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  1. STARTED USING Git, and have uploaded the source code to Github.com: https://github.com/vdub-bobby/tankmaze

     

    I'll continue to post updates here, though they might lag what's on Github. For example! The version on github is slightly newer; the enemy tanks have (crappy) AI now!

     

    I'm in the middle of rewriting the routines that move the enemy tanks; right now the routines are too slow and too brittle.

     

    More to come...hopefully. :)

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    The object of this game is to get to the blue square at the end of each maze. Right now this is in a beta stage, but shooting missiles and dissapearing walls are soon to come. Just download the file below and play it in your Atari 2600 emulator. Hope you enjoy!!!

  2. So... Kirby's turning 20.

     

    Nintendo's got this wonderful collection disc and all sorts of new games lined up, all to celebrate this one event.

     

    Yet, last year, a certain series of theirs, a series that was there when they first started to assume dominance, that helped build them up to where they are now, turned 25, and yet their was nothing for that.

     

    This is like a kick to the face from a Nordic god. They skipped Metroid in favor of a character that was originally meant to be a placeholder- a fact that most everyone seems to forget over time.

     

    I don't really get it myself, though. For all that people said about it, Other M wasn't all that bad. I mean, it wasn't the greatest, but that's because they were not only trying to do something new, but they also had to follow the Prime trilogy. That, and it wasn't as bad as the Duke Nukem incident. Yet, somehow, because of Other M, we got nothing.

     

    They could've at least ran a sale on the Virtual Console, or at least said something, but no, the pink blob that has had eighty billion spinoffs, most of which are mediocre or just plain unoriginal, is more important.

     

    And that makes it even sadder than last year. If they somehow considered MP: Trilogy an early present, than that's just flat-out hitting the customers with a shovel. After all these wonderful games that have given great gameplay, music and settings, we've seen nothing to acknowledge that Metroid even exists. It's bad enough seeing Star Fox and F-Zero vanish for whole generations, but this is plain awful. Mario and Zelda were understandable, but it's... well, disappointing.

     

    Here's to hoping that Ninty doesn't pull an Episode 3 manuever during the WiiU's lifetime with any of the forgotten three.

     

    -Enig, 8:34 PM CST

  3. Everyone who uses the internet probably has that moment every once and awhile when they think "I should start a blog". That moment is generally accompanied by the second thought of "If I started a blog, what would I actually write about?" followed by "Oh well, back to looking at pictures of cats." I was in that boat until recently when after dealing with Microsoft's customer service policies I had something to get off my chest.

     

    I should start this writing with a quick note - I have been working in tech support/customer in various forms for the past 9 years. This probably makes me more sensitive to what I see as bad service and definitely makes me quicker to be angry when a company takes the approach that a customer is their enemy as I feel Microsoft takes.

     

    First, the lesser incident. In the fall, our money was slightly tight. So, the decision was made that we would let our Gold Membership with Microsoft lapse. I'm not a competitive gamer and my utter lack of sense of direction leaves me useless in most first person shooters, so our Gold membership was essentially to let me watch Netflix in our gameroom.

     

    I couldn't figure out where to just remove my old, expired credit card from the system or where to turn off any autorenewals (turns out you have to do that on the website or by calling, the system itself cannot actually manage most things). So, when Microsoft said they couldn't bill my card by email, I assumed I'd just let it be done at that, my account would revert to Silver and life would go on. Turns out, I was wrong.

     

    Instead of saying "We couldn't bill you so we've turned off your Gold access", Microsoft decided "We couldn't bill you so we've suspended your account and are holding it hostage". I called customer service and was told until I paid $60 I couldn't use my profile. I argued that I just wanted to go to Silver and that there was no way on the console to manage this stuff, but was again told that I had a $60 bill with Microsoft and until I paid it, I was in Microsoft Jail (my term, not theirs).

