Saturday, August 28, 2010

Glenn Beck's Tea Party Rally

I have less to say than before, partly because of what Al Sharpton said in the article, and partly because of a video I'll be posting at the end. By the way, despite agreeing with Al Sharpton's criticisms, I still don't like him.

Other than Sharpton's criticisms, I found a few other things stupid and funny. I like how Glenn Beck insists that doing this on the anniversary of the "I Have a Dream" speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. was a coincidence, but then Glenn Beck goes as far as even staying in the same hotel room where Martin Luther King, Jr. practiced his speech.

I don't like how Beck said that he wants us to help restore traditional American values. If that includes holding true to the Constitution, then I agree, but I have a strong feeling that's not all that he means. I say this because, as the article says, he's acting like an Evangelical preacher, talking about bringing God back into our country, even though most of the American population is still Christian. Granted, the number does seem to be falling very slowly, but that's not really a bad thing anyway. We have this thing called the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, which states this:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

That's not all it says, but that's the part I'm talking about. The first part is the most important part of this, considering the ideology that this country needs to follow God and preserve Christian values. Quite frankly, the First Amendment states you can't ever do that, no matter what religion or ideal you belong to, because no matter what you have everyone follow, it limits their personal freedoms. I like having the freedom to be an Atheist, much like I'm sure a Christian likes having the freedom to be a Christian.

Just a side note: to put this stereotype out there that Atheists are dangerous and are causing a lot of bad things to happen (like Glenn Beck has done before) reminds me a lot of the Red Scare of the 1950s, so it's essentially like a new age of McCarthyism.

Also, while I'm on the subject, the United States of America is not a Christian nation, nor was it founded on Christian values. Democracy is not discussed in the Bible, nor are personal freedoms such as freedom of speech or the right to bear arms, nothing like that. The Treaty of Tripoli, ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1797, says in Article 11: "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility [sic], of Mussulmen [Muslims]; and, as the said States never have entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries." In fact, even George Washington said, "The United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian religion."

Moving on:

"Tea party activism and widespread voter discontent with government already have effected primary elections and could be an important factor in November's congressional, gubernatorial and state legislative races."

Quite frankly, a lot of the things that the Tea Party tends to complain about has been around for quite a while, and it seems odd to me that they're just now gathering when a black man was finally elected president. Disregarding the potential link to racism, since I'm sure that's not the major reason why for most people, it seems Socialism is a big part of their complaints as well. Seriously, Obama is not a big time Socialist. He has done little that falls within the Socialist perspective, except for the Sin Tax thing, which hasn't even come close to passing, and universal health care. Even so, people are forgetting that our society already features some Socialistic things, such as the police force, firemen, garbage men, and even free books at the library.

Anyway, the sentence reminds me of something else. When I first heard of the Tea Party, I initially thought the idea of a new Libertarian party was cool. However, as I learned more about it, it proved to be a more extreme Conservative party than the Republican party, and doesn't hold up very many Libertarian values. At that point, I just disregarded the Tea Party, figuring it was going to fail. That was, until I heard that Fox News started supporting and sponsoring the group. Then I figured it could potentially become a problem. Why? Because Fox News is (maybe with the exception of Shep Smith) propaganda, even if there is news given. They're highly influential to their viewers, and because of that, I figured the Tea Party would just gain even more support, and they have. They are now influential enough to get people into elections and potentially into office. We need to stop them.

For more information, watch this video:

By the way, that guy makes awesome videos on more than one channel (his main being bryantulsa). I'd suggest checking him out. He's very well read, so it's quite a learning experience.


This post is going to be about the main ideal set in the philosophy of Andrew J. Galambos.

Andrew J. Galambos considered himself a Liberal (or Libertarian, can't remember which), but his viewpoints seem to be closer to Anarcho-Capitalism. He was 100% for intellectual property rights, even going as far as putting a nickel into a can or jar every time he said the word "Liberty," because he thought that Thomas Paine invented the word (he didn't, but that's beside the point). Using that logic, we should be paying for every single word we use, since somebody had to invent it. That would mean this sentence alone is worth over half of a dollar.

Galambos seems to be gaining a bit in popularity since his death in 1997, partially due to the Internet, but also because audio tapes and a humongous book called Sic Itur Ad Astra were released (however, the book is no longer in print). These were based on lectures he had given throughout the past few decades before he died. They were not released until after he died because he told his students not to tell others about his ideas because he considered them his intellectual property, and even told them not to follow what he says.

