Nuggets of Wisdom

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Future Plans

I know I said earlier this month that I was going to make my blog a lower priority. But here I am, continuing to post regularly on my blog.

Well, I decided to be serious about what I said earlier, but before I do, before I place my blog on an undetermined and infrequent hiatus, there are a few things I wanted to get out of the way.

Here are my future plans for this blog until I place it under hiatus:

Pony Recaps. I will continue to post recaps of the new My Little Pony episodes until the season finale. (I know I'm late with some of these recaps as it is, but please have patience with me.)
Top 5 Best/Worst MLP:FiM Season 3 Episodes. As I did with Season 1 and Season 2, I will list my top five favorite and least favorite episodes of Season 3 once I'm finished with all the episode recaps.
Pony Couples. Like I did last year for St. Valentine's Day, I will be posting fan art of my favorite Pony shippings every Thursday in February. Which couples will be featured this year? You'll have to wait to find out.
Birthday Q&A. I know I was supposed to have this Q&A on my birthday, but life has kept me busy and I was forced to postpone it. I will get around to answering your questions when I get the chance. Until then, if you haven't submitted any questions, feel free to do so now.
New DA Group. I can't believe I've been on DA for almost 4 years and I have not created my own group. Considering how politically-savvy I am, I'd figure I have one by now. Well, I'm contemplating on creating one. Right now, I'm trying to think up a name for it. I was going to call it "Furries 4 Sanity" since many of the admins I had in mind tend to be furries (and bronies are technically furries, right?), but I didn't want to limit it to only furries. I want to focus on "Common Sense" in the name. If any of you have any ideas for names, leave them in the comment section below. I could use the help.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I Support School Choice


I Support School Choice by ~BlameThe1st on deviantART

Like most other American children, my education began in public school. I performed exceptionally well in my school subjects, and because of this, my teachers placed me on an advanced curriculum. But my mother felt I wasn't being challenged enough, and by the third grade, she had me transferred to a private school. Even there, she still felt I wasn't being thoroughly challenged. So from the fourth grade onward, she had me homeschooled. Following my high school graduation, I received a Pell Grant to attend the college of my choice. I went to a junior college for a year before transferring to a private four-year college where I obtained my bachelor's degree.

I have been privileged enough to experience a wide variety of schooling from public to private to home, but only because my parents and grandparents could afford to send me to different schools until they discovered the right one for me. Unfortunately, not every child has this privilege. Most can only afford to receive a basic K-12 education in public school. If they're able to afford college, they're typically limited to attending community college, or at best, a state university. Considering the state of public education in this country, this means that these children are unable to receive the best education that they possibly can. I had the opportunity to seek a good education. Why can't other children have that same opportunity?

Every child should have the freedom to attend the school that best meets their personal educational needs, whether that school be public, private, parochial, charter, magnet, or home. In most other Western countries, children have such autonomy over their education--and no surprise, those countries tend to perform better in education.

In this county, however, no such autonomy exists. Children are forced to attend the public schools that exist in their own school district, regardless of how well those schools perform academically. If a much better public school exists in another district, unless their parents plan to move to that district, they will be unable to go to school there. Children still have private school and homeschooling as options--if their parents can afford it! If they can't, public school remains the only option for them.

The end result is that only wealthy children can afford private school while middle and lower class children are stuck with public school. This creates both an educational and economic disparity where rich children receive a better education--and with it, better job opportunities, while poor children receive substandard education and grow up to work minimum wage jobs or rely on government assistance or both.

One step forward in correcting this problem is through school vouchers and educational tax breaks, which would allow children, who otherwise couldn't afford anything other than public school, a wider selection of options.

There are two common objections to this proposal: first, that only wealthy children would be granted vouchers, leaving poor children behind in failing public schools; and second, that these vouchers could be used for private religious schools, which would violate church-state separation because taxpayer money would be used to fund religious institutions. But these are easily corrected problems, as a simple solution would be to limit vouchers only to middle and lower class children and for non-religious schools only.

Despite such a common sense solution, school choice is still opposed by many, mostly Democrats and teacher unions. They demonize school choice as a "radical" and "regressive" concept, a "corporate conspiracy" cooked up by "right-wing think tanks" and "plutocrats" like the Koch Brothers in order to "defund public education" by "funneling money from public schools," and that by doing so, ensuring that only the children of the "1 percent" have the "privilege" of a decent education while the "99 percent" are stuck without one, dooming them to a future as mindless, obedient "wage slaves" to the "corporatocracy."

But when one sees through such blatant fear-mongering, they realize that the exact opposite is true: the rich already have the "privilege" of receiving a decent education because they can afford to send their children to private schools while the poor are doomed to attend failing public schools--and not because public schools are "underfunded." On the contrary, America already spends more on education per student than any other country save Switzerland; but despite this, test scores remain stagnant.