     

    We decided that was fine, I would live in Jail until we had some extra cash. Turns out that being in Microsoft Jail is extrememly inconvenient. The 360 is apparently too stupid to remember that you are in jail, so every single time the system tries to do anything online, it tells you again and again that you are on the Microsoft Naughty list. High score in pinball? You're suspended. Wanna browse the Rock Band store? You're suspended. It's a royal pain.

     

    So - a week later we relented and decided to re-up Gold. I decided I was done having a credit card on file, and wanted to just buy a Gold card on sale online. I called Microsoft to make sure this would be sufficient and was told it was not - that I to pay them directly to get rid of my bill to be able to do a Live card.

     

    I got off the phone and felt this seemed extremely wrong. I decided to callback and ask for a manager because I was willing to sign up for another year, why should they care how I do it? I called back again and a very nice rep cleared off my account, freeing it for Silver and allowing me to re-up at my convenience. I was thrilled with her, but obviously the fact I'm writing about it means it was starting to sour my 360 experience.

     

    Now, if for some reason someone is reading this and gets to this point they would probably be thinking "Ok, so a month long inconvenience, what's the problem?" Well, the major problem came a month ago, when I once again logged into my console to find I was suspended from Live - but this time it wasn't just me it was my entire console that was banned.

     

    I figured the message must be a mistake, so I called Microsoft. Microsoft's customer service cannot tell you why your console was jailed. They cannot request the jailing be lifted. They cannot do ANYTHING when you are deemed to have broken a rule - they only can refer you to post on an online, public forum. I had them promise not to re-new my Gold while I was suspended and after much arguing, agreed to posting on a forum to try to get my access back. I was already considering getting rid of my 360 right then, this is completely inappropriate service for a product.

     

    A quick scan of the other messages in the forum gave me a quick heads up why I was likely in Microsoft Jail again, non-official Microsoft Points. I will confess, awhile back I did a quick search for cheap Microsoft points online hoping to find some discounted points (Live goes on sale all the time, I figured points might). In the process I came across a very large ebay style site that sold "wholesale MS Points". They were guaranteed, said that they were completely safe to the use and were very cheap. I admit, I knew they were sketchy but the alure of a big discount is hard to ignore so I tried it, and it worked. I bought from them a few more times over the next year - each time getting a good deal and although I suspected they were iffy it was such a huge site and each seller had so much good feedback it seemed like it just was some form of loophole they were using.

     

    Apparently, my purchases broken the T&Cs of Live and my console was deemed to be evil. So, I posted to the forum asking to confirm if this was the cause and begged my case for reinstatement. I never heard back. About 2 days later I again posted to the forum and again was automatically told my message would be reviewed for posting and again I never heard back. Other people seemed to be getting answers, but mine was falling on deaf ears. I stated I'm not a hacker, I wasn't using the points to get FIFA advantages (something that I found out later many people were doing), I never play online and curse people out or any of the other stuff that gets the ban hammer. I was just getting cheap Rock Band tracks. I offered to let them wipe my system's drive to remove the offending DLC, but no answer. I declined to write back a third time because by then I was alerted by a friend to a site where "funny or embarrassing ban messages get posted" and decided I was done publicly begging for answers and forgiveness.

     

    At this point with no phone support, no forum support and the risk of forum support publicly ridiculing me, I decided to start calling around about getting rid of my Microsoft products. I was done being treated like my business didn't matter and if they didn't care enough to give me answers, I certainly wasn't going to reward them with more money. I'm 35, this was my family's console - we had Kinect with 8-10 games, 4 controllers, 30+ other games and a room full of plastic instruments - so it wasn't a small decision. I had unfinished games, some of which were 360 exclusives that I'd never finish. I called and found a few places that said as long as it wasn't physically modded they'd give me credit (of course the credit was very small, the games I had were the bigger trade values by far). I left the store that night with no 360, no games, but a brand new PS3 and about 10 games for it.

     

    Two weeks after all of this, I received an email from Microsoft. It wasn't answering my multiple inquires about my ban, instead it was confirming my Gold membership was set to autorenew (despite earlier promises it wouldn't). I called customer service again, they apologized for the lack of answers, said I should have picked a random moderator to private message instead of trying to post - I said I was following the prior rep's instructions,that I sold all their equipment and asked him to pass on to management exactly what I had been through. I never heard back from them again.

