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Found 7 results

  1. Hello gang! I realize I've been absent via the RM scene as I've gone between jobs and other things the last few months, but I haven't forgotten you guys. I wrote this poem awhile back. It's a parody of The Night Before Christmas, and deals with government politics and presidential elections. It's a satire, but is not meant to offend or advocate for any one particular side over another. So please enjoy. The Night Before Election ‘Twas the night before Election, and all thro’ the House, The Demos were out clubbing, and the Repos all plowed; The stations were set with little to no care, For the votes that would soon be gathered there; The voters were content with the promise of lies, While hopes for the future continued to die, And Big Chief himself, looking kind of glum, Settled his brain for what was to come- When out of the blue there arose such a clatter, Why it’s the Ghost of Presidential Future The Evil Mad Hatter. Away with our dreams, it went with a flash, Tore open our hopes, and demanded our cash. The goon was abreast, out and in full, Requesting the blood of hard-workers and all; It waved its hands so that what may appear, Taxes and exemptions for the following year; With a do-nothing Congress full of dimwits, I knew in a moment it wasn’t St. Nick. More rabid than feeble, his customers came, And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them all lame: “More taxes! More fees! Our voters are now dumber. “First Clinton, and then George, and finally Obummer! “In God we trust, all others pay cash! “So pay you minions, with the new health tax!†As trash in the wind is certain to fly, They shoved the ACA without batting an eye; And up through the House, the bill was pushed, And any who contested were all told to shush. And then in a twinkling, I heard on the news The Repos were all laughing while cooking their goose; The Demos all failed, ‘tis sad but ‘tis true, But the Repos are still bumbling while guzzling the booze. The Hatter was dress’d in colors of gay, While the Repos still shouted “True marriage shall stay!†Out of the sack, I saw a portion Of a Repo bill that banned all abortion The Hatter’s eyes gleamed, cold as a rock, This was the one that would replace Old Barack. His droll little mouth was drawn up in sneer, As he shouted the grand tidings of a miserable New Year! He whistled and grinned, and showed all his teeth, And heralded in America’s defeat. He clapped his hands and blew out some smoke And laughed when he told us our system’s a joke; A Hatter, a troll, or even a snake, A Demo or Repo, it’s all just the same; A promise of lies, a twist of their words, We soon must decide the lesser of turds. They promise recovery and plenty of work, But the rich get richer and the poor are still poor; Our freedom, our rights, the whole Constitution, They thumb their noses and call it superstition. More laws and more secrets, a change we can believe As long as we’re willing our rights to relieve. A Demo or Repo, such is our blight- We welcomed the change without even a fight.
  2. Kayzee

    Blah.

    I think it's kind of obvious that even if Hillary ends up winning somehow, the democratic party failed. They failed when they turned their back on Sanders. They failed when they didn't understand the issues. They failed when they sided with wallstreet. They failed when Obama bailed out the banks way back when. They failed. and maybe America has too. No not just America. The whole left spectrum everywhere in the world (except maaaaybe Iceland, and even then they didn't get ahead). I know why they failed to. Because yeah, they got too greedy. They fed into a broken financial system, tried to tie everything up into a big global market. But globalization failed too. So did wall street. It was obvious it would really. Republicans got greedy too of course. They fed more and more anger and frustration until from out of nowhere they got exactly what they asked for and realized they made a mistake. To everyone who supported Trump, I get it. Your angry. You want to smash the systems. You know what? I kinda wanted to also. But not by giving into insane bigoted reactionary rhetoric. Well congratulations. Now you are going to have to deal with what happens next. You could have waited to next election when I guarantee this election is going to make some waves. Though if Hillary somehow juuuuts manages to win, that is probably the best case scenario to me. But if Trump wins? Well we might manage to be okay. I don't hate all Trump's policies. No I am more nervous about his ego and the message it would send to hateful reactionary people. If your going to be mad, be mad. But why Trump? It's just such a horrible idea.
