliases) unlocked disabled content in the game GTA San Andreas by Rockstar Games. This content allows the player to bang away at their virtual girlfriends, rather than just having it implied at the end of a date. Presumably it was disabled by Rockstar in the back and forth with the ESRB while finagling an M (Mature) Rating, which is required to get onto the shelves of chains like Wal-Mart, rather than the stricter AO (Adults Only) rating that the sexual content would garner the game.

Now here's the rub: The sexual content that the "Hot Coffee" patch unlocks is completely unavailable without a third party modification to the game. This had Rockstar saying the content was the responsibility of the mod-er, in this case, presumably, Barton Waterduck (god, you have a great name, Waterduck). On the other hand, solid state distributions such as the PS2 could be patched (via 3rd party mechanism) to enable the content proving that it was originally in the Rockstar release. Course, the content was still not available except through external patching, but the finger of responsibility is not-so-clearly avoided at this point.

Course, this was all too juicy a target for the media, crazies and politicians to avoid. Explosions abound as people tried to manipulate the facts to suit their respective causes. Christian and Family Groups opened fire on the ESRB for not properly rating the game, who deflected the attack at Rockstar for 'hiding' the content. Rockstar said that the content was disabled but the modding community point right back at Rockstar with the PS2 patch, and gaming companies almost certainly started tearing through the inert and disabled content on their releases wondering if they were liable for unavailable bits and bytes that they'd shipped inadvertently. Unable to resist the juicy target Jack Thompson (expect a fun tug-of-war to ensue on that wikipedia page) of the StopKill fame, amongst other, redoubled his efforts to down the Take-Two Interactive beast knowing full well that while the American people can handle a prostitute getting decapitated, they sure can't handle her getting banged. Enter Presidential Election 2008 hopeful Hillary Clinton who isn't exactly sure what's going on, isn't exactly sure what this new-fangled Playstation is, and sure doesn't know what Hot Coffee has to do with it, but knows for sure that Soccer Moms ain't to happy with any of it. Briefed by Thompson (if Thompson is to be believed) Hillary got off to some pro-active not too much of anything.

The Salvos of open-letters from x to y via z to hopefully be read by m lit up the sky and it was, well and truly, Go Time.

Through all this gamers were wondering what the big f-ing deal is, underage children were rushing to download this awesome patch that they've been hearing so much about, the ESRB was just praying no one decides to legislate their existence away and most of all, Rockstar Games couldn't care less about Thompson and Clinton and was smok'en a big'ol fat cigar all the way to the bank.

Of course, none of this stopped anyone from playing GTA:San Andreas and Rockstar happily re-released the game without the content without much fanfare. But it doesn't end there.

So I Told You All That So I Could Tell You This

Jack Thompson, having accomplished nothing but enhancing the sales of San Andreas, almost certainly Bully probably even The Warriors couldn't stop there. He had comics who run charities for the Children's Hospital to attack.

As is so historically dictated, Jack Thompson issued an irate (and while tasteless to the charities he obviously wouldn't donate to, clearly satirical) challenge to the gaming community to develop a game which would "simulate" the murder of Take Two, er sorry, Take This associates. In return for the game development Thompson would donate $10 000 to charity. Obviously (to everyone except Thompson, I guess) the game was made in short order and Thompson immediately regretted his decision to offer $10 000 of his own money.

Not content to leave Thompson simply looking like an ass, Penny Arcade felt the need to broadcast the fact through a $10 000 donation sized bull-horn and make the donation for him, in his name. Much peeing-in-the-face by Gabe predictably follows.

As a result of being made to look like an ass, in true kindergarten style Thompson has collected his toys and run to the teacher, er police and attempted to have the penny arcade crew thrown in jail. It would seem that Thompson has a form letter printed up for this given the epic volume of times he threatens web comics.

Meanwhile, even the Soccer moms are feeling a little queasy about Thompson and have decided that they'd best let him go it alone in this whole threaten everyone in the world campaign and so Thompson looks more and more like an angry mouse trapped in the corner of a cage of cats hissing and spitting well past the time that it is wise to do so.

