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This is the post excerpt.

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I have no idea what else to post, so here’s a bit of biographical information I guess.

I’m 20 years old, I’m from Columbus, Ohio. I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when I was 13, and that’s about it. I don’t have much else that’s in/significant to talk about, except if you count volunteer service awards. I don’t really.

If you’re curious, here are some games that I have (and have probably) sunk 100+ hours into.

Fallout
Wizard101
Pokemon
Destiny
Bioshock
Halo
Call of Duty
Assassin’s Creed

That’s really about it, I don’t have any specific order to it. There’s just a list of games I play. lol

 

Have fun, and carry on.

Why I think Roy Moore is Going to Win, and That In/directly Shows How Racist Voter ID Laws Are

DISCLAIMER: I do not endorse Roy Moore by any means, and my hypothetical vote would have gone to Doug Jones based on his platform. But after reading a tweet from Sarah Silverman regarding voter ID laws in Alabama…

 

…I decided to look into it myself.

By going to government sources, the local Alabama News, and analyzing data collected since 2011, I have reason to believe that Roy Moore will win in Alabama’s Special Election for U.S. Senate. Hear me out on why.

For those who don’t know, Alabama is having a Special Election[1]. Jeff Sessions was appointed as United States Attorney General, and resigned from his seat as Alabama Senator. The current candidates are Democrat Doug Jones and Republican Roy Moore. If you need it, an overview of the candidates will follow. If not, you can skip down two paragraphs.

Doug Jones, the Democratic Party Candidate, served two terms as the State Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. He secured a warrant and prosecution for the bomber in the Olympic Park Bombing during the 1996 Summer Olympics, and he prosecuted the two remaining perpetrating Ku Klux Klan members of the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing[2]. His platform consists of many of the same items that Bernie Sanders ran on in the 2016 Presidential Elections.

Roy Moore, the Grand Old Party Candidate (That’s what GOP stands for), is a Vietnam War veteran, and has served multiple times as a judge on both Federal Circuit (16th) and the Alabama Supreme Court. He was elected as the Alabama Chief Justice in 2001, and again in 2013. He was removed from his post in 2003 for violating a federal order to remove a religious ornament from the Alabama Judicial Building, and suspended in 2016 for ordering to continue enforcing Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban, despite the Federal Supreme Court deeming such bans unconstitutional. He has run for Governor multiple times, and resigned from his suspended post as the Chief Justice to run for Senate in April of 2017[3], and has come under fire recently for multiple sexual assault, pedophilia and rape allegations[4]. He’s not being prosecuted due to these having happened between sixteen and thirty years ago, and the highest Statute of Limitations being three years for criminal sexual abuse, and two years civilly[5]. Moore has been critically acclaimed for maintaining consistent far-right politics, including has said on multiple occasions that Christian law should be U.S. Law. And yes, he fears Sharia law (when in essence, they’re the same).

Now, let me explain why I personally believe that Roy Moore will win, using factual evidence from public sources.

There was a low voter turnout for the 2016 Presidential, National and Local primary races in Alabama. According to Alabama Local News site AL.com, only 62% of registered Alabama Voters turned out to the polls, and most who did voted Republican[6]. I’m going to get back to this in a minute, and go on a tirade regarding two things: The GOP and their support of Voter ID laws.

Voter ID laws are supposed “Common sense” laws. They’re laws that are implemented to thwart voter fraud, in spite of little to no evidence of such fraud existing[7]. The function of such laws are to require ID being shown at voting polls to prove that you are who you allege you are. They’ve received backlash in their implementation, primarily for their targeting of minorities[8]. This has evidently a problem in Alabama, whose governor signed the bill into law in 2011, and has taken effect in 2014. The NAACP sued[9] the State of Alabama back in 2015 over the law, and to my knowledge the suit is still active. A motion to dismiss the case was denied just earlier this year[10].

I’m getting off topic.

Relevant to the previous point, the Alabama Department of Motor Vehicles shut down multiple locations in eight of ten predominantly black counties[11]. This, in addition to the ID laws, will directly harm black and other minority voters in these counties. As licenses and photo IDs expire, voters who cannot afford to take a day off to travel to a county where they can get such IDs will suffer. You need an in-date, valid ID to vote, and even then you may be denied getting an ID for multiple reasons, and many black and minority race voters will be turned away from the polls, including people like Willie Mims, a retired, elderly black man[12]. And with that, such laws being pushed by Republicans will continue to affect the vote in states with these laws in place. And with the 7th highest African-American by proportion[13], that’s a quarter of the hypothetical vote if every adult in Alabama voted, which could offset implicitly racist interests behind the far-right, including the current Republican candidate for Senate.

So, from my brief essay, including research using various local & national news, local government resources, and watchdog/civil rights groups, I hope that this electoral map of Alabama’s 2016 election results will help you reach the conclusion that I believe Roy Moore will win. And I hope that I’m proven wrong this week.


