The WWE kept fans waiting until the final minutes of tonight’s episode of Monday Night RAW but it was well worth the wait: 10 months after his last appearance on Smackdown, The Undertaker returned tonight to answer Brock Lesnar’s open challenge for “the opportunity to make history”. I believe I said this two years ago but I’m a hardcore fan of The Undertaker. His legendary Undefeated Streak at Wrestlemania is the reason ‘Taker can come and go as he pleases.
Going into WMXXX, the streak stands at 21-0. It is interesting to note The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar’s storied rivalry dates back to Lesnar’s first tenure in the WWE 10 years ago and even extended into his tenure with UFC:
At the time, Lesnar had just lost a UFC Championship match. Those old enough to remember the feud they had when Lesnar was in the WWE knows it wasm’t just personal. They really didn’t like each other. The Deadman, who is a huge fan of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) was in the crowd. At the time he was using his Biker persona in the WWE. Immediately after the match ended, The Undertaker stomed down to the ramp and intercepted Lesnar as he was making his way back to the locker room area. The two locked eyes for a moment and as witnesses would later say, The Undertaker said to Lesnar “You wanna do this?” Since ‘Taker is under contract with the WWE he couldn’t have an unsanctioned match with Lesnar. Some say the WWE arranged for ‘Taker to get access to Lesnar in a bid to lure him back to the WWE.
10 years later, the inevitable showdown at The Show of Shows is finally going to happen.
I look forward to buying the match in HD when it’s released on Xbox Live!
As of today, Panel Application sbumissions are officially CLOSED.
I myself have submitted five panel applications, the 5th one being a last-minute entry. To recap for those who don’t read My Anime & Manga Blog or Video Game Blog, here are the five panels I’m going to do at Anime Boston 2014 pending approval:
- Clannad: The Place Where Wishes Come True: It’s returning for the third year in a row. If you want to see highlights from what I did last year, someone uploaded it on You Tube. Anyway, Clannad is one of my two favorite Anime of all time. The rustic, slow-paced settings and emotionally sensitive characters are relatable and lovable. The biggest thing I love about it is the life lessons one can draw from virtually every episode of this Anime. I skipped on doing this last year but this year I’m going to play some clips from the Anime. I have the DVD sets so…yeah. Assuming it gets approved and slotted, this panel will be Saturday night from 8:00PM to 9:00PM.
- Court Records: Ace Attorney: This panel made its debut last year. Easily the most popular panel of the day. Don’t believe me? I shot this video clip moments before the panel started. I walked in the door 5 minutes before I shot that footage. Every seat was filled. When I started it was standing room only. Everything folks loved about the panel last year will be back this year. I’ve requested an extra 30 minutes so that I can dedicate a full half hour to the trial. I will also play 20 minutes from the Ace Attorney Movie. It will be EPIC. Assuming it gets approved and slotted, this panel will be Friday afternoon or Sunday morning.
- Persona 4: Pursuing My True Self: A new panel I am doing, this one is about the video game Persona 4 and the Anime adaptation of it. I will play clips from the Anime during the panel seeing as I have it in both Blu Ray and a digital copy from iTunes. I will also spend a bit of time talking about the phychiatry of Persona, which will be very interesting for those who see it live. My intent is do do this panel Sunday mid-morning assuming it’s approved.
- Fire Emblem Awkening: Time Paradox: Looking back at it now I am considering scrapping this panel in favor of just doing the other four panels. I have drawn up my plans for this panel and so far what I have in mind will barely take up 20 minutes. The Panel Selection process has only just begun so I will have to wait until I know if this panel’s been chosen for sure to decide if I still want to do it or not. I know I’ve definitely changed my mind about doing it but as I just said, if it doesn’t get approved I’ll be happy with that. Pending approval this panel is slotted for sometime on Friday.
