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Final Fantasy XIII

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Naomi Klein- The Shock Doctrine

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

On the future of society

I have always had a fascination with fire. I have always held an appreciation for just how easily it can level a playing field and remove imperfections from something. Not to say that I would go around lighting other people aflame but I would and frequently do light things such as paper on fire. I find that there is something marvelous about the fact that if you have a perfectly good, crisp, clean piece of paper and one that is wrinkled and dirty and ripped that lighting them both on fire will essentially put them back on the same playing field. Both of them will be broken down into simple carbon atoms and drift away and the imperfections will forever be gone. And you can apply it to anything, anything at all. You can burn old toys, you could even burn down a forest if you so saw fit (although once again that is not something I would ever find myself doing). But one thing I could never burn down is a building or town.

I love ghost towns and abandoned buildings. If there is anything history has taught us it's that almost every great society eventually ends up as a series of ruins and ghost towns. I love movies such as the 28 x Later titles, or I am Legend where you see these great majestic cities abandoned and left to be reclaimed by nature. There is something beautiful about it. I think that nature on it's own retaking these towns and buildings is just something absolutely beautiful to behold. But it really bothers me when a demolition crew is sent in to speed up the process such as is the case with Centralia and you are left with but a few foundations and a building here or there but nothing all that spectacular anymore.
Picture related: It's us in Centralia
And so it was today I was watching the Discovery Channel or something at my parents house and there happened to be a ghost chasing series on doing a story on an old state hospital / asylum named Pennhurst. Now while I fully believe that any of these ghost hunters are just people bullshitting the location that this episode took place in fascinated me. And so I did some research on the matter, quite intent on taking a trip down there once the semester lets out in a couple of weeks. I found myself finding the typical warnings of no-trespassing, guarded by the police/military, blah blah blah. No real issue as unless you are up to shenanigans officals rarely interfere with urban explorers. And then I found this. Some company is planning on taking control of the compound and opening it up as a haunted house. It outrages me. I don't know where I think I get the right to get angry over something like this but I find it quite frankly to be insulting. Insulting to an aspect of American heritage, and infuriating as a result of the fact that they are essentially stealing something away from society and marketing it as something to sell. I plan on visiting the place before the takeover is finished, but who knows how I will be greeted and just what they may or may not have done to the place yet. And as other people happen upon the story of Pennhurst they will find themselves with nothing but pictures to look at and... blah

I suppose it all circles back to the idea of where do we have the right to claim any piece of land as our own. The idea of these country borders and people owning the land is ridiculous in my opinion. Countries even fight over just who controls what areas of Antartica as if there is any real advantage to having a claim down there. It's stupid, pointless, and limits society as a whole. Oh well, hopefully when I make my way down to Pennhurst in a few weeks time I'm not completly disappointed.

An angered Travy

Thursday, April 15, 2010

On a Kelly Spirited Draft

While I only managed to go 2-1 at tonight's late night draft I still figured I would make this post as I feel that I managed to draft a very Kelly spirited deck. My opening pack had a Conqueror's Pledge in it... which I felt was just begging to be played as I can remember Kelly having a ball in a draft with it a few months back. The rest of my picks were generally white black weenies/removal. The intent of the deck was initially to just drop weenies such as Steppe Lynx and swing with them while throwing removal to keep the board clear. The second round of packs though I managed to grab up a Beastmaster's Ascension which fully completed a Kelly draft deck of olde. In the group of worldwake packs I managed to grab up an Avenger of Zendikar fully completing my Kelly draft deck!

In the Spirit of Kelly! Decklist:

Creatures (12)

1x Apex Hawks
1x Kor Aeronaut
1x Kor Cartographer
2x Kor Hookmaster
1x Kitesail Apprentice
1x Steppe Lynx
1x Giant Scorpion
1x Heartstabber Mosquito
1x Surrakar Marauder
1x Avenger of Zendikar
1x Walking Atlas

Enchantments (3)

1x Journey to Nowhere
1x Corrupted Zendikon
1x Beastmaster Ascension

Artifacts (1)

1x Explorer's Scope

Spells (6)
1x Arrow Volley Trap
1x Bold Defense
1x Disfigure
1x Urge to Feed
1x Conqueror's Pledge
1x Windborne Charge

Lands (17)
7x Plains
6x Swamp
4x Forest

Round 1 I ended up playing against Carl, and the rational beat you in the face with aggro aspect of the deck took the match 2-0. Carl ended up getting in the way of removal against the deck so I didn't have much to worry about and just swung house turn after turn. Our 3rd game for funzies we played saw me resolve an Avenger... but no Beastmaster Ascension with it... not that it mattered as I dropped a land and pumped them with Bold Defense.

