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Nuclear Unicorn

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Member since: Wed Sep 16, 2009, 07:33 PM
Number of posts: 12,285

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Right now I'm thinking it would be

worth the trip across the Rockies for some Chinese food.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Mon Sep 22, 2014, 09:18 PM (0 replies)

One of the worst stories you'll ever read: Rotherham child-sex victim confronts her alleged abuser

Rotherham child-sex victim confronts her alleged abuser in the street... but SHE is arrested by a van load of police

A damning report released last month detailed how 1,400 children were sexually exploited in the area over a 16-year period.

The Times reported that a woman whose case is being investigated by authorities - but has not yet been interviewed - was arrested after tackling a man she says groomed her when she was 15.

A witness accused the police of 'acting like insensitive thugs', telling the paper: 'A police van came and six male officers piled out.

'Two of them dragged her away, handcuffed her, put her against a wall and then shoved her into the back of the van.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2756140/Rotherham-child-abuse-victim-confronts-alleged-abuser-street-SHE-arrested-van-load-police.html


I honestly don't know what to say.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Wed Sep 17, 2014, 10:02 AM (1 replies)

My thoughts / prayer for the war with ISIS

If this is to be done let it be done swiftly and decisively. Let us set aside partisan opportunism and wish those who must carry this burden victory and a safe return to their loved ones.

We ask them to conduct themselves with honor first and skill always. Watch over each other.

May the President approach this with equal measures of clarity of purpose, sobriety of judgment and humility. Then return our troops to their families and take nothing except the knowledge we stood for what was right.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Fri Sep 12, 2014, 11:58 AM (22 replies)

Ray Rice, the NFL, the DA and anarchy

They told me if I embraced anarchism that elites would go unpunished for greed and violence while the common people endured brutality and privation -- and they were right!

First, let me say that I think the NFL has so ham-handedly fouled the issue. They tried to skate by with allowing yet another celebrity not face the consequences of their actions but when the CCTV footage emerged they quickly moved not punish Rice out of moral conviction but cover their own asses. How did they think Janay was rendered unconscious? What did they think that was going to look like? Were they dumb enough to think she was rendered unconscious by harsh-language or do they think we're dumb enough to think that was a possibility?

But that is actually beside the point. The real point is the NFL has no business dispensing legal sanctions. No private corporation should be doing that. We live in a nation where no one can be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process. Just because a corporation (a tax-exempt, anti-trust exempt, corporation by the way) is the one depriving liberty and property doesn't make it OK. It actually makes it worse. Corporations are not duly constituted civil authority. It's bad enough they corrupt politics and politicians enjoy being corrupted but when government cedes the authority to impose fines and punishments we are all in some seriously deep doo-doo.

Yet, we were left to rely on the NFL because the DA in NJ is all but in dereliction of duty. The claim is made that because the now Mrs. Rice declined to testify against her then fiancÚ the DA could not prosecute. That's BS. Domestic violence laws take this oft-seen phenomenon into account. Instead the DA chose/elected/decided to offer Mr. Rice entrance into a diversion program. Check out this amazing level of bald-faced lying --

"Mr. Rice received the same treatment by the criminal justice system in Atlantic County that any first-time offender has, in similar circumstances," Jay McKeen, a spokesman for the Atlantic County prosecutor's office, told ABC News.

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/11495795/prosecutor-office-defends-ray-rice-decision


We could fertilize the Sahara with that load.

The prosecutor that declined to prosecute Rice even though he had video of Janay being drilled in the face with the fist of a brute who supposedly loves her and then dragged her unconscious body out of the elevator only to leave her sprawled on the hallway floor is also the same prosecutor that is seeking to destroying first-time offender Shaneen Allen.

Ms. Allen is a single mother working multiple jobs. Ms. Allen was robbed twice within the space of a year and decided to obtain her concealed carry permit. Now, I understand I have lost some of you already but hear this out, not as a 2A debate but as an equality under the law issue. Ms. Allen complied with Pennsylvania law, going through the extensive background check and training in state law and safe handling.

Ms. Allen was driving to work when she was stopped for making an improper lane change. She had been in possession of her weapon for barely a week but seeking to do the right thing she volunteered to inform the stopping officer that she was carrying concealed. The state of NJ does not recognize permits issued by Ms. Allen's state of residency, Pennsylvania.

She's facing 10 years in prison. She will be a convicted felon. Her education as a healthcare professional will be rendered meaningless.

