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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in newbis' LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, October 7th, 2009
3:26 pm
It lives!
I've started up my own website, making it even less likely I'll be posting here. It's still in its infancy, so be kind.

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009
8:08 pm
It seems to me that people need to be reminded what the word "civilian" actually means. This is what Webster's has to say.

Civilian: one not on active duty in the armed services or not on a police or firefighting force.

One of the problems with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is that of terminology. Al'Qaeda, Taliban and insurgent fighters don't fit the historic military mold. They don't have uniforms, they frequently don't really answer to a central command and they'll strike at civilian targets just as readily as military targets. Dubya's administration attempted to label these people as "enemy combatants," in an attempt at an end run around the Geneva Convention and U.S. Law. Whatever you want to call them, the one label that doesn't apply is "civilian."

Everytime a U.S. or NATO attack kills someone, Al'Qaeda, the Taliban and the media go into a frenzy about civilian casualties. Sure, sometimes the claims are true. After all, if you drop a bomb on a village, odds are good someone is going to get killed that you weren't necessarily targeting. Those kinds of civilian casualties are actual tragedies and U.S./NATO forces should do everything possible to minimize them.

If, on the other hand, the civilian casualties came as a result of, say, people inviting enemy forces into their homes, that's an entirely different story. If you are housing military forces, your home becomes a legitimate military target. If you agree to "shield" potential military targets by living near them, you are no longer a civilian. If you just put down that AK-47 to eat dinner with your family, you aren't a civilian.

This brings me to the current brouhaha about the NATO airstrike that killed "civilians" in Afghanistan. For starters, the fuel trucks were hijacked by a sizable contingent of Taliban fighters. When the trucks got stuck, the Taliban enlisted locals to help them carry the fuel. Other folks were drawn to the tankers in hopes of obtaining free fuel. So, here you have a legitimate military target surrounded by 1) Taliban fighters, 2) People helping the Taliban, 3) Looters. Expain to me the crime in the airstrike. These people claiming to be innocent victims is the same as me claiming to be an innocent victim if a stolen Brinks truck broke down near my house and I either helped the robbers move the money or tried to take the cash for myself, and I got shot in a police crossfire. I'm no warhawk, but I can't bring myself to feel all that sorry for this type of "civilian" casualty.

I won't even start about how Al'Qaeda or any other terrorist organization has the balls to complain about civilian casualties when 99% of their attacks intentionally target civilians.

So the next time you hear moaning an groaning about civilian casualties, dig deeper. The war was never in Iraq. That was all Dubya and his erection. The real war has always been in Afghanistan, and now, increasingly, in Pakistan as well. These are places worth fighting in. These are legitimate national security issues. Talk of civilian casualties and GOP attempts to label Afghanistan, "Obama's War" (Do those fucks really think I buy that?) are nothing more than political bullshit and smoke screens meant to drive us out of an area it would really serve us better to remain in.

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009
2:48 pm
Have you ever had someone ask you, "What are you thinking?" I get it alot. Possibly because I don't feel the need to be constantly running my mouth. I usually reply with, "Nothing," because the type of people that ask me that question aren't usually the sort that really want to know.

If you really want to know what I'm thinking, here's a sample of the shit that runs through my brain.

When was the last time you heard about a pro-choice activist randomly shooting a pro-life leader?

How is it the same people that believe a 2000 year old book is perfectly accurate don't believe in demonstrable scientific fact?

When was the last time an atheist killed someone because of religion?

Please reconcile these two Obama quotes for me.

"...our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."


"I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman."

How can anyone that claims to be educated believe communism, socialism and fascism are all the same? Better yet, how can they accuse Obama of being all those things at once?

I have, on occasion, experimented with telling people what I'm thinking. It rarely turns out well.

Monday, August 10th, 2009
8:28 am
It's Coming
On the off chance you watch my LJ and don't know, I'll be at GenCon. If you'll also be there, lemme know!  =)
Friday, July 24th, 2009
9:27 pm
Hahaha no
I have an opportunity to try out for Jeopardy. While I am a font of useless knowledge, I don't think the font is that amazing at trivia.
Friday, May 29th, 2009
5:45 am
I'd Rather the States Showed Up as Blue
But what can you do?