Round 2 I ended up playing against Bravestien (sp), and lost 2-1. My first game he manuevered into an 8/8 trample that got +1/+1 on the attack for each forest he controlled, which proceeded to whoop me. Game 2 though is where I shined. I resolved an early Beastmaster Ascension but once again found myself staring down that darned 8/8 enchantment. He ended up attacking me for lethal, forcing me to trade all of my dudes on the board with an Arrow Volley Trap backing them on his 8/8 and other dude... I dropped to 1. The next turn I drew into the Forest I needed to drop my Avenger of Zendikar forcing his scoop phase. Game 3 I found myself mulling to 6, and only getting 3 lands for the game... not quite enough to win with mostly as a result of them being comprised of colors I didn't need... oh the woes of a 3 color deck.

Round 3 I played Decker, and ended up going 2-0. Game 1 saw me resolve Beastmaster Ascension with several dudes to back it. Unfortunately it was a war of sitting there and waiting for the first few turns until I resolved Avenger of Zendikar and swung for 100+ A very Kelly victory ^_- Game 2 happened much the same way, except with my resolution of Conqueror's Pledge in addition to Avenger with Beastmaster's Ascension. Didn't actually do the math, but it was a minimum of 60 or so ^_^

And thus concludes what will probably be my last Zendikar block draft with ROE coming out next week and all. I haven't actually played too many Zendikar drafts and will be sad to see it go. I only played with worldwake a total of 3 some odd times so I really can't formulate an opinion on that set, but I loved Zen-Zen-Zen drafts and found Landfall to be an amazing mechanic to play with. This is probably the most fun I have had drafting since Time Spiral block. Such is life, I plan on attending 2 prerelease events for my birthday this weekend so hopefully ROE sealed will be fun to play. If nothing else at least I get a couple of those ridiculous Eldrazi of win cards for playing!

Off to finish (500) days of Summer now

A Kellified Travy

Friday, March 26, 2010

On Recent Steps to Socialize Our Country

With my leg in pain and my head being gamed out for a bit I decided to update my blog that I haven't posted on it like... forever... with an opinion relevant to recent events.

This health care legislation that was recently passed is just absolutely amazing for our country. It will probably be one of the most important bills passed this century. We are the only industrialized nation that does not have socialized health care in place to take care of people. A lot of people argue that leaving health care to the private sector gives us an edge on the rest of the world propelling us to the top. That's a lie of course as the U.S. is actually rank 37 in health care with every country before us sporting a social health care system. The contents of this bill are debatable and I don't entirely agree with them but the most important aspect is that this bill is the first step towards putting some form of a leash on these health insurance companies that have run rampant thus far.

I think that this is the only topic I have ever been able to generalize an entire group of people as being ignorant and uninformed. Anyone who thinks that having someone be responsible for your health that is simply there to turn a profit is an idiot, plain and simple. It's irresponsible, reckless, and the only reason the Republican party backs the idea is because it pays for their political campaigns. While some of the provisions laid out by this bill are great such as the pseudo-cap on profit for these insurance companies (they can only bring in a 15% profit off of the money they collect now) and removing the ability for them to drop people from coverage for being sick there are other aspects of the bill that really aren't that great such as the fine imposed on individuals without health care. But the actual rules this bill is putting into effect isn't nearly as important as the fact that it is actually regulating an industry that makes money off of manipulating people.
These insurance companies are happy to "take care of us" when we are healthy, or have a cold, but the second something more serious happens they are going to look for a reason to drop you, which of course has been pseudo-fixed by this bill. But the bill does nothing to stop them from hounding people after the fact in an attempt to mislead some jury somewhere that some injury wasn't covered in your plan and that they shouldn't have to pay for it.
Another frequent argument that has been dragged up against socialized medicine is that it takes forever to get any form of care in that system. Once again, a ton of bullshit, but even if it was true private health care is no better. Instead of waiting a long time to receive health care though dozens of pointless tests are run. I can't remember the last time I had an issue that the doctors didn't require weeks of tests to diagnose and treat. All of that checking and double checking could give a serious issue some time to evolve into something much worse. And it isn't as if a socialized health care system is suddenly going to take emergency rooms away from us if the need arises to go to one. Besides, when was the last time you heard of a Canadian getting a dual citizenship with the U.S. for health care... I have always heard of the opposite case.

Does this bill have problems? Yes. It is far from being anything perfect. But as it stands special interest groups and the puppets they have made out of the Republican party kept the bill from being debated further and forced it through. As an independent voter who has supported both Democrats and Republicans I can say that their methodology of trying to kill this bill rather than fix it has probably cost themselves any votes from me in the near future. I also think people are starting to think a little more clear headed now. Following passage of the bill Obama's approval ratings went up as well as the approval ratings for the bill. Stock values have gone up which should do something to slightly help the economy. This bill isn't a bad thing, and I implore anyone who is reading this to vote your Democratic senators and House members back in come November. The Republican party has proven itself to be a group of people just there to say "No" rather than help the much needed reform on our health system. Once I am done with medical school... some 10+ years down the road... if we don't find ourselves in a much more regulated private health care industry or with a socialized health care industry, I will be shipping my ass over to France.