July 9th, 2010

#2154: I was just going to blog about anime today.

Of course I have a metric assload of links instead, so I think maybe I'll put the anime bloggeratin' in a seperate entry.

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Zombietime predicted there would be riots.

Zombietime first: "Leftist groups plan riot". How do you plan a riot? Simple: get a few thousand people with nothing better to do in one place and make them angry. Then tell them they have a right to be angry and that they should hit back against "the man".

Boortz on the story.

Because you know, angry people just want stuff they can't afford. "Looting" during the riot. And check out these choice quotes, blockquoted en masse:
The trouble Thursday boiled down to a racially diverse mob of about 200 people, many bent on destruction no matter what, confronting police after the day's predominantly peaceful demonstrations ended.

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...one building was spray painted with the words, "Say no to work. Say yes to looting."

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JJ Fryzel, an Oakland artist who just moved into a gallery called Show And Tell Art on Thursday, said a group of looters threw rocks through her window.

"They were throwing rocks at me," Fryzel said. "I was standing right there. I said, 'Oh s-, spare me.' ... They have no idea what they are doing. No clue."

Outside, the windshield of Fryzel's Mazda four-door sedan was shattered and the side view mirrors were knocked off.

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Officials said the main instigators appeared to be organized "anarchist" agitators wearing black clothing and hoods. Many of the most aggressive demonstrators smashing the windows of banks and shops were white.

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One group tore through the metal gate protecting a Footlocker shoe store on Broadway near 14th Street, shattered a window and emptied the shelves. Soon there were shoe boxes on the street.

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Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts said the people causing trouble did not seem to be Oakland residents bent on voicing displeasure at the Mehserle verdict. He described them as outsiders "who are almost professional people who go into crowds like this and cause problems."
Those people are there specifically to do just that, sir.

Leftists are trying to use manufactured outrage over an accidental shooting in order to foment unrest, which is supposed to do...something. "The man" doesn't get hurt; the people who get hurt are the very people leftists always say they want to help: the little people, people who own small businesses, people who are just trying to live decent lives.

In fact, leftists don't want to help anyone but themselves. "Revolution" is about leftists gaining power over everyone else.

Clearly the left was hoping for a repeat of the entire Rodney King fiasco where there was massive rioting and looting. Moronic liberals spouted, "We need justice for Rodney King!" afterwards, but Rodney King had not been the one on trial. The same thing goes for the case of Oscar Grant: this nonsense over "justice for Oscar"? It's horseshit. Oscar was not the one on trial. The officer who shot him made a horrible, horrible mistake in the middle of a very bad situation, but he's been found guilty of manslaughter; the charge fits the facts of the case, but I don't think there was actually a crime here, because Oscar was shot while resisting arrest.

If Oscar had done what the cop told him to do, instead of resisting arrest and forcing the cop to draw a weapon, he might still be alive. But you can't say that to leftists, because the police they don't control are always wrong. (Later, when they're securely in power, the police are never wrong; but that's later.)

It is only because the taser has become commonplace as a nonlethal method of subduing criminals that we are even discussing this issue this way. Yes, the cop made a mistake, grabbing his pistol instead of his taser. Should the cop have been tried in court for this? I'm not so sure. Is he guilty of involuntary manslaughter? Zombietime thinks so but I'm not so sure.

What I do know is that it used to be that if the cops shot you while you were resisting arrest, it was because you were resisting arrest and it wasn't a crime: "wise up, asshole, and don't resist arrest". I don't mind there being significant oversight of police conduct but I do mind when the left tries to make political hay out of it.

I also know that if this kind of thing keeps happening, sooner or later the general public is going to get sicker than shit of it, and start lynching people.

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A Mexican man who wishes to be a US Senator wants the same treatment Obama got. Specifically, he doesn't want to have to produce proof of citizenship.

Obama didn't have to; so why should this guy? Oh, that pesky "equal treatment under the law" thing! That's for rethugnicans and nazis, not progressives!