  3. So, yeah. Taxes. No one really likes paying them, but that's the price you have to pay for living in society right? People need government programs funded with tax money of some sort don't they? Some would say we need to keep the roads paved and the bridges maintained, others would say we need to fund the military and police to protect ourselves and our interests, some would agree we need some kind of welfare system. So yeah, governments and taxes are pretty damn important right? Except it's not that clear cut. First of all there is very little accountability or real choice in what exactly happens with their money and who ends up benefiting from it. Regardless of who pays and who benefits, taxes are not the best way of funding programs or systems. For every good thing government programs do, and they do tons of good things, there is at least one thing they do. The endless maze of bureaucracy and red tape involved insures they waste more and more resources and are subject to the whims of the powerful. Remember how all around the world (except Iceland) governments spent huge amounts of tax money to bail out irresponsible banks? Does the phrase 'too big to fail' ring any bells? How exactly will abuses on wall street stop or bad social programs reform if there is no accountability? Secondly no one likes the idea of someone demanding money by force in the first place. This isn't simply a matter of the 1% vs the 99%, this is true for everyone regardless of how rich they are or how big of a burden they have to shoulder. Taking about people needing to paying their 'fair share' is a flawed argument. The old maxim of 'the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few' sounds great if you are one of the many, often not so much if you are one of the few. Ethically I tend to think the best course is one that maximizes freedom of choice for all. I understand that that is harder then it sounds because of how some people can choose to block choice for others, but I am still pretty sure the tax system is not that. The thing is, I basically live off taxes. I don't work, and honestly not only am I not sure if I really can at this point, but I am not even sure if I am really inclined to try. But I don't think of myself as 'entitled' exactly I think. I may ask for money but I won't demand it or get angry if it's not given to me. I much rather if people did it was because they cared about me and wanted to, not because they were forced to. I am not I could survive without a welfare system, but that's no one's problem but mine. Well, okay, if I died in a ditch somewhere I am sure you would all regret interacting with such a charming and intelligent wonderful person like me, but I am sure you could say that about anyone. I wonder though. If people weren't forced all the time to buy in to this huge crazy system, would there be any soup kitchens and homeless shelters? Would there be programs to help people like me who just don't, by choice or otherwise, fit in to the normal job market? I think there might be. Because people care, and also more possible workers or thinkers is good for everybody. Could organizations that do this be crowd funded with all the money people save on taxes? Would more people be more willing to give if they don't have taxes hanging over them? I am not sure. But getting social programs out of government's bankroll is probably going to be more and more necessary if Trump's tax cuts go through anyway. Another thing to think about is corporations. So far I have mostly been talking about individual people, should just corporations and businesses be taxed instead? They aren't people, legal status or not. What if they were run by AI instead of humans someday? Not that far fetched. AI tech is getting bigger and bigger while more and more machines replace humans in most jobs. Factory and manufacturing jobs are not coming back no matter what middle America and Trump hopes, and soon more cognitive jobs may vanish. Could the world evolve into a place where all the businesses are run by computers? If humans set up the protocol and laws right could that mean a future where most humans live off universal basic income provided by machine-run organizations? some people have implied as much. But if that was the case, would we need money at all?
  4. I think it's becoming increasingly clear to anyone who has actually been paying attention that almost everyone is pretty much screwed at this point when it comes to money. Or maybe that's just the impression I get from what I have read. The banking system has more or less rotten from the inside, the government is increasingly revealed as corrupt, more and more rich people are putting more and more money into offshore tax havens, the gap between the wealthy 1% and the rest of the population is getting larger and larger, and yet at the same time the money that the 1% has is becoming increasingly worthless. The current banking system cannot hold, and fortunately an alternative seems to have presented it's self from nowhere to save all the world's money, at least theoretically. Cyrptocurrency. It's actually pretty amazing that an unknown hacker came in from nowhere and introduced this whole new idea of money and pretty much vanished. Right now a single Bitcoin for example is worth about $700 and more and more individuals and companies are trading it and using it. Even traditional banks are increasingly interested in the idea of using the 'blockchain' for their own distributed ledgers. But I am not going to sit here and say their aren't problems that need to be fixed. Cyrptocurrency is still to volatile, there are concerns of new quantum computers ruining the encryption scheme it relies on, it often can be used to make tracing the flow of money difficult and possibly could make tax avoidance even worse, regulation could crack down on it, 'forking' and other community disagreements could split the base too much... And yet it seems this underground economy is becoming more and more mainstream and I have heard some people say it may take the place of traditional government controlled fiat currency someday. Overblown hype? Maybe. Maybe not. The idea that cash would one day totally be replaced by credit sticks was a really common trope in sci-fi and futurist ponderings and that never really ended up being true. This isn't quite the same thing though. Cyrptocurrency isn't simply an account being managed by a bank or central service somewhere, it's a system of distributed encrypted ledgers where everyone is always double checking everyone else's copy. It's harder to trace and some of the new Cyrptocurrencies offer complete anonymity to make it nearly impossible. It's probably perfectly possible to even print out paper versions of bitcoins with unique keys that can serve the same function as cash. Could this really replace old forms of money? Maybe. But if it does we will have to think about what that means and how that would change things. If we remove the government's control of currency, do we also remove their ability to collect taxes? If not, how will they be calculated and collected? If so, is there a better way to fund public projects then taxation? If banks are either gone or decentralized to the point of not mattering much anymore, how will lones such be done? Could 'smart contracts' help any of these problems? If you hear , then the world is going to be changing very so to something very different. The old institutions will fall and so on and so forth. I can't help but be more then a little skeptical. I think it's more likely that it will continue as a sort of small part of a larger economy which is more centralized. But I do want to see what happens next and if I had extra money I might try seeing if I can get into it.