Allow me to repeat what the DA's office said --

"Mr. Rice received the same treatment by the criminal justice system in Atlantic County that any first-time offender has, in similar circumstances," Jay McKeen, a spokesman for the Atlantic County prosecutor's office, told ABC News.

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/11495795/prosecutor-office-defends-ray-rice-decision


Ms. Allen didn't knock a loved one unconscious. Ms. Allen volunteered her information seeking to do the right thing. Ms. Allen didn't leave a limp body lying on the floor as a spectacle. Ms. Allen doesn't have celebrity status and rich contracts.

And it's not just Ms. Allen. Invading armies subjugate the people in Missouri. Babies are being maimed in their cribs because of professional incompetence but no one is held to account. Banks squander people's life savings in bad decisions only to take the people's tax money to avoid the consequence of the bad decisions. Meanwhile the politicians either turn a blind eye or write laws that actually strengthen the corruption while smothering anyone who might compete against their patrons.

This is caprice. This is lawlessness. This is a bastardization of justice. This is a government of men, not laws.

We told them we wanted no more kings and they told us we needed a system or else there would be anarchy. We gave them a system and they made the system king.

We should have gone with the anarchy.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Wed Sep 10, 2014, 11:18 AM (6 replies)

When a gun owner is most dangerous

Thanks to those on the gun control side who have been so illuminating.

A gun owner is most dangerous when they can skirt the background check through a private sale or at a gun show.

A gun owner is most dangerous when they go through the extensive background checks for obtaining a CC permit.

A gun owner is most dangerous when they have no familiarity in the use of their firearm.

A gun owner is most dangerous when they regularly practice with their firearm.

A gun owner is most dangerous when they are ignorant of local and state law.

A gun owner is most dangerous when they obsess over the minutiae of permissible firearms use.

A gun owner is most dangerous when they are ignorant of the toll taken by firearms.

A gun owner is most dangerous when they amass libraries of statistical data to defend their mania.

A gun owner is most dangerous when they openly acknowledge their refusal to adhere to registration and confiscation laws.

A gun owner is most dangerous when they demand we adhere to some musty old document.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Thu Jul 31, 2014, 05:06 PM (24 replies)

Magic: the Gathering; or, a thread in which Nuclear Unicorn gets her geek on

Lover Boy has an acquaintance from work (we'll call him Steve) who is an Army vet the same as Lover Boy. We went over to Steve's house last night for dinner and drinks and Lover Boy noticed Steve had a shelf on a book case stacked with cards from the popular trading card game Magic: the Gathering. Apparently, Lover Boy played while he was deployed, as had a number of his fellow soldiers (the things you learn even after years of being together).

It seems it was a thing with them. Apparently this is also where Steve developed the hobby as well only he kept it up even after returning to civilian life. I had also seen the game played while I was in college but I never played.

Steve lamented not having as many opportunities to play and asked if we wanted to throw down a few hands. Steve's girlfriend (we'll call her Margaret) protested saying it was wrong to impose on company but I could see in LB's eyes he was carried back to some fun memories so I said I was willing to learn how to play.

The premise of the game is each player takes the role of a "planeswalker" a being capable of moving through wild, magical universes filled with amazing creatures and phenomenon. Each planes walker has a repertoire of spells they are able to cast as they battle their opposite members.

In practical terms the players have a deck of cards.

These cards come in several types, i.e. land, creatures, enchantments, "instants" etc. In order to possess power sufficient enough to cast the spells players must "tap" the power of the land but you can only lay down 1 land card per turn (assuming the luck of the draw puts them into your hand) you take so there is a slow build-up of your power.

Moreover, the land cards generate different colors of magical "mana" which are used to power similarly attenuated spells. Swamps produce black; forests, green; mountains, red; islands, blue and plains, white. Some more complicated spells require multiple colors.

Each turn you may tap some, all or none of the land you have put into play and at the beginning of your next turn they all reset.

Tapping land for power allows you to play other spells you may have drawn, such as creatures. Creatures are rated for the amount of damage they both deal and can absorb. They remain in play until they are removed by another spell or they take more points of damage from combat than they are capable of enduring.

Enchantments have effects that remain in play until something forces the enchantment to end. Other cards, such as "instants" resolve immediately but any number of instants may be played consecutively by any players so long as they have adequate untapped lands. For example, I tried casting several spells against Steve only to have him constantly thwart my efforts with a "Counter Spell" card.