"But wait," I hear you cry, "You just said that Switzerland spends more on education than we do, and they have better test scores than us. So wouldn't we have the same outcome if we spent the same as them?"

In a word, no. Switzerland has a much different educational system than our own. For starters--and this is most important, they have school vouchers! That's right: school vouchers, smeared as a far-right Ponzi scheme, are offered in Switzerland and other European countries, all which excel in education. School choice isn't "radical," it's common practice.

One would assume that the political left, which always looks across the pond for inspiration, would wish to emulate the educational policies of Europe; and yet, when such policies are proposed in this country, they are smeared as far-right corporate schemes, despite originating from left-wing social democracies.

The painful irony is that these policies are opposed by teacher unions--the same people who are entrusted with the educational interests of our children. It really makes you wonder who really has the best interests of our children's education in mind.

"Keep Calm And Flutter On" Recap


MLP Wiki


You know what they say: better late than never. And what an episode! Fluttershy AND Discord? Need I say more?

Here's the episode and my thoughts on it:

Keep Calm And Flutter On



Thoughts

• Ponies have hooves that can be polished. I know that sounds obvious, but watching the show, it doesn't appear that the ponies have hooves, only marshmallowy stubs at the end of their legs (with the exception of stallions like Big Macintosh, of course.)
• Many have expressed concern about the possibility of reforming Discord. For the most part, he seems like the most likely villain capable of being reformed. As a villain, he wasn't evil, merely mischievous. He's more like a rambunctious child than an evil psychopath (i.e.: Queen Chrysalis and King Sombra.)
• Despite what Dash and the other ponies believe, Fluttershy is the most likely one of them to reform Discord. After all, she was the only one not to be tricked by Discord's magic, which Discord himself was forced to impose on her.
• The beaver is called Mr. Beaverton Beaver. How original!
• Isn't it interesting how the power of the Elements of Harmony always changes depending on the circumstance? First it was a rainbow beam, then a rainbow beam and sonic rainboom, and now, a rainbow circle. Is this convenient or just inconsistent?
• "The Stare" comes back...and it does not work on Discord. No surprise, there!
• I get a guilty pleasure watching Discord harass Angel Bunny, considering how that "wascially wabbit" keeps mistreating Fluttershy!
• The dancing candlesticks are a reference to something, but I can't seem to guess what it is. Oh, I know: The Lion King! (Nah, of course I realize it's Beauty and the Beast!)
• Discord says it: "Friendship is Magic!"

Questions

• If Celestia has a spell that can prevent the Elements of Harmony from being stolen, WHY DIDN'T SHE USE IT BEFORE?! If such a spell exists in that world, it would have been a convenient way to prevent them from being stolen from Discord in the first place.
• I can understand Princess Celestia wanting to reform Discord, but why the hell would she just leave him there for the others to look after while she goes to a Royal Summit? She wants to unleash a villain who can turn all off Equestira upside-down and inside out while she attends some summit? Seems like bad timing.
• Does anyone else question the ethics of "reformation spells"? I get that they exist in this world, as the Elements of Harmony transformed Nightmare Moon back into Luna (which raises the question as to how they didn't work that way on Discord). But even there, that really raises a lot of ethical questions, especially concerning free will. After all, if someone can be changed from bad to good, that says a lot about the non-existence of free will in that universe. Worse, what about changing someone from good to bad? What about mind control? What's to prevent a megalomaniac from simply brainwashing people into his mindless obedient slaves?
• Does Fluttershy's transformed living room remind anyone else of the shrinking room in Alice in Wonderland?
• Am I the only one to think that Fluttershy is way too trusting of Discord? I know she's trying to gain his trust, but this is ridiculous, especially when they get to Sweet Apple Acres, where she agrees never to use her Element of Harmony against him. Which leads to my next point....
• WHY DID FLUTTERSHY KEEP HER END OF THE BARGAIN AND AGREE NOT TO USE HER ELEMENT AGAINST DISCORD?!?! He clearly broke his end of the bargain, so there is no reason to keep her end of it. This is a breech of contract. She is well within her right to use it against him. But she doesn't. I...I...Facepalm...Double Facepalm...Headdesk!

