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1  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / I for one welcome our corporate overlords... on: July 10, 2010, 06:45:57 AM
         My political Theories (fucked…Fucked, We’re all FUCKED!)

The story of what happened to America or, more precisely what went wrong with America starts forty years ago and is still being written today. Let me first lay all the cards on the table and tell the reader, that would be you that I will not be backing up what I say with quotation of sources. Anyone who wants to can seek these sources on the internet, they are readily available. This work is at best an opinion piece, and at worst a badly conceived work of fiction that will be disproven readily (Which let me tell you folks, I hope that happens, because if not we are in for one hell of a wild ride) So, without further adieu, let me go ahead and tell you what I think happened.

First let me identify the source of the last sixty years of American prosperity. World War Two. We bombed the rest of the world flat. Europe lay in ruins, Japan lay in ruins. Pretty much every industrialized economy in the world lay in ruins. America was the victor, and commercially speaking, America was the only industrialized country left intact. The United States came off of a war footing, ready to rebuild the world and as an added boon to rebuilding the world; we also got to sell them a whole lot of consumer goods.
   
Unions, of which I will talk about in detail later, were quick to form (if they weren’t already) after World War Two, formed largely by the same people who fought and bled for the right to unionize during the great depression. Workers saw the large amount of profits being made by their bosses and rightfully wanted a piece. The middle class flourished. A person could graduate from high school and get a good factory job immediately, manufacturing flourished. The average wage in the United States during the 1950’s was fifty dollars an hour, plus benefits and vacation. Homes were cheap, jobs were plentiful and life was good.
Education during this period was cheap, if not free. Both sides of the isle politically speaking wanted a highly educated populace. Companies had a vested interest in a highly educated population to staff mills and factories and manufacturing. Highly technical jobs needed a well trained population to fill open positions. If there was not an educated population, companies would pull up stakes and leave for greener pastures. The Cold War and the budding Military Industrial Complex were also major factors.

During the 1960’s however the inevitable happened. The rest of the world started to catch up to the United States in if not manufacturing capacity and technical skill, in ability to make less complex electronics, consumer goods and raw materials. Starting with Nixon’s visit to China the world got to learn several new terms. “Globalization” and “Free Trade”.

The story of Globalization is an incredibly complex one, it starts with Nixon and continues today with the World Trade Organization, or the WTO. Starting with Nixon companies realized that they could “outsource” and “offshore” manufacturing and other jobs starting with the most simple and ending with highly technical engineering development. President Reagan during the changed the legal environment regulating a lot of the manufacturing jobs and created a legislative environment where companies could legally offshore good paying American jobs overseas to where the same goods could be manufactured for pennies on the dollar in countries with absolutely no regard for human rights. This was the beginning of the end for the Middle Class in America. Middle class wages plummeted as American manufacturing either packed up and offshored or was simply outcompeted by those companies who had.

Those service jobs that replaced the good paying manufacturing jobs were often low paying ones with no benefits. Retail, food service and customer service being a large portion of the jobs. We have gone from a nation of scientists and engineers to a nation that asks “Would you like fries with that?”

As a nation we however had several factors that lessened the blows of globalization. These being:  A highly educated populace and the silicon revolution and easy access to credit. The cold war played a major part in softening the blow of the loss of manufacturing. Government and the military industrial complex (on the upswing after Reagan) played a large role in employing a large section of the educated populace, as military spending skyrocketed, emphasis shifted from manufacturing consumer electronics to other military projects and defense contracts.

The silicon revolution centered in California, with its highly educated population became a supporting factor in the economic boom during and after the Reagan years, and continued even after the microchip manufacturing industry itself offshored to Taiwan, India and later China. I am speaking of course of the internet boom. The e commerce revolution was the last nail in the coffin of individual national economies and even though the internet boom was largely unfelt by the middle class (due to most of the wealth being created going through the stock market… more on that later) It did keep middle class wages from stagnating on average.

Cheap credit was the largest factor in keeping the middle class where they were, economically speaking. Starting in the 1980’s, computerization of banking has allowed credit cards to play an increasingly large role in American budgets. In the 1980’s the middle class found itself with an interesting dilemma “How do I keep my standard of living intact while I take a lesser paying job?” More and more middle class Americans found their solution in Credit Cards. Credit cards were used to float discrepancy in income and spending. The banking sector knew this and made it very easy to run up balances in the tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars. These debts were then paid off with home mortgages, and the cycle began anew. This leads me into the next topic.

Home values. Home values have increased by a “healthy” five to ten percent every single year since the eighties. Middle class runs up credit card debt, pays off credit card debt with home mortgages. First, second and even third mortgages were being written without so much as a blink of an eye, because of the assumption that home prices could only ever go up (or so it was thought).

George W Bush. Fought two foreign wars, handed out multibillion dollar contracts to the people who put him in office. The sheer evil genius of his ultimate economic policy was staggering.  Cut taxes, hand out no bid contracts (thereby boosting the economy) and do it all while running up the deficit. The results could not be seen until (he thought) years after he left office. The ultimate end of all of this is the following: The biggest economic disaster since the great depression. Let me explain why:

On September 11, 2001 our nation was brutally attacked by a disconnected fearful and ultimately successful group of people located in Afghanistan.  I will not go into the specifics of whether or not the President saw 9/11 coming, but it is very coincidental that “A project for a New America” (A right wing think tank) published a manifesto of how to involve America in a second Iraq conflict and ultimately profit in the terms of oil contracts and military logistics contracts (fielding large Armies costs lots of money) and is ultimately very profitable to those in the business. A large amount of George W. Bush’s political base came from Oil interests and military contractors. Coincidence?

