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Blame The Orcs

Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007 3:47 AM

A Boot to the Head for CBS News for another round of substance-free reporting in regards to the apparent murder of 'Baby Grace,' making mention that her mother and stepfather both played the popular online game 'World of Warcraft' - and implying that make-believe sword-and-sorcery somehow contributed to the infant's death, without providing substantiation for their claims.

Instead, anchors are quick to describe the game as 'violent,' and pointing out the game's nickname: 'World of WarCrack,' emphasizing the negative connotations and ignoring that previous games, such as Everquest, have also been dubbed 'Evercrack' by its players.

And another Boot to the Head for President Bush and Condoleezza Rice for parroting the same line at the Annapolis Conference. "If peace were easy, it would have been done already."

That's it? 'Wow, this peace shit is hard?'

Credit goes to both Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for agreeing to ongoing talks.

But let's not ignore the downside - Iran, left off the guest list, is throwing a temper tantrum, announcing that they will sponsor a different kind of conference, one among Hamas (who was also not invited) and other militant factions among the Palestinians.

Iran also saw fit to announce a new long-range missile.

Clashes between Hamas supporters and Palestinian Security Forces have also begun. It should not be forgotten that the Bush Administration ignored predictions that Hamas would win the last election, upon which Condoleezza Rice dusted off the usual, "I don't think anyone knew ..." excuse.

And while I'm not an expert in international relations, wouldn't it have made more sense to invite both Iran and Hamas and let them leave or participate as they see fit? Thus, when decisions impacting the region are made, if they don't participate, it's their problem, and not because we 'excluded' them.

Gee, Barack Obama outpolls Hillary, and suddenly, we're back to the media chasing the 'Is Obama Black Enough?' question.

How is it that we're not asking if Hillary is white enough, or if Mitt Romney is Mormon enough? Simple - it's a question without substance or merit.

And if the media won't budge from their obsession with Hillary's laugh, or Obama's skin color, it's up to the voters to do their homework and look at the candidates, rather than shrug and sign off on 'Inevitable Hillary.'

Pakistan's General Pervez Musharraf has stepped down as head of his country's military, paving the way for him to be sworn in as a civilian for his second term as president.

It is not, however, the achievement that everyone is crowing about. Pakistan remains under a state of emergency, with its constitution suspended. And it doesn't change the fact that Musharraf conveniently restructured the supreme court and jailed most of his detractors.

And how is it that no one is asking about Pakistan's nukes, or even naming Musharraf's successor?

This past weekend, I went to see the movie, "Hitman," which is based on a videogame about a superbly-trained assassin. The film is rated R, for violence and nudity.

So, in the midst of the film, I notice a family get up and leave. Now, the parents didn't have any issues with the blood and bullets and arterial spray, but a woman's breasts was apparently too much for them.

Come on, folks, the film is rated 'R'. It always says why the film was given that rating. Do we need theater cashiers to start asking if you understand what 'violence and nudity' means?

And that's beyond the fact that you think the content of an R-rated film based on an M-rated videogame is suitable for your kids.

And I almost forgot ... apparently, the newest idea from Homeland Security is to have firefighters and other first responders carry out surveillance, since they don't require a warrant to enter a person's home.

In a pilot program between DHS and the NYFD, firefighters, "... are told to be alert for a person who is hostile, uncooperative or expressing hate or discontent with the United States; unusual chemicals or other materials that seem out of place; ammunition, firearms or weapons boxes; surveillance equipment; still and video cameras; night-vision goggles; maps, photos, blueprints; police manuals, training manuals, flight manuals; and little or no furniture other than a bed or mattress."

This is little more than a fresh coat of paint on Operation TIPS - which called for postal employees and truck drivers to act as the government's eyes and ears.

Though we're a bit beyond the time for it, there needs to be frank questions and hard answers as to why we're emulating the policies of failed fascist and communist countries as if freedom were an inconvenience rather than a strength. And I think it's safe to say that, among the millions of fires and emergency calls that take place each year, few of them - if any - are related to terrorism.

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