Gags

• Mr. Beaverton Beaver disassembling his dam by removing a single twig.
• Fluttershy blushing. (The cuteness meter has self-imploded!)
• Discord turning a squirrel into a thug...with a heart tattoo! (I love this show!)
• Discord turning a bunny into a saber-toothed bunny.
• Discord dressed as a granny, pinching Fluttershy's cheek.
• Discord tossing his eyes like die, which rolls into two holes that transform into him.
• Discord snapping his tail and turning the beavers evil. To which he breaks the fourth wall to tell us "Whoospie!"
• Discord giving Fluttershy noogies and petting her, worrying her. ("Oh dear!")
• Angel fighting with Discord for his spot on the couch.
• Discord breaking Fluttershy's lamp and turning it into a replica of himself. (I agree: "All Better!")
• Discord dressed in Victorian garb sipping tea...while sitting across from Angel. (Hmm, Mad Hatter and March Hare reference?)
• Discord turning into a carrot and scaring Angel Bunny.
• Fluttershy's house spinning in midair.
• Angel Bunny uttering a Wilhelm Scream.
• Discord as a butler rolling out his tongue as a red carpet and appearing at the end of it.
• The gravy boat dog and the other animate table objects.
• Angel Bunny playing charades with the ponies. (Though I'm not sure how Rarity guessed "sweet Apple Acres" from Angel dropping an apple into the ice tea pitcher.)
• Discord waterskiing with the soup tureens.
• Discord ice skating and judging himself.

Quotes

• Spike: "Maybe the visitor has a goat antler, a goat leg, a bat wing, and a snake tail."
Twilight: "Yeah right, that's Discord."
Rarity: "Why in the wide, wide world of Equestria would Princess Celestia bring along someone like that?"
Spike: "Maybe you should ask her!"

• Twilight: "With all due respect, Princess Celestia...HOW COULD YOU BRING DISCORD HERE?!"
Celestia: "I'm fully aware that the last time Discord was here, he created serious havoc."
Dash: "If by serious havoc, you mean turning Ponyville into the chaos capital of the world."
Rarity: "And tricking us all into being the exact opposite of our true selves."
Pinkie: "And making delicious chocolate milk rain all over the place without a single dollop of whip cream to go with it anywhere in sight...NOT A SINGLE DOLlOP!"

• Applejack: My trees are so waterlogged I can practically hear them gurggle.

• Discord: "Where you're a creature of chaos, stone body suits are not your typical go-to fashion choice.

• Dash: "You go Fluttershy!"

• Fluttershy: "Are you eating paper?"
Discord: "Am I? How odd of me!"

• Discord: "Do you like carrots, Angel? I'm playing your owner for a fool. How do you like them carrots?"

• Rarity: "This evening is sure to be a disaster. Glad I didn't bother wearing my fanciest outfit."

• Twilight: "There's something fishy going on." (Before being squirted by the soup tureen).

• Rarity: "Not the dress, NOT THE DRESS!"

• Dash: "You see Discord is behind all of this, right?"
Fluttershy: "Well, of course I do. Do you all think I'm a silly gullible fool?"

• Fluttershy: NOT...YOUR...FRIEND!

• Discord: "Yes, Princess, I'm ready to use my magic for good instead of evil...most of the time."

Friday, January 25, 2013

Swamped With Work

I have three assignments to juggle this weekend. Looks like I can't catch a break even on my birthday. But I guess I can't complain: more work = more income!

What this means for my blog is that my Birthday Q&A is going to be postponed until later--which isn't entirely bad, as I only received a handful of questions. (Gee, thanks guys!) Of course, this means you all have more time to submit your questions. So if you haven't submitted any, DO SO NOW!

And, as can be expected, my Pony Recaps are going to be postponed as well. I know, I know. I haven't even posted the one for "Keep Calm And Flutter On!" Fret not, I'll get to that AND the new one as well this week once I have time.

So until then, I have work to be done.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

DVD-R Hell: Deception of a Generation

Did you know that Scooby-Doo and He-Man were really tools of Satan to convert your children to the occult? It sounds crazy but it has to be true because some crazy televangelist said so!

In a recent episode of DVD-R Hell, Brad Jones rips apart an 80s Christian propaganda film “Deception of a Generation” which claims that Satan is trying to communicate to your children through their action figures and cereal boxes.

“I feel bad calling this a Christian propaganda or Christian scare film,” Brad admits, “because I know plenty of Christians in my life, and every single one of them would find what I’m about to show you f***ing hilarious.”

Indeed, Brad. This is hilarious.

Monday, January 21, 2013

My Thoughts On Obama's Inauguration

I have none. I didn't bother watching it! I have better things to do than listen to empty promises and platitudes from an emptier president.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

DWB: Obama Sinks to New Low: USING KIDS AS PAWNS to Push Anti-Gun Agenda...

Drinking With Bob perfectly conveys the anger we all feel at the hypocrisy and moral depravity of Obama using children as pawns in order to push for stricter gun control.



You think Barack Obama sat those kids down when he was done with them and explained to them what Fast and Furious is, that the Attorney General of the United States Eric Holder sold guns to Mexican drug lords, and those Mexican drug lords used those guns to kill Mexican citizens and United States border agents, and when Barack Obama found out about this, he did nothing but cover it up?

