Monday, December 29, 2008
Blatant consumerism, violence over toys, and gallons of alcohol. Ah, Christmas.
Trees and bows, candy and cartoons, snow and...well, no snow. Ah, Christmas.
It's sad, really, but my favorite part of Christmas comes today: I get to go home.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Sounds like the plot to a crazy, semi-popular sci-fi movie from the 70's, right? Yeah, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I have a sister I didn't know about. Well, half-sister, but who's counting? It's still a half a sibling more than I knew about. Weird.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Well, "Sis", I keep my email address off the web because I don't want any more spam than I already get. Creative, but not creative enough. Perhaps you should try telling me a Nigerian prince has died and left me all his money? That may work.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Hysterical. With all the crap going on in the world, this is news?
And how did the Catholics find out about this cover? Aren't you fools supposed to avoid this kind of magazine?
Even funnier than the story are the comments that follow. All of the people "deeply offended" by this cover. The claims that the Catholic Church was handed down by Christ to the people. The threats of hellfire and brimstone. Awesome.
I laughed. I cried. I cared.
Well, not the last one. Sorry. I lied.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Blah blah blah. Basically this browser sounds less like a resource for African Americans and more like a paid advertisement for specific companies.
Also, isn't it pretty racist to tailor a browser specifically for people with one color of skin? Can you imagine the uproar if a browser tailored specifically to white people was released? Come on, you're propagating unnecessary tension here.
And finally, I despise the term African American. African American sounds like someone with dual citizenship. If you live here, you're American. Period.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Congratulations! You've added Atheism to the ever growing list of modern religions! It joins its esteemed colleagues Global Warming and Evolution as the most modern religions on the planet.
Listen, you can believe that there is no higher power. You can debate with your friends about it. However, once you start trying to convert people to your viewpoint, it's no longer that you don't believe in a higher power, it's that you BELIEVE in not believing in a higher power. Then you're just another religion trying to convince all the other religions that they are wrong. Remember all those religious wackjobs you thought so little of? Yeah, you're one of them now.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Of course, in order to use this in NY state, I have to remove the front sight/gas block and replace it with one that doesn't have a bayonet lug. I also can't use a pistol grip with it, since I want to keep the threaded barrel available to use different flash hiders. Thsi means I'm going to have to order a thumbhole stock from Midway USA. That's OK though, since it's the stock Carter had on her M4 on SG-1. :D
Buying from Bravo was great experience. They sent me a free hat and key chain as well. The parts look top notch, and I can't wait to get them on the range. I'll be purchasing the bolt group from them as well.
Yeah. Not much else to add. You're either with them, or you're a dirty animal TORTURER!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
"The participants in my study reported that their husbands played an average of 40.8 hours a week, the equivalent of a full-time job. How many other leisure activities do you know of that consistently command that much attention?”
Um, I can name several right off the top of my head. Let's start with TV. Then sports. Hanging out at bars. Knitting (My wife's addiction...). Cooking. The list goes on.
Say it with me: No hobby is addictive. Some people are just prone to be addicted to what they do. Get over it or find another planet to live on.
I guess they are on back order right now, but I'll try it out and write up a review when it comes in.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
can we go on
can we be strong
we've got a system
you're going to use it
we call it freedom
and you are free to choose it
if you're not against it
you've got to be for it
neutral is dangerous
and you cannot ignore it
can we go on
forcing our hand
can we be strong
till others understand
can we go on
to save our wounded land
can we be wrong
we've got the money
we're going to spend it
peace is our mission
we'll murder to defend it
sooner or later
you'll get the picture
we're the creator
and you were just created
is where we're heading if we follow this illusion
of all the hurting that is borne of our confusion
as we persist in putting everyone beneath us
until we understand our honesty deceives us
there is still one truth
on which we can depend
we've started something we can never end
to justify the means
the end remains unseen
assume we all agree
up the freedom to be free
is always possible but we've got propaganda
is always better than the threat of understanding
we'll deceive you
we've got so many ways to make you stand behind us
if we need to
we'll use them on ourselves to constantly remind us
there is just one lie
that we can still defend
we've started something we can never end
to justify the means
the end remains unseen
assume we all agree
up the freedom to be free
there is still one truth
on which we can depend
we've started something we can never end
to justify the means
the end remains unseen
assume we all agree
up the freedom to be free
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Shit like this is what is wrong with our country. Seriously? You're really going to waste tax dollars putting a man in jail for not complying with his fascist homeowners association? There are a thousand better ways to make him comply or punish him for not complying. This is just an absurd abuse of power.
I'd like to save some tax dollars for the citizens of Florida by having that judge and the homeowners association blindfolded and shot for being shitty humans and kicking someone when he is down.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Varakk, Silentpaw, and Anistyn.
(Alt, me, and my wife.)
I got a cool looking mace from Scholomance. (And a hell of a repair bill, but I digress...) It looks like a skull and spinal column, and it's cooler lookign than some of the level 70 weapons later in the game.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Yeah. It turns out, they don't make too many phones without cameras anymore. I ended up with a Blackberry 8830. This way I can check my email from work as well, since most internet sites are blocked.