There is an untold entertainment value to reading about this guy, and one has to wonder where his head is at, exactly. I suppose only time will tell how far this drama will play out, and I will post updates should anything else amusing take place. For now, though, I believe that is the extremely brief and partially inaccurate skinny of ThompsonGate. Watch for the sequel as he has his go at Sims 2 -- A Pedophile's Paradise which I believe was the original development code-name for it, by the way.

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So there's lots of ground to cover, for what that ground is worth. Lets see, we need some depressing, second-hand political opinion, a note about Onyx and how it continues to prove that you can approach a at target without ever actually reaching it for an infinite amount of time and I'll wrap it up with some sanctimonious leftist opinion. *gasp* Liberal opinion.

Depressing, Second-hand Political Opinion

More fun from North Korea, this time in the form of rejecting UN food aid. You know, everyone in this situation is retarded. The States for no-doubt appending ridiculous demands to the provision of humanitarian aid, North Korea for being ... well, North Korea, you chodes.

This is hardly the first time that the US has attached unrelated (or related) provisions to humanitarian aid. This is literally called carrots and sticks by elements of the US government and they do so unabashedly. It seems wrong to me to place such conditions on humanitarian aid, but I suppose it is yet another sign of our rather flexible morals when interacting with the rest of the world from the cushy West.

I suppose if you want to enact policy change in the world without invading the related nations under false pretense, one has to bend some kind of ethical rule, and it's better than dropping bombs in a way. Note: I am aware that the US is invading related nations under false pretense and dropping bombs.

Really bothers me more than anything else is the fact that American's lead such an acutely protected life, culturally speaking, and they dictate social policy to others at the same time. No where is this more visible (as far as I'm concerned) than in the entertainment industry. Most people don't realize the kind of purging and scouring entertainment products go through before they reach the mass market. I only have one reference sitting around at the moment, a Godzilla 1984 (or Gojira in Japan) movie review. Rather odd place to look for commentary on the massive American propaganda engine at work, but for some reason it seemed poignant enough to me when I read it that I recorded the link, and I understand why when I read it again now. The review, while my cup of tea, is probably not yours, but what I would suggest is that you scroll down to the section Major Differences Between American and Japanese Versions and read from there. Here's an example of what I mean:

... So as you would expect, the Russians do not have the same pacifist feelings as the Americans but are instead the war-hungry "Evil Empire," or in more casual 1980's terms, "Those damn Commies!" The clips from the scene where the Russian soldier tries to stop the missile launch are slightly switched around and the subtitles are changed from, "Someone help me! I have to stop that missile!" to "I'm the only one who can do it. I've got to launch that missile!"

There's two waves of gross coming from this simple example. First, the American entertainment complex, fairly well known for having a left lean in general, still felt so threatened by the idea that the Russians love their children too that they had to remix major plot points in a Godzilla movie, of all things. Second is that immediately preceding the description of a massive plot edit the reviewer uses the phrase: "So as you would expect...". It's so common that stuff like this happens, that it's what a movie reviewer would expect. I think we're all aware on some level or another that we're being fed remixed and repackaged ideas by the media, movies, news, whatever; honestly though, I don't think we really consciously process just HOW remixed those inputs are.

Another more topical example: we've just come off a pair of scandals which could almost be considered parodies of each-other, but unfortunately they aren't. First would be the revealing of a staged press conference described in glorified bias by the village voice which passes much of the media as just another day at the office. Even better, that was reported on on Today, moments before they were outed for souping up their coverage of a flood when two people walk past the reporter pretending to need a canoe. There's some great coverage of it that I downloaded earlier, but I can't find the source of. Enjoy the lies in progress.

Now, I'm an overly optimistic sort, but isn't this kind of thing grounds for firing people? Lots of people? Instead your average person seem to turn the cynicism engines to full blast, roll their eyes and go back life as usual. Even better, they generally go on believing the media subconsciously. Sometimes it's tiring, and more times it's depressing because people just don't seem to care anymore, and there are so god-damned many of us that it's nigh on impossible to achieve anything that requires more work than turning on a TV.

Told you that was going be bitter and depressing.

