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3361  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Im still waiting for the New Orleans Relief fund ..... on: September 07, 2005, 04:07:29 PM
From CNN:

Quote
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that five people have died in the area hit by Hurricane Katrina after becoming infected with Vibrio vulnificus, typically a more benign relative of the bacteria that cause cholera. One of the fatalities occurred in Texas; the other four were in Mississippi, CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said.


I don't know much about cholera, but really, really hope these turn out to be isolated cases....

-Autistic Angel
3362  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Best Buy wants to kill me. on: September 07, 2005, 02:20:49 PM
Best Buy's "Extended Service Plans" are an outright scam, and an increasingly well known one too thanks to sites like BestBuySux.org.  Here's a fairly typical entry dating back to September of 2003:

Quote
I realize that I am just one person, which is why I've never written a letter like this before.  But if I can stop even one person from making the same mistake I did, it will be worth it.

Almost one year ago I purchased an HP laptop and service plan from the Best Buy in Roseville, MN.  Within 6 months I had 50 - 100 dead pixels in the LCD.  The Best Buy technicians informed this would take 3 weeks to fix.  I travel a lot, so I had to wait until I knew I would be in town for a month to get it fixed.  I finally had time and handed it over to them.  A month later it is still reported as "out for repair."  The service personnel had no idea as to why it was out for repair, or when I could expect to receive it.

After 5 weeks of me calling them, I finally find out it is back to the "main service center," and has been returned as "no fault found."  How do you not find dead pixels?  So Best Buy sends it out again and it comes back in another week.  I pick it up, and guess what?  The entire LCD is now broken.  The best remedy Best Buy can come up with?  They'll send it back AGAIN to get it fixed.  I'm worried my computer will come back in three pieces.

After raising hell with the manager, the best I could do was to get a pro-rated refund of my service plan.  Though I will never purchase again from Best Buy, I understand that a lot of people reading this will.  However, please consider the following advice if you are concerned with keeping your sanity and property intact:  never purchase a service plan from Best Buy.


Here's one that looks like yours, dated August of this year:

Quote
I spent $400.00 on an Ipod last year from Best Buy and purchased their $40.00 four year service policy. I was pressured into this by their sales people with the assurance that if anything went wrong with it, the Ipod would automatically be replaced at the store with one of equal value (lie 1).

    A year later the hard drive went out on my Ipod, so I took it back to the Best Buy location I purchased it from. I was told "the policy changed" concerning the Ipod at-store swap and they would have to send it back to their service center to be repaired. When I argued the point, the manager on duty said, "Well, that's unfortunate." I was told my Ipod would be repaired and back in a week, but the receipt I received said it would back in a month (lie 2).

    A month later, I received the Ipod in the mail, only to find that the hard drive wasn't fixed. I again brought it back to the Best Buy I purchased it from and asked for a new Ipod, as I didn't want to send it away again for another month only to not have it fixed. I was told by the Best Buy manager on duty that my Ipod would have to be returned again to their repair facility and that it would need to be returned four times before I could get a replacement Ipod. Again, I was assured there would be a "rush" put on the repair and that it would be back in a week, but the receipt I received said it would be back in a month (lie 3). When I confronted the manager about the policy and how wrong it seemed, he replied that the repair was done by Apple and not by Best Buy. I then showed the manager the repair checklist that came with the still unrepaired Ipod, which had the Best Buy logo on it and the address for their repair center (lie 4). I am still waiting for my Ipod to be repaired and I expect to be waiting for months, if it ever happens at all.

    I would like everyone within earshot to know about Best Buy's "bait and switch" service agreement tactics. All they care about is getting your cash. Do not buy any big ticket items from this retailer unless you enjoy getting ripped off.


If I were in your shoes, I don't think I'd bother dropping that microwave off for repair, but cut my losses and go buy a new unit from a more reputable store.

-Autistic Angel
3363  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Im still waiting for the New Orleans Relief fund ..... on: September 05, 2005, 09:24:41 PM
NBC anchor Brian Williams added this to his online blog today.  I found the following excerpt interesting enough to repost here, not in response to any particular message, but because it goes to the "advance warning" angle many of us have been discussing in this thread.