It's not that I'm so addicted to my phone that I can't go without it, but I don't really visit my own office too much, so I really have no way of getting emergency calls in any sort of timely manner unless I have a phone on me.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Whoo! To celebrate my new job, I finally got a new stock set for my AK. It needed just a bit of trimming before it fit right, but it wasn't tough to do. Now my crap wood handguards won't smoke and catch fire when I shoot. (I noticed that my wooden hand guards had no heat shield at all when I took them off. Nice.)
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Well, fuck them. I don't feel like paying for some rich assholes' mistakes.
If you live near me - Broome County, NY - your rep is Maurice Hinchey. Call his ass and tell him to vote no to this bullshit!
Whenever a Great Bipartisan Consensus is announced, and a compliant media assures everyone that the wondrous actions of our wise leaders are being taken for our own good, you can know with absolute certainty that disaster is about to strike.
The events of the past week are no exception.
The bailout package that is about to be rammed down Congress' throat is not just economically foolish. It is downright sinister. It makes a mockery of our Constitution, which our leaders should never again bother pretending is still in effect. It promises the American people a never-ending nightmare of ever-greater debt liabilities they will have to shoulder. Two weeks ago, financial analyst Jim Rogers said the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made America more communist than China! "This is welfare for the rich," he said. "This is socialism for the rich. It's bailing out the financiers, the banks, the Wall Streeters."
That describes the current bailout package to a T. And we're being told it's unavoidable.
The claim that the market caused all this is so staggeringly foolish that only politicians and the media could pretend to believe it. But that has become the conventional wisdom, with the desired result that those responsible for the credit bubble and its predictable consequences - predictable, that is, to those who understand sound, Austrian economics - are being let off the hook. The Federal Reserve System is actually positioning itself as the savior, rather than the culprit, in this mess!
• The Treasury Secretary is authorized to purchase up to $700 billion in mortgage-related assets at any one time. That means $700 billion is only the very beginning of what will hit us.
• Financial institutions are "designated as financial agents of the Government." This is the New Deal to end all New Deals.
• Then there's this: "Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency." Translation: the Secretary can buy up whatever junk debt he wants to, burden the American people with it, and be subject to no one in the process.
There goes your country.
Even some so-called free-market economists are calling all this "sadly necessary." Sad, yes. Necessary? Don't make me laugh.
Our one-party system is complicit in yet another crime against the American people. The two major party candidates for president themselves initially indicated their strong support for bailouts of this kind - another example of the big choice we're supposedly presented with this November: yes or yes. Now, with a backlash brewing, they're not quite sure what their views are. A sad display, really.
Although the present bailout package is almost certainly not the end of the political atrocities we'll witness in connection with the crisis, time is short. Congress may vote as soon as tomorrow. With a Rasmussen poll finding support for the bailout at an anemic seven percent, some members of Congress are afraid to vote for it. Call them! Let them hear from you! Tell them you will never vote for anyone who supports this atrocity.
The issue boils down to this: do we care about freedom? Do we care about responsibility and accountability? Do we care that our government and media have been bought and paid for? Do we care that average Americans are about to be looted in order to subsidize the fattest of cats on Wall Street and in government? Do we care?
When the chips are down, will we stand up and fight, even if it means standing up against every stripe of fashionable opinion in politics and the media?
Times like these have a way of telling us what kind of a people we are, and what kind of country we shall be.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
The Unit - I'd never heard of this show. (Shocking, I know, considering I don't have any sort of TV programming at home.) I happened to catch most of an episode while I was living in a hotel in Rockville, MD. At first I thought it was 24, due to Dennis Haysbert's presence. It quickly became apparent it wasn't 24, but I had no idea what it was. I had to look it up on IMDB. Well, then I was curious, and went about finding episodes online to watch, to see if I liked it. I was quickly hooked.
The Unit features layered stories, often intertwining the adventures of the fighting men of the top secret Unit with the lives of the wives they leave on base. It combines action, some dry Army humor, and drama into a highly watchable combination.
Chuck - This show I had heard of, as Amazon's Unbox (which is now defunct and replaced by Video on Demand, a HIGHLY original name...) was constantly bombarding me with ads for it. I finally gave it and watched when they showed the first episode for free. Wait, Adam Baldwin is in this show? I'm in!
Chuck is the tale of an innocent Best Bu...er...Buy More employee, Chuck, who works for the Geek Squa...er....Nerd Herd. Chuck accidentally gets hypnotized and winds up with all the secrets of the NSA and CIA in his brain. The NSA and CIA both send agents to watch over him, and hilarity ensues.
Chuck is the spy show opposite of Burn Notice, and it works well. Where Burn Notice is a spy show filled primarily with drama and action, and backed with a nice dose of comedy, Chuck is primarily a comedy, backed with two scoops of action and drama. I happen to love both shows.
So, there you have it. Two more good TV shows. Who knows, maybe we're on the way back from the swing towards "reality" shows, and TV may become watchable again. Of course, I still won't pay for the privilege of watching commercials, but my DVD library may grow substantially.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
To fix this, you need to open your Vista documents folder. (Default is c:/Users/
Once in the default folder (or whatever you named your profile) right click on actionmaps.xml and choose open with, and then select Notepad.
Once you have this file open, scroll down and look for:
action name="attack2" onPress="1" onRelease="1"
Go ahead and change "mouse2" to whatever key you assigned zoom to, or to whatever key you wish.
Click file at the top and save.
Now you can rock dual SMGs without any weird secondary behavior. (Jumping every time you shoot sucks!)
Monday, September 15, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
However, as luck would have it, selling my Nintendo Wii and this seasons gun show at the New York State Fair Expo building coincided. So, I had about $300 to stretch over millions of dollars of possible purchases.
$100 - Double Star AR-15 lower receiver. (Double Star - it was the cheapest stripped lower at the show, AND it has my last name in it. Cool.)
$45 - ATI Strike Force stock for my Ak-47 rifle. The stock is folding and adjustable, so it needs to be drilled and pinned to be neither before I can mount it, but it was cooler and cheaper than other AK stocks I have been looking at.
$54 - DPMS Panther Arms AR-15 Lower Receiver Parts Kit. The trigger, hammer, and parts for the stripped lower I bought. Once this is installed, I need a butt-stock and an upper receiver for my rifle, and I will have a full gun. I'm excited to be building it from parts rather than buying it complete. (And also, this will save me about a grand.)
$30 - 2 AR-15 polymer,30 round, pre-ban magazines. Some nice, light, high-capacity magazines for my future AR-15 rifle.
$18.75 - 1 British, pre-ban, 30 round magazine. This one is made from steel and is quite a bit heavier than the polymer mags. I bought it instead of another polymer because variety is good, and because with 2 different types I have a better chance of one type working well in the rifle.
$15 - 2 - 50 round boxes of Wolf 9mm Luger ammunition for my 9mm carbine. (My other project rifle that is almost complete, it just needs a barrel shroud.)
So, less than $275 spent, and I'm well on my way to completing some new guns. Yay! Today was a good day.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Define irony: Being in the Rocky Mountains and having no cell phone service, but yet I have Wi-Fi for my laptop.
I'm a dope, I forgot to bring my laptop charger, so I'm running out of juice. I'll update when I get home on Tuesday, but until then I leave you with my Rocky Mountain "Hi!".
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
So, for having 2 linked accounts, my guys get 3x the experience you normally get when grouped together. Add this to the fact that for every 2 levels the guy on my new account gains, he can assign a level to one of my alts who is lower than him, which means I will really be leveling 3 of my characters. Also, once my payments kick in, I get a cool mount.
You see, they announced all of this right as our World of Warcraft credit card started paying out free months of play, and right as Circuit City put the WoW Warchest on sale for half off. Hmmm, still only paying for once account, but reaping the benefits of 2? Sign me up!
Yes, I am a fanatic. Hey, I've got nothing else to do right now.
Friday, August 22, 2008
With Warner Bros. Pictures having delayed "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood
Prince" eight months from November 21st to July 17th 2009, it's understandable
that many 'Potter' fans are upset.
In fact they've been so vocal in expressing that resentment that Warner
Bros. President and Chief Operating Officer Alan Horn has released an official
response to all those complaints and here it is below:
"Many of you have written to me to express your disappointment in our
moving "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" to Summer 2009.Please be assured
that we share your love for Harry Potter and would certainly never do anything
to hurt any of the films. Over the past 10 years, we have nurtured and protected
each film, and the integrity of the books upon which they are based, to the best
of our ability.The decision to move "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" was
not taken lightly, and was never intended to upset our Harry Potter fans. We
know you have built this series into what it is, and we thank you for your
ongoing enthusiasm and support.
If I may offer a silver lining: there would have been a two-year gap
between "Half-Blood Prince" and the much-anticipated first part of "Harry Potter
and the Deathly Hallows," which opens in November 2010.So although we have to
wait a little longer for "Half-Blood Prince," the wait from that film until
"Deathly Hallows" will be less than 18 months. I am sorry to have disappointed
you now, but if you hold on a little longer, I believe it will be worth the
President, Chief Operating Officer
You can take your "silver lining" and shove it directly up your ass. Please do not stop until you find your head up there somewhere. Leave the silver lining, and remove your head.
Please, Warner delays a highly anticipated movie to make themselves more money and they ask for understanding? Fuck you, Warner Brothers.
This is why I refuse to give one dime to the Sci-Fi channel by subscribing to cable. All they do is cancel all the shows I like and leave shit on TV. Fuck that. I will continue to buy my shows from Amazon's Unbox, and then purchase them on DVD.
I think in the future, all shows should be funded by prospective viewers anyway. Make a pilot, show it to the fans, let them decide. If you like it, you buy episodes. You stop liking it, their funding dries up. That way the fans have control of when it ends, not some retard TV channel executive that has no clue.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
My old card, the GeForce 8800GTS 640 MB would have absolutely choked at these settings. I couldn't even run the first couple of levels on it, let alone the back half of the game. I think I had one setting on Very High and a couple on High, but most were on Medium. Even at those levels, it paused sometimes and had very low frame rates at others.
So, yeah, I'm happy. When the new Crysis: Warhead comes out, it should run even better, as the developers claim to have optimized the engine further.
EDIT: I've played through the whole game, and the only time it really showed any really noticeable decrease in framerate was the final couple of battles aboard the aircraft carrier. Not bad for the "midrange" card.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Shit like this is why our country is having such economic issues. Corporations that make billions of dollars a year should be paying the most taxes, not the least. ESPECIALLY since these are the bastards that lobby the government to get their own way all the time.