Despite this, some of his material has been spreading after his death, and has been garnering a small Libertarian following. It seems to be because the Galambosian ideology supports a personal independent way of thinking, like with Ayn Rand's Objectivism, but at the same time, it's Authoritarian because it forces people to do something-to pay for something minuscule like words or other non-physical productions and tell them not to share anything-as opposed to allowing them to do as they please. Not only that, but things such as wikis, the GNU license, free software, peer-to-peer file sharing, and so on would be viewed as unacceptable.

EDIT: I forgot to mention, the book I described earlier talks about much more than just intellectual property. For instance, he also tries to dispel the "overpopulation myth." Of course, this was back in the late sixties, when the world population was only about three billion people, compared to our six billion (nearly seven billion) in present times, which also explains the lack of knowledge when it comes to things like the way the Chinese have been dealing with their overpopulation problem; the One-Child Policy, which forbids couples from having more than one child, or else they don't get the same benefits, or may even have to pay the government a fee.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Marvel Ultimate Alliance

Note: I'm reviewing the Xbox 360 version.

I've been playing this game a with my family (my girlfriend, my cousin, and my cousin's girlfriend) recently, so I feel in the mood to talk about it a bit now.

This game is a third person action beat 'em up in which you can play as a wide variety of Marvel super heroes, and even a few villains if you can manage to download them (they're not included in the game). There are quite a few secrets to be found, quite a few of them in places you may not even notice at first. Together, my family and I found more than we probably would have alone, but we stilled must about thirty percent of the hidden stuff to be found. It may seem like kind of an original idea, but I can make some gameplay comparisons with the Gauntlet games. Even so, the game is still unique and fun.

Overall, it's a pretty good game, with very few problems. The most irritating problem is when some kind of effect happens to you, like being stunned or frozen, and the game glitches out and won't let you get out of that phase, meaning you're stuck like that until you die. Also, if you happen to be playing alone or otherwise have computer players on your team, sometimes they're dumb enough to fall off a cliff or die some other odd way, which can be a pain if you happen to lose a top tier character, and you can't resurrect them unless you either have Ghost Rider (even then it's not guaranteed) or if you go to a S.H.I.E.L.D. outpost station thing and resurrect them there after your character has been dead for five minutes. Otherwise, any qualms I have with the game are minor, such as not being able to do certain missions properly again after beating the game (particularly the Skrull mission where you have to face Galactus), and there aren't a whole lot of unlockable characters (unless you count the downloadable characters as unlockable).

My family and I debated a bit on who we thought the best characters were in the game. I haven't played every character a whole lot, but from what I've played, here's my tier list (in order from best to worst; also note that I do not have any of the downloadable characters, so they're not listed here):

Top Tier:

Ghost Rider
Silver Surfer
Iron Man
Moon Knight
Human Torch

Second Tier:

Luke Cage
The Thing
Ms. Marvel

Third Tier:

Mr. Fantastic
Spider Woman
Doctor Strange

Bottom Tier:

Black Panther
Invisible Woman
Nick Fury

So this all essentially means that most of the unlockable characters, save Ghost Rider and Silver Surfer, are mostly useless. However, this doesn't mean that I don't like certain characters just because they're bad in this game. For instance, Dr. Strange deserved better treatment than what he received in this game. Also, I'm disappointed that we were unable to play as The Vision. Then again, he is incredibly powerful, but so is the Silver Surfer, and he's playable.

But still, even if your favorite hero sucks, the game still is well worth checking out.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

TV Show's Name Causes Controversy

And that controversy is over absolutely fucking nothing. Well, it's over something, but it's such a non problem that it's essentially not worth complaining about.

The controversy is over a new TV show called $#*! My Dad Says with Captain James T. Kirk. Er, I mean William Shitner. Oh, whoops! I said it! I said shit! SHIT SHITTY SHIT SHITTY SHIT SHIT!

Yes, that is the Parents Television Council is bitching about. The expletive in the title. It's already been censored, so I have to wonder why they want more shit done. The First Amendment of the Constitution was already broken when the title was censored like it was (unless that was the Producer's or whoever's choice), but now they want to take it further to protect the kiddies.

You know what, I watched a lot of R-rated movies with shitloads of cussing in them even before I was ten years old. I even got to see ninjas decapitate people and tear their hearts out with their bare hands. I turned out just fine. Why? Because of how my cousin handled it. That's ultimately the problem, if anything, is the lack of personal discipline on the parent's part. Instead, they blame TV, and ruin it for the majority of the populace who can handle the swearing and shit. In this case, the majority should not have to suffer for the minority's problem. Deal with the kid yourself, and he or she will be just fine.

Or here's another idea: don't watch the fucking show.