“Skyrim belongs to the Nords!” – Trump’s America

“I can’t believe we let Provincials like you wander around Skyrim.” – Trump Supporters

I’ve been playing Skyrim again lately. This time on the PS4. As I’ve been playing through again, it has struck me how many social issues are addressed in the game and how there are quite a few similarities between Skyrim and where the United States is right now.

The Empire is the United States government, full of rules, laws, regulations, accords, and treaties that not everyone agrees with. It has its flaws and it can’t please everyone all the time. Sometimes the rules, even if they came from a well-intended idea, just don’t work well, or violate the rights of citizens (can you say Patriot Act?).

skyrimlogonegativeThe Stormcloaks are Trump supporters. They have some valid grievances. They make a few decent points about how the Empire has left them behind, how the smaller cities face economic challenges that larger cities like Solitude don’t face: where “elites” have forgotten the farmers and miners, who have been hit the hardest by bad economic times.

While the inability to practice one’s Talos worship freely has been actually banned by the Empire thanks to the White-Gold Concordant (the Skyrim equivalent of the boogeyman UN for the New World Order conspiracy theorists), many Trump supporters feel like their religious beliefs are under attack by “liberal elites.” Of course here in America, that’s simply not true.

People think that the fact they cannot force their religious beliefs on others or use their religion to discriminate in the business world, that somehow their religious beliefs are under attack. The fact that you can’t force others to adhere to your beliefs, especially through law, doesn’t mean your religion is illegal or under attack: it means your religion is YOURS. YOU have a constitutional right to believe what you want, not make others adhere to your beliefs.

Opposed to abortion for religious reasons, then don’t get an abortion. Opposed to birth control for religious reasons, then don’t use birth control. Opposed to homosexuality because of religious reasons, then don’t put your lips around a penis. Your religious opposition is yours and yours alone, that’s your constitutional rights, but others have a constitutional right as well to not agree with your religious beliefs and to live their lives to their own accord. But I digress…

The valid concerns and points that the Stormcloaks have are diminished because of the other elements behind and intermingled within their movement.

First and foremost is the willingness to use violence to overthrow the tyranny of government. Never mind the fact that the government is not tyrannical (although now that Trump’s in office it might actually go that way – the irony of creating a tyranny while thinking you were getting rid of one). How many of your Trump supporting friends and family were ranting about overthrowing the government if “Killary” won? How many of them were buying more guns and ammo waiting for the revolution to start? How many are looking forward to the day they can exercise their Second Amendment rights to overthrow the government (without concern for the innocent lives that would be lost in such a battle), regardless of the fact that they clearly have no idea what “tyrannical” actually means.

The second is the underlying racism. When the Empire says “true sons and daughters” they mean anyone who lives in the Empire and supports it, regardless of their species or race or ethnicity. When the Stormcloaks say “true sons and daughters” they mean Nords: white people. They hate Provincials and outsiders. Do all Stormcloak supporters hate outsiders? Do all Stormcloaks despise every Argonian, Kajit, or Elf they meet? Of course not. However, they’re openly supporting a cause led by Ulfric, a man who does nothing to assist anyone who is not Nord. Ulfirc, who willingly allows Dark Elves to be treated badly and live in The Grey Quarter, a special part of his city (aka forced segregation). The Grey Quarter is pretty much synonymous with ghetto. This racism can even be heard by the guards. Empire guards will say, “Stay out of trouble Argonian,” while Stormcloak guards say, “Stay out of trouble lizard.” Empire guards refer to Kajit correctly and Stormcloak guards refer to Kajit as cats.

I feel for the Stormcloaks. I really do. They have some legitimate gripes and grievances. However, I cannot support their cause because of the blatant racism and racist undertones. I cannot support their cause because of their inability to understand the consequences of their actions and how it will affect their fellow countrymen and women. They want to burn the system down and replace it with what? In our modern real-life comparison, they elected someone who promised to “drain the swamp” and then immediately filled his surrounding space with insiders and lobbyists and his fellow billionaires. He made it swampier. He then selected white nationalists, concreting what those of us not in denial already knew: he is a racist.

