Politically Correct TV Standards
Used by France and the former Soviet union.
No tint control. No color control.
Full socialism. The state knows exactly what color you should see and how strong that color should be.
Used by Germany & UK, Australia etc.
No tint control. A color control.
Partial socialism. The state knows exactly what color you should see but you get a choice as to how strong it can be.
Used in USA and Canada, Japan etc.
A tint control, A color control.
Uncontroled socialism. The state lets you chose what color you see and how strong it can be. They then tax you regardless.
The NFL (also known as the No Fun League) banned this practice. The results from this weekend, when Tim Tebow led the Denver Broncos into an upset victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, reminded me of another verse. Luke 19:40 tells how Jesus responded to pharisees complaining that people were praising Jesus. "And he answered and said, I tell you that, if these shall hold their peace, the stones will cry out." On Sunday, Tim Tebow was not allowed to write John 3:16 on his face. But he passed for 316 yards. To ensure that it was difficult for anyone to write this off as pure coincidence, he also passed for an average of 31.6 yards per game. Now I am sure Teblow had no idea of these numbers until after the game was over. However, what are the odds of anyone doing both, let alone in the same game? God truly has an awesome sense of humor and can control the outcome of even the most trivial of events when He desires.
While obviously unrealistic, both shows are somewhat witty, beautifully shot, and provided a bit of mindless escapism each week. However, after last week’s 2-part Castle episode, I will not watch another episode of Castle. The plot was that terrorists were going to detonate a dirty nuclear bomb in NY and the main characters had to stop them. So far, so good.
However, ABC is so politically correct they reversed the expected heroes and villains. In addition to the recurring characters, the most admirable character was a Muslim weapons designer who came to the United States because he did not want to build nuclear weapons. The evil culprits were three former US Special Forces soldiers who thought America was getting too soft on the war on terror and were willing to kill thousands of New Yorkers to motivate Americans to fight again.
Give me a break. This was an insult to each and every man and woman who put on a military uniform to defend the citizens of the United States. The writers were not happy to just besmirch one soldier, who presumably might have mental problems after years of combat. Instead, they created a conspiracy of three Special Forces soldiers, none of whom remembered their oath to defend Americans nor turned in the person who suggested this heinous act. These ABC writers, of whom I doubt any ever volunteered to defend our nation, have portrayed our best and brightest as being willing to employ weapons of mass destruction on American civilians. I despise these writers and will not knowingly support them by watching more of their work. There are plenty of other things I can do with my time than watch these writers insult the bravest members of society because they are too politically correct to show realistic threats.
Nowhere is the gap between sinister stereotype and ridiculous reality more apparent than in Afghanistan, where it’s fair to say that the Taliban employ the world’s worst suicide bombers: one in two manages to kill only himself. And this success rate hasn’t improved at all in the five years they’ve been using suicide bombers, despite the experience of hundreds of attacks—or attempted attacks. In Afghanistan, as in many cultures, a manly embrace is a time-honored tradition for warriors before they go off to face death. Thus, many suicide bombers never even make it out of their training camp or safe house, as the pressure from these group hugs triggers the explosives in suicide vests. According to several sources at the United Nations, as many as six would-be suicide bombers died last July after one such embrace in Paktika.If more people in Hollywood would present terrorists as the bumbling perverts many of them actually are, it would certainly make the job of recruiting more terrorists a bit more difficult.
Yet another broken promise by the Obama administration. I suspect the only reason they made this promise was to provide coverage for the Democrats who voted for this bill despite supposedly representing pro-life constituents. This broken promise certainly was not a surprise to anyone paying attention. The only surprise to me is that Obama felt comfortable breaking his word before this November's elections. He must really believe the majority of voters are dumb and ignorant. I think he will learn otherwise this November.
Jose and Carlos are both beggars. They beg in different areas of town. Carlos begs for the same amount of time as Jose, but only collects about eight or nine dollars a day Every day, Jose brings home a suitcase full of ten dollar bills. He drives a Mercedes, lives in a mortgage-free house, and has lots of cash to spend. "Hey, amigo," Carlos says to Jose, "I work just as long and hard as you do, so how come you bring home a suitcase full of ten dollar bills every day?" Jose says, "Look at your sign, what does it say?" Carlos' sign reads: "I have no work, a wife and six kids to support." "What's wrong with that?" Carlos asks him. "No wonder you only get eight or nine dollars a day!"Carlos says, "Alright, so what does your sign say?" Jose's sign reads: "I only need ten dollars to get back to Mexico..."