Sources:

Ballotpedia: United States special election in Alabama, 2017 https://ballotpedia.org/United_States_Senate_special_election_in_Alabama,_2017 [1]

Doug Jones (attorney) Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doug_Jones_(attorney) [2]

Roy Moore Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Moore [3]

Roy Moore Sexual Assault allegations timeline, via The Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/11/16/timeline-the-accusations-against-roy-moore/?utm_term=.4931293758ae [4]

Alabama Statutes of Limitations for Sexual Abusse, via Legal Match https://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/alabama-statutes-of-limitations-for-sexual-abuse.html [5]

Alabama’s Low Voter Turnout, via al.com http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2017/08/how_low_was_alabamas_voter_tur.html [6]

Op-ed: Before convicting four Alabama counties of voter fraud… http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/04/before_convicting_four_alabama.html [7]

Why It Is so Hard to Vote if You’re Black, Poor or Elderly in America via Newsweek http://www.newsweek.com/voter-id-laws-texas-minority-voters-strict-states-582405 [8]

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense Fund Greater Birmingham Ministries Complaint, via naacpldf.org http://www.naacpldf.org/files/case_issue/Greater%20Birmingham%20Ministries%20v.%20Alabama%20Complaint.pdf [9]

“““, Federal Court Denies Motion to Dismiss NAACP LDF’s Lawsuit Against Discriminatory Alabama Voter ID Law, via naacpldf.org http://www.naacpldf.org/press-release/federal-court-denies-motion-dismiss-naacp-ldf%E2%80%99s-lawsuit-against-discriminatory-alabama [10]

Alabama Closes Driver’s License Offices After Implementing Voter ID Law via Snopes.com https://www.snopes.com/2015/10/01/alabama-drivers-license/ [11]

93-year-old black man disenfranchised by Alabama voter ID law, via msnbc.com http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/voter-id-law-disenfranchises-93-year-old-black-man [12]

List of U.S. States by African-American Population via Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_African-American_population

Un(?)popular opinion: Let the Halo Franchise Die Already

So lately, Google’s been delivering me news about things happening in the gaming world. In the past two weeks, I got the news about how Mass Effect: Andromeda’s next patch would be its last, then how the studio was being converted into a support studio, and lately I’ve been getting pre-E3 announcements.

I feel that if you’re reading this, you’re already familiar with what the Electronic Entertainment Expo (more commonly known as E3) is. I’ll still explain it for those who don’t; E3 is an event open to members of the press (And as of last year, the public as well) where video game developers and publishers show previews of what they’re gearing up to release that year. This year, E3 is supposed to take place June 13th-15th, and presumably we’ll get Destiny 2 and Call of Duty: WWII from Activision, more Quake from Bethesda and maybe a new Elder Scrolls game? (Here’s hoping)

But one article in particular caught my eye this week, and made me particularly irate. https://www.gamespot.com/articles/halo-6-wont-be-shown-at-e3-in-june/1100-6450007/

Yes, Halo seems to be turning into Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw’s ‘spunk-gargle-wee-wee’ formula, in my opinion. Yahtzee often uses that term when describing games like Call of Duty and Battlefield and how they’re down to a specific formula in every game, and it’s feeling like Microsoft and 343 Industries are desperate to squeeze as much as possible from Halo.

For more backstory, Halo is a first-person shooter that was innovative for its time. In its original release for Xbox, it gained massive popularity for being a standout game versus other shooters of its time. Additionally, it had an immersive story with lore that was built off of that game, in such novels like “Fall of Reach” by Eric Nylund.

You are a supersoldier of the United Nations Space Corps, Master Chief Petty Officer Spartan 117. You were taken aboard a ship, the Pillar of Autumn, after an alien coalition known as ‘The Covenant’ raided your planet, and you’re being chased by one of their fleets. You and the rest of the Autumn’s crew have to take out the covenant and find a way off of the first Halo ring, a forerunner weapon to contain and control the population of the Flood parasite.

As of May 19th, 2017, there are nine games, twelve books, countless parodies and miniseries on YouTube, a Netflix series, and enough action figures over the years to outlive a prairie dog. The franchise has a strong story from beginning to end, which is why I’m here to say that this tenth game needs to kill it.

I wouldn’t be making this post if I didn’t have a reason. I adore Halo as a series, despite it being knocked to my number 2 spot with Bioshock reigning at number 1. So, why am I making this post?

In 2007, Bungie parted ways with Microsoft so they could make their own games using new intellectual property. 343 Industries was created to bridge the gap between the two, and they now handle everything Halo. By the time the baton was passed over to 343 Industries, Bungie had finished development and released Halo Reach with the announcement that they would no longer be making any more games in the Halo series. From them, we’d gotten the original game, two sequels, a prequel and answers to an unfinished story from the first sequel. The story was essentially complete, with missing pieces being filled in through novels.

