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16  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 22, 2016, 02:47:13 PM
That's a scary thing, Goosey.  I still remember back in 2001, I had just started grad school in NYC and 9/11 hit.  The area of NYC I was living in was under lockdown so I couldn't get out and no one else could get in for days.  It was quite the task to let important people know that I was okay, because phone service and all was spotty for a while.  My mom was freaking out because even though she was only an hour's drive from me, I was completely inaccessible.  (and at that time, I didn't have my car since I was in The City and it was still under the old law that I couldn't rent a car because I was under 25). 

Fear is a powerful thing, and I know how f'n frightened and helpless I felt that day.  Then when I decided to leave my apartment and go take a walk, I learned that I can't let fear dictate my existence.  I'm pretty sure that shit's traumatized me, but I've survived and am stronger.    

So take it from someone who's been there, you, your friends, your family, you all will get through this.
17  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 22, 2016, 01:18:45 PM
I remember Howard Dean's leafblower whoop. 

Anyway, a further development in the news story about the behaviorist who was shot while trying to deescalate the agitated autistic guy is that the officer is now trying to spin it like he intended to shoot the autistic guy and the whole mess is a misunderstanding. Okay, now saying you're going to shoot someone with a developmental disability without understanding that is a whole 'nother kind of wrong right there.

Can we get some good news for a change? 
18  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: July 21, 2016, 06:53:10 PM
And after playing as two melee characters, playing an archer like Mercedes requires an almost instant mind-shift.  The first time I played the game, I wasn't too keen on Mercedes because I couldn't bulldoze like Gwendolyn and Cornelius but she grew on me because her play style is so different.  So play to her strengths.  She has a ranged weapon and she can fly. 

And, yes, with the new balancing and modifications in Leifthrasir, she is a lot more fun to play as. 
19  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 21, 2016, 03:30:39 PM
Hathen- thanks for the information.  I do like that idea and it seems two US cities have adopted it, per the site you linked.

And if we're still comparing Trump to dictators, I still see more Idi Amin, Stalin, Ghadaffi, and Mugabe in Trump than I do Hitler.  And it's been said earlier that Trump has done so much illegal stuff during his campaign (e.g. Inciting violence at public gatherings, like his rallies. That's a crime in, like, every state, right?) that the right prosecutor could nail him for it.

And even though I dislike Ted Cruz and believe he'd be more subversively dangerous than Trump, I gained a shred of respect for him for snubbing Trump, sticking to his guns, and saying something about letting your conscience decide your vote.
20  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 21, 2016, 01:15:07 PM
It's all too easy to believe the rhetoric, media spinning, Facebook memes (which are never fact-checked, so long as they jive with your viewpoint), and become hateful- either toward your self or toward others.  That's what the powers that be want- to divide and conquer.  And fear is the way to do that.  (And despite the fear, I don't see any mass exodus from America any time soon.  Ever since I voted in my first election, every election year had everyone making empty threats to move to Canada if the person they dislike is elected.  So stupid.  Especially since the average American has ZERO clue about emigration and immigration laws and processes.)

That news story about the behaviorist unfairly shot by a police officer while trying to ameliorate a situation with an autistic boy who ran off is frightening to me.  It hits home because I work with special needs students, I go out in the community with them often for their job skills and living skills classes, it's guaranteed at least one of them is going to have a meltdown at some point while out in the community (and if one melts down the others react like a domino effect), and if I have my hands on a student's shoulder to deescalate them and do deep breathing with them (because I know this student well and I know that that kind of touch gives them a feeling of security), someone who hasn't properly assessed the scenario would think I'm the bad guy because I'm male, I'm brown, and I have my hands on the student.  And my students are high schoolers, some of whom are a good deal larger than me physically, so if a student is in crisis I might have to put them into a safe hold so that they don't inadvertently hurt themselves or others.  Safety first above all else.  

This also frightens me because what of that autistic guy in the victim's care?  Who's going to advocate for him?  The one person in that place that this autistic kid knows, trusts, and will respond to has been shot and hauled off.  From the brief snippet I saw, and the fact that he's in a group home, my assumption is that his level of autism is such that he doesn't quite have the cognitive wherewithal to advocate for himself.  I work with students who may have the bodies of 17 year-olds, but have the cognitive functioning of toddlers, so it's up to me to advocate for them when they can't.  And autistic students tend to "script" (which I'm willing to bet the boy was doing when the cops came in) and sometimes might just be repeating dialogue from their favorite movie not realizing that in a real world context, it could be seen as bad.  Like if an autistic kid loves Monsters Inc. and repeats the line about the bad guy wanting to capture children, to the autistic kid he's just repeating Monsters Inc. but to someone unaware, it could be misconstrued out of control.      