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I actually agree that this is a good idea: the state of Oregon has made it illegal to do a credit check on prospective employees.
What's more, in today's economy, many unemployed Americans have been struggling just to keep their heads above water, and their credit reports reflect that. Potentially being barred from landing a new job because of a poor credit score brought on by losing a previous job seems like adding insult to injury.
That's me, right there: my credit rating was stellar at this time in 2001 because all my bills got paid and they got paid on time. But just a year later, with my unemployment running out and me still without any job whatsoever, things were getting tighter and tighter and...well, forget the toilet: my credit rating is somewhere past the septic tank.

And I don't know what it proves, anyway. Do people with lousy credit tend to be poor employees? Or just bad with money? Or what? And what if the credit reports are wrong, as they so often are?

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Two more from Boortz:

Liberals often tell us that if we banned handguns, we would be "like the rest of the world". After all, the European socialisms ban personal firearms (except for certain notable exceptions) and don't we want to be like them?

But when it comes to the tort law, oh no! We can't be like anyone else in the world and have a loser pays system.

You gotta love Illinois politics. The state of Illinois is totally flat dead broke, yet Pat Quinn gave everyone a 15-20% raise. (This is the same governor who wants to double the state income tax, by the way.)

Democrats: spending every dime and demanding higher taxes since 1870!

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McDonald's tells the Center for "Science" in the Public Interest where it can stuff it.

Good for McDonald's!

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Here I talked about Arse Technica's post on how the CRU ClimateGate scandal had been put to rest by "independent investigators" who weren't actually independent.

Here is a good WND post on why I'm right.

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Liberals are shitting bricks right now over former nuclear missile submarines which have been retrofitted to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles instead of ICBMs, because the submarines in question have all been deployed to points around southeast Asia.

The pants-wetters are upset and worried about how China will take it. Apparently none of them are capable of remembering any of the news over the past several months regarding North Korea's saber rattling and its attack on a South Korean naval vessel.

I really don't mind if China gets the wrong idea from this, though. (After all, what can they do about it? Refuse to sell cheap junk to us? :P)

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Damn it I love using that!

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Did you see this? Of late the federal government is spending about $7 million per minute (assuming an annual budget of $4,000 billion) but they outdid themselves on June 30 and spent $115 million per minute!

The Democrat Regime is making history! Pity we can't afford it.

Mind you, $161 billion is more money than the entire 2007 budget deficit.

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Obama is repeating FDR's mistakes. The problem with politicians is--as I've said numerous times--they think they're better than those other guys 'way back when who did such-and-such.

This assumes that Obama knows anything at all about the economics of the Depression and how FDR's policies made matters worse; but even if Obama took economics courses in either college or law school they were either all taught by Marxists or else none of the lessons stuck.

I'm guessing that the pre-law program at Harvard does not include much beyond macroeconomics (aka "ECON 101") but even that class is enough for an intelligent person to grasp the fundamentals of how scarcity works...if he's got even a modicum of intellectual honest and is not a leftist. (Then again, if he's a leftist, he hasn't got any intellectual honesty, has he?)

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As part of the Obama administration's new focus on the exploration of muslim space, NASA is questioning the ball used at the World Cup.

Be careful, though! The article uses all kinds of sciency and technical jargon, like, "it swerves all around like crazy at high speeds because of the air flow on the seams and stuff."

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Anyone who is moderately interested in collecting coins can own examples of Roman coins--they're that common, because the Roman empire was very big and very rich. Now there are another 52,000 examples which will make their way to collectors, sooner or later.

I hope the guy who found them gets a cut of it.

Look: you find one coin, it's a neat story for the guys on the metal detector Internet forums. You find 52,000 coins, it becomes a major archaeological find, and the government gets involved and you might get a finder's fee or some pittance...or nothing but bragging rights.

Bet that metal detectors see a sales bump this weekend, though.

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The Amerika Bomber fortunately was never realized, but if things had been a little different, we might be living in the "National Socialist Republic of North America" now.

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I think the collapse of this underground parking garage was inevitable. The parking lot is not full, yet the crane overstressed it? Somehow I doubt it.

The thing wasn't built strong enough in the first place. Look at how the support colums (they're vertical and yellow in the picture) just tore through the paving. There's a little bit of rebar still attached, but if they had been strong enough there would be beam material present, and there isn't.

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I do believe I understand what this bit of Engrish is trying to say.

#2155: Anime!!