Quote from: "Brian Williams"
I will never forget one particular moment: I was on the phone with my wife while at the checkout area when a weather bulletin arrived on my Blackberry, along with a strong caveat from our New York producers. The wording and contents were so incendiary that our folks were concerned that it wasn't real... either a bogus dispatch or a rogue piece of text. I filed a live report by phone for Nightly News (after an exchange with New York about the contents of the bulletin) and very cautiously couched the information. Later, we learned it was real, every word of it. Below are actual excerpts, in the urgent, all-capital-letters style of the medium. Note the time on the message... but more importantly... note the content.

Quote from: "The National Weather Service"
URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
1011 AM CDT SUN AUG 28 2005

...DEVASTATING DAMAGE EXPECTED...

HURRICANE KATRINA...A MOST POWERFUL HURRICANE WITH UNPRECEDENTED STRENGTH...RIVALING THE INTENSITY OF HURRICANE CAMILLE OF 1969.

MOST OF THE AREA WILL BE UNINHABITABLE FOR WEEKS...PERHAPS LONGER.

AT LEAST HALF OF WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES WILL HAVE ROOF AND WALL FAILURE. ALL GABLED ROOFS WILL FAIL...ALL WOOD FRAMED LOW RISING APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL BE DESTROYED...ALL WINDOWS WILL BE BLOWN OUT.

THE VAST MAJORITY...OF TREES WILL BE SNAPPED OR UPROOTED. ONLY THE HEARTIEST WILL REMAIN STANDING...BUT BE TOTALLY DEFOLIATED.

POWER OUTAGES WILL LAST FOR WEEKS...AS MOST POWER POLES WILL BE DOWN AND TRANSFORMERS DESTROYED. WATER SHORTAGES WILL MAKE HUMAN SUFFERING INCREDIBLE BY MODERN STANDARDS.


The last sentence in that statement is as concise a summation of conditions in New Orleans as is possible. We talked about the document en route to New Orleans. It turned out to be an advance copy of the script for this storm, predicting in unbelievable detail the level of destruction that was by now less than 24 hours away. To me it conjured up the image of a lone forecaster, known but to his or her co-workers, struggling to merge decades-old boilerplate Weather Service wording with the most vivid language possible in a final attempt to warn an entire region.


Also, CNN is currently talking about the possibility of the military spraying insecticide across the waters flooding New Orleans in an attempt to keep down the population of disease-carrying mosquitoes.  I don't know what affect that might have on relief or or reconstruction workers who will be in the area for weeks to come, nor do I know if there's any other realistic way of combating the threat of a large-scale outbreak of disease, so I'd be interested in feedback from other people on this idea.

-Autistic Angel
3364  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Im still waiting for the New Orleans Relief fund ..... on: September 05, 2005, 02:45:32 PM
Quote
I think that the city officials are a lot to blame in the ensuing tragedy for not following thru with their wonderful plans for evacuation and shelters.


I agree that any and all evacuation plans for the poor and the infirm in New Orleans failed miserably and that state and local officials should be held fully accountable for that.  However, it seems to me that the designated shelters, like the Super Dome and the convention center, succeeded at keeping thousands of people safe until the storm passed and a rescue could be mounted.

What I want to know is what was going on between Tuesday when a rescue *could* be mounted, and Friday when a rescue *was* mounted.  In addition to the numerous statements made by FEMA Director Michael Brown which prove beyond any doubt that he completely disconnected from reality during that time, administration officials are now claiming that there was simply no way in or out of the city for those three days.

Tell that to the dozens, if not hundreds of news teams from around the world who were safely moving into and out of New Orleans with shipments of food and water while they aired the video and interviews of the affected areas that Michael Brown classified as "rumors."  

Tell that to the three and four man teams of Louisiana residents who took it upon themselves to mount door-to-door searches to offer emergency medical assistance to others who were wounded or trapped.  

Tell that to the hundreds of refugees so desperate after four days without food or water that they would swim for miles and walk for miles more until they found a way out of the affected area by themselves.

Tell that to the teams of New Orleans police who did stay on the job, working without pay, without cars, without kevlar, and eventually without food or water as they worked to protect rooftop communities of people hiding above the flood waters until help could arrive.

-Autistic Angel
3365  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Chief Justice William Rehnquist Has Died on: September 04, 2005, 03:08:36 AM
I don't have a news link to this just yet, but CNN is reporting that Chief Justice Rehnquist has died this evening.