You think Barack Obama sat those kids down and explained to them that his daughters, Sasha and Malia, go to school with armed guards, and when the idea was voted to put armed guns in all schools across the country to protect all kids, Barack Obama laughed at the idea?

You think Barack Obama sat those kids down and explained to them that in Chicago, the murder capital of the world, where Barack Obama owns a home, hundreds of people get killed by guns every year, and not one by an assault rifle?

You think Barack Obama explained to those kids that the guns used in the Newtown shooting were all registered to a woman who had a background check?

You think Barack Obama explained to those kids that the laws he’s using them to push aren’t going to do anything to protect Americans? All they’re going to do is make it harder for law-abiding citizens to get guns and add $45 billion to a budget that is already killing this country.

You think Barack Obama explained to those kids that, since he’s been president, gun sales in this country have soared, that Barack Obama is single-handedly responsible for putting more guns in the hands of Americans than any other president in history? People who never even though of buying guns own guns now thanks to Barack Obama.

I mean, if you want to use kids as pawns, that’s fine: but at least explain to them what you’re using them for, and these kids’ parents should be ashamed of themselves—ashamed of themselves!

Mike Malloy: Limbaugh Is Teh Ebil!

When you think of someone evil, who is the first person who comes to mind? Hitler? Stalin? Bin Laden? Kim Jung Ill? Gadhafi?

Well to the unhinged hate radio host Mike Malloy, the person who best represents evil personified is…Rush Limbaugh! (Shocking, I know!)

I’m no fan of the neocon Limbaugh, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call him evil, especially when there are far more evil people out there. (If you’re lost on who, please refer to my list above.)



But this son of a bitch personifies - if ever evil could be rolled into a huge fat mass, this is it! This guy, this Limbaugh, this is one of the most vile human beings ever to live! If Limbaugh had the power, he would open gas chambers! If Limbaugh had the power, he would line up people up against the wall and execute them! If Limbaugh had the power, he would destroy children because he can't have any! The only thing he sees in children as sex partners! This is a sick, evil, degenerate man! WHY IS HE ON THE AIR? THIS IS NOT FIRST AMENDMENT PROTECTED SPEECH! THIS SON OF A BITCH IS EVIL, ROTTEN TO THE CORE! I know, and you know, that eventually, Limbaugh will say whatever - whatever he comes up with. I don't know how he can get any worse than this. But somebody someplace is going to listen to him and that'll be it! Unbelievable.
Why is such an “evil, degenerate man” on the air? Gee, I don’t know. I can ask the same thing of Malloy!

PZ Myers Gets It—Sort Of!

I’m not a big fan of PZ Myers. In fact, I’m not a fan of him at all. In fact, I despise the guy. But for some reason, I find myself perusing his blog daily. Why? I don’t know! Masochism?!

But today, PZ managed to write a blog post which I can safely say I agree with wholeheartedly.

In his recent blog post, he laments on a rather nasty comment his fellow “freethought” blogger Ophelia Benson received on Twitter: “Maybe a vial of acid would do you some good. You already look like you were set on fire and put out with a wet rake.”

To which PZ Myers made this remark:

Throwing acid at women who offend them…why, that’s what evil barbaric Muslims do!

Nope, now it’s what atheists threaten to do.
This led PZ to realize something that most other “logical and reasonable” atheists fail to realize: that lacking religion does not make one “logical and reasonable.”

That’s my great disappointment. I’d once thought that atheism was a good first step on the path to living a rational, tolerant life. Clearly it’s not. That’s been demonstrated to me on a daily basis for the last couple of years.

I was wrong. Atheism is not enough.
But that’s the thing, PZ: atheism was never enough, ever!

Most atheists harbor this irrational belief that eliminating religion will somehow also eliminate the other negative externalities they associate with it: war, violence, oppression, racism, misogyny, homophobia, inequality, etc. They assume discarding religion also means putting on the mantel of “logic, reason, and evidence,” and that from there, the only direction to go is forward into enlightened utopia. Of course, as history has shown us, this has hardly been the case, especially with examples as the French Revolution and Soviet Russia.