Here's the latest version of the playlist:
Kimi ni Todoke
Big O
Puchi Puri Yuushi
Hidamari Sketsh Hoshimitsu
To Aru Kagaku no Railgun
Chu Bra!
K-ON!!
I learned, to my dismay, that I did not have the last four episodes of To Aru Kagaku no Railgun, so I set uTorrent to downloading them. I left off at ep 21, right in the middle of the story about the "Poltergeist". Ep 24 finished download in about an hour but eps 22-23 are taking their own sweet time.

Big O is winding down. I'm finding myself wanting to watch the last handful of eps at one sitting because it's kicking ass.

Hidamari Sketch--*sigh*. I've talked before about how the directors/producers of this series are doing too much of the ART!!! stuff, at the expense of telling the story. Well, in Hidamari Sketch Hoshimitsu it's worse than ever.

Damn it, I want to like this series; I really do--but the ART!!! stuff is making it impossible. Besides the ART!!!, the first series copied Haruhi Suzumiya no Yuutsu and showed its episodes out of order for no reason I could discern. Hidamari Sketch x 365 really toned it down, and was a pretty decent watch. But the first episode of Hoshimitsu--

Changing styles for no apparent reason, using photographs or textures instead of backgrounds, placing sound effects text, using static textures inside moving objects--it was like they thought, "The story is too boring by itself, so we have to do all this stuff" and it was nothing but distracting. It made following the story almost impossible for me; worse, it made me want to stop watching.

I really like the characters, but if I have to sort through tons of visual clutter to visit with them, I'm not going to bother. Just tell the damned story and leave the art house bullshit to the art houses.

Puchi Puri Yuushi got to ep 7, which is the episode I was waiting for. That's the episode where Yucie and Glenda go to the Underworld to get its crystal flower, and we see that Glenda's father Satan has "redecorated":



...yes, that's supposed to be hell. As we can see, Glenda's father's idea of "cute" is just a little strange. Steven Den Beste posted a similar screencap during his discussion of the series. That screencap was what got me interested in seeing this series. (Particularly that sun. That's the creepiest "cheerful sun" I have ever seen.)

This is the episode which made Glenda into a sympathetic character, and did it so adroitly that the viewer (or me, in any case) is instantly rooting for her.

The OP and ED of K-ON!! is really not as bad as other anime bloggers had led me to fear. That said, it is certainly not art for the ages, either. No, those themes are not very good. The anime itself, though, is great fun, just like the first series was.

That leaves us with Kimi ni Todoke.

I downloaded KnT because someone--I can't remember who--said it was good and the premise caught my eye: the main character is a girl named Sawako who checks all the boxes on the Japanese "creepy girl" checklist. Everyone calls her "Sadako", after the girl in The Ring, a character who was meant to check all the boxes on the Japanese "creepy girl" checklist. But Sawako is misunderstood; she's shy and can't help being the way she is. (Well...she could change her hair style. That might help.) In fact, she's really likeable.

It's a love and slice-of-life story. I was hooked about two minutes in (if it took that long) and had to add another episode to the lineup right away. Not only does the story establish Sawako's character right away; I understood her completely from the get-go. It does a perfect job of introducing her and showing you why you should root for her.

The art and animation--if they stay where they're at for the rest of the series it'll be fantastic, because in the first ep alone I saw several moments where I exploded, "Damn it, that animation is good!" The quality of the expressions and movements in these moments are near perfect.

It's also clear from the beginning--to the viewer--how both she and the male lead feel about each other; but it's not clear to either of them, and the reasons are logical and obvious to the viewer. There is no contrivance, which is really hard to manage, particularly after only two episodes. I'm not kidding; the writing is of the "Holy shit, I wish I could do that!" variety. (Which, I must say, is not something I see very often. Not to pat myself on the back or anything....)

I wish I could find more series like this one--I don't mean the genre; I mean in the way it unapologetically kicks in the door to your brain and says, "I'm moving in, because I'M AWESOME!" But Sturgeon's Law* applies to anime as well, so series like this one end up being favorites that get rewatched while the other 90% languish. That's how it is.

*"90% of everything is crap." Not to be confused with Sturgeon's other law: "There are more ways to futter a cat than by sticking its head in a sea boot."