-Autistic Angel

EDIT: Here's a brief web story about it.
3366  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Im still waiting for the New Orleans Relief fund ..... on: September 03, 2005, 06:02:08 PM
Quote


Someone should point out to the creators of that cartoon squirrel that by their own admission, neither FEMA Director Michael Brown nor Department of Homeland Security Head Michael Chertoff had no idea that there were thousands of evacuees stranded at the New Orleans Convention Center until someone finally brought the mainstream media reports to their attention.

Oh, and also the fact that every media truck moving through the affected areas came in with as much food and water as they could carry, helped move survivors from isolated homes to refugee staging areas wherever possible, and carried people out whenever they left the affected areas.  I'm willing to bet that members of the much maligned mainstream media saved many, many more lives in the first forty-eight hours of the New Orleans disaster than the Department of Homeland Security did.

-Autistic Angel
3367  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Im still waiting for the New Orleans Relief fund ..... on: September 03, 2005, 05:39:08 PM
Quote
My point is this: Fireball has a reputation that preceeds him as being staunchly and quite vocally anti-Bush. I have no doubt in my mind that he has a few choice words to say about how Bush is handling this situation. Yet, you don't see him spewing the rhetoric, because he understands that it's best saved for a later date. It's my opinion that others with the same reputation would do well to follow his example.


I disagree with most, if not all of what unbreakable has had to say in this thread.  No one outside the federal government thinks this situation has been handled with anything better than massive incompetence on every possible level, but to attribute that to some actual malice Bush has towards the poor or the black seems irresponsible and inappropriate.

I also disagree with the idea that pointing out the degree of incompetence necessarily qualifies as "spewing rhetoric."  As a large scale response to supply water, food, immediate medical attention, security, and evacuation finally clicks into place to help the people still trapped in Louisiana, we're now approaching the cusp of another potential crisis as reports are coming in of evacuees getting sick from their prolonged exposure to filthy, overcrowded conditions and contaminated water.

Is there one person on this forum who can tell me with any confidence that FEMA has the ability anticipate and respond to the needs of thousands upon thousands of potentially seriously ill people?  What about containing an outbreak of disease to prevent it from spreading beyond the refugee centers into the surrounding communities?  Yeah, that might not happen, but I think we've already seen what happens when we don't adequately prepare for a clearly foreseeable worst case scenario.

Michael Brown should be fired and replaced with someone with experience in coordinating a large-scale humanitarian operation, and it should happen right now.  That's not a statement based on partisan politics, but on the simple fact that he has publically and repeated demonstrated that he doesn't have any idea what the hell is going on all around him.  At best the man is woefully inexperienced, at worst he is dangerously incompetent, and it's our *duty* to talk about this fact and put pressure on the decision makers to put a responsible leader in charge of FEMA.

Individual drives to collect money, water, food, and other supplies for the evacuees are very important, but the disaster thus far will pale in comparison if, God forbid, there's an outbreak of disease around the shelters.

-Autistic Angel
3368  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Im still waiting for the New Orleans Relief fund ..... on: September 03, 2005, 02:48:56 PM
The relief efforts from within the United States, and from around the entire world have been overwhelming.  I don't think it's constructive to start challenging other people to prove that they've "done their share" when the clear bottle neck so far has been federal bureaucracy.

Why were news crews able to travel to and from different refugee staging areas for more than two days while FEMA complained that the area was completely impossible to navigate?

Why were the medical personnel and 200+ critically ill patents from the publically funded Mercy Hospital left behind while non-essential personnel from the nearby private hospital were rescued by multiple choppers?

And, most importantly, how is it possible that four years after September 11th the federal government could have twelve hours of advance notice that a massive disaster was definitely going to happen, and the relief effort turned out this badly bungled?

I think the mayor of New Orleans and the governor of Louisiana bear a lot of the responsibility here, but when members of the Bush administration evoke September 11th in every speech, justify every policy decision by talking about homeland security, and run an entire political campaign on their ability to help keep Americans safe, this situation really demonstrates just how much of that is idle rhetoric.

