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The latest episode of Battlestar Galactica, “A Disquiet Follows My Soul”, has left my mind spinning with speculation as to what all will happen before the end.  This led me to review some of my old guesses and hypotheses in seasons past, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m pretty much dead wrong every time.  RDM and crew always catch me off guard, which I think is one of the many reasons I love the show so much.  Read on for a list of some of my predictions that have proven to be wrong – so far.  WARNING – This material is highly spoiler-like for anyone that hasn’t seen every episode!

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I’ve been browsing around the new White House website and reading up on my new prez.  I was amazed and happy to see that over 50% of the civil rights agenda page is dedicated to “Support for the LGBT Community”.  It’s broken out into its own subsection – the only civil rights topic to attain such focus.  It’s awesome and empowering to have that much real estate on the page!  See the full LGBT section below.

Support for the LGBT Community

“While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It’s about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect.”– Barack Obama, June 1, 2007

  • Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: In 2004, crimes against LGBT Americans constituted the third-highest category of hate crime reported and made up more than 15 percent of such crimes. President Obama cosponsored legislation that would expand federal jurisdiction to include violent hate crimes perpetrated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical disability. As a state senator, President Obama passed tough legislation that made hate crimes and conspiracy to commit them against the law.
  • Fight Workplace Discrimination: President Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees’ domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy. The President also sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
  • Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.
  • Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: President Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.
  • Repeal Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell: President Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. The President will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals.
  • Expand Adoption Rights: President Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.
  • Promote AIDS Prevention: In the first year of his presidency, President Obama will develop and begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies. The strategy will be designed to reduce HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities. The President will support common sense approaches including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception, combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception, and distributing contraceptives through our public health system. The President also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. President Obama has also been willing to confront the stigma — too often tied to homophobia — that continues to surround HIV/AIDS.
  • Empower Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS: In the United States, the percentage of women diagnosed with AIDS has quadrupled over the last 20 years. Today, women account for more than one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. President Obama introduced the Microbicide Development Act, which will accelerate the development of products that empower women in the battle against AIDS. Microbicides are a class of products currently under development that women apply topically to prevent transmission of HIV and other infections.

Another day, another crackpot blaming violence on video games.

17-year old Daniel Petric was recently found guilty of shooting his parents over Halo 3 – and no, the dispute wasn’t over who stuck the best plasma grenade. I don’t really care too much about Daniel, as anyone who could shoot a gun at his parents is sick and twisted (his mom died, for frak’s sake!), but I do care about Judge James Burge’s idiot comments (transcript courtesy of gamepolitics.com):

This Court’s opinion is that we don’t know enough about these video games. In this particular case, not so much the violence of the game because I believe in the Halo 3, what it amounts to is a contest to see who can shoot the most aliens who attack.

It’s my firm belief that after a while the same physiological responses occur that occur in the ingestion of some drugs. And I believe that an addiction to these games can do the same thing. The dopamine surge, the stimulation of the nucleus accumbens – the same as an addiction. Such that when you stop, your brain won’t stand for it.

The other dangerous thing about these games, in my opinion, is that when these changes occur, they occur in an environment that is delusional. Because you can shoot these aliens, and they’re there again the next day. You have to shoot them again. And I firmly believe that Daniel Petric had no idea, at the time he hatched this plot, that if he killed his parents, they would be dead forever.

What really catapults this into the crackpotopshere is the notion that the body reacts to video games the way it reacts to drugs.

Uh WHAT?! I wish!