After the culmination of the original trilogy (Halos 1, 2 and 3), 343 Industries released Halo 4. This continued the open-ended ending of Halo 3, with John and Cortana on the back half of the Dawn. The game felt different as a Halo game, and the story felt really odd. I haven’t played Halo 5: Guardians yet, but from what I’ve heard it’s completely stagnant.

There are also additional complaints about Halo 5 Guardians from the beta, which I’ll drop a thread from Halo Waypoint of another longtime fan’s own complaints here. https://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/forums/6e35355aecdf4fd0acdaee3cc4156fd4/topics/343i-s-incompetent-game-design-is-killing-halo/0d7148b9-6521-4e84-bef8-d9c76dc4e1e4/posts

If 343 is going to keep trying to add to the Halo storyline like it is, then I feel it’s time to kill the franchise.

Last Thoughts of 2016

We have 3 days left in the year, as I’m writing this. There’s a lot that’s going to happen come 2017, and I’ve always tried my best to look at the bright side of life. I’m admittedly having trouble maintaining that point of view.

I already expressed my grievances about this 2016 election cycle with my last post, and have done three(?) posts on the election and our final pick of the draw, and we’ve got the shortest stick of the lot. This post is to air my grievances of 2016 as we finally make our next trip around the sun.

Keep in mind that this list has multiple events both good and bad with respect to order of time. These will be both personal accomplishments and events that took place that made me happy.

Anti-toxicity, pests removed
After a year of trying to get them to go away, I finally cut ties with my most toxic ‘friends.’ All filled with empty promises, lies and deception. Now my only hope is that they’ll stay away for good.

Graduation
Yes, I graduated from high school. I admittedly didn’t want to celebrate it, but that’s just my nature about not liking to celebrate my own achievements. Any event that I do celebrate over feels anti-climactic and forced, which is why I prefer just to hole up in my room and play video games. But that’s neither here nor there.

First actual job
I actually held a total of three jobs over the course of the year, and am holding down a fourth one at the moment. I was happy with my first job, and I’m somewhat happy with my second job. I hope I can make a career out of it, and publish on the side.

Formed the Trispherian Timeline
In my own works of writing, I have finally finished the timeline of the series. However, I have only finished one story’s draft so far and I have yet to finish any others. In my experience, it’s like assembling pieces of your own puzzle as you create them.

Though now, I’ll air my grievances…

2016 Election
It felt too long and drawn out. We ought to limit the time it takes for these kinds of things.

The rise of fake news and propaganda
I thought we were over these days. Can we please be neutral as a country again?
I will say that one good thing came out of it. I’ve learned a lot about fact-checking stories, and have joined the Snopes Facebook group run by site admin David Mikkelson. I personally love it.

My computer ‘blew up’
No, not literally. It happened early this year, the hard drive (OF ALL THINGS) failed on me, and I had to scrap it. I did salvage some pieces, and I’ll be happy to sell them to folks.

I’ve become more of a recluse
No, I’m not a spider. That might be fun though, especially to scare people with. But after graduating high school, my reclusive nature has taken precedence over my sociability and I choose to stay out of things more than I do participate. I’m not a social person, and there’s nobody to push me into things anymore.

-sighs- Yep, I’m talking about this.
Due to an… incident on Christmas day, my girlfriend of 9 months and I agreed that maintaining a long-distance relationship was a little too difficult, and we should stand by for each other as friends. I will not defame her, this was a mutual decision for us both. I only wish her the best.
And no, I’m still not telling you who it was. As hidden in plain sight as we were.

And, that’s really about it. This year wasn’t that significant for me otherwise, and I don’t see much else that’s worth it to talk about. I didn’t like it that much.

Thanks for the read, I hope you got something out of it.

My thoughts on Donald Trump (Post-election)

The day I started writing this was December 19th 2016, at 10:47AM EST. At this time, the electors have not submitted their votes for the final decision on whether or not to elect Mr. Donald J Trump or Mrs. Hillary R Clinton. I agree, while Trump is appealing by candor, the “YES WE CAN” attitude, and being the non-establishment candidate, Clinton has the general appeal of former Bernie Sanders supporters who confided in the party he ran with (Like myself), the tax plan with benefits aimed more towards low-income households (Myself included), and the general appeal of being the first woman president.

Whether you voted one way or another, looking at headlines of tabloids like the National Enquirer looks like an alternate timeline where Trump is already president and doing things. Please keep in mind that Barrack Obama is still currently in power, and will be until January 19th, when the next president is sworn in. At this point, it could be either one.

With this post, I’ll get into my reasons on why I like Trump, why I dislike him, and if I have faith in him or not.