     

    I'm happy with my new console, but it stil amazes me the lengths Microsoft will go to avoid actually helping a customer. It amazes me they would expect me to go buy a new console and support them without any answers or support. It amazes me my console would get banned with no warning or email stating why. It's an approach to customer service that is completly foreign to me - the approach that the customer is always wrong, the customer doesn't deserve any answers as to why they're wrong, and if we decide it's funny enough we'll make sure the customer looks stupid about being wrong.

     

    Love my new PS3 though...

  4. blog-0930523001332067964.pngHey!

     

    I realized I didn't post anything on my blog over here for quite some time. Time to catch up then! ;)

     

    Indeed I was quite busy with work and also with a small side project: "BlockedIn" my first iPhone game.

     

    As you can easily guess, gameplay is clearly inspired by classics like BreakOut and Arkanoid, with a bit of Ram It thrown in-between. It's a very simple concept with minimalist graphics but I feel it can work well for a few minutes of fun while commuting.

     

    It is free, supports leaderboards on Game Center and works on any iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S and iPod touch.

    If anyone gets it (it's free!) here http://itunes.apple....88931?ls=1&mt=8 I'd be happy to hear you comments and feedback.

     

    Cheers!

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    Today I got the atari. going home with 120 in my wallet (christmas money) we parked in the lotb that contained GAMEOVER in the rows. this place sold all retro. also the people knew everything there was to know about anything retro. Right in front was the huge shelf containing 100 or so games. as i checked my list, a clerk id know for a year or so asked if we were looking for anything inperticular. my excitment boiled up as i told him atari 2600 and he showed me 2 models in the display case a darth vader and the 4 switch. i chose the 4 switch(not sure) he took one out i looked at the shelves of games until finnally picking out donkey kong and jungle hunt . while idid this i also picked an extra joystick(it came with one). while i was going through this proscess my dad and the guys were playing astroids on my atari( for testing). after 20 minutes or so i went to the line and a guy about 20 or 25 asked me what i was getting. i told him atari 2600. he looked happy and i said i love atari . he said yeah! and fistbumped me. i finnally bought it. it was 95 bucks al together. my dad loaded it into th box. Now that i had it ill skip to getting it up and running. we moved the ps1 and hooked it up. i hataed the joystick at first but learned to like it. i played donkeykong for an hour or so. i beat it 30 times. i already had a bunch of atari games at my other house. so im getting a homebrew but im not sure which.

    **LEAVE A COMMENT RECOMMENDING WHICH HOME BREW TO BUY**

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    Stages of programming:

     

    1- Come up with an idea for a game.

    2- come up with details and features for the game.

    3- Try to program, realize some features just won't work on the 2600.

    4- devise workarounds, or delete features.

    5- run out of ROM, cut back more features.

    6- learn bankswitching, put features back in.

    7- run out of RAM, scratch head a lot.

    8- search forums for help ideas.

    9- set game code aside for awhile.

    10- come back and look at code.

    11- start code from scratch because you can't figure out what you were trying to do because you didn't add comments.

    12- scratch head again

    13- curse at the compiler

    14- reread code and find the one non-indented thingie or miscapitalized whatnot

    15- play pacman

    16- lock yourself in a room with a ton of notes and don't come out until it works.

     

    I am finding programming to be like trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle in your head without physically moving the pieces around- by the time I get some bits to fit together, I forgot about the first bits- it's just too much to remember at one time. Working a few minutes here and there doesn't help much. If I manage to get to a playable stage, there will be some sort of announcement in the forums somewhere.

  5. w1k's Blog

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    ok, in future i want some new HW upgrades in my atari, this bag take some free space.. what is it? lets look..

    IMG_0889.jpg

     

    IMG_0890.jpg

     

    IMG_0892.jpg

     

    IMG_0893.jpg

     

    IMG_0894.jpg

     

    problem is also visible in the photo, the alien bag is stuck on the bottom side, everything is ALL-IN-ONE only on cables..