You want to have a conversation about video games causing violence? OK. Bring movies, music, and TV to the table, too, and I’d be glad to tell you why you’re wrong.  Until then I’m just going to scoff and be snarky at you.

via IGN

A friend emailed me this story today and highlighted the almost throwaway comment, “and George Lucas plans to release all six ‘Star Wars’ movies in 3-D”.  This elicited from me a bundle of snarky nerd rage that must have been lurking just below the surface.  I thought my response would make for a good post so here it is, uncut and uncensored:

Yeah I heard he’s been working on this.  As with any incremental release/version/edition, I’m sure he’ll take little poopy shits all over the stuff he STILL isn’t happy with.  Here are my guesses and/or a wishlist:

 -A 3rd version of the Jabba the Hutt model in the Mos Eisley docking bay scene with Han Solo, but this version will be just as terrible in different ways

-Greedo will now have a curly little villain moustachio and/or a turban so that we don’t feel so bad about Han Solo shooting first – because he DID shoot first, you fuckheads

-The holographic Emperor in Empire will be edited even further so that the GIANT FAT WADDLE of Ian McDiarmid ca. 2005 is even more prominent and the explanation will be that his BIG FAT WADDLE is where Emps keeps all his midichlorians

-A new celebration scene will be added to the end of Jedi – Tattoine, Bespin, Coruscant, and then Chicago where Barack Obama has just been elected president, only Obama’s head will be removed and Hayden Christensen’s stupid head will be in its place but black-ified a la Thomas C. Howell in Soul Man

Don’t get me started on the prequels.  Revenge is ok but the others are dead to me right now. 

Wow.  I think I’m gonna put this on my blawwwwwwg. 

-J

Please note I use “wishlist” with sarcasm.

I have a love/hate relationship with George Lucas.  He is both creator and destroyer of beloved memories.  I dressed up as him this past Halloween, but even that was half homage half ridicule.  One of these days someone will bring balance back to Star Wars.  I just hope George doesn’t have to be dead first.

So I’m a little late to the party here, but I just read yesterday that The 1UP Show is no more.  As of January 7, 2009 the 1UP Network was sold by Ziff Davis to UGO.  I don’t know UGO and I don’t really care, but they’ve chosen not to continue The 1UP Show after taking ownership. This makes me very, very sad.  The 1UP Show is the only game-related podcast that I’ve found to be bearable, and I’m a hardcore gamer.

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Game Review – Fallout 3 from Bethesda Softworks (Xbox 360)

War. War has changed. Sorta. But not really. Because war never changes. Or at least that’s what Ron Perlman tells me.

When Bethesda Softworks acquired the Fallout IP from erstwhile publisher Interplay, they announced that the isometric, turn-based RPG would go first-person with Fallout 3. And a million fanboy heads asploded in mushroom cloud rage. Those of us who took shelter in the “let’s wait and see” vault have now emerged to discover a world that is at once new and strangely familiar.

Read on, sweet America, for the full review. But please – no mutants allowed.

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Game Review – Too Human from Silicon Knights (Xbox 360)

Silicon Knights’ Denis Dyack, the driving force behind Too Human, caused a stir when he first A) showed a painfully crude build of the game at E3 in 2006 and then 2) bitched and whined about gaming press and internet forum communities when they called him on it. Ever since then it seems like Dyack has been out there wielding both snark and unflattering defensiveness in an effort to convince us that Too Human really is a great game, guys!

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I’m heading out to Christmas dinner at my sister-in-law’s sister’s house soon. This is probably the one event (maybe Thanksgiving, too) of the year where even I will admit that a hoodie might not be appropriate. So to the detriment of my absolute comfort, but to the benefit of my he-cleans-up-well-edness, I rifled through my winter clothes and found some suitable duds.  Santa was good to me this year. I got a lot of great gifts (GPS yesssssss!) and have enjoyed being with my family. Merry Christmas, everyone!  OK I’m off. Next stop egg nog, cheese platters, wine, and then stuffing my face even more. I’ll be missing those drawstrings before the night is done.

I’m relaxing at my brother’s, watching It’s a Wonderful Life, and having a beer (or three). I’m all alone for the time being, but my mom is on her way and my brother and his family will be home around midnight. I’m missing Nate a whole bunch tonight, but I’m glad he’s with his family. Merry Christmas y’all! And be safe! There’s a killer robot Santa out there!!!

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