Candor and General Attitude
Trump’s campaign has been about “We can do this, we will do this. Fuck the stragglers” since he first tossed his hat into the ring back in early 2015. He has praised his own campaign many times, and done what he can personally to make it ahead of everyone else.

THE Advertised Non-Establishment Candidate
It’s fair to say Bernie Sanders was also a major non-establishment candidate, even though he lost the DNC’s nomination at the last minute. Trump was the only one who did get nominated to being his party’s official candidate, and he promised to drain the swamp.

However, those are the only reasons I find to like the guy. Without defaming his character with derogatory language and no unsubstantiated facts, I will now list what I don’t like about him.

Twitter Attacks
Yes, I realize the hypocrisy in saying this. But, I have the right as a concerned citizen to question why he uses Twitter, of all things, so adamantly and angrily to attack others and make statements. While your account might be verified, Twitter is not a secure site that everyone’s information can’t be taken from. This comes to be a much greater concern given that he’s about to be a national icon and leader and an international diplomat. Not to mention making statements on the medium, but that’s neither here nor there.

Inconsistencies
You like, then you don’t like Hillary Clinton. You say you love Mexicans, then you proceed to collectively insult them by calling them “Rapists, criminals, druggies, with a few good people intermixed.” You say you’re a good Christian, then proceed to insult the pope. You call yourself the “Least racist person around,” and you continue to make derogatory remarks against Mexicans through your campaign.

Need I say more? Good, let’s continue.
(Author’s note, I tried to keep this part brief to avoid getting heated. I’ve lived in a diverse neighborhood all my life with people of many backgrounds, some natural or naturalized citizens, some immigrants, and many many stories to tell.)

Misinformation
Oh, where to begin with this one? PolitiFact¹ has done a thorough statement sweep involving statistics and secondary statements relayed through both Trump and Clinton.
Throughout the course of her campaign, Hillary R Clinton (D) has made 293 major referential statements that PolitiFact was able to fact check, 36 of were proven false. That’s a failure rate of ~12%.
Throughout the course of his campaign, Donald J Trump (R) has made 342 major referential statements that PolitiFact was able to fact check, 176 of them were proven false. That’s a failure rate of ~51%.
One should also not argue fact checking, as arguing against the facts with purely opinionated statements (Keep in mind how many right-wing spokesmen say “I believe.”) completely nullifies the point you’re try to make in a statistical, factual argument. When you argue about moral compasses, you are allowed to use opinions for your argument- That’s the only acceptable circumstance.

Everyone is entitled to [their] own opinion, but not [their] own facts.
-Patrick Moynihan

Anti-Religious Rhetoric
He’s claimed once that he was a Christian, and never gave any hint to his favorite bible verse, nor any knowledge of the bible’s contents, until after the ordeal with Pope Francis I’s visit to Mexico and El Paso. That verse was Matthew 5:38-42, “Jesus repudiates even that notion. ‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” He emphasized the eye for an eye in his speech for that phrase, and undermined the actual meaning of the verse- to avoid retribution and resistance, and not take vengeance. Don’t exact vengeance, turn the other cheek; try to cooperate with your authorities, and show kindness and compassion and encourage the best peacefully.²
Also, it seems he could have taken it from a list like this one (From http://www.openbible.info).

This doesn’t even get into the anti-Muslim rhetoric fueled by his campaign. From condemning attending citizens of rallies who happened to be Muslim, to closing our borders to followers of the Islamic religion until “We can figure out just how the hell to solve the ISIS problem.” That’s not the most effective solution, nor is it humane for refugees coming from places like Syria. Have you even talked about solving problems there, like what’s been happening in Aleppo, without turning it into a “We are stronger because of me” statement? I shouldn’t have to justify why these views are wrong from an American perspective, but I have to… which brings me to my next item.

Unconstitutional
Yes, there is no clear evidence that one must cut ties with their business(es) if they are elected president. However, the President must make no money EXCEPT from Federal funding. Denying your paycheck as President will put you between a rock and a hard place if you continue to spend so frivolously as you do. That’s not my concern, though.

Amendment I of the Constitution: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.³

Aka, the government has no say in religion and religious practices, suppressing speech, and protests against the government. This was a thing put in by our forefathers of many generations ago because they knew what it was like to have a tyrant in power, and didn’t want to become tyrants themselves. The people have the power to overturn the government if necessary by constitutional right.

Additionally, there’s a quote that concerns me with ‘Libel laws.’ Yet we have no actual laws federally, except a detail in the Communications Decency Act (via KellyWarnerLaw.com). There’s very little the Federal Government can do on a State level, except in the Supreme Court with them being the rather literal “Law of the Land.” And then comes libel being literally defined as “Slanderous, nonfactual information being published to shame and/or defame one’s character for malicious intent.” With this being said, this post is to state my opinion on what my moral compass says and objects to, and not meant to be slanderous against Mr Trump in any way.