When creatures battle the player who is currently taking their turn announces which creatures in play are attacking and against whom they are attacking. Other players are then allowed to declare which of their own creatures are blocking. Sometimes combat is spiced-up with a round of furiously cast instants but in the end the attackers and blockers subtract the amount of damage they do from the amount of damage the opposing creature can sustain. Any creature that has its defense ability reduced to 0 is removed from play. Attacking creatures that survive combat may actually inflict damage upon the designated planeswalker.

Each planeswalker starts with a life score of 20. Although this number may be increased by various spells the toll of spells and creature attacks eventually reduces the player to 0 forcing them from the game.

Last night I played 3 colors which I enjoyed. At first I played a red goblin deck. The illustrations on the cards and the text portrayed them as humorous if albeit self-destructive creatures that attack en masse to overwhelm players. however, while they were fun to play I couldn't seem to get the deck to play as I was told it was designed. We'll chalk it up to my n00bishness.

I also played a green elf deck. I had more success with that one as it produced so much mana I never seemed to be at a loss to cast any spell I wanted. Soon I had a sizable army of elves that plucked enemy flyers from the sky and over ran their defenses.

The last deck I tried was a black deck. It had plenty of nasty effects such as forcing Steve's creatures to attack Steve himself and inflicting diseases that wore down ever increasing amounts of the enemy's life.

Lover Boy played a white and blue angels and priests deck and I could see he had remembered how to play. He also took over the goblins and ran roughshod over the table.

Steve fancied his blue or blue-black decks with many flying creatures and he could string together combinations of spells. Although I was at a decided disadvantage playing against him I learned a lot watching how he manipulated seemingly unrelated spell effects to tremendous potency.

Margaret didn't play but she was my able coach.

All in all I had a good time and now Big Bang Theory seems ever slightly closer to my soul. I would definitely do it again and if anyone is curious about playing please set aside our trepidation and treat yourself. It is a game that will challenge you mentally. The art that adorns each card is fabulous and the "flavor" given to the game makes me smile just recalling how rich it seemed.

If you actually made it this far, Thank-you,
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Sat Nov 23, 2013, 06:18 PM (10 replies)

Being skeptical of government based social welfare is not the same as being against social welfare

Where I live a long time resident was left paralyzed after surgery. The local church went to his house and refurbished it for wheelchair access and had a cook-out. It was all pretty amazing to see. The gentleman didn't have to apply for help, wait for approval or anything; they saw the need and they went.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Thu Oct 17, 2013, 07:49 AM (0 replies)

Lover Boy reviews Oliver Stone's, Natural Born Killers

Not to me but kinda to me.

I've long told him his mind is under-utilized. He happily considers himself a "work a day grunt" as he puts it and he is actually content. He certainly works hard and I'm proud of who he is.

Yet, he also has a very keen mind and a feeling soul. It is part of what has always attracted me to him. We watch movies or whatnot and he always seems to get more from them than I ever will and I was the one who went to school to be a writer.

So, I asked him if I could post his thoughts on the movie,
Natural Born Killers. He was hesitant but agreed as a favor to me. It will be noted he is not a left-leaner but I'm OK with that. His comments include political observation but the review is not politically oriented.

Presented without edit or commentary, except to say --
SPOILER WARNING

* * * * * * * * *

If you see something in a movie but the director didn't intend it, is it really there?

I'm thinking of Oliver Stone's rendition of the Quentin Tarantino story, Natural Born Killers.

I cried, but that's OK because it was a happy cry.

From what I've read about the story it bears little resemblance to the original story though I will admit I like some on the directorial/storytelling devices Stone incorporates such as using a black and white flash cut and projected scenes to portray the underlying emotion or psychosis in a scene.

But as I was reading production notes and trivia I learned that Stone's interpretation of the film was about the commercialization of human tragedy through "reality TV" when the reality is: there are humans that have been brutalized by a desensitized society that either exploits or glosses over the human tragedy thus creating the predators that torment the society that spawned them.

Well, no fucking shit. That seemed obvious throughout the film. Too obvious. In fact, the point seemed so obvious it seemed obvious that it couldn't possibly be the point.

What I saw instead was:

We watch the man on the street interviews of people idolizing Mickey and Mallory and initially we are left to think "By Jove there is some deep sickness at work here." We are supposed to hold these people in contempt that they could so easily be star struck by such depravity.

