Another Hiatus

Hey guys. It sucks the first post from me in so many months has to be bad news, but thems tha breaks!! Right now I am having a hard time keeping up with work AND reviewing content, so to take the pressure off I am putting the blog on hiatus till June. Don’t be bummed though, when we come back there will be tons of fun content from both myself and Mr. F.L.A.G., and this hiatus will give us plenty of no stress time to develop our work. Thanks for your patience.

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Zelda II: The Adventure Of Link (GBA)

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Why would you pay $9.99 to get Zelda II on the GBA when you could be paying $9.99 for one month of the WWE Network?

It’s in the Zelda series, and Link is there, and he has an adventure. The end.

You’re off to a running start with Princess Zelda napping in the background. Link must retrieve a piece of the Triforce in order to wake her up, by uniting all pieces of the Triforce. Remember: these games took place a long time ago, a real long time ago, way before Levi Hutchins invented alarm clocks. They had to do some complicated Rube Goldberg Machine stuff in order to wake up, made even more complicated by the fact that Goldberg hadn’t debuted yet.

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As evidenced in the picture, this conspiracy involves your state troopers and your local Police Department. Image of Goldberg from wwe.com

Hmmmm… Goldberg… Zelda 2 came in a gold cartridge… the opening notes for the music when you enter a village sound like notes from the song “Goldfinger”… the Triforce is golden… the final castle has a golden hue to it… all of the pieces fit Robin! Ganon plans to steal the Triforce from Fort Knox!

Speaking of Bat-Logic

I just want to point out that I cheated a little and used an online strategy guide. In my defense, there is no way that some of these puzzles could have been solved without one, unless there was something in the instruction manual (which I don’t have). Seriously- to get to a vital town you need to hack a forest to bits. Except in this game, the only hackable trees are the ones in that small area surrounding the hidden village, and at no point are you told or even given a hint that you even can hack trees, let alone that particular grouping.

Same goes for a monster sitting in the middle of the road. If this weren’t a carbon copy of waking Snorlax, complete with Pokeflute, I’d have had no idea about what I needed to do. I guess eventually I’d figure it out, by standing there and mashing buttons after obtaining the flute.

I Need Guidance, Great One

As I was reviewing the palace 6 section of the guide, I noticed that it was saying the

knights on horseback you face there are repeats of an earlier boss. I didn’t remember it, but attributed that to the 2 year gap between now and when I last put the game down. Turns out that I didn’t remember it because it was the boss of palace 3, the only boss that I skipped, probably because I wandered into the palace, grabbed the raft, then left thinking I could skip the boss. Or died and was curious about where the raft would take me and forgot all about beating the boss. If you get to palace 7 and the shield refuses to lower, then check how many crystals you have left (the blue circle icon on the start menu, you lose one after beating a palace).

My point is- make sure you get the required item from the palace AND defeat the boss. I don’t know what happens if you skip the item and beat the boss, but having to restart the game is not a risk worth taking.

You are also best served by using the guide to locate vital items like the 4 magic containers and the 4 heart containers. And level all the way up as soon as you can. It helps. You max out at level 8, by the way. Leveling up after that just gives you an extra life. There are also extra lives to be found throughout the overworld, but they can only be grabbed once. Come to think of it… while writing this I just solved a 2 year old mystery. I grabbed one of the extra lives and had no idea I had done so, because it was absolutely useless to me.

Also, be skeptical of any boss strategies the guides give you. For example, the one I used

said that the final battle (spoiler alert: it was against The Enemy Within) could easily be won by standing in a corner. I had no health and no magic left, but I thought it’d be a piece of cake since all I had to do was stand in the corner. The first thing the opponent did was jump up and stab me from above. So much for the guide’s credibility. Plus if you stay crouched in the corner, eventually that boss will just stand in the middle of the screen and do nothing for long periods.

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I considered making like this blog’s venerable creator and posting a sexy pic of The Enemy Within (lots of them out there), but when I realized he was only 16 discretion and fear of the SVU prevailed. But I reached an epiphany- in this game, this so-called Enemy Within is in fact a Gengar. Pictured here is Morty’s Gengar. Image from Bulbapedia

Fortunately for the final palace, which I found rather difficult to get to, unlike with the other palaces once you enter it if you run out of lives you can just select “continue” and you will start out at the entrance to it. Be advised: any of the red magic potions you pickup will still be gone after you lose all your lives and hit “continue”. They only come back if you restart the game. Luckily the fairy stays. Since I found a way to budget lives and magic, you should be able to too. I say this with full confidence in the certainty that I am terrible at video games. Another convenience is that when you beat the first of the two bosses at the final palace it stays dead even if you run out of lives. I know because when The Enemy Within killed me it was my last life. It took the last health of my last life.