With that being said, I can’t say I much like him. He is very closed-minded, and either misinformed or a blissfully unaware person being put in a very powerful position. It terrifies me to see someone like this come to power. At least Obama had class.

Sources:
¹Politico: Comparing Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on the Truth-O-Meter http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/lists/people/comparing-hillary-clinton-donald-trump-truth-o-met/²Biblegateway.com: Matthew 5 Commentary – Avoid Retribution and Resistance https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/commentaries/IVP-NT/Matt/Avoid-Retribution-Resistance
³law.cornell.edu: First Amendment | Constitution | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment

All other sources used have been linked in the article as sources for a minor point. These are all trusted, secondary sources. And if you don’t believe the second one, call a church office and ask them for their interpretation of Matthew 5:38-42, along with the context of the quote. You will get roughly the same answer.

My concerns with Ohio House Bill 493

This is a basic mirror of a public post I made on my personal Facebook page. It’s not word-for-word, as context may not make sense in a certain capacity.

Recently, local ABC, NBC and CBS affiliates WSYX, WCMH and WBNS have sensationalized Ohio House bill 493, dubbed “The Hearbeat Bill.” This criminalizes abortion after the first heartbeat is detected under the guise of “Child abuse.” Now, looking directly at the page will lead you to a bill that is centered around defining child abuse, and giving extra legal provisions to authorities investigating such claims. However, there are three troubling things I noticed with this bill, aside from the idea of criminalizing abortion so early on in pregnancy.

Disclaimer: These names I use are of imaginary beings, and are not representative of people whose names they may share in real life.

1) The provisions that authorities are given offer essentially unlimited access to the immediate family’s medical records. Say if Taryn and I got married and had kids, and she or I happened to abuse one of them. Ohio authorities would have unlimited access to our medical records, and require medical and psychiatric analysis of all members of the family. Taryn, me, the child in question, and any other children we may have. This is all without a subpoena or a warrant for these medical records, and doctors are required to hand them over or face criminal prosecution. This is in direct violation of the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Bill of Rights, protecting citizens from unlawful searches without a warrant for probable cause.

2) In between pages 20 and 27, there is legal wording to criminalize homelessness without knowledge of homeless shelters. With a lack of publicly funded or underfunded homeless shelters, this means that more homeless people will be imprisoned perpetually. In addition to this being an absolutely ludicrous proposition, this means that homelessness is somehow defined as child abuse. This makes no legal sense for this to be in this bill.

3) The icing on the cake, “If a heartbeat is detected, then it’s illegal to abort.” This makes no specific allocations for a fetus being conceived of rape or incest, and only allocates if the mother’s life is in danger. Additionally, if the state of Ohio wants to criminalize abortion, this should get its own bill instead of being unnecessarily slapped onto another one with good but misguided intentions. What should also be done is making a full survey, not a sample, with regards to abortion among doctors across the state for a professional and personal opinion on where life is conceived, and if it’s ethical to create laws regarding such a medical decision. This endangers rights among women on all sorts of levels, and should not be how it is in my opinion.

Please, keep your eyes out. Contact your representatives to ensure that this is not representative of what you as a citizen would want! This is a serious thing, and public comment appears to be welcome. As John Oliver once said, most lawmaking happens on the local level. With a lack of attention paid towards the state senates, that makes the conspiracy of a shadow government conceivably true.

If you want to view the bill in question, here’s the link to public access for the bill information with a free, full download of the 90+ page PDF. https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA131-HB-493

Game Review: Call of Duty – World at War/Black Ops Trilogy

I’m not completely counting Black Ops 3 in this because I haven’t played it as thoroughly as the other three games. I will take into consideration the Zombies mode for the game, but I have not played/watched any other part of the game enough to review it.

In this review, I will be talking about three games specifically:
Call of Duty – World at War
Call of Duty – Black Ops
Call of Duty – Black Ops II
Call of Duty – Included Zombies mode (With the exclusion of Black Ops 3)

With every Call of Duty that’s come, there has been a barrage of various opinions. With Infinite Warfare (developed by Infinity Ward), it has received the most hate on a single video in the history of YouTube, at 34M views, 50k likes and 3M dislikes. Black Ops II had a similar ratio, but turned out to be a pretty decent game overall. I’ll be reviewing the games for gameplay and story, but not multiplayer. I will, however, put forth that I’m at 1st prestige level 44 in Black Ops 1, and 2nd prestige, level 40 in Black Ops II.

Side note, I actually played the DS version of the first two games on this list. World at War was incredibly difficult, and did mention Dmitri Petrenko in the Russian campaign of World at War, but it wrapped up a portion of Black Ops 1 into its own prequel. The console/PC releases are VERY different from their DS alternatives. I’ll give my overall ratings for each one at the end.