After almost I year, this book still bothers me. Not because I expect the threat is especially likely, but because it would be the smart way for an enemy to attack us. One single warhead detonated outside the atmosphere over the US could destroy virtually the entire computer and electric infrastructure in North America. One single bomb. Even if the bomb was not followed by any enemy attacks whatsoever, it would have doomed the majority of us to very unpleasant deaths as food, water, and medicine could no longer be harvested or delivered until we rebuilt our infrastructure. Any vehicles that depended upon computer chips (pretty much anything with a fuel injector or everything built in the last 20 to 30 years) would no longer work. Power plants would not work. Jets would fall out of the sky like rain as they ceased to function, but those who died immediately would probably be the fortunate ones as everyone else would be instantly plunged into a preindustrial lifestyle.
Forstchen wrote his book as a warning so technology could be designed to protect our infrastructure from such an attack (for example, new surge protectors would be need to operate a million times faster than they currently do - the EMP pulse travels much faster than standard threats such a lightning strikes). Apparently, I'm not the only one who was influenced by the book. While they did not credit the book, the liberal Huffington Post has an interesting summary of EMP pulses, including a video from National Geographic.
Warner Brothers has apparently bought the rights to make a movie from the book. I hope they do. This should be required reading (or viewing) for all politicians and other decision makers.
I especially enjoyed Sammon's discussion of the unethical behavior of other media, such as when CBS deliberately presented falsified information on the air in an attempt to get Kerry elected (remember Rather's "fake, but accurate" claim?). This is where Sammon's book really shines, the author's insider knowledge as a member of the media really comes into play - anyone who wants specific examples of how the media abuses the public trust should read this book.
I also found the discussion on one of Bush's larger mistakes, the nomination of Harriet Miers, particularly timely as Obama's nomination of Elena Kagan is very comparable - except that Kagan makes Miers look like Supreme Court material... Of course, we should probably expect a president with no former executive experience to nominate a candidate with no judicial experience. Click here for more information on Kagan.
The show was anticlimactic. I am glad I went, so now I will no longer wonder what I am missing, but the show is much, much smaller than the Consumer Electronic Show (CES). I was there when it opened Monday and I saw everything by Monday afternoon. I do not want to give the wrong impression, it will still a great show and I enjoyed getting to see and play with many of the upcoming products, but it is not even close to CES.
Console WarsI took a good look at Sony’s and Microsoft’s response to the Nintendo Wii. Both looked decent, but neither looked spectacular. Sony’s response is called the Move and is simply a variant of the Wii controller. It has a colorful led bulb at the top and looks like a glow-in-the-dark microphone, but works just like the Wii. Each controller costs $50. Most games will use just one controller, but several games used two controllers (just as the Wii uses a controller plus a numchuck for some games). One advantage of the Sony system is that the extra controller could be used by another player by itself in another game (the Wii numchuck is useless by itself). The other advantage of the Sony solution is that the Playstation 3 has much better graphics (high definition) than the Wii (standard definition).
Microsoft’s response to the Wii was much different. Whereas Sony basically created their own version of the Wii on top of the PS3, Microsoft took a completely different path. The Kinect (the official name of the Natal project) is a $149 accessory that you attach to the Xbox 360. It is a fairly sophisticated camera with depth sensors (allowing it to "see" in three dimensions) and a microphone. In order to play Wii-type games, the player(s) simply move their hands. For example, in a racing game, the players pretend to be using a steering wheel. This sounds a bit lame, but worked just fine. More impressively, in a boxing game, players used their hands as if they were really boxing. This seemed to work much better than boxing games I’ve seen on the Wii (and of great benefit to adults, there were no artificial limitations on movement due to a short cord between the Wii controller and numchuck). $149 is much more than $50 for the Sony Move, but you only need to buy one Kinect no matter how many players you have compared to $50 to $100 (for games that take two controllers) per player for the Sony.