Problems

Everything mentioned above as such, of course.

The version I played fixed the following issue: on the NES release, the only way to save is to lose all of your lives. On the Game Boy Advance version you just pause the game on the overworld and press up plus either a or b. Or just buy the Famicom Disk version.

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Ready for round two?

I won’t mention the lack of a second quest. I mean, there is one, but unlike the first Zelda game everything this time around is exactly the same as it was before. The only difference is you start with all of the spells and fully levelled up. You will still have to hunt for the 4 magic extenders and 4 life extenders. So aside from that it’s pretty much what happens in Super Mario 64 once you get all the stars- no new quests, but you can play the old ones over again with a fancy skill you didn’t have the first go-around.

I guess I ended up mentioning the lack of a second quest anyway, but I don’t see that as a

Zelda-II-Zelda-Overworld-VGMaps

So tiny that Zelda 1 felt compelled to buy a Ferrari and spend all of its spare time at the gym. Original image from VGMaps.

problem since the game’s big enough for just one playthrough to feel sufficient (I think, my playthrough took 2 years… technically, 22 years given that I first played the game in the 90s), leading into another nitpicking- the entirety of the map for the first game, that you spend hours wandering through, is scaled down and displayed as a few tiles towards the bottom of Zelda 2’s expansive overworld. Part of me likes the reference, but part of me thinks that sort of trivializes everything from the first game. That adventure seems so small now. No… the adventure is big, it’s the overworld that got small.

But in-universe, in Zelda 2, how did Link so easily work his Peter Pan/Legolas-lovechild-twink self through the Zelda 1 overworld when in Zelda 1 you couldn’t go beyond that area? Hyrulean magic and technology were not up to the task of building a path! Either that or one of the cave shopkeepers or palaces was blocking the route, and Hyrulean officials decided to exercise their eminent domain powers to seize those areas and open them up for public travel.

You might expect me to rip on the change in format from the first and third game (and the Game Boy games) like everyone else does. Battles fought in a sidescroller style, leveling up, stuff like that. Nope. I had no problem with this.

“I had no problem with this.” – Mr. Flagg

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Mario’s Picross

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He’s watching…

It’s a plotless game. A plotless puzzle Game Boy game. A powerful plotless puzzle Game Boy game. Perhaps playing powerful plotless puzzlers pleasantly passes protracted periods. Excuse me.

 

What’s their game?

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Is this a picross? Image from New York Times

The purpose is to draw a specific picture using the “instructions” given. For what there is of a plot, you are playing as Mario at some Egyptian ruin “chiseling” the images because he doesn’t want ants to get at them or something. He doesn’t know, he was drunk. The screen is taken up by a grid with squares for each space (unlike a certain other “grid” for “leveling up”). The controls allow you to mark a square so that you know not to chisel it, remove a mark, chisel the square, or unchisel one (this is only useful in Time Trial, for the other modes any tiles you chisel that should not be chiseled are unchiseled automatically. Chisel Chisel Chisel Chisel CHISEL!).

You are given grids of varying sizes in the tutorial stage and easy mode. The normal

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Is THIS a picross? Original image from Village Inn

mode presents only 15×15 grids. Regardless of size, you’re given 30 minutes to finish a puzzle. My cousin picked it up, started randomly guessing spots, and was out of time inside of 30 seconds. That’s because when you chisel the wrong area, you lose a bit of time on the clock. Each wrong area takes away increasingly larger chunks of your allotted time, with the largest being 8 minutes.

The tutorial is of course a good starting point, but to me its explanation about the numbers to the left and on top of the grid was faulty. I probably just misread it. The numbers are the “instructions” for each picture- they tell you how many squares to chisel in the row or column they line up with. They don’t tell you where in the row or column that the chiseling needs to happen, just the amount that needs to be done and in what order it should be done. For example: “5” means five squares together need to be chiseled while “5 1 2” means five squares together need to be chiseled, followed by one square, followed by two squares. Each one of these sets of chiseled squares would be separated by at least one non-chiseled square, so it would look something like 55555x1x22 where x is a non-chiseled square.

