PIANOTM'S PROFILE

pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
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I am a piano technician and musician by trade. I am a poet, a writer, an artist in my spare time. In my personal philosophy, I delve into the mystical arts. I am 38 and widowed, finding a way to move on.

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Across the Universe
Survival and friendship in an impossible situation.

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Pete Rose...Yeah, He Wants back into Baseball

This guy like the freaking Terminator. He never, ever stops!

He is asking for a second chance...again.

For those who don't know, Pete's a famous baseball hall of famer, who went on to manage his own ball club. All of these articles are saying that Rose got banned for gambling. Now it's obvious to most why gambling would get you banned from sports, but for those who aren't doing the math, let me explain what the current articles aren't explaining about Pete's little kick.

He got banned for betting on his own team...to lose.

Sure Pete, we forgive you, but that still doesn't mean you should be trusted with the power to manipulate the odds. There's a reason that's worth a lifetime ban.

Yoshihisa Hashimoto Leaves Square Enix

Yoshihisa Hashimoto Leaves Square Enix

Maybe now they'll be able to get on track. I've always confessed to liking the new Final Fantasy games, but I have to admit they leave something to be desired.

RM2k3 Tactics style combat

I actually have two questions here, but I suspect they are closely related. I've recently confessed to the geekiness of making a fangame based on the television show Farscape. After 10 or so different projects and practicing with events and variables, I find that the only answer is to just do it.

I've decided to go ahead an make it like a standard RPG: walking character on map has encounters with monsters--or in this case, Peacekeeper soldiers and various aliens. However, I have also determined to have space battles between ships, and am fairly certain that the standard ATB system isn't going to work for that. I know how to break the ATB, but it is clear to me that this can't be random battles, and further, the ABS system described in the tutorials seems closer to what I envision, but doesn't seem adequate. I know what I want, in detail, but have no idea where to begin to design such a combat system. In other words, a system where the player commands a group of fighters and capital ships against an enemy group of fighters and capital ships on a star-map grid, whereby the player can choose to command the movements and actions of individual units (move X prowler to X:Y position/X prowler fire upon Y striker) or command them as a whole (advance position/break and attack). In other words, a combat system similar to Final Fantasy Tactics. If there is a simpler approach, I'll take advice on that also.

It occurs to me that this will require custom menus and a custom ABS system, but it is clear to me that the overall system is going to be well beyond what is normally considered "breaking the ATB".

Now, I suspect my second question is going to be closely related to first. As a side game, I want to create a Chess AI (note that in the show, John Crichton is frequently seen in his quarters on Moya brooding over a chessboard. I wanted to add this element to the game.) THIS I think is going to be even harder to pull off. A chess game cannot be allowed to act randomly, but can RM2K3 comprehend the rules well enough to compete strongly, or will I have to create an AI based in C++ (this seems easier, but I'm still not sure how the dyn_rpg plugin interacts between C and RM2K3).

Ugh...JR 19 will "repeal First Amendment"? Srsly?

WARNING: TL;DR. YOU'RE BOUND TO NOT HAVE YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT IF YOU RESPOND WITHOUT READING THROUGH.

It only goes to show that government officials will take advantage of American paranoia every chance they get. Senator Ted Cruz recently announced that this year, Congress will be voting on Senate Joint Resolution 19, an amendment to repeal the First Amendment. I know, sounds shocking. So I went ahead and looked up the text of the bill, which you can read here.

Or read it right here.





113th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. J. RES. 19

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States
relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect
elections.


_______________________________________________________________________


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 18, 2013

Mr. Udall of New Mexico (for himself, Mr. Bennet, Mr. Harkin, Mr.
Schumer, Mrs. Shaheen, Mr. Whitehouse, Mr. Tester, Mrs. Boxer, Mr.
Coons, Mr. King, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Wyden, Mr. Franken, Ms. Klobuchar, and
Mr. Udall of Colorado) introduced the following joint resolution; which
was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

_______________________________________________________________________

JOINT RESOLUTION



Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States
relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect
elections.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House
concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an
amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be
valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when
ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States:

``Article--

``Section 1. To advance the fundamental principle of political
equality for all, and to protect the integrity of the legislative and
electoral processes, Congress shall have power to regulate the raising
and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to Federal
elections, including through setting limits on--
``(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for
nomination for election to, or for election to, Federal office;
and
``(2) the amount of funds that may be spent by, in support
of, or in opposition to such candidates.
``Section 2. To advance the fundamental principle of political
equality for all, and to protect the integrity of the legislative and
electoral processes, each State shall have power to regulate the
raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to
State elections, including through setting limits on--
``(1) the amount of contributions to candidates for
nomination for election to, or for election to, State office;
and
``(2) the amount of funds that may be spent by, in support
of, or in opposition to such candidates.
``Section 3. Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant
Congress the power to abridge the freedom of the press.
``Section 4. Congress and the States shall have power to implement
and enforce this article by appropriate legislation.''.
<all>


First, let's examine what's going on here. A joint resolution is a bill that must be approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. It then passes to the President, who may sign it into law or veto it.