In any government, the lasting effect of any policy is not immediately seen for years after it is enacted. I believe that Bush knew that he could fight two wars cut taxes and pump large amounts of money into the economy thereby providing a short term gain and giving the illusion of a healthy vibrant economy in the short term, and even cut taxes to the richest one percent of Americans (also his base)

In 2003 I believe that Bush saw the writing on the wall. The economy was slowing and at that point, a severe recession was in the cards. You cannot have both guns and butter while cutting taxes. It (up until this time) just was not done. Que the housing market. Up until this point the housing market was hyper inflated due to bad banking policy of allowing loans for people who could not ever hope to afford a house,  Fannie May and Freddie Mac were only the poster children bandied about the news like the whole thing was entirely their fault. It was not. Fannie and Freddie was only the tip of the iceburg.
    
President Bush turned a blind eye to a crisis in the making and even encouraged it by declawing the FTC and Banking commissions, introducing legislation to tear down Bretton Woods( The laws forcing separation between lending, investment and insurance and opening the door for all sorts of interest only loans, negative amortization loans and stated income loans. The most vile of these were credit default swaps and triple A rated mortgage bonds posting unreal returns based on the line of ever increasing home values. These bonds were teeny tiny pieces of home mortgages that never should have been extended in the first place.
   
Credit default swaps were created essentially as an insurance against the failure of certain instruments (AAA Bonds) that basically said: Okay, if these bonds don’t pay out we will insure them to a tune of your calling. These swaps often times exceeded the amounts of the bonds. Then these credit default swaps were then insured against to even higher amounts. The sprinkles on this whole cupcake were that banks were allowed to report potential gains as income. (Bank of America anyone?)
   
The banks of course knew that there was a crash coming. They knew it from the word go. They KNEW that the homeowners could never repay these mortgages. The banks expected to take people’s homes, they wanted to eat. What they did NOT expect was to choke on the sheer amount of homes coming back. The whole rotten house of cards came down on their heads. Collectively it was a bloodbath.
   
Instantly the same banks who mouthed “Oh I’m so sorry but I have to take your house, Personal responsibility and all that good stuff” realized that they were choking on what they expected to eat. Instead of a mouthful they got a whole garbage truck full of homes that weren’t actually worth a tenth of what they were mortgaged for. “Personal responsibility” and “Market forces” instantly became “Were too BIG to fail!! SAVE US GOVT!!” much like a teenager who sneers at his capitalist parents until he needs money to pay for his girlfriend’s abortion.
   Line after line of banking and insurance executives joined by legions of lawyers and lobbyists flew in their personal jets into Washington. Panicked lawmakers in record time passed the “Toxic asset relief fund” to the tune of 800 billion, that’s BILLION dollars. 8000 million dollars with absolutely no accountability meant that the very same idiots who created this whole mess get to snort Bogotá blow off the tits of Brazilian hookers. To this day, 400 billion dollars is absolutely unaccounted for. AIG spent millions on a stockholder party in the Caribbean the very week after this monumental mess. And the worst is yet to come.
   
First, before we do anything else, let me explain a helpful way of considering the next issue: The middle class.  Every healthy capitalist economy requires a middle class to function. Citizens shopping and buying things and putting money into the economy makes economies work.  This is why we have the “Consumer spending index” and economics shows talk about “fearful savers” or “ happy spenders” and do polls on how people view the economy. Economics classes talk about “dollars spent” Dollars spent in local economies tend to carry “force multipliers” with them. Force multipliers are really just a funny way of saying “for every dollar spent, two or three are felt”
   
Here’s how it works: Say I go to a local grocers to buy a carton of eggs. I spend a dollar. That local grocers then goes on to spend sixty cents of that on improvements to a contractor. That contractor then spends fifty cents of that dollar to pay for material for a pool he plans to install a week from now. That materials company spends forty cents on rent and so on and so on and so on. For every dollar spent locally, three or four are felt.
   
The stock market and more recently banks however tend to function not as engines of investment in worthy projects (as they were intended) but as engines of rewarding shareholders. The world wide stock market as we see it today, functions more as a ponzi scheme than anything else. The stock market functions as a function of competition between publically listed companies as to who can more efficiently reward the stockholder best (see price over earnings index) as rather to can more efficiently (efficiency being rated as a function of cost) produce a product. Business and accounting teach you that assets and owners equity must be maximized and liabilities (including employee pay and benefits) must be minimized. The stock market then serves as a competition among companies to see who can pay their employees the least, reward the stockholders the most and produce the product the cheapest (sometimes even omitting the product entirely, see Bernie Madoff)
   
Money directed at the stock market tends to be redirected at the stock market in one form or another (moving from thereby creating a split or bifurcated economy between what is owned on paper, and what is really truthfully owned, creating a major problems down the road when and if anyone tries to collect on what is owed.  The government bailout of the banks made this situation much much worse.
   
People look at the stock market and the economy and see the beginnings of “green shoots of a recovery” as the stock market is up almost two thousand points from a low of around 7500 two years and six months ago, but as I have demonstrated earlier what we see really is the effects of the “bailout” cash working its way through the system artificially propping up banks and lending institutions. The bailout money allows for banks to hold onto homes and property that they would otherwise be forced to sell at close to its true value. So instead of taking the TARP funds and using it to lend to business to create jobs, the banks are using the money to hold onto huge gluts of distressed properties in the hope that the economy will come back to its former glory. Another issue the banks have is that they have not even come close to declaring the losses inflicted by all of the “toxic assets” being held. They are being allowed not to declare the multi trillion dollar losses sitting on their books until the economy is more “stable”. The entire banking sector is playing a very expensive game of “kick the can”. These two factors mean that the banks look much healthier than they did in 2008 but in reality they are no more healthy then they had been before the banking crisis.
   
The next factor I will talk about is small business, or rather, the lack of it. Small business is what made this country great. If you owned a small business, it used to mean that you were firmly middle class. If you employed people, it would generally mean that they were middle class (or had the chance to become so). Part of what made this country so resilient is that people were allowed to own small business that employed people and gave them a means of income and livelihood. The computer revolution of the 80’s and 90’s made it possible to operate with “just in time” shipping and eliminated the need to warehouse goods longer than a few days. This in turn created a system where a company (Most notably Wal Mart) could sell goods from anywhere in the world for cents over margin.
   