But I'm not going to let that turn me into a paranoid and hateful shut in who buys into all the fear-mongering.  I refuse to let irrational fear influence my decision making and strong-arm me into compromising my position, my stances, and my views.  And above all else, I will do everything in my power to do what is best for my special needs students.  
21  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 20, 2016, 03:32:09 PM
Yeah, Abe Lincoln would be ashamed of what the Republican party has turned into.  I'm thinking Teddy Roosevelt might too.
22  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 20, 2016, 02:45:57 PM
What are Canada's immigration laws like?  I assume they'd be strict and hopefully better organized than the joke that is INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) in America.  (Do not get me started on that clown car of a governmental department).

Even then, I go back to my frat house (which I'll call vomit house) analogy.  Yeah, you've given up renting a room there and want to rent a room elsewhere with sensible and reasonable people.  However, when being interviewed to rent the room elsewhere, the impression will be, "So you were living at vomit house before? Yeah, we don't want any of that here." And you have to prove yourself big time that you are better than vomit house and deserve to live in a better house. (This analogy pertains to immigration laws and being allowed into a new country.)

And, again, even if you're accepted to be the new roommate in the nicer house (and it's wonderful living in a nicer house with more sensible roommates), vomit house, and the yahoos who still live there, is still next door.  In much the same way, Canada is like the house next door to the rowdy neighbors.  So you still never quite escape.

EDIT: I know this conversation isn't wholly serious and we're all intelligent and reasonable people who know better, but people out in society are seriously thinking about this, failing to realize that immigrating to a new country isn't just a matter of simply going there like a vacation.  It's a difficult and lengthy process via their government and there is a possibility of being denied resident status.  
23  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 20, 2016, 10:00:20 AM
I'm not sure if Canada is a perfect getaway, though.  It's like, sure you got out of living at the nutso, horrible, vomit-filled, urine-soaked, loud, disgusting frat house, but all you did was move next door.  Yeah, you live in a nicer house now with more civilized roomies... but the nutso, horrible, vomit-filled, urine soaked, loud, disgusting frat house is still your next-door neighbor.

24  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 20, 2016, 09:36:42 AM
I'm honestly surprised this hasn't gotten more coverage:

Rep. Steve King says what Trump supporters are thinking.

I know Hitler comparisons are so overdone nobody even pays attention to them anymore, but for the love of god this isn't even a metaphor.  It's literal master race talk.  

Kev, glassjawsh's mention of that is what got this politically charged discussion ignited the past day or so.  I do agree with you, though.  I've had this discussion with a lot of people, and I'm willing to bet that Melania Trump's (I was so tempted to write Melanoma Trump) "plagiarized" speech was meant to divert our attention away from the more dangerous things said at the RNC.  Dangerous sentiments like Steve King's aforementioned "master race" talk, blanket statements that growing cultural movements are subversive hate groups all "growl growl growl kill all police!", cheers for officers acquitted for wrongfully murdering victims... seeing the rampant fascism, sexism, classism, racism, etc. in the Republican party is sickening.  Abraham Lincoln (who founded the Republican party back in the 1800s and fought to end slavery against southern Democrats who wanted to keep slavery- funny how the political parties have flip-flopped)  

Padme said it best in Star Wars.  "So this is how liberty dies.  With thunderous applause."  

EDIT: I'm still a disgruntled citizen, because even if you're cool with the two party system, it's like, "are these candidates really the best we've got?"  

What is democracy when the choice is between "wealthy candidate A from the ruling class" or "wealthy candidate B from the ruling class"?  The way the media is spinning it these days, it seems like our choice is between the devil or the deep blue sea.  Which leads me to...

What is democracy when the peoples' votes are primarily influenced by fear-mongering?  Both Republican TrumpThumpers and Democrat HillHoppers are all saying the same thing, "Vote for us or the scary lunatic over there gets into power!"  I don't want fear to cloud and influence my decision-making and make me vote against my own (and my community's) interests.  It's like with sports.  I don't want to root for Team A because Team B are assholes.  I want to root for Team A because I like Team A.   Which leads me to...

What is democracy when we're tunnel-visioned into believing there are only two parties where there are several viable options out there which may better serve our interests?  Why should I have to choose between Joker or Two-Face running things when there's a Batman in the shadows who's the hero Gotham deserves?  Actually wait a sec... I might have some issues with Batman, so perhaps I can choose another member of the Justice League to represent me in opposing Two-Face and Joker.  Or if I'm more a Marvel fan than a DC fan, I'd like to choose my champion from X-men or Avengers.

Who am I kidding?  That kinda idealism only happens in fairy tales, right?  
25  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: July 19, 2016, 08:10:58 PM
I remember E3 2012 going out with the staff to eat "crack chicken" at Pollo Campero.  I was deep into my health kick and had just fallen off the vegetarian wagon (been back on the vegetarian wagon since January this year) so I had one of their grilled dishes and I could totally see why Liz called it "crack chicken."  