Now, this joint resolution grants Congress the power to limit, control, and regulate the amount of money donated and spent on election campaigns. What you probably wouldn't realize unless you're an activist like me, is that this resolution is the very bill that the Occupy movement has been trying to push to bypass the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court ruling. Frankly, the Occupy movement doesn't like the idea that the corporations that save money by trampling on people's rights can buy whoever they want to put into office. They don't like the fact that corporations in the last election dumped 1 billion dollars a piece on each party, 10 times more than any election campaign has ever raised in history.

How would this repeal the First Amendment? Well, it doesn't. In order to do that, "Repeals the First Amendment" must be found in the language of the text, along with the full text of the First Amendment, and the extent to which the First Amendment is being repealed. What does our friend, Ted Cruz do? He points to Section 3: Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress the power to abridge the Freedom of Press.

Now, if you've been paying attention, this should be tickling the back of your mind. How did the Supreme Court come to it's Citizens United ruling? Why, they claimed that a corporation is run by people and that by restricting the amount of money they could spend on election campaigns, those people were being limited to how they could make their voices heard, or abridging the Freedom of Press. You see, Freedom of Speech is just the ability to speak as you will without fear of retribution from the government. Freedom of Press is how loudly you can make your voice heard.

This bill, if made an amendment, would nullify the Citizens United ruling, which would make it unconstitutional (you see, you can't add a constitutional amendment if it is conflicting with other parts of the constitution unless it specifically says that it alters those parts of the constitution. THIS bill makes a point of saying that it does not alter any part of the constitution in the form of a restriction that prevents Congress from actually silencing anyone's ability to use their Freedom of Press).

I am currently in argument with a man who firmly believes that because this bill doesn't mention the other First Amendment rights, that's how it repeals the First Amendment. "It only protects Freedom of Press," he says. Again, look at the resolution. What does it say it limits? Money. Only money. This bill does not silence our voices. It does not limit our religious beliefs. It does not stop us from sending petitions to the White House. It does not stop us from protesting. The only way this bill threatens us is by threatening to limit our resources. Even then, it only limits money that you can give to an electoral candidate (or not depending on how Congress decides in each individual situation). In short, this bill cannot affect you or me, who probably only have 20 bucks to throw at a potential president anyway. It affects the people who have millions of dollars to spend on our system. It affects the people who are in a position to buy our country.

So does this limit their access to the First Amendment? No. Why? Because the ability to suppress "lesser" people's rights is not a First Amendment right. Spending money is not the same as Free Speech or Free Press. Why? Because these things are free! We can start a blog or even a newspaper, and all it will cost us is an online connection or the cost of paper and ink, and that's no guarantee people will read. This bill doesn't even stop these people from using the press, expressing their voices on their own dime. It just stops them from giving obscene amounts of money from government officials, again, if that's what Congress decides in each case.

So why is Section 3 there? Because the Citizens United ruling is there. Section 3 prevents Congress from stopping potential donors from using their money in other ways (I can't donate as much as I like? I'll just put my own ads supporting Future Mr. President on TV).

The facts of this matter? Ted Cruz and his friends don't like the fact that We The People have successfully used this system to petition for a law that prevents him and his buds from getting megabribes from their rich lobby friends. They don't like the fact that when they come up for re-election they can't get unlimited sums of cash in exchange for ignoring the needs of their constituents, such as running unnecessary pipelines carrying highly corrosive forms of oil through our Heartland, or giving food conglomerates the power to hide potentially life threatening facts about what we eat, such as foods that actually create pesticide (or are you actually so naive to believe them when they say that what kills insects doesn't have the potential to kill you? Or better yet, do you actually think that "reasonably safe" is the same thing as "good"?)

Ted Cruz says that he and his father came from Cuba to escape oppression, and now they need a another place to flee to! Wow! Maybe they need to go back to Cuba.

Post Script: There are dozens of laws in effect right now that trample on our Constitutional rights, such as the law that outlaws video taping a police officer on duty, a law that it is blatantly intended to make it easier to hide the crimes of police officers. Other such laws are these Ag-Gag laws which outlaw any outside documentation of factories that raise livestock. Ag-Gag laws were historically put into place expressly for the purpose of preventing people from discovering unsafe, abusive practices that put the consumer at potential risk of disease. (Seriously. These laws started being put forward in direct response to the fact that recalls were being made based on the discovery that these factories were deliberately distributing meat tainted with such things as salmonellasis and Mad Cow disease.) In January, the FAA approved the used of UVA Predator Drones in U. S. cities effective May (now). This isn't conspiracy theory bullshit. This is all stuff that been reported by CNN, NBC, Reuters, the Guardian, and every other reputable source. Of all of the laws that we should be worried about, the last thing we need to do is jump when some whiny bitch like Ted Cruz cries when Congress actually does something to protect our rights.

