Archive for June 18th, 2009

Iranian Election

June 18th, 2009

The last week has seen a veritable flood of support on Twitter for the Iranian presidential election protests occurring in Iran.  In brief, the incumbent president, Ahmadinejad defeated his opponent, Mousavi, by a very large margin (63% to 33%).  Many people have claimed that the election was rigged, and that the process was corrupt, sparking large and heated protests in Tehran, the capitol of Iran.  Ahmadinejad has been a very controversial figure here in the West, having denied the holocaust, expressed wishes for the destruction of Israel, pushed forward with a nuclear program that most of the world believes to be for weapon development, trampled human rights, and more.  His opponent, Mousavi, is being hailed as a revolutionary reformist, who wishes to modernize and Westernize the country, bringing freedoms to the people.  I’ll speak to his personality momentarily.  My first topic is the huge support he is receiving after his “loss” in the presidential elections.

Many people are supporting the protesters in their attempts to overturn Ahmadinejad’s re-election and expose election rigging.  Exposing election rigging and government corruption is admirable, but those who believe Mousavi will be able to bring instant change and freedom to Iran are sadly mistaken.  The government of Iran has a very complex structure, with unbalanced power.  Here is a flowchart of the government’s power structure:

Power Structure Flowchart

Power Structure Flowchart, courtesy of the BBC

The electorate (all people over 15 years old) votes for the President, members of Parliament, and the Assembly of Experts.  The President chooses the members of the Cabinet, and they must be approved by Parliament.  The Guardian Council consists of twelve members.  Six theologians are appointed by the Supreme Leader, and six jurists are nominated by the judiciary and approved by Parliament.  The Guardian Council has the ability to veto any candidate for President, Parliament, and the Assembly of Experts.  The Assembly of Experts is the body that appoints the Supreme Leader.  The Supreme Leader is the top of Iran’s political power structure.  He appoints the head of the judiciary, six members of the Guardian Council, the commanders of all of the armed forces, and the heads of radio and tv broadcasting.  He also confirms the president’s election.

The Guardian Council must approve all bills passed by parliament and can veto them if they consider them to be against the constitution or Islamic law.  The members are appointed by the Supreme Leader and the Head of the Judiciary (who is, himself, appointed by the Supreme Leader).  It is a council that can easily be said to be fully appointed by the Supreme Leader himself.  It is a very powerful tool in the hands of the Supreme Leader, as it can veto any candidate for elected institutions, giving the Supreme Leader his own choice of candidates, leading to his own choice of elected officials.

Perhaps this makes it a bit more clear why the presidential elections in Iran are not what people should be outraged about.  Perhaps the outrage should be directed at the structure itself, and its clearly unbalanced nature.  The president is not in control of the country.  The Supreme Leader is.  Swapping one president for another changes very little.

My second topic is the “revolutionary reformist” himself, Mousavi.  Many people have forgotten, or have chosen to forget, that Mousavi served as Prime Minister (while the post still existed) in the 1980s.  He severed ties with Great Britain when they refused to disavow Salman Rushdie (writer of The Satanic Verses, which resulted in a fatwa from Ayatollah Khomeini, calling for Rushdie’s death).  He was a member of the leadership council for Hezbollah when it was created in 1982 (hey, I was born in 1982!).  Mousavi, while he does deny the holocaust, refuses to recognize Israel’s sovereignty.  He defended the seizure of over 50 American hostages at the United States embassy in Tehran in 1979.  Since the position of Prime Minister was dispelled, he has served as an advisor to the Supreme Leader, as well as a member of the Supreme Cultural Revolution Council, which monitors artistic expression.

With such a record, how can his current claims for reform be taken seriously?  He has been one of the strongest supporters of the very things he now claims to be against.

This is far from a full in-depth examination of the Iranian political system and its participants, but perhaps it will shed a little light on the situation for those who don’t know much about it.  Just remember, who the president is doesn’t matter as much as who the Supreme Leader is.  The only solution at this point is a full revolution.  The theocracy must be overthrown completely for any meaningful or lasting change to occur.  Anything less is pointless and ineffective.

-Because I said so

chris Uncategorized , , , , , ,

Random Blurb…

June 18th, 2009

The other day I was thinking about that Lady GaGa song “Poker Face.” In the song there is a part where, what sounds like a male voice, says something over and over but I can’t tell what it is.

