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Trumped by scandal

His usual expression of either arrogance or fury morphs into one new for him: anxiety.

The latest explosive headline concerning President Trump involves him allegedly bragging to the Russians about “nutjob” FBI Director James Comey getting the can. Actually, by the time you read this, it may not be the latest controversy. The Trump scandals are growing in number at a record-shattering pace. After all, it had followed reports that Trump revealed sensitive Intel to Russian officials and that before firing Comey, Trump asked him to drop the investigation into short-lived National Security Adviser Michael Flynn (which would be obstruction of justice).

And this is skipping over a lot of other scandals that have been generated all year.

“I did not have sexual relations with that gentleman, President Putin.”

Of course, Trump is innocent until proven guilty. On the other hand, if Trump were innocent, why does his administration need to change its story so much? Here’s an example: the aforementioned firing of Comey was originally explained by the White house to be over him mishandling and politicizing the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal. That progressives were getting mad at Trump for doing what they had wanted him to do for several months instantly became a right-wing talking point. Problem is, what Trump claimed to be firing Comey for, he had praised at the time it was done.

And you thought he’d at least been consistent since switching from the left of Karl Marx to the right of Genghis Khan! LOL!

But the contradictions didn’t end there. The next morning, Trump contradicted that by saying that Comey just wasn’t “doing a good job” in general. There are other examples of this administration giving multiple explanations for something that some find suspicious.

It’s like the joke about the person sued because his dog bit and injured a neighbor: “First of all, my dog doesn’t bite. Second, he was chained up that night. Third, he’s an old dog with bad teeth, so even if he did bite him it wouldn’t hurt. Fourth, I don’t even own a dog!” That’s the Trump administration. It can’t keep its stories straight.

Good thing the White House can’t seem to draw this or we might be believing a lot of bullshit!

Not that this is quite enough in a criminal trial. That’s what the special prosecutor is for. But on a more personal level, it’s beyond suspicious.

At any rate, this isn’t going away any time soon. Let’s see what develops.

Trump’s first international crisis

This didn’t take long.

Less than three months into the Trump administration, we are in a serious foreign policy situation. In response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gassing his own people, we have launched many missiles at that country.

Before I continue, I’d like to take a moment to mock Brian Williams for calling this “beautiful.” Who other than dictators consider war to be beautiful? Answer: newsmen who want the big ratings war creates. But few are stupid enough to let this destructively selfish opinion be known.

I know you’re still lamenting that ratings bonanza that an ebola outbreak would’ve gotten you.

People have, as usual when it comes to politics. formed a mix of opinions. Progressives have viewed this as having the potential to start another disastrous war not too long after Iraq ended.

Conservatives’ reaction has been… hypocrisy. They say that this is a complicated matter because it could lead to disaster yet that there are consequences to doing nothing about these strongmen. A few even go farther, blaming Barack Obama’s alleged weakness abroad for Assad feeling confident in gassing his own people. Why’s this hypocritical? Because the right mostly advised against intervening in Syria back when Obama considered it four years ago.

For those who think I’m being a nitpicker in this, when has the right ever hesitated when it comes to Al Gore and other environmentalists who use high-energy machines? Flip-flopping between the war/peace positions of George Patton and Abbie Hoffman as politically convenient deserves no less criticism.

But, yeah, an environmentalist driving a SUV does look bad. Let it never be said that I can’t learn anything from the other side.

Looking past the political divide and opportunistic media, I can see the possibility for disaster, good things, and a big, fat, zilch.

When we bomb countries, it can stoke tensions in a hurry (see the aforementioned war in Iraq, which created additional terrorism as it convinced the Arabs that America had gone crazy). On the other hand, these dictators are men of big mouths and tiny dicks. This kind of thing certainly can intimidate them.

And then there’s the cases of the bombing that only produces a standoff. I can remember numerous times that we bombed pre-war Iraq to keep its tyrant, Saddam Hussein from overstepping his bounds. Beyond that, nothing really happened.

Well, there was the South Park version of Saddam.