Now the Stormcloaks are in charge in America. The racist element is running around engaging in hate crimes across the country: going after the easy to identify targets first: Argonian, Kajit, Dark Elf, etc. How long before they start going after the Provincials, who aren’t as easily identified by their skin color (or scales)?

Independence Day: Resurgence (Quick Review, No Spoilers)

id4-gallery2Independence Day: Resurgence
Quick Review (No Spoilers)

So we finally got to see ID4R. Before I start a non-spoiler quick review, let me say that regardless of the review, it was well worth seeing in the theater.

That being said…

The attempt at the campy style of the first movie was mildly successful. I laughed a few times, giggled a few times, and grimaced at the awful attempt a few times as well.

Bringing so many of the original characters back reminded me of Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2 (one too many) saying, “How can the same shit happen to the same guy twice?” Throw in the mediocre acting in some scenes and the good acting in others, and it was hard to make the connection to the characters that we had with them in the first movie.

There’s also a very strange appearance by someone who was killed in ID4. All that I’ll say in order to not give anything away is that his miraculous recovery is never explained. But I’m also being an overly critical nitpicker with this one if I’m being fair. After all, it is FICTION.

The movie is CGI heavy. Sometimes that could be a bad thing, but the CGI makes this movie and honestly saves it: this is why it is worth seeing on the big screen, even with all its faults (and good stuff too).

id4-gallery4Suzie made a comment just a few minutes in, “So this is going to be Top Gun in space?”

She wasn’t that far off the mark. As President Whitmore puts on his flight suit again, I kept waiting for his daughter (Patricia, remember her from ID4?) to say, “Negative Ghostrider, the pattern is full.”

David Levinson in ID4 used a line from Jurassic Park, and it could have been his “I’ll be back” moment in ID4R, but I guess they thought it was too campy? Which is weird since they went “too campy” a few times. I hope in the BluRay they add, “Must go faster. Must go faster! Must go faster! Go, go, go, go!” while David’s driving the bus.

At the end of the movie I wanted to shout, “I could’ve been at a barbecue! But I ain’t mad.

All that said, seriously, go see it on the big screen. Your TV won’t do it justice (yes, even your 66” TV, you technologically spoiled brat).

Grammar Nazis Are Annoying

Grammar Nazis our knot just annoyin’, they fail too understand the evolution of language & that understanding a idea is Moore important then how u espress it. Grammer Notsees postin’ how their rite inn 5… 4… 3… 2…

Grammar Nazis really only have a point when it comes to professional writing. Most of us understand that you have to write professionally on your resume, English paper, and your college thesis. WE FUCKING GET IT! But you’re Grammar-Naziing the fuck out of people on social media and you look like a pretentious horse’s ass.

GrammarNaziSee, you can’t translate written text the same way you would translate verbal text. Sure, in written form, that lack of comma looks funny and I’m eating a dog instead of the dog and I eating together. But when I say that sentence to you and you don’t see the written text: guess what. IT MOTHERFUCKING WORKS JUST MOTHERFUCKING FINE! Why? Because it’s the idea – not the presentation – that matters in communications.

The important point of language is not grammar, but communicating ideas, and if those ideas are communicated properly and understanding is there, then that’s all that matters. Language evolves and Grammar Nazis just don’t seem to get that. They want the rules that were in place yesterday to be in place today, tomorrow, and beyond. It’s a failure to understand language evolution. If language didn’t evolve and Grammar Nazis always had their way, we’d all still be speaking Neanderthal or even worse, Shakespearean English!

What really makes me giggle is that Grammar Nazis don’t seem to understand context. They’re either too ignorant to understand it or they’re too literal to understand it. Either one is a bad place to be: be that in text or spoken language. How do they deal with dyslexia or learning disorders? I’ve seen Grammar Nazis hound someone with a learning disorder because to them the proper grammar and spelling were more important than the fact that someone with a learning disorder was effectively communicating in written form. And what’s the fucking point? So you can prove your intellectual superiority over someone? So you can make yourself feel like you have balls online? So you can make others feel little because Johnny Football picked on you in high school?

Or is it just that you have nothing to contribute to the conversation at all, so you’ll point out the lack of a comma or give someone shit for “their” instead of “they’re?”