Tips (I usually do 15-20%)

There are shortcuts to take, and every puzzle is solvable with the information given,

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The puzzle grid. Notice how I used my tip to fill in the 2nd row from the bottom a little bit. Chisel on, fellow players too cheap to buy stuff that lets you take a proper screenshot!

so no the game is not broken. We’re just dumb as hell. The most useful shortcut I found was that if you’re told that you need to chisel a group greater than half the number of spaces in the row or column, you can chisel the center spot safely. So if you had a row of 15, and you needed to fill 8 together, you can chisel the spot that’s in the middle (8 spaces in). If you had a row of 15 and you needed to fill 10 together, you can chisel out the center 5.

So… that’s about it. There are at least 192 puzzles, over 128 of which are 15×15. I say “at least” and “over” because once you complete the first 192 you get a Time Trial mode, wherein the mechanics change somewhat in that you have an infinite amount of time to solve a puzzle and you are not told if you chisel the wrong space. Unless my memory is failing me, the first puzzle I completed in that was unique from the previous 192, so that potentially means many more puzzles than I’ve seen so far. And to the best of my ability to determine, at this point the puzzles become impossible. Give up.

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Says right here that it’s Super Game Boy compatible. Next to Mario’s soulless, vacant stare.

Oh yeah, this game is enhanced by the Super Game Boy. It doesn’t do much. I didn’t notice any fancy colorization like some games do (and yet still can look inferior to their Game Gear counterparts as “Star Trek Generations” showed). All I saw were two different borders around the screen. I would suggest playing it using the Super Game Boy since I’d imagine whatever appears on the TV screen would be easier to see than on the Game Boy’s screen, unless your SNES is connected to your Game Gear. Sometimes exhaustion and insufficient lighting make the tiny numbers blend together.

Yup, That’s It

 

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“HAHA! Your official movie tie-in jigsaw puzzle shows a version of the ship that didn’t appear in the movie!” See? Doesn’t work. You can’t make fun of a jigsaw puzzle. Image from Fordos Models

To those expecting a scathing review like I gave to “They Were 11”, sorry to disappoint.   The material is lacking. What exactly am I going to make fun of? TELL ME! There’s no plot to put holes in, other than apparently Mario committing vandalism against Egyptian landmarks which last I heard was a criminal offense. Other than this bizarre item there’s nothing to mock, there’s no there there as our thought leaders like to say. It’d be like making fun of a jigsaw puzzle.

I find this game addicting. It has a strange effect on me, to where it puts me to sleep after I’ve done a few of the puzzles. So… I’m addicted to a sedative. Mario’s Picross is part of the opioid epidemic.

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Title Screen for a Schedule II Controlled Video Game

Getting Control

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Guns. From Nintendo’s Goldeneye (N64)

Guns make me nervous. I’ve fired real ones and was scared to death doing so. I hate loud noises too, so that does not help. Unlike the bedwetters on the Left, even though I’m not a huge fan of the devices I acknowledge the people’s right to own firearms and their utility in matters from defense to hunting (for food). I don’t want things that I don’t understand or can’t tolerate being banned (though the Left sure makes it tempting to flip-flop on that).

Our story today is motivated by the mass shooting in Florida. We express our deepest sympathies for the victims and their families.

Before the bodies were cold the media was demanding more gun control. ANY gun control.

As for these partisan hacks like Jimmy Kimmel who claim it’s never too soon after a shooting to go into a gun control debate, bear in mind that rash action seldom solves problems. Democrats themselves on this issue have been the poster boys for that. Hardly any of the legislation they propose reflexively after a shooting would stop said shooting from having taken place. We’ve even had shootings where the Left demands more gun control despite the fact that there were sufficient measures in place; the problem was that the people enforcing them acted badly. Democrats will be out calling for random action before they even know vital details of what happened.

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I’ve come to learn that I don’t much like Jimmy Kimmel. Image from ABC

Speaking of reflex responses, liberals (Jimmy Kimmel of course, as well as CBS) have adopted a new response to shootings: saying that Trump is a hypocrite because he is quick to attack illegals and call for deportation but then calls for a measured response to gun violence. That’s because the problem with illegals is self-evident: THEY SHOULDN’T BE HERE… that’s why people on the Right call them “illegals”. That’s like saying someone is a hypocrite for immediately knowing they should get a glass of water when they are thirsty but taking hours to complete a test at school. Now there may be complex issues motivating the illegals to run people over while drunk or shoot people or whatever, but the solution is already a LAW: get rid of them. If it saves just one life, right? (WRONG, because even stats that anti-gun folks use show that at least one life is saved by having a gun, yet that argument only works AGAINST guns, not in favor of them, according to our intellectual superiors).