One thing that does worry me is that President Trump ran on an anti-war platform and is contradicting it before he would have had time to give the matter careful thought. That is not an encouraging sign of strong decisiveness.

Is there any hope left for Sega?

I recently watched the Trailer of Sonic Forces. What did I see? A lot of fast-paced action, but this game has the following issue: it looks like the camera will have trouble keeping up with Sonic because he’s too fast. Sure he’s supposed to be fast, but one of the biggest problems these 3D Sonic games have has been the camera being out of place because it’s not fast enough.

Although Sega is financially struggling, it does not seem to learn from its mistakes. But the question is really not why this company would learn but why anyone at this point and time would still put faith in it.

If they wanna try this shot at the messenger, the Falcons were the #2 NFL team last season. Sega’s last year of video game relevance? 1995. Don’t compare this.

If that sounds like an overstatement, look at the history of this company. Back when Sega was in the console-making business, the company survived Nintendo’s domination of video games in the 1980’s, became the top company in the industry for a few years (1991-1994), fell apart for the next several years, and became a third party developer best known for making these mostly mediocre-to-awful Sonic games, although the Football* Manager series is said to be pretty good.

*”Football” as in what we Americans call soccer, just to clarify.

So there’s nothing but a hot run an eternity ago, that still included the epic blunder of the 32X, to see this company as anything but a dumpster fire. That is not generally considered to be a good reason.

Vengeful gamers do know that Sega’s suits and the Sonic Team will retire stinkin’ rich either way, right?

I mean, I watch Youtubers and read bloggers old enough to remember the Sega Genesis expressing disappointment, but how many younger gamers give a shit about this company anymore? Sonic Boom crashed and burned in the sales. I’m not surprised, because most of the talk I’ve seen has come from the gaming vets. What do you expect? Those who know this company only by the mismanaged post-Genesis systems and sub-par Sonics will not hesitate to overlook it.

Not to mention that those who have hoped in vain for this company to rebound all these years only want it for Sonic the Hedgehog. They should face the music; they’re in the same position that Mortal Kombat fans were in a decade ago. Their best hope is for the company to go out of business and the assets to be purchased by a more competent company. I mean competent right now, not twenty-five years ago.

Apology rejected.

In the meantime, enjoy the Youtube rants on Sonic games, if not the games themselves.

When ignorant celebrities poison the well

celebritiespoisonwelltitleOn March 20, 2006, Charlie Sheen said something stupid. He said that the September 11, 2006 terrorist attacks looked more like a controlled demolition. As you can see above, one of the reasons was that instead of making then-President George Bush fly to Washington, Secret Service allowed him to continue reading My Pet Goat to the children he was entertaining.

Brilliant deduction, Chuck! Well, except for the fact that Bush ignoring the crisis of epic proportions, at least for the moment, made him look like an irresponsible idiot! But that was part of the plan. Why wouldn’t the American people support someone who had tricked them into thinking that he was an incompetent fool? George you magnificent bastard!

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Sometimes it seems like logic really is just a rapper.

Enough sarcasm. Sheen quickly became a hero to the 9/11 truth movement. And I use “truth” loosely because the movement was never based on anything but paranoid fantasies. Osama bin Laden bragged about the attacks in videos of himself that he sent to Al Jazeera. Not to mention that Alex Jones and other conspiracy theorists promoting this bullshit would contend that bin Laden is alive and held under lock and key. Why would a patsy be kept alive after we were to believe he was dead anyway? Because all this is a matter of shock and awe. Logic does not begin to factor into it.

It appears that Cleveland Cavaliers player Kyrie Irving has decided to join noted celebrity conspiracy theorists Sheen and Jenny “the government made my son autistic” McCarthy in stating that the world is flat. He says that it’s “not even a conspiracy theory,” the implication being that it’s definite truth but everybody is tricked.

Just for the record, every scientist in the world says the world is round. Astronauts have confirmed it. A flat Earth is utterly inconsistent with the concept of outer space. It’s not only not true, it would not even be possible for it to be true.

