Tuesday, September 27, 2005


September 14, 2005
Failure of an Idea -- And a People
By David Brooks

In his 1935 State of the Union Address, Franklin Delano Roosevelt
(FDR) spoke to a nation mired in the Depression, but still marinated
in conservative values:

"Continued dependence" upon welfare, said FDR, "induces a spiritual
disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To
dole our relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle
destroyer of the human spirit."

Behind FDR's statement was the conviction that, while the government
must step in in an emergency, in normal times, men provide the food,
clothing and shelter for their families.

And we did, until the war pulled us out of the Depression and a
postwar boom made us, in John K. Galbraith's phrase, The Affluent
Society. By the 1960s, America, the richest country on earth, was
growing ever more prosperous. But with the 1964 landslide of LBJ,
liberalism triumphed and began its great experiment.

Behind the Great Society was a great idea: to lift America's poor out
of poverty, government should now take care of all their basic needs.
By giving the poor welfare, subsidized food, public housing and free
medical care, government will end poverty in America.

At the Superdome and New Orleans Convention Center, we saw the failure
of 40 years of the Great Society. No sooner had Katrina passed by and
the 17th Street levee broke than hundreds of young men who should have
taken charge in helping the aged, the sick and the women with babies
to safety took to the streets to shoot, loot and rape. The New Orleans
police, their numbers cut by deserters who left their posts to look
after their families, engaged in running gun battles all day long to
stay alive and protect people.

It was the character and conduct of its people that makes the New
Orleans disaster unique. After a hurricane, people's needs are simple:
food, water, shelter, medical attention. But they can be hard to meet.

People buried in rubble or hiding in attics of flooded homes are tough
to get to. But, even with the incompetence of the mayor and governor,
and the torpor of federal officials, this was possible.

Coast Guard helicopters were operating Tuesday. There were roads open
into the city for SUVs, buses and trucks. While New Orleans was
flooded, the water was stagnant. People walked through to the
convention center and Superdome. The flimsiest boat could navigate.

Even if government dithered for days -- what else is new -- this does
not explain the failure of the people themselves!

Between 1865 and 1940, the South -- having lost a fourth of its best
and bravest in battle, devastated by war, mired in poverty -- was
famous for the hardy self-reliance of her people, black and white.

In 1940, hundreds of British fishermen and yachtsmen sailed back and
forth daily under fire across a turbulent 23-mile Channel to rescue
300,000 soldiers from Dunkirk. How do we explain to the world that a
tenth of that number of Americans could not be reached in four days
from across a stagnant pond?

The real disaster of Katrina was that society broke down. An entire
community could not cope. Liberalism, the idea that good intentions
and government programs can build a Great Society, was exposed as
fraud. After trillions of tax dollars for welfare, food stamps, public
housing, job training and education have poured out since 1965,
poverty remains pandemic. But today, when the police vanish, the
community disappears and men take to the streets to prey on women and
the weak.

Stranded for days in a pool of fetid water, almost everyone waited for
the government to come save them. They screamed into the cameras for
help, and the reporters screamed into the cameras for help, and the
"civil rights leaders" screamed into the cameras that Bush was
responsible and Bush was a racist.

Americans were once famous for taking the initiative, for having young
leaders rise up to take command in a crisis. See any of that at the
Superdome? Sri Lankans and Indonesians, far poorer than we, did not
behave like this in a tsunami that took 400 times as many lives as
Katrina has thus far.

We are the descendants of men and women who braved the North Atlantic
in wooden boats to build a country in a strange land. Our ancestors
traveled thousands of miles in covered wagons, fighting off Indians
far braver than those cowards preying on New Orleans' poor.

Watching that performance in the Crescent City, it seems clear: We are
not the people our parents were. And what are all our Lords Temporal
now howling for? Though government failed at every level, they want
more government.

FDR was right. A "spiritual disintegration" has overtaken us.
Government-as-first provider, the big idea of the Great Society, has
proven to be "a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit."

Either we get off this narcotic, or it kills us.

Mike Peabody
The Evans Group, LLC

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Concept Art for Sylvan and Academy Factions!


These guys look great. And is that gremlin holding a blunderbuss? Ubisoft might be French but I love them.

First Academy.

Master Gremlin, Obsidian Gargoyle.

Now that gargoyl is looking mighty weird but I trust them, it'll be cool.
Next Golem, and Mage (man they look good!)

Now the biggies. A replacement for the naga, and a good one at that. And the Titan got a whole new bada** image.

Man that took some work...ok since I love you here are the Sylvan units!

The level 1 unit is a spirit, like a nymph. And a War Dancer (some elf sword dude)

I do not miss the stupid leprechauns. Whose brainchild was that?
The next two are a ranged elf (i think) and um...something else.

it's hard to make a walking tree look cool. I like the swirling etchings though.
next is a unicorn and druid.


They look great. Shoop, it will be an all out brawl to get that first copy. Even if it is just you an me.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Might and Magic 5

They just released concept and screenshots for the Dungeon faction! Looks great!!!

Take 3 parts Warhammer Fantasy Dark Elves and 2 parts HOMM and presto! You have these newly revised faction. Lead by dark elves ..well here, look for yourself...

and the piece de resistance!