 

I suppose it’s a false comparison with illegal immigrants. Democrat Congressmen and Senators were booing when Trump mentioned illegal immigrants killing American citizens, right in front of relatives of such victims. Anyone remember when they said Trump was a terrible human for an allegedly insensitive phone call when that one nitwit Congresswoman said she wanted to cuss at the President? I’ll bet that same… creature… was booing in front of the victims’ families too. It’s clear where the line of compassion starts- Democrats repeatedly have shown they only care about saving one life when it involves restricting the rights of citizens, mostly Republicans.

The Left, and CBS in particular as seen in the above CBS link, also are now saying that Trump is a hypocrite because he says mental health issues are the problem, yet rolled back an Obama-era regulation so that people with mental health issues can now buy guns. They also claim that Medicaid cutbacks are an attack on therapy for mental health issues. The latter is of course just stupid to say, Medicaid is so full of waste spending that we could probably cut most if it and still get the same lousy level of service. As for rolling back that Obama-era regulation, the ACLU opposed that regulation because it was a violation of people’s rights. You remember the ACLU right, the ones typically favored by liberals? One of their board members said he would kill Trump voters? Those guys? I guess noted attorney Harvey Dent was right.

A Tangent

Coming off of the CBS screed, I’ll point out the usual about how the mainstream media tends to ignore blacks shooting each other. I see it on the local news every evening it seems, but only 3 or more dead at a school or at an office appears to get the Left’s attention. It’s almost like they’re trying to bury black-on-black crime reports if I were to wax conspiratorial. If the Left cared about black shootings, the national news programs and papers would be dominated by crime reports from liberal haven Chicago.

Also in regards to the Left/shootings/African American community- they tell the citizens they don’t need guns, that law enforcement will be enough to handle any criminals or shooters that trouble us, except they also say that you can’t trust the racistpigs”. So if you’re an African American, what are you supposed to think? Why does your trusted Democrat want you to give up your gun and trust the police while at the same time telling you that you can’t trust the police? Why does your trusted liberal tout the support of the evil police? Why do your trusted liberals suggest banning guns to PROTECT the police?

Anyway…

The typical Leftist response in the wake of a mass shooting is to call for more gun control legislation, as mentioned above. Great, but how come that wasn’t always the case? Remember when Major Hassan shot up Ft. Hood and the Obama Administration said it was workplace violence? Why wasn’t there a strong drive for gun control then? For that matter, in the wake of the Binghamton shootings, where was the call for gun control?

Remember: in addition to having the most governors at the time, Democrats had the House of Representatives starting in 2007, they also had the Senate starting in 2007, and they had the Presidency starting in 2009. It wasn’t until January 2011 that a Republican majority was present in the House to disrupt the Democrats’ agenda. In the time Democrats controlled all of this, there were four mass shootings where 10 or more people were killed. Why wasn’t gun control rammed through if it’s so important an issue?

Nancy Pelosi (from Jan 2007-Jan 2011 she was Speaker of the House of Representatives,

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Map of the 111th Congress, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as House Speaker. Image from Wikimedia Commons

second in line for the Presidency if the real one were killed) said in February of 2018 that when Democrats owned the government no one was clamoring for gun control. Four mass shootings (Virginia Tech, Binghamton, Ft. Hood, Geneva), 68 people dead (71 if we count the shooters), and Democrats didn’t really care about gun control according to the recollection of THEIR LEADERSHIP!

 

I’ll cut you apologists off right now who say Democrats couldn’t have done anything. They could’ve passed the bill in the House, ratified it in the Senate, and in 2009 and 2010 Obama could’ve signed the bill into law. Though they didn’t have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate they could’ve invoked the nuclear option if the issue was important enough. Or are you going to tell me that getting Obama’s political appointees approved in 2013 was so vital that it demanded the filibuster be overturned, but saving lives wasn’t? Even in 2007 and 2008 when Democrats did not have the Presidency they could’ve either pressured George W. Bush to sign the bill into law or pressured a couple of Republicans to overturn a Presidential veto. We’ve seen how easily Republican senators surrender plenty of times. There was a motive and opportunity to pass gun control legislation, yet Democrats refused.

But then January 2011 came around, and Republicans had the House again. And looky here, CBS reports that over 100 measures were introduced by Democrats between January 2011 and 2016. Clearly Democrats aren’t short on ideas for how to stop gun violence, and obviously mass shootings didn’t stop just because Democrats ran the country, so where was this legislation when Democrats could’ve rammed it through like they did with Obamacare? Why did they wait until AFTER Republicans had the House?