This in turn had dire consequences for small businesses all over the United States. As Wal Mart spread all over the nation, devastating local economies wherever a Wal Mart went up, millions of small businesses, employing tens of millions of Americans went under within ten years. Gone were the living wages paid by these small businesses as they were replaced by the barely employable minimum wage employees of Wal Mart. Wal Mart more than any other corporation in the United States has done more to destroy the middle class than any other factor.

Wal Mart is an almost perfect ideal of a post globalization American corporation. Low prices are vastly overshadowed by the destruction it has wrought to the American way of life. Wal Mart maintains these low prices by not only squeezing its suppliers but it hurts employees as well (See no health insurance forcing wal mart employees into emergency rooms)

I have not discussed the role of Corporations in this piece, I will now briefly touch on the basic structure of a corporation and its alleged “personhood” granted to it by the Supreme Court around a hundred years ago. Corporations were originally formed as a tool for the public good, to build a bridge or to charter a town. They later through legal wrangling were allowed to form for the sole basis of making a profit by producing a product. Today the basic function of a corporation is to increase shareholder value. Corporations and those that work for them are not allowed to consider anything beyond maximizing shareholder value.
 
Court cases have been fought and won on behalf of corporations against CEO’s trying to consider other factors (such as employee pay and benefits, or environmental destruction). The shareholders won. It is simply beyond reasoning that corporations could be considered “people” when their sole goal, often sociopathic in nature is to increase value of the shareholder, regardless of the cost to people or the environment.

The WTO or the World Trade Organization has the legal power to sanction, or even stop governments from enacting legislation “contrary to the promotion of world trade” In other words, a country cannot make laws even when it has to do with the safety of its own citizens if doing so would be ruled “counterproductive” to the goal of “furthering world trade” The WTO has countless numbers of times stopped tariffs and laws and rules of its member nations from being enacted under threat of economic sanction. No matter where the products come from, or may or may not be paying their employees a “living wage” the WTO has a great deal of power over member and even nonmember nations.

The last factor I will be talking about is the effect of lobbying on governments worldwide. Where a lobbyist gains power (usually by donating to campaigns in the United States, but in other places outright bribery) countries (especially the United States) become more and more corrupt as its politicians stop seeking the public good, and start looking out for the good of the interests that elect them. This has run rampant with the most extreme example being the recent bank bailouts under both Bush and Obama, but also healthcare reform under Obama.

You cannot find a business interest these days without a lobby. Big Pharma makes the cost of prescription drugs hundreds of times more expensive than they would be under a pure capitalist environment. Healthcare lobbyists have driven the cost of basic medical attention out of the reach of a sizable portion of American consumers. The RIAA and MPAA make it to where playing a song “too loudly” can constitute a “public performance” costing the defendant millions of dollars. Big agriculture costs American taxpayers tens of billions of dollars a year to pay farmers not to plant crops. Recent supreme court rulings make campaign donations “free speech” meaning, the United States government can no longer regulate how much lobbyists donate to politicians. Corporations are now free to buy elections. Basic marketing psychology states that the he (or she) who is the loudest often has their message heard the most. More exposure equals more votes EVERY  TIME.

Governments are losing ground to corporations at an alarming rate. The middle class is in danger of extinction worldwide.  The basic social safety net is in danger of being completely eliminated. Things once considered basic human rights (Water being the most notable) are being monetized at an alarming rate. The middle class, the thing that keeps capitalist economies moving is being extinguished. As you are reading this now, the dow has dipped below ten thousand for the first time in a year.

Instead of taking the purely capitalist road (which would have been preferable) we have bought into being the most ill conceived disgustingly pandering bills into law. The healthcare bill is nothing more than a government mandate that says everyone in the US must have healthcare. It does NOTHING to address the rising costs of such and is nothing more then a big sloppy blow job to the people who created this mess in the first place. Healthcare lobbyists. The same can be said of the bank bailouts. This money is not being used to extend credit to small business or to extend loans to the people who create jobs. It does nothing for Main Street and everything for Wall Street. It has sewn the seeds of utter destruction of our economy as the money worms its way through the system, ending up in the pockets of the few with nothing but the screw for the many.

We are in a dire situation. There is no recovery coming. I have no real solutions to the problems I have presented. I have totally and completely lost faith in both parties. The Republicans are tools of the elite who create slick marketing campaigns to convince people that any social spending at all, whether it be education, or healthcare reform or banking regulation is nothing more then socialism. “Socialism!!” “Socialism!” they scream from corner offices of Wall Street firms, they are against any tax increases to the upper  15% of income earners, who despite their claims of “Class Warfare” have done nothing less in the last thirty years and they are winning. We think healthcare for all is “untenable” or “too expensive” despite the fact that the cost of the wars we have waged in the middle east could pay for the healthcare costs of every American for the next hundred years. (pure cost, not factoring in lobbying)

The democrats are no less culpable. They are in bed with the banks, and other less savory interests. I used to think the democrats were spineless weak and borderline retarded. I now know that they are bought and paid for by the same people the republicans are. I can think of no other excuse. After 9/11 the democrats rolled over and died and allowed two wars to be waged with little oversight. They turned a blind eye as then president George W Bush (and the oil and military contractors) buried themselves balls deep in the nation of Iraq, for little to no reason other than some flimsy evidence supplied by a Libyan asset who turned out to have been coached by the CIA.  The democrats even took the biggest mandate for change they had since FDR and let the republicans dictate the tone of the conversation on Healthcare reform and financial reform. Now the Republicans are due a comeback in November.

We have been led to believe that both the mother and the father working full time sometimes two jobs is regular and American. We have been groomed to believe that vacation time and sick days are a privilege due only a select few. We have watched our incomes shrinks our retirements disappear with even the idea of a retirement the boon of the moneyed.  We have been bombarded by our media to think this is normal. “The new economy: Say goodbye to retirement!” was the headline of a recent time magazine. All outlets of media are owned by and large by three highly rich people in the US. Where do their interests lie?