That long strip in the middle was a road trip to Colorado. Miles and miles of miles and miles. I suggest flying.
Monday, April 27th, 2009
7:29 pm
This amuses me greatly.


That is all.
Monday, April 20th, 2009
4:26 pm
For Chuck

A preemptive happy birthday to you, brah.  =)

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
5:35 am
Gamers are Nerds
That might seem like a redundant statement, but still... A 10 page thread on the 9-again rule in nWoD? Really? zomg.

Here's the thing. I'll happily admit that systems are important to me as a player and GM. A bad system makes it far less likely that I'll play a game, unless I really, really, really like the setting. At the same time though, I don't go apeshit insane trying to deconstruct systems, I just ain't built that way. So while the RPG.net folks might want to crucify Matt for saying the 9-again rule sure feels like a useful bonus, I agree with him.

In other news, halfway through my first semester back to school I still have straight As.

Friday, February 6th, 2009
12:11 pm
A Little Information is a Dangerous Thing
When given to idiots. I swear, I wish I could rate reviews and forum posts. Some dude just posted a bunch of WoD reviews on the site with the apparent purpose of driving their ratings down. Not only is that lame, his comments identify him as a moron.

About the WoD core:

Also, one thing has been missing from World of Darkness since outset: concise and elementary details of corporate presences, common commercial products. Regions and personalities have been described of course: but mortal celebrities are usually not mentioned.

He wants a list of products? Seriously? He wants statted celebrities? Really? Celebrities? *boggle* He doesn't actually review the book at all. He just posted what he thought it should be about.

About Witch Finders:

Witch Finders seems composed of two combatting tendencies of White Wolf. White Wolf loves to produce shiny, strong quality books. White Wolf also desires to probe the consumer market through attempted sales. These two tendencies antagonise eachother: no one wants to purchase into an expensive experiment.

This experiment is to see if White Wolf can subside on sales of books that cover two opposing sides without necessitating sales of both core books. They fail due to their lack of sufficient acute concision in their writing.


Even if you are running two games of Hunter and Mage and want the players to compete without knowing, this game book does not provide much assistance. And it should be built for just such a purpose, with the MMORPG coming (think about it).

Spelling errors his. Could he have missed the point more? Experiment book my arse.

Even his reviews of books he gave four stars too are snide and his writing is pompous. It's that, "Oh look, I found a dictionary yesterday and learned some new words, but I haven't quite gotten the hang of them yet." pseudo-intelligentsia that makes my head hurt.

Then there's that guy on shadownessence that constantly bitches about the nWoD yet is apparently incapable of playing any other game.

Do these people really make me angry? No, merely irritable. I don't waste my precious anger for this kinda stuff, but its still just lame. So, I want to be able to rate posters. That would give me a small warm feeling of satisfaction.
Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009
10:13 pm
Oh Snap!
Stephen King unleashes the claws!

That is the most negative thing I've ever seen or heard him say about another author. It also echoes my feelings. I looked at one of those books and thought I'd seen better written fanfic.

3:06 pm
The Dreaded Group Project
So my composition class has been assigned my first group project. As one of the few people (apparently) who actually read the syllabus, I knew it was coming and prepared accordingly.

I came up with an idea that I knew would appeal to the professor (writing to your audience is never a bad idea) and presented said idea to the class. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a fair number of the other students recognized what I was doing and asked to be put in my group. Within 20 minutes everyone in my group had exchanged email addresses and knew exactly what their part of the project entailed. Each person is going to send their work to me for editing, formatting and collation.

I'm a firm believer in the idea that you don't need to actually lead or convince people your idea is the best if you can appeal to the sense of lazy  that resides in each of us. By offering to do the most work, I succeeded in getting my way, which means my grade won't suffer from sub-par work that comes from other people. :D

Yes. I am a dick.