-Autistic Angel
3369  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Im still waiting for the New Orleans Relief fund ..... on: September 03, 2005, 04:07:47 AM
CNN has posted an interesting story contrasting some of the comments made by FEMA Director Michael Brown on Thursday with the news coverage that's been coming out of New Orleans all week long.  Here are a few of his statements:

Quote
[Stories of uncollected corpses has] not been reported to me, so I'm not going to comment. Until I actually get a report from my teams that say, "We have bodies located here or there," I'm just not going to speculate.


Quote
I've just learned today that we ... are in the process of completing the evacuations of the hospitals, that those are going very well.


As of this evening, more than 24 hours later, Mercy Hospital in New Orleans still has over 200 critically ill patients, no power, no water, and no knowledge of when they might be evacuated.

Quote
I've had no reports of unrest, if the connotation of the word unrest means that people are beginning to riot, or you know, they're banging on walls and screaming and hollering or burning tires or whatever. I've had no reports of that.


Quote
I actually think the security is pretty darn good. There's some really bad people out there that are causing some problems, and it seems to me that every time a bad person wants to scream of cause a problem, there's somebody there with a camera to stick it in their face.


Quote
Considering the dire circumstances that we have in New Orleans, virtually a city that has been destroyed, things are going relatively well.


The article also has a quote about Brown being completely unaware of the New Orleans Convention Center, but it doesn't really capture the full scope of the things he said.  Here's a partial transcript from his interview with Paula Zahn:

Quote
Brown:I will tell you this, though: every person in that convention center, we just learned about that today. (Thursday, Sep. 1)  And so I have directed that we have all available resources to get to that convention center to make sure that they have the food and water, the medical care that they need-

Zahn: Sir, you're not telling me....

Brown: -and they can take care of those bodies that are there.

Zahn: Sir, you're not telling me you just learned that the folks at the convention center didn't have food and water until today, are you???  You had no idea they were completely cut off?

Brown: Paula, the federal government did not even know about the convention center people until today.


Michael Brown made an identical statement to Ted Koppel on Nightline Thursday evening as well.  Koppel asks him how that could possibly be the case.

Quote
Koppel: I've heard you say during the course of this evening on a number of interviews you just found out about [the convention center people] today.  Don't you guys watch television?  Don't you guys listen to the radio?  Our reporters have been reporting about it for more than just today.

Brown: We learned about it factually today that that's what existed.  We've been so focussed on doing rescue and life-saving missions and evacuating people from the Super Dome that when we first learned about it, of course my first gut instinct was: get somebody in there, get me truth on the ground, let me know because if it's true we've got to help those people.


"If" it was true?  Did Michael Brown really think there was a good chance that the news media was *faking* those reports?

This is not a partisan issue: Michael Brown is *dangerously* out of touch with reality.

-Autistic Angel
3370  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Planning to start up Independence War 2 - Thoughts? on: September 02, 2005, 03:10:01 PM
Make sure to check out some of the player-made patches which story missions which were flat-out unwinnable, and tweaks the text in other missions where you would have needed to read the developer's mind in order to figure out what to do.

-Autistic Angel
3371  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Im still waiting for the New Orleans Relief fund ..... on: September 01, 2005, 07:35:18 PM
Incidentally, I've found a news story to back up that post from Octopus Overlords:

Quote from: "The Minneapolis Star Tribune"
WASHINGTON — In a dramatic turnabout, the United States is now on the receiving end of help from around the world as some two dozen countries offer post-hurricane assistance.

Venezuela, a target of frequent criticism by the Bush administration, offered humanitarian aid and fuel. Venezuela's Citgo Petroleum Corp. pledged a $1 million donation for hurricane aid.

With offers from the four corners of the globe pouring in, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has decided "no offer that can help alleviate the suffering of the people in the afflicted area will be refused,'' State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Thursday.

However, in Moscow, a Russian official said the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency had rejected a Russian offer to dispatch rescue teams and other aid.

On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin sent condolences to President Bush and said Russia was prepared to help if asked.

Boats, aircraft, tents, blankets, generators, cash assistance and medical teams have been offered to the U.S. government in Washington or in embassies overseas.

Offers have been received from Russia, Japan, Canada, France, Honduras, Germany, Venezuela, Jamaica, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece, Hungary, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, China, South Korea, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, NATO and the Organization of American States, the spokesman said.

Still, Bush told ABC-TV: "I'm not expecting much from foreign nations because we hadn't asked for it. I do expect a lot of sympathy and perhaps some will send cash dollars. But this country's going to rise up and take care of it.''