- Tales of Symphonia: 10 Years Later: For most, this was their first Tales of Game. Even 10 years later it’s the most popular Tales of game by a large margin. The game is being re-released with its sequel Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World (originally released on the Nintendo Wii) on the Playstation 3 next month as part of a set called Tales of Symphonia Chronicles ($40). This is a panel for the fans but to make this panel extra special, I am giving away two copies of Tales of Symphonia Chronicles at the panel. Assuming it’s approved and slotted, of course.
There you have it.
I have a rough outline for the three new panels drawn already but I will do the powerpoints in full during February Break. I can only hope I will find out which of my panels were slotted by the end of February. As I mentioned above, I’ve changed my mind about doing the Fire Emblem panel. I don’t have enough material to fill the requested time and I’d rather not stretch things out like I did with my Fan Fiction panel last year. Speaking of which, notice it’s not listed above. Everyone found it informaative and helpful but for me, it was mentally taxing doing that panel for 90 minutes by myself. It just kept going on and on. I will not do it again unless I have a copanelist or two.
Anywho, this is what I got lined up where programming is concerned. Comicopia and Level Up Gaming have both confirmed they will be back at Anime Boston as well and I am thrilled. I’m working on getting some transportation concerns from the convention on Saturday night squared away but other than that, I’m set ^_^
I thought about blogging on this last year but I didn’t want ro give the attention whore any more of the attention he was already getting from everyone else. Those following the news might remember at the time folks were also talking about Julian Assange, the founder of Wiki Leaks whose site literally promotes leaking sensitive and classified information over the internet in the name of “being transparent”.
Everyone knows what Mr. Snowden did: He stole classified information from the NSA he was subcontracted to work for, leaked most of the info he stole over the internet and fled to Russia, which by the way DOES NOT have an Extradition Treaty with the United States. For those who don’t know, an Extradition Treaty means if someone who is a citizen of one country is wanted by their country’s government and flees to another country, their native country can request the country they fled to return them too face prosecution. If there is no treaty, the other country is under no obligation to do anything. Russia is one of a few countries with an American embassy within its boarders that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the U.S.
Anyway, I want to drive home the important point as to WHY Mr. Snowden is a Traitor and not a Patriot or a Whistleblower like more and more Americans are calling him in the hopes the U.S. will allow him to freely return to the States:
- First of all, he disclosed sensitive infornation over the internet he did not have clearance to do. There is protocol for sharing classified information with the public that should be followed without exception. The fall0ut from his actions as well as Wiki Leaks are proof of that.
- Second, he fled the country knowing he probably wouldn’t be able to return under his own power. Even worse, he fled to a country he knew didn’t have an extradition treaty with the U.S. Ergo, his intent upon leaving was using the information he stole to find sanctuary in a country that wouldn’t send him back.
- Third, he’s been trying to bargain conditions for his return/surrender ever since he left. Thus, he knew he broke the law and will have to pay the price accordingly as well.
In short, Mr. Snowden really only has two options: Give up and accept his punishment or keep running. With the Winter Olympics and the G-20 Summit both in Russia, I wouldn’t be surprised if the U.S. deligation used both events as an opportunity to make a deal for Snowden or at the very least, confirm his exact location. He’d be a fool to stay in Moscow during both events. While Russia has no obligation to turn him over to the U.S., they also have no obligation to keep him. This is Russia we’re talking about. If he was considered a source of high-value intelligence they would keep a tight leash on him and not let him talk to the media. We know that that isn’t the case.
The thing my Anti-Government Americans need to understand–and I want to thank my vets and active duty soldiers out there for pointing this out–is the information Mr. Snowden and Wiki Leaks is disclosing over the internet is being seen –and being made us of–by Terrorists. The other day news broke Russia is extending Mr. Snowden’s residential visa by another year. It has nothing to do with the security concerns plaguing Russia or any political agenda. They simply don’t have reasonable cause to revoke his visa. Remember: Russia doesn’t have an Extradition Treaty with the United States.