And though I no longer drink alcohol, I was at a summer party at a friend's house where I had brought ice cream and root beer to make a root beer float station.  One of my other friends brought Pinnacle whipped cream vodka and would put a shot of it in peoples' floats to make them adult root beer floats.  People were guzzling their floats and got drunk pretty quick (the carbonation in soda somehow fast-tracks alcohol to the bloodstream.)  

So that's my contribution to edible addictions.  (And one of the audiobook narrations I did was a book on sugar addiction.)  

Anyway, not much in terms of haps except that I'm getting ready for the Spellbound Century bike-a-thon at the end of July.  I'll be riding with Team St. Lou (my coworker's team), it's only 45 miles, and it should be loads of fun.  
26  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 19, 2016, 12:44:22 PM

Amidala had it right: http://www.starwars.com/video/so-this-is-how-liberty-dies
27  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 19, 2016, 12:19:36 PM
Fair enough. 

It still bothers me, though, that so many women in red states are so blindly GOP that they'll support a candidate even if his policies are dangerous to them.  It's scary the extent that so many in the GOP want to completely gut women's health care and sends women's rights back to the stone age.  Domestic violence was probably huge in the 1950s, but since women had no rights and recourse, they just had to take it.  So it was covered up. 
28  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The tri-Ace General Discussion (& Star Ocean 5) Thread on: July 19, 2016, 12:11:03 PM
At the end of the day, I'm cool with a moe anime game using Valkyrie Profile's engine.  It may not be as good as Valkyrie Profile (which I did say was an excellent game), but I'll probably have more fun with it.  Kinda like how Citizen Kane is one of the greatest movies ever made, but I'd rather watch Star Wars because it's more enjoyable to me. 

And with all the talk about Valkyrie Profile, I'm surprised no one's mentioned the A ending.  Getting the A ending required so many specific and often unintuitive steps that I felt like it was merely there to sell strategy guides.  However, that was a common practice in those days- create secrets so obscure that they were there simply to see strategy guides. 

So I say bring on Exist Archive.  At least it seems like it'll be better than SO5.  Okay, it's not lost on me that SO5's poor reception has probably lowered our standards. 

29  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: July 19, 2016, 08:31:37 AM
Dice- yeah, Leifthrasir was fantastic.  Any issue I had with the original Odin Sphere was wiped out.  I used to complain all the time about Cornelius's final stage being really unbalanced but in Leifthrasir, it was an absolute pleasure. 

And, yes, Cornelius with his spinny buzz-saw attack is, and was, the most fun to play as. 
30  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Today's News on: July 19, 2016, 08:02:55 AM
Ugh, US politics has become such a shit show.  (King being openly racist on TV, Melanoma Trump plagiarizing Michelle Obama's convention speech, the Trump-Pence combination being a deadly cocktail of women's rights, immigrant rights, LGBT rights, the environment, possibly education potentially going down the toilet, etc.)

And I'm still wondering what this "great" era is that all the "Make America Great Again" people want to go back to.  

The 1930s?  The Great Depression wasn't great for anyone

The 1940s?  World War II.  And because America needed to fund the war machine, the common people were forced to go on strict food rations and such, right?  

The 1950s?  Great if you were a white male, downright repressive if you were a woman, indisputably terrible if you were a minority, and McCarthyism was a lovely slice of fearmongering

The 1960s?  The country started improving things for women and minorities, but there was violent backlash to civil rights, women still denied plenty of rights, Kennedy was killed, the Vietnam war machine fucked things up again

The 1970s?  Still at war, Nixon's Watergate scandal, womens' rights made a strong push but the government did all it could to backlash against that, the gas crunch...

The 1980s?  The federal budget deficit ballooned to, what, 3 trillion which was more than the previous 80 years combined?    

The 1990s?  That was actually a solid period for America in terms of growth and expansion, but there was the first Iraq war and I doubt Trump's constituent would view a Clinton era as great.  

The 2000s?  9/11, the economy collapsing, being mired in a prohibitively expensive and unpopular war, foreign opinion of the US being in the gutter, but we did elect the first president of color so foreign opinion of the US improved a bit

The 2010s?  You know, even though the economy's still in shambles, we're still mired in prohibitively expensive and unpopular global conflicts, and foreign opinion of the US is still the lowest it's been in an entire generation, LGBT rights, women's rights, and immigrant rights are the best they've ever been in this country.  Is there still room for improvement?  Oh absolutely.  Is there backlash?  Of course, but that's to be expected with change.  But you know what?  I'll take it any day over, say, the 1950s.  
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