This is something Christians like myself have realized for a long time. Eliminating religion does not lead to enlightenment; if anything, it’s the exact opposite of enlightenment, it’s pseudo-intellectualism:

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. (Rom. 1:19-23)
Eliminating religion does nothing but leave a vacuum in a person’s soul, a vacuum that tends to be filled, not with the light of enlightened reason, as atheists would suppose, but with the darkness of man’s own heart:

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Rom 1: 24-32)
This, of course, is the opposite of the presupposition of the atheist. For the atheist assumes that abandoning religious dogma will allow him to be better guided by reason—which in most cases means his own reason. But alas, as the Bible declares, man's reason is not enough: “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Prov. 16:25)

Is it no wonder then that history’s bloodiest regimes (Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Maoist China) were also the most godless? But even then, this truth has been realized since times immemorial: “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Prov. 14:34)

It is a truth that provides the theme of Judges, which chronicles Israel’s cycle of apostasy. The Israelites would reject God, and “every man did that which was right in his own eyes,” forcing God to remove his hedge of protection around them and allow them to be conquered by foreign nations. The Israelites would in turn cry out in repentance, and God would deliver them from their enemies, only for them to later return to their godless lives. This cycle of apostasy would repeat itself numerous times until God finally refused to deliver the Israelites from the hands of their oppressors: “Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more.” (Judges 10:13)

And what has been true for Israel has proven true, time and again, with not only other nations, but also individuals. When God is removed, evil triumphs, for evil is merely the absence of God.

This is why our Founding Fathers, while they believed that church and state should remain separate (as they should), equally believed that a free nation could only exist with a religious, moral people. As George Washington said in his Farewell Address:

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
Unfortunately, for atheists like PZ Myers, this truth will forever remain lost to them. For them, evil in the absence of religion is an anomaly and mystery; whereas, to the true believer, it is an inevitable result.

American Gun Facts Infograph

With stricter gun control looming on the horizon, do your duty and share this infograph with everyone, especially with well-intentioned fools who sincerely believe "less guns = less crime."


American Gun Facts Infographic

Friday, January 18, 2013

Alex Jones vs The Light Bulbarians of High Death TV

You're electronics are out to get you! Your television can program your brain like a VCR (and kill you), your lightbulbs can communicate with your computer (and kill you), and the street light outside can brainwash you (and kill you).

Oh, did I mention that they all want to kill you?

It's true. Alex Jones said so. And he has to be telling the truth because he uses such sciency words like "scientific patents" and "magnetic light energy" and "oxygen depravation zone." He clearly knows his stuff!

But on a more serious note, here's Coughlan616 (or, from the looks of it, Amon from Legend of Korra) highlighting Alex's bout of technocratic insanity:



For a real laugh, here's Alex Jones's original video.

And here's a video on why Couglan does not take Alex Jones seriously. (And neither do I!)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

5 Stupid Things About Alex Jones

I know that many of my fellow libertarians and conservatives love Alex Jones. I don’t. The man is a tin-foil hat-wearing conspiracy nutcase. There are better representatives out there for liberty and freedom. We most certainly don’t need Jones as one.

Here are four stupid things about him. (Actually, it’s five, but reason #3 is bogus for obvious reasons.)


“While it might be tempting to blame the success of someone as delusional, not to mention as shameless and as cynical as Jones on the internet…I blame the millions of people who reflexively reject everything they hear from the government and the mainstream media, and yet hold Alex Jones as a beacon of truth. As much as any of the dictators he is incisively warning us about, Jones himself is a testament to the power of groupthink and the dangers of credulity. And when you add that to what an overbearing ass**** he is—I mean, f*** that guy!”

Hasbro Takes Down MLP Fan-Made Content

Hasbro has recently involved itself with copyright disputes over fan-made content: first blocking the "Friendship is Witchcraft" abridged series on YouTube through a DMCA claim, and then filing a takedown request for the fan site equestriagirls.com, which loops the "Equestria Girls" music video promo.

Seriously, Hasbro? If it wasn't for the on-line community, especially the bronies, MLP:FiM wouldn't be the huge success that it is today. And you decide to repay them by having their work made in appreciation of it taken down?

"Thank you for loving and supporting our show. Now take down that video or we will sue the pants off of you!"

This is Hasbro taking a huge dump upon its fan base, which according to the recent mad ramblings of Lauren Faust on Twitter, would either consist of helium if they're pegasi or neon if they're unicorns.

This along with the recent suicide of Aaron Swartz shows how much this country seriously needs copyright reform.

Jon Stewart PWNS Paul Krugman

This week saw an intellectual smackdown between a comedian who makes a living spouting utter nonsense that people laugh at…and Jon Stewart of the Daily Show.

For those of you who have been living under a rock since the beginning of the New Year, economist Paul Krugman and other Democrats have been pushing for an idea to pay of the national debt by minting a trillion dollar platinum coin.

Most sensible people would find this suggestion absurd, but considering it’s being pushed by the same man who suggested we could stimulate the economy by preparing for an alien invasion, this absurdity is to be expected.

Also to be expected is for this big stupid idea to be mocked by Daily Show’s Jon Stewart for being, well, a big stupid idea.

Well, Krugman didn’t take this mocking all too well, and responded in a blog post, accusing Stewart and his staff of having a “lack of professionalism.” (Of course, what else Krugman was expecting from a comedy show is beyond me.)