I will tell you this. We are due a depression. There is no way around it. It takes a middle class to drive an economy anywhere. Wall Street cannot survive without Main Street. Wall Street needs spending. We have nothing left. No amount of bailouts TARPS or money thrown at those who have too much already will get this economy going again. Nothing short of a new Public Works project will do that now. It is a basic function of economic activity that a dollar given to a poor person or a middle class person (who will spend it immediately in his or her local economy) will go a lot farther than a dollar given a rich person (who will invest it in the Ponzi scheme known as wall street) or give it to a bank (who will buy a house and hold onto it forever)  The market needs a severe correction. Wall Street needs to reflect Main Street.

We no longer have the intelligence as a citizenry to realize what we have done to ourselves. I have no faith in the average American citizen to realize the extent to which they have been screwed, by both sides of the isle. Maybe Americans are too tired from working so many jobs, maybe they are just apathetic, and maybe they are stupid. Maybe they will finally wake up and realize just who is responsible for this mess and decide to vote people who aren’t tools for the elite into office, maybe just maybe, every civilization including ours has a shelf life.  Perhaps we are due a hundred years of corporate feudalism and mass extermination killed on one hand by an angry environment and oppressed on another by our corporate overlords…

Ahh fuck it. I’m going to go watch a movie.
2  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: Bioshock 2 (360) For Sale on: March 19, 2010, 04:31:47 AM
YGPM
3  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Computer woes... I am teh stumped! on: March 18, 2010, 03:42:52 AM
I have a system that is around three years old, and I have had various problems with it from the start. All of these problems except for one minor one seem to come in clusters.

Here are my hardware specs

Motherboard: Asus P5B
CPU Intel Core 2 duo 6600 @2.4 gig stock cooling
Ram 4 MB GSkill PC2 6400
Video Card evga Nvidia GForce 8800GTS 640MB
Hard drive 400GB western Digital SATA 3GB/sec
PSU 700 Watt OCZ Game extreme (recently died replaced with a corsair TX650 Watt)
OS: Windows Vista 64 Bit pro

When I got the computer it was DOA. It would turn on but it wouldn't feed any video signal. Sent it back, and when I got it back it inexclipably worked. The PC builder was as stumped as I was. Fast forward six months to late 2007. I started getting periods where the system would freeze/crash along with a few scattered disk read/corrupt windows errors. I took it into the local shop where they said it was a motherboard problem, and replaced the motherboard. No more problems. Pretty much rock solid except for one small problem.

Fast forward two and a half years. Today the computer slows down and just about hard freezes, it wont restart. I click the power supply off and restart it. I get a brief blue screen error and a reboot. Then I get another error about a corrupt windows, and it needing the windows disk. I again restart it and it blue screen with a "disk read" error.

I figure "Hey the hard drives dead" so I pull the hard drive and start the RMA process. I then replace the hard drive and it boots into windows with absolutely no issue. I do a scan disk. And the hard drive seems to scan perfectly. No issue. I am teh stumped! I am posting from the computer now and I have no issue.

One extra caveat that may or may not be relevant. For the three years I have owned the computer, through both motherboards it seems like maybe once every few days, I get no video when the rest of the computer boots. I have to turn the computer off/on at the power supply to get video working again. Its odd. But it doesen't really bother me.

So. Is this the motherboard, the hard drive or something completely else?

If I do have to replace the MB what do you guys recommend that would be compatable with my current hardware yet upgradable in the future as I plan to do?

4  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Re: Layoffs Hit EA Studios Including Tiburon, Black Box, Redwood Shores, Mythic on: November 15, 2009, 02:26:25 AM
I for one, am going to be glad to see EA go. Maybe, just maybe people are getting tired of the formulaic bullshit that's come out.

EA's modus operendi:
1. Publish a game for a small dev.
2. rake in the cash
3. swallow the company that just released that game
4. fire anyone who had anything to do with it
5. release sequels and run the franchise into the ground
6. sit on the IP forever
7. wonder why you're going broke
5  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Political Quiz on: February 20, 2009, 09:11:01 PM
Economic Left/Right: -8.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51
6  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / A goldfish named W on: February 18, 2009, 07:57:22 PM
So anyway, there is this room where I go for tutoring related to the subject of the finance classes I take. In this room, there is a twenty gallon fishtank. In this fishtank, there are three goldfish and a few tropical fish. The goldfish in this tank are fat stupid, slow and ungainly. These three goldfish like to make sport of pecking at one another constantly. When one of them gets sick, the other two goldfish will turn him into a still moving buffet. This is their sport.

The most guilty of this cannibalistic sport, is the largest gold colored goldfish. The other two fish have since gotten very sick, they are floating at the top of the tank listlessly. This bully of a fish will take turns relentlessly trying to feed on the two fish until they weakly resume swimming in the middle of the tank, he will then concentrate on the other sick fish.

This large opportunistic fish does not have a name. After watching him for a while, I have decided that I will name him Dubya.
7  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: So. Why Couldn't the Mumbai Attacks Happen in AnyCity USA/EU? on: December 23, 2008, 11:38:44 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on December 23, 2008, 09:50:40 PM

Quote from: Drazzil on December 23, 2008, 09:26:34 PM

Pirates aren't terrorists, but they would probabally deal with the highest bidder. I also may be misinformed here but most large cargo ships/supertankers have transponders that identify them as a certain ship, carrying a certain cargo. I dont think it would be the most difficult thing in the world to either set up a shell company to buy a supertanker, if not outright steal one, buy nitrates or liquid nitrates a truckload at a time over a period of time, especially in countries that may not have extensive records.

I said this earlier in the thread but I speak from personal experience when I tell you that there is a LOT of manpower and resources being exerted to look at this problem.  Supercarriers do not just show up unnanounced and enter US ports and those that do come here come with thorough document and crew review and if any discrepancies or concerns come up then those vessels are made to stand offshore (well outside of the two mile radius you mentioned) until they are boarded and inspected. 

These vessels are scrutinized carefully from the moment they file paperwork to come into out ports.