  5. It occurs to me that, putting aside cryptocurrency and it's many potential benefits and problems, the benefit of 'blockchain' technology or something similar could have another really important use in finance (and doubtless it is one of the reasons why banks are getting more interested in the tech). I am sure most people by now have heard of the necessity of checking your 'credit report' (and all the shady sites who are trying to sell you what you should be able to get for free form the government somewhere), how it could have mistakes and how you need to make sure you get a good 'score'. There are lots of complected ways your credit history is kept and used, and most people aren't quite able to keep track of it all. It's no secret that a vast number of people are in debt up to their eyeballs, but some of them might not even realize it until it's too late. So here is the question that popped into my head: Can we make a better system of handling, or at least communicating, people's debt? I am not sure using blockchains are the only or even best way of doing it, but one of the advantages of it is that it basically keeps a list of all transactions and their details. It might be a lot easier to make a program that tabulates and easily displays up to date information about someone's debts and available credit with such technology. Imagine having an app on your smartphone or on your PC which people can look at and see all their due bills and debts and lines of credit. It could even be programed to help you manage them and pay them off automatically. Would this be prone to abuse? Maybe, I am not sure. It might be worth a try though. It also made me thing a little about, if the theory that money is just another form of credit is accepted and a system for tabulating debts were to be commonly agreed upon, would it lead to a whole new sort of paradigm shift in how economics works for most people? Could a whole economic system be based purely on shuffling debt around rather then acquiring capital? Who would benefit in such a system and who would suffer? Is it really any different then the system we use today? After all, one of the biggest ways banks and governments make money is by trading debt. Maybe debt and money really are two sides of the same thing. Though I have to admit, I personally never use 'credit' anyway. I pay for most everything with cash and that cash comes pretty much entirely from social programs. I do kinda advocate for a basic flat living wage to be payed to everyone. Maybe that will just be the equivalent of simply slowly clearing a value of debt. Maybe as technology and AI take over and more and more people are displaced it will be more practical to do so then using big bureaucratic programs. I am not sure. I guess I will see.
  6. Yes it's time for that discussion. Now I know me talking about politics in some form or another is probably not going to surprise anyone, but this is different. I am not going to talk about abstract pie in the sky theories or narrow issues (or at least I will try to tone that down). I am not going to be spewing radical solutions that involve the total reformation of society. I am going to talk about what is going on right now in the USA. Yes, yes, I know, the world is bigger then just the USA, but that's where I live right now and that's mostly what I know. I have also been following events in Iceland quite a bit and may have things to talk about a few other things happening in the world, but mostly this is going to be about dumb American stuff. Okay first of all, I think a majority of those who are following the US election for the past however long will probably be asking the same question: What the hell happened? How did it come to this? And I am sure everyone is going to give a different answer to that question. But this is my blog so I get to answer right now. So there. Anyway here is my answer. On the Republican side, what happened was years and years of catering more and more to outrageous reactionary rhetoric and outrage. Let's face it, whatever the merits and values of conservatism should ultimately be, Trump is the ultimate expression of outrageous reactionary rhetoric and outrage. The Republican Party created their own monster with Trump. They whipped up more and more anger at the 'liberal elites' (not all of it unjustified) and everything they stood for, becoming more and more reactionary and belligerent. And they got the candidate just perfect for that, and some of them are just now maybe realizing maaaaybe there was a line crossed somewhere. *Slow claps.