  6. I want to wish Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. This is a time to be grateful. I'm about the get married (dec 16) and my life is good. Simplicity is at the essence.

     

    Outside of my personal life, I'm grateful to have such a committed Atari community and in special, to all of the Atari 8-bit fans!!!

     

    One may not always agree, but we are few, we are strong!

     

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Want to see the development of an Colecovision game step by step ? (In french sorry ...).

     

    Only at :

     

    http://bfg-gamepassion.blogspot.com/

     

    ;)

  8. I stayed with the tutorials on Random's website for a couple of hours and got to lesson 12 understanding most of what I was doing but I found myself constantly confused at some portions of the code I would be looking at.

     

    While the tutorial I'm currently going through is good, and very informative, I feel it was missing some key elements/just brush over them with minor detail that I still need to study up on and get clarification on as well. The following information I feel should have been the first thing taught and really hammered into the student, if you have a solid understanding of the following, I feel the rest will come very easily.

     

    From my current understanding, which could be incorrect as I am still learning, the 6502 has 3 registers (I consider them variables, but that is just how I think about it) that you can us, A, X, and Y. The operations you have for each variable is as follows:

     

    A:

    sta <- store a into the following

    lda <- load a with the following

    ina <- increment value stored in variable a

    dea <- decrement value stored in variable a

    A has other oprerations as well, and as the author discribed it, its the "workhorse" of the 3 registers available on the 6502 (really the 6507) CPU.

     

    X:

    stx <- store x into the following

    ldx <- load a with the following

    inx <- increment value stored in variable x

    dex <- decrement value stored in variable x

     

    Y:

    sty <- store x in the following

    ldy <- load x with the following

    iny <- increment value stored in variable y

    dey <- decrement value stored in variable y

     

    The other thing I'm still trying to wrap my mind around completed is how you use these registers with the registers from vcs.h. Such as the following:

     

    ldx #0
    stx COLUBK
    

     

    I guess for me I have to reverse my thinking of how these registers work. I'll explain with the following example:

     

    ldx #0 really means the following in x = 0
    stx COLUBK really means the following COLUBK = x
    

     

    However in my mind, I would think ldx would be used to retrieve the value of x. Same thing for the stx which really means "store x in" and is used to take the value in the register x and put it int he following register COLUBK, in my mind it would be reverse, I want to think of it as storing a value into x.

     

    While this might seem minor and trivial, it was a small yet important concept for me to wrap my head around last night and this morning. I guess this just shows how I have to learn different from others which is fine.

     

    The more I think about trying to program in machine language, the more I'm applying natural language to each statement to help me retain this information in my memory.

     

    ldx is "load x with the following"

    stx is "store x in the following"

     

    I'm thinking of going through my books tonight to learn how loops, if statements and other basic operations that are pretty much universal in all languages, meaning Java, BASIC, C, Assembly all have IF statements its just learning the way the specific language requires you to setup the statement, before I continue with the rest of the 2600 programming tutorial on Randoms website. I think I will have a stronger grasp of the Machine Language if I go about it in this manor.

     

    If I've made any glaring errors in this please let me know so I can correct myself and learn!

     

    Thanks

    Disjaukifa

  9. I was all set to take a bunch of pictures of Madalaine and some ice cream because she beat me at video games, but then I found out that I no longer had any ice cream! But I did find something else she likes...

     

    6224506975_aa9c82b0c4_z.jpg

    Chu: I'm sorry, Madalaine. I don't have any ice cream for you! But I did find some Jello!

    Madalaine: Yay! It's my favorite flavor, too. Thanks, Daddy.

     

    6224507013_68c270068c_z.jpg

    Madalaine: I'm so happy that I get to share some Jello with Daddy. Make sure you leave me my share! I did beat you, after all.

    Chu: I'm sure you'll be full long before I'm done.

