White House has No Issue Taxing Video Games

Not for President KICK ASS!

Biden has a habit of just kind of being a “say whatever is on his mind” sort of guy.  Recently, during a religious political rally he was asked if there would be some way to restrict the distribution of violent media and video games, something like taxing them.  Biden’s response was basically along the lines of, “Sure! No legal reason not to!” Considering that figuring out a way to curb the video game industry has long been a pet project of Biden’s, along with his repeated calls to have some kind of creditable research done on the matter, it doesn’t really seem like it is that odd that he would totally agree with that.

It bothers me that Biden sat down with the heads of many game studios and told them that he would not, nor does he care to, restrict video games in any manner; something seemingly forgotten after the recent school shooting (that had nothing to do with video games). I know that video games are the punching bag for all of the woes of the world at the moment, I know that we are quickly taking the place that comic books had for a rather long period.  It is just annoying when politicians use your pastime to try and gather people behind them.  Also, I am pretty sure this falls under the “government making laws to inhibit free speech”.

Source: Escapist

What Playing Tropico has Taught me About Myself

Recently I have been playing a ton of Tropico 4; as it turns out a game about turning a third world country into something that should be feared by the rest of the world can make you think and do evil things to the virtual people.  Here are some quick highlights that I have learned about myself while ruling over the lands of Tropico.

I don’t care what Environmentalists think

Out of all of the factions on the island, and there are a lot of them, the one that I hate the most are hippies.  While all of the other people that I lord over are happy enough to be pissed at thing that make other people happy, the smelly dirt people seem to think that the things they want the most is to bitch and complain.  No, seriously, they start off asking for less pollution—I give them a garbage dump so we aren’t just dumping trash on the street like a 1970’s New York Pimp worker.  They then hate aforementioned dump because I killed flowers to make it, even though it is set to recycling just  as requested.   I am sorry that the game doesn’t just allow me to dig a hole to the center of the Earth so you can never think about it again annoying computer AI.

The Intellectuals hate the Religious, the Loyalists hate elections, and the Nationalists hate everyone.  I am pretty sure that the only people that the Environmentalists hate are themselves.  At one point I was requested to destroy all farms, mines, factories, and tourist resorts on the island.  The only reasoning that I can come up with for this request is that they think that everyone should be unemployed, poor, and starve to death.  I don’t think they want to watch the world burn as much as watch it slowly turn into compost.

When given the option between helping the economy and myself, I win

Being the leader of a country is hard work, people seem to ask for things constantly.  The worst part is that some of them aren’t even people that live on the island I am governing; some of them are foreigners with strange and wild requests for me to fulfill.  Most of the time they aren’t that hard to complete, and I get a faction bonus from the people that seem to want these “election” things, so I normally just go along and do it.  Problems start to come up when they give me a reward in the way of a couple thousand dollars for a job well done.

The issue comes when I am given the option of either giving the people that money, or just sending it directly into my not so secret Swiss bank account.  It turns out that the people come second as that income always ends up flowing my way.  The worst part is that I am not doing this because I have gotten into my character or hate the people, no, I know that these levels end up being scored at the end that I can use to compare myself to others playing this game.  So when it comes down to it I am happy knowing that I am better than everyone else, because I let my people suffer more than they did.

I secretly hate the homeless

Pretty early in the game I passed an edict for free housing for everyone in my country, less for my care of the people and more because the USSR promised me more funding at the end of the year if I did so.  This ended up being so effective that all of the other factions on the island stop complaining about there being too many shacks around that I kind of just left it that way and started constructing the worst tenement housing tracks that anyone has ever seen—if they aren’t paying they don’t have a right to comfort or air-conditioning, only the right to live like rats.

One would think that this would solve all homeless issues as there are way more than enough places to live at the affordable price of nothing a month. It didn’t.  For years I had about a dozen people who refused to give up their shacks.  It wasn’t that they were unemployed either, as everyone who lived there had a job—I assume that the children were put to work losing limbs or begging from tourists.  That means that there were tens of people who worked full time, possibly as a banker, who simply finished their shift at work and just went outside and slept on the street.