On the subject of waiting- why is it only now that high school kids are organizing nationwide marches against gun violence? It certainly isn’t the first time a high school was the site of a mass shooting. Where was this kind of mass dissatisfaction before? It’s like with Antifa- why did that suddenly spring up to stop Trump? Where was it when all the other fascist Republicans were running? Why do we only see organized efforts to #resist when a Republican is in office, yet when Democrats are in control and the same tragedies happen we see no comparable efforts (just like with Democrats in government)? More importantly- how exactly are a bunch of high school kids organizing nationwide, to begin with? Maybe as with Antifa, they’re getting help, like the Left alleges with the Tea Party.

 

What Are These Fixes That Democrats Suddenly Realized After January 1, 2011?

Usually, they go for banning “assault weapons”- civilian rifles that just happen to look like military hardware but can only achieve such a performance if illegally modified. Of course, banning any weapon that can be used in an attack means banning all of them. Right? Besides, even the Washington Post wonders if such a ban would do anything. Perhaps it would prevent people from being killed with “assault weapons”, but as mass stabbings and killings via truck or pressure cooker show, interfering with our choices for a hunting rifle hardly will do anything to deter killers.

They claim law-abiding citizens need more background checks and less access to assault weapons even if the guns used in a shooting were stolen. They claim we need more background checks even if the ones in place are entirely sufficient, but either were not executed properly by the bureaucrats or the information that legally was required to be there was left out due to some bureaucrat’s negligence. As always, the Left’s solution to negligent bureaucrats is to give them more money and grow the government rather than to reform what’s already there into something effective. That’s why the IRS has major conferences near Disneyland and pays bonuses to bad employees while their computers still run Windows XP well past when Microsoft stopped supporting it.

It’s a consistent pattern with the Left that when current laws aren’t used properly, their

solution is more laws and more government rather than reforming the present system. Like with the alleged wage gap- it’s been illegal to pay women less than men for the same work for 40-50 years now, yet in the past 8 years we’ve been hearing all about how women earn less and we need legislation to solve that problem.

 

Here’s another winner the Democrats proposed, now that we’re on the subject of bureaucrats and laws. Democrats wanted a secret list to be created of people who aren’t allowed to buy guns. You wouldn’t know that you were on the list until you went to buy a gun, and it would be near-impossible to get your name off the list. Any bureaucrat or politician could put your name on that list for any reason. You would’ve heard this in the media last year after various shootings- it is the idea that people on the “no-fly” list should not be allowed to buy guns either. Basically, if anyone claims you are a terrorist or whatever, you can be denied your 2nd Amendment rights without a trial or notification, which is as complete a violation of the Constitution as you can get. Basically, the Left wants to be able to tell you which rights you are allowed to have.

This ties-in to another gun control measure the Left wants. Recall how liberals, even Democrats in Congress, are saying that Trump supporters are terrorists and dangerousTHESE are the people that would be deciding who goes on the secret no-gun list. What this ties-in to is the idea of meeting a certain standard of mental health before being allowed to buy a gun. It would be these same people, the ones who say gun owners are scared and ignorant, that judge whether you are mentally fit to own a gun.

Would you trust a Republican who said they wanted to redraw a district just to make voting fairer?

It’s a good segue from above- we might agree that one should be sane when purchasing a firearm, but the Right and Left have different definitions of sane, thus we automatically must assume that such measures would be executed in bad faith. So it is with any gun control measure- the Left has made it plain that they want to repeal the 2nd Amendment, therefore when it comes time to talk gun control we naturally will be reticent to surrender ANY rights, whether or not the reforms proposed make sense. Of course, the Left either can’t or won’t acknowledge this, they just say the NRA boogeyman (gun control’s equivalent to what the Russians are for elections according to the Left) is preventing legislation from passing and is also brainwashing people. This certainly makes any attempts at debate by the Left appear to be in bad faith, much as they probably assume the NRA corrupts all Rightwing positions, so in the end, we’re not going to resolve this issue.

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I guess the Right really did collude with the Russians. The NRA worked with the Russians to brainwash everyone! Their spokesman could not be reached for comment at the time of publishing. Image from The Manchurian Candidate (United Artists, 1962)

 

Lighting Democrats On FISA

We finally saw the much-ballyhooed House GOP FISA memo. It confirms what Rep. John Jordan (R-OH) speculated back in December: that the bogus Fusion GPS Trump Dossier was used to get a FISA warrant to spy on members of Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign. At the time, the Dossier was unverified. When presented to the judge who granted the FISA warrant, no one mentioned the DNC’s involvement (and no, Republicans were NOT involved with the Dossier contrary to what the media is STILL reporting, the one GOPer involved pulled funding early on and no work up to that point was used. That’s like saying that the writers for the abandoned “Star Trek Planet of the Titans” project should receive credit for “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”!). Another item used to justify the FISA warrant was a news report that allegedly corroborated the Dossier, except the evidence the news report cited was leaked information from the Dossier’s author. The wife of a senior DOJ official involved with people who approved the FISA warrant had worked on the Dossier. The DNC paid for this Dossier, and the FBI almost put money towards it.