     

    6225027032_1c18c1bac7_z.jpg

    Madalaine: Thank you, Daddy. I'm so full.

    Chu: You're welcome, Madalaine.

  10. ok guys so I've been aggressively going after more stuff for my Jaguar collection over the last month or two and I'm finally getting a respectable collection together. Heres a list of my activity recently:

     

    Items bought and awaiting mail delivery:

     

    Jag CD Drive

    Mem Track

    Pro Controller

    Power Drive Rally

    Hover Strike CD

    Blue Lightning

     

    Items I received since joining Atari Age:

     

    Hover Strike (cart)

    Brutal Sports Football

    Missile Command 3d

    Pitfall (arrived today... yay!)

    Battlemorph

    Atari Jaguar power supply (for CD)

    replacement Cybermorph cart (2meg edition)

     

     

    currently watching/bidding on:

     

    Ultra Vortek

     

     

    ==================================================================

     

    Ok so that moves the grand total of games I own now up to 25 if you include the ones I've already paid for and am just waiting to receive.

     

    I would like to get a few more retail titles but honestly can't justify spending the money required for games like:

     

    Robinsons Requiem

    Skyhammer

    Worms

    Iron Soldier 2

     

     

    I've decided I wont buy Bubsy, Highlander and a few others such as Dragons Lair, Space Ace or Brain Dead 13 (I can't even FIND these 3!!), for the price they go for I just can't justify buying them as I don't think I will enjoy them in the slightest.

     

    I'm interested in getting world tour racing, is club drive better or worse? I saw that Club Drive, looks pretty abismal lol.

     

     

    Anyway I just wanted to update you all and see what you think, have a look at my latest video on youtube if you haven't already done so, here is a list of the games I have, if anyone wants to make a suggestion for more retail purchases please feel free!

     

    ---------------------------------

    1. Alien Vs Predator
    2. Battle Morph
    3. Blue Lightning
    4. Brutal Sport Football
    5. Cannon Fodder
    6. Cybermorph 2mb
    7. Doom
    8. Evolution Dino Dudes
    9. Hover Strike
    10. Hover Strike Unconquered Lands
    11. Iron Soldier
    12. Kasumi Ninja
    13. Missile Command 3d
    14. Pitfall
    15. Power Drive Rally
    16. Protector SE
    17. Raiden
    18. Rayman
    19. Super Burnout
    20. Syndicate
    21. Tempest 2000
    22. Theme Park
    23. Ultra Vortek (assuming I win it!)
    24. Wolfenstein 3d
    25. Zero 5
    26. Zool 2

    latest video on youtube:

     

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    :grin: :) :) :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
  11. Well, after working on it for a few hours, I have another build for you! Two in one day. I have collision detection set for when you hit a wall, the player sprite disappears and you get two options. If you press the reset button it takes you back to the title screen. If you press the fire button, it will immediately start a new game.

     

    Not quite sure what I'm going to implement next, been fighting to wrap the logic behind Bit operators in my head. I will this however, this game is tiny compared to my older version and I'm not even really using any variables yet, so I'm not sure what I was doing the other time, but I can say I'm having a lot more fun because I'm not under such a huge constraint to have variables available.

     

    Heres the latest build:

     

    Atomic_Meltdown_2011y_09m_12d_2322t.bas.bin

     

     

    Thoughts? Suggestions?

     

    Thanks!

  12. Karyyk
    Latest Entry

    I've started a new site/blog of sorts. There's not too much there yet (have updated a few of my old reviews), and the scope might be a bit wide, but it's just something I want to do (haven't really dabbled with anything site-related since my old Jaguar's Lair site, Anoxic Games and then StaticGamer...that's like almost a decade ago on the most recent...getting old). If anyone has any feedback, I'd appreciate it.

     

    Karyyk.com

  13. I just want to say this, but I've also kind of left because I seriously dislike how I've gotten my reputation here. I just seem like some oblivious kid who gets angry at certain posts for opinions even though I'm not usually like that. I've gotten better, but I'm not sure how much I like to visit somewhere where I don't know many of the userbase. The community just seems uncomfortably big sometimes, compared to my other one.

