February 27, 2016

Link Dump

Some interesting links for your perusal

Why mass transit is a bad idea. 

Why the supreme court is important



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February 18, 2016

Marvel on Netflix

So, being a fan of the Marvel cinematic universe, I decided to watch Netflix's Marvel series Daredevil and Jessica Jones. They're a mixed bag to say the least. I'll continue below to avoid the spoiler issue more...

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January 03, 2016

Star Wars The Force Awakens

Finally! After almost a decade, a new Star Wars movie! And it was actually fun. However, thanks to Mr. Plinkett's reviews, we've become very critical of anything Star Wars. And the Force Awakens does have some rough spots. First, Kylo Ren. For me this was the most grating flaw of the movie. I'm sorry, but Adam Driver is not a menacing presence. I know he served as a Marine, but he looks like a refugee from Harry Potter, not a Sith successor. Second, there's no way he looks like the offspring of either Han or Leia, or a grandson of Anakin Skywalker. Its a minor thing, but I'm married to a geneticist. It grates. Third, he acts like a spoiled child throwing tantrums, not an evil enforcer, or mastermind. Darth Vader in the originals, was evil because his actions were very precise, very controlled, and well thought out in advance. Vader's ruthlessness was calculated. Look at what he did to find Yavin, to trap Luke, to trap the Rebels at Endor. In contrast, Kylo Ren is a whining, tantrum throwing narcissist. He's sloppy, doesn't complete his mission, and doesn't even have the guts to straight up kill his father. Vader had no problem force choking his wife when he felt she betrayed him. Oddly, Kylo Ren is an indictment of those millennial narcissists who are more concerned with having "safe zones" and never being challenged than actually confronting the reality beyond their smart phones. 

Second. (oh yeah, there's more to the movie) The whole constant homage to the original trilogy. Whether its the Millennium Falcon saving the refugees with the critical data, or the trench run on StarKiller base. It was too much. In some ways it was fun, but at times it felt like we were being hit over the head with "Its a STAR WARS MOVIE, GUYS!!!!" How many times are the bad guys going to keep building Death Stars? Oh, and that's another thing. There was no emotional impact when they blew up half the Republic. Allegedly there were some deleted scenes with minor characters being sent by Leia to those worlds, but it just didn't resonate, unlike when Tarkin blew up Alderaan. 
Third, I just couldn't see Han and Leia breaking up over Kylo Ren going bad. I couldn't see Ben Solo being allowed to grow up as a spoiled brat with those two parents. Again, it doesn't compute. I can see circumstances where Ben Solo could turn evil, but the level of immaturity is ridiculous. 
Fourth, the whole Poe Dameron magically appearing at the rebel base after the crash on Jakku. That was just a really weird oversight. And a little jarring for the film. 
Other than those major issues, the film is fun, and worth the price of a ticket. Although I'll probably wait until all the films are released to buy my copy. 

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March 03, 2011

CoD Black Ops Bug Central

I was a late comer to the Call of Duty Franchise. I preferred more "realistic" FPSs like Armed Assault and going way back to the original Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon. But I played Modern War 2 and had a blast. So I looked forward to Black Ops. I hoped to get at least the MW2 level of fun.
It starts off with a great story, You're a captured CIA agent being interrogated for information on past missions, but the interrogations are so intense, you flashback, and that's where the gameplay starts.
Gameplay is good, I played on max hardness, and my 3 biggest gripes were endless respawning enemies, bugs, and historically inaccurate weapons. I got really annoyed that the M16A1s they showed in the game were modeled with 20 round mags, but in the game you had 30 rounds available. Plus all the optics, and accessories all the guns used weren't developed until well after the period portrayed in the game. But what really detracted from the game was the bugs in the cut-scenes that would crash out the game losing your progress. It got so bad that by the 2nd to last "mission" I had to run it in window mode to avoid the crash. It was really a problem considering the polish of MW2, and has me really hesitating about buying future CoD titles.
The story was actually much better the MW2, where some sort of conspiracy between Russian and American generals leads to WW3. Black Ops has no pointless moral ambiguity. The bad guys are commies and their pet nazi scientists, and the heroes are the guys trying to stop them.
Hopefully they'll patch the game and make it more playable. For now I'm playing Medal of Honor and the single player MW2 missions.