Thursday, January 29th, 2009
3:12 pm
I got word today that I've been accepted into the Honors Society on a provisional basis (meaning, I must keep a 3.5 to remain). The school wanted a letter of recommendation from a professor (which I couldn't get, this being my first semester) or an essay explaining why I should be included. I did neither.

Instead I cheated.  :D

I went to the organizer with several copies of White Wolf books with my name in the credits and I asked if they would do for a writing sample. I must explain here that this particular member of the Society staff is a nerd. He has comic book posters in his office, he's talked about D&D in class and waxed eloquent on the writing qualities of Battlestar Galactica. Did I use that to my advantage? Damn skippy.

In addition to the minor perks of belonging like a Society only student lounge, school-funded trips to a variety of art and theater presentations, belonging also means I can apply for more financial aid. More money is never bad.

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009
8:55 pm
Tuesday, January 20th, 2009
4:04 pm
Happy Independence Day!
What? You don't think today is Independence Day? I sure do. Independence from the whack jobs that used to sit in the Oval Office, Cheney and his evil monkey sidekick, dubya. Don't let the door hit you and all that. I actually feel like this is my country again, as opposed to a country run by a political dynasty with business ties to the very terrorists we claimed to be fighting.

I watched the inaugural address at school today in a lecture hall filled with students and faculty. People cheered when Obama was introduced. They cheered when he swore the oath and they cheered before, during and after his speech. How about that shit? When was the last time a president made you want to cheer?

Monday, January 19th, 2009
2:53 pm
Wake Up and Smell the Hormones
The line that really caught my eye in this article was that the abstinence only program has spent 1.5 billion dollars in the last decade. 1.5 billion! What a colossal waste of money. You know how many condoms that could've bought?

Teens are gonna fuck. That's all there is to it. Anyone that thinks otherwise is deluding themselves and contributing to the problem. High schools should have condom vending machines in the restrooms, in the nurses office and a giant fucking bowl of them on the way into any school social event. Abstinence education as a method of birth control is a waste of time and money. Even worse, some of the "textbooks" straight out lie about how STDs are spread and how a girl can get pregnant.

Let's face it, Obama has a lot on his plate. I mean, seriously. Expectations for the man's presidency are wildly out of proportion for what he can actually accomplish. Even so, I hope there is enough room on that plate for some real sex education, the kind that talks about prevention in realistic terms.

Saturday, January 17th, 2009
3:48 am
Things Are Getting Out of Hand
This boggles my mind.


Apparently it also boggles the Supreme Court, cause they never hear constitutionality cases pertaining to public school students.

Columbine was an awful tragedy, but the amount of bullshit schools get up to nowadays in the name "protecting the school and the students" is getting ridiculous. Grade school kids getting expelled for "sexual harassment." Zero tolerance policies that boot kids for minor infractions. At what point does fear and overcome common sense?

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009
4:12 pm
Day 2
No, I'm not going to post about every day, just the starters.

So my Honors Composition course is more of a pop culture course than a writing instruction lab. The Watchmen is a required text. I lol'd. The comparative religion prof looks like what I expected a philosophy prof to look like: eccentric and a little bit hippie.

The addition of Honors American Gov't (political science) upped my credit hours to a level that began to disturb me, so I've dropped Earth science for the time being. I figure I can pick up the science credit anytime, the Honors thing, not so much.

So far so good!

Monday, January 12th, 2009
7:00 pm
For the Rockband People
The NWA cover, as promised. Best cover ever?  =P

6:19 pm
First Day
So my first day at school is over. It was the normal class overview, handing out of syllabuses and the like. My Movie Appreciation Prof seems like a good guy. He's enthusiastic about the subject. My political science prof seems like a smart lady. Oh, and she invited me to join a Honors Political Science course, so that's cool.

Earth science, well, I went for the easy science course and boy did I get it. The prof goes out of his way to explain anything that people don't understand (like basic vocabulary even). He seems to recognize most people are in the class because they need a science credit and his approach to the class is laid back. Tests are take home... Yeah I know! lol!  His attitude in general seems to be he hopes to teach people something as they zip through, rather than hardcore application.

Tomorrow is Comparative Religion and Composition.
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