Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tom Hanks gives Stephen Colbert Halloween tips

Tom Hanks visited Stephen Colbert on Thursday night. Was he there to promote something, say his movie Cloud Atlas? Or was he there to give Halloween tips? Check out the funny video below.

Cloud Atlas Review

After thirty minutes while watching Cloud Atlas at a theater, the lady behind me uttered "I can't take this. I don't get it; it's too weird." She got up and left. Yes, the first reel of Cloud Atlas is confusing. But it requires you to stick with it. That lady that left missed something special.

It's difficult to describe the plot of Cloud Atlas, which is based on a novel by David Mitchell. It features six stories that span human history. They range from a tale on board an eighteenth century ship to a twenty third century post apocalyptic earth.

Directors Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski (The Matrix) and Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) have created a thought provoking, philosophical, epic science fiction movie. It's about humanity. There are emotions and traits that are common throughout time. Some are evil. Some are noble. Greed, oppression, courage, a yearning for freedom and love are the things that human beings share regardless of the age.

To make this point of the common traits of humanity, the directors used the same actors for the different roles. Tom Hanks goes over the top as Cockney mobster author, murderous doctor but is marvelous as simple futuristic goatherd once you get used to his somewhat silly language. Alan Broadbent is a tour de force as an unscrupulous composer and as comic relief, an elderly book editor. Halle Berry is best when she's more like herself as a woman of color than a twentieth century white Jewish woman. I thought Jim Sturgess was great in all of his roles from a nineteenth century merchant to a futuristic freedom fighter. The problems are the make-up. Halle Berry still looked black while playing a Jewish woman. Sturgess' Asian make-up was simply ridiculous. So was English actor Hugo Weaving's Asian character. You see the problem was that the filmmakers didn't do enough to cover up major features of the faces. You can't simply put an extra eye flap on people, give them black hair and make them look Asian. They have higher cheekbones. Berry probably should have had her skin dyed by CGI. I'm guessing the real reason why the directors wanted the actors to look similar to all the characters they play is to highlight the common humanity.

I left the theater thinking about what I had just seen. Why does man oppress each other through chains and economics. I also saw other things that made me feel hopeful about humanity. Love. Freedom. Courage. Cloud Atlas with all its flashbacks and flash fowards will confuse you. It will test your patience. But if you give this epic science fiction movie time, Cloud Atlas will be a rewarding experience. The grade is A.




Friday, October 26, 2012

Jon Stewart on Trump's October surprise and Palin's racist remark

Okay, here's Jon Stewart of the Daily Show doing a concise video on Donald Trump and Sarah Palin's recent comments. Trump offered to give five million dollars to charity if President Obama would release his college records. And Sarah Palin criticized Obama's Libya response as "shucking and jiving." Funny stuff.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Colbert on Trump's extortion attempt

You've probably heard of super rich guy Donald Trump's attempt to extort President Barack Obama. He was going to give five million dollars to charity if Obama would release his college records and passport. Why? I'm guessing he's trying to show Obama benefited from affirmative action. Anyway, Stephen Colbert did a hilarious piece. Warning this is PG-13 stuff.

Republicans veer far right on rape and abortion

Previously I've written that the modern Republican Party's position on rape and abortion is the same as right-wing nuts like senatorial candidates Tood Akin and Richard Mourdock. Well Slate.com also agrees with this. Here's their story listing all the Republican candidates who have a no exception for rape and incest philosophy. And look who's running from his party's position? Presidential candidate Mitt Romney who is silent about Mourdock's comments. They are also hiding right-wing vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan who has the same hard line position by having him visit safe states for Republicans. Here's Rachel Maddow piece on the Republicans presidential and vice presidential candidate's retreat.

Where's it safe for Paul Ryan? Warning. There are clips of Glenn Beck.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The modern Republican position on rape and abortion.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Romney would have let the auto industry die

I've previously debunked Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's new found religion that he supported the auto industry bailout. But it occurred to me that voters may not get it that Romney opposed government loans to the auto industry and his comments that he supported post bankruptcy government guarantees might be misconstrued as essential financial support.

Let me make this clear. If GM went through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it would have ended up being converted to a Chapter 7. That would mean liquidation. GM had trouble paying its bills. If it could not, GM would be finished. The only entity that could throw out a lifeline was the federal government. This must occur before and during the Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chris Matthews on Hardball covered this on Tuesday. Check it out.


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How Republicans view rape and women

I've previously wrote about how Republicans view rape, abortion and women. I posted this article on the issue after Missouri senatorial candidate Todd Akin indicated that a woman could not get pregnant after a "legitimate" rape. Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan sponsored legislation that would define rape as "forcible" rape.

Now here's more proof of how Republicans view rape and it's in a right-wing religious way. Folks, this is the modern view of the Republican Party. This statement comes from Indiana Republican senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock who defeated incumbent moderate Richard Lugar in the Republican primary. Mourdock represents the modern Republican Party. Yep, he is Tea Party backed. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney endorses this guy. So here's what he said at a recent debate when the subject was about abortion and rape.

"The only exception I have to have an abortion is in the case of the life of the mother, ... I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."