I hope so.
8  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: So. Why Couldn't the Mumbai Attacks Happen in AnyCity USA/EU? on: December 23, 2008, 09:26:34 PM
Pirates aren't terrorists, but they would probabally deal with the highest bidder. I also may be misinformed here but most large cargo ships/supertankers have transponders that identify them as a certain ship, carrying a certain cargo. I dont think it would be the most difficult thing in the world to either set up a shell company to buy a supertanker, if not outright steal one, buy nitrates or liquid nitrates a truckload at a time over a period of time, especially in countries that may not have extensive records.

How hard would it be to pay some corrupt government official in some third world country agriculture department to buy the tonnage of fertilizer necessary to fill a large cargo ship or a supertanker, sail it to within the range that cargo ships start to be scrutinized carefully and blow themselves to hell.

It would certainally take a lot less effort to pull off then 9/11, and a lot less technical know how and luck.
9  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: So. Why Couldn't the Mumbai Attacks Happen in AnyCity USA/EU? on: December 23, 2008, 07:02:56 PM
Okay, you know what? You folks attacking the idea need to do some research. A tanker full of sodium nitrate (read liquid fertilizer) would go off with the strength of two or three Heroshima(sp?)/Nagasaki explosions, at least. You only need to come within a two miles or so of any major commercial port, and detonate the whole tanker. No more docks.

Remember Oklahoma City? That was only done with a truck full of this stuff. Imagine a supertanker/Cargo barge full of cheaply made, easily obtainable liquid fertilizer.

Oh, and terrorists hijack cargo ships and oil tankers all the time. For every supertanker you read about being hijacked, there are another five you never hear about because the companies figure it would be better to quietly settle with the Pirates and go about their business.

PS: If you folks think I'm full of it, go ahead, but the PM of India specifically mentoned this scenerio in an NPR briefing about a week ago, as in, shit developed countries need to avoid.
10  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: So. Why Couldn't the Mumbai Attacks Happen in AnyCity USA/EU? on: December 23, 2008, 03:44:33 PM
First, how hard would it be to set up a completely legitimate looking ID and cargo manifest for a cargo ship? Not hard I think, second, all you have to do is sail the ship to within a mile or two of target.
11  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: So. Why Couldn't the Mumbai Attacks Happen in AnyCity USA/EU? on: December 22, 2008, 08:04:57 PM
The next terrorist attack is going to involve a hijacked supertanker, perhaps multiple supertankers filled with liquid chemical fertilizer and sailed into major commerical ports, Long Beach, New York or Philidelphia, perhaps all at once. The blast would be large enough to basically wipe out portions of whole cities.

This would be a crippling blow to our economy as well, and may cripple shipping to and from the United States, the world economy would grind to a halt.
12  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Need some life and pet advice folks. on: September 24, 2008, 03:29:37 PM
I'm sorry I was in such an angry state when I posted this. I applied to the university and I'm going to take the housing when it ((hopefully)) comes in three months or the next quarter. I cant help my mom anymore when she refuses it.  I gave her her meds last night when she FINALLY came home ((2 am)) and this morning she took her meds (I think)) but I cant do this forever. I need to live my own life and its taken me this long to realize it.

13  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Need some life and pet advice folks. on: September 24, 2008, 04:05:48 AM
For the last two years I've been in a literal and mental hell trying to get my mom help for her issues with paranoid schitzophrenia. She refuses to take medication and has made my life an absolute living wreck for almost the entire duration of the time I've been with her. Her treating doctor is hostile to me and I am unable to get her conserved ((it would cost me six thousand dollars)).

I cant handle this phychologically anymore. Before she was hospitalized she barracaded herself in her room 90% of the time, spent the other five % screaming at me or physically attacking me. The marks wouldn't stay so when I would call the cops they would refuse to do the paperwork to have her taken to the hospital and hospitalized.

Before she got taken to the hospital this last time, she got most of the way through the eviction process to have me evicted, she no longer saw the necessity of paying the bills and I was having to cover all the housing/utility expenses. This last time she was hospitalized they kept her three weeks. Long enough to get her half stabilized. She still refuses to medicate.

I have however found a way out. I have applied for University Housing ((At my local university where I go to school)) so that I may escape this situation. Only five problems. Namely our cats. If I leave, she will lose her place to live, and the cats will be taken to the pound and put to sleep.

I have tried local "no kill" shelters... They are all full. These cats were all my family for the entire time my mom has been sick. They are between six months and seven years old. My mom keeps adopting cats.

I am to the point to where I know if I have these cats put down, I will be free of my mother. I couldn't give a flying fuck what happens to her. She is WILLINGLY not medicating, WILLINGLY being led astray by the voices in her head. I hope that she is damned in a hell for the willingly decieved for eternity plus ten thousand years. I hope that she dies freezing with a goddamn newspaper up her ass with only her goddamned voices to keep her company. I'm done with my mother. She's fucking had her last chance with me. I am twenty six goddamn years old, but I cant bear to walk away from the goddamn cats. A large part of me wants to go have them all put down tomorrow so I can finally FINALLY be free of her.

So what do I owe the cats? I have done my best. Im broken, I'm defeated, Im done, Im finished, I'm spent with breaking my hands and my head and my back and my heart trying to hold things together for her but I love the cats and I believe I have some kind of duty to them right?

I know for a fact if I leave my mom, she will lose her home, and no one in the mental health system cares, I've tried for two years to get her help to no avail. I got no love left for my mom but I feel for the cats...
14  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Cigars on: September 04, 2008, 07:34:10 PM
woo man, two... no scratch that, three posts in the SAME DAY. I'm on a tear folks!
15  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Cigars on: September 04, 2008, 07:32:36 PM
Nubs are "okay" cigars. Unfortunately because of their short nature and large "ring gauge", they wind up burning rather quickly and might overwhelm a new smoker with a shotgun nicotine buzz.