"You know,'' he said, "we would love help, but we're going to take care of our own business as well, and there's no doubt in my mind we'll succeed. And there's no doubt in my mind, as I sit here talking to you, that New Orleans is going to rise up again as a great city.''

Historically, the United States provides assistance to other countries experiencing earthquakes, floods and other disasters.

Germany, which was rebuilt after World War II largely by the U.S. Marshall Plan, offered its help in a telephone call to Rice.

"The German Government is prepared to do all that is humanly possible,'' the German embassy said. In his call, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer assured Rice of Germany's solidarity with its American friends in a difficult time, the embassy said.

Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon called Wednesday at the State Department to offer condolences and assistance. Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. aid, about $2.2 billion a year.


(emphasis added)

-Autistic Angel
3372  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Im still waiting for the New Orleans Relief fund ..... on: September 01, 2005, 06:52:19 PM
Quote from: "HankRaptor"
When will france, germany and the like send us oil and food for New Orleans... Im getting FED up with the US helping everyone else out when there is a disaster and they leave us in the cold... Am I being silly?


If every country in the world were on perfectly even economic and military grounds, then no: it wouldn't be silly at all to be outraged if none of the other nations in the world offered assistance.

Fortunately for us, the United States is the wealthiest, most prosperous, most technically capable country in the world.  Getting upset that countries like France and Germany aren't offering their help loudly enough is very much like Rush Limbaugh complaining that liberals didn't send in enough money to pay for his drug rehab -- even if you really needed their help, why on Earth would you think you could expect it from the people you publically demonize on a continuous basis?

What exactly would other countries send our way that we don't already have?  If you say troops, you'd first have to concede that stationing a significant portion of our National Guard in Iraq has left us vulnerable.  If you say money, then you'd have to concede that Bush's tax cuts have left us vulnerable.  If you say oil, I'd have to explain that the prices for oil and gasoline in Europe *dwarfs* what Americans are paying now, much less what we're accustomed to paying.

The United States joined in a massive relief effort after the Indonesian tsunami.  Was that because we hoped to earn ourselves a prize, or because we, as a tremendously powerful nation, understood our responsibility to help those who could not help themselves?  I'm sorry you're "fed up with the U.S. helping everyone else out" and not reaping enough rewards in return, but the bottom line is that if there's any country on Earth that can take care of itself, it's the United States.

Personally, I think that's something to be proud of.

-Autistic Angel
3373  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Deficits Don't Matter (yeah, right) [P] on: September 01, 2005, 01:27:37 AM
Thank you.  Hopefully the next time we have a conversation, we can have a fresh start with one another.

-Autistic Angel
3374  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Deficits Don't Matter (yeah, right) [P] on: September 01, 2005, 12:48:59 AM
Quote from: "Devil"
AA - I seem to remember you piling on in the other thread. If you didn't, I apologize but if you did let me know how I "can be a man about it" and I'm all for it!


Quote from: "Devil also"
It would be one thing if AA and unbreakable argued on these issues, but they don't. They stomp around, pounding their chests, telling you how right they are and how wrong you are. No amout of information changes this. Why bother?


So, you can't remember who I am or what I might have done in "the other thread," but you're positive that I'm impossible to reason with?  Based on your first statement, you're in a very bad position to try and make the second.

If you're going to pop into a thread and start tossing off personal snipes which have nothing to do with the topic at hand, it's probably in your best interest to decide in advance what your target is supposedly guilty of.

-Autistic Angel
3375  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Deficits Don't Matter (yeah, right) [P] on: August 31, 2005, 05:42:51 AM
Quote from: "Laner"
You do realize "separation of church and state" appears nowhere in the constitution or the bill of rights, and has been taken out of context from the letter it was orginally coined...


Let's take a look at that letter, shall we?  Here it is, verbatim, as posted online at the Library of Congress website:

Quote from: "Thomas Jefferson"
Mr. President

To messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

Gentlemen

The affectionate sentiments of esteem & approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful & zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more & more pleasing.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state. [Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from presenting even occasional performances of devotion presented indeed legally where an Executive is the legal head of a national church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect.] Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.

(signed) Thomas Jefferson
Jan.1.1802.