Let’s start from the linear beginning:

Call of Duty: World at War – The bread and butter of a WWII shooter.
This game was released in the year subsequent to the original Modern Warfare, and was Treyarch’s third title in the series. Prior to WaW, Treyarch developed CoD 3, and CoD 2: Big Red One. But I digress.

In this game, you switch between two soldiers.Private Miller of the U.S. Marine Corps in the Japanese Theater, and Private Dmitri Petrenko of the Russian Red Army pushing west to Berlin. Both sides have very different styles of warfare, with Miller’s being more close range jungle/cave warfare, while Dmitri’s is in a more industrialized setting of going through buildings, villages and cities.

And yes, after you beat the campaign, you’re dropped in a small house where you fight NAZI ZOMBIES.

With the Americans’ side of things, there really isn’t much story in here. But, playing as Dmitri, your ally Viktor Reznov makes the entire run on the western front worth it.

Playing as Miller, you would be stuck with two sergeants who sounded the same, and someone of your rank whose voice acting is sub-par. And when there’s a lack of seeable enemies, it makes even close-range combat incredibly hard.
Playing as Dmitri, seeing the Nazis you had to kill was way easier than the Japs. They’re easier to see, and the areas are far more open. The challenge lies in open areas where you have to snipe to get a good shot in, and I love those situations in open-world shooters. I really enjoy sniping, even though I’m pretty terrible at it.

Black Ops 1 (Xbox 360/PS3/PC)

Up to Black Ops 1, I had played COD4, World at War and MW2. When I started up Black Ops 1, it stuck me in a spot I’d never been in- an interrogation chamber where we were exploring memories in a soldier’s many tours.

Focusing in the Cold War era, you play as Sgt. Alex Mason under care of the CIA. It sets you in the Bay of Pigs invasion to start with, and you move on through various events on both sides of the spectrum. You also play as Mason’s handler Jason Hudson, and Viktor Reznov for a bit of background. (Spoiler, Reznov is in all three games) Mason also works with one of his best military buddies, Sgt. Frank Woods.

Gameplay-wise, it doesn’t feel much different than World at War- at least until you play the Reznov mission. After that, you’ll feel a lot of differences in how everything feels and operates. It makes a good bridging gap between the first and third games, and leaves things just open enough to deliver a sequel.

And yes, Zombies returns as a full-blown game mode.You have one map to start out with, another to unlock through the campaign, and a totally new mode through an easter egg. There are definitely zombies maps included with DLC packs, however I’m not going to review all of those. I’ll just give a quick review on all of the included maps.
Kino Der Toten is pretty basic, and includes everything from Der Reise with the addition of Mule Kick (Carry 3 weapons). Map is in a figure-8 pattern, and is really easy to run a horde of zombies behind you without getting caught. My record is 69.
FIVE is a map that takes place in the Pentagon, taking inspiration from two campaign levels: U.S.D.D. and Rebirth’s labs. It feels like a crappy throwaway, for lack of a better word, and way too compact. It’s easy enough to get killed way before you turn the power on, with my highest round completed on the map being 13.Dead Ops Arcade is a parody of 80’s arcade games. Instead of being in a first-person perspective, you have a top-down view of the map and have to battle zombies and the Cosmic Silverback. It’s a fun twist, but I don’t play it often enough.

Black Ops II (Xbox 360/PS3/PC)

This is where the title “Black Ops” starts to become questionable, especially towards the end of the campaign. Additionally, there’s some actual character-building in the game to make it a little more worth it.

You primarily play as David Mason, Alex Mason’s son in a later year and war. There are sequences where you go back in time to play as Alex alongside Joseph Svimbi, and during other scenarios. Frank Woods is also a key player throughout the game. Though later in the campaign, it turns into very public, very violent war where nobody can deny that this is happening. This makes it difficult to maintain the “Black Ops” title, in my opinion. Black Operations implies that the words will be covered by black ink to refute details, giving plausible deniability to the situation. (i.e., it never happened) But when the war is taken to your homefront? It becomes difficult to deny

And yes, zombies are included in a slightly futuristic installment. You’re given one map that was separated into three areas, with different game modes in each.
Green Run: You can play the story (Transit), survival in three smaller parts of the map (Bus Station, Town and Farm), and a game mode called “Grief” where you survive in teams.

Personally, I like the fast pace of this game in a literal sense of the word. Swift movement and being able to do everything at a fast, brisk pace? I’m one to speedrun a game (Or a world in an MMO) first, then take in the story on a second run through. Although, one thing that makes it difficult to speedrun and continue a story is that this game is non-linear. There are multiple endings thanks to three choices you have in the game:
Do you save the girl and kill her captor?
Do you shoot the man with the bag over his head in the legs or head?
Do you kill your best friend when under pressure to maintain your loyalty to your leader?
Do you kill the bad guy, martyring him to his cause? Or do you spare him, in hopes that he will see the world in a better light?