This is my take on it:

The guy is saying “om nom, nom, nom!”

So there you have it.. Lady GaGa supports Zombies with their career endeavours.

P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face…

OM, NOM, NOM, NOM!!!!!

- She Who Has The Last Word

lindsey Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , ,

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Countdown

June 18th, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, a film adaptation of the book with the same title, will appear in theaters in 28 days!  If you haven’t seen the first five movies, but plan on seeing this one, then please, I beg of you, watch the first five movies before going to the sixth.  If you haven’t read the books, then you need the first five movies to provide a great deal of back story and character development that will help you understand the dynamics in the sixth movie.  If you have read the books, the movies vary slightly from the books, and it will be helpful for you to connect with the characters and become accustomed to the environments presented in the films.

The countdown begins!

-Because I said so

chris Uncategorized , , ,

MehCast Update

June 18th, 2009

We are very sorry that Episode 23 was put off last week!  Lindsey had a last minute work event to attend, and it just isn’t the same without both of us there.  It doesn’t feel right to us to do it alone.  Throw on a busy weekend with a new pet, and the show just got left behind.  Coming up this week (June 19th), we have our one year engagement anniversary on Friday, so we will not be broadcasting that night.  We will be broadcasting Episode 23 of the MehCast on Sunday, June 21st, at 7:00pm PST (10:00pm EST) @  Sorry for our erratic schedule over the last couple of months!  Once we get past this week, we should be back on a regular weekly schedule for a good long time!

Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you on Sunday!

-Because I said so

chris Uncategorized , , ,

Dead Rising: Chop Til’ You Drop - Wii

June 18th, 2009

I love zombie games. I love zombie movies. I would go so far as to say that you can all start calling me Zombzi. That’s how much I love seeing those mindless, undead creatures get their heads ripped off.

A few days ago we rented, from Blockbuster, a copy of Dead Rising: Chop Til You Drop for the Wii. I’ve been wanting to play a version of Dead Rising for ages, and since we lack a 360 right now I guess the Wii version will just have to do.

I will admit that I was skeptical. It’s Nintendo - they have a habit of dulling down the good games to make them more kid friendly, plus I wasn’t too sure on how the controls would work much less the graphics.

When I popped it in, I was pleasantly surprised. The graphics in the beginning for the intro weren’t that bad. Capcom does a great job with facial movements so they were right on the money with this one too. The intro also gave me a bit of storyline and set it up perfectly for the event that was about to occur.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Dead Rising or what it’s about, I shall share what little I do know. You play a man named Frank. He is a freelance photojournalist. You start off in a helicopter with some random pilot and are going to a town in Colorado (I can’t remember the name right now). Population is a little over 53,000 so it’s not that large. Apparently there were reports of civil unrest, and possibly riots, in the town yet very little information was getting out into the news. What was released seemed a bit off and also the death count was way too high. Frank decided to go investigate. As they are flying in, Frank notices that the roads going into the city are all blocked off. Very suspicious. Frank then sees a helipad on the roof of the large city mall and tells the pilot to drop him down on to it. As the pilot gets ready, three military helicopters swoop on it and try to drive you away. Frank, being determined to get his story, jumps out of the helicopter and on to the roof. From that point, you begin your escapades in the mall.

I like that the zombies in this game are the slow, stupid ones. Those are always the best. You can take your time beating the crap out of them, and there are plenty of objects in this game at your disposal. One that I used yesterday was a Servbot (from Mega Man Legends) head. It was fantastic.

The controls were easy too. You have to plug in a nunchuck for the game and use the joystick on there to move you around. When you use a gun to shoot, you hold down the B button on the Wii-mote to pull out your gun, then you move the Wii-mote around since that controls your aim and the reticle, and then you push down on A to shoot. Simple, no?

I also checked on the violence factor. The default settings are that the blood be red, and that the violence is on high. Me like. If you have children, or are sensitive to blood, there is the option to either make it green or to shut it off completely. You can also decrease the level of violence but honestly, if you want to play a game like that, you need to play it at it’s best. It’s just not the same.

I didn’t get to play the game for long, but what I did play I enjoyed. I know for sure I will play some more today because nothing puts a smile on my face like a pile of zombies.

As I progress in the game I will update you guys, but for now… if you own a Wii and dig zombies like I do, go pick up a copy. If you are skeptical, go and rent it. It’s worth it.