I appreciate grammar and spelling and go out of my way to make sure I’m doing it right. I’m just not an asshole who corrects people when they don’t need correcting.

Stephen Fry nails it:

BWAHAHA: 9/20 – 9/26

BWAHAHA (Blair’s Week Attempts at Haha’s) 9/20 – 9/26: This was a pretty boring week all in all. First, let me go on a bit of a rant for a second about the Flood Wall Street. Look, I support the idea behind Flood Wall Street, but it is suffering from the same problem that Occupy Wall Street suffered: lack of leadership. This idiotic idea that they have that there should be no leadership is just that: fucking idiotic. That’s the kind of idea that makes my fellow liberals look like crazies. Pick a few core values and messages so everyone stays on point, instead of having some random nut go on a rant about how the military should be banned completely, because that’s totally inline with the message of corporations doing more to help the environment. See, this is what killed Occupy… they didn’t have a core message and intent, and so they attracted all the nutters from the left (9/11 conspiracy theorists, anarchists, etc) and there was no consistent message for either the media or Wall Street to actually focus on. So did we learn that lesson? Apparently not. We’re supposed to be protesting corporations that aren’t doing anything about climate change and protecting natural resources. I am totally behind that message. But it was turned into anti-corporate nonsense, anarchism, anti-GMO, conspiracy theories, etc. There’s no clear or concise message and no true leadership, so a bunch of liberal nutters (yes, my fellow liberals, we have nutters as well) are there making fools of the entire effort. A movement requires leadership and direction that espouses the common core values of the varied opinions under it. When the varied opinions are allowed to have the lead voice, then the core values diminish. It’s the opposite problem of the common cliche: “Too many Indians and not enough Chiefs.”

And on the conservative side of stupidity this week: outrage over President Obama saluting while holding a coffee cup in his hand. This is a classic case of conservative outrage based on their complete ignorance. It’s fake outrage – just for the sake of outrage. None of them said a damn thing when President Bush saluted while holding something or when he did a half-assed salute. Gosh, I wonder why they’re only outraged at President Obama. Here’s a small quote from Snopes.Com over the issue (as a former military person myself, this is accurate), “According to standard military protocol, it is not appropriate for the President of the United States to return salutes from uniformed military personnel because, although the President holds the title of Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. armed forces, he is not himself a member of the military, nor does he wear a uniform. The tradition of U.S. presidents’ returning salutes is a fairly recent one which began with the administration of President Ronald Reagan in 1981.” So take your outrage and shove it back where it belongs. Oh, and stop voting against your best interest. Haven’t you noticed that the states with the worst healthcare, highest high school drop out rates, highest drug use, highest murder rates/capita, highest rape cases, etc. are all in states that are conservative? No? Oh, must be those rage blinders you have on preventing you from seeing actual facts.

Okay, I feel better…

OTHER STUFF:

Clearly 'Need for Speed' wants me to go chasing storms. Too bad there are none around me.

Clearly ‘Need for Speed’ wants me to go chasing storms. Too bad there are none around me.

I realized this weekend that I’ve mistakenly been using carpet cleaner as laundry soap. PRO side: clothes no longer have high traffic marks.

If the Falmer are blind, why do they have torches? ‪#‎GameLogic‬ ‪#‎Skyrim

It takes just as long to load a 20 square foot room as it does to load the entire world map. #GameLogic

I have no dog in tonight’s fight, but I’m gonna side with the Jets because I still haven’t forgiven the Bears for the Superbowl Shuffle.

Wait, did I really just see Hayden Christensen instead of David Prowse at the end of Return of the Jedi? That makes no sense!

Who did this? Who put Ghost Pepper powder in the water the pasta was boiling in? Oh yeah, that was me. #Brilliant

I have Chaser Cabin Fever: no storms for three weeks, and zero clouds for the past three days. All work and no play…

140 CHARACTER ASSASSINATIONS:

#ItsFallBecasue I just saw my first War On Christmas billboard. #ShotsFired @midnight

#ItsFallBecasue I can’t tell the strippers apart anymore because fall clothing is taking over. @midnight

#ItsFallBecasue I’m budgeting school lunches again. @midnight

#ItsFallBecasue Candy Corn is on sale at CVS. @midnight

#ItsFallBecasue Evangelical Christians are already making Trunk Or Treat plans to offset the Dark Lord’s Holiday. @midnight