* Good job for figuring out what most sane people realized decades ago. On the Democrat side, Hillary has been in politics a long long time. She has many enemies, but also many many allies in various places. Whether you choose to see that as proof of some sort of insider conspiracy or just proof of someone who knows how to play the game (if you even see a difference between those things) is up to you. Fact is, Hillary has been pushing hard on this for years and years. She will politely cater too all sorts of agendas and positions if it means getting ahead politically. She will plan everything she can out and push as hard a she can to get ahead. She works hard and is probably not above even bending ethical principles if she thinks it's for the best. In short, she is a politician, for better or for worst. And a skilled one too if nothing else. I don't think I need to spend a lot of time detailing the flaws of each candidate, since that topic has been reiterated over and over again in the media and online. I will say though that I believe both of them have sort of gotten a bad rap. No really. Trump seems like a childish brat who doesn't know how to control himself or be the least bit self aware (as well as possibly being mentally ill), but doesn't strike me as actively trying to be malicious as such. I also think he does occasionally raise some good points, he just doesn't think his plans through at all. Also I am sorta skeptical about all of the accusations made against him I have to say, but I am sure at least some of them are true. But even so, I think it all adds up to more of a spoiled brat who because he was rich and famous never learned that actions have consequences, even ones like groping. Keep in mind I am not forgiving him for his actions or ignoring them. Yes it's despicable if he really did grope woman and thought he could get away with it, and I am inclined to believe he may have. But I am also willing to believe if he did, that he really genuinely can't help himself. Still would be an awful president either way. Okay, quick aside, and I really hope this doesn't skirt the line into victim-blaming or anything because that's that last thing I want to do, but if someone gropes you like that or worse, go to the police right away. Seriously. It doesn't matter if you are afraid they won't believe you. It doesn't matter if you are intimidated by them. Heck it doesn't even matter if you end up enjoying it. If this shit is going on an no one reports it, it's going to keep going on. They are going to think they can get away with it and molest you or other people again. Bringing it up years later when circumstances are convenient does nothing to help any other potential victims in the meantime and just casts doubt on your story. Always always ALWAYS report sexual assault as soon as possible to the proper authorities. Period. If that doesn't work, at least raise a stink about it right away. I know it's not that easy. But silence just allows things like this to happen more. Phew, anyway. Hillary on the other hand has been basically constantly smeared and attacked by her political enemies basically since she started in politics. It's gotten to the point where frankly I am not sure if I should take any accusation against her seriously. Oh sure, I am pretty convinced that she is not completely innocent or blameless, but it's kinda no wonder she is so... constructed is a good word for it. Everything about her is a mask, a shell. The real Hillary found that she needed to retreat more and more into the mask, that she needed to force her way because the world set it's self to oppose her. She wasn't always this way. Used to be she was an outspoken feminist who made very loud and controversial (at the time anyway) statements about how she 'could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was fulfill my profession' and how she wasn't 'sitting here some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette'. Now most of that edge has been ground away or deeply hidden by a constructed cynical mask. Does that make her a good person? Probably not. But I don't think she is a bad person. Maybe a bit paranoid and with a bit of a temper though, but I am not sure I blame her. So let's talk about what is at stake. Right now Russia does seem to be really pushing the US, trying it's hardest to destabilize and discredit where ever it can through hacking, bombing civilians, moving nukes around, possibly breaking treaties on nukes and so on. If Trump wins, there is a fair bit of talk that he would be in Putin's pocket and he has questioned if we should really be committed to helping out our NATO allies... or at least not with them paying a bigger share. And honestly? I sort of almost agree with him on this point. Should we really be so involved in wars, alliances, and deals on the other side of the planet for little direct benefit to us? But then again can we really afford to leave Russia, North Korea, or ISIS alone? I have been told Hillary is a 'war hawk' and is pushing too much for a fight. I am not sure I really believe it, nor am I sure that even if she was for using the threat of military action to push her agenda with other nations that that really means she would want the kind of apocalyptic confrontation some people are worried about. I kind of doubt Russia is going to start WW3 if it can help it, North Korea doesn't quite have the capability to nuke us yet, and ISIS is kind of falling apart as everyone pretty much want them stomped out. It's possible that the USA caused most or all of these problems in the first place and that maybe the best thing we can do for everyone is go back to it's pre-WW2 level of self isolation and limited with world politics. If there IS a WW3, I don't want to be living somewhere that may end up being a part of it. I am pretty sure that's not going to be possible now. Even if Trump would tried to avoid the conflict better then Hillary, he isn't winning at this point anyway. I don't think Hillary