So there you have it. Mourdock thinks rape is something that God intended to happen. And I guess he feels that God wants the woman who was raped to suffer the rape and the pain of childbirth. Look this guy is a Tea Party darling and the Tea Party is the foundation of the Republican Party. This is another reason for women to vote Democratic this November.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Saturday Night Live lampoons Obama-Romney Town Hall debate

Saturday Night Live parodied the contentious Town Hall debate between Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama. Hilarious stuff. Check it out.



President Obama destroys Mitt Romney; Romney again takes credit for auto bailout

While watching the debate on foreign policy between Republican "severely conservative" Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, I noticed that Romney again became moderate. He agreed with Obama on more issues than I can remember. On Afghanistan, Romney seemed to agree with the timeline to get out of that country. There was agreement on the use of drones. I kind of liked the agreement. So what does the real Romney stand for? I don't know. Because before the debate, the Romney campaign hinted that it was a mistake for a set timeline to get out of Afghanistan.

But where Obama excelled was his command of the details. Every time Romney attacked Obama, the President defended his administration deftly. Romney had a bunch of feel good platitudes. The best moment for Obama. Romney made an argument for more ships. Obama shot back, arguing that Romney did not understand the modern military and that obsolete needs might want bayonets and horses.

But again Romney again took credit for the auto bailout. Folks, this is about one state. My home state of Ohio. You see the auto bailout saved jobs here. Obama says Romney opposed the auto bailout by bringing up an opinion piece Romney wrote for the New York Times in 2008. (Here it is.) Obama uses the title "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."

Romney did not support federal loans for the auto industry. Period. Even Fox News concedes this. They report that Romney wanted private companies to bailout GM and have federal funds as guarantees. It's this line from the New York Times piece that Romney uses to lay claim he helped and was for the auto bailout. "The federal government should provide guarantees for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk [.]" Note the term "post-bankruptcy financing." This is not financing before or during the bankruptcy. So do any of you think a private company like Bain Capital would offer loans to troubled GM? Try getting a loan with bad credit, folks.

But here is exactly what Romney feels about GM. " IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye." New York Times op-ed piece. Clearly he opposes government help for the auto industry.

Folks I'll repeat what Vice President Joe Biden says. Osma Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive.

The Cincinnati Bengals season is over

The 2012 season for the Cincinnati Bengals is over. It ended on Sunday night with a nationally televised loss to the hated Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bengals were ahead at one point 14 -3 and ended up losing 24-17. It wasn't that close. If the Steelers receivers had caught some passes they should have, the Steelers probably would have won by a bigger margin. And the Bengals lost to a Steelers team with major injuries. Let's use the Clint Eastwood formula to quickly go over the game.

1. The Good. No game next week. It's a bye. Yeah, thank God no Bengals football. Time to think about where a 5-11 Bengals team will draft.

2. The Bad. The Bengals offense. They were good in the first half but things went bad when Andy "I might have Jon Kitna's small hands" Dalton pumped faked the ball and it slipped out of his hands into an interception. The second half saw a Bengals team that couldn't adjust.

3. The Ugly. The vaunted Bengals defense showed they could not tackle. A third string running back ran for 122 yards. It was embarrassing to see the Bengals defense melt like an ice cube on a hot Cincinnati day.

4. Time to think about the 2013 draft. The Bengals need help at running back. They may need help at center due to injury. And the Bengals have big trouble at linebacker and safety.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Stephen Colbert takes on the second Presidential debate

Stephen Colbert reviewed Tuesday's second Presidential debate. Funny stuff as Colbert, the serious Trekker, uses clips from the Star Trek episode, "Amok Time." He also goes over the conservative Republican nonsense that says when President Obama used the term "acts of terror" he wasn't talking about Benghazi. Yeah, you crazy conservatives, the phrase was used to describe the attack on our consulate. Try thinking a little you conservatives.




The Daily Show looks at the second Presidential debate

Jon Stewart of the Daily Show reviewed the second Presidential debate. Check out the funny videos below.



Seven Psychopaths Review

Last week, I reviewed Argo, a film about the use of fake movie to extract diplomats from Iran. It was also a look at Hollywood filmmaking. Well, here comes Seven Psychopaths, another movie that uses filmmaking as part of the plot. Yes, filmmakers are taking Mark Twain's advice of "Write what you know."

Seven Psychopaths is about Marty, (Colin Farrell) an alcoholic and struggling screenwriter. He has some truly bad ideas for movies unless you're into avant garde cinema. Helping him is his friend, Billy (Sam Rockwell). Billy works with Hans (Christopher Walken) in a dogknapping business. Their modus operandi is that they steal a dog and return it to the owner for a reward. Unfortunately, they steal Charlie Costello's dog (Woody Harrelson), who just happens to be a mobster. Costello kills anybody who gets in his way to get his dog back. The problem for Marty, Billy, and Hans is how do they get out of this dilemma.

Look if you got a movie about crazy people, you can't resist the casting of Christopher Walken. He was born to play crazy. And he doesn't disappoint. The surprising thing is that his character is very loving man as evidenced by his dedication to dying wife. Of course Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson know how to bring out crazy behavior too. They've done it many times.