Well actually the shadow upgradeable to black dragon would be that but the image was immense. These guys rock. The last 2 games with harpies and beholders were completely lame, I hated playing them. This game is going to be great.

They also released two other factions but no info on them. Sylvan (elves) and the Academy which seems to have a very similiar creature line up to Heroes 3.

The screenshots look great. Feb get here quick!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The living Dead!!!

Just discovered a brand new online game. It's free, a low tech for sure but the gameplay is great!

It's called Urban Dead
and it's awesome.

basically you start the game by making a character, one of 3 military types, several scientific positions, or civilians (cops, firefighters, normal people) or a zombie.

Every person and zombie in the game is a real player. The cool thing is, if a human is killed they become a zombie, and the zombies can get experience and better skills etc. Zombies with aid from scientists can be turned back to humans it's really cool.

You can read logs of huddled groups of survivors trapped in a mall with hundreds of player zombies trying to bash the doors in. Low level zombies are unable to open doors but higher level zombies begin to regain memories and can open doors, so players ahve to make larger and larger barricades to keep the zombies out of their ransackled bunker.

Right now my cop is out of ammo and hold up in the Birmingham Hotel. I have the doors secure but against a larger pack of zombies I'm dead! The neighborhood is quiet for now, although the church down the street is packed with bodies. I've only I could get into the gun store down the block.

I heard that the local precinct was completely overrun. 30 people wiped out in one night. Word of advice, don't sleep in police stations.

Yeah I know this isn't healthy for me.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


George was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place.

Looking up toward heaven, he said "Lord, take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of my life and give up tequila."

Miraculously, a parking place appeared.

George looked up again and said, "Never mind. I found one."

Friday, September 09, 2005

Birthdays of Sept 9th

Deion Sanders 1967
Adam Sandler 1966
Hugh Grant 1960
Micheal Keaton 1951
Tom Wopat, Luke from Dukes of Hazzard 1951
George Roger Waters, Pink Floyd 1943
William Bligh, captain of the HMS Bounty 1754

and the crown jewel

Cardinal Richelieu, 1585

he said this

"If you give me six lines written
by the most honest man, I will find
something in them to hang him."

Known for his crushing of a Huguenot rebellion.

Great guy to share a birthday with.

And he's FRENCH!


Read about a new project that includes germ-line genetic engineering. I shouldn't have to explain the major problems with this sort of research.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Vacations Done...Now the Real Work begins

Yup. I'm back from RI. The whole ProteinClan is back. Suntanned and exfoliated from the glorious beaches of the Ocean State.

Tomorrow The Spouse of Proteinstar starts school. I start watching The Brood.

Saints protect me.

Ubisoft has released the creatures for the necropolis. The ghosts look great. No death knights though.

Looks like another P2P is going to bite the dust. Kazaa lost a major court battle. In the end the music industry is going to lose. Information is so easily obtained today tomorrow will be even easier. File sharing will continue to to go further and further underground. Until the industry realizes that paying nearly $20 bucks for a 1 dollar album is insane they will lose.

A compnay named Mashboxx is kind of neat in that it allows you to listen to a track several times before deciding the purchase. It's nice to hear the whole thing rather than 20 seconds. Unfortunately they only have Sony in their corner.

I'm taking 3 courses this semester. Saturday goes from 8am to 5pm. And I thought those guys in Abu Ghraib had it bad. I'd wear womens underwear on my head to waive these courses.

Good to see Shoop posting 5 days apart. Sorry Matt for that diatribe about #16, that's what you were trolling for though right?

Well that's about it. I'm reading some "non-fiction" book about the Ark of the Convenant. It mentions the Urim and Thummim. Yeah those are magical stones mentioned by Joesph Smith. Any book that gets it's "factual" information from a prophet from 1830 who has since given prophetic utterings which have been found false is useless. Check your sources Randall!

Yeah I promise to one of these days actually write a blog post that isn't ADD.

Here's a Proteinstar insight.

The majority of the people evacuated from New Orleans where horribly poor. Most were renters. With their place of residence completely destroyed and their jobs gone they have no reason to return. The only people who can afford to return to that city once it is rebuilt will be the wealthy or those with valuable technical skills. It being a major port city would of course require dockworkers and the like. New Orleans may have cleaned itself of it's massive poverty problem by foisting the dispossessed and poor on the likes of Houston and Baton Rouge. With the help of government aid the city will rebuild, with major adaptations, ie. no more slums in the low lands. I think in 5 to 10 years that city will be a BOOMING tourism town, hailed for it's utopian qualities. The liberal democrats claiming it a victory for their modern and progressive policies...all the while missing the very truth that it was the local liberal government that failed the very people they claimed to support. Rather that deal with underdeveloped canals and levees they focused on giant floating casinos. Rather than dealing with government aid cuts by selling bonds to raise funds for their cities required protection, they drew up plans for a huge casino island in the middle of their lake. Rather than develop functioning methods for evacuating their populace they blame the federal government for not doing what they should have.

They fell for their own lie that life is Mardi Gras, and did nothing about their sinking city.

There, that's a poignant little rant.

Mission accomplished.