I've said it before, I'll say it again. Fixing our economy is simple; No tax breaks for corporations, and a 1000% import tax on all goods not manufactured in the US. Companies would stop sending our jobs away real quick, or they'd be replaced by people willing to make it here. You cannot have an economy where we make nothing and buy everything, it will crumble. (It IS crumbling.)
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Some bloke named Lenny showed up at the end with a cream pie, ostensibly for me. He asked me to repeat after him, "Lenny, give the cream pie to me", to which I repeated "Lenny, give the cream pie to Tom." I don't know what happens if you are dumb enough to repeat after him, but everyone seemed genuinely surprised that instead of refusing to repeat after him or blindly repeating after him, I instead altered the statement. After a second of hesitation, Lenny shrugged and smacked poor Tom in the face with a cream pie. That was very amusing.
Unfortunately (or, fortunately, depending on how you look at it) we didn't get pictures of my performance. My mom got some on her cell phone, but knowing how technically disinclined my mother is, it should take about 10,000 years before we ever get those.
Here I am trying on hats. I didn't actually buy any, but everyone thought I should get this one. Too bad nobody got a picture of me doing my best Errol Flynn impression when I put it on.
I also got to offroad for a bit in the parking lot after the festival closed. The "parking lot" is a big cow pasture full of mud. My Jeep is now covered in mud. I am happy.
Friday, August 8, 2008
My new GeForce 260 GTX card came in today.
NOTE: Asus Crosshair motherboard owners: This card will NOT fit into PCI-E slot 1. There is a capacitor near the back of the motherboard that sticks out just enough to catch the plastic cover over the second DVI output. Pushing will probably ruin your motherboard. You could always risk bending the capacitor down or sideways, but it wasn't worth the risk to me.
I ended up sticking this in PCI-E slot number 2. It is also NOT a good fit. If you have USB cables plugged in, you will need to bend the wires down out of the way, you will also need to bend the Asus quick connect thingy down as well, and the bottom two SATA slots are covered by the top of the card.
When people say this card is huge, they are not joking. If you have a small case, forget it. My card sticks in to the bottom hard drive bay of my Raidmax Smilodon case. If I didn't have my SATA drive in a cooler in one of the 5.25 slots above, this card would not have even fit in my case. My Killer NIC will not fit into the PCI slot above the card. This means I am going to have to go without until I can get a PCI-E soundcard, as now only one PCI slot is available to me. If I could have waited for the next gen, I would have, this thing is just too big.
On the positive side, Assassin's Creed runs smooth as butter with all the graphics turned all the way up. Ditto for COD4 and Frontlines. I am going to try out Crysis again later. And, oh yeah, I can play games again. That's always good.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
At first, I thought it was dead. I was playing Frontlines: Fuel of War, and my PC had a weird graphics glitch, then locked up. I rebooted and was able to play for another hour before it did the same thing. When I rebooted again, Windows showed up in 640x480 and 4bit color. (Pretty much illegible.)
I tried a bunch of trouble shooting, but all signs pointed to the video card being the culprit. So, I ordered a new XFX Geforce 260 card.
Of course, now my video card seems to be OK, so I'm guessing it overheated. Unfortunately, my PC is already well ventilated, and the cooling is pretty much top notch without going to water. My guess is that it's just going to keep happening until I replace the card anyway.
UPDATE: Of course it wasn't working. 2D works, but as soon as I attempt to use ANY 3D program *BAM!* the screen goes all funky and then the PC locks up moments later. And when I reboot after trying a 3D program, even my BIOS screen is all messed up. Doh!
Oh well, my new card should be here tomorrow.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Best. Movie. This. Summer. Period.
Sure, it's direct to DVD. Sure, it's not a $100 million budget movie. It doesn't matter. If you are into Stargate at all, this movie rocks your summer.
I'll probably write more about it later, but I have to let it sink in right now. The sheer awesomeness of this movie is frying my brain right now.
I will say this, though; Ben Browder is the MAN!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
It also involves lots and lots and LOTS of waiting around. I don't know if you know this, but waiting around is the major leading cause of heart attacks in otherwise healthy people. It's true, I read it in *cough**mumble* one time. It's very stressful wondering how you are going to make your mortgage and car payments while people dick around with your resume.
So, while you are waiting around, trying not to have a heart attack, it's nice to have something to do. I have lots of hobbies. Most of them require money. Money is something I'm trying to conserve right now, being unemployed and all. There's a point here, wait for it....
So, being that I don't have and sort of television, it's hard to discover new shows when they are airing on TV. I found this one new show, Burn Notice, because Amazon was nice enough - in that sort of crack dealer nice enough, here's a free taste, you come back now when you start shaking way - to let me watch an episode for free. Burn Notice is funny, well written, witty, and just downright damn good. I was surprised, considering the amount of absolute shit on TV right now.
Hey, from me that's a downright glowing review. You should watch it, it's great. And, oh yeah, Bruce Campbell is in it.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
As for my opinion, I'll say what I always say: I believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible. THAT'S IT!
Religion is something that is invented as a way to control people. What, the Romans all of the sudden decided "Hey, those people we've been persecuting for centuries, they're right!" No! The Caesars saw belief rising in the populace, and took it over so they could control it. End of story. Guess what? YOU'RE STILL BEING CONTROLLED!
And, just so that everyone hates me, the Bible is woefully mistranslated. Why? Probably many reasons. Let me just say that Hell is a tool used to control people by fear, so you tell me why the word grave all of the sudden becomes Hell. (And several other words as well, whenever it was convenient. Imagine that!)
In conclusion, most people are easily led sheep who will believe what they are told to believe, because it's easier to do what you're told, pay lip service, and sit back with a brew to watch TV than it is to think for yourself. Try actually doing some research, and then get back to me.
- Resigned from my job on Friday, July 11th. I felt that I had been mislead when I was hired, having been told that training was a month in Rockville, MD. They wanted me to go back for two more months. They also wanted me to do the team lead job without any authority to enforce it, without a pay raise, and being led by an employee who knows less than I do about the product and is leaving the company in less than a month. They also had an office manager second guessing me and sticking her nose in everywhere. All this basically led to people reporting to my boss that I wasn't doing my job. Basically a big political butramming designed to further someone else's career. If you know me at all, you know I'm pretty stubborn, and disinclined to put up with bullshit. Rather than sit meekly and take it, I resigned.
- Had a tryout with a band. Or rather, had one scheduled, and they blew me off. I should not be surprised, considering the guitarist is someone that's done this to me before. Never again, I promise you.
- Found another promising band, this one actually plays METAL! Nice, been looking for that for a long, long time.
- I'm MCing my cousin's wedding in CO. Cool.
- I'm trying out for the Customs and Border Protection officer positions that are open in Vermont. I'm sure I'll do fabulously until they check my credit. Story of my life. Credit does not make or break somebody's personality, but employers can't seem to understand that.
So, that's my story so far. I went to the Windmill craft place by Keuka lake with my mom and her 'roommate' last weekend, and this weekend we are all going to the Syracuse zoo and Dinosaur Barbecue. Mmmmmm, Dinosaur. Mmmmm, Barbecue.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
They Didn’t Attack Switzerland
by Bill Walker
Switzerland has not been in a
foreign war of any kind since 1815. This would be astounding, even miraculous,
for any nation. But Switzerland borders Germany. And France. And Italy. And
Austria. And Liechtenstein. Now Liechtenstein has rarely lashed out in
Blitzkrieg in a desperate bid to reign über alles, but ALL of Switzerland's
other neighbors have spent their entire histories invading other countries.
In addition to the encircling foreign marauders, Switzerland itself is
composed of four different ethnic groups (German, French, Italian, Romansh) that
get along as well as, e.g., Germans and French. They don’t even speak the same
Yet the Swiss peace prevails through the centuries. The Kaiser
didn’t attack the Swiss. Hitler didn’t attack the Swiss (though he thought about
it a lot). Stalin started to pursue some refugees into Liechtenstein at the end
of WWII, but retreated rather than face the Swiss-Liechtenstein alliance.
Terrorists don’t attack the Swiss.
Nobody attacks the Swiss. Not even the
Swiss attack the Swiss; their crime rate is minuscule.
The features of the
Swiss system for keeping the peace are simple. They have a president with no
power to declare war (of course ours can’t either, but no one has told HIM).
They have a very small professional army, even small per capita. And they have
very strict gun control. By which they mean that every Swiss male must have a
gun, except for those who also have to carry a missile launcher or a mortar.
Swiss women are not subject to compulsory military service, but many of them
frequent the rifle ranges anyway. In the event of any attack on Switzerland, the
whole Swiss population becomes the army.
As an additional deterrent against
megalomania, the Swiss have rigged the tunnel vaults of their banks for
demolition. Any dictator attacking Switzerland will find the gold in his
numbered bank account buried in rubble hundreds of meters under mountains
swarming with snipers and missile launchers. It is known that Hitler had a
numbered account... maybe that was in the back of his mind when he chickened
Switzerland has also provided for defense of the lives of its civilian
population against nuclear terrorism. Realizing during the Cold War that nuclear
weapons in the hands of power-mad politicians posed a potential public health
threat, the Swiss started a nationwide shelter-building program in 1960. By
1991, there were enough shelter spaces in Switzerland to protect everyone in
their home or apartment, and also at their workplaces and schools. A Swiss
citizen is never more than a few minutes from a fallout shelter with an air
The entire Swiss shelter program was accomplished for somewhere on
the order of 35 dollars (1990 dollars) per year per capita. The US spends vastly
more every year to support a military capable only of intervening in Third World
nations that do not have WMDs.
The huge US war machine could not even
intercept civilian airliners on 9-11, let alone credibly stop nuclear-tipped
cruise and ballistic missiles from a major power. Nor are there bunkers with
filtered air supplies under our glass cities or particle-board suburbs. The only
civil defense in the US is for the President and the backup supply of
bureaucrats under Iron Mountain. Everyone else is nuclear fodder, except for
those provident few (such as the Mormons) who build their own shelters to
protect their families.
Switzerland does not send troops to intervene in
other nations. Switzerland does not spend tens of billions of dollars yearly to
fund dictators around the world, nor did Switzerland donate hundreds of billions
of dollars to the Warsaw Pact through bank "loans." Switzerland does not send
billions of dollars worth of weaponry every year to the warring tribes in the
Middle East. Switzerland has no enemies. Yet the Swiss are armed to the teeth
and dug into every hill and under every building.
The US intervenes
everywhere, spies on everyone, supports every faction in every fight. We have as
many enemies as there are hate-filled people in the world. We have a vastly
expensive conventional army (though the best units are marching back and forth
in Middle Eastern deserts, Afghanistan, Korea, and other "strategic" places). We
have vast numbers of offensive nuclear weapons for murdering the civilian
populations of cities (but against whom will we retaliate in the event of an
anonymous nuclear terrorist attack?).
But we have no civil defenses for our
children, no shelters, no thought-out plan for recovery from attack. In fact,
when we suffered a few thousand dead on 9-11, we panicked and did ten times more
economic damage to ourselves than the terrorists had. We also let ourselves be
suckered into joining a Middle Eastern tribal war without end, on transparently
Worse, our fears have destroyed much of our own
Constitutional freedom. Would we be braver now, if a few anonymous smuggled
nuclear bombs killed millions? Or would we just descend tamely into dictatorship
without a struggle?
Our Founding Fathers studied the Swiss when they
designed our system of government. Maybe it would pay us to study the long Swiss
peace again... before it's too late.
July 14, 2008
Bill Walker [send him mail] a research technologist.
He lives with his wife and four dogs in Grafton NH, where they are active in the
Free State Project.
Copyright © 2008 LewRockwell.com
Monday, July 7, 2008
By LARRY CELONA
Last updated: 7:41 amJuly 4, 2008 Posted: 3:42 amJuly 4,
He's a criminal, but he "did the right thing" when it mattered -
alerting cops to what he feared was a terror plot the day before the Fourth of
At about 5 p.m. yesterday, an unidentified thief with a police record
broke into a red van that had been parked at 53rd Street and Second Avenue in
Brooklyn's Sunset Park for about a month, a source told The Post.
stunned when he looked inside - it was filled with gas cans and Styrofoam cups
containing a mysterious white substance with protruding wires and switches.
The street is lined with brownstones, and there's a ballet studio and a
small Muslim school. So he drove the van 15 blocks to 37th Street and parked it
at a desolate waterfront location behind the Costco store and next to some
Then he got out and called a cop he knows from his
run-ins with the law.
"He did the right thing," a high-ranking officer said.
"And he possibly saved a lot of people's lives."
Another source said cops
are unlikely to file charges for the break-in.
The van had Delaware plates
that had been issued to another vehicle. It's not clear when its cargo was put
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly joined cops from the Bomb Squad and
the anti-terror task force at the scene. Cops shut down three blocks.
Additional reporting by Frank Rosario and Philip Messing
Monday, June 30, 2008
Stargate's Don S. Davis (Maj. General Hammond) passed away Sunday, June 29th. He was only 65.
Man, I'm going to miss seeing this guy. I remember him from way back in MacGyver. He was Dana Elcar's stunt double, but he used to show up in minor speaking roles a lot.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled what all people who believe in the Constitution should have already known: Amendment 2a of the Constitution of the United States of America guarantees an INDIVIDUAL'S right to bear arms.
The lesser victory is that now DC's handgun ban is found to be unconstitutional.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Sonny Landham, who played Billy in the movie Predator, is running for a seat in the Senate. Sonny joins fellow Predator actors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura in the political arena.
BILLY! Get to da choppa!
Monday, June 23, 2008
And I bought him that shirt, hehe.
Cities will pay a heavy price if handgun ban is overturned
By Shirley Franklin
For the Journal-Constitution
Published on: 06/23/08
The U.S. Supreme Court will soon rule on
whether Washington, D.C.'s decades-old handgun ban is constitutional.
It's been nearly 70 years since the high court has heard a firearms case
that tests the scope of the Second Amendment. The outcome of this one, D.C. v.
Heller, will have extraordinary implications —- not just for the District, but
for the ability of cities to respond effectively to gun violence.
more evidence is needed that the stakes could not be higher, a steady drumbeat
of headlines is supplying it. In the first few days of March alone, just before
the justices heard oral argument in the case, three kids were killed and five
more wounded in Chicago. And in West Palm Beach, Fla., a gunman killed an
off-duty firefighter and wounded five others before turning his gun on himself.
Elected officials and law enforcement in those areas have a lot riding
on the court's decision. The case stems from a lower-court ruling that D.C.'s
ban violated the Constitution. Breaking with decades of Supreme Court precedent
and hundreds of lower-court decisions, a federal appeals court held for the
first time that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms
not related to service in a "well-regulated militia."
If the justices
agree with the lower court's ruling, cities and states throughout the country
may face challenge after challenge to the constitutionality of firearm
regulations enacted to protect the public and prosecute criminals. And city
attorneys may find themselves spending as much time fighting lawsuits as they do
Those resource-draining challenges would come at an
inconvenient time. Gun violence is a national crisis, but one that
disproportionately affects those of us who live in urban areas. According to the
U.S. Department of Justice, more than 340,000 homicides were committed in large
American cities between 1976 and 2005. About 64 percent of those homicides
Very often, it's our first responders who pay the
harshest price. In the decades between 1976 and 2006, more than 2,251 law
enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty —- more them 90 percent of
them by firearms.