But then, as Mickey and Mallory are making their final escape from the prison you see them heading down the hallway towards the promising blue light of the outside world. Yet -- after learning of the depravity of Scagnetti (the deranged cop played by Tom Sizemore) and McClusky (the prison warden played by Tommy Lee Jones) -- you actually feel a twinge of exhilarant hope that the protagonists will be free...in spite of just how murderous we know them to be.

In other words, for a moment we become the idolizing man on the street we had earlier held in contempt.

But near as I can tell that was never Stone's intent. From Stone's descriptions it seems more an anti-capitalist you-commercializing-pigs-got-what's-coming screed the cranky, old socialist tends toward.

To me it's about 2 people clawing their way from the pit they were born in. Sure, people die but it's not like they're innocent people because -- as the Bible will tell you and the news will verify -- there is no such thing as innocence on this world.

I think an otherwise great film was "ruined" at the end by showing M&M together with a large, happy family. This exit to family also somewhat diminished the other Tarantino script (but also not directed by him) True Romance. Had the film ended with the grainy TV camera shot looking up as they limp away arm-in-arm I think it would have preserved a powerful, predatory uncertainty. Showing them as a happy family relieves us of the burden of having rooted for them. It's good to know they went on to be better humans then the parents that bore them but how much more powerful could it have been to know the lovers wandered off and remained at large, for all we know, very capable of erupting again.

Contrast this with True Romance. Clarence and Alabama started in love. The violence that swept them away was secondary; it was their reaction to save the love which was the beginning of who they were. In Kill Bill, the Bride essentially starts "in love" when she leaves behind her life as an assassin for the love of her child and her love-born reaction to having lost that child.

In NBK, M&M were born from hatred and depravity. It was what they came from, it was all they knew and they never had a chance to know anything else except from TV sitcoms parodied in the opening act. They became capable of love in spite of that. That was their Odyssean journey. Stone robbed the power of that idea from the story showing M&M happily playing with their children. While itself a good thing it robbed the audience of the joyous dread that M&M might once again strike out at us. It robbed us of the terror that should make us beg their forgiveness for what we did to them and by so begging maybe come to some form of penance and improvement. Taken rightly, the story should make us better the way the Israelites were improved having witnessed and then survived the calamities unleashed by God. You know you're no better than the other guy who is getting pasted before your very eyes so let's just fall to the ground covering our heads with dust and pray we never get what we so richly deserve.

That's what makes their escape so powerful. We want our demons to escape from the prison so that they may survive in the shadows, free to torment us the moment we backslide because if they do not then we -- the frail, reveling, over-commercialized, petty creatures that we are -- will never be improved. We need them to scare us out of the pit they were born into but we choose to slide into through our apathy, greed and cowardice.

In the end, that strikes me as the difference between what Stone filmed and I watched. It could be called the same film but Stone sees the world in materialistic terms as socialists tend where I tend to see things in a spiritual context. But if Stone never meant it to have a spiritual context does it really exist?
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Sun Oct 6, 2013, 08:35 AM (0 replies)

N-th Dimensional Chess: Pawn's Pimp-hand to King's Cheek

So now Assad is DEMANDING we stop arming the rebels. This is all very quaint.

First, over a year ago the US said Assad had to go. The US tried to delegitimize him and treat him as if he were not the official decision-maker for Syria. Now, we are negotiating with him. Now he is re-legitimized.

Second, Russia is handing Assad weapons hand over fist. So, it's "weapons for me but not for thee." Rather cheeky, don't you think?

But that's just a foretaste. Assad also said he needed 30 days to catalog his CW stockpiles. SS Kerry said that was unacceptable. I'll wager they'll spend at least 30 days arguing over whether or not 30 days is acceptable before settling on a timeframe that is acceptable (maybe 180 days?).

This whole "I need 30 days" and "You must stop arming rebels" thingy is just a tremendous game. Expect to see several other demands creeping out over the next few days and weeks. Expect some of them to be rather absurd in nature. It's a ploy with several aspects.

The most obvious is to bide time for Assad. Russia is not going to allow Assad to fall. That is a reality that has to be accepted. Killing 100,000 more people to maintain a hold on power in a region is what Putin calls "Tuesday afternoons."

However, once he has re-secured power for his chinless stooge he will have show that he can hold his satrapy in Syria with more power (and sheer brutality) than the US will holds its fiefdom in Iraq. Hey, there Mr. Arab Prince. That's a nice kingdom you gots there. I'd be a shame if something were to happen to it.