Not the one to be outdone, Stewart responded to “the rare grey-bearded urban laureate” in the most epic manner.

“If somebody’s ruining their brand with a trillion dollar coin idea,” Stewart said, “It’s the non-economist!”

The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Paul Krugman & the Trillion Dollar Coin
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

F**k Jackie Chan!


All The Rage Faces


I can't say I've been a fan of Jackie Chan. I've only seen "Rush Hour" and "Shanghai Noon." Though I did watch the "Jackie Chan Adventures" animated series growing up.

But if I was a fan of his, I would no longer be one after today: turns out he's pro-Communist and anti-American!
In a recent Chinese TV interview, well-known martial artist and actor Jackie Chan slammed America as “the most corrupt country in the world.” Although the remarks may come as a surprise to many Americans, The Washington Post notes that Chan is a passionate political activist, “a staunch defender of the Chinese Communist party” and a “harsh critic of anyone he sees as opposing Beijing.”

In a new piece called “The anti-Americanism of Jack Chan,” author Max Fisher transcribes the recent interview and notes that Chan has been “stirring controversy for a few years now for criticizing Taiwan and Hong Kong as models of what can go wrong when you have ‘too much freedom.’”
"Too much freedom"? Good grief! If I have to explain what's wrong with that statement, I pity the human race.

And it only gets worse from here, folks:
Chan also says that Chinese citizens should not criticize their country to foreigners and notes that he is always cognizant of this in American interviews. He adds that although China may also has a “corruption” problem, the country is “making progress.” The cause of the world financial crisis, or “Great Breakdown,” according to Chan, is the United States.

Chan has previously stated of censorship in Chinese media that “Chinese people need to be controlled, otherwise they will do whatever they want.”
Please don't make me explain what's wrong with that statement either! My faith in humanity cannot fall any further!

But yeah, apparently the Chan thinks America is the most corrupt nation in the world, Taiwan and Hong Kong have "too much freedom," but Communist China is the best damn place in the world and no one should claim otherwise--especially if they live there!

So how does Chan's Communist wonderland stack up against reality?

The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) ranks countries based upon levels of perceived political corruption, with the highest ranking country being the least corrupt (currently Denmark at 1st place) and the lowest ranking being the most corrupt (currently Somalia at 174th).

According to its 2012 rankings, Hong Kong ranks in 14th place, the United States ranks 19th, Taiwan ranks 37th, and China ranks at 80th.

In other words, the US, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are clearly LESS corrupt than China. No surprise to anyone but Chan!

But if Jackie Chan's "Chinese people need to be controlled" comment didn't make your lose brain cells, then The Young Turks defense of it will lobotomize you!



You get that folks? Censorship in China may be "a little bit extreme," but by golly, we Americans are "just as corrupt" with "lobbyists" and "Citizens United" and "Bradley Manning"--who would probably be shot dead in China as opposed to simply being detained!

No, Young Turds: America may have its share of corruption, but it's not just as corrupt as China. That's a false equivalency. When America acts corrupt, it goes against its principles of liberty and justice for all; but when China acts corrupt, it falls in line with the Communist agenda. America is not just as corrupt: China is worse, far worse!

And I "love" how that bimbo said that Jackie Chan's Red fetish "doesn't bother her," but the actress who plays Deborah on "Everybody Love Raymond" ("Patricia Something") coming out as a conservative does. ("God, I loved that show! Why did she have to ruin it?")

If there was any justice in the world, Chuck Norris would roundhouse kicky the empty head of these morons and Jackie Chan.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Daily Pony: Twilight Sparkle Plush

Finally! After waiting for nearly an eternity, I purchased a Twilight Sparkle plush. These plushes are extremely rare to come by. Not only are they Wal-Mart exclusives, but Wal-Mart rarely has them stocked, and if they are stocked, it's usually with Rainbow Dash or Pinkie Pie. Why the other three haven't been made into plushes is beyond me. (A Fluttershy plush would have made me feel complete!) But after weeks with no sign of Twilight, she finally appeared on the store shelves at my local Supercenter.

After I brought her home and set her on my bed, I decided to provide her with a book to read in order to pass the time. I'm sure she of all ponies would enjoy it. You can only guess which one I decided to give her. (Hint: the chapter title gives it away! Also, my camera managed to take a quality picture of the page text, so you can clearly read for yourself.)



Sunday, January 6, 2013

Is This The Beginning, Or The End?