So basically- a political hit job full of salacious innuendo that was grown by the DNC was then sent to the FBI, who were ready and willing to pay for it too. Then it was used, without anyone checking for accuracy, to get FISA warrants so that the government could legally spy on Trump’s campaign. Oh yeah, and at least two of the people working on the Dossier had strong ties to the DOJ and FBI, and the Dossier’s author hated Trump with the burning passion of a thousand suns. Can you imagine the outrage if a Republican Presidential Campaign had fabricated evidence against the Democrats, (almost) got the FBI to pay for it, and then used that fake evidence to get a FISA warrant to spy on the Democrats legally? Ironically, it’s the Left characterizing the release of this memo as a Nixonian move by Republicans.

Some Say It’s Significant, But Others…

Let’s address the donkey in the room- the Democrat Party’s frantic response to this. The

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The Hula Burger was the original nothingburger. Photo from mid-card nothingburger USA Today.

media (propaganda arm of the DNC, since most journalists vote Democrat and most of their donations apparently go to Democrats, and their union sends money that way too) has been quick to say this dreaded, evil thing they have been railing against is really nothing at all.

 

Despite claims from Republicans to the contrary and despite the fact that the memo does not say anything about more than a couple of named FBI folks, one CNN pundit commented that the FBI at large was being attacked, and other leftwing media cronies back him up on it. If talking about some individuals is an attack on the whole, where were these folks when Democrats attacked the FBI Director in 2016? More importantly, with Democrats now saying it’s wrong to attack the FBI, and to insult it is to attack the Constitution, how come it was alright to attack the FBI in 2016 to begin with? Oh, right… And didn’t the FBI Director himself under Obama say that law enforcement was full of evil racists anyway?

As with claiming that the memo was an attack on the FBI despite statements to the contrary, Democrats have also claimed that this memo is an attack on Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation… despite statements to the contrary and in spite of what the memo itself says. Don’t worry Democrats, your precious insurance policy is still intact.

Scandalous Comparison

Let’s think about the treatment of this memo for a moment. Despite not a shred of evidence being found as admitted by Democrats themselves, the media pushes the Trump-Russia collusion narrative as if it were fact. When the Fusion GPS Dossier was released by BuzzFeed, the Left started embracing it, and still now despite the initial controversy, as fact despite it still being unverified (one year after BuzzFeed released it, longer still since when it would’ve been used to get a FISA warrant). Yet now with this GOP FISA memo, suddenly conclusions from a Congressional Committee have less weight than tall tales of collusion and unconfirmed innuendo that belongs in the National Enquirer? Really? If the partisanship were any thicker and any more transparent, you’d be able to build a glass house in the Marianas Trench with it!

Is The Best Way To Fight Alleged Partisanship To Incoherently Apply Some Of Your Own?

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On the right is Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA). Fittingly pictured on the Left is Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), whose histrionics about the memo, which he read, before its release is contradicted by the media/Democrat’s dismissal of it as a nothingburger. That’s it, I’m making burgers tonight. Photo from New York Post

In the leadup to the memo’s release, Democrat politicians were far from honest. Take Rep. Adam Schiff, a sniveling, putrid, pathetic little weasel of a human being whose arrogance as he lies to the public bothers me to no end (I’ve been forced to listen to him for many months), who stated that the FBI agents that reviewed the FISA memo said it had factual inaccuracies. Except the agents said they found no such inaccuracies. Note the date for the video and the date for the report: Schiff made his statement AFTER the agents’ findings had come out. Remember, Schiff serves as Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

 

Then we have poor confused Nancy Pelosi. I sometimes think that Democrats in San Francisco keep voting for her because that’s the only way they have of getting her to stay the heck away for most of the year. Throwing in a shout-out to our Baltimore readers, I want to point out that she is a transplant from there; her father and brother were both mayors of that town. Granted, not much difference between San Francisco and Baltimore these days. Anyway, No Pelotas said on CNN, within a minute or so mind you, that the Democrats’ own memo designed to counter the GOP’s memo would have items redacted because the Democrats want them to be redacted, but also that the GOP is obstructing the release of the memo by forcing the Democrats to have the very redacting process that Democrats asked for.