will do anything that gets us all nuked, but who knows what Russia is going to do next. Best course of action I can think of? Maybe moving to Iceland. The political situation over there is getting very very interesting, and more a little exciting. Okay so the story goes something like this, as far as I understand it. Back in 2008 the would wide financial crisis happened and the banks in Iceland were in trouble. There was a huge shake up about it but things ended up settling down to normal. Unlike over here in the USA where the government (foolishly) bailed them out, Iceland decided to let them hang. I believe the people blamed greedy bankers and investors and made clear they were not going to take any of their crap. Then the Panama Papers came out, implicating high ranking government officials in having offshore tax havens. And everyone in Iceland went completely ballistic. A huge storm of protests and such sweeped the nation, and eventually a early election was decided to be held. The current government parties in power were seen more and more as despicable and the radical Pirate Party which called for radical government change started sweeping in the polls, as well as a few new parties. On October 29 the decisive election will take place. If the Pirate Party win, they have lots of very interesting reforms, a new constitution, maybe direct democracy, and promise to turn Iceland into a 'Sweden for data'. It seems like if any real change is going to happen to the world, it might start here. We will have to see. Other then that, what do I think is the most practical way forward for the USA is? Well, Hillary is going to win most likely, and I am sure Trump will throw a hissy fit and accuse the election of being rigged but I am not sure if he can really do much. I don't think he has quite enough followers that are going to be committed to starting some sort of civil war, though their might be some violence. Hillary is probably going to have a rough time as president, and unless she really makes some real change is probably going to be kicked out next election (or even assassinated maybe). I think we badly need to take a new approach with Russia, either to back off a bit or find a way to get even more forceful without risking too much of their ire. Honestly I think Putin is mostly just a troll who is poking at for weaknesses and will back off as soon as he is actually threatened, but I wouldn't bet on it. And anyway, it's possible he has a point. North Korea probably just plain needs to be stopped at this point. There is nothing good about North Korea. ISIS is, as I said, pretty much going to be taken care of because everyone can't stand them. There are other concerns and problems I know, but those are the ones I know most about. I have no idea about what's really going on in Syria or anywhere else. I guess that's it for now.
  7. somewhat proudly presents A game in development by Tsarmina Introduction (Tsarmina) "Didn't your mommy teach you it's polite to say hello?" I'm Tsarmina, resident redhead, global moderator, and misleading cutie. I first began using VX Ace in the summer of 2013, with no previous programming experience. So bear with me, because I’m still learning. ^-^ Ariel’s plot came into my mind, in the form of fragments of inspiration, when I was just ten years old. Since that time, it has evolved greatly in the back of my mind, and has returned not as a novel but as a game. Despite its title and relation to water, Ariel is not inspired by the Little Mermaid. Ariel is a MIST Games production. MIST stands for each of my four personalities—Minzy Lin, Ies Dejarnette, Soizelle Ravenscar, and Tsarmina Vernehawke. Thanks for supporting me in my endeavour, as I am working on this project as a one-man team. Story (Ariel) "Time is a continuum, ever flowing, ever moving." Atlantis is regarded as a myth, where mermaids swim and water swirls. In truth, Atlantis does exist. Of course, this is only a legend in the mind of high-school swimmer Ariel. But beyond her fantasies of shimmer-tailed beauties and clear water lies a real world of witches, elves, angels, felini, avi, and yes, mermaydes. Ruled by a tyrannical queen, Atlantis is about to be thrown into boiling turmoil by the battling political organizations that are rising, ready to destroy the queen's rule once and for all. Cast (Elise) "Who am I?" Screenshots (Safire) "Look into my eyes and tell me what you see." Terminology (Nadeshiko) "I don't think you understand. Let me explain this to you." Gameplay: (Sasha) "Rules of the game...." Features (nemesis) "Ice cream isn't good unless you have a cherry on top." Future plans (Pharhan) "Live in the present, live for the future." Credits (Cordelia) "I can't live without you." Support (Deinara) Support me and Ariel! Here's a fair share of support bars which you can pick from. (Or you can pick ALL of them!) Just highlight, Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V into your signature. ...Oh wait, those aren't up yet either. Under construction, fellas. Under construction. To check out some more art by me in the same style as Ariel, take a quick detour to my Resource Laboratory! Dev log (Max) Most Recent Update: 08.29.14: Screenie added Archived Updates:
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