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Bah, what would so-called scientists know about the shape of Earth? Let’s hear what the NBA superstar has to say!

In all fairness to Irving, this high profile person saying that the world is flat isn’t nearly as dangerous as Sheen claiming that the government staged 9/11 or McCarthy telling people that vaccines cause autism. It’s still dangerous. We struggle enough in educating our youths without these celebrities gumming up the works like this.

In all fairness to these celebs, why should we be believing everything they say just because they’re known? We shouldn’t. There are a lot of crazy and/or stupid people everywhere. Don’t believe people just because you’ve heard of them.

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Some people never outgrew this game.

Facts are facts. If a celebrity says something different from the facts, accept that the celebrity is wrong. I’m not saying go with the crowd either, but at the same time, the truth should trump fame.

So Trump won

sotrumpwontitleIt happened. Donald Trump is our President-Elect. So what does this mean for America?

Well, Trump made a lot of promises like building a border wall, repealing Obamacare, and cutting spending. Even with a Republican Congress, history shows that governing is far more difficult than winning.

The one thing for certain is that we have a center-right Supreme Court again.

Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard ### FREE Community Edition ### on 2016-02-17 16:11:33Z | http://piczard.com | http://codecarvings.com

Scalia’s seat was never filled, remember?

A cautionary note for Trump and his supporters. House Speaker Paul Ryan claims that this is a “mandate” election. Don’t push your luck. As of now, Trump is behind in the popular vote. Rules, even questionable rules, are rules, but if losing the popular vote doesn’t put a President on thin ice with the American people, what does?

So how did Trump win? Well, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, the two third party candidates whose support had mainly been among younger voters who favored Hillary Clinton yet were disenchanted by her, got enough votes to make the difference.

Well, Trump was a leftist for most of his life, so this new nader effect only fitting.

Well, Trump was a leftist for most of his life, so this new Nader-effect is only fitting.

Also, there’s the email thing and James Comey’s October surprise that I thought then and there might turn the tide. Sure enough, it did. And even objective Clinton supporters have to admit that she could have handled the email scandal better with less lashing out at the press and other actions that reeked of shooting the messenger.

For those who disagree with the last point and insist that she did all she could, do you remember Obama surviving black separatist preacher Jeremiah Wright and terrorist Bill Ayers? Some people have very short memories.

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Very short memories.

Conclusion: Sanders supporters were right. Clinton was too unpopular and uninspiring. In fact, I struggle to come up with a single campaign theme beyond how horrible Trump is. So as much as the left-leaning millenials who voted for Johnson or Stein shouldn’t have, those who called Sanders supporters “Bernie Bros.,” with its baseless implications of misogyny and thuggery weren’t helping matters in the slightest.

So we’re in a brand new era. While I don’t like Trump and didn’t vote for him, I wish him the best of luck in office. He’ll need it.

This is who he is

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump reacts during the first presidential debate with Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, U.S., September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas JacksonIt was believed by many that Donald Trump would tone it down for last night’s debate. He would act in a mild-mannered, civil way. He would have no embarrassing moments like those he had earlier in the campaign. And with polls tight and expectations down, he’d be declared the victor by the media and possibly take the lead in the presidential election.

It didn’t happen. He turned in a miserable performance. According to the CNN/ORC snap poll of debate viewers, 62% of them believe Hillary won the debate. Only 27% believe Trump did. I was watching the twitter reactions along with the debate and his supporters disappeared after a while, although #TrumpWon has emerged after the fact, based on cherry-picked website polls.

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Actually, many of those people wouldn’t be caught dead in Egypt, but you get the idea.

What was so terrible about Trump’s performance? Well, for starters he interrupted Clinton a reported total of fifty-one times. That’s bad enough in and of itself, but when you have a reputation for sexism and are up against a female opponent, it’s downright devastating. Also, he looked grumpy throughout the entire debate, which hurt his attacks on Clinton quite a bit. Truth be told, he probably should have opted to save his email and Clinton Foundation attacks for a more competitive debate. Of course, this is presuming a lot about Trump’s self-awareness.