Put simply, smoking a nub is like drinking fine wine out of a fire hose.
16  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Cigars on: September 04, 2008, 07:06:36 PM
A great source for cigar knowledge and whatnot is www.clubstogie.com . I almost exclusively post there now, as my intrests have shifted a great deal in the last seven years you folks have known me. Also, I HIGHLY discourage buying anything Gurkha. They are a botique blend, highly inconsistant, overpriced and are prone to discontinue and introduce new blends at the drop of a hat. I have never met a Gurkha I liked. Cigar that is
17  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Cigars on: September 04, 2008, 03:47:24 PM
Cigars that are in my current rotation:

http://www.cigarsinternational.com/proddisp.asp?item=CS-5XA&stext=five%20vegas%20series Five Vegas series A

http://www.cigarsinternational.com/prodDisp.asp?item=CS-ISA&cat=3 Indian Tabbac Super Fuerte

http://www.cigarsinternational.com/prodDisp.asp?item=CS-POA Punch Rare Corojo

http://www.famous-smoke.com/cigars/search/stats.cfm/inum/17443 Excalibur 1066 Dark Knight

Oh, and if anyone cares to PM me, I've got an eight cigar box of Macanudo Gold glass Tubos that I would send anyone who promises to smoke em. Macanudo Gold is the best sold handmade in America. Its got a very smooth, grassy taste thats very non threatening to the new smoker. I also consider it to be the "Bud Light" of Cigars, but hey, everyones got to start somewhere. All I ask is cost of shipping, and that you smoke em, but I covered that earlier.
18  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Mercenaries 2 impressions thread on: August 31, 2008, 07:03:22 PM
I was right about to go ahead and get it before I read reviews here, also the 7.9 review from IGN REALLY turns me off, especially since IGN as another poster mentoned does overreview their games, and is probabally terrified of EA in the first place, all these things say stay away.
19  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: GOG obtained source code for Fallout 2? on: August 07, 2008, 09:56:34 PM
http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/53535

Images are in the gallery
20  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / GOG obtained source code for Fallout 2? on: August 07, 2008, 08:32:37 PM
If you look at the (edit) Shacknews article for GOG, Then into the gallery for the photos hosted for Fallout 2 by GOG, You will notice some pictures of Klamath that are ahhh.... Not stock.

Now its completely possible that some enterprising soul got ahold of the map editor and then fiddled with it for a bit, but as someone who tried the map editor and found it very hard to initally get into... Well. I find this explanation highly unlikely. Either way, it shows a substantial amount of intrest into re introducing the title to the masses.
21  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: "If I were rich enough..." on: August 07, 2008, 04:28:59 PM
I'd run for president and rig the election so I would win. After this I'd have the congress, house and the senate arrested and jailed for treason. I'd then dissolve the supreme court.

Then I would spend my days posting here and at OO bitching about how much it sucked to run the country.
22  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Fourth of July Reflections on: July 08, 2008, 02:06:54 AM
nice derail folks.
23  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Fourth of July Reflections on: July 05, 2008, 07:39:51 PM
Quote
Besides the politic decision to lay most ills at the feat of George III to create a convenient little scapegoat. Otherwise I don't view it as that revolutionary - unlike the French or Russian revolutions it doesn't signficantly transfer political power from one group or class to another - look at who posses political power before the American Revolution and after - rich southern planters, northerm merchants, etc.


Which is why I called the declaration of independance a revolutionary CONCEPT. perhaps you should actually read what people write before you bother with the eletist holier then thou speeches about how those in power in America remained in power. The concept of the declaration carried forward as a guideline for those who came afterwards.

Quote
Did you copy this from a sxith grade history book? You've got a core idea that is somewhat right, but could it sound more nationalist?

Dont get me wrong, I hate some of the things my country does, but I find that for one day a year, I focus on the sucesses of the US rather then her failures, and they are numerous.

Quote
Why don't you learn about the things your talking about before you spew off jinoistic posts - by the period of War for American Independence the monarch is clearly subordinated to Parliament - the divine right of kings might have been standard still among continental Europe but certainly not in Great Britain.

During that time a substantial amount of power remained in the hands of kings and nobility.
24  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Fourth of July Reflections on: July 05, 2008, 06:07:40 AM
Quote
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.


I have been pondering this great document and the History of the United States of America for a while now, and I have come to certain conclusions.

Whatever may happen to our nation in the future, this one document, this rather simple and straightforward statement of the inherent rights of mankind will burn as a great beacon and an example to not only our Country, but to states yet founded and peoples yet born. It will be boilerplate for any founding nations constitution.

This delcaration of independance is a truly revolutionary concept. That all PEOPLE were created equal. Up until this date, the belief was in the divine right of kings. Throughout the last fifteen hundred years by and large one extended family held stead over the entire western world. Your role was whatever you were born into and that is what you were. History up until that moment was a mismash of stop and start efforts, slow and sometimes non existant writings on the role of a man in the world. Democracy on a limited basis had been tried in Greece and the Roman Republic but it was nothing like what had been penned and signed in the British Colonies Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland,Connecticut,Rhode Island,Delaware and North Carolina. The scope of this had yet to be stated yet to be even imagined.

What had been up until then a slow trickle of ideas on the rights of man had turned into a deluge and then a torrent as the news of this revolution and founding of a nation based on the ideas penned above rang like a hammer on a bell. The nations of Europe filled with their dusty ideals of the rights and priveledges of arisocracy and the downtrodden many sat up and took notice, and were forced to change the way they conducted government themselves.

In the next two hundred and fifty years this idea would grow and change to include more and more of what the original authors had intended all along through demonstrations, leglisation, marches civil disturbances and a bloody civil war. Throughout the history of the United States we have I believe, for all of our warts and tragedies and misguided laws and policies... Changed the world for the better. Democrat and Republican, Independant and Libertarian, regardless of our beliefs we are all American, and we all follow our beliefs and believe in the ideas set forth in the declaration of Independance as we strive towards a more perfect union...

Happy Fourth of July and God Bless America.

-Drazzil

25  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Could the US collapse like the Soviet Empire? on: June 19, 2008, 02:31:40 AM
With the economic and political situation the way it is, I am seeing this as a larger and larger possibility.