    Don't consider this to truly be a bye, just kind of an admittance.

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    here is the newest version of "Desando Joe!"

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    Epyx_Fail
    Latest Entry

    So here's a list of games and controllers I'm looking for, some ultra-rare, some not so rare.

    Games:

     

    Millipede

    Kool-aid Man

    Basic Programming

    3-D Tic-tac-toe

    Dragster

    Asterix

    Plaque Attack

    Star Wars: Jedi Arena

    Star Wars: Death Star Battle

    Star Wars: The Arcade Game

    Swordquest WaterWorld

    Music Machine

    Secret Quest

    Phoenix

    Snoopy and the Red Baron

    Checkers

    Chess

    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

    Home Run

    James Bond 007

    Chuck Norris Superkicks

    Pitfall II: Lost Caverns

    Masters of the Universe: The Power of He-Man

    Star Strike

    Bump 'n' Jump

    Burgertime

    International Soccer

    Super Challenge Football

    Tunnel Runner

    Omega Race

    Atlantis (Day scene label)

    Controllers:

     

    Tron controller

    Keypad controllers

    Video touch pad

    Track and Field Controller

    Trackball

  14. Reading fellow member Mili's blog made me realize that the Politics and Religion ban doesn't extend to my personal blog. So I'm going to vent!

     

    For the most part, I'm a fairly left-leaning guy who doesn't like the fact that both the United States and Canada are drifting steadily further to the right. Part of the problem for me is that the political right doesn't even stand for the things it was conceived to stand for historically. If you've taken any Political Science courses at school, you know that on paper, principles of the classical right should include smaller government. So what does that mean exactly? It means that the government keeps its hands off as many things as possible. This policy of non-interference can be broken down into two broad categories: economic non-interference and social non-interference.

     

    Economically, a classical conservative believes in a free market, with as little government regulation as possible. Businesses are allowed to create a natural environment of competition, where in theory they will compete to offer the best products and services to the customer at the best prices. Some people believe this philosophy works, and some don't; that's not where I'm picking a fight.

     

    So far it might sound like contemporary conservatives are sticking to their guns; after all, vehement Republican opposition to things like universal health care and government takeovers of bankrupt corporations and financial institutions rings true to the principles of the free market, right? The problem, however, is that conservatives don't just support the freedom of the corporations; they support the corporations themselves. As in, financially.

     

    In both Canada and the United States, conservatives are in the pockets of corporations. Tax break after tax break for oil companies, banks, multiconglomerates and the super-rich are a continuing conservative mandate, even during an economic recession where those tax dollars should be allocated to the relief of struggling working-and-middle-class families. In states like Wisconsin and Ohio, the scale has been tipped in favor of corporations over employees with the stripping away of collective bargaining rights and the crippling of unions. Big corporations get richer while small ones and individuals suffer. Markets are no longer truly free when the biggest businesses have the political and financial backing of the government, at the expense of small businesses which either go belly-up or are bought out by the big guns.

     

    The principles of small government also extend to the social sphere. A small government keeps out of your home, out of your place of worship, and out of your bedroom. Modern conservatives, quite obviously, do none of these things.

     

    Both American Republicans and Canadian Conservatives support practices like wiretapping, arrest without a warrant, and legislature that discriminates sexual preferences. Information is collected and used against you when they don't approve of your behavior. Two weeks ago, two girls were thrown out of a Conservative Party rally in Canada by the RCMP solely because a Conservative employee had screened their Facebook profiles and found photographs of them with the rival party's leader. At the same time, while conservatives want all of your information, they do not want you to have any of theirs. This is why Julian Assange and Wikileaks, who have tried to expose the international crimes of governments and businesses, has been vilified by both the American and Canadian governments, and slandered with false charges to tarnish his name.