- She Who Has The Last Word.

lindsey Video Games , , , , , , , , , ,

The Adventures of AT&T and Apple: Mystery of the Assholes and the First Generation iPhone

June 18th, 2009

I own a first generation iPhone.  I don’t qualify for an upgrade price until October of 2010, so I will continue to own a first generation iPhone for quite a while, I believe.  I have, generally, had no problems with my phone, and have held it very close to my heart since my wife bought it for me in February of 2008.  My love for my phone hasn’t diminished.

My love for Apple and AT&T has been shattered.

As an owner of a first generation product that is, arguably, still only in its second generation of development (or generation 2.5, if you must), I still expect a considerable level of product support from the manufacturer (Apple) and the content provider (AT&T).  I was looking forward to the 3.0 OS update very eagerly, as it meant I could finally MMS, among other things.  One of the things I gave up when getting the iPhone was MMS, and it was something I used often, so it was the primary feature I wanted to regain.

Oh, but wait!  What’s that, AT&T and Apple?  The iPhone 3.0 software does not provide MMS functionality for first generation iPhones? You’ve left cab money on the dresser for me to make my way home?  You have an important meeting in the morning?  You’ll call me?  Ok, that all sounds perfectly reasonable!

Fuck you Apple.

Fuck you AT&T.

-Because I said so

chris Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mario Party 8 - Wii

June 18th, 2009

I can’t remember if we’ve made a blog discussing Mario Party 8 for the Wii, but if we have… great. It’s a little after 8 in the morning and frankly I can’t be bothered to search through the archives :)

Chris and I have owned Mario Party 8 since February, and last night was the 2nd time we’ve played it. It’s a great game with a lot of mini-games so our lack of playing it has nothing to do with the game itself. One huge downside is that in order to play a 15 round game, you better be ready to sit there for a couple of hours. It’s seriously that long.

First time Chris and I played it we were on a team versus two other random characters. We played on Goomba’s Booty Boardwalk which was a lot of fun. If you are new to the Mario Party series, I would suggest starting with either that board or the DK’s Treetop Temple board. Both are beginner friendly and a lot of fun.

Last night we were joined by Lianne, Chris’ cousins wife, and we all played against each other. This time we picked a new board, King Boo’s Haunted Hideaway. Unlike the other boards we were familiar with, you couldn’t view the entire map and the location of King Boo would change after you found him. With the DK and Goomba levels, you could scroll throughout the board and see where you’d want to go and where the star location was. King Boo’s board was totally different.

There wasn’t only one way you could go. Sometimes the board would be a simple shape that would branch off in a couple of areas, and sometimes the board would have many turns to choose from. Out of all the possible end points on the board, only one lead to King Boo. All others took you straight to a pitfall. If you were lucky enough to activate the DK spot, Donkey Kong would be waiting for you in the pitfall with a star. The downside to that is that the remaining DK spots on the board were then changed to Bowser.

If you land on the Bowser spot DK is replaced by Bowser. With Bowser, there is no consistency. Sometimes he can take a star or coins away from you, sometimes he will make you duel another player, sometimes he will give coins to all of the other players, and sometimes he will give you coins. There is honestly no way in telling what he will do. I will say that if you are the leader, you better watch out for Bowser.

The mini games last night were all new to us. We surprisingly got a lot of 3 vs 1 mini games, with Chris mostly being the 1. There was one where Chris was in a hovercraft and the rest of us were on a board that was just a regular square, but there were parts that were cut out. Chris in his hovercraft was able to go over those spots without any problems. We couldn’t. His goal was to bump us all off in a certain amount of time so that he could be the winner and get 10 extra coins. He did win that one, and I will be honest…. I really sucked at that mini game. The Princess failed me.

We didn’t finish all 15 rounds last night since it was getting late, but we had a lot of fun. Whenever I play that game, I am always blown away at how much thought went into the game. I also love how they take full advantage of the Wii-mote and all of it’s capabilities.

If you own a Wii and want a fun party game for up to 4 players and are a fan of the Mario series, I highly suggest picking up a copy of Mario Party 8. You won’t be disappointed…. and if you are, **jedi mind trick** this is not the blog you are looking for **/end jedi mind trick**

- She Who Has The Last Word

lindsey Video Games , , , , , , , , , , , , ,