Another one on Pelosi- in that same interview, host Chris Cuomo asks her if her position is that releasing the GOP FISA memo would not be damaging because it does not show any wrongdoing. Pelosi confirms this to be true but then goes on to say that this memo which shows no wrongdoing is entirely a lie (actual quote: “it’s not even true”). So… it’s a lie that nothing happened? I’ll buy that. She was having a rough night- she said that intelligence is about fact and not a “false memo based on a false premise”, sort of ignoring the Fusion GPS Dossier used by the FBI that started all of this.

Yet another Democrat protest has been that the released version of the GOP’s FISA memo was altered from the one that Democrats had seen. Democrats seem to feel this was a troubling, wrong, sneaky thing to do. Except the changes to the memo were small, mostly grammatical, and came at the recommendation of the FBI and the Democrats themselves!

So first the Democrats claim GOP obstruction because the GOP gives them what they want and puts the Democrat FISA counter-memo through redactions, then the Democrats claim that a memo they never saw before is being released even though the only changes were ones that Democrats themselves suggested. Maybe Democrats are trying to break into the bread market with these Partisan-bred attacks. Ok, I’ll concede that any Antifa death threats against me are warranted if they’re triggered by that pun.

More Responses To Responses

This response only warrants a footnote, but the Democrat notion that the GOP memo is

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has to worry about a lot of leaks at her age. (AP Photo/Khue Bui)

being released without the needed context to understand why it is unimportant is quite hypocritical given that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) leaked some testimony which was missing needed context too! You remember, the stuff she said that her head cold made her release.

One other DNC response I want to address is their claim that the GOP FISA memo contained sensitive info. First of all, since when did the Dems give a whit about classified/sensitive/private info? They’ve been begging for and reporting on leaks from the Trump White House ever since he got into office, some of which even could have or had diplomatic repercussions. Add to that their cavalier attitude towards classified info that Hillary Clinton herself leaked when she made her emails public (while denying there was any classified info) and you wonder where this sudden interest in the integrity of our government’s ability to keep secrets came from. Adding insult to injury, there’s nothing classified in the GOP memo anyway despite all these claims that it contains secrets that will get people killed or whatever.

While the Dems have launched quite the campaign of denial, one other irony escapes them. The Fusion GPS Dossier that started all of this, which the DNC funded and the FBI used, probably was put together with the help of the Russians. A Democrat Senator even tried to collaborate with the Russians to learn more about it (remember when reading that article- the Left said that Trump’s son meeting with a Russian lawyer to talk about dirt on Clinton was close to treason, as stated by the other Senator from the aforementioned Democrat’s state).

Where’s The Beef?

Ever since 2016, Democrats have been trying to say the Trump Campaign colluded with the Russians to get him elected. Yet here we have evidence that the CLINTON CAMPAIGN was the one doing the colluding. Certainly, for those liberals in the audience, you MUST concede that the link between the Clinton Campaign and the Russians presented here is far more sturdy than any link that could exist between Trump and Russia, otherwise 20 months of journalists and government agents investigating the matter would have revealed the Trump collusion by now just as it had this link between the Clinton camp and Russia, or at least some scintilla of evidence.  Aren’t endless, factless, politically-driven investigations what you all kept accusing the GOP of regarding Benghazi and the IRS?  And if you think for one second that this government with its anti-Trump employees that leak everything they can get their grubby little paws on wouldn’t leak genuine evidence of collusion if it existed, if you think folks like Feinstein who feel the need to leak classified testimony wouldn’t drop other stuff if it existed, then you really need some fresh air. Stop reading this and go for a walk or something. Sniffing your own farts isn’t healthy. I know, I know, there will be a nice big tantrum awaiting me in the comments section even though all I wanted to do was work a South Park reference into this.

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Pictured from left to right: A phony scandal and phony human. Images from CNN and The Washington Times

Some Site Announcements

Hey guys, I have a few exciting announcements regarding the blog.

First-off getting the less exciting things out of the way, I have an announcement about the C-Gaymer Podcast. After Episode 10 the Podcast will be on Hiatus until the Spring. This is out of consideration to Mr. F.L.A.G. so he does not have to travel in the crazy winter weather we get here in the North East.

Don’t be sad though, as of next week Mr. F.L.A.G. will be contributing his thoughts and opinions too in his inaugural post on the blog. Please read them and enjoy his unique views.

Next, in the next few months or so I want to do a Q&A for the blog. Please send in your questions for me and I will answer them. I expect to post that once I have gotten 10 good questions I can give 10 good answers for.