Of course, these are choices you have to make that will affect the outcome of your game.

World at War & Black Ops (DS)

Of course, you wouldn’t expect a Call of Duty game to be played on a device that wholly is the size of the first Xbox Original controllers. Right? Right? Well as it turns out, Nintendo licensed out their hardware for Activision to make Call of Duty games for their systems. Old news, I know. And in my opinion? They’re pretty terrible. I’ll be reviewing these two together because my criticisms are largely the same.

There are characters that look vaguely human in the game, but the controls are so weird! And in the American campaign, especially in Iwo Jima, it’s hard to tell your enemies and allies apart! The stories, unlike their console counterparts, are so terribly disconnected on all fronts, and nobody ever gives any sort of good exposition anywhere. Additionally, the controls are tough to use because your bottom screen affects your look, and it’s easy enough to accidentally press the ADS button while trying to figure out where the hell the bad guys are. It’s like they said “World War II shooter,” and gave nothing to warrant an individual story, like Private Miller or Dmitri Petrenko.
Now, to the credit of Black Ops on DS, it actually had key bindings available in the options, and two separate aiming options. But it felt like Black Ops did nothing but parody both Black Ops games for that same generation, and did nothing to expand anywhere. Though oddly enough, you played alongside David Mason at some points.

And to my surprise, zombies was included on Black Ops for DS. Four maps, where everything was ungodly expensive, and the zombies ran at a brisk walk. You could probably give a Vietnamese stealth trooper from the console version glowing eyes and you’d have every zombie in that mode.

In other words, I found no justifiable reason to play those game after awhile.

So, what’s your score?

Starting from the top…

World at War gets a 7.5/10. Despite how little narrative there is, it’s still enough to bring about an enveloping story for half the game.
Black Ops 1 gets 9/10. While it may not feel fast enough, I love the story and how it’s presented.
Black Ops 2 gets 8/10. Fast pacing, decent game overall, though the point of the game and title comes into question after a certain point.

Both DS counterparts get 0/10 and 0.5/10 respectively. At least Black Ops made some slight improvements to its prequel, of whom I will no longer mention.

My Stance on Abortion & Birth Control

Yep. Coming straight out of the floodgates with more controversial topics.

With the vice presidential candidates announced for the 2016 presidential election, Tim Kaine (D) and Mike Pence (R), I’ve been concerned with the track record of both. Kaine has had a very nice run as Senator and Governor (If I recall right), meanwhile those who I know in Indiana would rather burn Pence at stake. A few would probably want to eat his charred corpse too, but that’s beside the point.

Early on, there was a potential conflict of interest when Clinton declared Kaine as her running mate. Clinton has always been about children and women’s health, so her domestic policy does fit for a modern-day developed country. However, NBC news said that “While (Kaine) is Catholic and against abortion, he has always fought for legalization.” I can get behind his attitude, even though I no longer consider myself a devout Byzantine Catholic.

Meanwhile, Pence has done nothing but piss women off and make their lives more difficult in Indiana. Abortion is illegal, he tried to create a law that required mothers to hold funerals for the aborted fetus (why?) and he defunded Planned Parenthood.

People, you can’t stop teens from having sex. I won’t deny that I’ve had ‘extracurricular time’ with an old friend when we got all hunky-dory while in private, however we played it safe. Yes, there are teen (and older) couples who can abstain on both ends until marriage, but who’s to say that others won’t? We need Planned Parenthood because that gives us access to the contraception we need.

However, that’s not the point of this blog post/rant. If you want to learn more about Planned Parenthood’s importance and why assuming that “Tax Dollars are going to Federally-Funded Abortions,” here’s a video from ETC News about Planned Parenthood. (NSFW: Vulgar language is used throughout for emphasis)

Anyway, the topic of the article: Abortion. This goes hand-in-hand with women’s health, so I’ll go ahead and talk about that too.

Growing up Catholic, my views certainly were influenced by the Christian religion. But my views have evolved over time, even since before I left the church. I used to be aggressively anti-abortion. Looking back on it now, I did some incredibly embarrassing things under the guise of religious efforts.

Now… my views have changed. I am not FOR abortions, but I’m not strictly AGAINST abortions either. I feel that the option should be kept open no matter the case, but the bearer of the fetus has final say in the fate of the youngin’. We should respect her for her decision, as she’s only human. And we’re all sinners, aren’t we?