It’s the beginning of a new year, and as is tradition, it’s a time to reflect upon the past year and consider the next one. Come this May, it will be four years since I graduated college, and come this fall, it will be four years since I started blogging. Now is a good time as any other for me to sit down, take a good hard look at my life, and ask myself what I have done with it.
I left college, like any other fresh graduate, full of potential, and ready to grasp the boundless opportunity that awaited me outside the university gates—that is, until I realized that I graduated during a recession, and thus the boundless opportunity was nonexistent. So whilst I searched for employment, I decided to bade my time by blogging.

When I started blogging, I honestly never had a solid goal. I hadn’t decided whether to use my blog as a venue for my writing career or to simply use it as a personal soapbox. (At this point, it’s more along the lines of the personal soapbox.) Either way, as with any other new blogger, I sought to voice my opinion, and in doing so, try to make the world a different place, perhaps even a better one.

Well, in those four years, the world has changed, but not in the way that I had expected, or even wanted. Like every other blogger wet behind the ears, I soon learned that my voice was no different than the millions of other voices within the ocean of the blogosphere, nor did it have any more power to turn the tides and waves within it. My voice was merely being drowned out with all the rest.

Faced with this harsh reality, during these four years, my love of blogging has slowly dwindled. Whereas I started out writing somewhat substantial content, right now, I’m stuck posting a few short blurbs now and then. Nothing extremely substantial. Nothing to show for. And the reason for my decline stems from three reasons:

1) Writing is time-consuming. Whether blogging or writing in general, I’m not the person to simply write down something spur of the moment. I need to take time thinking about what I’m going to write, then writing and rewriting it until it all sounds good. Even writing a short paragraph takes time and effort for me. Not to mention that I always try to back up what I say, which takes research. I never let anyone take my word for anything unless I can back it up, or unless it’s a matter of fact so self-evident that only an imbecile would not know it’s true. So yeah: I don’t know how bloggers like PZ Myers can churn out an umpteen amount of posts within a single day and still hold a day job. Which leads me to my next point…

2) I don’t get paid for this. That’s right guys: all the time and energy I put into this blog is at my own expense. I get paid jack and squat for it. It’s a hobby, not a job; which is why when I have a work assignment, I always place that before this, and thus why I sometimes have extended periods with little blog activity. When I’m not working, I’m blogging. Which means I’m putting all of my resources into this blog and getting nothing out of it. Not exactly the best motivation to continue.

3) It accomplishes nothing. Over these four years, I can’t really say I’ve accomplished much. Oh sure, I’ve garnered a small audience, mostly on deviantART, but otherwise, what has my writing achieved? It’s clearly not making an impact on the world, that’s for sure. And it’s not changing minds. Anyone who likes what I posts already agree with me to begin with, and those who hate what I have disagree with me to begin with. At this point, I’m simply preaching to the choir and stoking the base. And what’s the use in that?

So when I consider how time-consuming blogging is and how I’m not getting paid or rewarded for it, I seriously have to sit down and wonder if it’s really worth it and whether or not I should continue. As I mentioned before, I entered the blogosphere at least half-expecting to have some impact on it, but as I said, those who agree with me, agree with me; and those who don’t, don’t. No minds are changed. Nothing changes. Everything is as it is. Vanity is vanity, all is vanity.

So after this diatribe of mine, does this mean that this is the end?

In a word, no.

I’m going to continue blogging, but as of now, it won’t be top priority. There’s simply no need for it to be. I have other things in my life that I want to focus on, other goals I wish to pursue, and my blog simply cannot be one of them.

So what does this mean for you all?

Simply put, it means that my posts aren’t going to be as regular as they use to be—not that that they’re regular to begin with. I’m setting aside features such as “This Week in Review,” “WTF Friday,” and “Daily Pony.” From now on, if I post something, it’s going to be something substantial, something with substance, and nothing thrown together for the sake of creating a blog post. I’ll probably post something small now and then just to let you guys know I’m still alive. But other than that, this blog has officially become bottom priority in my life.

I want to thank my followers for lending me your support and showing interest in what I have to say. This is one of the main reasons I actually still want to stick with blogging, at least on deviantART. I like knowing that I’m not alone in what I believe and how I feel. I like knowing that other people agree with me, and I like the input they give. I know this probably relegates you all as an echo chamber, but then again, sometimes it’s comforting to hear your own voice.

Don’t think of this as goodbye. This isn’t the end. Not by a long shot. Think of this as an irregular hiatus. If I have anything of substance to share, I will. Otherwise, don’t expecting hearing much from me.

Again, thank you all for your support.

Sincerely yours,

BlameThe1st

Saturday, January 5, 2013

"Spike At Your Service" Recap


The Timberwolves animation was beyond awesome.

Other than that, there was nothing redeemable about this episode. The story was cliché-as-dirt and the gags were all miss and no hit. By far the worst episode of the season! I refuse to do a recap on it.