#ItsFallBecasue orange and black clothes made by Indonesian children are on sale at Walmart. @midnight

#ItsFallBecasue white girls in yoga pants are ordering pumpkin spice lattes. @midnight

#ItsFallBecasue leaves are catching fire in my ride on mower’s belt. #BadFriction @midnight

#ItsFallBecasue there is Canadian geese shit in my back yard. @midnight

#ItsFallBecasue the cotton plantations in Mississippi and Alabama hired a bunch of illegals for less than minimum wage. #NotFunny @midnight

#ItsFallBecause the pool section at Walmart is only one shelf. @midnight

#ItsFallBecause ass cheeks are less visible at #PeopleOfWalmart @midnight

#ItsFallBecause the Earth’s Tilt is the Reason for the Season. Because science, beotches! @midnight

#ItsFallBecause bikinis are on sale for $2 and long-sleeved shirts are $85. #SupplyAndDemand @midnight

#ItsFallBecause schools are promoting “Fall Festivals” instead of Halloween Parties. #ImOffendedTooEasily @midnight

#ItsFallBecause because I can actually find a parking spot at Daytona Beach. @midnight

#ItsFallBecause the white plantation owners have new black employees. #NFL #NFLDraft #TooSoon @midnight

#ItsFallBecause the Australians say it’s Spring, and fuck the Australians. @midnight

#ItsFallBecause the Wiccans are suddenly in a good mood. @midnight

#ItsFallBecause the calendar says so, and calendars are always right, just like the Internet. Just ask Pope Gregory. @midnight

#ItsFallBecause my neighbors are complaining about me burning leaves. I gotta hear you fight, you can smell my leaves! @midnight

#ItsFallBecause meth dealers are preparing for indoor sales. #RollTide @midnight

#ItsFallBecause old men are taking off their sandals and putting shoes on their black socks instead. @midnight

#ItsFallBecause it’s 49 degrees in Maine and 86 degrees in Florida. @midnight

#ItsFallBecause Christmas sex babies are being born now. @midnight

LifeInTheSlowLane.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

OilOfOldAge.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

LegendOfZelder.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

AgingBull.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

mantique.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

vegeriatric.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

GoldenShowerAge.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

gerontophillia.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

grannytrannie.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

geezerteasers.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

OldMaidOfHonor.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

SpinsterHipster.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

antediluvian.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

GetOffMyGrass.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

Valhalla.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

BetterGoToChurchJustInCase.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

GraveyardShift.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

re-tired.goodyear.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

ElderlyPeopleMeet.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

YouBreathingTube.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

spinsterest.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

Instagranny.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

Imguriatrics.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

Huffingtonoxygenpost.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

Stumblr.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

Netaflixions.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

yelpIveFallenAndCantGetUp.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

Aol.com (Oh wait, that’s legit) #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

Microsoftpenis.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

Employment.Walmart.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

Buzzgavagefeed.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

Godaddyissues.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

Lifespandora.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

Dropdeadbox.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

Tripandfalladvisor.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

Deviantoldfart.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

Geriatricmail.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

Photobucketlist.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

Bloomersberg.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

dailynotinmotion.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

Stutterstock.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

Nordstromthurman.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

MedicalExaminer.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

4gran.org #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

Crackedhip.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

Liveleakinmydepends.com #ElderlyWebsites @midnight

CAPTION CENTRAL:

Wow, I didn't realize there were so many orphans in this city!

Wow, I didn’t realize there were so many orphans in this city!

Some tourists just have no respect for those of us wanting some peace and quiet!

Some tourists just have no respect for those of us wanting some peace and quiet!

Ten minutes into his routine, the male stripper realized it was the wrong car and the wrong customer.

Ten minutes into his routine, the male stripper realized it was the wrong car and the wrong customer.

#RedBox, so easy and fast you can pick up a new movie after you've realized you need a new movie while having sex.

#RedBox, so easy and fast you can pick up a new movie after you’ve realized you need a new movie while having sex.

I do believe this inflatable is suffering from prolapse.

I do believe this inflatable is suffering from prolapse.