Finally, I am considering doing a solo weekly news recap Podcast when season 2 of the C-Gaymer Podcast returns. If you have any ideas I would love to hear them!!

Thanks again guys for a wonderful 2018. It has been an awesome year and I could not have kept doing this without all of you. See you in the next year!!

Ghost in The Shell: Stand Alone Complex

I’m really inspired to write about this show because it is one of my all time favorites and this weekend I am going to share it with a friend. She said she would like to get into anime but she can’t find any she is into.  But she loves procedural crime dramas so that gave me a hint. Ghost in The Shell is perfect for her, it is one part Law & Order and one part West Wing that’s been doused in a shitload of cyber punk. It’s one wild ride and a look at the future which would give anybody mixed feelings and trepidation.

 It is a time when, even if nets were to guide all consciousness that had been converted to photons and electrons toward coalescing, standalone individuals have not yet been converted into data to the extent that they can form unique components of a larger complex. – Explination of the Stand Alone Complex from Ghost in The Shell SAC EP1

In the near future cyberization, the practice of replacing components of the human body with electronic components has changed the way society functions. Now with the ability to surf the web with one’s own brain, everything from business to shopping to paying bills is done differently, including crime. Cyber crimes such as body hacking and the influencing of cyber brains are on the rise, prompting the Japanese government to establish an armed anti-terror unit to combat these crimes. Enter Public Security Section 9, an elite commando team on record as an international rescue squad, in reality, they investigate and respond to incidents of cyber crime and cyber terrorism. Organized and commanded by Daisuke Aramaki, the team is lead into battle by Major Motoko Kusanagi as they quickly dispatch dangerous cyber criminals with their various sets of skills.

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Motoko Kusanagi in the middle of a Section 9 Operation

Their next case, however, isn’t going to be as simple as hacked robot geisha’s or out of control AI Tanks. When the case of the Laughing Man Terrorist incident comes across the desk of Cheif Aramaki everything changes for Section 9. What begins as a reopened investigation into the kidnapping of the CEO of a Micro machines company quickly turns into a tangled web of government conspiracy and corruption that goes all the way to the top and threatens to tear apart the squad. Will they solve the laughing man incident, or is someone trying to stop them from getting to the bottom of everything. And if they do get to the bottom of it all, will they themselves survive?

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Laughing Man’s Logo

One of the most appealing things about this anime phenomena according to fans is the astonishing quality of the animation and the amazing musical score. I can certainly agree with the latter statement, any score composed by Yoko Kanno is amazing. I, however, am the biggest fan of the writing which introduces smaller cases with no relation to the ongoing Laughing Man case to the main story line. This allows for the show to keep its integrity as a procedural crime drama while unraveling the components of a much larger mystery which the show is geared toward. And the levels of the writing go still deeper.

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The “Tachikoma” AI Mini Tanks

The show has a few references to J.D. Salinger‘s “The Catcher in The Rye” which should greatly entertain literary buffs, but the philosophy in the show goes deeper than just exploring some of the themes from that novel. While the main story line brings up themes about the malicious farcical nature of the political world and derides the phonies therein, I find more meaning in the development of things like the AI units. Indeed the best philosophical dive, in my opinion, is the exploration of what it means to be human in a world where the borderline between man and machine has been blurred so much. The development of the Tachikoma AI’s various individual personalities brings up excellent points on the ethics of AI’s and the episode about the Gerry Androids explored not only the idea of human sexuality when an android can fill our ideal expectations of a mate, but as to whether those lifeless automatons can possess a will or a soul of their own. Most important though is the idea of the Stand Alone Complex, the idea that even in a networked society where opinions easily become more uniform, that some individuals will cling to their individuality and in doing so become the most valuable component of a larger social machine.

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Major Kusanagi Equipped for an “Internet Dive”

Now I would be remiss if I did this piece without talking about the technology that exists in the world of Ghost in The Shell. 13 years ago many people commented that the time frame for this was not the best as many of the technologies showcased were not implausible but indeed highly improbable. With 13 more years to go until 2030 (the date the show takes place), we are seeing many of these technologies become a reality. While we are nowhere mind diving into the internet with cyber brains, VR Headsets are allowing gamers to experience their games in a more immersive environment. And although they are not quite as useful yet, cybernetic implants and prosthetics are now becoming a reality and are changing the way some people live.

So if you are a fan of police dramas or are looking forward to a future of cybernetic enhancement this is the show for you. It’s fast paced action and dives into the headiest philosophy make it a show any fan can enjoy. It’s an anime legend of the mid-2000’s that can hardly be topped by anything else in its genre. You can purchase it for yourself here. Enjoy!!