Onyx. I Fucking Hate Onyx.

I may hate it, but I'm still working on the motherfucker. I've made quite a lot of progress with the AI, which has unfortunately required rewriting a sizable portion of the physics engine. That, unfortunately, has required a tonne of re-balancing of stats. Luckily, it IS getting done. I'm still short on artwork and textures, but you know what, I don't feel like whining about that right now.

Some gameplay elements have been smoothed out to make things a little more fun, and the HUD is still evolving into a useful product, but predictably there's still a lot of work to do.

I fucking hate Onyx.

Finally, I've added lots of stuff to the Onyx database and add more stuff almost daily. Some people might find that interesting, though it simply disgusts me.

I fucking hate Onyx.

From the Jesus Titty-Fucking Christ Department

Let's play the game of captions! By the way, this first one coming up wins my Fucking... Terrifying... award for this post.

After a Wal-Mart employee turned in a high school student's anti-Bush poster to the police, the Secret Service came calling.

The Secret Service has its eye on a Kentucky student. Twenty-one-year-old Phillip Bailey is being investigated for suggesting President Bush be shot.

Sibel's offense? She was a patriot who blew the whistle on incompetence, security breaches and alleged wrongdoing in the U.S. government's counter-terror operations.

For that, she was fired.

...

When Sibel challenged the government in court, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft personally certified that "everything regarding my case and allegations were regarded as state secrets," she recalls.

How things like this can be considered anything except first-class, wholesale abuse of power and infringement on personal liberties I can't imagine. What really gets me is that this sort of thing is now happening all the time. That's just what we see reported, too. When it boils down you have to wonder how much of this sort of thing is going on that we don't hear about. I mean, is it really paranoid to think that the government might be threatening the news services? Is it really? I certainly would have labelled that as paranoid when I was younger and less cynical, but there is just so much censorship and bullying by the Secret Service and the FBI in the states that I don't see how it could be considered paranoid anymore.

Finally, I fucking hate Onyx.

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Filed Under: Opinion

I'm not even saying it is accurate, just that it was fun to make.

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Filed Under: Front Page

That's right folks, it has only taken me eight weeks to write a post about an update which took something like two years to "complete". I write complete in quotes because the update itself was somewhat forced by my ISP discontinuing service on the server my old site was hosted on. This would be the kind of thing I would rant about normally, but they gave me something like half a year of notice with which I did nothing but plan to switch to my newly designated server. Needless to say, planning was not enough. In any case, that was then and this is now so welcome to Jimmy's World Version 6....

The version I slapped onto the new server in a panic was pretty badly broken, but I think most of the holes are patched now. Patched enough that I can and have started adding content rather than putting out fires. Adding content is something I've always been pretty bad at, but I have hastily whipped together or harvested from elsewhere a few articles to populate the site with. More should be coming in the semi-near future when I start importing old guest articles that were hosted before the change. At the same time I'll be syndicating some creative writing from other people as well, and that should fill out the page categories fairly well.

So what does the site upgrade mean, really? Well, in this case it means quite a lot. The page has basically become a big CMS, well, really a pair of CMS..es?. The whole site now is pretty much in the database, including the menus, article categories and category pages as well as the articles themselves. Like before, the devel projects are stored in the bug tracker. What does that mean? Well, it means that content on the site can be authored from anywhere by anyone. No FTP required. That includes things like menu structuring, image uploads and other stuff. Articles written are put in a submission queue and passed back and forth between the author and the editor until approved, then put up on the site. It may be comical to note that I am both the only author and only editor. Yes, as you may have suspected, this makes the whole things stupid. It WOULD be cool if there were many editors and authors. Trust me.

So what else is new? Lots of things actually. The front page now has an aggregated RSS news feed display which can keep track of which articles you 've read before and is customizable from the news feed editor. You can also choose to make your own feeds public so other people can opt to include them on their front pages as well. In addition to seeing the most recent headlines it is also possible to search headlines, excerpts and bodies of articles all the way back to when the site started aggregating them. This functionality is actually pretty cool since it lets you search news items from quite a few sources at once, check out the results for doom 3 for example.