But this movie is advertised as a comedy. That's only partially correct. I got a feeling that director-writer Martin McDonagh (In Bruges) put an alter ego in Marty. It's about the writing of a film. Did McDonagh have writer's block that caused him to write this loopy movie? Don't know.

So does Seven Psychopaths work as a comedy? Only partially. It's hard to be funny when there is so much ugly violence on the screen. People get their limbs hacked off, heads are blown off, blood everywhere, setting people on fire and of course there's self-immolation. Even a running joke about how badly women are written in movies falls flat as the women in this movie, Abbie Cornish and Olga Kurylenko are given thankless roles. It would have been better if McDonagh used them in a funny way. No such luck.

I do admire McDonagh's directing skills. The colors in this film are rich. There is a thankful lack of hand-held camera shots. He knows how to frame a scene. And he lets his actors act. I found the dialogue to be captivating. You can thank McDonagh for getting out of the way.

Seven Psychopaths is less of a comedy and more like an essay on the art of telling a cinematic story. It could use more laughs but is still well made. The grade is B.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Romney's bizarre "binders full of women" remark; favorite graphic

During Tuesday's presidential debate, Republican candidate Mitt Romney was answering a question about pay inequality for women. He did not answer the question but responded that he sought out women for his gubernatorial administration by getting "binders full of women." The reason why this phrase went viral is because it shows that Romney doesn't understand that many women get paid less than men for the same work. It shows he needed help for finding qualified women when he should have known some if he actually cared for them.

Anyway, there are many pictures showing up, using the meme, "binders full of women." Some of them are very funny. My favorite is the one below featuring Hugh Hefner.


Obama Rocks

On Tuesday's debate, we got the return of President Barack Obama. He was combative, passionate and witty. Obama did not let Republican Mitt Romney get away with any of his malarkey. Obama did what he had to do. Romney was solid but he made some mistakes. He directly addressed the President. I'm sure the right-wing loved this since I hear they wanted Romney to take the fight to the President. But he asked him questions he didn't know the answer for. And Obama counter punched and rocked him. This occurred when Romney questioned whether Obama called the Benghazi consulate attacks an "act of terror." He did. Romney also struggled with questions on specifics of tax reductions and women.

Obama kicked ass. And when Romney talked about his concern about caring about 100 percent, Obama reminded the audience about Romney's 47 percent comment. Obama reminded the American people those people are soldiers, people on social security, and working people. Knockout for Obama.

Monday, October 15, 2012

More evidence of conservative Republican racism

I've written previously that some conservative Republicans have become racist. Now you might think these are the rants of a liberal but I've shown the proof. Now here's more. Republican Tommy Thompson is running for the Senate in Wisconsin. His son, Jason, said this to a group of Republicans.

"[W]e have the opportunity" to send President Barack Obama "back to Chicago -- or Kenya,"

The Republicans applauded. Obama had a Kenyan father. His first visit to Kenya was 1987. Obama is from Hawaii and Chicago. It's simply racist to put this alleged African heritage on Obama unless you want to remind white voters of his blackness.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Wow. Felix Baumgartner takes a giant leap

Felix Baumgartner set a record for the highest parachute jump ever. A balloon took him to the edge of space. He was 24 miles up when he leaped out. He also hit Mach 1.24, breaking the sound barrier. No man has ever broken the sound barrier without flying a jet. Here's the story from the Huffington Post.

Bengals lose

The Cincinnati Bengals lost to the Cleveland Browns today, 34-24. Frankly, I went into this Sunday, assuming the Cincinnati Bengals would lose. Why? After the Reds meltdown, I am reserved to be a Cincinnati sports fan. The agony of defeat is a way of life.

So what about the game? You've got to play for four quarters. I don't care who your opponent is. The Browns may have been winless but you can't give them opportunities. The Bengals offense left in the third quarter. And you can't turn the ball over four times. Next up. The hated Pittsburgh Steelers.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Argo Review

It seems that Hollywood has lately been telling stories about itself. I mean last year two films about movie making came out in The Artist and Hugo. Both were excellent. It was Mark Twain who said "Write what you know." The movie Argo is another movie about filmmaking. Only this time, the stakes are life and death.

Argo starts out with a short history lesson about American twentieth century relations with Iran. American and British intelligence helped overthrow a democratically elected Iranian president and installed the Shah, who later would be a dictator. After many years of oppression, he was dethroned by the religious leader, Khomeini. The film then takes us to the time and place of Iran, 1979. A mob storms the American embassy in Tehran and takes the diplomatic staff hostage. Six diplomats escape and hide in the home of the Canadian ambassador. Tasked with trying to finding a way to get the Americans out is CIA extraction expert, Tony Mendez. (Ben Affleck) That's the irony here. The CIA helped create the problem and now the agency must solve it.

There are no good options for the American government. One idea about having the diplomats bicycle their way hundreds of miles to the Turkish border is too implausible. But when Mendez watches Battle for the Planet of the Apes, (1973), a solution comes to his mind. He would pretend to be a producer of a movie, and fly the diplomats out also posing as filmmakers.

Mendez calls on a CIA contact, John Chambers, (John Goodman) a make-up expert in Los Angeles. By the way, Chambers is a real life person who won an Academy Award for the original Planet of the Apes (1968) and the ears for Spock in the TV show Star Trek. In order to make the plan work, Chambers calls on veteran producer, Lester Siegel, (Alan Arkin) to be part of the ruse. They decide to use the script for a movie called Argo, a cheesy space opera. After fooling the Hollywood press that Argo was a real movie, Mendez travels to Iran to rescue the hostages.

Director-star Ben Affleck is good as Mendez. But he's too good looking to be taken seriously at times. He's at his best when he relays real human emotions such as worry than barking out spy dialogue. It's the other actors in Argo that deserve loud applause. Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Christopher Denham, Kerry Bishe, Scoot McNairy, Rory Cochrane, are excellent as the trapped diplomats. You see in their faces, the real fear of getting caught and perhaps being executed. Bryan Cranston is dead on as Mendez's CIA boss. But it's the two Hollywood characters that steal the show. John Goodman makes his Chambers, an old movie veteran, full of cynicism. And what can I say about Alan Arkin? He deserves an Academy award nomination for his cantankerous producer, Les Siegel. He also gets the best line. "If I'm doing a fake movie, it's going to be a fake hit."

Now, I usually hate hand-held camera shots. They're too distracting and give the audience motion sickness. But Affleck uses them beautifully here. These shots give Argo, a documentary feel. It's a "you are there" vibe. They also make the movie nerve wracking. Needed because Argo is based on real life events that the audience may have remembered. Watching Argo makes you completely involved in this life and death drama.

Chris Terrio has crafted a fabulous screenplay. It's full of genuine dialogue. It deftly moves from comedy to thriller. Little things like the use of the telephone become tools of this thriller. Terrio and Affleck create one of the most memorable scenes in recent cinema. It's reminiscent of the baptism scene from the Godfather. (1972) They juxtapose a Hollywood table read of the script with the real life attempt by the Iranians to terrorize the hostages.

Argo reminds us that heroism doesn't always come from soldiers. Mercy and faith can give birth to heroism. Argo is a tense thriller. It's triumphant filmmaking. Conservatives like to bash Hollywood. But it was this time that Hollywood actually did something heroic. I say hooray for Hollywood. The grade is A +.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Was Obama part of teleportation experiments?

Stephen Colbert goes over another crazy President Obama conspiracy. This time, the story is that as a young man, Obama was involved in government teleportation experiments. Okay, if you're going to talk about teleportation, you've got to ask somebody from Star Trek. And he asks William Shatner aka Captain Kirk. Very funny stuff.

Joe Biden on fire

Well one thing went right yesterday. Vice President Joe Biden debated Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Joe Biden delivered. He took none of the Republican lies and hypocrisies. Some might think that Joe's laughs and smiles are going to hurt him. But trust me. People see that Biden, who's got blue collar roots, was not looking down at Ryan but demonstrating his incredulous feelings about Republican positions. At one point, Biden called their stuff, "malarkey." This was Joe Biden fighting for the President and in the long run for all of us.

The best moment was the Republican theme of the failed stimulus. Biden reminded Ryan that he asked for stimulus money for his constituents. What a hypocrite you are Mr. Ryan.

Joe Biden was on fire. Give them hell Joe. Here's Joe from four years ago.


The life of a Cincinnati sports fan

If you're a Cincinnati sports fan, you are very familiar with taste of defeat in big games. Most of this comes from the Bengals but yesterday's heartbreaking and stunning defeat by the Reds comes as no surprise. We thought after winning two games that we would at least advance to the NLCS. But recent history demonstrates that you have to go back to losses by the Bengals in two Super Bowls to the San Francisco 49ers in the eighties to see why Cincinnati sports fans have surrendered to fate. Go to the 1999 one game playoff loss to the New York Mets. Think about Carson Palmer getting his knee shredded in a playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. We're used to suffering.

And so this Sunday, the only game the Cincinnati sports fan can look forward to is the game the Bengals have with the Cleveland Browns. Regardless of the Bengals record, I can't see them winning the Super Bowl. As for baseball, there's always next year.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Reds' season is over

Well, it was a great season. It's too bad that it ended so badly. The Cincinnati Reds lost today to the San Francisco Giants, 6-4. After taking the first two games, the Reds dropped three games in a row. Reds lose the NLDS. Season over.

The Reds suffered from a problem they have had over the last couple of years. They don't hit in the clutch. According to Marty Brennaman, the Reds left 39 runners on base.

On to the offseason. Does Reds manager Dusty Baker come back? Will the Reds put up with the light hitting Drew Stubbs? Will they replace him with a bona fide lead off hitter? Will they move closer Aroldis Chapman to the starting rotation or keep him in the closer's role? It's going to be a long offseason.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mr. Romney's Neighborhood

Last night, Jimmy Fallon does a skit where he plays Mitt Romney as Mr. Rogers. Remember that Romney wants to end funding for PBS. And Mr. Rogers was an icon for PBS. Good stuff from Fallon. Enjoy.




Reds must win game five to advance

The Cincinnati Reds lost today in game four of the NLDS, 8-3. The Reds now face a game five, all or nothing tomorrow. They win, they will advance to the NLCS. Hang in there Reds fans. This team has faced adversity before. I'm confident they will prevail.

First impressions of Mass Effect 3 DLC Retaliation and playing on Gold

I've been playing Mass Effect 3's DLC Retaliation for multi-player for a couple hours and here's my initial take and review. Plus I talk about succeeding on Gold at Firebase White.

The New Enemies

You've got new foes. The main bunch are the Collectors from Mass Effect 2. And they are a challenging bunch. I played this game on the Silver difficulty level and it felt like Gold. The foot soldiers spawn all over the place and have a Collector assault rifle that is rapid firing. Then there are the bosses. The slow moving Scions are here. Then there are the Praetorians. I call them floating tanks They still have the dual laser beams that will tear you apart. I did not see the temporary invulnerability but on Silver, they can attack in pairs. New to this enemy class is a web that you can get caught on. And then there are the Swarmers. If you recall, these are the flying insect like creatures. When you are enveloped by them, you lose your ability to fire off powers. If all this sounds annoying, it is.

The Geth get a new weapon. It's called the Bomber. It's a flying drone and fires cluster grenades. It has shields and armor. While it can get distracted by the Salarian Engineer's decoy, it also destroys the decoy more quickly than other enemies.

The New Allies.

There are Turian classes. One of them has a jet pack. I haven't tried them yet because I was too busy trying to analyze the enemies.

There are also the Volus. Yes, the short, rotund aliens. The engineer of group has mines. There's a recon mine which will highlight enemies for the squad. You know who's around the corner. Proximity mines are also part of the inventory. And they cause huge explosions.

Modifications to Maps.

Two major additions or modifications were made to Firebase Reactor and Dagger. Now, the originals are still there but there are modified versions for you to play. There are hazards involved. Your reward is more experience points.

The big modification to Firebase Reactor is the Reactor. It's now active. You'll know you're on this modified base by the golden haze. If you get caught in the reactor when it's firing, the doors close and you get fried. Sounds awful. The goal is to try to lure the enemies into the reactor.

Perhaps the worst of the modifications is to Dagger. The hazard here is a sandstorm. Your visibility is only about two meters. Fun? Well, if you like having your teeth drilled without novacane.

Firebase White was changed. Hallways have been added to areas behind walls on the old map. The biggest change has been to the lower interior control room. This is the area where players would set up on Gold and Platinum to make a kill zone. There has been added another hallway which allows another entrance to this room. More on this later but if you don't play on Gold or Platinum here, it won't mean much to you.

Challenges. A new feature has been added. It features individual player challenges, involving weapons and kills. You can see another players medals on the game lobby. Your N7 number will flip showing the medals., times you promoted that class and the N7 ranking.

Hints for Firebase White on Gold with the Retaliation DLC. I was able to complete Firebase White on Gold after the Retaliation DLC and the October patch. Here's my strategy for successful complete extraction on this map and difficulty.

The map is still Firebase White. After the changes, you still run downstairs to the interior control room. But EA seeing that players do this, have added another entrance to this room via a hallway on a back wall. So now you can be flanked from another direction. It's a little harder but the new difficulties also can be used in you favor. The additional hallways can be used as escape routes.

The enemy is Geth. Yes, they have hunters and the new annoying bombers. But you don't have single kill enemies such as Phantoms or Banshees. Plus Geth are still distracted by decoys. That leads us to ...

The squad. You should still have a Salarian engineer. He has the decoy. When we played it last night, we used two. One decoy for the back hallway and one for the main control room. We also divided the squad in two. Two guys for back hallway and two for main control room. N7 Demolishers and Destroyers are welcome. Build the Demolisher to spam grenades.

Weapons. On Gold and Platinum, it's advanced assault rifles. Revenant. Harrier. Typhoon. You must put tons of suppressive fire on enemies from a distance. The Harrier deserves special mention here. Unfortunately, it's hard to upgrade due to the paucity of weapon upgrades and it has a small ammo magazine.

So even with EA's attempt to make life more difficulty on Gold, you can still complete it with just a little more effort. Just remember to follow the same strategies for the challenges. You know. One guy goes for the Enable-Retrieval challenges. Decoy saves the squad on Escort.

Conclusion. Look EA has made the game more difficult with the October changes. Unless weapons are made more powerful, the multiplayer part of this game becomes harder and less fun. Look, EA should realize if a player wants a challenge, he can play on the Gold or Platinum difficulty levels. The new changes just make the game annoying.




Romney changes position again

Whether it's taxes for the rich, his huge unpaid taxcuts, "severely conservative" Mitt Romney has changed positions like a political chameleon. On abortion, he once told Fox News Mike Huckabee that he would support a constitutional ban on abortion. Now mind you, he has changed his position on abortion depending on what is politically expedient. From ABC News, here are Romneys stances on abortion over the years.

In a shameless, pander to women, Romney has changed his position again. This is what he told the Des Moines Register.

“There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.”

It's the etch-a-sketch candidate. So what can you expect from Romney if he wins? It depends. If Republicans control Congress, expect all kinds of right-wing legislation. If the Democrats control Congress, Romney will probably compromise. But can you trust him? If he's kind of moderate now, will he be there once elected? The answer is no. He's just telling you what you want to hear. Don't fall for it. Romney is the stealth candidate.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Saturday Night Live does the presidential debate

Saturday Night Live comes alive during presidential elections. They have a history of doing great spoofs on the presidential debates. Here's there most recent parody. It explains Obama's listless performance. Funny stuff.




Worried about Thursday's vice presidential debate

After President Obama laid an egg at the last debate, I'm worried about Vice President Joe Biden's debate with Republican Paul Ryan. I hope he can stop the Republicans momentum. Biden is known to put his foot in his mouth. On the other hand, Biden is a passionate man and won't be listless like his boss. Let's hope Biden is Biden and on his game.

Ouch

The Cincinnati Reds lost today 2-1 to the San Francisco Giants in ten innings in the third game of the NLDS. The Reds still lead the series 2-1. They wasted a masterful starting pitching performance by Homer Bailey. He went seven innings, struck out ten and gave up only one run. The play that killed the team was third baseman Scott Rolen's inability to cleanly field a short hop grounder. Look, Rolen is not hitting, he still needs to field. Otherwise consider Todd Frazier.

Tomorrow, it's game four. The Reds must decide to disable Johnny Cueto, thereby eliminating him from all NL playoff games. Use Mike Leake? We'll see. Use Mat Latos on three days rest? Let's hope the baseball gods are with us. It's been a long time since the Reds advanced to the World Series.

Jon Stewart on Romney and Big Bird

In last Wednesday's presidential debate, conservative Republican Mitt Romney told the audience he wanted to end federal funds to PBS and kill Sesame Street. While Romney said he loved Big Bird of Sesame Street, he made it clear that PBS was not essential and subject to the chopping block.

Yesterday, Jon Stewart of the Daily Show did a smart and funny piece. He explores why conservatives hate Sesame Street. Huh? Oh, there's the conservative paranoia that Sesame Street is indoctrinating our children. What the...? Here's his hilarious piece with puppets!


Monday, October 8, 2012

Reds pummel Giants.

The Cincinnati Reds destroyed the San Francisco Giants, 9-0 in game two of the NLDS. The hero for the Reds was starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo. Some of you have never seen Arroyo. But here's what you need to know. When he's on, he's unhittable. Arroyo doesn't throw hard. But he hits spots. Changes speeds. Has great off speed pitches with excellent breaks. When you keep batters off balance, they're not going to to hit. Yesterday, Arroyo was on. The result? Seven innings. One hit. No runs.

Next up, the Reds return home for game three on Tuesday. The Reds look to finish up and advance to the NLCS. Here's the story on Arroyo's gem with video.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Save Big Bird

In Wednesday's debate, conservative Republican Mitt Romney in one breath said he loved Big Bird, but he wants to end public funds going to PBS which produces Sesame Street, the home of Big Bird. Romney wants to kill Big Bird!

On the serious side, PBS is the nation's classroom. Various programming educate, entertain and enlighten children to adults. Conservative Republicans have always used to PBS as a whipping boy for deficits. The subsidy to PBS is a drop in the bucket as far as the national budget. (It's about .012 percent.) But they are short sighted and of course, use low effort thinking. (Study indicates conservatives use low effort thinking.) This is the anti-intellectualism that we get from the Republicans.

Want to save Big Bird? Vote for the Democrats.

Ed Schultz on Big Bird.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Big Bird on Saturday Night Live, refuses to politicize the issue.

Reds Win In First Playoff Game of NLDS

Finally. It's been since 1995, that the Cincinnati Reds have won a playoff game. Last night the Cincinnati Reds beat the San Francisco Giants, 5-2. Now this occurred after Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto left in the first with back spasms. Reds pitchers Sam LeCure, Mat Latos, Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman made up for Cueto and shut the door on the Giants. And what about Reds second baseman, Brandon Phillips? Home Run. Great play on defense. Insurance run single.

Here's the story with video.

Bengals bungle

The Cincinnati Bengals lost today 17-13 to the Miami Dolphins. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton had two interceptions. And the Bengals fumbled the ball. Bengals kicker Mike Nugent missed a field goal. Cornerback Terence Newman committed a holding call that he didn't need to. Just a bad day for the Bengals.

Look you have to beat weak teams. I don't care how much the Miami Dolphins have come back. If you want to make the playoffs, these are the games you have to win. The Bengals blew a chance to look good in front of a sellout crowd. Not going to have many more sellouts if you look this anemic.

Next up. Bengals face the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Stephen Colbert on Wednesday's Debate

Stephen Colbert showed his mock happiness over President Obama's shellacking at the hands of Mitt Romney. He also goes over Romney's Etch-a-Sketch moments in the debate. Very funny stuff.




Jon Stewart on Wednesday's Debate

Jon Stewart of the Daily Show went over Wednesday's debate between the newly moderate Mitt Romney aka "the severely conservative governor" and President Barack Obama. They go over Romney's lies. Funny and brilliant stuff.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Stephen Colbert lampoons conservative racists

Last night, Stephen Colbert did his Archie Bunker routine by sarcastically agreeing with conservative columnist George Will that whites should get over their guilt and vote out President Barack Obama. He later goes over other conservative Republicans who are using racial dog whistles to appeal to angry white conservatives. Yeah, check out conservative Republican and former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's "rhythm" comment about Obama. Brilliant stuff from Colbert.

The Mass Effect 3 October patch sucks

The October patch for Mass Effect 3 is out. Most of the "corrections" are for multiplayer. And let me say that it sucks. I've played the multiplayer game on Platinum, Gold and Silver difficulties with XBOX Live. The big changes are aimed at the Gold and Platinum difficulty settings.

The Rocket Glitch

Let me talk about the rocket glitch. It was a shortcut to allow players to turn a weapon which fired explosive rounds (ala Falcon assault rifle) into a Cobra missile launcher. You could literally finish a Platinum round in less than twenty minutes and many times usually less. Some of us players believe it's not a glitch at all but a shortcut written in the program by a software engineer. It's illegal according to BioWare and Electronic Arts. (EA) And you could get banned for using it. My view is that mulitplayer game is hard. Using the glitch doesn't hurt anybody. In fact, it helps the whole squad since they will share in the bounty of virtual credits. Earning virtual credits to buy upgraded weapons is a good thing. Okay, it could affect one's N7 number and ranking. But that ranking is meaningless since it only goes up when you promote classes. So a bad player if he wanted to play for a very long time could have the highest ranking in the world.

I haven't talked to anyone today about the rocket glitch. And like I said, you could get banned for using it. But from what I've read about the patch, the rocket glitch is gone. So sorry for you guys, farming Platinum for credits.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Pyros get saved from your skills to kill them. You cannot stab Geth Pyros from cover with the instant kill maneuver. So, EA decided to make a hard game even harder. Why?

Banshees get stronger. How many of you thought it was too easy to kill Banshees? Obviously EA did. When you play the Firebase White map, the Banshees had trouble getting over the counters to kill you. Yeah, on Gold and Platinum, it was easier for the squad to direct their fire on them. But there were other enemies attacking you at the same time. So, it wasn't easy. Well, now the Banshees can warp behind the counters so they can instantly kill you with that head butt move. Having fun yet?

I'm guessing that EA has a thing for the "lovely" Banshees because they made them immune to the charms of the Decoy. If you played on Platinum, most of the time, good players always had a Salarian engineer with them. He's the only one with the Decoy. And the Decoy was the great strategic move to help you win Platinum rounds. The Banshees would attack the Decoy, giving the squad time to kill them. Well, now the Banshees ignore it. Don't get me wrong the Decoy is still useful against other enemies such as the Geth but this has made Platinum almost unbearable.

Loading games for Platinum.

One change that is absolutely not needed is the feature that automatically sends the squad into battle if three ready gamers are ready, even if the fourth is not. Under the old system, a fourth gamer could hold up the squad if he wasn't ready. But there was already a solution. You could kick out the fourth member if he took to long to signal his readiness. The new system automatically sends them into battle. But did this "improvement" cause another problem?

Is there a bug in the machine? My first time in Platinum, was nearly a disaster. The squad indicated it was ready. Then when I hit Firebase White, I was all alone. Yikes. Luckily, the program found random players and downloaded them. But by then, the strategy of Firebase White was gone. There were enemies everywhere. We expended most of our supplies within the First Wave. I was lucky that the three guys were very good. We got through Wave Ten.

The loading times. For some reason, loading times are extremely long. The loading time for one Platinum mission was so long that I told the squad to abort. We did.

So far I have found nothing good with this patch. EA should stop trying to make a fun game harder. Mass Effect 3 for multiplayer is hard enough.

Romney's lies rock Obama

Okay, the day after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney rocked President Barack Obama during a debate, it's time to think about what was said and what happened. First, let me congratulate Mitt Romney for a masterful debate performance. He was engaging, and energetic. Whereas, Obama was listless. Obama missed chances to remind Romney of his 47 percent comments and he let him continue to tell that malarkey about Obama cutting Medicare.

But the biggest lie was the one Romney told about taxes and the rich. He said that he would not cut taxes for the rich. What the f.....? He said this, “I cannot reduce the burden paid by high-income Americans.” Romney has proposed to cut across the board a twenty percent tax cut. He wants to end the estate tax that according to Rolling Stone would decrease his sons tax burden by millions of dollars. There are other lies from Romney at last night's debate. Here is the list of Romney Lies from Rolling Stone.

Look, as much as the left is running for cover, one debate will not win the election for Romney. Take a look at 1984 debates where Republican President Ronald Reagan was terrible with his first debate with Democrat Walter Mondale. Reagan bounced back. But Obama cannot let Romney get away with the lies. He must take a risk and fight back with the facts. Was this a racial thing? Was Obama taking a cue from Jackie Robinson who had to endure the racial taunts so as to not to scare the white people? It's 2012. The American people want to see a strong President, no matter what color they are. The President is a gifted speaker. He must treat each debate; every answer as a speech. Once he shows his passion for the people, the presidential race will be over. Barack Obama wins.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The time travel problems of Looper

I really had a hard time enjoying the movie, Looper. Now don't get me wrong, I gave the movie a positive review. It's just that I was thinking of the paradoxes of time travel and the logic problems of Looper. And those problems drove me nuts. So let's go over the problems. Warning. There are spoilers and I'm going to assume that you've seen the movie since I'm not going to discuss the details of the plot. So, if you don't want to find out about the plot points and the ending of Looper, stop reading.

How Time Travel Works in Looper.

I'm a Star Trek fan. So, I've got a little of bit of advantage in viewing time travel in science fiction. Time travel in Looper works like the original series Star Trek show, "The City on the Edge of Forever." That means if you go back in time and do an action, you can change the future. Time travel in Looper is not about creating a parallel universe such as the 2009 reboot Star Trek movie. Why? Because in the film when a character wants to send a message to his future self, he can carve words on his arm. The future self sees the message. No parallel universes here. That being said, Star Trek: The Next Generation had an episode called "Cause and Effect" that covered topics of time travel in Looper.

But I digress. There are two major time travel problems in Looper.

1. The Flash Forward.

There's a flash forward montage. We see Young Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) execute Old Joe. (Bruce Willis) Later we see Young Joe's future life. He goes to Shanghai and commits more crimes. His life rambles for years in crime. Then we see Young Joe finally look like Old Joe. But Old Joe then meets his future wife. (Qing Xu) He becomes happy. That lasts until the Rainmaker's henchmen decide to send Old Joe back for assassination. The men kill Old Joe's wife. But before he is sent back, Old Joe finds out the Rainmaker's date of birth and hospital where he was born. Old Joe decides he will go back into time but he will kill the Rainmaker as a child. It's the Grandfather Paradox or the plot of Terminator.

So what's the problem? Old Joe's death at the beginning of the flash forward causes events to happen in the future. But when Old Joe goes back and escapes Young Joe's attempt to kill him, he erases the timeline of meeting his wife. Yeah, it's possible that Young Joe could meet the same woman again, but the events that cause that are gone. So how can Old Joe remember the events in the flash forward? Yes, Looper does hint that Old Joe has trouble remembering his wife but again that timeline doesn't exist. In fact, one could argue that Old Joe can't exist since that Old Joe's timeline has been wiped out.

2. The Ending.

Let's talk about the climatic end. Old Joe tracks the child Rainmaker aka Cid (Pierce Gagnon) to a farm. He wants to shoot him but can't because his mother, Sara (Emily Blunt), stands in the way. Young Joe sees what is going to happen in the future. How? The movie doesn't say. But what Young Joe sees is Old Joe accidentally killing Sara. Cid grows up alone and becomes the Rainmaker. Sensing a way to end this time loop, Young Joe takes his gun and shoots himself in the heart. Old Joe disappears and Sara survives to raise her son.

First, what drives me nuts is how does Young Joe sense another timeline. I mean he's not an alien like Guinan in Star Trek: The Next Generation's "Yesterday's Enterprise." But again I digress.

This end doesn't work logically. The event that causes Young Joe to kill himself is Old Joe shooting Sara. That means Old Joe must exist. But when Young Joe shoots himself, he ends Old Joe's existence. How can one exist and not exist at the same time? You can't.

Look, I'm reminded of this sage advice from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. (1999) When Austin Powers gets confused about a time travel paradox, his boss Basil tell to not to worry about such things and enjoy himself. Then both Powers and Basil both turn to the camera and tell the audience the same thing. Video below. Enjoy Looper but don't classify it as accurate science fiction.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The real Romney

At this moment of time, I can't see why conservatives don't trust Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He declared himself to be a severely conservative governor. He showed his true colors with the 47 percent remark. And his running mate is right-winger congressman Paul Ryan. I have not seen anything recently that indicates he's anything that looks like a Massachusetts Moderate as Rick Santorum once called him.

So what to expect if Romney wins? Expect a right-wing government assuming he gets a Republican House and Senate. Rolling Stone did an excellent article on the Romney agenda for America. And before conservatives bash the article as liberal lies, read the article, you right-wingers. It uses actual Republican ideas, legislation and facts. I don't think conservative Republicans would argue that the agenda is manufactured. Here's the article.

Voters should beware

Voters should be very wary of the Republican tax plans. They say they're going to reduce taxes for everyone and cut the deficit at the same time. Yeah, that sounds mathematically impossible. Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and his vice presidential running mate Paul Ryan say they will do so by closing various deductions. But they wont' specify. Look for Republican plans to end middle class tax deductions like the home mortgage deduction.

Folks, this is what happened in 2010. The Republicans swept into power. And in the various states, there were movements to end public unions. Nobody was campaigning on union killing laws here in Ohio. And in some states like Virginia, no Republican made it his platform to have women seeking an abortion to have trans-vaginal ultrasounds. So if the Republicans take over the Federal government, be afraid. They will pass right-wing legislation. Regressive tax plans. And look for intrusive anti-abortion legislation. That's why you should vote Democratic.