Screw those guys.  I know for a fact that there was an apartment building across the street with openings.  I designed the island that way.  If I knew who they were I would have the secret police kill them.

I think immigration is only good for cheap labor

There are all kinds of people that don’t want others to immigrate into my amazing country, all of them are idiots.  For the majority of the time that I run a place I actively attempt to make the general education level of the average citizen as high as I possibly can; not through some act of altruism, but because people with college degrees earn more money, spend more, and complain way less about stuff.  Hell, half the time they run the facilities that everyone else is complaining that I don’t have enough of.

The problem, then, becomes that all of the natives of the island are all doctors and lawyers and assassins and what have you—who is going to grow their food and change the bed sheets in the hotels?  Tropico needs stupid people to immigrate to it to do the jobs no one else wants. Sure, those people can totally have children that grow up to be a nuclear research mad scientist for all I care—that isn’t going to stop me from leaving the gates of the country wide open, and incentivizing them/threating them any way I can, so the rest of his family without an education can come in and mind the llamas.

I think I need a crown

The game wants to have the player assign their own avatar skills that they can level up through the course of play, some of them interesting and most of them involve me being a worthless drunk.  It doesn’t really matter; one of the choices lets you put a crown on the avatar to waltz around town wearing.  Needless to say I think that my drunken, gambling, womanizing self should probably always be dressed in full pirate/royal garb.  Not for much more reason that it seems like the best thing to do when you are drunk and wandering around in public hitting on non-interested women.

New York Lawmakers Propose Bill to Ban Anonymous Online Comments

New York state legislators have proposed a law that would require news websites and blogs to remove any anonymous comments, unless the person posting a comment chooses to attach his or her name.  The intention of this law is stop so-called cyber bullying and “baseless political attacks.”  The only problem with this law is that it conflicts with that silly little “1st Amendment of the US Constitution” thing that we have in America.

The bill is sponsored by Senator Thomas O’Mara and Assemblyman Jim Conte, both republicans.  So when they say “baseless political attacks”, do these lawmakers really mean “viewpoints from some OTHER political party?”  While this bill could pose a major threat to how speech is conducted online, it is highly unlikely it would ever pass; and even if it did, the courts would rip it apart.  Too bad New York’s worst trolls and bullies aren’t online, they are in the legislature!

Source:  Ars Technica

Republicans Vote Down Law to Stop Employers From Demanding Facebook Passwords

Republicans once again have proven they love businesses and hate the people that work for them.  It has recently come to light that some employers are now demanding applicants and employees to turn over the login credentials for personal Facebook accounts.  This is such a gross invasion of privacy it has cased Facebook to list asking for login credentials a violation of its terms of service.  Some members of the House of Representatives attempted to add a provision to a bill that allows the FCC to prevent employers from doing such a thing.

Unfortunately, most house republicans don’t agree that this is a bad thing, and probably don’t know what this “Facebook” thing is the kids keep talking about.  The amendment was defeated in a vote of 236 to 184.  The good news is this subject can still return as another piece of legislation, but until then, is prepared to let your boss use your Facebook account to ruin your life.

Source:  zdnet.com

Even Republicans Know how to Draw the Line in Insanity

Laurens County, South Carolina, congratulations!  I never want to visit you ever.

It appears that a local politician wants all of the political candidates to sign a purity pledge; basically a written agreement that they will not cheat on their wives, won’t watch “adult videos,”, that they have never had pre-marital sex, protect gun rights, oppose abortion, and probably several other amazingly insane things.  The shocking event that has come out of all of this is that the Republican Party managed to respond before any of the candidates to basically say that no one would be signing that, also it would be illegal for them to not put people on the ballot because they didn’t sign it.

In all honesty I don’t know why people are acting that surprised about this, most Republicans are expected to sign a similar pledge when they get into office, but instead of being about the purity that they all pretend to have (looking at you Limbaugh) it is about never raising taxes for any reason ever.  The worst part is that most of these people seem to take these things so seriously that they don’t seem to be able to step away from it, even in moments when it would probably be best to do so.  Sorry pledge, you couldn’t see the future and honesty aren’t a great reason to tie someone’s hands.  Wait, it did/does?  Awesome.

Source: Daily Herald, my new favorite source for weird.