The Jury Talks Back

9/16/2009

ACORN suspends operations

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 12:43 pm

Via BigGovernment.com, we learn that in the wake of 4 seperate videos and the near certainty that there are more to come, ACORN has stopped taking on new clients for advising

ACORN chief executive Bertha Lewis said in a written statement that she was “ordering a halt to any new intakes into ACORN’s service programs until completion of an independent review.

Please.  We all know they are only halting “new” clients to prevent further videos from being produced/recorded.  I’m sure the idea is that if they stop now, there won’t be any more video evidence.

The problem is that I’m pretty sure the videos are older than a few days, likely made a month or so ago, and that there is a stockpile of interesting A/V material.

ACORN has literally just shut the barn door after the horse has long since escaped…

Additionally, they have the problem of “who do we fire first?”.  I mean, after they toss (with speed alacrity, I might add) those employees featured thus far under the ever-more crowded bus, who do they go after?

I mean, they must assume there are more videos, right?  If so, where are they taken – what offices?  What employee at the office is on the video, who was around and can be shown to overhear – but do nothing about – the “We’re going to import underage whores” aspect of the videos?

And even if they know, what office do they start with?  If they announce firings in a few cities, but miss one, what do they do when a video from – for example – Chicago shows people who weren’t fired?  What then?  Wouldn’t that destroy whatever credibility their “internal audit” might have had?

ACORN is playing catch-up, and doing a very bad job of it.

I guess they didn’t expect the “the video is doctored” deflection attempt to fail as badly as it did.

By Request – Fallout 3

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 6:59 am

Gods, what can’t I say about this game?

I’ve been a fan of the Fallout series for ages and ages, ever since I got a copy of the original game for the computer.  The gameplay was good, the graphics awesome (for back then) and the story was incredible.  The franchise has had a cult following for forever, and Bethesda really delivered a game that held true to it’s roots (which was helped by ignoring, in much the same way Superman Returns ignored Superman 5, the horrible game of Fallout Tactics – by pretending it never happened).

ANYwho, the game.  You start out with some fun/interesting cinematic cut-scenes, where they slide in your ability to name yourself, and pick what your character looks like in what I think is a kind of clever way, all to the soft, gentle sounds of Liam Neeson.  Then you set your stats (also done in a way that doesn’t totally break the 4th wall).  You then run through a fairly short “intro” chapter that serves to show you how to do combat and use your inventory, and then you take a short “personality” test  that decides your starting skills (don’t worry, when you start the game proper, you can change these so it isn’t terribly important).

From your emergence from Vault 101, you have a number of side-quests and an involved main quest to find your departed father during which you learn a lot about him, and take you all over a “condensed” version of the DC area.

The game has a morality system that isn’t obtrusive or overbearing, and in most cases isn’t blatantly obvious (“Would you like like to rape and murder an entire orphanage, or would you like to donate to a charity for kittens with cancer?”).  It fits in well with the story,  and your actions/decisions affect the game in small (or in two cases a very big way), including short blurbs read over the game’s main “radio station”.

The music is largely 50’s/60’s style, and is really fun to listen to, and is played over that same radio station – there are something like 10 or so different songs, essentially played in a loop.  Another radio option later in the game is one with a couple of classical violin pieces.

The visual style, like the music, is a stylized/futuristic 50’s, from the “Nuka-Cola” machines to the cars and buildings.  The DC area includes all the big locations of DC proper, from the Capitol Building to the Jefferson Memorial.  Distances are compressed, but in all it is pretty darn faithful.

The equipment/map/combat systems are very well done, and I found them to be quite intuitive.  You pick up on them really fast, and they don’t get in the way of the game – exactly what you want in a role-playing game: mechanics that don’t get in your way.

The graphics are amazing, the voice acting is wonderful with several bigger names lending their talents (Liam Neeson, Malcolm McDowell, Ron Perlman and Willaim Bassett all make appearances).  The main story/quest line is – in my opinion – engaging, and you can find yourself actually caring about some of the characters.

The xbox 360’s version has, at the moment, all 5 bits of Down-Loadable Content (DLC), most adding side quests with their own “main” quest line.  The “Broken Steel” DLC increases the level cap from 20 to 30 (if you do all the side-quests you’ll hit level 20 well before you have down everything that comes on the disc), and continues the story (get it before you finish the game’s main quests – trust me).

The developers also just announced that, on the 360, if you have bought all 5 bits of DLC before the 22nd of Sept, you can get – for free – a premium theme for your console (usually these cost about 2 bucks or so), so that’s nice…

The PS3’s version does not – I don’t think – have the DLC, but they will very soon start getting them, and I think they will very much enjoy them.