The phrase and its context seem very, very clear: religion is solely between a man and his God, government cannot legislate opinion (ie. religious convictions), and there should therefore be a wall of separation between the church and the state.

Specifically which part of that do you feel has been "taken out of context" over the last several decades?

-Autistic Angel
3376  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Deficits Don't Matter (yeah, right) [P] on: August 31, 2005, 03:46:48 AM
Rage is the one who told Devil to back off of unbreakable -- I was just adding on to say that, to the best of my knowledge, Devil doesn't have any reason to antagonize me, either.

Sorry if that wasn't clear.

-Autistic Angel
3377  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Prison break? on: August 31, 2005, 03:42:15 AM
I only missed the first ten minutes of the two-hour premiere, and although things picked up near the end, I came away with mixed feelings.  It's an interesting *idea* for a series, but I have serious doubts about the overly complex setup -- unlike Lost which introduces viewers to the characters in fairly deliberate and memorable ways, Prison Break sort of shovels them at you all at the same time.  The end result can be pretty disorienting, with scenes and characters that don't initially seem to have anything to do with the previous four segments.

I'll be willing to give the series another shot, partially because it competes with *nothing* in this timeslot, but I'm not hooked yet.

-Autistic Angel
3378  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Deficits Don't Matter (yeah, right) [P] on: August 31, 2005, 03:32:11 AM
Quote
Quote
WoooHooo!! About time Robin (AA) came to Batman's aid!!

I love you guys!


Seriously man, this is getting old in every R&P thread Unbreakable is in. He hasn't said anything particularly crazy or even as hostile as normal, and yet you constantly heckle him with the "holier than thou" in the RP threads-why not just respond to the arguments instead of going for the cheap shots?


I'm interested in the fact that Devil, who doesn't appear to have anything at all to do with the conversation in this thread, is now trolling for a response from me.  If I've done something to offend him, or ever even interacted with him in any way, I'm not aware of it.

Devil, if you have some problem with me, be a man about it and speak up or keep it to yourself.  Nobody on this forum has anything to gain from your attempted flamewar.

-Autistic Angel
3379  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Deficits Don't Matter (yeah, right) [P] on: August 31, 2005, 03:13:38 AM
Quote
It hasn't mattered. The proof is in the past. Not in some liberal economist's load of crap.


Yes: all those wild-eyed liberals over at the National Center for Policy Analysis and working for Goldman-Sachs.

You avoided my question.  If spending deficits don't matter, why do governments bother collecting taxes at all?  Why not borrow and borrow and borrow infinite amounts of money and never worry about paying it off at all?

It seems like a fairly simple question, and if you can find a way to make that economic model work, I *guarantee* you a Nobel Prize in Economics.

-Autistic Angel
3380  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Deficits Don't Matter (yeah, right) [P] on: August 30, 2005, 10:54:43 PM
As far as I can tell, Toe and (by proxy) th'FOOL are answering unbreakable's post about deficit spending with two basic arguments:

Quote
When are you going to realize that economic trends are not conveniently stopped and started every time a new president takes office? That the surplus of Clinton's term was largely influenced by the economic trends in place long before he came into office? Or that the cause of the current deficit can be traced by long before Bush was elected? I am guessing you won't though.


1) President Bush, who consistently slashes federal income (taxes) and massive spending increases (Medicare prescription drug plan which costs *billions* more than he suggested; Iraq War funds which are deliberately omitted from the budget proposal) bears no responsibility for unprecedented deficit spending.

Quote
Heh, thats what I wonder too. Because when we had that almighty surplus I was earning a living, getting by, having fun. Before that I was earning a living, getting by, having fun. Now that we have a big deficit I am earning a living, getting by, having fun.

When and if I can't earn a living, get by, and have a little fun because of our economy, I will be sad probably. Adapt, adjust, move on. Life's too short.


2) Deficit spending doesn't matter anyway.  As long as they can eek out a living (and, apparently, even if they can't), deficit spending doesn't actually affect anything.

By this logic, shouldn't government immediately repeal all taxes and increase funding for all foreign and domestic projects to their maximum levels?  If deficit spending is nothing but a hot-button political issue, why should any taxes exist at all -- government could just pay for everything from road maintenance to universal health care and never collect a dime from the citizens!  And why are all those conservative Republican economists lying about the catastrophic effects this sort of behavior will have on our economy in the future?