The problems are obvious —- and they do have
solutions, some of which are already being implemented around the nation. A
decision from on high that limited our authority to craft local solutions would
be yet another tragedy. Different gun laws make sense in different areas.
Community leaders are plainly in the best position to determine the policies
needed to curb the crime, fear and disorder that gun violence creates in each
city —- not a special interest lobby and gun industry more concerned about
dollars than lives.
It's the nation's mayors who get the call from
police when a shooting occurs. It's the local leaders who comfort the families
of gunshot victims, who walk with police and residents on the neighborhood beat,
who meet with block watch groups and who grapple with the demanding budget
ramifications of violent crime. For those very reasons, policies affecting guns
and community safety historically have been —- and should be —- made at the
And when communities have the authority to enact
regulations that respond to local needs, they're often aggressive and
successful. New York City has experienced a dramatic decline in crimes involving
firearms after tailoring creative local regulation to curb gun violence. The
city of Oakland, Calif., prohibits firearms dealers from selling ultra-compact
(and easily concealable) handguns. Washington, D.C.'s handgun restrictions have
led to one of the lowest suicide rates in the nation. And Chicago, like the
District, bans the possession of handguns.
For the sake and the safety
of all Americans, let's hope the Supreme Court will allow local leaders and law
enforcement the tools they need to do their jobs.
> Shirley Franklin
is mayor of Atlanta. Contributing to this column were: Tom Barrett, mayor of
Milwaukee; Manuel A. Diaz, mayor of Miami; Gavin Newsom, mayor of San Francisco;
Greg Nickels, mayor of Seattle; and Douglas H. Palmer, mayor of Trenton, N.J.
As I'm sure you are aware - and yet conveniently fail to mention - it is criminals that use guns in violent crimes. Taking guns away from law abiding citizens does nothing to dissuade criminals from getting guns, it only removes the ability of the population to defend itself. How is it that DC was the murder capitol of the USA for so long even with a handgun ban in place? Oh yes, it's because criminals are considered criminals because they ignore the law. Murder is already against the law, yet year after year thousands of criminals ignore that law and commit it anyway. What makes you think taking a right from a law abiding citizen makes them safer?
You know it doesn't, yet like all politicians you don't want to be mistaken for doing nothing, so you try to do the wrong thing just to say you did something. It's akin to burying your head in the sand, and it helps even less than that. Instead of addressing the outcome, our leaders should be addressing the underlying problems. Until that is done, you can ban all guns, knives, and anything you think might be used for a weapon, and it won't do you any good at all.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
How I did not hear about this until today is beyond my ability to comprehend. You may recognize Stan from, oh, EVERY big SFx movie made in the 80s and 90s. (Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, Aliens - all of which he won Oscars for - among numerous others) Sadly we will never experience his work again.
Rest in peace, Stan.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I was in Rockville, MD for a month, training for my new job. I'm home now, thanks.
I am applying for my NYS pistol license, although just to possess and use for hunting/target shooting. It's too damn expensive here to get a concealed carry permit, so I'm going to wait until we move to PA. (Or wherever.)
I just got a new stock for my Hi-Point 9mm carbine. I was so excited that I ripped the old stock off and partially assembled the new one on my lunch break. The 995 is going to be the first firearm that I feel will be finished soon. New stock is done and I have a red/green dot sight for it. All that I really want to do to it going forward is get a few more magazines and get a barrel shroud (shoulder thing that goes up!) from Morris Lekker. Then I will be done messing with it, and I can shoot it without spending more money on upgrading it. (Unless, you know, I decide to paint it...) Then it's on to the AK.
Lastly - for now, anyway - I'm waiting for my interview to work on Simutronics upcoming (someday...) MMORPG Hero's Journey. If I get the position, I would be one of the people designing magic items, NPCs, and quests. Fun!
Let me start right off the bat by mentioning AoC happens to be missing one of it's most touted features: Direct X 10 support. That's right, after all those years of telling us how great DX10 was going to make the graphics in Conan, Funcom left it out at release. Nice.
Moving on, AoC features 12 classes, grouped by the iconic RPG system: Rogue, Priest, Warrior, Mage. The combat is a mix of traditional hotkeyed special moves or spells and a newer, more involved system using the 1,2,and 3 keys. (More on that later.) It's other highly advertised feature is the mature rating that the game was aiming for from the beginning. What does this mean for gamers? A mature community, with less children playing and more adult interaction? No, it turns out it basically means blood and boobies, and not much else.
As I mentioned briefly before, AoC uses a mix of traditional abilities and a more interactive combat method. The 1,2, and 3 keys correspond to left, overhead, and right blows from your weapon. You must use these keys to strike, as there is no auto-attack key. Later on, some classes are treated to the Q and E keys, which open up more strike possibilities.
Special abilities in AoC are called combos. They are triggered by use of a hotkey, just like other MMOs, but most of them also require you follow along with on-screen keypresses of the 1,2, and 3 keys to activate the combo. It's a bit like Simon Says, and if you get it wrong, your ability fails. I can't really say that it's more entertaining than WoW's method of doing things, but it is refreshingly different.
The first 20 levels of AoC find you in the island city of Tortage, trying to remember who you were (cliche alert!). During the night missions, you play in single player mode, while during the day you runaround completing quests with other players. It's very entertaining, as all of the quest giving NPCs have professional voice overs, and the single player quests vary depending on your chosen class. (Once you have played a couple of classes, you'll see how your missions run parallel to other class missions.)