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Picked the Accord

Ok, after a ton of test drives we went with the Accord. It had the best combo of performance, room, and price. We tried the Fusion Hybrid, very nice, but no trunk. We tried the VW CC, Also very nice, but only 2 seats in back and poor rear headroom. And the 4 cylinder was just slightly underpowered. The 4 cylinder Passat definitely suffered from the lack of sport tuning the CC had.

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December 15, 2009

Ahh new car searches

Heh, it seems like just a little while ago we were looking for a new car. And you know what, we were. But now my T-Bird has finally given up the ghost. It sprung a coolant leak that got into the engine block, and well it went down-hill from there. We tried to clean it up, and put in new sparks, but it's not running right.
So instead of pouring money into a 12 year old car, we're looking for a new one. There's alot of cars with 0% financing out there, but they don't get the mileage the Jetta gets. Personally I don't mind. This car would be the back-up/vacation trip car, so I'm more inclined for comfort and performance rather than economy. Especially if its gonna replace the T-bird. It wasn't the most efficient car, but it was comfortable. Right now we're looking at the Taurus, the Malibu, the Passat and the Passat CC

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November 25, 2008

New Car!

Well we finally got our new car this weekend. We bought a VW Jetta TDI. That's right, Turbo Diesel Injected. 4 cylinder, 140hp, 236ft/lbs torque. Its smaller than my old 97 Thunderbird, but it literally doubles the miles per gallon. Which is cool, because we've got a 80 mile round-trip commute. Yes, diesel is more expensive than gas, but its no where near double the price, and with double the milage we're saving big time.

The car is well built, feels solid, and handles well. And acceleration is smooth. You barely feel the shifts. All that torque comes in handy for highway acceleration. We got the 6 speed DSG automatic with tiptronic. So if we're in the mood we can shift manually.

We had to wait about 2 months for ours. Our dealer told us that VW is doing a soft rollout of the TDIs. Most are going to the West Coast, and our dealer was allocated 30. We thought about the Sportwagen, but they had no clue when they'd get any. So we settled for the sedan. So far so very good.   

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November 16, 2008

Quantum of Solace


Saw Quantum of Solace on Friday, and contrary to many reviews, its a pretty good film. That being said, it is not a typical James Bond movie. Its more like a Bourne Identity/Mission Impossible type of film. Its a very gritty action film, that takes up 30 minutes after Casino Royal ends. So if you haven't seen Casino, you're gonna be a little bit lost in Quantum. And its easy to get lost in Quantum


Spoilers below


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November 06, 2008

Things to think about for the future fight

While I continue my post election spleen venting, I'm thinking about two stories.

1. Voter Fraud. Obviously it played an important role in the election. Obama may have actually won legitimately, but we'll never know because no one is going to dare investigate it. And its to the Libs advantage that it never be investigated or remedied. At least at the national level. Which actually gives us hope, because it can be combatted at the local level.

2. Joe the Plumber's privacy violations. What are the odds of anyone doing any jail time for the illegal rummaging of JTP's personal records? Yeah, slim to none. You can rest assured that this will become a standard tactic of the left. Heck its been a standard tactic of the left. Remember when Chuck Schumer raided Michael Steele's social security info? He had to of his staffers take the fall, but nothing happened. Prepare for more of the same happeneing to anyone who inconviences the one.

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November 05, 2008

Screw you Bloomy

Not satisfied with ignoring the will of the people, Mayor Bloomberg has decided to raise property and income taxes on the benighted citizens of NYC. Oh and he might cut 3000 jobs. Maybe you want to look for a few more things to cut Mike, before you totally destroy the city's economy, you schmuck. How's about privatizing the MTA for one?