Clinton, on the hand, looked very presidential,  had a pleasant demeanor about her throughout and seemed concerned rather than vicious when she attacked Trump on his tax returns and history of sexism. If I’m not mistaken, Clinton never brought up Trump University, so it will be available for a later debate.

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Despite the under-reporting of this scandal, it’s probably still coming.

Perhaps Trump never had a chance to win this debate. He wasn’t remotely impressive in the Republican debates but succeeded by throwing red meat to his base. Problem is, that wouldn’t work in the general election, what with it being decided by indies. But his bad attitude truly made the worst of things. But he’s gotta be him. He has a long history of making racist and sexist remarks, which may merely be because tabloid and reality stars feed on controversy. Now, in a realm in which there actually is such a thing as bad publicity, Trump’s in way over his head.

If Clinton truly needed a boost to salvage her lead, she probably got it last night. And the first debate is almost always the most important. Example: President Obama’s debate meltdown in 2012 that changed the polls from an Obama lead to a virtual tie, even as Obama won the other two debates. So Trump’s best chance to secure victory just might have come and gone.

Why Nintendo going mobile is a good move

nintendomobileWith Pokemon Go an incredible success, Nintendo had gotten better recognition than it has at any point since 2009 or 2010, the years the Wii boom ended. For all you can say about the people who walked into traffic playing Pokemon Go (and I do question the decision to require people to walk as they play, which was asking for a disaster), there’s no question that people love this game.

Capitalizing on this success, Nintendo has wasted no time releasing plans for a mobile Mario game: Super Mario Run. This has some gamers disappointed. They don’t like simple games meant to be accessible to casual gamers and as so many gamers start with Nintendo, they don’t like losing the company to these other people.

Here are the reasons why I must disagree:

1.) Console gamers don’t play Nintendo anymore. Nintendo has always been the most casual of all the console giants. While there have been exceptions like Metroid and Goldeneye, Nintendo has generally favored simple titles like MarioZelda, and Wii Sports. Additionally, such simple third party games as Mega Man and Castlevania have had Nintendo as their natural homes.

Not a Nintendo player.

Not a Nintendo player.

Sure, part of this is Nintendo’s own fault. Famously, it has always had a third party developer-hostile strategy that worked in the immature industry of the late 1980s, but not now; not for decades. But you can’t ignore that console gamers have seen Nintendo as something you grow out of and that casuals don’t. If you didn’t want Nintendo to enter mobile gaming, you should have bought their systems.

2.) Give them a chance. Do all games have to be complicated? I’m not a mobile fanboy by any means, but I have played Plants vs. Zombies and Angry Birds and found them to be quite fun. Simple gameplay can be great gameplay.

Besides, if you think a title this gore-dependent is "hardcore" or "sophisticated," you've got bigger problems than Nintendo.

Besides, if you think a title this gore-dependent is “hardcore” or “sophisticated,” you’ve got bigger problems than Nintendo going mobile.

3.) You don’t have to buy a Nintendo console anymore. While I’m not sure I’d recommend that Nintendo abandon the consoles wholesale, gamers who like Nintendo’s franchises but fear slapping down a lot of money for systems that have nothing else are liberated.

4.) Technology is not a problem (for the most part). Some may argue that technical limitations of the mobile market will decrease the quality of these games, but other than Super Smash Bros. and maybe one or two other exceptions, the basic nature of these games make them so that they do not require much power. The only sacrifice is graphics, which didn’t much help Nintendo beat Sony in the N64 and Gamecube eras.

5.) It’s only Nintendo. As noted, Nintendo has always favored simple games. Sure, it’s been very inventive in spinning new twists, but at the end of the day, it’s casual gamer’s biggest repper.

"Imma casual icon!"

“Imma casual icon!”

So if Nintendo has always been making simple games for casual gamers anyway, what has this move really changed?

In conclusion, this is a good move on Nintendo’s part with few drawbacks.