First "Intelligent Design", now the "Toe & th'FOOL Theory of Macroeconomics, Reductive Monetary Economics, and Applied Time-Series Econometrics."  Take that, Empirical Rationalism!

-Autistic Angel
3381  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / About the Dreamcast thing on: August 29, 2005, 07:25:07 PM
Quote
In all seriousness General, I respect your zeal but do you have any code skills to back up your vision?


Or a viable business plan?  Or business contacts?  Potential investors?

-Autistic Angel
3382  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The mediocre hulk - how is it? on: August 29, 2005, 03:48:03 AM
Quote
Is the time limit in the demo (after which it expired you turn into Bruce and lose) a constant obstacle in the game, or did they just put that in the demo to limit gameplay?


I've played several hours worth of Ultimate Destruction now, and there have not been any instances where the Hulk was in danger of turning into Bruce Banner.  There are some timed missions, like one which tasks the player with protecting a building for a set amount of time, or others which require a target to be destroyed before it reaches its destination, but nothing along the lines of what you've described.

I think that time limit in the demo was just added to limit the gameplay.

Incidentally, I thought the game was an entertaining diversion at first, but once the game started pitting me against flying Hulkbuster assault mechs, the fun *really* got started.

-Autistic Angel
3383  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Quick Thought on: August 28, 2005, 03:46:41 AM
I can think of at least one misleading thing in the title of this thread.

-Autistic Angel
3384  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Engrish on: August 27, 2005, 01:05:55 AM




I *love* the fact that "Jedi Council" is translated into "Presbyterian Church."

-Autistic Angel
3385  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / CG editorial has made me have serious Xbox 360 2nd thoughts. on: August 21, 2005, 03:17:29 AM
As far as I'm concerned, the in-package component video cables and wireless controller would practically be worth $100 by themselves.  The fact that I'll also get the 360's hard drive and forever free myself from buying memory cards is just icing on the cake.

I don't know what percentage of the potential market is going to share my thinking on that, but I know which 360 I'll be buying.

-Autistic Angel
3386  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Who have you met? on: August 20, 2005, 06:37:34 PM
Quote
Barkley's definitely an interesting figure. Speaks what's on his mind, no matter what it may be. Enjoyed when he played for Houston. I also think he's a hell of a lot smarter than some people believe.


Charles Barkley used to be a recurring guest on CNN's Talk Back Live.  The show ended its run quite a while ago, but from what I remember, Barkley was well spoken and could bring an interesting perspective to the conversation.

-Autistic Angel
3387  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Solar Powered Prius on: August 18, 2005, 04:36:59 PM
Quote
If we install 2 square meters of photovoltaic panels on the car and we collect 10% of the energy from the sun as electricity (well within present PV efficiency), we can theoretically go about 8 km each day on just the sun's energy. If we drive 24 km on a sunny day, that is enough to reduce our gasoline consumption by 33%.


With gasoline prices at their current levels, I'm not sure you need to be a "crystal-gripping hippie type" to like the idea of cutting your gas consumption by up to one-third.

-Autistic Angel
3388  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Man, Beyond Good & Evil really is fantastic! on: August 17, 2005, 08:08:28 PM
A lot is made of the end of Beyond Good & Evil, but I also *loved* the way the game began.  I can't remember another modern game that drops the player into immediate life-and-death combat without so much as a tutorial screen(!).  I don't know if Jade was supposed to have any melee combat experience before that moment, but the game sure did a good job of making it feel like she was just winging it because that's exactly what I was doing.... Cool

-Autistic Angel
3389  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Ways to end Piracy on: August 16, 2005, 11:01:02 PM
I don't think there is a sub-forum for this.

-Autistic Angel
3390  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / F.E.A.R. SP Demo out on: August 14, 2005, 06:56:58 PM
I don't recall any "elevator dudes" in the demo.

-Autistic Angel
3391  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dungeon Siege II: Anyone care? on: August 12, 2005, 10:21:22 PM
GameSpot has posted their review of Dungeon Siege II.

-Autistic Angel
3392  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / F.E.A.R. SP Demo out on: August 12, 2005, 01:26:20 PM
I have a couple friends who prefer the sound quality of non-Sound Blaster sound cards, but I've always been extremely happy with my Audigy 2 ZS card.  The F.E.A.R. demo works well on my system at 1024x768 with every graphical option cranked up to max *except* anti-aliasing,  anisoscopic filtering, and soft shadows, all of which are off.  (Actually, the game seems to run just fine with soft shadows on, but it defaults to off so that's where I've typically left it.)

For the record, my system specs are:

P4-3.2 ghz
1-gig Corsair low-latency DDR2 Dual-Channel RAM
Two Western Digital 76-gig Raptor hard drives (RAID 0)
ASUS GeForce 6800 Ultra AGP video card
Audigy 2 ZS sound card

-Autistic Angel
3393  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / New Serenity trailer! on: August 09, 2005, 10:32:28 PM
Quote
It's ... huge!


This signature is formatted to the maximum size allowed at the GameSpot message boards.  I don't know what other boards allow -- this image may indeed be too big for anyone to use at most other places.

Quote
I love it. Absolutely love it. Excellent job.


 smile  Thank you very much!  smile

Quote
Wheres Jayne or Inara or Kaylee?


Quote
Hey! Let's not forget Shepard Book (Ron Glass).


I figured "less is more" and decided it was better to leave a few people out rather than risk making the picture "too busy."  That's usually my logic when I've fiddled with something to such an extent that I've lost all ability to critique the end result....  smile

Anyways, hopefully it looks interesting enough that one or two people who weren't already familiar with the film will check out the website.  Thanks to everyone for the feedback!

-Autistic Angel
3394  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Best 'Big Brother' Devictee? on: August 07, 2005, 10:37:34 PM
I firmly believe that the rise of reality television has lead to a dramatic rise in the quality of regular old scripted shows.  With series like Grey's Anatomy, Boston Legal, Lost, Jake In Progress and the tragically cancelled Eyes, there were more new shows on television last season that I enjoyed than I can remember at any point in my lifetime.  If reality television is going to continue forcing producers and writers to up their game, I hope they keep cranking out lame Bachelor shows forever.

Man, I *still* can't believe Eyes was cancelled.  frown

-Autistic Angel
3395  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Darn you Ron!!! Re: locked thread, lol! on: August 07, 2005, 10:16:36 PM
Quote
Ron, he's talking about resurrecting the Dreamcast, not curing cancer or bringing about world peace.


In the locked thread, The General specifically says that his plan includes the ability to make himself, his wife, and his animals survive "until the end of this world."  It's pretty clear that his plan for global sweeping change either includes some sort of biological immortality, or the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Therefore, there's really only a 50% chance that resurrecting the Dreamcast will come into play.

-Autistic Angel
3396  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Best 'Big Brother' Devictee? on: August 07, 2005, 09:16:13 PM
As we all know, the current "America's Choice" vote marks the first time since the first season that the viewer's input has been officially recognized in any way by the show's producers.  Ideally speaking, who would you be the most excited to see forc--...er, "allowed" to return to the Big Brother for the duration of the competition, and why?

Kaysar



Eric



Michael



Ashlea



Julie Chen



The General



Ellen Pompeo

3397  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / New Serenity trailer! on: August 07, 2005, 03:21:31 AM
I make no claims to any sort of Photoshop skills, but if anyone else would like to make use of my Serenity signature, you're welcome to it.



-Autistic Angel
3398  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Quick Question about The Future on: August 06, 2005, 09:48:20 PM
I don't understand the question.  If The General is going to change the world sometime before Q4 2007, how could he possibly expect that anyone else could predict their own future with any degree of accuracy?

-Autistic Angel
3399  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Chappelle's Show is Done on: August 05, 2005, 01:28:32 PM
Quote
Yeah, success has a funny way of fucking with your head. Ask Andy Richter.

IMO, he had a hit show, should stick with it til the bitter end.


That's like saying The Simpsons is a hit show, so Futurama, despite being far, far better than its predecessor, should never should have come into being.

I loved Andy Richter Controls The Universe.

-Autistic Angel
3400  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / What's wrong with "banned" Crowley? on: August 04, 2005, 09:40:55 PM
I've never even *seen* the OO website much less registered to post there -- in fact, I don't even know what "OO" stands for -- but I know for a fact those bastards deserved whatever they got.

*shakes fist*

-Autistic Angel
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