Our economy is in the most dire position it has been in for the last fifty years, the middle class is being squeezed like never before, the US dollar in a terribly perilous condition, we are carrying trillions in debt with little hope to repay it in our lifetimes, lobbiests and special intrests are running amok. With an oil shock imminent as the alternative energy technologies we could have been developing this whole time has been supressed by big oil.

All it would take is a moderate stock market crash and a run on the banks could lead to an economic bloodbath. Countries that have been buying our dollar would finally stop, the costs of cutting and running finally outweighing the terror of what would happen to the value of the dollars they have already bought. The US could rip itself into three or four pieces. The next cold war would be fought between the EU and China, with India taking the side of the EU, and China Allying with Russia.

How plausable is this? Why and why not?
26  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Escalaon Book I : Salamander Cave? on: June 16, 2008, 12:01:38 AM
Im running the demo of the game, and everything seems peachy keen except for the fact that the salamander cave ((The Big hole in the ground with the dead corpse by it)) doesent want to load the rest of the dungeon. I try clicking on the hole itself, I tried going right up to the edge of the hole, but regardless of what I want to do, it doesent want to load the rest of the cave, is there a trick to this?
27  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: New Indiana Jones movie and children - help needed on: May 26, 2008, 03:10:36 AM
I dont know about you folks but some parts of the Indy and the Temple of Doom movie scared a nine or ten year old me shitless.
28  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: It's staring you right in the face, Hillary. on: May 14, 2008, 07:53:00 PM
Where did you find the article with that picture?
29  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Can someone please tell this senile moron to shut up? on: April 14, 2008, 04:38:02 PM
I hate to say it folks, but regardless of what happened before it. Hamas and other groups are nothing more then a cancer that if allowed to spread through hate filled retehoric will only kill any real chance of peace. I'm all for hunting every last living one of these jihadist bumfucks and using systematically applied hot lead to the back of the temporal region thereby facilitating their transition to room temprature.

Its not geneocide if they are striving to wipe you off the face of the earth.
30  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / MP3 sound degrading over time? on: March 12, 2008, 05:39:04 PM
I dont know which forum this goes in, as it is a technical problem, but with music. I just finished copying all of my CD's and MP3 files onto my new Vista computer. I have noticed that with a lot of music ((It seems like sony titles are affected more then others)) Have a lot of trouble with distortions in sound. Hissing, popping and other issues. Is this a funky windows Vista or Sony DRM scheme? Could it be an issue with my computer transferring files? I am at a complete loss here. I will go further to state that it is not my speakers problems, as internet radio and certain MP3's seem to be unaffected.
31  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Ran across an ...interesting... website on: March 11, 2008, 08:26:37 PM
Something about that whole website comes off as deeply and fundamentally disturbing and horrifying in a very real way. Engineered lifespan of 1 or 3 years? Engineered immobility and personality? The appearance of the creatures to be a cross between a human and some sort of small dog? Yeap. Hits just about every nerve I have.

It's definitely good art.
32  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Housing Market Issues on: March 03, 2008, 11:35:59 PM
Quote
Communist.

Canadian.
33  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Housing Market Issues on: March 03, 2008, 05:11:33 PM
Quote
Assuming the above is true - and I'm not saying it is, because while I think there's some truth to it, it's still excessively alarmist - what's the solution?  I get tired of always hearing people rant about this and that regarding the economy but never offer a solution.  If I had to read between the lines of Drazzil's post, it seemed that the situation was described as so bleak and hopeless that a revolution was the only solution.

I hope it doesent come down to it, but that may be what happens.
34  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Housing Market Issues on: March 01, 2008, 04:49:07 AM
Before you point the finger at the average CEO running the a multinational company as being responsible, read a bit of history. Read up on the NAFTA, Globalization, So called "Free Trade", Wal-Mart and the marginalization of the American in the next economy. Read "Credit Card Nation", "Maxed Out", "Nickeled and Dimed", "Brand Name Bullies" and any of Noam Chomsky's work and read every economic journal out there.

Within a few weeks a very bleak picture will begin to emerge. A picture of a "Military Industural Complex" gone amok. Back in the fifties Eisenhower warned us that given enough time and lack of oversight, the "Military Industural Complex" would threaten democracy itself. It has always needed a boogeyman to justify its existance. First it was the Communists, and Russia and the Cold War, and now its the terrorists.

Since ((Reagan)) was elected in the Eighties corporations profits have rose exponentially while "real" wages, wages tied to the inflation index have fallen almost seventy percent. In 1970 the average american worker made over sixty dollars an hour ((in todays terms)) in a manufacturing job,counting benefits. Today its something like fourteen dollars an hour, and no benefits.

We are told, time and time again that globalization is a good thing, that it means more money and profits and a higher standard of living for everyone. This is wrong. Globalization is a bad thing as it is. All it really does is allows companies to move abroad, to offsource, outshore and pack up their bags and leave for some third world country with little standard of living and even less respect for human rights. Unregulated globalism is nothing more then the total antithesis of everything the United States should stand for.

We are told that affordable healthcare is untenable. It is untenable only because hospitals charge obscene amounts, and the pharma companies are making profits in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Healthcare lobbiests drive the politicians to extend patents on drugs, drive them to make laws to make DNA patentable, and the healthcare insurance industry raises the rates on healthcare as much as 20% a year... and refuses to insure everyone but the most healthy.

On the domestic front our educational system is failing. We are going from a nation of scientists and engineers to a nation that packs grocery bags, pitches cars and asks "would you like fries with that?" Educational funding is drying up at the higher levels, as the cost of higher education triples every ten years.

As a nation, we are working harder, spending less time with our families and driving GDP to an all time high, and yet the last two economic booms werent even felt by 95% of those in the workforce. The average standard of living did not rise. CNN and the Wall Street Journal and all the other news corporations declared that we had entered an "age of prosperity" and yet, we as an average american worker, didn't see a dime. Why is this?