For those who don’t know what an extradition treaty is, simply put it means if a wanted fugitive or person of interest from one country flees to another country, if the country they fled FROM has an extradition treaty with the country they fled TO, the government looking for the person/suspect can go into the country they fled into to get him/her. This works both ways. The U.S. has an extradition treaty with Canada. Let’s say a Canadian national with a warrant crosses into New York. The Canadian Government can request the assistance of the U.S. Government in the suspect’s arrest and return to Canada. Now let’s say an American citizen with a warrant flees to Maxico. The U.S. has an extradition treaty with our neighbors to the south. The U.S. can request the assistance of the Mexican government in the suspect’s arrest and return the U.S.
As I mentioned twice now, the U.S. doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Russia. Mr. Snowden fled there knowing the Russian government wouldn’t send him back to the U.S. The reverse also holds true, which might explain why the C.I.A. did not act when the Russian government tried to warn them about Tamerlan Tsarniev.
Anyway, Mr. Snowden’s actions should not be celebrated. Did he divulge government secrets to the world? Absolutely. Did he succeed in whatever it was he set out to do? Partially. The only “victory” he won was revealing what is already well known: The U.S. keeps tabs on its partners around the world. Really, it’s not a big deal. German Chancellor Andrea Merkel, whose private phone conversations were tapped by the NSA according to Mr. Snowden has not demanded anything of the U.S. in the aftermath of “the revelation”. Ditto for other partner countries identified in what Mr. Snowden leaked.
This is not the world stage of 100 years ago.
There’s a crystal clear difference between “Keeping them Honest” and “Need to know Basis”. All the leaks that have happened in the last three years belong in Category B, more so given they were released without context in masse by people who themselves admit to have no background knowledge of the information they disclose to the public via Wiki Leaks and other websites. All this does is reinforce the bases of the Conspiracy Theorists and Anti-Government Americans out there.
Last night, I posted a message on Facebook saying I would explain in detail how to get iTunes to work after applying the iTunes update released on 1/24/2014.
First, here is the link to the support thread for those with an iTunes Account:
For everyone else, here’s what to do as listed in that thread:
Go to Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs (Win XP) or Programs and Features( Vista, 7 or 8)
Remove all of these items:
- Apple Software Update
- Apple Mobile Device Support
- Apple Application Support
Reboot, download iTunes, then reinstall, either using an account with administrative rights, or right-clicking the downloaded installer and selecting Run as Administrator.
To quickly get to your control panel on a Windows 7 or 8 Computer, open the Start Menu and click in the search box. Type in “Control Panel” to pull it up. Next, click Programs and Features. This will pull up the list of just about every program installed on your computer. Before you do anything further, make sure you do not have an Apple Device–iPad, iphone, iPod and do on–connected to your computer.
I slightly edited the original text to clarify the Operating Systems this fix will work on as well as to point out the ordering after iTunes does not matter as long as ALL of the listed programs are ALL uninstalled. If you use Safari and/or iCloud DO NOT ininstall them even though they are both Apple Products. These two programs DO NOT share files with iTunes like the four listed with iTiunes above do.
After you uninstall all five programs, reboot your machine, download iTunes and re-install it using Run as Administator. That’s it you’re done.
One other thing before I forget, actually two:
- Your Library should not be effected as your library is automatically stored in separate areas from the program files. Even so, it’s a good idea to back up your library on an External Hard Drive or iCloud if you have a big libarary.
- You will need to reinstall your Apple Devices to the affected computers. This is why I said to unlug your devices before you start the process. All you should need to do to reinstall the driver(s) for your device(s) is plug it in after you’ve installed iTunes. Windows will do the rest.
That’s basically it. I hope this proves helpful!
Four years later, Port-au-Prince looks just as it did the day a 7.0 Earthquake rocked country, its capital the epicenter. Even four years later there is no official death toll though according to multiple sources it’s at least 100,000, most in and around Port-Au-Prince. Let me put that in perspective: At the time of the earthquake, Haiti’s population was 4 million. It’s believed there are 8 millon Haitian nationals living around the world. Not a single one of that 8 million did not know someone who died in the Earthquake. It was the first time since another catastrophic natural disaster–Huricane Katrina–that I followed the news so closely in the days and weeks following the earthquake.
One thing that jumped out at me was the call for relief aid not from Haiti but from the international community. And boy did it come pouring in. Never before and never again has hundreds of billions of dollars–I’m not exaggerating–been raised in relief aid. That’s nothing short of miraculous. Unfortunately, one can only imagine the great good all the money and resources amassed could have done. For a nation that even before the Earthquake has 95% of its population living below the poverty line, it it also has the most corrupt in the Western Hemisphere. Know the billions in relief aid I just mentioned? It’s sitting in a warehouse in Haiti collecting dust and has been since it started pouring in.
Haiti’s beginning is one to be admired: It became the first African Republic in thew Western Hemisphere when it gained its independence from France in 1848. In the 178 years since then daily life in Haiti is not what one would come to expect compared to its neighbors. As a friend at a school I worked at often told me, being poor in the U.S. is nothing compared to being poor in Haiti. In the U.S. you can get government assistance. In Haiti you pray a relief organization comes to your neighborhood before you die of hunger. Some children eat mud pies just to stop the pangs of hunger.
Why, oh why would a government that clearly lacks the resources and the will to feed its own people deny said people the aid the world readily sends to them? As much as people like to knock Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and North Korea they welcome outside aid. The obvious fact the Haitian government doesn’t care about their own people aside, it’s common knowledge that they seize all aid supplies brought in as “contraband” and turn around and sell it on the black market. There have been coups and coup attempts over the years but it’s just been one corrupt government replaced with another. Former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide–the last democratically elected president of Haiti–was ousted in a coup during the 1990s and fled to Kenya, taking the hundreds of millions he stole from the country with him.
Will things ever improve in Haiti? Only if someone who actually cares comes to power. Considering the people of Haiti has been relying on outside aid just to scrape by for the last 40 years, one might wonder why a developed nation like the United States isn’t doing more than it has to help the country. The US Military took over Haiti’s only international airport in Port-au-Prince in the days following the earthquake to help coordinate relief efforts but that privilege was quicky revoked after the Haitian government realized they were deliberately being left out of the planning and logistics of the relief efforts. This was quckly followed by reinstating an import tax on aid supplies being brought in that was intially waived. Yes, I’m serious: It is on the books in Haiti that the country of origin is to be billed for the AID they willingly give to help the people of Haiti. Said aid is then seized upon arrival and put in a warehouse, never making it to the people who need it.
To those from Haiti who may be reading this I’m not trying to knock your homeland. The Haitian government’s the problem, not the people. The problem is the country has yet to have a government worthy of its people.
Perhaps unsurprisingly to critics of the unsanctioned trip to North Korea, Dennis Rodman issued a written apology to the family of Kenneth Bae for his comments during the now damning interview he did on CNN last week. The apology had to happen since the media deliberately misonstrued his words to make it look like he said he doesn’t give a damn about the fact Mr. Bae is being held prisoner by the North Korean government. As for why he said what he said, Rodman said it was from stress (understandable) and that he was drunk when he did the interview.
As for the trip itself, former NBA star and humanitarian Charles Smith, who joined Rodman along with 5 other players defended the trip during the interview. It wasn’t until after they played against the North Korean national team that he and the other players realized they were being used for propeganda by the North Korean government. The vets lost the game but when you consider it hasn’t been that long since most of them played in the NBA (it’s been almost 19 years for Rodman) it quickly became clear the game was fixed to ensure they would lose. They parted ways with Rodman upon landing in Beijing where they presumably took a connecting flight back to the U.S.
Unlike most folks who take the rhetoric CNN, MSNBC and Fox News spews daily at face value, I’ve learned to look at stories like this using a far less pre-biased lens. The other article I wrote last week is one such example. Unlike most who refused to give Dennis Rodman the benefit of the doubt, I waited until all the facts were revealed before commenting on the trip and its intent.
For starters, what Rodman intended and what ended up happening were two different things. As everyone knows he is a personal friend of Kim Jong Un. This is a clearly established fact. As Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said in an interview on CNN (Speaking of which, I noticed he was being very careful with how he said what he said) yesterday, if you’re going to go to North Korea you need to have a clearly defined objective going in. Judging from the interviews with the players who went to the most secretive country on the planet when they landed in Beijing, it ended up being nothing more than a dog and pony show.
As possibly the only American who can openly say they are a close friend of The Supreme Leader of North Korea, his value to the rest of the west should not be overlooked just because he’s not a politician or a diplomat. I would not be opposed to him making return trips to North Korea either. I think it’s becoming more and more apparent there is a growing curiousity of the outside world by North Koreans. When Rodman said the door will one day open it was obvious he was being sincere. I also said in my previous blog the U.S. is in open talks with Iran. If the U.S. can open communications with Iran for the first time in over 35 years, why not North Korea?
The question deserves serious consideration. With a diplomat like John Kerry, anything’s possible.
I just finished watching CNN Journalist Anderson Cooper’s interview with the sister of detained American Kennith Bae. As usual, Mr. Cooper and Dom Lemon Before him followed company orders and wasted no time vilifying Dennis Rodman because he is not using his position as a friend of the Supreme Leader of North Korea to advocate for Bae’s release. They intentionally misquoted him with the reairing of the full interview to try to say Rodman doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Mr. Bae’s situation. This despite the fact Rodman himself made it clear he is not
- a Diplomat
- a politician
- going to get into North Korean/U.S. Relations
The “rant and tirade” CNN called it? He was understandably furious. Yes, his genuine friendship with Kim Jong Un is mutual. Yes, he knows about Mr. Bae’s situation. Yes, he knows very cleary about what’s going on in North Korea. If you look carefully at the video footage of Rodman in Pyongyang you will notice something you don’t see when reporters visit North Korea: No government minders are trailing him. CNN Journalist Wolf Blitzer was pretty adamant about government minders following outsiders from the West everywhere.
OK, look: Try to look at this from Rodman’s perspective. Like he said when the reporter in America who was interviewing him tried to bait him into talking politics, he and the players with him are IN North Korea right now. He’s not stupid. The players with him aren’t stupid. They’re not going to say ANYTHING that might jeopardize their safety or their freedom to leave the country. What the reporter who did the interview tried to do–and Rodman drove the point home very clearly–was bait him into a subject that could put them in danger.
Remember: Both the U.S. Justice Department and the NBA have denounced the players who’ve chosen to participate in this cultural exchange, which doubles as a birthday present for Kim Jong Un. What the West keeps ignoring is if this cultural exchange is a success, it will lead to other things. It’s obvious Kim and Dennis can directly speak to each other without a translator so…yeah. It’s also seems North Korea isn’t opposed to the idea of opening relations with “the enemy”. Otherwise why invite Rodman back into the country?
All these North Korean refugees jumping down Rodman’s throat on Facebook KNOW he is in an influential position. If he speaks to The Supreme Leader, he will be heard. Going back to Rodman’s thoughts on Mr. Bae’s situation, he said something interesting before he stopped himself in that interview this morning: “You don’t know what happened.” It’s not what he said but the way he said it that I found most telling. Watch the interview again. Notice the increased emotion when he says that sentence. I think Dennis Rodman does know why Mr. Bae is still being held by North Korea. For reasons we don’t know or understand he’s not going to talk about the why. There’s also the fact we know Mr. Bae is still alive and is in a hospital in Pyongyang. If they wanted him dead he would’ve been killed already but he’s being taken care of. He is in a hospital room, not a jail cell.
I believe Dennis Rodman will one day be vindicated as a diplomat in the eyes of the west. As I said on Facebook earlier tonight this game could lead to other things down the road.