     

    Both of our constitutions promise freedom of religion and equal rights to all peoples regardless of background or belief. But some beliefs, as you know, are more equal than others. Evangelical Christian denominations exert a disproportionate amount of influence, while minority groups like Muslims are continuously demonized and discriminated against. If I am to judge all Muslims by the actions of Osama bin Laden, shouldn't I judge all Christians by the actions of Ted Jones, or Fred Phelps? Furthermore, guess what American leader is responsible for hundreds of times more civilian deaths than Bin Laden? I'm not going to give you the oft-repeated contemporary answers; try Harry S. Truman.

     

    Ultimately Evangelical churches are the wealthiest religious presence in North America, and so in this regard, conservatives are in their pockets just as they are in the pockets of corporations. As such, they attempt to dictate the social values of everyone.

     

    Additional points of complaint: conservatives by-and-large don't believe in the perils of climate change, or at least profess not to because they are in the pockets of oil companies. I don't even have to prove climate change to demonstrate the dangers of this sort of ignorance. One side believes that human influence will ultimately damage our climate and environment to the point where even basic survival is not guaranteed. The other side believes that human impact on the environment is negligible. If we listen to the first side and make the necessary changes to our society and infrastructure to make it more sustainable, and that side later turns out to be wrong, are we really that much worse off? Either way, we are still alive. On the other hand, let's follow the naysayers and make no changes whatsoever to our sustainability. What happens if they are wrong? Simple: we die. Climate change thus becomes a better-safe-than-sorry issue.

     

    Speaking of ignorance, I am terrified by the intelligence and qualifications of up-and-coming conservative politicians such as Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman. These people know about as much about political science as Avril Lavigne does about punk rock.

     

    In closing, then, conservatism in its classical sense no longer exists. Conservatives no longer care about small government, free markets, and the rights of the individual. They support corporate theocracy.

     

    Why my sudden frustrations? Canada is having an election, and for the first time, I am worried. The Conservative Party of Canada as it exists today is an amalgamation of the older Progressive Conservative and Canadian Alliance Parties. The Canadian Alliance was a re-branding of the Reform Party, which sprang up in Western Canada in the late 80's as a response to growing sentiments that Western Canadian interests and values were under-represented at the federal level. Throughout the Reform party's existence, they support and attracted the support of racists, homophobes, sexists, religious fundamentalists, and oil companies. That same party now occupies most of the positions of power in the modern Conservative Party; the old Progressive Conservatives were the last true "Classical Conservatives" insofar as they support market de-regulation, social non-interference, and small government. Most of those "Red Tories" quit when the corporate Evangelicals moved in.

     

    Stephen Harper, the leader of this Conservative Party, is now asking Canadians for a majority government. He supports stripping the funding from other political parties, the de-regulation of banks to mirror the US model that collapsed in 2008 and took much of the economy with it, he has rolled back Canada's commitments to international environmental pacts, he won't let the same-sex debate die, he has slashed funding to liberal arts programs, he has ignored both Aboriginal and Francophone issues, he turned Toronto into a police state for the G20 summit and arrested 900 people without charges, and he tries to keep media coverage out of parliament. His party supports wiretapping and has left a Canadian who was arrested as a child solder in Afghanistan at age 14 to rot in Guantanamo Bay, where he faces torture, terror, and hopelessness. He downplays the environmental disaster that is the Alberta Oil Sands, he wastes money on bleeding-edge military jets, and avoids direct questions. Four members of his party are facing charges of election fraud, and his government was found to be in contempt of parliament. He is continuously voted in by the zealous, the wealthy, and the ignorant.

     

    If he wins a majority, I can no longer be proud of my country. Canada will just be another corporate theocracy.

  15. It's been almost a week, but here's the Sonic X blog again. In Depths of Danger, Sonic and his friends try to retrieve the fourth chaos emerald from a sunken ship. However, Robotnik has his heart set on the emerald as well, and Sonic's dislike of water presents problems.

     

    What's to say that hasn't been said? It's another worthy episode, and it's got a few unexpected things in it. Seeing Sonic trying to overcome his hydrophobic tendencies was pretty entertaining, too.

     

    Watch episodes here.

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