As Americans, our whole way of life is under threat. We are under siege and we are made to believe that the problems of healthcare, social security, medicare and a slipping standard of living are "too complex" to fix. Politicans pay lip service to how they "feel our pain" to be elected but then its business as usual in capital hill. These mouthpieces dont rock the boat. Our very electorial system is nothing more then a sham. We dont see a canidate take the national stage unless he has been bought, sold and paid for by the lobbiests. These canidates know who paid for them to get into office, so they dont do anything radical, and the rot continues.

We are involved in a highly expensive, miserably planned and poorly executed war overseas. This war is funded not with our taxes but with American dollars, bought by countries that are terrified of what may happen if they stop buying our dollars. These countries already own trillions of dollars of US debt that will become worthless if they do not buy. The current administration hands out multibillion dollar no bid contracts to companies that they themselves have vested intrests in. Gasoline prices are at a record high, not entirely because of scaricity, but because the multinational monopolies that run the refineries do not increase capacity, and routinely take refineries offline to extort record profits out of a captive consumer who is forced to commute to far flung areas just to get to work.

The bottom line is that we spend more then we make. We as Americans have been supporting our standard of living on credit cards, and then paying off the credit cards with lines of credit on our very homes itself. The very system will be its undoing. What these multinational corporations dont realize is that America is still the engine that drives the world economy. You cannot ship jobs overseas, and ship goods back and expect Americans to buy what they can no longer afford on credit forever. It is untenable.

Why arent we as Americans angry yet? Perhaps it is because most Americans have been raised to accept this, and as long as we accept it, those who exploit will continue to take advantage of our political nievity. We face now a "collapse" as real as the Soviets faced in the early ninties, not because we are communist, but because we allow those who are in power to continue to take and take until there is nothing left to drive the economy at home. I have been predicting the "housing crisis" for two years now. It is there because Americans are deeply in debt, and willing to put their homes on the line to maintain their standard of living, because mortage loan companies are willing to offer exploitative ARM's with nice looking rates up front. This recession we are now in will extend into a depression when the banks collapse in a domino effect when they realize that they cant get $100,000 for the house that they financed to the tune of $450,000. It will be made worse when countries switch their standard from the dollar to the Yen, the Euro of the Chinese dong.
The pain hasent even started yet, and we, as Americans are largely to blame. ARM's are just the tip of the iceburg

Edited for: Reagan, not Nixon.
35  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So. My dad found me through gamingtrend. on: February 19, 2008, 03:48:17 PM
Id love to see your avatar on a bumper sticker CeeKay
36  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / So. My dad found me through gamingtrend. on: February 19, 2008, 03:23:09 PM
As I posted here earlier, I thought my dad was dead. He isint. He contacted me last saturday. He looked up my name on google, found an amazon review I did and then looked up my username and found this place, and all the posts about my life. He e mailed me through this site and he called me. I know what you guys are thinking, prank or scam. Its not. He sent me a picture that looks a lot like me, and he sent me a younger picture of him and my mom that really looks like me. He talked to my mom and it really is him.

My dad is a chemical engineer and I have three siblings. And I probabally have my postings at Gamingtrend to thank. Heres some pictures

My dad



My mom



Me



An older picture

37  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Cigars on: February 13, 2008, 09:38:00 PM
Nicotine + Alchohol it is. Light cigar smokers usually get a bit light headed towards the end of a cigar.
38  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Cigars on: February 05, 2008, 03:11:00 AM
I smoke cigars. If you're looking for cheap cigars I would recommend www.joecigar.com and buy anything Rocky Patel, Carlos Torano or if you're into flavored cigars, Acid. There is also a decent bundle cigar at www.thecigarFO.com (( Reserva #7 and at 30.00 shipped it is easily worth ten times the price))

Thats all I have to say about that.
39  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [WTF] Man with no face on: December 27, 2007, 03:52:36 PM
Okay, I'm going to weigh in here, having being the only person on these boards that I know of, having any actual experience on this topic, having spent ((and wasted)) the first eighteen years of my life having the Jehovah's Witness theology rammed down my throat, and having intimate experience in how they work.

The Jehovah's Witnesses are absolutely a CULT. They destroy families. Once a family member is a Jehovah's Witness, it is frowned upon when they spend excess time ANY "Non Believers" or people who dont have the "truth" EVEN and ESPECIALLY family. The Jehovahs Witless turn the idea of God into a boogie monster who is going to kill everyone who doesent believe in the Jehovah's Witless theology at an apocolypse thats stressed to be "just around the corner" from today. These people spend many many hours a week instilling a fear of what God will do to them if they "leave the fold" and a zeal to try and "save other people" by knocking on doors on saturdays and sundays. Birthdays and all holidays are verboten. The Witnesses are the "Christian" version of Fascists who disappear or "disfellowship" anyone who doesent buy the JW philsophy that comes out in the "Watchtower" hook line and sinker. They also carry a lot of non mainstream views on blood ((cant take it)), the trinity ((they dont believe in it)) etc etc etc.

For these reasons and many many MANY more, the Jehovah's Witnesses are absolutely, completely and totally 100% a cult, and anyone who says otherwise is either A. A Jehovahs Witness themselves or be B. Completely and totally ignorant of the true facts of the matter.
40  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / DS + Games for sale on: November 17, 2007, 06:25:42 PM
The DS is very VERY lightly used, as in a handful of times throughout the year and a half or so I've owned it
All games are without box and instructions ((moving issues)) unless noted with an asterstik (*), in which case, they're new and sealed.
This package comes with the stylus, adapter and a handsome grey nylon nintendo carrying case

It comes with the following games

GBA Games

Advance Wars
Advance Wars 2
Mario vs. Donkey Kong
Mario & Luigi Super Star Saga
Secret of Mana
Car Battler Joe
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
Golden Sun
Golden Sun 2

DS Games

Animal Crossing
Star Trek Tactical Assault
Super Mario 64 DS
Sim City DS*
Kirby Squeak Squad*

I'm looking for $300 for the whole package, but will enterain all reasonable offers, and I will also consider offers of a trade for an X Box 360.

E mail me with offers or questions
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