This game owned me when it came out (I got the “middle” price-point pre-order which included a little bobble-head, the game, a small “art of Fallout 3″ book, all in a Fallout 3 lunch box, the high-end edition had a “Pip-Boy Alarm clock” that apparently was a piece of crap).  I literally would play it all. Night. Long.  You know how you start doing something, look at a clock, and 5 hours or your life had vanished without you knowing it?  Yeah.  That.

If you ever played the first two Fallout games, this is a faithful continuation of the IP.  Bethesda as a whole is obviously filled with people who truly loved the game, and wanted to do it justice, and they did just that.

It was very much worth my money, as was the DLC (I liked the last bit of DLC, “Mothership Zeta”, but many didn’t – your mileage may vary).

A bit of advice, though: the game does glitch/freeze at what appear to be random points.  While auto-saves are frequent – whenever you Fast Travel, enter/exit a building, or whenever you enter another section of a building – when you are outside or in a large area you can find yourselves losing literally hours of game play.  Installing the game to the HDD of the 360 solves this issue, removing my only complaint from when the game was released.  I don’t know if this issue existed for the PS3’s version, but best to not chance it.

In all, this game is amazing.  It pulled me in like Mass Effect did, and ME had some very less-than-intuitive game mechanics.

If you have the system, and don’t have this game, you are robbing yourself.  I have put probably well over 100 hours into the game including all the DLC and all the side quests.  Most people seem to consider the minimum required play-time for a full retail game to be around 10 hours, this more than does that.

Next (and by next I mean “within the next week”) I’ll talk about Halo 3: ODST.  That and Modern Warfare 2 seem to me to be the real “Game of the Year” contenders.

Translation: Get a 360.  If you have one, lemme know, and I’ll e-mail you my Gamertag (I have some slots left, and could stand to add some older folks so I have people to play multiplayer with).

9/15/2009

Sin Bin for Trolls

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Fritz @ 3:23 pm

I saw this post at Althouse.  A perfect example of a troll doing what it is that trolls do.  Althouse makes the excellent point that there is a difference between dissent and trolling.  I’ll note without evidence that liberal blogs are much more likely to ban what is obviously honest dissent and call it trolling than their conservative brethren.  Where does the line get drawn?

Maybe blogs need some sort of “penalty box” or “sin bin”.  Instead of deleting the offending comment, it gets removed and replaced with a link that connects to an area where all sorts of offensive content can be placed for public review.  That way you can avoid the charge of purging for venal motives (i.e., because you simply disagree), while at the same time de-cluttering comments threads.

9/13/2009

Dear Kanye West

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 11:18 pm

There appears to have been some sort of technical problem with the blog you host on your website KanyeUniverseCity.

It would appear that the blog entry you posted regarding the events at the MTV Video Music Awards has disappeared, along with all other entries on your blog.

Fortunately, I happened to have a screen-cap of the entry.

I offer this as a free service to you.

kanYe West - Blog -_1252911959187

Also, choke on a bag of dicks, you talentless hack.  There isn’t a single other person at the VMAs that you would have pulled that shit on.  You had to pull that shit on a 19 year old girl.

Way to be a man, dawg.

Update: For a while this morning the blog was back up, but missing the “apology” (am I the only one who looks at it and is convinced that he was hammered when he wrote it?) and the follow-up post giving a shout-out to the graceless diva Serena Williams.

Apparently Kanye (or his people) think that you can say something on the internet, make it disappear from the original source, and everyone will forget about it.

A shame that it was quoted/referenced in several articles.

MSNBC reports it straight

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin M @ 12:25 am

Wonder of wonders!  Here’s an actually fair report on the 912 protests from of all places MSNBC.  Then again, they were actually there and not just cribbing off of the DNC fax.  For once.  Meanwhile even Fox and WSJ are reporting the “tens of thousands” line.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

9/11/2009

Is there anything Congress cannot do?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin M @ 8:15 pm

So, Obama wants to pass a law that, among other things, requires me to buy medical insurance from a government-regulated set of providers.  There are also things I must insure against, whether I want to or not.  I probably have to take chiropractic coverage; I may have to take maternity coverage; it is even possible I’ll have to take sex-change coverage.  All depends on how many campaign contributions the relevant lobbyists give the relevant Senators.

If I decline, they will fine me, or tax me specially, or some such.

Now, can someone PLEASE tell me what part of the Constitution this power emanates from?  The Commerce Clause?  As in “Not only can we regulate the wheat you grow, we can MAKE you grow wheat and tell you where to grow it” ??  Seems a bit past Wickard, there.