Now, for the Pro-Life enthusiasts, I’ve always asked three questions…

The first question: What if the baby is born out of rape or incest? (These are the only instances where abortions are federally funded through Planned Parenthood)
If it’s consensual incest for pleasure… eh… I’m conflicted, but I don’t see harm in that. Live and let live, you don’t have to do that sort of thing yourself. Ya know? But if it’s without consent, whether it be interfamilial relations or just some stranger getting in your pants, it’s still a problem that women have to deal with and is seldom prosecuted. It’s a traumatic event that leaves the victim with PTSD and a constant reminder, hence why those children conceived out of rape are often abused by single mothers. And if you recommend that they simply “put the child up for adoption,” keep in mind that there are over 500,000 orphans in the U.S. alone waiting to be adopted, many of whom are kept back by private organizations who are VERY selective about who they adopt out. In theory, good solution. In practice, ‘Nobody wants these children.’ Reality sucks.

The second question: What if there’s a complication during pregnancy that may put the life of the mother or the fetus at risk?
While these cases are not often heard, the most significant case I’ve heard of in the past few years was of Erick Munoz and his wife Marlise in 2014. Marlise was pregnant with the couple’s second(?) child, and had said prior to the pregnancy that ‘If anything happens, that [she] would rather let go of the world than hold on and burden anyone else.’ She fell into cardiac arrest and was pronounced brain-dead. However, the Fort Worth, TX hospital she was taken to would not take her off life support, despite both sides of the family pressing, because she was pregnant. The fetus would have been born with tremendous brain damage due to oxygen deprivation and lack of nutrients in the womb. According to CNN, Erick won a legal battle with the hospital and got his wife off life support so her body could be laid to rest.  (Story can be found here)
There have been countless other cases of complications during birth that have left either or both mother and child dead. If you could save the life of the mother, would you abort the fetus? The fetus is, at this point, a parasite that’s rejecting the host and trying to take everything. You can stop it: Would you stop it to give the mother a second chance? Or would rather save neither mother nor child? It’s a “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation, but I’d rather save mother and sacrifice the child. even if she becomes physically barren.

The third question: What if families can’t afford the baby?
Don’t come at me with “They damn well better find a way” with this question. Some folks are in situations where they can’t afford the baby perpetually, whether it be financial, security, or (as said before) physical/mental health problems. Having a baby takes time, care, and financial security. You’d better have enough money to take care of the baby ready, otherwise it’s popping out poor, all while you’re poor, and you both stay poor. It’s systematic oppression combined with systematic racism, in a sense of the word. And yes, while there was a recent high school senior who went home from stomach pains, gave birth and is keeping the baby, others may not be so fortunate. Do a google search, and you’ll find plenty of examples where teens have outright abandoned their babies, with a recent local story where a baby that a teen mother just gave birth to was thrown out a window and died.

Abortion is a hard subject to talk about, yes. However, nobody can go through life with an easy hand laid out for them. We have to have these uncomfortable conversations to make progress.

While my personal beliefs may differ, I think that the U.S. should abide by Roe v Wade and not the more recent case. A woman should have unlimited access to abortions during any one and all of the three trimesters of pregnancy, because you never know if and when a situation arises where abortion is not only a good idea, but required for the mental and physical health of a woman, and economic stability of the people.

 

UPDATE: Someone recently challenged my blog post in real life by asking this question:

What if it was your girlfriend who aborted your child, behind your back and without your permission?
I had no answer to this question at the time, but later in the week I came up with this response in a step-by-step format to answer this person’s questions:

Yes or No: Can you afford to take care of a child? Having a child has its costs. If you know you can’t handle one child financially, then it’s a bad idea because you could be without necessities for an undetermined period of time. Also, a child’s diet is very finicky, so you have to spend carefully to make sure you don’t accidentally kill your kid by wrong food.
If you answered “Yes” to this question, move on to the next one. If no, move on to question 3.

Yes or No: Do both of you want a child? A relationship between two individuals should always have equal decisions between the two (I’m only considering monogamous couples because polygamy is a completely different debate). If it’s a big decision that concerns both of you. It’s the man’s sperm and the woman’s egg, and the woman’s body undergoing changes over the next 9 months. Animals, whether mammals, reptiles, birds or amphibians, go through changes when they deliver offspring as well. This is not solely a Homo Sapiens problem.

If your significant other dodges the question or says “No,” then it’s a no. To have a child is reserved for a unanimous decision in healthy relationships.
If you answered “Yes” but your significant other answered “No,” move on to the next question.

Did you impregnate her? If you answer yes, congratulations! You proved your inconsiderate insolence. At that point, if she chooses to abort the baby, she has every right to. Nobody is forcing her to keep the child except her own moral compass, and you forced a responsibility that you either can’t handle or didn’t agree with upon her. Point, blank, period.

With that said, if she chooses to keep the child: Lucky you! I hope you can take care of it, and raise your offspring to be less inconsiderate.
If she chooses to abort, you’re free to sever the relationship. No questions asked, but that simply proves your indignant nature.