And with each new demand the original demand gets further and further away. If you thought the US public and congress were loathe to go to war over the alleged gassing of civilian wait until you see how much they do not want to go to war over 15-days vs. 30-days or the arming of rebels or whether or not the drapes in the negotiating room in Geneva are mauve with gold trim. And as that non-existent threat of war becomes increasingly non-existent the demands will grow both in frequency and absurdity.

No, Obama will not go back to congress. The proposed AUMF couldn't even pass the Democratic controlled senate; the single most embarrassing indicator of this entire farce. If he circumvents congress unilaterally his presidency is as good as ended, impeachment or not because no one will trust him after that. The rest of his term will be spent watching congress trying to rein him in after he has told them point blank he runs the show without regard or checks or balances.

Play the negotiation game. Draw it out. Accept the fact Assad gets to keep Syria and Putin gets to keep Assad. Let the murderer have his knife fight with the rapist. We wish them both much success. We have our own damn country to run and there's nothing in Syria to save that won't be saved incidentally by an Assad victory. We sure as hell don't want AQ getting a foothold because they can't be controlled by anyone. Walking away with the occasional WOOF! WOOF! WOOF! is the least crappiest of a thousand potentially crappy outcomes.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Thu Sep 12, 2013, 06:38 PM (4 replies)

Things are -- happening

I don't know how to qualify them or explain *why* they are happening but I feel them nonetheless. I've been tossing them over and over in my mind for over 6 months now.

Super Bowl Sunday is an event in my husband's family and their enthusiasm is contagious. Since my dad loves football as well we invited him and my step-mom. My brother was also invited.

This is no small thing because things were very strained between he and I. When we were growing up my biological mother abandoned us, her family. It was left to my dad to be a single-parent/fledgling business owner. My brother did what he could to help my dad take care of the household responsibilities but by the time I hit my sophomore year in high school I was living "wild, young and free" while he was playing dutiful homemaker. The last conversation I had with him before I left for college was him telling me I would, "never be anything more than a stoned slut."

I still feel the sting of those words.

College came and went. I met the man who would become my husband (some of which I wrote about during my time here on DU) and married. My brother had his life and I had mine. He is a restaurant manager and has always been the good student, good employee, hard worker, straight-laced kind of guy. We hadn't spoken through all those years until my father went into the hospital for his heart condition. It thawed the ice somewhat and we had a good talk for a couple of hours just exchanging news of our respective lives. Then, a little over nine months ago my SIL left, taking the kids. My brother was devastated. He was invited to Super Bowl Sunday to get his mind off his troubles and hopefully have a little fun.

During the game he got up and said he was getting another beer. He went into the kitchen while everyone else cheered or jeered the current play according to their team loyalties. I noticed he had been gone a bit long for a simple beer run so I went to the kitchen. He was standing there looking out the window. He didn't turn around to see who I was when I came through the door, he just stood there, the way men do when they don't want to be seen as "unmanly." His pain was palpable.

I didn't know what to say but I wanted to say something. I walked up behind him and put my arms around him. A moment later he broke down. After he regained himself he turned and held me in his arms. He told me I was a good person and how sorry he was for being angry with me all those years. I didn't feel like a good person, I just couldn't bear to see him hurting.

Sadly, his marriage is headed for divorce but my brother is getting stronger by the day. He spends more time with me and our dad now.

The other thing that is *happening* is with my kid SIL, my husband's sister. We spend a lot of time watching her as my FIL is out of town on business or she just wants to spend time with us (my MIL died about 2 years ago). On Sundays we take her to church because it is her dad's wish and especially my MIL's.

When we took her on Mother's Day the kids were taken back to rehearse a song. When they returned each child was carrying a pink rose to present to their mother. My SIL was carrying two which she presented to me.

One in memory of her mother -- the other one was for me.

I don't think I've ever held anyone tighter. Tears rolled down my face as I kissed her beautiful little cheeks over and over and over again.

This post is already over-long. Perhaps soon I'll write about the goings-on with my husband. It created quite the tempest, at first, but I think we're stronger for it now.

Some*THING* is happening. I don't know what it is but I feel it and I'm grateful for it. I'm in awe of it and I welcome it.
Posted by Nuclear Unicorn | Tue Jul 23, 2013, 04:47 PM (3 replies)
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