Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Senate Takes All Night to do Nothing

Taking legislative publicity stunts to a ridiculous low, the Senate was in session all last night at the insistence of the Democrats guessed it, an Iraq pullout bill. The bill, which will likely not escape filibuster, would be destined for veto regardless making the entire childish maneuver a ridiculous and meaningless waste of everyone's time.

Unfortunately, wasting time has become the hallmark of the Democrats' time at the Legislature's helm. Though a great number of post offices have been successfully renamed, the liberal leadership of the Democratic party has apparently insisted that only token legislation be passed. Apparently the Democrats have yet to realize that the endless stream of time-table bills destined for veto doesn't show President Bush the error of his ways, it merely shows the American people they made a mistake allowing the Democrats to take control.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

A government intelligence report released today states that the United States is currently in a "heightened threat environment," as Al Queda operatives have been stepping up their effort to launch an attack in the United States. The report, a hodgepodge of declassified intelligence agency documents, centers largely on concerns that the terror organization is pushing to plant agents in the United States while still devoting many of its resources to obtaining ever infamous weapons of mass destruction.

Suggestions for how the average American can prevent these impending attacks are, unfortunately, entirely absent. Specific warnings are also nowhere to be found. In function, the report serves only to increase the growing cloud of dread which has only thickened since towers fell. Our governments generic message to you: Be afraid, be very afraid.

Sorry PS2, No Disgaea for You

Third party publisher Nippon Ichi announced today that the next instalment of quirky strategy series Disgaea will be released for the Playstation 3 rather than for the series old stomping ground, the Playstation 2. This likely comes as a blow to those who have not forked over the cash for next generation hardware. With two dimensional sprites and turn based game play, Disgaea 3 seems as if it would make an excellent Playstation 2 holdout. That, however, is simply not to be. Disgaea's jump to the Playstation 3 likely signals the end of the Playstation 2's life as a viable console.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Animal Crossing in Smash Brothers Brawl

Smash Bros. Dojo announced today that an Animal Crossing stage will be available for combatants in Smash Brothers Brawl due out for the Wii this December. The stage itself changes and tracks specific events utilizing the Wii's internal clock. Nothing has indicated whether or not these changes will be anything more than cosmetic, though concerts by Animal Crossing's resident canine guitarist, K.K. Slider, have been promised for every Saturday night.

The release of this stage makes it highly likely that an Animal Crossing character will also enter the fray as a Brawl combatant. Up to this point, there has never been a game themed stage in the Smash Brothers series which did not have a combatant from the game it represents in competition. Tom Nook, one of Animal Crossing's most recognized characters, seems the strongest candidate. The raccoon already served as a trophy in Smash Brothers Melee demonstrating that, at the very least, the developers are aware of him. The only indication otherwise is that it seems as if Nook can be seen as a prop in one of the screenshots of the stage. If Nook or another Animal Crossing resident will be in the game, however, don't expect to hear an announcement about it any time soon. My bet is that Animal Crossing's competitor will be a secret unlockable character.

Rumbling Sixaxis in the Works? Not Likely

Speculation is running wild after gaming blog Kotaku erroneously claimed yesterday that Sony had confirmed the development of a Sixaxis controller with built in rumble. According to IGN's conversation with a Sony spokesperson, the alleged "confirmation" was nothing more than a Sony employees observation that news reports had claimed third party rumbling PS3 controllers were in the works. Pretty big slip on Kotaku's part.

Either way, it is not entirely unreasonable to assume that a redesigned Sixaxis may be announced in the not to distant future. The current Sixaxis is far too light and seems cheap compared to the beefy PS3 unit. In such a redesign, however, a rumble feature would be relatively unlikely. Sony has hopped aboard the motion sensing controller train and precise motion control and vibrations simply do not mesh well. The relative imprecision of Sixaxis motion control when compared to that of the Wii Remote, however, may ultimately allow for rumbles. Regardless, anything on a new Sixaxis is still a far way from being "confirmed."

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Barbara Boxer Fires at Bush and Misses

In a radio interview today, Senator Barbra Boxer stated that the impeachment of President Bush should be "on the table." Why she feels this way: the advice of John Dean.

For those who do not know, John Dean is believed to be one of the architects of the Watergate Scandal. During the interview, Boxer recounts meeting Dean on a book tour and sharing with Dean her recent discovery that "the administration" had been spying on citizens without a warrant. Dean supposedly responded that absent a justification, that should be impeachable.

Putting aside the potential "justification" of investigating potential threats to the security of the United States, one critical question arises: Why is a United States Senator basing her policy judgments off of the advice of one of histories greatest political sleaze balls? If the Democrats really want the American people to take their fight against the "Culture of Corruption" seriously, perhaps someone should let Senator Boxer know she should be more careful when picking her sources and confidants.

You can listen to the interview yourself here.

Scare on Flight Sure to Cause Future Delays

An American Airlines flight set to travel from Los Angeles to London had to make an emergency stop in New York this morning because of concerns about one of the passengers. Though details are few and far between, it appears as though the passenger somehow reached his flight via a bus meant for airline employees. As a result, airline security never had the chance to molest and or harass him. The only rational and reasonable response was then of course to disturb the travel plans of hundreds and put the plane down as soon as possible.

Where the true inconvenience of this whole ordeal will develop, however, goes well beyond the passengers on the affected Boeing 777. Undoubtedly airline employees will now be subjected to tighter monitoring and screening processes. The result will be more crackling terminal announcements of, "We are sorry for the delay, but we are waiting on our flight crew. There is a bit of a backup at their security screening." Sadly, the passengers hearing those messages will be the lucky ones. Others will simply be stuck on their planes without water, leg room, or clean lavatories as they wait for baggage handlers who are held up having their baggage handled.

Such a change in policy will fit right in line with the TSA's pattern of painting isolated incidents as systematic nationwide threats. A single idiot attempts to blow up a flight with a shoe-bomb and millions of Americans must dirty their socks on filthy airport floors. Some halfwit attempts to sneak liquid explosives on a plane and now we all need to keep our sunscreen in three ounce clear containers in a one quart clear plastic bag.

While safer flights are important and it is good to have a system in place to keep dangerous people and items off of planes, at least a small portion of common sense in airline safety regulations would be a refreshing change of pace.