Category: Politics

Video games, Venezuela and the Vatican

Now there’s strange headline for you.  Venezuela… land of tropical beauty, drug lords, corrupt governements, rebellions, murder, more guns than Mexico City and one of the more violent places to try and take a liesurely stroll down the street on any given day.  And how did this paradise become such a haven for crime and death?  The answer is obvious: Video Games.

Yes, the long-running president of Venezuela – Hugo Chavez – is pushing through legislation to fully ban violent video games in his beloved country.  This makes sense of course.  I mean it has to be the fault of violent video games that put poor Venezuela into it’s current situation.  Just because drug cartels have been murdering each other and civilians since long before Pong was created is no reason to look at this rationally.

In addition, this new legislation would ban toy weapons.  Which is a smart economic move when you think about it.  I mean, why let your people buy cheap toy guns from China when you are building the largest machine gun factory* in all of South America in your country? Keep that money in country and sell those kids real weapons instead.  Besides, that will keep them safer on their way home from school than that old toy would have anyway.  ( * This is an older link but this still seems to be on-going.  I just can’t find any articles online.)

In related news, the Vatican is also calling for an end to all violent video games.  According to the Pope, the Crusades were not the result of theocratic greed and corruption but by early video games.  It seems that demos of Grand Theft Carriage caused quite a stir with peasants and drove the knights to slaughter.  A lesser known but more revolting game called Messenger featured a messenger who had one too many bad days at the Messenger Office and started shooting all his co-workers with a cleverly hidden crossbow.  It is said that this game was an allegory to the Muslims and how mean they were for not giving back land to the church that was never the church’s in the first place.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Telepathic requests for comment to the Pope were not returned by the time I posted this entry.

When Child Porn Laws Go Bad

You are a criminal.  You may not have known that but if you are fairly media savvy then most likely you are a criminal based on this conviction of a comic book collector.

Here’s the quick summary: a man who is a prolific collector of Japanese manga (comics) was found guilty of child pornography because of artwork in a series of manga that he was importing depicting depraved sex acts with children.  According to the article, this is a man who collected ALL types of manga and not just this style which puts him in the realm of what should have been considered an art collector.  He faces up to 15 years in jail.

So here’s the problem – this is a victimless crime.  There is no one who has been hurt… no one who has been wronged…  no one to be compensated.  These are drawings of fictional characters.  And the law has been left purposely vague (although less vague than the first iteration) so that it can cover things it was never meant to cover.  So now a comic collector is being put in jail and resources that could have been used to catch and prosecute real child pornographers has been wasted.

Welcome to the new world that allows for an idea to be illegal.  The most common anology to this is that if we play a video game that has us kill a virtual person are we then considered a murderer?  Sounds far-fetched doesn’t it? Now think about every school shooting over the past few years and how many times video games were blamed as influencers of the mentally flawed people who commited these crimes.

So where does the line get drawn?  Do we need to burn every copy of Lolita?  Should fans of Dakota Fanning get thrown in jail for watching Hounddog?  I guess we can’t make any more gang movies… ya know, unless no one dies of unnatural causes in them.  Slumdog Millionaire should have been X-rated based on this kind of thinking (oh wait, everyone loved it and it won awards).

What’s your opinion? (please read the article or be familiar with the case before venting)

Wait the Vote

It’s November 4th people.  If you haven’t voted yet then you best make sure you get out there and do it.  Why?  Because it’s your duty as a United States citizen.  Also because if you don’t vote then you get no right to complain about anything political for the next four years.  It’s a law or something.  Look it up.

Muse and I waiting an hour and forty-five minutes to vote from start to finish.  I’ve heard that some polling places were even crazier this morning.  If you haven’t yet voted and can go this afternoon then I highly suggest you do that instead of waiting for everyone else to get off work and stand in line.  Middle of the afternoon is the best time with very little wait.

Get out there and vote people.

Idiots in China

I had a look at my falling karma score on Plurk and saw someone posting this actual quote: “some very sad and disturbing news from China“.  So I click the link thinking I would see something about a bombing or a murder or an athlete being crippled.

But no….

It’s about some stupid kids who actually decided to publicly display a banner to “Free Tibet” outside the Olympics in Beijing.  This isn’t sad and disturbing.  This is stupid.  This is the kind of thing you do if you like foreign prisons.  The only way that this could actually be sad or disturbing was if the people involved really had no clue as to the culture and politics and thought that they would be allowed to just do this and walk away.  That kind of stupidity would be sad and disturbing.  Them being jailed for a stupid stunt in a country like China is just what I would expect and exactly what they should have expected.

I mean come on… we’re talking about a government and military who will never live down the tanks and killings at Tiananmen Square.  If these kids with their clever little LED sign only get life in prison then they should count themselves lucky.  Of course their parents will complain to the US government to get involved and this will become a media three ring circus of hype and rage and then the American people have “one more reason to hate those evil Chinese”.

What the fuck people.  Start thinking: for yourself and for your own good.

Our government: Clueless

Have you seen this yet?

House Passes Telecom Immunity Bill, Expands Domestic Spying Powers

I don’t think any commentary is really necessary on this one. Nice parting shot Bush. Asshole.

Bush is an asshole.

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