Say doesn't revoking the term limit law mean that a real mayor like Rudy could run again too? Just wondering. It'd be a nice warm-up for him to take on Chucky Schumer.

Now would be a very good time for NYC conservatives to start making noise.

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Good News!

The Yankees declined the options on Giambi and Pavano. Our long national nightmare is at an end!

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Target Rich Environment

Ok boys, here's the libs who are up for re-election in 2010. First the senators via Wikipedia:

                              Christopher Dodd (D) of Connecticut>>

> >The bad news is that it looks like there's 18 Republicans to 15 Democrats up this term. Not quite as lopsided as this year, but not too good. There will also be some retirees in the mix too. Schumer, Dodd and Reid are the big targets. It'd be nice to ID challegers now, and start getting them funded. Because as the dems showed us this year, they don't care who they get their money from. And we'll never know the true extent of the corruption, because they control everyone with the authority to investigate. Nice. Anyway, that just means that whoever is going up against them, better let us know now, so we can help get them funding.

As the whole congress will be up in 2010, primary targets should be Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi, Charles Rangle, Henry Waxman, and William Jefferson. A lot of these clowns run without opposition. That has got to stop. An institution with a 10% approval rating should not be rewarded with increased majorities. That's absurd. But the MSM has shown us that if you have a (D) after your name, they won't hold you accountable, so its up to us.

If there are any RINOs in the mix that should be targeted in primaries, now would be a good time to find out. Because right now time is our ally, but as soon as The One takes office, you can bet your last cent he's gonna do everything he can to soldify his power and crush us out of exsistence.

Also, if therre are important state races, and governorships, let me know. Not that I can do anything but post 'em, but if we know there's a target, maybe someone can hit it.

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So what to do now? I know how's about some internicine bloodletting!

There's nothing like turning on your erstwhile allies to clear the bitter taste of defeat from your pallet. David Frum leads off the battle for control of the Republican party by arguing that social conservatives need to be thrown under the bus. Frum feels that so-cons represent a dwindling demographic, and the party would be better off appealing to college educated latte libs arguing that Republicans would be better for their 401Ks.

Newsweek piles on by attacking Gov. Palin as a clotheshorse and a diva. Complaints that allegedly come from McCain staffers. These unnamed sources also assert that Gov. Palin decided on her own to attack Ayers and Wright. Palin was the one candidate who put the fear of Darwin into those godless libs. So now the effort begins to marginalize her in the party, because she represents a true conservative response to liberal feminism (aka abortion 24-7-365).

So-cons argue that it is they who have carried the party to victory time and again, and the party only loses when it listens to the latte & brie crowd and tries to be “inclusive” and “bi-partisan”. Polls seem to indicate that while so-cons were soft on McCain, they were stoked by Palin. So the left is trying to tar so-sons with the anti-intellectual and religious-freak smears.

I'm a cosnervative. I see the respect for life and traditional values are directly connected to limited government, free markets, and strong national defense.One informs and strengthens the other. These are the core values that our country was founded upon.

McCotter got it right:

1.    Our liberty is from God not the government.
2.    Our sovereignty rests in our souls not the soil.
3.    Our security is through strength not surrender.
4.    Our prosperity is from the private sector not the public sector.
5.    Our truths are self-evident not relative.>>

> >


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The Conservative Manifesto

Now that Barrack "The One" Obama has been annointed elected, conservatives are doing their usual soul-searching and navel gazing. Wondering "what went wrong", "why don't they like us" and other crap. RINOs are whining that we should move left. Be moderate. Ok, screw that. Look the reason Republicans lost is because they let the NY TImes pick their candidate instead of getting a conservative. So what is a conservative? I wrote this over at Ace's trying to figure out what conservatives should do in light of our recent defeat and what lessons we should learn:

1. Playing by the rules is for suckers.

2. Honor is meaningless when the culture that created the concept of honor is demonized.

3. When you are attacked you FIGHT BACK

4. We can't just rely on Rush and Sean to get the message out. They'll be silenced before the end of next year. The press is totally hostile and effectively a propaganda arm of the Dems. We need to develop ways to reach a mass audience that can by-pass the press and the Fairness Doctrine.

5. We need political leadership unafraid to stand up FOR US. And more importantly our principles!

6. Every elected office in this country MUST be contested for. Its disgusting that people like Jefferson, Frank, and Pelosi had no serious opposition.

7. We need to target certian dems for defeat in 2010 NOW! Frank, Murtha, Dodd, Jefferson, Schumer, Reid, and Pelosi all need to have credible candidates opposing them.

8. Bipartisanship is a four letter word for Conservatives. No more compromising. No play-along-to-get-along crap.

9. Schadenfreud is NOT going to win the election in 2010. Principled positions are. Being Lefty-lite is not going to win elections.

10. Never let the NY Times pick your presidential candidate!

But what does being conservative mean?

1. We believe in the ideas of Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

2. We believe in a limited, constrained government.

3. We believe in low taxes.

4. We believe in a strong national defense

5. We believe in personal responsibility

6. We believe in American Exceptionalism

7. We believe in the protection of life at all stages, from conception til natural death.

8. We believe success should be rewarded, not punished.

I'm sure there is more, but I think these are a good start. So now what should Conservatives campaign on to win in 2010?

1. Smaller less intrusive governement. Scaling back government rather than increasing it. No more bailouts. No more new benefits programs.

2. Energy independence. Real solutions for right now. No pie-in-the-sky 20 years down the road solutions.

3. Lower Taxes. The US should be a tax haven not a tax hell. Lower the corporate taxes, income taxes, capital gains, and death taxes.

4. Hold government officials accountable. Too often if a politician has a (D) its a get out of jail free card.

5. No more bi-partisanship. Being gracious and accomodating to the other side has gotten us nothing. There is no good will towards us on the other side. Get this straight: Liberals view conservatives as EVIL. Their goal is not to work with us, but to destroy us. Liberals view America as the source of all evil in the world. They want to tear it down, and replace it with their own version of a socialist utopia. Anyone who opposes them in their holy cause must be destroyed, and any and all means to accomplish this goal are considered fair neccessary.

6. Fight for your principles. Responding to attacks is not beneath the dignity of your office. If you don't defend your ideals you won't have an office.   

I'm sure I'll think of more as time goes on.

UPDATE: Mace suggested the Sharon Statement which I've added below the fold


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July 24, 2008

Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem

Ok, the movie's old, but I finally got around to seeing it, thank you Netflix. I had been a fan of Dark Horse comic's Aliens, Predator and Aliens vs. Predator comics. They were pretty well done, and stayed true to both series original sources. Their success is what prompted the AvP abortions movies.

The first AvP was a flop. The biggest problem is that it takes place here, today. If 22nd Century Marines couldn't handle the Aliens, and 20th Century firepower could barely contain the Predator, how are modern scavangers going to fare against both. Actually that's also the problem with the AvPR.

AvPR is basically Aliens and Predators invade small town USA circa 1985. I know it was set today, but the cinematogrophy felt like the original Predator and Predator 2. There were too many cliche characters, too many in jokes, and too much keeping the creatures hidden/in the dark. We KNOW what they are, its OK to show 'em! So they try to shock us by violating the sacred cows, like face-huggers baggin' kids and Aliens infesting pregnant women, but it comes off weak.

Then there was the Predator/Alien hybrid creature. Which was supposed to be the Queen, and ended doing some odd tentacle porn on hapless pregnant women in the town hospital. It was supposed to be a match for the Predator, which was some sort of uber-Predator sent to clean up the Alien mess. Actually the Predator was actually Bad-Ass, and if they'd spent more time with him, instead of the teen-slasher-love-interest-pool-scene, they could have had a cool movie of Predator kickin' Alien ass.

It winds up with the Ex-con-but-actually-smart-repentant-hero, his horny brother, the ex-army-jack-of-all-trades-super-soldier-mother, and her seven year old daughter escape the town in the hospital's chopper before the Governement spook/corporate type and the Military nuke the town to wipe out the threat.

The best parts in the movie are when the Predator is taking the Aliens apart. Except its done with such poor lighting, and of course rain (can we have a serious fight scene without rain/falling water please!) that you can't make out half the battles. If you're a fan of AvP and just have to watch, jump to the creature scenes and forget about the people. Because it really felt like they were going for a full length film, and chopped it to 90 minutes. If they chopped it to the 15 minutes of fight scenes it'd have been worth it.


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July 17, 2008

Don't Forget

You know, in all the strum & drang about oil prices, drilling etc. People seem to think that if we don't need oil for cars, we don't need oil. Even if we shifted to an alternative energy economy, and let's face wind and solar cannot cut it, even in ten years. We'd still need oil for petro-chemicals. Lubricants, plastics, and other synthetics are derived from oil.

So even if we can move our transportation infrastructure off of oil, we'll still need to open up new sources of oil so you can keep typing on your PC.

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July 11, 2008

I've found my candidate!


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July 10, 2008

I guess no one told Dennis

So Dennis Kuccinich (D, Mars) has brought back articles of impeachment against President Bush for deciving congress. I guess no one told ole Denny here about how we just finished removing the last of Saddam's URANIUM from Iraq. Yeah, Saddam had noooo weapons of mass destruction, no nuclear material, no prohibited missles, no terrorist training bases, etc. Geez. Tell it to the Kurds.

It'd be nice that instead of wasting tax payer dollars about issues that have already been settled, you would actually do something about our economic woes. But given his wife's british hottness, you can't really blame him if his brain isn't the organ getting the most blood flow.

The guy is gonna be outta office in six months Denny! You still sore you lost in 2000? LET IT GO. You're gonna win this year (although with congress' approval at 9% that's gonna be interesting). You wanna do a tit-for-tat for Bill Clinton? He's not worth it. Criminalizing politics is like throwing a pass in football. You might get one good thing to happen, but there are more bad things that can happen instead, fumble, interception, etc.

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April 01, 2008

McCain would bypass the UN?

Joseph Loconte's article at the Weekly Standard is an interesting read on a possible McCain foreign policy. He wants to create a League of Democracies to pick up the slack where the UN drops the ball. Its a nice idea, but I think it'd be better if we scrap the UN altogether. We pour tons of money into it, but can't get basic accounting transparency from it. Plus most of the time its acting against our interests. Look how cash flush dictatorships run the "Human Rights Commission". And how often the UN plays Nero's fiddle while human tragedies occur around the world, and especially in Africa.

So we bypass the UN, and go to Nato, but even that's flawed because half of Europe eschews confrontation of any sort, and the other half doesn't have a military prescence to speak of.

Personally I'd like to see a tighter union between like minded democracies who share values and culture. Like the US & Australia. Maybe even Japan, South Korea, & even the Philippines.  

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Battlestar Galactica's Final Season

Well after almost a year we finally get the series finale of BSG. And honestly I hope its good. Edward James Olmos was quoted over at Sci-Fi as saying he almost hopes they all get killed at the end. Well that might be a shocking ending, but I think it'd also be a depressing one. The whole show has been running on this idea of hope, and to end it as a kind of Ragnarok would be I think a betrayal.

I hope the colonists do find Earth. But I hope its not the our Earth that the original BSG found in 1980. I want it to be an advanced society Earth. And not one where man and machine live in harmony because of the machines' munifecence. Or some other rejection of western values. I want it to be an advanced society based on man's values. Maybe along the lines of Gene Rodenberry's original Star Trek. Where everyone adopted an idealized American outlook. But it'll probably be along the lines of the machines being wiser than their creators and saving us from ourselves.  

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