Why do I always end up disliking Spike episodes?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Apple Family Reunion Recap


Sorry it took me two weeks after this episode to give you all the recap. I recently got back from Christmas vacation, and I had no time to do a recap for either this episode or for "Spike At Your Service."

So here it is, better late than never:

Apple Family Reunion



Thoughts

• The relatives attending are from Yonderhill, Hollow Shades, Galloping Gorge, Foal Mountain, Filydelphia, Tall Tail Town, Manehattan, and Applelosa. (Or rather, A-A-A-pplelosa!)
• The picture in the living room behind Granny Smith is a parody of “American Gothic.”
• “Apple Sauce” goes by “Apple Jam” now that she is older, which shows that ponies can change their names when they get older. (Which is probably why “Granny Smith” wasn’t always called “Granny.”)
• Apple Rose is Granny Smith’s favorite cousin.
• One of the ponies in the seven-legged race looks a lot like one of the Flim-Flam brothers.
• It’s officially canon: the two falling stars in the night scenes represent Apple Jack’s dead parents.
• Considering how reluctant Apple Jack was to ask for help in “Applebuck Season,” it’s nice to see her receive help from her friends in this episode. It really shows character development on her part.
• Recurring characters that appear: Braeburn, Hayseed, Uncle Apple Streusel, Aunt Orange, and of course, Babs Seed. (It’s especially nice to see a recurring character appear in the same season they debuted in. Usually, they never reappear until the next season.)
• Apple Jack has to introduce herself to her own family (which isn’t surprising, seeing how expansive it is, so she’s probably not meet them all.)
• The tongue twister: "Happy Pony Picked a Pluck of Pickely Pluff Nuggets"
• Apple Jack balances a plate on her head, just like how Apple Bloom balanced one on hers in “The Cutie Pox.”
• Apple Bloom says “Seriously?” just like she did in “Bad Apple.”
• Apple Bloom gives a Wilhelm scream after spinning around the tree.
• Big Macintosh is able to eat a freshly baked apple fritter without burning his mouth.
• The two stallions who pull the hayride are from Appaloosa.
• Fruit Bats, as their names imply, look exactly like fruit.
• Ponies that (unintentionally) appear in the crowd during the song: Cloud Flitter, Bon Bon, Carrot Top, Cherry Berry.
• Apple Jack actually says “Get R’ Done!”
• The fiddler looks like Octavia with blue hair. (And she has very fluid animation!)
• Apple Jack slides in for the photo.
• Two ponies are missing from the family photo. Can you guess who?
• This is the first time since “Too Many Pinkie Pies” that we see a letter to Princess Celestia.
Questions

• If it’s been 100 moons (over 8 years) since the last Apple Family reunion, what about the reunion in the first episode? Does that mean the events in the first episode happened eight years ago? Or was the reunion in that episode not an official one? Or maybe the creators are simply inconsistent with the canon. (Yeah, that’s my guess, too!)
• Does the contrast between Granny Smith and Apple Sauce remind anyone else of Madame Foster and her rival Jenkins from “Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends”? (Their hairstyles are even the same!)
• One question about the Apple Family: Every pony in the family has an apple name and apple cutie mark (thus the name). So what about those who marry into the family? Obviously, they’re not Apples…unless….ewh! Don’t even want to think about it.

Gags

• Granny Smith pulling back her face to make her look young.
• Baby Apple Jack.
• Apple Jack covered in glitter.
• Wet mane Apple Jack.
• Spike being used as a lighter.
• Apple Jack with three apples in her mouth. (Remind anyone else of the Pony.MOV series?)
• Apple Sauce’s teeth rattling out of her mouth.
• Apple Sauce’s teeth flying out of her mouth and landing on Big Macintosh.
• Granny Smith scrunching her face.
• Apple Bloom and Babs Seed posing for their photo.

Quotes

• Granny Smith: “Well, no pony ever told me you had to knot the end of the thread!”
• Baby Apple Jack: “I’m Apple Jack! More apple fwittuh?”
• Babs Seed: "Fugetaboutit!"
• Babs: “Whoa! Is that the finish line? It’s like a mile away or something!” Apple Jack: “Actually, that’s just the marker where you go onto the next leg of the race.”
• Apple Sauce: “I imagine you two think I have forgotten what you did to my parasol six reunions ago?” Granny Smith: “We was just using it to break open that piñata.”
• Babs Seed: (After speaking tongue twisters) “I can’t feel my tongue.”

Song

• “Raise This Barn.” This is the fourth song in the season. (Which makes you wonder where all the other songs are, especially since this season is only half as long!) And while I wouldn’t say it is the best, it is the catchiest. It’s simple. Which is how it’s supposed to be, being a hoedown. Overall, it was a decent song, and a fitting one for Apple Jack.