A Little Magic

Harrison Ford...Seriously

First it was Indiana's Bones and the Prostate of Doom--er--sorry, I mean, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Then he's getting a leading role in the upcoming Star Wars VII, while Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher hang back in "important, but much smaller" roles. Now he's also going to be reprising his role as Rick Deckard in a sequel to Blade Runner.

These people do know this man is 71, right?

Harrison Ford...Seriously

Triple post? Seriously? Come on...

Harrison Ford...Seriously

Double Post...

Range War: Last Man Standing In Clark County, Nevada

You may or may not have heard of Cliven Bundy. His ranch is the center of a battle with the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM)that began in 1993. Since 1870, the ranchers of Clark County have used the 600,000 acres of Gold Butte for grazing their cattle. There was never a question that the community owned this land for grazing their cattle.

In 1993, BLM seized this land and declared it federal property in order to protect the habitat of the endangered desert tortoise. The 48 ranchers initially resisted, but were bullied with threats of arrest and land seizure into paying a "grazing fee" to continue using the land. All official reports are that the grazing fee is a pittance, $1.15 per head of cattle per year. For Cliven Bundy, whose herd numbers 908, this roughly comes to 1400 dollars a year.

After 20 years of not paying, Bundy figures he owes 300,000 dollars. BLM figures he owes 1,000,000, not including additional penalties. Do the math.

Bundy claims that he and every other rancher in the area (he's the last one. They've all been forced out of business) owns this land and they have a right to graze on that land. He claims that the federal government had no right to seize the land and that he would gladly pay the fee to Clark County as a municipal tax, but has no intention of paying a dime.

BLM claims that Bundy is trespassing on federal property. Bundy has fought in court and on TV all the way, using the law as any law abiding American citizen would (read that just because a man takes a stand and refuses to abide by what he feels is an unjust law does not mean is a criminal or is not law abiding.).

BLMs response: Eight armored assault vehicles, four helicopters, 200 armed agents in full combat fatigues armed with assault weapons, and snipers. BLM set up "First Amendment areas" for protesters, well away from the ranch lands. The agents have already several times acted under the assumption that Americans have no First Amendment rights out of these areas.

Bundy's son, who was videoing what can only be described as a military buildup, had police dogs set upon him. He was tased until blood stained his shirt (there is video) while an officer held his head to the ground with his boot. His sister, Margaret Bundy, a cancer survivor, was also tackled and pinned to the ground, according to her complaint given at a Clark County town hall meeting.

In response, armed militia have come from Utah, Wyoming and other parts of Nevada to defend the Bundys from further armed action. "We're not afraid to shoot," said one spokesman. Jim Lordy of Operation Mutual Aid says, "They have guns. We need guns to protect ourselves from the tyrannical government." So far, over a 1000 militia members have arrived on scene in a tense standoff against BLM agents. BLM claims the agents are only there to protect the veterinarians rounding up trespassing cattle, claiming that Bundy is a threat, "Cliven Bundy has made such statements as 'I'm fighting a one-man range war.'" BLM regards such statements as potential terrorism.

Just yesterday, BLM agents ceased operations and returned rounded up cattle (they acquired nearly 350 heads of cattle) to the Bundys, but retired Arizona Sheriff Richard Mack says that his sources inside BLM say that they are planning a full raid and seizure of all Bundy assets. More agents are arriving, as are militia members.

BLM has been criticized by the Nevada state Governor and by the State Attorney for their heavy-handed "Gestapo-like" tactics, and what they refer to as a "gross mishandling" of the Bundy case.

Nevada Assemblywoman Michelle Foire thanked militiamen for their efforts, stating that it was thanks to these Americans and their guns, "this did not turn into another Waco massacre or Ruby Ridge and I have to thank all of you for that."

BLM has gone on record to lament that Bundy continues not to abide by the law that 16,000 other ranchers in the country have agreed to. Bundy claims that all of the compliant ranchers in Clarke County have been overregulated out of business by BLM, "I used to have 52 neighbors ranching this land," said Bundy, stating that they were all bullied out of business by BLM and that he was the last man standing.

The fight isn't over, and while BLM lays plans for further raids and continues to bring agents into the area, the militia members say they aren't moving either.

RM2K3 Since there is no such thing as a stupid question...

Is it possible to employ C++ scripting in RM2K3, or vice versa?