HOWEVER, other than combat, AoC is NOT refreshingly different after the introductory 20 levels. All of the NPCs lose their voices, and quests devolve back to the "kill 20 of this", "fetch 40 of those", and "deliver this thing to that guy" quests we are all familiar with from other MMOs.
Also, the land is disconnected, which is odd, considering the EQ style dungeons that everyone can enter at the same time. (Unlike WoW style instances.) To go from city to wilderness, you must be teleported their by an NPC. Likewise, when travelling from area to area in the wilderness, teleportation is used. It makes the whole game seem very disconnected, and kills any sort of immersion in the gameworld. Even Guild Wars does this concept better, requiring that you reach areas that would logically connect to the next area before moving you on. Requiring that you talk to one person to move to a zone that doesn't appear to be continous is simply silly.
As far as PVP gameplay, the game is fairly standard. (I know, here come the fanbois - "But it has SIEGE WARFARE!!!!111!!") Riding a mount while in combat is something that should have happened in most major games by now anyway, but Conan gets there first. However, dedicated PVP feels much like the battlegrounds in WoW, and good old PVP feels like getting ganked on PVP servers in WoW. Try completing quests while a line of higher level characters is waiting to kill you. Fun? Not so much.
Even without DX10 support, Age of Conan looks fantastic. If, that is, you have the system to run it. On my desktop PC, which is fairly high end - with a dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and a GeForce 8800GTS 640MB graphics card - the game runs smooth and the graphics equal the splendor that is Lord of the Rings Online. Textures pop out of the monitor with plenty of 3d effects, lighting is fantastic, shadows are very realistic, and scenery is generally jaw dropping. The spell effects are very cool, without being overdone, and the animation is decent.
Until you try to play on something less than high end, or on a laptop that didn't cost you your firstborn. On my Dell Inspiron 1720 - with a GeForce 8600M GT 256MB video card, 2GB of RAM, and an Intel dual-core CPU - the game looks and runs like crap. The sharp textures are replaced by similarly colored mush, the shadows disappear, the animation is choppy, and NPCs sit underground for a few minutes before they deign to appear and grace you with their presence.
AoC appears to be another victim of the doomed concept of "future proofing", along with EQ2 and many other games. I'll repeat myself again, by the time this game plays well on the average Joe's PC, nobody will be playing it.
Just touching briefly on sound, the music is AoC is very well done, and evokes memories of the two Conan movies starring Ah-nold. The 3d sound effects are also very well done, and - I feel the need to mention - the water sound is the best I have heard in an MMORPG so far. Rivers sound loud when waterfalls or rapids are near, and we're talking a few hundred feet away, not right on top of. It's much more realistic than most games, were you aren't hearing the waterfall until you are plunging head first over it.
With all the marketing hype, you would expect a highly polished, highly entertaining game. What you get is a highly hyped game that has a great first 6 hours, but then needed several more coats of polish for anything beyond that. It's worth playing for the island of Tortage alone - if you have the PC for it - but subscribing beyond that? Not so much.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
We lost power at my office around 3pm Wednesday. We left at 4, figuring there was no sense in staring at a blank monitor any longer. Of course, the hotel was without power as well. UNTIL 4AM!
Well, this morning I woke up late, due to the alarm clock not going off (battery backup my ass!) and my phone - on which I had set an alarm - running out of juice sometime during the night. I tried to check with the office, but didn't get a response, so we drove in late. And we left almost as soon as we got there. Still no power. Power company doesn't really expect to get it back on until sometime Friday.
Ok, late breakfast at IHop, after which we went back to the hotel. The hotel that LOST POWER AGAIN. Yes, in working diligently to restore power to the 40,000 Maryland residents who were without, the power company here accidentally turned it back off on a few thousand more people.
Thankfully, it's back on now. Who knows how long that's is going to last. I'm off to play Age of Conan before the power lapses again!
Monday, June 2, 2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Played some mini-golf. I won. (Suck it, honey!)
Saw some black squirrels. We don't have those in NY, so we were intrigued.
And a regular grey squirrel. (Squirrelus-get-shotimus)
Monday, May 26, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Warning - Spoilers ahead!
I can't even describe how great I thought this movie was. Some nice references to the other movies (The warehouse from the end of Raiders, the Ark), references to old Indy games, to the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and nice period references. (The fight between the jocks and the greasers.) I loved Indy's son, and I think it's great that Lucas and Spielberg are considering moving the franchise forward with him in the lead. (The fedora blowing up against his legs, he almost puts it on and Indy sweeps it away and puts it on his own head, that was cool.)
The best scene though, for me anyway, was the first part of the movie. The throw his fedora on the ground, then drag him out of the trunk and toss him after his hat. Then you don't even see him, you just see his shadow as he puts the fedora on, and his theme plays quietly in the background. Chills, man, chills.
What the fuck are you still reading this for? Go see it! NOW!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Not exactly a suite at the Hilton, but oh well. Too bad I have to pay for my Internet access for the whole month.
Oh, and because I'm babbling (which is because I am tired), I was sent to Rockville, Maryland for a month to train for my new job.
Yes, my laptop is now chained to that desk with a laptop lock.