When it comes to gaming, neither Microsoft nor Sony seemed to hit a home run with their new products. Nothing I saw would convince most people who already owned a Wii to replace it with an Xbox 360 or a Playstation 3. On the other hand, for people interested in gaming consoles but who do not already own a Wii, Xbox 360, or a PS3 (however large this market segment may be after almost five years), now the Sony and Xbox 360 look much more compelling than the Wii. Not only are the graphics much better, but now both products can offer social gaming (easy to play games) that equal or exceed those on the Wii. If Nintendo wanted to be really radical, they should come up with a Wii simulator for the Xbox 360 and the PS3 –most of the money to be made in the industry is via software licensing and both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 have more than enough horsepower to easily simulate the Wii.
When it comes to gaming consoles, I do not expect Microsoft or Sony to have a great advantage over one another based on their new releases. People who already prefer Sony will continue to support them and people who prefer Microsoft will continue to buy from them. I do expect to see future sales of the Wii hardware platform to decline as late entrants now have two clearly superior platforms from which to choose. In addition to my radical suggestion of selling Wii simulation programs (which Nintendo will probably not follow), market forces will probably cause the Wii’s price point to drop to $99 in the foreseeable future (no later than Christmas 2011).
When it comes to the future implementation of technology, I think Microsoft has put some serious thought into the Kinect and this will pay many dividends in the future. While many will dismiss the Kinect as a gimmick, think about what Microsoft will learn from Kinect users. Microsoft will be gaining great experience in other ways of controlling the Xbox 360, which is just a computer for the family room. Different programmers will be experimenting with various gesture related commands. Likewise, the Kinect comes with a microphone and voice-enabled commands are already enabled. I expect that Microsoft will use the experience they gain from the Kinect for both future Xbox and PC platforms. I predict that the next version of Windows will recommend a camera and microphone be part of the PC and will come ready to accept voice and motion commands. I also predict that a videophone application will be released shortly for the Xbox 360/Kinect – perhaps part of Xbox Live. After all, Xbox Live users already have high bandwidth and with the Kinect, all required hardware will already be in place. The ideas in this paragraph are strictly my own, there was no mention of these applications at E3, but I think these are straightforward conclusions based upon the hardware.
Closing ThoughtsI am looking forward to the movie sequel to Tron, which comes out this December. There were several Tron related games coming out, including one for the Wii that looked great. Good thing my kids do not know I blog yet as this will probably be a Christmas present for them. The Lego version of Harry Potter looked like even more fun than the previous Lego titles if you have kids in the 12 and under crowd. There were some other neat things at the show too, but the most interesting item was considering the long-term impact I expect to see from the Kinect.
So far, I've just played the game itself which I downloaded for $19.99. If you want to try it, a link is below:
The programmers have come out with two expansions for the game that I'm going to purchase shortly. You can buy the pair for $19.95.
You can also buy all three at once, but I wouldn't suggest that. First try the original game. Then if you like it, buy the expansion packs later. My twelve-year-old son really enjoys the game too and has reached the point he can give me a good game.
I like the game so much, I made the programming company (Stardock) my first affiliate for this website. You can use their services to buy a host of games and download them directly to your PC. The best part is that they remember what you bought, so if your hard drive crashes (or if you just replace your PC), you can then download all the games you already bought at no additional cost.
The legal issues are interesting, but morally I blame the radical environmentalists (who have much more political power than the oil industry, even under the Bush administrations). The safest place to drill oil is on land. The second safest is in shallow water. The most dangerous place to drill oil is in deep water. Where do we drill? In deep water.
Why? Because stupid foolish environmentalists placed so much pressure on politicians that we have outlawed vast areas with massive oil (such as huge chunks of Alaska) that could be very safely obtained (animal populations have actually increased after the Alaska pipeline was built, animals apparently liked the warmth of the pipeline). We no longer drill for new oil in shallow water (the second safest place to drill) because of environmental laws.
So out of necessity, oil companies are forced to drill in the most dangerous way possible - in deep water. Then we blame them when an accident occurs and they struggle to fix the problem. Every single environmentalist who opposes drilling on land and in shallow water is to blame for the current problem.
The current problem will be eventually resolved, but will cause many short-term hardships in the area to both people and wildlife. Next time some you are debating some wacko environmentalists (one who argues with feelings and ignores facts), blame him or her for this disaster and tell them it was their policies that caused the problem.