For those really late term abortions...

For those really late term abortions…

Ferguson, Police Militarization, and Shame

20140814aProtect and Serve. Remember that phrase? I do. I miss it.

I’m a former LEO (Law Enforcement Officer). Granted, it was in the Navy while in Jacksonville, Florida, but that actually emphasizes a point. Even as a LEO in the Navy, I didn’t have access to the tactical equipment that police use now. I didn’t drive an APC or wear tactical gear or respond to a peaceful protest with shotguns, assault rifles, and snipers on rooftops. I responded with my badge to protect and serve my fellow sailors and their families, as well as civilians and retirees who were on the base. The militarization of our police should scare the shit out of everyone, regardless of your political affiliation.

There are good police out there. I know them. I’ve worked with them (in the Navy as a liaison for mass casualties with local law enforcement and as a civilian working in jails). There are also bad police out there. The problem is that the bad police get all the press, so we suffer what is called confirmation bias when it comes to our view of police. All we see are the bad cops on display in viral videos as they engage in police brutality, over-aggressive tactics, and generally treating the civilian population like dog shit. And so we think all police are bad because that’s all we see.

But think about this for a second. Every day the police interact with the general population thousands and thousands of times across the United States. Out of those we see an incident or hear of an incident every now and then. I wish I had the actual numbers to come up with a hard statistic/figure for the number of bad police incidents compared to the overall number of police/civilian interactions that happen without John Doe getting his head bashed in or thrown to the ground because he dared ask the police a question. Just remember to not let confirmation bias cloud your judgment. Call out bad cops, but also recognize there are good cops as well, who genuinely want to serve their communities.

That being said, mob mentality works not just for the mob protesting an injustice or rioting after a team wins the playoffs (or loses), but it also works on police. Police responding to a riot or a peaceful protest with the possibility of becoming a riot, can easily fall into the mob mentality. There’s a lot of psychology going on here, so much so that psychological studies on police have been done to determine why police behave the way they do. Ever hear the phrase “contempt of cop?”

When that mob mentality breaks out with a police force that is militarized, then we create a recipe for disaster. That disaster is playing out in Ferguson, Missouri. It is at times like these when officers with a moral compass must make a stand and speak out. It is times like these when officers in the chain of command must question the orders of their superiors. It is times like these when every officer must be aware of the psychological effect of mob mentality, “contempt of cop,” and other psychological forces that come into play to exacerbate the interaction of police and protesters and “possible rioters.”

20140814b

“All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again.” – J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

As a former LEO, as a taxpayer, as a citizen of this country, I am greatly ashamed of the behavior of the police in Ferguson, Missouri. I am greatly ashamed of the leadership in that city and county, who have decided that the best way to respond to a tragedy is to create a new one and attack the citizens of their city and county. I am greatly ashamed that nothing is being done to stop the police brutality being inflicted upon those citizens by either the Governor or the federal government. The constitutional rights of Missouri citizens are being violated and no one in government seems to give a rat’s ass about it.

It is time to end the militarization of our police forces under the idiotic guise of terrorism. Terrorists are not going to strike Ferguson, Missouri, so why does their police force have an APC? Any why the fuck are they wearing camouflage in an urban environment? We can see you guys, because your green camouflage doesn’t hide you against the brick building and the yellow-painted house.

It is also time to make sure all police are educated and trained on how to spot when mob mentality begins affecting them during crowd control situations. It is also time to train police on how not to exacerbate a situation. I was trained to deescalate a situation and to bring calm and peace whenever possible. Is that training no longer provided? Why is it so hard to realize that when you use violence against a non-violent crowd, you are going to piss them off and make them violent? It’s that fucking simple.

One more thing: the media needs to sue the hell out of Ferguson for violating the Freedom of the Press. There is enough damning evidence that the Ferguson PD actively shut down media, arrested them, shot tear gas and rubber bullets directly at media, and dismantled media equipment once the press ran away.

All of you swore an oath to uphold the laws and constitution of the United States (and the State of Missouri) and you are all failing to uphold that oath. Shame on you. Shame on you for making your fellow officers look bad. Shame on you for failing to use your moral judgment and question the illegal and unconstitutional orders handed down to you by your superiors. Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame.