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Real Name SMA   
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Nickname Scottish Martial Arts
Email Concealed by request
ICQ None given.
Homepage http://
Signed On Jun 16, 2002, 23:16
Total Comments 2914 (Senior)
User ID 13410
User comment history
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News Comments > etc.
28. Re: etc. Nov 17, 2012, 17:12 Scottish Martial Arts
Other Congresses and Administrations, both Democrat and Republican in the past have been able to negotiate and compromise to pass budgets without one side having total dominion of the legislative branch.

Politifact says:

Ornstein referred us to the gridlock of 2011 that resulted from the debate over raising the debt ceiling. The budget control act, which was passed to avoid a default on our debt and signed by Obama wasn’t a traditional budget resolution, Ornstein said. But he noted: "That was actually a budget adopted by a president."

Ornstein also noted that during George W. Bush’s presidency, there were years that Democrats in Congress failed to pass joint resolutions.

"To suggest that was Bush not passing a budget would be a misstatement," Ornstein said. He called Romney’s rap on Obama "at best a gross exaggeration."

In his speech, Romney faulted Obama for failing to pass a budget. He was correct that the two times Congress voted on the president’s budget requests, both times they were voted down. But the job of passing a budget resolution is not the president’s. That responsibility falls to Congress, and even then the president doesn’t sign it. As Ellis, our expert, put it: "The president has no role in passing a budget. The president can cajole Congress about passing a budget and advocate for positions and funding levels, but in the end, Congress approves the budget resolution for their own purposes." That’s the difference between this and other claims we’ve rated which blamed Congress for inaction on the budget.

Romney’s statement contains a grain of truth, in that two of Obama’s budget requests failed to pass. But citing those votes leaves a wrong impression -- namely that the votes were anything more than political theater. Romney omitted the more critical information that passing a federal budget is the job of Congress. Given all that, we rate his statement Mostly False.

Sorry, didn't mean to introduce some nuance to your right-wing talking points.
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News Comments > etc.
12. Re: etc. Nov 16, 2012, 18:53 Scottish Martial Arts
ledhead1969 wrote on Nov 16, 2012, 17:10:
"Growing up from nothing taught me a couple of valuable lessons, though, #1 being: The system isn't designed so that everyone can get ahead just by working hard, regardless of what people tell you."

Spoken like a true loser.

If only the Tea Partiers would follow through on their vows to emigrate or secede. It's hilarious that the party of "personal responsibility" would attract such perpetual adolescents.
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News Comments > Morning Consolidation
8. Re: Morning Consolidation Nov 16, 2012, 18:37 Scottish Martial Arts
Smellfinger wrote on Nov 16, 2012, 17:24:
strong placebo wrote on Nov 16, 2012, 13:54:
halo 1 multiplayer was quite a phenomenon for its time.

Halo 1 wasn't playable on Xbox Live, though. Live was around for two years before you could play a Halo game on it and it was already well established by then.

Yup. Halo 1 was a system launch title in 2001 and its multiplayer was limited to split-screen and LAN only. Xbox Live didn't go online until 2002, with Mech Assault as its flagship product. Halo 2 didn't hit until 2004, at which point Xbox Live was already there to stay.
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News Comments > Deus Ex Film Director & Writer
10. Re: Deus Ex Film Director & Writer Nov 15, 2012, 22:52 Scottish Martial Arts
DX:HR was a great game, but it had a meandering, unfocused, borderline incoherent script. To me, it seemed as if their writers had a couple ideas for a story, but never quite figured out how to develop them, how they would fit together, and where they would go. In the end, it was a superb game with great artwork and atmosphere, but the story itself just wasn't very good, which is especially glaring in a Deus Ex game.

As for the director and writer for the movie, Sinister was a surprisingly good horror movie, but I'm not sure the folks behind that are a good match for a cyberpunk thriller.
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News Comments > Baldur's Gate II Enhanced Edition Next Year
5. Re: Baldur's Gate II Enhanced Edition Next Year Nov 11, 2012, 15:34 Scottish Martial Arts
From what I can gather, there's very little that's "enhanced" about this release. Primarily it's a port for tablets, with a few new NPCs and a new quest/area. I think I'll just stick with BGT.  
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News Comments > Free Skyfall DLC for 007 Legends This Month
4. Re: Free Skyfall DLC for 007 Legends This Month Nov 9, 2012, 23:45 Scottish Martial Arts
I'm hearing a lot of 'best Bond ever' feedback.

I was a bit let down precisely because that was the sort of thing I was hearing going into it too. Don't get me wrong: it's a good Bond flick and totally worth seeing, but "best Bond ever" is REALLY stretching it.
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News Comments > Diablo III Expansion Plans; StarCraft: Heart of the Swarm Early Next Year
13. Re: Diablo III Expansion Plans; StarCraft: Heart of the Swarm Early Next Year Nov 8, 2012, 01:23 Scottish Martial Arts
Have they announced how much heart of swarm will cost? I can't see paying another $60.

$39.99 same as every other Blizzard expansion since at least Lords of Destruction. I kinda recall getting Brood War for $30, but it might have been on sale when I picked it up, or the mere fact that it was 14 years ago means my memory has faded a bit.

I still enjoy Blizzard releases, even the much reviled Diablo 3, but good god, they're even worse than Valve at this point when it comes to timely releases. It's been over two years since Starcraft II was released, and it'll still probably be another 6 months or so before Heart of the Swarm is out -- a ridiculous amount of time for what's supposed to be 20+ single player missions, and a half dozen or so new multiplayer units.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
50. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 7, 2012, 17:51 Scottish Martial Arts
xXBatmanXx wrote on Nov 7, 2012, 16:17:
I went half hour before polls closed, figured the weather would keep people away....not the case. I stood in line for 3 is fucking 2012....and it felt like it was the 1700s....

Man, what is it with these third world polling places back East? Here in California I was in and out in about two minutes. Of course, we have a huge absentee balloting system, where you can opt to have your ballot mailed to you about a month in advance, and then you can either mail it in, or drop it off at your polling place on election day, as I did.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
174. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 7, 2012, 14:54 Scottish Martial Arts
I think you're quoting the wrong person, every US citizen has the right to vote, and that's how it should be. Or you didn't realize my reply was 100% sarcasm.

I understood that your reply was sarcasm. My point was that if you're going to wave around the Constitution like it's the word of God, then it might help to read it one day and discover that ACCORDING TO THE CONSTITUTION ordinary people don't get to vote for President or for US Senators. Obviously, the election of Senators by popular vote was amended (18th amendment, I think? I need to look it up), and state legislatures have turned over the selection of Electors to a popular vote. But that's not what's in Articles I and II of the US Constitution, and certainly was not what was intended by the Founders.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
169. Re: Out of the Blue Nov 7, 2012, 14:27 Scottish Martial Arts
Yep it totally sucks that voting isn't totally restricted to socialists and those that share the view point that in order to prosper again, America needs to become another Europe.

You're a tea partier, right? So you view the Constitution as a document to be unerringly followed to the letter, correct? Did you ever notice how US Senators and the President are "voted" for? Go look it up: I'll wait. Back now? What's that? You couldn't find any provision for citizens to directly vote for either their US Senators or their President? Did you notice that Senators are to be selected by the state legislatures, with no voter input, and that Electors for the Presidency are to be selected by the state legislatures as well, again with no input from voters?

See the thing is, the Founders were HIGHLY suspicious of ordinary citizens being given too much power. They looked at the example of Ancient Athens, and generally recoiled in horror at the influence of demagogues on the hoi polloi, especially during the Peloponnesian War. As such, while they wanted to give ordinary citizens a voice in government, they didn't want to give them TOO MUCH of a voice. Therefore, they sought to insulate the Senate and the Presidency from the volatility of the public mood, by ensuring that only "the right kind of people" had the power to elect them, i.e. state legislatures, and electors, who were envisioned as being prominent citizens reputed for political wisdom, and thus less likely to be carried away by the will of the mob.

The point of all of this is that if you were truly a "Conservative" trying to preserve (the literal meaning of conservare, the Latin root of conservative) the original meaning of the US Constitution, then you'd very much be in support of only "the right kind of people" being allowed to vote.
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News Comments > Evening Tech Bits
8. Re: Evening Tech Bits Oct 30, 2012, 16:52 Scottish Martial Arts

My bad was thinking I was responding to someone else.

This comment was edited on Oct 30, 2012, 17:00.
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News Comments > Game Reviews
2. Re: Game Reviews Sep 19, 2012, 13:07 Scottish Martial Arts
I got as far as "We've got Hostiles" before I realized that I didn't think anything of value had really been added and that I'd rather just play HL1 again, which is what I've been doing. Black Mesa isn't bad, per se, but it just feels unnecessary -- you can't really improve on what was a perfect shooter.  
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News Comments > Op Ed
13. Re: Op Ed Sep 8, 2012, 13:00 Scottish Martial Arts
You know, aside from a four month temporary project earlier this year, I have been unemployed the past two years -- don't worry: I have a very promising interview for a job next week, that isn't in my field and pays very little, but that I'm almost assured of getting (personal connection) and will be enough to live on. Regardless, $100 dollars is a lot of money to me and right now I wouldn't be able to cough it up. And I still think Kotaku is full of shit. If I really felt my future was in indie game development, I would find a way to save up $100 over the course of a few months even if it started with just spare change, or I would turn to my friends (not my parents: they're even more broke than I am) and appeal to them as microinvestors in the project. $100 dollars is such a small capital investment that this IS an opportunity for the poor and lower class.

Maybe, maybe, some sort of fee waiver is in order. Afterall, the proceeds of the fee are all going to charity, and the purpose of the fee is just to cut down on joke projects, so actually having to present your case in a waiver application would have the same effect. Still, I'm unconvinced that $100 would deter an aspiring developer with true fire in their belly.

This comment was edited on Sep 8, 2012, 13:09.
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News Comments > Op Ed
18. Re: Op Ed Sep 4, 2012, 15:42 Scottish Martial Arts
I guess I just miss the days when beating a game was an actual accomplishment, rather than a preordained consequence of playing for 6-8 hours. Games are terrible at storytelling, probably because the people who write them generally aren't very literary -- Christ, look at David Gaider, or Chris Metzen -- so I have a hard time being sympathetic to the view that games need a Tell Me a Story Mode a la DXHR. What separates games from other media is gameplay, but gameplay is only engaging when there is a failure state. Would anyone watch a football game if your team was always guaranteed to win? Trying to remove failure states from gaming just spoils the whole experience, in my opinion. Furthermore, by making gameplay less engaging in favor of making it easy to see the end of a (terrible) story, developers are playing to the weakness of their medium rather than its strength. If adding an easy mode didn't affect the rest of the game design, I wouldn't have a problem with it -- people can skim chapters of novels that don't interest them too, although such a practice defeats the purpose of reading, but whatever -- but the reality is that designing a game around the inclusion of an easy mode generally alters the rest of the difficulty design as well. And that's why I can only support an easy mode with major caveats.

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News Comments > City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed
10. Re: City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed Aug 31, 2012, 16:09 Scottish Martial Arts
That's too bad. I never particularly enjoyed CoH, but then most MMORPGs haven't appealed to me. I do have an old friend from high school that works, or rather worked, for Paragon Studios so I guess he's out of a job now.  
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News Comments > etc.
48. Re: etc. Aug 23, 2012, 13:40 Scottish Martial Arts
Just the two points you make, about the level of Obama's fiscal irresponsibility relative to other administrations and the stimulus's (stimuli?) that both he and Bush cooked up can be easily refuted simply by me throwing a different set of equally valid and applicable (not to mention linkable) data - but to what end? Does it change anything?

Yes, it has the power to change everything. You're assuming that because I have an opinion that my opinion cannot be changed. In other words, you're assuming that I'm narrow-minded. If you have a better set of data then I'm all ears. Show it to me: it might change my mind.

Meanwhile, we're in the midst of a Presidential election, and who we choose to be President DOES matter. And that means we need to sift through the facts, analyze the arguments made by the candidates, and make a decision based upon which candidate's policies will best help the country. This is ostensibly a democracy, and that means citizens have the OBLIGATION to make a decision about how to move the country forward.

One final note: We should absolutely show civility and respect in our discourse, but that does not mean we should treat all opinions equally. Some opinions are not supported by the evidence, are poorly reasoned, or are just plain wrong. Showing respect to your rhetorical opponents does not mean politely nodding your head when he or she says something that is demonstrably false, or arguable one way or the other. It means being willing to challenge their ideas in a reasoned and reasonable fashion, without resorting to rhetorical tools designed to inflame passions against your opponent personally.

This comment was edited on Aug 23, 2012, 13:49.
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News Comments > etc.
47. Re: etc. Aug 23, 2012, 13:29 Scottish Martial Arts
Well then show me the fiscal profligacy of the Obama administration and explain how it is dramatically worse than the fiscal irresponsibility that is inherent to Ryan plan. To simply make mention of an "abhorrent lack of fiscal responsibility" on the part of the Obama administration doesn't leave your readers with much to go on but "pre-conceived notions". I don't think your claim holds up when put under examination. Since you didn't provide an argument, I can only assume two things: your facts are wrong or your reasoning is faulty. I assumed the former, and responded accordingly.

But honestly, it feels like you're trying to have it both ways here. You want to stay aloof, above the fray, and avoid having to actually defend your ideas, while at the same time you want to toss out controversial claims. I'm sorry, but if you're only willing to debate someone who has no biases, no pre-conceived notions, and no leanings one way or the other -- in other words you're only willing to debate someone who doesn't have an opinion -- then you aren't going to find anyone to debate. Plus, it would be a pretty boring discussion on top of that.

Look, I haven't been uncivil here. If I have, I apologize. Perhaps I have assumed too much, but then if you put out claims unsupported by arguments, then all I can do is make assumption about why you believe what you believe. But I'm not going to stand by and listen to claims that I believe don't hold up under scrutiny without challenging them. Likewise, I'm not going to take lightly the implication that I'm somehow to blame for political dysfunction because I have an opinion.
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News Comments > etc.
45. Re: etc. Aug 23, 2012, 09:59 Scottish Martial Arts
Well I'd be happy to listen to your arguments for why the Ryan budget is an improvement over the current situation. I suspect, however, that much of your assumptions about the fiscal policy of the current administration is based upon misinformation, which my party has been keen to spread the past several years.

For example, the CBO has concluded that Obamacare is revenue neutral. Now the CBO isn't always right, and some of their assumptions are a bit optimistic. But the idea that Obamacare is a massively irresponsible new spending program simply doesn't jive with what the number crunchers have come up with. Furthermore, you don't like the provisions of Obamacare? When broken up into it's constituent parts, the majority of the provisions of the law are actually extremely popular in polls. Additionally, the law itself was modeled off the healthcare reform enacted in Massachusetts by... Mitt Romney, who got the idea from the Republican party's healthcare proposal during the 1993 Clinton Healthcare Debate. Obamacare is the Republican healthcare solution -- the only reason the GOP threw the fit it did was because a Democrat got to enact the law, not them.

Likewise, the Stimulus package was a failed experiment in massive Keynesian-style direct government spending, right? Wrong, actually. The single largest component of the stimulus bill was... tax breaks, $288 billion of them. Republicans who call the stimulus a massive failure on the one hand, and then turn around and castigate the administration for not giving tax relief to "job creators" are playing you for a fool. Don't fall for it. Furthermore 3/4 of a trillion dollars is a fuck load of money, but would you really rather that the government had done nothing to stimulate the economy in the face of the worst recession since the Great Depression? Again our bonds have been trading at record low interest rates for years now -- we can afford to borrow the money, as long as we are serious about debt reduction once the economy does recover.

Finally, Obama blew a huge whole in our budget by massively expanding the federal government right? Wrong, again. According to the OMB the number of federal workers relative to the overall population is at its lowest since we started keeping track in the Kennedy administration (source). The real cause of the massive deficits we have run the past several years isn't federal government expansion: it's dramatically reduced tax revenues as a result of reduced economic activity brought on by the recession.

Look don't get me wrong: I never bought into the Obama magic, and he's been a terribly ineffective leader who doesn't deserve reelection. But most of the charges that get leveled against him by the GOP are bullshit. Toss in the Ryan plan, which again will increase our debt by over $2.5 TRILLION dollars (3x the cost of the stimulus) while simultaneously devastating our social safety net, and I have a very hard time envisioning a scenario that I will vote for my party -- I guess the GOP doesn't want moderates anymore.
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News Comments > etc.
42. Re: etc. Aug 23, 2012, 01:26 Scottish Martial Arts
People still argue things along party lines, as if either party weren't only interested in keeping their power and authority?

Neither party is providing the leadership or solutions that we need to get the country on track again, that much is true. But claiming that both parties are equally part of the problem may sound sophisticated and post-partisan, but it doesn't actually jive with the facts of the matter. If the Democrats have no answers, the Republicans have really bad answers. The Ryan budget is proof positive of that -- it will dramatically increase the national debt, and will represent a huge transfer of wealth from the middle class and poor to the wealthiest among us. Now maybe by giving the rich more money they'll create jobs and we'll all benefit, but trickle-down economics simply isn't supported by the evidence. Fun fact: the cuts proposed by the Ryan budget are so draconian that when brought up in political focus groups, the group members refused to believe they were real.And I say all of this as a registered Republican who voted for McCain and Bush in the last two Presidential elections.
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News Comments > etc.
32. Re: etc. Aug 22, 2012, 00:35 Scottish Martial Arts
I don't think wanting some form of becoming fiscally responsible is a crazy idea personally.

Except in Republican parlance, "fiscal responsibility" is code for "fiscal irresponsibility that benefits our constituents, not the Democrats'". If the Tea Party and the Republicans were serious about deficit reduction, then tax increases and defense cuts would be on the table. Those things aren't on the table, so the Right clearly isn't serious. I mean look at the Ryan plan: it not only keeps the fiscally irresponsible Bush tax cuts, but calls for new tax cuts that would cost $4.3 trillion dollars. Meanwhile, Ryan proposes about $1.7 trillion in domestic spending cuts (Defense is predictably off the table). I don't know about you but digging a $2.6 trillion hole doesn't strike me as a plan for deficit reduction. Don't get me wrong, entitlement reform needs to happen if we're to get our fiscal house in order, but then so do tax hikes and a more realistic defense budget.

Again, I don't think there is anything wrong with supporting a balanced budget. But to claim that you're a fiscal hawk on the one hand, and then to support politicians and policies that would only worsen our fiscal outlook strikes me as hypocritical. And this is leaving aside entirely the issue of whether or not it's wise to strive for balanced budgets in a severely depressed economy (a balanced budget means higher taxes and lower spending, both of which combine to weaken economic growth).
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2914 Comments. 146 pages. Viewing page 25.
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