Another big addition is 'watches' which show up all over the site as links called 'Watch this item'. When clicked on members will automatically be sent updates whenever the item, article, bug, project, comment or whatever is updated. Non-members will have to type their email and verify their addresses, but they will also be emailed updates. Of course, it would be easier and faster if you just became a user. But hey, your choice. Hint hint.

A lot of the old pointless features of the site are still intact like instant messaging and the ability to create development projects complete with a bug tracker etc. for site members. Like I mentioned before members can also write articles if they like, and more. I'm also slowly adapting the system to support livejournal like functionality for these news stories so I can completely move my journal to the site. Unfortunately there'll never be a substitute for friends pages, so I would imagine I'll always syndicate posts in both places. I can't even begin to imagine why anyone would want to switch away from livejournal to use a service here, so I doubt I'll put much energy into making it publicly viable.

As I've already said the site has been around for quite some time already, but I needed to get a post up at some point or another, so here it is. You're welcome to wander around and poke at things, of course. Quite a lot of stuff is undocumented still, and as usual the vast majority of the site is buried away behind a good three levels of links but *shrug* it's the best I can do for now. Also keep in mind that there are a couple satellite sites now as well: JWGames.org which is basically just a subset of the news on this site and so not too interesting. More interesting is the new-ish Onyx site which is only new if you haven't gone to it in ... well, many months. There's some new stuff in the Onyx database, but nothing terribly exciting or complete. More about that belongs in an Onyx post, not here.

So, that's it. A very belated announcement. Yay.

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Filed Under: Front Page

So... what's new and interesting?

Well, I'm still working on the Onyx database and source material but the codebase itself hasn't moved much. I've been too distracted to put in focused effort on it lately. Instead I've been poking away at Jimmy's World and watching movies. Both of which I choose to extol about.

Some cool stuff has online most notably of which is the addition of spell checking for comments, announcements and articles. I've also made it possible to log in and/or reset your user passwords using nicknames rather than just email. This should make it easier for people who haven't logged in in ages to get access to their accounts. Unfortunately if you still have only an old email address plugged in you still need to contact me to change the password manually. I've also fixed a fair number of bugs, but nothing terribly exciting.

I've come across another interesting alternative media site which looks like it has a pretty impressive wealth of video. Those interested in content from ZeD will probably dig this too. It's called undergroundfilm and I've only started scratching the surface but clearly there's some interesting stuff waiting to be found.

A good place to start is Minimum Overdrive, an awfully amusing and well put together little short obviously nodding to Maximum Overdrive though the hostile intent is provided from a completely different source then the movie or the Stephen King short story 'Trucks'. Course, it's a short comedy and I'm being nothing but pedantic by even mentioning the differences.

In the world of commercial entertainment I watched myself some more Godzilla recently, this time was Godzilla against Mechagodzilla (2002) (originally: Gojira tai Mekagojira). Once again I'm forced to be more entertained by the older, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974). It's been a long time since I've seen the later, but I'm drawing on what I remember from it cast with the light of the likes of Godzilla Versus the Sea Monster and Godzilla vs. Gigan. It seems to me that the newer generation of Toho movies are falling closer and closer to the movie quality equivalent of the The Uncanny Valley. Godzilla Versus the Sea Monster and Godzilla vs. Gigan were so good because they were so bad. The newest generation of Toho films are borderline good. In fact they occasionally poke their heads out of the pit and do something interesting. Of course they will be forever marred in the English market by the often appalling translations (yes, this includes subtitles), but they're getting continuously closer to the 'good' mark, and therefore falling straight into the too good to be bad and nowhere good enough to be great.

This weekend I had a reminder of that exact effect provided far too efficiently by Returner. This little flick I caught the trailer to on the Godzilla against Mechagodzilla DVD and (while I knew better) I thought looked pretty interesting. The movie itself was clearly inspired by The Terminator borrowing several shots and progressions to further its own somewhat interesting and often non-sensical plot. Anyway, I've never done this before, but I've written a review and put it up on Jimmy's World. It's not terribly insightful, but hey, it's my first attempt. Here you go: Jimmy's Review of Returner.

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