Assuming they have this power, what can they not force me to do?  Can they fine me if I don’t eat my broccoli?  Make me wear a red hat on Tuesday?  Require me to scrap my car and buy a government-made replacement?  Oh, wait….

Note: yes, I have medical insurance and would not consider going without at my ripe old age, but I’ll be damned if that means I’ll roll over for this power grab.

Lest We Forget

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin M @ 6:52 am

It wasn’t a “disaster”, it was an act of war.  One the administration is about to walk away from.

People went to work, and then died.  Some had to choose their death: burn to death or jump.  Over 200 people jumped, mostly from the north tower.  A few views from a web compilation for those that forget, or weren’t old enough to understand at the time.

jumper11jumper5jumper10

9/9/2009

Acts of Disrespect

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin M @ 11:14 pm

To hear the New York Times tell it, Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) was committing an unheard-of protocol breach when he called out “You Lie!” during President Obama’s speech on “healthcare reform.”

How soon we forget.

During George W Bush’s 2005 State of the Union address large numbers of Democrat lawmakers erupted in boos when Bush warned of Social Security’s increasing insolvency.

Republicans vocalized displeasure during at least 3 of President Bill Clinton’s State of the Union speeches, in 1995, 1997, and 1998., and if Paul Begala’s memory is to be trusted, in 1993 as well.

Then there are the proxies, such as when Code Pink activists somehow got VIP tickets to Bush’s 2005 Inauguration and heckled his speech, although they were not well-received by the crowd.

And of course there are the MSNBC journalists who,  taking a rare break from their vow of impartiality, booed and mocked President’s Bush’s 2003 State of the Union speech.  No doubt they are first among those calling for the Congressman’s head and painting the Republican Party as racists and knaves.

Drinking games

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 12:26 pm

There are a number of drinking games being proposed for the President’s speech tonight.

I will not link any of them, as any one of them will likely kill you dead.

Washington Post Believes Press Agenda Determined by Personal Life of Reporter

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amphipolis @ 5:59 am

Washington Post writer Monica Hesse naively wrote a piece about Brian Brown, the executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, that was not overwhelmingly negative. As a result, ombudsman Andrew Alexander received emails “as vitriolic as any I’ve experienced in my seven months as ombudsman.”

But in his analysis of what happened, Alexander made an extraordinary claim. Instead of explicitly defending the reporter from the obvious ad hominem attacks, he accepted that her lifestyle could be used to determine her agenda:

And some details about her personal life seem to belie claims she has a conservative agenda

It appears that the ombudsman for the Washington Post thinks that the personal lives of reporters can be used to help determine if they have an agenda or not. He asserts that her agenda can be determined by her lifestyle as much as by what she actually wrote.

Does that mean that we can use the same methodology to vet the agendas of other, far more visible purveyors of the news?

9/8/2009

Fair Warning

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 12:51 am

In the coming months, I’m going to start tossing out reviews and videos of games.

I really enjoy my Xbox 360, and there are games I love to play on it (to my shame, I’m currently slamming my head against the Magic the Gathering arcade game [shame because I stopped playing the collectible card game back in 1995 when I realized I was in High School – a sophomore – and wanted to, at some point, date], and an awesome tower defense game called Defense Grid).

I don’t play as much as I wish I did, but it isn’t for lack of love for the games.

Upcoming is the newest Halo game, Halo 3: ODST, and in November (11/10/09) comes Modern Warfare 2 from the people that game us the good Call of Duty games (CoD3 was made by a different developer and is trash imho, and I burned my disc in disgust).

I’m going to be posting up the trailers and videos of games that are coming up and that interest me, and if anyone has requests for games for me to look at and review (unlikely, as most of you have “better things to do with your time”, but I can hope) please let me know, and I will get my hands on a copy and see what’s up with them.

9/7/2009

Van Jones: America deserved 9/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — aunursa @ 9:03 pm

Powerline reports that Van Jones, who resigned as President Obama’s green czar, blamed United States military actions for provoking the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks — immediately after the catastrophe.   The extreme-leftist site IndyBay.com reported on a rally in Oakland, California on September 12, 2001:

Hundreds of people gathered at Snow Park in Oakland tonight to mourn, provide support for each other, and speak out against violent United States policies at home and abroad, which they say are the underlying reasons for unprecedented terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington DC….

The bombs the government drops in Iraq are the bombs that blew up in New York City,” said Van Jones, director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, who also warned against forthcoming violence by the Bush Administration.  “The US cannot bomb its way out of this one.  Safety at home requires justice abroad.”

Newsbusters noted “Keep in mind that Jones had to be referring to either the first Gulf War or no-fly-zone incidents, as the war to remove Saddam Hussein did not begin until 2003.

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